Projects undertaken on your behalf

Every year since its inception the charity has contributed to many capital and infrastructure projects for the Hospital.

These are typically clinically led projects where there is deemed to be insufficient funds from general NHS funding for the capital element of the project. The projects themselves are approved by the board of the Charity with a keen eye to making sure they are adding to the range and depth of services available to our local population.

To date we estimate that we have donated over a million pounds to these activities, a real testament to the appetite for this charitable work within the community.

The physiotherapy rooms

With a new modern Blandford Hospital, it soon became apparent that there was a lack of physiotherapy provision in our local area requiring many patients to travel large distances to get professional care. Working with the NHS we agreed to fund the capital expenditure required to develop a bespoke physiotherapy suite.

The NHS of course provide the professional qualified staff. The suite was equipped with state of the art equipment which we have helped keep up to date ever since. A new and valued feature of the service is the ability for would be patients to self refer themselves for evaluation and treatment if necessary. Simply ask at Reception.

Two family suites for palliative care on Tarrant Ward

As a priority the hospital has been focused on offering palliative care to patients with a terminal illness. In 2017 they opened new Palliative Care Suites comprising of two overnight stay family suites (with kitchens and so on) so that families could care for their loved ones in the last days of their life.

The NHS asked us to fund much of this expenditure which we were happy to provide. The suites were officially opened by Lord and Lady Fellowes, who expressed their great interest in this type of development for local community hospitals.

Patient Areas

Transforming the original sunroom into a modern glazed conservatory for the Portman Ward patients and the millennium garden outside the Family Rooms and Portman Ward.

Improvements to the Medical Records Office and the hospital Reception area. Improvements to the Day Hospital and a room for the new Chapel.

The hospital was not originally blessed with great spaces for patient rest and relaxation and often provided an austere in-patient experience. Working with the local nurses we agreed to fund improvements to the buildings aimed specifically at improving the patient experience.

The Hydrotherapy Pool

In 1988 the hospital brought to our attention the huge benefits of hydrotherapy care to a number of differing patient illnesses including for example osteoporosis, stroke recovery and child autism spectrum and asked if we were able to fund the capital development of the pool.

After some debate it was decided to go ahead with this project and it served the local community for thirty years.  In 2018, in consultation with the NHS Trust, it was decided to replace the Hydrotherapy Pool with a Musculoskeletal service.

Minor Injuries Unit

The minor injuries unit exists to provide first and occasionally second line injury treatments and surgical procedures that are not easily provided with the local GP surgeries in Blandford. Working with the hospital and local doctors the hospital now provides this invaluable service reducing the often-overwhelming load on our local GP practices.

The Betty Highwood Ward

Refurbishment of Tarrant Ward and Langbourne Ward subsequently renamed The Betty Highwood Ward.

In 2000 the hospital received a financial legacy left by Betty Highwood in her will to The Friends. It was decided to use this money to refurbish and modernise these wards and rename them in her honour.

The alterations and reconfiguration of the old Portman Ward into the Portman Unit

Again on request from the hospital and in pursuit of our aim to ‘make a difference’ to the quality and range of services available from our local hospital we worked with the NHS to fund a complete rework of the Portman Ward to include an Occupational Therapy unit, a state of the art Dental Suite with X-Ray and admin offices and clinic rooms.

This was a large investment for the Friends of which we feel rightly proud. The works were officially opened on the 26th November 2014 by The Viscount Portman.

Alzheimer Care facilities

On the initiative of a board member, Mike Wood, we have recently bought and paid for installation of an innovative table top computer/projector specifically designed to stimulate patients with early dementia to participate in friendly computer table top images and games.

Other Projects

  • The X-Ray Department and the ultrasound equipment.
  • The addition of a soundproof room module in one of the ground floor internal courtyards for hearing tests.
  • Provision of “comfort cooling” to the X-Ray suite.

Finally, over the years many items of equipment requested by the hospital for outpatients, the wards, theatre and the kitchen and housekeeping, including endoscopy equipment for orthopaedics have been provided by the Friends.