State-of-the-art sleep pods have been installed at the Royal Preston Hospital, paid for by a £250,000 donation from local family firm James Hall and Co.
The giant wholesaler, which supplies almost 600 Spar stores across the North of England, gave the cash as a huge “thank you” to hard-working medics who have been at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus.
“When the Covid pandemic hit last year we saw the extraordinary lengths NHS staff went to to keep us and their own families safe,” said MD Andrew Hall (inset).
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“We wanted to help, so we’re delighted to see these rest and recreation facilities brought to life.
"It’s our way of saying thank you as a family and a company to the many dedicated frontline staff here.”
During a Covid-restricted ceremony the Hall family also unveiled a plaque to commemorate the dedication and devotion that staff have shown in caring for patients and colleagues alike.
The sleep pods will allow tired frontline clinical staff a peaceful and relaxing space to catch up on sleep before either returning to work or driving home safely.
Paula Wilson, head of charities at the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust, said: “We have seen the impact that Covid-19 has had on our colleagues and this act of kindness really shows just how much the NHS has been appreciated and how highly our staff are regarded.
And Karen Swindley, the Trust’s strategy, workforce and education director, added: “We are extremely grateful to James Hall and Co. These state of the art sleep pods will make a huge difference to staff both mentally and physically.”
The futuristic pods have been installed in an area of the hospital nicknamed Tranquility Bay, where staff can go for a nap after an arduous shift.
The plaque unveiled by the Hall family says: “To salute the courage, compassion, determination and service to patient care during the Covid-19 pandemic, this area has been provided for the benefit and wellbeing of staff.”
It also bears a quote from the late Capt Sir Tom Moore, which says simply: "Tomorrow will be a good day."
The staff area also has a small kitchen, new changing and shower facilities and a dedicated breastfeeding room for nursing staff.
The project has also been made possible by a £50,000 donation from Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity and a £30,000 grant from NHS Charities Together.