|Who are Friends of PICU?
Friends of PICU is a registered charity that was set up in 2006 by parents of children who have been cared for on PICU and nursing staff from the PICU. Friends of PICU aims to support the children and their families by providing vital equipment and services that are not always provided by the statutory authorities.
The PICU really appreciates the amazing support received through the charity as it makes an important impact across the whole of the unit and the excellent level of care which can be provided to the children and their families. Friends of PICU contribute to every part of the specialist care – no patient will pass through PICU without being helped in some way by equipment donated, or benefitting from the additional nursing training and education that the charity pays for. All emergency patients that are retrieved by ambulance travel in a dedicated ambulance donated by FoPICU and any parent able to stay in on-site accommodation near to their child does so because FoPICU supports and maintains it.
What do we spend our funds on?
The charity is honoured to be able to fund the full cost of the dedicated PICU specialist ambulances, approximately every 3 years. The 3rd fully donated ambulance is due for launch in April 2017. Previously we have also part donated funds for 2 ambulances.
The charity is also currently fundraising to expand the PICU by 2 new bed spaces during 2016 - currently there are only 14 beds. This will be an incredible achievement for the charity and provide much needed room to treat more children, one which is only achievable due to the amazing donations received. The cost for this project will be upwards of £550,000. This will be part funded by our Patrons and their charity The Murray Parish Trust. We thank them for this wonderful support.
The charity also maintains the family accommodation on the unit, for which we are fundraising to conduct a major refurbishment programme in 2016/2017.
Previously the charity has funded a psychologist for a period of 3 years. The psychologist provides support for patients, families and staff on the Unit. Many people find that the experience of time on PICU can be traumatic. The psychologist can help people to discuss their feelings and help them to reconcile these feelings. With the need for the continuation of this service it is now funded by the hospital directly as an important aspect of the PICU.
We buy equipment that the PICU needs to maintain the high standards of care that exist – these are some of our recent purchases:
Comfy chairs for parents sitting at the bedise of their child
ECMO support equipment
Biliblanket (for the treatment of neonatal jaundice)
Apnoea Alarms (to detect breathing in babies)
Syringe Drivers – for new PICU retrieval trolley
Baby pod II. Portable baby incubators
Abbott I-Stat hand held gas analyser
Clip desk assembly for Life Port Stretcher
TV Monitor for up to the minute contact information on all patients and Staff on unit
Drager Oxylog 3000 + ventilator
Par Aid Retrieval Trolley (including brackets)
Sonisite Machine (to detect blood vessels)
SIPAP (for non-invasive ventilation of babies)
Sofa for waiting room
Digital camera and printer for the Bereavement team
Electronic games for the older children
Bereavement memory boxes
Friends of PICU also provide every child on PICU with an 'Elephant Cuddly Toy'.
This is specifically made for Friends of PICU, and is given to those children who are admitted to the Unit. This is a unique item for unique people which the charity holds dearly.
Equipment purchases are only half of the picture. Whilst it is true that the majority of our funds go towards buying the life-saving equipment in addition to that provided by the statutory authorities, we go a lot further than this. We buy arts and crafts items for the children, socks to keep small feet (and hands) warm and portable DVD players for the older children.
All of our activities and purchases depend on the generosity and fundraising of our Friends and Supporters, if you would like to help please donate now!
To join our Twitter page, please see: https://twitter.com/FOPICU
For more information on PICU click here
If you would like advice or support from our bereavement team, please call 0238 120 4587 or click here
Please note that Friends of PICU are no longer associated with the 'Charlie Jones Foundation'.