The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Lancaster, Councillor Robert Redfern, visited the Royal Lancaster Infirmary to see how refurbishment work is going to transform the former Coronary Care Unit in Med Unit 1 into a centre dedicated to specialist Outpatient services for people living with Diabetes in North Lancashire.
Councillor Redfern was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 1980 and has attended the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) diabetic clinic every three months since his diagnosis.
When he heard that Deborah Whittle, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), was leading a project to establish a Diabetes Hub for the North Lancashire area he made it his mission to help raise funds.
Councillor Redfern was sworn in as Mayor of Lancaster District on Friday 13 May. The Mayor officially opened the new Primark store in Lancaster City Centre and was delighted to receive a donation of £5,000 for his charity, which is to raise funds for the Diabetic Hub through the Morecambe Bay Hospitals Charity. His original fundraising target for the Hub was £3,000, which he has already exceeded.
Councillor Redfern, who has served on the council for 17 years, said: “It’s great to see the transformation of the building is going so well. Diabetes is a growing concern and I feel that it is important for more people to get together to support each other. The services that are provided will help so many people in the future.”
Plans for the Diabetes Hub at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) took a massive leap in the right direction after University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) approved an investment of £75,000 towards the project in November 2015.
Deborah Whittle added: “I personally would like to thank Councillor Redfern for his support. The vision is that our Diabetes Hub will be seen very much as an education and research centre allowing expansion of the initiatives introduced by Janet Singleton and Katherine Mason with the hub acting as a dedicated centre for patients with diabetes, facilitating multidisciplinary team working with the provision of specialist outpatient services, and help to support the education of staff and patients on self-care – important aims of the Better Care Together strategy which the Trust has adopted along with 11 other partners.”
The project itself was set up as part of the Trust’s Listening into Action (LiA) initiative, which was launched in September 2014 to put the power back into the hands of Trust staff who lead on the improvements that they think the Trust should make for patients and staff.
Paula Richardson, Head of Charity and Fundraising, UHMBT, said: “We are extremely grateful to our incoming Mayor for choosing a cause close to his heart during his term in office; Diabetes is something that affects so many people across the country.”
Morecambe Bay Hospitals Charity is a registered charity that raises funds and supports UHMBT’s five hospital sites. Donations received go to providing those little extras that help make the hospital experience better or improve outcomes for patients. Money is used to fund additional medical equipment, medical research, specialist training and service improvements. It is the generosity of the local communities that enables the charity to enhance and support the hospitals across Morecambe Bay and the lives of the 365,000 people that live here.
If you would like to support the charity and make a donation, please visit http://www.mbhcharity.org/charities_fundraising.asp or email [email protected].
The Mayor will be holding a fundraising evening with food and drinks at the Banqueting Suite at the Town Hall, Lancaster, on Friday 7 October 2016. Tickets cost £12 and are available from the Mayor’s Office on 01524 582065. A Christmas Bash will also be held at the Town Hall on Friday 2 December.