West Suffolk Hospital staff make sure Patricia can cast her vote

G5 ward sister Helen Ballam, Patricia Du'fell, nursing assistant Sharon Forder and ward manager Charlotte King. ANL-150805-141437001
G5 ward sister Helen Ballam, Patricia Du'fell, nursing assistant Sharon Forder and ward manager Charlotte King. ANL-150805-141437001
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When Patricia Du’fell realised she would be in hospital during the election she was upset she would not be able to vote.

But when the staff on West Suffolk Hospital’s Ward G5 realised how much it meant to the 82-year-old from Stanton, they set about finding out how to get her a proxy vote.

A grateful Patricia, who is recovering from an operation on a broken pelvis, said: “They didn’t know how to go about it but they did it. I thought it was marvellous.

“Being in hospital has made me realise that a lot is taken for granted. They’re understaffed, under pressure and overstretched. In accident and emergency, I don’t know how they cope at all. Yet we’ve got such wonderful staff – they do so much for you.

“The chief executive came to see me and I said how upset I was at what I’d seen – I’ve never seen people under such stress. I hope Mr Cameron stands by them and gives them more money.”

Patricia said UKIP’s West Suffolk prospective parliamentary candidate Julian Flood visited her in hospital and brought her proxy papers.

“I didn’t win, “ Patricia admitted.

Ward manager Charlotte King said it was the ward co-ordinator Sally Heard who did the hard work.

Charlotte said: “She kept saying she was only doing her job, but she worked really hard – she went above and beyond.

“It is Patricia’s right and we would have done it for anyone, but in all my years in nursing I’ve never had the request.

Helen Ballam, G5 ward sister, said: ”We always try and do our best to ensure all of our patients have a good experience while at West Suffolk Hospital, but this is the first time we have ever been asked to do anything like this.

“We are really pleased that we were able to help and Miss Du’fell could exercise her democratic right.”