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Scottish Womens’ Hospital in France in WWI - medical role models & pioneers

Date(s): 13 February 2023

Time: 5.30pm

Cost: £3

Booking Link:

France Ivens Medical Role Models (2)Join us Monday February 13th at 5.30 pm for our 2023 Surgeons’ Hall Library Lecture, which will be presented this year by BBC Health Editor Hugh Pym.

Hugh’s great-aunt, obstetrician, gynaecologist and surgeon Frances Ivens CBE, was the first woman appointed to a hospital consultant post in Liverpool. Shortly after war commenced in 1914, Dr Elsie Inglis LRCSEd founded the Scottish Women’s Hospitals for Foreign Service and Ivens volunteered her services at Royaumont Abbey, 40 miles north of Paris, where she became Chief Medical Officer.

Ivens led an exceptional all-female team of surgeons, doctors, nurses, bacteriologists, radiographers, orderlies, ambulance drivers, cooks and administrators. Together they transformed a large and draughty Cistercian abbey deficient in water, heating and lighting into a functioning military hospital equipped with wards, 100 beds, operating theatre, laboratory and x-ray facilities. The hospital remained in continuous operation from 1915 until the end of the war, treating nearly 11,000 sick and wounded patients.

There will be a Q&A following the talk where you will have the opportunity to ask Hugh about his aunt and the hospital at Royaumont, as well as his own work at the BBC.

Wine and refreshments will be available

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