Hospital staff on the frontline of Covid have been receiving hampers and messages of support from residents and staff at a care home provider.
Colten Care has made a series of donations to intensive treatment units (ITUs) in hospitals serving the same communities as its homes in the South.
They include the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester, Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth and the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.
The idea of donating hampers to ITUs came from Helen Smith, Home Manager at Colten’s Wellington Grange home in Chichester.
Helen has worked previously as an Accident and Emergency Sister and her partner, Dr Matthew Williams, is an ITU consultant at Queen Alexandra.
Helen said: “Many hospital staff have been experiencing added pressure, anxiety and fatigue during the pandemic. ITU is such a highly skilled area of a hospital and you can’t just replace colleagues who go off sick. Some people have been at breaking point, on their knees about the situation, and there has been a feeling of a lack of recognition. Most of the public don’t know what it’s like.
“We had a think about what we could do to make ITU staff feel a bit more supported and we thought some hampers and messages from our residents and team members, showing their heartfelt appreciation, was something that would go down well. We have seen the extent of PPE that hospital ITU teams have to wear at the moment and we know ourselves how difficult and uncomfortable it is to work in heavy PPE, especially on long shifts.”
Colten residents and staff have gifted two different types of hamper to each hospital. One is a ‘pamper’ hamper, containing unopened toiletries such as moisturisers, hand cream, body lotion, luxury soap and shower gel. This is to help ITU staff when they are moisturising hands and faces or having a shower after a shift.
The second is a ‘munchies’ hamper, with goodies to eat such as unopened energy boosting snacks, granola bars and bags of nuts.
Each kind of hamper includes heart-shaped notes from residents and staff, dubbed ‘Hearts of Kindness’.
Wellington Grange resident Pen Trinnick said: “This comes from the heart, from all of us to them. This project is a good way to show them the thanks they deserve. Their care for us is much needed and they need to take care of themselves as well.”
All the hospitals receiving the hampers have expressed their thanks. Simon Pearson, Head of Charity at Dorset County Hospital, said: “The gifts will help to boost the morale of our staff and reinforce the important message that their local community is still thinking of them and appreciates the work they are doing under such difficult circumstances.”
In addition to items gathered by individual homes, Colten Care’s head office in Ringwood, Hampshire, has contributed £500 worth of toiletries and snacks to the initiative.