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Helping Hands in Theatre Scheme helps Rugby Patients

16:00 30/11/2007

A new scheme at Rugby’s Hospital of St.Cross sees volunteer members of the Friends of the Hospital of St. Cross helping patients in the Operating Theatres.

The volunteers are a group of six Friends’ members who sit with patients in theatre throughout cataract operations.

Theatre Manager Martin Cain explained “We undertake an average of 10 cataract operations every week and these are performed under local anaesthetic. It is vital that patients do not move or speak when the surgeon is operating and the Friends volunteers perform a very useful task as they sit simply holding the hand of the patient. This is re-assuring but is also a key way for the patient to communicate.

We ask the patient to squeeze the volunteer’s hand if they feel pain or discomfort and they in turn tell the surgeon who then stops the procedure to talk to the patient to resolve any problems. We call the scheme “Helping Hands in Theatre” and it really is a great benefit to the patients and to the theatre team.

Each volunteer is carefully selected and we give them all thorough training before they go into Theatre. They are all very keen to help and are enthusiastic about their involvement in such important work. We are most grateful to the Friends of St. Cross for this contribution.”

Patient, Edward Higgins, who is 83 and lives in Rugby and is having a cataract removed says: "I suffer with Glaucoma and have already had two operations on my eyes so I know what it is like. I think this will be very reassuring to have someone holding your hand, who you will be able to use to communicate with staff, if you need to." Mr Higgins is married to Kathleen and has three children, 4 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Friends’ President Joan Jesson said “The Friends work very closely with the management of the hospital seeking ways to enhance service provision for patients and staff at our local hospital. We are delighted to be able to undertake the role asked of us in this new scheme and contribute to the excellent service being provided locally for patients in Rugby. This is yet another development, which is one of many, in the provision of service at the Hospital of St. Cross.”

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