“Adopt a ward” and “Thinking of you” at Western Sussex Hospitals

Schools, parishes and residents in West Sussex are invited to send a message, picture or video to isolated patients in Worthing Hospital or St Richard’s Hospital

Western Sussex Hospitals has had to suspend ward visiting during the Covid-19 pandemic and while staff are helping patients keep in touch with their loved ones, unfortunately some patients do not have family or friends to contact them.

The trust hopes schools, parish groups or residents in West Sussex could help support and lift the spirits of these more isolated patients by sending in letters, drawing or any other creative content they wish to share to make someone’s day in hospital.

Chief nurse, Maggie Davies, said: “Our new Messages to Loved Ones service is proving hugely popular and it means the world to our patients who cannot receive visitors to be given laminated messages and photographs from their loved ones.

“Sadly, some of our patients are more isolated though and we think it would be amazing for these often very elderly people to know that their community is thinking of them. It would just make an incredible difference to how they are feeling while in hospital.

“So, if a school or community wants to adopt a ward, or anyone feels like making a stranger’s day by writing a Thinking of you letter or sending them a drawing, we would be thrilled to make this happen and eternally grateful for the boost you’ll give to our patients. Thank you.”

 Adopt a ward

The wards at Worthing Hospital and St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester are named after villages and communities in West Sussex. For example, Aldwick, Broadwater, Bramber, Chanctonbury, Durrington, Eartham, Ford, Itchenor, Petworth and Wittering are all wards in the hospitals.

Perhaps schools, community groups or people living in these areas would like to adopt a ward they share their name with and send in rainbow pictures, singing recordings, letters or videos to some of the patients?

The trust would use its new Messages to Loved Ones service to ensure everything people send in is either laminated and delivered to patients personally or shown to them on new ward iPads bought by the hospitals to keep patients in touch with their families.

Please email wshnt.MessagesToLovedOnes@nhs.net or send to Messages to Loved Ones, St Richard’s Hospital, Spitalfield Lane, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 6SE. Thank you.

 Thinking of you

No matter where you live though, anyone can make someone’s day and spread some cheer by telling a patient you are thinking of them, even if you don’t know them personally.

We invite people to address their kind words or pictures to “Thinking of you” and send to the same addresses above. Staff will print, laminate and personally deliver your messages to patients who find themselves more isolated at this difficult time. Staff will also facilitate replies if you leave a return email or postal address. Thank you.

For a list of wards named after places in West Sussex, please visit the trust’s Worthing Hospital and St Richard’s Hospital website pages at www.westernsussexhospitals.nhs.uk and click on the ward directories. If you would like to discuss the “Adopt a ward” or “Thinking of you” ideas further, please call Theo Cronin on 01903 205 111 ext. 84979.