A call has gone out for people to help fund bags, jewellery pouches, toiletries, wedding decorations, and teddy bears.
These ‘little extras’ have been found to help our staff care for people who are at the end of their life. The bags and pouches are for relatives to take home their loved one’s possessions, the toiletries for people staying over night last minute, and the bears for patients and their families.
The Health Tree Foundation also helps fund ‘wedding boxes’ which are used by ward staff to decorate rooms, if an end of life patient books a ceremony in the hospital.
The charity splashed out on lots of these 12 months ago to support our end of life team in rolling out their Bluebell and Family’s Voices project. This aims to provide individually tailored packages of care for patients and their families.
However, stocks are running low and The Health Tree Foundation is hoping donations can swell their funds in order to buy more.
Julieann Woollas, End of Life Lead Nurse, said: “The Bluebell project is helping to make a real difference to our end of life patients, as well as their loved ones. It is often the little things that can make a big difference, such as teddy bears or toiletries. It would be wonderful if people would support this, and help us, help our staff make a difference.
“There is a common saying for end of life care and that is that we have One Chance to Get it Right, and this is something we strive towards.”
Sara Storrs, Ward 16 Manager at Scunthorpe hospital, explained why they were important. She said: “We always aim to provide high quality care when someone is at the end of their life. At the end of the day, it is just as important when someone dies as it is when they are born.
“We know a hospital is such a clinical setting no matter what we do, however, by being able to provide these little touches it goes a long way. Just having a stock of toiletries for relatives who want to stay over to be with their loved one, bags for people to take home belongings, and pouches to keep jewellery safe.
“The teddy bears have also proved popular. We place them in the arms of patients. When they have passed, we give it to relatives as it often the last thing their loved one touched, which makes it special.
“They may seem like little things, but they can and do, make a difference to someone’s experience of death and dying. It is often the little things that makes a big difference,” added Sara.
If anyone would like to support the charity in buying items for our end of life team, there are several options for donating. You can go to the dedicated JustGiving campaign.
Doners can also make a donation via bank transfer, cash donation, or cheque made payable to The Health Tree Foundation (The Bluebell project written on the back of the cheque). Or you can contact our team by ringing 03033 304514 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to make a donation.