Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides healthcare to the people of Swindon and the surrounding areas offering the latest treatments and care in hospital, within the local community and in people's homes and has around 1.2 million patient contacts a year.
Our Hospital General Fund is used to fund that extra special level of care in order to make a real difference to patients, their families and our staff that treat them, above what the NHS is able to afford. It is used wherever the need is greatest across the whole Foundation Trust and can be used on improvements to the hospital environment, fund ground-breaking research, support development and training of staff and provide state-of-the-art equipment.
Below are just a few examples of the difference donations to the General Fund has made:
A donation of £8,497.44 from the hospital’s General Fund enabled us to purchase an emergency trolley bed for patients transferred to us by helicopter. The trolley collects patients from the helipad to transport them to our Emergency Department and can also be utilised for collecting patients around GWH following Medical Emergency Team calls.
The trolley we have purchased is motorised to improve manual handling up/down helipad ramp, and also improving patient safety for transfer. The trolley has a pressure 'relief' mattress for patient comfort, providing greater stability for critical patients and those with significant trauma.
A donation of £15,586.22 from the hospital’s General Fund has enabled us to fund TRiM training for our staff to become practitioners. TRiM is a trauma-focused peer support system designed to help people who have experienced a traumatic, or potentially traumatic event.
TRiM Practitioners are non-medical personnel who have undergone specific training allowing them to understand the effects that traumatic events can have upon people. They are not counsellors or therapists, but understand confidentially and are able to listen and offer practical advice and assistance.
TRiM originated in the UK Armed Forces and the model is based on ‘watchful waiting’, that means keeping a watchful eye on individuals who have been exposed to a traumatic event, whether that person has been directly involved or involved from afar.
Buddy Day Beds
A donation of £3,000 from the hospital’s General Fund has enabled us to purchase 3 buddy day beds for our Children’s Ward. The chairs enable parents to stay overnight with their children.
The chairs are comfortable and spacious and can be reclined into different positions to open either just at the bottom to rest your feet up while your baby or toddler falls asleep on you, or to be reclined totally flat into a bed so that parents get quality sleep even during the day when their child is having a nap.
Hospital art loan
Thanks to a donation of £3,000 from the hospital’s General Fund we have been able to continue to fund the art within the hospital.
Working with Paintings in Hospitals who create person centred healthcare environments, the Great Western Hospital has been displaying 75 works of art in and around its wards and departments.
At the Great Western Hospital we believe that art has an important role to play in the healing process. The 2007 Department of Health and Arts Council England publication, 'A Prospectus for Arts and Health' asserted that the arts have an important part to play in improving health and well-being.
End of Life Care
For patients and families facing advanced illness agreeing the medical interventions and quality of life that lies ahead are difficult decisions and conversations to be had with their doctors and health care providers. These discussions occur between initial diagnosis and end of life and include many emotionally charged topics, such as unfavourable prognoses and treatment failure, treatment choices and family responses to them, advance care planning, concerns about one’s ability to cope, life goals and other life-closure issues, illness and the suffering it creates and mourning.
When these often difficult discussions are avoided or are managed poorly, the quality of remaining life for patients can be seriously jeopardised. With a donation of £1,150 from the General Fund the hospital has invested in training with an expert end of life actor that can help staff to understand how to communicate with patients and families during this difficult time and to handle these conversations sensitively, honestly and with openness.
The coronavirus pandemic has claimed tens of thousands of lives across England with over 300 lives lost at the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. We are looking to create a beautiful wellbeing garden to remember and celebrate the lives of those we lost (to COVID and beyond) and become a living legacy in which families and colleagues can remember their loved ones for years to come.
The garden will be located around the balancing pond at the entrance of the hospital and will be beautifully landscaped with modern perennial planting, colourful boarders, and new trees. The existing walkway will be widened for greater accessibility for wheelchair users and will become a tranquil space.
The garden will be made up of 8 zones combing modern perennial planting schemes with raised seating areas. The garden will showcase three focal points to the north, south and east of the pond. The areas include a lath house with roof and seating area protecting people from the elements and providing a quiet place for contemplation, a raised seating area surrounded by raised planters for people to enjoy a hidden jungle with far reaching views across the pond, and finally a sunken garden with two stunning moon gates that people pass through amongst the colourful boarders. A gift of £27,869.00 from the General Fund will enable us to complete the raised seating area this summer for our patients and staff to enjoy.
Patients with complex and additional needs, including disabilities that severely limit mobility, require access to an adaptive bathroom to ensure their needs are safely met. Changing Spaces' bathrooms are a specially designed facility that provides a spacious, welcoming and dignified space for people with disabilities or all ages who often need extra equipment and space to allow then to use the facilities safely and comfortably. The bathrooms are large, accessible, and have equipment such as hoists, privacy curtains, changing benches and space for up to two carers.
Currently the Children's Ward does not have adequate changing and washing facilities for patients with complex needs as they are unable to have a bath or shower due to lack of suitable facilities on the ward. Parent groups have explained that the implementation of an adaptive bathroom will have a positive outcome on their child's hospital stay. With the use of the Sadler Fund donated for Children with Disabilities as well as a donation from the Hospital’s General Fund totalling £48,000 an adaptive bathroom will be built on the Children’s Ward this year.
As well as the bathroom on the Children’s Ward a further donation from the General Fund of £48,000 will enable us to create a second adaptive bathroom for both children and adults in the new Great Western Urgent Care Centre due to open in early 2022.