We need you: Wolverhampton charity pleads for PPE and funding donations

Compton Care has made a dual appeal for funding and PPE to assist its work in the fight against coronavirus.

Bosses have called on community support after a fall in donations and have also raised concerns over future shortages of protective equipment for staff and visitors.

The Wolverhampton-based charity has played a key role in supporting the NHS as well as its own patients since the start of the crisis, bringing in a range of measures to ease pressure on hospitals.

Bed spaces have been increased by 30 per cent – with a section of one ward allocated to Covid-19 patients – and the organisation has extended its remit to take in patients it would not usually deal with.

Staff have taken a caseload of up to 20 patients from the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital Trust’s district nursing teams, while a dedicated bereavement team is supporting families that have lost a loved one.

Rachel Overfield, Compton Care’s director of nursing, said she was proud of the way staff had risen to the challenge of maintaining service levels in the face of a scenario that is changing by the day.

Miss Overfield said that while they had received financial support from the Government, donations – which make up about three-quarters of the hospice’s funding – had slowed since the outbreak began.

“Some of the donations have dropped off,” she said. “Our biggest source of income is our shops, so not having them open is a huge problem. For the moment we are OK, but it is vitally important that we keep having that support from the community.”

As is the case with New Cross Hospital, Compton also has concerns over securing enough PPE in the coming weeks.

Miss Overfield said the Compton were “ahead of the game” at the start of the outbreak and had ordered sufficient PPE, but warned that supplies were now running low.

“PPE is not something we generally use so there was no supply chain set up,” she said.

“We got our orders in early on, which has helped us a lot, and we have around two weeks’ worth of stock left. But over time we have the same problems as everyone else due to not having a supply chain in place. We have never – and will never – put our staff at risk.”

On site visits from family members have been allowed throughout the pandemic, with bosses believing them to be essential for the wellbeing of patients.

 Miss Overfield also paid tribute to the hospice’s 800-strong army of volunteers, the majority of whom have been unable to work since the lockdown began.

“It’s really important to us that they come back at the end of all this,” she said. “Their work is extremely valued.”

It follows a similar plea from Mary Stevens Hospice in Stourbridge, where bosses are now saying they have been “overwhelmed” by the response and are “turning down” offers of further donations.

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