In recent months we have heard and read so much about the very bad care that so many people are experiencing in hospitals and care homes. I would like to put another side to the picture.
In the last three weeks I have had cause, as a result of my mother having a severe stroke, to spend many hours each day in the stroke ward at the Horton Hospital.
The care she has received has been exemplary. Although she could not speak or effectively indicate her wishes, every effort and care was taken to ensure she was comfortable and without pain. My views as her daughter were taken full account of and the tenderness that both my mother and I were treated with was extremely consoling. I include all staff, from those who served the meals to the registrar and consultant.
Sitting many hours with my mother as I did, allowed me to watch staff at work.
Even though at times they were spoken to by patients, quite abusively or had to deal with patients who were confused and difficult, they still maintained a calm and caring approach.
Staff at the heart of the care should be the ones who receive bonuses not simply those at the top. There is doing what you are paid for and doing it with genuine care compassion and deep sensitivity... and there was plenty of that on Oak Ward.
We should be extremely grateful there are those who, despite all the odds, reduced staff numbers, poor working conditions and not very good salaries, still chose to give unstintingly to those we love, with such tenderness and compassion.
I would like to pay equal tribute to the staff at the Ridings Care Home. One of my mother’s frequent phrases to staff was” what would I do without you”.
When we read so much negative reporting let us not forget that there is still a good deal of excellent work being done.
In recent weeks I have noticed that road users are not showing respect to others and this has extended to the areas designated as being for pedestrians – the pavement and zebra crossing.
I wrote to you previously explaining how dangerous the zebra crossing is on the Bloxham Road and many motorists seem incapable of looking for people waiting to cross.
There are some cyclists who come down Springfield Avenue (on the pavement) and expect to shoot across the Bloxham Road on the crossing. They should dismount and walk if they want priority.
Cycling on the pavement was, until recently, the preserve of small children under supervision of an adult but now all sorts of cyclists seem to think they can ride on any stretch of pavement – often without any lights in the dark and without regard for the pedestrian users.
I am aware there are some “designated dual use paths” such as on the Oxford Road but I was not aware of a formal change to allow unrestricted use.
The Bloxham Road resembles a race track at times. Some people disregard the 30mph limit and drive at speeds I estimate at 50-70mph and routinely overtake vehicles adhering to the limit.
Can cyclists stick to the road, wear reflective clothing and display lights front and rear? Can motorists adhere to the speed limits and drive with due care and attention by actively looking for users of pedestrian crossings and stopping for them?
And can pedestrians cross using appropriate care, wear bright clothing and enjoy the privilege and freedom of the pavements designed for them?
Bloxham Road, Banbury
More letters in this week’s Banbury Guardian.