July 14, 2020

Volunteers donate bariatric wheelchair to Broadmeadows Dialysis Unit

Our Northern Health volunteers, in collaboration with Northern Heath Foundation, raised funds to support the purchase of a bariatric wheelchair for the Broadmeadows Hospital Dialysis Unit.

Led by Nurse Unit Manager, Cheryl Rofe, the Broadmeadows Dialysis Unit were thrilled to receive the wheelchair to help support their patients.

Bariatric wheelchairs are designed to meet the needs of patients who are larger, and have a significant impact on helping patients to feel more comfortable, while supporting staff to move them safely between areas.

“Patients need appropriately-sized wheelchairs to support them when they come to Dialysis. For larger people, we didn’t have a bariatric wheelchair available in our unit, so we would borrow from Unit 2 and sometimes there was a delay in their care. By having a bariatric wheelchair, we are able to support our patients in our unit in a reasonable time frame,” Cheryl said.

“Patients are now able to feel more comfortable in a chair that is more accepting of their size. Patients don’t feel left out or feel that our hospital is unable to cope with their condition, as we have the equipment to care for them appropriately, which makes them feel safe,” Cheryl added.

Along with supporting Dialysis patients, the wheelchair has also been used to assist patients in other units at Broadmeadows Hospital.

“The chair gets borrowed to assist our patients and theirs, so it’s become a shared responsibility between all of us – a good team approach from the hospital. It’s made such a difference for our patients,” Cheryl said.

Together with Northern Health Foundation, our wonderful Northern Health volunteers made it all possible.

Northern Health Foundation work closely with the volunteer services team to allocate funds to wishlist items. Last year, a new bariatric wheelchair was identified as a much-needed item. To raise funds, volunteers held stalls selling donated new and pre-loved items at Broadmeadows Hospital, as well as facilitated the annual Volunteer Easter Raffle. Through their efforts, a total of $3,000 from volunteer fundraising was used to purchase the chair.

Last year, Northern Health volunteers raised over $14,000 through their various raffles and fundraising stalls.

“It’s so wonderful that the volunteers can see the impact their fundraising efforts make. Thank you to our amazing volunteer team and to everyone that supports our volunteer raffles and stalls,” said Henni Wade, Engagement Manager, who oversees our volunteer program.

“I would like to say a big thank you to the volunteers and Northern Health Foundation – they’ve just made such a large impact for not only the staff but the patients themselves – they feel safe and they feel we are accommodating their needs,” Cheryl added.

Featured Image: Patient, Mr Brian Powell with Cheryl Rofe, Broadmeadows/Craigieburn Dialysis Nurse Unit Manager (left) and Naveeni Natkunarajah, Unit 1 Nurse Unit Manager (right)