Tag Archives: worecester royal

Christmas @ The Royal: AMU, BEECH & MATERNITY

From Worcester News. 30th December 2013

From Worcester News. 30th December 2013

I had great fun putting this article together with my friends and colleagues and want to thank Tarik Al Rasheed from the Worcester News for widening its focus. Here is the full blog which I composed.

OK, let’s face facts. No one really wants to be in Hospital at all, let alone at Christmas. The season seems to speak loudly of fun, and jollity, and the TV wants us to think that everyone is having the most special and enjoyable time of their lives. We all know it’s a fiction, but we still buy into it.

But for many people Christmas will be different this year. They will be spending it in Worcestershire Royal. So is it just another day at the office for the Nurses? Well, let them tell you in their own words. This is nursing; recognising the patients’ needs at whatever time of year, and meeting them with professionalism, compassion and care.”


Alison Davis is Matron for Surgery and has been nursing for 30 odd years (although she doesn’t look it!). She reckons she must have worked more than 20 Christmas days in her career and she loves it.
“Of course, most of the patients who can go home are discharged, but for the patients who remain on the wards the staff pull out all the stops and go the extra mile. It’s wonderful to see how the staff are always putting themselves out, making the patients feel as relaxed as possible. This year, of course, we will be putting up our decorations on the Beech Unit and on Christmas Day the patients will have their Christmas Meal with a cracker and lovely Christmassy napkin, and be given a present from us. It really is lovely to see the staff so happy as well.”
Alison and the staff are well aware that Christmas can be a sad time for some. “Invariably on our wards there will be people for whom this Christmas is the first one on their own, having had the sadness of losing their spouse, but the staff do their bit and offer some and love. And we can always stretch to getting those who are well enough to go home for a few hours for the day.”
Matron’s favourite Christmas story is from a few years back, in a different place. “A young boy had been in a Road Traffic Accident. He had been unconscious for a few days and it just so happened that Carol Singers came around the ward; and whilst singing “Away in a Manger” the young boy woke up.”


Anita Cupper is Matron for Medicine. She too has long experience in the NHS and has had worked more than 15 Christmases- and despite being off this year she will come in on Christmas Day and wish all her patients on the Acute Medical Unit (one of the busiest wards at Worcester Royal with 900+ patients per month) a “Merry Christmas”. Again there will be decorations and gifts for patients on a ward which will be fully staffed. Anita, described by her colleagues as a “whirlwind”, said that the ward will be full of happiness and cheer, although is well aware that there will be some people who have no family or visitors. “It is up to us provide that family element which some patients will be lacking,” she says with passion. “After all that is what nursing is all about. If Christmas is about anything it is about believing you can make anything happen!” Senior Sister Ruth Clack overhears us talking and shares her Christmas story. “One Christmas Eve I admitted a patient who came in very poorly. The Medic thought his chances of surviving were slim and I stayed late to transfer him to the Intensive Care Unit. I was delighted to see him back with us three days later and he had three good years more of quality life.” But perhaps most touching, Ruth told me that on the day that he died, “the patient’s wife phoned me to tell me the news and how much I had meant to the family. This was a while ago but it’s funny what you remember.”


The maternity unit at Worcestershire Royal is a special place, and with all the hype of Christmas you would be forgiven for thinking that it was the centre of Christmas in the Hospital. After all we have all seen the TV programmes on Christmas Day from Maternity Wards celebrating Christmas Babies, and the ward at Worcester often has the local radio station phoning up on 25th December asking “if they have enough hay and hot water.”
“But mostly for us it is a normal working day,” says Pam. “We enjoy working at Christmas, and it is a privilege to be involved with bringing new life into the world, but our main aim is to help the women deliver their babies safely, efficiently and in as comfortable a way as possible as with every day. Once the baby is born, the family want to get them home as quickly as possible and we do our very best to facilitate that. We do, of course, recognise it as a special time of year and celebrate it. And this year the Community Champion at ASDA in Worcester has kindly donated some festive baby clothes which we will give to each family, along with a little gift for each baby.”


“There is a buzz about the hospital at this time of year, like there is everywhere else, which in some ways makes my job more challenging. So there are times of great sadness, when families need a supportive and sympathetic person to be with them for a spell; and times of great joy which are worth a celebration. The hospital is life writ large, but to be there for people in sorrow or joy is an enormous privilege. I take my hat off to all the staff working over the Christmas period. I can assure you that you will have the same level of professionalism and support as at any other time of the year and staff will continue to go the extra mile. So my thoughts and prayers are for peace this Christmastime wherever people are and whatever the challenges they are facing.”

