British wine firm comes to aid of hospice

22:59, Feb 23 2014

A big donation from a wine distributor on the other side of the world will kickstart the introduction of an electronic patient management system at Marlborough Hospice.

British company Majestic Wines has given the hospice $5000 in memory of Blenheim businessman John Marris, who was instrumental in setting up the wine industry in Marlborough and was involved in several winemaking companies with eldest son Brent.

Brent Marris gave the cheque to hospice trust chairwoman Ann Rutledge on Friday.

Mrs Rutledge said the donation would be used to start the introduction of an electronic patient management system that would benefit the entire Marlborough community.

"It is quite amazing that someone in a country so far away has given this valuable donation to this Medtech system. We're very grateful."

Clinical nurse specialist Jacqui Bowden-Tucker said the electronic patient management system was new to the hospice.


"When we have it in place, it will communicate with 90 per cent of the GPs in Marlborough province.

"Our aim for it to improve safety and speed of prescriptions for patients in our programme. The GPs will be able to look at their patients' file in the hospice. It's improving that link and communication with GPs to support the patients' care in the community. That's what we aim for."

Mrs Rutledge said the donation was a real tribute to Mr Marris, and was helped move the hospice into information technology and the modern environment. Brent Marris said he would be seeing a representative from Majestic Wines this week and would pass on thanks from the hospice.

That the donation was being used for a specific project as seed money for the betterment of the whole community worked really well with Majestic Wines' ethos and what they believed in, he said.

Mr Marris, who was the land agent that obtained the farmland Montana planted its first large-scale commercial vineyards on, died last month from cancer.

He was heavily involved in the wine industry, owning with Brent Marris Wither Hills which they sold to Lion Nathan for $52 million in 2002.

The Marlborough Express