Special patient leaves Peninsula laden with gifts

When patients are discharged from hospital they can expect to take home with them all sorts of advice and the equipment they need. But one very special patient at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre so captured the hearts of everyone there that he was waved off laden with gifts.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck the Government decided to put elective surgery on hold to allow hospitals like Peninsula to work with their local NHS trusts to ensure patients receive the treatment they need.

On the first day of the arrangement the first patient to be admitted was Stephen Mitchell, who was transferred from University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP) to Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre. Stephen, an adult with learning disability, had fractured his leg following a fall and needed care for his recovery, and while sheltered accommodation was arranged for him.

Stephen ended up staying at Peninsula for 13 weeks, during which time he won the hearts of everyone who came into contact with him. “He is absolutely charming,” said Vikki Beegan, Ward Manager at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre. “We have loved having him on the ward, always smiling and singing. He celebrated his 60th birthday while he was here so we threw him a socially-distanced party. We threw another for him on the Friday before he was discharged. He is a great fan of Liverpool FC and Abba, so we clubbed together to get him two Liverpool shirts and Mamma Mia! 1, 2 and bonus DVDs. On his day of discharge colleagues who were off work came in especially to wave him off, and we gave him a guard of honour as he left the building.”

The hospital also organised a signed certificate wishing Stephen a happy 60th birthday, from Jurgen Klopp and the Liverpool squad.

Stephen’s brother, David Mitchell, is full of praise for the care his brother has received at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre. He said: “Stephen had his accident just before lockdown kicked in. He was in hospital and we were worried about what would happen with him. We need not have been: at Peninsula he couldn’t believe his luck, with his own room and amazing staff to look after him. He is a character, has impeccable manners and always has a smile on his face, so it is no surprise to us that the team at Peninsula have become so fond of him. They really have gone above and beyond, throwing him parties and arranging for us to speak to him by phone. This meant the world to us because we live in Dorset so were unable to travel to celebrate with Stephen. We are very grateful for the superb care he has received.”

Stephen has now settled in to sheltered accommodation in North Cornwall where he is enjoying life and doing well.