“You took a precious person under your care and the way you have restored them has been nothing short of miraculous ... their illness has been made more bearable by your tender loving care.”
That is just one of the unsolicited testimonials received by NHS Borders last year from patients and family members praising the quality of care they and their loved ones received.
A selection of these expressions of gratitude has, for the first time, been published in a new and upbeat report on the positive achievements of the local health authority and its staff.
One patient wrote: “I was shown so many random acts of kindness all the way through my stay, from a nurse helping me shower at 2.30am and doctor bringing me some of her own tea, to a cleaner who would smile and chat, and so many more.”
Another wrote to say: “Throughout my stay, I was treated promptly, professionally and with great kindness by everyone who was involved in my care, from the consultant, the ward and A&E doctors, all the nurses and ancillary staff ... the domestic staff and porters were so kind and helpful and the food was excellent.”
Entitled “Celebrating Our Success”, the 16-page NHS Borders report showcases the accomplishments of the organisation and its workforce from April, 2014 to March this year.
During these 12 months, the Borders General Hospital was named as one of the top 40 hospitals in the UK, while stroke treatment in the region was deemed the best in Scotland by NHS Scotland.
Individuals were also acknowledged, including cancer nurse specialist Judith Smith who received an MBE for “outstanding service to the Borders community” and community pharmacist George Romanes who received the Special Recognition Award at the annual Scottish Pharmacy Awards.
In his introduction to the report, health board chairman John Raine praised employees “who go the extra mile every day to care for the people of the Borders”.
“Whilst celebrating our success, we must be mindful that…we face a number of challenges as the population ages and continues to live with an increasing number of multiple conditions,” said Mr Raine.
In a message to the Borders public, he added: “We must all, therefore, take a collective responsibility to look after our health and, over the next year, we will be asking you to engage with us and tell us what matters to you, so that together we can shape the future of health and social care services in the region.”