The Archbishop of Westminster has lavished praise on the charitable Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth for its ‘remarkable and proud’ history and its enduring dedication to patients.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Charity’s new Patron, said it had become a beacon of high standard healthcare whilst maintaining its core principles.
The Cardinal – the 11th Archbishop of Westminster – toured the Hospital and Hospice meeting staff and patients and witnessed its modern and efficient facilities in operation; He toured the whole Hospital visiting the Outpatients, Cardiology, Respiratory and Imaging departments.
The Cardinal even hopped onto an exercise bike to show off his fitness to the Physiotherapists in the gym.
Then he put on a hard hat and hi-vis jacket to tour St Francis Ward, which is currently a building site as a total refurbishment is being undertaken.
The urgent care centre, Casualty First, where the average waiting time for walk-in patients is just 12 minutes, was hugely impressive along with standards across all departments, he said.
Cardinal Nichols visited the Hospice Day and Inpatient Unit and on meeting a hospice patient in the garden and said: “The Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth has a remarkable and proud history rooted in the selfless generosity of the Sisters of Mercy.
“The Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth continues to build on that great history and its core values.”
Our Hospital had just 20 beds when it was founded in 1856 by Cardinal Wiseman and Dr Manning, later a Cardinal, – the 1st and 2nd Archbishops of Westminster – with the Sisters of Mercy who had served with Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War.
Since then, it has established itself and become London’s leading charitable hospital with state-of-the-art facilities, world class consultants and excellent nursing care.
“I’m sure that Cardinal Manning and all those who were Cardinals at its foundation would be proud to see this ultra modern enterprise which achieves the highest standards of healthcare which is continually renewing itself and serving the sick, especially through its Hospice” added Cardinal Nichols.
“I am proud to continue the tradition of the Archbishop of Westminster, being the Patron of the Hospital.
“Long may it flourish. May God bless this great work.”
He also praised the unique model of the Charity – with profits from the private Hospital funding free care for over 4,000 patients and their families in the on-site Hospice, St John’s
CEO Caroline Fox said:”It was a honour to have the Cardinal, our new Patron, visit and undertake such a lengthy tour – really getting to know every aspect of our Charity.
“Our staff were thrilled to meet him.”