Insight Northampton Autumn 2019

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Autumn 2019 | Issue 71

Hannah Mahoney shares her experience of Leukaemia

And we announce our Best Possible Care awards shortlisted nominees

We take a look at Ophthalmology

Read about the team helping Northamptonshire to keep their eyes healthy Supported by Northamptonshire Health Charity


During early August we welcomed around 30 new foundation doctors who started their great adventure of a career in medicine. The following week we welcomed 140 new doctors in training at various levels. It is always a pleasure for me to welcome our new doctors, as well as welcoming other new members of staff at their induction. We are also making very positive efforts to welcome our new nurses from India. The welcome we give to everyone – patients, visitors and new team members – is really important. Alongside our new starters, it’s also important that we recognise and celebrate the commitment and achievements of TeamNGH. In this issue of Insight we get to meet Hilary Hart, our longest-serving team member, who has been a muchrespected medical secretary for more than 50 years. We also celebrate the achievements of our Everyday Heroes, our Daisy Award honourees, our two nurses who were awarded with Silver Chief Nursing Officer badges and two of our nursing associates who are the first in the country to receive a Cavell Star Award. And at the end of September we have our annual Best Possible Care Awards. Reading the nominations for these awards, helping to select the shortlist and ultimate winners is never easy, but it always reminds me that every day at NGH there are people who are prepared to go the extra mile for someone else. That person or team might be in our ophthalmology team, our limb centre, at Danetre Hospital in Daventry, which are highlighted in this magazine, or they could be anywhere else in the hospital, on a ward, theatre, clinic, office, looking after the site, fundraising or volunteering. The list is endless. More than 5,000 people make up TeamNGH and together they care for more than 600,000 patients, their families and visitors each year. It’s important that their dedication does not go unnoticed and, by showcasing various services/departments, fundraising efforts and other awards and achievements, Insight helps us do that. I hope you enjoy reading this issue.

Dr Sonia Swart Chief Executive

Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust, has not vetted the advertisers in this publication and accepts no liability for work done or goods supplied by any advertiser. Nor does Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust endorse any of the products or services. Every possible care has been taken to ensure that the information given in this publication is accurate. Whilst the publisher would be grateful to learn of any errors, it cannot accept any liability over and above the cost of the advertisement for loss there by caused. No reproduction by any method whatsoever of any part of this publication is permitted without written consent of the copyright owners. Octagon Design & Marketing Ltd. ©2019. Hawks Nest Cottage, Great North Road, Bawtry, DN10 6AB. Tel: 01302 714528

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A welcome from our charity team W

e are thrilled to share the news that our third charity abseil day in June raised several thousand pounds more than last year’s event. This has become one of our staple annual events and it is wonderful how it has grown over just a few short years. We are grateful to everyone who has taken part since the first event in 2017, to all the many staff who get involved and all the incredible supporters daring the heights of the Express Lift Tower. Raising over £15,000 this year, for a wide-range of wards, departments and areas across the hospital is an incredible achievement, with over £37,000 being raised by abseilers for NGH since 2017 – thank you all! You can read more about this year’s event and see a collection of pictures in our charity pages. The Abseil day will be back next year so, save the date – Saturday 27th June 2020!

It has also been great to see people get involved with the NHS Big Tea Party campaign recently to celebrate the birthday of the NHS in July. We look forward to helping this campaign grow over the next few years as we approach the NHS’s 75th Birthday in 2023. There are many exciting projects on the go at the moment that endeavour to enhance patient care and experience. From the new vehicles for transporting less-mobile patients around the site, to the fundraising appeals to create a garden outside the maternity ward, the quiet relatives room on Brampton ward and the invaluable changes to the waiting area in Radiotherapy. We could never support the hospital the way we do without the kindness and generosity of our donors and fundraisers – to you all, we are and will always remain forever grateful.

Find out why birds of prey have been flying over the hospital in recent months on page 15


Autumn 2019 Issue 71

Insight is a free magazine. Please feel free to take a copy home with our compliments and pass it on to a friend or relative when you have read it. Insight is produced thanks to the sponsorship of Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund. Editor: Zoë Catlin Contributors: Zoë Catlin, Kieran Jones, Billie Whitelocke and Sally-Anne Watts Cover photo: Kieran Jones Designed and printed by Octagon Design & Marketing Ltd, Hawks Nest Cottage, Great North Road, Bawtry, Doncaster, South Yorkshire DN10 6AB.

Keep in touch Follow us on Twitter @NGHNHSTrust Follow us on Instagram northamptongeneralhospital Like our Northampton General Hospital Facebook page If you have a story to share or any feedback on this magazine please email us


AN EYE ON OP providing sight saving treatment from injections to surgeries. Another area of Dr. Thaker’s work is in oculoplastic. Riddhi told us: “The surgery is fascinating. We can do life changing work for our patients. Ocular plastic surgery involves correcting problems, from droopy eyelids to removing cancer. It’s great to see satisfied patients after a procedure is completed. Making our patients feel comfortable “As a team we see during the process up to 80-100 patients of intervention in per day in our eye Ophthalmology is casualty, on top of the highly satisfying and keeps thousands who pass us going.” through the outpatients

ur Ophthalmology department is often known as our hospital within a hospital due to its size, but what is Ophthalmology? This area of our hospital concentrates on the study and treatment of injury, disorders and diseases of the eye, which can be very varied. We recently visited the department and met some of the team to find out more about the amazing work they do to keep our eyes healthy.

Riddhi Thaker – Junior Doctor:

Dr. Riddhi Thaker is one of our junior doctors starting out in the world of Ophthalmology. Having studied at St. George’s university Dr. Thaker’s department each in London, Riddhi eye-deal advice: month.” trained with us during “The main advice I her foundation year and would give to patients is has now returned to NGH to to always wear safety goggles continue her training. when working and exposed to Riddhi sees patients in various dangerous chemicals or when doing DIY, ophthalmology subspecialties, where people it’s so important! I would also advise all may have conditions affecting their vision. contact lens wearers to not sleep, shower or Some of the common conditions treated swim with their contact lens on as this can include cataracts, age-related macular cause sight threatening infection.” degeneration and glaucoma as well as

Suzie Hart – Health Care Assistant:

Suzie is one of our HCAs and works in our age related macular disorder and diabetes related macular disorder clinics. She has worked with us for 16 years. Suzie previously worked in our cardiology department on Dryden ward but decided to move to Ophthalmology two years ago. Suzie explained what she does on a day to day basis: “I work in these clinics and provide patients with eye drops and find out what health issues our patients may have, if any. It’s important to find out if our patients have any heart related problems or glaucoma as this will tell us which eye drops we can give our patients, as some aren’t suitable for everyone. “We also administer the drops so a scan can be performed. The doctor will then look at the scan and may use a slit lamp to determine whether or patient may need an injection.” “I enjoy finding out about how different parts of the body work. I also enjoy working in the age related macular degeneration clinic as patients come and see us on a regular basis. Building a rapport with patients and their family members is important, especially in later life.” Suzie’s eye-deal advice: “We tell our patients living with age related macular degeneration or those who may have symptoms to try and stop smoking, as this is a risk factor. Also to eat green vegetables as they are good for the eyes!”

Mini Jaimon – Ophthalmology ward sister:

Riddhi Thaker - Junior Doctor

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Mini has been working in our Ophthalmology department for the past 17 years. Mini previously worked in the Middle East and has brought her nursing and midwifery experience over to the UK. She covers our eye casualty and outpatients department, while running advanced nurse practitioner clinics for age related macular degeneration. Mini said: “I qualified as a nurse in 1996 and also trained as a midwife. I’ve worked in paediatrics, medical and surgical areas, but my main interest is ophthalmology. I love this department; I treat it as my second home, I know my patients and my colleagues. It’s a really good feeling helping our patients and receiving positive feedback.” Mini and the team cover a wide area and

PHTHALMOLOGY have seen an extensive range of conditions and injuries, especially in our eye casualty. Mini explained: “During my time, I have seen multiple globe ruptures; this is a condition where the integrity of the outer membranes of the eye is disrupted by blunt or penetrating trauma. We also see a lot of chemical injuries, from splashes or spills and children who may have conditions such as conjunctivitis. “As a team we see up to 80-100 patients per day in our eye casualty, on top of the thousands who pass through the outpatients department each month.” Mini’s eye-deal advice:

“It is important for adults to visit their opticians for an eye test every two years. If you care for a child, they should have an eye test every year until they are 16. It’s possible to detect and correct conditions in children before they reach adulthood.”

