Recently funded projects
Thanks to kind donors and fundraisers, we can fund extra services, equipment and research that the NHS simply can't provide. These range from life-saving technologies to the special touches that really do help patients feel better and give their loved ones much-needed peace of mind. Be it a cosy quiet room, the state of the art robotic surgeon, counselling for families, a refurbished ward or intensive care equipment for newborns, every penny helps.
Below is just a sample of some of the recent equipment and patient support projects funded, thanks to the generosity of our supporters. More about the research we fund can be found on our recently funded research pages.
You may also like to see our Grants Bulletin and Thanks to You newsletter which review the intiatives that are awarded charitable funding each quarter. If you would like to know more about any of these projects, then please do contact the office. Similarly, if you would like to make a donation so we can continue to make a real difference to patients, then visit our make a donation page. Thank you so much.
Silent plaster saws
Background: The noise of the saw used in plaster removal can frighten children, causing emotional upset during this necessary part of treatment after trauma.
The application: Two QuietCast ‘silent’ saws were requested in this application as a simple solution to lessen children’s distress. The first saw will be used in the main plaster room and the other used in the Emergency Department and on the wards.
Comment from the committee: “This is a very good idea and value for money. We are confident that the saw will have extensive use across the Trust."
Amount awarded: £2,867 from ACT’s unrestricted funds
Improving the environment for patients with dementia
Background: The number of older people in Cambridgeshire is rising fast. Over the 30 years to 2031, it is predicted that the number of over 65s will increase by more than 71%, and the percentage of people aged over 85 is set to soar by 131%. As the population ages, more patients being treated at Addenbrooke’s will have varying stages of dementia or delirium.
These patients can find the environment disorientating and frightening and may consequently become even more confused. However, there is much that can be done to help them adapt to the new environment.
The application: This application focuses on enhancing the ward environment for these vulnerable patients, introducing art and design to help with way-finding, make the ward less confusing and provide distraction and talking points for patients.
Comment from the committee: “This application will hopefully positively impact on patients’ ability to recover and complements ACT’s wider fundraising for this important development.”
Amount awarded: £5,000 from ACT’s unrestricted funds
Information for patients considering genetic testing
Background: Women and men are more likely to develop breast cancer if they inherit a harmful gene mutation. They may also be at increased risk of suffering from other types of the disease.
Patients face a difficult choice when deciding whether to undergo genetic tests to identify if they might be carrying a harmful mutation. In these situations, good advice and information is essential.
The application: The clinical genetics team at Addenbrooke's applied for funds to devise a pre-clinic information video for patients considering these tests. This initiative is designed to help patients retain important facts and provides an opportunity for them to consider their options before meeting with their specialist. It also gives doctors more time to productively discuss patients’ personal and individual concerns.
Comment from the committee: "This video which would be viewed online by patients before their appointment would help enormously."
Amount awarded: £5,000 from ACT's unrestricted funds and £4,274 from the medical genetics restricted funds
Two compact ultrasound systems for intensive care
Background: Bedside ultrasonography has been recognised for some years as a key technique in critical care for both diagnosis and to facilitate safe practice of high risk procedures.
Many of these situations are urgent or emergencies and rapid access to imaging and intervention can be best provided if the ultrasound imaging is done by the intensive care team, rather than relying on other staff. Accordingly, it is becoming increasingly common for intensive care physicians to acquire the skills that enable them to perform their own studies, using equipment dedicated to intensive care, and to care for patients who are often rapidly deteriorating.
Competency frameworks have been established for training, but Addenbrooke’s has so far not been able to offer this training or service, in large part due to the lack of suitable machines. Staff in the hospital’s two intensive care units intend to work together to set up an integrated training programme in critical care ultrasonography and echocardiography for trainees in critical care.
The equipment: At present, the neurosciences critical care unit (NCCU) at Addenbrooke’s does not have a dedicated ultrasound machine. Furthermore, the current ultrasound equipment on the John V Farman intensive care unit (JVF ICU) requires upgrading. The provision of the requested high quality ultrasound equipment will establish the provision of diagnostic ultrasound and ultrasound training across adult critical care in a unified and sustainable way.
