"In support of my local hospital"
About: Halton Hospital Halton Hospital Runcorn WA7 2DA
Posted by Joe Whyte
Prior to the age of 45/50 my only recollections of medical care came from my time in the army when I was attached to a military hospital for two years. it was there that I saw at first hand the devotion to patient care first hand. over the past 20 yrs, as my body parts have started to wear out I have become more and more reliant on the NHS in the form of Halton Hospital and on occasion Warrington Hospital. First it was my hearing that was causing a problem. Then it was my feet with fallen arches. Next came failing eyesight quickly followed up by a cancer of the bladder. At each crises for me resulted in a trip to Halton Hospital to be quickly seen and put at ease by the fantastic staff i.e. doctors, nurses, reception staff (for guidance on where to report), the staff in the general office and of course the voluntary workers who give their time to help keep Halton hospital one of the best hospitals in the country. Why do I feel so strongly about Halton Hospital, quite simply, because of the service I receive on every visit. I do not think of my visits as a trip to hospital but rather as a trip to a family members home. There has never been an outbreak or nasty infection in Halton Hospital. I believe this is down to the attention of cleanliness (the place is spotless) and to their credit staff from other hospitals in the area have been sent there to be instructed in the cleaning process because their hospitals did have the nasty infections. I have in the past (as is the case with many people in Halton) been guilty of taking our hospital for granted, did I not pay my taxes for it, it was my right. Sadly I now see how wrong I have been (there are non so blind as those who do not want to see). Yes my (and others) taxes can build a hospital, pay for staff and equipment but thankfully I have realised this only provides the framework not the heart to bring it all together, that takes dedicated staff of the highest calibre which we have in Halton Hospital. I am even more stunned that this has been achieved when you consider the upheaval the staff have gone through over recent years. I remember reading how the staff were presented with changes to their contracts and their place of work (it was reported that staff had run from the hospital in tears). I said or did nothing, it had nothing to do with me, my service was still going to be there. Then their pay was frozen (in many cases they are the only person working in the family home, at the same time the cost of living has gone up, further to that any pay increase until 2016 has been capped at 1%. Over the past 3 years 5,000 nurses have been taken out of the NHS and how does their managers propose to make up the shortfall, by extending their working day of course and of course they will negotiate with staff but their working day will be increased or they can leave. Nursing is a very demanding role and I am sure they must be exhausted by the end of their duty, more staff is the answer not more hours.