Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity’s Patients’ Fund provides grants for projects that help improve hospital life for patients. Through the Patients’ Fund, the Charity helps hospital life feel a little more like home. Staff members can apply for grants to fund projects they believe can make a difference.

Lorraine Harper’s project, The Palliative Care Comfort Box, was one of those selected for funding in 2021. The idea of creating a comfort box for palliative care patients came from Lorraine’s experience visiting her brother in hospital. She felt that the room was very clinical and not very comforting, “The idea of the comfort box was to try and make the room more homely and less clinical,” Lorraine said.

Palliative care patients at Harefield Hospital may be too sick to go to a hospice or to go home. They will enter a very clinical process near the end of their stay. To make their time on the ward feel more comfortable, the comfort box provides items such as warm fluffy blankets, memory books, a CD radio, nice smelling toiletries, artificial candles and flowers.

The comfort box has made a real impact on patients and their families during their stay. Families can take items such as memory books and blankets afterwards to keep.

Since the launch of The Palliative Care Comfort Box, Lorraine has used it five times. Patients and their families appreciate it, and it has received good feedback. “I received a card that came from a family who had come back into Harefield two weeks following their loved one’s stay. They wrote: ‘Thank you for all the care and support you gave us,’ which was nice,” Lorraine said.

If you want to find out more or donate to the Patients’ Fund, to help with the small things that make hospital life better for patients, then visit the Patients’ Fund page:

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