Late Hartlepool Mail journalist Paul Watson’s room is patients’ haven

The Paul Watson room at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.
The Paul Watson room at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

A ROOM set up in memory of a Hartlepool Mail journalist is fast becoming a haven for the patients it serves.

The Paul Watson Room was first unveiled to the public in July - paid for partly through a donation from the Hartlepool Mail.

Since then, staff and patients at the University Hospital of Hartlepool have used it as a space for quiet reflection or as an area where patients can meet in confidence with staff.

And the overall message from the people who use it was “it is a quite lovely room to have.”

The room can be found within the chemotherapy unit at the hospital.

Rosie Livingston, chemotherapy nurse specialist, said: “It is being used a lot and it is lovely. It might be somewhere to go for staff to speak to a patient.

“Or it is sometimes used by patients who do not want to be in a crowd of people.

“We also have a counsellor who comes from North Tees to use it as well.

“I would say it is used on most days of the week even if it is just for someone who needs a quiet place to chat.”

The Hartlepool Mail’s own charity account helped pay for a plaque on the door as well as flooring, paint and blinds while a generous donation from Alan Martin, in memory of his wife Pat, meant a new sofa could be bought.

A colourful painting in memory of Pat has also kept its place in the room.

The plaque reads: “In memory of Paul Watson from the Hartlepool Mail and a good friend of the chemotherapy unit.”

Paul was the Mail’s head of news. He passed away aged 50 after suffering a massive heart attack late in 2012, leaving behind long-term partner Pauline Scott.

In his time at the newspaper, he made dear friends at the chemotherapy section after writing about their incredible work.

After hearing of Paul’s death, the staff there decided to pay their own permanent tribute to him and, after months of work, the room in his memory was unveiled.

The Paul Watson Room is in good hands.

Staff at the chemotherapy unit are regular award winners.

In fact, they collected the Team of the Year honour at the Hartlepool Mail-backed Best of Health awards for a fourth year in succession earlier this year.