Strict rules on hospital flowers

SIR - In response to Rose Tyler (letters, February 19) and her shock at not being able to send flowers to the Lister Hospital. I am a senior ward sister at The Lister Hospital and banned the display of flowers on my surgical ward over two years ago. This

SIR - In response to Rose Tyler (letters, February 19) and her shock at not being able to send flowers to the Lister Hospital.

I am a senior ward sister at The Lister Hospital and banned the display of flowers on my surgical ward over two years ago.

This is because flowers and the water they sit in pose numerous health hazards. They can harbour bacteria which can be easily transferred to the sick patient, they are a health and safety risk if knocked over and the patients have limited space by their bedsides to accommodate floral displays.

All of this would have been clarified to Ms Tyler upon request. This is the reason behind the ban, not as Ms Tyler suggests that The Lister does not have enough nurses to care for its patients, let alone their flowers.


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The majority of the wards at The Lister are running at full nursing establishment and those which are not are continually recruiting new staff.

I suggest Ms Tyler sends her floral thoughts to her loved ones once they return home and lets the nurses at The Lister get on with 'the fine job' that we are doing.

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LESLEY S COWLING RGN

Willian Road

Hitchin

SIR - I work as an assistant ward housekeeper at Lister Hospital and read Rose Tyler's letter 'Not saying it with flowers' with interest.

It is very true that we do not have time to tend to patients' flowers. The reason for this is that a hospital ward is an incredibly busy place-often more so than patients, visitors and relatives see.

Nurses spend their precious time helping people to get better, a job that they get little or no thanks for.

Jobs need to be prioritised and care of patient flowers is not exactly at the top of the list!

Another reason for not allowing flowers is that many staff and patients are in fact allergic to them - which can have life threatening consequences.

The only advice that I can give to people wanting to send a gift to someone in hospital is to consider silk flowers or perhaps a fruit basket.

Mrs SUSAN RANDLE

Parishes Mead

Stevenage

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