Friday, 17 April 2009 St Margaret’s Hospice, Little Tarrat Lane, Yeovil, BA20 2HU

Maturer readers may have been surprised how down Roger Whittaker was when he came to leaving Old Durham Town. But it came as no surprise to me how big a wrench it was to leave Frenchay hospital on Thursday. Frenchay is a huge hustling, bustling, busy, noisy, frenetic NHS hospital, a mixture of wartime buildings and extensions built over the last 2 decades. There is always something happening, always something going on. It is forever busy. But on ward 201 I made some fantastic friends with those who have cared for me there over the last month. I must mention the amazing Emma, the lovely Liz, the fragrant Rose, the outstanding Elspeth, Sister Yvonne, the two Jades and so many others, not least the Ladies of the Night (a special mention to the supplier of Banoffee Tarts!) whose cheerful and unfailing sense of humour were a source of such encouragement and support. I’m sorry I can’t mention all of you wonderful people by name, but you know how much I deeply appreciate all you have done for me. Now I have transferred to St Margaret’s Hospice I very much hope that if a couple of you get an afternoon off, you will make a pilgrimage to come and see me. Until then, a final Thankyou for everything to all of you in 201.

I arrived at St Margaret’s Hospice, Yeovil (please see address above) lunchtime yesterday. I have my own large en suite room with french doors out to the patio and the landscaped gardens beyond. Just as at Frenchay the staff has been extraordinary with their welcomes and incredibly helpful. The mega difference is the staff/patient ratio, for example this morning the Hospice has a total of 13 inpatients with 8 nursing staff to care for them. Despite all the best efforts of the NHS, it cannot compete with that level of nursing care. So it’s good to be here with all the specialist medical and nursing staff for someone in my situation – the added bonus being of course the hospice is only 15 minutes from home rather than the hour and half it took to get to Bristol.

The other benefits of St Margaret’s is the food is excellent and cooked to order, and it’s even possible (if one wants) to have an alcoholic drink. Also there are few restrictions on visiting, apart from a few quiet hours at lunchtime. If you are thinking you might like to come and visit me, please do so, but first have a word with Fiona who tries to ensure I’m not overloaded. The best way is by e-mail at or of course phone if you have our number. Could I remind you just once again that I am currently not accessing my hotmail account.

All in all I was sad to leave Frenchay but absolutely delighted to be here at St Margaret’s. Medically I’m feeling good in myself; beginning to regain my appetite and confident that the higher level of care that can be offered by hospices will be to my long term advantage. Finally, I think Fiona has put some new photographs on the blog which you may care to look at. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, all best wishes, G.

P.S. you Frenchay girls make sure you come and see me!!!!!

Comments on this entry:

  1. Delighted to hear that you are at St Margaret’s which sounds just the right place for you to be at this time.

    I spoke to Janet Lea’s daughter-in-law, Ann, recently and they all send their love and best wishes.

    Love to all, Janet

    — The Conybeare Family · Sunday 19 April, 2009 · #

  2. Hi Graeme

    Hope you are now settled in St Margarets. The pictures are wonderful and the grandchildren delightful. Thank you for keeping me up-to-date.

    Its a lovely day in London, the trees are just coming into leaf and it is promising to be a lovely warm day, once the sun comes out properly.

    Much love to you and Fiona.
    Thinking of you both.


    — Irene Dougherty · Monday 20 April, 2009 · #

  3. Dear Graeme, hopsices are wonderful places aren`t they? It is great to keep up to date with what is happening to you via the blog. You are in our thoughts and prayers as always. LoveSue Richard Elizabeth Alex and Eloise. xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    — Sue and Richard Shrimpton · Thursday 23 April, 2009 · #