Edinburgh’s Liberal Democrat MP, Mike Crockart has marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Dr Elsie Inglis, by tabling an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons.
The EDM celebrates the work of unacknowledged British war-time heroines who set up the Scottish Women’s Hospitals during the First World War. The Scottish Women’s Hospital was set up at the climax of World War 1 to allow women medics, just like their male counterparts, to help out at the Western Front.
In response to Mike’s calls to properly recognise the work of Dr Inglis and her compatriots, Edinburgh & Lothians Health Foundation has put forward proposals to establish a training fund in the name of Dr Elsie Inglis for staff to access courses which may not be available through NHS Lothian.
Commenting, Edinburgh’s Liberal Democrat MP, Mike Crockart said:
“Dr Inglis helped to save the lives of tens of thousands of people during the First World War, so I was concerned that there seemed to be a lack of any current recognition connecting her past contribution with the present and carrying on the work about which she was so passionate.
“I wrote to the NHS Lothian in February encouraging them to mark the centenary of the First World War and the remarkable work of Dr Inglis, and was delighted to hear that Edinburgh & Lothians Health Foundation have decided to recognise the work of Dr Inglis and her compatriots by establishing a training fund in the name of Dr Elsie Inglis for staff to access courses which may not be available through NHS Lothian.
“The training scheme is a fitting proposal which will give Dr Inglis some deserved recognition in her adopted home of Edinburgh. I wish every staff member success with applying for this training fund.
“There is, however, still a need for the service and sacrifice of Dr Inglis and the Scottish Women’s Hospitals to be recognised more widely in the UK and I’ll continue to push for this to happen.”
Brian Houston, Chairman, Edinburgh & Lothians Health Foundation added:
“Dr Elsie Inglis has a proud place in Edinburgh’s medical history, and “Elsie’s”, the former maternity hospital, is still remembered fondly by many Edinburgh parents. The proposal to establish the Elsie Inglis Staff Development Award Scheme in the centenary year of the First World War will, we hope, further honour the memory of this important medical pioneer.
“The scheme will help fund individual NHS Lothian staff in developing their potential through learning, to provide care of the highest possible quality, which is also safe, effective, and person centred.”
Full text reads:
That this House celebrates the bravery, achievements and hard work of Dr Elsie Inglis and the other women who set up and served in the Scottish Women’s Hospitals; recognises that the Scottish Women’s Hospitals became one of the best medical initiatives of World War1; acknowledges that these hospitals were set up despite a severe lack of support from the British War Office; estimates that the hospitals saved the lives of tens of thousands of people all in countries such as Serbia, Belgium, France, Russia, Romania, Corsica, Corfu and Greece; notes that the 14 women’s hospitals with a staff of over 1000 women make up a remarkable, yet unrecognised part of our history; further notes that whilst Dr Inglis and the other women who served in these hospitals are recognised as heroes in Serbia, their work and achievements are barely recognised in the UK outside of Dr Inglis’ adopted home of Edinburgh; welcomes the proposal by Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation to recognise the work of Dr Elsie Inglis and her compatriots by establishing a training fund in the name of Dr Elsie Inglis for staff to access courses which may not be available through NHS Lothian; further recognises the 16th August 2014 will be the 150th anniversary of the birth of this medical pioneer, suffragist, and First World War heroine; and strongly believes that during the centenary year of the outbreak of the First World War, the work of the brave women who served in these hospitals should be properly recognised and celebrated.