Working in partnership with local hospitals, respite centres and specialist services, we’re funding projects which focus on improving children’s physical and emotional well-being, while providing additional support services for parents and carers.
Here you can find out a little bit more about some of the projects in Sussex that we’re currently funding…
Diabetes transmitters for the Alex
The Children and Young Person’s Diabetes Team at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton cares for and supports over 200 patients with type 1 diabetes in the surrounding areas. Two years ago, we funded five Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems for the diabetes team that are loaned out to parents of children who are struggling to manage their blood glucose levels.
The devices have proved successful in encouraging and promoting better control of a child’s diabetes and provide support in times of stress. In order for the glucose monitoring systems to continue to function, we are funding the replacement of transmitters for the systems (which have a 12-18 months battery life) as well as plugs and chargers.
Drove Road activities programme
Drove Road is a respite and residential service located in Portslade. The centre cares for young people aged 8-18 years old with autism, learning disabilities and challenging behaviour. Through the services provided by Drove Road, young people are encouraged to explore social and leisure opportunities and build upon independent living skills.
We’re funding an activities programme for young people, to help promote their involvement in the local community and build positive relationships within their peer group and members of the public. The project will encourage young people at Drove Road to enjoy new experiences, create new friendships and support both their physical well-being and mental health by participating in activities they wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to access.
Neonatal HSV research project
We’re funding a research project looking at the impact of the Herpes Simplex Virus disease (HSV) in infants younger than 90 days of age. Led by Dr Katy Fidler, Consultant Paediatrician in Infectious Diseases at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton, doctors are keen to further research the devastating disease which has a high mortality rate in neonatals.
HSV causes many different types of infections and illnesses and is very common in adults and children, when it can often cause a cold sore. However, neonatal HSV makes a newborn baby very sick. It is a rare but devastating disease and many babies affected can die or will suffer from long-term neurological problems.
The study we’re funding will provide key information about the number of cases in the UK, determine which babies are most at risk and how the risks can be reduced. Their research will also look at how current treatments can be improved to achieve better outcomes for babies who have contracted the disease through their mother during pregnancy or at the time the baby is born.
TMBU heartbeat research project
At the time of delivery of a baby, midwives and neonatal staff listen to a baby’s heart to monitor its heart rate to ensure the baby adapts well to a life outside the womb. Listening and detecting a newborn’s heart beat can be difficult, especially if the heart rate is low and the baby is poorly and needs breathing support.
At present, a technique called pulse oximetry is used to detect a baby’s heart rate and oxygen saturation in the blood. The device uses a light sensor which is wrapped around a baby’s hand or foot and can take around a minute to pick up a good signal if the heart rate is normal – although this can be difficult to obtain if the heart rate is very low.
Together with Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUH), we are funding a research project enabling consultants at the Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU) to test an innovative heart rate monitoring device that will assist midwives and neonatal staff to measure the heart rate during the baby’s first minute of life. The device is based upon Electric Potential Sensing (EPS) technology which will provide a non-invasive, reliable and quick to administer solution to measure the heart rate of a baby.
Toys and activities for Bluefin Ward
Bluefin Ward in Worthing Hospital is dedicated to the care of the hospital’s babies, children and young people. We’re supporting Bluefin’s play team by providing funding for toys, games and activities to benefit young patients admitted to the ward. Their play and teenage rooms provide a much-needed distraction to patients and siblings as well as providing a nice environment for families to interact and relax in, away from the main ward and hospital beds.
The funding will enable play team staff to provide toys, craft materials, activity and reading books, DVD’s, iTunes vouchers and many more items to help distract young patients spending time in Bluefin. Providing items like this helps to create a more positive experience for the hospital’s younger patients and can also help them recover quicker.
Ventilators for the Alex
Earlier this year, we launched an appeal to provide additional ventilation equipment for the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton. We’re aiming to fund at least four more ventilators for the High Dependency Unit (HDU) at the Alex to help treat the hospital’s most poorly patients.
The ventilators are used to treat over 130 children and babies each year – most of these patients being under three years of age and facing a prolonged stay in hospital. In addition to this, disabled children often require respiratory support during their multiple admissions, and several long-term patients require constant ventilation on the ward, so the additional ventilators are needed as soon as possible.