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HELP and Torrevieja Hospital

It’s good news for many of the patients at the new hospital in Torrevieja.  After a series of negotiations, permission has been officially granted for a team of volunteers from the HELP Association of Vega Baja (previously the Help Ass of Torrevieja) to visit English speaking patients in the hospital three times a week.   

          The HELP Hospital visiting teams, led by Eddie Tiller, have been visiting the Vega Baja Hospital in Orihuela for many years but there were teething problems when it came to getting started in the new hospital.   Fortunately, these have been resolved and following a series of meetings first with D. Luis Barcia Albacar, the Director General of the hospital, and then with Raul Vila Roig, Head of Logistics, Marie Carmen Herrera Caballero, Social Services Co-ordinator, and Maite Martinez, Admissions officer, The Help Association has at last received the important go ahead.   

          The benefits offered by the visits to those who find themselves in hospital (sometimes unexpectedly as in the case of accidents or sudden illness) are considerable.  Apart from the boost that a friendly smile and chat can give to someone who is bored with having to lie in bed all day, plus the talking books and reading material that is loaned free of charge, the volunteers endeavour to resolve any non medical problems that have arisen due to the stay in hospital.  This may involve contacting relatives, including those who live overseas, caring for pets or dealing with the payment of bills or the such like, or even giving men patients a shave.  The visits can represent a life line to those who are completely alone in the world.  Indeed, there are many ways in which HELP helps the public.

          In one case, when a family of four, including two children were involved in a horrendous traffic accident, HELP found accommodation for the grandmother who travelled from the UK, and arranged transport for her to visit the hospital each day.

In another case, HELP renewed the lease on the apartment of a patient.  In yet another case HELP tracked down a handbag bulging with money and returned it to the rightful owner who had been on the way to visit the Notary in order to complete on a house purchase when she collapsed and was whisked off to hospital in an ambulance minus her handbag.    

          Another important function of the HELP team is to help with problems that arise once the patient is discharged from hospital.   Sometimes there is no one at home to look after them or they have a partner who is in poor health themselves.  Besides arranging for a nurse to pay a visit if appropriate, Help volunteers will befriend and assist them.  This may vary from doing shopping or cooking a meal to organising a telephone extension, so that there is a phone by the side of the bed.  

          At times a Doctor will draw the attention of the HELP team to a patient who is in dire circumstances as was the case of a Norwegian lady who did not appear to have any friends or family. After a visit from a Help Volunteer, who contacted members of the Norwegian Church, the story had a very happy ending.   In another case, a volunteer was alerted to the fact that a patient, who was ready to be sent home, had lost the keys of his house.  HELP came to the rescue and had the locks changed.   To the relief of the gentleman concerned, he was presented with a brand new key as he arrived at his front door.   

          If you are a friendly soul and would like to become involved in Hospital Visiting at either Vega Baja or Torrevieja Hospital, please contact Richard Garland on 966 72 3733 from 10.00am to 2.00pm Monday to Friday.   Men, in particular would be welcome.

In the picture from left to right:

Susan Anderson (a HELP Volunteer), Eddie Tiller, (Hospital Visiting Team Co-ordinator and Vice President of HELP), Raul Vila Roig, (Head of Logistics at Torrevieja Hospital), Maria Carmen Herrera Caballero (Social Services Co-ordinator) Maite Martinez, (Admissions Office at the Hospital) and John Saunders (President of HELP Ass of Vega Baja).

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Emergency Line

The volunteers who man our 24 hour emergency line both day and night respond to a variety of calls. Typical enquiries are ‘what to do when a death occurs’ – They are also asked what to do when someone is taken ill in the night, or has been robbed. Other calls include enquiries about loss of passports and for locksmiths. To obtain the numbers of the volunteers on duty when the office is closed just call  966 723 733.


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