Column: Digging deep to improve services

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In recent years, the number of local people needing treatment for blood diseases and disorders has risen dramatically.

Despite this, the Haematology Service at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital continues to take pride in being able to offer excellent care to patients. However, for most, despite the world- class treatment available, being diagnosed and then being admitted to hospital is something that causes immense distress and anxiety. And that’s where hospital fundraising can make a huge difference.

David Reynolds

David Reynolds

Patients told us how hard some can find sharing a ward with others. They told us how important it was, when their condition left them in pain, that comfortable rooms and chairs gave them an incentive to get out of bed, and a window with a view and artwork of big landscapes the ability to ‘go for a walk’ in their minds.

Those who were spending hours alone wanted entertainment and small things like fridges, to allow them to bring the cold drinks and ice lollies that helped with sore mouths, a symptom of their treatment. Finally, those who faced the likelihood of admission for end-of-life care told us how important it was that families could stay in comfort.

These issues have prompted the development and launch of a new haematology ward, which opened last month, including an extra 17 single rooms, where patients can undergo difficult treatment in isolation to protect their weakened immune systems, and which also provide more privacy and peace.

This modern, patient-focused ward was made possible because of donations to your local NHS charity, Sheffield Hospitals Charity, which is dedicated to enhancing the care of NHS patients being treated in Sheffield. Thanks to the generosity of local people motivated to give and to fundraise, we have been able to make a real and lasting difference to patients’ quality of life by making these new private rooms a ‘home from home’.

We have been able to make a real and lasting difference

Donations from local people and businesses have made it possible for the ward to include large windows, bespoke artwork and mood lighting, plus extra-comfortable reclining chairs which aid circulation and reduce bed sores, or allow a loved one to stay close and spend the night.

It’s only thanks to fundraising and donations that the improvements outlined – and more – are possible.