Councillors from Haslemere and across Surrey joined other much more important guests today, to see HRH Princess Alexandra open the new St Hugh’s Education Centre at the Holy Cross Hospital in the town.
Holy Cross is run by a charity principally that looks after severely disabled people, some of whom have long-term needs, some of whom are able to leave after a period of rehabilitation. The hospital gets most of its patients by referral from the NHS, which funds their treatment.
A kindly member of staff gave this councillor a guided tour and to the writer’s eyes, the hospital seemed to have the very best in terms of facilities, laid out in a warm, calm environment, managed by staff who were clearly devoted the needs of the people in their care. There are 120 staff to look after 40 patients, all of whom have their own rooms with en-suite facilities and a view over peaceful gardens.
The Princess charmed everyone there and spent a good deal of time talking to patients, staff and visitors alike.
The difficulties faced by many of the patients are not to be underestimated but Holy Cross would seem to offer the best possible environment for a long, comfortable and dignified existence. Long may it continue.