HI-TECH equipment, children’s entertainers and stateof- the-art hearing devices have all been making a difference to patients at Basildon Hospital.

The hospital’s League of Friends raised £53,000 over the past year to enhance care and treatment in a variety of ways.

Among the equipment now installed at the hospital are 17 new bedside docking stations worth £39,000, which are used to hold and charge infusion pumps that supply medication and fluids to patients.

Representatives from the group paid a visit to the hospital last week to see for themselves the fruits of their fundraising labours. Claire Winterflood, critical care matron, showed the new equipment in action on the unit to the league’s Terry Moore and Derrick Fisher.

She said: “The new docking stations save time and space, which is at a premium in an intensive care environment.

“One of them is portable and can be attached to a bed, which is very useful when patients need to be taken for imaging tests. We are very lucky with the amount of money the League of Friends has given us so that we could get one docking station to go by every bed.”

Other purchases made with League of Friends donations over the past year include £25,000 worth of medical equipment for wards and clinics across Basildon and Orsett hospitals and new audiometers worth £5,000 to test newborn hearing.

The group’s fundraising has been so successful it still has almost £25,000 to spend and is asking hospital staff to apply for funding for equipment or services that could improve patient care.

Since the group was set up in 1968, it has raised more than £1.2million.

Clare Panniker, chief executive of the hospital trust, said: “We are tremendously grateful for the very significant sums of money the League of Friends raise for the hospital. Its dedicated efforts make a very real difference to the care and treatment we give our patients.”

Rita Keeler, treasurer and coordinator of the group, added: “We are always in need of more volunteers and at the moment are specifically looking for someone to help fill our stockroom and take stock to the tea bars.

The work involves some heavy lifting on to high shelves.”

If you can help contact Rita on 01268 793864 or email ritalof@hot