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Vintage tea party took hospital patients back to the 1950s

PUBLISHED: 22:52 03 April 2019 | UPDATED: 08:14 04 April 2019

Mark Hewitt and Sharon King. Photo: NSFT

Mark Hewitt and Sharon King. Photo: NSFT

NSFT

Patients, their family members and staff enjoyed a 1950s style tea party on Sandringham Ward at the Julian Hospital in Norwich.

Sandy Loftus, Clinical Support Worker. Photo: NSFTSandy Loftus, Clinical Support Worker. Photo: NSFT

It was the idea of Petra Cutmore, the activities co-ordinator on the ward which provides specialist psychiatric care for older people.

Nurses adapted their own uniforms in the style of the 1950s, with a total of 12 members of staff dressing up for the event.

Debbie Chowns, acting clinical team leader, and Wendy Cogman, clinical support worker, used their sewing machines to take everybody back to the era of starched white cotton aprons, white sleeve cuffs, and nurses’ caps, while ward administrator Mark Hewitt donned a doctor’s white coat, stethoscope and dickie bow tie.

Staff decorated the ward’s dining room with bunting and laid tables with vintage linen tablecloths and china.

Ursula Bowen, a patient on the ward, is pictured enjoying herself at the vintage tea party. Photo: NSFTUrsula Bowen, a patient on the ward, is pictured enjoying herself at the vintage tea party. Photo: NSFT

Staff baked homemade cakes, served pots of tea, and kept everybody topped up with scones and cream, all served on crockery from the era. Patients and staff had even visited local charity shops in search of bargains from the 1950s.

Music from the decade played in the background while they all enjoyed their afternoon taking a step back in time.

“Everybody pulled together,” said charge nurse Sharon King. “There was a fantastic atmosphere and the patients, relatives, staff and managers all enjoyed it.

“Some of the patients had been quite unwell but they joined in, had smiles on their faces, were chatting away and were really engaged. It was a great experience for everyone who took part.

Tea for two � Sarah Paine and Chris Phillips, Clinical Support Workers. Photo: NSFTTea for two � Sarah Paine and Chris Phillips, Clinical Support Workers. Photo: NSFT

“The vintage tea party was Petra’s idea and, with the staff’s enthusiasm, everyone entered into the spirit of it.”

Dressed up and ready to party - staff on Sandringham Ward. Photo: NSFTDressed up and ready to party - staff on Sandringham Ward. Photo: NSFT

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