Tristan McMullan – Consultant ophthalmologist:

Tristan is one of our consultant ophthalmologists has been with us for 12 years. Tristan’s work is a combination of outpatient clinics and operations in the Ophthalmology theatres. Tristan said: “You have to be on your game, you have to be focused at all times. We perform delicate surgery. A cataract incision

Mini Jaimon – Ophthalmology ward sister

is a tiny 2.2mm, meaning we perform surgery under microscope and use some very high-tech equipment. “For us, it’s important to put our patient at ease; a cataract procedure is performed when the patient is awake which is obviously

quite unnerving. We perform thousands of these procedures each year, but a lot of the work still involves reducing patient anxiety. Our nurses do a fantastic job preparing our patients. The procedure doesn’t hurt, and we get some really good feedback. “We are also currently looking at producing a video that walks our patients through the operation process, to help reduce anxiety related to procedures.”

Tristan’s eye-deal advice:

“A big part of my work involves skin cancers, so I would have to tell people to wear protection from the sun. You can get skin tumours on your eyelids, so it’s important to wear a hat, sunglasses, keep in the shade and wear sun cream during sunny weather.”


Tristan McMullan – Consultant ophthalmologist

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common condition that affects the middle part of your vision. Glaucoma is where the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged. Cataracts are when the lens, a small transparent disc inside your eye, develops cloudy patches. A split lamp emits a narrow but intense beam of light, used for examining the interior of the eye.

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From treats to treating patients: How a new vending machine is providing life-saving equipment to our wards V

ending machines often provide a quick drink or snack, however thanks to the innovation of our resuscitation team, there’s a new life saving vending machine at NGH. The new machine stocks lifesaving resuscitation equipment and is designed to give ward teams access to specialist equipment to replenish stock as and when they need it. The new initiative from the resuscitation team aims to save time and waste, while providing easier access to equipment for staff. While they won’t be used to provide apparatus in an emergency situation these vending machines give staff the ability to restock their own resuscitation trollies instead of relying on the resuscitation team. Jo Rainsley, resuscitation officer explained how the idea came about: “We were looking for a way to make it easier for staff to access the resuscitation equipment they need with minimal input from us. While we’re always on hand to answer any queries and help with stock we needed to come up with a simpler system to help us save time and stop wastage. “Every ward had a spares box which allows them to restock their resuscitation trolley. Traditionally when stock was used from these spares boxes the complete box would be sent back to us for restocking. This process is laborious and involves us checking all of the items, resealing everything and checking the expiry dates. Each restock takes us at least 20 minutes so with over 30 wards that time could be spent providing training and other support to the hospital. “We’d heard that another hospital was using a vending machine so contacted them

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to find out more. We approached the same company that they had used and they were keen to get on board and help us to see how one could work. They came and collected a bag of kit from us and then created the vending machine and automated lockers for us.” The new machine provides 24/7 access to kit and allows team to restock their trolley whenever they need to. It works in the same way as a normal vending machine with the only difference being that the teams have a fob instead of coins to collect their items.

Every ward has an individual fob for their ward which means that the teams only pay for what they use. The resuscitation team also has a record of what needs restocking and which items are in high demand. As well as the ease of access for the wards the machine also allows the team to centrally monitor expiry dates and ensure that goods are restocked. Bailey McFall, resuscitation and simulation administrator explained how the machine is already saving time: “Having this machine saves us so much time. We used to have at least two boxes every day to restock but now we don’t. We can monitor the stock and keep an eye on it to make sure it’s functioning correctly. It means now we just come and check the machine a couple of times a week rather than packing spares boxes.” Jo explained how the machine has been received by staff: “Now the initial disappoint that there’s no chocolate has passed, people seem to be really positive about it! The staff who are using it love it and those areas which haven’t got one yet are keen to find out when they will be getting one.”

The difference between a cardiac arrest and heart attack

A cardiac arrest is an electrical problem when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body. The person will be unconscious. Call 999 and start CPR. A heart attack is a circulation problem when there is a sudden loss of blood flow to a part of your heart muscle. The person will be conscious. Call 999 and keep them calm.

Celebrating Hilary’s 50 years at NGH W

e’re delighted to have celebrated our longest serving colleague Hilary Hart, who has dedicated 53 years of continual service to the NHS and NGH as a medical secretary. To celebrate her achievement her team planned a surprise party to celebrate her 50th anniversary in General Surgery. Chief Executive, Dr Sonia Swart, presented Hilary with the first ever 50 Year Long Service Award at NGH congratulating Hilary on her commitment to team NGH. She was presented with a certificate, gift and a badge to celebrate 50 years. Dr Swart thanked Hilary for her hard work over the years, describing how she values the role of our medical secretaries supporting our consultants and patients on a daily basis. “From my role as a consultant I know how valuable medical secretaries are. Without their expertise our consultants wouldn’t be able to do their job effectively. They are a vital part of our team and are integral to helping and supporting our patients. Hilary is an asset to NGH, her 50 years of dedicated service to the hospital is astounding. It’s a privilege for me to be able to present her with her long service award as part of her celebrations.” Hilary described the surprise get together, “It was so lovely to see so many people, because it’s lovely to feel that you are respected, and I do think you get that in this sort of environment. I am very

Hilary is a medical secretary in General Surgery

Hilary presented with her award by Dr Sonia Swart

fortunate to have such supportive staff. I enjoy feeling that I am contributing to our patients. I feel like I am part of the big wheel- playing an important part. Each person from top to bottom has a part to play! That’s a good thing about NGH, we really value our staff.” Hilary joined NGH on the 31st July 1966, working as a medical secretary in Dermatology with Dr Coles, for over three years. She then moved to General Surgery in 1969, where she worked for Mr Dowling. And in November 1995, Hilary began working alongside consultant Mr D Hunter, who she continues to work with today. Hilary expressed how thankful she was to work alongside such great consultants and support staff throughout her career. Over the past fifty years, Hilary recalls how much the hospital has changed and evolved with the growing technology and

increase in wards and departments. She told us about her first day as a medical secretary and how she’s had to grasp medical terminology: “On my first day I was asked to go into town to buy my first medical dictionary. And off I went, I didn’t dare do anything else! When I first came here, I tried to learn and spell one really complicated word each day, and eventually it comes.” When Hilary started work at NGH she was fortunate to be able to use an electric type-writer instead of the traditional manual type-writers her colleagues were using. Hilary remembers using shorthand and dictation, even using tapes and cassettes. It’s not the first time that Hilary’s hard work and dedication has been recognised either in 2012 when she was nominated for, and won the Patient Experience award at our Star Awards.

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Superheroes spotted

In June and July we crowned six new heroes at NGH who received their very o Violetta Janas-Jarka Violetta has created a garden at the back of Oncology, she has done a lot of voluntary work developing a garden, a nice environment for staff to enjoy whilst working or taking a break Violetta also donated all the plants and flowers herself. She has done voluntary work in the other garden areas, and donated and cared for some indoor plants. She also hosted and arranged a garden party, including food and drink. Violetta is cheerful and tries to cheer everyone up. At Christmas she dresses up as Father Christmas and gives out sweets, International Women’s Day – Groucho Marx and at Easter she dresses up as the Easter Bunny. Violetta is kind and generous with staff, volunteers, and patients.

has helped me back to bed. She has let me cry on her shoulder in bad times, and laughed with me in good times. It’s not just me who gets this treatment, its every patient on the ward.

Karolina Jaszczynska

Magdalena Bugrowska Every now and then in life you are lucky enough to meet someone touched by angel wings. Magdalena is this very special person. This lady takes pride in her work and always goes the extra mile for the patients. Nothing is too much for her to help you out. Her cleaning is outstanding. Over the fifteen years of coming regularly to NGH, she always gives me a warm welcome. She’s seen me struggling when the nurses are rushed of their feet, and 8 ❘ Insight

Karolina saved my day when she assisted myself and my elderly mother, going above and beyond. I was struggling, in the rain, to transport my mother in one of the hospital wheelchairs. We had been sent to the wrong department and were trying to make our way to the face and neck department. Karolina ran to our aid with an umbrella, which she held over my mother until we were undercover. She then assisted by taking the wheelchair and pushing it for me. This was no mean feat but the whole time Karolina was friendly and re-assuring. It was so refreshing to meet such a helpful and friendly member of the hospital staff. Once mission was accomplished, it became apparent that Karolina had actually been assisting us during her break-time. What an asset to the hospital community and humankind she is.

at NGH!

own Everyday Hero awards.

provides pastoral care for all members of the team and visitors and totally committed to the ward and her team. The most amazing thing is she is so humble and truly does not see what she contributes. She is passionate about her patients, especially our most vulnerable patients which can be challenging. Last week she provided care and compassion well above her role to give a young lady the care and time she needed. She also supports some of the more challenging mental health patients. I am truly amazed by Jennie’s ability to care. Her compassion and commitment is so humbling.

