A Tees Valley hospice that provides essential palliative and end-of-life care is helping make patients more comfortable thanks to a four-figure grant obtained through its local Newcastle Building Society branch.

Butterwick Hospice Care helps improve quality of life through pain and symptom control, beneficial therapies, family support and bereavement counselling for the people of Stockton, Sedgefield and the Durham Dales.

As part of this service, the hospice has now purchased a Dinamap Vital Signs Monitor, which accurately monitors and records essential information while causing minimum discomfort and disturbance to patients.

To help meet the cost of the monitor, Butterwick Hospice Care was awarded a £2,219 grant via Newcastle Building Society’s Linthorpe Road branch in Middlesbrough.

Patricia Boynton, fundraiser at Butterwick Hospice Care, says: “Before we had the Dinamap monitor, our nursing team needed to use different equipment and manual methods to measure and record essential vital signs information.

“Now, thanks to this grant, we have the Dinamap monitor and can accurately record patients’ blood pressure, temperature and oxygen levels in just one step.

“For our patients, every moment counts, and we very much welcome anything that can make them more comfortable and help them get more from the time they have.

“This technology is so advanced we can use it for all of our patients, from babies to adults, and we’re very grateful to Newcastle Building Society for enabling us to buy it.”

The funding has been provided by the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation, which was set up to offer grants to charities and community groups located in or around the communities served by the Society’s branch network, and put forward for support by its customers.

Kimberley Saunders, manager at Newcastle Building Society’s Middlesbrough branch, adds: “Butterwick provides invaluable care for people at a time of great need for them and their families, and we’ve so heard so many stories from customers about the difference the hospice has made to them and their loved ones.

“Supporting the communities in which we’re based is key to who we are and we’re very proud to be helping them continue their important work.”

Butterwick Hospice Care was started in 1984 by Mary Butterwick OBE following the death of her husband, John.

Mary drew on her own experiences to develop a holistic service to care for adults, babies and children, as well as providing support for their families and loved ones.

All Butterwick’s services are provided free of charge and delivered directly from two hospice premises in Stockton and Bishop Auckland, and from a further three outreach centres in Barnard Castle, Sedgefield and Stanhope.

Every year, around 2,000 patients benefit from the care offered through the Hospice. It costs more than £4 million annually to fund the hospice’s services, with, on average, less than 25% of this amount coming from statutory funds.

Since its launch in 2016, Newcastle Building Society’s Community Fund has contributed over £1.8m in grants and partnerships with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the Princes Trust. The grants are so far estimated to have had a positive impact on more than 151,000 people.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Society also made a £100,000 contribution to the £1m appeal set up by the Tyne and Wear Community Foundation for its Coronavirus Recovery and Response Fund.

The Newcastle Building Society Community Fund is run in association with the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.