Queen Elizabeth Hospital launches clothes appeal to stop people being discharged in nightwear

A HOSPITAL is appealing for clothes to stop people being discharged in their nightwear.

Staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn want to preserve the dignity of people admitted from care homes, but who are often not given clean clothes to return in.

The appeal has come from the mental health liaison team on the hospital’s Oxborough Ward who say that patients from residential homes often arrive with no suitable day clothes and have to leave in either a hospital gown or unsuitable, lightweight clothing.

Mel Underhill, mental health support worker, said: “We are trying to educate the homes to think ahead, but frequently patients will be sent here without any clothes to wear when they are discharged.

“We are determined to preserve their dignity and make sure they are suitably dressed. It can’t be very nice for them to have to go back in night clothes.”

The ward is now trying to build-up a bank of good quality clothes which will be suitable for men and women to wear when leaving the hospital.

If anyone can help with clothes, they should contact the hospital’s communications team on 01553 613216. A request has been made not to leave donations at the QEH or on the ward.

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Medical division matron Claire Kent said: “One of the values listed in the NHS Constitution is that we will value each person as an individual. But it is vital to remember that dignity is about interpersonal behaviours as well as systems and processes – it is not just about how all staff treat patients but also about the environment and culture that we work in.”

Writing in a hospital newsletter, she quoted the Royal College of Nursing’s dignity campaign: “Dignity is concerned with how people feel, think and behave in relation to the worth or value of themselves and others.

“When dignity is present people feel in control, valued, confident, comfortable and able to make decisions for themselves.

“When dignity is absent people feel devalued, and lacking in control and comfort. They may feel humiliated, embarrassed or ashamed.”