The hard work of nurses in North Devon was celebrated on Tuesday (May 12) for International Nurses Day.

The day also marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, who founded modern nursing and pioneered infection control.

At North Devon District Hospital, the day and the landmark year was marked with the planting of a cherry tree, donated by St John’s Garden Centre.

Other events marking the day in North Devon saw landmarks such as the Albert Clock in Barnstaple and Damien Hirst’s Verity statue in Ilfracombe bathed in blue light, and people were encouraged to join in by donning blue or lighting up their homes.

Chief nurse at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT), Darryn Allcorn, told staff: “I would like to thank the nursing staff of Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust for the extraordinary commitment you have shown, not just during the recent period of the Covid-19 pandemic but throughout the year.

“We could not have met the challenges of recent times without your unstinting support, resilience and above all caring attitude”

Deputy chief nurse Lucy Bates added: “I’m extremely proud to be a nurse at NDHT and work with such a compassionate, kind, innovative, supportive and dedicated team of nurses across both our acute and community services.

“I would like to say a big thank you to all of you for your continued hard work, support to make nursing at NDHT great.”