MORRISTON HOSPITAL LEAGUE OF FRIENDS
Thank you for attending this afternoon to celebrate 75 years of Morriston Hospital League of Friends
The origin of the League dates back to 1943 when a committee was set up to provide film shows and concerts for wounded servicemen. It was the first League of Friends to be founded in the country. The first contribution was from the Darts League in providing wireless headphones to each bed at the hospital. The Friends purchased a cinematograph projector and twice weekly gave film shows for bed patients. They organised quizzes for the patients in which local sportsmen and personalities took part.
We began giving a Christmas gift for each patient and member of staff in 1953 and have continued doing so for 65 years.
To mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953 the Friends provided patients with television sets to enable them to watch the pageantry of the Coronation procession and ceremony at Westminster Abbey. To commemorate the Coronation the League constructed the outpatients and visitors garden which is situated in front of Ty Olwen.
The Friends provided alcoves in the corridors as a comfortable rest area for hospital visitors and relatives of wounded soldiers.
One of our most magnificent gifts was the original Chapel which commemorated the twenty first anniversary of the founding of the hospital. The Chapel and its organ cost nearly £10,000 and the building including the cost of furnishings was £8000. The Chapel was opened in 1964.
The first hospital Chapel Organist was Megan Evans and she continued to play the organ for 25 years. Following her death Phil George took over as Chapel Organist and he continued for 26 years. Phil donated the Organ you see here today.
The overnight bungalow accommodation which cost £9000 was officially opened in 1976. The idea for an accommodation unit at the hospital for the relatives of seriously ill patient was conceived when the Friends saw visitors sleeping in the alcoves on bedding supplied by the hospital. This accommodation was demolished in 2010 and the Friends took over 2 Flats in Clos George Morgan which can accommodate 7 people. The new accommodation is used in a similar way to the old bungalow. It will be used by relatives of seriously ill patients thus enabling them to be near to their family whilst receiving treatment. We have had relatives staying in the accommodation from as far away as Poland and Sweden. We have helped well over 20,000 relatives.
This accommodation is in constant use and is greatly appreciate by the relatives. We do not charge for its use.
In 1977 we raised funds for the installation of a spina bifida unit and hydrotherapy pool at a cost of £7500.
We organised Carnivals for 34 years – Morriston being the largest Carnival in Wales. I remember one year the first float arriving at the hospital field when the last float was leaving Morriston a total of 51 floats in all. People watched the Parade in their thousands.
A list of the equipment we have provided to this hospital is far too extensive to read out today but the most expensive gift in 1983 was an ultrasonic scalpel for the Neurology Department at a cost of
£95,000. for which we raised £33.000. an awful lot of money in those days.
To sum up a quote from the late Miss M M Williams Matron of the Hospital paid the following tribute to the Friends at a Nurses Prizegiving Service = “The Friends have become part of the hospital I do not know what we would have done without them. They put themselves out tremendously to help us and they have provided facilities which although common place in the newer hospitals we would never have had without their support. They are greatly appreciated by the patients and staff and moreover they get on with their self appointed tasks unobtrusively and never expect to be praised. Thankfully the Morriston Hospital League of Friends continues its good work”
Since the commencement of the League a sum of £2,200,000 has been raised and used to purchase vital equipment for various departments within the hospital.
Today the League continues to raise funds through an annual Golf Tournament and the receipt of kind donations. The League also provide a service to the patients enabling them to attend the Sunday Chapel Services by transporting them by wheelchair, bed or assisted walking.
Morriston Hospital’s dedicated League of Friends has been given the royal seal of approval as it celebrates its 75th anniversary.
Prince Charles paid a special visit to the hospital on 23rd February 2018 to meet the team and get a close-up look at some of the equipment and services their hard work has paid for.
Now the oldest hospital league in the UK, over the years the group has been responsible for raising a remarkable £2,200,000 which has gone directly into supporting patient care.
Among those welcoming the Prince was League of Friends Chairman John Hughes MBE, whose father William Randall Hughes was one of its founder members back in 1943.
Pre-dating the NHS, it was established to provide film shows and concerts for wounded servicemen and the very first pieces of equipment it bought were headphones for each hospital bed.
Mr Hughes said: “My mother Gladys was also a member and I was brought up to be a part of it. I remember being a 12-year-old boy helping to show films on the wards and it has just gone from there. ”
The family tradition continues as the League’s current secretary is John’s wife Patricia whose own mother and father were also involved.
That proud history of fundraising – which has paid for everything from accommodation for patients’ families through to a cutting edge 3D scanner – was highlighted during the royal visit.
During his time at Morriston Prince Charles visited The President and Vice Presidents of the League, Committee members and Supporters and past Members and talked about their work over the years and praised them on their achievements over 75 years.
The seven volunteers who now make up the League also explained their other contributions which include providing a small Christmas present for every patient and member of staff.
