Nurse's memoir reflects on half a century in the profession

Nurse Mary Spinks' book is called From SRN to CBE: Celebrating 50 Remarkable Years in Nursing

A nurse who oversaw dramatic changes to operating theatres in the 1960s, cared for people injured by an IRA bomb in the 1980s and was made a CBE by the Queen in the 2000s has revealed how she has always had confidence in nurses – if not in NHS management.

Mary Spinks

Mary Spinks, former chair of the National Association of Theatre Nurses, and Florence Nightingale Foundation director, appeared at the RCN’s heritage centre in London to share stories taken from her memoir From SRN to CBE: Celebrating 50 Remarkable Years in Nursing.

She described how the Griffiths Report – about the management of the NHS in the 1980s – had altered her work beyond all recognition.

Clinical nurse managers' responsibilities were handed to general hospital managers and Ms Spinks said this had been a 'bombshell from which nursing has never really recovered’.

She said: ‘I lost faith in the management of the health service, but I never lost faith in nursing. It’s been a great career and my book is dedicated to all the fantastic nurses I met along the way.’

Her book is available here


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