St George’s Hospital Charity has launched a fundraising drive for £500,000 to help child patients and their families at St George’s Hospital in Tooting.

St George’s Hospital is a specialist centre for fetal, maternity and child services. Together with paediatric A&E, the teams based in Tooting see around 30,000 outpatients and 10,000 admissions as well as 5,000 births every year – with very sick patients referred from around the UK to access St George’s expertise.

The Children’s Appeal is raising money for new medical equipment, improved ward areas, new research to help pregnant mothers and their unborn children, and smart technology to avoid patients coming to hospital at all.

It also aims to provide support for families whose child has come to hospital in an emergency and improved facilities for children who have to spend a long stint in hospital.

One of these new entertainment facilities is an arts facilitator, to work and play with children in isolation wards.

Justine Makin, the Lead Hospital Play Specialist at St George’s said: “Children and young people in our cubicles often spend lots of time in Isolation which can lead to becoming withdrawn, bored, lonely and often upset.

“The arts isolation facilitator would provide our patients with invaluable input, to help relieve boredom, to help promote self-esteem and provide creative opportunities which will play a fundamental role and contribute heavily to recovery, recuperation and rehabilitation.”

Commenting on the launch, Noel Cramer, lead fundraiser said: “Patients and their families have real insight about what can improve the patient experience and we now have a list of things that patients have highlighted they would like to see.

“We also consulted closely with our fetal, maternity, and paediatric specialists and we have a list of amazing technology including medical kit that assists newborns with their breathing that is needed immediately”.

“We are looking to cover as many areas of need as possible. There are the clinical equipment needs that are essential, but even something as simple as Wi-Fi can make a massive difference to patients and families who are often at the hospital at an emotional and stressful time.

“Being able to make video calls to family and friends is crucial to the patient and their family for morale and boosting spirits. The hospital charity raises money for what is above and beyond what the health service can provide so we know these items would only be possible with the support of communities, businesses, funders, and individuals. I can’t think of many better ways to help make an immediate difference in this 70th year of the NHS.”