Author Archive by Poole Hospital

Cuddly dogs gifted to shielding children

As part of home visits to shielding children during Covid-19, Poole Hospital’s children’s community nursing team (CCN) has been delivering ‘Darcy dogs’ to shielding children.

The CCN team reached out to Poole Hospital Charity to request £800 of funding from the Poole Hospital Heroes Covid-19 fund to purchase 100 of the cuddly dogs, craft and educational items.

The Covid-19 outbreak has brought many challenges to hospital. One of those challenges is seeing shielding patients who have been unable to attend appointments in the hospital.

The CCN team has visited an increased number of children at home who have complex needs and life limiting conditions.

Darcy dogs have been given out as a way of thanking children for allowing staff into their houses wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), which can sometimes be a daunting experience.

The cuddly dogs have been well received by families and children. Parents understand the difficulties at this time and for some, the CCN team is the only people they have let into their homes over the past few months.

“Parents have really appreciated the thought that we have given to shielding families,” mentioned Maxine Gerrett, community support nurse.

“One child was really over the moon with his Darcy dog which made his day!”

As each child has received their own Darcy dog there is no risk from infection control that would have been posed if nurses had used games and crafts like normal which help make a visit less scary.

Josie Roberts, clinical lead nurse for children’s community services and palliative care, said: “Giving our wonderful children and families a little gift to say thank you for their patience, and allowing us into their houses with PPE and following our guidance is amazing.”

“Seeing the smiles on children’s faces has been priceless. We cannot thank our children enough.”

The CCN team is still handing out the cuddly dogs to children who have had to shield and many families have suggested it would be a great idea to present each new referral with one.

£170,000 donated to hospital’s ‘Heroes Fund’

Poole Hospital’s Heroes Fund, which was set up to respond to the health and well-being needs of the hospital’s staff and patients during the Covid-19 pandemic, has so far received £170,000 in grants and donations.

Over the past five months charitable organisations, local businesses and individuals have all contributed to the fund.

Grants were received from NHS Charities Together and the Talbot Village Trust, a charity supporting causes in the Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch area, which provided an amazing £25,000 grant to support staff wellbeing initiatives.

Other donations included, Maverick Race, a Bournemouth based trail-running events organiser, who contributed £7,060 from the sale of specially designed t-shirts and Elliott Brown Watches, a Poole based watch manufacturer, who donated £4,290.

In addition, community groups and individual fundraisers have also been a vital source of support with Yarrells School and Nursery holding a ‘camp out’, with pupils and staff camping in their own gardens, raising £1,223. A garden marathon was also held in place of the annual Poole Festival of Running, which raised £13,425,  split between the Poole Hospital Heroes Fund and the hospital’s cancer services team.

So far the charity has committed to spending £65,000 which has been used to support staff safe spaces, which offer staff a place to rest and reflect; food and hydration, and the establishment of staff support helplines and counselling services. It has also been used to help patients, particularly those recovering from Covid-19.

Commenting on the staff rest areas, Elena Fearn, foundation year two paediatrics doctor, said: “Three safe spaces were created to provide staff with an escape from their day to day working life. 

“Having a comfortable space to relax has really brought people together with staff truly appreciating the hospital and local businesses contributing these spaces.

“A midwife who has been in the hospital for 30 years told me this was the nicest thing anyone had done for staff and was very emotional about it.”

The fund has also been used to support patients, including helping with patient wellness. Contributions have been used to fund delirium activity boxes, which include strengthening equipment, puzzles, quiz books, colouring activities, board games and card games, and are being used by the hospital’s respiratory therapy team to aid post-Covid-19 patient rehabilitation.

“The activity boxes assist therapists working with the patients to re-orientate, improve cognition and ultimately reduce the delirium experience due to the effects of long-term sedation, on top of waking up in an unfamiliar environment,” said Suzie Jupp, acute inpatient team lead physio.

Looking ahead, the charity is working to ensure that a lasting legacy remains from the donations which will be used to continue to support patient wellbeing and look after the psychological, physical and mental wellbeing of staff.

This includes £5,000 of funding for department leaders to attend the Florence Nightingale Foundation’s NHS Leadership Support Service, which will help train leaders to support the mental health and wellbeing of their staff.

Summing up the gratitude for these fantastic donations, Sara Fripp, Poole Hospital Charity fundraising manager, said: “Without the generosity and support of our fundraisers and local organisations none of this would have been possible.

