Eye Witness 1

Pam Hibbs CBE

Pam Hibbs was born in 1935. Early on she knew that she wanted to be a nurse, and at the age of 12 applied to St Bartholomew’s Hospital. The matron there told her to come back in a few years, when she had finished her education – which she did.  

Pam was in her late thirties when, in 1976, she was asked to go to Hackney Hospital for six months in order to help turn around what was then a neglected and failing institution. She took on the role of reformer with enthusiasm, and proceeded to introduce changes and innovations that always had the welfare and comfort of her patients at heart. Pam was involved with the Hackney Hospital until its closure – receiving an OBE in 1986 for her work there – and was instrumental in planning and designing the new Homerton Hospital which superseded it. Pam retired in 1997.

Listen to an extract of her interview about Hackney Hospital.

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High standards?

Hackney Hospital was rundown and short of staff because no one was prepared to spend money on it, and it was already earmarked for closure. Pam believed this was letting the patients down - "they're your patients, and you get the best for them." Here she talks about the importance of keeping up standards, and the difference that a well-maintained environment can make to people's attitudes and morale.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Eye Witness 1' page
This page was added by Lisa Rigg on 29/03/2010.

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