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New COVID-19 intensive care unit opens at RUH

A new intensive care unit for COVID-19 patients, built in just 42 days, has opened at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust (RUH).

The Pierce Intensive Care Unit has 14 beds available and, with the hospital’s existing intensive care unit, means the Trust now has space for 27 intensive care patients.

Trust Chief Executive James Scott said: “Our teams of staff and contractors have done an amazing job in creating this facility so quickly. Back in March we answered the call from the Department of Health to increase ICU capacity as part of the response to the COVID-19 global pandemic , and in just six weeks we’ve transformed and converted what was a surgical ward into one of the most sophisticated ICUs in the region.”

An improved feature of the new Pierce Intensive Care Unit’s 14 beds is that each is contained in a negative pressure environment – sealed areas with carefully controlled ventilation that prevents contaminated air from escaping the room – which maximises safety for staff and patients. Staff enter and exit via a separate room that acts as an airlock, helping to reduce the risk of infection.

ICU Lead Consultant Dr Andy Georgiou said: “This fantastic ICU is the only such facility in the South West. It allows us to do two things – firstly to expand our intensive care capacity from 13 to 27 beds, and secondly to separate the care we offer to intensive care patients. It means that if you are coming into intensive care having had, for example, a major operation, you can be confident in the knowledge that you will be cared for in a separate location to patients who are critically ill with COVID-19.

“We’re proud to open the unit and are really grateful to the Trust and our contractors and staff who have helped us to develop and build this facility in such a short space of time.”

James Scott said: “While the RUH has, thankfully, not experienced the number of positive COVID-19 patients seen in other parts of the country since the pandemic began, we have rightly followed Department of Health advice to make contingency plans. The new ICU’s extra capacity will allow the Trust to manage any future surge in intensive care demand, and also to plan for the future when more of our hospital services resume.”

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Two wheels for our NHS heroes

Thirty brand new bikes arrived today (Friday 1 May) at the Royal United Hospitals Bath as a special gift for our NHS heroes. The bikes were donated by BW Cycling, a Bristol-based company that wanted to help staff get to work during the coronavirus pandemic.

They will make a huge difference to staff who have been struggling to get to work on public transport because of reduced services and social distancing guidelines. The Trust organised a free draw and invited colleagues who would benefit of having a bike and the lucky winners were selected at random.

Andy Wadsworth, Co-owner of BW Cycling said:

“We are a small privately owned bike shop which can’t make ventilators or PPE but we have bikes to make transport easier. When we heard stories of frontline NHS staff working long shifts with some walking for over an hour to get to work and back because of reduced public transport and being unable to get a lift share, we thought we could help.

“We are very fortunate to have strong client relationships with local companies and Creo Medical has been very supportive in helping fund 100 bikes for NHS staff.  We’ve donated 50 bikes to RUH staff, the remaining 20 will be delivered next week and donated another 50 to staff at Southmead. It’s been a bit challenging with the logistics and social distancing but we’ve done it, much easier in comparison to what many NHS staff are having to deal with on a daily basis.”

As well as donating the bikes, the lucky winners also received a helmet, lights and a bike lock to ensure they can cycle safely.

Ben Ellis was entered into the draw by his colleagues Ashleigh Farmer and Zoe Lockton who work with him in the Emergency Department. When he found out he was a winner, he said: “Winning a bike was a big surprise as I did not know about the offer. I feel very privileged and look forward to being able to ride to work.”

Another winner, Jo Smith, Clinical Dietitian who lives in Southstoke said: “This will certainly help my journey to work – it’s either over an hour’s walk or try and catch two buses!”

The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust would like to thank all businesses for their continued support of our staff and patients during this challenging time. Any businesses looking to make a donation should contact the hospital’s charity The Forever Friends Appeal by email: forever.friends@nhs.net before making any deliveries.

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Recovered coronavirus patients thank RUH staff for their care and support

Two RUH patients who spent time in intensive care after contracting COVID-19 have returned home and thanked hospital staff for the ‘fantastic’ care they received.

Angie Shell, 61, from Trowbridge, was admitted to the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust after falling ill at home.