Sarah Pilling

Tony Marriott-Hopewell

Jannie Gentilella Jannie is the ward support for Water Tull which is a really challenging clinical environment. She has many roles and is known as the ward mum. She has actively supported the ward sister to make cost savings on stock and strategies. She

Tony greeted me and was very efficient in getting my bed ready as I was unexpectedly sent to Quinton ward. Tony reassured me and made sure I was settled throughout. Tony was always cheerful, hardworking and attentive, to not only me but the needs of the other patients. One example of Tony’s kindness was when a patient who was seriously ill, passed comment to me about how he fancied a bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast. Tony must have overheard because within five minutes, he had bought this patient bacon and eggs with his own money. Because of the nature of my illness and the anxiety of what was found, Tony did all he could to ensure that various scans and procedures were carried out. He’s respected by all members of staff, and there is a marked difference to the way and efficiency in which patients are dealt with when Tony is on duty. I was aware that a patient on another bay was being difficult and violent towards staff. Tony always made himself available, no matter what he was doing, to ensure other staff members were protected. He is very dedicated to the role, performs well and is a credit to his profession.

My 8 year old son suffers from a very complex medical condition which has resulted in complete intestinal failure. This means that some of the medication he requires to give him the best quality of life can be impossible to source in the community pharmacies. Sarah is always on the end of phone for advice or to help me order the medication Lucas needs to stay well, attend school and have horse riding lessons which he loves. Lucas recently started a new medication which I collected on Sarah’s day off, but she called me regardless to make sure I understood the dosage and how to give the medication correctly, and if I had any questions to ask. I was so pleased I had the support from Sarah and knew that any worries would be taken away after a conversation with her. Without Sarah making phone calls or sending emails on our behalf, it would delay getting what Lucas needs and adding much more stress to our already stressful life. Sarah is our hero because she is such a kind, caring and wonderful person who will always check how I am and especially when Lucas is admitted to NGH because she understands how difficult our role as parents/carers can be on families. I couldn’t wish for better support for us during our difficult and sometimes heartbreaking journey but I know seeing Sarah will result in us having a smile on our faces and feeling better even if it’s just for a short-time.

Lucas and mum Amy bought in a special drawing of his hero Sarah which was presented to her

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Becci has worked in the team for just over a year and is new to NGH and Danetre

Jenny has worked in the team for 16 years

Becci Whitbread, Jenny Patton, Danielle Hesketh, Emily Burke, Sue Foster, Jayne Adamson and Amy Hopkins

Meet the team of seven running 35 clinics... The Danetre outpatients team care for patients of all ages who are referred for treatment and investigations in Northamptonshire. Specialising in over 35 different clinics from gynaecology to rheumatology, the community hospital team work alongside the main NGH outpatients department to provide services to enable patients to access care closer to home.


e meet a team of seven who are responsible for running 35 clinics and find out why they love working at Danetre hospital in Daventry and how they’re working to provide the best possible services to the Northamptonshire community. On arrival to the department patients are greeted by the reception team Jenny, Becci and Sue. The trio of receptionists are the heartbeat of the team. Between them the receptionists have over 39 years of experience of working in Danetre, so know the role well and have seen the team develop. Jenny described why she loves her role: “It’s a pleasure to come to work each day. My role is varied and I am prepared to assist in any way I can. I especially like meeting patients, consultants and the team and dealing with any queries or challenges during the day.” Becci is new to Team NGH and Danetre Hospital: “As a new member of the team, I feel I have settled well into my job and enjoy the interaction with the patients and team here at Danetre.”

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Su e Foster

Sue is the longest serving team member in the department and has worked in the team for 22 years. “My role is to welcome patients to our department and book in those coming for an appointment with us. We help with patient queries and prepare notes prior to their appointments. We help with any other tasks that may be required and work closely with the team to help and assist them where we can.”

Team leader Jayne explained: “We are a social and supportive team that work innovatively, to provide compassionate care and improve our patient’s experience. The team look after a wide variety of both medical and surgical clinics and are constantly


looking for ways to make the experience as positive as possible for our patients. We’re always looking to improve the waiting area for patients. We have already changed some of the chairs to high-rise chairs donated by Friends of Danetre Charity to assist patients with limited mobility.” Amy Hopkins is an associate practitioner and is the longest serving clinical team member within the Danetre team. “I’ve been working in the NHS at Danetre hospital for 10 years. I started working on a medical ward and then moved to the outpatients department 5 years ago. I’ve been fortunate to work in the community I live in. It’s a really nice place and I know everyone here. We’ve just started working as a new team and it’s nice to have a strong team who are working to make changes and improvements and help each other when we need to. We run consultant led clinics which means we cover medical and surgical clinics. I really enjoy the role as it’s quite varied and interesting. There’s a lot of trust and responsibly put into us as we’re such a small team. We need to familiarise ourselves with all aspects of each clinic, keeping ourselves updated which keeps the role really interesting and varied. Being a small team it’s important that we work closely with one another. We are a caring team who are able to benefit from each other’s skills.”

Amy Hopkins

Da nie lle He sketh

Danielle is one of the newest team members and works as a staff nurse with the Danetre team. “We set up the rooms and equipment which differs to NGH as they tend to work within their own specialities. Everyday is different and I’m still learning. We have really friendly consultants who take the time to explain things to us and Amy uses her knowledge to help us too when working in new clinics. “Patients are happy to come here as it provides easier access, it’s a newer building and the community hospital has a more relaxed environment.”

Healthcare assistant Emily is also new to the team and came from working on Disney ward at NGH. “I’ve worked here since March and assist in all of the clinics and help the consultants and nursing team. “Changing my post was daunting but I’ve been really welcomed and the team here are amazing. There is a lot of mutual respect within the work place. “It was very challenging to learn the new clinics, especially coming from paediatrics, but Amy has been very patient and encouraging with both myself and Danielle going through the clinics one by one. She’s also compiled a clinical bible to explain the different clinic set ups and supports us to feel more confident running the clinics independently. “We see a lot of people from the local area and those from the surrounding villages, but also many from Northampton, Corby and Kettering so it’s nice to be able to offer this service and provide support to our community.”

Emily Bu rke

MULBERRY HOMES LAUNCHES KEY WORKER SCHEME ACROSS NORTHAMPTONSHIRE Continuing to put its unique stamp across its developments, Northampton-based housebuilder Mulberry Homes has launched a bespoke Key Worker scheme to make moving easier for those working in the public sector. This incentive offers up to a £500 contribution for every £20,000 spent towards a new Mulberry home. This can be used on additional upgrades and extras. The all-encompassing incentive is available to staff from the following organisations: schools, hospitals, doctor’s surgeries, emergency services (police, fire and ambulance), local authority workers and armed forces personnel. To apply for the scheme, all staff will have to do is present their identity card or pay slip to a Sales Advisor at the time of identifying a home and proceeding through to reservation. The Key Worker scheme cannot be used in conjunction with any other scheme. The initiative can be used towards financial incentives subject to the lending criteria.

The IAS Service gives free, impartial information and support to children and young people with SEND and their families about matters relating to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. The service provides practical, factual and impartial information advice and support to enable children, young people and their families to participate fully in decisions about education, health and social care.

