Hampshire Hospitals asks for a birthday present with a difference to celebrate NHS70

As the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday this year, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is calling on the local community it cares for to give the NHS a special birthday present by giving back to the National Health Service.

Thursday 19 July 2018

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Whether you choose to give blood, join the organ donation register or volunteer for Hampshire Hospitals, you’ll be making a difference to the lives of other people.

Across the UK, there are around 6,500 people in need of an organ transplant, including around 150 children and teenagers. On average three people die every day in need of an organ transplant because there just aren’t enough organ donors. If you donate your organs after you die you could save and improve the lives of up to nine people, and help even more if you donate tissue.               

We need as many people as possible to register their commitment to becoming organ donors so if they die in circumstances where their organs or tissue could be used to help others, authorised NHS Blood and Transplant staff can see what they wanted to happen. You can do this by signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register www.organdonation.nhs.uk and by telling your family that you want them to support your decision.

In 2017/18, 13 patients received life-saving or life-changing transplant from Hampshire Hospitals. Specialist nurse for organ donation for the Trust, Laura English, works with families and supports them when their loved one is in a critical condition. If a family would like to support their loved one to donate their organs, Laura supports them through the entire process, finding recipients on the transplant waiting list, and coordinating the operation. 

Organ Donation Specialist Nurse , Laura English

She said: “The decision to donate is life changing for so many people who are awaiting transplants. It’s a privilege to work with courageous families who are making this decision at an incredibly difficult time. On potentially one of their darkest days they think of others and support organ donation, which is an incredibly powerful thing. Families can often feel comforted by this and are proud of the gift of life that their loved one is giving to someone else - the opportunity for another person, even a complete stranger, to have a second chance at life. It is very humbling work.”

Giving blood is another way to give back to the NHS, not only in this special anniversary year, but for many years to come. Most people aged 17-68 can donate, and over 6,000 blood donations are needed nationally every day to treat patients in need. For more information about giving blood, visit https://www.blood.co.uk/.

Hampshire Hospitals is also calling on the community to consider volunteering and make a positive difference to the experience of staff, patients and visitors within the Trust and local community. There is a huge variety of opportunities to volunteer within the Trust, including assisting at meal times on our wards, supporting our dementia team, providing befriending support both in hospital and in the community, and much more. Visit /work-with-us/volunteers-and-work-experience/about-volunteering.aspx to find out more about the volunteering opportunities

Dementia Volunteers - Margaret NewlandThe Trust is particularly looking for volunteers for the new ‘get up and go’ programme, which will see trained volunteers spending time with patients helping and encouraging them to increase their levels of physical activity whilst in hospital. This important role will support patients to become more active and one step closer to leaving hospital. 

Jane Davies, patient experience and volunteer manager, said: “Our volunteers make up such an important part of Hampshire Hospitals, and we are always looking to expand our team. There is so much to gain from volunteering, from meeting new people and developing new skills, to simply knowing that you have made a positive difference to someone’s day. Our staff, patients and visitors are always so appreciative of the vital support our volunteers provide and we simply couldn’t do what we do without them.

“In this special 70th year we are reflecting on just how important the NHS is and the difference it has made so to be able to give something back to the NHS by volunteering and helping our Trust to continue to provide outstanding care to anyone who needs it, is the best birthday present of all.”

Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals, which runs hospitals in Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester, said: “We are incredibly grateful for the support we receive from the community we care for. There are so many ways you can give back to the NHS, and each one can make a remarkable difference to the lives of others. You can donate to one of the hospital charities, including the Winchester Hospice appeal to build a hospice for the local people of Winchester or to the Medical Fund which buys vital equipment for our hospitals by visiting /about-us/donate-to-our-charities.aspx. Or join the organ donor register, give blood, or join our team as either a member of staff or volunteer. Whatever you do you will be giving the NHS and Hampshire Hospitals a brilliant birthday present that will make a lasting difference.”

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communications@hhft.nhs.uk

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