Angie said: “I had a cough and hadn’t been feeling well for a little while, but I have lupus and had put it down to that. I went to bed feeling a bit rough, but as the days went on I got worse and we made the decision to call for an ambulance.

“I was in the Respiratory Assessment Unit for two days and then taken to Parry ward, but my condition deteriorated and I was taken to the Intensive Care unit so I could be given oxygen.

“It was a very frightening time, but the doctors and nurses were unbelievable. They didn’t leave my side and were just wonderful.

“I don’t know how I can ever thank them enough. If I ever win the lottery, I know where the money’s going!

“They saved my life, it’s a simple as that. They are so brave, putting themselves at risk to help care for others. They are absolutely fantastic.”

Angie, a grandmother, is now back at home to continue her recovery. “I feel so much better than I did,” she said. “I’ve still got a bit of a cough and still get tired very quickly but I’m feeling better day by day. It’s a horrible virus but I want people to know that you can survive it.”

Angie’s husband David added: “The staff in the intensive care unit were fantastic. I wasn’t able to visit Angie, so stayed at home waiting for news. A couple of times I called the unit to find out how she was doing and I just fell to bits, but the staff were so supportive, so caring and it helped me to cope.”

Hugh Mullally, 65, from Bath, fell ill after returning home from a work trip to Europe.

He was taken to the RUH and within days was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.

“I was intubated so that I could be placed on a ventilator. Then I was put into an induced coma. I had about 10minutes to say goodbye to my wife and read the notes that my children had written to me. It all seemed to have happened so quickly.

“I was on a ventilator for nine days in all before I began to recover. When I left the unit, all the staff came into the corridor and gave me a round of applause. I couldn’t believe it. It was very emotional.

“All the way through, from the moment I arrived at the RUH to the day I left, the care was just outstanding. All the staff were so professional and kind. They became like friends to me. I can’t speak highly enough of them. The hospital food was excellent too!

“I feel incredibly lucky that we have the NHS and will never forget the outstanding care and compassion that I received from the staff at the RUH.”

Hugh’s wife Karen said: “We all feel like the NHS has given us Hugh’s life back”

Hugh’s daughter Tara, who has been furloughed from her job, ran a staggering 10km every day he was in a coma, raising a massive £5,000 for NHS charities.

RUH Chief Executive James Scott said: “I’m delighted that Angie and Hugh are back home and wish them all the very best with their recovery. They are just two of more than 100 COVID-19 patients who have been well enough to leave the hospital and head home.

“I’m so incredibly proud of all our staff. They are facing unprecedented challenges and continue to provide our patients with the very best care.”

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Ed Jackson climbs Mount Everest…at home

Inspired by Captain Tom Moore who has raised millions for NHS Charities Together, Ed Jackson, former professional rugby player has set out to raise £10,000 for our charity and two others by climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest on his parents’ staircase.

We are in awe of what he’s set out to do and we wish him the best of luck with this challenge as we know Ed well. He was cared for at the RUH three years ago following an accident which left him with a broken neck. At the time he was told that he may not walk again, but after a gruelling recovery and rehabilitation at three different hospitals including the RUH, he made an amazing recovery and became one of our Therapies Matters ambassadors.

Ed said: “I managed to ditch the walker two years ago and despite my disability I have developed a weird obsession with climbing and I hope to be the first quadriplegic to climb Mount Everest. Obviously I can’t get to the mountains but I’ve decided to bring one here. I’m not really sure how much I’ve bitten off but those of you who have seen any of my climbing blogs before will know that thanks to my disability stairs are my nemesis.”

During the four day challenge, which started today (Tuesday 21 April), Ed will wear of the kit that he will take with him when he is able to travel to the Himalayas and will walk up and down the staircase 2,783 times, that’s 89,000 sets of individual steps.

Ed continued: “The money raised will be shared with The Forever Friends Appeal in support of the NHS. The incredible people of the NHS saved my life and got me back on my feet three years ago and now they’re making that difference for many more.

“Any donation no matter how small is massively appreciated because all of our charities need support at the moment and I hope together we can raise enough to make a real difference for these three.”

The other two charities that are close to Ed’s heart and will also receive a share of the funds are Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation and the Neverest Orthopaedics Foundation.

