Cricket Match Success

Charity Cricket Match Success

On Sunday 5 September colleagues from University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) and The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (ROH) joined together for their first-ever cricket match raising funds for both hospitals. ROH team captains, Rajpal Nandra (Research Fellow), James Jones (Research Healthcare Technician) UHB team captains Martin Collard (Head Biomedical Scientist) and Deepak Parasuraman- (Consultant Paediatrician) , drummed up some healthy competition between the two hospitals in order to support the events main goal, raising funds for Children & Young People’s Services across the region.

Teams were made up of consultants, physiotherapists, nurses, finance teams and more. Whilst the match was taking place spectators enjoyed the food, drinks and ice-cream available from the local suppliers who kindly supported this event. Face painting stall and garden games were also available for anyone who wanted to pass the time between games.

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Over 250 tickets were sold and we were overjoyed with the turnout on the day (the sunshine certainly came out for us and made it an extra special). Spectators supported the event by purchasing raffle tickets, supporting the tombola and bidding some big money on our silent auction, all of which were items kindly donated to us by our wonderful partners, sponsors and local businesses.

“It was such a fantastic day, everyone was so welcoming and all good sports regardless of the results. It was so nice to do something normal especially after everything we have all been through with the pandemic” Melissa Daly – Porter at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and cricket player for UHB.

Team ROH took home the trophy, but in our eyes every player was a winner for taking part. Overall we managed to raise almost £2,000 on the day which will be split 50/50 over both trusts’ Children & Young People’s departments.

“These funds will enable us to take larger strides towards enhancing the care given to patients referred to Children and Young People’s services at ROH as well as give greater support to parents and families too” Monica Allen – ROH Children & Young People’s Services Manager

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We would like to say a huge thank you to the following businesses for supporting this event, without whom we would not have raised these vital funds:

  • Chung Ying Food
  • Cadbury world
  • Philips Electronics UK Limited
  • Horsley Huber Architects Ltd
  • Stacey Barnfield Art
  • The Bournbrook Inn
  • Indico
  • Sporty Bits Ltd
  • Adam Hayes – Influencer and Fundraiser
  • Baylis & Harding
  • GupShup
  •  The Ritz London
  • Park Regis Birmingham
  • Dunns Imaging
  • Nenn & Popps
  • Sussex Cricket
  • F1 Maclaren
  • Surrey County Cricket Club
  • Lancashire County Cricket Club
  • Itihaas

 “This is the first event we have been able to support in a safe way despite of the pandemic, so it’s been really special to see people out enjoying themselves whilst supporting both Trusts. It was a great success, we saw engagement from our NHS colleagues, patients, businesses and the public, we couldn’t have asked for anything more. “ Ali Gray – Charity Manager

Thank you to all those to supported the event to make it a success!

Natasha’s Cancer Journey

Natasha’s Story

Natasha Paczkowski is a patient at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (ROH). She lives in Newcastle under Lyme with her daughter and dog, Teddy. In March 2019, she discovered a lump which was later diagnosed as myxoininflammatory fibroblastic sarcoma, a form of cancer. Here is her story…

“One evening I was drying myself after having a bath when I felt a lump the size of a marble at the back of my leg. I thought it was weird but never thought in my wildest dreams it would be anything sinister as I had never heard of sarcoma at that point. As it was the weekend, I put it to the back of my mind. First thing on Monday morning I phoned my GP surgery and spoke with the receptionist who asked for a brief reason why I need to see a doctor. I explained I had found a lump and I needed it checking, but she explained because it wasn’t painful, “it won’t be anything serious so I can offer you an appointment in five weeks’ time.” I accepted and the wait began. 

“In that time, the lump had grown from the size of a marble to the size of an egg and I had gone from not giving it another thought, to googling and finding out about sarcoma and now worrying day and night about what it was. I went in and the GP asked me lots of questions. If it hurt, had I banged it, how long I have noticed it etc. I said I thought it was probably just a cyst but thought it best getting checked out. Right away she said she was referring me to the local cancer centre on their two-week waiting list.

“I went to see my local consultant, who requested I had an MRI just to be sure so the anxious waiting continued. Over three months I underwent three MRI, a CT and PET scans, two lumbar punctures and lots of blood tests before he admitted they had actually run out of tests to perform and he was referring me to The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (ROH) for a biopsy.

