Judith Charmer, the Fund Manager for The North Hampshire Medical Fund gave a presentation to the Probus Club of Basingstoke about the activities of this charity founded by the Earl of Carnarvon some 35 years ago which is probably unknown to most local people. Its purpose is to raise money to buy specialist equipment for Basingstoke hospital that the Health Service budget is unable to provide.
The equipment procured for Basingstoke has aided the improvements in on-site diagnostics, pain reduction and obviates the need for lengthy journeys to other centres for treatment. In many instances, equipment purchased by The Fund has been used for training medical staff in the most up to date procedures. Access to updated technology has also enabled the hospital to attract the best consultants. Their skill and expertise has helped to spread the hospital’s reputation as a centre of excellence and ensured a better quality of care for the thousands of people who use its services..
In the past two years 21 pieces of equipment have been funded and supplied to the North Hampshire Hospital. They include £450.000 for a new unit housing a Radiotherapy Planning CT scanner for targeting cancer with advanced technology and £10,500 for a Cardiotacograph machine for the hospital’s antenatal unit. This will save lives and reduce the incidence of complications, stress or harm to mother and baby. They have a current target of £130,000 for an Endobronchial Ultrasound which looks inside airways and allows samples to be taken from a lymph gland or tumour around the chest. Patients presently have to travel to Southampton or Oxford for these procedures with a waiting time of 4/5 weeks, and a tumour can double in size in that time.
The Fund is the only charity in the county dedicated to raising funds for equipment to help the hospital keep pace with advances in technology. However, technology is expensive, and NHS budgets cannot always stretch to pay for all the equipment that can help save lives, improve diagnosis and treatment or reduce pain. By continued support, The Medical Fund will keep the North Hampshire Hospital at the forefront of patient care.
The Probus Club of Basingstoke has also been in existence for as many years as The North Hampshire Medical Fund. A social club for retired professional and business managers it meets twice most months and more information can be seen on their web site http://www.probusbasingstoke.wordpress.com or call their secretary Paul Flint on 07770 886521 for an informal chat.