Insight Northampton - Spring 2017

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Spring 2017 | Issue 62

Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

More than just a magazine Bring these pages to life with our amazing new app See page four

IMPROVING URGENT CARE See what we’re doing to improve patient flow and help people leave hospital sooner and safer Supported by the Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund



We welcome two new nonexecutive directors to the NGH board - John ArchardJones, former deputy chairman of Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, and Anne Gill, organisational development consultant. Anne said: “As a newly appointed associate NED, I welcome the opportunity to help make a positive contribution to the delivery of the very best care for patients in my local hospital.” John said: “I wanted the opportunity to continue to help and support the incredible people in the NHS and the great work that they do. NGH is my local hospital and I want to do what I can to help continue to improve patient care and develop new safe and efficient services.”

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Congratulations to our health and safety manager Fiona Potter who was awarded her Master of Science degree in occupational health and safety management at Loughborough university in December.

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Congratulations to consultant anaesthetist Dr Chris Frerk who has been awarded a professorship in anaesthesia and airway management by the Difficult Airway Society, a medical specialist society that promotes best practice and safety in the management of patients’ airways by anaesthetists and other critical care practitioners. Chris, whose published work on this subject has achieved international recognition, said: “It’s a great honour but it’s important to remember that all the work I have been involved with over the years has been with fantastic teams of great people. I couldn’t have done any of it on my own and the continuing support I receive at NGH is tremendous.”

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Having won the Enhancing Patient Dignity category with her team at last year’s awards, safeguarding lead midwife Emma Fathers has

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been invited on to the judging panel for the 2017 Nursing Times awards!

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Theatre support worker Dan Stevenson appeared on BBC1’s daily teatime quiz show Pointless in January, and won the jackpot! Together with his cousin Sam the pair demonstrated their knowledge of some obscure facts, and came up with two pointless answers to secure the cash.

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Our clinical discharge lead Jackie Perkins has spread her wings to take on a new challenge, managing district nurses in the community for Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS trust. Head of capacity Dione Rogers said: “We’ll all miss you. We’re very sad to see you go and wish you well. The biggest thing for me is the heart of gold that you’ve got for other people.”


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Hotel services manager Brian Willett is cycling 300 miles from London to Paris in May to raise money for the NGH charity Do it for Dementia. Please show your support by visiting his fundraising website at BWillett

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Dr Rae Webster, consultant in intensive care and anaesthesia, has relinquished her role as the clinical lead for the elective preoperative assessment role – passing on the baton to Dr Kalpna Gupta – to work only in critical care. The pre-op service was set up by Rae and an enthusiastic team of nurses to help ensure that patients are admitted for operations fully informed, assessed and prepared so that anaesthesia and surgery are as safe as possible for each individual.

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Just before Christmas the executive team said farewell to deputy director of finance Andrew Foster, who has left us to take up a new position with Heart of England NHS Trust.

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The past winter was not a particularly harsh one but nevertheless our hospital saw an unprecedented level of demand. More than 300 people each day attended our emergency department. There was a relentless focus throughout the hospital on ensuring we maintained patient flow and could admit patients in need of our care. While all this was happening we underwent another inspection by the Care Quality Commission. The inspection impacted on all of us, whether to a greater or lesser degree, yet everyone continued to maintain their focus on keeping our patients safe and providing the best possible care. At the time of writing we don’t know what our rating will be. It may well be April before the results are published. But what I do know is that this time we all feel that we deserve to be rated more highly than “in need of improvement”. We have improved, in almost every way, since the last inspection three years ago. This time we were given only two weeks’ notice, but there was no panic, no rush to try and put things right before the inspection team arrived. In fact I was able to simply tell our staff: ‘Carry on doing all the good things you do every day. Be open, be honest, and be proud of what you do.’ Many staff did just that from what I hear. The inspection team gave some brief informal feedback before they left, saying that care for patients was seen to be the priority, A&E felt calm despite the huge pressures we are under, and staff were positive, confident and proud of their work. It isn’t often we get the chance to talk about all the great things we do and I am pleased that staff had this opportunity. Despite our operational pressures, when I walk round the hospital I see smiling faces. I see people who are delivering the best possible care. People who are confident they can speak up when they see something that could be improved or changed. I see people who are supported by their colleagues and I see patients who are confident that we will always do the best we can for them. So, regardless of the rating we will see when the report is published, I want to publicly thank everyone for the overwhelming contribution they make to our hospital. It’s really important that I tell you how proud I am of Team NGH.

Dr Sonia Swart

Chief Executive Northampton General Hospital

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ee and hear more from our chief executive Dr Sonia Swart by downloading the NGH Plus app. Point your phone or tablet at the image above to watch her latest update about NGH. Here’s how to do it…

Download our app and watch the video! Insight is now more than a magazine! Welcome to another edition with added video content, which you can see on your smartphone or tablet with our amazing new app, NGH Plus. Just download the app from the App Store or Google Play, follow the instructions below, then point it at the photos which show the ‘Scan photo for video’ symbol here. Download the NGH Plus app from the App Store (Apple) or Google Play (Android).



Point your device at the photos where you see the AR content logo pictured right – and wait for the surprise. Double tap for a full-screen.


Open the app with a simple tap.

Augmented reality services by

Insight Spring 2017 ❘ Issue 62 Keep in touch

NGH has over 2,700 followers on Twitter and over 9,000 people have liked our Facebook page. If you’re not yet one of them, here’s how you can get updates about the hospital and the great work of our employees: Follow us on Twitter @NGHNHStrust Follow us on Instagram Northamptongeneralhospital Connect with us on LinkedIn Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

Like our Northampton General Hospital Facebook page Until our Summer issue in June, please keep up to date with NGH news on our website where you will also find all back issues of Insight. Editor: Peter Kennell 01604 523871 ( Designed and printed by Octagon Design & Marketing Ltd, Hawks Nest Cottage, Great North Road, Bawtry, DN10 6AB. Tel: 01302 714528 Insight is a free magazine, and we encourage our patients and visitors to take a copy home with our compliments. Please pass it on to a friend or relative when you have read it. We are very grateful to the supporters of Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund for their sponsorship of the magazine in 2017.

Inbox Urology compliments I would like to send my compliments and thanks to all the staff at the urology department. I was referred two years ago for a condition that had been blighting my whole life and at that time was becoming unbearable. The condition was affecting my whole life and no matter what I did was not getting any better. Throughout the time I have been under their care I have met a variety of consultants, nurses, healthcare assistants, admin and appointment coordinators to name but a few. All the staff have been so nice and helpful, providing me with such a range of useful advice. Thanks to all of their help my condition is now completely under control to such a level I never thought possible. I have followed all the advice I was given and it has made such a difference. The treatment and care I received from this department has been invaluable and helped me to get back to a normal life. I would really appreciate it if you could please pass my sincerest thank you to all of the staff for their help. Claire Law


I took ill on the motorway coming back from a hospital appointment in London, stopped breathing and my mother had to deliver CPR. At the hospital they got on top of my pain quickly and effectively. The doctor and two nurses looking after me were so considerate, friendly, kind and even put the radio on for some distraction! I am not from the Northampton area but if I ever had to go to this A&E department again I would never be worried, concerned or anxious in anyway. Such a wonderful department who look after their patients exceptionally well! Thank you all so very much. Abriella Mae


Could not ask for better

I visited Northampton General Hospital today for an MRI scan. I arrived early, and the team saw me early rather than me having to wait until my appointment time. Everyone I spoke to at the hospital, from the reception desk through to the MRI team were friendly, courteous and helpful. The radiology team that conducted the scan were great - very friendly and explained the procedure in a simple, understandable manner. I could not ask for a better experience. Dave Alcock

Recent Emergency Surgery

I would just like to express my thanks to all the staff at Northampton General Hospital who dealt with my mother-in-law who fell ill recently. When admitted she then required an emergency hemi colectomy. All the way through from A&E, Hawthorn Ward and Willow Ward the nurses and other staff were extremely professional and courteous at all times. When she had her operation the surgeon and anaesthetist explained everything clearly including the potential risks. Post surgery she has had no signs of infection. She has been discharged now and is recovering at home and doing well. Many thanks again. Kindest regards David (son in law)

I needn’t have worried

Having moved to Northampton last year to be near my son after a lifetime (73 years) in Surrey, due to the passing of my dear late husband, everything is very new and unfamiliar. I found myself needing to undergo an endoscopy procedure and, being a wheelchair user, was rather anxious as to how I would cope. I needn’t have worried. From start to finish I was treated with the greatest respect and


excellent care. A very sincere thank you to ALL staff concerned. Anonymous

Eternal gratitude

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Head of the Ophthalmology department and in particular my consultant and their team at the treatment which I have received. It is now exactly one week since I attended in order to have a cataract operation. The outcome since yesterday makes me believe that my life will have been completely transformed. Whilst driving yesterday I had to remove my glasses as my sight without them was infinitely better. It would appear that I am watching a brand new TV set and the ability to recognise my friends in the distance is incredible. I wish to express my eternal gratitude and thanks. Best regards, Ernie Bowman

