Unsung heroes

PUBLISHED: 13:19 01 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:30 06 May 2010

SIR — On Saturday, September 19, a reunion of over 300 staff who had worked at Shenley and Hill End Hospitals was held in Chiswell Green. Staff who had worked in these hospitals spanning over five decades attended from all over the UK and some had travell

SIR - On Saturday, September 19, a reunion of over 300 staff who had worked at Shenley and Hill End Hospitals was held in Chiswell Green.

Staff who had worked in these hospitals spanning over five decades attended from all over the UK and some had travelled from abroad, one person from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The purpose of this letter is to remind readers that for many years within the St Albans area, there were a number of mental hospitals, all of which have now closed.

For well over 100 years people were well cared for in these Institutions which in their day provided asylum and sanctuary for those in need.

At the reunion, people spoke affectionately of those days and many of the staff, who have now retired, still continue to hold the NHS in high regard.

It is also pertinent that these people often worked in difficult conditions and were not particularly well paid but were the backbone of mental health services.

I would like to take this opportunity to publicly express my admiration and appreciation to those staff who so unselfishly dedicated their working lives to the mentally ill.

My thanks also go to Brenda Nahaul, Sally Andrews and Maureen Simmonds for organising this event.

DR PETER CARTER

Chief executive and

general secretary

Royal College of Nursing

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