£100,000 Christmas cracker giveaway to wards and departments at North Bristol NHS Trust

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Our charitable Christmas countdown has begun for hospital departments and community services at North Bristol NHS Trust thanks to a surprise money giveaway.

Shine together, the charity supporting Frenchay and Southmead Hospitals and community health services, is giving £100,000 to departments, wards and services across the Trust to spend on equipment.

Between December 1 and 23 the Shine together Christmas Crackers awards will announce gifts of up to £5,000 on each weekday with a bumper gift of up to £20,000 handed out on December 23.

Christmas CrackersLast month staff were asked to put forward applications for the prize fund for the purchase of medical equipment that will support and improve the experience of patients.

A judging panel made up of clinical and non clinical staff from across the Trust considered the 200 applications and have allotted prize money to 34 projects.

The first funds were awarded on December 1 in a surprise visit to wards by local TV personality Alex Lovell.

Each day in the run up to the big giveaway on December 23, the Shine together website will announce who that day’s winner is.

Dr Peter Marden, gastroenterologist at Frenchay and Southmead Hospital, and his team have won a total funding of £5,367 to purchase two pieces of equipment that will enable faster treatment and new testing for patients with gastroenterology problems.

Dr Marden said: “We are really pleased to be awarded funding for these two devices, both of which will enable us to offer advanced forms of testing to more patients.

“These new tests are easy to use and patient friendly, and better testing means we can diagnose problems quicker and start more effective treatment for patients earlier.”

Shine together’s head of fundraising Trevor Reid said: “Shine together has had yet another fantastic year thanks to the generosity of the public who have donated or taken part in fundraising for us.

“We decided that the best way to spend some of that money was by asking the staff themselves what they think would benefit patients the most.

“Nominations for prize money have had to assure judges that the equipment can be transferred to the new hospital at Southmead when it opens in 2014, so this is a real legacy from Shine together to our hard-working staff.”

You can find out who wins the awards each day by clicking on the Shine together Christmas Crackers Advent calendar. Or follow North Bristol NHS Trust on Twitter or Facebook for daily updates.

Funding for two new pieces of gastroenterology equipment:

1. Hydrolyser gastro+ breath tester plus. A hand-held breath test device that determines whether patients have food intolerances, such as lactose or fructose intolerance, or bacteria in the gut. This test is not currently available but the new device will mean that a diagnosis can be made immediately and treatment can begin.

2. Digimed Patency Scanner.  North Bristol NHS Trust currently use video capsule endoscopy which involves a capsule swallowed by the patient which takes pictures of the small bowel. The department currently receives more than 150 referrals a year from across the south west. However, currently some patients cannot have this due to risk of the capsule becoming stuck. This new scanner tracks 'dummy' capsules to see if they get stuck. If it doesn't the patient is safe to have the video capsule, already in use at Southmead Hospital.

Also awarded on Thursday was funding for new children’s therapy equipment to allow parents to carry out therapy with their disabled children at home and for two chairs for the discharge lounge at Frenchay.