On arriving at ‘Royal Stoke University Hospital’ on Monday 30th May I was pleased to find that finally the regulations which patient visitors have had to follow for so long had been relaxed to much like arrangements before the pandemic started. It would be difficult to exaggerate how thrilled that patients and visitors alike were by this news!
Also on that day I found a ‘Mr Whippy’ van serving free ice cream cones with sauce and flake to staff as a THANK YOU for all their hard work! I had one on my way to ‘The West Building’ and another on my way back to ‘The Chaplaincy Office’. You can imagine my excitement when he was there outside ‘County Hospital’ the following day. However, as he handed me my cornet, he said “Didn’t I see you up at Stoke yesterday?” How could he remember me, I wondered, out of the hundreds of people he had served? (NB: Answers to that question are not required or particularly welcome!) I found out that there is also to be a ‘free cooked breakfast’ day at both hospitals but unfortunately neither is on a day which fits in with my working pattern – what a pity!
‘The Jubilee’ Celebrations were also in full swing and staff had put in a lot of effort. There was bunting everywhere and in places it had been made from paper Union Flag serviettes folded diagonally over string – very bright, cheerful and inventive but inexpensive to make in quantity. In some wards there was even a CROWN placed over every bed! I saw a nurse wearing a headband with 2 Jubilee flags standing up out of it and sitting at the head of one ward was ‘Her Majesty’ surveying her subjects down each side of the ward! Although I took her photo I am advised that it would not reproduce in this magazine .
I continue to be amazed by the lengths to which hospital staff are prepared to go to help their patients feel part of what’s going on in the wider community. They certainly deserve our thanks and support.