Contact us Telephone: 01604 364772 Website: Email: Insight ❘ 11

Our Artificial Limb Service opened in 1989 and celebrates 30 years in September!


ince 1989, we have provided a prosthetic and amputee rehabilitation service for many people living in Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire. The team in our artificial limb centre is made up of a consultant, a specialist physiotherapist, two prosthetists, a healthcare assistant, workshop technicians and administration team, who work together to return function and mobility to our patients. The most common cause of amputation is vascular disease, due to a process called atheroma. The arteries, which take blood from the heart to different parts of the body, can narrow as we age. With vascular disease, this can happen at a much faster rate and the arteries and veins become so damaged that this can lead to pain, ulcers on the hands and feet and in some cases gangrene. Diabetes, high cholesterol and smoking are some of the factors that contribute towards a higher risk of vascular disease. The vascular surgeons help to reduce the impact of vascular disease by trying to open or bypass the blocked arteries using stents and grafts. When these measures are unsuccessful, amputation is left as a last resort. 12 ❘ Insight

Consultant physician in Neurorehabilitation, Dr Raja Somasuntram

OUR ARTIFICAL LIMB CENTRE Consultant physician in neurorehabilitation, Dr Raja Somasuntram, starts the journey for new patients visiting the limb centre. During their first visit to the centre,

after amputation, patients are assessed for suitability for a prosthetic limb. This considers patient safety, function, mobility and their individual needs. Dr Somasuntram explained: “We have to make sure each patient will be safe using a prosthetic leg, we look at the patient’s physicality and cognitive functions. If a patient is cognitively impaired, we have to be extremely careful; safety must come first in all cases. “If they are suitable for a prosthetic, we begin the rehabilitation process with them. There is sometimes a misconception that our centre just provides prosthetics, but that’s only a small part of the process here.” Once initial assessments are complete, the consultant will work with our prosthetists to create a custom made artificial limb for the patient, which is made of lightweight, but strong components. An advanced 3D scanning system is used by the prosthetists, which measures a patient’s stump, to ensure a precision perfect fit. All limbs produced in the workshop by the in house technicians, are tailor made for each patient. The limb centre also has a specialist physiotherapist who works with the consultant and

prosthetists to train our patients to walk using the prosthetic limbs. Dr Somasuntram said: “We never discharge our patients here; we have a holistic approach and they can come and see us at any time if they are having issues with their prosthetic. This is a lifelong change, so we have to be there for whoever may need us. Many patients who come through the service may have diabetes or vascular disease, so we monitor our patient’s relevant long term conditions too. We want to keep them as fit as possible.”

PHYSIOTHERAPY FOR AMPUTEES Ashwini Walvekar is the Limb centres specialist physiotherapist. Her role is to triage referrals that come into the centre and gather as much information on the patient from other clinical areas, such as the patients GP. Ashwini assists the consultant with the initial assessment for prosthesis. Sometimes, the physiotherapist also provides information to patients before deciding on whether an amputation is right for them. Ashwini has involvement with multidisciplinary clinics and the work carried out by the prosthetists, teaching patients how to use the prosthetic limb and providing exercises to improve muscle strength and balance. This can be a long process, as each patient learns to walk again at their own pace. Ashwini said: “My role is quite pivotal, and I act as a link between the centre clinicians and many other professionals who work with patient in the community, including GP’s, community physiotherapists and social care workers. If I’m working with a child, I work with the paediatric physiotherapists to advise and help the child to integrate into the class. Sometimes, it’s about helping someone build their

Specialist physiotherapist in amputee and prosthetic rehabilitation, Ashwini Walvekar

confidence in themselves as well as to participate in activities such as PE or drawing with their prosthetic. “We get regular phone calls for advice i.e. from the wards about patients who have used prosthetic limbs for many years, but have been admitted recently to the hospital after a fall, infection, stroke or for other reasons. I see the patients on the ward, sometimes with the prosthetist. This is to make sure that the prosthesis is fitting well and then to advise the staff in how to assist the patient in using/wearing the prosthesis correctly.”

PHANTOM PAIN Many people who have an amputation will experience some degree of phantom limb pain. Phantom limb is a term given to sensations that seem to be coming from the amputated limb. Phantom limb is a real phenomenon, which has been confirmed using brain imaging scans to study how nerve signals are transmitted to the brain. Ashwini explained: “The nerves in your stump will often trigger when you are experiencing some form of stress, or if you are thinking about your stump or leg often, for example at night when you are trying to sleep.” A practice known as mirror therapy is carried out with patients who experience this sensation. This involves placing a mirror where the amputation has occurred. When the patient looks into the mirror, they see a reflection of their other leg. Ashwini said: “I provide weekly mirror therapy for suitable patients; we practice various exercises that provide your brain with an impression that their leg is there, it’s almost a trick, it works on some patients, but not all. I have seen patients that have had phantom pains for well over 20 years, and after mirror therapy the pain has reduced significantly.”

THE MICROPROCESSOR KNEE Last year, the NHS approved funding for limb centres across England, to begin prescribing a new type of prosthetic that will improve the quality of life for many above knee amputees. The prosthetic knees controlled by micro-processor make split-second analysis and refinement to movement, influenced by the user’s own walking speed and un-even terrain for example, making walking a much smoother activity. This significantly helps to reduce the risk of falls. Most microprocessor knees would have hydraulic and or pneumatic controls which modulate the movement of the knee. In most cases, there will also be a similar mechanism in the ankle, and when combined, a resemblance of natural walking is almost achieved.

DI’S EXPERIENCE Di Oliver, from Milton Keynes, has been a visitor to the limb centre since her leg was amputated 18 years ago, after living with a rare form of cancer called Sarcoma. Di told us: “I am an above knee amputee; I had a very rare form of bone cancer which led to the amputation of my leg at the University College Hospital in London. “My prosthetic is a new model and has the microprocessor component in the knee; there are light years of difference in terms of technology in comparison to the first prosthetic leg I used years ago.” “Luckily my amputation was planned, and it wasn’t related to trauma, so it’s been very straight forward to manage my limb and stump, I do on occasions experience phantom pain, an intermittent sensation that can be painful. “Coming to see the limb centre was really like the light at the end of the tunnel. It gave me something positive to aim for, amongst the troubles associated with such a horrible illness. I’ve got a very close relationship with my prosthetist, Richard, as he has given me back my mobility, and has done a brilliant job.”

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CELEBRATING OUR DAISY NURSES We have had a summer of celebration as more of our nurses have been celebrated as DAISY honourees for the exceptional care they have delivered to our patients at Northampton General. Congratulations to Anisha Kochitty, Chloe Hunt, Karen Facer, Maddy Ahern, Nicholas Adams and Sam Kightley, who are our most recent nurses to receive the award:

Maddy received the DAISY award for the reassurance and support she provided a concerned mother during her birth.

Chloe provided exceptional care for one of our younger patients who had bronchiolitis, while ensuring her mother was well informed and calm during their stay.

Karen cared for an elderly patient over six months and made an impression on the patient’s daughter. Karen ensured time was provided to explain her mother’s condition and any updates on her care.

Sam has provided exceptional care for her patients living with stoma’s which led to her receiving two separate nominations for her trust and understanding nature.

Anisha’s cheerful manner and inclusivity of a patient’s daughter who has special needs were behind the nomination that saw her become a DAISY honouree in May.

Nicholas was made a DAISY honouree after the fantastic care provided to an army veteran of 20 years who had visited the A&E department. He was praised for his compassion and care.

Do you want to say thank you for the care you have received from a nurse at Northampton General Hospital? Tell us your story and nominate today at In July we were lucky enough to welcome Bonnie and Mark from the DAISY foundation over from America to join us for in celebrating our DAISY nurses. An afternoon tea was hosted and we heard an inspirational speech from Mark who told us about the importance nurses have. Director of nursing, midwifery and patient services, Sheran Oke and Chief Executive, Dr Sonia Swart both congratulated our nurses for their achievements thanked them for the exceptional care they have delivered to our patients.

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Getting a bird’s eye view of NGH

“The presence of a hawk or falcon quickly makes an area undesirable and unsafe for pest species.”

It’s an unusual sight to see birds of prey flying over a hospital, but that’s what some patients, visitors and staff have been getting used to at NGH this summer.


hanks to a new initiative to help to control the number of pigeons on the hospital site, these magnificent birds are being used to help to prevent damage to the buildings and machinery. While pigeons may seem harmless, their droppings can be very toxic and cause damage to certain machinery on the roof of the site. Not wanting to harm the birds the estates and facilities team investigated a new way to keep pigeons away from the site using a form of natural pest control.

Simon Messinger, estates maintenance supervisor, explained how these falconry flights can help to keep pigeons away from the site. “Falconry can provide a natural form of pest control by using hawks and falcons to disperse pest species such as gulls and feral pigeons. This method is effective, environmentally friendly, natural and public friendly the birds are there to scare and not kill the pest species. The presence of a hawk or falcon quickly makes an area undesirable and unsafe for pest species.”

