Call 01905 642500

 

Celinda dadHi all. How many of you are shocked and horrified at the news every morning as you are having your first cup of tea or coffee? I sometimes don’t watch the news because I despair at the terrible things I hear happening all over the world from chemical attacks in Syria to terrorist attacks in our own capital.

And yet, despite all of this terrible news, there is hope. As many of you might know from previous blogs and news, my 91 year old Dad has gone blind through severe glaucoma. He has been having two hourly treatment which I and other sisters have been managing in 24/7 care. A recent trip to a local store brought hope in challenging times that touched my heart. My Dad wears a cap that says what he is – World War II Veteran. A woman came up to us as we sat on a bench waiting for my mother to finish wandering around the shop and asked if Dad was indeed a War veteran. He said yes and told her where he was stationed and that he was responsible for releasing the prisoners of Auschwitz, and I saw on his lined face the recall of the horrors he witnessed. This lovely stranger chatted for quite a while with real interest in Dad’s war-time history. The lady thanked him for serving the country and left only to come back minutes later with a bouquet of beautiful spring flowers which she presented to my Dad with a big thank you. Dad couldn’t see the flowers, but his voice cracked as he thanked her. “I’ve never been given flowers before.” Dad hugged her, she kissed his cheek, and she left again for the second time. I held Dad’s hand which shook with emotion. I am attaching a photo of this precious moment. There will always be bad news and terrible things happening the world over, but there will always be love and kindness as well as hope, and sometimes from people you don’t know.

I want to be like that lady who took time to speak to a stranger to find out about them and to be open to offering random acts of kindness.

I don’t have time to speak to all you every week – this goes to thousands of Allied Health Professionals, but I would like to make an offer to all of you including those wonderful locums currently working for us.

We are constantly striving to improve our customer service, training, compliance, recruitment, etc. so with that in mind, I am offering 24 FREE places on a Breakaway Training Day with a qualified Breakaway Trainer on the 2 June 2017. We have 4 places left so if you’re interested please let me know. The course is certified through GSA so this is a perfect course for people working in mental health or those of you who would find this useful to support a move into working in mental health.

If you are interested in attending please email jenny@care-4-health.co.uk to register for the course. To avoid drop-outs we are asking for a fully refundable deposit of £50. If you cancel within 48 hours of the course date you will lose the deposit UNLESS we can’t find another healthcare professional to fill your FREE place. I don’t want to waste a single place on this exciting course.

Have a great weekend.

Celinda x

 

images6BSAEMLRWe cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are

I’ve been present in the office but absent from blogging for a while. Change is a wonderful thing! So many of us are frightened, worried, apprehensive about change, but change is one of those essential things for growth and development. Care4Health have been growing and developing over the last year and if you’re one of our locums who visits us regularly, you’ll have seen some of those changes.

The most significant change recently has been the addition of new staff. AHPs are very friendly and I know that you’ll want to welcome our new staff – and I know that you’ll be understanding and patient (possibly even sympathetic since I am doing the training) with them while they go through their rigorous training.

When you have a moment please phone us on 01905 642 500 and introduce yourself to Andy Stephens, Sinead Fitzgerald and Julie Roberts and tell them more about what you do – I know I’m biased, but they’re lovely people. They are laying their foundation of knowledge during these early weeks of intensive training in the roles of the different AHP sectors and Social Workers in the NHS and Local Authorities. You may be speaking to them in the next few weeks as they work their way through our database to update your files or to tell you about some of the many jobs we are trying to fill.

Another change is that our training suite is now in one huge office where we have our hoist, profiling bed, small aids, moving and positioning equipment and, of course, our resuscitation ‘dummies’. If you are interested in using our online training, we are now opening that up to candidates who aren’t currently working for us. Please phone us on 01905 642 500 to ask us about this.

Recruitment, compliance, payroll and invoicing are now upstairs in newly painted offices, and we have a private interview room where we can carry out face to face interviews.

We’ve just completed our business disaster recovery plan and I’m happy to say that whatever happens, Care4Health is business as usual. We are all office based at our Care4Health offices but we can now access our data and phones remotely should we need to.

We have just completed our ‘green’ environmental reforms and now generate our own electricity for our office use and sell excess electricity to the national grid – I can’t tell you how great that feels. We have also installed renewable heating so all rooms are now a very comfortable year round 20.5 degree centigrade and better still - no more stolen oil! Our recycling continues as usual with 100% of paper, plastic and toner waste being recycled.