A&E first class asset

I went to A&E at 0130 hrs after taking advice from 111. The care I received from all concerned was absolutely first class. All the staff went out of their way to give me the best possible care and attention, I am so very grateful to you all, you do a fantastic job and are a first class asset to the town. Thank you so very much. Jim Mantz

Paddington deserve a medal

My 5 stars are for the staff! My 3 year old was admitted to Paddington 2 nights ago. I cannot fault the staff - they were incredible with him. They looked after me and Olly during a very upsetting time, and put my little boy at ease. The Drs were lovely too, and took time with him. Hats off to these staff. They deserve a medal! Karen Horne

Patients feel valued

I attend this unit regularly and each time I have been, no matter how



busy the staff are, I have been treated with kindness and courtesy. Today was no different but I would like to make a special mention regards the fabulous receptionist who takes the time to make sure each patient is looked after and understands how the system works. Often the patients are muddled or not sure of what they have been sent for. The receptionist explains and makes sure they understand no matter how long it takes. The receptionist makes us patients feel valued that’s for sure. Thank you! Meowmix

Nurses were brilliant

Had to be transferred to Northampton from Milton Keynes, I’m terrified of needles and the guy that took my bloods was amazing, can’t remember his name but he was lovely. Had to be admitted and I was very nervous in a hospital that I had never stayed in over night before all the nurses were brilliant. Was on drips all night all the ENT doctors were amazing and really appreciate all their help. Had a good experience in here for my first time staying in overnight away from home in a hospital where I don’t know anyone and was on my own. Very good. Sophie Anne Vaughan

Nothing too much trouble

Spent the whole day at the hospital had an infusion for arthritis took nearly 9 hours Fay and her team were fantastic nothing was too much trouble this is the third time I’ve had this done this is not a one off treatment and staff are first class thank you all. David Coles

Some of the lovely feedback we’ve received from our patients


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Twelve of our 18 student nursing associates, wearing the new uniform with purple piping



GH has welcomed 18 history-making students who are helping to lead the way in shaping the nursing workforce of the future. They are part of a group of 38 students recruited to a landmark pilot scheme to train nursing associates – a new role that is a key part of national plans to create a sustainable nursing workforce for the future. The nursing associates will work alongside existing healthcare assistants and registered nurses to deliver hands-on care for patients. Northamptonshire is part of a wider East Midlands collaborative of NHS trusts and universities, and one of only 11 pilot sites in the UK training the first wave of students. Northampton and Kettering general hospitals, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Northampton are all partners in the programme to provide trainees with on-the-job learning through a combination of placements days, taught education, and time in practice. One of our student group is Caroline Marriott, who has worked on the hospital’s Hawthorn ward for four years as a 6 ❘ Insight

healthcare assistant. Prior to that she was a warehouse manager until her company relocated to the north of England. She said: “The company gave me a generous package which meant that I didn’t need to look for a job that was so well-paid. I love helping people so I came into healthcare. “I didn’t think I’d enjoy anything as much as my previous job, but I love it here and I would never go back. I don’t know where else I could help so many people every day, it’s really humbling and so rewarding, even when you just make tea and toast for someone. I’ve always wanted to learn more and do more to help the nurses and of course the patients, and now I’m looking forward to becoming a nursing associate when I can do that. I just love helping people.” During the two years of training, all the students spend the first week of each month at university and the rest of the time on placements, with the first three months being spent on their ‘base’ ward where they have already been working. Another student, Binu Suresh is based on Cedar ward, having trained in India before coming

to the UK in 2006 and working at NGH as a healthcare assistant for the last four years. “I saw the job advertisement on the screensaver,” said Binu, “and several of my colleagues were discussing it. I wanted to develop my career and use my knowledge to do more with the patients so I decided to apply. There wasn’t much time so things seemed to move very quickly after I submitted my application and personal statement, and I was soon invited to an interview. I’m told that lots of people applied, and I’m really happy to be one of the 18 that were successful. This was something I never expected to happen, but I am really looking forward to the next two years!” NGH director of nursing Carolyn Fox said: “We’re delighted to welcome and support the first students to embark on this new route in nursing. It’s a really exciting time for Northamptonshire as we help to shape the future of the nursing profession. This confirms the strength of the partnerships between the NHS and the University of Northampton in producing nursing professionals of the highest calibre.”


We’re getting animated about health and wellbeing! There’s lots going on at NGH to promote health and wellbeing – and now we have our own animation video to tell more people about it and help spread the message! If you have downloaded the NGH Plus app, you can scan the image above with your camera to play the video. Have a go and let us know what you think… The animation is the brainchild of our health and wellbeing steering group, who for the past 18 months have been busy creating an annual programme of initiatives to help keep our staff physically fit and emotionally well. You can see in the panel some of the things we’re doing, and the video is a way of making all our staff aware of what’s on offer, and encouraging more people to get involved. The group is also carrying out a survey to see what impact the initiatives had and indeed whether they are getting things right. We’re aiming to make an active contribution to promoting and improving the wider health and wellbeing of our staff, our patients and those with whom we come into contact. To do this we are working collaboratively with staff and their representatives to develop ways of improving the health and wellbeing of our workforce in ways that are meaningful for them. We’re also supporting our patients and the local community to help everyone recognise their responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.

Health and wellbeing initiatives for NGH staff  Mindfulness, stress and sleep management sessions  Nutrition and Fitness classes  On site gym with discounted membership  Swimming pool and fitness classes  Weekly walking group  Weekly dancing classes  Annual participation in Global Corporate Challenge  Fast track physiotherapy  Over 40’s health checks  Under 500 calorie meals available in restaurant  Healthy options vending machines available  External sports activity promotions  Improved bicycle parking

Scan the image above with the NGH Plus app on your phone or tablet to watch our new video

Our CEO Dr Sonia Swart signs the Time To Change pledge, watched by health and wellbeing steering group members Janine Brennan, Anne-Marie Dunkley, Sarah Ash and Charles Abolins

It’s Time to Change – we’ve signed the pledge


n February NGH signed up to the Time To Change employer pledge, a commitment to our staff to change how we think and act about mental health problems at every level of this organisation. One in four of us will experience a mental health problem, and nine in ten say they have faced negative treatment from others as a result. By choosing to be open about mental health, we are all part of a movement that’s changing the conversation around this subject and ensuring that anyone experiencing a mental health problem feels supported. As part of this commitment, we also supported Time to Talk Day, a day when everyone was encouraged to have a conversation about mental health to help break the silence. You don’t need to be an expert to talk about mental health. It could be as simple as asking someone how they’re doing, or sharing ways to relax after a stressful day. We want everyone who works here to feel they can be open about their mental health, and ask for support if they need it.

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In common with many English hospitals, Northampton General Hospital has been facing rising demand for its services, with last winter seeing an unprecedented number of A&E attendances and patients requiring admission. Here at NGH our frontline staff have continued to cope admirably with an ever-increasing workload, and behind the scenes more staff are heavily engaged in work to alleviate the pressures. In this issue of Insight we look at some of the projects that are helping to maintain safety and speed up the flow of patients through the hospital.

SAFER patient flow To treat the highest number of patients at optimum efficiency, we need to move them quickly between areas such as A&E, assessment unit, an appropriate ward, diagnostics, operating theatre, recovery areas, the discharge suite and then back home. Getting patients through hospital as Chris Field with ward sister Vicki Moore checking whiteboard

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quickly as both they and we want means we need to have adequate space and staff to do so. When space runs short at any point, movement slows down and the system becomes blocked – causing frustrating delays. Our SAFER ‘patient flow bundle’ is essentially a set of simple rules to improve patient flow and prevent unnecessary waiting for patients.

Chris Field is our deputy head of capacity and patient flow, and is leading on the introduction of SAFER to all our adult inpatient wards. Chris said: “One of the key things is to ensure that every patient is reviewed daily, with the sickest patients being prioritised and seen before 10am. Another is that we plan an estimated date of discharge for each patient within 24 hours of admission, and of course make sure

Some of the screensavers helping to spread the Red to Green message to staff

the patient is aware of that. “To help with flow, we ask each ward to ensure they can accept at least one patient from the assessment units before 10am daily, and aim to discharge one in three patients before midday. They also need to prescribe and order by 3pm any medication for patients One of the being discharged key things is the following day to to ensure that take home. every patient is “Another important part of SAFER is that reviewed daily. senior clinicians carry out a weekly systematic review of patients who have been in hospital for more than 14 days, to identify what actions are needed to speed up their discharge. There are some good signs that the project is working. In the first three months of the pilot, all three wards (Cedar, Talbot Butler and Eleanor) were able to reduce length of stay for patients. And great progress is being made with 53 of our longest staying patients being discharged. In all they had stayed in the hospital for a total of 8,778 days – the equivalent of a full ward of 24 patients for a whole year.

