The University of Cumbria joins other NHS organisations and health union Unison this Saturday to celebrate the NHS’ 70th anniversary in Carlisle City Centre.
The university will be hosting a stand outside the town hall 10am – 2pm and will celebrate the work of the NHS by shining a light on its past, resent and future as seen through the eyes of its lecturers and nursing alumni.
Nursing lecturers will be on hand to demonstrate historical equipment and inform passers-by how some procedures were performed in times gone by.
This will be contrasted by demonstrations of modern equipment and visitors to the stand will be able to find out how today’s nurses use evidence to inform their healthcare practice.
In addition, the university will be garnering opinions about what the public wants from nursing in the county in the future as services move towards more community-based care.
“It has been an exciting but challenging year as a newly qualified nurse in the NHS,” said Zoe Butler, a newly qualified nurse who graduated from the university a year ago and was also awarded student nurse of the year.
“But with the enthusiasm and inspiration from my colleagues I have found my feet and feel confident that our NHS is running strong and we will continue to provide high quality care at the point of need.”
“At the stand people will experience a guided tour of the history of the NHS as told first-hand by real-life nurses and lecturers. We’ll also be there to describe about what it’s like working as a nurse in the NHS today.”
Dr Louise Nelson, Head of Nursing at the University of Cumbria will be there on Saturday to get people’s opinions about nursing in the future.
“Everybody knows what nursing is, but as health care needs of the population evolve and become much more community focused, that has to be reflected in nursing education as we need to ensure our future workforce reflects that as we enter the next five, 10 and 15 years.”
“Our student nurses need to be educated to work independently, and as part of an integrated team with other health and social care professionals. They need to be resilient and be able to work in hospitals, primary care and the community. I will be interested in getting the public’s views on what they consider makes a good nurse so that our training corresponds.”
Liz Miller, a first year student midwife, currently working on placement in Whitehaven said:
“The NHS has been part of my life since I was a child; my mum was a midwife and then a nurse. She’s been the NHS for me growing up and I suppose I’m now following in her footsteps.”
Liz, whose sister Dawn was born at Fusehill Street in 2000 when it was still home to Carlisle’s maternity unit, says working for the NHS - and midwifery in particular – was a natural choice for her.
“I like the idea of being involved at the very start of life. My plans are to qualify and carry on doing what my mum’s been doing – looking after people in Cumbria.”