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Donation allows London trust to continue new nursing award

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Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has received a donation to continue funding its recently introduced professional award for its most outstanding nurses and midwives.

Last year the trust launched its Nightingale Nurse Award scheme, which is named in honour of Florence Nightingale who established her first nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in 1859.

“The Nightingale Nurse Award is a really great way of celebrating and developing fantastic nurses”

Gillian Prager

The trust has today revealed it has received a donation of more than £250,000 from the Nightingale Fellowship, which represents nurses who trained at the St Thomas’ Hospital School of Nursing.

The donation means the award scheme can continue, said the trust in a statement. The Nightingale Fellowship’s donation will go towards award applicants’ academic fees and administration costs.

The first new Nightingale Nurse Award winners were announced last May at a special ceremony held on International Nurses’ Day.

To receive the award, nurses have to provide evidence from their managers and peers and complete a programme of work accredited by King’s College London.

On completion of the training, nurses receive a badge and certificate and have the honour of being known as a “Nightingale Nurse”.

Historically, nurses who trained at the Nightingale nursing school and worked at St Thomas’ Hospital for over a year received a special blue badge and were known as “Nightingales”.

However, this was phased out after the school was transferred to King’s College London with the last badge being issued in 1996.

“We are very excited that it will be available to our nursing staff in the future”

Eileen Sills

Dame Eileen Sills, chief nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “We are delighted to have received this very generous donation from the Nightingale Fellowship.

“This will enable us to continue to recognise our most outstanding nurses and midwives and build on Florence Nightingale’s legacy of delivering high quality care in a compassionate manner,” she said.

Dame Eileen added: “The Nightingale Nurse Award is a very prestigious qualification and we are very excited that it will be available to our nursing staff in the future.”

Gillian Prager, president of the Nightingale Fellowship, said: “The Nightingale Nurse title is highly regarded by the national and international nursing community.

“It was very important to us that nurses and midwives providing outstanding care continue to be honoured with the title,” she said.

“The Nightingale Nurse award is a really great way of celebrating and developing fantastic nurses and it is a very fitting addition to Florence Nightingale’s amazing legacy,” she added.

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