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New website showcases history of community nursing

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A new website has been launched showcasing the history of community nursing since 1859, when the first district nurse was employed in England.

The website means the Queen’s Nursing Institute archive of stories, photos, artefacts and films are now available to a much wider online audience.

“It is an honour to showcase the experiences of historic, retired and working Queen’s nurses”

Crystal Oldman

Some content dates back to Victorian times, while other pieces, such as oral interviews, use modern technology to capture the essence of working as a district nurse during the early years of the NHS.

The website also includes photographic and film resources from the post-war period when the NHS started 70 years ago, including the 1952 film District Nurse.

The project was funded by a £5,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, awarded to the institute in 2017.

The institute said it hoped that the archive would continue to grow as nurses and their patients share their own stories via a “submit your story” feature on the website.

The QNI itself was founded in 1887 with money collected by the women of England for Queen Victoria’s Jubilee.

The charity was created to organise the training and organisation of district nurses on a national basis, with those trained by the institute gaining the title Queen’s nurses.

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Crystal Oldman

Commenting on the new website, QNI chief executive Dr Crystal Oldman said: “We are delighted to have launched our new heritage website to round off our 130th anniversary year.

“Nursing in the community is as important to the health and wellbeing of our population as it was when the QNI was founded in 1887 by William Rathbone with help from his friend Florence Nightingale,” said Dr Oldman.

“It is an honour to showcase the experiences of historic, retired and working Queen’s nurses in this way and to share the development and achievements of the QNI over the generations,” she said.

She added: “The QNI is extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund; the grant has enabled a virtual celebration of district nursing and many other areas of community nursing in the UK.”

Queen's Nursing Institute

New website showcases history of community nursing

A study group

Queen's Nursing Institute

New website showcases history of community nursing

District nurse Jeal with M.O at the infant welfare clinic -1949

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