A spot of eavesdropping from a patient at Whangārei Hospital has led to recipients of charity 155 Open Arms' donations finding a pair of cheerful Christmassy socks in their box.
The red and white socks are used for outpatients at the Endoscopy Suite, which hands out up to 30 pairs a day. Following patients' examinations, they have the option of taking them home. However, many are discarded.
That's when nurse Chloe Henderson and her team decided to intercept, following a conversation with a pro-recycling patient.
"The patients get changed into a hospital gown, and they wear the red anti-slip socks to keep their feet warm and for fall protection," explained Henderson.
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"We offer patients to take these home with them after the procedure, otherwise they are discarded as they are identified as single use.
"A few months ago, a patient overheard us talking about throwing away the socks if the patient didn't want to take them home. The patient then made the suggestion that the socks the patients didn't want to keep, could be gifted to those in need, particularly during the colder months."
Following a discussion with the infection control department and the laundry team, all were on board with the initiative and the discarded socks were collected and sent to laundry to be cleaned before being taken to 155 Open Arms.
155 Open Arms provides facilities for the homeless and makes up boxes of provisions for families in need which the socks will be included in. Coincidentally, they are in the traditional Christmas colours.
155 Open Arms team leader Lyn Hadrup gratefully received the sock donation.
"For Open Arms and the whanāu who use this place every day, the socks will be a welcome addition."
Said Henderson: "I finally had the time to make contact with our patient, who made the suggestion, just last week. She was thrilled and couldn't believe I was still following this up! She said she regularly donated to 155 Open Arms and she said that was where the socks would be appreciated."