PM Arthur, his family and personell of the Hessle Grange Primary Care Centre

Prime Minister Owen Arthur has heaped praise on a Barbadian health professional who “many decades ago braved uncertainty and the tough times to work in (Britain’s) National Health Service, while endeavouring to make a living for herself”. She is Nola Ishmael O.B.E., a former nurse, who went on to become the first black Director of Nursing in London in 1987

Mr. Arthur made the comments today in East Riding Yorkshire, northern England, during a tour of a spacious, multi-purpose health care facility, the Hessle Grange Primary Care Centre. He is on a short visit to Hull and accepted an invitation to get a first-hand look at the centre. He was given a special briefing and detailed tour of the building.

The Prime Minister is in the city to give tomorrow’s Wilberforce Lecture to commemorate the bicentennial of the passage of legislation in the English Parliament that abolished the British slave trade. He was presented with a copy of a new publication entitled Many Rivers to Cross, which chronicles the efforts of those health professionals who, according to him, were the pioneers for others to follow. As to the book, he said he was “pleased that the contribution of several Caribbean health care professionals is recognised and documented”.

The two-year old Hessle Grange Primary Care Centre provides several community and health services to working class districts in East Riding Yorkshire. These include child health care clinics, dental care, health education, special language therapy, physiotherapy, nutrition and dietetics, minor surgeries, podiatry and occupational therapy. It also provides a 24 hour emergency service and offers injuries and ailments care by appointment only.

Mr. Arthur said he was impressed with what he saw and expressed the hope that “some aspects of the centre’s patient care could be incorporated into what we offer back home (Barbados)”.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by this country’s two top diplomats in the UK, High Commissioner, Edward Pollard; and his Deputy, Herbie Yearwood; as well as the Deputy Prime Minister of Britain, Mr. John Prescott; and the Secretary of State for Education, Alan Johnson.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Arthur paid a courtesy call on the Lord Mayor of the City of Hull, Councillor Trevor Larsen.

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