St Mary's Hospital More Smiles Appeal is given royal seal of approval
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge is supporting a major fundraising appeal to expand and improve the Children's Intensive Care Unit at the hospital where her children were born.
The St Mary's Hospital More Smiles Appeal was launched on Tuesday by Imperial College Healthcare Charity and charity COSMIC. It aims to raise at least £2million to towards a £10million project to create a bigger, state-of-the-art facility. The remainder of the costs are to be funded by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial College Healthcare Charity.
The Duchess was so impressed by the care she received at the hospital in Paddington when she had daughter Charlotte in May and son George two years earlier that she is lending her support to the appeal.
The Duchess said: "The thought of your child in an intensive care unit is harrowing for any parent. The commitment to expand and transform the Children's Intensive Care Unit at St Mary's Hospital will vitally guarantee more space to treat more children and support more families.
"As someone who was so brilliantly cared for by St Mary's, I am delighted to support the Children's Intensive Care Appeal, and commend the important work of all those involved in the project.''
Every year, around 400 patients are cared for in the Children's Intensive Care Unit at St Mary's but it also turns away hundreds more critically ill children because it does not have enough beds. This means children may have to be transferred hundreds of miles for treatment. Last year, the unit had to turn away 233 children, more than half the number actually admitted.
The new unit will have 15 beds, almost doubling the current number, allowing more than 200 extra children to be cared for each year. There will also be new equipment, a dedicated parents' room and a private room allowing space for doctors and nurses to provide emotional support and care to families whose children are very seriously ill.
Earlier this week, actress and writer Fay Ripley, whose niece was treated at St Mary's Children's Intensive Care Unit, helped to launch the appeal.
The unit is a world leader in the understanding and treatment of serious infections in children including meningitis and septicaemia, as well as specialising in other life-threatening conditions such as seizures, asthma, sickle cell disease, severe injuries and helping children recover after major surgery.
Dr Simon Nadel, Children's Intensive Care Unit consultant and clinical lead, said: "Our More Smiles Appeal will enable us to upgrade our facilities and offer our exceptional care to even more patients. This unit is one of only five general children's intensive care units in London. Our campaign will save more lives and help us give even better care to more critically ill children and their families. We are most grateful for the Duchess of Cambridge's support and warm wishes."
Josephine Watterson, Director of Fundraising and Communications at Imperial College Healthcare Charity, said: "There are so many ways to support our More Smiles Appeal. Everyone can make a difference."
To find out more about the St Mary's Hospital More Smiles Appeal, visit www.moresmiles.org.uk or telephone 020 3312 6179."
Notes to editors
The expansion of the Children's Intensive Care Unit is a £10 million project supported by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Imperial College Healthcare Charity and COSMIC (Children of St Mary's Intensive Care). To find out more about the St Mary's Hospital 'More Smiles Appeal', telephone 020 3312 6179. You can stay up to date with the appeal through the appeal website www.moresmiles.org.uk or on Twitter @MoreSmilesApp
St Mary's Hospital More Smiles Appeal
The St Mary's Hospital More Smiles Appeal is a joint appeal between two charities, COSMIC (Children of St Mary's Intensive Care) and Imperial College Healthcare Charity. It is aiming to raise at least £2million to help fund the £10 million expansion of the Children's Intensive Care Unit at St Mary's Hospital, London. The Appeal's vision is of a top quality children's intensive care unit, able to care for every critically ill child who needs it.
COSMIC (Children of St Mary's Intensive Care) was founded in 1994 to support and raise money for the Children's Intensive Care Unit at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London. The charity funds vital state-of-the-art medical equipment, a ground breaking programme of internationally significant research into life threatening childhood illness and provides support and accommodation to help families through one of the most difficult times imaginable. www.cosmiccharity.org.uk
Imperial College Healthcare Charity
Imperial College Healthcare Charity raises funds for five London hospitals within Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust: Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea, St Mary's and Western Eye hospitals. Since 2009, the charity has awarded over £12million in grants to over 300 pieces of clinical research and healthcare projects across the hospitals, all of which aim to improve patient healthcare. www.imperialcharity.org.uk
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust provides acute and specialist health care for around a million people annually. We have five hospitals as well as community services across North West London. With Imperial College London, we are a designated academic health science centre, improving care through rapid translation of research and excellence in education.