Staff demonstrate one of the hover mattresses. Pictures: Paul Tibbs

Generous donations from readers for the Your Local Paper-backed Falls Support Appeal will make a real difference to patients and staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Rose Avanzado, the King’s Lynn hospital’s falls prevention coordinator, has appealed to people and businesses in West Norfolk to help raise £35,000 to buy important equipment, saying it would make a “big difference”.

The hospital has joined forces with YLP to raise money for a range of specialised equipment to help prevent and manage falls.

This will include monitoring systems to prevent falls along with equipment such as hover mattresses, scoop stretchers and transfer boards to support the safe transfer of patients from the floor to a bed.

Rose Avanzado with one of the special slides the appeal money will go towards.

Mrs Avanzado said: “For some of our more vulnerable patients, a trip to hospital can be really disorientating because it is an unfamiliar place with lots of equipment.

“Monitoring systems are really important to help our frontline staff prevent a patient from suffering a fall. 

“The sensor underwire pads are placed under a chair or bed and set off an alarm to warn staff if a patient is moving.

“As a hospital, we do everything we can to prevent falls but when they happen, the hover mattresses along with scoop stretchers and transfer boards are important to help safely transfer the patient.

“The hover mattresses are incredibly useful in helping to lift the patient from the floor safely. This device is inflatable and gradually lifts the patient to the right height.”

She added: “This equipment is going to make a big difference in supporting our patients.”

The Falls Support Appeal was launched in March and so far, just over £2,000 has been raised and a number of community-minded businesses and organisations have pledged their help.

You can donate to the appeal in several ways. There is a special coupon on page 52 of today’s paper. Donations can also be dropped off at our 29 King Street office in Lynn.

Other ways to help include online at

Cheque, made payable to Falls Support Appeal, can be sent to Laurence Morlaàs, Fundraising Executive, QEH, Gayton Road, King’s Lynn, PE30 4ET

Gift Aid sponsorship,  donation forms and appeal posters are available from Laurence Morlaàs or can be downloaded from 

Anyone who wants to hold a fundraiser can email or call 01553 613373.