Our ‘Support us’ pages show how you can help, including becoming a member for just £5 a year.
If you are currently planning to visit an NHS hospital in Bristol or Weston, please see: Guidance on visiting Hospitals in Bristol and Weston during Covid-19 emergency.
We express our profound appreciation to all NHS staff and other key-workers helping everyone in these difficult times.
During the coronavirus crisis, please contact us by telephone or email (details in Contact). Post sent to us at the hospital may not be forwarded promptly (as staff have more urgent and important priorities) and we cannot go into the hospital to collect it. If you need to post anything to us, please call or email one of us and we will give you a home address. If you have posted anything to us and have not had a prompt reply, please contact us. Thank you.
We have twice purchased packs of tea, coffee, drinking chocolate and biscuits – one for each department in the hospital – plus packets of biscuits for the outreach clinic (which has no facilities to make hot drinks). Hospital staff have also received similar support from many Bristol businesses.
Our 2020 AGM was delayed and eventually held online in November 2020. Our 2021 AGM was held online on 20 July 2021.
We could not publish In Sight in 2020 as we endeavoured to avoid distracting hospital staff from their more pressing duties. Our 2021 edition is available here In Sight. Copies are also on display in the hospital.
Regrettably, if inevitably, we currently have no events scheduled while the Covid-19 emergency continues. As soon as we are able, we will announce plans for any future events here and on our social media pages. We will also send invitations to all our supporters who have requested such details.
30 March 2020, last updated 12 July 2021
Our 2021 AGM was held online on Tuesday 20 July 2021.
Our Trustees’ Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 28 February 2021 were approved at the meeting and have now been submitted to the Charity Commission. Copies can be viewed or downloaded from Report & Accounts.
20 April 2021, updated 21 July 2021
Wonderful Payments have resumed their service, which enables us to expand our range of donation methods.
DONATE BY BANK TRANSFER. We incur no charges for donations made by Open Banking transfers. Operated by Wonderful Payments.
DONATE BY CARD. Here you can also donate in honour or memory of someone; become a members of the Friends (if you wish), tell us whether and how you wish us to correspond with you or let us know of any particular reason why you are donating. Operated by Donorbox.
DONATE BY OTHER METHODS, eg Cheque, Cash or Text.
You can make a Gift Aid declaration under any of these.
16 July 2021, updated 26 July
Our 2021 issue of In Sight is now available from display racks in the hospital which also contain a leaflet describing how you can help the Friends, join or donate.
You can also view or download copies here In Sight.
In Sight is distributed to all members and supporters who want to receive it. If you would like a copy by post, please contact the Secretary.
12 July 2021, last updated 17 July
Covid-19 can cause retinal haemorrhages and other severe eye problems. Covid-19 patients may also have pre-existing eye disease like hypertensive or diabetic retinopathy, which could be exacerbated by Covid-19 infection. Direct ophthalmoscopy requires getting very close to the patient and the risk of virus transmission is high, even when wearing personal protective equipment. At present the only way ophthalmologists can examine the eye safely is by indirect ophthalmoscopy, which cannot take photographs.
The Friends have bought a new portable hand-held light-weight camera which will enable eye doctors to examine and record, without getting too close, the fundal features of Covid-19 patients in the BRI or Weston General and also non-Covid patients who are too sick to come to BEH. The images can then be shared for consultation with colleagues on how to manage the condition and stored on the patient’s record. The camera is also helping clinical research into the retinal changes and neurological complications associated with Covid-19.
This grant cost £1,149 and was funded out of donations raised in memory of Graham Murphy.
17 June 2021
One of the paediatric clinic rooms where patients are diagnosed and treated did not have a couch for patients to lie on. If the clinician needed the patient to lie down, patient and clinician had to wait until a room with a couch became available. Now we have provided a couch for this room consultations are not interrupted. This vastly improves the experience for the patient and saves everyone’s time. The hospital now has more paediatric consultants seeing more and more patients so an uninterrupted flow through the clinics benefits everyone.
This grant cost £1,136 and was funded out of donations raised in memory of Graham Murphy.
We gratefully acknowledge Ocura’s permission to reproduce their photograph.
17 June 2021
In order to reduce waiting times for patients requiring joint Orthoptic/Optometry appointments, BEH staff are now running additional sessions at the Spire hospital.
This service would not have been possible without the provision of a Binocular Indirect Ophthalmoscope paid for by the Friends.
This grant cost £2,995.
20 April 2021
We have funded a new treatment couch for Emergency Department patients to replace the previous uncomfortable couch which was over 25 years old and not user friendly for patients or staff.
It can be used as a chair or couch with patients being easily, smoothly and comfortably moved into the best position for treatment depending on their particular needs. It is adjusted electronically for height, backrests, sides, arm and leg rests and even has an emergency foot pedal for immediate CPR positioning.
This grant cost £3,560.
9 March 2021
Part of the integration of United Hospitals Bristol with Weston Area Trust, which was completed in September 2020, was to expand and develop the ophthalmic service at Weston, which is run by BEH staff. We paid £10,800 to buy two iCare tonometers (and 4,000 disposable probes) which were urgently needed so that the new glaucoma clinic could get under way.
Tonometers are used to check intra-ocular pressures and have huge advantages for patients and staff over older instruments used for the same purpose. These tonometers make the experience for patients quicker and more comfortable – they reduce the need to instil anaesthetic drops which invariably sting and often cause distress. They are accurate and can be used on babies, children and any patient unable to sit at a slit-lamp, even a patient who is lying down.
Importantly, during the current health crisis, a patient can be examined at arm’s length giving increased protection from infection for operators and patients.
We gratefully acknowledge that the supplier, Mainline Instruments Ltd, kindly provided 500 disposable probes free of charge.
We also paid £4,000 for an identical additional tonometer for the Emergency Department in Bristol, who have to examine patients aged from one day old to 100 years.
9 March 2021
We do like to thank all our donors individually but often we are unable to do so, either because they wish to give anonymously or because although we know their name we have no contact details. Then there are those who give, often via Facebook, in celebration of someone’s special birthday or anniversary. As well as the one-off anonymous donations, we currently receive regular donations directly into our bank account every month from two unknown supporters.
As we are unable to thank any of you directly, please accept our grateful thanks here – and, if you are one of those whose special occasion prompted donations, please pass on our thanks to all your friends or family who donated.
1 May 2020 , updated 5 August
The General Data Protection Regulation requires us to protect personal data, inform supporters what data we hold for them, how we use it, and how it can be viewed, amended or deleted. We have written to all members, supporters and volunteers setting out how we comply with GDPR.
If you have any question about the data we may hold for you or wish us to amend or delete anything, please contact the Secretary.
17 May 2018, last updated 31 July 2020
A young patient admires the inmates of the aquarium purchased by the Friends in 2011 in the then-new children’s unit in the Outpatient Department on Level 1. The aquarium has been maintained by the Friends ever since and remains very popular with children.