Praise for Sheila's work

A VOLUNTEER at Budleigh Hospital was praised last week for ten years of floral displays - which has helped the recovery patients.

A VOLUNTEER at Budleigh Hospital was praised last week for ten years of floral displays - which has helped the recovery patients. At the League of Friends AGM chairman, Dr David Evans honoured Sheila Ashby - who appropriately received a bouquet - who in turn thanked her army of helpers.Pippa Bird, matron of the hospital, chatted to members about her role and said how much she 'enjoyed' her work, and gave a potted history of the hospital.She said that the hospital had come along way after opening in 1888, with just five beds, one nurse and a volunteer matron - who was left unpaid for several years."Patients were expected to pay for care and a fund was created in Budleigh to help needy patients," she said.The hospital installed an operating theatre in 1928 and bed numbers increased to 20, but in 1948, the State took control, the NHS was formed and the local League of Friends was founded - one of the very first in the UK.In 1972, the theatre was closed, and the role of matron was shared with Exmouth Hospital, but now, 30 years later, each has its own matron.Today they have eight beds in the Stroke Unit, with 12 staff, the medical ward has 11 beds and 13 staff, rehab staff, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and chiropody and dermatology services and a day unit catering for 48 patients weekly.l The next event in the League of Friends fundraising calendar is the garden fete, on August 1, at 2.30 pm, in the hospital gardens.


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