“We have seen communities, individuals and companies come together to support the Heroes Fund, whether that be from a head shave, a tombola, running laps around their garden or simply by making a donation.

“As a hospital based charity we cannot thank our donors and supporters enough for their gratitude and generosity.”

Artistic addition to thank hospital staff

Karina Wilgeroth, a Warblington based artist, has donated one of her paintings to Poole Hospital.

Her donation, titled ‘In bloom’, will be entered into a hospital-wide raffle with all departments having the chance to submit their entry. The winner will be selected at random with the beautiful painting being displayed in their staff-facing area.

Karina, who suffers from Charcot Marie Tooth disease (CMT), a condition which damages the peripheral nerves, has been painting since she was a child.

Inspiration for her paintings is taken from natural life, feelings of pain and happiness or ideas that pop into her head. Her pieces are on show at other hospitals and have also sold internationally.

Due to Karina’s condition, she has been in and out of hospital all her life and often donates to hospitals as a way of giving something back to staff who give their all to help others.

“I like donating to busy hospitals that specialise in certain treatments,” said Karina.

“Hospitals and dedicated NHS staff have helped me on more than a few occasions and I love to think of my work being enjoyed by as many people as possible.”

Karina varies the way she paints between hand painting and using her mouth, with her donation to the hospital taking one week to complete, painting three hours a day.

“It’s not every day I use my mouth but still often enough. I take things day by day and when I’m in pain painting gives me focus and keeps me sane,” added Karina.

Karina uses her art to help raise awareness of CMT, and would like to thank CMT UK and the CMT Research Foundation for their support, help and advice in living with the disease.

Sara Fripp, fundraising manager for Poole Hospital Charity, said: “We are extremely grateful for Karina’s artwork. The talent she has used to create such a beautiful painting will be sure to bring a burst of colour and happiness to its final home.”

Over the next few weeks the Poole Hospital Charity will be raffling off various donated art work to help brighten up staff rest spaces.

Garden makeover for Maternity

Poole Hospital maternity unit’s staff garden has benefited from a make-over from a local supporter.

The garden, which was originally organised as part of the Royal College of Midwives’ ‘Caring for You’ campaign, has undergone a makeover by Dan Smith, a professional Poole based gardener.

The idea to offer a helping hand to improve the garden came after eco-friendly Dan saw the great care his expectant wife received in the maternity unit during Covid-19.

Dan Smith of Beeutiful Gardens

In addition, funding from two grants received by Poole Hospital Charity from NHS Charities Together’s Covid-19 Urgent Appeal, has been used to expand the original garden.

Additional benches will be added to allow staff to enjoy the space with the ability to distance safely.

Ally Sutherland and Elaine Luffman, antenatal clinic maternity support workers, who support the Royal College of Midwives team, water the plants whenever they are on duty.

“I feel it is important that we keep this area maintained for staff as a place for them escape and get some respite during the working day,” said Ally.

“I have always liked flowers so tending to the garden is something that comes naturally to me.”

To add to the design of the garden, staff have painted stones to incorporate a personal touch.

Jillian Ireland, Professional Midwifery Advocate, said: “Having a place to get away from the indoor environment and the added stresses of wearing PPE continually is really important. 

“The garden adds a touch of serenity to break times and is a great example of departments and groups working together on behalf of staff.”

Sara Fripp, fundraising manager, added: “The funding has been used to support the health and well-being of both patients and staff as a direct result of Covid-19. Ultimately the garden helps staff with wellbeing which in turn helps patients’ wellbeing.”

‘Saddened’ cycle club donates secure bike locks to hospital

Dorset Rough Rides donate bike locks to hospital staff.

Dorset Rough Riders, a Bournemouth and Poole based off-road cycle club, has donated 10 bike locks to Poole Hospital following an annual fundraising drive by club members.

The cycling group decided to donate to the hospital after a recent spate of bike thefts left some staff unable to get to work.

At a cost of £50 each, the locks have a silver and gold ‘sold level’, part of a three tier security grading system. They offer increased security with hardened steel links to help prevent pick, drilling and leverage attacks.

Gold sold level locks offer the highest security rating for cycle locks and are bike insurer friendly. 

“We feel that if you are going to spend money on a bike to commute to work then a lock with good security is vital,” said Terri Winstanley, member of Dorset Rough Riders.

In addition to the locks, Dorset Rough Rider company-branded neck buffs and additional promotional materials have also been donated.

