Twelve years ago a small group of dedicated and public spirited patients decided to set up ‘The Friends of St Chad’s and Chilcompton Surgery’ with the intention of raising money to purchase equipment and other items for the Surgeries for which NHS funding was not available.
We meet at St. Chad’s, in the evening, four or five times a year. The practice manager or a doctor joins us and meetings last about an hour.
In the twelve years more than fifty purchases have been made ranging in cost from around £100 to £2000 each and approximately £25,000 has been spent on items for the Surgeries.
Examples have included:
- Ten chairs with arms (£423);
- Spirometer and Syringe (£1366);
- Radiolaze for minor surgery (£1756)
- Upholstering waiting room chairs (£1188);
- Cardiac event monitor & software (£890);
- Scanner and Label Printer for Prescription Checking at Chilcompton (£1950)
- Two nebulisers for Chilcompton and a 24 hour Blood Pressure monitor (to be shared between both practices) at a combined cost of £2200.
- Two ECG machines, one for each surgery (£3192)
The Friends have organised a series of talks by Consultants and Health Professionals starting in 1998. These have usually been held in the Methodist Hall in Midsomer Norton and admission has been and is free. Notices of proposed events have been displayed in the Waiting Rooms at both Surgeries and advertised in the local press. All are welcome to attend. There have been 22 talks so far and another is planned for next month.
Subjects covered have included: The Heart, Get fit keep fit, Drug Awareness, Looking after your back, Holiday Health Hazards, Menopause, Memory Loss, Asthma, Breast Problems, Osteoporosis and H.R.T., Stress management, Keeping Diabetes at Bay, Why diets don’t work, Polyclinics and N.H.S Changes.
There is a 100 Club with monthly draws. The names of winners are posted in the waiting rooms. The cost is £12 per year. Membership forms are available in both surgeries.
We have a number of draws throughout the year and the Christmas Draw produces a very commendable income. Again, tickets are available from the receptionists at each Surgery.
We also have a stall at local events in the area and collections outside Salisbury’s in Midsomer Norton.
In most years we receive donations.
In general terms, we raise about £2000 each year, sometimes more, sometimes less. All of the money raised goes to provide something for the benefit of the Patients registered at St. Chad’s and Chilcompton surgeries.
In conjunction with St Chad’s and Chilcompton practice, the Friends have purchased a further ECG machine in order that patients of both surgeries have the latest equipment not supplied by the NHS. All the funds were raised by the Friends at events in Midsomer Norton and Chilcompton.