Children requiring life-saving heart scans are now able to receive their care closer to home thanks to a new heart scanner funded by the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity.

According to the British Heart Foundation, a heart defect is the most common problem a baby can be born with. The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust cares for more than 500 babies and children every year for conditions varying from heart murmurs to breathing problems.

Thanks to supporter donations, the charity has successfully funded a £54,000 echocardiography machine for The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust’s Family Health division.

Dr Moslehuddin Farid, Consultant Cardiologist at Rotherham Hospital, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to receive funding from the charity for our own paediatric echo machine. It’s a big investment but a wonderful way to invest the money people generously donate to the charity. The state-of-the-art equipment means we can carry out urgent scans promptly because we don’t have to rely on sharing equipment with adult services. Having our own paediatric echo machine here in Rotherham also prevents families unnecessarily travelling to the specialist centre in Leeds and Sheffield. “

“Providing care closer to home is reassuring and less stressful for parents who are naturally worried about their child’s health.

“The equipment is also tailored to neonatal services so the quality of the scans are more accurate, making it easier for clinicians to diagnose heart conditions and advise treatment plans.”

Children’s Outpatient clinics are currently held four times a month at Rotherham Hospital, with more than 40 babies and children receiving specialist care from Rotherham’s paediatric cardiologist or visiting cardiologists from Leeds.

Dr Farid said the echo machine is already making a huge difference to families in Rotherham, especially those who would ordinarily have needed to travel to appointments elsewhere. This is a great example of the role that NHS Charities play in supporting and improving services within their NHS Trust.

For more information about the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity please visit www.therotherhamft.nhs.uk/charity or follow them on Twitter via @TRFT_Charity