Having reflected and rested over Christmas and the New Year, it was pretty much back to what we love and back to what we do best – getting out there and meeting the people behind the assessments and awarding some grant money. Typically, my first set of trips covered the full length of the UK - from Southampton to Edinburgh. No rest for the righteous as they say. This is a bumper edition – enjoy the read.
Southampton Hospital Charity Visit on 9th January 2018
I visited the Southampton Hospital Charity to assess a grant application towards a play area in the new Children’s Emergency and Trauma Department.
Southampton Hospital Charity aims to enhance and support facilities provided at Southampton General Hospital and Princess Anne Hospital by the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS). UHS provides services to some 1.9 million people living in Southampton and South Hampshire plus specialist services including
neurosciences, cardiac services and children’s intensive care to more than 3.7 million people in central southern England and the Channel Islands. Providing these services costs £1.6 million per day.
Southampton Hospital Charity helps to enhance the care and treatment of patients, working with its partners to raise funds and provide financial support to areas of the hospital service that lie beyond the scope of NHS funding. The funds raised by the Charity are held and accounted for independently from the Trust’s NHS funds and are spent exclusively for charitable purposes to improve the health and wellbeing of the NHS patients of the Trust’s hospitals. The Charity uses grants to fund the Trust, these grants supplement and augment, but do not replace the Trust’s own NHS spending.
I met Richard Corden, Director and Karen Edgington, Trusts Fundraising Manager. Karen gave me a tour of the current Children’s Emergency and Trauma Department, which was extremely small and cramped. This meant there was very little privacy for patients who ranged in age from newborn babies to 17 year olds. Worse still was that all the main facilities used by the department were shared with adult patients.
Karen then took me to see the recently built shell of the new building. She explained that the new Children’s Emergency and Trauma Department would be finished by the end of 2018. The building gives the Department all its own facilities, increasing its size by some 400%.
Richard explained that another foundation has agreed to give £35,000 to fit out the play area, if the Southampton Hospital Charity raises £10,000 from HSF. The Government has also agreed to match any funding received, so our initial £10,000 would be the catalyst for another £80,000, which would be enough funding to complete the play area.
Headway Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Visit on 9th January 2018
Staying in the south, my visit Headway Portsmouth and South East Hampshire was to assess a grant application towards a Medical Liaison, early intervention Programme.
Headway Portsmouth and South East Hampshire assists adults who have suffered a brain injury by providing personalised advice, information and practical support to assist rehabilitation, and maximise recovery and independence.
Although, affiliated to the national charity, Headway Portsmouth and South East Hampshire is a separate and independent charity not funded by Headway UK. Headway Portsmouth and South East Hampshire rely entirely on their own funded contracts, grants and income generated through donations, fundraising and the trading from four charity shops.
Headway Portsmouth and South East Hampshire support those affected by brain injury to understand, adapt and accept the changes brain injury brings to their lives, enabling them to achieve maximum independence within their own community. This community-based intervention and prevention work in cognitive and social rehabilitation can significantly impact the level of recovery by improving self-esteem and confidence whilst maximising potential for long-term independence, enabling people with brain injury to break the circle of support and move on with their lives.
I met Joy Ward, Funding Manager, who explained that their Early Intervention Programme runs twice a month and is supported until the end of the year by the Lloyds Foundation. The sessions are carried out in the main wards at Portsmouth Hospital for head injury patients, such as the Stroke Ward. The sessions are partly advice - giving and partly gentle exercise such as boccia and soft tennis. Some of the volunteers who assist in running the sessions have also suffered head injuries and are important role models for the patients.
The Programme has been a great success and the patients have provided wonderful feedback about the scheme to the Hospital Authorities. Last year 150 people with head injuries took part in the programme.
University of Edinburgh visit on 15th January 2018
John Greenwood and I visited University of Edinburgh to assess a grant application towards a research Project into Endometriosis. The Hospital Saturday Fund has made two previous grants of £10,000 to the University of Edinburgh for medical electives, but this was the first application we received from the University for research.
