Archive for the ‘News’ Category
The Derry/Londonderry family support group are holding their own Christmas party on Sunday 22 December from 3-5pm in The Playtrail.
There will be hot chocolate, cookies and mince pies plus some extra special visitors!!
This years Christmas Festival in aid of Children’s Heartbeat Trust will be at the Wellington Park Hotel on Malone Road, Belfast! The Festival will showcase a wide range of arts, crafts and beauty products that would be perfect presents for Christmas!
Doors are open 10am to 7pm!
Contact: Sam Marshall – email@example.com
We have two wonderful family days out coming up for our lovely heart families!
On Saturday 7th December at 1pm we are having our Christmas Heart Party in the Ulster Museum, Belfast. We are showing The Polar Express and have been promised a very special visitor might come along too!
We also have tickets for the matinee showing of the Belvoir Park Players Panto “Babes in the Wood” on Saturday 4th January.
This year we will be wrapping up our annual conference with an review of the charity’s activities over the last year.
This is open to everyone, whether at the conference or not, to attend and will take place from 4.15pm – 5pm.
At this year’s Parents Conference on Sat 2 November, we are now offering limited childcare provision. This will be on a first come, first served basis and please bear in mind it is limited.
To reserve a place for your child please email firstname.lastname@example.org and you can book your own place by downloading the form via http://www.childrensheartbeattrust.org/family-support/parents-confer…-of-the-matter/ or email us and we can post one out.
HANDS UP Campaign Update:
The Minister of Health Edwin Poots yesterday met with a delegation from the Children’s Heartbeat Trust to discuss what was happening with children’s heart surgery in Belfast.
In a long and detailed meeting the charity raised concerns about the current restrictions being placed on paediatric heart surgery and the increasing number of families having to travel for their child’s treatment. We highlighted the number of successful children’s heart surgery networks currently working in country’s like Australia, Canada and the USA and how they should be used as a template for developing network surgical services with Dublin.
The Minister told the charity that he had recently met with his counterpart and officials in the Republic of Ireland and would ‘leave no stone unturned’ in the attempt to retain children’s heart surgery in Northern Ireland.
Children’s Heartbeat Trust noted that while the campaign has achieved much by stopping the move of children’s heart surgery to England, now the focus must be on securing a surgical network between Belfast and Dublin to best meet the needs of patients with CHD in Northern Ireland.
We will continue to campaign and lobby on your behalf to achieve this.
HANDS UP Campaign – One year on…
It has been over one year since the Minister of Health announced a review into children’s heart surgery, but we still have not had a final decision on the future of the service. Families and patients have no indication where their child will receive this critical and life-saving treatment in the future.
It is critical that we stay active on the issue while the Minister is considering the decision. We need you to continue to contact your local MLAs, asking them what exactly they have done to push for a solution that guarantees safe, local treatment for your child and babies born in the future.
In April of this year the Minister of Health Mr Poots publicly stated that there are weaknesses with a Dublin only solution and that his preferred option would be a surgical network between Belfast and Dublin.
Yet, five months later, we are still waiting, families are still waiting, children with congenital heart defects are still waiting.
91 MLA’s, from all political parties, were eager to have their picture taken with heart families and sign their names to the charity’s pledge to protect children’s heart surgery in Northern Ireland; the question we need answers to now is how are they honouring this pledge and representing you and your family, as their constituents and the voters.
So please phone, email or call into your local MLA’s office and ask them this question.
‘What have you done to protect and enhance children’s heart surgery in Northern Ireland?’
‘What are you going to do in this Assembly term to make sure a North-South network is put in place for the benefit of children with congenital heart disease in Northern Ireland?’
We need our MLA’s to act for heart children and their families, by supporting paediatric cardiac surgery in Northern Ireland.
Find your area’s MLA’S at
HANDS UP Campaign
Guidelines for communication with TDs. For the next stage of the campaign, we would like you to lobby TD’s from the bordering counties in the Republic of Ireland. TD’s are the equivalent of our MLA’s for RoI. The most important thing to remember is that a template for shared border services already exists through cancer treatment at Altnagelvin Hospital. Children’s Heartbeat Trust and the Minister of Health Edwin Poots are both keen that an all-island surgical network emerges. By communicating and if possible, requesting a meeting with border TD’s we can make sure they are fully aware of all the issues (outlined below) which focus on standards of surgery, safety and sustainability. When emailing and writing to TDs, it is important to remember:
- They are not elected for any area within Northern Ireland, and do not represent any families or children currently impacted by the Northern Ireland review.