“Unfortunately, the first biopsy come back inconclusive! So, I was told I’d need another biopsy preformed this time under general anaesthetic and I would be an inpatient for five days. The anxiety was high as I’m also a single mum to a child with special needs so preparing her for me leaving and being away from her was hard on top of the anxiety over the surgery. The surgery went well, however, and I was discharged after five days with a 3cm wound to my knee.

“On the second day of a holiday in Wales, I got the call from my team nurse. “Natasha, we have the results and I’m afraid its cancer.” It didn’t come as a surprise to me. We arranged for me to come into clinic the week after and I ended the phone call in a daze, not knowing if I should just carry on the holiday with my daughter as normal while inside my head was spinning.

“A week later I was given a consultant: the fantastic Scott Evans, who has such a manor about him he fills you with confidence, reassurance and has a general caring nature about him.

“In September I was taken in for removal of some swollen nodes and another wait for the results. By this point I was getting frustrated and scared. I now knew it was cancer and I’d had it since March when I found the lump and we were now six months in with no treatment. A week passed and I received a letter to come in the following week. I arrived at that appointment just ready to discuss treatment and get things going. Scott told me he was surprised to find that the swelling in my lymph nodes was actually the cancer that had spread.

“I sat there in a daze of shock. For some reason I hadn’t been as concerned with the lymph node swelling like I had those months before with the original lump. Scott explained this now changed things as the treatment would be much more complex than simply cutting it away.

“Two weeks passed and we were now in October the frustration and anxiety mounting knowing I still had this thing in me growing by the day. I saw Scott who had consulted with another leading surgeon in London who had agreed to treat me and have a one-of-a-kind surgery at The Royal Marsden Hospital in London. This surgery was called isolated limb perfusion or (ILP) for short. By the time I’d had a scan in London and the initial consultation it was now November by the time I’d had the date for this surgery.

“In January, Scott explained that unfortunately, IPL surgery wasn’t successful and that I would need the tumour cut out in a surgery called limb salvage surgery. However, this time I’d need to be cut from my groin to ankle with a hole around my knee cut out where the tumour was and I’d need to be in hospital for a month.

I had the tumour cut away in three separate surgeries, after the second surgery, I received partial results from pathology. That was enough for Scott to confidently say there was no more cancer left.

“The reconstructive surgery was then brought forward a week to reconstruct where the cancer took over. This was a nine-hour surgery due to the fact I had lost three muscles to the cancer and they had to fill the hole the tumour had made. I remember when I was waiting to be put to sleep, Scott come into the room and asked how I was feeling, to reassure me I was in safe hands etc. I asked him how many people were waiting to work on me and he said around 15 people! I still can’t quite believe I had that many people helping to save my life in that one surgery alone. ROH were there for me again and I had Carol, a Macmillan councillor, to talk through my worries and help me through and who continues to be there for me to this day.

“I look back on the last 18 months and I can see how strong I have been. Learning to walk three times, multiple surgeries and third-degree burns from radiotherapy have been extremely hard to deal with but I recently celebrated being one year cancer-free! I had a tattoo done with the saying “with pain comes strength” because if I can take anything from this it truly is the strength that I never knew I had. I don’t think I would have gotten through it without Scott and the wonderful staff at ROH making sure I feel 100% supported and I felt reassured through the whole process that they truly do have the best interests of their patients at the forefront of their work.”

Natasha fundraised for us in 2021 and raised over £500 in support of the oncology ward in which she stayed.
All the funds raised will go towards supporting the ward with initiatives to support patient experience as well as supporting families and carers of those who visit the ward. Not forgetting providing specialist training, equipment and knowledge to the staff on the ward. 

NHS Big Tea Fundraisers

NHS Big Tea – Fundraisers supporting ROH

We would like to say a huge thank you to our NHS Big Tea Fundraisers who came together to support The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital this week.

Each fundraiser built an event bespoke to them and all triumphed in raising funds for our cause. Below is a brief summary of their events and why they chose to support us:

Selly Oak Trust School supports their local hospital.

Staff at Selly Oak Trust School approached us earlier this year looking to support the NHS Big Tea campaign. As a school local to us, they wanted to show their thanks and build a great fundraising partnership for the future.

