Sunday, 14 April 2024
Sunday, 14 April 2024

Charity funds well-being room for liver patients at University Hospital Southampton

A new well-being room funded by PLANETS Cancer Charity has been opened for patients with liver diseases at University Hospital Southampton.

The facility, located on the gastroenterology and hepatology ward, provides a quiet space for patients and a place for private conversations which would previously have taken place at the bedside.

It offers the opportunity for patients to relax on the sofa and watch TV and there are plans to add weights and cardio equipment in the coming months.

Following delivery of the final soft furnishings, the room was opened early in February at a ceremony attended by clinicians, UHS chief nursing officer Gail Byrne and PLANETS operations director Jo Green.

PLANETS helps patients with pancreatic, liver, colorectal, abdominal (oesophageal and gastric) and neuroendocrine cancer by funding patient support groups and other initiatives, innovative treatments and research.

The charity primarily serves the needs of the regional population living across Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, the Isle of Wight, the Channel Islands and West Sussex, but is increasingly involved in national and international clinical research.

PLANETS contributed £12,000 for the development which was made possible through a partnership with property developer Taylor Wimpey Southern Counties, which raised more than £20,000 for the charity over 2023 after making it the company’s ‘charity of the year’.

This was combined with some additional funding provided by Southampton Hospitals Charity following a series of fundraising activities carried out by staff across the gastroenterology and hepatology service.

Jo said:

“We are delighted to have made the well-being room for patients with liver diseases, including liver cancer, a reality having been made aware of what a significant difference it could make.

“Sometimes these patients stay in hospital for several weeks at a time which can be very demoralising.

“This room gives them an escape from the normal hospital environment and allows them to relax in a modern and comfortable setting away from the ward and their hospital beds.

“It can also be used for private conversations between patients and healthcare professionals to avoid these conversations being overheard as they can often be on hospital bays.”

Alex Mirnezami, professor of surgical oncology and consultant colorectal surgeon at UHS and a member of the PLANETS clinical team, said:

“This is an important development for liver patients receiving treatment at UHS and will help to ensure the best possible experience during their admissions.

“We would like to say a big thank you to PLANETS and its supporters, particularly Taylor Wimpey Southern Counties, for making it possible and we look forward to seeing the positive impact it has for both patients and clinicians over the coming weeks and months.”

Dr Mark Wright, a consultant hepatologist at UHS, added:

“We want to thank PLANETS for making this possible. The purpose of this room is to allow patients and families to get away from the hustle and bustle of the ward and the very stressful environment it can sometimes be.

“It also means we have somewhere appropriate to have conversations with patients because these can be difficult and sometimes life-changing for the patients concerned – and previously we had nowhere suitable to do that.

“So this resource is a game-changer from that point of view and will really help us to give patients the privacy and dignity they need while with us.”

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