DN150: One Hundred & Fifty Years of District Nursing

district nursing 150 - queens nursing institute

Messages of support for District Nursing

boris johnson

Dame Christine Beasley
Chief Nursing Officer for England

jo brand
Jo Brand

“Congratulations on the 150th anniversary of district nursing in the UK! We, the members of the Japan Academy of Community Health Nursing, would like to pay our respects to your great district nursing activities as a forerunner of community health nurses all over the world. We expect sincerely that the district nursing activities in the UK develop more and more in future.”
Michiko Konishi, President, JACHN and Professor, Gifu College of Nursing

"As a former district nurse I know that they are the backbone of our community nursing services. The trusted figure coming up the garden path is as welcome now, in this age of rapid communication, technology and internet help lines, as it has ever been. For many, made vulnerable through sickness, disability or age, the district nurse is the difference between independence in the familiar surroundings of home, and institutional living. Their holistic approach prevents hospital admission, facilitates discharge and spans the full continuum from promoting and supporting well-being, to palliative and end of life care. They are a life-line for carers: teaching, supporting, befriending and procuring essential resources. Like other professionals, district nurses are not immune to the changing context of health care. I have every confidence that these highly skilled nurses will adapt to future challenges and demands, and will take forward with them the best traditions of high quality, compassionate nursing in the home. "
Dame Christine Beasley, Chief Nursing Officer England

As a former district nurse I am delighted to congratulate the district nursing profession as it celebrates its 150th anniversary. Healthcare has changed beyond recognition in that time but the need for highly skilled, compassionate nursing care in the home and the community is possibly even more important today than it was 150 years ago. With an ageing population, increasingly complex care required at home and the need to manage chronic conditions district nurses are crucial to meeting health needs and are central to the NHS as it focuses on healthcare in the community.
Rosemary Kennedy, Chief Nursing Officer for Wales

A minnau’n gyn nyrs ardal fy hun, mae’n hyfryd cael llongyfarch y proffesiwn nyrsys ardal wrth iddo ddathlu ei ganmlwyddiant a hanner. Mae gofal iechyd wedi’i weddnewid yn llwyr yn ystod y cyfnod hwnnw, ond mae’r angen am nyrsys tosturiol a medrus yn y cartref ac yn y gymuned o bosibl yn bwysicach heddiw nag a fu 150 o flynyddoedd yn ôl. Gan fod y boblogaeth yn heneiddio, a chan fod gofyn am ofal gartref sy’n cynyddu o ran ei gymhlethdod ac angen i reoli cyflyrau cronig, mae nyrsys ardal yn hanfodol er mwyn diwallu anghenion iechyd ac maent yn ganolog i’r GIG wrth iddo ganolbwyntio ar ofal iechyd yn y gymuned.
Rosemary Kennedy, Prif Swyddog Nyrsio Cymru

Working with District Nurses on the other side of the world reminds me of the similarities of achievement and challenge with respect to colleagues in the UK. The QNI has surely led the way with its long history of support to District Nursing and it is reassuring to note that underpinning of the role as we seek to develop it further in our country. Congratulations on 150 years of endeavour. May District Nurses continue to provide quality care and support to people, their families, and communities wherever they might practice.  
Mark Jones, Chief Nurse, New Zealand.


"To the district nurse. From my bed of sickness unfortunately I would be compelled to have a tidy up before your call. Despite your strong convictions, resolve and dedication you would undoubtedly be appalled by the state of my bedroom! Keep up the good work with all your clients - past, present and future and my very best wishes on this special occasion."
Jo Brand

'I am delighted to offer my congratulations to district nurses on the occasion of their 150th anniversary. District nurses provide a vital service, particularly to more vulnerable people who may not be able to access other forms of healthcare. We have much to learn from you experience as more services are provided in patients’ homes. I salute the hard work of each one of the district nurses who have cared for Londoners over the past 150 years and wish you all the best for your anniversary celebrations and the future.’
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

"History is very important and district nursing has had a very noble history helping many millions of people be nursed in their own homes over the past 150 years. I would like to extend my congratulations to all members of the district nursing profession as they reflect on where they have come from and consider where they will be taking their profession in the future"
Dr Cheryll Adams, Lead Professional Strategy & Practice Development,

'It is with a feeling of great pleasure and gratitude that I write to congratulate your truly Noble Organization on the attainment of your ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY. I had the opportunity and privilege as a Registered Nurse, Midwife, and Public-Health Nurse, trained in Jamaica, to come to London and benefit from the Excellent Programme of Training offered by The Institute, which enabled me to have my name placed on the "Queen's Roll' (Overseas) on the sixth of May, 1965, and as a consequence, was able to render invaluable service to my country for over Thirty Years, through The Hyacinth Lightbournne Visiting Nursing Service.'
Castel Edwards, Queen's Nurse, Jamaica

