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​Donations during Coronavirus Outbreak

Page updated 6 May 2020
Generous businesses and individuals have donated dozens of goodwill gifts to NHS staff, but grateful workers at Dorset County Hospital say the greatest gift is to stay at home during the outbreak. 

To help support our staff both during and after the coronavirus outbreak, Dorset County Hospital Charity have launched an appeal. You can read more about this appeal and donate here.

We understand that for some people this may not be financially possible at the present time and that some people will want to donate goods. There are plenty of items that we need that we would be very grateful to accept.

Members of the public are being urged not to donate perishable items such as bread, sandwiches, fruit and vegetables to the hospital.

Instead the Trust is asking for certain types of gifts in bulk, such as hand creams, lips balms, exercise products and mindfulness books that would help staff with their health and wellbeing over the coming months.

Please see a checklist of what physical donations Dorset County Hospital can and can't receive below.

For anyone wishing to donate PPE or any medical equipment, please email to arrange a drop off.

For any other donations, please email

We appreciate a lot of people would like to help Dorset County Hospital. However, we will inform you if we are in need of anything specific. We ask that you please be mindful of posts circulating on social media and that if we are in need of any specific donations we will publicise this directly from our own social media accounts and on this page.

Currently we do not need any scrubs or scrub bags as we have received an overwhelming amount, but we will update you if this changes.

We have received a sufficient amount of headbands to help prevent the ears of our staff from getting sore. 

We have also had a huge response to our request for knitted hearts. These hearts are given to patients who sadly pass away on ICU. A duplicate heart is given to their families. 

Crochet/Knitted Teddies Appeal
The Emergency Department and Dementia team are calling on the public to make crochet or knitted teddies with face masks to help relieve their anxiety about seeing staff in masks. 

You can find a  crochet pattern for making teddies with masks here.

There are also two alternative knitting patterns available. One is a doctor and the other is a nurse.

Please email to let us know if you plan to crochet us frontline hero bears so we can manage numbers.

We appreciate the public's ongoing support to #TeamDCH!

Items we can accept

Food/Drink (tinned or cartons/packets)

·        Tinned meat – corned beef, cooked mince

·        Hot dogs

·        Fish – tuna, sardines, pilchards

·        Tinned fruit and vegetables

·        Rice pudding

·        Cereals

·        Pasta

·        Pasta sauce

·        Rice

·        Sugar

·        Biscuits and snack bars

·        Chocolate

·        Instant mashed potato

·        Fruit juice

·        Tea and coffee

Other Items/Toiletries

·        Soap

·        Toothpaste and toothbrushes

·        Razors and shaving foam

·        Toilet rolls

·        Washing power

·        Dishwasher tablets

·        Women's sanitary products

·        Hand sanitizer  

·        Hand cream

·        Bath products

·        Lip balm (sticks only)

Staff Wellbeing

·        Adult colour books and pencils

·        Books

·        Puzzle books

·        Stationary

·        Journals

·        Exercise products

·        Music players – radios

·        Coffee machines (with relevant pods)

Items we cannot accept

Please note that we cannot accept perishable goods such as bread, fruit and vegetables or sandwiches; food that needs to be frozen or meals from restaurants and cafés.

The Trust cannot accept and must politely decline any food and drinks:

·        Which are not commercially produced i.e. anything home-made

·        Without an ingredients list

·        Requiring refrigeration or freezing

·        With a 'use by' date (these foods have a higher safety food risk

·        Which have exceeded their 'best before' date

·        With any damage to the packaging

Please note: A products 'use by' date is about safety, and a 'best before' date is about quality. For more information on the difference, visit

We appreciate that this might be disappointing to people who just want to help and we're very grateful for their kindness.

Unfortunately we are no longer able to accommodate these generous offers in order to minimise infection risk, protect the safety of our patients and staff and prioritise resources on where they are needed most.

Thank you for all your ongoing support at this challenging time.