Nurse escort service – Christmas 2019 appeal

“Providing patients with opportunities to socialise outside of the hospital promotes wellbeing, independence and allows patients to feel connected to the outside world.”

Shawn Fernandes, RHN Leisure and Families Service Administrator

We’d like to introduce you to Ernestas.

At the age of 21, Ernestas was living in London with his father and working in the construction industry.

Like so many other young men his age, Ernestas loved to socialise, and was returning home from a night out with friends when the unthinkable happened.  A hit and run traffic accident left him with life-changing injuries which mean that he now relies on a ventilator to assist his breathing and needs round-the-clock medical care. He also uses ‘eye-gaze’ technology to communicate. This allows him to use an onscreen keyboard to type what he wants to say, and the computer speaks for him.

Despite his need for constant nursing care, Ernestas enjoys going on off-site outings, and he’s able to do this with the assistance of a nurse escort. In the past twelve months, he has been to a Kings of Leon concert at Hyde Park and visited the London Motor Museum in Hayes.

“I get on very well with the nurse escort who comes on trips with me. We always have a lot of fun. Going on outings gives me a chance to pursue my interests and the change of scene is always welcome. When I know a trip is planned, it gives me something to look forward to.”

Ernestas isn’t the only patient who enjoys events outside the hospital. Every month, our Leisure and Family Services team arrange a schedule of patient outings. Trips can range from an afternoon at a local shopping centre to an art exhibition, a church service or even a night out at the Royal Albert Hall. Whichever outing a patient chooses, they are always accompanied by a nurse escort, and in many cases an ambulance driver too.

The RHN has a fleet of four large ambulances, capable of taking up to two patients each, plus their nurse escorts and their driver.

Terry, pictured above with RHN resident Georgie, has driven ambulances for the RHN for over twenty years and regularly takes patients and their nurse escorts on days out. He says,

“We offer a huge variety of social outings for patients and I think they’re one of the best services we provide. The patient gets to choose the music they listen to in the ambulance and we often end up having sing-a-longs. You can see the difference it makes to a patient’s mood and wellbeing to get out for a while, especially when they get to go home for the day.”

Due to the complex nature of the disabilities experienced by patients and residents at the RHN, the majority will need to be escorted by a qualified nurse or healthcare assistant in order to participate in off-site outings, and recently we have seen an increase in demand for outings from our rehab patients.

We want every patient who requests an off-site activities to enjoy a day out as often as possible, enabling them to pursue old interests and develop new ones. For this reason we want to raise £50,000 this Christmas to ensure every patient who wants to enjoy a day out can do so.

Going out for the evening to a concert or to see a football match may seem like a small thing, but the opportunity to live as normal a life as possible can make a huge difference to a patient coming to terms, or living with a serious brain injury.

This Christmas we hope you will support patients like Ernestas with a gift in aid of our nurse escort service.

What many people fear about living with disability is that their life will be diminished by it. The work of our nurse escorts and ambulance drivers means we can give hope to our patients that they will be able to enjoy the same hobbies and interests they had before their illness or injury. Your gift will make that happen. It’s that simple.

Whatever amount you can afford today will make a huge difference.
Thank you for your support, and we hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Give a gift here.