Alder Hey in the Park is a remarkable new hospital, but without charitable donations, many of the outstanding facilities and innovations to help patients and families would not have been provided.
Since October 2013, your support has helped Alder Hey Children’s Charity raise over £22m for a wide range of life-saving medical equipment, arts and play activities and vital research.
15 ways your support is making a difference to families at Alder Hey
Whilst NHS funding covers the day to day costs of the hospital, charity donations are needed to fund enhancements like these, which make a huge difference to patients and families every day:
1. Vital research
Alongside efforts to raise money for the new hospital, Alder Hey Children’s Charity is still raising funds for the new Institute in the Park.
The first phase of this dedicated research, innovation and education centre at Alder Hey opened in 2015, providing state of the art facilities for around 100 education, research and clinical staff.
Matalan has pledged £1.5m towards the facility and has already raised over £1.3m following the highly successful Alphabet Scarves and Beanie vs Bobble projects.
2. Food on demand service
£170,000 was raised towards Alder Hey‘s dedicated ‘food on demand’ service, supporting ward chefs who prepare fresh and nutritious evening meals for patients as and when they want them.
One patient to benefit is Dylan on the hospital’s cardiac ward, who underwent open heart surgery before being placed on a special diet as part of his recovery. Mum Tara says: “Having a chef on the ward means children like my son are getting fresh food and their needs are being looked after as an individual. Now the children can see and chat to who is cooking their food it helps makes a difference to what they want to eat which is all part of their recovery.”
3. Next generation X-rays with an EOS machine
£375,000 helped fund an EOS machine at Alder Hey - the first of its kind for children in the UK.
This 2D digital X-ray system is used for the diagnosis and treatment of orthopaedic patients. Combined with special technology it can produce a 3D image of a patient's bones which can then be printed using Alder Hey's 3D printing capability.
Patients can sit or stand and a complete head to toe image can usually be acquired in 25 seconds or less. The machine provides a number of other benefits including an 80% reduction in x-ray exposure, reduced waiting times, improved image quality for accurate assessment and surgical planning, along with collaborative research possibilities.
4. Operating theatre technology
Alder Hey performs over 18,000 operations every year. £600,000 was raised for innovative technology for the theatres in the new hospital. This includes enhancements that will allow surgeons and anaesthetists to have complete control over the theatre environment, while also improving patient experience.
Simon Kenny, Clinical Director at Alder Hey said: “Alder Hey is the first children’s hospital in the UK to have fully integrated operating theatres. The ability to instantly videoconference with colleagues anywhere in the world and show them high definition images to gain advice represents a step change in how surgeons work. I believe this will be a major advance in patient safety.
“Full theatre integration means that we will be able to easily store high definition images and videos for each child that we treat. This will help us to manage and understand their condition and also represents an unparalleled opportunity for us to teach and inform. Video feedback from cases will enable the surgical team to learn and function more effectively as a world class team."
5. Neonatal virtual visiting
When a new born baby requires surgery, the vital bond created between mother and her child in the first few weeks can be disrupted. A £100,000 donation from the 23 Foundation has funded a unique virtual monitoring system for new parents and their children.
Iain Hennessey, Paediatric Surgeon and Director of Innovation explains: “Parents are able to visit and interact with their baby using a tablet linked directly into the Neonatal Unit of the new hospital. High definition audio, along with the ability to speak to clinicians means they have ultimate reassurance and can check on their child any time in the same way they would at home.”
6. CARTO in cardiac
£150,000 was raised for CARTO, an arrhythmia (when the heart doesn't beat in a normal rhythm) mapping system which uses technology to map the flow of electrical activity through the heart. This produces a coloured image on a computer screen which can be used to position a catheter without the use of X-rays.
7. Personalised bedrooms
£125,000 has helped fund personalised bedrooms in wards across the hospital. This includes ensuring each bedroom has a special parent bed for mum or dad to stay overnight next to their child, specially designed curtains and mood lighting.
8. Radiology enhancements
A £100,000 patient distraction system for the Radiology Department has been funded by the 23 Foundation and will benefit over 1,000 patients every year.
