The care and treatment that staff at Bexhill Hospital’s Irvine Unit are able to offer patients have been enhanced by gifts from the hospital’s League of Friends.
The unit had some Stedy Eddie patient walkers. But when the league heard that the devices were in constant use and there were not enough of them they invited the unit’s matrons,
Sharon Andrews and Jayne Whiting, to submit a request to the League through East Sussex Health NHS Trust’s bids process.
Last Thursday, League representatives were able to see the new devices in use.
The League’s £5,722 gift has provided six Sara Stedy devices of improved design.
The braked devices are on four castors. They provide a steady walking frame and have a seat for occasional use.
Patient Kathleen Stokes kindly agreed to “model” the device at the photo-call.
Staff Nurse Anne-Marie Powell together with Health Care Assistants Ann Freeman, Davinia Hill and Susan Domm showed how easy is was to transfer Mrs Stokes from
the device to a wheelchair so she could be taken to the unit’s physiotherapy gym – where she helped demonstrate the League’s other gift.
Staff Nurse Powell said: “We are really thrilled with the Sara Stedy devices. We didn’t have enough of the original Stedy Eddies. Whenever you needed one it was in use.
“The Sara Stedy has been improved so the legs open to take a wheelchair or a commode for toileting.
“They have made a huge improvement to the care we can offer.
“Patients feel more confident.”
Soon, Mrs Stokes was pedalling away from her wheelchair at the Symmetry Training device bought for the physiotherapy department.
Rotational Physiotherapist Dan Baxter explained: “It is used for strengthening patients’ feet, legs and arms.
“You can pedal with the feet or with the arms. You can vary the resistance that the patient is pushing against according to their ability.
“It gives me information about how fast they are pedalling and how much power they are generating and how efficiently they are pedalling with each limb because some people have one side weaker than the other.
“It also has a system where people can be helped around the machine.”
An engineer has spent two days working in the Irvine Unit to service the bedside television system the League of Friends bought.
The charity invested more than £60,000 for the installation of flat-screen televisions beside all 54 bed-spaces in the unit. The system also included a large plasma screen television for the Atrium, the sun-lit sitting-out area used by patients. Unlike the systems in other hospitals, use of the television is free, with only a small charge being for disposable headphones.
The next event on the League’s calendar is likely to be the official opening of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust’s new age-related wet macular degeneration clinic in the main Bexhill Hospital block.