Care was fantastic

ANY woman who has gone through the trauma of finding a lump in their breast knows how one is immediately besieged by a whole range of emotions: fear, apprehension, stress and disturbance.

I am writing to tell you of my experience at the Great Western Hospital, Swindon in the Breast Care Unit where the professionals there are exactly the people whom a woman needs under such circumstances.

In my case I was referred to the wonderful ladies of the Rapid Access Team and I could not have been treated better by them.

From the beginning till the end of my appointment I experienced such excellence in thoroughness, sensitivity and efficiency that I knew I was in the hands of people who are at the top of their profession.

First, and before I even attended my appointment, the very kind appointment administrator for the Rapid Access Team went out of her way to call me twice on the same day to ensure that I knew of my appointment. She was able to offer me an appointment at very short notice due to a last minute cancellation.

My son had taken the first telephone call and rightly accepted the appointment on my behalf but the good lady wanted to double-check that I had received the message and confirm the time for my appointment and thus her second call.

Once at my appointment I was guided and reassured by two very professional and personable nurses who work in tandem with each other.

They both had lovely manners, they introduced themselves to me clearly by name and then introduced me to each of the specialists personally as they escorted me from room to room.

The first step was with a highly skilled expert who managed to shuffle me through a painful mammogram and somehow make it easier by swiftly manoeuvring me through the necessary contortions with kindness, admirable expertise and dignity.

From there I was taken to meet a senior doctor who performed an ultrasound reading. Everything about her approach gave me the profound realisation that I was in experienced and trustworthy hands.

My final meeting was with the consultant who was clearly a highly practised and knowledgeable senior in her field of medicine and yet, as with her colleagues, she was gentle and caring with a keen sense of my own personal feelings as she did her job.

The Rapid Access Team is an impeccable group of professionals working with such efficiency and kindness leaving the patient with her dignity intact as well as being able to move them through each step of the procedure swiftly but in a generous spirited manner.

I believe that most, if not all of the staff who saw me that day had been on duty for 12 hours; I was the last patient at the end of a very long day.

While at work they also have to pay to park their cars at the GWH, which is a travesty.

I would have forgiven them if they had been tired and their nerves frayed but instead I received nothing but kindness and humanity.

My first thought the next day was what skilled and lovely people I had met and I reflected on how they had somehow magically managed to make a distressing and upsetting time so very much easier for me.

My heartfelt thanks to The Rapid Access Team of the Breast Care Unit and all at the Great Western Hospital, Swindon.

JESS MAIDMENT Wilcot, Pewsey

Please back nurses

WE ARE a month into our Summer Of Protest in this phase of the Royal College of Nursing’s #scrapthecap campaign.

The response we have had from the public and media has been heart-warming - so we are writing to thank everyone for their support. It really means the world to us all.

However, the Government are still not listening. They continue to put safe patient care and services at serious risk by choosing not to address the nursing shortages that our health services are facing.

Until the profession is valued by the Government vacancies will remain unfilled as nursing staff leave the NHS and others choose not to join the profession. This will impact on every person who will at some point require care in the NHS.

We can assure you that every member of the nursing team wants to be there for you, to provide you with the highest quality of care but to do this they need to enough Registered Nurses and allied health care professionals, including health care assistants in post and we need to stop vacancies increasing further.

Pay is an important part of this as RCN members are telling us that they are having to take on extra shifts, not only to financially survive, but also to cover shifts on their wards as extra hours to ensure safe staffing numbers for their patients.

Our nurses are working themselves into the ground to care for patients but an NHS run on staff goodwill is not sustainable. It is not safe and it is not what patients deserve.

Please continue to support our campaign – write to your MP telling them to scrap the cap on NHS pay; engage with us on social media or simply smile when you see us – a little goes a long way.

LORS ALLFORD AND VICKY BROTHERTON RCN Council members South West region

Princes aren’t only ones

Surely I cannot be the only one who is fed up of the huge media coverage of William and Harry’s grief over the loss of their mother.

I am neither a republican nor a royalist. Neither am I an idiot. I fully appreciate the sons’ grief over their loss but why on earth do they consider other people have suffered less?

It is so wrong, they are making her saintly.

Just because they are princes do people truly believe their grief is felt more than others who have suffered too?

They have a privileged life unbelievable to most of us, with every whim indulged and they have massive support - then and now - and always will.

With all the horrors in the world - starving children, loss of lives in the tower block etc why is their grief of 20 years such a sympathy-maker?

Maybe the old royal way of keeping their mouths shut was what kept the royal mystery, as I honestly can’t understand why the two privileged young men are making such a push for sympathetic support.

Yes, Diana did many kindnesses but she was not perfect - none of us are.

And most of us just plod on taking what life throws at us.

BETH Hill View Road, Swindon

Little things count

WELL spoken Vera Tomlinson, you are only saying what a lot of residents in Swindon think.

It’s a shame you have been removed from the planning committee, you sound like a breath of fresh air.

It’s time politics was put aside and both parties worked towards completing the things that are promised but never fulfilled in Swindon.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been lots of good things done. What the council don’t seem to understand is that it is the ‘little’ things that affect residents most ie graffiti, litter, weeds everywhere, bad road surfaces and traffic jams.

We have many gems and attractions in Wiltshire - for example the Outlet Village, which brings in visitors and revenue, but the fact that the roads to get to it are blocked on the weekends will, I am sure, put visitors off.

Also the state of the roads, bridges, barriers and walls under the railway bridges from Rodbourne to Park Lane are grim.

The barriers look like temporary scaffolding poles with mesh around them and are not very attractive.

I do understand that funds are in short supply but come on Swindon Council, start looking at the details and the impression we give to visitors.

Only then will Swindon get the recognition it deserves.

A HUGHES Newland Road Swindon

Oxford’s got it right

I RECENTLY spent time with friends in Oxford and, in particular, in the vibrant and diverse, multi-cultural Cowley Road with its vast array of shops and restaurants offering food and drink from around the world.

There we enjoyed a meal in a Lebanese restaurant and, if you put all that alongside the millions of pounds being spend to rejuvenate the Westgate Shopping Centre, it makes Oxford a great place to spend time.

Contrast Oxford with Swindon town centre where the only things to stand out are the boarded up shops and pubs.

They are the legacy of the the ruling political Parties - both red and blue - of Swindon Council over many years.

They have all neglected the town centre, hence the state of it now.

Surely it must be a task of any council, be it Swindon or Oxford, to aspire to make their town centre clean, interesting, inviting and vibrant for the residents.

This will also make it one that will entice people from outside the town to visit it and spend money here.

Can anyone see a consortium of Swindon businesses willing to inject millions into Swindon town centre?

I won’t hold my breath.

MARK WEBB Swindon Road Old Town Swindon