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Life after Leukaemia Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a quick-to-develop and aggressive cancer with many different sub-types. We met Hannah Mahoney, who was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL or APML), a rare sub-type of AML. She told us her story and how social media provided a community throughout treatment and recovery.


y story, aka nightmare, began in November 2018 with a series of common ailments; which to start, sparked no particular concern. Bruises appeared and I put them down to various antics, but in the week leading up to my admission symptoms grew, rapidly. The bruises wouldn’t fade, in fact more appeared. A cut on my leg was

Hannah, pictured after treatment, shared her story with us

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taking forever to heal, I became breathless on the smallest run, had bleeding gums, a sore throat and a painful mouth ulcer. I thought it was just a bug and maybe gum disease. However, on Tuesday 11 December and three days prior diagnosis, an excruciating long-lasting sharp pain hit my left groin and knee. At 3am I googled my symptoms and up popped

Leukaemia, at the top of the results page. THE TOP! Every single result was linked to blood cancer. Google and my THIRTY bruises- impressive, I knowprompted me to call my GP. They squeezed me in and I am so grateful! I entered the consultation room and went for it- the bruising, the bleeding gums, the sore throat, the mouth ulcer, the joint pain. I didn’t mention the L word. I mean, as if it could actually be that. Cancer is something that happens to other people, right? That’s what I assumed. Thursday 13 December! I was determined to boss an exam, then boss whatever was messing with my body. I did just that. On Friday I returned for a blood test and was told I had a blood clotting abnormality. I pretended that everything was totally okay, went to work, and that evening was prepping for my staff party. My cut was bleeding and took ages to stop, I was so tired I took a nap, but finally I was ready to go. But not ready for what happened next. I had a voicemail from the hospital regarding abnormal blood results. I fell to the floor. I needed more tests and would need an overnight bag. Before I knew it I was in out of hours at NGH, on my own. On Friday 14 December, I joined the club nobody wants to be in. “There’s no easy way of saying it, but your blood is abnormal.” Then I heard the word that would change my world. I had suspected Leukaemia. Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia (APL or APML). Some horrid cells had set up camp in my bone marrow, without permission. Everything happened so quickly. I was rushed to the haematology ward, attacked by needles, blood products and endless drugs. The urgent care was spot on. My consultant educated me on my suspected leukaemia the following day. Basically, cancerous cells are formed when a type of white blood cell doesn’t fully develop. They cause havoc inside the bone marrow, and multiply rapidly preventing the good stuff from being made. The disease stops the vital flow of healthy blood to key organs, shuts down the immune system, and poses a high risk of lifethreatening blood clotting and bleeding problems. A bone marrow biopsy (needle in hip) confirmed it was Leukaemia and I accepted the option of entering into a clinical trial. The reason? I wanted to provide information to the cancer research team, to help improve the quality of life for future patients during and after treatment. For me, something good had to come out of this disease. Treatment is typically divided into 3 phases: induction (remission induction), consolidation (post-remission therapy), and maintenance. I got the most expensive full body spa treatment available, chemotherapy. It was a chemical peel inside and out, and my treatment plan featured four rounds of the stuff.

observations… my experience at NGH was eventful. There were things that could have been better. For example, patient safety and the efficient delivery of services can be better received, and achieved through quality nursing education and training. However, I had a positive relationship with staff, in this case my consultant, the doctors and my Macmillan nurse. They treated me as a person rather than a set of symptoms. They made me feel important, like I was the only patient on the ward.

Hannah at the end of round one of chemotherapy

Round one was poop. I was admitted for five weeks, missed Christmas and New Year, and just one week into treatment won a trip to the High-Dependency Unit due to single organ failure. An unpredictable and potentially life-threatening complication called differentiation syndrome, caused by administering all-trans retinoic acid, the most important drug in the initial treatment. So there I was! Placed on 65 per cent oxygen support with the pleasure of experiencing a nebuliser, relieving myself in a commode, and the attempted insertion of an arterial line… or three!

During chemotherapy anti-cancer drugs are used to destroy cancer cells

Leukaemia treatment kills the bad and good cells and shuts down your immune system, so patients are often isolated in a room with filtered air and strict hygiene rules. Antibiotics often became my best mate and I spent 70+ nights in hospital over a duration of four months. Blood and platelet donations are also essential for people going through treatment, and some kind people who gave blood saved my life. I received 58 blood transfusions, 8 being red cell, 10 platelets and 40 cryo.

Hannah suffered bruising due to low platelets in her blood and an arterial line being inserted

Hannah at the end of round one of chemotherapy

I was basically the Grinch. A poorly, smelly and mardy one, whose brain was best described as fish food – flaky. My head soon represented an egg, and my appetite... that was too good. But compared to consolidation! Round two was a breeze. Round three was a little more intense. And round four, as an outpatient… the body was still getting over rounds one, two and three.

And let’s not forget the PICC line – total winner! This is a thin, soft, long tube that’s inserted into a vein in the arm and positioned in your chest. It’s used for longterm intravenous chemotherapy, antibiotics or medications, and for blood draws. It made the consolidation phase more bearable. I didn’t have nurses poking and prodding hoping to find a good vein at 6am every morning. The bone marrow biopsies, the cannulas, the drugs, the transfusions, the X-rays, the jelly scans, the blood tests, the

Hannah was prescribed a series of drugs to treat the cancer

“The doctors,

For the pills, and the cancer chemo may cure patients, the cancer, but hospital it’s finding the becomes community you can our home and the relate to that ward team heals you.” our family. Still, when you receive a diagnosis you can feel so alone and isolated. There was no guide book on how to deal with cancer, and I needed the answers to my many questions. So I turned to Google again and social media. Social media has helped me to connect with people who are in the same boat! There’s a massive cancer community, but it’s like Hogwarts, nobody knows it’s there until you get the letter to say you’re in. They offered me and continue to offer valuable hints and tips, and all of the encouragement humanly possible. Since my treatment, I’ve had some amazing mini-breaks, focussed on my fitness and regularly horse ride. I appreciate my body and have regular blood tests. Since diagnosis, I’ve learnt that eightyfour per cent of people cannot name one single blood cancer symptom. One third of patients had to visit their GP at least three times before diagnosis. Experts estimate that more than 1,000 British lives can be saved every year, if the disease was detected and treated earlier. I want to reduce ignorance, increase understanding, and change behaviours and attitudes. I want people to take responsibility for their >>

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body, and have guts to visit their GP. Seeing others sharing their stories and what they are going through inspired me to share mine. Social media has allowed me to raise awareness of blood cancer, coping with cancer, and the importance of giving blood. If I can help one person, I will feel like I have achieved something. And I know I’ve done just that – it’s a good feeling. Hannah is living life to the full following her treatment and is back to horse riding

You can follow Hannah’s journey online: Twitter - @whathannahsaid Instagram - hannahmahoney91

Symptoms of acute leukaemia can include:     

looking pale or washed out feeling tired or weak breathlessness frequent infections mouth ulcers

u nusual and frequent bruising or bleeding, such as bleeding gums or nosebleeds  losing weight without trying to

Speak to a GP if you or your child have symptoms of acute leukaemia. For more information on leukaemia visit the NHS website or Leukeamia Care.

