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Florence Nightingale museum will reopen after fears coronavirus could force it to permanently close

The Florence Nightingale museum will reopen next month, after staving off fears it might be forced to permanently close.

The museum, in the grounds of St Thomas’ Hospital, had been at risk of permanent closure during lockdown, because nearly 100 per cent of its funding disappeared overnight.

But now the venue says it will reopen from August 1, and continue with a major exhibition dedicated to the ‘Lady of the Lamp’.

While still being at risk, opening is a step in the right direction, said its director David Green.

“We are very pleased, and not a little relieved, to be able to open the Museum again,” he said.

“Given what everybody has experienced so far this year, I’m sure that visitors will bring their own new perspectives to the stories of nursing history, dedication and courage that fill our Museum.”

Nightingale is seen as the mother of modern nursing, and the museum dedicates itself not just to her life’s work, but also the profession of nursing.

She pioneered hand-washing techniques in healthcare – and visitors to the museum will be told to wash their hands by Nightingale herself, played by an actor.

Visitors will have to book in advance and the museum will only be open four days a week until November.

“We are calling on visitors from London and across the UK to come and learn all about the woman whose work nearly 200 years ago continues to resonate and affect the ways in which health carers are treating patients in the middle of a 21st-century pandemic,” added Mr Green.

The museum will be exhibiting little-seen objects relating to Florence Nightingale, including her famous lamp.


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