A patient at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn decided to start a Mother’s Union project there. Eunice Norwood tells her story.
“Last September I was admitted to hospital in King’s Lynn in the early hours of the morning, on the eve of my grand-daughter’s wedding. As I live alone and was too ill to gather essentials together, I arrived without all the hygiene necessities I would need.
The first two days or so following the op it really didn’t matter that I could not wash myself, comb my hair or brush my teeth, but as I began to recover, I so desperately needed to feel human again and visits from family were difficult at that time because of Covid restrictions.
There were two others in the ward in a similar situation, and as staff were so busy, it felt selfish to ask them to produce a toothbrush and paste or a hair comb. One patient was a young mum; her husband was minding three very young children so could not visit. Another was an elderly lady living in an apartment she had only just moved into, so did not know neighbours, and her daughters lived in London.
I realised that throughout the hospital there could be many more in a similar situation, perhaps a homeless person taken ill on the streets, a tourist injured in a car accident, or a service engineer travelling from another county for work. I felt that here was an opportunity that I, as a long-standing Mother’s Union member, might be able to help with.
I wanted to give something back to the hospital for the wonderful care they gave me, and I talked the situation over with a nurse on the ward. Together we came up with a list of hygiene products that could be very useful to patients on the wards.
I contacted the Mothers’ Union Trustees in Norwich to seek their support and after several weeks of correspondence with the hospital a list of useful products was produced. Since then Mothers’ Union Trustees have granted a start-up fund of £200 for the project which we hope that those are grateful to a hospital can contribute to. Eventually, we hope to offer the project to other hospitals in the county.
The Hospital Chaplain, the Revd Lee Gilbert, and volunteers working on the wards, will collect a list of things required by patients. When stock of any product is running low, these will be sent direct to the Amazon Locker at the hospital for Revd Lee to collect on site. Where possible I try to purchase products that are ‘green’ a good example being inexpensive bamboo toothbrushes”
Donations from grateful patients towards this invaluable project can be sent to: The Treasurer, Mothers’ Union Office, Diocesan House, 109 Dereham Road, Easton. Norwich NR9 5ES. Please mark cheque with Hospital Hygiene Project. If online banking preferred contact our Treasurer for account details via email at firstname.lastname@example.org