CAMPAIGNERS decided to say it with chocolates as a way of showing their love for NHS staff.
Members of Save the Alex handed out more than 120 boxes of Thorntons chocolates, funded by the Kingfisher Shopping Centre, to staff from all areas of the Alexandra Hospital as part of the #loveNHS campaign.
The gifts were also given to staff working within the 22 GP surgeries in Redditch and Bromsgrove as well as the Princess of Wales Community Hospital and Hill Crest mental health unit. They were well received by staff who agreed to pose with campaigners for pictures, which were posted on social media, with many saying how wonderful it was to be appreciated.
Neal Stote, chairman of the Save the Alex campaign, said: “We just wanted to do something to show our appreciation for the staff and their hard work and to see so many happy faces in return was wonderful.”
The gesture was slightly overshadowed by a row with bosses at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust who were upset permission had not been sought from them and that by entering wards campaigners had represented an infection control risk. They also said the taking of photos breached patient confidentiality as whiteboards with sensitive information were captured in the background of some shots and in one case a patient.
As a result staff were reminded about the rules regarding allowing visitors on wards.
Mr Stote said they had not sought permission from Trust management as a previous attempt to plant daffodils in tribute to the staff within the grounds of the hospital had been blocked by Mr Turner and they feared the same response.
He added they had sought permission from the senior sister in charge of each ward, remained in the reception area at all times and followed infection control measures including using alcohol hand gel before entering wards.
Mr Stote said staff had warned them to be careful about capturing any identifying information but unfortunately two images showing a whiteboard in the background with names on and one of a patient in the distant background had slipped through, but they had now been deleted.
The Trust did not respond to a request for comment.