Statistics & Evidence Based Healthcare

“it may seem a strange principle to enunciate as a first requirement in a hospital that it should do the sick no harm”

Florence in her own words: Hospital Architecture

Display No. 88

In her book ‘Notes on Hospitals’ published in 1859 Nightingale wrote “it may seem a strange principle to enunciate as a first requirement in a hospital that it should do the sick no harm”.

Nightingale was passionate about good hospital architecture and design. At Scutari she saw at first hand the harm which can be caused be caused by inadequate and poorly-designed hospital buildings. Nightingale openly criticised designs which she thought might lead to higher infection rates, and therefore patient deaths. One such case arose in 1858 when Nightingale published her objections to Netley Hospital in the press. The design of Netley was adapted to meet some of Nightingale’s criticisms, but she considered it a compromise and “behind the day”.

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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!