Celebrating our NHS partners
Ronald McDonald House Charities has been working with the NHS since the Charity was founded in the UK in 1989. In a 2015 study, 95% of hospital clinical leaders and administrators, said a partnership with the Charity enhances their ability to provide family-centred care. By providing accommodation for families close to the hospital their child is being treated at, we help to connect patients, families and nurses.
Families find themselves travelling far from home so their children can receive specialist medical care. For example, there are four craniofacial units in the UK, in Oxford, Birmingham, Liverpool and London; if your child needs craniofacial surgery, it will be in one of these cities, which might be miles away from home. The same is also true of other specialist services. There are currently 14 Ronald McDonald Houses at specialist children’s hospitals, with a 15th currently in construction in Edinburgh.
To recognise our almost 30-year partnership with the NHS, and to celebrate its 70th birthday, our families and healthcare workers, share what makes the NHS so special.
“When his heart condition was finally discovered, we were retrieved by Southampton’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, an amazing team who we will forever be grateful for. My son’s heart surgery was done the following morning. Here he is age five with his twin brother at our wedding in 2016! Our NHS is super!”
“Delilah was born at 25+4 weeks weighing a tiny 745g (1lb10oz). We live in Telford but had to be transferred to Arrowe Park when my waters broke because she was so early. We spent five weeks at Arrowe Park Hospital. Whilst Delilah was being well looked after downstairs on the neonatal unit, me, my partner and two boys stayed upstairs in the Ronald McDonald House.
I just want to say thank you to the neonatal staff at Arrowe Park and also the House staff - they supported us throughout everything and without you our little princess wouldn't be with us right now.”
“Being a midwife is such a rewarding experience for us. We really enjoy the patient one-to-one care, so that’s why we love working on the Delivery Unit. A typical day may start with a patient in labour being admitted, thoroughly assessing medical histories and spending as long as it may take for a baby to be introduced into the world. Being there throughout this special process and supporting both mother and her family is an amazing feeling. It is all about the continuity of care, from the birthing procedure of a new baby, to sometimes the unfortunate challenges they may face if a newly born baby presents with any issues.”
“The NHS saved our little man’s life at four months old. Pneumococcal meningitis almost took him from us, but thanks to the quick thinking and amazing treatment from the doctors and staff at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Ted is fully recovered and living the dream at three and a half years old now.”
“I myself worked for the NHS for 10 years but never thought I would end up in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit seeing for myself the excellent care the NHS provide. My little boy was born early and we spent a few weeks at St Mary’s (I stayed at the Ronald McDonald House as it had just fortunately opened) and here he is nearly 6 years old!! I can’t thank the nurses, doctors, cleaners and all the other staff who looked after us both at St Mary’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House Manchester.”
“The Blood and Marrow Transplant team has grown to be one of the largest in the country, and has a specific expertise in the transplant of children with certain inherited genetic illnesses. Children with such illness often travel with their families’ long distances to have their transplant in Manchester. In the last years, we have transplanted children from the UK, the Republic of Ireland, from Eastern Europe and from the Middle East.”
Professor Robert Wynn
“I cannot thank Southampton General Hospital enough. My daughter Penelope was taken there at 14 weeks old and had major heart surgery at 16 weeks old. Every member of staff, from Healthcare Assistants to nurses, doctors, surgeons, etc need a medal, and of course the amazing Ronald McDonald House who housed myself and Penny’s dad for three weeks. I’ll never be able to repay the NHS for saving my daughter.”