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All systems go thanks to K Fest!

26 April 2017

A new IT system is helping staff care for patients at the James Paget University Hospital – thanks to funds raised by a local music festival held in memory of a young woman who died from cancer.

Development of the new ‘dashboard’ system at the Sandra Chapman Centre has been funded by donations from K Fest, which is staged annually in Lowestoft in memory of musician Karen Sturgess.

Karen – known as Kay – was a patient at the Centre but lost her battle against cancer in 2008. One of her last wishes was for a fund-raising musical festival to be held each year in the town – and she organised and took part in the first K Fest held at the Globe Inn just weeks before she died.

Since then, the festival has gone from strength-to-strength – and in the process raised thousands of pounds for good causes, including the Sandra Chapman Centre where previous donations have bought equipment including infusion pumps and treatment chairs.

Kay’s father Roy Down and sister Clare Chenery-Down, who organise K Fest, visited the centre to present a cheque for a further £2000 this week - and see the new system just days after it was switched on for the first time.

IT staff Nathan Grimmer and Tara Haines, who developed the system in-house, gave them a demonstration of the system, which links more than 15 computers in the centre to large screen dashboards. The dashboards show the status of every patient, so staff can see real-time updates – and no longer have to rely on hand-written information on whiteboards.

Consultant haematologist Dr Shalal Sadullah said: “The new system means that information about patients is shared more efficiently by our staff, who really appreciate its speed and ease of use.

“We would like to thank Roy and Clare for their continuing support of the Sandra Chapman Centre. The donations from K Fest over the years have really helped us provide quality care to our patients.”

This year marks the 10th anniversary of K Fest – but it will also be the last time the festival takes place.

The festival will be held at the Aquarium on the Claremont Pier in Lowestoft on Sunday, 28 May, and will feature 20 local bands playing on two stages. Entry is free, with music starting at 12 noon.