TAVYSIDE Patients’ Association (TPA) have made a great gift to Tavyside Health Centre in Tavistock this festive season — a syringe driver.

The small but valuable syringe driver, which cost around £1,500, will help the health centre provide the community nurses with the ability to provide the safest and most effective, continuous pain relief to the Tavyside patients most in need, who are being cared for in their own homes.

The community team already has a piece of this equipment of its own but during 2016, when it was already in use by others and not available for a Tavyside patient, the doctors at Tavyside were anxious to ensure that the health centre could respond to its patients’ needs more efficiently in the future and asked the TPA for help to provide one for the health centre.

In October, the TPA began fundraising and by joining in with such activities as a treasure hunt map during flu clinic sessions and a quiz night, it did not take long before the generous Tavyside patients provided the funds to order the kit.

Chairman of the TPA Barbara Greig said: ‘On behalf of some of our most vulnerable patients, the TPA committee wishes to say a big thank you to everyone who supported this drive and it looks forward to their continued support if other vital equipment is needed in the future.

‘This very small piece of kit is both expensive and valuable providing pain relief to patients in extremis. Good things come wrapped in small parcels, as they say.’

She continued to highlight the fact that, over the life of the Tavyside Health Centre, the TPA as a registered charity, has provided a lot of support to the centre to include services, talks and equipment. Some of the equipment included blood pressure monitors, a suction machine, an examination couch, ECG machine, spirometry machine, pocket otoscope and rechargeable auroscopes, pulse oximeter, thermometers, resuscitator kit and much more.

The regularly organised talks for patient information included topics such as prostate cancer, diabetes management, heart diseases and driving safely over 60. Services included providing and maintaining planters and gardening help, running coffee mornings and supporting open days and events for young people.

Mrs Greig said that the NHS did not provide the equipment to health centres as many people might think — it was the practice which provided the facilities, equipment and services to patients in its care and so extra support like this was gratefully accepted.

The TPA expressed thanks to all fellow Tavyside patients for supporting the group so brilliantly.

Thanking the TPA for the gift and its invaluable contribution to Tavyside, Dene Medland, practice manager, said: ‘On behalf of the partners and staff at Tavyside I would like to thank Barbara and all of the patients’ association members for fundraising for this invaluable piece of equipment, as well as the other equipment which it has provided. I would also like to thank the members for their continued and invaluable support.’

Picture by Tom French