What do we mean by patient flow? Flow is a concept that will be familiar to anyone who travels regularly on a motorway. Free-flowing traffic at a reasonable speed is possible when the road is not crowded but, in heavy traffic, speed can be considerably reduced, congestion can occur, and sometimes the whole system can come to a standstill. In a hospital, the more people arriving at A&E, and the more patients requiring admission, the less space there is to treat everyone safely and effectively, and the system slows down. The lack of social care facilities in which to discharge people who are well enough to leave has made things worse, leading to unacceptably long stays in hospital for some patients.

Red to Green Another project Chris is leading on, with support from Claire Dannatt and Tina Bryant, is called ‘Red to Green’. It’s the concept that if a patient spends a whole day in hospital and no action takes place to get them nearer going home, other than their continuing care, that day is classed as a Red day. A Green day on the other hand is one on which the patient receives an intervention (a scan or therapy for example) that will actively help them get nearer to being discharged and back home. “The aim of our Red to Green initiative is to identify and remove the blocks and barriers which stand in the way of providing the best possible care,” said Chris. “We have set out professional standards which clarify the expected time periods by which interventions should be performed, and we track when these are achieved. For example a therapist should see the patient on the same day as referral, provided that is made by 12 midday. Analysing any delays (red days) gives us our focus for continual quality improvement – and of course the intention is that every day should be a green day.” By the end of the second week of recording we had almost two and a half times more green days than red. “Much of what we’re doing is about changing the culture,” said Chris, “and challenging preconceived ideas about what it means to be in hospital. Instead of just waiting for something to happen, we’re encouraging patients to ask questions about their care. We want everyone to know what is going to happen to them that day, all the things that need to happen before they are able to leave hospital, and when we estimate that they will be back home. If they don’t know the answers to those questions, then we want them to ask. Our doctors, nurses, ward managers or matrons will all gladly answer their questions. We’re currently trialling a leaflet that encourages people to ask, with spaces for patients or their relatives or carers to make a note of the answers. “We’re also encouraging staff to think more about the value of patients’ time, and how that valuable resource is so easily wasted if people spend so much time in hospital just waiting for the next thing to happen to them. We’ve developed some screensavers around this concept, which we display on PCs throughout the hospital, and they’re starting to make staff think about what they can do to give patients more control and speed up their recovery.”

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Urgent care working group said: “I’m here to help by assessing people’s social care needs. The CRT would assist if it’s mainly a care package that’s needed, and the ICT would deal with mobility cases, but I get involved by doing a more in-depth assessment if there are safeguarding issues or in more complex cases. “I thoroughly enjoy the role because every day is different. When you manage to put a care package in place to get someone back home instead of being in an acute hospital bed, it’s pure satisfaction. And of course it’s making room for others who need it as well.” Chief operating officer Deborah Needham

The hospital’s urgent care working group meets fortnightly to oversee the improvement projects. Chief operating officer Deborah Needham, who chairs the group, said: “Our urgent care working group is attended by our clinical leaders and they suggest and implement changes which help us focus on safety and flow within the urgent care pathway. We have introduced significant changes over the past year and, although urgent care pressures continue to dominate our agenda, I feel confident that we are tackling the issues and working well together.” The group’s main areas of focus to date include the SAFER, Red to Green and Dickens Therapy Unit projects in this feature, plus these below.

Care manager in ED

The hospital has been supported for some time by on-site members of the intermediate care team (ICT) and the crisis response team (CRT), and now they have been joined by care manager Val Routley. The teams work closely together to help people that don’t need to be in hospital. Val, who is employed by the county council,

Primary Care streaming

A new way of working has been introduced in A&E and we now directly employ GP’s and primary care nurses to quickly assess patients who present to A&E but do not need our input. These patients account for approximately 30 per cent of all people who attend A&E every day. The majority are seen and treated by our GPs and the remainder are advised to seek alternative treatment elsewhere such as pharmacies, their own GPs, dentists etc.

Consultant Connect

Introduced before Christmas 2016 this is a simple advice and guidance service for our colleagues in primary care to use if they need advice on a patient. Instead of referring the patient into A&E they simply call a number and the first available consultant will pick up the call and offer advice. This is now in place across respiratory, gastroenterology, cardiology and surgery.

Care Home Selection

CHS are specialists in brokering care for people coming out of hospital, and they assist in the discharge of some complex care or self-funding patients who need long term care in either a care or nursing home, or

continuing assistance with their personal care needs at home. Head of capacity Dione Rogers said: “Finding a placement for families can be really stressful, and CHS can provide support for them, often taking family members to care homes to enable them to make their choice. They will also source homes out of the county for patients who want to relocate to be near a family member. It is a valuable service that helps to streamline the process for a relatively small number of patients, so although it’s more efficient, it’s primarily about improving quality. Anything we can do to give families clear expectations and support means that we are providing a less stressful experience for them.”

Single Point of Access

A partnership between the county’s healthcare organisations is helping to speed up discharge for patients who are medically fit to leave hospital but still need some form of support when they get home. The Single Point of Access (SPA) service has streamlined the provision of care packages by replacing assessment by a number of separate agencies with just one contact point to sort out any queries. It means that our patients are able to be brought home from hospital as quickly as possible and supported there safely until they are able to fully cope for themselves.

Intermediate care team

The intermediate care team (ICT) is a shortterm service provided by Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust (NHFT). The team helps to facilitate early discharge from hospital where a health monitoring or rehabilitation need has been identified. They can provide assessments, treatment and monitoring to support people with complex, difficult and recurring health needs. It’s a multidisciplinary team which includes consultants, nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychiatric nurses, rehabilitation technicians and assistants. The service helps adults to live as independently as possible in their own homes, following a significant life change, an illness or injury.

Crisis response team

Val Routley (in pink) with (l – r) Stephanie Tarry, Clare Machin and Mary Brennan

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The crisis response team (CRT) is a service provided by Olympus Care Services and the team works in partnership with all NHS trusts in Northamptonshire and the county council’s adult social care teams. The crisis response team offer a free of charge, short term service to provide emergency support and care until any issues have been identified and addressed. They have two main functions, one to prevent admissions to hospital following a fall or social care crisis. The other is to facilitate discharges home when someone is taken to hospital, but does not have a medical need that requires an admission into the hospital.

Mobilising our patients Northampton General Hospital now has 33 beds in what we know as the Dickens Therapy Unit (DTU), based in the Angela Grace care centre, opposite the hospital in Cheyne Walk. The unit is classed as an NGH inpatient ward, and patients there are under the care of our physicians Dr Lyndsey Brawn and Dr Pad Boovalingam. It’s where some of our occupational therapists and physiotherapy staff work, alongside Angela Grace staff, to provide rehabilitation which enables patients to go home, or move on to a suitable place of residence as independently as possible. Our head of therapies Liz Aldridge said: “Therapists on our medical wards identify suitable patients for transfer to the DTU, who would be patients, mainly elderly, who are no longer seriously ill but just require therapy to help them become well enough to go home.” Divisional director for medicine Dr Lyndsey Brawn said: “We started last year with just 12 beds to assess this therapyled model of care. It was quite a big change but it went very well, and now we’re up to 33 beds. This larger number makes it a little more difficult to maintain the flow, and we’ve needed to employ more therapists, but it is successful. “Patients certainly seem to like it here. In the main hospital there’s less to do, and often less opportunity for them to get dressed - so many will be in pyjamas or a gown, in a bed for a lot of the time. Here it’s a different environment with a distinctly different feel – you immediately know that this is not a hospital. People have their own room, everybody’s up and dressed, and there’s a day room for socialising. It means

Divisional director for medicine Dr Lyndsey Brawn

Patient Margaret Pistell is helped to get mobile by our therapists

Patient Edith Cheadle with Dr Nicola Wilson

that a person can be quickly transformed into one who now feels they could manage at home. “At first we couldn’t quite believe how significantly people changed in such a short time. It’s probably because patients know they’re one step nearer home, and psychologically that does seem to make a huge difference.” “We justify it because we have a large number of elderly patients in our beds who

need this sort of multidisciplinary approach. And we felt that, rather than another ward the same as the others, we would try and make this one different. The model we’ve set up here also involves primary care – doctors visit from the Maple Access Partnership to sort out any day-to-day problems – as well as Angela Grace carers and our own specialist input. We now know that it works, and that we can shorten the length of stay for many hospital patients.”

