Chairman & Trustee: Dr. Iain Macintosh 

As Clinical Director of PICU Iain is able to provide a thorough insight and understanding of the PICU, the issues it faces,
how it is supported within the Hospital Trust and importantly it's future.  We would like to thank Iain for his time and  Dr. Iain Macintosh Chairman & Trustee of Friends of PICU

deciation as Chairman of Friends of PICU.  Dr Macintosh has worked for UHS since July 1995, and previous to this in
paediatric intensive care in St Mary's Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Royal CHildren's Hospital, Melbourne.   Prior to becoming Chairman Iain was a trustee for 2 years.  You will see Iain at many of our events, where he is only too happy to eplain the great support provided by the charity to the PICU. 

Trustee: Rosie Mitchell
Rosie Mitchell Events Trustee for Friends of PICU
I am now a retired staff nurse, but also working on the PICU when possible. We work 12 and half hour days.
The day starts with a handover on all the children from the previous shift Sister. We are then allocated our patient/s for the day; this could be a cardiac child one day or a road traffic accident child the next, it could be a newborn baby or a 16 year old child. We then take a more detailed handover from the bedside nurse. Sometimes the family is present, so at this time we introduce ourselves to them and also to the child who may be awake, but if sedated and ventilated can still hear us. The first job of the day is to check all our equipment and drug infusions to ensure we have what we need for the day and we also ensure that the equipment is all in good working order. We then do an initial assessment on the child, checking all their observation and lines, listening to their breathing and heart.

The work during the day consists of documenting observations hourly (although the child is monitored constantly). During the day we may have to assist with the many tests the child needs. These include blood tests, x-rays, body scans and additional tests we help the other health professionals to do; some of these are carried out on the unit and some we have to take the child and all their equipment off the unit for. The children are all seen by a physiotherapist and when they are not there the nurse does the child’s physiotherapy.

The children have ‘cares’ performed every 4-6 hours, depending on their condition. During the care the child has their eyes cleaned, their mouths cleaned, nappies changed, a quick wash (with a longer one twice a day) and the child is turned position. Parents are encouraged to help at this time, although sometimes they are too scared. With support, even the smallest job helps them to feel useful. This is also a good time to check the child for any problems with their lines, skin or the many tubes they have in situ. The child is given physiotherapy at this time to remove any secretions that may have built up.

Supporting the family and encouraging the parents to help with the care of their child is important as sometimes this is the only thing they can do for the child during that long day. We encourage the parents of the sedated and ventilated children to hold the child’s hand, talk to them and maybe read to them.

Because it is such a stressful time for families, talking to parents and answering their many questions is vitally important the families. They need to be able to trust in us and feel free to ask any question, no matter how silly. Caring for the families of these sick children is as important as the daily care of the child.  Sometimes the worst happens and the child dies. This is a stressful time for everyone involved and, as nurses, they may only just have had to face the death or may have been awaiting it for a day or two. Each experience has its challenges. The families are actively involved in the care of their child and given as much time as they need with their child. Paramount is that this is what care they want for the child as these will be their last memories of the child. This could be photographs, a lock of hair, foot and hand prints and sometimes to paint their teenage daughters nails and wash her hair, as one family did whilst listening to her. We are there as nurses to support the families in their wi shes, wherever possible.

In 2005, together with some families who had children in PICU, I set up the charity 'Friends of PICU', which was then registered in 2006. As a nurse on the unit I have seen the benefits that the equipment, ambulance and psychologist have brought to the unit. All around the unit are pieces of equipment with plaques, showing new families how the Friends of PICU has helped them all. Fundraising from kind families and friends has substantially helped so many families du ring the ir time on PICU.

Deputy Chairman & Trustee: Martin Grady  

More details about Martin and his child who was treated on PICU to follow shortly. .

Trustee: Robyn Sargeant

"My name is Robyn Sargeant and I am a Nurse in the Royal Navy. My daughter Sydney was born in April 2014.
She became unwell one evening  Robyn Sargeant, Friends of PICU Trustee when she was 19 days old. I took her to the local hospital in Portsmouth where her condition rapidly deteriorated and she needed to be intubated to help her breathe. My first exposure to PICU was when the Retrieval team arrived from Southampton and transferred Sydney to the PICU. It was there test results showed she had developed Meningitis as a result of Group B Strep. Sydney passed away aged just 22 days old. I am eternally grateful to all the staff for giving me those 2 extra days with my daughter. Apart from the exceptional care given to Sydney, they allowed me to bath her, take hand and footprints and cut a lock of her hair.”

“I was unaware that this was the only PICU in the South of England, covering such a vast area and looking after so
many children every year. I promised Sydney that I would help the people who looked after her to help others, and set about fundraising individually for Friends of PICU to leave a legacy for Sydney. I soon became involved with the FoPICU events team; manning stalls and helpingout at the charities bigger events, as well as continuing my own fundraising. 
I was honoured to become a Trustee for the charity in September 2015. I feel that I can continue being Sydney's mummy
by helping other children and their parents in making sure PICU maintains the excellent service it provides."

Trustee: Darren May
Darren, along with his wife Nikki and his family have supported Friends of PICU since 2009 when their youngest daughter Kitty was admitted to PICU and they learnt about the charity. 

Kitty's story at Southampton PICU

Trustee: Fran Mahon 
Fran is a Sister on PICU and so knows first-hand about the skills, passion and teamwork of the staff on the PICU, whilst at the same time as a Mum knows only too well the stresses this can put families under..

Secretary, non-Trustee: Mark Hilder

Elaine and I were blessed with two beautiful boys (Milo & Oscar) in February 2008. But sadly just 2 Mark Hilder Friends of PICU Secretary
weeks before his first birthday, little Milo unexpectedly passed away.

Milo was born weighing 2lbs 13oz and with chronic renal failure. As a family we received a huge amount of support from local and regional hospitals. Milo was admitted to PICU on 5 occasions, often requiring life supporting help from a ventilator. On 2 of these occasions he was involved in retrieval by the PICU ambulance.

We experienced at first hand, on each visit to PICU, the full specialist medical services and the dedicated and very skilled staff during a very stressful and anxious time.

Not only did they care so well for Milo, but they also listened to us as a family and in particular were considerate and supportive towards Oscar who was still a baby, needing to be with his brother and mother.

After Milo’s death I was very keen to raise money to help PICU and support the INVALUABLE work they do.  Then the opportunity to be a part of the Friends of PICU charity was offered and I readily accepted. This is a very good way to give something back to PICU and to other parents who are or have been in the same position as ourselves.  The PICU is a valuable and much needed resource for South Central England and the Channel Islands, and fundraising to support the wards needs is vital to the continuing success of their serv ice and ability to help as many patien ts as possible.

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