Comment from the committee: “We are supportive of this application because ultrasound provision and training within critical care is not only important, but will become mandatory in due course.”
Amount awarded: £68,200 from the NCCU and JVF ICU funds.
Finding tiny veins
Background: The paediatric vascular access service inserts long-term venous lines under anaesthesia. However, accurately locating the veins in sometimes tiny babies can be extremely difficult and complications can include vein occlusion (blood flow blockage) and line-related sepsis. Around 200 children per year receive venous lines at Addenbrooke’s for treatments including chemotherapy, long-term antibiotics and nutritional supplementation. Patients benefiting from this technique range from 5kg babies to adolescents.
The application: Funds were sought for an ultrasound to aid paediatric staff in accurately locating veins and safely placing lines. The team had been forced to borrow an ultrasound and this had led to conflicts of interest and resulted in delay of procedures. A machine was requested which could be optimised for paediatric vascular access and instantly available for the team’s use.
Comment from the committee: “We are fully supportive of this application for this equipment which helps to enhance safety and
Amount awarded: £16,000 with £8,500 from ACT’s unrestricted funds and £7,500 from Ward C2 funds.
Coin operated wheelchairs
Background: In 2011, ACT funded the purchase and installation of 66 coin operated wheelchairs that serve patients entering via the hospital’s main entrance, outpatients, oncology and from car park 1. The chairs proved a great success and, in a recent evaluation conducted with visitors to the site, all users commented that they found the chairs of great benefit, easy to use, manoeuvre and to ‘get in to and out from’.
The application: The estates and facilities department requested support to expand the provision of wheelchairs to benefit patients using the Addenbrooke’s Treatment Centre, the Rosie and car park 2. This will greatly ease access to the site, especially for those who are frail or unable to walk long distances. Based on usage of current chairs, it is estimated that the new chairs will be used by over 18,000 people a year.
Comment from the committee: “This is an interesting and worthy proposal.”
Amount awarded: £45,000 spread over two years, from ACT’s unrestricted funds.
An oasis of calm for stroke patients
Background: Being able to get out and about is an important part of any patient’s rehabilitation after a stroke, particularly if their stay in hospital is a lengthy one. However, the courtyard garden between R2 and the Lewin Rehabilitation Unit had fallen into a state of disrepair and urgently needed attention.
The application: The application was made for a collection of flowers, shrubs and furniture to breathe new life into the garden.
ACT granted £15,000 for the refurbishment and a legacy had been received from Dennis Wyatt whose wife, Elizabeth, had been treated on the stroke unit nine years earlier. The RVS also made a donation to make the transformation possible.
The courtyard has been named after Kae Rake, who was a ward clerk on R2 for many years and was a great supporter of the garden’s development. She sadly passed away at Easter.
Comment from Dr Keith McNeil, CUH Chief Executive: “I’m sure Dennis would have been very impressed with how well his money has been spent and I know he was so grateful for the care and treatment his wife received on the ward.”
Amount awarded: £15,000 from the Lewin Stroke Rehabilitation fund.
Accessible picture menus
Background: It is well established that patients who eat well are likely to get better faster. However, the hospital menu, while packed with essential nutritional information, had become difficult to read and the accompanying photographs did little to whet the appetite. People with language difficulties or cognitive impairments found it difficult to make their meal choices and ran the risk of going hungry.
The application: This application was driven by speech and language therapy staff keen to develop a new engaging picture menu which would suit all patients’ needs and aid patient choice.
High quality photographs, clearly portraying the meal options available will help patients with learning disabilities, poor language skills, dementia or disorientation following treatment to choose their meals in a dignified and accessible way. The application was to cover the cost of design and photography.
Comment from the committee: “This is an excellent project which clearly highlights how ACT directly supports patients.”
Amount awarded: £23,600 from ACT’s unrestricted funds, on the understanding that the hospital will meet the print costs from resources held for this project.
To help us to continue to fund these projects that benefit Addenbrooke's patients so much please donate here.