Garden of Memories

The Garden of Memories has been custom-designed to honour those who have passed away, as well as comfort their family and friends, including specific plants chosen for sensory reasons, planters for therapeutic gardening, and a ‘Memory Wall’. Butterflies, provided by staff in the Spiritual Care and Bereavement Teams, can be used to share a message about a loved one – one half to be displayed on the wall, the other half to be taken as a keepsake for the family member or friend.

“It’s especially important during these challenging times to have a place to take “time out” and relax, in a beautiful environment”, said Executive Director of Nursing, Christine Pearson.

“I’m delighted that we could open the Garden and celebrate the hard work that has gone in to making it a reality. There is significant research that shows that the natural environment of a garden space is beneficial to physical wellbeing, health, recovery, mental and emotional wellbeing, and we hope that creating this garden will achieve these outcomes for our staff, our patients and our community.”

The Garden has been developed as a safe place for reflection, mindfulness, ‘time-out’, conversation and remembrance for patients, relatives, carers and staff, and was created with support and donations from local organisations. Donors included Engie, Prosol, Piggot and Whitfield, Wood Integrated Building Services, Marland Electricals, Thorne, IHP and Pendle Signs, who contributed time and/or materials for the Garden. Financial donations were received by HCP, Turners, D&G Builders, Medi Teknique Ltd, Brooktherm Refrigeration Ltd, Quartz and Bannister Hall.

Denise Gee, Fundraising Manager for ELHT&Me, said: “This is a great example of how charitable donations can make a real difference to our hospital environment, and we’re so proud of the outcome.”

“We would like to extend our thanks to the donors on behalf of the Trust and those who will use the Garden of Memories for years to come – your support is appreciated and will go a long way for those in East Lancashire who have lost a loved one.”

Enhancements to Acute Medical Unit

Thanks to your support, we are delighted to have funded multiple stunning illuminating ceiling tiles on the Acute Medical Unit at Blackburn hospital. The light boxes, which reflect images of the sky, have helped create a peaceful and calming atmosphere for our patients. We are also really pleased that we have been able to support the creation of a comfortable, calm space, for colleagues to take a much deserved rest on the Unit.                                  

Children's Play Area

Children and their families who spend time at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital are absolutely delighted with their new play area. 

Joined onto the Children’s Unit, the play area is the product of precision planning by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and the kindness of locally based international company, EG Group. The generous donation of around £100,000, has fully funded the exterior play area and its equipment. The work was also supplemented by the generous donations of time, labour and materials from a number of other organisations which paid for the enabling work on the interior play room and new toys.

Director of Nursing for ELHT, Chris Pearson said: “I am so excited about this as we have waited a long time for an outside play area and this is just wonderful. We have a number of children with long term conditions for whom the hospital has become somewhat of a second home. This play area will make a huge difference to the time that they and their families, including siblings spend on the Children’s Unit. Thank you so much to EG Group.”

The new area is vibrant and cheerful and completely secure for the children. It will also encourage children to be more active, aiding a quicker recovery.

Ilyas Munshi, Group Commercial Director, EG Group added: “This is one of a number of donations we have made to our local hospital. It is especially pleasing to be able to provide this lovely play area for the youngest patients, giving them access to fresh air and exercise and making their hospital stay that little bit better.”

Denise Gee, Fundraising Manager for ELHT&Me said: “The new play area is an excellent example of what a powerful impact charitable donations have on our hospital services.”

As well as EG Group who fully funded the exterior play area, donators to the interior enabling work include: EG Group, HCP, Engie, SMD Building Services LTD, Lets Play Everywhere, Marlands Electrical, Schneider Company, Hully and Kirkwood, Gilling Dod, GW Flooring, Beekay, ADS Europe. Thank you!

DaVinci Surgical Robots

Our generous supporters funded two DaVinci robots that are transforming care at ELHT. These robots provide surgery above and beyond NHS standards which is why it is provided by the charity. The first one which is based at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital concentrates on head and neck surgery and a lot of men's health. Our second DaVinci, based at Burnley General Teaching Hospital, concentrates on women's health.

We are raising funds constantly to keep these robots in operation because they need new equipment to do different procedures. There are different attachments, updates for software and we need to keep them operational and at the forefront of surgery at our Trust. To get involved with our fundraising team, visit: http://ow.ly/8oZO50G9rQ8

Forget Me Not Suite

The Forget Me Not Suite provides families with the opportunity to spend precious time with their baby and to prepare to say goodbye to their little one in a peaceful and private environment. Set away from the main ward area, the suite is a place for families to make special memories and begin to grieve their loss whilst being supported by neonatal trained staff.