When change comes knocking on your door – just take a big breath, smile and say ‘come on in’ – it won’t be as bad as you think and it will more than likely bring growth and development.

I hope you have a sunshiny weekend.

Celinda x

 

heart

Blog from the Heart

Last week when I was preparing this week’s blog, I googled top 10 business bloggers. The list was impressive and I followed up the authors that most appealed to me. They are self-made business leaders with a cultivated and well-honed skill for blogging and offering oodles of advice for making businesses successful. I was left with few thoughts as to how I could make my blog more interesting or relevant to my locums, whether they are Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Dietitians or Nurses etc. I am going to throw all of the professional bloggers’ advice to the wind (for today) and blog straight from the heart.

On a daily basis we are bombarded with things to learn, ways to improve, goal setting, prioritising, strategies for business success - you get the idea. And sometimes all that is needed is simply ‘to be’.

I am rubbish at just being. This week had the potential to be a wonderful week with my best friend – my sister - and her lovely husband having come from the states for a week of non-stop activities, culminating in a weekend in London. They last visited London 16 years ago so things had moved on a pace and they were thrilled to see the sights. I found it very hard to just be. I checked my phone and emails regularly. I did the banking and payroll. My partner and I took them to some fantastic places. In a week that I should have been off work, I worked. I diluted my precious time with family and friends to work. There’s one more thing I need to improve on – I need to learn to just be with the people that matter.

As many of you know, Care4Health has been my business for the last 23 years, and yet like all successful businesses, it must continually go through infancy, childhood and maturity, but it must never get to ‘old age’. The moment the business gets to maturity, like people, it begins to decline so you have to keep innovating to keep the business growing and fresh. It can’t remain in stasis or it will die.

Relationships are the same. You can let them reach maturity, but not old age and decline. Isn’t that the art of relationships? The moment you let that relationship go stale, you forget to appreciate the people you love, it begins to decline. And yet, surely it is striking a balance between learning to just ‘be’ so that you can enjoy those precious moments that you would otherwise miss in the busy-ness of life and keeping it young and fresh despite the onset of wrinkles and middle aged spread.

So how do we achieve that? I think variety in our daily lives is key. It is easy as a business owner to work from sunrise to well beyond sunset, and believe me when I say I have done that and got the badge over and over again. But do that frequently enough and you are left with family and friends around you that you don’t know – they become strangers in your home because you spend so little time with them. They become objectives in your daily schedule rather than people to love and cherish. I think the ‘work hard, play hard’ theory can be tweaked to be work hard, make fun and learn the art of being.

I hope you all have a great weekend, making fun and just being with those you love.

Celinda x

 

It's the very people that no one imagines anything of that do the unimaginable

I heard this on a film that I watched last weekend. If you haven’t seen it, it is well worth 167 minutes of viewing time. It’s called the Imitation Game and tells the story of Alan Turing and the life events that inspired him to invent the first computer with the sole purpose of solving the puzzle that was the German Enigma machine. It was fascinating because it concentrated on the personality and character of the man rather than just the ‘how’ he did it.

Like many great men, Alan Turing, had an inability to ‘fit in’. He saw life from a different point of view, and as a result, had what was probably a very lonely life. He was inspired by a school friend who encouraged him to explore cryptography as a way of challenging himself and occupying his lonely school hours. His friend used to say, ‘It’s the very people that on one imagines anything of that do the unimaginable.’ This in turn was repeated by Alan to inspire others.

It reminds me that sometimes the people who achieve the most are often the ones who had the shakiest of starts. The people who struggle with understanding life or fitting in to society or who perform poorly in school are often the ones who emerge with tenacity, fighting spirit, and the determination to succeed and prove everyone wrong. These people can often make the best scientists, the greatest mathematicians, the most inspirational inventors, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists. They are the entrepreneurs.

I think of Richard Branson, who started his first business from a public phone box. I think of my youngest son who marches to a different tune, who struggles with understanding social codes and behaviours but at the age of 16 has just started his own business designing and producing unique resin/plastic hardware using a 3D printer. He has suddenly come into his own and is asking brilliant questions about marketing, financing, selling, customer services, etc. Something or someone has sparked his imagination.

