Monthly Archives: June 2013

Chaplaincy Cuts…What Cuts? David on Radio Hereford and Worcester


A report based conducted by the BBC via FOI requests has been published today about Chaplaincy provision within the NHS. It seems to show that:

39% of trusts had fewer chaplains in 2013 – or a lower Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) – than in 2009
47% of trusts had fewer chaplaincy hours
25% of trusts increased hours
The net total reduction of hours from 2009 to 2013 was 1,380 – a reduction of 8%

(See for the full report)

So at stupid O’clock in the morning I was invited on Howard and Toni’s Breakfast Show on Radio Hereford and Worcester. It was a good chance to fly the flag for chaplaincy, iron out misunderstandings of what chaplains do, and mention the support that chaplains have from Worcestershire Acute Trust. Whether I was successful or not is a moot point but for 7 days you can listen to it here: Click play and slide the control to 1 hr 44 minutes. Let me know what you think.

Celebrating Success: 99% for Catering Dept. Hygiene at Worcester Royal

angie fredericks

Angie Fredericks and Josephine Gallagher looking a bit scary in their white lab coats!

I just want to say that this is my blog. It is not owned or influenced by any other member of the Trust. It is not a mouthpiece for the executive team or anyone else. It is just good news, and as it comes directly to me, then I approve it. And so I am really delighted for my new friend Angie and the Catering department at WRH who have achieved the best hygiene score in their company by an external audit with an amazing 99%.

This is important. So if you are a patient, you can be sure that food that you get in hospital has passed the highest standards of hygiene. And that goes for all the areas that Angie manages.

Good news I think. Read what Angie says below:


Just wanted to share some good news from the Catering Department at WRH. We were recently subject to an external hygiene audit which we have on an annual basis – and have been awarded 99% for the audit which looks at hygiene standards in the ward kitchens, restaurant, coffee shop, production areas and vending. I would like to say that we have been awarded a score of 95% or above for the last 6 years which really is an achievement. None of this would have been possible of course without the dedicated, hard working staff within the department so a great big thank you to them all.

Angie Fredericks
Catering Manager

An Outstanding Member of Staff: Praise for Sally Baker RGN


Another letter under the door; always a delight. This one was written in such a beautiful hand. It speaks of a patient’s experience in Worcester Hospital and their encounter with someone they considered to be outstanding. Read on!

Department of Cardiology.

To whom it may concern.

I had been dreading my appointment with your cardiac department having undergone extensive tests during my brief stay in hospital a few weeks ago which went well but was quite exhausting. Your staff were efficient and caring.

I anticipated another series of tests having read your brochure which accompanied my appointment letter, and was surprised and delighted to be seen by Sally Baker. She was so refreshing and direct and we got through the consultation in half an hour when I had expected two hours.

You are fortunate to have an outstanding member of staff. I have only praise for your hospital on the several occasions when I have had to come there.

Yours sincerely,

[Name and address supplied]

Sparing our blushes…


I have just come back from 5 lovely straight days off, hence no blogging (that’s my rule!). And I received a wonderful hand written note posted under my door. Now humilty means that I cannot post it, but I will spare my blushes as it is about chaplaincy and the other support services. It is from Rev’d E.R. Putnam and reads:

“I am deeply grateful for the wonderfully caring atmosphere that is “shed abroad” into the many different and distinctive disciplines of caring, supporting, and uplifitng the spirits of patients – many of whome come here anxious, firghtened and depressed. The Chaplain’s are also a tower of strength to so many of the hospital staff at all levels. Bless the Lord, O my Soul and all that is within me, praise his Holy name.”

I am grateful for Rev’d Putnam’s comments- and OK- it is not all about me! But it is about those who care and demonstrate compassion in the hospital. It is easy t
o forget the anxiety which patients feel as they come to this place. Will I be OK? Will they do a good job? Is all the stuff in the newspapers true? Are they bothered about me? Will they be nice to my family. And many more.

Rev’d Putnam highlights for us again that we are not just machines to be fixed. But people with emotional, psychological and spiritual lives who need nurturing and care.

