This year is the Bicentenary of the Birth of Florence Nightingale who is credited as being the founder of modern nursing. Nightingale came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War during which she organised the care for the wounded soldiers and was one of the first to recognise the importance of basic hygiene when it came to infection prevention and control.
Florence Nightingale was a persistent advocate of the best means to prevent the spread of infectious diseases – frequent handwashing - and was a pioneer of evidence based health care from the lessons learned from the high mortality rate of the Crimean War. She concerned herself with every element from the spacing of the beds and the surrounding environment to prevent infection. These lessons have proven to be just as important this year with the spread of the Coronavirus throughout the world where we have been informed that one of our best forms of protection against the current pandemic is to ensure that hands are washed frequently.