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You are here: Home \ Trust \ News \ 2016 Jul-Dec \ Chairs donated to Bolham Ward to enable relatives to stay with patients who need them


Chairs donated to Bolham Ward to enable relatives to stay with patients who need them

div>Three convertible chairs have been donated to Bolham Ward at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital to enable carers to stay with their relatives if they need to whilst in hospital. 
The donation to the Bolham Ward Trust Fund has been made in memory of former patient Patrick Tilbury by local charities The Exeter Foundation, The Exeter Lions and close friend Laura Coniam.

Patrick’s parents Barbara and David Tilbury organised the £4500 donation to the neurological ward where he spent time being cared for earlier this year.

Barbara Tilbury said: “Sadly David and I were in the position of needing to stay by our son's bedside for several nights when he was desperately ill and sitting on a hard plastic chair all night watching our son fight for his life was sheer purgatory.  Sadly he lost his fight, a tragic loss for us, but our heartfelt thanks go to these wonderful people for their empathy in understanding what a difference these convertible chair-beds can make to others who find themselves, unhappily, in the same position as we were.”

The chairs, which convert into beds, will enable people to stay with their relatives if they need to help care for them during their time on the ward. The donation will help further the hospital’s support for John’s Campaign, a national initiative which promotes the importance of relatives who are carers being able stay with patients for as long as they wish when they are in hospital. This can help reduce distress for older patients who may become disoriented when they are out of their normal routine and help in situations like the Tilbury’s, where patients are critically ill and need their family around them. 

Anny Willett, Bolham Ward Matron, said: “We are absolutely delighted with this very kind donation. These reclining chairs for relatives make such a difference to families who wish to stay with a loved one either because the patient has dementia or because they are coming to the end of their life. We are extremely grateful to these charities and the Tilbury’s for helping to make this happen.”

Two of the chairs have been funded by The Exeter Foundation and the third jointly by Laura and The Exeter Lions. Representatives from both organisations recently visited to the ward to see the new chairs and hear more about how they are benefiting patients and staff.

“The aim of the Foundation is to support local charities and causes in whatever way we can,” said Tony Rowe OBE, Chairman of the Exeter Foundation. “That’s why when we were asked to support the Bolham Ward by helping fund the new convertible chairs we had no hesitation in saying yes to the request.

“Entering into hospital at any time can be stressful, not just for patients, but also for relatives as well, and if our assistance can help in any way to ease that process then already we are helping to make a big difference. I’ve no doubt that many people will benefit from using these chairs over time and we’re delighted to offer our support to such a great cause.”

Brian The Lion, from local charity the Exeter Lions, added: “We were delighted to help especially when so many patient's families will benefit from these chairs.”



Photo caption: (From centre to right) Brian the Lion and Tina McKnight, The Exeter Lions; Barbara Tilbury; Anny Willett, Matron; Keiron Northcott, Trustee from The Exeter Foundation; with members of the Bolham Team.   

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