Musicians are set to brighten up hospital with live peformances

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TALENTED local musicians together with students from the Royal College of Music could soon be bringing the joy of live music to Bexhill Hospital’s Irvine Unit.

The hospital chaplain, the Rev Neville Barnett, gave such a spirited presentation to the general committee of the League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital at its meeting last Thursday that members had no hesitation in agreeing to purchase a £3,750 Yamaha upright piano with piano stool, cover and rubber wheels.

They also approved £1,800 to fund the cost of bringing artistes to perform for patients, staff and visitors.

The chaplain said the benefits of live music to patient morale and recovery had been proven in other East Sussex Healthcare NHS Hospitals where the Arts in Healthcare programme had been a success.

The Rev Barnett has been working with cardiologist Dr Richard Wray to set up a scheme in the Irvine Unit, where local churches already assist him with services and schoolchildren sing for the patients.

Trust director of finance Vanessa Harris is currently investigating the cause of delays in the league receiving bids (requests for equipment) from heads of departments.

She is seeking ways of simplifying the bids process and publicising how heads of departments can submit bids for verification before they go before the league.

In the absence of signed and numbered bids for known Bexhill Hospital requirements, last Thursday’s meeting took the decision to approve these in principle, subject to receipt of the required paperwork.

It approved a request by senior chief cardiac physiologist Sean Gaughan for a £5,000 Medtronic Carelink Exrpess portable pacemaker checker.

Mr Gaughan sees between 350 and 500 patients in the Bexhill area annually who are fitted with heart pacemakers. The equipment will enable them to have their pacemakers checked at a new Bexhill pacemaker clinic or in local care homes rather than have to travel to the Conquest Hospital at Hastings.

The meeting also approved in principle the purchase of two further specialized patient treatment chairs for the Renal Dialysis Unit at Bexhill Hospital at a cost of £4,490.

When a renal unit patient requires an ECG machine staff have to borrow one from another department.

The meeting agreed in principle the purchase of a £4,000 machine.

It agreed the purchase of a £6,000 Thera Trainer exercise machine for the physiotherapy department at the Irvine Unit’s stroke rehabilitation unit.

The machine allows wheelchair-users to exercise both their legs and arms while still seated in the chair.

The unit already has one machine but demand is such that there is often a queue for it.

The league is also funding the £69 cost of two models – male and female – to assist Irvine Unit staff training on bladder conditions, having learned that staff had clubbed together to buy the equipment.

The meeting also accepted a £10,000 tender for the refurbishment of its coffee shops in Bexhill Outpatients’ Department and in the Irvine Unit.

Reporting on the success of last month’s hospital garden party, which raised £3,202, organiser Mark Sivyer showed colleagues a 60-metre length of new bunting.

The bunting was made and donated by supporter Beryl Ridley, of Sidley, who thought the league’s existing bunting was showing its age.