Isn’t that what life is about? Being inspired to do the unimaginable. It’s too easy to judge people based on ‘normal’ patterns of behaviour, but it takes a genius to see the genius in other people perhaps and to light that passion that fires their imagination.

I would love to do the unimaginable (in a great way), wouldn’t you? Maybe you are already doing that. Maybe you know someone who is. I’d love to hear back from you, so please email me with your story.

In the meantime, I hope you have an unimaginably wonderful weekend.

Celinda x

sippy cupEggs and AHPs

 

My partner phoned me on the way to work this morning to ask if I was listening to Radio 2. I wasn’t. I was busy listening to the sounds of silence. It’s a rare treat for me to be in silence so I was enjoying it.

An article grabbed his interest. He asked if I could imagine what the first person would have thought when he/she saw an egg pass out of the backside of a chicken!!! My son would love to have heard him say ‘bum’. It’s such a boy kind of word. ‘And imagine,’ he continued, ‘when he found out you could boil it and have a three minute egg!’ I have to admit that the person who discovered a chicken passing an egg may not have been the same person that discovered the delights of a 3 minute egg (or eggs benedict for that matter), but I humoured him.

He went on to say that his discovery last night of balsamic vinegar on gently sautéed tomatoes and red pepper, as delightful as it was, was the reason we needed creative people. He reminded me that I shrieked when he poured a generous quantity of balsamic vinegar on the tomatoes.

That got me thinking... I thought that the discovery of the first egg and its many uses and balsamic vinegar on sautéed tomatoes are the very reasons that we need Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Speech and Language Therapists, etc.

Please don’t give up on me just yet. I’m getting to the point. We need people who aren’t afraid to be creative, who aren’t afraid to try something new even when someone is rubbishing their ideas – whether it’s healthcare, science, business, manufacturing, cooking or any other sector. We need people who have the confidence to say, ‘OK, this might be new - perhaps nobody has tried this, but I think it will work. I’ve thought around it, and I can’t see why it wouldn’t work.’ Innovation is sometimes about doing just that. It’s thinking outside the box. It’s about being daring (within reason) and it’s daring to leave behind tried and tested methods to find a new path, a new way to find a solution or a useful product.

I think of how well placed our locum Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Speech and Language Therapists are to find new and creative solutions to problems, to invent new products, to invent new ways of rehabilitating people. Just yesterday I started a discussion on the Care4Health – UK wide Allied Health Professional, Social Worker and Nursing jobs (linkedin) https://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=4765073&trk=my_groups-tile-grp about a Speech and Language Therapist who started a pilot project to create an app that provides patients with a more personalised speech and language therapy programme. I’m calling on anyone reading this to tell me about their innovations. Wasn’t it an Occupational Therapist who invented the curved spoon and fork for children or older people with fine motor issues? Wasn’t it a physiotherapist who invented the original Theraband? If I’m wrong please tell me. Here at Care4Health we debated over who invented the sippy cup? I thought it was an Occupational Therapist, but apparently it was a mechanical engineer! Where’s Myth Busters when you need them?

That’s food for thought! Speaking of food... have you ever tried balsamic vinegar on sautéed tomatoes with thinly sliced red pepper? Go on, try it. It’s lovely. You can always try it with a poached egg.

I hope you have a creative and fun weekend!

Celinda x

tangled lightsBah Humbug

 

Christmas is great isn't it? I love Christmas, but those of you who know me well, know that I can't bear to hear the 'C' word before the 1 Dec (at the earliest). Thank you, Liz W., Occupational Therapist, who teased me out of it by sending me FB pictures of Will Farrell as 'Elf' holding a card showing the number of Fridays till Christmas! They really did make me laugh.

It's the over-commercialisation of Christmas, the squeezing of too many quarts of jobs into a pint pot that stresses me. I love being with my wonderful family and friends and giving gifts, decorating the house, cooking lovely food and entertaining, but when you throw in all the other things like school Christmas carol services, end of term rugby matches and end of term coursework deadlines, trying to replace a broken boiler (brrrrr) and mix that with my Care4Health work – tenders (which always seem to be due immediately before or immediately after Christmas (or immediately before or during summer holidays), face to face mandatory training, business development projects for the following year, trying to get more (service) from less (smaller margins), writing cards to my locums, staff holiday leave, marketing, etc. I have to admit that I feel the pressure building up steadily to the point where I feel like I am spread too thinly like too little butter on too much bread. Christmas is a marathon time of year. I know what I have to do, but every year it feels like it gets bigger and bigger.