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ryden, our cardiology ward, treats patients who have been admitted to hospital with a probable acute cardiology problem. Many have chest pains which could be due to angina, a heart attack or heart failure, and most will stay between one and five days while their symptoms are investigated and treated. At last year’s NGH Best Possible Care Awards, Dryden was shortlisted in three categories (for patient experience, safety and innovation), and sister Vigi Arun was herself shortlisted for the patient experience award. We asked Vigi why she thought the ward had been nominated by so many people. She said: “It’s definitely a team effort, and we get a lot of help and support from the rest of cardiology and departments throughout the hospital. But I’ve been working here for nearly 14 years and I think it’s the first time we’ve been nominated for an award so that is really good. Patients are very happy with our care, and I have so many hardworking staff. It’s amazing to see how quite a junior team can do such a great job.” Vigi has worked in cardiology since before she came to NGH in 2003 as one of our first international recruits from India. When she became Dryden ward sister 18 months ago, many senior cardiology staff had just left, and Vigi was wondering how she would cope. “I was thinking ‘how am I going to run a very

Some of our Dryden cardiology ward team

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acute ward like this with no senior staff?’ but my team have been absolutely brilliant. They just chipped in and did everything – I’m so proud of them.” The ward has improved on all the key quality and safety measures, and patient satisfaction recently reached 97 per cent in the Friends and Family Test surveys, one of the highest of all our wards. The figure is borne out by the number of cards and emails sent in by relatives and patients grateful for their care. “We have made a lot of changes to the way we work,” said Vigi. “We’ve had a lot of help from our matrons, the domestic and infection prevention teams, and so many others to ensure the ward is at its best. We’ve also made many smaller, simple changes such as moving reception closer to the doors so we can greet people, and providing chairs for relatives to sit and wait inside the ward while we settle a newly admitted patient. “Staff now go round in the morning and introduce themselves, and we ask both patients and relatives if there’s anything they need. One patient recently pointed out there was no clock on the wall – something I hadn’t noticed myself, despite being there for years – and so we’ve put that right! Little things like that matter to people. If you listen to people they will tell you what they want.” Vigi describes herself as ‘approachable,

 Dryden cardiology ward is on level 2 (in Area C on the hospital map)  It has 26 beds, including four high level acute coronary care beds where patients can be continuously monitored  Patients with suspected heart problems arrive on the ward from A&E, or be referred by their GP or a hospital doctor  Sister Vigi Arun has a team of 39, including part-time staff

organised and friendly’. It’s clear that she listens to and involves people, and has the full support of her staff. “I think because I’ve been here in cardiology for 14 years – almost part of the furniture – they see me as one of them,” she said. “I grew up in the same team and I’m not someone who came in from outside. “I make sure they know exactly what’s happening, what the main issues are. We discuss any complaints and any changes that we need to make, we share the compliments, and the team are involved in everything we do. At the same time you need to manage people in different ways. Some people need to be supported, some need to be managed, and with some you get the potential out of them by being friendly. And we have staff from many different countries who have grown up in different cultures too, so everyone’s different. “Becoming the sister and adopting a leadership role has been a real learning curve for me. Instead of just the clinical focus on the patient in front of me it has meant thinking completely differently - about the whole ward, all the staff, the safety and quality issues for instance - and it’s been quite a challenge.” Junior sister Becci Smith, who won the Unsung Hero (Clinical) Award in 2015, has worked on Dryden since she qualified six years ago, having chosen the ward after a placement there during training really captivated her. “It’s manic,” she says, “we have a huge turnover of patients every day but it’s brilliant and very interesting, and the staff are like family. All the students and bank staff love coming here.” Sadly Becci is leaving to go to Benham ward to gain some wider experience, but she says: “I’ll be back to do a bank shift every week!”

Housekeeper Jenny Gardner joined the team last year, having previously been a domestic on different wards. She says: “When you come to a new place it can be a bit daunting but they took me under their wing, they’re a fantastic bunch. I really enjoy the job, especially building some rapport with the patients, making sure they’re happy. It’s good to see them feeling better and with a smile on their face again.”

Sister Vigi Arun still works clinical shifts when needed, in addition to her ward manager role. “Cardiology has always been fascinating to me, and I never thought of doing anything else,” she said. “I enjoy the fast pace, and you can save someone in just moments of time.”

Staff nurse Oana Jici came to NGH 18 months ago, having been a nurse in Italy and Romania. “Dryden is fantastic,” she says “and I like being with the patients and caring for people. Everything was new for me at first but it’s getting better all the time. I particularly wanted to work here because I think the heart is amazing in keeping us alive, and I really wanted to learn more about cardiology and what the heart does.”

Staff nurse Elisha Patel qualified at Sheffield university 18 months ago and came back to her home town to work at NGH. “Everyone pulls together here and you great support” she says. “We have some acutely ill patients, really poorly, and some have had cardiac arrests – so the next steps we take are really important to ensure they’re not in pain and their condition gets better. Some with heart failure will come in more than once and we have a chance to get to know them.”

Suresh Vattakattil Sankaran is the ward clerk, whose job is to ensure that all information about the patients is correct and up–to-date on the system. “The staff here are fantastic,’ he says, “and I always try to help with anything they need. I’ve been here about a year now and I’m planning to stay, but I’d like to do some additional courses so I can gain more experience.”

Insight ❘ 13



orthampton General Hospital is strengthening the support it gives to patients with dementia and their loved ones thanks to the introduction of John’s Campaign on our adult wards. Like all hospitals, we are treating greater numbers of patients who have dementia and, while the dementia itself is not always the reason for their attendance or admission, it is a huge factor in the way we care for them. The aim of John’s Campaign is to give relatives of patients with dementia more involvement in their care when they’re admitted to hospital, and this includes acknowledging the need for

14 ❘ Insight

more flexible visiting times on wards. apprehension and disorientation. He Patient Johnnie Boswell was admitted was very confused about why he was to hospital just before Christmas here. He needed a tremendous following a fall that resulted in a amount of reassurance fractured hip. Johnnie spent as well as repeated time on Abington ward, explanations about When we involve one of three pilot areas aspects of his care carers, the patients for testing unrestricted because he wasn’t are more likely to visiting times. We spoke able to retain the engage better with with Johnnie’s wife information the staff Carol as they were gave him. their treatment so preparing for Johnnie to “Being able to visit it can reduce the be discharged. and not have restrictions length of stay. Carol explained how has helped enormously. If Johnnie’s dementia affected I hadn’t been able to come, his experience in hospital: he would have been far more “Having dementia increased his distressed. I’ve found everyone to

Do It For Dementia be very welcoming. “The staff on Abington ward are very sensitive to his dementia. They’re happy to keep repeating the same information. They treat him with dignity and keep him calm. I think you know instinctively whether or not people are kind and Johnnie knows the staff here are kind.” Abington ward manager Lorand Pusok said: “Carers know all the little things about a patient that can make a big difference to the quality of their care. They know the patient best, they know their routines, what they like and dislike. “When we involve carers, the patients are more likely to engage better with their treatment so it can reduce the length of stay. That’s really good news for our patients because it means they can be back at home sooner.” We asked staff nurse Libby Collins to sum up John’s Campaign for us. She said: “It allows me as a staff nurse, the relative and the patient to all be partners in care.”

How can you arrange flexible visiting?

For patients with dementia, a hospital can feel like a chaotic and frightening environment. We have made adaptations to our care environment and developed specialised training for our staff. For example, we have dedicated bays in A&E for patients with dementia where we’ve made the environment less clinical and more homely. Our new discharge suite, where patients who are going home wait while transport or prescriptions are sorted out, was designed to be as dementiafriendly as possible. We have a dedicated dementia nurse who works with patients and their families to support them during their stay in hospital and to provide information and signposting to services once they leave. She also delivers training for our staff to help them address the specific challenges of delivering care to patients with dementia. But we want to do more to make our hospital more dementia-friendly and that’s why we launched our Do It For Dementia fundraising campaign last year. To donate to the campaign, text the amount you want to donate to 70700 including DIFD22 in your text. Or you can visit the campaign’s Just Giving page at ngh/difd

If you are a carer for someone with dementia, please let the nursing staff on the ward know. They’ll ask you how much involvement you would like to have in the care of your relative or friend. They will be happy to support you.

Carol Boswell

Lorand Pusok

Background John’s Campaign was founded in November 2014 by carer Nicci Gerrard in after the death of her father, Dr John Gerrard, who had been living with dementia and declined rapidly after a stay in a hospital. She believes her father, who had Alzheimer’s, would have benefited greatly if she had been able to stay with him during his time in hospital. Borrowing inspiration from campaigns of the 1960s which secured parents the right to remain with their children in hospital, John’s Campaign calls for unrestricted visiting hours for the carers of patients with dementia and the chance to take an active role in their loved-ones’ care.

