Welcome to Friends of Bristol Eye Hospital

Treatment for all patients has been greatly enhanced by our supporters.

For every £1 raised, we spend 95p supporting the hospital, 3p running the charity and 2p on publicity or raising funds.

Become a Friend

Join us for just £5 a year or support us in other ways.

Make a donation

You can donate in many ways, including cash, cheques, BACS, debit or credit card.

Read our newsletters

Please have a look at recent editions of our In Sight newsletter.

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grants made
To contact us, we recommend that you telephone or email (details in Contact).  We all work from home and post sent via the hospital can be delayed.  If you need to post anything, please call or email and we will give you a home address. Thank you.
If you plan to visit an NHS hospital in Bristol or Weston, please see:

Improving room facilities

We have funded improvements in three areas of the hospital:

  • The ground floor examination room can be very noisy when several patients are being examined at the same time. We have funded soundproofing so that staff and patients may hear each other clearly, which enables clinicians to obtain the correct information (and it’s more private).
  • New worksurfaces and flooring in the Imaging Office, used for printing for oncology referrals, uploading oculoplastic imaging and exporting images for doctors, as well as for training and a staff rest area. We have created space for a new workstation and provided a much-needed uplift to the tired office which promotes tidy working and enhances staff wellbeing.
  • New worksurface with lockable cupboards in the Orthoptic Adult Assessment Room. These allow patient notes to be kept safe and out of sight during clinics and provide safe storage of equipment and eye drops.  The room is now more appropriate for clinical assessment and much more easily cleaned between patients – and there is more space in the reception area to reduce crowding.

The total cost of all these works is £10,066.

3 February 2023

Devoted to Bristol Eye Hospital

We are delighted to welcome Gail Glew and Jenny Ward as trustees.  Gail and Jenny both retired from the hospital after a truly astonishing 51 years’ service each for the Bristol NHS Trust.  Prior to her retirement in July 2022, Jenny attended our trustees’ meetings for many years (as the representative for all the nursing staff), advising us on grants and assisting with fundraising events.

As trustees, Gail and Jenny will continue to help us support the hospital.  Their astounding loyalty, long experience and passion for serving the hospital’s patients and all things BEH will be invaluable.

As new co-opted trustees, both will serve until our next AGM, due to be held on 17 May 2023, when they will stand for election by the Friends’ members.

27 January 2023

Sight Loss Support

We have bought a range of equipment for the Patient Support Group to give to patients who need sight loss support.  Daria Hernet, the Eye Clinic Liaison Officer, says these items are especially important for people who live alone or in remote areas, without access to support.

Items purchased (from the RNIB and the Macular Society) include Liquid Level Indicators, BumperStops (for marking equipment, such as settings and functions on an oven or  washing machine, buttons on a remote control or important keys on a computer keyboard.), Hi-Vis Elasticated Arm Bands for greater walking safety and Lightweight Folding Symbol Canes.

This grant cost £1,129.

9 January 2023

Team Veolia fundraising

On 28 September, Team Veolia climbed the 886m of Pen y Fan Mountain in support of Friends of Bristol Eye Hospital.

Stuart Elliott, Veolia’s Area Sales Manager South & Wales. said “The team consisted of 7 of us and we spent a great day enjoying the terrific views over Wales whilst raising funds for a great cause.

In total we raised £565 for the Friends to help and support the immense work of the Bristol Eye Hospital.”

We are very grateful to Stuart and his colleagues for this super fundraising.  Many thanks.

2 December 2022

BEH Staff attend Ophthalmic Imaging Conference

We paid for two members of the Imaging Department to attend the Ophthalmic Imaging Association Annual Conference in Swindon.  The OIA promotes good practice, education, training and research in ocular imaging.

Alice Johns, Head of Imaging at BEH, emphasised the huge advantages of BEH Imaging staff attending this conference which would not have been possible without our support.

Both attendees said the conference was educational and enjoyable; they tested new ophthalmic equipment and shared experiences with ophthalmic photographers from other NHS Trusts – all with the same aim of providing outstanding patient care.  They have returned enthused, with new ideas and an increased understanding of conditions and imaging equipment, which they are sharing with their colleagues to improve the quality of imaging to provide a better service for BEH patients.

This grant cost £618.

