Between March and July 2015 the Friends of Bedford Hospital have supplied equipment for the Hospital totalling £43,590. This is an outstanding achievement for our Charity. Warmest thanks are due to all the supporters, helpers and fund-raisers involved, and to members of the public who buy our Christmas cards and donate or buy items on our stalls. A special mention is due to LTU of Bedford, who generously design and print all our outstandingly attractive posters, tickets, membership forms and Newsletters free of charge, as well as mailing out our Newsletters and managing this Website for us.

In Elizabeth and Harpur Wards the Friends have furnished and equipped two Quiet Rooms adapted specially for patients suffering from Dementia. The furniture has been developed in a project with Stirling University to be particularly safe, stable, comfortable, hygienic and easy to clean. Cupboards and equipment (such as TVs) are securely fixed to the wall so that patients cannot overbalance and pull them over on top of themselves. There are no visible electric leads that patients can get tangled up in: everything is built in. The rooms are decorated in colours and styles co-ordinated with those in nearby care homes, to help patients feel relaxed within the Hospital setting. Floors are non-slip and non-shiny for safety and to minimise glare and disorientation.

Safety-first TVs with DVDs offer a good range of suitable films, and the DVDs can also supply a progression of still scenes for those patients whose Dementia prevents them from following moving images. Specially adapted Radios have also been fitted.

Nearby “Memory Walls”, bringing to life Bedford past and present, create a relaxing, open and outdoor feeling. Research shows that pleasant and suitably stimulating day-time surroundings speed up the recovery of patients suffering from Dementia and help them to manage their condition.

The Friends have purchased a Bladder Scanner with Trolley for Richard Wells Ward so that every patient can be easily examined, minimising the risk of the Urinary Tract Infections which can seriously set back recovery.

The Friends have also funded a Glidescope Video-Monitored Intubation System, which enables intubation to be carried out safely and accurately, especially in the treatment of young children, accident victims and the elderly. It is also a valuable teaching aid. This is a major improvement to the existing facilities.

In addition, the Friends have provided sets of 15 Pager Alerts and 15 Personal Amplifiers to the Audiology Department to make communication easier with patients who are hard of hearing.

A Pager Alert buzzes in a patient's hand or pocket to indicate when it is his/her turn in a clinic. The Personal Amplifiers shown in the accompanying photos are for patients who have lost their hearing aids or for any reason can't make them work when they are admitted to Hospital. They will be used chiefly in the Acute Assessment Unit, Accident & Emergency, Wards specializing in Care of the Elderly, and in Trauma and Orthopaedics Outpatients.

Due to the generosity and support of Members, helpers and the people of Bedford in raising funds, we will soon be able to plan for further projects and I will let you know when these have been decided in consultation with the Hospital. As always, we aim to provide clinical equipment that the NHS cannot afford, and to help make patients' and carers' time in the Hospital more bearable and comfortable.

We are sympathetic to individual requests and if you have an idea for an improvement, do not hesitate to put it forward at any time (click the round red "Contact" button at the top of our Home Page.) All projects have to be agreed with the Hospital Management, who source equipment from approved suppliers using NHS discounts where possible.

Felicity Scott

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