Hospital appeals for knitters

Friday 11th November 2016

Hospital appeals for knitters

Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead is looking for knitters to produce knitted ‘feely’ muffs are for patients with dementia. The muffs, which can help reduce anxiety, include textured items such as ribbons and beads.

The feely muffs are just one part of the QVH approach to ensuring that people with dementia or memory loss are cared for with dignity and compassion and are given any extra support they need.

In work recognised in a recent national inspection as ‘outstanding’, the hospital also focuses on staff training; individualised care and support; a ‘dementia friendly’ environment.

Jo Davis, dementia lead and a senior theatre nurse at QVH, commented:

“We have used about 200 of these muffs over the last two years and we do let people take them home with them. Some of our patients feel very attached to the muffs and they definitely help patients feel calmer about being in an unfamiliar place.”

Annette Tappin, whose father has severe dementia, said:

“I was overwhelmed by the support, help and consideration shown to both of us by the staff in all departments. The ward staff were cheerful, sympathetic and interested. The consultant had time for a smile and a chat and the anesthetist showed understanding at the same time as attending to a skilled and complex task.

“It seemed we were also spared a thought by the women of the East Grinstead “knitting and natter” group who had donated a fiddle muff which my dad had with him and used on and off all day. Thank you for that it was really appreciated.”

Download the twiddlemuffs knitting instructions.

Photo shows Amanda and Maddison Collins, mother and daughter from East Grinstead, delivering their knitting to Jo Davis, QVH nurse and dementia lead.

For media enquiries, please contact Clare Pirie 07717 806680,

About Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Queen Victoria Hospital is a specialist NHS hospital providing life-changing reconstructive surgery, burns care and rehabilitation services for people across the South of England. Our world-leading clinical teams also treat common conditions of the hands, eyes, skin and teeth for the people of East Grinstead and the surrounding area. In addition we provide a minor injuries unit, expert therapies and a sleep service. We are a centre of excellence, with an international reputation for pioneering advanced techniques and treatments. Everything we do is informed by our passion for providing the highest quality care, the best clinical outcomes and a safe and positive patient experience.

The Care Quality Commission inspection report published in April 2016 stated:

“We saw several areas of outstanding practice including staff taking exceptional steps to improve the hospital experience for patients living with dementia. Allowing extra time during assessment, facilitation families in supporting the patient, awareness of the environment and equipment in relation to vulnerable patients and the use of distraction accessories such as ‘twiddle muffs’ demonstrated that the needs of vulnerable patients were taken into consideration and steps taken to personalise their care and treatment.”