The space, which contains a double bed, facilities to ventilate Baby, a cold cot and ensuite, was funded by £44,000 in Capital funds and £8,000 in charitable funds from the hospital’s charity, ELHT&Me.

Dr Sivashankar, Neonatal Consultant said: “This suite is a significant part of our service and contributes greatly to compassionate patient care. We have already seen the impact our bereavement suites have and how important they are to our patients. Thank you to everybody who donated and helped to make this possible.”

Guest Beds

In 2020, we rolled out a new scheme providing guest beds for the family members of patients receiving end of life care. The charity purchased the fold-out beds and are now available for family members with a loved one receiving end of life care to request, allowing them to stay overnight.

The new system is managed centrally by the Trust’s Estates Team, allowing beds to be promptly delivered to the ward that needs them, cleaned properly, and stored away to maximise space in patient areas.

Christine Pearson, Director of Nursing at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The most important thing for us to do is consider what we would want for ourselves, or our loved ones, and implement that as much as possible in to the care we provide.

“It’s about ‘putting the P in personal’. To deliver great care we need to make sure we are compassionate, particularly when a patient is coming to the end of their life. Purchasing these new beds means that staff have access to another resource that can improve patient care and make the experience more comfortable for a patient’s family too.”

The beds are adjustable and can be moved to the same level as a patient bed, which can be particularly comforting for couples who are used to sharing a bed. The Trust also endeavours to place patients receiving end of life care in to side rooms on wards, or allow them to receive care at home, wherever possible, to ensure that they are as comfortable as they can be.

Denise Gee, Fundraising Manager at ELHT&Me, said: “The charity is so pleased to have funded these beds as an initiative to improve both the patient and their loved ones experience. From conception to the end of life we all turn to our NHS and the fold away beds will give a choice to our patients loved ones. This is a great example of how financial donations empower our staff and patients to make suggestions so that we can purchase items that are really needed and beyond standard NHS funding.

Mobile Telemetry Monitors

Earlier this year, we purchased two monitors that will be used to keep an eye on a baby's heart rate in the womb during labour. The mobile telemetry monitors, worth more than £16,000 are waterproof which allows the parent-to-be to move around the birth room and enter the pool without being restricted by wires or cables from the older monitors.

There is clinical evidence that mobility during labour brings benefits including shorter labours, less severe pain and less intervention. 

One of the monitors was donated by Friends of Serenity, a local charity founded by Joanne Edwards in 2013 following the loss of her son Luke from Trisomy 13.

Ms Edwards, said: "We are over the moon to have been able to support the Birth Suite in the purchase of the monitors. "As well as supporting our families through loss, supporting families in pregnancy is something we are also passionate about. 

"We are proud to play just a small part in helping babies arrive safely."

The monitors are now in place to be used at the Central Birth Suite at Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre, on the Burnley General Teaching Hospital site.

Bereavement Midwife at ELHT, Kathryn Sansby, said: "“A huge thank you to Friends of Serenity and All for Alice for funding these monitors and for their continued support, in caring for women, and families experiencing bereavement and in subsequent pregnancies."

Community Fundraiser for ELHT&Me, Emma Heinicke, said: "We are delighted to have received the funds to purchase these monitors, which will enhance the birth experience for parents-to-be in our care.

Wheelchairs

Wheelchairs are vital in assisting patients on site and we are proud to announce that we purchased 20 earlier this year, costing £1,000 each. These are in addition to the standard pre-existing NHS ones and are to be used at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital, mainly by the clinics. 

State-of-the-art Defibrillators

The Charity received a donation of £300,000 from Euro Garages that funded the new state-of-the-art defibrillators, that have started to be rolled out across the Trust. 

The fleet of the new defibrillators has been a joint effort between Euro Garages' customers, staff, and suppliers. The new equipment means that any patients, staff, or visitors who suffered a cardiac arrest will have quick and easy access to life saving equipment.

Medical Director at East Lancashire Hospitals, Professor Damian Riley added, “This is another generous gesture by the EG Group demonstrating their ongoing support for the Trust, its services, and our patients. We are enormously grateful. Defibrillators are not needed all the time thankfully, but when they are, they can often mean the difference between life and death.”

Christine Hughes, Director of Communications for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We need our charity more than ever before so we can continue to equip our doctors and nurses with the best possible, most advanced kit."

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