Boris Johnson pays tribute to 'today's Nightingales'

12 May 2020, 08:34

Boris Johnson pays tribute on International Nurses Day

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Boris Johnson has paid tribute to "today's Nightingales" in a video message to mark the 200th birthday of "pioneer of modern nursing" Florence Nightingale.

The Prime Minister, who recently thanked nurses for saving his life in hospital with coronavirus, said Nightingale "revolutionised Victorian healthcare, establishing principles that stand to this day".

He added that her legacy "lies in the remarkable women and men she continues to inspire today".

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"And while much has changed in medicine since Florence's time, she would walk into one of our wonderful NHS hospitals today and I've no doubt that she would recognise in an instant the dedication, the compassion, the incredible skill of the nurses on duty.

"The 'ministering angels' of our time. Individuals possessed of what Florence herself called 'the true nurse calling': an unquestioning willingness to put the good of the sick first and all else second."

He concluded: "Just as your famous predecessor carried her fanoos lamp as she walked the wards at night, so you continue to cast light on the darkest moments of our lives. And for that we owe you more than words can say."

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The PM has paid tribute to nurses
The PM has paid tribute to nurses. Picture: Downing Street

Nursing leaders are asking the public to “shine a light” from their windows on Tuesday to help mark International Nurses Day, the birth of Florence Nightingale.

Read more: Nursing leaders ask public to 'shine a light' for nurses on Tuesday

The gesture is a reference to the lamp carried by Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing and a pioneer in infection control, it will also recognise the role of nurses in the coronavirus fight, which has been described as the "greatest health emergency in NHS history".