Tag Archives: Worcester Royal


Don't kick the NHS to death

Don’t kick the NHS to death

Is it just me or does the NHS still keep coming in for a kicking.
No wonder there are so many folkloric tales of not knowing what we have got until it’s gone.
Are we in danger of killing the goose that laid the golden eggs- or at least beating it to death?

Lots of the posts that people send me say how their lives have been changed because of the treatment they have had.
So think of our country with the NHS for a moment.
Where do you go when something goes wrong?
What do you do when some part of your body or another fails?
How do we function in an emergency?

Of course, that is not to say that there is no critique necessary for organisations – including the NHS. But its always about balance.
And the truth is that to the individuals who are treated, whose lives are made better – or even saved – the Health Service is important.

A short email from Mr. Sherwood puts this in perspective as he writes:

“Dear Dr Southall,

I had to attend Worcester A & E on Friday evening, at about midnight and wanted to offer my thanks to all the staff you have at this site. I have not had a great deal of experience with hospitals thankfully and the treatment I received right from the paramedic turning up at my friends house through to the doctors, nurses and ambulance personnel at A & E was first rate.

It was a scary escapade and at all times I was well looked after and kept in the loop on my progress. I would appreciate if you could pass my thanks on to them and also to pass this on to Harry Turner, who I understand is your chairman at the moment.

Kind regards

Richard Sherwood”

A first rate service in a scary situation. I don’t think you can ask for more that that.

So to all involved, I echo Mr. Sherwood’s words: THANK YOU.

Enough Already! This is getting ridiculous! It’s praise Kerry Minnis Month!!!

Kerry Minnis: Bed Co-ordinator at Worcestershire Royal Hospital

Kerry Minnis: Bed Co-ordinator at Worcestershire Royal Hospital

OK, enough already.
You will have seen my two posts about the Bed Co-ordinator

Here: https://revdavidsouthall.com/2013/09/19/whod-be-a-bed-co-ordinator-in-praise-of-kerry-minis/

and here: https://revdavidsouthall.com/2013/09/23/another-fan-of-the-bed-co-ordinator-kerry/

Now Katy, a former colleague has written in and says:

“Hi David,

My name is Katy Duncan and I heard it was ‘praise Kerry Minnis’ month so I thought I would jump on the band wagon 🙂 I used to work on Avon 3 and in the short ten months I was there I made a life long friend in the form of the wonderful bed coordinator. This amazing woman has one of those behind the scenes jobs that is hugely under appreciated but very stressful and exhausting. Yet she not only gets her own job done, she always manages to help others with their work and cheer people up along the way. She has an infectious personality, always has a smile on her face and sees the best in everyone. I know of many members of staff that would thoroughly agree with me and when I left Worcester Royal for my new job I wished I could take her with me. When I heard about her award nomination I was delighted to see other people recognising the fantastic work this woman does. I also heard about your blog and the praise Kerry was receiving on it so thought I would give you my two pence worth.

Please post this on your blog, thanks.


The nomination was for the Staff Achievement Awards at Worcestershire Acute Trust and Kerry was shortlisted for the final. In the programme it said of her:

“Kerry is an integral part of the Capacity team.

Kerry has huge knowledge of patient pathways and provides advice, support and makes a huge contribution to patient flows throughout the hospital.

She works incredibly well under huge pressure and always delivers.

Kerry’s invaluable work helps to ensure the Emergency Access Target is achieved and patients are transferred to appropriate areas within medicine.

Kerry is always motivated, enthusiastic and provides an air of calm to the wards. Without her direct input, many discharges, transfers and admissions from the Emergency department and the Acute Medical Unit would not be facilitated.”So it’s not really enough already of Kerry. Add your own comment if you like. Or write in praise of a staff member who you think deserves it. Not everyone can win- that’s the nature of awards – but on my blog everyone who deserves it can be recognised. Plenty of room for more posts in praise of staff!



