St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington is now more than two weeks into its More Smiles fundraising appeal to help fund the expansion of it’s Children’s Intensive Care Unit.
Staff hope to raise £2 million as part of a £10 million project to expand the unit and provide a state-of-the-art facility for children with acute, life threatening conditions. The public have raised over £545,000 since the appeal was launched in November, however the hospital still needs more support and awareness to raise the remaining amount during this very difficult time of year for the NHS.
COSMIC, the Imperial College Healthcare Charity and parents’ charity, is leading the appeal to raise at least £2 million for this more than worthy cause. The remainder of the costs are to be funded by the Trust and Imperial College Healthcare Charity.
Around 400 young patients are cared for in the Children’s Intensive Care Unit at St Mary’s every year, however, due to space restrictions and lack of beds, staff are forced to turn away hundreds of children who have travelled across the country. In 2014, the unit turned away 233 children because it is in serious need of expansion. As another winter sets in, all NHS hospitals will be stretched to the limit to provide essential care to patients in 2015, particularly the young and the old.
The extended unit will include 15 beds – almost doubling its current number – new equipment, and a parents’ room and private room for doctors and nurses to lend emotional support whenever necessary. Once these developments have been in place, more than 200 extra children can be cared for each year.
Dr Simon Nadel, Children’s Intensive Care Unit consultant and clinical lead, said: “We are excited at the prospect of being able to give our exceptional care to even more children. We will be able to save more lives and give better care to more critically ill children and their families. However, we cannot do this without support.”
Providing a crucial lifeline
As a local business in Paddington, the Astons London staff have been busy promoting the appeal for this lifeline for critically ill children and their families from across the UK.
The children's intensive care unit (PICU) was established in 1992 by Dr Parviz Habibi. From its early beginnings with just one nurse, one consultant and one bed, the unit has helped more than 7,000 young patients, from newborns to 18-year-olds. The staff at the unit are well respected in the local community and further afield for their live-saving work.
The passionate team at the PICU has developed new treatments for critical conditions such as meningitis and septicaemia and a ‘mobile intensive care’ service which has become a national standard for transferring critically ill children between different hospitals to receive further care.
Its aged equipment and facilities are now in urgent need of renewal and demand is outstripping supply. Money raised from the appeal will go on to establish an updated facility which will provide exceptional care for thousands of children over the next 20 years.
We hope that this blog and other promotion efforts around London will increase awareness of the appeal and this brilliant hospital. Please give what you can!
Please click here to find out how you can get involved with the appeal.