A dementia lead nurse at Homerton Hospital’s elderly care unit has introduced a patient book club to promote interaction between those who have been isolated from their peers and communities.
Emma Higgins works at the unit, which is run by Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in London.
“It has been heartening to see patients up and dressed and moving about”
She contacted Giving World, a charity that saves brand new surplus business stock – including books, clothes and toiletries – from landfill, and distributes it to the most vulnerable communities.
She asked the charity for a range of new books so that patients could read together, to each other and with staff and carers.
Ms Higgins said: “There were many books kindly donated. Some of them have been read by patients and carers.
“Where a patient has been too unwell to read or there are problems with eyesight, we are planning to arrange book/story sessions in the evenings,” she said.
Giving World also supplied donated clothing packs for patients who were living alone and had been brought to hospital in the clothes they were admitted.
Ms Higgins added: “It has been heartening to see patients up and dressed and moving about.
“It promotes a sense of normality and supports the rehabilitation process,” she said. “This has made a real difference to our patients.”
Giving World said it had supplied over £200,000 of new donated goods to NHS trusts across England to support the dignity and comfort of vulnerable and isolated patients.