Published on: 2 December 2021
Patients at Sunderland Royal Hospital have been gifted a range of luxury toiletry items to help them feel pampered during their hospital stay, thanks to the kindness of a Sunderland community group.
Bags of items, such as moisturiser, shower gel, men’s shaving kits and deodorant have been put together for patients coming in to the hospital with little or no personal items. The gifts were donated by the city’s Rotary Club, which runs ‘Satellite@Sunderland Hospitals’ – a small group of people who have links with the Trust and volunteer to support NHS services.
Dozens of packs have been handed out to the hospital wards, which regularly see patients coming in who have either been admitted as an emergency or don’t have the means to buy toiletries. South Tyneside and Sunderland
NHS Trust supports these patients by providing essential items like toothbrushes and toothpaste, but relies on kind donations from organisations and companies to make sure that those patients most at need have those extra home comforts available to them.
The bags were received by the Trust’s Patient Experience Team and Chaplaincy Team, who have also distributed them to the wards. Former Lead Chaplain, Peter Webb, who recently retired after 34 years’ of service with the Trust, has led the effort on behalf of Sunderland Rotary Club.
Lesley Carlton, Lead Nurse for Patient Experience, recently moved into the role, having previously worked as a health visitor in the community and in Intensive Care.
She said: “This is a fantastic and generous donation and will be put to very good use on the wards. Some patients come in with only the clothes on their backs so to have shower gel to wash with or a nice face or hand cream really does make a huge amount of difference to them.
“As a Trust we will always do our very best to make sure that all patients have access to essentials when they are in our care, but it is the little extras that make them feel special and show that there are people in the local community that also cares for their health and wellbeing.”
The delivery of bags follows a previous drop off during the pandemic by the Rotary team, which raised funds for the project through the local community and through a grant from Rotary for COVID project.
Peter’s wife Jane, who is the chairman of the group and retired from her role as a Rehabilitation after critical Illness assistant (RacI) from Sunderland Royal Hospital’s ICCU last year, was also among the organisers.
She helped promote the project within the group, which is made up of present and retired staff members and others with links to the hospital.
Peter said: “We wanted to supply some luxury items that would make patients feel special and to show that we care.
“When we did this the first time it was really well received by patient’s families, some of whom struggled to get to the shops particularly during the first lockdown. To know that their loved ones had access to products that made them feel good was so reassuring at such as difficult time.”
If you would like to find out more about the ‘Satellite@Sunderland Hospitals’ group or the Rotary Club you can contact the Chaplaincy Team at Sunderland Royal Hospital on 0191 569 9180.
As well as fundraising for the Trust, the group help with the upkeep of its central garden which creates a nice outdoor space for patients and staff to enjoy.
Anyone interested in volunteering with the Trust can visit the NHS Jobs website or contact Alison McNally via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.