It’s so easy to stereotype isn’t it? And nowhere more so than in the NHS. The officious Matron (a la Hatty Jaques); the Nursing Angel; the arrogant know-it-all Consultant with no bedside manner. The old lady who is waiting to die

But look beyond the stereotype and you will see caring human beings doing amazing jobs. It’s what, in the old days, we used to call a vocation. And more than that, patients who can give as well as receive.

And so I wrote in my blog at http://www.revdavidsouthall.com about a patient (who I called Gwen to protect her identity) who taught me lots about how to face the end of a long life.


And it turns out that I was not the only one who learnt from this lady. Dr. Ana Garcia, the Stroke Consultant, spoke to me about her dealings with this lady. She writes:

“This patient and her family taught me many things… I was told in the medical school that I should study everyday to keep up to date, but it was in the years as a Foundation Doctor, SHO and Registrar, that I found that patients always teach you new things, which are not written in books. This patient was really special… her brightness, her personal beliefs, the way of approaching to death and accepting our condition of human beings… I cannot thank her enough for her time with me!

But I would like to let her family know: “I’M ONLY HUMAN BUT I’LL TRY MY BEST!”

Ana M Garcia – Stroke Consultant”

What an amazing and refreshing attitude. A willingness to learn. An ability to see the lessons that patients teach. An openness to new things. A demonstration of humanity. And a gratitude to the patient and her family for enriching her life and experience.

Lessons can be learnt from everyone; probably from everything. You’ve just got to look.

And so this lovely lady is no longer with us. But how fantastic that in her last days and hours she passed on valuable lessons from a long life to at least two of us. And there may be many more.

You never know when you are entertaining angels.

Who’d be a Bed Co-Ordinator? In Praise of Kerry Minnis

Bed co-ordinator must be a tricky job

Bed co-ordinator must be a tricky job

There are lots of jobs I would not do, and being a bed co-ordinator is one of them. I imagine it must be a complete headache. Trying to juggle lots of balls at one time. So it was lovely to hear S/N Kathryn Norwood’s email thanking Kerry Minnis who does exactly that job

“Hi David,
its Kat off Laurel 2 again. I wondered if you would mind putting a mesage on your blog .
There is a lovely young lady by the name of Kerry Minnis who is the bed coordinator around the hospital, she does such a hard job chasing beds and running round, but she always manages to do it with a smile on her face. And always tries to cheer me up when I’m down on the ward. Ijust wanted to let her know that she is very much appreciated and I’m sure it’s not just by us on laurel 2 but on the many other wards she visits aswell.


Now it’s easy to overlook the fact that we all have a part to play in the Trust; there are no spare parts. And I wonder if you have anyone that you would like to praise for the work that they do- going the extra mile and making a difference. If there is, then write to me at revdavidsouthall@aol.com and I will post it.


Strange things happen when spaghetti is involved!

Strange things happen when spaghetti is involved!

If you have never been to church you might not know about the experience called the children’s talk. It is part of the service where someone, usually a teacher, gets up and tries to engage the kids in some aspect of life.

At one service I was taking, the teacher got all the children out to the front, and in her bag she had some props. The aim was to say that if you dream about certain things they mean something. So dreaming about sheep means you are wondering about your future, etc. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?

The children all obediently came out and took items from the bag. A cuddly sheep; a pig; a packet of spaghetti and the like. I have to be honest and say that the talk went on a bit. And the kids were standing there fiddling with their items.

One young lad had the spaghetti, and after about 10 seconds started waving it around. And then playing sword fighting with it- and hitting the sheep. Having had my own kids sit through children’s talks, given by me, nothing is a surprise. Now I won’t say it was an all-out spaghetti fight, but it was turning that way when the talk mercifully came to an end.

What had the kids learnt? That dreams can mean things, AND THAT A PACKET OF SPAGHETTI MAKES A DAMN GOOD WEAPON.