The team decided to take the NHS Big Tea to a new level which involved learning from the 1940s; as the NHS was founded in 1948. The community came together to donate items for the event such at cake stands and china tea pots. Local supermarkets also kindly donated vouchers for the staff to purchase cakes.

With all the donations received the class built a 1940s tea party and decorated the room with items such as typewriters, games and suitcases which would have been used in this era.  Staff and students paid a small fee for cake and drinks and enjoyed a community relaxed feel to the day.  “It was a really lovely event, especially after the year we have just had” Sarah Newman- Teaching Assistant.

Despite having a small turn out due to social distancing, they raised an incredible £130 for our cause. We cannot thank them enough for their support.

Young adult patient gives back to the hospital she knows so well.

Hip dysplasia patient Chelsea Butler is a keen fundraiser and decided to host her first fundraising event for us, in conjunction with the NHS Birthday. “Because of the outstanding care I have received from the Young Adult Hip Department alongside physiotherapy, and what with the extremely challenging fifteen months so far, I wanted to give something back to a hospital that has given me so much.”

Chelsea worked with her local community to gain donations for prizes for her event. She received a huge array of donations from businesses such as; Esquires Coffee, Nandos and Boston Tea Party. The event involved fundraising activities such as a raffle, lucky dip and bake sale.

Chelsea and her team of helpers raised a whopping £648.28 towards our cause and we couldn’t be more proud. We would like to thank Chelsea for her determination and passion, as well as all those who donated, helped and supported her throughout her fundraising journey.

Chelsea has kindly shared her hospital story with us. “I feel passionate about raising awareness about young adult hip problems because early detection is key. Being a young adult going through hip surgeries and treatment has had its lows of pain, recoveries, judgements and worries but it’s also had its highs of making new friends, discovering hip communities and support networks I never knew existed” .

To Read Chelsea’s patient story click here.

Tea and cake with friends and family… what could be better?!

Fundraising Officer Tammy Foo set up her own NHS Big Tea last week whilst enjoying the glorious sunshine. “If you know me, you will know that I love a cuppa, at any time of the day. What better way to help the charity that I work for raise some funds than to host a tea party (with cakes and maybe a sarnie!) with some good friends!”  

Tammy baked cakes and asked for donations from those who attended to celebrate with her. Tammy is a passionate member of the fundraising team and is always keen to get her local community involved where she can. “My husband is also receiving treatment at the hospital, so it seems right to support the Trust.  We have big dreams at ROH Charity and through these small community fundraisers, hopefully we can achieve something special”

£150 was raised through Tammy’s big tea fundraiser and she sets a great example of how you can bring your family and friends together for a good cause.

To get involved in future campaigns and/or fundraising events contact the fundraising team on 0121 685 4379 or email

Dubrowsky Laboratory Update: Upcoming projects

The Dubrowsky Regenerative Medicine Laboratory Update:

Upcoming projects as of June 2021

Project 1. The use of biologically active bioglass in the management of metastatic bone cancers particularly in the spine.

Secondary bone cancer is sometimes called bone metastases. It happens when cancer cells from a primary tumour somewhere else in the body spread to the bones. For example, breast cancer cells that spread to the bone.

Metastatic tumours of bone, and particularly the spine, cannot be cured. The treatment uses implants/resection to give stability, removal of as much tumour as possible and is necessary to relive any spinal cord compression. Radiotherapy is always required to try and reduce the remaining tumour that cannot be removed.

Again, the use of Gallium bioglass could act as an alternative and assistant this problem, allowing a local tumour cytotoxic effect in the area of resection and a scaffold for the regrowth of bone.

As it is not possible to obtain a cure for this group of patients, it is of utmost importance that quality of life is maximised and that further surgery due to local recurrence and/or fusion/metalwork failure is minimised. This technology has the potential to deliver in both of these scenarios.

The laboratory is to be used for the in-vitro testing of the Gallium bioglass with metastatic cancer cells, gathered from consenting patients, through the ethics of the Research Tissue Bank.

This project is being funded by:

  1. Aston University

Dubrowsky Laboratory Update: Project 3

The Dubrowsky Regenerative Medicine Laboratory Update: Upcoming projects as of June 2021

In conjunction with Aston University there are three PhD projects currently appointed to use the laboratory.

