HERE TO HELP Members of the Friends of MUH Committee, from left: Adrian Burke, Finance Manager; Dr Triona Walshe, Consultant Radiologist; Kate Plavenieks, Business Manager; Eddie Conran, Radiography Services Manager; Katie McAndrew, Staff Officer Finance; Louise O’Connor Browne, Assistant Staff Officer Payroll and Finbar Hoban, Clerical Officer.
A new voluntary charity group aimed at improving the overall experience for patients and their families in Mayo University Hospital was launched on Friday last.
The Friends of Mayo University Hospital was formed by a group of staff who hope to enhance the quality of care in the facility while also giving the community at home and abroad an opportunity to contribute to the improvements.
Chairperson of the new charity, Triona Walshe, told The Mayo News she has been enthused by the hugely positive reaction from the public and it bodes well for the future.
“We have a great hospital here and we want to improve it. We want to get the community involved and build a sense of pride in MUH in Mayo people at home and abroad. We want to reach out to everyone to feel part of this.
“The majority of hospitals already have charities set up and we’re following their lead. Unfortunately, the HSE cannot fund everything, and every hospital needs to fundraise to get extra things not otherwise available from the HSE budget.
“All funds raised will be used in Mayo University Hospital to make things better for patients.
“We’re not just talking about trying to buy new equipment and the likes, we’re talking about improving the actual experience for patients. Sometimes patients can be in here for weeks and obviously the emphasis is on the medical side of things, but we would also like to improve their experience while they stay here,” Ms Walshe added before explaining how the new charity came into being.
“A group of us who work here in the hospital came together to set this up, but we’d really like people outside the hospital to get involved. We’re trying to do all this in our spare time, at lunchtime and days off, and we’d like others to help us out too. I’m sure that will happen as we progress. There are fantastic people out there in the community and we’d love them to get involved with us. The hospital doesn’t belong to the staff, the patients, the management – it belongs to all of us, to everyone in Mayo and this is an opportunity for us all to work together to make things better.
“We have already done all the groundwork in the background to set up the charity and now we’ll be pushing on. Hopefully, we will get the chance to get out into the community for fundraising events and give people the chance to be part of the drive. We have lots of plans for fun events as soon as Covid regulations allow.”
Catherine Donohoe, General Manager of Mayo University Hospital, welcomed the launch of Friends of Mayo University Hospital saying engagement with patients and families is hugely important for the hospital community.
“We believe that this initiative will strengthen the bonds between the community and the hospital with a joint purpose of delivering high quality, patient-centred safe care.
“We are really aware of the generosity of the people of Mayo toward the hospital and we have multiple examples of this generosity including the purchase of our MRI scanner, our existing CT scanner, the Cystic Fibrosis building, which are three significant projects. There are multiple other examples in our Oncology, Renal and Medical and many more. We hope to link with the Mayo diaspora worldwide and work towards having the best services we can for our patients by utilising funds for areas that will enhance the patient journey locally,” said Ms Donohue.