Not all gifts are welcome everywhere.

It has long been the tradition, that if a relative or friend gets poorly and has to stay in hospital you might send a fab bunch of flowers or one of those superb fruit baskets to cheer them up.  After all, most hospital wards could do with a splash of colour and fruit is meant to be a lovely, but healthy, treat! But you might be surprised to learn that many hospitals are banning such gifts. The risk of spreading germs, especially on wards where patients are particularly vulnerable to infection, aggravating allergies or creating more work for nurses and hospital staff are among the reasons given.

Owner of Not Another Bunch of Flowers, Anikka, says of her own personal experience: “I received beautiful bouquets of flowers when I was sick in hospital only for the nurse to wave them from a distance and take them off the ward so these thoughtful and well-meaning gifts from friends never reached me. It felt like such a waste and I was left feeling anxious that I couldn’t thank them for their heartfelt gift.”

Flowers and baskets of fruit can also take up precious space around the patient. When undergoing treatment there is a lot of equipment around the bed, and if people are in for a while they have all their own bits & pieces too – everything in an already limited space. And having to ask visitors to take large items home each time they visit can also be a pain.

So whilst on the surface you might feel like it’s the “Health & Safety police” being too bureaucratic again, often it really is in the best interest of the patient, especially people being treated for cancer who have weakened immune systems.

But all is not lost, there are still some wonderful gifts that you can send to people in hospital!

Here’s our handy guide to the great alternatives you could send instead and why your friend/relative will love them:

Often it is difficult to rest and sleep in hospital. Having other people around, noise from
patients or noise from machines on the ward, can make it very difficult to relax. Our Defiant Beauty Pillow Spray & choice of pretty Eye Mask and Ear Plug sets are ideal gifts to create a more relaxed atmosphere and get that much needed rest to recuperate.

Being in a scratchy, dull hospital gown just makes you feel somewhat depersonalised, uncomfortable, clinical and, let’s face it, rather exposed. A feminine, soft alternative can work wonders in making you feel you again. We would suggest our best-selling 100% Cotton Vintage Rose Pyjamas or a lightweight Kimono for a gift that they use immediately. There's nothing like climbing into a fresh pair of PJs when you're stuck in bed day after day.

Vintage Rose Cotton Pyjamas

Inevitably spending time in hospital means spending lots of time in bed. Being comfortable is essential.  A practical and helpful gift such a V-Shaped Cushion or Coz-E-Reader can be used when staying in hospital and brought home afterwards for long term comfort.

Keepsakes work well. Flowers wilt and die but something to keep and treasure is a perfect gift to show you are thinking of them. Our You Are Loved Necklace can be personalised to make it even that little bit more special.

Having cold feet just makes you feel that little worse for wear. Our Mohair Bed Socks have certainly got the feel and touch of luxury. Soft, breathable and odour resistant, these bed socks are practical as well as being cosy.

Bed Socks

Boredom constantly nips at the heels of every hospital patient. Gifts that help fight boredom are really welcomed. Our Knitted Lavender Heart Kit can help pass the time and if they have a relative or close friend visiting daily why not think of something they can do together such as a Puzzle Book.

And if you’re determined to send something edible, then our Chocolate Block Messages will make the recipient smile even without being opened! They taste pretty incredible too!

Chocolate Block Messages

Please note: There is still no official ruling from the Department of Health on what can and can’t be taken onto wards by patients themselves and visitors. For the time being each Trust, hospital and/or ward have their own policies on flowers and fruit gifts so if in any doubt before visiting or sending a gift, it is good idea to phone ahead.