By Ian Dipple Thursday 24 October 2013 Updated: 25/10 13:45
PUBLIC pride needs to be restored in British nursing, according to the head of a Redditch based charity.
Simon Knighton, chairman of the Cavell Nurses’ Trust, said there was a need to restate the values promoted by the inspiration for their work, which had been lost in the minds of the public amid a barrage of media criticism of the NHS.
The charity is named after First World War nurse Edith Cavell who insisted such was their dedication to nursing they should treat all soldiers regardless of their nationality. She was later shot for helping troops escape German occupied Belgium and a fund-raising campaign in her memory by two national newspapers laid the foundations of the charity.
Mr Knighton said her heroic spirit and values remained the bedrock of nursing even today and while he would not defend poor care, no nurse got out of bed to do a bad job.
“I believe the nursing profession has always had the standards of respect, integrity, trust, care and compassion but systemically we have organised ourselves in a way that places great pressure on nurses,” he told the Standard at a special breakfast reception at the Abbey Hotel last Friday, hosted by Redditch MP Karen Lumley.
“No nurse goes out to do a bad job, they go out to do a good job, often made difficult for them through a system of management or organisation issues and the press and media always pick up on the worst and rarely pick up on the best and there’s a lot more best out there than worst.”
The charity provides support to all 650,000 of the UK’s nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants as well as retired nurses and students who have fallen on hard times through illness, disability or other factors. One in ten of the charity’s beneficiaries are victims of domestic abuse.
In the last two years the charity has provided support to 2,100 people and last year alone paid out £426,000 to aid 550 nurses with everything from buying food to home adaptations.
By its centenary in 2015 the charity aims to double the number of people it helps to 2,000 a year and recruit ambassadors to promote their work and hold fund-raising events.
“Most of us will be able to remember a time when we were really grateful for the care we were given and if we can help people when they need help then that’s what we should all be doing,” Mr Knighton added.
Visit cavellnursestrust.org to find out how to get involved.
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