I was delighted to be invited by the British Ambassador of Spain to a celebration of nursing at the Nursing School of Autonoma University of Madrid (UAM), the most prestigious and biggest nursing school in Spain.

The event on 22nd May 2019, was organised to award the nurses of the public hospitals in Madrid for the care they give to cancer patients. It was organised in collaboration with the  Sandra Ibarra Foundation whose work supports patients and cancer research.

The Ambassador for Spain opened the awards event where patients really thanked nurses and demonstrated their appreciation of the support and care they received in a difficult moment of their lives. They made the link to the spirit of Florence Nightingale and her tireless crusade to improve the lives of her patients. Cancer nurses were nominated by their patients and the patients selected the winners who were presented with “The Lady with the Lamp Award”. I spoke about the work of the Florence Nightingale Foundation and opened my talk with “Hola, mi nombre es Greta Westwood” but there my Spanish stopped!

It was a truly wondrous event. I was honoured to receive an award on behalf of the FNF. The following day I visited Fuenlabrada Hospital, its nurses and patients. It hosts the first Cancer Survivors Unit in Spain.

I hope to create a partnership with the Sandra Ibarra Foundation and develop the FNF’s first international partnership scholarship for a Spanish Cancer Nurse, discussions are continuing.

I would like to thank the British Embassy for their hospitality, Sandra Ibarra for her dedication to this cause and Eva Garcia Perea, Director of the Nursing School, UAM.  

Professor Greta Westwood PhD RN

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