Digital enhancements throughout the department, including projections and screens, will engage patients and reduce their anxiety before and during procedures. The system has been designed to entertain, educate, reassure and distract patients while they are waiting and then undergoing clinical imagery.
Hilary Stowbridge, Radiology Service Manager said: “Accurate clinical imaging is vital in diagnosing and treating many different decisions and conditions. Unfortunately young children have a tendency to move around during scans, which can lead to unclear imagery. Some patients are also frightened by the process which can involve large and noisy scanning equipment.
“The new system provides welcome distraction to our patients, reducing patient anxiety and boredom while helping us to capture high quality images at the first time.”
9. Digital aquarium
Charitable donations have funded a digital aquarium in Alder Hey’s Day Case Surgery waiting area to keep children entertained and distracted. One of only two in the world, this technology allows children to design their very own sea creature and watch as they swim around a digital fish tank.
Nadia, a nurse at Alder Hey said: “The fish tank is amazing and our patients all love using it. It’s nice and calming for them and also for their parents too!”
10. Specialist critical care cots
£80,000 has been raised to fund nine specialist critical care cots in the new hospital. The cots are fully integrated with diagnostic equipment, including weighing scales, X-ray plates and monitoring equipment. We are raising funds for more cots which will help Alder Hey to provide even better care to young patients in our Intensive Care, High Dependency and Cardiac units.
11. Sony TVs, tablets and Playstations
Every patient in the new hospital has an interactive television, thanks to a generous donation from Sony Europe Limited, who funded 270 interactive televisions, allowing patients to watch TV and movies in their rooms. Sony has also provided tablets and Playstations to wards across the hospital.
12. 3-T intra-operative MRI scanner and BrainLab navigation system
£1.4m was raised for a new 3-T intra-operative MRI scanner in Alder Hey in the Park. The facility in the old Alder Hey was the first of its kind in the country and enables scans to be carried out during a patients’ operation.
With the support of the Steven Gerrard Foundation, the Charity was also able to fund a £300,000 BrainLab navigation system, used in conjunction with the 3-T MRI facility. Conor Mallucci, Consultant Neurosurgeon said: “The scanner’s high resolution imaging, integrated with the Brain Lab navigation system allows us to plan and perform open surgery with greater precision. Having high precision navigation available from start to finish of an operation allows us to reduce the risk of surgery significantly, avoiding critical brain structures and enabling us to remove tumours completely.”
13. Outpatients Play Area
Thanks to the Steven Gerrard Foundation, the Charity has secured £200,000 to provide an Outpatients play area.
This area is accessible to children of all ages, appeals to all senses and helps to distract children during their stay.
The Charity has also developed a family of animal characters called the Hardleeys with whom patients (and their parents!) can interact during their visit.
14. Cardiac patient distractions
Thomas Cook Children’s Charity granted £80,000 to fund a unique projection system for cardiac patients, allowing patients to be immersed in images, light and sound to distract them during assessments and procedures.
Sharon Clark, Senior Technician said: “We were looking after a young boy who hadn’t been able to have a scan as he was extremely distressed. We found out he loved the emergency services so the team uploaded some footage of fire engines and ambulances and he was glued to the screen. He went from being very anxious to engrossed in the screens around him. This piece of technology enabled him to undergo his first scan and helped change his experience at hospital forever.”
15. Hydrotherapy pool enhancements
Charity donations have helped Alder Hey to enhance the aquatic physiotherapy environment for children with complex needs. A generous £300,000 donation from comedian John Bishop and his wife Mel has enabled our patients to work with an artist to create a themed room based on the sounds and sights of nature. The state-of-the-art suite uses directional lighting and sound to help Alder Hey physiotherapists do their work.
And that’s not all…
Alder Hey Children’s Charity has also secured…
- £10m towards rebuilding the Oncology Unit at the new Alder Hey
- £700,000 for patient monitoring equipment
- £150,000 for internal play areas on wards
- £110,000 for enhancement of patient bedrooms on the Long Term Ventilation ward
- £35,000 for enhancements to waiting areas in the Emergency Department
- £26,500 for play deck equipment
- £20,000 for enhancements to oncology bedrooms
- £18,000 for enhancements to the Rainbow Centre
- £17,500 for a dedicated bereavement garden in Alder Hey in the Park