Antiques Roadshow special to trace history of nursing

Antiques Roadshow will trace the history of nursing from the 19th century to the present day in a special of the BBC One show.

Presenter Fiona Bruce will be joined by comedian Jo Brand, who worked as a psychiatric nurse for 10 years before moving into entertainment, during this month’s Antiques Roadshow – A Nursing Special on BBC One.

Brand, who acted in her own BBC medical comedy Getting On about a geriatric ward in the NHS, will give an insight into her experience in emergency mental health clinics as well as hospital panto.

During the episode, Bruce also learns more about the nurses and midwives that inspired Call The Midwife.

The hit BBC show is based on the best-selling memoirs of former nurse and midwife Jennifer Worth, who died in 2011, the year before the first series was broadcast, and Antiques Roadshow will take a further look at the author’s own life story.

Graham Norton Show – London
Jo Brand is a comedian and former psychiatric nurse (Isabel Infantes/PA)

The antique show’s episode is filmed on location at St Thomas’ and St Bartholomew’s Hospitals in London, and will include stories from the Windrush generation.

Between 1948 and 1971, people from Caribbean countries arrived in the UK as part of a scheme to help fill post-war labour shortages.

The first citizens from this wave – around 500 workers from Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago – arrived aboard the HMT Empire Windrush, which docked in Tilbury, Essex, on June 22 1948.

Welsh nurse Betsi Cadwaladr and British-Jamaican Mary Seacole – contemporaries of Florence Nightingale who also treated patients during the Crimean War – are also celebrated.

Elsewhere, militaria expert Mark Smith meets a naval nurse who travelled to the Falklands War on a cruise ship converted to treat wounded troops during the conflict.

Ronnie Archer-Morgan also covers the story of a nurse who helped pioneer a compassionate approach to community care for Aids patients at the height of the epidemic in the 1980s.

The programme also looks at objects with nursing significance such as medals awarded for bravery, early uniforms, cartoons and medical equipment.

– Antiques Roadshow – A Nursing Special airs on BBC One on Sunday February 26 at 7pm.