Charity concert cash to brighten children's wards

Back in March, more than 200 pupils from seven schools took part in a concert to raise funds for the children’s wards at Luton and Dunstable Hospital.

They did amazingly and helped to raise more than £3,000.

The money was planned for different projects in the children’s wards, including updating the child oncology rooms.

And we’re now able to bring you an update and some designs for the work.

Sarah Amexheta, Luton & Dunstable’s fundraising manager, explains more:

“The children’s wards at the Luton & Dunstable Hospital care for around 10,000 babies, children and teenagers every year. The ward is made up of three special wards – Squirrel Ward, Rabbit Ward and Hedgehog Ward.

“Our child services were rated 'outstanding' in our recent Care Quality Commission inspection, with dedicated, caring paediatric specialists. The specialist staff on the unit are incredible, but unfortunately it is the environment that lets the children down.

“The environment currently used for child oncology patients is uninspiring, cramped and below current tertiary standards for children needing ongoing treatment.

“Children have a need to use these rooms over long periods of time, from months to years. For example, those with leukaemia are on a treatment programme of two-three years and during that period may require hospital admission every month in addition to attendances for day procedures such as transfusions. An admission lasts on average three-four days and in some cases, has lasted months. The design will create a more home-from-home feel and a comforting environment.

“The new layout will create a third more space and rooms will be designed to adapt to children of different ages with storage for toys, as well as space on the floor marked as a play area. There will also be adjustable lighting so that children suffering with light sensitivity due to treatment or their condition are not stuck in a room with halogen lighting. There will be a small integrated kitchenette and sofa bed so that parents can stay with their child, as well as a movable desk so parents can work on a laptop.

“A lot of cancer treatments take place over a number of years, so parents need a work space. The room will offer and inspire hope and also comfort as these rooms will also be used on occasion for end of life care, where the child is too poorly to leave.

“The creative design, visual imagery and entertainment equipment will create distractions to allow cannula insertion and detract from the infusion pumps and clinical elements of their treatment. The adjustable room temperature will help with fevers, as its hot and cancer patients are not able to take medications to reduce temperatures.

“The new rooms will be accessible, integrated with less trip hazards and everything concealed including medical devices and gases. This will also give safer access for emergency medical treatment in the event the resuscitation team are called. Specialist shallow baths will be available, which are recommended with chemotherapy treatment.

“This new space will make a huge difference for our patients needing this critical treatment at this incredibly difficult time in their lives.”

If you’d like to help at all, you can visit https://www.justgiving.com/ldhcf