Patients undergoing treatments such as blood transfusions and chemotherapy can now enjoy weekly pampering sessions thank to a charity donation.
CALLM (Caring for Adults with Leukaemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma) Charitable Fund has donated funds for a volunteer beautician to visit Ward 44 at Manchester Royal Infirmary.
Anita Green, herself a retired district nurse, provides manicures, pedicures and hand massages to patients receiving treatment on the ward for haematological conditions.
She said: “For some of the ladies having their nails done helps them feel a bit more like themselves again. Due to the nature of their medical treatments their nails can be left damaged and weakened. I work with them to help remedy this.
“It also helps to bring back their confidence, it boosts their self-esteem but it also acts as a release from the emotional trauma their conditions can cause.”
CALLM was set up in 2010 to fund services that make time in hospital more bearable for patients. A committee of staff and patients meet each month to discuss how funds should be spent.
Following a patient survey, it was decided that some of the money would be used to buy beautician’s materials for Ward 44. Visiting around 16 patients each week Anita provides manicures and pedicures, as well as hand massages to both male and female patients. Anita’s services are incredibly well received, not only by patients but also by the partners and carers of those treated by Ward 44, enabling them to feel valued along with those they are supporting.
One patient who has been enjoying the benefits of this is Alison Harvey from Northenden, South Manchester. Alison has been on Ward 44 for over 6 weeks, following a bone marrow transplant and has been enjoying a weekly pampering session courtesy of Anita. She said: “Getting my nails done is a bit of a treat and it gives me a sense of normality. If nothing else it relieves the boredom of being on the ward all day, every day.
“Having Anita visit is a new person to chat with, away from the usual medical conversations. It’s also something different to talk to my family and friends about when they visit.”
Debbie Haigh, associate clinical nurse specialist for the Department of Clinical Haematology, added: “The treatments that our patients receive are intense and can affect quality of life for a prolonged period.
“Employing a beautician goes some way to putting the human element back into their journey. A simple hand massage and nail treatment can have a positive impact on our patients during a very uncertain phase of their life.”