Mr Hughes, who had previously met the Prince when he was presented with his MBE for Services to the Community in Swansea, said:
“We are so honoured and very grateful that His Royal Highness found time to come and find out more about our work here at Morriston.
We are now only a small group but we are very proud of everything that the League has been able to achieve over the decades.
Our aim has always been to do whatever we can to help the patients – whether that is taking them to worship in the hospital’s multi-faith room or providing the funds for vital new equipment. Morriston Hospital remains such an important part of our community and our dedication to support it is as strong now as it was 75 years ago.”
Hospital Director Rebecca Carlton added: “The dedication and support of the League of Friends and their fundraising has been incredible. The impact their donations have made is tremendous.
“We were so pleased to have welcomed Prince Charles and given him the opportunity to see why our League is so special.”
If you would like to help continue the League of Friends’ work the committee meets bi-monthly on the first Wednesday and would welcome new members.
Contact Mrs Patricia Hughes on 01792 794480 or Mrs Sian Harris Williams on 01639 591874 to find out more.
3D Image camera
We have moved into a digital age for healthcare enabling us to deliver better, faster and more efficient services to patients. ABMU Health board has led the way in many innovations in this area and in particular in digital imaging.
The Maxillofacial Unit some years ago invested in a 3D surface capture system that could take virtually instant 3D images of the face. This allowed for improvements in treatments such as burns splint therapies, surgery planning and facial prostheses. The two camera system was based in medical photography so it was accessible to all specialties and very soon it became useful in many other treatment areas such as breast reconstruction and scar management.
As images with two cameras are only able to capture small areas of the body, investment in a 5 camera system were considered giving larger more complete images in a shorter time.
After a presentation to the Morriston Hospital League of Friends, the need to support the purchase and integrate a five camera system was agreed and the funds donated.
With this generous support a five camera system has now been installed in the Medical Illustration Department on a purpose built frame. This new system is able to capture 360 degree images of the head and body instantly and is first of its type in Wales and only the second in the UK.
The ability to capture a 3D image of a patients surface anatomy instantly and without using CT or MRI enables a wide range of treatments and services such as burns pressure therapy masks, face and body prostheses, implant design and wound and scar management. Before this technology was available patients would have had to undergo lengthy and uncomfortable impressions using plaster and silicones.
Peter Llewellyn Evans
Maxillofacial Laboratory Services Manager
MORRISTON HOSPITAL LEAGUE OF FRIENDS
The origin of the League dates back to 1943 when a committee was set up to provide film shows and concerts for wounded servicemen in Morriston Hospital during World War II. It was one of the first leagues to be founded in the country. The first contribution was providing wireless headphones to each bed at the hospital. The Friends purchased a cinematograph projector and twice weekly gave film shows for bed patients. They organised quizzes for the patients in which local sportsmen and personalities took part. To mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953 the Friends provided patients with television sets to enable them to watch the pageantry of the Coronation procession and ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
One of their most magnificent gifts was the original Chapel which commemorated the twenty first anniversary of the founding of the hospital. The Chapel and its organ cost nearly £10,000 and the building including the cost of furnishings was £8000. The Chapel was opened in 1964. Chapel services still continue today in the new Multi Faith Centre at the Hospital. Morriston is the only hospital in Wales to hold Sunday morning services. The League of Friends enable patients to attend the Sunday services by transporting them from the wards by wheelchair, bed or assisted walking.
The overnight bungalow accommodation was officially opened in 1976. The idea for an accommodation unit at the hospital for the relatives of patients was conceived when the Friends saw visitors sleeping in the alcoves on bedding supplied by the hospital.
New accommodation was opened in 2010 and is used by relatives of seriously ill patients thus enabling them to be near to their family whilst receiving treatment. The new accommodation comprises four bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen and lounge area.
A total cost of £10,000 has been spent on the provision of the new accommodation. The League have purchased all the beds, bedding, and bedroom furniture in each bedroom. The kitchen has been fitted with a fridge, washing machine, tumble dryer, microwave, cooker, all kitchen utensils, crockery and cutlery. The lounge area has been equipped with a corner style settee and chairs, television set and dining table and chairs.
Since the commencement of the League of Friends in 1943 over £2.000.000 has been raised and used to purchase vital equipment for various departments within the hospital. Recent purchases include a Colorectal Endoscope which cost £17442 and is used to treat patients in the early stages of bowel cancer. The equipment used during transanal endoscopic surgery allows small early cancerous or non cancerous growths to be removed without the need of a major procedure thus allowing patients to recover quicker.
The Friends have also purchased Wales’ first 3D scanner. The £20,700 scanner uses five cameras to capture 360 degree external images of the head and body of the patients. This equipment is used at the Maxillofacial Unit. Patients needing face and body prosthesis, design implants, burns and pressure therapy masks and wound and scar management now benefit from more accurate designs and better finished results.