Terri added: “As a group of avid bike riders, we were incredibly saddened to hear of bike thefts from both Poole Hospital and The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals, which our members have had cause to use over the years.

“We felt moved to support staff who had their bikes stolen at such a critical time when commuting by bike has become so important.”

Marie Cleary, staff experience lead at Poole Hospital, said: “We are keen to support our members of staff to lead healthy lives and cycling to work supports this as well as helping our environment. We really appreciate this generous support from Dorset Rough Riders to keep bikes safe for our staff returning home.”

Rural run in support of radiotherapy unit

Phillipa Rolle, a frequent fundraiser for Poole Hospital Charity, will be running the Dorset boundary in aid of Poole Hospital’s radiotherapy unit on 4 July with a target of £2,150.

Phillipa was due to participate in the Race Across Scotland, a challenging 215 mile coast to coast run, that has been postponed until next year due to Covid-19.

Event organisers, instead, offered participants the option of completing the race virtually to allow them to run in their own area.

The time frame for the virtual race was extended from the race’s original 100 hours to two weeks. However, Phillipa aims to complete the 190-mile Dorset boundary in under 100 hours to try and replicate the real event.

To make up the additional 25 miles she has tweaked the route by adding detours along the way within the county boundary.

Radiotherapy is close to Phillipa’s heart, having lost family to cancer and has friends who have also received treatment for the disease.

“Funds raised from this challenge are aimed towards treatment to help prolong the lives of those affected by cancer,” said Phillipa.

“I will continue to raise money for my local hospital for as long as I can run. This gives me a purpose and joy whilst running.”

With support from the Lytchett Manor Striders, her local running group, she has been offered help and support along the way from other runners offering to run sections with her, stay with her through the night and provide essential supplies along the way.

“The response and support has been immense,” added Phillipa.

“I will have a tracker on me for people to follow the journey, so fingers crossed I will complete this come run, walk or crawl!”

Phillipa intends to run the Race Across Scotland next year with all funds going towards the hospital.

John Payne, operational manager for radiotherapy, said: “We are so thankful for Phillipa’s support. Charitable donations really make a big difference for radiotherapy patients.”

“Our charity fund is aiming to save for a specialist ‘HoverMatt’ air transfer system. This will allow us to transfer patients, currently too unwell to go home from hospital, to the treatment machine from their hospital bed more comfortably and quickly using this advanced air mattress flotation system.”

Janine Golding, community fundraiser for Poole Hospital Charity, said: “Phillipa’s dedication to running and support for the hospital is greatly appreciated. The money she raises will be a welcome boost for the radiotherapy department and those that use its services.”

If you would like to support Phillipa in her epic challenge please donate here

Dorset Corkers fundraiser for Gully’s Place

Gully’s Place has received a donation of £600 from the Dorchester Corkers.

The funds were raised through a themed wine tasting evening that took place last year at the Corn Exchange in Dorchester and will be used for the upkeep of the unit at Dorset County Hospital.

Gully’s Place supports children and young people with life-limiting conditions from the point of diagnosis, to care in the hospital, at home and within the community.

Each year the event takes on a different theme with last year’s being ‘legends and divas.’ Attendees came in fancy dress and tasted six wines.

Mair Cole and Julia Stewart, both Gully’s Buddies, and members of Ellipse, the ladies community group behind the Dorchester Corkers, were present at the event.

‘Buddies’ are volunteer fundraisers, dedicated to raising awareness and funds to support the unit’s services and suites at Poole Hospital and Dorset County Hospital.

“Gully’s Place has been a favourite charity of ours for many years,” said Mair.

“Representatives of Gully’s Place from the Kingfisher Ward at Dorset County Hospital gave us a helping hand us with the clean-up of the event, which was very much appreciated!”

The evening culminated in group’s tradition of singing Sir Edward Elgar’s ‘pomp and circumstance,’ and last year a wonderful rendition of The Beatles ‘all you need is love’ was also sung.

Sarah Lemon, Gully’s Place administrator, said: “This is a wonderful donation that will truly help with the upkeep of the unit. We are really thankful to the Dorchester Corkers for supporting the unit.”

If you’d like to support Gully’s Place by organising a fundraising event or making a donation, please get in touch here.

Poole Hospital Elf Service Launch Event

Here at Poole Hospital Charity we’re getting ready to launch our festive Christmas fundraiser – Poole Hospital Elf Service!