Libby Collins

Insight ❘ 15


Meet our Cedar Ward sister


one to be a teacher. “My sister, who’s edar ward sister Stacey Cheney is three years older, went down the nursing considering the three things she route, so there was this expectation I’d might take to a desert island, as become a teacher. I got into Warwick part of our Insight questionnaire. Family school for teaching and also got into don’t really count as a thing, so she’s so Kings for nursing, so I had to make far listed two very practical items - a a choice. At the time I just wanted to water fountain and a knife. Pressed for spread my wings a bit, and I knew if I a luxury, she ponders for a while then went to Warwick I’d live at home, and if says: “an endless supply of cheese! I’m a I went to London I’d have nurses digs. So cheesaholic. When I got married we had I went to London!” four tiers of cheese as a wedding cake.” “As a young girl I always thought I So not the traditional reception then. would struggle to work with elderly Stacey joined NGH in 2001 when patients, but getting a job as a healthcare she qualified, in the days when Cedar assistant was the best thing I ever did. It was a surgical assessment unit. There really boosted my confidence.” were several moves as various bed Stacey describes herself as ‘friendly, reconfigurations were made, but she stayed with many of the same team while caring and stubborn’. “If I know that something is right and needs to be she worked her way up to being a sister done, I’ll continue to ensure it is done, on Hawthorn ward. so that’s probably more perseverance Then she moved into urology to become really… although my husband might a nurse practitioner for 14 months. “It agree with stubborn.” just wasn’t me,” she says. “I was “I like to be out on the this outgoing person who ward, checking that things became very introvert. I are ok, helping patients, missed the wards, having I like to be out on helping staff. I think a big team, seeing the ward, checking it’s important that patients come in, seeing that things are ok, people know you’re them go home feeling helping patients, there. I didn’t know better. I thrive on the anything about T&O buzz I think.” helping staff. I think it’s when I came back here, In 2015 Stacey important that people so I couldn’t answer returned to her know you’re there. everyone’s questions – but ward manager role on the specialist knowledge you Cedar, now a trauma and can find out together. It’s more orthopaedics (T&O) ward, about demonstrating leadership and she’s aiming to help the team and being seen to act as a role model.” achieve a Blue ranking in our Best Time is a scarce resource in a ward Possible Care ward accreditation process. manager’s role. “I try to get done “There are 15 care standards and you everything on my list within the day need to be green for all of them. We’ve because I know there will be loads more had two green ratings overall so far, tomorrow, but that means that I don’t and one more would help us reach blue. always leave on time. If a bell’s ringing or Then we wouldn’t need to be reassessed someone wants something I’ll go to help. for another year, we’d have a plaque And I feel I can’t manage the ward if I outside the door and badges to show the don’t know what’s happening with every standard of care we now provide. The single patient.” ward didn’t have a great reputation two Stacey says that the part of the job years ago, so it would be really something she enjoys best is working with a highly to achieve that.” dedicated and motivated team, and Stacey says that her mum always seeing staff grow in confidence and wanted one daughter to be a nurse and 16 ❘ Insight

My door is always open to every memb of the team and I list give advice and supp where I can, providi the opportunities fo training and study wherever it’s neede

competence. “It’s succession planning, constantly making sure that each person is ready for the next step up if that’s what they want. My door is always open to every member of the team and I listen, give advice and support where I can, providing the opportunities for training and study wherever it’s needed. I’ve got one nurse now who’s leaving to go to work in intensive care in Bristol. She’s from Spain, and never thought she would be able to go on and do something like that – but it’s great that I’ve managed to give her the confidence, skills and support for her to feel that she can do it.”

My philosophy of life is… treat everyone with the same respect and attitude you would want to be treated with, and don’t expect anyone to do anything you would not do yourself If I could change anything… it would be for more people to go into nursing In five years’ time… matron would be the obvious next step, but I’m worried that I’d miss the hands-on care My secret wish… none really, although we’ve often talked about going to live and work in Spain – me in nursing and my husband as a pool attendant! We like Spain, it’s quite rustic. My favourite item of clothing… My ‘comfys’ (pyjama bottoms) Favourite smell… Christmas Favourite film… The Holiday (romantic, and quite Christmassy too) Holiday destination… Australia as that’s where my sister lives My worst job… was working in a mobile telephone factory – my feet used to ache every night

s ber ten, port ing or y ed.

Insight â?˜ 17


Advanced clinical pharmacist Siobhan Abrahams liaises with doctors in A&E


harmacy practice is a vital part of a hospital healthcare team and it’s a particularly exciting time for the service here at Northampton General Hospital. The advent of seven day services, advances in electronic prescribing, and dedicated pharmacy prescribers on wards are just some of the ways the pharmacy service is embracing opportunities to deliver the best possible care to our patients. One of the biggest changes in the pharmacy service is that our pharmacists are increasingly working 18 ❘ Insight

alongside specialists, doctors, nurses and patients in clinical areas. The value of this collaboration is particularly felt in the emergency department where we now have a dedicated A&E pharmacist. Siobhan Abrahams, advanced clinical pharmacist based in A&E, says: “There’s a huge value to having a prescribing pharmacist in the emergency department and at the point of admission. It’s about getting our patients as safe as possible as quickly as possible. Getting those medication issues sorted out as quickly as they

are in the door, so they don’t miss crucial medications and risk staying in hospital longer. If we can sort out the medications quickly, it minimises the length of stay in the hospital. “We’re a bit of a rare breed at the moment but the hospital is training more pharmacy prescribers, as is the pharmacy industry, so there will be more of us.” Another development that increases patient safety and overall efficiency is the use of electronic drug cupboards, known as omnicells. Siobhan explains: “We’ve increased the number of

electronic drug cupboards across the hospital. They help us with our stock control so we don’t run out of medicines and our nurses don’t have to spend time ordering stock as it’s done automatically. And as the omnicells use fingerprint technology, it reduces time spent looking for keys. We’re about to introduce these onto A&E which will mean we will have a better range of medication immediately available to the emergency department.” Medicines management technician Kathy Vizard describes the benefits of seven day pharmacy services: “With our medicines management technicians working over seven days, we can take more medication histories and collect that information early. It means we know what the patient was taking prior to admission, and we can have better information available to the doctors when the patient is ready for discharge. We can also give the patient’s GP more complete medication details. So it’s better for patients and it’s better for information sharing between the hospital and the GP.” Rachel Westwood, head of clinical pharmacy, explains some of the other developments taking place: “It’s a very exciting time in pharmacy at the moment. We’re strengthening the pharmacy team so we have

lots of new staff to support the service and we’re making great progress towards delivering seven day services. “We’re extending the areas where we use electronic prescribing. That will have a really positive impact on patient safety because it reduces the risk of human error. It means we can share information much better between wards and departments and it speeds up the prescribing process so for patients can go home more quickly.” And with all these developments, what does the future hold for pharmacy services at NGH? Rachel sums it up: “Our vision is complete integration into clinical teams so that pharmacists are recognised as an integral role in the multidisciplinary team supporting each patient.”

There’s a huge value to having a prescribing pharmacist in the emergency department and at the point of admission.

Head of clinical pharmacy Rachel Westwood

What does a hospital pharmacy service do?

