The Best Hospital in the World (TBH)

TNH was arranged as two long corridors which were bridged at intervals by connecting corridors. the wards were all laid out off the back corridor and each had a day room opening out to the grounds. there were squirrels and rabbits and trees.Patients were kept in hospital for several days after surgery, probably too long if one post appendicectomy patient is an example. the physio was coming to see him so he ran away across the gardens!

Having patients who were, in effect, convalescing, was very beneficial for us nurses because not only could they look after themselves, they could make the tea and dish it out from the trolley. No doubt that wouldn’t be allowed now, health and safety don’t you know!

A patient started a tea club. He got a notebook, took money from all the other patients and went to the Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS, now WRVS as Royal is now included in the title) and bought biscuits and extra sugar so the patients could have more. When he was discharged he passed the book on to someone else and so the club continued. I think he came back(to have his other hernia repaired) and ran the club again. Some of the men used to get hungry so we would save roast meat from lunch and make them sandwiches in the afternoon.

It might sound as if we had little work to do but that wasn’t the case at all. We made all the beds, gave bed baths, did dressings, dished out meals and took patients to theatre. When patients were discharged we stripped their beds, turned the matresses and disinfected them and the lockers. We cleaned the sluice and the linen cupboard and did the TPRs and blood pressures. The beds were all low which put a strain on our backs (which is why I’ve had a hip replacement and have got a disc problem). We weren’t allowed to sit down and my feet always killed me! There was always great camaraderie though and the ward maid was part of the team too which is something that ought to be considered these days- no contract cleaners!