Fundraisers reach £1m milestone for children's emergency department

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Patients, staff and fundraisers have reached the £1 million mark in the campaign to create a new children’s emergency and trauma department at Southampton Children’s Hospital.

The £4.8 million project will see the development of a state-of-the-art eight-bed observation area, 11 glass-fronted and sound proof cubicles and on-hand x-ray facilities.

It will also include the creation of a reception, triage and waiting area for young patients, access to resuscitation facilities via a new link corridor, a nurse practitioner room and will incorporate the children’s assessment unit.

The new facility will be spread across more than 1,390m² and is expected to see more than 30,000 youngsters every year from across Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Dorset, Devon, Wiltshire, Berkshire, West Sussex, Channel Islands and Oxfordshire.

To fund the project, Southampton Hospital Charity has partnered with The Murray Parish Trust (TMPT), a charity formed by actress Sarah Parish and her actor husband James Murray in memory of their late daughter Ella-Jayne, to raise £2 million.

This will be matched by the government and a further £800,000 allocated by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. As fundraisers have hit £500,000 in donations, the government has now released its first instalment of £500,000.

To celebrate the achievement and thank supporters, the charities will lead an event in the shell of the new children’s emergency and trauma department this morning (Thursday) alongside campaign supporters including patients, clinicians and MPs.

Although there is currently a separate waiting area for children within the emergency department at Southampton General Hospital, it is located inside the adult department and was originally designed for adults with minor injuries.

At present, provision for children consists of four trolley bays, one isolation cubicle and an observation area for three patients – while the paediatric assessment unit is located four floors above.

Dr Jason Barling, a consultant in paediatric emergency medicine and clinical lead for Southampton Children’s Hospital, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the level of support for this project and the work of our hospital charity, TMPT and everyone associated with the organisations.

“This development really will transform the way children’s emergency and trauma care is delivered across the South of England and I’m pleased we get the chance to take some time out and thank everyone for their hard work so far.”

Richard Corden, director of Southampton Hospital Charity, said: “This campaign has really demonstrated people’s respect and admiration for the clinicians working in emergency and trauma care, with a great desire to ensure we can improve facilities not only for the benefit of patients but the excellent staff working in them.”

James added: "TMPT is massively encouraged by this £1 million fundraising milestone and we are forever indebted to all the donors who helped us reach this.

"With your continued support and in partnership with the fantastic Southampton Hospital Charity, we shall not stop until we've reached our fundraising goal.

"It’s crucial that we get the new children’s emergency and trauma department up and functioning as soon as possible so that the hospital can continue to save young and precious lives but in a world-class environment."

TMPT is now working on its teddy bears’ picnic event, which will see children from across the South of England and the Channel Islands invited to hold their own picnics between 5 to 11 June with a suggested £1 donation to the cause.

Meanwhile, Southampton Hospital Charity is looking to recruit a community of 100 individuals or groups – the #CEDT100Club – that can each commit to raising £10,000 for the campaign.

For more information, visit www.southamptonhospitalcharity.org/appeals or www.themurrayparishtrust.com

Posted on Thursday 20 April 2017