I already miss Frenchay Hospital but feel grateful for the growth of the new one at Southmead. It’s the largest hospital building in Europe and is centralised. This means that all care is “under one roof”. I have been talking to a young lady who has just transferred there from Frenchay so that I can share with you some of the things that are happening.
After a maths degree and working as a computer analyst, medicine beckoned, so she trained in Sheffield to become a nurse. Then she worked part time in Warrington General Hospital and at the same time gained her Master’s degree in American Studies. Then came eight years of teaching English in France. Returning to Bristol, she became a staff nurse on Ward 204 at Frenchay. Very interested in plastic surgery, she took a degree course in that subject at Birmingham Uni. Now she is a CNS, clinical nurse specialist in skin cancer. She’s also a Macmillan Nurse and in May was photographed talking to a young cancer patient. This publicity material has already raised enough money to fund an information centre for a year.
At Southmead, she continues what they started at Frenchay. She’s very involved in a Survivorship Project. This is to encourage people who have cancer to live well. There are events four times a year when people who have the same type of cancer meet together to talk, to share a coffee morning and to hear talks from professionals. They are then offered a six week follow up course. The idea is to empower people to feel more confident about looking after themselves. This not only helps the patient, but takes the emphasis off out-patient appointments and hospital follow-ups, the patient feed-back is very positive!
My young friend didn’t want to tell me about the negative aspects of the new hospital, because many are “teething problems” that will, hopefully, get ironed out! She said that many patients find the huge building very daunting, preferring the familiarity of the old. However, many volunteers, called "move leads", greet new arrivals and take them to their destination. This may stop after six months. I also like the idea that staff wear different coloured scrubs to denote which post they hold. For instance, the junior staff wear grey. Even better, all staff wear a bright yellow badge stating their name and role. Apparently it is the best colour a person can see when losing their sight.
The staff have a really good restaurant, but I regret there is no restaurant for visitors. There are three coffee shops. Two are “Costa” and the third is run by “The League of Friends”. The latter is the only non-profit making concession in the Hospital!
Well the young person I have been telling you about is Jaye Kissane, I’m very proud of her! In case you haven’t guessed, she’s my daughter!!
I wish you all a healthy future. Stay optimistic.
PS: Regarding my comments in the previous post on fawn carpets. My apologies to those readers who love that colour. Things are brightening up at Marshfield Park. We are having silver handrails!