Patricia puts NHS in the spotlight

Actress Dame Patricia Routledge has been reunited with a staff member at Buxton Hospital who cared for her after suffering a nasty fall.

Dame Patricia’s appearance at the Buxton International Festival in July had to be postponed after she fell just before going on stage at Buxton Opera House. She was taken to Buxton Hospital’s minor injury unit, where emergency care practitioner Roma Harrison-McRory was on duty and looked after her.

Now the duo has been reunited, in much happier circumstances, when Roma was invited backstage to meet Dame Patricia after her rescheduled show at Buxton Opera House last week.

Roma was thrilled to meet the star again after the special performance of Facing the Music – A Life In Musical Theatre, at which NHS staff from both Buxton Hospital and Stepping Hill Hospital were invited free, in thanks for the care given to the actress after her fall.

Roma, who is based at Buxton Hospital, said: “She was lovely and was full of high praise for our unit. We had a good chat after the show and it all went really well. She was full of thanks for the care she’d received from us.”

During the touching reunion, Dame Patricia said she’d never forget Roma’s care. Thankfully Dame Patricia, best known by TV audiences for her role as Hyacinth Bucket in Keeping Up Appearances, has made a full recovery and was determined to return to Buxton to perform the show she had had to cancel at the last minute.

Buxton International Festival organisers secured the new date and extended the invitation to NHS staff. “I can’t praise the services of the NHS too highly. They were marvellous,” said Dame Patricia.

John Phillips, of Buxton International Festival, said: “We were delighted to offer the free tickets after hearing from Patricia how well she had been looked after.

“NHS staff do a wonderful job behind the scenes all year round, so it was great to give them the spotlight for once.”