Project 3: The use of biologically active bioglass in the management of osteosarcoma.

Osteosarcoma is a type of cancer that produces immature bone. It is the most common type of cancer that arises in bones, and it is usually found at the end of long bones, often around the knee.

Curative procedures for primary bone cancer such as osteosarcoma leave a bony defect which needs to be filled with a something. This could be an endoprosthesis, an allograft (piece of donor bone) or the patient’s own sterilised bone from another part of the body to allow continued limb function. This is known as a curative resection.

If there is a requirement for bone ingrowth on to whichever technique is employed, then it is beneficial to have a scaffold to help with that. It is also known that whilst curative resections are attempted, there can be a tiny remnant of tumour left behind which is why all patients undergo a course of radiotherapy following surgery.

Bone ingrowth refers to the creation of new bone within the implant, which improves the implant’s integration into joining bones. Bioactive glass (bioglass) has been used as a scaffold for bone ingrowth for a number of years and there are commercial products available using this technology.

What is different here, is the surface coating. Professor Martin has developed a Gallium coating to the bioglass. Gallium has a locally active tumour cytotoxic effect (cancer cell death) which is thought to give extra local tumour control at the site of resection.

This project will support the development of the Gallium bioglass from the engineering laboratory, to look to establish proof of concept of the technology. In time this could lead to the development of a new therapy that could be used to improve cure rates and survival for this group of patients.

The laboratory is to be used for the in-vitro testing of the Gallium bioglass with osteosarcoma cells, gathered from consenting patients, through the ethics of the Research Tissue Bank.

This project is being funded by:

  1. Aston University.

Dubrowsky Laboratory Update: Project 2

The Dubrowsky Regenerative Medicine Laboratory Update: Upcoming projects as of June 2021

In conjunction with Aston University there are three PhD projects currently appointed to use the laboratory.

Project 2: The generation of a biological glue for bone regenerative medicine.

Osteoarthritis is where an inflammatory and deteriorating process occurs inside a joint leading to the loss of cartilage, exposure of the underlying bone and intense pain for the patient. This loss of cartilage means that the patients present with pain, stiffness and loss of function. Patients with osteoarthritis require long term medical and surgical therapy in the form of medication, physiotherapy and eventually surgery (often seen as total joint replacement).

Early in the osteoarthritic process, fissuring (tearing) and delamination (breakdown) of the cartilage is seen and this is a precursor to a more aggressive loss of joint cartilage.

The aim of this research project is to develop a biological glue that could be used to seal early fissures and defects in the intra-articular cartilage, in a similar fashion to the mending of pot holes in a road and preventing the replacement of the entire road surface.

The laboratory will be used to develop the glue and test its efficacy, using tissues donated from patients having surgery at the ROH, under the ethics of the Research Tissue Bank.

This project is being funded by:

  1. The Dubrowsky legacy in a pump priming capacity (£10,000 per year for 3 years)
  2. Aston University

Dubrowsky Laboratory update – Project 1

The Dubrowsky Regenerative Medicine Laboratory Update: Upcoming projects as of June 2021

In conjunction with Aston University there are three PhD projects currently appointed to use the laboratory.

Project 1: The use of Affinity Selection Systems for intraoperative cell salvage.

The use of red blood cell salvage, has become commonplace in surgery, and orthopaedics specifically. This recycles the patient’s own red blood cells back to the patient during the surgery which has a range of benefits. It reduces and in some cases, negates the need entirely for blood transfusions, as well as reduce the risk of infection for the patient. There is also evidence that this can reduce issues of compatibility for future pregnancies in young ladies.

Unfortunately however it is not possible to use the same cell salvage technique in operations for primary cancer. This is because primary cancer operations aim to be curative, removing all of the cancer from the area. If cancer cells, were recycled to the patient, there is a risk of the cancer cells seeding elsewhere in the body.

In an ideal world we would be able to use this very same cell salvage techniques for primary cancer too in order to reduce the risks post-surgery. These patients have an even larger increased risk of an infection developing, due to the large metal endprostheses which are implanted during surgery. There is also the increased risk of infection due to chemotherapy received often during cancer treatment.

