"On the 'other side' of health care"

About: Victoria Hospital / General Medicine

(as a relative),

2 weeks ago, out of the blue, my husband suffered a stroke. He was completely independent before this happened and the main carer to our 3 children under 10 years.

Working as a nurse practitioner, I felt completely reliant on the health professionals looking after my husband to provide us with information regarding the investigations and tests being done. They shared information freely and in a language that we both could understand.

It has to be said there are many good, hard-working, passionate, caring staff at the Victoria and indeed the stroke ward (42). I cannot begin to thank them enough for everything that has been done for my husband there. A weeks stay in hospital and simple things like visiting him with the children to keep him motivated in his recovery was essential to me. The staff were flexible in their approach and care centred, taking the time to offer support when it was most needed.

The senior charge nurse, the Registrar and the stroke specialist nurse in particular offered attention to our plight and gave us much needed practical support and information about treatment.

Mention should be made to the Physiotherapy staff and Occupational Therapist's also who do fantastic work in this challenging area. They have been a huge part of my husband's treatment and ongoing recovery. A true multi-disciplinary team approach in every sense.

In my career as a nurse you dread being on the other side, being helpless when a relative is in hospital. I have to say the personal support I have had both as the wife of a stroke victim and as a health professional from my managers and colleagues has been humbling.

I am proud to work for the NHS in Fife and pleased with my husbands treatment as a patient. I wanted to make this a public story as good press is not often shared. Staff morale is low at times and I wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to all who have helped myself and my husband.

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Response from Gordon Birnie, Medical Director, Acute Services, NHS Fife

Dear wifemumstaff

Thank you for taking the time to share this, I know that the staff will derive great benefit and encouragement in reading your thoughts. It is good to hear that your husband is making progress with his recovery.

Best wishes to you both.

Gordon Birnie

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Response from John Wilson, Chief Executive, NHS Fife

picture of John Wilson

Dear wifestaffmum

I am very sorry to hear that your husband has suffered a stroke and hope that he continues to make a good recovery, This has been a very traumatic time for you and your family. I was pleased to read that you felt your husband has been well cared for and that your needs were being considered too. I know that Dr Birnie has ensured that the staff concerned have been made aware of your kind comments.

I really appreciate you taking the time to contact us in this way, especially when you have so much else to think about at this time.

Best wishes,

John Wilson

Chief Executive, NHS Fife.

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