Specialist equipment offering Motor Neurone Disease (MND) patients more independence, confidence and control has been funded by Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity.
The state-of-the art equipment supplied for patients under the care of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust includes arm supports and rests to assist with eating and drinking, along with pager switch systems to call a nurse, family member or carer much more easily when they need assistance.
It can be used by patients being cared for in hospital, at home, or in a supported living setting.
MND patient Alan Towart said: "The Neater Eater arm support has been brilliant. It has allowed me to continue with independence while eating, feeding myself and drinking from a cup.
“This allows the rest of the family to enjoy their meal alongside me without the need to feed me as well as themselves.
“I even take it along to pubs and restaurants as it is very easy to move from table to table."
The equipment, costing more than £17,000, was purchased by Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity using grants from the Daniel’s and Houghton’s Charity and The Hospital Saturday Fund, alongside local community support.
Dr Malabika Ghosh, Clinical Specialist in Occupational Therapy for MND and Clinical Academic Fellow in the Lancashire and South Cumbria MND Care and Research Service, said: “This equipment offers MND patients more independence in daily functions which ultimately provides wellbeing and a better quality of life.
“People with MND feel more confident in daily living activities, and their families can feel more supported in spending quality time with them with the equipment we can now offer. Having this fantastic equipment in-house, which can be loaned to patients, will enable us to provide more choices to our patients, reduce waiting times for equipment, and will improve the overall quality of service we provide.
“The MND team is grateful to Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity and all its supporters for funding this equipment and we know it will make a real difference to local MND patients.”
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity helps to provide extra care and support for both staff and patients that is beyond core funding; including helping to refurbish hospital environments, installing state-of-the art equipment, and supporting research projects to improve people’s health outcomes.
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Head of Charities Paula Wilson said: “It’s so inspiring to see the improvements in quality of life that this equipment has provided to MND patients in the care of our hospitals.
“It’s yet another example of how the generosity of our supporters makes such an important difference.”
Find out more about Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity at lthcharity.org.uk