Women in Medicine

13 - 20 Sep 2021
  • Medical & Professional Tours

About the tour

As in other areas throughout history, women’s accomplishments in medicine have been overlooked or ignored. This tour aims to shine a light on the outstanding women who pushed boundaries in health and social care, politics, society and medicine. With a highly experienced tour leader, Janice Liverseidge, and a wide range of visits with expert speakers and guides, this tour delves deep into the rich and under-explored history of women in medicine in the UK. Each day focuses on a particular part of a multi-stranded narrative, encompassing visits in London, Derbyshire and Bristol. This tour can be experienced as a whole, with or without accommodation, or you can book individual days. There is a discount if you book on the entire tour.

The seven days focus on Apothecaries and healers; Nurses and international influences; The military; Florence Nightingale and women and epidemics; Pioneers, politics and women doctors; Midwives and birth; and Bristol and the world.

Learn about the 1000-bed ‘flatpack hospital’ Florence Nightingale designed with Isambard Kingdom Brunel and took to the Crimea on the SS Great Britain; the woman who introduced inoculation to Britain; the first female doctors and surgeons, including one who conducted the first successful Caesarean operation; and many other pioneering, determined and visionary women at all levels of medicine.

To book on the whole tour, click on the red 'Book Now' button below. To book on individual day/s, please call the office on 0207 223 5618 / 9485.

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Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, Janice Liverseidge

Janice Liverseidge

Until recently Janice Liverseidge was Director of Membership at The Royal Society of Medicine and is now a full time guide and in her spare time a trustee of both the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund and the London Handel Festival. Earlier in her career she worked for the British Medical Association. She is also a registered Blue Badge tourist guide and regularly leads groups in London on medical history walks, tours of the Wellcome Collection and other healthcare locations plus provides music and art tours for the Foundling Museum and the London Handel Festival. Janice has travelled extensively, including an eight month journey around India, South East Asia and Australia, and has led highly successful RSM tours to Vietnam and Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Cuba, South Africa and China.

Janice has the Visit Britain "Good to Go" Industry standard demonstrating that she has shown her compliance with government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, has a Risk Assessment in place and ensures social distancing including using a phone app when providing tour commentaries.

Need more information?

  • Tel: (Toll Free) 1-8777-398-764
  • Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
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Itinerary at a glance