This project supports the use of new technology that would allow the identification and removal of cancer cells through an active filtration process. This would then lead to the development of a new primary cancer, red cell salvage system, which would be transformative in the care of this patient group. We hope that this will mean patient’s risks are reduced and infection rates are lower throughout the cancer treatment process.

Our laboratory is being used to develop the filtration system along with testing that filtration system with human blood, both from healthy volunteers and those with cancer cells.

This project is being funded by:

  1. The Birmingham Orthopaedic Charity (£10,000 per year for 3 years)
  2. The Bone Cancer Research Trust (Application made and result awaited)
  3. Aston University

This project is also being used as a test case for the laboratory.

Refurbished facilities for children and young people now open!

Refurbished facilities for children and young people now open!

Children and young people (CYP) attending outpatient appointments at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (ROH) will now be seen in a brand-new environment designed to cater for their specific needs supported by our Children & Young People’s Appeal! The department was officially opened by members of the ROH team on Monday 17th May ready to welcome patients that morning. 

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The £30,000 renovation of the Children and Young People’s Outpatients Department (CYPOPD), offers an interactive and supportive space for young patients and their families. Patients aged 0-17 years were previously seen on a ward not specifically designed as an outpatient facility.

The theme for the department is ‘under the sea’. Wall art flows from the waiting area through to consultation rooms and the relaxation room to help create a familiar environment for patients and visitors. The wall art offers a distraction to both patients and any accompanying young people, such as siblings, when undergoing consultation.

Entertainment units featuring interactive games for patients up to 17-years-old and offer a more inclusive, ‘clutter- free’ environment. Previously, only physical games were available for younger patients and, because of COVID-19 and infection risks associated, even these have been unavailable for the past year.

A renewed sensory facility has also been installed in the department as the previous facilities were old and some even broken.

Colin Horn, Managing Director of Grosvenor Interiors, said: “I lost my son to leukaemia some years ago and after many years of hospital visits I know how important the environment in children’s wards can be.

“Children’s spaces in hospitals are often very busy and frantic and part of our aim is to calm the spaces down so that the children and their parents are less stressed and can engage with the imaging to take their minds of why they are there.”

The reflection room is a new addition and something the charity also supported within adult services. This is a space where patients and families can sit and reflect upon an appointment, a calming space to receive bad news and can also be used as a safe space for any issues to be discussed with staff. This space also frees up consultation rooms for more appointments.

Consultation rooms are also nearly double the size of the previous department meaning there is more space for thorough consultations as well as space for families to enter which is often when parents need to bring siblings along with them. Sensory facilities also flow through these rooms to offer added distraction to patients and/or siblings whilst under going consultations.

The £30,000 refurbishment and relocation of the department has been funded by an appeal from The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital Charity, which exists to support NHS patients, their families and carers, as well as provide specialist training, equipment and knowledge to staff at ROH. It was designed by Grosvenor Interiors, specialists in hospital environmental enhancements.

You can continue to support this appeal. Click here to do just that!

Ali Gray, Charity Manager, said:

“The ROH Charity is overjoyed to support this incredible project, giving young patients and families a truly enhanced hospital experience. Our charity supports the hospital with projects that are ‘above and beyond’ what the NHS can afford, making a real difference to those who visit us.  Patients and families have been thought about through every step and we are so pleased with the result.”

Monica Allen, CYPOPD Manager, said: 

“Our new Children and Young People’s Outpatients Department is vibrant and welcoming and our patients will be attending an area designed to try and ensure they have a relaxed experience in the hospital.

“We have been able to provide a multi-use area for quiet reflection and a sensory room with designated interactive equipment to assist with distraction therapy.”

Clare Hinwood, Transition to Adult Services Clinical Nurse Specialist, added: 

“It will benefit hugely those young people who will be transitioning into adult services. Because of its location in the Outpatients Department, it will enable them to become more familiar with the adult environment. The reflection room will also provide a location for discussing their transition plan.”

We would like to say a huge thank you to those who contributed to the CYP appeal and towards this beautiful new environment. We could not have done it without you.

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital Charitable Fund

Bristol Road South
B31 2AP

Registered Charity Number: 1078046

Call: 0121 6854379

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