Families, fundraisers, hospital staff and charity staff joined together today (12 March) to celebrate the official re-opening of refurbished family accommodation at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, as part of its Big Appeal.
Run by Nottingham Hospitals Charity, this first phase of the Big Appeal raised £500,000 within a year, to refurbish the 22 family rooms and kitchen and bathroom facilities that allow parents and families to stay close to their sick children during their time in hospital.
Barbara Cathcart, Chief Executive of Nottingham Hospitals Charity, said: “We are delighted to be opening these new parent and family rooms today, thanks to the generous support of our donors and fundraisers. These rooms will make a huge difference to families who are going through an extremely difficult time, giving them somewhere safe and homely to stay near their sick child.”
Barbara was joined in the official ribbon cutting by Tracy Taylor, Chief Executive of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.
Making a difference to families across the region
One of the parents for whom the accommodation is crucial is Andrea Gregorich, from Grantham, whose nine-month-old daughter Ella-Grace Gregorich has been an inpatient at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, which is based at the Queen’s Medical Centre, since November 2018.
Andrea said “Having these rooms and me being able to be here so much makes such a huge difference. It means I am able to be here 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to look after Ella-Grace. I would simply not be able to afford to travel back and forth to Grantham every day.”
Ella-Grace has a genetic chromosomal condition called DiGeorge syndrome, which can cause heart problems, learning difficulties and a variety of other symptoms.
“Compared to other babies with DiGeorge syndrome Ella is developing fantastically,” explains Andrea. “She has a tracheostomy tube but she is able to eat, sit up by herself and is starting to try and communicate, which many babies with DiGeorge syndrome are unable to do.
“She is a determined little girl but I also put her progress down to the fact that, because of the overnight parent rooms, I am able to be here at the hospital with her, day and night. I believe that me being here to interact with her, feed her and encourage her has made a huge difference to her development, and I do credit part of that to these rooms that I’m able to stay in.”
About Nottingham Children's HospitalNottingham Children’s Hospital is a regionally acclaimed centre for paediatric care, treating around 60,000 children each year. It is a specialist centre for the treatment of children and young people in Nottingham as well as critically ill children with cancer, kidney, brain and respiratory conditions from across the region and beyond. The Big Appeal’s impact will be felt across the East Midlands with families from Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire lending their support.
Following the successful completion of fundraising for the family accommodation refurbishment, Nottingham Hospitals Charity launched the next Big Appeal phase in spring 2018 to raise funds for a new paediatric iMRI scanner, to transform the care given to young brain tumour patients.