Recent purchases include a Baby Resuscitaire for the Accident and Emergency Department costing £9600 and a Belmont Rapid Infusion System costing £10,000 also for the Accident and Emergency Department.
The Friends provide patient packs which contain toiletries and sleepwear to patients who are admitted (sometimes unexpectedly) to Morriston Hospital without these items. At Christmas each patient and ward staff member is given a small gift which is distributed by the Friends on Christmas Eve.
Today the League continues to raise funds through an annual Golf Tournament and the receipt of kind donations. The Friends continue to have a happy working relationship with the Hospital Management Team, Doctors, Nursing Staff, all Wards and Departments within the hospital.
Major abdominal surgery is gold standard for the management early stage rectal cancer and larger benign polyps but can necessitate the need for a colostomy. The risk of the disease recurring after such surgery is very low around 1-2%. However, there are significant risks associated with this type of surgery (20-30%). There is also the risk of bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction. This can consequently have a negative impact on quality of life. So in short, we are potentially over treating such benign polyps and early stage rectal cancers.
Transanal endoscopic surgery was introduced by Professor Buess in Germany in 1980s. It has been introduced in many centres worldwide. It has an established use in the UK and its safety and efficacy have been demonstrated by an ongoing audit.
This is a minimally invasive, endoscopic technique, avoiding any abdominal incisions. The technique works via an operating rectoscope with high definition optics and high precision instruments to remove the lesion. The defect in the rectum can be closed accurately. There is no need for a colostomy.
There are significant cost savings as the inpatient stay is around 1-2 nights. This compares to 5-10 nights after resectional surgery. There is faster return to normal health, reduced complications and improved postoperative bowel function compared to resectional surgery.
The Bowel Cancer Screening Programme has led to an increased number of larger rectal polyps and early stage cancers being detected. It is therefore essential that we in Swansea are able to offer patients this treatment, thus avoiding major surgery or referring patients to other centres in UK.
On behalf of The Colorectal Unit, I would like to thank Morriston Hospital League of Friends for their kind donation.
In the last 12 months the Morriston Hospital League of Friends has raised nearly £50k.
The £49,410 has been used to buy additional equipment for the hospital, which benefit patients on a daily basis.
Together the leagues members have a fundraising experience of 160 years, but are only a small team, they would love to have more volunteers to help them carry on their successes.
One of the leagues biggest fundraising events is the annual golf tournament which has raised £136,806.50 since it started 21 years ago. Held at the Morriston Golf Club it is extremely popular and a great day out.
Picture below: Pembroke Ward staff members testing the new Anatome chairs, which the league has purchased costing £2170.
League Chairman, John Hughes has been fundraising for 56 years and said: “We know money is tight, but we also know that people are very kind and generous when we collect for the hospital.
“Every penny raised is ploughed into the hospital; it is the patients who see the benefits of the equipment that we buy.
Pictured are Reverend Nigel Griffin Hospital Chaplain, Sian Harris Williams Treasurer League of Friends, Patricia Hughes Secretary League of Friends John Hughes MBE Chairman League of Friends and Pembroke Ward Staff
“We have purchased allsorts from Dyson fans, 3d scanners to patient packs, which contain toiletries and sleepwear for patients who are unexpectedly admitted to hospital.
“We are only a small group and are always looking for new volunteer members. If you can give a few hours a week or month we would love to hear from you.”
Ward F – Elderly Care, Sister Linda Elt has received donations from the league and was delighted with them. She said: “We are extremely grateful to the Morriston League of Friends for purchasing two Gaz Trip shower chars and two Dyson fans which cost £3,200.
Pictured are Staff of Ward F, Ward Sister Linda Elt, Sian Harris Williams League of Friends Treasurer, Nigel Griffin Hospital Chaplain,Patricia Hughes
Secretary League of Friends and John Hughes MBE Chairman League of Friends.
“The chairs are marvellous and enable stroke patients to shower independently as possible. The fans are amazing they don’t have any blades and the risk of infection is greatly reduced.”
“I know that across the hospital, the league is making a real difference to the patients. Little things like fans and chairs are really important to everyday life in hospital.”
If you are interested in become a member please visit www.morristonhospitallof.co.uk for more information. Alternatively contact the Secretary on 01792 794480.
Some of the items donated the last 12 months are:-
- Ward S, Bladder Scanner – £8,345
- A&E /Cardiology, 3d Echocardiology System
- Ward F, Shower Chairs and Fans – £3200
- Pembroke Ward, two Hill-Rom Anatome Chairs – £2170
- Cardiac Ward, Hand Held Scanner – £4,995 and donation towards 3d TOE probe scanner – £10,000
- Maxillofacial Department, 3d four pod dimension imaging system – £20,700