Sharing medical expertise with Cambodia’s Ravy

We’ve just waved goodbye to M’Lop Tapang’s Medical Team Leader Ngov Chanravy (Ravy), who spent a fantastic week in the UK thanks to a SicKids grant, supported by the Burdett Trust for Nursing.

The equivalent to an Advanced Paediatric Nurse Practitioner / Nurse Consultant in the UK, Ravy has been running one of the most advanced medical programmes for children and young people in South West Cambodia for over a decade.

She was awarded our grant in order to spend time working within an NHS environment, alongside an excellent team of medics and nurses from the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Salford University and NHS England.

Ravy was hosted by Sue Higgins, a children’s nurse who was the first recipient of one of our outreach grants last year, when she worked alongside Ravy and her fantastic M’Lop Tapang team. Ravy stayed at Sue’s family home, and also spent time shadowing Sue at the children’s emergency department at North Manchester General Hospital. During Sue’s visit to Cambodia last year, she taught Ravy and her team about the advantages of triage when dealing with emergencies – a process Ravy has now experienced first hand.

Her visit was well-timed to coincide with the grand opening of our first-of-its-kind Sensory Space. Sensory facilities are proven to support the development of the senses – like touch, hearing and sight – through cool things like special lighting, music, tactile objects and a calming environment. While many hospitals and health centres in the UK have similar facilities in their children’s wards, there are very few with 21st Century equipment within their emergency departments.

Ravy and the SicKids team welcomed Mr Barry Dixon CBE DL, Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, and Her Excellency Dr Rathchavy Soeung, The Cambodian Ambassador to the UK to the grand opening of the SicKids Sensory Space. She presented them with friendship bracelets, which were hand-made by parents of children attending M’Lop Tapang in Cambodia. The sale of each bracelet helps to support street-living and street-working children, young people, and their families, and keep children in school.

During the week Ravy also visited Fairfield General Hospital, Bury, where she met Dr Bratati Bose-Haider, a consultant paediatrician. Bratati was recently awarded a SicKids grant and will travel to Cambodia in November to work alongside Ravy’s team during the opening of our first sensory space in Cambodia. While working with Bratati, Ravy learned about how the NHS assesses disabled children. These skills will assist the clinical team at M’Lop Tapang greatly when our amazing facility opens in a couple of months’ time.

Also while at Bury, Ravy spent time with the child development team, including a children’s physiotherapist, children’s orthoptist, speech and language therapist and a children’s occupational therapist. Practitioners such as these are either non-existent or very rare in Cambodia, and Ravy found learning about the importance of these roles in the development of child health fascinating and insightful.

During her time in the UK, the NHS Expo, an annual conference focused on innovation across all aspects of health and social care, was also being hosted in Manchester. Here Ravy learned about youth participation in the design of healthcare services courtesy of the NHS Youth Forum, supported by Kath Evans.

Tony Long, Professor of child and family health at Salford University, took Ravy to a local primary school to learn how to make research fun for young children to participate in.

And the child sexual exploitation team welcomed Ravy to their hub in Bolton, where she learned about the benefits of having social workers, police officers, youth workers, doctors and nurses working together as a co-ordinated team to identify children at risk of child sexual exploitation, and to work with them on preventative and supportive programs.

Ravy said:

I really appreciate the support of SicKids and the Burdett Trust for Nursing. During my visit to the UK I’ve learned a lot, and had so many experiences that I could not have in Cambodia. It has given me many ideas which I look forward to sharing with my colleagues at M’Lop Tapang to further enhance our work caring for vulnerable children and young people.

Thanks to Ravy for her enthusiasm, hard work and commitment during her outreach visit.

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We’ve opened our first sensory space to enhance medical and nursing care for children and young people

Today we held the grand opening of The SicKids Sensory Space at North Manchester General Hospital. Mr Barry Dixon CBE DL QFSM MIFireE, Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, performed the opening ceremony, alongside Her Excellency Dr Rathchavy Soeung, The Cambodian Ambassador to the UK.

