A CENTURY of nursing, from the days of Florence Nightingale onwards, has been celebrated across East Lancashire.

As part of International Nurses Day, uniforms from across the ages have been dusted off and memorabilia unearthed and gone on show at seven locations.

The anniversary of the birth of The Lady With The Lamp has been adopted to recognise the daily commitment of nurses.

Christine Pearson, chief nurse at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “As we celebrate the nurses of today on International Nurses Day, there is a lot we can learn from the past and, due to the wealth of artefacts available from local nurses, we are putting them on display to tell the fascinating story of nursing in East Lancashire.”

People attending Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital were greeted by renditions by Soft Jazz, Paul Heptinstall and Blackburn Central High School Choir, while Dawn Vickers welcomed visitors to Burnley General.

Seminars were held on the history of nursing and exhibitions at the Blackburn and Burnley sites, with displays also hosted at Pendle Community, Clitheroe Community and Accrington Victoria hospitals, and Burnley St Peter’s and Rossendale health centres.

Gift trees were left in the hospital foyers so patients and their families could leave messages of thanks to nurses.

The hospitals also saw a tombola, ‘Name that Nurse’ competition and a celebration cake for each of the wards and community nursing offices operated by the hospitals trust.

Nurse Jenny Trant said: “May 12 is an important date to all nurses, the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, who is widely considered the founder of modern nursing.”

The official history of nursing in East Lancashire stretches back into the 19th century, with the original Blackburn Royal Infirmary opening in 1865, the former Victoria Hospital in Burnley in 1884 and Hartley Hospital in Colne in 1900.