1 December 2022
Photo credit: Gabriel Luna, Neuroscience Research Institute, University of California Santa Barbara via Wellcome Images (CC BY 4.0)

Emergency Department Tono-Pens

We have purchased two further Tono-Pens which are used by Emergency Department nurses to assess pressure in patients’ eyes.  A build-up of pressure can be harmful to the eye, and these pens allow a quick and easier way to check.  This improves patient safety and reduces waiting times.

The pens also allow medics to assess in-patients at the Bristol Children’s Hospital, the BRI and Southmead Hospital, which reduces inpatient stays and lessens the number of patients who need to be transferred to the Bristol Eye Hospital Emergency Department.

This grant cost £6,789.

14 November 2022

“PLEASE LOOK INSIDE”

We have a new promotional leaflet “PLEASE LOOK INSIDE” now on display in the hospital.  The leaflet briefly describes what we do, with some examples of grants we’ve made.  It also encourages people to join us, setting out different ways of donating and how to request information.

PLEASE LOOK INSIDE leaflet

The leaflet also contains a loose stand-alone form to join or donate to the Friends.

Donation Form
9 November 2022

100 years' dedicated service

Bristol Eye Hospital is deeply honoured to have had not one but two members of staff who served the hospital and its patients for over 50 years.  Gail Glew and Jenny Ward both retired in July 2022 after 51 years’ service.  This outstanding story of extraordinary loyalty and devotion is truly remarkable; many many patients and other hospital staff are very privileged to have benefitted from their expertise and devotion since 1971.  We are very proud of you both.

We were delighted to agree to the hospital’s request for funds to subsidise the cost of a retirement celebration for Gail and Jenny, especially to ensure that as many staff as possible could attend.  176 staff, former staff and other guests attended a wonderful event at the Bristol Museum on 2 July.

This grant cost £5,730.

4 November 2022

Posture Aids for patients' use at home

Following a suggestion from a patient, Carole Brooke, we have funded posture aids (or ‘face supports’) for patients to use at home after retinal surgery.

Using a posture aid attached to the end or side of a normal bed allows a recovering patient to lie face down and keep their head still for long periods.  Doing this without a posture aid is very difficult and can be painful or cause strain to the back or neck.  Posture aids are tremendously helpful both to keep the patient comfortable and to aid recovery and outcomes after retinal surgery.

The hospital does not have any posture aids which patients can take home nor facilities to sterilise aids returned after use.  For this reason, we have agreed that our aids given to patients do not need to be returned after use.

We are grateful to Carole for bringing this to our attention, after her own experience as a patient, and we are delighted that we were able to fulfil an important need.  Carole too is delighted – she knows that “patients who use them will find it much easier to cope during a very difficult period in their lives.  I’m so pleased that I followed it up”.

Since June, we have provided 21 posture aids (at a cost of £1,435) which shows that there is a real need for them.  We have also agreed a budget to purchase more as needed until at least 29 February 2024.

4 November 2022, last updated 12 December

In Sight 2022

Our 2022 issue of In Sight has been published and distributed to all members and supporters who have requested copies (either by post or email).  It is also available from display racks in the hospital (which also contain a leaflet describing how you can help the Friends or donate).

You can view or download copies now at In Sight.

26 July 2022, updated 1 August

Friends' New Telephone Number

We have a new telephone number: 0300 102 4556.

Calls to this number are free from UK landlines and mobiles.

1 August 2022

New “hyperlegible” website typeface

For the benefit of visually impaired readers, this website now uses the Atkinson Hyperlegible typeface, which was recently developed for the Braille Institute of America.

The typeface is named after Braille Institute founder, J. Robert Atkinson. What makes it different from traditional typographic design is its focus on ensuring that individual characters cannot be confused with one another, ultimately improving readability. Also, the shaping of the letters is exaggerated to provide better clarity and the open areas of certain letters are expanded to provide greater distinction.

The Braille Institute has made the typeface free for anyone to use.

16 March 2022

Our new typeface makes it easier to distinguish characters that are commonly confused.

Wonderful service

DONATE BY BANK TRANSFER.  We incur no charges for donations made by Open Banking transfer using Wonderful Payments, or by BACS.

DONATE BY CARD.  Operated by Donorbox.

DONATE BY OTHER METHODS, eg Cheque, Cash or Text.

You can Gift Aid your donation or, if you wish to become a member of the Friends, request correspondence from us or let us know of any particular reason why you are donating, perhaps in thanks for treatment or in memory of someone, you can do all these:

  • online if donating by card or
  • by completing a donation form, which you can download or pick up in the hospital.
16 July 2021, updated 8 September 2022

From our archives

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.