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Florence Nightingale letter

The events take place from February through to August and are free to attend with booking required. 

The University’s Riverside Museum will also be open to the public to view on selected dates. The Museum is run by a passionate and friendly group of volunteers who have a wealth of knowledge about the history of medical, health and social careand social work and visitors can turn up on the day. 

  • Wednesday, 1 February, 1–4pm, University of Chester Riverside Museum open 

Based at the University’s Wheeler Building on Castle Drive, the museum contains a permanent collection of curiosities from the world of medicine, nursing, midwifery and social work, in addition to an original letter written by Florence Nightingale from Balaclava. The First World War: Returning Home exhibition provides an insight into what a soldier invalided back from the Front would have found on his return to Cheshire. Using local examples wherever possible, the exhibition covers aspects such as medical advances, the psychological effects of war, volunteering and volunteer nurses, a doctor’s country practice, home life, working women and social welfare. This exhibition has been created by the Faculty of Health and Social Care Historical Society volunteers and refurbished with the generous help of the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Heritage

  • Wednesday, 1 February, 4pm, The Shock of the New! The Introduction of Physical Methods of Treatment in Psychiatry in Britain and Europe, 1922-1944, Dr Steven Jones, Professor of Mental Health/Director of Public Health, Chester Medical School and Colin Jones, former ECT/mental health nurse, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership 

Attendees will learn more about the major treatments of an important historical period for psychiatry and have an opportunity to reflect compassionately on the experience of patients and consider contextually the ethics around the introduction of new treatments prior to our present ethical and regulatory frameworks. It will also raise awareness of issues around patient consent, through consideration of the historical administration of treatments thought to be beneficial yet potentially seriously harmful, to patients in an era before the advent of modern medical and research ethics. 

  • Wednesday, 1 March, 1–4pm, University of Chester Riverside Museum open
  • Wednesday, 1 March, 4pm -The 19th-Century Development of Children’s Nursing at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Dr Sue Hawkins, Voluntary Researcher 

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) was Britain’s first hospital dedicated to the treatment of children. Known simply as The Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) when it opened in 1852 with only a handful of beds, it grew rapidly in both size and reputation to become the famous institution it is today. In this talk Sue will explore the first 50 years of this famous hospital's life, as seen through the experiences of its nurses, and its young patients.   

  • Wednesday, 5 April, 1–4pm, University of Chester Riverside Museum open 
  • Wednesday, 3 May, 1–4pm, University of Chester Riverside Museum open 
  • Wednesday, 3 May, 4pm, Royalty and Nursing, Dr Claire Chatterton, Associate Head of School, Open University and Visiting Professor, University of Chester 

To mark the Coronation of King Charles III this month, this talk will explore links between royalty and nursing over the centuries. Find out about princesses from around the world who worked as nurses and those who nursed royals, who queen’s nurses are and why so many hospitals have royal in their title. 

  • Wednesday, 7 June, 1–4pm, University of Chester Riverside Museum open 
  • Wednesday, 7 June, 4pm, The History of Human Anatomy from the Ancients to the Digital Age, Professor Lauren Fisher and Dr Andrew Fisher, Senior Lecturer, Chester Medical School
  • Saturday, 17 June, 10am–4pm, University of Chester Riverside Museum open for Chester Heritage Festival 
  • Wednesday, 5 July, 1–4pm, University of Chester Riverside Museum open 
  • Wednesday, 5 July, 4pm, NHS 75th anniversary event (title and details to be confirmed) 
  • Wednesday, 2 August, 1–4pm, University of Chester Riverside Museum open 

The University’s Faculty of Health and Social Care (FHSC) Historical Society was founded in 2008 to mark the 60th anniversary of the NHS and unites individuals with an interest in medicine, nursing, midwifery and social work across the University and the wider community. To book a place on one of the Society’s talks please contact or call 01244 512126 to confirm your place. Admission is free with numbers needed for seating and refreshments. 

To find out more about the Society and its programme of events, visit here

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