There are approximately 150 employees in the pharmacy service. We have a large clinical team made up of:  pharmacists and medicines management technicians  a dispensary team who do the bulk of the supply work and the supply and distribution team who support that process  the aseptics department who look after the oncology service and TPN [the intravenous administration of nutrients]  and a busy medicines information service to answer enquiries and produce guidance and advice

Medicines management technician Kathy Vizard (left) with Siobhan Abrahams

Insight ❘ 19


50 years of NGH critical care Two years ago our intensive therapy unit (ITU) and high dependency unit (HDU) joined forces to form a combined critical care department. Now in May 2017 we are delighted to be celebrating 50 years of critical care at Northampton General Hospital. On Friday 19 May between 2-4pm we are hosting an afternoon tea for former patients and relatives at The Barns at Hunsbury Hill. Anybody who wishes to attend and join in the celebrations please contact Emma Harvey, preferably by email ( or on 01604 545542. On the same day and at the same venue there will be a celebratory evening party for staff from 7pm to midnight. There will be complimentary

drink, street food, dancing and entertainment, with tickets at £40. If any staff member, past or present, wishes to attend, please contact Lindsey Carman at or on 07759 926609. If anyone has memories they wish to share,

photos for the day, or any information about the history of Critical Care in Northampton we would love to hear from you to make the day as memorable as possible. We would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact Lisa Swan at

Celia and Maggie go the extra mile

Tony Croft presents Celia Penn with her award

20 ❘ Insight

Congratulations to Celia Penn and Maggie Hayes, the first two winners of the Friends of NGH Extra Mile Award. Friends’ chairman Tony Croft has introduced the new award for those volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution to the charity, far beyond the normal day to day effort that all the volunteers give to the hospital. Tony said: “Celia works in our shop on Hospital Street and brightens the day for anyone entering. Quick of wit, sometimes bordering on the cheeky, she makes sure there is never a dull moment! However she receives her award for something else. Over ten years ago she suggested she could do a monthly quiz to raise money for our charity and has now raised a staggering £17,000. “The second award goes to our previous chair Maggie Hayes, but not for her excellent work in that role. It is for her terrific efforts in

fundraising. In all our fundraising activities she can be found at the front, baking all night, carrying out presentations. Sometimes we have to stop her doing too much!” Celia, who’s been a Friends’ volunteer for 18 years, said that within that time she had had the pleasure and privilege to work alongside some inspirational people. She said: “I have made lifelong friends and with my quiz sheets every month, and hope to have made a difference to lots of people’s lives in the process. NGH were amazing when I needed them during my battle with illness and to be able to continue giving my time back is the very least I can do.” She added: “I have not expected anything in return, so to be awarded the EMA is just wonderful and a real honour. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and I will continue to give my services for as long as I possibly can.”


CELEBRATING OUR LONG SERVING EMPLOYEES Every year we recognise staff who have achieved 25 years’ continuous service with the hospital, and this year’s celebration took the form of a pre-Christmas tea party. Meet three of our long serving staff members who received their awards this year. When she’s not working, Christine enjoys holidays in the sunshine, going to the theatre and – being a “canny, blonde Scot” - family visits back to Edinburgh.

On Christine Malcolmson’s first day in IT she was told to log on to the ‘trailblazing’ patient administration system with ‘endweek’ and the password ‘weekend’ like everyone else. Times have changed, and that is certainly not something she would condone now in her role as associate director of the department! Her first project saw her roll out the electronic transmission of diagnostic results to GPs, making NGH only the fourth trust in the country to achieve that. “One of many proud moments, along with our new data centre more recently, but the most touching thing for me personally is when one of my team stay late or come in early to fix something because I’ve asked them to. Most often it would go unnoticed by busy end users, but I really do appreciate that.” She believes strongly in focusing on the good things people do, citing a quote from Mahatma Gandhi about not losing faith in humanity: ‘Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.’

Superintendent radiographer Ursula Isaksen remembers being excited to be in a world of adults and grown up conversation on her first day, saying: “For the previous four years I had been making buns and knitting teddies.” The highlight of her time at NGH is being able to make a difference to patients, particularly the younger ones, as paediatric lead radiographer. She describes herself as enthusiastic, interested and determined (“not necessarily the three words that my colleagues would choose”) and believes you shouldn’t judge people. “You must walk in someone else’s shoes before you can understand their choices or decisions. I aim to be positive and encourage others to believe they can do well… or even better.” When she’s not working Ursula enjoys singing, cooking and socialising with family and friends

– but her real passion is for painting. “I come from a creative family although I didn’t start painting until my two children had grown up and left home. I love painting in watercolour because it has luminescence and vibrancy. Watercolours wash and melt across the page and create unexpected and beautiful results.”

Materials management supervisor Steve Bradshaw remembers being nervous and excited on his first day at NGH, and says that there have been many highlights during the more than 25 years that have passed since then. Setting up our materials management system is one achievement that he’s particularly proud of. Steve describes himself as honest, helpful and friendly, and says: “My philosophy of life is to live it to the full. I enjoy going out socialising, holidays abroad, and watching all kinds of sport – particularly watching Chelsea play. I also aim to stay healthy, and to support my wife in the future after she was diagnosed with MS a few years ago.”

Helen reaches a 40-year milestone Senior radiographer Helen Brownless reached a career milestone in January, celebrating 40 years at NGH. She’s proud of it being continuous service – a feat she achieved because, when she had children, her husband gave up work to look after them. “Apart from the number of patients we now get through in a day, computerisation is probably the biggest change I’ve seen over the years. CT was very much in its infancy when I qualified. At that time we had large film processors, and used wet developing. We didn’t get our CT scanner here until I think 1989, after a lot of fundraising, when it was the first in the county.” Helen’s favourite subjects at school were maths, physics and biology, and with an interest in photography perhaps inspired by her father’s teaching of the subject, radiography “was the perfect career” she says. “I never looked back from the day I made that choice. I enjoy being with the patients and helping them out. I’ve always enjoyed the challenges of the everyday work – although some days are more challenging than others!” Helen describes herself as enthusiastic, committed, and up for a challenge. Outside work she enjoys what she calls her three ‘G’s – golf, guides and garden. With a handicap of 16 she has been a member of Northampton golf club since 1977, was Lady Captain in 1992 and is currently serving on the captain’s committee. She also celebrates 40 years as a Girl Guide Leader this year and will be invited to a celebration at Westminster Abbey in November. “And I love being in my garden,” she says. “My philosophy of life is to leave your work worries at work and enjoy your home life.” Good advice indeed.

Insight ❘ 21


Do it for Dementia

As we mentioned in our feature on John’s Campaign earlier in the magazine, we have already made changes to our care environment and staff training to help ensure that our hospital is as dementia-friendly as possible. But we want to do much more and that’s why we launched our Do it for Dementia fundraising campaign last year. Jill Garratt, our dementia liaison nurse, said that the hospital would like to buy more RemPods, the ‘pop-up reminiscence rooms’ like the one shown here that we have on Compton ward. Jill said: “Familiarity is important for people with

Update on our

Chemotherapy Appeal We’re pleased to say that the refurbishment of our chemo suite is under way! Thank you again to everyone who contributed to our appeal Look out for some photos in the next issue of Insight 22 ❘ Insight

dementia, and there is a continuing need for a stimulating environment. RemPods are easy to set up and move around, changing a hospital area into a sitting room, garden shed or a seaside scene for instance. It can then be used as a restful area or somewhere to promote conversation, interaction or a therapy intervention. If you would like to help purchase a RemPod, or help the campaign in another way, you can make a donation by texting the amount you want to donate to 70700 including DIFD22 in your text. Or you can visit the campaign’s Just Giving page at https://campaign. Thank you.

Talbot Butler ward’s new relatives’ room

Isabel Lawson and Sandhi Joshi present their skydive donation

Talbot Butler is a 28 bed ward caring for cancer patients along their journey through diagnosis, chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. Now, thanks to the generous donations of family and friends of patients who have used the ward, the ward has its own room where patients’ relatives can speak to doctors or nurses in private – or make hot drinks, or take a shower. One of the donors who helped make this room possible is Matthew Masters, who set up The Angel Foundation in memory of his mum Angela

who was treated at NGH for myeloma, a rare cancer of the blood. To say thank you for his mum’s care by haematology and Talbot Butler ward staff, Matthew and his dad David presented the hospital with a cheque for £3,000. The Angel Foundation’s fundraising inspired Isabel Lawson and her friend Sandhi Joshi to do some of their own and decided to accomplish the challenge of jumping out of a plane. They both took part in a skydive and raised a fantastic £2,004 which they split 50/50 between haematology and the Talbot Butler relatives room. Many others have supported this important project, and we would like to thank everyone who has contributed to make this room possible. Thank you all for your great support. The newly refurbished Talbot Butler relatives’ room

Insight ❘ 23


Here are just a few of the many generous donations we have received over recent weeks. Every gift, large or small, enables us to provide that little bit extra to help care for our patients, and we are very grateful to you all – thank you so much.

Visit our new website!

Read more about the charity on our NEW website – Find us on Twitter – @NHCFGreenheart And on Facebook – NorthamptonshireHealthCharitableFund

Midland Scaffolding fundraise for Paddington ward


mie, Ben and Lisa from Midland Scaffolding were extremely pleased to be invited on to Paddington ward to see how their team’s fundraising would benefit the ward. The team arranged a fun day for staff and families, and the day was a great success, raising £2,350. Ward sister Chris Wood said: “We are really grateful for this money as it means we can purchase a large change mat for the older children for older children when they use the disabled toilet on the ward. Thank you so much.”