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HAPPY 10TH BIRTHDAY DUNSTONE BENNETT! The Dunstone Bennett Complementary Centre, in association with local charity Facefax, provides support for people in Northamptonshire at any stage of a journey through cancer. Celebrations are under preparation for the centres tenth birthday in October. The number of people living with cancer in the UK is increasing by 3.2% every year. It is reassuring for patients, their family members, loved ones and carers to know that support is available at The Dunstone Bennett Complementary Centre. Therapies include Reiki, Indian head massage, Reflexology, Massage and Counselling. Once a month there is an Art Workshop and meeting for the Support Group. Awaiting a diagnosis that may indicate cancer is one of the most daunting times in life. For this reason clients often attend the Dunstone Bennett Complementary Centre prior to diagnosis, and thereafter throughout treatment and beyond recovery. The centre works closely with medical staff at Northampton General Hospital and Macmillan and is completely self-funded, relying on gratefully received donations and other events to assist with its running costs. The centre is located in the Basement Suite, 38 Billing Road, Northampton, NN1 5DQ, and is open on Tuesday between 9:30 and 1pm and 9:30am to 12:30pm on Wednesdays. Therapists, who provide their services without charge, are fully qualified with many years of experience, and are fully insured. If you are interested in making an appointment, please call 01604 635889 to arrange an initial visit to discuss your treatment options. You can also visit their website:

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GLAMIS HALL LUNCH CLUB - Monday to Friday, 11:30am-1:30pm 3-course lunch – pre-booking essential VIP CLUB - Monday to Friday 9:30am-3:00pm Affordable daily rates Enjoy a freshly-cooked 3 course lunch, plus activities, entertainment and time to relax with friends • Hairdresser, Beautician & Podiatrist • Café and Shop • Personal care and Assisted bathing • Transport available or use the WELLIBUS – it’s FREE if you have a bus pass Call 01933 677326 Email or visit our website Goldsmith Road, Wellingborough, NN8 3RU Registered Charity Number 1160317

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Nurses gain national recognition for their work at Northampton General Hospital T

wo nurses from Northampton General Hospital have received one of the highest awards from the Chief Nursing Officer for England, Dr Ruth May, for going above and beyond the expectations of their role. Holly Slyne and Gillian Smith are among some of the first nurses nationally to receive the silver award, which was presented during a visit to the hospital from Susan Aitkenhead, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer. Holly, Infection Prevention and Control Clinical Nurse Specialist, received the award for her infectious enthusiasm and commitment to ensuring patients receive Holly Slyne

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the best possible care. She was recognised for her work to lead a number of changes in the hospital, including better mouth care for patients, and work to keep patients coming in for surgery safe from infections. Describing what the award meant to her Holly said: “I’d seen the badges launched on Twitter a few months ago and had seen other nurses receiving them in other hospitals. I thought it was a great way to recognise NHS staff, but never in a million years did I think that I’d get one! “It was a complete surprise. I’d been asked to go along to the meeting to talk about my work with our Shared Decision Making councils, then my manager Wendy read out the nomination and I was presented with the award. I was completely lost for words, which is rare for me! It’s wonderful to have such meaningful recognition and to receive this amazing accolade from the Chief Nurse.” Gillian, Nurse Consultant in Gynaecology, was recognised for her work supporting the gynaecology team, dedication to the hospital and the effort she has put into the gynaecology service. Gillian has established nurseled outpatient clinics and is one of a few nurse consultants who work autonomously, having her own theatre list and outpatient treatment clinics for patients. As well as her clinical work she also provides training for nursing and medical colleagues and is clinical lead for Gynaecology Ambulatory Services. Gillian said: “I’d been invited along to the meeting to meet Susan and I kept checking my watch as I knew I had a list of patients starting in the afternoon. All I was thinking about were the patients and making sure I wasn’t late for the clinic. Then they presented

Gillian Smith

me with the award which was completely overwhelming and unexpected. “I love my job and it’s so nice to have the recognition for the hard work and dedication for the last 37 years.” “I have been one of the first nurses nationally to undertake procedures traditionally performed by doctors. I like to see myself as a role model for nurses. I’ve worked my way up from a HCA to a Nurse Consultant. I now speak nationally and internationally at conferences and training events. My priority is always my patients, but training the next generation of nurses and doctors is very important to me.” The award scheme was introduced by the Chief Nurse, Ruth May earlier this year. There are two badges available Silver and Gold for those who go above and beyond in their everyday roles.


elebrations were underway at Northampton General Hospital this summer as two of the UK’s first nursing associates were awarded the prestigious Cavell star award. Nadeza and Emma received the award for their outstanding contribution towards raising the profile of the nursing associate role. The Cavell star is presented by the Cavell Nurses’ Trust, a charity that helps nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants when they are suffering personal or financial hardship. Nadeza Rappensbergova and Emma Green are both nursing associates in Northampton Generals theatres, and are among the first cohort of nursing associates who qualified in March. Nursing associate, Emma said: “It feels amazing to feel recognised and appreciated by your colleagues for the work you are doing. I’ve been qualified for four months now and this means I can assist our surgeons with operations and also support our registered nurses and theatre support workers.” The Cavell star awards are open to any healthcare professional to nominate other healthcare professionals and Nadeza and Emma are the first nursing associates in the country to receive this award. Pre-registration lead at NGH, Mandy Massey said: “The Cavell star award is a way we can celebrate members of our team who are providing an exceptional contribution to nursing. Nadeza and Emma have been absolutely outstanding in raising the profile of nursing associates, both within

Emma and Nadeza are the first nursing associates in the UK to receive the Cavell Star Award.

the hospital and externally in conferences, often at a national level. We have been truly inspired by their motivation and enthusiasm to spread the word about the nursing associate role and the experience they have. “Emma and Nadeza both work in theatres and the role has fit really nicely, the feedback we get from managers is that they are role models for other healthcare professionals interested in the nursing associate role, we are extremely proud.” Nadeza was overwhelmed when she received her award: “I am truly humbled to receive this award; it’s been a really long and difficult journey, but at the same time, has been amazing and really exciting. I love working here, and have done for the past ten years. The support from my colleagues has been genuinely amazing.” Sheran Oke, director of nursing, midwifery and patient services said: “Our nursing associates are pioneers driving forward new roles to be part of and influence the future of nursing. I am immensely proud that we are one of the first hospitals in the country to train and employ nursing associates as part of our caring workforce, it has been a fantastic achievement for these two nursing

associates, working within our theatre complex to be the first to receive this award.” The nursing associate role has been registered by the nursing and midwifery council and will pave the way for associates across the UK to provide high quality nursing care to NHS patients. The role bridges the gap between registered nurses and healthcare assistants with the nursing associates providing more support on wards and in theatres, help administer medications and care for patients. Cavell Nurses Trust’s Chief Executive, John Orchard said: “Congratulations Emma and Nadeza for being amongst the first few nursing associates to win a Cavell Star Award! I’m so proud that Cavell Nurses’ Trust can support nursing professionals in celebrating their colleagues’ achievements. “This is just one of the many ways that Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust supports their nursing professionals. For example, I’m delighted that TeamNGH joined our working with programme. This helps us reach more nursing professionals with advice and financial support when they are facing a crisis in their personal life. “Well done again to Emma and Nadeza.”

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We would like to wish a happy retirement to Eileen Ingram our head of Patient Advice and Liaison. Eileen retires after 25 years at NGH and will be greatly missed by her colleagues from across the hospital.

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NGH has the Meds Factor! Congratulations to our surgical practice development team who have been shortlisted for a national patient safety award! The surgical practice development team, have gained the recognition from the Nursing Times, thanks to their interactive study day for staff to learn how to administer and calculate dosages for new medications.



The awards take place on Wednesday 30th October. Good luck to Bev, Emily and Tom!

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Congratulations to Jill Mills who won two tickets to the Silverstone British Grand Prix in July. Thank you to Silverstone who kindly donated the tickets for Jill to enjoy!

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We are delighted to welcome Professor Tom Robinson as our new Associate Non-Executive Director. Professor Robinson is the Head of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Leicester and Professor of Stroke Medicine.

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The Trust Boards at both Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust and Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust are pleased to announce that they have agreed to appoint a Chief People Officer across both organisations. The appointment will initially be on a secondment basis for nine months, from 1 September 2019. Mark Smith, the current Director of HR and OD at Kettering General Hospital NHS FT will be seconded into the role.

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We’re proud to have launched our new Rainbow badges to over 800 staff members.

Rainbow badges are a way for our staff to show that this is an open, nonjudgemental and inclusive place for people that identify as LGBTQ+.

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Congratulations to Dr Sohaib Rufai, Specialist Registrar at NGH, has been awarded a prestigious Doctoral Fellowship award from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). Dr Rufai will receive a Fellowship Grant of £386,225 to support sightsaving and life-saving research at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), London, in collaboration with the University of Leicester Ulverscroft Eye Unit where he currently holds an Academic Clinical Fellowship.

