The Alex benefits from funding for Veinsite equipment

Stephen Twining (Twinings), Claire Anderson (Royal Warrant Holders Association), Ryan Heal (Rockinghorse) and Amy Farmer (the Alex).

The Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton has welcomed the addition of a new Veinsite monitor for the High Dependency Unit (HDU).

Rockinghorse were able to purchase the equipment having been awarded a £2,000 grant from the Royal Warrant Holders Association Charity Fund.

The opportunity to receive the funds was made possible thanks to parent and Rockinghorse supporter, Johanna Zakliewicz. Johanna, who spoke at our charity Ball last year, works for Twinings. She and her husband Anton, experienced the work of our charity first-hand, following the birth of their daughter Aya Willow in 2017. Find out more about her story by clicking here.

Anton and Johanna Zakliewicz with their daughter Aya Willow.

As Royal Warrant holders themselves, she was able to promote the work of our charity to benefit from the £2,000 grant available to local charities, with which employees of Royal Warrant holding companies are personally involved in.

Rockinghorse CEO, Ryan Heal, was joined by Claire Anderson, Charity Fund Manager of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, and Stephen Twining of Twinings for a tour of the Alex. Visiting the Children’s Emergency Department, they were told about how the Veinsite is having a huge impact in the treatment of babies and children who are admitted to the hospital.

What is a Veinsite?

The Veinsite is a specialist piece of equipment that is enabling staff at the Alex to carry out difficult cannulations in young patients. Access to the monitor means that there is a reduction in attempts for the cannula to be successfully inserted into a vein as it provides accurate vein visualisation. It does this by displaying high quality images of areas of the body, using infrared light.

The device is worn on the head across the eyes, making it a portable and hands-free device. Clinicians can pinpoint optimal areas on the body for vein access, resulting in less stress and discomfort for young patients, and providing a better hospital experience all round.

Stephen Twining, Claire Anderson, Ryan Heal and Amy Farmer with Charlie Rumary (centre) from the Alex and the Veinsite equipment.

How does it work?

Dr Catherine Bevan, Clinical Director of Children’s Services at the Alex, explains how the Veinsite equipment is having an impact on HDU, she says:

“The new Veinsite is amazing. The equipment is enabling staff working on HDU to find veins in patients which would previously have been incredibly difficult to access. Not only are we able to do this in a virtually pain-free way, but also usually on the first try. This leads to much less anxiety from the child, and results in quicker treatment.

“There is also an unforeseen additional benefit of the Veinsite, which is that it is quite ‘sci-fi’ in both appearance and function. The patients seem to really like this futuristic element, and it is a good distraction. The large visor that we wear is like something from Star Trek and we encourage the children to try it on for themselves so they can see their veins and feel involved. This approach is enormously helpful with compliance, leading to lower anxiety about the whole procedure.”

The Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton.

Thanks to RWHA and Twinings!

As the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Rockinghorse raise money for life-saving and cutting-edge medical equipment as well as providing funding for extra therapies and services to support young patients, parents and carers. We are extremely grateful to have been awarded £2,000 by the Royal Warrant Holders Association thanks to support from Twinings.

To find out more about our projects for sick and disadvantaged children in Sussex, please click here.

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