Critical Care: Charity and Donations

The Medway Hospital Charity uses your generous donations to make a difference to our patients' and families’ lives. Whilst we encourage general donations, to help as many people as possible, we understand you may want to donate to specific areas to say thank you.

All donations to our unit are gratefully received. Donations are used in many different aspects of work within our critical care unit to benefit the care and experience of patients, relatives and staff.

We have received many wonderful donations, all of which are appreciated. Here are examples of how money has been spent and items that have been gifted to the unit by patients, families and friends.

  • Visitors’ rooms and waiting area chairs and bookcases – We strive to make our visitors’ areas a calm and comfortable place to wait when visiting their loved ones
  • iPads for patient use – The iPads have been very useful for our patients’ rehabilitation. Patients can play games on the iPads, video call their relatives and it is a useful tool to entertain patients, assist with concentration and help to reduce fatigue
  • Rehabilitation equipment. Hand grip strengthens, hand therapy balls and resistance bands – This kind of equipment is very important in the rehabilitation of a critically-ill patient and can be used early on in the rehabilitation process. Rehabilitation equipment can improve physical and non-physical functioning such as exercise, muscle strength, walking ability and concentration, in turn reducing the length of hospital stay
  • Writing boards to help patients communicate – Unfortunately due to medical devices, some of our patients are unable to speak therefore communication can be difficult. Writing boards have made it easier for these patients to communicate their needs. When these are used it also helps with hand-eye coordination and strength
  • Toiletries, detangle brushes, deodorant, shaving foam – Often, due to the emergency situation many of our patients find themselves in, they come in to hospital without their own toiletries. Having nice shower gel, deodorant, shampoo, razors etc can make patients feel like they have some home comforts during their stay in critical care. Detangle brushes have been extremely helpful in critical care; we try to wash our patients’ hair on a regular basis but having a good brush and some leave in conditioner helps us to maintain a patient’s hair so that it does not become matted while they are spending time recovering in bed
  • DAB+ radios – Radios have been very well received by our critically ill patients. We often ask our patients and families if music is important or liked by them/their relative and if they would like us to have the radio on at the patient’s bedside. Music soothes and relaxes some people even when they are sedated in the Intensive Care Unit. Music can also act as an escape for some of our patients
  • Portable DVD player – We have been donated a portable DVD player, this is great for those patients who wish to watch their favourite film at their bed space
  • Activity books/word searches for patients – This helps to engage our patients’ minds and helps with concentration post critical care
  • Digital clocks for every patient bed space – We received a donation of digital clocks for each bed space to help patients establish the date and time. When a patient is critically ill, simple things such as the date and time can be difficult to comprehend and remember, so having a visual reminder for each patient helps to prevent and manage delirium and confusion
  • Knitted hearts and blankets – We were generously donated many knitted hearts during and after the Covid pandemic. These have been a great comfort for families experiencing bereavement. Blankets have also been made and donated by the local community to help comfort dying patients. Families can then take home the blanket home with them as a keepsake once their loved one has passed
  • Bereavement resources – Bereavement resources have been purchased using the charity money we have received. These include bereavement books for children, information for parents, friendship bracelets, handprints and hand moulds. All of these resources are used throughout critical care to support bereaved families.Memory boxes – Our bereavement resources help to support families to make memory boxes.
  • LED ceiling picture panel – LED ceiling picture panels were installed using charity donations to help give the illusion of natural light in the annex area of the unit to help patients distinguish day from night so they can establish a healthy wake/sleep cycle which in turn helps in the rehabilitation journey
  • Colouring books/puzzle books/colouring pencils – Activities to keep patients entertained
  • Pen torches for nurses – These are important in assessing our patients’ neurology
  • Lights for PCs – During a night shift we aim to keep the lighting low in order to promote sleep, this can make it difficult to access a patient’s records at the bedside PCs. Small lights that are kept at each bedside PC help the nursing staff to see the keyboard to access patient records while maintaining low lights for a night time environment
  • Headphones – Headphones have been helpful for some patients who wish to block out the background noise of the hospital environment while listening to music/watching television or falling asleep
  • Eye masks and ear plugs – A critical care environment can be very noisy and busy. Some patients benefit from eye masks and ear plugs to help promote sleep
  • Phone chargers – Phone chargers have been donated which helps when patients are awake and able to use their mobile phone to contact their family and friends.

Our fantastic charity team have set up a Critical Care JustGiving page which ensures donations come straight to the unit.

If you would like to donate to the department you can visit our JustGiving page https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/medwaycriticalcare

If you would like to donate in another way then please contact The Medway Hospital Charity Team using the details below:

Phone: 01634 825398 Email: medwayft.charity@nhs.net

www.medwayhospitalcharity.org.uk