This year, we are aiming to raise £30,000 for 5 very special items. These items will benefit different areas around the hospital including maternity, children’s services and cancer services, which will make a real difference to our local community.

To get our festive campaign started, we’re holding a networking launch event and we’d love you to join us:

  • Thursday 14th November
  • 9.30am until 11.00am
  • At Rick Stein, Banks Road, Sandbanks, Poole

You’ll have the opportunity to network with local community groups and businesses and meet the hospital teams featured on our Christmas list. It’ll be a fantastic chance to hear first-hand how the items on the list will benefit the patients we care for and have an insight into how your support will make a real difference in the heart of our local community.

Rick Steins are kindly supporting the event and providing hot drinks and cakes for you to enjoy at their stunning Sandbanks location.

If you are able to attend, please let us know, we look forward to seeing you there.

Poole Hospital Elf Service relies on the support of our local community. There are lots of ways to get involved including spreading the word, joining us at our Christmas events and even organising your own FUNdraiser.

All the details of our events and how you can get involved can be found on here.

If you would like to support in a more practical way like helping at one of our events, making Christmas crafts for our gift shop or donating a prize for our charity raffle, then please do get in touch.

We hope you can support us this festive season and help make our Christmas wish list a reality.

Nominations now open!

As part of plans to celebrate our ‘golden jubilee’, the Poole Hospital Awards are back in September. This is your chance to nominate who you believe shines and excels in their provision of care and service.

These annual awards recognise staff, supporters, fundraisers and volunteers who have gone above and beyond for patients and colleagues.

Nominations are now open and we need you to nominate an individual or team who you believe is worthy of recognition and appreciation.

Nominees may be in a patient-facing role, for example a nurse, doctor, midwife or porter, or they may be someone who works behind the scenes and is essential to the smooth running of the hospital and uphold our core values. This year there’s a special award to mark someone who has made an outstanding and long-term contribution to life at the hospital. The categories we’re seeking nominations in this year are:

  • Special Award: Outstanding Contribution to Poole Hospital over a sustained period – individual
  • Employee of the Year
  • Innovation and Improvement – individual or team
  • Excellence in Patient Care – individual or team
  • Going the Extra Mile – individual or team
  • Living Our Values – individual or team
  • Fundraiser of the Year – individual or team
  • Volunteer of the Year – individual or team

Nominating is easy: check out the judging criteria here, then complete this simple online form.

The deadline for nominations is midnight on 12 August. The awards will be presented at a special event on 13 September 2019 in a new location for the awards, the Italian Villa at Compton Acres, in Poole.

The awards are just one way we’re celebrating our golden jubilee, and follow a range of events last week to mark the day itself. Our celebrations continue between 12-14 September as we officially open our new main entrance joined by Sandra and Harry Redknapp, hold our annual members meeting and open our doors for a public open day.

The Fletcher Foundation boosts Dorset Breast Screening Unit

State-of-the-art equipment bought with donations from a charitable foundation

PATIENTS at Poole Hospital are already benefitting from two state-of-the-art pieces of equipment bought with donations from a charitable foundation.

The Fletcher Foundation was established to support prostate and breast cancer services throughout south Dorset.

Now it’s given £10,000 for a lateral arm for the Dorset Breast Screening Unit, and its also giving support to the Dorset Cancer Centre’s low dose-rate brachytherapy.

The lateral arm allows practitioners to perform difficult to reach biopsies which would previously have proven impossible.

And permanent seed brachytherapy, also known as low dose-rate brachytherapy, is a type of radiotherapy where tiny radioactive ‘seeds’ are placed into the prostate. Each radioactive ‘seed’ is the size and shape of a grain of rice, and stay in the prostate, giving a steady dose of radiation over a few months, destroying cancer cells.

Breast imaging manager for the Dorset breast screening service, Mel Huish, said: “The contribution by the Fletcher Foundation is already improving the lives of patients.

“If a lesion is in an awkward position then biopsies cannot be performed confidently – the arm has been vital in ensuring these women can undergo their biopsy in a timely way, reducing stress and anxiety, allowing us to reassure them or plan their treatment much sooner.”

Tony Brown, the foundation’s treasurer, said he was delighted the organisation has been able to continue to support the hospital.

“The arm will help to generate a 3D image which makes it much easier to view breast tissue clearly and quickly identify any areas of concern. It’s fantastic to know that several women have already benefited from this technology.”

The Fletcher Foundation is supported by local community groups and businesses including Wimborne & Ferndown Lions and Barclays Bank.