BEST OF HEALTH AWARDS; A poem to say thanks to hospital team

Albert and Florence Armstrong pictured with the Chemotherapy team.
Albert and Florence Armstrong pictured with the Chemotherapy team.

A pensioner has said a huge thank you to the caring health team who helped her win a two-year fight against cancer.

Florence Armstrong, 76, from the Hart Lane area of Hartlepool, was told she had cancerous cells in her blood around two years ago.

In the worrying months that followed, her care and treatment was expertly handled by a team of caring professionals.

She needed blood transfusions and constant support from the Chemotherapy/Haematology Day Unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

But Florence admitted: “I never once felt panicky. I had absolute confidence in their abilities because they didn’t just tell me what I wanted to hear. I believed and trusted them.”

Florence was first diagnosed when tests showed her blood count had dropped. “It was really low and I was starting to pass out,” she said.

“I had tests and they showed I was producing blood cells which were destroying the good red cells.”

The mother-of-three began treatment which included blood transfusions, sometimes twice a day. “I was in the chemotherapy ward once a week in the early days,” she said.

But two years on, the former clerical worker has won her health fight. New tests have shown there are no signs of any cancerous cells in her system and she only needs once-a-month treatment for anaemia.

Florence said: “I can’t thank these people enough. I never once went home worried during the whole time I was treated there.”

Husband Albert, 81, a former works manager at Siemens, was so moved by the treatment his wife received, he entered the chemotherapy team into this year’s Best of Health awards.

The team has a fantastic record of winning the Team of the Year award in the competition for the last three years running.

And following Albert’s nomination, a string of others soon followed. But Albert went one step further and wrote a poem of thanks to the team.

Chemotherapy nurse specialist Rosie Livingston said: “It is lovely that they have entered us into the awards and for Albert to write the poem.

“We are here to do the best we can but it is always nice when someone appreciates the job we do.”

It could not be easier for people to nominate their health heroes.

All you have to do is fill in the form HERE

In all categories, judges will be looking for evidence of how nominated teams and individuals have consistently delivered high quality patient-centred services and/or examples of demonstrating an excellent attitude towards patients in the Hartlepool area.

Send your completed forms to Lynn Wild, Echo House, Sunderland, SR4 9ER.

The deadline for entries is Monday, May 6, and nominations can be made by members of the public or colleagues.


The welcome is always very since,

The atmosphere inviting and warm,

The hand reaching out to welcome you,

Has a feeling of care that’s well worn,

They seem to sense how you’re feeling,

With a touch, a look and a smile,

The hand that guides you along the way,

Has strength to take you that extra mile,

It’s not just the nurses that make this team,

It’s the assistants and non-medical staff,

All guided by doctors who know their worth,

Who can dispense their skills with a laugh,

On behalf of all your patients,

Those that were, those that are, and those to be,

Please continue to do just as you always do,

A warm smile and a kind word, given skilfully.