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Vale embroidery brings together local landmarks for cancer patients

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Patients at the Vale of Leven hospital’s oncology day unit can now gaze at Dumbarton Castle, the Alexandria Fountain and even Loch Lomond when they attend appointments.

All these local landmarks and more are featured on an embroidery which has been unveiled  at the ward entrance.

The embroidery project was conceived by Gerry O’Hare, an oncology nurse specialist, who has worked at the hospital for more than 20 years.

Gerry said: “We were kindly given donations from members of the public – to make the unit feel more patient focused through innovative designs, colours and textile to provide a calming effect for our patients and families. To get us moving along with ideas we pulled together a focus group, made up of patients and hospital staff.

“There are some beautiful landmarks in the local area and the overwhelming view from the group was that the artwork needed to feature these. So the idea of embroidery was born.

Gerry contacted the renowned textile designer Professor Malcolm Lochhead, who has worked on similar projects with Glasgow Cathedral and Maggie’s Centre.

Now complete, the 100cm x 60cm embroidery is proudly displayed in the Oncology Day Unit entrance.

Gerry said: “The unveiling was well attended by staff, patients, embroiderers and a whole host of other people who have all played a key role in ensuring this wonderful welcoming symbol will be on clear display for all to see.

“We were very lucky to get Malcolm on board with the project and he kindly developed a design based on feedback from the focus group.

“He then worked with the Strathendrick Embroidery Guild to start work on the embroidery. A lot of hard work has gone in to the project and we are delighted to now have it on display outside the ward.

“Patients and visitors to the ward can go through a lot and hopefully this plays a further part in making the ward a welcoming place where people can feel relaxed and spend time with the staff here.

“The embroidery is part of improvements in the patient environment in the haemato/oncology ward. We have also upholstered the patient and visitor chairs with maps of the local area and incorporated the maps into lightboxes scattered throughout the ward.”

Malcolm said: “I wanted a warm welcome that sings to people when they come to the ward. All health staff do a wonderful job and I wanted to make the environment on the ward a little warmer.

“I liked the idea of the embroidery representing a map of the Vale of Leven and we added further detail from photos and older images.

“The embroiderers were very skilful and we picked some of the really clever ideas for incorporating into the design and using them as a starting point.”

 

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