Observer Comment: Giles’ incredible fighting spirit is a victory

GILES Duley stepped on a landmine and lived to tell the tale. And what a tale to tell.

The likeable lad who used to pull pints down at the Hastings Arms in George Street, now has his own epic story of survival to tell that would keep punters in the bar glued to their seats for hours.

And there will be plenty more chapters to tell if the fearless 40-year-old achieves his wish to return to war-torn Afghanistan.

It is impossible to understand the level of devotion this man has for photography.

There are many soldiers who have suffered less injuries and could not contemplate returning to the ravages of war.

Giles said he thought he was going to die and it is experiences like this that bring home the true horrors of war. He could explain in minute detail what happened in that split second, a moment that changed his life forever.

After 110 days in intensive care and more than 20 operations, incredibly the man still has a sense of humour and smiles through the pain.

As soon as he is well enough, Giles aims to go back to Afghanistan and take more frontline pictures.

With support from his friends and family, Giles is staying strong and focused.

They may have something to say about him going back but this man’s incredible fighting spirit has given him the victory that no gun or bomb will ever achieve.

Good luck Giles.


PATIENTS expect to receive good care while in hospital.

But it seems that some basic standards are still not being met at the Conquest, almost a year after a damning report was published by health inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Last May it published a scathing review of care at the hospital on The Ridge, highlighting a catalogue of failures surrounding privacy and dignity, as well as staff shortages.

Since then there have been several subsequent inspections by the CQC, the latest report being published this week.

But there are still cases of patients sitting and waiting to be seen, care plans not being drawn up properly, and the already hard-up hospital trust relying too much on locum doctors.

This is simply not good enough.

The public expects and needs a first-class health service.

We know that the trust is battling to clear massive debts, and having to provide the full range of services.

But you can’t put a price tag on basic patient care.

The fact remains that it is very much a case of Last Chance Saloon for the Conquest, as serious repercussions are threatened by the CQC if hospital management don’t pull their socks up.