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?