We Remember You in Our Prayers


Whether you are a praying person or not, it’s good to be remembered for nice things. In a recent letter to me David and Joyce Burton said this:

“To the Chaplaincy,
Good News Stories.

We are very grateful for the wonderful expertise and great kindness which we received from the Staff at Worcester, Malvern and Kidderminster Hospitals.
We are receiving, in David’s case, treatment at the eye, cardiac and dermatology clinics.
Joyce has been attending the eye clinic for sixteen years and is now being treated for cancer by very kind and helpful staff in Haematology.
We appreciate and admire all that we receive from the staff at these clinics.
We remember the hospital staff in our prayers.
Yours very sincerely,

David and Joyce Burton”

I think this is wonderful. This lovely couple have received but are also giving back. I believe in prayer, but I also know the power of good thoughts and positive energy. And David and Joyce are only the tip of the iceberg.

So next time you get some hospital bashing, nurse bashing, doctor bashing, manager bashing, or whatever bashing you succumb to- then think of these and many others, sending out good vibes to us all in the Trust.

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]

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

Harriett Baldwin and David Southall crop (3)

See here http://www.harriettbaldwin.com/content/mp-spreads-%E2%80%98good-news%E2%80%99-worcestershire-royal 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.”

NEWS: Harriett Baldwin MP Visits WRH and Supports Chaplain’s Blog (Part 1)

Harriett Baldwin and David Southall crop (3)

Harriett Baldwin, Member of Parliament for West Worcestershire, kindly agreed to come to Worcestershire Royal Hospital on my invitation. She is a keen reader of the blog and a friend of the Acute Trust.

It was a delight to welcome Harriett and her assistant Edward, and in the company of Penny Venables (Chief Executive) she visited maternity where medical and midwifery staff showed her around, demonstrated their exceptional work, and explained the exciting plans for the future. Harriet took a deep interest in what she saw and was able to chat with some new Mum’s about their experience.

Thanks to all the Staff who gave thier time so wilingly, and especially to Harriet who had a day jam packed with meeting her constituents.

We are lucky to have friends like these and are grateful for their support.

Positive and Negative: A Relative’s View

ying yang

I know this is a good news blog, but at times it is important to hear all of the story. (I don’t want to be accused of being one sided like my tirades against the media.) That is why I am including the entirety of a letter I received this morning.

“Dear Rev’d Southall,

I was out walking last Sunday and picked up the Parish news letter from Alfrick Church. I was very interested to read about your campaign to tell good news stories about Worcestershire’s three hospitals.

I’m afraid my family had a very negative story to tell 2 years ago when my father died but I wish to write with an antidote to that.

My mother has recently had several outpatient appointments at Worcester Royal Hospital when staff have been most kind, positive and considerate towards her. I wish to single out, and thank publicly Miss Blatz, a consultant in the gynaecology dept. Her manner towards my elderly mother was quite exceptional, very kind and open, explaining all aspects without being in any way patronizing. After greeting us both, she dealt with my mother only, and directly, without involving me in the the conversation, which I thought was correct.
I was very impressed and feel certain that she deals with all patients in the way.
Please mention Miss Blatz on your blog.
Your sincerely,
(Name and address supplied)”

I am so grateful for this letter and what it reminds us.

A number of things strike me:

Negative experiences of care stay with people forever.

Positive experiences are easily recognisable.

And finally, it is not Miss Blatz’s medical expertise which made the differenc e- this is taken for granted. It is the human touch which our letter writer commends.

Worth thinking about and acting upon!

Spread the Love! Where to from here?

Blog On Poster-page-0


Inspiring Stories
Comments from Staff as I meet them

I am amazed. I thought a few hundred views might come as a result of my ramblings. I could not have imagined this


So now I REALLY NEED YOUR HELP and your comments. I would like to make the blog a dynamic and active community. With comments coming in and out. Stories and experiences being shared. It should be our blog really. So don’t be afraid to comment (by clicking comment!)

Tell me:

What works on the blog?
What does not work?
How would you do it?
What would you like to see?
How can it be improved?
If you don’t like the blog, let me know why not.


Many of you will have more experience of IT, Blogging, Social Media and the like. If I am missing something that will improve the blog then tell me.

My intuition says that the Chaplain’s Blog is making a small difference. Together we can build on it.