"Rolls Royce" chair given to hospital

AN £8,000 examination couch has been handed over to Sidmouth Hospital to give more dignity to women patients.

AN £8,000 examination couch has been handed over to Sidmouth Hospital to give "more dignity" to women patients.

Sidmouth Victoria Hospital Comforts Fund chairman Graham Vincent, together with president Sheelagh Michelmore, formally handed over the couch to matron Emma Bagwell on Friday.

The couch, which will be used for gynaecological examinations, will eventually be situated in a dedicated outpatient room.

Mrs Bagwell, with help from Stella Beesley, sister and joint team leader of the day surgery unit, demonstrated the easy use of the couch and told the Herald: "It provides much more dignity for the patient undergoing any gynaecological procedure.

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"Examination is so much easier for them because of its versatility."

Mr Vincent said: "Our aim, as well as providing upgrades in bricks and mortar, is for all departments at Sidmouth Hospital to have first class equipment for consultants and staff, not forgetting our main aim of providing patients with additional comforts and facilities.

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"We are happy to present this wonderful examination couch. I understand it is the Rolls Royce in its particular field, costing more than £8,000."

He said the Comforts Fund had also bought theatre equipment costing £14,000 and added: "Without the generosity of local people, this would not be possible. We as a committee are so grateful for local support over the years.

"Eighteen years ago the hospital theatre had four sessions a month.

"Now its day care unit has 30 theatre sessions and 120 outpatient clinics, specialising in orthopaedics, gynaecology, plastic surgery, general surgery and urology.

"It is so nice for local people to use the outpatient facilities which we have built in the past.

"Up until a few years ago, patients would have to travel to Exeter for the services we now provide at Sidmouth."

Mrs Bagwell said: "We couldn't have expanded our services without the Comforts Fund and the generosity of local people.

"One of the reasons we are able to provide the services we do is the fund provides the equipment and the NHS the staff, in partnership."

The fund is in the process of upgrading the feasibility study for the final phase in a project started in 1990.

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