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Sufficient unto the day

29 Mar

With the demolition the other week of Highcourt this building, Hull Royal Infirmary, became Hull’s tallest building. At 57m (187 ft 3/32 inches , thanks Mr Google) and with 14 floors it does not exactly scrape the sky (tickle it maybe?) but it’s quite big enough I think. Here it is in its new blue facade after a recent face lift and while it may look neat and tidy outside the workings of this place are at times beyond the ken of mere mortals. It manages to keep going with infusions of cash every now and then to tide it over till the next crisis but this is no way to run a modern health service. (I shall stop here there’s an election coming on and no doubt promises will be heaped upon promises and we all shall see the broad, sunlit uplands …)
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The point of delivery

31 Aug

The NHS has undergone many twists and turns over the years. There are many who say it is being sold off for private profit, well that maybe, there are other better places for that argument. Here, however, a private hospital has been sold to the NHS to safeguard the care and treatment of patients. This used to be the Nuffield Hospital on Westbourne Avenue until 2008 when the NHS took it over. 
Looking into the history of the building I find a Mr E H Garbett, a manager of the Hull Dock Company lived here in the 1890’s, the house was then called Barcombe House. He was a member of the Primrose League, an organisation set up to promote Conservative Party policies and values, back in the days when Gladstone was PM. I wonder what he would make of his former home being part of a health service, free at the point of delivery, based on clinical need, not ability to pay; one whose founder, Nye Bevan, called “pure Socialism”.
I cannot post about this building and fail to mention that this was the place where Philip Larkin died. There is, inevitably, a plaque on the wall outside, a kind of memento mori to all who enter. Cheerful, innit?

The Building

10 Jun
Higher than the handsomest hotel
The lucent comb shows up for miles, but see,
All round it close-ribbed streets rise and fall
Like a great sigh out of the last century.

After 46 years Hull Royal Infirmary is beginning to show its age. Chunks of cladding have been coming adrift for a few years and so finally money has been found to repair and rebuild, there’s even enough for a new Accident & Emergency Department, so as you can imagine the site is bit chaotic with more builders than doctors. I fear it is going to take more than a few million and a crowd of builders to save our NHS from the predations of this Government but this is not the place for that discussion.
The quote is from that beacon of joy Philip Larkin, (who else?), it ends:
That is what it means,
This clean-sliced cliff; a struggle to transcend
The thought of dying, for unless its powers
Outbuild cathedrals nothing contravenes
The coming dark, though crowds each evening try

With wasteful, weak, propitiatory flowers.

Until tomorrow then, if I’m still here …