Space and Time


Some tasks can be done relatively quickly. I remember the obs rounds on the Urology ward when I was a Student Nurse; there was a prize for the quickest (needless to say I never won, I spent too much time talking to the patients!).

But some things take time and space to emerge.
People speak in poetic ways in the face of trauma (see my contribution to this subject via Patients do not give up their secret worlds easily.

On such example comes from a lady who visited the Macmillan Pod at one of our hospitals. Kay Tandy explains:

Recently a lady dropped in to the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Unit at Kidderminster Hospital, she was very worried about recent symptoms she had experienced and spent some time talking with Nicky Perks, the Facilitator at the Unit. She has let us know that she sought help for her concerns which resulted in surgery and an extremely good outcome. Her words below say it all:

“Just wanted to email and thank you for taking the time having a chat and reminding me to ‘look after myself’, get it sorted and not to stress about work”.

Only a few words of thanks. That’s all it takes sometimes. But if Nicky had not had space and time, who knows. Maybe she wouldn’t have spoken about it. Maybe she would have sufferred in silence. Maybe she would have waited until it was too late. Maybe….

But there was space and time. It was created and intentional. It was available to this lady; and it made a huge difference.


I had the joy of being contacted by Pre-Op Assessment who had received a card from a patient praising one of their staff. It is outstanding.

Dear Sir/Madam,

In all my years of good, bad and very poor experiences at Worcester Royal, I just have to write to you as I received such excellent treatment yesterday Wednesday 5th June at my pre-op appointment.

I saw Jo at the pre-op clinic and I have to say that she was the most warm, kind, and caring person I have ever seen at Worcs Royal. I cannot praise her enough and her explanation of all the procedures was excellent.

If everybody could try to achieve Jo’s caring personality the world wold be a better place. She made my day as you can see.

I enclose a personal thank you card for Jo; if you would please pass it on to her.
Well done pre-op dept.

(Name supplied)

It made me think:

Here is a lady who has had lots of visits to WRH. She can spot good and bad patient care.

Elaine Harbison (Junior Sister) who brought the card to me had such obvious pleasure that one of the team has been thanked. This is the sign of a supportive and functioning team.

People don’t develop in a vacuum. The department and the staff within it provide and ethos and ambience that empowers caring and excellence from staff

Jo is outstanding- I wonder what patients say about you? And if it is not as glowing, then how might you make it so? Perhaps we should ask Jo!I think our thanks should be returned to this lady. Taking the time to write in is not easy. And to give such praise in the light of long experience of NHS treatment is powerful.

NEWS: Harriett Baldwin MP Visits WRH and Supports Chaplain’s Blog (Part 2)

Harriett Baldwin and David Southall crop (3)

See here or read below.

MP spreads ‘Good News’ at Worcestershire Royal

11th June 2013

Harriett Baldwin this week thanked hard-working staff at the Worcester Royal hospital during a tour of the maternity facilities.

The MP was taken on a tour of the hospital by consultant obstetrician Angus Thomson and head of midwifery, Patti Payne.

The visit was arranged by hospital chaplain Revd David Southall who runs a regular blog promoting the great work carried out at the hospital.

Harriett visited the maternity and gynaecology wards and listened to the clinicians’ plans for the future.

Harriett commented: “We have a first class maternity unit that needs to be ready to bring new life into the world at any time of the day or night.

“It was delightful to meet a team that clearly finds their work incredibly rewarding.”

“The Worcestershire Royal delivers almost all my newest constituents and I was pleased to be able to pass on my thanks to staff.

“I also wanted to take the opportunity to help publicise David Southall’s blog. The good news from the hospital often fails to get out and David works very hard to spread the word.”

Harriett also saw NHS Worcestershire Acute Trust chief executive Penny Venables and passed on congratulations to the A&E team for achieving great results, with 98.6 per cent of patients being seen within four hours.

Harriett added: “Media stories about the health service tend to focus on bad news stories. It was a pleasure to visit to celebrate the good news and great work that goes on at Worcestershire Acute Hospital day in and day out.”