Stroud Hospitals League of Friends held its AGM at Stroud Subscription Rooms on Tuesday 15 September 2015 with the President, Dr Roy Lamb, in the Chair.

The special guest was Mr David Jones, Consultant Urologist who conducts clinics at Stroud General Hospital.  Mr Jones gave an extremely interesting and lively account of “A Voyage Around My Career; 30 years in Urology”.  He joined the Royal Air Force as General Surgeon serving in Dubai, Cyprus and Italy but it was whilst assisting another Surgeon with a bladder stone operation that his interest in urology was ignited.  He left the Air Force in 1990 and joined the NHS in Gloucestershire where he has pursued his career in urology, and has been recently elected to the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.  Mr Jones outlined various stages in the development of urological treatments from catheters in use from Roman times, keyhole surgery, fibre optics and most recently the use of robotic machines operated by Surgeons.

The meeting was well attended by committee members, volunteers and members of the public as well as Sister Carole White who was deputising at the meeting for the Matron of Stroud General Hospital, Juliette Richardson.

David Miller, Chairman of the League of Friends, thanked the League of Friends volunteers and members for their fine support, hard work and dedication throughout the year.  Over £177,000 has been allocated during 2014 to purchase equipment and other items to help supplement and enhance the care provided by the staff at the Stroud Hospitals.  Items purchased include blood pressure monitors, a flow meter for the Urology clinic, television and toys for the Bowbridge waiting area, binocular operating loupes for the Minor Surgery Suite and an Aurical machine to aid hearing test/hearing aid fitting as well as a large donation towards the purchase of a new screening van for the provision of a mobile Diabetic Eye Screening Service which is making regular visits to Stroud General Hospital for outpatient appointments.

At the meeting the League also agreed to the purchase of a Pachymeter – a small hand-held and portable device used to measure the central thickness of the cornea of the eye, and a Tonometer – a portable hand-held device to measure intraocular pressure of the eye by nursing staff as part of investigations before a patient sees the consultant.  A Rollercoaster Table which is a play table for use by children whilst in the waiting room had been requested by the Children and Young People Service currently based at Marsberg House next to Stroud Hospital and this was also agreed.

The Trustees of the Friends again stressed that it is extremely important for the people of our community to use our local hospitals, Stroud Maternity Hospital and Stroud General Hospital and to ask to use Stroud Hospitals when they need consultations or treatment.

On Wednesday 16 September, BBC Radio Gloucestershire spent the day broadcasting from Stroud General Hospital.  They spoke with and interviewed staff and volunteers including our Chairman, David Miller and our Volunteer Rota Co-ordinator, Janet Smith.  Matron, Juliette Richardson was also interviewed and was able to explain to listeners about generally how the hospital works and how everyone at the hospital strives to provide patient focussed care that is safe, effective and of the highest quality, working with the League of Friends and our local community to make this happen.

The photo shows, from left to right:  David Miller – Chairman of League of Friends, Rachel Stonehouse – Journalist BBC Radio Gloucestershire, Janet Smith – Volunteer Rota Co-ordinator, Mary Clayton – Volunteer, Jean Clarke – Volunteer, Susan Strongitharm – League of Friends Administrator and Melissa Hamblett – Journalist BBC Radio Gloucestershire