Big Red Gig boosts baby incubator appeal by £11,000


ig-hearted local musicians took to the stage in February in a bid to buy a revolutionary new incubator to help babies battling serious medical conditions. The Big Red Gig was organised by Northamptonshire businessman and musician, Nigel Wagstaff (stage name Waggy) who performed with a host of special guests to help purchase a Giraffe state-of-the-art incubator for NGH. Waggy was joined by musicians including Bob Bonner and Mick Costello for an evening of entertainment at Northants County Cricket Club, along with DJ Matt Potter. Nigel, who is owner of family run company Houghton Hams and lives in Horton, has helped raise thousands of pounds for community causes and charities over the years. He said: “The Big Red Gig is something I am very passionate about as Gosset provides vital care to so many families. We raised £11,000 from this one event, and overall we are hoping to raise around £40,000 to help buy the Giraffe incubator, a top of the range model that helps parents interact more with their baby.”

Greencore support for Gosset Ward


ndy Tebbs, general manager of Greencore, the Moulton Park based convenience food company, has presented very grateful Gosset ward staff with a cheque for £6,000. The company like to support local charities at the “core” of the community, and also have members of staff who have used the ward. “You don’t realise what it’s about until you’re in it,” said Andy. Marks and Spencer, who work very closely with Greencore and sell their fresh food in their stores, awarded Greencore £12,000 to support the charities of their choice. As well as Gosset Ward, they gave £6,000 to Cynthia Spencer hospice. 24 ❘ Insight

Wintle Heating & Plumbing raise £12,000 for our children’s wards


L-R Anna Robson, Mark Herman, Jan Matthews, David Robson, Caroline and Dan Herman

hil Wintle from Wintle Heating and Plumbing wanted to do something that would make a difference to celebrate his company’s 50th anniversary. He decided to support our children’s wards as many of the Wintle team have had to use them over the years. They organised a sponsored walk from Pottersbury, where the company was first based, to Moulton Park, where it is now, and together with other donations from generous suppliers and employees they raised an incredible £12,000. The money was used to purchase two Airvo 2 devices - advanced breathing equipment that helps keeps the lungs of the children inflated with a warm flow of air and oxygen in a less invasive way. The money was also used to purchase a vacuum mattress which is used to keep little patients still whilst they are having a scan. Dr John Hewertson and ward sister Chris Wood thanked Phil and Steve for their time and effort in fundraising. “It has made a real difference to the ward,” said Dr Hewertson.

David’s masons raise £5,000 for child cancer patients


avid Robson, Master of Sartoris Freemasons Lodge, nominated Disney oncology to be his nominated charity of the year. His wife Anna also organised a garden party at their home and a ladies festival at Franklin’s Gardens – and through auctions, barbecues, pig roasts and raffles they raised a total of £3,250. Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire masons generously added £1,750 to increase the donation to £5,000 to purchase a new handheld Accuvein for the ward. This is a device that is held above the skin and displays on the surface of the skin a suitable vein to use for intravenous therapy or sampling, saving valuable time for both nurses and patients. David’s inspiration to fundraise was his neighbours’ son Dan Herman, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and has spent a lot of time on Disney ward. He is now being regularly monitored.

All donations to the hospital are managed, separately from NHS finances, by the trustees of the Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund, a registered charity. If you would like to make a donation, or be involved in raising money for NGH, please contact our fundraising office on 01604 545857. L-R Anna Robson, Mark Herman, Jan Matthews, David Robson, Caroline and Dan Herman

Find us on Facebook/NorthamptonshireHealthCharitableFund

Insight ❘ 25

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26 ❘ Insight


who suffer hair loss from treatments. The support group for local cancer dietitian was also on hand to offer samples patients set up by our Macmillan on how to make nutritional supplements upper gastrointestinal cancer tasty! It was a great success.” nurse Sue Kells has celebrated its Guest speaker Professor David Bowrey tenth anniversary. from Leicester, where these types of Sue set up the Northamptonshire surgery are performed, and Northampton oesophageal cancer support group consultant Mr Guy Finch led a group in 2006 which then subsequently discussion and answered many questions evolved into the oesophagectomy and from the group members. One group gastrectomy support group*. She member said: “This group co-ordinates the meetings, is very special. It gives arranges guest speakers and friendship, support and This group is has introduced a ‘buddy advice and the ability to very special. It gives system’ whereby new share experiences and friendship, support patients and partners can ideas to help in our talk to others who have and advice and recovery.” This is in previously undergone the ability to share line with the National these types of surgery. Cancer Survivorship experiences and Sue explained: “I try Initiative whose aim ideas to help in to involve a variety of is ‘to enable survivors our recovery. guest speakers to ensure of cancer to have access the meetings are interesting to the appropriate care and informative. Recently we and support therefore allowing opened the oncology department, and individuals to continue as healthy and professionals were on hand to answer active life as possible’. questions and show members round the Mr Guy Finch (Upper GI lead clinician at various areas, including chemotherapy, NGH) has played a key role in the success radiotherapy, the information centre, and of the support group and has been a regular the altered body image service for patients guest speaker over the past 10 years. He


said: “It was marvellous to be invited to the group’s anniversary. It was uplifting to see these wonderfully strong people, and their equally strong partners, who have managed to face up to such an awful diagnosis, come through some life-changing treatment and positively deal with the aftermath. There are many issues to address after such an event, both physical and psychological, and the support group has helped many find the encouragement to survive positively. Moreover, the patient stories and questions have taught the whole of our team so much, which we are able to use for counselling and treatment of patients who are newly diagnosed. Similar patient support groups elsewhere have unfortunately floundered and we are lucky in Northampton to have the diligence and tenacity of Sue Kells for keeping this triumph ongoing and strong for ten years. We will all do our best to ensure it continues.” *Explainer Oesophagectomy surgical removal of part or all of the oesophagus (gullet) Gastrectomy surgical removal of all or part of the stomach

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Injury Rehabilitation Centre Our Rehab Centre features: • 2 hydro pools (34°C) and ice bath • 25m swimming pool with moving floor • Rehabilitation suite • 8 Consulting rooms • 20+ resident clinicians • Physiotherapists (Musculoskeletal and Neuromuscular)

• Osteopaths • Dietitians • Orthotists • Sports Masseurs • Cryotherapy chamber (-140°C) • Consultant Spinal Specialist

More Than Mobility 25 Weston Favell Shopping Centre, Northampton NN3 8JZ

Based in the Chris Moody Centre

* Pilates (1:2:1 sessions or mat class) * Swimming lessons for all ages * Aqua aerobics (18+) * National Pool Lifeguard Qualification ( part-time/sports-studies)

For appointments visit our website and book your preferred therapist. For more information, contact us below: Moulton Injury Rehab Centre (based in the Chris Moody Centre), Moulton College, Pitsford Centre, Gate 4, Pitsford Road NN3 7QL

T: 01604 492222 E:

BESPOKE GRANITE & QUARTZ WORKTOPS Lower your costs - made for your home at your home By using the latest machinery and cutting methods, coupled with traditional best practice, our bespoke cutting service saves you both time and money. Although wood worktops can be fitted with limited knowledge, our templating service will ensure that all worktops are cut and finished to your exact demands, with absolutely no compromise. We cut your worktops at your home to cut your costs.

Call Wayne Herries to day for a no obligation quote on 07758 922570 or email: 28 ❘ Insight




t’s hard to believe that it’s more than 15 months since consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Mr Roy Davies passed away. Those who worked with Roy will know how generous he was with his time, knowledge and skills, but they may not be aware that his generosity continued following his death, through organ donation. Two people, one of whom had been on the waiting list for over a year, each received a kidney, and another two people had their sight restored overnight with cornea grafts. His heart valves are currently in storage

The Order of St John UK Award for Organ Donation honours the incredible gift donors and their families in the UK make by donating their organs to save and improve the lives of others.

awaiting a suitable match. Roy’s partner Linda and brother Alistair attended an award ceremony arranged by The Order of St John, in recognition of these donations. It was a dignified and respectful evening, where families were individually spoken to and personally thanked for their loved one’s gifts. Linda and Alistair both feel that despite their immense sadness, it is of great comfort to know that Roy is in some way continuing with his passion of making a difference to people’s lives. In March 2016, Mr Davies was also honoured with a special recognition award at the Health Education England East Midlands’ Excellence in Education Awards, nominated by trainee doctors for his inspiring work.

John Sturgess Friends of NGH volunteer John Sturgess, who died in January, will be remembered by patients and colleagues as a perfect gentleman. John was one of our buggy drivers, who transport patients to and from their appointments around the hospital, and he continued to do this until only a couple of weeks before he passed away. Fellow volunteer Brian Stone knew John very well, having first met him 58 years ago when John was a fire brigade control room attendant and he was a St John ambulance volunteer. The two men worked together in different roles for some years, and continued to keep in touch.


“We thought alike, and were an excellent team,” said Brian. “We met up again here years later after we had both retired. John’s caring and consideration for others were obvious to everyone, and his passing is a great loss to us all. We will always remember him as a gentleman.”