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Written and Directed by Professor Andrew N Williams PhD FRHistS consultant community paediatrician and curator of Archive, Northampton General Hospital, this film tells the story of how crippled children were treated in England during the late 19th and early 20th century. The Northampton Crippled Childrens’ Fund, (1893-1925) provided medical care for ‘poor crippled children in straightened circumstances under 17 years of age’ initially in Northampton and eventually county wide. It also gave long term dietary supplementation and summer seaside holidays. It had wide community support. In its final year before being able to open the Manfield Orthopaedic Hospital it treated 3000 children. Using the extensive archival records a group of Northampton children, recreate and assess its work. The film can be seen on the You Tube Channel of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

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WE ARE SMOKE FREE! Northampton General Hospital is a smoke free hospital where staff, patients and visitors are not permitted to smoke on hospital property; including car parks, outside the main entrance, or in their cars whilst onsite. Stop smoking support for staff:

Throughout May, Wendy the stop smoking advisor from Public Health Northamptonshire held weekly drop in sessions for hospital staff to support them on their journey to stop smoking. Anne-Marie Dunkley our Health and Wellbeing lead said: “It’s important that we help support our staff and our patients on their journey to quitting smoking. Stopping smoking has so many health benefits, as well as improving mental health, increasing energy and saving money.” Hospital staff can also access the staff health and wellbeing intranet pages for further stop smoking advice and to view the no smoking and smoke free site policy there. Look out for our new no smoking signage coming soon. Public Health Northamptonshire manage the smoking cessation service across Northamptonshire. Traditionally the service has operated across clinics in

GP surgeries offering support in helping people to stop smoking. We have been working in partnership with Public Health Northamptonshire for a number of years, working jointly on national ‘no smoking days’ and Stoptober initiatives. Over the years, the service has begun to focus on supporting patients in hospital. The smoking cessation team has a specialist in both Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital one day a week. The team see patients coming into hospital for surgery, and inpatients, particularly those on respiratory wards, where support in stopping smoking will have significant health benefits.

Help is on hand for patients and staff if they want to quit smoking:

NGH has dedicated stop smoking advisors from Public Health Northamptonshire who have trained our pre-operative assessment nurses with brief intervention training to

allow them to provide sufficient knowledge to positively inform patients of the benefits to their health, lessen complications with surgery and reduced recovery time by quitting smoking. 15.9% of adults in Northamptonshire are current smokers; smoking is attributable to 14,090 hospital admissions and 2,037 deaths per year in Northamptonshire. We are currently working with Public Health Northamptonshire on a new pilot scheme which hopes to reduce the number of smokers in Northamptonshire. A team involved in the smoking cessation CQUIN (Commissioning Quality Innovations) have been working alongside Health and Wellbeing to continue and progress the promotion of smoking cessation. Our ward teams, pre-operative assessment team and practice and professional development nurses have facilitated early intervention and awareness to support patients and staff to stop smoking. The initiative sees a specialist stop smoking advisor visit

Health and Wellbeing lead, Anne-Marie Dunkley with Wendy Hansford and Helen Blackburn from Public Health Northamptonshire.

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patients at their bedside to provide advice and guidance on how they can stop smoking. Our patients on Becket, Dryden and Quinton ward will receive a visit from Helen, a stop smoking advisor, if they express an interest or requests information on how to stop smoking. Patients can then be recommended for nicotine replacement therapy and will Are you thinking of quitting smoking? Research be contacted by an advisor weekly to check on their quit progress, has shown that if you manage to quit for 28 when our patient is discharged, they will receive a two week supply of nicotine replacement medication and the stop smoking service days, you’re 5 times more likely to quit for will continue to support the patient in the community by face to good. Join thousands as they take on the face or telephone consultation for up to 12 weeks. Stoptober challenge this October. Stop smoking advisor, Helen said: “The bedside support project has enabled me to offer stop smoking support and advice in a new You will be provided with a Smokefree app to track your and direct way: face to face with patients and staff on three trial progress, see how much you’re saving and get daily support wards. Everyone has been so receptive and helpful. It has been very wherever you are. If you do not have a smartphone, you can rewarding to meet a patient in hospital, help them to quit smoking receive free SMS text support along your journey. If cravings during their stay, and to continue providing support once they have been discharged.” strike, the Smokefree Facebook messenger assistant is here Wendy said: “Working in partnership with NGH to set up the to provide loads of tips, motivation and advice to help keep pilot bedside support programme has been a fantastic experience, you smoke free. in addition to bedside support and engaging with the pre op Get your free personal quit plan today and find the right assessment team to refer patients to the stop smoking service for support to ‘stop before the op’, we have had the pleasure providing support to help you quit at support to staff members who want to quit too. NGH have really embraced the opportunity to work with us to offer access to stop smoking support for staff and patients which is fantastic.” Paul Lovejoy, a cardiology patient has “NGH have really recently been discharged and is currently embraced the receiving support from the stop smoking team. Paul said: “The support has been opportunity to work very good. I’ve been working with the with us to offer access team since leaving hospital two weeks to stop smoking ago. When they came to see me, they support for staff and gave me all the information I needed to patients which is stop smoking. “If you have the will power you can fantastic.” do it. I can say that I have given up now, I haven’t touched cigarettes in 7 or 8 weeks now. My advice would be to just do it, give it up.”

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From the Archive

The Workhouse

by Julia Corps volunteer at the NGH historical Archive


ooking back to the days before Henry Vlll had a disagreement with the Roman Catholic Church which ultimately led to the dissolution of monasteries, the sick and needy were looked after by these religious institutions. This gave a need for the Poor Law Act of 1601 to make parishes responsible for their own destitute. Those who couldn’t work because they were lame, old or blind were cared for in an almshouse or poorhouse, and the able-bodied were set to work in a House of Industry. The idle, poor and vagrants were sent to a House of Correction or prison. Generally, relief could be given as indoor inside a workhouse or outdoor in the form of money, food or clothing. Society had changed by the early 1800’s and with the burden of having to care for those turning from the land and heading towards towns, and the influx of the wounded returning from the Napoleonic Wars, changes were required. An amendment was made to the Poor Law in 1834 to curb the cost of poor relief. Outdoor relief was stopped and help could only be given in workhouses. Conditions in these places were made to deter all but the truly desperate from applying for relief. Institutions were built on the edge of towns and the design of these buildings were usually cruciform surrounded by high walls. Males were separated from females, they were all accommodated in different blocks

and had their own exercise yards. Windows were placed higher up than usual and the lower panes in higher positioned windows were frosted so light could shine through but nobody could see in or out. The surrounding walls were often capped with metal spikes making Workhouses appear more like prisons and giving rise to their nickname of ‘The Spike’. The Northampton Workhouse was built in 1836 at the north side of Wellingborough Road and could accommodate 300 inmates. It was further developed to provide housing for those with physical disabilities, the elderly and the insane. On entering the workhouse, those who were able were put to work. The women took on domestic chores such as cooking, cleaning and sewing, while the men performed

physical labour, usually stone breaking, bone crushing or gardening. The elderly were often given old ropes to unpick for use as caulking in shipbuilding, and this is where the term money for old rope comes from. In the early 20th century attitudes to workhouses changed and they took on a more hospital related role and in 1930 the premises were fully adapted to operate as a hospital. By the time the NHS was formed in 1948, the workhouse was known as St Edmund’s Hospital, giving care to the elderly and also running a GP- led maternity unit. However, the stigma of being sent to ‘The Workhouse’ stuck in the minds of the elderly and they dreaded being admitted there. The hospital finally closed its doors in 1998 and elderly patient care was transferred to Northampton General Hospital. A recent visitor to the NGH Historical Archive shared with us the story of her Great grandfather. Mr George Cotton, a GP and surgeon living in Abington Street, who was a medical officer to the Workhouse from 1857 until his death in 1888. He often dined at the Workhouse at the invitation of the Master and Matron, Mr and Mrs Brannan, and it was said that he always refused to dine until all the inmates had eaten. He married their daughter Annie Eliza, his second wife who was considerably younger than himself, producing two children.

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Northamptonshire Health Charity

Pushing forward for the Maternity garden We are thrilled to announce that our Maternity appeal, which was kick-started by Rob Crussell and Team Theo with a donation of more than £6,000 has now reached just over half way! We would like to say a big thank you to:

Rob & Kate Crussell with Team Theo kickstarted the garden appeal with over £6,000 – thanks again!

Sonia Jabke, Laura McDermott and Sarah Pilling from Robert Watson dared this year’s abseil & raised over £1,500.

Visit the appeal page at our website & help us to transform a spacious cupboard into a quiet room for patients.

Thank you! The NGH Choir have got behind the maternity appeal, donating £1,500 collected from their concerts.

