Thursday, 19 May 2011

Ladies who Lunch again... but for a good cause

Yesterday I had a fabulous day out. It was a fund raising event for LOROS, our local hospice. Why aren’t hospices government funded? I’ll never understand that. Without voluntary donations LOROS would have to close down, but with the kind of support they had yesterday they’ll be around for a long time yet. Over 750 of us shuffled our way into The Great Hall at Walkers Stadium for LOROS’ Annual Ladies Luncheon. In fact, The Great Hall wasn’t great enough. There was an overflow in the next room with a video link for the speeches and auction.

The speaker was Ann Widdecombe. For those of you who live outside the UK, Miss Widdecombe is a formidable lady, a retired MP who last year became our favourite Saturday night entertainment. She appeared on Strictly Come Dancing and was continually voted in by the public in spite of the judges declaring her to be a “de-sas-ter, dah-ling!” Her dancing skills may have received record low points, but as an after dinner speaker she scored a unanimous 10 out of 10 with us. She has perfect comedy timing, holding us enthralled in a story one minute and laughing out loud another. What an entertainer!

The food was good too. Here’s my starter...

...but I’m afraid that I was so busy chatting and scoffing that I forgot to photograph the rest of the food. All I can say it that it was delicious, which is no easy task with over 750 to cater for.

LOROS, or the Leicestershire and Rutland Hospice to give it its full name, is a specialist centre providing skilled nursing and medical care, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers. Lady Gratton, the President, told us that many patients arrive expecting the hospice to be a sombre, serious place but what they find is quite the opposite. The hospice provides emotional, spiritual and social care for both patients and their families. It’s not about preparing to die, but about living for the day.

It sounds like LOROS offer the same high level of care that my mum was given at Harley Grange Nursing Home, the same high level of care that we expect our hospitals to provide... how sad and distressing to learn that in many cases hospitals fail to do that.

Around the time of my mum’s death I had to step back from my hospital campaign. Sadly, but not surprisingly, there are still problems. People are still stopping me in the streets to tell me of yet another appalling case experienced by an elderly friend or relative in hospital. Can somebody out there answer me this one question?

If LOROS can look after our frail elderly with care and dignity, and if Harley Grange Nursing Home can look after our frail elderly with care and dignity, then why can’t our hospitals?


  1. Ann Widdecombe! Wow! The lunch looks and sounds fabulous, Rosalind.

  2. Sounds a lovely lunch. Frightfully arty starter....
    Annie looks like she was wearing chintz?

  3. It seems so strange that local medical facilities need to rely on voluntary donations.

    Looks and sounds like it was a fabulous lunch, though! :-)

  4. Wonderful cause. Our local hospice has just started a full home support service for those who want to stay in their own home. I was at a ladies luncheon this week too, for NSPCC, at Woburn Abbey. The Duchess drew the raffle. We had Eton Mess for dessert. I made a mess on the posh tablecloth.

  5. A wonderful lunch. A worthy cause.

    Some nursing homes, in my experience with my daughter (for an occasional respite) haven't been good either. So sometimes it's not just the hospitals. But your LOROS and Harley Grange do sound like they're excellent facilities. That cheers me.
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

  6. Anne Widdecome is a legend. Saw her on Piers Morgan recently. She is a formidable woman. Love her to bits. What a great night and a great cause!

  7. That starter looked scrummy, and having Anne Widdecome too, whow! But what an amamzing cause you support.

  8. Yes, Talli, it was scrummy.

    Hi Jo, Ann did look very lovely. I was expecting something far more severe.

    Agreed, K.C. It should be centrally funded in my opinion.

    Hi Christine, I think you've just gone one better than me. The Duchess, indeed!

  9. Hi Ann, sorry to hear you've had bad experiences with Nursing Home respite for your daughter. I hope you've found somewhere you can trust now.

    Hi Barbara, yes and she's far more impressive in real life, what's more!

    Hi Pauline, it is definitely a worthwhile cause.

  10. I think there are great hospitals and great care facilities. Sadly poor ones exist as well.

  11. Hi Ros .. our hospices' down here are great - and my aunt was one of the first who was nursed at home by the outreach carers and my uncle, then when he needed treatment - they recognised him, which was nice .. sadly we have a two week hospice stay and then they have to move .. he died in my mother's care home - it wasn't perfect at the time .. and I was upset as I'd put the wheels in place - the communication, at handover, between a Chinese and a Philippino didn't work & the Manager didn't check .. It's better now - and Mum's care is fine ..

    So pleased the day was fun - I imagine Ann Widdecombe would be extremely amusing .. they need all the funds they can get .. cheers Hilary

  12. What a good cause.

  13. Anonymous is really me - Better is Possible. For some reason I'm not able to post any comments from my google account. Hope the problem fixes itself.
    Anyhow, as I said above what a great cause.

  14. I concur with your last question. I will never understand why elder care is not funded by the government and why often the elderly are neglected and abused. It's the same here in the States, and an absolute shame. What a great way to benefit better care; if only more people and places too such initiative, but 750 people is something to be proud for!