You know when you get those texts and emails from me that say, "I need your help. My client is desperate for an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist or Radiographer, etc." - they are real. When I feel seriously under pressure all I have to do is think about the hospital staff struggling to keep a service going with budget constraints and reduced staffing levels and that motivates me to pull out all the stops to find just the right locum worker. I have a real empathy with them because that is often what we're like here. We are constantly trying to find better and more creative ways to provde a better and better service for our locums and clients from smaller and smaller margins.

For the record, I love Christmas, and I love my job, and I know I’m lucky to enjoy them both. If you think I'm having a moan, you're probably right, but my best friend often says, "Opinions/feelings are like bottoms. We all have them."

I want to leave you with my wish for you this holiday time. It is this – that you make an opportunity to step back from the hustle and bustle of everything going on around you and enjoy whatever it is that matters most to you, whether it's spending time with family, friends, pets, helping out with your favourite charities or just being. I hope that in that one moment you will think how lucky you are to be doing what you're doing.

Have a great weekend - even if it is Christmas shopping or untangling your Christmas lights.

Celinda x

 

AHP Thumbs up 1

Contract Success

Good Morning! What a great day! Why does the world feel a sunnier place when you have good news to share? Our great news is that after a tendering exercise we have been awarded the contract to supply Allied Health Professionals (including a New Graduate Scheme for Occupational Therapists), Health Science Staff and Emergency Staff for the whole of the North West England and Clinical Commissioning Groups around the UK. Below is a list:

5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Bolton NHS Foundation Trust
Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust
Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
East Cheshire NHS Trust
East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
East London NHS Foundation Trust
Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust
Manchester Mental Health & Social Care Trust
Mersey Care NHS Trust
North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust
Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
St. Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Staffordshire & Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust
The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust
University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust
Wrightington Wigan & Leigh NHS Foundation Trust
NHS England
NHS Lancashire CSU
NHS Greater Manchester CSU
NHS North of England CSU
NHS Staffordshire and Lancashire CSU
NHS Cumbria CCG
NHS Darlington CCG
NHS Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield CCG
NHS Gateshead CCG
NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees CCG
NHS Newcastle North and East CCG
NHS Newcastle West CCG
NHS North Durham CCG
NHS North Tyneside CCG
NHS Northumberland CCG
NHS South Tees CCG
NHS South Tyneside CCG
NHS Sunderland CCG
NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG
NHS Blackpool CCG
NHS Chorley and South Ribble CCG
NHS East Lancashire CCG
NHS Fylde & Wyre CCG
NHS Greater Preston CCG
NHS Lancashire North CCG
NHS West Lancashire CCG
NHS Brent CCG
NHS Central London (Westminster) CCG
NHS Ealing CCG
NHS Harrow CCG
NHS Hammersmith & Fulham CCG
NHS Hillingdon CCG
NHS Hounslow CCG
NHS Hounslow CCG
NHS West London CCG
Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

If you know of any Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Radiographers, Dieticians, Podiatrist, Speech and Language Therapists, Emergency Services Personnel, Health Science Staff looking for work please share this news with them. Please feel free to share this with all healthcare workers you can think of. We are offering £100 vouchers to you for recommending workers that we then successfully place. Conditions apply of course, so please have a look in your contact list and refer a friend!

We will have a big influx of jobs to find staff for, so please phone us on 01905 642 500 to register now or you can send your CV directly to us at jobs@care-4-health.co.uk.

I look forward to hearing from anyone who lives in the NW England or in the areas of the CCGs listed above.

Have a great weekend.

Celinda x


Queen on Remembrance Day 2014

Did You Win Them?

This weekend I had the privilege of being in London at the Cenotaph to experience Remembrance Day. We took a tube from Tower Hill to Westminster and, as you might expect, came across people of all ages wearing a variety of coloured berets and medals - some wore them on the left breast because they served, some on the right breast because a relative of theirs served and others wore them on both sides because they served and had a relative who served. At one of the stops, I was very pleased to see a 10 year old boy stand up to offer his seat to a man who was at least 70 years his senior. The young lad looked at the old man's many coloured ribbons that held a variety of well-polished medals worn proudly on his left side and asked, 'Did you win them in the war?'