- While there are more TDs than MLAs, they represent many more people – busy offices mean they may not be as quick to respond as MLAs
- While many are familiar with cross-border issues, especially in Donegal with respect to the shared cancer facility, not all people you write to may be briefed on the issue, so include a little bit of background about the review in Northern Ireland and the Hands Up campaign.
- If it is feasible for you to attend a meeting with a TD, suggest a meeting either in the local office or if possible in Dublin – TDs are in Dublin every week and travelling to Dublin from certain areas in NI could be quicker and easier for you than travelling to their constituency offices.
- In your correspondence highlight why protecting children’s heart surgery in Northern Ireland is important for your child and your family. Note your personal experiences and why you believe a network solution in partnership with Our Lady’s Hospital, Crumlin in Dublin is the best way forward.
- The charity will also be writing to seek meetings, please acknowledge this in your letter or email. If you are requesting a meeting, please make it clear it is an additional meeting. More meetings ensure they know the issue has widespread support.
- You can also contact any local MLAs you’ve engaged with successfully, make them aware you’re now contacting TDs also, and see if they can offer support. Many border TDs know and work with NI MLAs, and in the case of Sinn Fein, are the same party.
- Be confident! The campaign so far has made sure that surgery will not be shifted to England, and the Minister has publicly agreed with the charity on the importance of a Dublin/Belfast network in preference to a shift to Dublin. Make it clear that the issue you’re writing about HAS political support in Northern Ireland and from Southern Health Minister James Reilly who said he would be happy to explore options for Dublin AND Belfast.
Please also keep Sarah up-to-date on communication, letters and any meetings. TD’s There are nineteen border TDs, based in 5 border constituencies. All of these, with the exception of Louth, are closer to Belfast than Dublin, or include areas that are closer to Belfast than Dublin. The table below gives contact details for these TD’s
Children’s MRI Scanner Appeal hits £2 million target!
The Children’s MRI Scanner Appeal has reached its £2 million fundraising target for the purchase of an MRI scanner for the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. Today the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Gavin Robinson, has announced the success of the campaign in reaching this target, which has been achieved completely through a public fundraising campaign and local events.
The Lord Mayor said “It is wonderful to be able to make this announcement on behalf of the four charities involved in the Children’s MRI Scanner Appeal. The success of this appeal can be directly attributed to the generosity of the Northern Irish public as the public’s fundraising and donations have raised the entire £2 Million needed. An MRI Scanner will increase the access to MRI for sick children in Northern Ireland, and many more children will be able to benefit from this treatment as opposed to undergoing different types of investigation which may be invasive or involve radiation.
“This announcement is particularly significant for me as the Children’s MRI Scanner Appeal was one of my chosen charities this year. I am delighted to be the bearer of such good news – a perfect way for me to carry out my last public engagement on my last day as Lord Mayor”.
Four local children’s charities joined together for the Children’s MRI Scanner Appeal; Helping Hand, Carrickmannon MRI Scanner Children’s Appeal, the Northern Ireland Children’s Cancer Unit Fund and the Children’s Heartbeat Trust. The Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children has been the only children’s hospital in the UK and Ireland not to have an MRI scanner, and this purchase will help in the treatment of sick children at the hospital.
Sarah Quinlan, Executive Officer of the Children’s Heartbeat Trust, said “The achievement of meeting the £2 million target is a huge success for the Children’s MRI Scanner Appeal. It means that the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children can now obtain an extremely important machine, stopping the need to take difficult transfer to the adult facility in the hospital. On behalf of the four charities I would like to thank everyone who supported the Children’s MRI Scanner Appeal.”
In our 4th and final short film, the Campbell family from Newry talk about the difficulties of leaving Northern Ireland for children’s heart surgeryFriday, May 31st, 2013
In the final installment of our video campaign, the Campbell family from Newry highlight the difficulties of having to travel away for children’s heart surgery. Please watch and share to help us make sure children and families are at the heart of any decision on the future of this essential service.
Watch their story at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb-ipmGuv80