ROTARY CLUBS AND THE SOUTH CLEVELAND HEART FUND
WORKING TOGETHER TO SUPPORT
JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL (JCUH) CARDIAC MRI SCANNER APPEAL
THE LOVING HEARTS RAFFLE
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning is now the preferred method for diagnosing heart problems . It gives very detailed images of the heart, including the condition of the muscle, tissue and valves, and this enables treatment to be specifically targeted, thus leading to much better results for patients.
The scanning facilities at JCUH in Middlesbrough are in urgent need of upgrading to meet current standards and the Trust is already committed to investing over £2M to increase general purpose scanning capacity. These investments will not, however, release enough capacity to enable the heart unit to process the 2000/year heart scans needed for the 1.6 million population in the hospital’s catchment area. Without the extra capacity the heart unit at JCUH might lose its status in the top division of Cardiothoracic Units and, as a consequence, its patients will be unable to benefit from advanced diagnosis and treatment locally. There is also the risk that the unit will be unable to recruit and retain the best professionals.
To address the above issue, the opportunity exists to refurbish and upgrade an existing scanner at a cost of £0.5M but, because of funding shortfalls, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has said that it will not be in a position to commit to this investment for the foreseeable future. Against this background the South Cleveland Heart Fund (SCHF), with backing from JCUH, has decided to mount the Cardiac MRI Scanner Appeal to raise the funds. Rotary clubs in the catchment area have offered their support.
THE LOVING HEARTS RAFFLE
SCHF has already received donations and commitments of support that will go some way towards achieving the target. In addition, Cardiology Unit staff members at JCUH are continually fundraising for the appeal.
In parallel, Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club , supported by many other Rotary Clubs in the region, is running a major raffle in aid of the appeal. The Loving Hearts Raffle (with prizes including a Skoda Citigo car, a home cinema system, hotel and spa breaks, restaurant meals and family days out) was launched on Friday 13th March by Graeme Souness, ex-footballer, manager, now a football pundit and also a former heart patient. Raffle tickets will be sold over a 12 week period, leading up to a Gala Charity Dinner on Saturday 20th June when the draw will take place.
On launch weekend (13-15 March) Boots the Chemist has kindly allowed Rotary Clubs to sell raffle tickets at its stores throughout the JCUH catchment area. Beyond launch weekend, tickets will be sold at a series of events across the region and at various other outlets.