PATIENTS, relatives and staff celebrated International Nurses’ Day at Basildon Hospital.

The annual event, held on Florence Nightingale’s birthday, celebrates the dedication of nurses and midwives.

The relatives of a patient in the critical care unit showed their appreciation to nursing staff with a donation and a spread of home-made cupcakes, iced with decorations of tablets, syringes and stethoscopes.

Raymond Pascoe, 74, from Ingrave, was admitted to the hospital as an emergency case on 16 March, with pneumonia and sepsis.

It was four weeks before he regained consciousness.

His wife Betty, 75, has visited him twice daily, along with other family members.

The couple have been married for 56 years and have two daughters and one son, and eight grandchildren.

Betty said: “It was a complete shock when Ray became so ill.

“He had never been in hospital before or had any health problems. We were about to go on holidaywhen it happened.”

Bridget Barrington, criitcal care unit sister, said: “We really appreciate the gifts from the Pascoe family. We put the donation towards fundraising to buy our staff small gifts to mark International Nurses’ Day.

“They have worked very hard over the past year, with an extremely busy winter, and we thought they deserved a treat.”

The celebrations continued with a nursing themed cake decorating competition, judged by the executive team.