Piam Brown ward
Piam Brown ward is the Regional Paediatric Oncology and Haematology Unit for Wessex, based on the top floor of Southampton General Hospital. Children come from as far afield as Brighton, Chichester, Portsmouth, Channel Islands, Isle of Wight, Dorchester, Basingstoke, Bournemouth, Poole, Southampton, Eastleigh and Fareham.
We cater for children from only one day to 16 years old, so demand on our resources is huge - per year, the unit sees approximately 100 new families. We treat all types of cancer, with Leukaemia being the most common, accounting for approximately one third of our new patients each year.
Piam Brown ward which is the happiest sad place in the hospital. It is a very special place: you step into a ward that you would never want to enter, and yet it becomes a place of safety and security, a place of hope.
One family commented: “we believe that it is because when you become a patient on Piam Brown ward, you become part of a privileged world where staff helps you to treasure the ‘now’, to believe in family and help make your desperately ill child feels like the centre of the universe.”
Our “team” is multidisciplinary, led by four consultants and supported by differing grades of nurses and trainee doctors. Other people you will see on the ward include social workers, physiotherapists, dieticians, pharmacists, research and data staff, support and play staff. To read more about the unit, please visit the UHS webpage
You can download a copy of the latest Piam Brown newsletter here:
Fundraising for Piam Brown ward
Fundraising for Piam Brown Ward (this fund is part of Southampton Hospital Charity) provides those ‘extras’ that the NHS doesn’t. The pull-out beds so exhausted parents can have a decent night’s sleep and be close to their child; computer games, DVDs, books and games for the children and young people; snacks to tempt them when they feel sick; pleasant décor; quiet rooms; kitchen facilities so parents can cook for themselves and their child; trips and outings with family members; and much more to help make this sad place happy.
100% of the money raised for Piam Brown ward is spent to further support all our patients and their families.
So what can it be used for:
Play room and school room
There is always an ongoing need to replace and update toys, craft materials, games and activities for the play room as well as school resources and equipment. Both rooms are well used every day by the children in the unit. The school room has also been designated for our teenagers in the evenings and holidays.
Trips and outings
It is highly motivating and hugely important to provide special opportunities for the whole family, especially for siblings, during these difficult times. We aim to do something with each of the different age groups throughout the year to bring a smile and provide happy family memories.
Teenagers can attend Avon Tyrell in the New Forest for a residential weekend and are offered the opportunity to go sailing during the summer months. Visits to the theatre, Longleat, Legoland, Paultons, Marwell, Popham Airshow, Southampton Football Club, and Thomas the Tank Engine events are always fully subscribed! Christmas and Easter are big family celebrations.
Parents can find themselves living on the ward for weeks at a time. The charity fund helps to create a pleasant environment during these long stays. We have a parent’s kitchen and sitting room which provide a bit of space in relaxed surroundings.
Our service is very specialised and expensive to run. Whilst the NHS provides all the basics, the charity fund helps to meet the cost of some of our specialised equipment.
The Paediatric Outreach Nursing Team
The team support children out in the community, visiting at home and at school. They have responsibility for our palliative care patients and we spend funds as appropriate to meet specific requirements.
Research and education
The ongoing research and specialised training in Paediatric Oncology enable us to have the fantastic quality of nursing staff to run the ward. Funds are spent to attend conferences, courses etc as well as supporting the research programme.
Thank you in anticipation of your kind generosity.
Rachel Funnell is the dedicated Charity Fund and Events Coordinator for the Piam Brown Ward. You can contact her on: Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org
or 023 8120 6894.
If you would like to make a donation, please ensure that cheques are made payble to 'Piam Brown Ward - 0233' and this is also written on bank transfers. This will ensure that any donation will be credited to the Piam Brown Ward fund for sole use in the unit.
We want to say a special thank you to all the other charities who support our activities and days out for the families. These charities include A Better Life, Dave Wellman Cancer Trust, Hannah’s Holiday Homes, Joe Glover Trust, Lucy's Days Out, Sophie’s Appeal, Starlight, U Support, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, Wessex Cancer Trust.
We are grateful for all of the support we receive - thank you!
What our staff and patients say:
- "The happiest sad place..., that’s how a student nurse described Piam Brown ward to me one morning in the ward kitchen as I was making my first cup of tea of the day."
- No parent ever wants to see the inside of a children’s cancer ward, but Piam Brown became a home from home during the eight months of our daughter’s treatment.
- The staff were brilliant, kept us up to date with procedures and made sure we had everything we needed. Very sick children, from babies to 18 year olds, spend several months on the ward, with visits for follow up continuing for years and years. You really form a bond with staff!