Statistics & Evidence Based Healthcare

‘Coxcomb’ Diagram, 1858

Display No. 55

Known as a rose diagram but commonly called ‘coxcomb’, this graph, which resembles a pie chart, was designed by Nightingale with the help of William Farr. It highlights the number of unnecessary deaths during the Crimean War as a result of preventable infections. It has become Nightingale’s most well-known statistical illustration.

Diagram from ‘Notes on Matters Affecting the Health, Efficiency, and Hospital Administration of the British Army’ by Florence Nightingale. Florence Nightingale Museum Collection

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Nightingale is respected worldwide for her pioneering role in developing the nursing profession, her statistical work, and her evidence-based approach to healthcare. In honour of her bicentenary the World Health Organisation have named 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

In our special exhibition, you will find out about objects, people and places which tell interesting stories about Florence’s life and legacy. You’ll discover artefacts from her life, people she both inspired and challenged, and places she helped to shape. There’s many more insights too!

Please click on the different sections of her famous coxcomb diagram to explore various aspects of her life and legacy. We hope you enjoy exploring!