Michael Praised At Hospital Opening

CP Board member Michael Turner featured prominently in David Meates, (Chief Executive, Canterbury DHB), report of the opening of the new wards at Burwood Hospital

The Report stated that the Prime Minister and a number of guests toured one of the new wards and “we met some wonderful patients who are enjoying the new facilities at Burwood. Thanks to everyone involved in the festivities on Friday – it was a great turn out, and provided a great chance to reflect on our collective achievements, and re-connect with some people who were involved earlier on in the process. I particularly enjoyed meeting the two special gentlemen who were invited to cut the Burwood cake: volunteer worker Michael Turner and patient Geoff Dacombe.

Geoff has lived in Canterbury all his life. A builder by trade he ended up in Burwood after a fall at home. He’s been in the new wards for about three weeks and is due to head home next week. He’s also spent time at The Princess Margaret Hospital, so can compare wards and I’m reliably informed he much prefers the new wards at Burwood.

We talk a lot about family at Burwood Hospital. And one person who epitomises that is Michael Turner. Michael was born with cerebral palsy and first visited Burwood Hospital about 12 years ago after a fall. He spent nearly a month in ORU (Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Unit) and became a firm favourite with the staff. Michael is always ready with a smile and is quick to offer to help as much as he can. He became so popular around the wards that one day someone suggested he ‘might as well do something useful’ and they gave him the job of delivering mail. Charge Nurse Manager Caroline McCullough even organised a bright red T-shirt for him that says No. 1 Mailman – and he proudly wore it at the opening. Michael has gone from patient to part of the Burwood family. He volunteers four days a week at Burwood delivering mail, visiting patients, even helping people do jigsaw puzzles. He’s been an ambassador for Burwood on trips away, and most recently he has been an active participant in the consumer groups that had input into the design of our new facilities. Michael and Geoff did a great job reminding us why we all come to work each day, to make it better for people who use our health.”

New facilities at Burwood Hospital officially opened by the Prime Minister last week

Following a welcoming mihi from our GM of Māori and Pacific Health, Hector Matthews, a waiata from the Māori Health team, and a second waiata from the Rockers of Ages choir, the Prime Minister was introduced to the assembled guests by Canterbury DHB chair Murray Cleverley.