Long-distance patients offered home from home

Transplant patients and their families who travel long distances to Edinburgh will be offered access to a temporary, affordable home during their treatment thanks to a new initiative by NHS Lothian.
NHS Lothian has leased a flat near the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh which will provide a temporary base for recovering patients who are not from the region and their families, meaning they avoid costly hotel or B&B charges.
The fully-furnished, two-bedroom flat was officially opened on Thursday 14 September by Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell.
Professor Alison McCallum, NHS Lothian’s Director of Public Health and Health Policy, said:
“Recovering from an organ transplant can be an emotional and exhausting experience for patients and their families.
“Lack of an affordable place to stay shouldn’t leave patients isolated from their families, which is why we’re supporting this project.
“The flat is spacious enough for a patient and their family; it has a kitchen and living room, it really is a home away from home. It’s also very close to the Royal Infirmary which means easy access for treatment and that families can stay together at this important time”
Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said:
“The flat is such a great idea because it removes some of the strain transplant patients will be under during their treatment, especially those patients who are perhaps struggling financially. It gives patients and their relatives a comfortable home environment where they can relax and unwind after a stressful day.”
The flat has been leased to NHS Lothian under a special agreement with the City of Edinburgh Council. Locally-based firms including Cala Homes have generously donated furniture and furnishings. Patients and their families will be offered the flat for a nominal fee which enables NHS Lothian to pay for bills and repairs.
Philip Hogg, Sales and Marketing Director at CALA Homes (East) said:
“We are thrilled to have been involved in helping fully renovate the donor flat for NHS Lothian. This project helps people in their time of need. For a family going through something like an organ donation, to have to try and find short term accommodation at a time like this could be very difficult, adding undue stress.”
Notes to editors:
·         To join the NHS Organ Donor Register, visit organdonationscotland.org
·         In Scotland, around 580 people are currently waiting on a transplant
·         9 out of 10 people in Scotland support organ donation yet less than 5 in 10 have joined the ODR
·         4350 people in Scotland are alive thanks to organ donation. Joining the NHS Organ Donor Register and sharing organ donation wishes remains fundamental to relatives honouring a loved one’s choices in the event of their death.