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NHS 'second to none', says Norwich pensioner

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:53 02 July 2010

Ann Whatley on the road to recovery with help from Norfolk's community health team

Ann Whatley on the road to recovery with help from Norfolk's community health team

Dan Grimmer

A 78-year-old woman who has suffered months of pain due to a debilitating condition has said the devotion and care given to her by NHS and social care staff was 'second to none'.

A 78-year-old woman who has suffered months of pain due to a debilitating condition has said the devotion and care given to her by NHS and social care staff was “second to none”.

Ann Whatley felt compelled to publicly thank the nurses who have taken care of her since January this year because she felt she could not have coped without them.

The grandmother-of-three from Cannell Green, North Norwich, has had osteoporosis - a serious disease of the bones which can lead to fractures - for about 20 years.

She has suffered a number of “episodes” over the years but became particularly bad in January when she developed a very severe pain in her back.

She called her GP surgery - St Stephen's Gate Medical Practice in Wessex Street - and she said she had “fantastic care” from the outset.

“They were sympathetic and offered me help straight away,” she said. “They organised a rapid response team for me immediately and before I knew it staff had come in to take care of me. I didn't have to go to hospital which was really important as all the care was adequate at home.

“The staff were really friendly and sensitive at the same time, they supplied me with a walking frame and equipment to help me get out of bed and around the house. They also left me a snack in the fridge.”

Mrs Watling, who is divorced and has a 52-year-old daughter Alison, who lives nearby said her condition is gradually improving but she has relapses, sometimes at night.

She said: “A couple of times I have suffered a bad episode at night which is scary as I literally could not move. I called the Night Owls service and they sent some one out straight away and sorted everything out for me quickly and calmly. I got a pressure sore and their care was immediate and responsive. It all ran like clockwork but their care is also carried out with good humour. My carers are absolutely lovely.

“People are constantly knocking health services but I can't thank the people who help me enough.”

The Rapid Response Team services are run by NHS Norfolk and the Night Owls Service by Social Services.

Both NHS Norfolk and Adult Social Services have pledged to help more people at home over the coming years, with less people needing hospital treatment.

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