Bradford Hospitals Charity has recently spent £5,000 on 500 comfort bags which are handed out during difficult times to relatives and carers of patients at Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s Hospital.
The comfort bags are filled with everyday items to help unexpected stays in the hospital a little more pleasant and include a toiletry kit, wet wipes, tissues, ear plugs, toothpaste, a toothbrush, blanket and socks.
Last Days of Life Educator, Paul Fernandez, said the bags had been a big success.
He said: “We hand out about 500 bags a year and they really make a difference, providing relatives or carers with some comfort during what can be one of the most difficult times in their lives.
“Relatives often stay on the ward but don’t have time or the inclination to go home and get everyday items like toiletries. Their priority is not to go shopping but to look after their loved one. So it’s one less worry for them.”
Paul has received several messages from grateful recipients since the bags were introduced across the Trust.
One grateful male relative wrote: “What a thoughtful and wonderful idea that brought us a little comfort and a familiar bit of delight (if that’s appropriate at this time).”
And a second, a woman who accompanied her husband to BRI, said: “What a useful bag. It’s well thought out and very much appreciated. Well done and thank you to the Palliative Care Team. I received it on ward 30 while staying with my poorly husband. God bless you.”
Bradford Teaching Hospitals Charity Fundraiser, Hayley Collis, said: “As a charity, we want to help those who are in need and facing a difficult time. That means, of course, patients on the wards, but also their relatives and carers, who need our support too.
“There’s no night or day-time on the wards. Relatives and carers just have to snatch sleep when they can. So the bags provide them with some necessities which they probably haven’t thought about so they can concentrate on looking after their loved ones. A small bag of comfort goes a long way during tough times.
“Staff think the comfort bags are a great idea too, and are something that goes above and beyond what the NHS can normally offer.”