IN EARLY December I was admitted as an emergency and ended up having bowel surgery, from which I am now cheerfully recovering.
During my stay I was very impressed by the quality of professional care given to me and to others in the ward with me, and also by the human qualities shown by everyone who worked there. From the chief nurse and chief executive to the cleaners and porters, people were reliably caring, humorous and efficient in spite of the stress from under-staffing, the huge amount of work and the very long shifts with unpaid lunch breaks.
I would like to pay tribute to them and to encourage everyone, on the ward or in the operating theatre, consultants, doctors, nurses and anaesthetists. I have lived in a religious community most of my life and know that good nature under tiredness is not easy but represents consistent generosity and a readiness to forgive.
However, I was there for eleven days during which I could also see something of the down side. It soon became obvious that this hospital, like many others, needs a big and ongoing injection of money.
While we know that the profit of the NHS is in people not finances, yet bills still have to be paid. I do not know the solution to this shortfall of cash but I would like the doctors and staff, especially those who work on Gardner Ward where I was, to know that they are greatly appreciated.
If publicity can draw attention to the struggle of the hospital, then I am happy to make a contribution as well as taking this chance publicly to say thank you to them all.
Mary Downing (Sr Frances Teresa osc),
Convent of Poor Clares
Upper Church Road