As part of a ‘back to floor’ programme, Andrew Foster, Chief Executive of Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust spent an afternoon working as a healthcare assistant on a Care of the Elderly ward.
Assigned to final year adult nursing student Jessica Prior, one of their tasks was to help an elderly man use a commode, in what to most people would be an undignified process.
Andrew offered praise for the way in which Jess ‘kept up a stream of light hearted chatter’ and said: “Jess really did all the work and I was very little use apart from passing her things, but what struck me was her sheer niceness and respect for him.”
He continued: “It is very rare for a Chief Executive to become so intimately involved in the care of a single patient. What stood out for me was the huge importance to the patient of the fundamental human care they receive. We tend to think of hospitals as places of diagnosis and treatment and we think much less of the unsung heroes who caringly help with the most basic bodily functions.”