Our local doctors’ surgery has announced a new project dedicated to the care of elderly patients.

It will consist of one team so patients know who to contact and, more importantly, have an idea of who they will be seeing from one visit to another. And – a minor miracle in this day and age – the programme will include home visits where necessary.

At the time of writing, I am still awaiting more details to do a news article but the initial letter we have received makes it sound like an impressive scheme.

It is especially encouraging in a culture where cuts to any services feature far more than improvements. Of course, the one thing you must come to terms with is the fact that you are now considered elderly.

That is why I was distraught when my husband, after spending some days in the West Cumberland Hospital’s emergency admissions ward was transferred to what we call the geriatric ward and then the elderly medical ward.

I’ve had to eat humble pie, liberally laced with crow!

As far as I was concerned – an opinion shared by many of my peers – ward four was the end of the line. It was the place where rudimentary care was given to those who were about to check out permanently.

How wrong could you be. It is certainly not the most pleasant of atmospheres. There are people with dementia who are calling out in confusion, fear and even anger. As a visitor, not knowing that this was normal, I was horrified at the apparently blasé atmosphere of the staff.

My husband soon put me right. He watched overworked, understaffed nurses giving the best, kindest and most patient care they could in extremely difficult circumstances.

He also saw, and experienced for himself, the overall care given to these patients.

He had been suffering for months from huge rises and drops in his blood pressure leading to terrible dizziness and the real fear of falling.

He seemed to be in and out of the doctors’ surgery, seeing a different one each time in the busy practice – which is one of the great things about this new project. The problem was caused, everyone agreed, by medication he was taking but nothing was ever done about it.

It was not until his emergency admission to hospital that proper steps were taken to address the problem, alter his medication and introduce more to help balance his blood pressure.

Then I threw my fit when I was told he was moving into ward four. I felt that they were giving up on him and, once again, his health would deteriorate.

Ward four treated the whole man. He had fantastic medical care, the physiotherapists got involved and there were regular meetings about his care package.

Now he goes to the gym twice a week, is eating regularly, drinking loads (water), driving more and feeling as though he is alive again.

As for me – well I have learned not to judge a book by its cover, and I am sincere in apologising for judging ward four just by what I’d seen and heard.