Sunday, July 21, 2024

Donations help hospitals Butterfly Appeal

THE Basildon Hospital League of Friends has generously donated £15,000 to help launch the Butterfly Appeal into flight.

Basildon and Thurrock Hospitals Charitable Trust has launched the Butterfly Appeal as the next major fundraising campaign. We want to raise £31,000 to enhance the care of our older inpatients with dementia.

This money will: • provide day room facilities on each of our three elderly care wards • pay for an activity coordinator to work with our dementia patients, promoting ‘recollection’ and enhanced memory recall • buy audio equipment, art materials and other items to help patient’s memories

Helen Mattock, Trust Fundraiser said: “We really need people to get behind this campaign. Dementia affects one in five of our older inpatients and it is something more and more people within the community are having to deal with. We want to create an appropriate environment above and beyond what NHS budgets can afford.”

The Trust has been praised by the Royal College of Nursing for the new measures put in place to help patients with dementia return home sooner with the right support.

Karen Fashanu, Lead Nurse for Medicine and Older People, said: “Coming into hospital is often a stressful and confusing time for most, let alone those patients with diagnosed or suspected dementia. Everything we are doing is aimed at preventing admissions, or if they are admitted, ensuring their experience is as good it can be.”

The Dementia Intensive Support Team (DIST), which is funded by NHS South Essex, consists of specially trained nurses employed by South Essex Partnership Trust (SEPT). The team are working in A&E providing specialist mental health care. They may refer patients to the memory service and offer support to carers.

It is one of many measures put in place as part of the strategy, which includes appointing a lead consultant geriatrician, Dr Stephen Waters, and a dementia nurse, Darlene Erbynn (employed by SEPT), responsible for ensuring patients get the right care and referrals and hospital staff get support.

The League of Friends wanted to throw their support behind the campaign and have donated nearly half of the overall total of the campaign.

Rita Keeler, League of Friends Treasurer, said: “We wanted to make a real difference early on to such a worthwhile campaign and are thrilled to be able to give such a substantial amount of cash to the Butterfly Appeal. We have made donations to many wards and departments since the hospital opened but this is the first opportunity to do something for these particular patients. We hope this donation will pay for the day rooms to be renovated so patients have somewhere quiet and calm to interact with each other and their families.”

The Basildon Hospital League of Friends run tea bars in the Outpatient and Maternity Departments, which are staffed by volunteers.

Get involved and support the Butterfly Appeal. Contact Dee or Helen in the Charity Office on 01268 524900 ext 4198, or email


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