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...a big thank you to Lodge St. Patrick

Hospital and Lodge Hospital and Lodge
Pictured are Charge Nurse Manager Ruth Ford and Hospital Education Officer Robin Harris, with Lodge St. Patrick members: Professor David McBride; Wayne Darling (WM); Stuart Warrington (IPM); John Wren-Potter (Chaplain) and John Karaka-Hazeldine (SW), and imparting her blessing, Ellen DeGeneres (Goddess of Daytime TV).

That deity of daytime television, Ellen DeGeneres, gazes benevolently down on staff members from the Dunedin Hospital’s Acute Orthopaedic Ward and members of St. Patrick, no doubt with that preternatural knowledge inevitably granted to deities, of the problems that had to be overcome to allow her visage the opportunity to become visible in the first place.

What should have been a simple process had certainly been forced to become a joint effort between Lodge St. Patrick and the nursing staff of Ward 3B to install flat screen TVs for the Ward’s patients. The Lodge, thus allied with the nurses, battled not only fiscal issues and a myriad of health and safety concerns, but a seemingly never ending jungle of ‘red tape’.

With the aid of Media Liaison Officer Melissa Garry, orthopaedics’ Charge Nurse Manager Ruth Ford, had approached St. Patrick’s Chaplain, W.Bro. John Wren-Potter, a year previously with a request for assistance to purchase large format TVs for her Ward. Ruth felt that the patients would be more content, and likely heal with more rapidity, if they were more content. Ruth had explained, “If someone has a broken leg, and all that can be done (with the exception of meds) is to lie there until nature allows it to mend, it’s a little like being incarcerated whilst being innocent of any crime.”

St. Patrick’s Brethren jumped to help, and released former Otago Search and Rescue man, and I.P.M., W.Bro. Stuart Warrington into the fray. With a nose for these things, Stuart can track down bargains as meticulously as he tracked missing hikers, and obtained the large TV’s for a very competitive price. Unfortunately for her, it took Ruth more than a year to hack through a forest of formalities, and the unfathomable depths of health and safety, which forced her to obtain considerable additional money from The Charitable Trust, simply to have the TV’s wired in.

For the recipients, however, the end result was worthwhile. Ruth Ford declared, “Patients are now enjoying some entertainment during their stay in the ward. They really appreciate being able to watch up-to-date news and their favourite programmes; especially sport for our male patients, while many of our elderly female patients like the rugby!”
Nurse Alison Adams agreed and told us, “The TV’s provide great ‘diversional therapy’, and we’d like to say a big thank you to Lodge St Patrick for their generous donation of the TV’s, and to The Charitable Trust for the grant which finally enabled us to complete the electrical work.”

During our visit, a patient on Ward 3B, Leanne Crossley said that having a TV in her room had made a real difference to her stay in hospital, and most definitely helped to pass the time while she wasn’t mobile. Speaking on behalf of the Lodge, Stu Warrington stated, “We’re very keen to lend our assistance with local projects - especially were the issues concern health - and the orthopaedic ward all too often has to accommodate long-term, bed bound patients. The members of Lodge St. Patrick are delighted to be able to donate the TV’s to Ward 3B, and we hope that they will offer some comfort for years to come to patients going through a tough time.”

Needless to say, there is much more going on in the Acute Orthopaedics Ward than dealing with the odd broken leg. Dunedin Hospital’s Acute Orthopaedic Service provides specialist surgery for all musculoskeletal problems, covering recreation related trauma, road accidents, bone and joint infections, to fractures associated with osteoporosis and the aging population.

Lodge St Patrick has donated items to other departments in the hospital including the Adolescent Room, the Rotary Children’s Ward, NICU, and The Queen Mary Maternity Centre.

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