The old man laughed, 'No, m'lad, I didn't win them. I got them for just being there.'

His simple statement, made me realise how many men and women were 'just being there'. It spoke of a sadness too great to share with a young boy who wouldn't be able to comprehend the horrors that this man witnessed and survived, but also of comraderie born out of shared experiences. It spoke of bravery that only people who have served in active duty can truly understand - and fear. It spoke of loneliness when Remembrance Day has passed for another year and these aging ex-servicemen sit in their bungalows or nursing homes, when friends and family are gone or have forgotten. The brave new world of iphones and the world wide web must seem like a chilling and alien world to them at times. I thought of our service men and women who live with the consequences of war every day.

Once off the tube, we walked to Whitehall, where well-manned, airport type security stood like silver sentinels against the white Portland stone and security staff dotted the top of buildings, keeping watch over the crowds steadily gathering to get a view of the event. Helicopters flew overhead and the sun shone off the graceful birds. We stood for several hours chatting to people around us. The atmosphere was electric but sobering. Eventually the massed band played a rousing 'Rule Britannia', 'Men of Harlech', a lilting 'Skye Boat Song' and the moving 'Nimrod' (one of Elgar’s Enigma Variations). Leaders from the Armed Services, political parties and different religions gathered as the music played.

The first chime of Big Ben marked the beginning of the two minute silence. The only sound was the rustling of leaves on the massive lime tree overhead. We were alone with our thoughts under the sunny, blue sky amongst tens of thousands of people. I gave thanks for my father and his two brothers who served in WWII, my brother who served in the Air force, my brother-in-law who served as a Marine, my nephew who served in Afghanistan, my friend who served as Air Commodore for Scotland and Aide de Camp to the Queen, my friend's father who served in WWI and the man on the tube as well as all those 888,246 people who died in WWI. The canon marked the end of the two minute silence and the buglers played the 'Last Post'. It was incredibly humbling and moving. I would be lying if I said I didn't shed a tear or two.

I hope that today we will remember what was done for us all those years ago and what continues to be done for us all over the world today. I, personally, will strive to be worthy of those sacrifices.

To our locum AHPs, Nurses and Social Workers throughout the UK who will be helping people who, in some way, have served us in the past or present, I ask that you please spare a thought for them today. Some of them will have served in active duty, some will have developed and supported the technology that helps our servicemen and women, and almost everyone you help will know someone who has served. We are all connected. Always Remember.

Have a memorable Remembrance Day.

Celinda x

British Army Medics

Bravery in the Face of Ebola

I am always amazed and humbled by acts of bravery – I always have been. When I was a young girl, I witnessed my Dad rescuing people, on numerous occasions, from road traffic accidents and from burning cars in the Arizona Desert as we drove from California to Texas. I witnessed him standing up to someone who foolishly attempted to burgle our home, and on another occasion I saw him give chase to a strange man who stupidly followed me home. He is one of the bravest people I know and has stood face to face with danger and challenged it to back down. He was in the Army during WWII and faced some terrible crimes against humanity and did his part to bring about peace. He is a quiet, peace-loving man and yet brave and humble with it.

Recently, I have been well and truly humbled by the British Army medics who left the UK recently for Sierra Leone to set up a treatment centre, as a safe environment, for healthcare workers. They’re hoping that this will encourage other healthcare workers to join them in their fight (perhaps war) against Ebola. That, to me, is like you or I walking into a line of fire – you know the risk of being hit by a bullet is high, but you still do it because that is what you’re trained to do. It’s like my Dad making a stand, albeit without a weapon, against a burglar in our house. The fact that these brave medics are armed with knowledge, training and, one hopes, some excellent protective equipment, doesn’t detract from their bravery.

An even bigger act of bravery is the British nurse, Will Pooley, who contracted Ebola, survived it and is now planning to return to West Africa to help again. When asked why he was doing it, he replied quite simply, ‘It’s something I have to do.”