Ed hopes to finish the challenge around 6pm on Friday 24 April and we’ll be there to help him complete the last few flights of stairs.

If you would like to show your support to Ed, donations can be made at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/edjackson8

You can stay up to date with Ed’s progress by following him on Twitter and on Instagram.

 

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New ‘wobble rooms’ introduced for RUH staff

Staff working at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust can now visit one of several special quiet rooms if they are feeling overwhelmed and need some peace and quiet.

With workers at the hospital facing unprecedented challenges, the new rooms are already proving popular with staff that might be having ‘a wobble’ and need a moment to themselves.

The rooms have been introduced to provide staff with:

  • A place they can go to take a pause and ground themselves if they are feeling overwhelmed
  • A space to do some psychological first aid, such as mindful breathing
  • Somewhere to have a drink, snack or a short rest
  • Somewhere to make contact with the Pastoral Support team if they want to access more help
  • A space which recognises that our mental health fluctuates and that sometimes we need to take a moment to look after ourselves

The wobble rooms can be found in the Incident Coordination Centre, Education Centre, the EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) offices and the RHNRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre.

The new rooms are in addition to spaces around the hospital that already exist for staff who need to take a few minutes to find some peace and quiet, including the Spiritual Care Centre and garden.

Sarah Shatwell, Head of Staff Counselling at the RUH, said: “Our staff are facing huge challenges at the current time and we’re working hard to make sure we can support both their physical and mental wellbeing.

“The new wobble rooms are somewhere for staff to go if they need to take a moment to themselves and find some peace and quiet.

“All of the rooms have information about how to access further support including counselling, psychology support and support in relation to traumatic incidents. One has a laptop which can be used for video calls to the pastoral support team and another is located within the hospital’s counselling service where a qualified therapist is present if needed.

“We recognise that our staff are facing unprecedented demands and we will continue to do all we can to ensure they have the support they need.”

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Message for all our volunteers and supporters re: Coronavirus

17 March 2020

Dear valued volunteers & supporters,

We want to thank you for your kind and continued support and we’re thinking of you and our wonderful community of supporters at this time.

Our staff at the RUH are working incredibly hard to keep all of our patients safe and we are following the guidelines of the Department of Health about COVID-19 (coronavirus). As always, the care of our patients is the number one priority.

The COVID-19 is a rapidly changing situation so as the RUH Hospital Charity we wanted to give some guidance and advice on visiting our hospital, our future planned events, fundraising in the community and how you can support for our charity and your hospital. Please check regularly for updates.

To stay up to date with the latest NHS information and advice about coronavirus please click here

Visiting our hospital and Forever Friends Appeal offices

The Forever Friends Appeal offices are based on site at the RUH and we want to help keep our hospital site safe, therefore over the coming weeks and months many of the team will be working remotely from home. We are asking volunteers and visitors to please refrain from visiting the hospital unless specifically invited to do so. Whilst we may not be able to speak to you in person we will be available via the phone and email.  We may not always be able to answer phone calls immediately but do leave messages as we are able to pick up voicemail.

All non-essential meetings or events have been cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future, instead we can talk to you via phone/ video calls where practical. The cancelled events includes cake and book sales that would normally be held in our atrium at the RUH. We have contacted our supporters who were due to hold an events here at the RUH and we will get in touch if you have an event planned in the near future if it needs to be cancelled or postponed.

If you do visit our hospital for an appointment, treatment or as a visitor, we kindly ask that you use the alcohol hand gel provided at each of our main entrances as you enter and leave hospital to protect yourself and others. Please also check regularly the information and advice being given by our hospital here

Our planned events

Whilst the COVID-19 situation continues, we are looking at how we can help reduce the risk of the spread of infection and keep our supporters safe. The health and safety of all our event participants, supporters and volunteers, many of whom take part in support of a family member who is a patient or as a patient themselves, is our absolute priority.

We have therefore decided to postpone the Walk of Life which was due to take place on Saturday 16th May.  We are currently working with the our suppliers to find an alternative date for later in the year and will keep in touch with all registered walkers to update them with the plans, as soon as they are confirmed. We would like to thank all of our brilliant walkers and volunteers for their support with this event so far, especially for all the hard work they have put into training and fundraising. We are determined to make sure every step they take/have taken, will still count for our patients.