  • Day 1: London (Mon,13 Sept)
    Apothecaries and healers
    Start in Clerkenwell with a visit to The Museum of the Order of St John to learn about the history of the Knights Hospitallers, set up in Jerusalem in 1080 to care for the pilgrims who journeyed to the Holy Land. Both men and women served in the hospital, although the women’s histories are not always as centralised or visible. Look around the museum’s Cloister Garden, full of flowers and fragrant medicinal herbs. Continue on to The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries. Talk: ‘Physicians, livery companies, women healers and widow apothecaries’ by Briony Hudson, president of the Faculty for the History and Philosophy of Medicine and Pharmacy at the Society of Apothecaries. In the afternoon, visit Chelsea Physic Garden, the oldest botanic garden in London and home to around 5,000 different medicinal, herbal, edible, and useful plants. Take a tour of the beautiful gardens and learn of some women herbalists and medicinal gardeners. The total cost for Day 1 is £160.00 per person.
  • Day 2: London (Tues, 14 Sept)
    Nurses and international influences
    The day begins at Cavendish Square, where Lady Mary Montagu lived. Born in 1689, she was responsible for the introduction of the smallpox inoculation in Britain and Western Europe. Visit the Royal Society of Medicine to meet the RSM Library Archivist and see some of Florence Nightingale’s documents. Have a short refreshment break at the Royal Society of Medicine before continuing on to the Royal College of Nursing and its heritage centre. Talk. An Introduction to the history of nursing’. Learn about the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation and the contribution of nurses from the Commonwealth to British healthcare. Continue to the Golden Hind in Marylebone Lane for some of the best fish and chips in London, with a history spanning 100 years. Spend the afternoon on a guided walking tour exploring Marylebone and Westminster. Hear about Ethel Gordon Fenwick, who lived in Marylebone and campaigned for the professionalism of nursing and the nursing register. See the site of the building on Harley Street where Florence Nightingale secured the role of Superintendent of the Establishment for Gentlewomen During Illness, before she went to serve in the Crimea. Pass Edward VII Hospital, founded by Agnes Keyser in 1899 in the wake of the Second Boer War. Visit No. 2 Garbutt Place, where Octavia Hill began her first housing scheme in 1865. She was one of the three founders of the National Trust and a social reformer who worked to improve housing conditions for the urban poor and held a firm belief in the importance of access to nature for human wellbeing. The total cost for Day 2 is £156.00 per person.
  • Day 3: London (Wed, 15 Sept)
    The Military
    Start at the Florence Nightingale Museum to discover all about Florence Nightingale's affluent childhood, how she fought against her parents’ wishes to become a nurse, her work during the Crimean War and how she campaigned for better healthcare for ordinary people. See the actual lamp she carried which earned her the nickname The Lady With The Lamp, meet her pet owl and see her medicine chest. Continue on to St Thomas’ Hospital to see the statue of pioneering nurse and heroine of the Crimean War, Mary Seacole. Hear of Kofoworola Abeni Pratt, who studied nursing at the Nightingale School at St Thomas’ Hospital and was the first black nurse in the NHS. Walk on to Westminster Abbey to learn about the war memorials, which include memorials dedicated to nurses of WWII and Florence Nightingale. Continue on to the Edith Cavell memorial in Charing Cross which pays tribute to the British nurse who saved the lives of WWI soldiers from both sides of the war without discrimination. Next, walk to Covent Garden to see the site that was once Endell Street Military Hospital – the highly successful first world war military hospital set up by Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson, which was predominantly staffed and run by women. In the afternoon continue to Chelsea to visit Markham Square and see the former home of Dame Maud McCarthy, the most senior nurse on the Western Front during the First World War. Continue to the National Army Museum for a tour of the museum’s collection to hear how it relates back to female medics in the military and conflict. Talk: ‘Volunteers, in the best sense: women doctors in the armed forces, 1914-1950 by Jennian Geddes, medical historian. The total cost for Day 3 is £158.00 per person.
  • Day 4: Derbyshire (Thurs, 16 Sept)
    Florence Nightingale, women and epidemics
    Meet at Derby Station and take the coach to Whatstandwell Station. Nightingale returned to Whatstandwell Station from Scutari and the Crimean War and the original train platform is still in use today. Meet with with Pat Smedley, Chair of the Florence Nightingale Derbyshire Association and hear her talk on Nightingale’s early years in Derbyshire. Continue to Nightingale’s childhood home, Lea Hurst, followed by lunch at Nightingale’s local pub, the eighteenth-century Jug and Glass Inn, which was built by the Nightingale family. Drive down to the village of Eyam to meet Joan Plant, churchwarden and 9th generation descendant of Margaret Blackwell, and learn about the extraordinary history of this village that was shaped around 350 years ago when the village quarantined itself to avoid spreading the plague. The total cost for Day 4 is £176.00 per person.
