Dixon Au was born in Hong Kong in 1979. Dixon is Property Management Services Project Manager at Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUH) and has been an NHS employee since 2004.
Dixon talks about his career as a project officer and projects he has worked on in the NHS. He talks about pay not being equivalent to the work involved yet people stay because of their passion for the NHS, even though workloads are highly pressured.
He talks about the biggest pressures in his job (at the time of recording) being the master planning of the new Royal Sussex County Hospital.
Dixon recounts his daily work routine, which involves a wide range of people, liaising with users and teams, reviewing short to medium term plans for services and improving performance.
Dixon recounts some of his impressions of working at Royal Sussex County Hospital, in particular the architecture of the Barry Building, the Grade I listed Chapel and Thomas Kemp Tower.
He reflects on the original ethos of free care in the NHS and how service delivery has expanded so much (social and mental health, surgical, community, etc.) it has become difficult to achieve to the best possible.
He says his greatest achievement is managing the Sussex Eye Hospital redevelopment (opened in 2016), which he worked on from beginning to completion.
Recorded on 25/09/2019 in Brighton, UK.
Dr Charles Turton was born in East Grinstead in 1947.
Charles begins by talking about his inspirations for working in medicine, including inspirational teachers and a grandmother who was a radiologist.
Charles trained at King’s College London, plus studying for a BSc in Biochemistry ‘in the middle of it’. He recalls it being an enjoyable experience but the accommodation being damp. He decided early on that he wanted to do medicine rather than surgery.
He was first employed at King’s College Hospital, pre-registration house officer, then at The Brompton (International Chest Centre). He remembers there being ‘inspirational people there’, and being determined to do chest medicine. Series of training jobs in London then Brighton.
Became a consultant at Royal Sussex County Hospital in 1981. Remembers many interesting colleagues, including Tony Trafford who took a significant role in treating casualties in the 1984 Brighton bombing of the Conservative Party conference.
He talks about the development of his career, how he was drawn into management, and becoming a consultant member of the Health Authority. He then became first Clinical Director for Medicine, and later Trust Medical Director. He talks about being ‘hugely proud’ of Royal Sussex County Hospital.
Betty Field was born in Brighton in 1932. Betty says her earliest memory of Royal Sussex County Hospital was going to the Barry Building as a four-year-old with her grandmother who had fractured her skull.
She recalls visiting the hospital at the time of the D Day landings with her father to try and find a young Canadian airman who was a friend of the family. She remembers seeing wounded men lying on the floor of the hospital with blood and gore, aged eight-years-old.
Other memories include taking her sons to hospital after accidents in 1957, being confined to hospital with pre-eclampsia and kidney infections, giving birth, making her own yellow silk nightgowns and hysterectomy.
Recorded on 05/11/2019 in Brighton, UK.
Gary Scarfield was born in Brighton in 1954.
Gary recalls a number of memories when needing hospital treatment, at various venues, including Royal Sussex County Hospital. He had his tonsils removed in 1959 aged five, he remembers little more than the ice cream. He also had treatment for a football injury (broken leg) in the 1970s and a sinus operation in 1984.
He talks about having had a stroke diagnosed in 2007, following which he received treatment. He recounts an elongated stay in hospital over five years from 2012, and also talks about a gall bladder removal operation in 2018. Praises the ‘fantastic service’ he has received from the NHS.
Recorded on 18/12/2019 in Brighton, UK.
Dr Douglas Chamberlain was born in Cardiff, Wales in 1931.
Douglas talks about his inspiration for working in medicine, and his route into medicine – training at Queen’s College, Cambridge in 1950, followed by St Bartholomew’s Hospital (1953-56).
After qualifying, he worked for six months at country branch of National Heart Hospital and six months at Royal United Hospital, Bath. Spent a year in Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston for 1 year (1968). A short spell at Brompton Hospital then cardiology department at St Bart’s where he became involved in research on beta-blockers with ICI.
Douglas talks further about his career, including working in Brighton, how doctors would do their own management and administration, evolution of treatment methods and impact of the job on his personal life.
