What we do
The Hospital’s future has at times been uncertain in recent years due to the varying financial constraints on the NHS. With the help and support of our local MP, past Chairman and Trustees the League of Friends have successfully fought off these closure threats.
Committee members meet every 3 months to discuss and agree on any request for funds, future fundraising events and financial arrangements of the charity. The majority of our work though is done outside of these meetings.
The Annual General Meeting is held in the summer, normally sometime in July, to which all Friends are warmly invited.
Since our formation in May 1967 The League of Friends have succeeded in funding a significant number of projects. These include:-
- Our first Physiotherapy Unit completed.
- Matrons’ bungalow constructed.
- Our first Day Room built.
- A new large Day Centre opened.
- Existing Physiotherapy Department enlarged.
- Physiotherapy Department further extended.
- More improvements to Bathrooms, Kitchen and a New Ward added.
- New Wing built – another Ward, an Occupational Therapy Unit and a Day Hospital.
- The ‘Green Shop’ on the Colonnade opened to assist fundraising.
- Completion of the Sensory Garden.
Set up of Day Care Centre and Dementia Care facilities.
- New TV’s for every bed.
- Provision of wild bird feeders which are hung close to the Day Room windows and are very popular with the patients. Provision of wild bird food whenever needed. Several interesting birds have been spotted.
purchased Dyson fans for all the wards
Redecorated the Green Shop
The League of Friends celebrated 50 years
WRAP Day Centre moved from Grove Mills to
The Green Shop moved across the road to the old Bike Shop.
Hawkhurst Community Hospital League of Friends
Chairman’s report for the year ended 31st December 2018
The role of the Hospital has moved further in the direction of taking step-down patients with memory problems as a result of which the average length of stay has lengthened to around 36 days because of the difficulty of finding a safe place to which to discharge the patients, a measure of the challenge that dementia presents to the NHS. A few years ago the length of stay was nearer 18 days. Many initiatives have been put in place by the matron to adapt to changing needs.
The Kent Community Health Trust continues to invest money in the Hospital and that bodes well for its future, we continue to provide those many things that improve the lot of the patients and of the staff. Staffing has long been a problem because of the geographical location but the Matron has made strides in stabilising staff turnover and recruiting permanent staff.
One minor improvement we made at the Hospital this year was the provision of a new Coffee Machine thanks to a donation from the Staplehurst Bridge Club. We now have a machine that uses sachets instead of pre-filled cups which provide a much better drink and instead of coin vending we have an honesty box, turnover has increased hugely, but what happens when no one carries money any more will have to be addressed!
The Green Shop
Trade at the Green Shop continues at a healthy level, actually improving by around 8%, it continues to produce a healthy contribution.
The most important change in the year has been our long delayed move to accommodation in Hawkhurst House which offers us an excellent room for the dementia day care. This has enabled us to surrender the lease on Grove Mills which has had an inevitable write-down on our assets but will have a profound effect on our finances and we are very grateful to The Graham Group for their offer of accommodation. It is very gratifying to see the contribution that WRAP makes to the wellbeing of our clients and most importantly the contribution it makes to the sanity of their carers, almost always spouses or children.
The Monday Club
The Club was in abeyance following the stroke that was suffered by Joyce Saunders who ran it. I am pleased to report that Joyce has made a good recovery and the Monday Club has restarted with much celebration by the attendees.