Charity partnership set to increase early congenital heart disease detection

Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF) have awarded a grant of over £17k to Tiny Tickers to fund vital cardiac sonography training across the Yorkshire region.

Whilst the COVID pandemic has put the planned training programme back, the first session took place on September 14 at St James Hospital in Leeds.

Further sessions are planned at the Leeds General Infirmary, and then across other key Yorkshire hospitals into next year. Tiny Tickers hopes to have visited and trained sonographers at 21 hospitals by the end of this regional training programme.

Timely detection of congenital heart disease has been shown to make a huge difference, and this partnership will improve the chances of survival and long-term quality of life for hundreds of babies in Yorkshire.

The training covers the most up-to-date NHS recommendations on what sonographers should look for when examining the heart as part of the 20-week scan.

Our specialist fetal cardiac training enhances the confidence and skills sonographers need to detect heart defects during pregnancy scans.

The two charities worked together on a similar project in 2016 resulting in training for 226 sonographers, and another great result is expected this time around.

yorkshire sonographer training inforgraphic
The results of our 2016 project in Yorkshire to train sonographers to be better able to detect heart defects in babies.

Jon Arnold, the CEO of Tiny Tickers said:

“After the successes of our sonographer training scheme five years ago, we’re delighted to be back in Yorkshire and Humber to provide expert face-to-face training once again – especially after a number of months when pandemic restrictions have frustrated our efforts to get started.

We’re itching to start visiting hospitals throughout the region. We’re very grateful for the support of our friends at Children’s Heart Surgery Fund – it’s always great to work with CHSF, who share our aim of helping to save the lives of babies with serious cardiac disease.”

Jon Arnold, CEO Tiny Tickers

Mr Arnold is the parent of a child who has had open heart surgery for a major defect, and heads Tiny Tickers’ team of staff and volunteers based throughout the UK.

Sharon Milner, the CEO of CHSF added:

“We must pay tribute to CHSF’s incredible supporters for helping us fund yet more life-saving training through Tiny Tickers for sonographers in our region.

“It is clear that spotting a heart defect early can greatly improve a baby’s chances of survival and long-term quality of life.”

“Thanks to your donations, this training will make a huge difference to future children with congenital heart disease and their families.”