Local charity launches life-saving appeal

Worthing-based military charity, The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home (QAHH), has launched an appeal to try and raise enough money to purchase a life-saving piece of equipment.

A Cough Assist Machine might not sound like much, but it saves lives, and is a vital piece of equipment for those who have a weak or ineffective cough due to a neuromuscular disease or cervical spinal cord injury.

QAHH Matron and Director of Nursing, Valerie Walker, explains: “A gentleman wished to apply to us recently, who, due to a progressive neurological condition, had a very weak chest and could not cough naturally. He would have needed a Cough Assist Machine to enable him to expand his lungs and breathe normally. As we did not have this equipment at QAHH, he could not be admitted and had to remain in hospital. Needless to say, this was a very sad day for us, as we would have loved to have welcomed this gentleman into the QAHH family.”

People with progressive neurological conditions, for example Multiple Sclerosis and motor neurone disease, often require the assistance of this machine in the later stages of their illness. If someone does need the assistance of a machine like this, they can wait many weeks on the NHS. If QAHH had one of these machines, some residents could benefit immediately, by being moved from a clinical setting to a home setting that can provide full nursing care and equipment to support them.

Mrs Walker continues: “We would like to purchase a Cough Assist Machine, not only so that we do not have to turn anyone else away, but also because such a machine may be able to help some of our current residents in the future.”

The benefits of a Cough Assist Machine include: enabling patients to cough, allowing them to keep airways clear and aid breathing; reduces the occurrence of respiratory infections; provides a safe, more comfortable and a non-invasive procedure, reducing the need for frequent suctioning; prevents A&E admissions; and improves quality of life and can save lives.

To purchase this equipment, train staff to use it and maintain/service, it will cost £6,060 in total. QAHH is therefore appealing to you to ask if you would be able to contribute to the purchase of this vital piece of equipment. Since launching the appeal last week, the charity has already raised an incredible £1,406!

As a ‘thank you’ to those who help make this possible, QAHH will produce a roll of honour of all those who have donated, which will be displayed on the charity’s website and at QAHH for all residents, staff and visitors to see.

If you can help, with whatever size donation, please visit the QAHH website www.qahh.org.uk/life-saving-appeal or call 01903 218444.

For high resolution/unedited images, please contact Stewart Gillespie on 01903 218444 or email: stewart-gillespie@qahh.org.uk

About The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home

The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home was established in 1919 – the charity celebrates its 98th anniversary this year (2017).

The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home is a registered charity, providing care and rehabilitation for physically disabled ex-Servicemen and women. Our residents’ needs are complex and many have multiple disabilities; some have neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s, Acquired Brain Injury or Motor Neurone Disease, others are paralysed or do not have use of their limbs, some are terminally ill. We support on average 140 residents a year.

We take up to 60 residents at any one time.

The average age of residents is 64 with the eldest resident being 98 and the youngest 31.

Our residents represent the tri-services: Royal Navy, Army and RAF.

Services at QAHH include nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, an active social and recreation department, rehabilitation kitchen, a chaplaincy service, counselling, IT facilities, a rehabilitation garden, sensory room, coffee shop and function room and regular outings on our specially adapted coach.

With no regular government funding The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home must raise over £1.3 million each year to maintain its nursing and rehabilitation services for ex-Servicemen and women.

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