I am incredibly proud of our country’s National Health Service, providing universal healthcare for all, free at the point of use. However, the reality is that being in hospital can be a difficult and scary experience for patients and their families. That’s why this month I am featuring the vital work of Bay Hospitals Charity.
Based in Lancaster, Bay Hospitals Charity aims to make the hospital experience better for patients, providing equipment and care in our local NHS hospitals over and above what the NHS can provide.
The charity is dedicated to ensuring that hospitals are equipped with the very latest technology, as well as the little extras that make all the difference. I would like to tell you about just a few ways that Bay Hospitals Charity is making the hospital experience better.
Helping to prevent hair loss in chemotherapy patients
Chemotherapy induced hair loss is widely recognised as one of the most traumatic side effects associated with cancer treatment. Bay Hospitals Charity have been working to give back some control to chemotherapy patients by funding ‘cold caps’ in hospitals across Morecambe Bay.
The use of scalp cooling or ‘cold caps’ has been clinically proven to be effective in helping cancer patients to keep their hair during chemotherapy, and can result in a high level of retention or even completely preserve the hair. For patients, this means the opportunity to regain some control, maintain their privacy and encourage a positive attitude towards treatment.
Bay Hospitals Charity has funded 15 cold caps for patients across Morecambe Bay Hospitals, being used in the Oncology Units at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Furness General Hospital. Your donations make all the difference, with each cap costing £1,875.
Improving the hospital environment for patients living with dementia
People who have dementia need additional support and bespoke care depending on their individual needs whilst they are in hospital.
To help patients, carers and family members, Bay Hospitals Charity has purchased a variety of dementia trolleys, memory shops, memory walls and boxes. These provide therapeutic and social benefits for people living with dementia, helping patients to reminisce by using memorabilia and pictures of the local area. They can also play a key role in therapy, and can be used by nurses, therapists and healthcare support workers if a patient is unsettled, agitated or just needs some social activity.
Providing facilities for parents to stay overnight with their poorly babies
Having a baby is an emotional and life-changing experience for any parent, but even more so when things get off to a rocky start and babies are poorly. To give parents and babies the best possible start together, Bay Hospitals Charity opened a new parents’ room on the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at Furness General Hospital. This allows parents to stay on the unit if their newly-born baby is unwell or needs a little extra help. This would not have been possible without the incredibly generous donation of over £9000 from the Simpson family, who ran an incredible fundraiser to support the SCBU after their own experiences on the unit.
Whether big or small, every donation makes a difference to our local hospitals.
- £10 could buy toys for the Children’s Ward or waiting areas
- £20 could buy an aromatherapy session for someone newly diagnosed with cancer
- £50 could go towards new furnishings for elderly and frail units, making the environment more homely and less daunting
- £100 could help towards the purchase of a new ultrasound scanner to help accurately place needles during treatment
To support Bay Hospitals Charity, you can donate:
Fundraising is a great way to socialise, have fun and stay healthy. If you’d like to have a go but aren’t sure where to start, why not join a group or get involved with a big event run by the charity. If you’re a more confident fundraiser or you’re feeling creative, the options for organising your own charity event are unlimited. The funds you raise go will towards the care and treatment of local people, and will make a real difference.
You can see a current list of charity-run events on the Bay Hospitals Charity website. This is kept updated as events come and go, so keep checking back for more!
If you’ve got an idea for a fundraiser, you can register to raise funds for Bay Hospitals Charity via JustGiving at www.justgiving.com/bhc. You’re also welcome to talk through your ideas with the charity team – contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01524 516064 and the team will be happy to offer advice and guidance.
If you’d like to help the charity in a more hands-on way, the best thing to do is speak to the team to discuss what kind of role would be right for you. They are always in need of volunteers, whether you’re interested in fundraising, volunteering in the community, helping with admin, or have something of your own in mind.
You can contact the charity team by email on email@example.com or by telephone on 01524 516064. You are also welcome to call in to the charity office at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary on Ashton Road any time Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm, if you’d like to have a friendly chat in person.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about Bay Hospitals Charity and the vital role they play in making hospital care better for everyone. To find out more about the charity and hear more about news and upcoming events, you can follow the charity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit www.bayhospitalscharity.org.