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Patients on cloud nine with new sleep care packs

Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora Nelson Marlborough staff can now provide overnight patients in adult wards at Nelson and Wairau Hospitals with free sleep care packs to help them nod off.
Thanks to a donation from The Care Foundation, patients are offered eye masks and ear plugs to block out the busy atmosphere and aid recovery.
Kate Giblin left Registered Nurse stands next to Jodie Winwood Associate Charge Nurse Manager Health NZ Nelson Marlborough. Both hold sleep care packs

Kate Giblin, Registered Nurse (left), stands next to Jodie Winwood, Associate Charge Nurse Manager. Both hold the sleep care packs now offered to patients.

The idea of sleep packs in hospitals stemmed from research carried out by Dr Edward Palmer, previously General Medicine Registrar of Nelson Hospital in 2021, who sought to determine if eye masks and ear plugs, donated by Air New Zealand, would help patients sleep better in busy and bright wards.

His findings revealed that with the use of these sleep care items, patients’ sleep scores improved by 100%, as did their overall inpatient experience.


Dr Edward Palmer said:

“A lack of sleep is not merely an inconvenience; it has severe health implications. In the hospital setting, it can lead to falls, delirium, poor recovery from surgery, infections, and poor retention of information given by staff to patients.

“It is my dream that hospital patients get the sleep they need.”


Thanks to The Care Foundation, Dr Palmer’s dreams became a reality as the first bundles of sleep care packs were recently delivered to wards and are now aiding recovery.

Kate Giblin, Registered Nurse at Nelson Hospital has been an enthusiastic supporter of sleep packs since they were trialed in the Medical Admissions Planning Unit. 

“Hospital stays are often sudden and unexpected, it’s so important to consider patients’ needs and give them something to increase their comfort. To see the relief on their faces when we offer some respite is fantastic, especially as it’s such a simple solution.

The better rest, the better recovery. Reducing risks is a huge part of working in medicine. When patients stay longer in hospital, they become at risk of things that can negatively impact their health. Sleep care packs are just one more fantastic tool in our kete to reduce the risks that come with being in hospital", she said.

The Care Foundation depends on the generosity of our community. To support initiatives like this one, please consider donating