"Lost" Historic Memorial back on public display, thanks to UNISON rep Bernard Murphy.

Bernard, who works as a Staff Nurse on the Critical Care Unit at NMGH as well as a Unison rep, Unison Education Coordinator and Staff Side Chair explains… 

“I was in the old Limbert Nurses Home, now a suite of training facilities, as part of the Acute Illness Management faculty early last year, when I noticed that the memorial plaque honouring nursing staff who died in the 1st World War and then the 1918-1919 Spanish Flu epidemic was no longer mounted just inside the entrance.  Unable to find anyone who knew its whereabouts I raised it at the Central Joint Negotiation & Consultation Committee (where trade unions meet with Trust managers).  Estates were asked to look into it and it turned out that Martin Rainsford in Estates had removed it to a place of safety when the Limbert was being converted to its present use.  Martin and I decided it would be appropriate to remount the plaque next to the stained glass window from the old Ancoats Hospital, opposite the entrance to Outpatients B,  and I am pleased to see that it’s now in place. This plaque is steeped in historical importance as well as sounding a particular contemporary resonance in light of current ‘flu outbreaks and pandemics.  It is also possible that there are relatives of these women still connected to the North Manchester Area.”

Bernard felt it would be appropriate to take a photograph of the plaque with staff from the Infectious Diseases wards at NMGH. 

Ward Manager Lindsey Clarke commented that it was important to reflect on history and prevent further fatalities, and added that in 2018 vaccination is key to this.

Health Care Assistant Nicola Burke said the plaque puts things into perspective and that it is a good thing to remember these women who lost their lives.

Staff Nurse Sarah Graham remembers the plaque from when she lived in the Limbert in the 1980’s and said it’s great to see it back, adding “Flu…. It’s not new!”

Clinical Matron Helen Riley commented that the plaque focuses on our colleagues who died in World War 1 and in the ‘flu epidemic and provides a valuable insight into the history of nursing at North Manchester.

Photograph courtessy of Karen Morley-Williams, Assisant Branch Secretary, UNISON Pennine Acute Health Branch.

Date Online: 24/01/2018

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