Mayor ‘scrubs up’ for new role

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By DAVID SEY­MOUR david.sey­mour@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk @Et­david­sey­mour

PETER­BOR­OUGH’S first cit­i­zen swapped May­oral robes for med­i­cal scrubs for a day in the life of a pae­di­atric nurse.

Mayor of Peter­bor­ough Cllr Paula Thacker cleared her busy sched­ule of civic ap­point­ments yes­ter­day to spend the day with staff and the young pa­tients on Peter­bor­ough City Hospi­tal’s Ama­zon ward.

It fol­lowed an auc­tion in sup­port of the Fam­ily Voice Peter­bor­ough char­ity last month, for which Cllr Thacker - vice chair­man of the good cause - do­nated her ser­vices as one of 22 money-can’t-buy ex­pe­ri­ences.

Staff from the chil­dren’s ward were the high­est bid­der at £100.

The Wer­ring­ton South ward mem­ber said she had been “de­lighted” to have been “bought” by the Ama­zon ward, say­ing at one time she feared she may spend the day wash­ing cars.

Deputy sis­ter on the ward Liz Power (42) ex­plained the mo­ti­va­tion be­hind the bid.

She said: “We just thought it was great idea for her to come and see what we do on a daily ba­sis.

“I think peo­ple think we have a lot of fun and play all the day with a bit of medicine in be­tween. We just thought it would a re­ally good idea for her to see how a busy pae­di­atric ward runs and the chal­lenges we face on a daily ba­sis.”

Ar­riv­ing to be­gin work at 9am, Cllr Thacker donned nurs­ing scrubs, or ‘blues’, to do­nate her ser­vices un­til 5pm, though not be­fore re­mov­ing her chains of of­fice.

She said: “I did come in with my chains but now I’m in ‘blues’, and you would not know who I am.

“One of the sis­ters came up to one of the nurses and said ‘I thought we were hav­ing the mayor this morn­ing’. I said ‘I’m here’. She said ‘You fit in, I did not recog­nise you’.”

Chief among Cllr Thacker’s work yes­ter­day was sup­port­ing the young pa­tients and their fam­i­lies - and not just those be­ing treated on the wards.

She spoke with chil­dren dur­ing their jour­neys to and from theatre, ahead of them go­ing un­der anaes­thetic and pro­vided a lis­ten­ing ear, and even a hug, for par­ents while the pro­ce­dures took place.

In ad­di­tion to the Ama­zon ward, she also made vis­its to the Rain­for­est Out­pa­tients Depart­ment and the Jun­gle As­sess­ment Unit, linked to the hospi­tal’s Emer­gency Depart­ment.

She said it had been an en­joy­able, if at times chal­leng­ing, ex­pe­ri­ence, ad­mit­ting she had shed “a few tears”.

She said: “I’m lov­ing it. Although some­times when you know the chil­dren are re­ally poorly it’s up­set­ting.

“It’s been very, very in­ter­est­ing. I’m re­ally pleased they bid for me. I think I will give them their money back so they can spend it on some­thing they need be­cause they want lots of equip­ment.”

And Mrs Power was quick to give Cllr Thacker a glow­ing ref­er­ence.

She said: “It’s been lovely to have her with us. She’s re­ally en­gaged with the chil­dren beau­ti­fully.”

LEARN­ING THE ROPES: City Mayor Paula Thacker with ward man­ager Jayne Rootham. (METP-04-05-12PF401) AMA­ZON WOMAN: City Mayor Paula Thacker (left), spends a day at Peter­bor­ough City Hospi­tal on Ama­zon Ward – pic­tured with, left, ward man­ager Jayne Rootham, Sarah An­drews, and pa­tient Jamie An­drews, (6).

(METP-04-0512PF405) Picture:

PAUL FRANKS

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