Nurses home to be teaching complex
The NightIngale Nurses’ Home is to be converted into a new clinical teaching complex for the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies.
Retired dean of the faculty, Professor Henry Fraser, told the WEEKEND Nation the Jemmotts Lane building, which was partly refurbished for World Cup 2007 cricket tournament will be retrofitted at an estimated cost of about $5 million to accommodate “a brand new teaching complex” by next year.
It will house a clinical skills lab, offices, teaching facilities and a medical anthology museum. Retrofitting is being funded by the Ministry of Education.
Fraser said attempts were also being made to acquire the Dr Cecil Squires museum from St Vincent. Squires was a distinguished Vincentian surgeon who practised in the neighbouring Caribbean island for more than 40 years and was known across the Caribbean as “the isolated surgeon”, a moniker that resulted from his creative use of “makeshift” equipment.
Fraser argued using that using the Nightingale Nurses Home for this purpose was “combining a medical goal with restoration and saving of an important historical cultural asset”. The coral stone structure built through the benefaction of Barbadian dentist Dr Henry Nightingale and his sister provided residential accommodation for Queen Elizabeth Hospital matrons, staff nurses, student nurses and medical students for more than 40 years.
It is currently the temporary operational base for the Barbados Ambulance Service.
Fraser predicted that with a location just 150 yards from the hospital, the clinical teaching complex would “help us realise many of our goals”. Key to the facility will be a state-of-the-art library.
“UWI medical faculty programmes are focused on quality, and we are under the review of the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Medicine and Other Health Programmes,” he said.
Fraser said the outstanding deficiencies identified by the authority’s officials when they visited Barbados were the lack of sleeping accommodation after 2 a.m. for the medical students who worked at night and the absence of a state-of-the-art library.