Ventilator Appeal Launched To Support Royal Alex

Children’s charity Rockinghorse has launched an appeal in support of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton, of which they are the official fundraising arm.

TA young patient being treated at the Royal Alexandra Children's Hospitalhe charity is raising funds to provide the Alex with a number of ventilators for the High Dependency Unit (HDU) where the hospital’s most poorly children are cared for. The cutting-edge equipment is the most advanced non-invasive ventilation available, with hospital staff reporting that it has an extremely positive impact on critical care for young patients.

In 2014, Rockinghorse funded six new ventilators for HDU at the Alex as part of its ‘Sabrina’s Wish’ campaign. The campaign was led by parent Martin Blencowe following the successful treatment of his daughter Sabrina using the ventilation system, when she fell ill with viral bronchiolitis at just four months old.

The unfortunate reality is that the number of children needing intensive care is increasing. With NHS budgets already stretched, upgrading and purchasing new equipment is simply not possible through government funding. Rockinghorse aims to fund more ventilators for HDU to ensure every child who needs non-invasive ventilation will receive the appropriate treatment without delay.

Ryan Heal, Chief Executive of Rockinghorse, says: “Through our summer appeal, we are committing to providing the additional ventilators as soon as possible. By doing so, we can ensure all critically ill children who need this type of treatment will receive it immediately.”

The ventilators are used to treat over 130 children and babies a year, and most of these patients are under three years of age and facing a prolonged hospital stay. In addition, disabled children often need respiratory support upon admission to the Alex, with some requiring constant ventilation whilst on the ward.

Successful treatment using the non-invasive ventilation systems, led to HDU Consultant Paediatrician Dr Kamal Patel, being shortlisted for two high-profile awards from the Health Service Journal in 2016.

Dr Patel comments, “Through the Sabrina’s Wish campaign, Rockinghorse helped us at a critical stage to develop and deliver world class care to children in our High Dependency Unit.”

The charity has pledged to continue to support HDU consultants in their aim to ensure every child who requires non-invasive ventilation will receive the appropriate treatment without delay.

To make a donation to the ventilator appeal, visit www.rockinghorse.org.uk.