An appeal to buy some pioneering new technology for use in Kettering General Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is nearing its goal of £20,000.
The hospital’s Intensive Voices Appeal has so-far raised £16,000 since it was launched in March.
The Appeal’s aim is to buy assistive communication devices similar to that used by famous scientist Stephen Hawking.
These enable patients to communicate by using their eyes as a virtual ‘computer mouse’ to type messages – using shortcut symbols - on a computer screen which then speaks their message out loud.
The campaign was boosted with a recent donation of £1,000 from the Rotary Club of Kettering to ICU Sister Caroline Simcoe last week during a club lunch at Telford Lodge in Kettering.
Club president Tony Robbs said: “We heard about this fantastic fundraising campaign to improve care for patients who are unable to communicate because of their illnesses.
“It’s hard to imagine the ordeal it must be for patients who cannot talk or communicate – they feel literally trapped inside their own bodies.
The money was raised throughout the year by the club – with most coming from the proceeds of an annual pportsman’s dinner held in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Kettering Huxloe in March.
The devices – called Tobi Eyegaze from Smartbox Assistive Technologies Ltd – cost £3,000-£5,000 each and look like a large computer tablet, but are not available as standard NHS equipment, hence the appeal.
Appeal organiser and ICU Sister Caroline Simcoe said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Rotary Club of Kettering has helped us to move another important step closer to achieving our appeal target.
“We intend to buy four of the Tobi Eyegaze devices – three for use in ICU and one for use in other parts of the hospital.
“We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from the local community – especially former ICU patients and their families who have made many donations.
“These devices will make a big difference to the way very ill patients can communicate with their families, friends and the hospital staff who are looking after them.”
The Appeal’s next public event is a Band Night at the Irish Club in Patrick Road, Corby, on Friday, November 11, starting at 7.30pm price £5. The bands involved are Intensive Beats Fromage, and Whatever it takes – which include KGH staff members. Tickets can be paid on the door or via electronic ticketing at Ticket Source .