INTRODUCTION

The Friends of Bedford Hospital, Registered Charity No. 1031015, was founded at the very start of the National Health Service.

The Friends work with Bedford Hospital to raise additional funds to help purchase necessary equipment and extras that the Government and the local NHS Trust are unable to afford. All the money raised, apart from absolutely essential expenses, is used to buy the items requested by the various medical staff and departments.

Between March and July 2015 the Friends of Bedford Hospital have supplied equipment for the Hospital totalling £43,590. This is an outstanding achievement for the Charity. Warmest thanks are due to all the supporters, helpers and fund-raisers involved, and to members of the public who buy our Christmas cards and items from our stalls.

In Elizabeth and Harpur Wards the Friends furnished and equipped two Quiet Rooms adapted specially for patients suffering from Dementia. The furniture has been developed in a project with Stirling University to be particularly safe, stable, comfortable, hygienic and easy to clean. Cupboards and equipment (such as TVs) are securely fixed to the wall so that patients cannot overbalance and pull them over on top of themselves. There are no visible electric leads that patients can get tangled up in: everything is built in. The rooms are decorated in colours and styles co-ordinated with those in nearby care homes, to help patients feel relaxed within the Hospital setting.

Safety-first TVs with DVDs offer a good range of suitable films, and the DVDs can also supply a progression of still scenes for those patients whose Dementia prevents them from following moving images. Specially adapted Radios have also been fitted.

Nearby “Memory Walls”, bringing to life Bedford past and present, create a relaxing, open and outdoor feeling. Research shows that pleasant and suitably stimulating day-time surroundings speed up the recovery of patients suffering from Dementia and help them to manage their condition.

The Friends have purchased a Bladder Scanner with Trolley for Richard Wells Ward so that every patient can be easily examined, minimising the risk of the Urinary Tract Infections which can seriously set back recovery.

The Friends have also funded a Glidescope Video-Monitored Intubation System, which enables intubation to be carried out safely and accurately, especially in the treatment of young children, accident victims and the elderly. It is also a valuable teaching aid. This is a major improvement to the existing facilities.

In addition, the Friends provided sets of 15 Pager Alerts and 15 Personal Amplifiers to the Audiology Department to make communication easier with patients who are hard of hearing.

A Pager Alert buzzes to tell a patient in a clinic when it is his or her turn. The Personal Amplifiers shown in the accompanying photos will be used chiefly in the Acute Assessment Unit, Accident & Emergency, Wards specializing in Care of the Elderly, and in Trauma and Orthopaedics Outpatients. They are for patients who have lost their hearing aids or for any reason can't make them work when they are admitted to Hospital.

Due to the generosity and support of Members and the people of Bedford in raising funds, we will soon be able to plan for further projects and I will let you know when these have been decided in consultation with the Hospital. As always, we aim to provide clinical equipment that the NHS cannot afford, and to help make patients' and carers' time in the Hospital more bearable and comfortable.

We are sympathetic to individual requests and if you have an idea for an improvement, do not hesitate to put it forward at any time (click the round red "Contact" button at the top of our Home Page.) All projects have to be agreed with the Hospital Management, who source equipment from approved suppliers using NHS discounts where possible.

Felicity Scott
Chairman


OUR MONTHLY STALL IN THE HOSPITAL

Once a month (see dates below) the Friends run a stall on the tables outside the main door of the Swannery Restaurant in the Hospital. We offer a frequently-updated selection of kindly donated adults' and children's books as well as bric-a-brac, toys and knitted items. We try to respond to our customers' requests. Children's and teenagers' books sell the fastest and we always need more. We currently need more “spoken word” CDs of books for people with impaired sight. Income from the stall during the past year has varied from approximately £25 to £70 per session, our customers traditionally being most generous around Christmas. Even on days when we earn less for the Friends, we have offered a useful service and spread interest in our work. We also find ourselves directing people to clinics and to the nearest disabled facilities.

Working on the Friends' bookstall is sociable and enjoyable, giving us the opportunity to meet staff, patients and carers. We keep a list of volunteers and if you would like your name added as an occasional or regular helper, please phone me as below. We usually arrive about 9.30am and set the stall up to be open from 10am to 2pm, which covers the busiest times. We always have two volunteers on duty so that each can take a break. We now have two passes so that each volunteer can park free of charge in Britannia Road car park.

SWANNERY STALL – REMAINING DATES 2015

10am – 2pm

Monday, 7th September
Monday, 5th October
Monday, 2nd November
Monday, 7th December

If you would like to offer your help, please phone Bedford 359716

With sincere thanks to all our donors and helpers,

Felicity Scott.

 


COLLECTIONS AT SUPERMARKETS

We collect four times a year at Budgen's Supermarket in Bromham, earning about £250 - £350 each time (Christmas collections being the most rewarding). Our collections at Budgen's are always on Saturdays as those are their busiest days. Each collector covers just one hour and may work outside or inside the shop, as he or she prefers. Tesco Riverfield Drive have given us a collecting date shortly before Christmas, for which we are truly grateful. We collect inside their large glass entrance hall, which can be draughty in December, so would every kind volunteer please bring warm clothing.

This is another opportunity to meet the public and hear their views on all matters to do with the Hospital. Virtually all patients and their carers have been warm in their praise of Bedford Hospital staff and have told us how kindly they have been treated, and how grateful they are.

SUPERMARKET COLLECTIONS – REMAINING DATES 2015

Saturday, 26 Sept. - Budgen's Bromham
Saturday, 28 Nov. - Budgen's Bromham
Tuesday, 15 Dec. - Tesco Riverfield Drive

If you would like to offer your help, please phone Bedford 359716

Felicity Scott.