£500,000 donation brings more comfort to Fife hospital patients

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Toiletries provided from new hubs

A new team of healthcare staff and volunteers is now supplying items to patients in hospitals who would not otherwise have access to toiletries and other home comforts.

It is the latest benefit to come from an anonymous £500,000 donation to NHS Fife.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The money was given on the condition it was spent helping patients and staff.

Healthcare staff and volunteers begin supplying home comforts to patients in Fife’s hospitals.Healthcare staff and volunteers begin supplying home comforts to patients in Fife’s hospitals.
Healthcare staff and volunteers begin supplying home comforts to patients in Fife’s hospitals. | Other 3rd Party

Hospital wards have previously retained small amounts of toiletries to provide to patients in need. Now, thanks to the bumper donation, the unprecedented step has been taken to purchase a range of additional items for patients whilst visiting is suspended to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Items such as toiletries, body lotions, lip balms, mobile phones chargers and even underwear, pyjamas and reading glasses, are being supplied for patients who require them to make their stay in hospital more comfortable.

The initiative is being led by Helen Skinner, Alzheimer Scotland dementia nurse consultant.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She said: “We recognise the importance of making a person’s stay in hospital as comfortable as it can be in terms of their experience and outcome – that is the case at anytime but is particularly pertinent in the current circumstances.

“There has been such generosity from local businesses and charitable organisations, who have donated a whole host of items for both patients and staff, and which have since been distributed to patients. The recent donation of £500,000 to our Endowment Fund has enabled us to step this up considerably with our new care boxes, which are already making patients’ stay in hospital that bit more comfortable.”

Distribution hubs have been established at Hayfield House in Kirkcaldy and Queen Margaret Hospital. These are being run by staff redeployed from other areas of non-urgent care. While routine volunteering has been suspended, five existing volunteers are providing invaluable support to the project, so keen were they to assist patients in any way they could during the pandemic.

Deliveries have now begun on wards at Victoria Hospital and will commence at Queen Margaret next week before being rolled out across hospitals in Fife.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A supply of these items will be readily available on each ward for distribution to patients as required. Healthcare staff will also be able to request specific items over and above those already provided as part of the initiative.

The anonymous donation has already allowed NHSFife to buy 100 tablets to enable patients to stay connected with their loved ones with video calling whilst they remain in hospital.

Helen Buchanan, director of nursing,, said: “Those in our care, and indeed their friends and loved ones, have been incredibly understanding of the suspension of visiting in our hospitals, and we really do appreciate that.

“These are extraordinary times and that means we must respond accordingly, as we have done with the distribution of tablet computers across our wards and now with the delivery of our care boxes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We are pleased to say that we now in a position where we can provide almost all of the items a patient might require while in hospital.”

A considerable amount of personal belongings continue to be dropped off daily by loved ones of patients in Fife’s hospitals and the Board is urging people to do this only when absolutely necessary.”

Mrs Buchanan, added: “Understandably, friends and loved ones are keen to drop off items to make their stay in hospital more comfortable but it’s important this is only done when absolutely necessary.

“We care for some very vulnerable patients and our staff are working tirelessly to reduce the chance for the virus to enter the ‘green’ zones of our hospitals. It’s important therefore that we limit the items brought into our facilities to protect those most at risk.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you. In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you - wherever possible and providing it is safe for you to do so - to also please purchase a copy of our newspapers; the Fife Free Press, Fife Herald, St Andrews Citizen, East Fife Mail and Glenrothes Gazette.

Inevitably falling advertising revenues will start to have an impact on local newspapers and the way we continue to work during this period of uncertainty.

The support of our readers has never been more important as we try to make sure that we keep you connected with your community during this time. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. We need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

Our team of trusted reporters are working incredibly hard behind the scenes - from kitchen tables and spare bedrooms - to look at how we can do this, and your continued support of our newspapers across Fife will help to protect their viability in the days and weeks ahead.

For more details on our subscription offers please visit email [email protected] or call us on 0330 4033004

Thank you

Allan Crow, Editor, Fife Free Press