The Great Ormond Street Hospital was started in 1852 with a bed capacity of 10 meant for children. The hospital now serves more than 80,000 annually. The hospital is supported for donations from individuals, companies, institutions and trusts. This essay looks at the various sources of funding for the hospital, and the impact of the funding streams (Great Ormond Street for Children NHS Trust, n.d.).
The hospital was a recipient of the copyright to the Peter Pan works by J.M. Barrie in 1929 and therefore the hospital became entitled to royalties from performances of publications of the play and any other work derived from the play. As a result of the popularity of the play’s characters, the hospital continues to benefit from the copyright. Its however impossible to know in exact terms how much funding the copyright has generated for the hospital since it was given on condition that proceed not be disclosed (Peter Pan Children’s Fund n.d.). Other than the funding, the hospital has relied on donations from well-wishers into its trust.
Currently GOSH receives funding from donation of individuals and institutions. Individuals may donate through their preferable charities or through the GOSH website that handles online donations, or through direct debit donations, payroll giving and gift aid. Various institutions and organizations donate to the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity which serves as the fundraising arm for research at the hospital in partnership with the University College of London (UCL). The funds are then directed to specific specific research areas in the hospital. The hospital started a redevelopment plan in 1992 and has since attracted a number of worthy donations specifically meant for different new units or redevelopments (GOSHCC, n.d.). These include Aditya Mittal donated £15 million towards the funding of The Mittal Children’s Medical Centre (Goodchild, 2008). In the 2009/10 football season, Arsenal had targeted to raise £500,000 for its charity cause, and had identified Great Ormond Street hospital as the beneficiary. At season end a total of £818,897 had been raised through the ‘Be a Gooner, Be a Giver’ campaign run by the football club. This funding support was specifically meant for updating cramped and old facilities in the hospital, into a spacious Lung Function Unit that was to be named after the team. After the completion of the new hospital unit, new-born babies will be catered for and that age group will extend to teenager and even their families (Arsenal.com, 2010).
The Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity is the funding arm of the hospital and is in charge of looking for research funding for the hospital. Its mission is to support research that promises to improve patient lives at Great Ormond Street Hospital. To this effect, the charity has plans for research funding each year and it alters its strategic plan so that funds raised have the maximum impact to patients’ lives. To ensure research submissions are worthy of funding, the charity has developed a peer review process to evaluate all expressions of interest, in the case of funding streams meant for a single institution. The charity also has a research strategy that is reviewed annually. The charity has committed to provide £5 million to various researches that have great potential of improving the hospital patient’s lives. For optimal distribution of this funding, the charity directs it through a number of streams as the national funding where institutions applying for grants do so in an open competition, with the only condition being that the research should be focused on the theme of that year as that will have the greatest potential of improving the care for young patients at Great Ormond street hospital. Another funding stream is the Leadership funding that relies on the senior management of the hospital to identify proposals from senior research staff that is carried out at joint institutions and falls within the boundaries of the research strategy identified by GOSH. Projects proposed by individuals who are based at GOSH are funded under the Local investigator-led funding stream and finally Supporter-led funding covers partnerships with supporters making significant contribution to research on child health. The charity’s funding criteria includes capital and revenue costs support. However, funds are only challenged to areas where they will have a specific benefit, therefore the grant maybe one off or multi-annual (GOSHCC, 2010a).
