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Help the Emergency Department provide bags of comfort to patients in need

 

Doctors and Nurses from the Emergency Department (ED) at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital are appealing for your help with donations for a new campaign to bring a little extra comfort to patients who need it.


The Comfort Exeter campaign aims to provide emergency clothing and essential personal items for patients who may be vulnerable or in need of some extra support when they are well enough to leave the Emergency Department.


The initiative includes the introduction of a clothing bank with a supply of emergency items for patients whose own clothes may have needed to be removed or cut away whilst receiving treatment; and the provision of ‘comfort bags’ which contain essential items such as toiletries and socks to help support vulnerable patients with their on-going health needs and provide them with comfort and dignity after they are discharged.  

 

The comfort bags contain the following items:

Comfort Exeter was developed by Emergency Department staff who were keen to introduce initiatives to improve not only the care received by patients whilst in ED but also their holistic needs when they leave hospital as well.


Staff Nurse Jen Turner-Steel explained: “We began considering the concept of comfort bags early this year when we were caring for some particularly distressed patients in need. We were conscious of the feelings of helplessness staff members were experiencing on discharging some of these patients, and also acutely aware of the needs of our patients to feel valued and still human regardless of the circumstances they may be facing.”


Inspired by a desire to ‘do their bit’ for these patients, the ED team worked with the local community to jointly come up with a solution to help care for vulnerable people who need a little bit of extra support. 


“The project in essence is very simple; a set of dry clothes and a bag of a few basic essentials to help a person on their way, yet due to its simplicity I feel we will be able to have an impact on our patients lives that we are not really able to fathom. To give a person hope in a particularly dark time in their lives may, in fact, be lifesaving.” Jen added.


The bags, which also include information about local services including soup kitchens, will be given as a one off donation to patients in real need who meet the department’s criteria.

 

Prof. Adrian Harris, Medical Director at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust said: “This is a really admirable initiative which will be of real benefit to some of our most vulnerable patients when they leave department. The ED team have displayed genuine empathy and compassion by developing this project and I am very proud of their efforts. I’d also like to say thank you to everyone who has supported Comfort Exeter so far and helped us to provide this small extra comfort for people who need it most.”  


Comfort Exeter has already received fantastic support from local organisations including churches in and around Exeter, the Christian Police Association and local business God at my House, who have donated items and helped to fund the supply of comfort bags.


The Emergency Department team would warmly welcome further donations of clothing or essential comfort bag items listed above to help provide more patients with a little extra comfort. These items can be handed into the Emergency Department reception.
Items which cannot be used include razors, medication, food products, bulky and electrical items.


To arrange a donation or to discuss the project further please contact rde-tr.comfortexeter@nhs.net or call 01392 406394.

 

For more information visit the Comfort Exeter page.

 

Or follow us on Twitter @ComfortExeter


Added 11th December 2017

Call 111 when its less than urgent