Carol Stone, Receptionist 2000-2004, extracts from interview

"I think it was like a family, everybody knew each other; it was a lovely atmosphere to work in, a lovely place to work in ...

...I think that was because most of the people there were permanent, patients knew they would see the same nurse and they knew how far they had got in their treatment, everybody knew each other and knew what they were doing ... ...everybody spoke to each other, from the manager to the domestics, you knew everybody by their first name, they knew if they were in trouble there was somebody there to help them ...

...it was like a family, from top to bottom ...

...it was a happy place and if you were a patient and needed a nurse, it wasn't "in a minute I'll be with you", they were there and they knew that person as a person not bed 14 or whatever ...

...they were people to them, in my opinion they couldn't do enough for their patients. I never saw anybody sigh and tut when somebody rang a bell ...

...they might of done but I didn't see it ...

...the building when you entered it, had a sense of peace, no rush, bustle or hustle, although the nurses were busy ...

...the surroundings were marvellous, the grounds, the peace and for stroke victims who had to learn to walk they had the space and the peace, and if you are learning to walk again it must be terrifying - if you are walking down the corridor especially. You could venture out in All Saints without being knocked over, it was the best place if you were a stroke patient, they had the best stroke team ...

...I think when patients went in they thought they might not come out, but they had a stroke team who knew all the stages. They knew they had to communicate with them first and then find out from the physios what they were capable of and get them to do more ...

...It must be terrifying when you have a stroke, you can't talk or do anything, you can't communicate. They were treated and helped and expected to go home and it worked ...

...the spirit of the church and the nuns and the healing I think it was left. That sounds daft, but you felt it as you walked in even if you weren't particularly churchy or God fearing. I think this was the spirit of All Saints in the walls, the spirit of the nurses, or the nuns, I just thought it was lovely ...

...I think that spirit was with everybody, the nurses, the staff, it was continuous, everybody seemed to just help their patients ...

...those people I have spoken to, regret the closure because it was a special kind of hospital...

...having the chapel there, having a wedding or the christening of a baby, and the carol services there. The patients were wheeled down to the services and the concerts. I think that made them feel that they weren't shut away in a hospital, they felt for a few minutes that they were part of the outside world again - taking part in the carols, seeing the bride walk through with her bridesmaids, and I think that helped them get better because it was something that reminded them that the world outside exists, and they would soon be back out there...

...I've never seen that atmosphere anywhere else."

< Back