Coronavirus: Upminster surgery delivers gift bags to vulnerable and isolated elderly patients

Stefano Serri, IT and accounts manager at Haiderian Medical Centre in Upminster, who is delivering g

Stefano Serri, IT and accounts manager at Haiderian Medical Centre in Upminster, who is delivering gift bags of essentials and luxuries to the surgery's vulnerable and isolated elderly patients. Picture: Haiderian Medical Centre - Credit: Haiderian Medical Centre

An Upminster GP surgery has delivered gift bags of essentials and luxuries to its vulnerable and isolated elderly patients during the coronavirus outbreak.

Haiderian Medical Centre, which has branches in Corbets Tey Road and Dorkins Way, has come up with its ‘Haiderian Cares’ gift bags initiative.

Surgery partner Sarah Haider said the packs were being delivered to vulnerable and isolated elderly patients last week.

They included goodies such as a puzzle book and biscuits as well as essentials like toilet roll, tissues and hand soap.

Sarah said: “We’ve seen great examples of people pulling together in the current crisis and this is just a small gesture from our surgery to the community in which we live and work.

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“We hope it makes the next few challenging weeks a bit more palatable for our some of our older patients who have limited social support.

“We felt it was incumbent upon us to play a part, no matter how small, to make life a little easier for these patients and let people know that we haven’t forgotten about them.

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“We hope to give oxygen to the narrative that even small gestures can be transformative to people’s lives and wellbeing.”

The surgery has some isolated patients who will call the receptionists on Friday afternoons for a chat and it might be the only contact they have with others on weekdays, Sarah said.

“These are the people who don’t have those strong social and family networks to fall back on and for whom social isolation is a daily reality.

“There’s a real concern that these patients in particular will suffer as even their already limited routine contacts with health and social care are scaled back due to the crisis.

“There’s also no doubt that this cohort of vulnerable patients cannot run the gauntlet at the shops and like all of us they are struggling to get essential supplies.”

The surgery hopes the project takes off and gets repeated elsewhere.

“We’ve had a great response from patients. It’s so simple to do and can make a world of difference to the recipient,” Sarah added.

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