Sewers get busy to help patients | Latest news

Sewers get busy to help patients

A group of sewing enthusiasts has put its crafty skills to use to make much needed items for hospital patients.

The seventeen ladies got together at Pinderfields Hospital to make attractive, messenger style bags to carry syringe drivers in whilst being used by patients.

A syringe driver is a small, battery-powered pump which delivers medication through a soft plastic tube, into a syringe with a needle placed just under the skin. It can help to reduce symptoms such as pain, vomiting, seizures and agitation by continuously delivering a steady flow of injected medication.

Through funds raised in the volunteer run cafes across The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, the Voluntary Services team purchased 50 syringe drivers to be used by patients and it soon became apparent there was also a need to have something for patients to carry them in.

Vikki Padgett, Voluntary Services Manager at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Carrying round a plastic box with a syringe in it isn’t the most convenient thing for patients, so when colleagues mentioned the shortage of syringe driver bags I knew what I had to do.

“I love to sew and am a member of a local craft group and I knew there would be an interest in the local community to make these bags, which help support the dignity of patients when using the devices.”

Vikki set up the event using the ideas and resources from Making for Charity, a non-profit organisation which provides project advice for people who wish to give support through the production of craft items, and she recruited people through her craft groups, social media and word of mouth.

Syringe driver bag

She received donations of fabric and thread through colleagues at the Trust and the Oh Sew Sweet shop in Mapplewell, Barnsley.

“The evening was a huge success and I was so grateful to everyone who turned up or donated the materials we needed, “ she continued, “in total we made 65 bags and had great fun in the process.”


For infection control purposes each syringe driver bag can only be used once so there is a constant requirement, which is why Vikki has organised the next sewing event to take place on Monday 7 November, from 4pm to 9pm in Trust HQ at Pinderfields. For more information, to make a donation of materials or take part please contact volunteers@midyorks.nhs.uk.

If you would like to have a go at making your own bag then you can download the instructions here  How to Make a Syringe Driver Bag.pdf [pdf] 2MB.