  • Day 5: London (Fri, 17 Sept)
    Pioneers, politics and women doctors
    Visit the Elizabeth Garret Anderson Museum to learn about the first woman to practise as a doctor in Britain, setting her struggle in the context of 19th and 20th century social and political history. Discover the great female pioneers of London on a walking tour and stop by the London School of Medicine for Women, the first medical school specifically for females. Continue past the Foundling Museum, which tells the story of the Foundling Hospital whose Royal Charter in 1739 was achieved due to the support of some key women, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to see the names of some recently added women pioneers. Pass by the home of Millicent Fawcett, suffragist and sister of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, and then the Marie Stopes clinic, the UK’s first contraceptive clinic and today one of the world’s largest providers of contraception and safe abortion services. Finish in Fitzroy Square to learn of its many medical connections, including the mid-19th century former headquarters of St John’s House nursing sisterhood, who greatly influenced 19th century healthcare and transformed voluntary hospitals. Visit St Bartholomew’s Hospital which has provided care on the same site in Smithfield since 1123. Their lovely museum tells the story of the hospital using documents and objects dating back to the 12th century. Visit its Maggie’s Centre; the first of these was founded in 1996 in Edinburgh by Maggie Keswick Jencks, who used her own experience of having cancer to create a new type of cancer care. The total cost for Day 5 is £120.00 per person.
  • Day 6: London (Sat 18, Sept)
    Midwives and birth
    Midwifery was a developing science in the 18th century with new discoveries being made in anatomy and physiology, new instruments being developed and midwifery schools opening, with courses running in hospitals. Start the morning in Borough Market, London’s famous food market for free time to have breakfast. Continue on to the Crossbones Garden, a former post medieval burial ground believed to be the last resting place of an estimated 15,000 paupers, many of whom were sex workers and children. Pass the Royal College of Midwives Museum in Southwark. Talk: ‘Women leaders journey to higher health care’ by Dame Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives from 2008 until 2017. Talk. ‘The journey to Call the Midwife’ by Terri Coates, clinical advisor to the TV Series Call the Midwife. Afternoon walking tour of Bermondsey to learn of female philanthropists and projects including a former refuge for pregnant women and unmarried mothers. Finish at the Bermondsey Festival, The Village Fete in the City a joyful celebration of the lively and diverse community of residents, businesses, restaurants and artisans which thrives on and around Bermondsey Street. Enjoy food stalls, craft demonstrations, live music and more. The total cost for Day 6 is £120.00 per person.
  • Day 7: (Sun, 19 Sept)
    Day at leisure
    Throughout the course of the week we will be suggesting additional visits to additional museums and sites of interest that that may of interest. Opportunity to travel to Bristol on the train.
  • Day 8: Bristol (Sun, 20 Sept)
    Bristol and the world
    Arrive in Bristol and begin at one of the city’s most famous landmarks – Clifton Suspension Bridge. Visit Dorset House, headquarters during the 1930s for the pioneering work of Dr Elizabeth Casson OBE in mental health care and occupational therapy, as well as the site of the first ever school of occupational therapy in England. Elizabeth Casson was the first woman to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Medicine of the University of Bristol in 1929. Continue on to Bristol University to learn of Elizabeth Blackwell’s remarkable legacy as the first woman to receive a medical degree in the USA in 1849 and the first woman to have her name placed on the British Medical Register. Continue on to the Bristol docks, walking along part of the Bristol Blitz trail to hear about the nurses that served during that time. See the SS Great Britain, which was used to transport a 1000-bed ‘flatpack’ hospital designed by Florence Nightingale and Isambard Kingdom Brunel to the Crimean War. In the afternoon drive to Penny Brohn, a national charity founded in 1979 that provides free, integrative care to anyone living with cancer, and learn about the Bristol Whole Life Approach. Have lunch to learn about Penny Brohn’s unique approach to food and how it can be used to support one’s immune system. Talk. ‘An introduction to Penny Brohn’ by CEO Julie Worrall. Talk. ‘Integrative medicine – a way forward for people , practitioners and planet’ by Dr Catherine Zollman, Medical Director at Penny Brohn. Afterwards explore the Grade II listed Georgian building and gardens, specifically developed to allow visitors to explore nature and find peace. The total cost for Day 8 is £165.00 per person.

Tour cost

Costs by day as indicated. For whole tour (excluding hotel accommodation): £995 per person. For whole tour (including hotel): £1,587 pp sharing.

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Coronavirus Update

Updated information on our response to COVID-19.

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