7 October 2019

The League of Friends of the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) has donated nearly £150,000 towards three new life-saving ultrasound machines for critically ill patients.

The donation included £1,250 raised by the family of Graham Boyle from a charity football match they organised as a thank you for the care he received in the Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) at RSH.

Andy, Madge and Louisa Boyle with Dr Ashley Miller and Richard Lawn

Graham, who passed away in January, had been the manager of the Shrewsbury local football team Santos and the fundraising match involved former players that he managed. The match, held in the summer, was organised by Graham’s son Andy, daughter-in-law Louisa and wife Madge.

The family joined members of the League of Friends and Dr Ashley Miller, Consultant in Intensive Care and Anaesthesia, to see how the new ultrasound machines work and what a difference they are making to patient care.

Dr Miller said: “The anaesthetic and intensive care teams are delighted and extremely grateful to have received funding for new ultrasound machines for the operating theatres and the Intensive Therapy Unit from the League of Friends.

“Ultrasound is like having a window into the body so we can directly visualize blood vessels, nerves, the heart, lungs and abdominal organs. In theatre this allows us to place lines into blood vessels and to guide placement of local anaesthetic around nerves under direct vision.

“In ITU, ultrasound is incredibly useful for many applications. It allows us to see exactly how the heart is working and how treatment strategies affect this. We can see lung disease with much greater accuracy than with a chest x-ray. We can assess all the abdominal organs to look for various diseases.

“All this can be done rapidly at the patient’s bedside by the clinician looking after the patient and guide management minute to minute. It is radiation free, avoids the need to transfer critically ill patients and is available 24/7. These machines will save lives.”

Richard Lawn, Chairman of the League of Friends Executive Committee, said “The people responsible for raising money for the League – our shop volunteers and staff, our fund-raising team, and most important those members of the public so generous with their donations and legacies – are always delighted when they can see the money raised put to immediate and life-saving use, and this is definitely the case with this vital new equipment for the ITU.

“We are also very happy to be the conduit for the Boyle family’s wonderful fundraising for a department that they felt did so much for the late Graham Boyle.”