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Online community comes to the aid of patient book appeal

19th May 2017

Patients recovering in hospital are now able to access a small collection of Polish books, thanks to kind donations from members of an online support group.

Staff from Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) made an appeal for books written in Polish after a special request for help from a homeless patient, who did not have anything to occupy his time with while he recovered in hospital.

LCHS’s community link worker, Anna Kusztyb, turned to a Facebook group she had set up for members of the Polish community to make the appeal. The group, Grupa Wsparcia ‘Rzepka’ (Support Group ‘Turnip’), quickly helped to find about 10 books for the patient to borrow.

Anna said: “The name of the group comes from a Polish poem about people pulling together and that’s exactly what they have done. One donation actually came to us from an Irish woman who said she couldn’t not do something when she heard about what the patient had asked for. We have since received a thank you letter from our patient for the books and we too are very grateful for all the donations we have received. Thank you to everyone who shared our appeal.”

The Facebook group currently has members mainly from the Boston and South Holland areas, but is open for anyone interested to join.

Susan Ombler, Deputy Director of Nursing at LCHS, said: “This is a wonderful example of how care is not just about the physical health of an individual, but taking a holistic approach to their well being while supporting their recovery. We are delighted to have been able to support this patient with the help of the local community.”

LCHS is still gratefully accepting Polish literature for patients to borrow while in hospital. If you would like to make a donation, please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0845 602 4384 or