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Sir Andrew Morris and Slough mayor Cllr Arvind Dhaliwal with staff and guests at the extended children's CCUStaff, patients and their families gathered to celebrate a £1m-plus refurbishment and extension of a children’s critical care ward.

Slough’s mayor Cllr Arvind Dhaliwal, was guest of honour at the Wexham Park Hospital event last week to showcase the expansion of the ward from two beds to five.

The new unit includes four bedrooms for families to stay and a level of facilities that mean more local children will be able to be cared for nearer to home.

The hospital’s charity is now aiming to raise £210,000 to bring the latest equipment and services to support some of the area’s sickest young patients and their families.

Sir Andrew Morris, chief executive of Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Wexham Park Hospital, said: “Fantastic patient care has to be married up with fantastic patient environments. This is a big step up for our paediatric department.”

About 10 children are admitted to the unit at Wexham Park every week. The extra space and enhanced level of service means that more of them can stay at the hospital for their care and parents have the option to use the accommodation overnight.

Guests included young patients who had been treated at Wexham Park and their families. Danielle Wilkinson’s daughter Pippa, 2, has been a regular patient.

“I cannot speak highly enough of the doctors and nurses on this ward. These new facilities and being able to stay close by when you need to in comfort will make a huge difference to children and parents,” said Danielle.

Among the items the Children’s Critical Care Appeal is aiming to provide are:

  • Portable ventilators to stabilise seriously ill children while they wait to be transferred to intensive care
  • Better monitors for displaying a child’s vital signs
  • A portable ultrasound scanner for quick and painless internal imaging
  • A mobile computer that can be wheeled to the patient’s bedside to show x-rays, scans and blood results.
  • The latest equipment to help children with breathing problems

The appeal also aims to purchase toys to entertain children during their stay and furnishing for the parent accommodation. A number of events have already taken place, including Run Wexham in July.

Catering for the event was provided by nearby Pinewood Hotel.