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Donation brings RITA to older people’s wards

Reminiscence therapy is helping elderly patients across the Royal United Hospitals Bath thanks to a charitable donation that has funded an additional device called RITA.

RITA stands for Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activities and it enables patients to enjoy a range of games, listen to music, view old photographs and watch films, to help spark memories and start conversations on the wards.

RUH Dementia Coordinator, Astrid Siddorn said: “We would like to say a big thank you to Chris at Bath Woodburners and the other two companies. During these strange times, hospital stays for people with dementia have become even more difficult, especially without loved ones to visit.

“Your donation for a RITA enables us to support more patients as it reduce patents’ anxiety when they are out of their familiar environment, making patients’ stay in hospital more comfortable.”

RITA is mostly used on the hospital’s older people’s wards but can be used by anyone to help reduce anxiety and distress when someone is out of their familiar environment. In additional to the popular reminiscence apps, patients can play bingo, quizzes as well as watch historic speeches and archive BBC news footage.

Chris Clements, of Bath Woodburners said: “My wife, Cerys and I, were personally very impressed with the work of the RUH and the care received by Cerys’ father, Joe Francis, when he was admitted last year. He was cared for incredibly well in a hugely difficult time for hospitals.

“We have been a fortunate business fitting wood burning stoves for people in the community during the pandemic and this busy period has enabled us and two other respected businesses to work together on giving something back to the community.

“We heard about the RITA devices which seemed like a great idea and we know it will provide a valuable resource in helping those with dementia, their families and the staff at the RUH.”

There are now five RITA devices in the RUH and it is hoped that additional RITA devices can be funded to support more patients in the future.

If you would like to find out how you can make a difference to patients and staff at the RUH please click here

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Local company completes 34 day fundraising challenge

A local firm embarked on a 34 day fundraising challenge to say thanks for the care given to their colleague who fell ill with COVID-19 and spent 34 days on a respirator at the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH).

Gavin Davis, owner of Halsall, a construction and development firm, fell seriously ill with the virus and was admitted to the unit on 3 April. Thankfully he is now out of hospital and continues his recovery at home.

The team at Halsall and the Davis family wanted to show their gratitude to the RUH and embarked on the challenge to raise £3,400 in recognition of the 34 days he spent on a respirator.

The company were overwhelmed to have more than doubled this target and handed a cheque to The Forever Friends Appeal charity for an incredible £8,288 for the Pierce Intensive Care Ward.

Hannah Taylor, Office Manager, Halsall said: “The care that Gavin received while in the Pierce Intensive Care Unit was nothing short of remarkable. We were therefore inspired to show our appreciation for the NHS Staff and the Pierce Intensive Care Unit by taking on this fundraising challenge.”

For 34 days a series of fundraising events were organised all themed around the number 34. Activities (which all followed Government guidelines) included challenges such as eating 34 crackers without a drink, walking 34km, cycling 34km for 34 days, cycling 340 miles in 34 days, and a 34-hour spinathon.

Jo Common, Corporate Officer said: “We are so pleased to hear that Gavin is home and recovering well, and we would like to say a heartfelt thank you to the team at Halsall and the Davis family for taking on this wonderful challenge. The staff in our Intensive Care Unit are overwhelmed to hear that such in incredible amount has been raised, to thank them for their exceptional care.”

Margi Jenkins, Matron, Critical Care and Outreach said: “We are so happy to hear that Gavin continues to get better. The progress he has made has been so rewarding for us as a team and we are very grateful for this generous donation which will help us to continue providing the best care possible for our patients.”

If you would like to support The Forever Friends Appeal please click here

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