There is so much written and discussed in our newspapers and on the news about the state of the NHS – usually all negative. I would like to say a public thank you to the staff on the Southgate ward at the Wedgewood Centre in Bury St Edmunds, which is situated behind West Suffolk Hospital.
Having had drastic life changes and moving home from Sweden after 10 years of living there, I was given a suspected cancer diagnosis shortly after arriving back in the UK.
The crisis team in Colchester assessed me according to my wishes and I was admitted to the Southgate ward in a total state of shock.
The consultant psychiatrist speeded up all the biopsy and investigations, with the wonderful outcome that I actually have no cancer at all.
I had a lot of support from all the staff on the ward. There is a programme for all the patients every day to attend with the occupational therapists and activity workers, from a morning walk, to creative writing, anxiety management, relapse prevention and relaxation classes (in the evening).
Every patient gets a single room with an en-suite bathroom, great food, and time to be alone as well as time in the groups.
I have never been treated with such care and respect in any hospital.
As a woman who has been both a patient and a nurse, I can only say that the Southgate ward comes out on top of all the places I have seen or worked both in Sweden and in England.
Psychiatric staff are often reckoned as second rate to general hospital staff, but all the staff on the ward give 100 per cent and come out way above other hospital staff I have ever encountered.