Dedication ceremony for two former Conquest Hospital colleagues

The dedication ceremony
The dedication ceremony

Butterflies and balloons soared skywards as staff at Macdonald Ward at the Conquest Hospital paid tribute to two former colleagues.

The occasion was the inauguration of a new secure outdoor area which will give vulnerable patients who are unaware of personal danger opportunity to enjoy fresh air during their hospital stay.

The League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital has shared the £12,194 cost of creating the secure area with the Conquest league.

The Bexhill League was represented at last Friday evening’s event by its chairman, councillor Stuart Earl, treasurer Chris Ashford, secretary Ann Dowling and president John Dowling, the Conquest league by chairman Bill Hamilton and colleagues.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs both the Conquest and Eastbourne DGH, as well as Bexhill Hospital, was represented by chairman Stuart Welling, acting chief executive Richard Sunley and director of nursing Alice Webster.

The new outdoor area was dedicated in prayer to the memory of Glaswegian sister Debbie McKay and sister Belinda ‘Bill’ Smith by the Rev Cecilia Weathers of the hospital chaplaincy service.

The friends died within six months of each other.

Piper Andrew Somerville, who entertained throughout the reception, played Amazing Grace as friends and colleagues releases balloons and butterflies from the memorial shrub bed given by staff.

The 28-bed Macdonald Ward treats the medical conditions of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, enabling them to return home or to nursing homes.

Welcoming guests and paying tribute to her former colleagues, ward matron Monica Golding said the sisters had come to Macdonald Ward two years ago when it began its specialist work.

She thanked the leagues of friends for their support in the creation of the secure outdoor area.

Dr Richard Wray, a Conquest league committee member, had brokered the joint occasion as part of an initiative to promote closer working between the Bexhill and Conquest leagues.

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