At this time, we are also monitoring the other events we organise as a charity, and the impact they could potentially have on our supporters and others. The Event Section on our website will be updated on a regular basis and should plans for any of our other events change, we will notify those that may be affected as soon as possible.

If you are planning to attend an event which is organised by a third party in aid of The Forever Friends Appeal, then please check with the organiser for an update and further information.

Fundraising in the community

If you were planning to hold your own fundraising activities in aid of our charity in the coming weeks we understand that you may now have questions about what to do. We would recommend that you carefully consider the activities you have planned as the situation and government advice is changing on a daily basis. It is important that you keep up to date with the latest NHS guidelines and Government information to help you make your decisions.

Your support of the RUH hospital is very much appreciated especially at this time but more importantly your health and wellbeing, as well as that of your families and the wider public, is paramount. We fully understand if you decide to postpone or cancel your fundraising activities or you may choose to do a “virtual” activity in your own home.

Supporting the RUH Bath at this time

Our RUH hospital staff are working incredibly hard to continue to provide the highest quality of care for all our patients. If you would like to show your support to our staff and hospital you can by making a donation – we are incredibly grateful to all our supporters and the funds will be used towards the areas in the hospital where it’s needed most.

During this time we will be providing updates via social media, our website and e-newsletters, if you would like to sign up to receive news and information about how you can support our work please click here.

If you have any questions about how to support the hospital or about your fundraising please email forever.friends@nhs.net

Thank you for your patience and continued support

Rhyannon Boyd

Head of Fundraising

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Patient funds new scanner for RUH ward

Patients on the Gastroenterology ward at the Royal United Hospitals (RUH), Bath are benefitting from a new scanner, thanks to a former patient who funded the machine.

Bath resident Liz Daniel, who spent five weeks on Haygarth ward wanted to give something back for the care she received. After speaking to staff to find out what she could do, she funded a bladder scanner which cost £7,500.

Liz, who suffers from LA Amyloidosis, a very rare condition said: “The RUH has been there for me on several occasions and my first admission was on to Haygarth ward back in 2000.  My most recent stay was last summer. I am so thankful to the nurses on the ward for their wonderful care.  I’m sure having their own bladder scanner will make a huge difference to the staff and patients.”

The scanner uses ultrasound to scan a patient’s bladder to determine its volume, and is a valuable diagnostic tool. The procedure is painless for the patient and takes only a couple of minutes to complete.

Vanessa Barthez, Medical Nurse Practitioner on Haygarth ward said:

“We are so grateful to Liz for this generous gift. Many of our patients need to have their bladders scanned to assess their need for catheter intervention.  Having our own scanner means that we can get immediate results in a non-invasive way.”

The purchase of the bladder scanner was facilitated by the hospital’s charity, The Forever Friends Appeal. Thanks to the application of Gift Aid, the ward was also able to purchase extra equipment, given by Liz as a tribute to her late husband, Reginald Jack Daniel OBE.

To find out more about our Appeal and the ways you can support the RUH please click here

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HRH The Duchess of Cornwall officially opens the new RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre

Staff, patients and guests celebrated the official opening today (Tuesday 22 October) by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, of the new RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre at the RUH.

The Duchess, President of the Royal Osteoporosis Society and Patron of Versus Arthritis, was given a guided tour of the new £20m purpose-built Centre and shown some of its facilities, including the hydrotherapy pool, specialist treatment areas and physiotherapy gyms.

James Scott, Chief Executive of the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We were delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness here again. She has a long association with the Trust as well as being a former patron of the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases. The Duchess is a great supporter of our work and we were very proud to show her the wonderful new facilities we have created here.”

The Duchess was accompanied on her visit by Trust Chair Alison Ryan.  She was introduced to local entrepreneurs Andrew and Christina Brownsword, whose £1m Match Funding Challenge has enabled the hospital charity, The Forever Friends Appeal, to raise  £2m towards the overall cost of the new Centre, with every donation doubled by the Brownsword scheme.

The RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies  Centre brings together therapies and pain services located at the RUH with many of the services previously  located at the RNHRD’s Mineral Water Hospital site, known locally as the ‘Min.’

