Eye Unit patient donates valuable resources to help fellow patients

A generous donation was made to the Eye Unit at Royal Bolton Hospital last week, following 12 months of hard work from patient and community champion, Michael Tatman.

Michael Tatman has been a leading figure at the talking newspaper, Bolton Newstalk, since the mid-1970s, initially volunteering before progressing to senior roles as producer and ultimately Chairman. Michael’s aims were simple, and as he explains, “We wanted to bring very local news to people who had visual impairment and couldn’t read print.”

As Bolton Newstalk developed over the years, Michael began to produce listener friendly audio documents for various companies, before finding himself a patient of the Eye Unit himself. Following successful cataract surgery Michael observed first-hand the need for more leaflets in audio format, and offered his assistance.

This week Michael presented the unit with the result of a years’ work, nine of the Trust’s patient leaflets read on either CD or USB drives to be gifted to patients with greatest need. The Trust has a number of leaflets from supporting charity the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in audio format, so Michael focused his attention on the Trust’s own leaflets on specific treatments provided at the Unit.

This has saved the Trust considerable outlay, and is all thanks to a grant from the Co-op Community Fund of £1,000.

Michael said:

“My appreciation for the work of the NHS is unshakeable, and my gratitude goes to the Eye Unit particularly. I wanted to offer my skills to them in a practical way, by producing these recordings for patients.”

Carlie Haigh, RNIB Eye Clinic Liaison Officer at Royal Bolton Hospital said:

“It’s been great working alongside Michael to produce more accessible information sheets for patients. He is passionate about patients receiving user friendly information, especially as he has personal experience of using our services.”

Eye Unit Matron, Brenda Mason added:

“Michael has been a patient of ours for a number of years. We’re delighted that he has taken the time to support fellow patients who may not have been able to access this information in written form.

“We’re sure that this will go a long way to reducing some of the anxieties patients may experience when visiting the Unit. We are so grateful to him, and look forward to working with him in the future.”

Pictured L-R: Brenda Mason, Matron, Michael Tatman, patient and volunteer, Lucy Currie, Business Manager on Eye Unit, Carlie Haigh, RNIB Eye Clinic Liaison Officer

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