Letter of the week: hospital is no cottage

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Mr Judge (Advertiser, January 17) suggests S. Cross is no more than “a cottage hospital”. He doesn’t attempt to define this but I think we all have a concept. It is not a description I recognise and it does scant justice to the very professional staff who work there. I am no expert on “cottage hospitals” so perhaps Mr Judge can tell me which cottage hospital has these facilities (the figures I quote are for a full year)? Theatres performing some 7,500 operations; outpatient department seeing over 81,000 patients; A&E department treating nearly 34,000 patients. I don’t know of a cottage hospital that has the range of diagnostic equipment we find at St Cross. We also have a £2million macular unit delivering specialist eye treatment, a new clinic for sexually transmitted diseases and an excellent diabetic unit complete with a mobile retinal screening unit providing a Warwickshire-wide service and joint funded by the Friends of St Cross; not to be forgotten is another excellent service in the cardiac rehabilitation unit recently moved to new and better accommodation in a project which moved the Mulberry Unit from its old accommodation into the modern ward buildings on the site and again part funded by the Friends of St Cross. Neither do I know of a cottage hospital boasting a renal dialysis unit which has expanded from eight beds to 18 providing very much needed treatment and which enables Rugby patients to be treated at St Cross instead of University Hospital. Mr Judge mentions several retired consultants from whose skills Rugby patients have benefited. One, Mr Ron Parker, lately Professor Parker, established a trial bowel screening unit at St Cross. That unit is now permanently established and covers the West Midlands and North West Regions, the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland; it alone sends out over a million test kits a year thus helping in the early detection of bowel cancer. Mr Judge refers to Mr Ian Sharp, of fond memory. In that era St Cross had two orthopaedic consultants (later 3); now Rugby patients have access to over 20 consultants in this specialty. Please let’s not be disparaging to St.Cross.

Tony Cousins

Assistant Secretary

Friends of the Hospital of St Cross