I'm Sam Bennett and I work with the nursing team here at St Barnabas. I'm privileged to work with a group of nurses and volunteers who, every day, make a difference to the lives of local people. But, we just happen to be part of a much bigger team - a team that includes you. Your support makes St Barnabas' care possible.
I'd like to ask whether you might be able to help us life the quality of care and experience for our patients. With your help, we'd like to buy some more specialist equipment that will make it possible for patients to leave their bed and have a bath.
I know, having a bath doesn't sound like a particularly big deal. But, it's the thing that many patients tell me they miss the most. If they would like one, a soothing bath is something we'd like to offer every patient who comes into the hospice for care.
For many of the people we care for, a bath at home simply isn't possible. Conditions like cancer, motor neurone disease and other life-limiting illnesses mean getting in and out of a bath is completely impossible or so uncomfortable and painful it's not worth bothering with.
At St Barnabas, we've understood for years how precious bathing is to bath people. We have five dedicated bathrooms here that have amazing, specialist baths. If you've had to go without for years, having a bath again can be a wonderful and emotional experience. So many family members tell us that the highlight of their loved one's stay with us was the time they had a bath.
Our problem is that, even with our knowledge and experience, there are still some people we struggle to get in and out of our baths - patients who are just too frail or in too much discomfort to use our existing hoists or chairs. But now, there's a new equipment on the market that will make it possible for us to offer a perfect bath experience to almost every patient who comes to the hospice.
We're looking for 15 sets of specialist 'roll and move' sheets. These cost £111 per set. The new slings, to take exactly the right pressure off a patient's skin, which we need nine of in total, will cost £238 and fitted to a hoist that will cost £2,700. And finally, the padded bath chairs which will keep patients comfortable in the right position whilst they relax in the bath will cost £5,572.
Would you would be willing to be one of a group people who club together to buy an item between them. For example, one-third of a specialist sheet would be £37.00 or one of a hundred people giving £55.72 would help us buy one of the bath chairs our patients need. Whatever you feel you could contribute would be wonderful.