THANKS to your reader for putting her concerns about the Conquest Hospital into words (letters 27/05/11).
I was sorry to learn of her dissatisfaction but I have to say that her experiences do not mirror my own.
Any wholly negative account of the Conquest Hospital runs the danger of distorting a complex truth more than it offers by way of enlightenment.
My experience has been quite different and it may be that performance varies from one specialism to another.
Of course one can point to some staff behaviours and attitudes that are reprehensible and ought to be tackled by the appropriate level of management.
Thinking of my own observations down the years in different parts of the country, whether as a patient, visiting friends or relatives, or working in hospitals, the thing that strikes me most is the variation in standards across the NHS as a whole with the sublime and the ridiculous sometimes existing side by side.
At the Conquest I have observed a few members of staff in need of further training and a very few who are plainly unsuited to this type of work.
Clearly the latter should move on to something better suited to their skills, knowledge and, above all, attitudes to their fellow human beings.
Management at Ward level needs to be strengthened. But show me an organisation to which these strictures do NOT apply!
My contact with the Conquest has not been completely positive in all respects but then I do not expect it to be.
On the other hand I have benefited from the skill and caring of excellent doctors, nurses and support staff and I regret the effect that wholly negative comments may have on staff morale.
I may have been fortunate but if I had to rate the staff and treatments I have had on a scale of one to ten I would probably put the Conquest at eight or nine.
But then I do not expect any organisation the size of the Conquest, or the NHS as a whole, or indeed companies in the private sector, to be problem free.
We can all find ways of contributing to improve some things at the Conquest.
So for all the staff who do a difficult job under a lot of pressure and for a modest reward I only want to say ‘thanks’ and ‘well done’.
And yes, I do like the pictures in the corridors, always have done!