Cambodian Ambassador to the UK, Her Excellency Dr Rathchavy Soeung, and Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Mr Barry Dixon CBE DL, officially opening the SicKids Sensory Space (credit: LeeBoswellPhotography.com)

 

The sensory space is the first-of-its-kind in the region, and has been built thanks to the generosity of our supporters, The Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund, The W O Street Charitable Foundation and The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust Children’s Emergency Department Endowment Fund.

Inside the SicKids Sensory Space, lighting effects and tactile objects, together with emoji cushions, help to support the care of children and young people in the Emergency Department

 

Sensory facilities are proven to support the development of the senses – like touch, hearing and sight – through cool things like special lighting, music, tactile objects and a calming environment. While many hospitals and health centres in the UK have similar facilities in their children’s wards, there are very few with 21st Century equipment within their emergency departments.

 

The first of many

Our vision is to support the health and wellbeing of children and young people in both the North West and in Cambodia, South East Asia. While the two regions are geographically and culturally divergent, we believe there are stark similarities and opportunities for health professionals in both countries to share knowledge and develop strategies to relieve sickness and enhance the wellbeing of children and young people.

Because of that, in November 2017 we’ll open our second state-of-the-art sensory facility, this time at M’Lop Tapang, a non-governmental community project in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. We believe this will be the first such facility in Cambodia, and will offer life-enhancing opportunities for many hundreds of children and young people with developmental delay, which, due to its link to conditions related to poverty, is prevalent in Cambodia.

In attendance at today’s grand opening was Her Excellency Dr Rathchavy Soeung, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Cambodia, who was keen to learn more about how children in Cambodia will benefit from a sensory space. M’Lop Tapang’s Medical Team Leader, Ngov Chanravy, who is visiting the UK this week as part of a career development opportunity co-funded by a SicKids grant, thanks to the Burdett Trust for Nursing, was also present.

Her Excellency is greeted as she arrives at the Children’s Emergency Department of North Manchester General Hospital (credit: LeeBoswellPhotography.com)

 

Designed by children and their families

The SicKids Sensory Space at North Manchester General Hospital was designed by local children and their families, who volunteered to support the project with creative input and ideas to make the facility as welcoming, attractive and effective as possible.

Vladimir Y Maximo, esq, Her Excellency Dr Rathchavy Soeung, SicKids’ Trustees Professor Andrew Rowland and Den Carter, Deputy Lieutenant Mr Barry Dixon CBE DL, SicKids Trustees Dr Jimmy Stuart and Dianne Cook (credit: LeeBoswellPhotography.com)

 

To symbolise the unique partnership between SicKids and the diverse communities in the North West of England and Cambodia, our Trustees presented the Deputy Lieutenant and the Ambassador with friendship bracelets. The colourful bracelets, are hand-made by parents of children attending the M’Lop Tapang facility in Cambodia. The sale of each bracelet, for US$1.25, helps to support street-living and street-working children, young people, and their families, and keep children in school.

Dr Jimmy Stuart, Her Excellency Dr Rathchavy Soeung, Ms Dianne Cook, Professor Andrew Rowland, Mr Den Carter, Mr Barry Dixon CBE DL, Miss Ngov Chanravy (credit: LeeBoswellPhotography.com)

 

Professor Andrew Rowland, SicKids’ founder and chairperson, said:

“Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, as well as The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, I’m thrilled about the opening of the first-ever SicKids Sensory Space. An amazing team work here at the children’s emergency department at North Manchester General Hospital, and the sensory space will help them go even further in the lifesaving and supportive care they offer to acutely unwell and injured children within the local region.”