Uniting staff and services together on one site has been many years in the planning, and the RUH has worked closely with patients and staff to design the best new home for services relocating from the Min.

The Duchess also attended a reception to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Forever Friends Appeal and its raising of over £25m for patient services at the RUH.  She met with donors and volunteers and unveiled plaques to mark the event and officially open the new Centre.

During the reception The Duchess said: “As a past patron of the Min it’s lovely to be able to come here and see what has been done for the new Centre. I’m incredibly impressed by everything – the hydrotherapy pool looked extremely tempting! There seem to be a lot of very happy patients and it has a very welcoming atmosphere. I know that all of you here do so much to raise money for this hospital…so thank you for contributing to this wonderful new building.”

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Spice girl Geri Horner celebrates our 20th anniversary

Spice Girl, Geri Horner (Halliwell) visited the Royal United Hospitals Bath today, Monday 10 June ahead of the Spice World concert at Ashton Gate in Bristol.

Geri made the special trip to visit patients and staff at the RUH to mark the 20th anniversary of the hospital’s charity, The Forever Friends Appeal.

Tim Hobbs, Head of Fundraising for The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“We are thrilled that Geri came back to celebrate our 20th anniversary with us. Twenty years ago she was here helping us launch our charity and our first appeal ‘Giving new heart to the RUH’. It’s fantastic to welcome her back and show her how we’ve helped transform our hospital.

“We were delighted to give Geri a tour of the hospital to show her some of the areas which we have funded thanks to our generous supporters and donors. We also visited the Breast Unit, for which we are raising funds, and showed her the new RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre that will open this autumn.

Since our launch in 1999 over £25million has been raised for the RUH. The funds are used towards purchasing additional medical equipment, welcoming environments, new patient services and major build projects such as the RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre and the Dyson Cancer Centre.

In tribute to the Appeal’s 20th anniversary a unique floral display will be unveiled in Bath’s Parade Gardens this summer. Created by the BaNES Parks team, the display will be there for everyone to enjoy from 29 June until September.

Later this year, we plan to introduce some new exciting, innovative major campaigns and smaller appeals to continue making a real difference to patients and their families.

 

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Metal Detecting Rally raises £27,000 for RUH

A treasure trove of roman coins, ceramics, silver celtic coins and even a piece of gold, were discovered at a metal detecting weekend rally that was organised to raise money in memory of a local man.

Rodney Cook sadly passed away in September 2017 after a brave two year battle with cancer. He was treated and cared for by staff at the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

The event, dubbed The Rodney Cook Memorial Rally has raised £27,000 for the RUH. It was organised by Gary Cook in memory of his dad Rodney and all profits raised from ticket sales, the raffle and extra donations will go to the RUH’s new Cancer Centre, who did so much to help his dad.

Gary Cook, Rodney’s son said:

“When my father was suffering from cancer he was looked after more than words can even explain – the staff in the RUH’s Oncology Unit are amazing. They really cared for my Dad every step of the way through his treatment. That’s why we are thrilled to have raised money in his memory for the new Cancer Care Centre.

“It is all about the beginning, middle and end of your treatment. From when he was first given the diagnosis, the way that they talked to my dad, to us his family and how they looked after him was just fantastic.

“We knew that the hospital is in need of funds, so we decided to organise a metal detecting weekend rally to help raise money for cancer care in Rodney’s memory. The RUH Cancer Unit were simply amazing and we wanted to give something back.

With the help of all of my friends at Trowbridge and District Metal Detecting Club, sponsors, land owners and close friends and family, we organised The Rodney Cook Memorial Rally just outside Cirencester.  From the ticket sales and raffle £27,000 will be donated to The Forever Friends Appeal’s Cancer Care Campaign.”

Claudia Hickin, Senior Community Fundraiser at The Forever Friends Appeal said, ‘We are so grateful to everyone involved in the Rodney Cook Memorial Rally, a group of kind, friendly and generous people who put in so much effort to raise a substantial amount of money for a cause close to their hearts. We are delighted to welcome them as a Senior Community Partner, and to acknowledge their fundraising, we will be naming a room in the new Cancer Centre after them.’

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