To say I have spent some time in The Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children in Belfast…would be, well, a very large understatement.
For someone with a fairly limited sense of direction, I think I could get from my house to that hospital in my sleep. We have driven down that road at 4am and 4pm, 12am and 12pm and other very ridiculous times.
I am seen within an hour if we go to A&E, even at the busiest times, because we ring my favourite specialist nurse ahead of time and she makes sure that people know I’m coming. She knows that if we have decided to go to A&E, it usually means I’m pretty sick already.
They know me, my condition and my history inside out and back to front. They are my first point of contact if something seems to be going wrong.
Not only do they know my condition, but they know me. My personality, how I like things to be done, and they know that I do not wake up for morning ward rounds at 8am.
It’s the personal touches that make the best care. It’s the fact that they know to give me any news as news – not bad or good news – just news, facts, these are my options and this is what’s going on.
It’s the fact that they know I like to know as much information as I can, and they make time to explain things to me.
And it’s the fact that they know just how much I hate NG tubes.
All of this, these personal touches, is what makes it pretty difficult to move to the adult hospital. After ten years of friendship, personalised care and medical attention, I want to say thank you to the staff at Belfast Children’s.
So, this is the second thing our fundraising efforts will be going towards this year. So that hopefully they can continue to give many, many more children the amazing care that I have received for so long.
The staff all work tirelessly for the good of their patients, and they do it because they want to help people. Many of them working Christmas and New Year shifts, and from my experience of both, the staff make it as magical and exciting as possible.
The Belfast Children’s Hospital have a shared care connection with Birmingham Children’s Hospital. All their more serious liver and gastro patients are sent to the Birmingham doctors, as they are the specialist centre. Belfast don’t have the facilities to do transplants (apart from in the adults – and only kidneys), but the connection with Birmingham, that relationship and the care they work together to provide is second to none.
They manage to work together so that their patients receive the best care, and hopefully most can be done closer to home.
So, to help keep that connection going, to help Belfast Children’s Hospital providing the best care they can – let’s raise some money!
You sign up, I’m signing off