Jane Rowson, Sister at All Saints until closure in 2004, extracts from interview in 2005

Quality of life, empowerment, and love, these were the principles of care at All Saints ...

...when you are ill you lose the ability to choose when and what you eat, what time you get up, go to bed, what you wear, where you are put, who you are with, what happens to you, what happens to your possessions if you cannot return home, what treatment you are given, and how you are treated ...

...nursing older people is about empowering and enabling people to make those choices again ...

...one gentleman, about 80 years old, was due to be discharged 2 days before Christmas; I asked him if he would like to go home. He said there's no place like home ... he had no family ... I asked him if he would like to stay at All Saints for Christmas and he said he would. On Christmas Day I sat on his bed and chatted with him, I treated him as I would my own father ...

...I set my standard of nursing on how I would like my grandfather to be treated...

...we had fun, shared problems, went out together, felt part of a family ...

...you always looked forward to going to work and whatever the difficulties might be you faced them because you had the support of the people around you ...

...everyone was proud of their ward, but they also felt part of a community. There was no hierarchy between staff; everyone was important and had a valuable contribution to make ...

...the patients came down to the restaurant and ate with the staff but didn't intrude ... there was respect for each other ...

...the ambulance men were part of the place, they came and ate breakfast, then dinner, then tea, they were part of the family ...

...if someone passed away we were able to make sure it was with dignity and that we could offer comfort to the family ...

...we gave people the motivation and confidence to return to their lives. They were medically well when they came to us but not able to cope with life. The social interaction between patients, and between staff and patients was an important part of life at All Saints and contributed to the healing process ...

...you felt safe, you felt that the atmosphere was that of a community.

...the local community saw All Saints as an important centre for the village; the hospital was there before the village ...

...there was always something going on; the field was used by the local school for sports, and they had their sports day there.

...the staff would organise outings for patients; on one outing I remember there was a man with anorexia, and we had packed a picnic for Drusillas. He didn't want to go round but he ate everything in his picnic lunch which had lots of little treats ...

...that was probably his last outing, but he and his relatives would have that memory. Another outing was to Sheffield Park and we took 8, or more people in wheelchairs back to my Mum and Dad's for tea. My Mum had laid on a fantastic spread. When my dad came back home he was rather taken aback, not having seen people so ill, but it was a fantastic tea, they were wonderful and everyone had a lovely time to remember ... ..

...Staff were integrated and understood what was expected of each other - the stresses and demands of each other's roles, and were able to devise better ways of working together to make life easier and better for the patients' quality of life. Treatment was patient and caring, a fundamental principle of life at All Saints ...

...the ethic of caring and of community continued to the last days of All Saints, and is the legacy that is the 'Spirit of Place' founded by Harriet Brownlow Byron in 1869.

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