We left it last time with Olive keeping the news of her hospital visit a secret from the family. Only George, her husband, and family friend Uncle Bert knew the visit was pending. On Sunday morning the immediate family gathered at Olive’s house, as they do every Sunday, for a cup of tea and a chat and, if they’re lucky, or not on a diet, a bit of cake. This ritual has proved useful to Olive over recent years, because she now ensures that all the jobs that involve lifting, climbing or are generally messy, she leaves until her sons, Andrew and Brian arrive. This week it’s taking down the remains of the runner beans that have finished for the season and cleaning out the pump in the fishpond.

As they are sitting chatting, Helen, Brian’s wife, starts talking about the story in the paper this week about how bad hospitals are. George and Olive exchange quick looks and let it pass – Uncle Bert is a bit deaf, misses the comment that he thinks was mumbled anyway and continues to drop cake crumbs on the recent vacuumed floor. Helen goes on about how hospitals are apparently getting worse. Rachel, Olive’s 18 year old granddaughter and daughter of Helen, says “ That’s not the case with our local hospital and I should know as I work there as a volunteer “ Brian comes in, covered in mud and the remains of the runner beans, followed by Andrew dripping wet, and adds that he read in the Watford Observer that West Herts Trust, their local hospital, has improved every year for the last three years and is now not only a very safe place to be treated but waiting times are really low and there is almost no infections, like C Diff and MRSA. Uncle Bert now joins in by saying “and they’re rated Good with money – nice to know all my hard earned taxes over the years are being looked after”. Olive looks at George with an expression that says - we could have told them that, we were there recently, but says absolutely nothing.