Impact of funding
A number of positive developments have arisen from the management of funds by the GOSHCC, and proper channelling to specific development projects of the hospital. The key areas that have shown an impact as a result of committed funding streams are: redevelopment, research, equipment and accommodation and welfare. The redevelopment of the hospital is aimed at rebuilding two-thirds of the hospital. Phase one of redevelopment was completed in 2006. New units developed and completed in phase one are the Wolfson Cardiothoracic Center for Children, the Octav Botnar Wing, a new neurosciences centre and the British Kidney Patient Association kidney centre. Other than the facilities, the new building that houses them has been equipped with en suite bedrooms to reduce cramping and offer patients privacy. Three new theatres now allow the hospital to offer flexible and reactive services because minimally invasive angiography procedures are now possible. The hospital staff and patients’ family has also been taken care of by a new restaurant that now caters for the whole hospital (GOSHCC, n.d.). Another impact is at the Mildred Creak Unit at the hospital which offers young people suffering from complex mental disorders, specialist medical treatment. The unit can now provide a welcoming modern and spacious home to at most 11 patients at a time. Areas for clinical activity and daily living have been separated. The kitchen as well as other bedrooms and bathrooms have been refurbished and decorated again. Multi-disciplinary teams are now able to clinic rooms and observations rooms that are now camera linked, to teach and supervise. More space has allowed for the allocation of a special room specifically meant for weighing patients, taking blood samples, and other tasks that require privacy as well as storage of medicine. Patients may now grow vegetables outside, which is a new initiative aimed at encouraging healthy eating (GOSHCC, 2010b).
Another objective of GOSHCC has been to fund more research in the hospital. One such research is the renal research whose impact has been the discovery that additional growth hormones need not be given to children on dialysis. Therefore additional research and support will use this finding to understand severe kidney diseases and develop treatments for mitigating effects of dialysis. Also in research, bone marrow transplants are now possible on children, who previously were considered too sick. This is because; new research has come up with better ways of carrying out the treatment that reduce the use of chemotherapy significantly. A reduction in chemotherapy during treatment assures children a reduced chance of severe damage on their organs. Cystic fibrosis research has enabled researches to understand the early evolution of the disease and is now able to adopt treatments that ensure no damage occurs to the lungs allowing the patient to have healthy lungs as they grow into adults (GOSHCC, 2010b).
The GOSHCC has purchased new equipment for the hospital as part of its overall strategy of modernization. 13 warming cots and 4 incubators have been added to the hospital to cater for more than 100 tiny patients annually to maintain their body temperature and prevent cold stress which is known to cause unstable blood sugar levels and respiratory disorders. Two mobile ultrasound machines were bought in December 2009 and they are used to insert lines in emergencies so that life-saving drugs are administered. The purchase of these two machines has made it safer and faster to insert lines by up to 75 per cent. This has resulted to fewer traumas for staff, the patients and their families. The last of the objectives by GOSHCC is to provide proper accommodation and welfare. In 2009/10 it was able to fund the accommodation of 4,916 patients and their families at the Paul O’Gorman patients’ hotel. The accommodation minimises disruptions to the routine of the child and also ensures that the whole family is available for the patient. Accommodation by the hospital saves families the cost of traveling especially if they are coming from area far from the hospital. The most notable impact of funding the eight transitional care flats is that now a home environment away from home is created and parents are able to practice how to care for their children while being supervised and instructed by staff (GOSHCC, 2010b).
Modernization of the hospital has also brought other benefits and has made the hospital to become a world class facility. As a result of a multi-million pound contribution from the Reuben Foundation, the hospital opened The Reuben Foundation Children’s Cancer Centre that made it one of the largest paediatric cancer treatment centres worldwide. The new centre located within GOSH has a day care facility, an outpatient department and is equipped with three inpatient wards (Reuben Foundation, n.d.).
In April 2006 with funding from the NSCAG, GOSH became designated as a national centre for treatment of Long Segment Tracheal Stenosis and assembled a team of tracheal experts to offer surgery using a special technique known as slide tracheoplasty to aid children to breathe properly without pain. The most positive development of this funding is that it allows GOSH to serve as a referral hospital, which makes it treat more patients, and as a research facility, the hospital is able to contribute significantly to research and the world’s literature which eventually influences the way similar patients are cared for worldwide (Innovation Report, 2006). The Mittal Children’s Medical Centre was a modernization of the hospital and as a result its patient handling capacity increased by almost a quarter (Goodchild, 2008).
The funding has enabled the hospital to rebuild and refurbish its buildings to make them spacious while increasing their bed capacity. Furthermore without the funding the hospital would be unable to treat thousands of children whose life is threatened by life-limiting conditions. The equipment paid for by donations is tailor-made to cater for the hospital’s small patients that facilitate research into kinder treatments like the catheter technique that is replacing open heart surgery (GOSHCC 2010a).
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