Steve Brine is leading a campaign for a dedicated Children's Emergency Department in Southampton, with strong backing from other local politicians, charity fundraisers and the Southern Daily Echo.
It is hoped the project will, in time, become the south's first children's hospital and has strong clinical backing.
"Say Yes George" went live on the front page of the Daily Echo on Friday 18th February, with Winchester & Chandler's Ford MP Steve Brine and well-known actors Sarah Parish and Jim Murray, from the Murray Parish Trust, leading efforts to secure capital help from then Chancellor, George Osborne, in the March 2016 Budget.
Sarah Parish and Jim Murray set up the Murray Parish Trust in memory of their late daughter Ella-Jayne, who died of congenital heart failure in 2009. When they are not working in the film and TV world they dedicate their time to raising funds for the charity.
Steve continued: "I was struck by the fact there are ten children's hospitals in the North of England with facilities exclusively dedicated to the needs of children and young people, while London has three. Here in the South of England we have one hospital providing comprehensive specialist children's services, in Southampton, but they're scattered across a busy adult hospital. Children are not simply small adults and modern paediatric medicine demands specialist services tailored to their, often complex, needs.
"The South of England, with a fast growing population, needs a dedicated Children's Hospital and it's logical that this ambition begins with a dedicated Paediatric Emergency and Trauma department sitting alongside a world-class University Teaching Hospital. The aim is to free up capacity so adult patients can benefit from faster emergency care and better outcomes and is absolutely, in time, to see it become a full children's hospital."
The initial focus of the campaign was to secure £2m of matched funding from the Government and that was secured in the 2016 Spring Budget as announced by the Chancellor.
Subsequent to this, Steve Brine launched the #2MillionSteps campaign to raise the other £2m. That took place with representatives from the Trust, the Murray Parish Trust, supporters and media in Westminster in June 2016.
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