My husband died a month ago in the Wansbeck hospital.
During the week that he was a patient he could not have been treated better and the staff could not have been kinder or more caring, not only of him but of all our family.
We were with him 24 hours a day and never felt in the way or unwelcome. There was always a friendly word and an offer of a cup or tea and all our questions were readily answered.
In addition, there is a lovely quiet room, oasis, for the use of the relatives of patients on palliative care.
It offers sofas and reclining chairs, a microwave, fridge and the makings of tea and coffee all provided. On several occasions, we heated our own evening meal in the microwave and ate in peace and quiet. The sliding windows open onto a patio garden looked after by volunteers.
There is an attached wet room with an ample supply of good towels. When you have been up most of the night a shower is really reviving.
We are really lucky to have such a good hospital and my family and I will always be grateful, particularly to the doctors and all the staff on Ward Five.
We have been holiday visitors to Alnmouth since 1987. Our mother Joyce Gardner has accompanied us on each visit. She loved Northumberland and Alnmouth is like a second home to us all. Over the years, our stay has extended from two to four weeks.
In the first week of our holiday this year, Joyce was taken ill with pneumonia and admitted to Wansbeck as an emergency. She was treated there for nearly three weeks before being transferred to the Alnwick Infirmary.
It was hoped she would eventually be strong enough to return to her home in Rickmansworth (over 300 miles away) but she had a relapse.
After a further three weeks in Alnwick, she died peacefully on July 29, aged 92.
The care she received from Dr Cox, the GPs, the nursing teams and ancillary staff in the Infirmary was outstanding and our whole family was enveloped by warmth and a genuine sympathy for the situation in which we found ourselves.
We would also like to say a special thank-you to the Chaplain Janice Robinson. She was a great strength to all of us, giving spiritual comfort and insisting we went off for a break while she stayed with Joyce.
We cannot adequately express what all this meant to us in our time of need, but can only extend our sincere thanks to everyone who helped Joyce end her life peacefully in the county she loved.
Josta Gardner and Enid Ruff,
Stevenson Avenue, Breaston