First Impressions

The staff’s first impressions of St Audry’s Hospital were often fear and trepidation, but these views sometimes changed dramatically after they had arrived, as can be seen below in the personal accounts collected from hospital staff in the 1990s.

“One old lady told me that she was the queen of the United States of America and I had better be careful how I spoke to her! I remember visiting with some fear when I first went because I had no idea what to expect, but I then got so I knew staff and I knew my patients in there and I went for it quite freely…”

(Mrs G P Whitmore, welfare officer at St Audry’s)

“Here I am heading for 24 years and thoroughly enjoying it; all I can say is that something very magical happened in that particular week which changed my mind and I’ve never looked back.”

(Jean Dickey, occupational therapy assistant at St Audry’s)

“I shall never forget the first morning…” (Bob Clements, charge nurse at St Audry’s)

“It was quite a challenge really… I enjoyed it from day one.” (Mary Crowfoot, domestic supervisor at St Audry’s)

“Well I must say I was fairly shaking when I drove up that long avenue wondering what was going to confront me. I went first for an interview with Doctor Hide… He was absolutely charming. He took me into his office, which was full of sunlight and flowers and very sort of laid back altogether, and he explained what the different buildings were as we looked out of this huge Georgian window and I had a sudden feeling of absolute peace, the last thing I was expecting.”

(Helen Armstrong, social worker at St Audry’s)