A “state-of-the-start” new ward named in honour of the Irish community in London has opened in one of the country’s leading hospitals after over £800,000 in funds were raised.
A group of prominent Irish business people in London put their heads together in 2016 to raise funds for a new adult acute ward at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) in Stanmore.
The London Irish Appeal formed part of the RNOH’s overall Charity Redevelopment Appeal.
It aimed to fund all the specialist equipment for the 32-bedroom ward, which is not covered by standard NHS support. The ward will treat patients including children with a range of complex conditions, such as bone tumours, spinal deformity and sarcoma, a rare form of cancer requiring highly specialised treatment.
The RNOH is among the top three centres in the world for the diagnosis and treatment of many musculoskeletal conditions, including spinal cord injuries, bone cancer and complex hip problems.
It treats patients from all over the world, 30 per cent of them children, including people from Ireland.
Andy Rogers, from Rodgers Associates, said that all involved “were very proud” to announce the final total of £800,00 and that it far surpassed the initial target of £480,000.
“The committee set about a series of fundraising events and there was immediate positive support from across the Irish community, particularly from the leaders within the construction sector,” he said.
“Within two years, we had surpassed our initial target and were able to hand over £700k last year. In Stanmore this week, the Committee and appeal supporters met with Prof Tim Briggs and the Trustees of RNOH to bring the Appeal to a conclusion and visit the completed Ward, which was full of patients and doctors and looks stunning.”
He added that the funds raised were a “real tribute to the generosity of the wonderful band of sponsors from all over the Irish community” and that they would be used to treat patients from across the UK and Ireland.
The London Irish Ward consists of 32 bedrooms all fitted with the latest specialist
equipment, technology and hoists.
Rosie Stolarski, the RNOH Charity’s Director of Fundraising and Development, said in 2016: “The funds raised by the London Irish Appeal will, quite simply, transform the experience of the RNOH’s patients.
“They will enable us to purchase a range of equipment which will significantly improve our patients’ comfort, and the quality of care we are able to offer them.
“We cannot thank Tim Kelly and the London Irish group enough for their support.”
Helen Corbett, of the Kelly Group, main sponsors of the appeal, added: “It’s all about helping the hospital out – many of us have family who have been treated there, it has treated a lot of Irish people over the years,” she said.
“It’s also had very little repair since the Second World War and it hasn’t received enough funding.”