Real life stories from patients are the focus of a new campaign by The Forever Friends Appeal to help reach its £2 million fundraising target for the RNHRD and Therapies Centre being built at the RUH.
The Appeal’s ‘Therapies Matter’ campaign features people of all ages and backgrounds who have received therapy to aid their recovery, or for some to learn how to manage their long-term condition.
Using powerful, emotive words, each patient’s story is now on display in the hospital to captivate the public’s interest in supporting the appeal.
Tim Hobbs, Head of Fundraising, The Forever Friends Appeal said: “We’ve created a campaign to highlight how RUH patients have benefited from therapies and we’ve got some remarkable stories to share.
“For many patients, their lives have been completely turned around from having intensive treatment such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, hydrotherapy and others.
“That’s why it’s so important the RUH has this new innovative, state-of-the-art RNHRD and Therapies Centre, so they can continue to provide the much-needed therapy services to the some 25,000 people who are treated each year.
“We’ve had many patients contact us to take part in our campaign, so throughout the year we will share their stories on our website and social media to highlight how therapies have helped them recover, achieve personal goals and get back to ‘normal’ life.
“I hope this campaign will resonate with the public and encourage those who can, to make a donation towards the RNHRD and Therapies Centre which is costing c£16m to build.
“Having benefactors Andrew and Christina Brownsword’s pledge to match every pound donated up to £1m is fantastic and we would very much welcome help from the public to achieve our target of raising £2m.”
Featuring in the ‘Therapies Matter’ campaign is the Appeal’s Ambassador, former rugby player, Ed Jackson who was told that he may not walk again after suffering a broken neck in a freak accident in April 2017.
Ed received intensive physiotherapy as an inpatient at the RUH and visited Orthotics as an outpatient to help him walk again, and thankfully he is making incredible progress.
Ed said: “As a spinal injury patient, I have learned just how important the environment is to wellbeing and recovery, having spent so much time lying down and staring at the ceiling, and unable to leave the hospital setting. Therapeutic environments, calming surroundings and mental stimulation are hugely beneficial.
“Staff at the RUH do an amazing job, and I believe that they should be supported by working in the right environments to help them to deliver the best level of care too. We need the public’s support to help raise the funds needed to build this innovative and therapeutic new centre.”
It’s not just people from Bath who are taking part in the campaign, Nic Noble, from Warminster, a supporter of the RUH said: “An MRI scan revealed that six of my vertebrae had collapsed and I was diagnosed with osteoporosis.
“I was referred to Dr Bhalla at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD, known locally as ‘The Min’). The staff were fantastic; Dr Bhalla, the Physiotherapists gave me the support I needed for my recovery.
“I believe that this new Centre will help so many more patients like me, it’s a wonderful project that will provide a positive and nurturing environment for so many people in our community.”
Gina Sargeant, Head of Therapies, the RUH said: “We run a variety of inpatient and outpatient specialist services for patients, from those who have acute injuries through to teaching those who have a long-term condition how to self-manage.
“But, our current facilities for these services are out of date; therapies are dispersed across the hospital, on two different sites and do not complement or assist the hospital’s aims for achieving the highest quality of clinical care.
“The whole ethos of a new RNHRD & Therapies Centre will bring all these services together and create a nurturing environment with dedicated specialist facilities for all our patients.”
The RNHRD and Therapies Centre will house many of the rheumatology, therapies and pain management services that are currently located at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) and in the RUH.
It has been designed in conjunction with patients, staff and architects, and will include a large hydrotherapy pool, a specialist gym and rehabilitation equipment, and a biologics treatment space to support treatment, recovery, wellbeing and the management of long-term conditions.