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Join the ‘Heart to Heart’ campaign

Last updated: 16/04/2020


Nurses from University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) are reaching out to the public to support a new campaign that will enable them, and their colleagues, to deliver a token of sentiment and empathy when patients are admitted into their care.

Tahlia Williamson, ITU nurse at the BRI, explains: “We have launched the ‘Heart to Heart’ campaign at UHBW, as we felt it was a fitting way to express an extension of our care and empathy for patients and families who are unable to be together during these unprecedented times.

“Although the idea was adopted from another trust, I felt it would be a missed opportunity if we didn’t do the same or similar here. I admire everything the hearts stand for and the connection they enable patients and their family members to have while they are in our care.

“We are thereby calling on our community to personally craft matching pairs of hearts, made from materials and techniques of their choice, which staff will offer families and patients when they are admitted to the unit. One heart will remain here with our patients to hold, and the other sent home to a partner, family member or friend.

“While the concept is simple, we hope it brings comfort to families and patients during these challenging times. During all phone and online conversations, both hearts can be held as a way of connecting our patients with their loved ones.”

To support the campaign, members of the public can post their personalised hearts to the intensive care unit at the BRI. Hearts must be no bigger than the size of an adult palm, and should be sent with a date of when they were made for infection control purposes.

Ellie Tizzard, ITU nurse at the BRI, adds: “In addition to the hearts, we are also presenting patients and their families with a specially written poem, titled Thread.

“This poem has been written specially by UHBW’s poet in residence, The Poetry Machine, Beth Calverley. Her talents have no end, and despite the fact she cannot be here with us in person to write her poems first-hand, she has embodied everything we as staff are feeling for our patients and their loved ones.

“These are challenging times for the NHS and everyone across the world affected by the Coronavirus. But, regardless of these circumstances we are always dedicated to giving our patients and their families the love and support they need.

“We have been running the campaign for the past week, and already this has been gratefully received by families and staff. We have been donated over 500 pairs of hearts, over 1000 in total, and 500 free copies of Beth’s poem from Doveton Press Ltd, for which we are incredibly thankful. Given the impact of the campaign, the Trust will be rolling this out to all intensive care units and wards across our sites; so please keep sending your creations.”

If you would like to support the campaign please send your hearts to:

E.Tizzard and T.Williamson

A600 General Intensive Care Unit

Upper Maudlin Street