I’ve noticed that the hallmark of bravery is the unwavering confidence that it is “something you have to do”. When my Dad returned to our car after rescuing two people from a burning car in the Arizona desert, visibly upset and smelling of burnt hair and skin, I (being about 6 years old) asked him why he did it. He replied quite simply with the exact words, “It’s something I had to do.” He followed it with a question, “Wouldn’t you want someone to help you or your family if you needed help?”

Do I hear some of you asking, "What can I do to help?" Strangely, as I was writing this blog, we received an urgent request to supply nurses for an emergency screening programme at UK airports and gateways such as St Pancras. The nurses will be screening people who may be presenting with Ebola symptoms. This is an urgent call for help! If you know of any nurses I would be grateful if you would pass this blog on to them? If that is all you do, it would still be helpful. We are trying to find a minimum of 20 nurses. Can we all do our part in sharing this blog to any and all healthcare workers who might know a nurse who might know a nurse.

Thank you, Dad, for teaching me to be brave; to Will Pooley for being brave in returning to West Africa; to the British Army medics who are providing safe havens for healthcare workers; and to all the UK nurses who are brave enough to phone me on 01905 642 500 with an offer of help.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Celinda

yellow ribbon"For Evil to Prevail"

What a sad week for the family of the lovely and talented Alice Gross. I, along with millions of others across Britain, watched the news for updates and news of Alice Gross’ disappearance. We heard her heart-broken parents begging her to come back home, saying that they loved her and “they desperately miss her”. We heard a runner in the Ealing Half Marathon saying that if it were possible to wish Alice back, she would be here. Yellow ribbons bounced on the chests of a large number of runners during this race as a sign of support and hope that she would return safe and unharmed. They still blow across the streets of the London Borough of Ealing as well as many other streets and houses across the UK.

The horror of what Alice’s family have yet to face is still there – the cause of death, the search, capture and conviction of her murderer. I hope it helps, even just a little, that the people of Hanwell in West London were hugely supportive and genuinely concerned – offering help with searching, tying yellow ribbons, prayer vigils in local churches, putting up posters and now sadly taking them down. People all over Britain have left (or even put) up yellow ribbons as a sign of solidarity.

“For evil to prevail, good men do nothing”. If you have a spare moment, please would you offer up a prayer, thought, hope, a yellow ribbon – anything that will unite us as a country in saying that we won’t tolerate this kind of crime, that justice will be done and that we won’t shy away from standing up to this kind (or any kind) of evil.

Sending you good wishes for safe and peaceful weekend,

Celinda

poppiesBlood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red where angels fear to tread', a sentence from the Will of a Derbyshire serviceman who died in Flanders, inspired artist Paul Cummins to create an exhibition of the same name. Ceramic red poppies seep out of the walls of the Tower of London, forming blood red pools, each one uniquely created to represent one of the 888,246 British and Colonial lives lost during World War One. The first poppies were tenderly planted by servicemen and women, royalty and politicians, and dozens of volunteers will complete the planting by Remembrance Sunday.

This weekend I stood amongst hundreds of visitors in sadness and awe at the incredible reality of the price generations of families paid for our freedom. I find it hard to conceptualise numbers on that scale when it comes to people, but what is sadder still is the knowledge that this vast number doesn’t include non-British or colonial people who died in the same conflict!

I thought of families ‘back home’ waiting for news of missing loved ones – many of whom were only young boys who lied about their age in order to join. My father did the same thing in World War II. His brother was missing in action and at the age of 89 my Dad still remembers the heartache of that time.

I couldn't help wondering how many of those injuries and deaths would have occurred in today’s modern battlefield and healthcare system. I thought of the contrast of our soldiers now being flown to the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham from Afghanistan where we supply Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists to help in the acute stages of their recovery and Headley Court to progress their rehabilitation and felt grateful for our NHS that offers the best possible acute and rehab care to the men and women who fight on our behalf. Hasn't healthcare changed over the 100 years since that bloody war!

The poppies will go on sale after the 11th of November for £25 each to raise money for charities that support injured servicemen and women. I felt so inspired by those who gave so much to so few and the support that you all give to injured servicemen and women (whatever their age) that I will buy a poppy for everyone who works through Care4Health during the August, September, October until Armistice Day on the 11th of November 2014 as a way of supporting the charities who in turn support wounded soldiers. If you would like a ceramic poppy please phone us to let us know so that we can order one for you.

Wishing you and those you love the desire to spread peace in this world.

Celinda

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