Recorded on 05/10/2019 in Brighton, UK.
Caroline Fisher was born in Berkshire in 1970. Caroline moved to Brighton in 1988 to start her training at the Brighton School of Nursing.
Caroline talks about her training, including routines, patient care and her experience at Brighton General Hospital and Royal Sussex County Hospital.
She recalls her work as a qualified nurse, compares nursing with then and now, including relationships with patients and doctors, changes to uniforms, types of disease and dietary provision.
Recorded on 24/07/2019 in Brighton, UK.
Christine Cooke was born in Chatham, Kent in 1939.
Christine talks about how she became interested in healthcare, including training at Maidstone Technical College and Maidstone General Hospital. Finished training in Canterbury, and was employed by an agency working in Brighton.
Moved to Shoreham in 1976, working at Southlands Hospital where she did general nursing and was staff nurse on the orthopaedic ward. Trained as a Midwife, 1984-86.
Christine recalls her work as a midwife, training as a student, changes in the NHS, her own stays in hospital, and working overseas including in Bangladesh, 1989-92, as a midwife and doing health visitor training.
She talks about doing a MA in Education in primary healthcare at Manchester for one year, following which she worked for Oxfam, six months in Sudan and six months in India. Period of ill-health on return from international work, which was followed by work as a Health Visitor in Shoreham and Lancing until retirement in 2012.
Recorded on 05/11/2019 in Brighton, UK.
Ashley Adsett was born in Brighton in 1952.
Ashley talks about wanting to become a nurse from the age of six, and began volunteering at Southlands Hospital, going on to training in 1970 at University College Hospital, London. She goes on to talk about her training and life in London.
She talks about her career at Royal Sussex County Hospital, including being Ward Sister on Bristol Ward, Christmas celebrations with patients, becoming Sister of the Cancer Centre, plus advancements in medicine she witnessed including keyhole surgery and treatment of cancer.
Ashley talks about donating a kidney to her brother, and how the Renal Unit was efficient, including the follow up.
She recalls winning a competition, which enabled her to visit the American Cancer Nurses Conference in USA, and also met the British Ambassador.
Recorded on 25/10/2019 in Brighton, UK.
Gary Steen was born in Brighton in 1964. He has been working in IT with Royal Sussex County Hospital since 1990.
Gary talks about how he came to work in IT, originally training as an electrician, followed by a role in IT at American Express for five years before moving to London for three years. He returned to Brighton in 1990, for a small IT role at Brighton General Hospital.
Gary speaks about the history of the first computer system being introduced in the early 1980s before he started working in the NHS. The first extensive one was the patient registration system around 1984 (made by ICI), which was housed in two rooms, used a lot of power and had minimal storage; the hard drive was the size of a washing machine. In the early 1990s, only some doctors had PCs.
He talks about the different systems that have been used over the years, the replacement of systems, and the different roles he has had during his employment at Royal Sussex County Hospital.
Recorded on 16/12/2019 in Brighton, UK.
Chris Heape was born in Paddington, London in 1947.
Chris talks about how he became interested in being a radiographer, recalling that he was allowed to sit in on radiography work in Torbay Hospital, and encouraged to take his interest further, culminating in a degree course in Plymouth.
Chris talks about his first job as a locum in Torbay hospital progressing to a job in Brighton. He talks about his memories from the late 1990s, when he started at Royal Sussex County Hospital. He remembers being both on rota and on call, sometimes working 17-hour shifts where he slept in the hospital. X-rays could take from five to 30 minutes depending on the examination. He recalls one operation that went on all day and involved three radiographers.
When he started ‘wet processing’ X-rays were in use, which was followed by replacement with digital radiography, which Chris loved; he talks about how images could now be ‘altered’ and transferred (sometimes abroad) for diagnosis and meant that lower X-ray does could be used.
He recalls his experience as a patient, when he needed double bypass surgery, and says he could not fault the treatment he received.
Recorded on 10/10/2019 in Brighton, UK.