Praise for the Pilgrim

OF LATE we seem to hear constantly about the shortcomings of Pilgrim Hospital and the services that it offers.

We seem to hear little, if any, of the good points that the hospital has. In my own experience of working at Pilgrim Hospital, which is now heading towards 32 years, I have nothing but praise for the establishment or the staff and how hard they work to do their very best to get things right for patients.

When I left London as a senior registrar to come to Boston as a consultant in 1979 on a train ride through deep Pilgrim then was a virtually brand new hospital in a large green field, where people cycled to work.

There was very little need for car park spaces, there were very few staff, a handful of consultants, very few junior doctors and no technicians/physiologists.

Life was bleak. I was told by the staff that work here was different from other hospitals, particularly in the city because many of the patients who you were looking after could well be your neighbours, friends or colleagues, this made an even greater incentive if that were possible to get it right.

That is exactly what the staff have done over the time that I have been at Pilgrim. All the consultants worked exceedingly hard to get their juniors, to get their teams together, to introduce new services and lift the Pilgrim into an outstanding hospital.

At the end of the 1990s, Pilgrim was superb and envied by many district hospitals throughout the UK. Our Coronary Care Unit won prizes for its care and attention of its staff. Having said the foregoing, the hospital has been superbly supported financially by local people, were it not for their financial support Pilgrim would not have been one of the first district general hospitals in the UK to have a CT scanner which it acquired in 1989 followed by an MRI scanner in 2000.

They also went on and assisted me to provide a second spiral CT scanner in the middle of the last decade.

Many patients have done exceedingly well from Pilgrim Hospital thanks to their financial support and all of the help and care given to them by the doctors, nurses, technicians, physiologists and so on and so forth. I needed medical and nursing help from Pilgrim Hospital approximately one month ago. I was cycling home from the cycle shop, having just picked up my bike from where it had been serviced.

Retrospectively I did something incredibly silly – I did not have my cycling gear with me, I did not have on my helmet and was carrying a long plastic bag containing a can of oil, it was a windy day.

As I cycled the bag went into the front wheel, I was then thrown off the bike, knocked out and the next thing I remember is coming to in an ambulance on my way to the hospital.

The medical and nursing care I received at the hospital I think was outstanding. Like the majority of people I had to wait for one or two things to be sorted out but over a six hour time frame had had all the investigations I needed doing and when the doctors and nurses were happy in the A&E Department at Pilgrim I was shipped off to a ward. The standard of care continued by the nursing staff and medics on the ward.

So from the extensive period of time I have worked at Pilgrim Hospital, have seen the services develop and be provided for local people and have been a patient at the hospital itself recently I can only sing praises for this great hospital.

The health service is changing constantly, at the moment how the nurses and doctors, particularly the senior doctors, cope with the present situation is quite amazing, so please be patient and try to understand they are doing their very best to get things right for all of us.

Dr CYRIL R. NYMAN, Consultant physician, cardio respiratory medicine