We’ve been working with hospitals for over 10 years now, transforming worn down wards into positive places that encourage better treatment outcomes for patients and provide staff with everything they need to be able to give the best care possible.
If there’s one thing that all of our experience has taught us, it’s that no two projects are ever the same. Every hospital is different, as are each group of patients. On top of that, how each ward functions can also vary hugely. The other thing that changes from project to project, sometimes dramatically, is the budget available.
But when it comes to talking money, does a smaller budget really mean making less of an impact?
The Benefits of Starting Small
If money was no object, you’d probably have a wish list for your ward as long as your arm. Maybe you already do. Unfortunately, you’ll find that some of that wish list often has to wait because money is (most definitely!) an object.
Starting with what you want or need the most, even if it’s not everything, can still have a big impact on the lives of patients who are on a journey back to health, the loved ones supporting them and, of course, the nurses and other ward staff who are providing the vital care they need. As well as helping to make your hospital a better healthcare environment for its users in the short term, there’s a few ways that these smaller projects can also pave the way for bigger projects in the future.
More wards will notice what a big difference a small change can make, encouraging them to do the same
While a big project can be exciting, and a total transformation will be something you’ll be proud to show off, it might not leave other wards with the impression that its attainable for them to achieve too. By making a small change on your ward that has a big impact for the people who use it, you’ll be showing others what can be achieved, even without the budget you’d probably need for a Changing Rooms style spectacular.
The more attainable something appears, the more chance there is that other wards will be encouraged to undertake a similar project and, all of a sudden, that small project could turn into two, three or even more small projects, benefiting even more patients.
A smaller project has the potential to attract more donors for future ward improvements
We’re big fans of having a Plan B and, even if the budget isn’t available for your grandest designs and ideas, having a scaled down version which you can raise the funds for means that you’ll still be able to make a difference for your patients.
But, even if Plan A doesn’t quite get off the ground in the way you originally intended, it’s worth keeping in mind. Once donors can see what a difference a smaller amount of money can make, they’ll be more inclined to donate to future projects once they’ve seen how far their donations can go. On top of that, a smaller project will also help you, along with other wards and departments, to attract new donors in the future.
Small projects can pave the way for hospital management to green light bigger projects in the future
Money is one of the biggest hurdles you’ll face when it comes to a makeover but the other big one is hospital management. There’s no doubt that they’d love to see every ward in the hospital transformed for the benefit of patients, staff and other users but, at the same time, they also have a duty of care to those people, too. Shutting down whole departments for days or even weeks at a time sometimes just isn’t practical. Turning a sterile healthcare environment into a building site isn’t either! If this is the first ward improvement project they’ve given the go ahead to, you might find that they’re a little reluctant to do something that drastic.
By starting with a smaller project, one that won’t require all activity on a ward to cease but can still demonstrate how much of a difference it makes for patients, you’ll be providing hospital management with proof that the disruption is worth it, something which can be a huge help if you have bigger ambitions and grander plans for the future.
How Can You Make a Big Impact with a Small Budget?
While a smaller budget may rule out donating expensive medical equipment or completing a large-scale facelift, there are other items that can be purchased that can have a hugely positive impact for ward users.
One of the most popular additions to wards that we’ve enhanced for young patients has been our mobile gaming units. They come complete with a screen, have an in-built DVD player and are ready for the addition of a games console as soon as they arrive.
As they’re fully mobile, they can be moved anywhere from inpatient wards, to outpatient waiting areas and everywhere in between. This gives even more young people the chance to benefit from and take their mind off their treatment, even if for a short while. It also lets them have a little bit of much needed fun at the same time!
Our mobile gaming units are £1850.00 plus VAT and delivery (A screen with built in DVD player is included in the price) and they are customisable with donor recognition stickers. As well as the mobile gaming units, we also supply other bespoke furniture, such as pool tables and juke boxes that help to create an environment that’s optimistic and friendly and helps to avoid the hospital stay stereotypes.
When you’re working with a limited budget, you’ll want to make sure that every penny goes as far as it can to benefit your patients. One of the most effective ways we help hospitals to do this is by using WallGlamour to make a big difference to a small area first. This can really help people see what can be achieved and make future fundraising a lot less of an uphill struggle than the first time!
One of the biggest considerations that charities make when awarding funding for ward improvements is how long those improvements will last. WallGlamour is made from highly durable, wipe clean vinyl which is waterproof and washable. These long lasting qualities make it popular with charities that like to see their investments provide long term benefits to patients.
Being on a budget doesn’t necessarily have to limit the impact of your ward transformation but you might have to be a little bit smarter with how you use your money and make an impact in a different way. If you need advice on how to make your funds go further for the benefit of your patients, make sure you get in touch. Our expert design team have experience in drawing up plans to fit purses of all sizes and we’re fortunate enough to have the expertise of Debbie Alderstein to help you with any fundraising queries.