Mary Seacole officially recognised

Mary Seacole was a Jamaican-born nurse who cared for wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War in the 19th Century. She is rarely acknowledged or indeed, recognised in the history books as the credit for nurses and nursing in the Crimean war somewhat hijacked by Florence Nightingale.

However, over the past 12 years, nurses (our very own Joan Pons-Laplana amongst them) and others have been tirelessly fundraising for a statue to commemmorate her. Having raised the £500,000 to honour her with a statue, their day came on the 30th June when this was unveiled outside St Thomas's Hospital.

According to the BBC webiste, the statue was created by sculptor Martin Jennings, and is inscribed with words written in 1857 by The Times' Crimean War correspondent, Sir William Howard Russell:

"I trust that England will not forget one who nursed her sick, who sought out her wounded to aid and succour them, and who performed the last offices for some of her illustrious dead."

Finally, after 159 years, she can be remembered.


Loooking for a new job?

Remember back in the day when 18 year old student nurses were such innocents that they could be sent to theatre for a long weight and would indeed, errm, wait. Well the entire country has fallen for the scam this time - it will be very, very long wait for the the £350 mill per week promised to the NHS by a few of the Brexiters to fall into the DH's lap...

So, given that it is unlikely that we will have any nurses before long (see editorial), now is the time to look for another job. Undoubtedly, the skills you have learnt will be transferable to another career, and as nurses have never been awash with money, a decent salary may be attractive.

So, here at PCNR we have been trawling the classifieds to see if there are any options out there for you. And we found a couple that may be of interest...

Lord Commander of the Night's Watch (salary 36000 Gold Dragons, roughly a Band 8a)

High risk job with a lot of responsibility. As Lord Commander you will be tasked with defending The Wall and protecting the people of Westeros from Wildling attacks, as well as the occasional White Walker. You will be required to live and die at your post, while relations with women are strictly prohibited. Anyone found breaking the rules will be dealt with accordingly.

Tradition dictates that when a Lord Commander dies, any sworn man of the Night’s Watch can nominate himself or be nominated by his brothers for the position. However, applicants are a little short this time around seeing as how the previous Commander was struck ill…

Main Responsibilities

  • Provide training and guidance to recruits
  • Act as a role model for the men
  • Protect the wall from potential threats

Key Skills and Knowledge Requirements

  • Decisiveness and strong-headed
  • Highly trained in combat
  • Strong sense of self
  • Luscious, curly hair
  • Must be able to recite the Night’s Watch oath from memory

Ideal Candidate

A brave and determined individual with a strong head of hair and is good with animals. The ideal candidate will have a good work ethic and must show signs of working well with others – both Wildlings and Night’s Watchmen. They should display excellent leadership abilities and keep a cool head in challenging situations. Must look good in black.

Personal Assistant to Bran Stark (salary 17000 gold dragons, roughly a Band 6c) Nursing experience a bonus!

As Bran Stark’s personal assistant you will be tasked with aiding him on his adventures throughout Westeros and beyond The Wall. Because of his disability, you will be required to carry him while simultaneously performing other duties to the best of your abilities. So skipping leg day at the gym is not an option.

Because of the nature of the role you may encounter danger from time to time, so being adept at fighting is essential. Traditionally speaking a companion will be have good conversational skills, but Bran is more than happy just having the company.

As a reminder, it’s important that when you hold the door you do so with grace. In order to ho d dor you need to be hodor. Hodor, hodor hodor hodor. Hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor – hodor!

Main Responsibilities

  • Carry Bran Stark and ensure his objectives are met
  • Protect him from dangerous individuals
  • Follow Bran Stark’s orders to the best of your ability without question
  • Hold the door when requested

Key Skills and Requirements

  • Must be able to carry heavy objects over long periods of time
  • Comfortable having your mind controlled by your boss
  • Vocabulary not essential

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for this position should be a strong, caring and compassionate person who enjoys the simple things in life. Refusing an order is simply not in their nature, while they will be happy to carry out any instructions to the best of their abilities. In the event of a scuffle, they must be able to handle themselves well. No Wargs

These and other such roles can be found at:  Westeros recruitment

PCNR would like to acknowledge Westeros Recuitment and Time Recruitment Solutions ( for permission to reproduce theses ads, and would like to shake the hand of their marketing comany!


Kate Grainger Awards

This year, NHS England has received 108 nominations for the Kate Grainger Awards, a 10% increase on last year.

The awards  are named after Kate Granger, the terminally ill doctor who has worked tirelessly to raise awareness around compassion in the NHS through her# hellomynameis campaign. As Kate herself says:

“Being a patient has taught me a huge amount about being a doctor. Prioritising compassionate care in its rightful place alongside patient safety, under the umbrella of quality is perhaps one of the most important things I have learned.”

Jane Dwelly, NHS England’s Head of Health and Care Innovation said:

“I am so pleased to be able to host these awards at Expo for the third year. The record breaking number of entries shows how important compassionate care is to everyone working with patients.”

The awards will be presented at theHealth Care & Innovation expo on September 7th (Manchester) 

Awards are available to:

  • An individual working in the NHS or delivering NHS funded service
  • Teams or organisations who are part of the NHS, or who deliver NHS funded services. These services can be delivered in hospitals, or in a primary care, community or residential setting

The judges are looking for an individual, team or organisation that has made a fantastic difference to patient care. In particular, they want evidence of:

  • An ambitious and innovative way of delivering care
  • High-quality management and leadership
  • An approach that can be easily measured and have a real impact
  • How the approach has made a difference to patient care
  • How it makes a difference in the long term
  • How easily it can be replicated in other organisations


Revolutionising UK lung cancer management

Dr Sam Hare, writing for NHS England ( outlines an innovative method of carrying out lung biopsies at Barnet Hospital. This has the potential to free up hundreds of hospital beds and provide earlier lung cancer diagnosis by increasing ten-fold the number of potentially life-saving tests carried out each year.

Dr Hare explains,

Many patients are not seeing the full benefit of the latest therapies because of delays in diagnosis caused by the sheer amount of time it takes to get someone in for a biopsy. This is an area where the NHS urgently needs to improve. Reassuringly however, effective NHS innovation doesn’t always require a pioneering invention or new piece of technology. Sometimes a common sense solution that is truly patient focused is all that is needed.

I was trained in the UK to perform standard, uncomplicated lung biopsies. This is the pivotal lung cancer diagnostic test and usually involves four to six hours post-biopsy monitoring in a hospital bed, even in routine cases. If a lung biopsy patient developed a pneumothorax this would usually require a formal in-patient admission and treatment with a traditional bulky chest drain for a few days.

Since 2011, Barnet Hospital  has performed almost 800 lung biopsies on an entirely outpatient basis; 99% of patients have been discharged within 30 to 60 minutes, so bed-related scheduling delays have been completely eliminated. Such creative thinking, using methodology with an international evidence-base, has permitted us to perform anywhere between 10 and 14 lung biopsies every week, whereas most hospitals of equivalent size might do only one or two.

Crucially, even if patients develop a pneumothorax, they are treated at home using a discreet, portable device called a Heimlich-valve chest drain (HVCD).

Due to the  innovation, Royal Free London patients are being diagnosed more quickly. Correspondingly, more patients are undergoing curative lung cancer surgery and accessing the latest lung cancer treatments.It’s now time for the wider NHS to give patients with lung cancer the best possible chance at beating the disease by making a firm commitment to early lung cancer diagnosis.