22 May 2019

Margaret Sharpe is now recovering well at home, having been the first patient to be operated on at Royal Papworth’s new hospital on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

Margaret, who is 78 and from Bedford, underwent an aortic valve replacement and coronary artery bypass grafts on Wednesday 1 May.

“The care was fantastic,” Margaret said. “Seeing the teamwork of the staff and how everyone worked together was lovely.

“People were obviously still getting used to being in the new environment but even though I knew I was being admitted on day one, I had no concerns and I can’t fault a single part of my care.

“I’m now home and making sure I keep doing my physio every day. The estate where we live has a quarter-mile circuit and I managed two of them the other day, so to get up to half a mile is really good progress.”

Margaret was discharged from Royal Papworth on Friday 10 May having spent a couple of days in the new Critical Care Unit and a week in the ward on 5 South. 

She says that the excellent care she received is now continuing at home, courtesy of her husband, Lionel, who makes for “a good cook and a good coach”.

Lionel joked: “It’s lovely to have her home, even though she nags me! Going home every evening and then coming back every day, it was hard not having Margaret around at night and in the morning. 

“The new building is fantastic, but the building is no good if the people inside aren’t caring, kind and welcoming, which is what they were at Royal Papworth. 

“We didn’t want Margaret to be the first operation at the new hospital, because we would rather not have been in hospital at all, but we have had the best experience possible.” 

Royal Papworth’s Clinical Director for Surgery, Mr David Jenkins, performed Margaret’s operation, and added: “I am relieved and pleased the move was completed so smoothly and that patient care was not affected despite everyone working in a new environment. It is gratifying to hear these comments about the care from Margaret, our first surgical patient in the new hospital.”