 

Dianne Cook, Director of Nursing at SicKids said:

“It’s amazing that children, young people, and their families have co-designed this facility. Having a state-of-the-art sensory space in the children’s emergency department will really help the hospital to deliver better care to children and young people who attend the department with a learning or physical disability. It will also make the environment much more welcoming for children who are frightened about coming to hospital.”

 

Simon Featherstone, Director of Nursing at North Manchester General Hospital said:

“On behalf of The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, sincere thanks to the team at SicKids, and their supporters, for providing this excellent facility. Over 30,000 children and young people attend the emergency department at North Manchester General Hospital every year. I have no doubt that the new SicKids Sensory Space will significantly improve the care we offer them.”

 

Mr Barry Dixon CBE DL QFSM MIFireE, Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, said:

“I am delighted to welcome Her Excellency Dr Rathchavy Soeung to the fantastic city of Manchester, and to have the pleasure of opening this wonderful sensory space at North Manchester General Hospital. I’m sure it will make a great difference to the quality of care offered to children and young people. I look forward to hearing about the success of the facility, as well as the forthcoming opening of the sensory space in Cambodia.”

We’re still fundraising for our next Sensory Space in Cambodia, as well as future facilities in both the UK and Cambodia. Click here to support us.

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We’ve awarded an outreach grant to Dr Bratati Bose-Haider

Having already awarded three medical outreach grants, two to UK professionals visiting Cambodia, and one to a Cambodian professional to visit the UK, we’re delighted to have awarded another SicKids grant. The recipient is Dr Bratati Bose-Haider, consultant paediatrician at Fairfield General Hospital, Bury, and the first medical doctor to benefit from our grant programme.

Dr Bratati Bose-Haider will join SicKids in Cambodia this November

Bratati will be joining our Trustees, Professor Andrew Rowland and Den Carter, on a week-long visit to M’Lop Tapang, one of Cambodia’s best medical centres for children and young people, this November. She’ll provide expert advice on the management of children and young people with developmental delay – including all forms of disabilities. Her work will coincide with us building and launching our life-changing sensory room, funded by generous donations from our supporters.

 

A children’s doctor with over 35 years’ experience, Bratati set up the specialist child development centre in Bury. Her advice on how we can better support the children and young people with developmental delay already seen by our Chairperson Andrew, and previous grant recipients, will be invaluable.

 

Bratati says:

“I’m over the moon to have the opportunity to spend time with the excellent medical team at M’Lop Tapang. Having recently joined the SicKids Trustees on one of their regular Skype clinics with the team in Cambodia, I now can’t wait to get out there and learn about their brilliant work with children and young people.”

We’re still fund raising to make our sensory rooms in the UK and Cambodia as amazing as possible.

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Watch these two films to see how we’re investing your donations to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people:

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Professional development opportunity for Cambodia’s Nurse Ravy

We’re thrilled to have been awarded a grant from the Burdett Trust for Nursing to fund a professional visit for M’Lop Tapang’s Medical Team Leader Ngov Chanravy (Ravy) this September.

The equivalent to an Advanced Paediatric Nurse Practitioner / Nurse Consultant in the UK, Ravy has been running one of the most advanced medical programmes for children and young people in South West Cambodia for over a decade.

While in the UK Ravy will be welcomed by our Trustees, and spend a week working alongside medical professionals from various facilities of the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, as well as working in the community in Manchester. She’ll also spend time working with Nurse Sue Higgins, who was the first recipient of a SicKids outreach grant, and Joan Livesey, our second grant recipient. Both Sue and Joan have spent time in Cambodia working in Ravy’s clinic thanks to their SicKids grants.

During Ravy’s visit we’ll also open our sensory facility at North Manchester General Hospital, where she’ll spend time getting to grips with life-changing equipment similar to the kit she’ll be welcoming at M’Lop Tapang when we open Cambodia’s first sensory room in November this year.

