ACROSS the UK, NHS charities perform a valuable role ensuring that the generous donations made by members of the public, often in recognition of the healthcare they and their loved ones have received, are distributed where they can make a real difference to NHS patients and staff.
The money doesn’t replace NHS funding but is used to provide services and activities above and beyond core NHS expenditure.
In west Wales, Hywel Dda Health Charities is pleased to have been able to purchase new items for babies who need more than the usual level of care, at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen, thanks to public donations.
The Special Care Baby Unit, which looks after babies who are born prematurely, are unwell after birth, or have antenatal concerns, has received 30 supporting nests for premature babies, aiding muscle tone, brain development, weight gain and growth.
The charity has also funded 24 Frederick T. Frog positioning aids, which help position babies on their sides, back and front, allowing them to feel contained, soothed and enhancing sleep.
Leah Andrew, Junior Sister on the Special Care Baby Unit, said:
“We are so grateful for the nests and positioning aids, which help us to support premature babies during their stay on the unit.”
NHS charity funding is also used to provide the most up-to-date medical equipment, which has included a portable electrocardiogram machine, to record the heart’s electrical activity and diagnose and monitor the treatment of cardiac conditions.
The machine is being used to perform ECGs on babies born prematurely and those needing extra care.
Karen Jones, Senior Nurse Neonates, said the unit was extremely grateful for the donations to Hywel Dda Health Charities which have made the purchase of the machine possible.
“We regularly undertake electrocardiograms on premature and new-born babies admitted to the unit.
“The machine can communicate wirelessly and stores ECG results electronically, giving better access to data for medical teams. The speedy, accurate readings mean early plans of care can be formulated.”
Fundraising Manager Tara Nickerson said:
“Donations to Hywel Dda Health Charities are helping to improve the lives of babies across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. We are very grateful to our communities who are so generous and creative with the ways they choose to support their local NHS charity.”
To find out more about the work of Hywel Dda Health Charities go to: www.hywelddahealthcharities.org.uk.