The More Smiles Appeal was launched in November 2015 to raise an initial £2 million towards renovating and expanding the children’s intensive care unit (PICU) at St Mary’s Hospital.
So far they have raised £1.36 million and the appeal is now seeking to secure the remaining £640,000 to enable them to complete the initial phases of this redevelopment and expansion. They are able to provide donors with the opportunity to see the unit as it is now, after the renovations and offer a variety of naming opportunities. Their commitment to fundraising for paediatrics will remain after this appeal to ensure they continue to support the vital work St Mary's Hospital does in saving children's lives.
In 2015 over 400 critically ill young patients were treated in PICU, however they had to turn away a further 230 seriously ill children as they simply didn’t have enough beds to treat them. Some of these patients had to be treated as far afield as Bristol or Birmingham.
The unit, which opened in 1992, was specifically designed to look after critically ill children in the North West London area. At the time it had one bed, one nurse and one consultant. The last major development of the PICU took place in 1996, bringing the unit to its current capacity of 8 permanent beds. In the last 20 years there have been dramatic improvements elsewhere in technology, treatments and ward design that mean our unit now limits our ability to provide the best possible care to our youngest and most at risk patients. The current facilities for parents are very poor and there is nowhere for PICU consultants and staff to have serious conversations with parents away from the bedside
The importance of a children’s intensive care unit at St Mary's
Paediatric intensive care is provided in a small number of London’s hospitals. St Mary's is the only PICU in London to combine world-leading expertise in children’s infections, a designated centre for major trauma and a specialist children’s accident and emergency department. This means St Mary's is the primary site to treat children in North London who develop sudden life-threatening conditions or who are involved in accidents. Hospitals like Great Ormond Street and some private hospitals have a PICU but with no accident and emergency service, many of these PICU beds are dedicated to supporting children after planned complex surgery.
More Beds, More Space, More Children’s Lives Saved
More Smiles Appeal want to create a new, modern and fit for purpose children’s intensive care unit with nearly double the number of beds. This will transform the unit. There will be increased space around each bed so that medical care can be delivered more effectively. The unit will have a dedicated fully-equipped parents’ room – a place where parents can get respite from the bedside. There will also be a dedicated consulting/bereavement room so no longer will difficult conversations take place at a crowded bedside or in a small parents’ kitchen with a lack of privacy. This new state of the art unit will allow our consultants and clinical staff to deliver outstanding care and provide the emotional support that every child and their family deserve.
Redevelopment timeline Phase 1 - The relocation of the Paediatric Research Unit (PRU) to a new premises at St Mary's – due for completion in November 2017
Phase 2 -The first half of the new PICU will replace the PRU and will be followed by the renovation of the existing PICU. The new PICU will open in January 2019