Curtains for the NHS?

Let  the person in the NHS responsible for soft furnishings please step forward.  Come on, stop hiding behind those dodgy curtains.  Let’s have a good look at you.

I’ve always been curious about who makes decisions about soft furnishings.  Let’s be honest, there’s not much else to think about when you’re sat on your bed.  You’ve already watched the bin being emptied, noted the woman opposite you turn a page of her book, so your eyes and your mind wander to those green curtains and the not-matching green bedspread.

Green.  Now there’s a colour I understand.  Presumably the NHS soft furnishing Tsar – or more likely soft furnishing committee –  rejected a number of other colours for sensible reasons.  Red – too much like blood.  Blue – too likely to blend in with nurses. Black – let’s not go there.   Green is calming, cool, cathartic, cleansing and load of other comforting words that begin with a C.  So ok…..I approve of green though I do wonder why yellow got rejected.  Is it too happy for hospital?

Anyway who actually picked the fabric?  The one I’m looking at now with no fewer than four different green shades in splodges on it.  It’s not what I would pick.  Who walked through the NHS fabric shop looking for just the right shade for my ward?  Does the NHS fabric shop have anything plain in it?  Or anything at all in black?  Did the furnishing Tsar spend hours sifting through rolls of green fabric before he found this perfect four-splodge version?

Thinking about it, maybe there was method behind his material madness.  Presumably as our Tsar is walking past those rolls of fabric, he’s thinking feverishly,  ‘It needs to match the bedspreads.’  Let’s be honest after a thousand patients, and hopefully a thousand washes, our NHS bedspreads could end up  a fair few different shades of green.  Maybe that’s where the splodges come in?  I wonder if he worries about such things, our Tsar? Does he feel stressed at the  pressure of buying tasteful textiles to accompany hospital treatment?  Is this a person comfortable in his choices or is this a man not trusted by his wife to pick his own ties let alone the bedroom curtains?

I’m assuming he’s a man which is, of course, very unfair and indeed sexist of me.  I’ve known plenty of women with terrible taste in furnishings if their living rooms are anything to go by.   My family once had to spend a huge amount of time sat on a lilac sofa in an intensive care waiting room.  The colour of that sofa was much discussed, and is now part of family history.  ‘It’s as bad as the lilac sofa’ , they say.   Lilac.  I bet a woman picked it.

Thinking about it, this is not an easy job.  Which normal person ever finds it easy to pick curtains? My living room lasted for years with no curtains, the neighbours looking in as they walked their dogs, simply because I couldn’t decide which blinking curtains to buy.  I’d spend hours in fabric shops looking for that elusive pattern that was just the right shade.   I only actually put some up when we needed to sell the house.  I’d be useless at furnishing a hospital.

So come on out soft furnishing Tsar.  I have reflected on the problem and it’s not curtains for you.   Give the man (or woman) a medal instead.