New trees planted at Wigan Infirmary to pay tribute on International Nurses' Day

The hard work and dedication of nurses in Wigan’s hospitals and further afield was recognised with a lasting tribute on International Nurses’ Day.
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Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust yesterday paid tribute to its staff during the first global Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

As well as being International Nurses’ Day, yesterday marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, who founded modern nursing and pioneered infection control.

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The trust wanted to show its appreciation to its nurses by planting trees in their honour and by lighting its new Tree of Hope blue at Wigan Infirmary.

Midwives Anne Clayton and Audrey Livesey planting rose bushesMidwives Anne Clayton and Audrey Livesey planting rose bushes
Midwives Anne Clayton and Audrey Livesey planting rose bushes

The trees were planted by staff yesterday afternoon near the hospital’s Christopher Home building.

They paid tribute to the efforts of those nurses dedicated to caring for patients, along with remembering colleagues who have died during the coronavirus pandemic.

The tree planting also marked National ODP Day, which falls tomorrow and recognises the work of operating department practitioners.

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Helen Richardson, chief nurse at the trust, said: “All our staff at WWL are caring for patients at what is an unprecedented time for the NHS.

Staff plant trees at Wigan InfirmaryStaff plant trees at Wigan Infirmary
Staff plant trees at Wigan Infirmary

“On International Nurses’ Day we wanted to say thank you to our nurses and all our staff and to particularly recognise the contribution of the profession of nursing. I am, as chief nurse, incredibly proud of the compassion and professionalism our nurses show in providing the best possible care to our patients and the support they show to one another. They are truly exceptional.

“Many of the celebrations we had planned for a year that is the first ever global Year of the Nurse and Midwives have been put on hold due to the pandemic. We wanted to mark the importance of the professions and pay tribute to our staff by planting new trees in their honour.

“Many former nurses have returned to help the NHS with the greatest health emergency in its history.

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“It’s no different here at WWL, we are extremely thankful for those who have returned to work and to our healthcare students choosing to take up extended clinical placements. We’re actively encouraging people to still come and join our WWL family.

“We’d love to do more for to celebrate International Nurses’ Day, but this occasion falls in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and we’re restricted in what we can do.

“I sincerely hope in some way our tree planting and our huge thanks goes some way to showing our support to not only my colleagues here, but across the country.”

Wiganers were last night asked to mark International Nurses’ Day by “shining a light” for the nurses to show their gratitude. Light is a visible symbol of welcome, hope and warmth.

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NHS Wigan Borough CCG last week asked people to send videos and pictures honouring nurses as it prepared to celebrate the day.

Wiganers could submit short clips sharing their story and gratitude, or pictures of themselves holding up a message or a poster.

They would be collated to create a montage thanking nurses and midwives.

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