On 17 November 2017, the University of Leeds hosted a conference and exhibition on ‘Nurses at the Front Line of Wound Care’. The Parkinson building was transformed into a First World War hospital.
The conference, in memory of Nellie Spindler and other WW1 nurses, took place during ‘Stop pressure ulcer week’. An accompanying interactive exhibition included:
- A WW1 Field hospital staffed by ‘Wenches in Trenches’,
- A collection of objects from the Thackray Medical Museum, items from the West Yorkshire Archive Service,
- A poster display of cutting edge contemporary and historical research in wound care
- Visitor stalls including: ‘Stop the Pressure’ pressure ulcer prevention; ‘Legs Matter’ leg ulcer campaign; PURSUN UK – The Pressure Ulcer Research Service User Network; the NHS trust; the School of Healthcare.
Conference: Wound care: from Passchendaele to pressure ulcers
The conference opened with introductions from Prof Andrea Nelson and Prof Suzanne Hinchliffe and a paper from Prof Christine Hallett on the ‘Nurses of Passchendaele: Clinical Expertise and Personal Sacrifice on the Front Lines of War’.
Public event: Afternoon tea and Poetry
The event continued with afternoon tea, a wonderful performance from Kate Vigurs based on WW1 nurse diaries and a lively panel discussion featuring five-minute talks and discussion with researchers, nurses and historians reporting from the front line of wound care past and present.
The event was organised in partnership with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and is supported by funds from the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Charitable Trust and Gateways to the First World War.
Guests were also treated to some hands-on object handling with the Wenches in the Trenches.
They reported on their website that “We had the best of times, met with some amazing people from all fields of medicine and science, made many new friends but most of all I learned so much. There were fabulous speakers including Professor Alison Fell and Professor Christine Hallett. A wonderful presentation of a VAD by Dr Kate Vigurs and much much more. Plus a great lunch served on tin plates such as the nurses would have had. Then in the afternoon a typical nurses Edwardian afternoon tea with cakes and sandwiches. We were sorry to say goodbye to Leeds and its amazing people. A huge thank you to Dr Mary Madden and Professor Alison Fell and everyone involved.”