ROTARY ROUND-UP: Supporting our local hospitals

West Worthing Rotary Club president. Jeremy Flaskett, welcomes Ron Noakes to a meeting of the club
West Worthing Rotary Club president. Jeremy Flaskett, welcomes Ron Noakes to a meeting of the club

This week, David Chapman, from the Rotary Club of West Worthing, gives an update on the latest and future goings-on.

West Worthing Rotary Club has had a long association with Worthing Hospital’s League of Friends and the club was pleased to welcome its present and long-serving chairman, Ron Noakes, who updated club members on the work of the League. Ron was a member of the Rotary Club before he decided to devote himself to the work of the League.

The League of Friends is probably one of the longest established charities of its type, formed in 1949, not long after the birth of the NHS. It has always worked for the benefit of patients, relatives and staff in the Worthing hospitals.

The aim is to provide the equipment that cannot be provided under current NHS funding, for example high-tech medical equipment and non-medical items, such as refurbishing wards and departments, which enhances the patients’ care, comfort and stay in hospital.

The League draws its funding from bequests, donations, its shops, cafeterias, and also from members’ subscriptions and fund raising. The League shops have been a recognised service in the local hospitals, also working with Salvington Lodge and Meadowfield Hospital, running cafes and snack bars and shops which provide for the essential needs of patients and visitors, all at very economical prices.

This service is provided by a team of willing volunteers, overseen by a committee of ten trustees with only five paid members of staff who attend to the management and administration. The League prides itself on having a very low cost administration system with no paid fundraisers.

Over the years the League has raised more than £50million which has been spent on a myriad of projects to assist the local hospitals. One of the most notable was the raising of £1million to buy a new CT scanner.

In January the trustees met to agree the purchase of equipment for the hospital to the total value of £44,395. This included two £14,000 Verathon Bladder Scanners for general surgery, a Belmont RI-2 Pump Unit costing £16,970 for the maternity unit and 15 Braun Space Infusion Pumps, for the Medical Devices Equipment Library, costing £13,425.

Last November the Friends donated £73,000 for the purchase of TV screens for Dementia Care. These screens show TV programmes from many years ago, which bring back memories. This is very helpful for those patients suffering from dementia where their short term memory is less effective than their long-term memory.

Ron told the club that the past five years had not been easy for the League as the changing needs of the hospital meant that they were moved out of their shop and cafeteria location in the centre of Worthing hospital, and then were moved from their cafeteria in the main entrance to make way for a Costa Coffee bar.

They still maintain their popular presence at the north entrance to the hospital where staff and the public benefit from the reasonably priced drinks and snacks along with newspapers, magazines and all the essentials needed for a stay in hospital.

Ron also made the club aware of the League’s latest exciting appeal for Interventional Radiology Equipment. They seek to raise £385,000 to provide the hospital with this new, revolutionary equipment. With this equipment, a small nick in the skin can accurately diagnose and treat patients, minimizing their discomfort, cutting down on hospital stay.

It can also be used on very sick people unfit for an operation. It can assist doctors and nurses to perform angiograms, angioplasty and vascular stenting as well as procedures to do with the urinary system, just to name a few. There are currently only five machines in the country.

Readers can donate to this project by visiting: www.friendsworthinghospitals.uk/the-interventional-radiology-appeal.

West Worthing Rotary Club chairman, Jeremy Flaskett, in thanking Ron Noakes for his visit to the club and informative talk said: “The NHS is fabulous service and we are very lucky to have it. We hope the Friends continue to be an amazing asset to our hospitals and continue their fantastic work and we will certainly continue to support their fundraising campaigns.”

Details of Worthing’s three Rotary clubs are:

• Worthing Rotary Club meets Monday, 12.55pm, at the Chatsworth Hotel, in The Steyne, Worthing, 01903 209564.

• West Worthing Rotary Club meets Tuesday evening at Tudor Close, Ferring, 01903 501961.

• Worthing Steyne Rotary Club meets Monday evening at The Ardington Hotel, in Steyne Gardens, Worthing, 07788 638757.

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