Imperial College Healthcare Charity awards over £1 million every year to a variety of projects, clinical research and healthcare studies. Here are a few examples of projects we have funded and what they have achieved:
London is a region that consistently struggles to meet the national target of 75% attendance rates for breast screening appointments. Over 1600 women living in the London Borough of Hillingdon took part in a pioneering year-long study funded by the charity, which showed how a text message reminder sent 48 hours before a scheduled breast screening appointment can significantly improve uptake by patients by 6%. Women aged 47 to 53 who received a text reminder are significantly more likely to attend their first breast screening appointment (69% attendance) than women in a control group who were not sent a text reminder (63%).
Catherine Lyons, a head and neck clinical nurse specialist was awarded £60,000 to set up a new clinic to support recently diagnosed head and neck cancer patients. The clinic at Charing Cross Hospital comprises Catherine, a dietitian and a speech and language therapist and provides a calm, quiet environment where further advice and information about a patient’s treatment can be given, alongside nutritional, communication and swallowing assessments. Patients use the clinic to talk about their concerns, such as approaching the topic with family members or dealing with their treatment. So far over 70 patients and been seen.
Sleep is a crucial part of any patient’s recovery, so thanks to a £100,000 grant, Professor Christine Norton and her team conducted a ground-breaking study across 18 wards and found that on average, patients said they were sleeping five hours a night.
Over 950 patients took part in sleep surveys and patient interviews, alongside observations on temperature, noise, light, smell and humidity. Noise was a major cause of sleep disturbance, with hospital staff (12% of respondents), alarms (10%) and snoring from other patients (9%) the top three causes. Some wards were simply too bright and too warm at night for sleep. Each ward involved in the study has now been given an action plan and wards have ‘protected sleep times’ where patients’ sleep is a priority. Noisy printers and bins with heavy lids have been moved and one ward at Charing Cross Hospital has had new roller blinds fitted. Ward managers are turning the heating down where possible and a sleep audit kit is currently being developed which can then be rolled out across the NHS.
Thanks to a £100,000 grant, maternity services at St Mary’s and Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea hospitals now have an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) who supports survivors of domestic abuse. The partnership between the trust and the community charity Standing Together Against Domestic Violence (STADV) has meant hundreds of maternity staff have been trained to spot and approach patients about abuse. Crucially, a third of the 178 women referred to the advisor for support have been deemed as high risk cases, meaning they are at risk of serious harm or homicide.
You can read about these and other achievements made possible through funding from the charity by clicking here and reading our latest annual review.
We wouldn’t be able to continue funding such amazing work by amazing members of staff without your support. To help make a difference find out how you can support the charity.