Skip to main content
  1. Home /
  2. News /
  3. Nursing: Exploring a legacy of care and the power of innovation in East London

Nursing: Exploring a legacy of care and the power of innovation in East London

Within the healthcare industry, nurses provide essential care at every stage of life, from childbirth to critical illness. Care Group Corporate Lead Nurse Chris Norton writes about the long history of nursing are in East London.

Posted on: 12 May 2024

From our 0-19 children and family services to our Urgent Treatment Centre, nurses are an important part of the Care Group workforce. Arguably recognised as the backbone of our healthcare system, the nursing profession is celebrated annually on 12 May, through International Nurses Day. At GP Care Group, we join the global chorus in celebrating the remarkable contributions of nurses. In this blog, our Corporate Lead Nurse and Associate Director of Governance, Chris Norton, highlights the remarkable contributions of nurses and their legacy of care. 


Chris’s Blog

A History of Caring in East London

Let's take a moment to acknowledge the rich history of nursing right here in East London, a story that exemplifies the enduring importance of care, innovation, and the economic power invested in a healthy community.

East London has a long and proud tradition of nursing. A nurse training school was established in East London in 1892, and 132 years later, we can pride ourselves that nursing education in East London stands as a testament to this dedication. These early nurses, like many today, were driven by a desire to provide skilled care to the sick and poor in their own homes. This has carried on into the new centuries by the health visitors we train and employ at GP Care Group. 

With the introduction of the NHS in 1948, a merging of nursing groups, meant the coming together of two hospitals (St Clements and Mile End Hospital) to provide the largest hospital in East London (The London), later being given Royal assent in 1990. 

Alongside this, The Royal Sanitary Institute (now the Royal Society of Public Health) began overseeing qualifying course for health visitors in 1916. The training at this time was proposed to include:

  • Elementary physiology
  • Methods of Artisan cookery and household management
  • Hygiene, infectious, and communicable diseases
  • Maternity, infant and child welfare
  • Elementary economics and social problems.


With this in mind, the spirit of compassion and community service continues to be a cornerstone of nursing in East London, and GP Care Group.


The Importance of embracing innovation and care in nursing

Nurses are at the forefront of innovation, constantly seeking new ways to improve patient outcomes and experiences.

The 2024 International Nurses Day theme - "IND - The Economic Power of Care,", perfectly highlights the vital role nurses play.  A healthy workforce translates to a thriving economy. By ensuring the wellbeing of our communities, nurses contribute significantly to the economic engine of East London.


Celebrating our nurses

At GP Care Group, we are deeply grateful for the dedication and expertise of our nurses. They are the heart and soul of our organisation, providing compassionate care and fostering a culture of innovation. We continue to be committed to supporting the future of nursing. On behalf of the Care Group to all nurses, ‘thank you for all that you do’.


With thanks to the Bart’s Health Archives and Institute of Health Visiting for the historical information.