New cardiology service 

Cardiac team launches new service thanks to local donation

A pioneering project to offer extra support to cardiology patients is being launched thanks to a big donation from Heartbeats – the West Berkshire Heart Support Group..

The trial scheme at the Royal Berkshire Hospital will see the cardiology team recruit a part-time liaison support officer who will offer additional support to patients when they return home. Principal Physiologist Sue Westlake explained: “The person will follow up the patient’s treatment and contact them to find out if they have any concerns and to find out if there is anything extra we could do or any way in which their time with us could have been made better.”

She added: “This is a marvellous and generous gift which will bring huge benefits to many patients in the months and years to come.”

The project, which also includes buying additional equipment to be used by patients, will be one of a number of new initiatives and purchases in the Cardiology Department, thanks to a huge donation from Heartbeats. This grant of £62,480 is the first of several due to be made by Heartbeats to the department over the coming months.

In all, they will be donating around £220,000 following the death of one of their members, Peter Mercer, who lived in Emmer Green. In his will Mr Mercer, who died in February 2014, asked that his estate be divided between Heartbeats and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Peter and June Drew-Clifton of Heartbeats said Mr Mercer had been a keen member of their weekly health walks in Prospect Park, following his own cardiac treatment several years ago.

Saving   Tiny Lives

Get Reading campaign raises more funds for Buscot Ward

As part of GetReading’s Saving Tiny Lives appeal, two further donations were made this month to help pay for a new state of the art incubator for the Special Care Baby Unit on Buscot Ward.

Since launching in May, the Babies in Buscot Support (BIBS) and getreading appeal has raised more than £29,000 for the ward's first Giraffe OmniBed Incubator.

English Martyrs pre-school raised £550 from a children’s sponsored walk around Prospect Park in Reading and four colleagues from Invesco Perpetual, based in Henley, raised more than £2,000 for completing a 20 mile obstacle course.

Gina Outram, Lead Sister on Buscot Ward, said: “We are immensely grateful for the generous donations we have received through the Saving Tiny Lives appeal. The special new incubator has multiple functions and will help us care for premature and sick babies in intensive care of different ages. Thank you so much.”

BIBS chairman Phil Meredith, said: "I'd like to say a huge thank you to everybody that has supported the Saving Tiny Lives appeal. To reach our target so quickly was beyond our wildest dreams."

To support the appeal, please visit


Christmas on the children's wards

Festive cheer for young patients

Members of the London Irish rugby squad spent some time away from the pitch on Wednesday, 10 December, to pay a special pre-Christmas visit to young patients at the Royal Berkshire Hospital. Three team members – Blair Cowan (Back row), Conor Gilsenan (Flanker), Kieran Low (Lock) and the team mascot, Digger, met youngsters and staff in the Lion, Dolphin and Kempton children's wards to spread some festive cheer. They gave and signed special rugby balls to children and spent time chatting to young patients and their families in the play room. Some of the players also visited some children on the wards who were too ill to get out of bed.

Nine Reading Football Club players visited the children’s wards and children’s A&E on Tuesday, 16 December. Alex Pearce, Michael Hector, Stephen Kelly, Ryan Edwards, Anton Ferdinand, Jamie Mackie, Jem Karacam, Chris Gunter and Aaron Kuhl all spent time with children and their parents in the playroom and also visited those who were ill in bed. They came armed with Christmas toys and gifts and signed special footballs that put smiles on many of the young patients' faces.


Young patients from Dolphin and Lion children’s wards at the Royal Berkshire Hospital watched a visiting pantomime on Thursday, 11 December. The Starlight children’s charity brought a special production of ‘Robinson Crusoe’ to an audience who might not otherwise be able to visit the theatre. Starlight is national charity that grants wishes for seriously and terminally ill children and provides entertainment in hospitals and hospices across the UK.

Young patients laughed, cheered and sang along as the four actors performed for them, their families and the staff.

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