We are grateful to everyone who has donated and supported this campaign so far. If you would like to get involved plea se visit the appeal page at our website www.nhcfgreenh

Trainee Midwife Support Worker (MSW ) Ellie Lenton ran the iconic London marathon, raising £720 for the new maternity garde n.

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Northamptonshire Health Charity

Thank you to our fantastic supporters!

ily u to the fam ial thank yo lth ea H d A very spec ol ig ed ers & M of Mark Vick n to ITU. 000 donatio for their £10, in Mark’s memory to e This was mad mily waiting areas. e fa refurbish th

A huge thanks to Sue Adkins for supporting us again this year with her afternoon tea weekend. Sue came in with her sister Lesley to present £2,100 to Dryden ward and the dementia appeal.

Marjorie Wood supported us with her annual coffee morning again this year. Thank you to Marjorie and to all who donated towards the wonderful £517 raised for Oncology.

a mighty ater took on Jake Gillingw arathon in June. Thank 69-mile Ultram ke for putting yourself Ja g you so much lenge, raisin a tough chal ch d. su ar h w ug ro ck th for head & ne almost £3,000 We are grateful for the generosity of local people whose donations help make our wards more comfortable and help us support staff development and training, buy the very best equipment, further medical knowledge & expertise and to help us improve the environment for patients and staff. You can choose to donate to the ward or service that most touched your family.

40-miles is just a walk in the park for Darren Wootton who raised an incredible £1,485 for Gosset ward by doing the Cyril Bean Coventry Way Challenge. Thank you Darren!

A special thank you to Tom Goddard and his two sisters Pamela and Lesley, for donating £1,252 to Allebone ward in memory of their lovely mum Jean.

A big thank you to Michael Read, who as Grand Master of Cowper & Newton Lodge this year, kindly selected to donate £500 to the Children’s wards for the outside play area.

How can you help?

Well done to Sally, Amanda Katherine, K , at ward. The te y and Kat from Becket am hiked Sc af raising £1,8 00 in sporns ell Pike, orship. We added £500 on top as pa rt of our Challenge 50 0 staff initiat ive.

There are so m for holding th any people to thank ei for us. Pictur r NHS Big Tea Parties ed are the C ar team who ra ised £260 at diology their event. Collectively ou £1,377! Than r fundraisers raised k celebrated th you to everyone who e NHS!


You can make a donation to the area of greatest need or to the area most personal to you, or alternatively why not try some fundraising? Contact the charity team to register your interest on T: 01604 626927, E:, W: NorthamptonshireHealthCharity

Ways to make donations:  Post us a cheque: please make cheques payable to Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund or abbreviate to NHCF and post it, or hand deliver to: Northamptonshire Health Charity, Springfield, Cliftonville, Northampton, NN1 5BE.

Your donation will make a real difference, thank yo 28 ❘ Insight

Northamptonshire Health Charity

A Big Buggy Thank You The new volunteer’s buggy has landed at the hospital and is already benefitting numerous patients and their relatives. A very special thank you goes to The Phillips Charitable Trust, who donated a hugely generous £15,000 to this campaign! This means that the volunteer service are also able to purchase a larger vehicle to assist patients in getting around the outside areas of the hospital too. We would also like to send our thanks to the members of Al Jamatul Muslim of Bangladesh Mosque for their £1,044 donation, Waitrose Kingsthorpe for their £323 donation and members of the

Yardley Hastings URC Coffee Morning which raised £250. Thank you to the kind and thoughtful people who have donated to this campaign, we couldn’t have done it without you! Lastly we would like to thank the Towrite & Curtis EV Systems for their generosity in donating parts and labour. As well as making the necessary modifications to the buggy the team have helped to keep the costs to a minimum. Thanks to their work and reduced costs we now have more money to be able to proceed with purchasing the outside buggy. Thank you!

Thank you dbfb for raising £6,400 for Radiotherapy

Claire Irving, former Radiotherapy patient & dbfb Events and Charity Executive “This appeal is important to me; small things mean so much. A waiting area allowing easy conversation so patients can talk to each other would be great, because only the people going through radiotherapy know what it’s like.”

dbfb held a once in a lifetime Golf Day, with the wonderful Peter Alliss as guest speaker and the fabulous World Trick Shot Champion, Geoff Swain, to raise money for our Radiotherapy waiting area appeal. Despite the torrential rain all day the 16 teams managed to complete the 18-hole Staverton Estate Golf course all coming in with smiles! Simon Pickering, Managing Director and Claire Irving, events and charity executive from dbfb, came in to present the Radiotherapy team with the golftastic £6,400 raised. This money will go towards making invaluable changes to the waiting area, including ensuring that each patient can access a hot drink before and after treatment. This donation is an incredible start to the appeal, thank you dbfb!

 Bank transfer: please contact us. O nline: visit our website and click on “make a donation”. M astercard, Visa, Visa Delta and Switch: credit/debit card payments can be accepted over the phone. R egular giving: you can donate regularly by setting up a standing order, please give us a call for details.

P ayroll giving: you can arrange with your employer to deduct a set amount each payday. Please give us a call for details. G ift in your Will: Call us to find out how you can make a gift in your Will. G ift Aid: remember if you are a UK taxpayer we can claim an extra 25p from the Inland Revenue for every pound you donate. This won’t cost you a penny! Just

let us know if you would like us to claim Gift Aid when you donate. We really appreciate your donations and it is important to us that they reach the ward/ department you choose. Please let us know which area your donation is for and please include your contact details so we can let you know when your donation has been received, thank you.

ou for helping us today to improve lives tomorrow. Insight ❘ 29

Northamptonshire Health Charity

Charity abseil day raises over £15,000 Another fantastic group of 25 adventurers put themselves out of their comfort zones to abseil the Express Lift Tower for Northamptonshire Health Charity’s third annual charity abseil day. This amazing bunch challenged themselves to abseil the incredible 418ft (127metres) on a beautiful day in June, all to raise money for their chosen ward or department at NGH. Our oldest abseiler, Brian Hayes at 82, started off the day’s events closely followed by youngest daredevil, Lucy Noel at 13 years old. This fabulous group raised over £15,000 between them for the areas closest to their hearts. A team of four from Cedar Ward raised over £2,000 for their ward, and the courageous Robert Watson Team raised over £1,500 for the new

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garden on the maternity ward. Buzz Lightyear appeared and ascended the tower raising money for Disney ward as he went, thankyou Owen – and Thomas Cole, at 14, made it a family affair by raising money for the team his mum works for at NGH, Palliative care. It was a fantastic day, thanks to; the real team spirit amongst the abseilers and all their families that came to watch, the fabulous Extreme abseil team who looked after us on the day and the refreshments, which went down well, thanks to the lovely volunteers who made us such lush cakes to sell! If you would like to be part of our challenging but heart-warming day next year please get in touch. Spaces go quickly.

Northamptonshire Health Charity

All donations to the hospital are manged separately from NHS finances, by the Trustees of Northamptonshire Health Charity, a registered charity. If you would like to make a donation, or be involved in raising money for NGH please contact our fundraising team on 01604 626927. NorthamptonshireHealthCharity


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Win a pair of tickets to

The Russian State Ballet of Siberia: Coppélia on Tuesday 28th January 2020 at 7.30pm Every toy has a story, especially in this charming comedy of errors, a witty combination of antics and abracadabra, set in a doll maker’s workshop. This light-hearted tale of mistaken identity and confused lovers follows mischievous Swanilda, her impetuous suitor Franz and the eccentric toymaker Dr.Coppelius as they are brought to life by sparkling choreography and the animated score of Delibes. Coppélia is perfect for first-time ballet goers, families and everyone in between. The Russian State Ballet Of Siberia: Coppélia takes to the stage on Tuesday 28th January 2020 at the Royal and Derngate. Tickets and Info: For a chance to win a pair of tickets to see the production on Tuesday 28th January, get in touch and let us know which article you enjoyed most in this edition of Insight. Send your entry to or by post to Insight Editor, Communications Department, Northampton General Hospital, Northampton, NN1 5BD. Please include a daytime telephone number with your entry so we can contact you if you’re the lucky winner. Send your entry to arrive by Wednesday 4th December 2019. The winner will be chosen by random lottery. Designed & Published by Octagon Design & Marketing Ltd, Hawks Nest Cottage, Great North Road, Bawtry, Doncaster, South Yorkshire DN10 6AB. Tel: 01302 714528

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