The measure of a true man

Today the Executive and members of the Barbados Nurses Association join with family friends and well-wishers to applaud Sir Branford Taitt as an energetic courageous and empathetic gentleman who has been able to promote his inner strength to show the measure of a true man.

As nurses, we will never forget his stellar contribution as Minister of Health. He insured that not only nurses but every health care professional receive the Alma Ata Declaration signed by him.

To demonstrate the measure of the goodly gentleman, one Christmas day he paid his usual visit to the staff and the patients of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and spent the entire day, partaking in breakfast, lunch and supper – a very unique occurrence.

He instituted training and development opportunities not only for top managers but for all categories of staff and in so doing guaranteed that a succession plan was in place. He encouraged those who waited for things to happen, and applauded those who made an effort to excel.

As Consul General of Barbados in the 1970s he assisted nurses leaving Barbados for the then greener pastures with the expectation that they would return home and strengthen the existing health care system. He would highly recommend King’s County General Hospital, Brooklyn New York where he was able to follow the elevation of a Barbadian nurse to become the Director of Nursing of that institution.

He was extremely passionate and an eloquent promoter of excellent health care. He was the advocate of the “baby friendly hospital” and made this a reality by ensuring that two Barbadian nurses received the requisite training in the Philippines resulting in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital being recognised as and the recipient of several baby friendly awards. This initiative was followed by hospitals in the region.

During the period 1987-1993, his involvement in the expansion of the primary health care system saw the opening of new polyclinics which provided greater access to health care for the people of Barbados. He will be greatly missed.

To the Taitt family, Monique, Sharonne and Branford Jr. thank you for sharing your dad with the nursing fraternity, you all have gained aunts and uncles during his tenure as Minister of Health. To Colleen Lady Taitt rest in the assurance from us, that he epitomised the true gentleman and professional and a friend and confidante to many nurses. For that he was honoured with the title of “Honorary Nurse” from the nurses of Barbados

— Blondelle Mullin

President, Barbados Nurses Association

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