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#Basildon Hospital staff and bereaved relative make home improvements on ward

19 Aug #Basildon Hospital staff and bereaved relative make home improvements on ward

Family and friends visiting loved ones who are seriously ill at Basildon Hospital now have a bright and comfortable room to rest in, thanks to the kindness of a bereaved man and hospital staff.

Martin McDowall’s partner sadly passed away last month, having spent several weeks on Orsett Ward. Linsey was 51 years old, and the couple had been together for 30 years when she was diagnosed with duodenal cancer.

Martin, who lives in Basildon, said: “The staff on Orsett Ward were absolutely magic – every one of them. I wanted to give something back to help other people in memory of Linsey.”

He spoke to some of the ward staff, who told him they wanted to make improvements to the day room and were planning to decorate it on their day off. Martin, who works for Associated Installations, a family-run building company, offered to add some kitchen facilities to the room.

He explained: “When Linsey was on the ward she always wanted ice cold drinks, and we had to keep bringing in freezer packs.

“Our family and friends made donations after she died and I asked my boss, Brian Bell, if he would supply some fittings. He gave me a fridge, kitchen cabinets and wall units, worktop and tiles and would not accept payment. I did the tiling, and some of our fitters installed the rest in the evening, and would also not let me pay them.”

Martin plans to use the money he has left over from donations to buy more equipment for the day room. The nurses and healthcare assistants who gave up their time to paint the room were Megan Rowe, Hannah Seeley, Steve Tillbrook, Emma Brown and Francine Thomas.

Ward manager Heather Reeves said: “Many of our patients on Orsett Ward are receiving palliative care, and their relatives want to spend long hours with them. It is very beneficial for visitors to have a haven where they can have a break in a comfortable environment away from the bedside. And the new kitchen means they can make drinks and snacks if they don’t want to leave the ward and go to the hospital restaurant.

“We are very grateful to Martin for doing something for other people when he is going through such a sad time, and to our staff who gave up their spare time to help make the day room so lovely.”