International Nurses Day ‘most poignant in recent history’

The mental health minister has paid tribute to the thousands of frontline staff working during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tribute: Nurses working on the frontline during the pandemic. Getty Images
Tribute: Nurses working on the frontline during the pandemic.

An MSP has said this year’s International Nurses Day “has been the most poignant in recent history”.

Mental health minister Clare Haughey has paid tribute to the thousands of frontline staff working during the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s date also marks the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

Ms Haughey said: “Each and every nurse across the health and social care sector has my very grateful thanks during these unprecedented times.

‘I want to pay special tribute to the health and social care staff – unfortunately, some of whom were nurses – who have died in the line of duty with coronavirus.’

Mental health minister Clare Haughey
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“In particular I want to pay special tribute to the health and social care staff – unfortunately, some of whom were nurses – who have died in the line of duty with coronavirus.

“Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the skill, resilience, knowledge and ability required to be a nurse but above all shown the inherent desire to care for patients and their families in a compassionate, person-centred manner.”

She added: “Of course, these traits are embodied by nurses across the country every day of every year and this International Day of the Nurse is part of the first International Year of the Nurse and Midwife marking the bicentenary anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.

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“It highlights the hard work, commitment and determination to care and support shown at all time by our nurses.”

In another tribute to Nightingale, seven temporary hospitals have been named after her and set up across England to help cope with the Covid-19 crisis.

A similar hospital in Glasgow was named after Louisa Jordan – a Scottish nurse who died in service during World War One.

Scotland’s chief nursing officer Professor Fiona McQueen said she is “extremely proud” the World Health Organisation has designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has by far been the most demanding time since I started in post,” she said.

‘Without the selfless commitment of our nurses and midwives, so many people may not have survived Covid-19.’

Scotland’s chief nursing officer Professor Fiona McQueen

“It gives us a real opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work nurses and midwives do for the people of Scotland on a daily basis and to thank you all for your hard work and dedication at this unprecedented time.

“The pandemic has also shown why nursing and midwifery are fantastic careers for people, as well as demonstrating the skills, ability and knowledge required to provide such a high level of care.”

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She added: “Without the selfless commitment of our nurses and midwives, so many people may not have survived Covid-19.

“I want to take this opportunity to remember all our nurses and midwives who have sadly passed away supporting the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Their dedication to caring, comforting and treating others even under these extremely challenging and dangerous times, will never be forgotten.” 

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