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Community generosity

The power of human kindness and generosity in this community never ceases to amaze me. People like you, reading this now.

Take last week, when the Beast from the East hit our shores and took the country by storm (pun intended). The stories across the media of people helping one another out, and going above and beyond to be kind and compassionate was heart-warming; people towing ambulances out of snow drifts, healthcare workers walking miles to work, communities clearly one another’s driveways and taking hot meals to elderly neighbours. It was no different here in Suffolk – many of our staff battled through difficult conditions to get here so that they could continue to care for the patients that needed them. Indeed, some even stayed overnight here at the hospital.

But you, our community, also stepped up for us. The outpouring of well-wishes and support our staff had via social media was extraordinary, as was the number of kind-hearted people with 4x4s who offered to help us get staff to and from hospital and to patients in the community.

That kind of support doesn’t go unnoticed, and I can’t tell you the difference it makes to our staff.

What is clear however is that your generosity doesn’t just extend a hand in extreme circumstances like last week’s weather. You support us, and our NHS, all year round.

Our My Wish Charity raises money to support the hospital so we can make sure that you, your friends, family and neighbours experience the best treatment and service should you or they ever need us.

Whilst our patient care standards are second to none, and we’re just one of seven general hospitals in the country to have been rated at outstanding in our latest inspection, our budget is not limitless. That means that sometimes we need your support to help us to go that extra mile. Our charity and the money it raises is not here to replace the NHS, but to help further enhance the care and support given to patients, their families and also to the wonderful staff who care for people so well.

You may have heard about My Wish Charity’s latest Every Heart Matters appeal, which sets to raise £500,000 to support the build of an integrated, state-of-the-art cardiac centre. Thanks to you, since the appeal launched in August they have raised a huge £170,000 towards their target.

The spending of charity donations is considered carefully. This money sits separately to Government funding we’re given every year to pay for staffing, maintenance costs and other essentials. This is about going the extra mile to make a patient’s experience better.

Your generosity has already helped us to go that extra mile in recent years; charity funds have provided new wheelchairs, a specialist breast-cancer machine, a high-tech prostate cancer scanner, ward refurbishments to make them dementia-friendly, specialist ‘babytherm’ cots for our neonatal unit, a cerebral function monitor which detects seizures early in newborn babies, paediatric heart and obs monitors, and annual Christmas presents and Easter eggs for our youngest patients, to name a just a few.

We have been lucky enough to be thought of in the most difficult of circumstances; more than 50% of our charity donations have historically come from generous supporters who, many years previously, had the forethought and generosity to include a gift to us in their will.

We put every penny you raise or give our charity to good use – and we promise that we will always do so. The NHS will be here to care for you whatever your circumstances, whenever you need us. But if you feel like you’re able to give something back in a legacy or will, after you have provided for your loved ones, we’d be incredibly grateful if you’d consider giving us a share of what is left.

Your support already gives us so much, but if you’d like to learn more about how you can give back to our charity, big or small, please visit www.mywishcharity.co.uk , or contact our fundraising manager Sue Smith at sue.smith@wsh.nhs.uk, or on 01284 712952.

Until next time.

Steve

 

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Chief executive, Stephen Dunn

Chief executive, Stephen Dunn