All this is by way of introducing some good news. I happened to be sitting next to the parents of the spaghetti boy, and we were highly amused by his antics. And it so happened that the mother has a different story to tell.
Lyn writes:

“Hi David

We met briefly at Sansome Walk Baptist Church a few weeks ago when you were
preaching…I sat behind you with my husband and son, Noah. Noah was the one
fighting with the pasta in the children’s talk!

Anyway, we had the unfortunate situation recently of my dad being at Worcester
Royal…a friend told me about your blog and I saw the info on the door when I was
in Costa’s at the hospital…so please you could include this…

‘ I would really like to praise and thank Worcester Royal for their fantastic
care after my dad, Neil, was rushed into hospital on 23rd July with chest pains,
he had had a heart attack. The care from the first response, paramedics, to the
sister and cardiologist on A and E, to staff on ITU, and his care on Coronary
Care was great. Staff were great and talked my mum and myself through the
process and what was happening. A special thanks to a nurse/ sister called Lally
on Coronary Care. We think that the care was quicker and better than what it
would have been if my Dad was at his home in rural Cambridgeshire. Thank you.’
Lyn Green

Thanks David.


ANOTHER FIRST FOR THE BLOG: EMMA: Just one more thing before au revoir!

Au Revoir! Really this time!

Au Revoir! Really this time!

I know I said the previous post was the last before my motorcycle trip to France but I could not resist this.

It is a first for the blog!

If you read regularly you will know that I get posts from:

Patients saying how wonderfully they have been treated on a unit
Patients naming individual staff who have shown special kindness to them
Relatives appreciative of great care
And sometimes staff letting me know what they do and why they do it

But this is a first.


Kathryn, who is a GOOD NEWS CHAMPION from Laurel 2, writes in praise of her Manager EMMA:

“I wondered if you could put a thank you on your Blog about our AMAZING ward manager. She has been here a few months now and has made AMAZING changes to both the ward and the way it is run.
We had a recent ward meeting and she congratulated us on our hard work but I don’t think she realises how appreciative we are of hers.
We are very proud to have her as our ward manager and just wanted to say thank you for everything she does.”

What? A staff nurse wanting to say thank you! A manager congratulating staff! Staff proud of senior members of the team! Where will it all end?Maybe there is a colleague who you want to give a shout out to. Someone who goes above and beyond. Or who has supported you. We can’t all be awarded a staff achievement award, but we can all be mentioned on the blog. Send them in. It calls for another page I think: Staff-to-Staff Praise.

JUST AN EARRING….and passing the friends and family test at the Alex

Just an earring? Not quite!

Just an earring? Not quite!

The Good News Champions are up and running (see good news champions tab) nd coming to me with all sorts of Good News. Read the two stories below- one passed on by Elizabeth Williams about Sorrel Suite at Worcester Royal and one from Hannah Webb (Specialist Diabetes Nurse) from the Alex.

Liz told me of an elderly lady who lost came for an outpatiets appointment at Sorrel Suite. During the course of her time in the unit she lost one of her earrings. Just an earring you might think…but this was a special earring given to her by her husband on a special occasion in their lives. She mentioned this to the Receptionist. Far from treating it as unimportant, the Receptionist said that she would look and scoured all the places which this lady had visited. By now the lady had gone home, but the Receptionist enlisted the help of others. And what do you know? It was found. “Just hand it into lost property!” you say. “Haven’t got time for just an earring!” NO! The Receptionisit phoned the patient, told her the news, and it is fair to say that she was overjoyed.

Little things matter a lot. Helpfulness is a undervalued virtue. But one patient has seen the dedication of a member of staff to her situation!

Hannah Webb wrote to me about her experience too. Sometimes it only needs a few words to convey a lot!

“Hi David’
I put the Alexandra hospital to the ‘friends & family test ‘ last week, when my son came off his bike at high speed & fractured his collar bone. I would like to thank the staff in A&E , Xray, Trauma & Orthopaedics, Theatres & Ward 1 for their care, attention & professionalism.
Best wishes, Hannah”

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