Date of release: 6 May 2023
Patients joined in the coronation celebrations by adding their own Royal seal of approval at Cannock Chase Hospital.
Fairoak Ward, which looks after stroke and elderly patients, was decked out fit for a King after patients and staff put out the bunting to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III and the Queen Consort.
Patient Anne Wearing (centre) holding the artwork of King Charles III, flanked by Occupational Therapy (OT) Assistants Chelsea Walker, left, and Marlene Williams.
Patients made their own red, white and blue hats, as well as contributing to a giant piece of artwork on display commemorating the King. A tea party was also held for patients, who also watched the event on a large TV in the day room on the ward.
Anne Wearing, 71, was one of several patients who made hats. She was only a year old for the coronation of the late Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, so she doesn’t remember it growing up in Northumberland, before moving to Cannock as a young child for her dad’s job as a miner.
“Doing things like this, I have as much social life here as I do outside!” said the retired primary schoolteacher from Great Wyrley. “When you want a change of scene, this provides the perfect answer.
“There’s no escape – once you start on something, you can’t stop and it lifts your spirits.”
A major stroke on 14 March that affected Anne’s heart, lungs and kidneys was so severe that her family was called to say goodbye to her.
But helped by the staff at New Cross Hospital, where she spent six weeks, and Fairoak, where she has been for just over a fortnight, she has made a remarkable recovery.
Engaging the patients in arts and crafts is one of the ways staff use to stimulate patients, and events such as the coronation offer themes to involve them in to help restore their cognitive ability.
Jo Kerrison, OT Team Lead and a Specialist Occupational Therapist, said: “It’s about setting our patients goals and objectives. We provide a group therapy programme that includes exercise, arts and crafts and the opportunity to practice their kitchen skills.
“This is so we can see how they are preparing drinks and food on their own, as well as advice for when they are discharged on falls, footwear and exercise. It also gets them out of bed and gives them a social outlet
“Some patients are here for a long time and so we try to link our work with current national events. If we’re looking at cognitive rehabilitation, the coronation was perfect to orientate them to what’s going on in the wider world. You see the happiness it brings and it translates to the staff.”
Marlene Williams, Occupational Therapy (OT) Assistant on Fairoak, said: “We plan sessions for the patients and it’s really good to see them engage with it because it helps their recovery and it’s good fun for everyone. Seeing if they can hold a pen or pencil also tells us how they are in their recovery.
“It gives us a lot of pleasure to see what the patients do and we put their efforts on display so their loved ones can see what they’ve been doing.”