An overwhelming tide of support for Dorset County Hospital as its hardworking staff work tirelessly against coronavirus has seen an influx in donations.

Generous businesses and individuals have donated dozens of goodwill gifts to NHS staff, but grateful workers at the hospital say the 'greatest gift' is to stay at home during the outbreak.

For those who do want to help, and due to the number of unofficial appeals circulating on social media, the hospital has clarified what is needed and what will help support staff during the pandemic.

A fundraiser from DCH's charity, backed by the Dorset Echo, has raised more than £45k so far. You can donate via the JustGiving page below.

For some people, it might not be financially possible to donate at present time, and you may want to donate goods. There are plenty of items the hospital needs and will gratefully accept.

Members of the public are urged not to donate perishable items, such as bread, sandwiches, fruit and vegetables to the hospital, but to take them to local foodbanks to avoid waste.

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.


Currently, DCH does not need any scrubs and will update the public if this changes.


However, the trust is asking members of the public to make its staff headbands to prevent their ears from getting sore. More information about this is available on its website.

Anyone wishing to make headbands should contact the hospital first via the email so staff can manage numbers.


Anyone wishing to donate PPE or any medical equipment should email to see what is needed and arrange a drop off.

A checklist of what physical donations DCH can and can't receive below.

DCH can accept:

Sealed tins, cartons or packets of: 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

The hospital cannot accept:

  • Perishable goods
  • Food that needs to be frozen
  • Meals from restaurants and cafés

The trust also says it 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.

A spokesman for DCH said: "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.

"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."

You can donate to the charity's fundraiser here.