Historical Society Past Events

The Faculty’s Historical Society aims to unite individuals with an interest in medicine, nursing, midwifery and social work across the University and the wider community. The society meets regularly for a range of talks and discussion, and anyone with an interest in health and social care or social history is welcome to attend or you can view these past events by clicking on the links below.

Leprosy: The Long Journey to Overcome the World of ‘Its Most Stigmatised Disease’

Professor Elizabeth Mason-Whitehead, University of Chester

7 March 2018

Play Video

The commonly held view of leprosy is that it is a highly contagious disease, now virtually eliminated. In fact, leprosy is only mildly infectious and there are approximately 200,000 new cases diagnosed globally each year. The history of leprosy reveals a disease steeped in myth and misunderstanding, where those people affected by the disease are frequently stigmatised, excluded from opportunities of education, work, marriage and children. People who show the early signs of leprosy often delay in seeking medical help because they fear being stigmatised by their families and becoming social outcasts.

The funding for a study aiming to understand the stigma of leprosy, was generously awarded through the Eddie and Maureen Askew Bursary of The Leprosy Mission, England and Wales. The project involved visual methods and was undertaken in The Leprosy Mission Hospital, Naini, Uttar Pradesh, Northern India. The study not only revealed the impact of stigma on people’s lives but also the dedication and skill of those health care workers who care for people with leprosy in the hospital, villages and colonies. The Rt Revd Donald Allister, The Bishop of Peterborough has described leprosy as ‘the most stigmatised disease’ and so the long journey of understanding and education goes on.


'Rekindling the Desire to Live'? Nursing Men Following Facial Injury and Surgery During the First World War

Dr Claire Chatterton, The Open University in the North West

1 February 2017

Play Video

Although much has been written about the pioneering work that was done during World War One in the field of plastic surgery (most famously by Dr Harold D Gillies, and his team) less is known about the nurses who worked alongside him, who he himself acknowledged, “have borne the brunt of the work.” (Gillies, 1920). This talk aims to increase understanding of the ways in which nurses working in this new speciality attempted to ameliorate their patients’ psychological wounds as well as their physical ones. This was a joint event with the Royal College of Nursing's History of Nursing Society.

Dr Claire Chatterton has worked for the Open University since 2003, initially as an Associate Lecturer and Programme Tutor (Nursing) and more recently as a Staff Tutor based in the North West of England. Her clinical background is in Nursing and she has worked in a variety of practice settings as a General Nurse and as a Mental Health Nurse. Her research interests lie in the history of nursing and mental health care. She currently chairs the Royal College of Nursing's History of Nursing Society and is a key member of the Faculty of Health and Social Care Historical Society at the University of Chester.

Dr Claire Chatterton


Mental Health and Learning Disability Nursing: Seeking Separate Identities

Professor Duncan Mitchell, Manchester Metropolitan University
4th May 2016 

Play Video

A talk on the shared foundations of mental health and learning disability nursing, and how the fields formed separate identities in the twentieth century.
Duncan is Professor of Health and Disability at Manchester Metropolitan University. He has been involved in learning disability services since 1983 and professional education since 1990. Besides researching the history of learning disability, he studies contemporary issues related to health and people with learning disabilities.


The launch event for the First World War: Returning Home exhibition, featuring a performance of 'Over by Christmas' by Theatre in the Quarter

September 2014

Play Video


FHSC Riverside Museum First World War exhibition