Help Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia patients save their Purpose Built Health Centre

Help Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia patients save their Purpose Built Health Centre

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Sickle Cell Cause started this petition to SAVE THE GEORGE MARSH SICKLE CELL CENTER (Maria Kane 'Cheif Executive' North Middlesex Hospital Trust)

‘OSCAR’ The Organisation of Sickle Cell Anaemia Research is the first ever Sickle Cell Support Group with a strong emphasis on research in Europe and was founded in Woodgreen London in 1975 by Sickle Cell patient Neville Clare, who was a dedicated man that worked hard and achieved a Doctorate Degree, earning him the title ‘Dr Neville Clare’.

In 1985 Sickle Cell Nurse Susan Treasure joined forces with Dr Neville Clare and together founded another group consisting mainly of patients, dealing more with the everyday issues of living with Sickle Cell Anaemia, helping patients and those affected to access treatment, giving advice and has been fully supported by doctors, nurses, consultants plus the staff and volunteers of OSCAR to this very day.

This group was named Haringey Sickle Cell Support Group and operated from a small office in Woodgreen North London whereas the clientèle grew very quickly and resulted with the need for very regular meetings, minimally twice weekly.

One day, haematology consultant from the North Middlesex Hospital, of whom many of the support group members were his patients, Dr George Marsh saw the group stranded in the pouring rain after being locked out of the building.

Being the loving gentle yet pro active and passionate man he was, Dr Marsh felt a rush of sympathy and new things were unjust, so he himself set about the beginnings of creating a health and community centre for the many Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia patients under his jurisdiction and inclusive countrywide.

Sadly, Dr Marsh didn't live to see his dream centre built and opened in 1989, so didn't witness the centre so aptly named in his honour flourish to help and save the lives of the community of hundreds of service users.

To this day the centre is operational and very well known in the UK and Europe for the pioneering works it's been responsible for for over 30 years and continue to serve the community as The George Marsh Centre, at St Ann’s Hospital, in Haringey, where NHS staff continue to serve the community with Blood Screening, Education and Advice, Seminars & Workshops as well as providing support and counselling for patients and their relatives. The centre also provides parent forums,  organises children’s parties and continues to house the still very popular patient run voluntary Sickle Cell Support Group, now known as the Sickle Cell Care, Advocacy, Unity, Support with Empathy Group, or 'SC Cause'.

Now here we are some 30+ years later, prominent people from the Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia community have died but left their legacies, we honour with deep reverence; Dr George Marsh, Nurse Susan Treasure, Dr Neville Clare; not to mention the countless patients that found care, advice and solace at their centre before succumbing to these painful illnesses, with many more living with memories of their childhood and youth, being supported when bringing up children with these debilitating  conditions, managing their lives with hands on support from passionate staff, whom for many years have shown a love for their work environment and the people they serve only to be notified for reasons neither staff nor patient can fathom that the centre should be given to another health group.

The only purpose-built centre with functioning staff, patients and service users is to be removed from the very community it was built for.

We the patients and service users of the George Marsh Centre are deeply offended and equate this decision to mean that people living with the excruciating debilitating traumatising Blood Conditions Sickle Cell Anaemia & Thalassaemia are considered not worthy enough for the very centre that was created with them in mind.

Lets keep to the forefront and remember the reasons why the centre was built; the passion was summoned to create the centre by Dr Marsh and his team was mainly because there was and still is an obvious lack for this health community group. The centre is functioning and is very much needed, so why is it deemed that this community health group is now not worthy and what provisions have been considered if these hundreds of patients are to be removed?

Everyday is faced with physical and physiological pain for the sickle cell and thalassaemia affected, they are worthy of at least the bare minimum of support.

We the Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia affected hereby ask you for your support to save our health & community home being The George Marsh Centre.



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