NI Hospice provides care and support to people with life limiting illnesses. They used the Big Lottery Fund 10th Birthday grant of £10,000 for a new overhead hoisting system to use in the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, Horizon House, in Newtownabbey.
This is being used to move young patients safely and help them to feel more independent. Six new overhead/tracked hoists were installed in three of the bedrooms as well as an ensuite bathroom, the multi-sensory room, the soft play room and the bathroom with Jacuzzi bath.
Grace Stewart, Care Service Manager with NICH said the funding was much needed because a lot of the existing hoisting equipment was 13 years old and needed to be replaced. The new version will last for the next 15 years.
“More importantly, the grant for the hoists enabled children in the hospice to continue to enjoy the amenities as smoothly as possible,” said Grace.
“The new hoist system has made such a difference to the children and young people we care for, and staff too. Whilst the old system was restricted in movement to only certain points of the rooms, the new hoists can be moved absolutely anywhere. They have really opened up the accessibility of the rooms.
“For example, in the bedroom they have made transitions from the bed to bathroom and other areas a much smoother and easier one. For the children and young people, this means they can move about much more freely, which ultimately makes their and their family’s experience here a much more relaxing and enjoyable one.
“The new system is also more lightweight and modern, meaning it is much more user friendly for staff. We can work more smoothly with the children when we are caring and moving them throughout the various rooms in the building. For us, it is a vast improvement and one that we really appreciate and are thankful for.”
Ruth Graham, NICH Physiotherapist.