John and I were given a tour of the Old College and the Teviot Medical School, which is over 400 years old! We visited the museum of anatomy, which included the skeleton of the mass murderer Burke, of Burke and Hare infamy. The University of Edinburgh Medical School is part of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. It was established in 1726, during the Scottish Enlightenment, and soon attracted students from across Britain and the American colonies. It is one of the oldest medical schools in the English-speaking world and is widely regarded as one of the best medical schools in the UK.
The Chancellor’s Building at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, is a very modern student training facility attached to the hospital. The facilities at the Chancellor’s Building, including some extremely hi-tech equipment, is very focussed on simulation of patients and their treatment.
Anne Rowling, born in 1945, was the mother of the author J.K. Rowling, famous for her Harry Potter books. Anne died in 1990 from complications related to multiple sclerosis. In 2010, when J.K. Rowling reached the age at which her mother died, she donated £10 million to the University of Edinburgh to found a clinic in her mother’s name.
The Clinic aims to improve patients' lives through research: translating laboratory findings into clinical trials and ultimately, new therapies. The Clinic provides out-patient care for people with neurological conditions who have been referred by their GP or neurologist. All clinical activity is undertaken in partnership with the NHS. Importantly, patients of the Anne Rowling Clinic have first-hand access to research projects and clinical trials, should they wish to participate. Behind the patient–clinician interface, laboratory-based and clinical research underpins the activities of the Anne Rowling Clinic. The research targets the discovery of treatments that will slow progression of neurodegenerative diseases. The ultimate goal is to repair the damage—so-called Regenerative Neurology.
U-Evolve visit on 16th January 2018
John Greenwood, The Hospital Saturday Fund Chairman and I visited U-Evolve, at Feltor Youth Club in Edinburgh to assess a grant application towards mental health counselling for young people in the most socially deprived area of Edinburgh.
The Charity was founded in 2015, to support children with complex needs who live in North East Edinburgh, one of the most deprived areas of Scotland. U-Evolve supports children who feel vulnerable, lack confidence or present with behavioural problems, to develop a strong sense of self-worth, confidence and resilience. It teaches them strategies to move away from defensive behaviours towards, learning how to be in the world in order to reach their potential. The Charity works with Spartans, the local football, and schools to encourage children to attend counselling sessions at the Feltor Youth Club.
U-Evolve delivers therapeutic coaching and personal skills development. Many children experience life changing events or have chaotic lives and the Charity enables the children to evolve and become resilient, secure and confident. This develops positive mental and emotional health and the ability to remain in education, and to then move on to gain an apprenticeship, job or further their education.
We met Eilidh Macdonald-Harte, Chairman and a certified Neuro Linguistic Programming Trainer and life coach, and Tolga Kuyucuoglu, Project Manager, who gave us a tour of the Youth Club and the counselling rooms. The Club is the oldest youth centre in Scotland, but was rebuilt by Feltor two years ago.
The project is currently assisting 80 children and a Hospital Saturday Fund grant would mean that U-Evolve would be able to extend the project. Eilith has raised £25,000 from other Foundations, but the Charity requires an extra £7,933 to extend the project.
St Columba’s Hospice visit on 16th January 2018
From assessing to giving. This time, John Greenwood and I visited St Columba’s Hospice in Edinburgh to present a cheque for £2,000 towards a specialist palliative care bed.
St Columba’s Hospice was opened in 1977. The Hospice provides round-the-clock support and care for patients and families, creating a space in the health care system, where a dedicated team of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals can deliver specialist care. The Charity has a 30 bed inpatient unit and also provides an outpatient facility, in its day services, and in the community too.
Patients are often admitted to the Inpatient Unit when their illness has reached an advanced stage, but the Hospice staff also provide care and treatment for short periods to patients having difficulties managing their symptoms. This can include pain management and nausea control and often provides much-needed support to the patient’s family and carers. Around 40% of inpatients are able to return home once symptom control has been achieved.
We met Jon Heggie, Director of Fundraising and Barbara Brockie, Trust and Corporate Fundraiser. Jon informed me that the Hospice was trialling a new project to offer pre-bereavement counselling for children in the summer.