'It is my delight to make a constribution to the 150th Anniversary Celebration of the noble institution of the Queen's Nurses. I was enrolled as a Queen's Nurse on May 7, 1964 and worked from the then home of the Kensington District Nursing Association, Holland Park Ave., London W& as a 'clean' nurse - attached to the London County Council. The main purpuse was to assess patients for early discharge adn to attend to them in the post-partum period as a midwife. In additionto this, I only gave injections and performed clean tasks that would not pose a risk to the newborn. This was a service I totally enjoyed until I returned home to Jamaica when I further continued with domcilliary nursing through the services of the Haycinth Lightbourne Visiting Association. My very best wishes for a wonderful 150th anniversary of community nursing.'
Gloria Reid, Queen's Nurse, Jamaica

"On behalf of the RCN I am delighted to offer my heartfelt congratulations to district nurses who can proudly celebrate 150 years of their profession. Providing wonderful nursing to patients in their own homes is a priviledge, but it can also be challenging.  Patients and their families often describe the nursing care provided by their local district nursing team as being compassionate, skilled, sensitive and intensely personal. The RCN looks forward to working with the people who are currently seeking to further expand and enhance the district nursing workforce. The public continue to say how they would prefer to be cared for at home - and die at home, when that time comes. It is quite clear that district nursing will be welcomed and respected by the public for another 150 years."
Dr Peter Carter, General Secretary RCN

"District nurses were the best invention of the 19th Century.  Today the district nurse is the key member of the primary care team.  Still dispensing compassion and expertise but also, increasingly, the vital member of the team, when it comes to looking after patients at home, who would previously have been cared for in hospital.  District nursing is thus the NHS's sustainability plan, when it comes to ensuring that limited health resources are put to best effect.  District nurses have a proud history but they also hold the key to the future success of the NHS".
Dr Michael Dixon, Chair, NHS Alliance

"The 150th anniversary of district nursing is a significant milestone for the profession, as it demonstrates their perpetual valuable contribution to the care of those being nursed at home. This field of nursing has gone from strength to strength and I congratulate all district nurses on their commitment to caring for clients in the community"
Suzanne Smallman, Association of British Paediatric Nurses

"The MS Society recognises the huge contribution made by district nurses in raising standards of care for people affected by Multiple Sclerosis. The MS society would like to thank all district nurses for their invaluable work and to congratulate them on their special anniversary year"
Caron Caldwell, Head of Service Development, MS Society

"Having worked in the community as both a health visitor and a nurse practitioner, and been responsible for both managing and commissioning district nursing service, I believe they are they unsung heroes of the nursing profession.

This is because they work day in and out with the thousands of elderly people living at home on their own and the terminally and chronically sick: who have very little voice in modern day society. They are central to the government's agenda of keeping patients at home and yet they have barely been considered in much of the key policy documents over the last two decades.In their 150th year it is time to get behind them in celebration of all they have done, and what they contribute to contemporary twentieth century primary care."
Monica Fletcher, Chief Executive Education for Health

"The 1930 Fund for District Nurses sends congratulations to mark the 150th
anniversary of district nursing. Much has changed since 1859, but the impact which district nurses make to patients and their families has remained constant throughout".
Paul Beard OBE, Vice Chair 1930 Fund for District Nurses

"It was going out with a District Nurse on a snowy night, pushing her car up the hills in Brighton, visiting a dying man alone in a grotty bedsitter, that inspired me to champion District Nursing. Compassion, professionalism and skill were stampled thoughout her being."
Baroness Julia Cumberlege

Mrs. Mary Breckinridge, who founded the Frontier Nursing Service in 1925 at Wendover, Kentucky, had an extensive collaboration with The Queen's Institute of District Nursing. She wrote in her autobiography, Wide Neighborhoods in 1952:
"We have had a number of Queen's Nurses on the staff of the Frontier Nursing Service during the last quarter century. We consider their preparation in district nursing, midwifery and public health the best of any who come to us."
Michael Claussen, Guest Services Co Ordinator/Development Assistant - Frontier Nursing Service

"I would like to express my support for the Queen's Nursing Institute, founded by Liverpool's William Rathbone. As we approach the 150th anniversary of district nursing - again an initiative of William Rathbone in Liverpool - it is entirely appropriate that I as a Liverpool Member of Parliament, offer my endorsement to the QNI in its very special year, for the very special work which it does."
Peter Kilfoyle, Liverpool MP

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