An update from Ivan Hollingsworth, Chair of the Board of Trustees regarding the Coronavirus outbreak.
Over the years we’ve encountered challenges large and small – but together we’ve achieved so much. As we face one of our biggest challenges yet with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, your support is needed more than ever.
The impact of the pandemic is affecting us all, but for children with heart conditions it is an especially worrying time. Many Heart families have contacted CHUF with concerns about their risk of infection or access to services and care. We want to reassure you that CHUF continues to support babies and children with heart problems and will do everything we can to provide the support they, their families and our amazing NHS colleagues need to get through this.
The need for social distancing is having an impact on the services that CHUF funds, but we are determined that together, we’ll find new ways of working to bring smiles to Heart Heroes in the darkest times.
The care being delivered at the unit has had to change; non-essential visits cancelled, nurses wearing more protective kit which can be frightening for children and families are restricted to only one parent or carer. Communal areas are now closed, this includes the playroom which is the ward’s most beloved break-out space for children, where they can enjoy activities with their siblings and loved ones. ‘Make Me Sparkle’ and ‘Clown Doctor’ visits have also had to be suspended until further notice. All of this change is causing uncertainty among parents and our Heart Heroes, but CHUF will do everything we can to make sure Heart Heroes and their families feel reassured, updated, and most importantly safe.
Your support has helped CHUF respond to the pandemic, here’s how:
The communal kitchen space in Scott House cannot be used due to current government guidelines around Covid-19. A £3,000 emergency float has been provided to feed families at this time. We don’t know how long this will last.
CHUF has funded hotel stays and transport for ‘at risk’ families that cannot stay in Scott House, so they can still be there for their hospitalised Heart Heroes: £3,000.
Games and new toys have been purchased for HDU as parents and children on our high dependency unit are being quarantined for their own safety, so new sterilized toys, gadgets and games have been delivered to help pass the time: £600.
Hand creams for staff on Ward 23, PICU and Clinic E: £100
The Fontan Nurse Specialist role continues to provide ongoing help to vulnerable patients: £50,000 (annually)
CHUF is funding a Complex Discharge Nurse. This vital new role will help to relieve pressure on the liaison team. This is urgently needed as all discharges are becoming complex because of Covid-19: £50,000 (annually)
CHUF-funded Psychology support services are continuing virtually, an essential for patients who are self-isolating: £20,000 (annually)
The CHUF-funded Clown Doctor programme is continuing to provide one to one support for Heart Heroes and their families on the ward at this difficult time. We have invested in additional technology to enable video messages and real time interaction with children on the unit: £2,000
A new ‘Beyond the Walls’ pilot with our friends the Clown Doctors is coming! We’re working on ways to reduce the isolation families are facing both on the Heart Unit and at home: £10,000 (annually)
We are looking to fund a new online application which allows staff on The Children’s Heart Unit to send individual, photographic and video updates to parents, carers and families of children on the unit. Staff are able to add messages and updates to the photos, allowing family members and friends who are away from the unit to be involved in a child’s journey: £4,400
For all of your past amazing support and donations, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts; you really are helping some of the most vulnerable in society. CHUF is the only thing bringing joy to children in hospital during these dark times and we couldn’t do this without you!
Can you help CHUF continue our work at this time?
CHUF are very aware that some of our valued supporters may be facing financially difficult times yourselves, but for those of you that are able to, would you consider a special one-off gift? DONATE HERE
Better yet, sign up as a regular giver and bring smiles all year round SIGN UP HERE
If you are not able to help financially at this time, sharing our message is a huge help too.
Thank you for your continued support of CHUF, we couldn’t do what we do without you.
Chair of the Board of Trustees
Children's Heart Unit Fund - CHUF
Nelson House, Fleming Business Centre,
Burdon Terrace, Jesmond. NE2 3AE.
CHUF is a registered charity in England and Wales No 1160831 © 2020.