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Bury St Edmunds charity, Friends of West Suffolk Hospital, supports patients with £90,000 funding towards new equipment





Patients in Suffolk will benefit from almost £90,000 in grants thanks to a hospital charity.

Friends of West Suffolk Hospital has announced services across the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) will receive grants ranging from under £100 to more than £20,000.

The grant applications were made by trust staff for items to improve patient care, with the funds raised through donations and from the hospital Friends’ shop, online shop and trolley service.

Manager Lizzie English manager, with by staff member Karen Spriggs (left) and volunteer Carolyn Blackman in the Friends shop at the West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Manager Lizzie English manager, with by staff member Karen Spriggs (left) and volunteer Carolyn Blackman in the Friends shop at the West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

Trust departments will be spending the funds on items including portable ultrasound scan probes, a phlebotomy chair, a vital signs machine, a children’s exercise therapy bicycle and expiratory muscle strength trainers, which help patients to swallow.

Sarah Steele, treasurer of the friends, said: “We are very pleased to have donated just under £90,000 in 2023 for projects around the trust.

“We thank each and every one of you. We would also like to thank My WiSH Charity which joined with us to part, or wholly, fund some of the requests.”

The charity’s online shop offers a way for friends and family of in-patients at West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, to send gifts to them, while it is also used by in-patients themselves.

The total amount donated was £89,249 – £24,000 of this will be spent on six Razier chairs to be stationed around West Suffolk Hospital and Rosemary Ward, at Newmarket Community Hospital.

Neil Herbert, head of the moving and handling team at WSFT, said the specialist chairs would be used to help staff lift patients who have had a fall.

He said: “The Raizer Two chair is a safe and dignified way of retrieving a patient from the floor after a fall.

“The chair is assembled around the fallen patient and is quick and simple to use.

“The chair will decrease the time a patient spends on the floor, improving quality care throughout the organisation.”

The anaesthesia department received a grant of £14,200 for three portable ultrasound scan probes to help with intravenous access for anaesthesia and pain relief.

The probes are often used to scan the backs of pregnant women before performing spinal and epidural blocks for caesarean sections and labour pain relief.

Dr Ewen Cameron, WSFT chief executive, said: “On behalf of the trust, I’d like to thank the Friends of West Suffolk Hospital for these generous donations, which will bring real benefits to so many of our patients.

“The continued support of the friends and the hard-working volunteers is greatly valued, as are the donations and legacies from our community.

“It is good to know so many of the items provided by these grants are already on their way to our services, contributing to the care provided by our staff.”