I worked in the Occupational Therapy Department as an OT helper, in the days when many of the patients were moving on to other places as the hospital was getting ready for closure. I remember: The huge key every member of staff had for every door. The place was full of cockroaches, if you were ever there at night the floor would move when you put on a light.
I remember patients who had been there for years – a woman who was in her 80s who had been placed there because she had an illigitimate child. A man because he had opened his black out curtains in the war so the German bombers would bomb. A man from Eastern Europe who no-one was able to understand, and as far as I’m aware no-one thought to provide with a translator.
There were also people there who liked in the large instituational nature of the place, an old fashioned gentleman of the road who would just wander round and round the hospital chatting to everyone, and I wonder how he would’ve coped in a smaller care home environment when the hospital closed.