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Published Thursday 30 Mar 2017

A generous donation, two years in the making, by the Petone Free Masons and the Free Masons Charity will make an invaluable contribution to the Hutt Valley community.

Hutt Valley DHB ceo Ashley Bloomfield thanks Glen Houlihan, from the Free Masons for the equipment the Community Health Service nurses will be using to treat patients in the Hutt. 

In November 2015 the Free Masons offered the Hutt Valley District Health Board Community Health Service the opportunity to be recipients of a fundraising event. As a result of a fun-filled country and western- themed variety show and a lot of hard work, the Free Masons raised enough money for to purchase a suite of equipment which can be used for the care of leg wounds ( including ulcers).

“The impact of a leg ulcer on someone life is significant and by diagnosing early that the ulcer is not going to heal because of an underlying issue we are able to optimise treatment quickly and refer patients to the vascular service for intervention sooner rather than later.

Optimising treatment includes starting compression therapy which drops there visits form daily to twice a week. Often letting people get back to work,” explains Clinical Nurse Manager of Community Health, Karen Blair.

“We have used the money to purchase equipment that will allow us to provide a comprehensive lower limb service to people in the Hutt Valley that get leg ulcers.”

This equipment includes:

  • Four doppler machines that record the pulse in peoples legs to give an indication of blood flow.
  • Six hand held monitors that nurses can take to home visits to determine pulse and amount of oxygen circulating in the blood which is a good indication of whether or not the person is well.
  • One large hydraulic bed for the clinic room to accommodate larger patients and to provide an easier height for the nurses to perform there assessments.
  • One all in one monitor to have in the clinic room to take pulse, temperature and blood pressure recordings.
  • Three dimension digital camera that will be used to photograph leg ulcers and other wounds to monitor their progress.

Speaking on behalf of the Free Masons at the handover of the equipment this week, Glen Houlihan said the donation was in line with the Free Masons’ dedication to helping the community.

“We are blessed to be able to help you care for the community. We know that the DHB’s aim is to get us back home and back on our feet and it is fantastic that we have been able to help you with that,” he said.

Hutt Valley DHB ceo Ashley Bloomfield thanked the Free Masons for their generosity.

“We thank you and we acknowledge all your hard work. We are an organisation here to support and care for the community and it is wonderful that your contribution will be able to make a practical and positive difference in the lives of the community we both serve,” he said.

The new equipment has already been rolled out and has had a warm reception from patients.

“I used some of the new equipment and patients are very happy,” says District nurse Sam Chapman.

“The faster we can investigate the faster referrals will be and we will be able to put the best plan in place for patients. It will speed up the whole process.”