Ravy said:

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to visit the UK, and continue working closely with the team from SicKids. We already have a great working relationship, having been holding Skype clinics since January 2015, and it’s been a pleasure to welcome both Trustees and grant recipients to M’Lop Tapang. This visit is an excellent opportunity for me to gain new skills and knowledge, and learn about the sensory equipment which SicKids is kindly donating to us. Many thanks to the Burdett Trust for Nursing as well as SicKids. I can’t wait for my trip in September.”

We continue to raise funds to support our medical outreach work. Learn more about it in our video below, and please click here to support us.

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How to build a sensory room – Part Three: Shopping list!

Links: Part One | Part Two

Back in December we began our crowdfunding drive to raise funds to bring the life-changing advantages of sensory play to Cambodia. Our regular followers will already be aware of how sensory equipment can really enhance the medical care given to children, especially those with developmental delay – which is prevalent in countries like Cambodia where medical conditions related to poverty are treated by skilled health and social care workers, without access the types of equipment freely available in developed countries.

We’re still raising funds, but the good news is we have enough to build a basic sensory room at M’Lop Tapang, one of the best children’s health centres in Cambodia, this November.

But ahead of that, we’re thrilled to confirm we’ve also raised enough to provide fantastic sensory equipment for the children’s emergency department at North Manchester General Hospital, a dedicated paediatric A&E treating over 30,000 children and young people every year. Although many children’s wards in the UK have well equipped sensory rooms already, we’ve learnt that very few A&Es have access to advanced sensory equipment that would greatly improve the standard of care offered to younger patients.

With the advice of Ruth Bell, Learning Disability Specialist Nurse for the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, and parents of children with learning disabilities, our Director of Nursing Dianne Cook is compiling our shopping list to include a fully fitted basic sensory room for M’Lop Tapang in Cambodia, whose services reach 7,500 children a year, and a suite of equipment for North Manchester General Hospital, which we aim to present this September.

We’re not resting on our laurels, though. We want to go further! Our current funding will buy basic equipment, but we still need to raise approx £2000 to ship this amazing gift to the children of Cambodia. Further funds raised will enhance the quality and variety of equipment we provide to both locations.

Click here to support us – every penny counts!

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We’re recruiting! Volunteer Fundraiser: apply now

We’re excited to be recruiting for a Volunteer Fundraiser to join our visionary, enthusiastic and friendly team! Working flexibly, the successful candidate will be highly involved in our success, as we gear up to build Cambodia’s first sensory room later this year, as well as provide life-changing sensory facilities to a children’s A&E in the North West of England.

SicKids volunteer vacancy – June 2017 v0.1

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Developing valuable first aid skills in the community in Cambodia

Over the last couple of days our founder Andrew and grant recipient Joan have co-delivered first aid training to over 50 social workers, teachers and other non-clinical team members at M’Lop Tapang. This follows the great work started by Andrew and our first grant recipient, Sue Higgins, a year ago.

This training has been part-supported by the British Medical Association via their humanitarian fund.

Crucially, this time the focus was on teaching new life-saving skills to people who live and work in and around M’Lop Tapang’s communities who aren’t members of the medical or nursing team but work closely with children and young people every day.

Joan has also been busy reviewing the first aid training material at M’Lop Tapang, making recommendations about delivery and evaluation for the team, led by Medical Program Manager Ngov Chanravy (Ravy).

Ravy says:

“The first aid training was really enjoyable and it was very well received. Thanks to Joan, Andrew, the SicKids team and the BMA for their support helping people who work every day with children and young people in the community here in Sihanoukville.”

Learn more about our work supporting the health and wellbeing of children and young people on the UK and Cambodia, and how to support us on Youtube.

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Opening a new medical learning resource centre in Sihanoukville, Cambodia

During her first four days in Cambodia, Dr Joan Livesley has been developing a new space at M’Lop Tapang for medical and nursing team members at the children’s health centre to learn and develop their skills.

Opened today, the new learning resource centre has been made possible by the provision of text books by the British Medical Association, updating the resources already available at M’Lop Tapang.

