Campaign to bring medical treatment for children with heart conditions closer to home

Close up image of a little girl with a heart condition

To stop seriously ill children with heart conditions having to travel to London for treatment, £60,000 is needed to buy specialist equipment for the East and North Herts NHS Trust - Credit: East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals' Charity

To stop seriously ill children with heart conditions in our area having to travel to London for treatment, a fundraising campaign called Helping Little Heartbeats has been launched to raise the £60,000 needed to buy specialist equipment for the paediatric unit at Stevenage's Lister Hospital.

A spokesman for the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals' Charity, which supports Lister,  said: "It is incredibly stressful for parents to be told their child might have a heart condition. To add to that worry, at the moment they have to travel to London for treatment, which is even more difficult during the current pandemic.

"We want to buy three pieces of equipment to give the best care and treatment to our poorly children locally - by specialist paediatric staff who are able to reassure and comfort children - and help them avoid having to make trips to London."

The equipment needed includes a cardiovascular ultrasound to provide detailed examinations, and oxygen saturation monitors which can help detect life-threatening conditions in children who appear well.

The charity's spokesman explained: "These pieces of medical kit are not funded by the NHS trust, as this type of monitoring is currently conducted by other specialist NHS trusts or within our adult cardiac ward.


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"By bringing these new pieces of equipment to our paediatric department, we will be able to create a paediatric cardiac specialist service locally to help reduce travel time for our small and vulnerable patients to go to appointments, and provide a monitoring service within our warm and friendly paediatric area, so children can be treated in an environment they feel safe in.

"The total cost is £60,000, but the value is priceless when helping little heartbeats."

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If you would like to donate £5, text HEARTBEATS to 70085. Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message. To donate £5 and not receive marketing communications, text HEARTBEATSNOINFO to 70085.

Alternatively, you can call 01438 285 182 to make a card payment, or send a cheque to East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals' Charity, Lister Hospital, Coreys Mill Lane, Stevenage, SG1 4AB.

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