Obituary - Pat Ashworth (1930- 2023)

14th Feb 2023


Pat Ashworth (1930- 2023)

It is with sadness that we at the BACCN report to you the death of Pat Ashworth who died on 26th January 2023 in Northern Ireland, having been in hospital since December 2022. Many of you should know her name, as she was the founding Editor of the now Intensive and Critical Care Nursing in 1985.

Pat started her nurse training in Kent, and went on to do midwifery training. Her nursing career took her throughout the United Kingdom including London,  Liverpool and Manchester, and internationally to United States of America and Canada. In 1973 she became a research fellow at Manchester University and in 1980 “Care to Communicate: An Investigation Into Problems of Communication Between Patients and Nurses in Intensive Therapy Units” was published. From 1979 to 1986 she was a World Health Organisation Advisor to the Working Group on Respiratory Intensive Care and in 1979 she was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing. Pat moved to University if Ulster in the mid 1980’s and in 1985 she was the first editor of Intensive Care Nursing. At that time this was the only ITU nursing specific journal in the UK as our BACCN journal Nursing in Critical Care was a year or so later.

It is worthwhile looking at her first editorial (Ashworth 1985) as what she wrote then still remains relevant in the world of critical care in 2023 and beyond.

‘If patients are to receive the full benefit of nursing resources, then nurses must not only provide care to maintain personal, structural and social integrity, or to cure or alleviate symptoms, they must also provide counsel and comfort in the broadest sense of the word to anxious patients, relatives or other staff, and collaborate with them to maintain co-ordination and continuity in care for the patients. As knowledge develops it is becoming increasingly evident that all these things contribute to the patient’s recovery, well-being and even survival’

Our thoughts remain with her family and all her colleagues over the years she worked with.

Rest in Peace  

Catherine Plowright
BACCN Professional Advisor
National Board

February 2023

Ashworth P. 1985. Editorial Intensive care nursing, a speciality developing -in which direction? Intensive Care Nursing 1985 1, 1-2



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