This is an elderly care ward at our local hospital. Most of the staff there are local people and there are strong links with the local community. There is a strong community involvement with many local people volunteering to and and visit isolated patients. Feel dirty saying this but this is “the big society” in action but rather than keep it open it’s closing and our older people will be placed in wards across Leeds where it’s going to be difficult for husbands, wives and other family members to visit.
Today there has been a lot of talk about how appalling care of elderly patients is in our hospitals and I can’t help but the lack of that personal touch is what is causing the problem. Working in a big hospital you don’t have a shared identity with a patient and that makes it very difficult for you to form a relationship with them. Here you can have a chat with a patient about how the town has changed, where they used to work etc and you’ll always find something you’ve got in common.