£70,000 has been raised in order to purchase equipment for Lister Hospital, so that children with heart conditions can be treated locally.

The 'Helping Little Heartbeats' appeal was launched in February 2021, to prevent patients having to travel to London.

The equipment required included a GE Vivid cardiovascular ultrasound machine, a portable echo cardiogram machine and oxygen saturation monitors.


Council funding, support from the local community and grants from trusts and foundations helped the appeal to reach its target.

On Thursday (November 3) a thank you event - organised by the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity - was held at Lister Hospital.

Lister's Dr Will Topping, who supported the appeal by taking on a 10k run with his sister, said: “I had personal experience of my children having to visit the adult cardiology department for some tests. We shouldn’t be asking children who might be unsettled or frightened about visiting a hospital to visit adult departments.

“As a doctor and a dad, I’d like to thank everyone who supported the appeal and has helped us provide this equipment so we can treat children here at Lister Hospital by our experienced paediatric team.”

Consultant paediatrician Dr Anshoo Dhelaria added: "This equipment now forms the backbone of our paediatric cardiology services and children can be diagnosed here at the Lister without the additional distress to them and their families of having to be referred to London.

“It will not only be used in emergencies, but also for inpatient and outpatient children’s services. It will also be used as a crucial diagnostic test in children with rare heart conditions that have emerged due to Covid.

“The equipment will make a huge difference to our children – thank you to everyone who helped us pay for it.”

Finally, the director of East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity, Eloise Huddleston, commented: "It was lovely to welcome some of the supporters of the appeal and thank them in person for helping to provide equipment that will save families having to travel into London for treatment.

"Their kind support will be helping little heartbeats for years to come.”