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New ultrasound room helping to improve patient experience at Children’s Hospital

05 Oct 2022

A new ultrasound room at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children is making a big difference to the experience of patients and families, thanks to the generous support of the Children’s Cancer Unit Charity.

The charity donated more than £120,000 to support the development of a second ultrasound room which has increased capacity of the service and improved patients’ overall experience. The new room has state of the art imaging equipment and specially decorated walls to provide a calming and supportive environment for children and young people with cancer or other health conditions.

The new ultrasound machine also has additional probes which help staff to get the best possible examinations and higher quality scans.

Niabh Kirk, Imaging Lead at Belfast Trust explains:

“Thanks to the generous support of the Children’s Cancer Unit Charity, we have been able to significantly increase the average number of ultrasound scans per month, reducing waiting times and providing greater reassurance to young people and families at what can be an anxious time.

With increased capacity, we’re also able to offer a more extensive range of appointments during the day, helping children and families to comply with preparation instructions such as fasting which is understandably difficult, particularly for young children.

Our Radiography team worked closely with ArtsCare – the arts and health organisation – and their Artist in Residence Beth McComish to create a nice environment which is suitable for all our patients who range in age from babies to 16 year old teenagers. Beth created beautiful images of animals and incorporated elements of medical procedures such as scanning. This helps to engage and distract children and young people, reducing any anxiety they may have.

Feedback from patients and staff has been extremely positive and we’re extremely grateful to the Children’s Cancer Unit Charity for their generous support”.

Around 60–70 children are diagnosed with cancer in Northern Ireland every year. The Children’s Cancer Unit Charity is dedicated to helping fund the children’s haematology and cancer unit in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children as well as supporting research and service innovation.

Speaking at the unveiling of the new facility, Felix Mooney, Chairman at the Children’s Cancer Unit Charity said:

“Our Charity was set up to help enhance the service and care provided for children and young people living with cancer in Northern Ireland. This began with the establishment of a dedicated Children’s Cancer Unit in Belfast, but has since evolved into providing support for families directly, additional staffing provision, training and research, and funding vital pieces of equipment.

“This new scanner is just one example of our work, and is one that will bring huge improvements for children and young people from across all areas of the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

“The Children’s Cancer Unit Charity is thrilled to have been involved in reaching this milestone for the hospital, thanks to our dedicated fundraisers, supporters and charity partners. It’s because of them that more and more children can now avail of this enhanced new service.”

For more information on the work of the Children’s Cancer Unit Charity visit