TV sports announcer pens thank you to staff

Posted: October 12, 2017

Voice-of-snooker Rob Walker praises teams at the Great Western Hospital

Sports commentator Rob Walker - often referred to as the voice of the BBC's snooker coverage - has praised NHS staff in Swindon in an open letter of thanks following his family's recent visit to the Great Western Hospital. 

Rob, who has worked for the BBC at some of the world's biggest sporting events, felt compelled to contact Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust after he and his wife said they were "blown away" by the "incredible professionalism" of all the staff they encountered.
Rob_Walker
The pair spent five days in hospital at the side of their young son, Arthur, who was cared for by the team in the Children's Unit.

In the letter, Rob said he wanted to remind staff of just how much their care and hard work was appreciated by so many people up and down the country.

He wrote: "As just one of the millions of families whose lives have been touched by the brilliance of the NHS this year, my wife and I wanted to let you know how grateful we are to live in a country with a health service which has taken such loving and diligent care of our little boy. 

"Whatever role you have in the NHS, both in hospital and elsewhere, your kind words and actions really do make a difference.

"Everyone in the hospital made our experience more bearable and it was so obvious to us they did it because they believe in what the NHS stands for." 

He was also keen to thank individual members of staff who had left a lasting impression on his family.

Among the staff he gave special mention to were Claire Wakeley, whose jokes provided a much-needed break from the ongoing tension, and Dr Andrew Jones, who Rob described as "everything you would need an expert in that situation to be."

Elsewhere, he spoke of how a Carillion porter comforted him as his son was led behind a set of double doors before being taken to the operating theatre. 

He closed his letter with an emotional plea for staff to feel proud of the amazing work they do.

"When your feet ache, when you haven't eaten for 10 hours or you read another negative headline, please don't despair," he wrote.

"There are millions of us who are incredibly thankful for your dedication, warmth and expertise.

"Gratitude and happy endings may not generate headlines, but they make families like ours whole again.

"No words I use can truly convey the feeling of seeing my son coming back to health. Please keep up the good work, it really is appreciated."

The Walker family are still making regular trips to the Swindon hospital for ongoing treatment, however three-year-old Arthur is expected to make a full recovery.

Read the letter

Click here to read Rob's letter in full. 

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