Posted by: Linda Proud | March 17, 2009

An Infirmary for the Infirm

I learnt it on Time Team this week – an infirmary was where the old and sick went for simple care. Perhaps that’s what the Radcliffe Infirmary was, the old hospital in Jericho pulled down for development a year or so ago. Certainly it’s where geratology used to be. Now that it’s in the John Radcliffe, everything has changed because this industrial-sized hospital on its hill overlooking Oxford is ‘acute’. I’m not sure of all the ins and outs of that, only that it means another set of rules for the staff of Adams Ward to work by which happen to be irrelevant at best, irrational at worst. And that is why they are unhappy.

The wheels grind slowly. After a week or so complaining about Mum’s lost glasses, someone asked me the name of the optician yesterday. Who knows – perhaps Mum will get her hair done today, for the first time since admission.

Tomorrow I’ve been called in to see the Matron. At least they want to know what I have to say.



  1. I worked on Adams ward many years ago in the old Radcliffe Infirmary. How is the care there now? Honestly, I liked my coworkers personally, but I thought they were a rather lazy bunch as far as work ethic.

  2. The care on Adams ward was the worst we experienced in the JR. Mum's last stint was in Emergency, where she stayed for nearly two months. Maybe it was because I utterly refused permission for her to be moved to 'another ward' if that ward was Adams which led to her being discharged home. It was the best thing, since she died being cared for by her family and a dedicated team who came in three times a day and were wonderful. The whole experience at the JR – of rotating teams of nurses and invisible doctors – was so upsetting that David and I have resolved to keep out of hospital at all costs, even if it means dying younger.

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