Bed Pans and False Teeth

On the First of November 51 members attended the Forum’s meeting at the Church Rooms, the largest attendance so far this season.

The guest speaker was Denise Adlard, a retired nurse from Denholm near Bradford whose talk was titled Bed Pans and False Teeth – 47 Years in the NHS, although she promised not to talk about false teeth and to only make passing mention to bed pans.

Denise had wanted to be a nurse from the age of four and at seventeen obtained a post as a student nurse at the Bradford Royal Infirmary in the face of opposition from her father.  She recalled that this was the only occasion when her mother stood up for her against her father.

On completion of her training she qualified as a District Nurse but then trained as a midwife at St. Luke’s Hospital.  She described her first home birth when, as a trainee, she delivered the baby on her own which was strictly against the rules.

She returned to district nursing in Bradford where her district included the Holme Wood estate, at that time reputed to be the most deprived estate in Europe.  She related her brushes with the local police, usually caused by speeding between cases, and she also related her problems with unfriendly dogs.

What were the most important lessons which nursing taught her?

How to be scrupulously neat and tidy and to do complicated tasks with a steady hand.

Mike Earle proposed a vote of thanks to Denise for giving the Forum a very entertaining morning.