The Guild of Nurses

The City of London Guild of Nurses

For the Nursing Profession - past, present and future

"When you’re a nurse you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours. "


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From the Master to all Freemen and Members of the Guild of Nurses -

I hope that you received my email last week and are staying safe and well.

I want to send all good wishes to every one of you who is working and contributing to keeping the nation safe and healthy in whatever way you can, either in the NHS or as a volunteer. The response that nurses in the UK and globally are making, personally and professionally, to the COVID-19 pandemic is nothing short of phenomenal - it is indeed the Year of the Nurse. I am immensely honoured and humbled by the work nurses have done, are doing and will continue to do for the good of us all.  You are at the forefront of the UK response to the COVID-19 pandemic and have our wholehearted respect and gratitude. I echo the thanks that the Livery Companies are also sending out to our NHS staff.

I know that Freemen and Members of the Guild have stepped up with their usual grit and determination and that some of you have taken up the appeal made by the four Chief Nursing Officers to join the temporary register and return to front line practice. It is also important to recognise the contribution that student nurses, their tutors and, of course, many of our Freemen and Members are making by responding to the call for volunteers.

We are all extremely proud that one of our Freemen, Deirdre Barr MStJ, has been appointed Director of Operations for NHS Nightingale Hospital at Excel Centre in London. Staff from the military, NHS and St. John Ambulance will all be working together to provide care for those affected by COVID-19. Experienced in all three organisations, Deirdre will manage a highly professional and dedicated team, working with other Freemen and multi-disciplinary teams as they embark on delivering this challenging and important facility.

As a Guild, we are here to support our Freemen in any way we can. Whilst you will have ample access to clinical advice and professional expertise, we can offer you a ‘buddy’ if you would like to talk to someone in confidence away from your work and colleagues and let off steam. If you would like to be put in touch with a ‘buddy’, let us know by e-mail at

I am also very aware of the impact this situation is having on many of you in your personal lives. In the absence of being able to meet up in fellowship at our events, I am keen to ensure that we continue to interact with each other as much as possible.  I am particularly aware that many of you will now be self-isolating and arrangements are being made to keep in touch with the more vulnerable. If you are over 70, please expect a phone call in the next few days. If you have not yet reached that milestone but would like to chat, then do let us know by e-mail at

Once again, my very best wishes and sincere thanks for all that you are doing.

Liz Sig

Elizabeth Turnbull

Elizabeth Turnbull

Latest News

Deirdre Barr

Guild of Nurses Lifetime Foundation Freeman Appointed Director of Operations for the NHS Nightingale Hospital

We are very proud that one of our Lifetime Foundation Freemen, Deirdre Barr has been appointed as Director of Operations for the NHS Nightingale Hospital which is being established at the Excel Centre in…

Read More

Past Events

Docklands museum visit and the River Emergency Services 22nd January 2020

The London Docklands museum is a fascinating place and I was privileged to spend a wonderful afternoon there with the Guild of Nurses. It is housed in one of very few original buildings and was working as one of the busiest warehouses from 1802 right up until the advent of containerships. At that point the…

Ceremony of the Keys – 29 November 2019

Friends, partners and ‘significant others’ joined Guild members to enjoy dinner together at Byward Kitchen & Bar in the shadow of the Tower of London (I would recommend this – lovely food and nice staff) – prior to walking to the Tower for admission at 21.00. There we witnessed the ‘Ceremony of the Keys’. This…

Red Cross Christmas Market at Guildhall – 25 November 2019

  The Master and Upper Warden represented the Guild of Nurses at the opening of the Guildhall Christmas Market supporting the British Red Cross at the Guildhall. It was attended by the Lord Mayor and we also met with colleagues from the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths. We are pictured here with one of our Freemen…