Our NHS – St Trinians: Room 101#4


I suspected that my reputation might have preceded me (but may be not), when I was   shown on arrival to cubicle: 101. On the other hand, with my nurse’s head on it might have had absolutely nothing to do with my assumption. Either way, I must admit to appreciating it overall. Those who know me will agree that I probably would have spent more time keeping an eye out for the other patients in a shared bay & would have needed heavy sedation (or a manacle) to prevent me from doing so!

St Trinian’s was built  over a period of 8 years, starting in the early 1960’s when big was best & huge was better! Since then it has grown exponentionally & includes several academic & research buildings alongside of the front of house business of accommodating approx 1,000 in-patient beds & heaven knows how many outpatient & emergency attendants every day.

panoramic view of the forth rail bridge crossing the firth of forth, scotland
panoramic view of the forth rail bridge crossing the firth of forth, scotland

Unsurprisingly, the fabric of the older building (the hospital bit) needs to be maintained & upgrading it must be an ongoing endless & hugely expensive mission!

As the Money Tree has yet to be discovered, priorities must be made & so I would be up there with those who say : patients first amenities second. But… I’ve already mentioned previously how important environment can be for people in hospital & while making improvements are going to be limited in existing buildings, thinking this through & integrating therapuetic environments into new hospital builds is surely a must? That’s what organisations like the Kings Fund do brilliantly. If only we could find a way to convince the politicians & bean-counters that  investing in this could potentially, make significant reductions in clinical costs to redivert into other essential patient care.

Anyway, back to 101 which was my “base” for the next two days. Not the best view in the world it has to be said… IMG_4795 Clean, but faded, with “ensuite” toilet, sink & shower: somewhat overcrowded by two waste bins directly in front of your knees as you sit on the loo & very little room to swing the proverbial cat in. Thankfully I didn’t need assistance in the bathroom, however, if I had, it would shall we say have been interesting.

 The other great things about 101 were the window that opened more than a finger width: I realise the danger of distressed patients potentially opting to make a hasty exit through a window but you would have to be a Size 0 to attempt it & even then you wouldn’t succeed. Having realitively fresh air in this typically tropical-heat hospital room was a positive boon!

The surrounding buildings make TV reception a non-starter, but if you are lucky enough to know how to use it & have a laptop or tablet, free wifi: hooray, obviously it’s important to keep your valuables safe & each bed has a locker in which you can store your own medications etc. This proved to be great in theory but rather more complicated in practice. The locker couldnt be unlocked because there was no key for it, one of the Deputy Sister’s very kindly found another which locked, but which did not have a key that I could use. There was a Master key on her bunch, but it meant that everytime I wanted something I had to pester the key holder :0((

I have saved the best til last. bedThese beds are wonderful: great for the person in it to be able to alter their position independently if they are able & career savers for nursing & midwifery staff ( there are generations of us who live with work related back injuries every day). Money very well spent!

Coming up soon, health & safety & hospital food…

Enjoy the rest of your day

Holly x

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