The League of Friends of Milford Hospital provides support, facilities, amenities and publicity for Milford Hospital, filling some of the gaps in standard NHS provision. The pandemic stopped us going into the hospital and all activities ceased. We kept in touch with the staff and provided regular supplies of hand cream, fruit and luxury foods. We were able to provide every inpatient with a Christmas present and gave biscuits to every team at the hospital.
Prior to Covid, we have bought software for the speech and language therapists; televisions for the wards; cassette and CD players for talking books to augment the large print library trolley service we ran each week; garden furniture, a water feature, wind sculpture, umbrellas and cushions for the courtyard garden that we have refurbished and planted; and paving and new plants for a second seating area outside the coffee shop. We had WiFi installed throughout the hospital which benefits both patients and staff. Responding to requests from the specialist nurse practitioners who are now based at Milford, smart new benches have been positioned along the path from the car park to the wards and X-ray. We have arranged ukulele band performances from Milford U3A and provided games and equipment for an activity afternoon run by Age UK. Our largest project to date has been the provision of an interactive table projector and additional software. This throws patterns onto a table with which patients can interact, with only small or weak movements. These ‘magic tables’ have been very useful rehabilitation tools in other hospitals, promoting movement, cooperation or competition. We had just found an aromatherapist to give hand massages a few weeks before all such interaction had to stop but we hope to resume this again.
We fund this expenditure through donations, legacies, and fund raising. In May 2017, Milford Co-Operative Store chose us as their local charity to support for a year, and continued for two more years. We organise events such as quiz evenings, concerts, store collections, and we have been running the charity tea tent at the Milford Farmers’ Market once or twice a year since May 2015. Part of our remit is to promote the work of the hospital which we do by attending Milford and Witley village fairs. We hope to hold our annual summer garden party again for patients and their visitors with a strawberry and cakes tea and musical entertainment, usually provided by Music in Hospitals.
For full details of our income and expenditure, click here for our 2019-20 accounts.
All this is arranged and agreed at our committee meetings, held in January, March, May, July, September (AGM) and November. The Community Hospitals’ Matron and the ward Matron are invited to join us, ensuring close co-operation between the League and the hospital. We aim to build a strong relationship between the League and a representative of the Trust who provide the services.
The committee is small and friendly and would very much welcome new members. We would also appreciate additional help with our trolley rounds and at our events. Anyone willing to spare a few hours is asked to contact us. Supporters wishing to donate (annual subscription, £5) but not able to offer assistance are equally welcome. You can download a membership form by clicking here.
Our recent gift expenditure can be seen here. Since 2000, the League of Friends has provided over £100,000 worth of facilities and equipment to the hospital.