Bishop Chris at RCHT montageA visit by the Bishop of St Germans to see the work of the Friends of the Royal Cornwall Hospital brought a fine opportunity to mark a year since the modernisation of their popular coffee shop.

Situated in the Tower Block reception, the coffee shop was the first stop on a two-hour visit for Bishop Chris who was also joined by Friends President, Michael Galsworthy, Chairman, Beatrice Dyer and RCHT Senior Chaplain Rev Mark Richards. The shop last year underwent an extensive makeover, creating a bigger seating area with stylish new counter, equipment, display and preparation areas. Bishop Chris took time to enjoy a drink with coffee shop volunteers and its co-ordinator, Suzie Woodier.

Next stop on the tour was Phoenix Ward where Bishop Chris talked to advanced stroke nurse practitioner Ally James about the improving short and long term outcomes for stroke patients and to Mary Jones, Friends volunteer who plays an important role as a mealtime volunteer and pastoral visitor.

As well as an insight into some of the valuable volunteering input from the Friends, Bishop Chris also saw the examples of the fundraising support they give to the hospital.

In the newly opened Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit, which is already paying dividends in reducing unnecessary hospital admissions, the Friends have just donated around £5,000 to purchase six electric reclining chairs for the patient lounge. Bishop Chris said: “This is a very intelligent response to the pressures on the Emergency Department.” DSC00164

Having also visited the Mermaid and Sunrise Centres, the Headland Unit and finally the Chapel, Bishop Chris said: “I am really impressed by the way the Friends’ manage the donation process and the way they can maintain focus on what is important for the patient and not on those things that the Trust should be doing.”