ActivityLisbeth Hockey (1918-2004) OBE FRCN, nurse professor

Lisbeth Hockey was born Lisbeth Hochsinger on 17 October 1918 in Graz, Austria. In 1936 she started studying medicine, (her ambition was to become a GP) at the University of Graz. Hockey became a refugee, forced to leave both her studies and Austria in 1938 due to Hitler's invasion of Austria and the resulting political situation. Both of her parents died under the Nazi regime while she was training in London.

Hockey came to England in 1938 and initially worked as a governess. Due to various constraints she could not continue her medical studies in England so she trained as a nurse. Hockey started her General Nurse training at The London Hospital in 1939. During the Second World War she was evacuated to a hospital on the coast in Essex and after a directive from the Government that non-British nurses should not nurse prisoners of war (a possibility at the hospital where she was training), she was once again forced to break with her training.

From 1939 she trained at the Isolation Hospital Muswell Hill and qualified as a Fever Nurse in 1942. From 1943-1945 she successfully undertook General Nurse training at Shrodell’s Hospital Watford/ Watford Memorial Hospital in 1945. Hockey went on to train first as a Midwife (1946), then as a District Nurse (appointed Queen's Nurse 1947) and finally as a Health Visitor (1950). For a while she worked as a 'triple-duty worker' - fulfilling the roles of Midwife, District Nurse and Health Visitor all in one - in a rural area in Essex. From 1950-1953 Hockey worked as a Health Visitor and School Nurse in Ilford, Essex, going on to work as a tutor to District Nurses and Health Visitors, and then as the Administrator of the North London District Nursing Service. She took her Health Visitor Tutor's certificate at the Royal College of Nursing 1959-1960.

Hockey was appointed to the headquarters of the Queen's Institute of District Nursing (QIDN) c.1962-1963, initially as a tutor, her role being to organise and consolidate district nurse training. Hockey’s first piece of nursing research was for QIDN, undertaking a national survey into District Nurse training to identify whether the syllabus for district nurse training was still appropriate in providing nurses with the skills they needed. QIDN appointed Hockey as a Research Officer in 1964-1971, and established the first department of community nursing research in the UK. Whilst at QIDN Hockey undertook a number of research studies, publishing reports on her findings, notably 'Feeling the Pulse' in 1966. Whilst working at the QIDN Hockey enrolled at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) on an evening course in statistics. She went on to take the BSc. Econ in Economics as an evening student, which she was awarded in 1970 (presented in 1971) after five years study.

Margaret Scott-Wright encouraged Hockey to apply to the post of Director of the newly created Nursing Research Unit at the University of Edinburgh. The post was funded by the Scottish Home and Health Department (SHHD). The Unit was the first nursing research unit in a European University. Hockey and her team at the Unit's first study was 'Women in Nursing' (published 1976) and ‘communication in nursing’ was a later research theme. Whilst at the Nursing Research Unit, Hockey wrote nursing and presented research articles (inter)nationally. In 1979 she completed her PhD (from the City University, London).

Hockey was the founder of the International Collaboration for Community Health Nursing Research (ICCHNR) in the UK, Hockey was inspired to take the work forward and develop the UK charity through her work with Professor Shirley Stinson from the University of Alberta, Canada where the 1st ICCHNR conference was inaugurated.

Hockey was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1979 for services to nursing research. She received a number of awards and honours including an Hon. LL.D from Alberta University, Canada (1980), an Hon. MD in Medicine at the University of Uppsala (1985), and an Hon. DSc. from Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh (1995). In 1977 Hockey was awarded Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing, FRCN. She was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners (1982). In 2000 she received the Queen's Nursing Institute Gold Medal of Honour for her lifetime achievement and contribution to community health nursing.

Hockey officially retired from the Nursing Research Unit in 1982. She continued to contribute to nursing, by sitting on committees, boards and working groups, supervising PhD students, and writing and presenting papers. She was also strongly involved in her local community and church in Edinburgh.

Hockey died on 15 June 2004, aged 85.

The Lisbeth Hockey Research Fellowship was established at Glasgow Caledonian University in 2005 to recognise the contribution made by Dr Hockey to Community Nursing research.
T/26Interview with Lisbeth Hockey
SCNRRCN Printed Collections: Steinberg Collection of Nursing Research
A/3Royal College of Nursing History of Nursing Group Conference
T/252Interview with Lisbeth Hockey
QNI/L/6Lisbeth Hockey Community Nursing Research Fellowships
C300Papers of Lisbeth Hockey
T/221Interview with Lisbeth Hockey
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