BY and large, apart from a few notorious exceptions, the nursing profession enjoys a love affair with the British public not shared by others like bankers, accountants, lawyers and, yes, journalists.

And now the news is out the ward bells are ringing across Worcestershire as nurses past and present are being called to a special event in the marquee at Worcestershire County Cricket Club, New Road, Worcester on Saturday, June 1.

There will be a hot lunch and tea and cakes as well as an opportunity to reconnect with former colleagues at the annual meeting of Worcester Royal Infirmary Nurses League.

A chance to reminisce the good old days of cleaning the wards, making porridge for patients and, of course, cleaning out the bedpans.

Agnes Young, who is joint communications lead for the league along with Bernadette Green, said: “Since its inception, the league has provided a permanent point of contact between past, present and future generations of nurses. The annual meeting provides an opportunity to meet old friends and reminisce but also to share knowledge and gain understanding of the ever-changing health service at local level.

“In fact nursing now is very different from how it used to be and is much more of a progressive career. Nurses are no longer employed just at the bedside. They also train to become specialist and consultant nurses. To get these roles they have to study and obtain higher degrees.

"There is a chief nurse who advises government and at every level in health a senior nurse will advise and be part of planning and delivery of services at a local level.

“Some of our members have worked at regional and national levels. But wherever you end up, where you started and who you worked with remain with you forever. The league gives that opportunity to remember every year.”

It was formed back in 1951 for nurses who had trained or worked as trained nurses at WRI to keep in touch and up-to-date with happenings at the hospital.

However, over the years with changes in training and an increase in the number of hospitals in the county, this has been extended to include all of Worcestershire’s hospitals.

Mrs Young continued: “Traditionally, the league has been open only to trained nurses but this year there will be a vote to change and include those nurses who practice as healthcare assistants.

"These nurses are required to meet stringent training standards but do not have a nursing degree. We hope therefore to have as many members attend as possible to vote on this important change.

“Also our main guest speaker will be from the Three Counties School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Worcester.

"The topic will cover the role of the nursing associate which is a new pathway for qualification as a registered nurse. Everyone is aware of the shortage of qualified nurses so this new qualification is of great interest to members.”

The league is a non-profit organisation and not a registered charity so relies on donations from members and a one-off joining fee.

It has raised and donated money every year to various charities and this year there will be a new charity, the Carl Ellson Clinical Innovation Fund, which has been set up in his memory by Dr Ellson’s wife Sharon who trained and worked at WRI.

Mrs Young said: “Carl was known to many people as a caring and much-loved doctor, from senior house officer to well-respected GP and finally as clinical director in the local Clinical Commission Group.

"The aim of the charity is to award annual grants to local health professions who have a new idea to improve care for the residents of Worcestershire.”

Tickets for the annual meeting, which takes place from 11am until 4pm on June 1, cost £26.50 and include a hot lunch and tea and cakes.

They can be obtained from Worcester Nurses League on Facebook or by emailing or