League to buy £73K worth of equipment

News. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150807-174846001
News. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150807-174846001

Medical equipment totalling £73,067 will be purchased by the League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital for the benefit of local patients.

A meeting of the charity’s general committee last Thursday agreed four requests by East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.

It is purchasing a £27,090 Pentacam Basic 3D Scheimpflug Topographer for the Ophthalmology Department. Corneal topography is the mapping of the curvature of the eye’s cornea. Currently, patients requiring corneal topography have to travel to the Conquest Hospital at Hastings, to Brighton or to East Grinstead.

The Bexhill eye day surgery unit – equipped by the league – undertook 2,300 operations last year.

The Bexhill League is sharing with the League of Friends of the Conquest Hospital, the £48,950 cost of an Omnicell Medicines Management System for the Conquest Surgical Admissions Unit.

The Bexhill League bought a similar system for units at Bexhill last year.

It is also buying a £16,995 Operio Sterile Air Zone Unit for the Dowling Unit at Bexhill which specialises in the treatment of wet-macular degeneration, which is the biggest cause of blindness in the western world.

The meeting received a presentation from Lesley Guthrie, manager of the Bexhill Renal Dialysis Unit. The unit is a satellite of the area’s major renal unit at Brighton. The availability of life-saving dialysis saves local kidney failure patients the time-consuming journey to Brighton three times a week to have their blood cleansed.

The unit had 14 treatment chairs and one bed. It had recently acquired wheelchair scales but needed two new wheelchairs – one for use by overweight patients – to allow those who could not transfer themselves to be weighed. The unit also needed an additional electric profiling bed, a pat slide for transferring stretcher cases and an electric stand to help nursing staff move patients.

The meeting approved the £4,507 package of equipment.

Treasurer Chris Ashford had earlier reported the Bexhill League had already pledged to purchase £341,239 worth of equipment so far this year. But chairman Cllr Stuart Earl warned that membership of the charity is dwindling – from a peak two decades ago of nearly 2,000 it is now little more than 200.

The chairman is heading measures to attract more members. There will be a stand at the League’s annual hospital garden party on the hospital lawns on June 10.

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