DUE to a shortage of monies in the past, the Pilgrim Heart and Lung Fund was set up nearly 30 years ago to provide funds through public assistance to provide Pilgrim Hospital with the cardiac and respiratory service people receive in other hospitals throughout the UK but would miss out on in the South Lincolnshire area.
So far the charity has raised a little under £2 million.
When the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust was formed in 2000 it was felt that charity assistance for the purchase of equipment would not be needed. As workers in the health service with great experience of patient care we knew this was nonsense and that to continue providing good healthcare we would need assistance from the local public in a financial way.
At the moment, the Pilgrim Heart and Lung Fund is seeking financial help from local people to help to raise money to assist the trust in providing a cardiac catheter laboratory at Pilgrim Hospital. This will help local patients tremendously, both with acute and chronic cardiac problems.
The plan a few years ago was to ensure that Lincoln County Hospital and Pilgrim Hospital both had individual cardiac catheter laboratories by 2013. To expand invasive cardiac work a second catheter laboratory is now necessary at Lincoln, but on top of that we still need a cardiac catheter laboratory at Pilgrim.
The cost to provide this sort of facility, which is supported totally by radiologists and cardiologists at Pilgrim Hospital, is approximately £750,000.
This is a facility that, slowly but surely over the last 10 years, has moved further and further into district general hospitals from teaching centres. The reason behind this is the sheer volume of patients who now require cardiac catheterisation, particularly coronary artery catheterisation, and the acuteness of the situation.
The United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust at Lincoln County Hospital requires two catheter laboratories and Pilgrim, in the first instance, requires its first catheter laboratory.
The sooner we get this under way the better.
To get things moving, we are hoping to organise a charity cycle ride around Lincolnshire in the early summer of next year.
Then, as a committee, we will organise further functions, but we hope the local people will support our efforts and organise other functions for our appeal.
DR CYRIL R. NYMAN
Consultant physician, cardiorespiratory medicine