More than £93,000 raised by COVID appeal!

Launched in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, our emergency COVID-19 appeal has raised more than £93,000 to support Sheffield Children’s during this unprecedented time.

Supporters of the Charity including businesses, patrons and individuals have come together to raise the money, which has funded vital equipment and resources requested by the Trust.

We have been able to support Sheffield Children’s by:

  • Providing a video laryngoscope to help the Intensive Care Unit.
  • Equipment for patients to monitor their conditions at home.
  • Craft and play activities.
  • Supporting staff wellbeing
  • Supporting additional staff learning.

A video laryngoscope, costing £22,000, was funded to enable the team on the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to quickly establish airways in patients with difficult conditions. The new device enables staff to review the process on a monitor, ensuring accuracy and safety.

Equipment was also provided for patients to allow them to monitor their conditions from home, with the support of staff. Among these were weighting scales for patients with Cystic Fibrosis, allowing patients advised to be shielding from making trips to clinics if they could avoid it, to then be monitored remotely.

Books have also been funded for diabetes patients, allowing families to monitor and manage the condition at home as well as a laptop, which can be accessed in a safe, clean location to minimise unnecessary face-to-face contact.

Lung function tests known as Spirometers have also been funded to allow patients under the care of the Respiratory Team at Sheffield Children’s to continue to be assessed. Normally performed at every clinic, this test forms an integral part of patient assessment, showing whether the airways have narrowed, and which treatment path may be best for the child.

Jane Kirkby, Highly Specialist Respiratory Physiologist at Sheffield Children’s, explained: “Since lockdown began, we have been unable to perform any lung function tests in our usual way as it is a high-risk procedure. While we can manage many patients by talking them through their symptoms, we were very concerned about our more complex asthma patients.

“The funding from The Children’s Hospital Charity has enabled us to purchase some portable devices, which we have posted to the children and we have then conducted the tests as part of their video consultation.

“Uncontrolled asthma is a very serious condition and sadly can be fatal. The information has been invaluable as we now know if we need to increase treatment and whether it is working for them appropriately. In some circumstances, they have even told us when a hospital admission is required.

“The home monitoring of lung function provided by The Children’s Hospital Charity has been vital to keep a close check on our most complex children. It has given the children and the families a way of having some control over the health and enabled us to treat objectively. On behalf of the Respiratory Team and our patients, we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated.”

Craft and play activities can now only be given to and used by one patient during the pandemic so the Charity have funded a treasure trove of play equipment and resources to ensure no child misses out.

Staff wellbeing areas have also been created across Sheffield Children’s. These spaces are intended to be free of COVID-19 conversation and are filled with charity-funded mindfulness colouring books, pens and crayons alongside tea and coffee to allow staff to recharge and refresh.

Additional training has also been funded for staff, with up to 65 remote sessions from the Frontline Leadership Service for those who have been seconded to the new Nightingale Hospital at Harrogate.

Sally Shearer, Executive Director of Nursing and Quality at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust said: “I am delighted that registered nurses with differing amounts of experience and working in multiple specialities across the Trust have been able to benefit from the leadership sessions provided by the Florence Nightingale Foundation.

“The three-hour sessions reflect how important it is to have leaders at all levels of the service, particularly during these challenging times. The funding from The Children’s Hospital Charity has allowed nurses to join online action learning sets and develop their skills.

“Many nurses have approached me to report how inspired, motivated and reenergised they have felt following their involvement.”