Hospital staff go to great lengths to raise funds

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NURSES who took part in a sponsored swim earlier this year in Chichester were delighted to show off the results of their fundraising.

Staff at the maternity unit in St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester were among those taking part in a swimathon organised in May by the Chichester Lions Club. They raised £1,700 towards a new reception area at the unit.

The bulk of the work was funded by the Friends of Chichester Hospitals, which contributed £100,000 towards new reception areas for the maternity, gynaecology and paediatrics wards.

Sarah Griffin, antenatal clinic midwife manager, welcomed the changes. “The old entrance area was cold, and didn’t feel like a hospital – it was more like a train station waiting area,” she said.

“Now the environment is so much better for everyone. It is warmer, more secure, easier to keep clean and it allows much greater privacy and dignity. Staff are much happier as well, and it is a more effective work environment.”

Jane Ramage, of the Friends, added: “The Friends’ motto is ‘Making a difference for patients and staff’ and this project really does make that difference. It’s so important there is a private area where sensitive or anxiety-provoking matters can be discussed quietly without anyone overhearing.

“We are really delighted so many staff (and their friends and families) were so committed to the project they undertook the swimathon to help us raise funds – and even more pleased they enjoyed the event so much.”

Everyone from consultants to receptionists took part in the swimathon at Westgate Leisure.

On Friday, Lions President Brian Attfield and other Chichester Lions met with members of the Friends of Chichester Hospital, and were shown round the new reception area by nursing staff. Mr Attfield congratulated the nurses on their achievement.