Last week (Wednesday 19 June), clinicians from Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) featured on the BBC’s ‘The One Show’, in support of the Trust’s appeal for ‘Traffic Light Hats’.
This appearance followed an outpouring of public support as the organisation received over 10,000 knitted hats, mittens and bonding hearts, after a successful social media appeal.
In March, health professionals took to the Internet to ask for the support of local knitters after introducing ‘Traffic Light Hats’ on the Trust’s Labour Suites and Neonatal Units. Worn by new-born tots, these knitted garments in green, orange and red are incredibly important, with each signalling what level of care is required for each infant at a glance.
These hats are used within the first 24 hours of the baby’s life and are then taken home with them as a keepsake. With over 5,000 babies delivered at DBTH each year, this means that a lot of hats are required annually.
Just one day after the initial appeal was launched for the head-wear, more than 400,000 had seen the posts on Facebook, and not long after the first hand-stitched garments started to arrive, with packages delivered from countries as far-afield as Canada, Australia and New Zealand, alongside countless local well-wishers. In just a few weeks, the now-closed appeal reached over 1,000,000 people on the social network.
Intrigued by the success of the campaign, producers from the BBC’s flagship weekly magazine show got in touch to find out more. Filming over the course of two days, the final piece was shown on Wednesday 19 June, featuring Elaine Merrills, Matron for Midwifery, and Michelle Clarke, Senior Sister on the Neonatal Unit, both of whom were heavily involved in bringing this particular innovation to the Trust, as well as local knitters who were involved in the appeal.
Launched with the aid of the presenters from The One Show, the Trust is now asking local knitters and crocheters to take up their needles and hooks in aid of a new appeal for ‘Twiddlemuffs’.
These garments provide sensory stimulation for older patients, often living with or experiencing dementia or delirium, whilst also keeping their hands warm and snug. The twiddlemuffs have also been shown to have benefits for patients with learning disabilities and those who are receiving chemotherapy.
The pattern and delivery instructions can be found on the Trust’s website at https://www.dbth.nhs.uk/news/knitters-needed-twiddlemuffs-appeal-at-dbth/
The One Show episode which features DBTH’s Traffic Light Hat campaign can be viewed on iPlayer until mid-July.