Gentleman John There is no one who can take his place. Those who knew him will remember him as the perfect gentleman. One who never offended in word or deed, Who has left a gap that cannot be filled. There was only one John.


Thank you… … for thinking of making a donation to the NGH charity. We would like you to know that any gift received from you will be used carefully and sensitively. You can make a donation for a specific NGH department or towards an ongoing appeal. Online - please visit our Justgiving webpage at ngh which is a quick, secure, and tax-efficient way of donating. By post - please make cheques payable to Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund and post to: Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund, Northampton General Hospital, Cliftonville, NN1 5BD. (Please let us know if you would like to donate to a specific department) Mastercard, Visa, Visa Delta, and Switch, payment by credit and debit card can be accepted through the post or over the phone. Regular Giving - you can donate to us on a regular basis by setting up a standing order. Please call us for more information. You can also set up a Direct Debit via JustGiving. Payroll Giving - you can arrange with your employer to deduct a set amount each payday to give to our funds. This deduction is made before calculating your taxable pay, which reduces the amount on which you pay tax. Gift In Your Will - please give us a call to find out how to make a gift in your will to NGH. Gift Aid - remember if you are a UK taxpayer we can claim an extra 25p for every pound you donate from the Inland Revenue under the Gift Aid scheme. This won’t cost you a penny! Please just let us know that you would like to claim Gift Aid when you make your donation. Call us on 01604 545857

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ongratulations again to our awardMidwife Maiken Hviid winning NGH homebirth team, who picked up the Birthplace Matters homebirth team of the year award at the start of the year. Several members of the team were also nominated for homebirth midwife of the year, and one of them, Maiken Hviid, was announced as the runner-up. Originally from Aarhus in Denmark, Maiken studied in Copenhagen to be a midwife, and joined the NGH homebirth team in November 2015. Prior to that she worked in many different professions, including nurseries, nursing homes, and working with disabled women, in order to learn everything about caring that would prepare her for her chosen role. She now lives locally with her Northampton born boyfriend, the couple having previously conducted a four and a half year long distance relationship, travelling between Denmark and the UK. Maiken said: “Both for the team and myself I’m really proud of the nomination, it’s certainly a push in the right direction to help increase the homebirth rate once more. We have a lot of good reviews on our Facebook page too, and we’re it’s 45 per cent but at trying to do more to spread NGH it’s around 12 per Working with the message. cent. For women having women in their own “Working with their second baby it’s women in their own environment is what even lower. environment is what “We have a team really appeals to really appeals to me of nine experienced me about being a about being a homebirth midwives who work homebirth midwife. midwife. It’s a lot different mainly with home births,” to coming into hospital. said Maiken, “and two are We’re not intervening in always at the birth. Which nature, and we’re seeing what means that if there’s anything I’m is normal and natural for the body. not quite sure about in my experience I’m You get very good at picking up when pretty sure my colleague will have seen it something’s not quite as it should be, as before. It’s a lot better than having just one you’re so used to seeing what’s normal. there, as happens in Denmark, because you “We know from the evidence that have that backup. women at home are much more calm. “I have a caseload of between10-20 The oxytocin level in their bodies women that I look after. Every day I can means everything works better, and have 5-8 appointments all over town, and they often birth a lot quicker and I drive to see and check them in their own without major complications.” home. It does take longer than having As well as having one of the highest them come into clinic, but it means that rates of homebirths in the country, we spend a lot more time with them. We Northampton also has a very low have time to discuss different procedures transfer rate for women who have opted and any concerns they have, so they are for a homebirth but who need to come in a lot more prepared. Many women who to hospital during their labour or after go to term end up having a natural birth the birth. Nationally for first time mums because they’re well informed.”

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“Maiken has a natural calling to be a midwife” Quotes from some of the nominations:  One of the kindest and most down to earth people I’ve met, and showed so much love throughout all she did for us. When we have another we’ll definitely be requesting Maiken again  An amazing lady  She exuded an air of tranquility. I had intense coccyx pain and Maiken trialled a technique which gave me immediate relief. She’s professional and extremely relaxed which encourages you to be too, and has a natural calling to be a midwife in my opinion. Her voice resonates through you in a peaceful and supportive way during labour, and her suggestions are perfectly timed at your most vulnerable moments. She truly is the midwife of the year!  If I were to have another baby I’d 100% love it if Maiken were to be my midwife again. She is a superstar and deserves to be recognised for her support and compassion


From the Archive By NGH Archive volunteer Sue Longworth

Northamptonshire’s “Father of obstetrics”


r Robert Watson was appointed consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician at NGH in 1935. He had come from Liverpool and brought with him Sister Mary Thomas to take charge of midwifery. He faced enormous challenges in his new post as the Barratt Maternity Home had just opened and it was left to him to run this new establishment. At first GPs were reluctant to send women into the Barratt to give birth, probably because home births were the normal practice and GPs earned a fee if they were in attendance. In 1938 a new gynaecological wing was built, financed by Mr William Barratt and this added to Watson’s responsibilities.

The School of Midwifery was established in that same year and from the beginning Mr Watson supported its work by giving lectures to the pupil midwives. During WW2 his workload increased further with the influx of pregnant mothers who had been evacuated from London. They would arrive in the later stages of pregnancy and often stay on after the birth of their child, until it was deemed safe for them to return home. Following the war years the population of Corby rapidly expanded as the steel works attracted migrants from Scotland in search of work. Pregnant women from this community were often malnourished and some were suffering from rickets. Giving birth added another

hazard to their already fragile state of health. These women would rely heavily on the skills and care of Mr Watson and staff at the Barratt Home. When the NHS was established in 1948 Mr Watson set up GP maternity units at Westbury Maternity Home, Newport Pagnell and St. Edmund’s Hospital in Northampton. These units were very popular with the mothers as they would have a hospital delivery with the added advantage of being cared for by their own GP. By 1965 Mr Watson’s tireless dedication to his work had taken its toll and he retired due to ill health. Even prior to this his colleagues were planning a memorial to his work. A portrait by Olwyn Bowey was

Mr Robert Watson

commissioned and a ward was named after him. In November 1965 the portrait was unveiled by Lord Spencer and was located in the foyer of the Barratt Home. Mr Watson was too ill to attend, but his wife Cynthia, was present. Robert Watson died at St Matthew’s Nursing Home after a long illness on 24 February 1967, aged 66. Bowey’s portrait of him was later replaced by a photograph at the request of his widow, and today the portrait is located in the Archive.

To learn more about the history of the hospital, visit the NGH Historical Archive. We are open on Wednesday mornings between 8am – 1pm. Please telephone 01604 544868 or email to make an appointment.

Win free tickets to see

The Addams Family The UK and Ireland premiere tour of the musical comedy, The Addams Family, based on the well-loved characters created by Charles Addams, comes to Northampton’s Royal & Derngate from Tuesday 9 to Saturday 13 May. Samantha Womack, Les Dennis and Carrie Hope Fletcher will star as Morticia, Fester and Wednesday Addams. Wednesday has grown up and has fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family! The whole family host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents, with all the usual clan present – Uncle Fester, Lurch, Pugsley et al. Tickets – priced from £16 to £37 – can be booked by calling Box Office on 01604 624811 or online at (A charge of £3 applies for all transactions over £15. Does not apply to Groups, Friends or Disabled

Patrons, and is per-transaction, not per-ticket.)

For your chance to win two free tickets to the opening night of The Addams Family on Tuesday 9 May 2017 at 7.45pm, answer the five questions below. Send your entry to arrive by Thursday 27 April to - or by post to Insight magazine, Communications, NGH, Cliftonville, Northampton NN1 5BD. 1 Who created the Addams Family characters? 2 What is the name of the new nursing role that 18 NGH students are helping to pilot? 3 Where in the hospital is pharmacist Siobhan Abrahams based? 4 When was John’s Campaign founded? 5 How many days had our 53 longeststaying patients spent in hospital by the time they were discharged?

 The winner of A Passionate Woman tickets in our last competition was Liz Shaw 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. ©2017. Hawks Nest Cottage, Great North Road, Bawtry, , South Yorkshire DN10 6AB. Tel: 01302 714528

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.

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Recognising our senior staff nurses

Congratulations to our first group of nurses awarded senior staff nurse status in recognition of their experience, competencies and commitment to mentoring. You’ll recognise our senior staff nurses by their new blue epaulettes. Certificates and epaulettes were awarded by director of nursing Carolyn Fox to: Patricia Smith (Abington ward), Susan Hastings (Dryden), Jenny Stojanovic (Head & Neck), Susan Risdale (Hawthorn), Carly Surridge (Paddington), Rachael Bright (Rowan), Biji Johnson (Willow), and Josephine Gbadimosi (Allebone).

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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