A Very Mildmay Christmas!

A Very Mildmay Christmas!

The past few months have been a proud time for Mildmay Mission Hospital and we were honoured to help out with a special occasion.

Caring around-the-clock

This year has been a very special and busy time for Mildmay Hospital, with the opening of new buildings where staff and patients will currently spend their first Christmas. Whatever the time of year, there are a core of people who carry on working doing a fantastic job of caring for others 24/7 - and this couldn’t be truer where Mildmay Mission Hospital is concerned. After visiting the location in November we’d like to wish all patients and staff at the charity a Merry Christmas.

Blessing for brand new buildings

Earlier in the year, The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, visit Mildmay's UK Hospital in Shoreditch, London, to bless the charity’s brand new hospital. We were delighted to provide 60 white folding fan back chairs for the event. The hospital is the only one of its kind in the UK to provide specialised rehabilitation and care for people with HIV associated brain injury. The good news is that around 80% of patients return home to independent living on discharge from Mildmay.

Royal visitors

The hospital is no stranger to well known visitors, and over the years has welcomed
dignitaries such as Queen Mary, Princess Margaret and Princess Alexandra, as well as many famous faces such as Elizabeth Taylor. Perhaps some of the most memorable visits were the official and unofficial visits made by Princess Diana, who came to Mildmay to give support and comfort to so many patients.

On one official visit in 1987 she was photographed whilst greeting and holding the hand of
a patient, an image that went global, helping to break some of the stigma surrounding HIV, forming a lasting impression on many. Following her visits to the charity, Princess Diana donated a portrait of herself, which today hangs in the hospital’s new boardroom.

Historic health care

Although the hospital became globally well known following the Princess’s visits, it has been providing healthcare in the area for almost 150 years. Mildmay’s origins stretch back to the mid-1860s and the work carried out by The Reverend William Pennefather, a vicar at St Judes, and his wife Catherine. William developed a number of projects known collectively as Mildmay Institutions, providing spiritual guidance and care for the sick.

In 1866 there was a cholera outbreak in East London. Two of the Mildmay deaconesses, trained by Catherine, volunteered to go into some of London’s worst slums, where even the police feared to enter, to care for the sick and their dependents. This response to the Cholera outbreak, by reaching out to those in great need, formed Mildmay’s first nursing service

From hospice to rehabilitation

It was in the 1980s that Mildmay opened as a hospice caring for people with HIV/AIDS, and it was particularly welcomed at the time by health care groups due to scarcity of treatment centres giving care to those diagnosed with the conditions. Most patients arrived to benefit from end of life care offered by the hospital.

Today, thanks to medication, namely anti-retrovirals, Mildmay's focus has changed from end of life care to rehabilitation. Mildmay is now Europe’s only centre dedicated to the rehabilitation for people living with HIV related brain injury and sees some of the most complex conditions associated with HIV in the country. Many patients arrive unable to walk, speak or feed themselves and are in need of 24 hour care. The results of Mildmay's specialised rehabilitation and treatment are remarkable, over 80% of patients return to independent living on discharge from Mildmay's UK hospital in East London.

A holistic hospital

The opening of the new Mildmay UK hospital sees the charity move location just a short distance from where it once stood. All staff and patients have successfully moved into the new premises, which offers 26 private en-suite rooms across two wards, and larger and improved day service facilities, including a large day room, dining area, a physiotherapy suite and quiet room - to name but a few.

Care across the Centuries

We were very proud to be helping out with the seating for this very special day, and want to congratulate the charity on the blessing of their new hospital and their fundraising for World Aids Day this month. We hope the charity goes from strength-to-strength in 2015 and continues to provide are across the Centuries to come.

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