Joan, a senior lecturer in the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences at Salford University, is currently spending a week in Cambodia enhancing the health and wellbeing of children and young people in the local community, developing her own skills. She’s the recipient of our second outreach grant, made possible by funding from the BMA Humanitarian Fund.

Ngov Chanravy (Ravy) Medical Program Manager for M’Lop Tapang says:

“The new learning resource centre created by Joan with the support of the British Medical Association will make a big difference to the children and young people our medical and nursing teams at M’Lop Tapang care for. Our new books are fully up-to-date, helping our collective knowledge to be consistent. Many thanks to Joan, SicKids and the BMA for providing this facility.”

Joan says:

“It’s important that medical and nursing teams have ready access to reputable resources like the updated books provided by the British Medical Association. The teams here at M’Lop Tapang already do an outstanding job, providing services for over 7,500 children and young people a year. With easier access to learning resources, the high level of skill the team has can only improve. I’m delighted to have created this space as a kickstarter for M’Lop Tapang to maintain with future support from SicKids.”

Our medical outreach project supports the health and wellbeing of children and young people in Cambodia and the North West of England by providing grants for UK medical professionals to learn and develop their own skills during field visits to Cambodia. Click here to learn more and support us.

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Joan gets to know the community at M’Lop Tapang

After 48 hours travelling, our second grant recipient, Dr Joan Livesley, arrived in Sihanoukville this morning. We believe M’Lop Tapang is among the best health care centres for children and young people in Cambodia. For the last two years we’ve been working closely with them to to support the relief of health issues facing children and young people in the community, including malnutrition, respiratory infections, the affects of parental alcohol and drug use, skin diseases, developmental delay and the consequences of child abuse.

On arrival at M’Lop Tapang Joan got straight into the swing of things with a tour of the centre, which delivered over 30,000 free medical and dental treatments last year alone, providing support to over 7,500 children. M’Lop Tapang is more than a heath centre, though. It provides education, healthcare and support for thousands of children and young people. Joan met children enjoying a dance lesson, and got stuck in, learning the intricate moves of Khmer dance.

Tomorrow Joan will begin her research, meeting children and young people from across the community to learn about the issues that affect them, before starting work on developing a learning centre for M’Lop Tapang’s health and social care teams, including books donated by the British Medical Association.

Joan’s grant is funded through SicKids’ supporters, and a generous contribution from the BMA Humanitarian Fund. To help us give amazing development opportunities to more UK health and social care workers, please consider a donation. No matter how big or small, every penny makes a difference to the lives of children and young people in the North West of England and Cambodia.

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How to build a sensory room – Part Two: It’s good to talk!

While we’re continuing to seek funding to build our first two sensory rooms, we’ve been busy making exciting plans about how to design these spaces, which will enhance the wellbeing of children and young with developmental delay.

Our Director of Nursing, Dianne Cook, has met with Ruth Bell, Learning Disability Specialist Nurse for Pennine Acute Hospital Trust, to discuss the project.

Working with Ruth, Dianne has begun to seek advice on the environment and equipment required to build a sensory room and best provide support to children and young people with a learning disability who attend A&E with acute illness or injury.

Dianne has also been consulting with parents who’ve attended emergency departments with children with learning disabilities, who have enthusiastically offered their own experience and knowledge to help us design the ideal sensory space to contrast the noisy, often scary environment of the A&E.

Dianne says:

“It’s really important that we get the absolute best value out of our sensory rooms. We’re not just looking for the flashest, most fancy equipment. We want the equipment that will make the biggest difference to children, and who better to give us advice on that than the parents of children and young people who would benefit most? We’ll be continuing to talk to parents and medical experts as we build a ‘shopping list’ ahead of building the space.”

We’re still fund raising to make this life-changing project a reality, so please click here to donate any amount – no matter how big or small, it’ll help us make a massive difference to many lives.

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