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ACT has successfully raised funds for two new Emergency Children’s Ambulances for the East of England

Generous donations from hospital supporters have helped Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) raise £216,000 for an emergency children’s ambulance service, which will save young lives in the East of England.

Addenbrooke’s hospital is home to the East of England’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit providing state-of-the-art care to critically ill children. But getting children to Addenbrooke’s from across the region currently relies on a children’s ambulance service from London because regular ambulances are not kitted out with the specialist equipment required to keep critically ill children alive during transfers.

This can result in long delays, which for children and families is simply unbearable.

Crucially, the current service does not transport children back to their local hospital as soon as they are on the road to recovery. This means that children spend unnecessary time further away from home, friends and family.

Dr Rob Heuschkel, Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist and CUH Clinical Director for Cambridge Children’s Hospital, said: “The East of England is the only region that doesn’t have a children’s retrieval team of its own. While we plan for the forthcoming children’s hospital, being able to extend the service to all families who have children across the East of England will really transform the care that we can offer.”

Many kind-hearted donors helped ACT to reach its target, including sponsorship raised from over 2,100 runners at the Chariots of Fire relay race masterminded by Hewitsons Charitable Trust. Last year’s event, which saw 353 teams of six run around the iconic Cambridge colleges, raised over £92,000. The race was a great success with participants including three teams from Addenbrooke’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), as well as Dame Mary Archer’s team ‘The Great Dames’, raising more than £14,000. The Steel Charitable Trust, a Luton based funder with a focus on health, has also pledged £10,000 towards the appeal.

ACT has now raised enough money to fund two ambulances which will benefit over 1,700 children a year in the East of England, providing fast response times, and ensuring that children swiftly get the care and expertise that their lives depend on. The funding means that the hospital can start preparing for the new service which will go live on 7 April next year.

Shelly Thake, ACT’s CEO, said: “We owe so much to our incredible supporters who have again responded with enthusiasm to our appeal for help. This service is just one of the many ways in which the community has supported Addenbrooke’s, and for that, we and the countless patients that benefit are eternally grateful.”

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