11 May 2018 CEO Blog post

Happy Nurses Day

About 11 years ago I was in Tesco. I had promised my daughter some new crayons. I had been at a late meeting and I was tired. I’d not been well. I had been to the GPs a couple of days before and been diagnosed with a UTI. Blimey it hurt.

Anyway, somewhere around the lamb chops in Tesco I almost passed out. I don’t really remember too much but I ended up in a bed in Warrington with a surgeon leaning on my stomach and letting go. After I came back off the ceiling he diagnosed me with a burst appendix. I hadn’t had a UTI at all.

I was in hospital for two weeks. I had an appendectomy that didn’t go well. I got pneumonia, kelbsiella (an infection) and peritonitis. I had a laparotomy, I saw the white light and thought I was a gonner.

Anyway I got better. I was operated on by Mr Brett and looked after by his registrar. He saved me when I went into retention. You can imagine I remember him well!

My family had a rota. They came twice a day. They brought stuff and worried about me.

After my second operation the person I remember was the person who REALLY looked after me. She held my hand, she stopped my nose being sore, she washed me and when she said I will be back in a minute, she always was. She told me it would be alright. When she was on duty my catheter was in a stand and not on the floor (as it often was), but most of all I felt better, the rest of the patients in the bay felt better and the ward was a nicer place.

On the day I was finally discharged. I was told she was ‘just a bank nurse’. She wore the same uniform, she knew what she was doing, she cared. ‘Just’ a bank nurse! I am still angry about that now. How dare they call her that. She was my Florence Nightingale.

And so, as a Chief Executive, when I have the privilege to welcome new staff at induction to our special hospital I deal with the ‘just’ word. A patient doesn’t care about whether you are on the bank or not, or whether you are full or part time, where you are from or where you are going.....they just care how you make them feel. None of our staff are anything ‘just’.

Now I work in a hospital with the best staff in the NHS. That’s not just me saying that. That’s what are patients say. That is because of how you make them feel.

And so to all the fantastic nurses, and all those who work in roles supporting them I say happy international nurses day from a bloke who once upon a time was ‘just’ a poorly patient.


Mark Brandreth
Chief Executive


Image of Mark Brandreth, Chief Executive

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