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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). If you need to post anything, please call or email 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 for each department in the hospital and biscuits for the outreach clinic, which has no facilities to make hot drinks. Hospital staff have received similar support from many Bristol businesses.
We currently have no events scheduled while the Covid-19 emergency continues.
30 March 2020, last updated 27 September 2021
We have paid for 22 new clinical examination chairs for outpatient departments to replace previous chairs that were over ten years old. The new chairs are height-adjustable, more stable, have arms and a less slippery surface, all new features which help patients get in and out of the chairs more easily. They also make examination of patients’ eyes more comfortable for patients and staff. Staff have described them as “a million times better than the previous ones” and say that patients find the arms particularly helpful.
This grant cost £12,650.
5 October 2021
We strive to thank all our donors promptly – unless donors specifically ask us not to thank them,
We receive many donations from people who choose to remain anonymous or who do not give us any means of contacting them to say thank you. We regret being unable to thank such donors other than by expressing our grateful appreciation here.
There are also currently more than 60 people who donate regularly – and some have done so for many years. The number of such donors and the total they donate increases steadily every year. We do not thank you regularly but please be assured that your donations are very warmly received and we are most grateful for your ongoing support.
27 September 2021
Peter Turner stood down at our AGM after over 19 years as a trustee. He first came to a Friends’ meeting in January 2002 after hearing a talk from Consultant Ophthalmologist Mike Potts to the Bristol Society of Opticians. Peter was elected as a trustee in May 2002 and served without a break until July 2021.
Peter is the third generation Optometrist now running his family’s practice Turners Opticians. In addition he works part time as a Senior Optometrist in the glaucoma & cataract clinics at Bristol Eye Hospital. In common with most health care providers at this time, he is catching up on a backlog of around nine months’ work as well as dealing with the current workload, so his commitments to his patients and to his wife and growing family of three are keeping him fully occupied.
Peter’s knowledge, experience, opinion and advice have been an invaluable help to his fellow trustees. It’s been a long and happy association and we thank him so much for the many years of service and support he has given to the Friends.
3 August 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
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.