The South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust Charitable Funds or stsCharity is registered with the Charity Commission (registration number 1052366). Unlike most charities the stsCharity has a Corporate Trustee, this being the NHS Trust it is attached to, this is normal for NHS charities. The Board of the Foundation Trust also act as the Board of Trustees for the charity. The Board delegate the day to day decision making for the charity to Trust officers overseen by the Charitable Funds Committee, which is a subcommittee to the Board.
The committee meet six times per year to review the activities of the charity, ensuring that all activity undertaken by the charity is in compliance with its governing documents and is in keeping with its aims and objectives. The committee oversees all income generation activity and the management of the charity’s resources.
The committee consists of 6 voting members; 2 Nonexecutive Directors, 2 Executive Directors and 2 Governors (elected to their roles), along with the Director of Corporate Affairs, the Charitable Fundraiser and a Senior Finance manager.
A key role of the committee is to review proposals to spend charitable funds. Any proposal to spend more than £5,000 must be reviewed and approved by the committee, proposals under that value can be approved by fund managers as long as they are in line with that funds specific purpose as guided by the charity team. Proposals under £5,000 may be reviewed by the committee if they are deemed to be unusual.
When assessing proposals the committee are mindful of the purpose of both the charity and the individual funds that will be used in each case, only approving those they believe are appropriate.
Click on the dates below to see examples of proposals approved by the committee at each meeting
Auditory Brainstem Response Equipment for Newborn Hearing Screening
The Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test is an objective tool which is essential for the assessment of hearing in newborns and is also a useful test for children and adults as it does not rely on the individual making a response to sound themselves. The test uses sensors (electrodes) to record small brainwave activity in response to auditory stimuli which can be used to estimate hearing levels.
The equipment is also useful for test hearing on children and adults who have communication issues or are under general anaesthetic.
A Gamma Probe for use in Theatres
A gamma probe is a handheld device used by Surgeons to identify lymph nodes that they are going to remove. One of the most common uses of gamma probes is in a surgical procedure called a Sentinel Node Biopsy. Sentinel Node Biopsies can be used to determine whether a tumour has metastasized to the lymphatic system, which is often the route cancers use to spread to new locations within the body.
This equipment helps to improve diagnosis and reduce the need for unnecessary surgeries.
Colour Fundus Camera for use with new Ophthalmology service at Cleadon Park
The Trust is establishing a new Ophthamology service at the Cleadon Park Health centre, as part of this the Charity has purchased a Colour Fundus Camera.
A Colour Fundus camera is used to document, identify and investigate various conditions ranging from Macular Degeneration, inflammatory eye disease, pigmentary fundus lesions and diabetic retinopathy.
Benefits Support Service within the Cancer Advice Centre
The Cancer Advice Centre provides benefits advice to cancer patients and their families through the work of 2 dedicated Benefits Advisors, the advice is tailored to meet the needs of cancer patients.
The charitable funds committee approved funding to continue this service through to the end of March 2022.
Rehabilitation Equipment for ICAR unit.
ICAR is a 24 bedded Intermediate Care and Rehabilitation Unit based at Houghton Primary Care Centre. The committee approved the purchase of two specialist therapy bikes especially developed so they can be used safely and effectively with people with very limited mobility, muscular weakness or altered muscle tone. They are beneficial to patients with a wide variety of conditions including Stroke, PD, MS, COPD, General frailty, orthopedic injuries or arthritic conditions, dementia and low mood.
Portable Ocular Response Analyser for Ophthalmology Departement
The Committee approved the acquisition of three new machines for intra-ocular pressure (IOP) check for patients in glaucoma.
The devices have the advantage of being non- contact which means unlike the other methods, no part of the machine comes in touch with the patient’s eye. This is particularly relevant in the current situation with The Covid-19 pandemic.
Whilst these devices still require the patient to attend the hospital their appointment can be arranged during less busy times and the consultant can review the images virtually in-between face to face patients or during admin sessions.
The three machines will cover the demand on the glaucoma service at the Sunderland Eye Infirmary, South Tyneside District Hospital and Durham Treatment Centre sites.
Brainomix software for Stroke Unit
The committee agreeded to the purchase the Brainomix software package for use within teh stroke unit.
Brainomix is a package of software that uses Artificial Intelegence to assist clinical staff in diagnosing and in identifying the best treatment pathway for stroke patients.