Liver Support Group funds new equipment at Liver Unit

30th April 2018

Liver Support Group fundraisingWith the 20th Anniversary of the Royal Victoria Hospital Liver Support Group fast approaching, plans are underway to mark the occasion with an event at the Crown Plaza Hotel, Belfast with attendees including the Chief Medical Officer and Consultant Liver Specialists, past and present, from King’s College London and RVH Belfast.

To coincide with this milestone occasion the Charity recently presented another cheque to the Liver Unit at the RVH for the sum of almost £18,000 enabling them to purchase more medical and supporting equipment which will benefit patients and medical staff in the Unit. This included two vein viewers to make the process of obtaining a blood specimen from patients with challenging veins much easier, improving patient experience and ensuring clinical time is used more efficiently .This latest contribution brings the total amount donated from the group so far to an amazing £207,000.

Dr Neil McDougall, Consultant Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist at the RVH, said “Over the past 20 years the Liver Support Group has made an enormous contribution to the support available to patients with liver disease across Northern Ireland and their families. In addition, their financial support has allowed the Regional Liver Unit to be truly innovative with the introduction of new technologies such as Fibroscan, again with massive benefit to patients.”

A diagnosis of liver disease can be devastating for both patients and families/carers, and the RVH Liver Support Group has been providing non-medical advice, support and a listening ear since being founded by Kay Duffy in 1998. Patient care and support is at the heart of what the Charity does. Not only has it helped patients financially when travelling outside Northern Ireland for liver related treatment, with a total spend of £113,500, but, more importantly, provided support and advice which has been so much appreciated by patients and their families.

Sharon Millen, Chair of the Charity said “the RVH Liver Support Group has been providing practical and emotional support to patients, including children, and their families throughout Northern Ireland for the last 20 years – often during very distressing circumstances. As well as funding medical equipment, we aim to increase the awareness of and reduce the stigma associated with liver disease as well as to promote the Organ Donor Register. The incidence of liver disease is steadily on the rise as is the number of people in contact with our Group. Our charity is run entirely by a committee of 10 extremely dedicated volunteers to whom I am very grateful. I cannot emphasise enough however, that the work that we do is only possible because of the overwhelming kindness and generosity of the people here in Northern Ireland. We would like to say a huge thank you to all our members, fundraisers and all those who have donated over the twenty years. Without your unwavering support we would not be where we are today.”