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Countess matters

Autumn 2018

Grandmother’s letter to the Queen… More on Page 7

02 New Electronic Patient Record

03 Spotlight On… Dr Susan Gilby

09 On-call surgical team go viral

Plans lodged for new neonatal unit Page 11

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05 Kath Holden at Downing Street

06 Co-ordination Centre’s Nursing Times Awards nomination

NEW ELECTRONIC PATIENT RECORD TO HELP COUNTESS BECOME PAPERLESS The hospital recently announced plans to move away from paper-based notes by updating its electronic patient record (EPR) system, which is used by frontline staff to manage the treatment of patients.

Welcome from your Chairman

Autumn always feels like the start of a new year in the NHS as we finalise plans to deal with another hectic winter period. So far 2018 has been unprecedented in terms of footfall through the hospital and it is testament to our staff that they continue to provide safe, kind and effective care in such circumstances. This year has also seen us facing additional challenges, with the ongoing police investigation into our neonatal unit attracting widespread media interest earlier this summer. I would like to thank our teams, especially those working on the neonatal unit, for their outstanding resilience and dedication during this difficult time. The support and understanding of the community around us has also been invaluable, with the story of one of our patients writing to the Queen to praise her care in particular giving everyone at the hospital a huge lift. You can find out about this and much more on the pages that follow.


09 On-call surgical team go viral

The Countess has agreed a 15-year deal with healthcare IT providers Cerner for the new EPR system, having been named as a Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) ‘Fast Follower’ of Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which has been using Cerner since 2010. Observations, notes and records will now be entirely input and stored digitally in the first instance, enabling doctors and nurses to have immediate access to up-to-date information when treating patients across both hospitals. “It is our duty to provide the best possible care for the people of West Cheshire and shifting our processes from analogue to digital is a huge part of that,” then-Chief Executive Tony Chambers said. “Every day the NHS operates at the forefront of science clinically, but so much of the technology being used to support that is outdated. We are delighted to start working with Cerner and continue collaborating with our colleagues at Wirral as we drive clinical excellence for patients today, and for future generations. This represents another huge step towards our goal of becoming The Model Hospital.” Cerner replaces an existing patient record

system that has been used at the Countess since 1999 and is the latest example of the Trust embracing new technology to improve care for patients and staff. Last year a Co-ordination Centre was introduced, utilising sensors detecting patient and staff badges across the site to increase transparency and patient flow across the hospital. That project was about improving the logistical processes for clinical staff, but this new agreement will transform the way care is delivered by increasing responsiveness and effective decisionmaking at the point of need. Being able to integrate these two technologies is a unique achievement in the UK and represents the ongoing commitment by the Countess to both deliver a worldclass patient experience and drive clinical innovation into the future. Partnership is at the core of the new agreement which represents a true example of collaboration between the Countess of Chester, Wirral and Cerner. Geoff Segal, managing director for Cerner UK, agreed, saying: “The GDE programme is enabling forward-thinking NHS organisations to provide world-class care for patients today and tomorrow. Being chosen as part of the Countess of Chester’s journey to excellence, alongside Wirral, speaks volumes of our commitment to value-driven partnerships, facilitating sharing and a shared determination to enable safer care, better outcomes and healthier communities.”

Project Clinical Lead Martin Sedgwick Consultant Cardiologist Dr Martin Sedgwick, who is one of the most experienced consultants at the Countess, is leading the project clinically. “A new electronic patient record is something we’ve needed for a long time,” he said. “This will be a huge undertaking at the Trust that will go largely unnoticed by the public, but in the long term it should make a huge difference to the care we provide.”

Spotlight on… Acting Chief Executive and Medical Director Dr Susan Gilby Acting Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director Dr Susan Gilby recently started in her role, taking over from Mr Ian Harvey who retired in August following 24 years at the Trust. Susan, whose youngest son was born at the Countess, is grateful to be joining a Trust that has always meant a great deal to her… How has it been starting in your new role? I spent the first few days attending leaving dos! One was for my predecessor, Ian, and the other was the Head of Facilities Margaret Allen as they both retired in the same week. If ever I was in any doubt about whether this is the right place to be in terms of the values and culture of the Trust then the warmth displayed towards those departing colleagues allayed them. The way the NHS is at the moment is very challenging and to have maintained that sort of culture says a lot about the leadership and the workforce in the Trust. If we care about each other then we will provide better care for our patients and that is what I’m all about. Have you come into contact with the Countess before? I was a registrar in anaesthetics here in 2003 and it was one of the most enjoyable periods of my training. It was also one of the most valuable because the standards were very high. At Margaret’s leaving do a senior ODP came over to say hello having recognised me from 2003, which was just great. I’m really looking forward to going to Theatres, the anaesthetic department and ICU to re-connect with those colleagues. This is also one of my local hospitals because I live in a village near Northwich and my youngest son was born here. He is 12 now.

“If we care about each other then we will provide better care for our patients and that is what I’m all about.”

What first made you want to be a doctor? My mother is a retired nurse and she would often talk about the holistic aspect of caring for patients. We care for people in what can be really difficult periods in their lives and they need our support to make sure they are getting the right care. I was always interested in people, as well as the science of medicine. I actually completed a degree in music before switching to medicine. I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve been able to indulge both my love of music and my interest in medicine, although with three children and a fulltime job I have less and less opportunity to play music now. I really admire doctors who have managed to maintain their musical skills because it takes a lot of commitment to do that.

before so I have learned a great deal from my previous experience of how to get to know the organisation and how people can get to know and trust me. Visiting as many departments as possible and listening to front line staff regarding risks and opportunities in their areas is an early priority. The highest priority though is to establish relationships both inside and outside the hospital. My new role is quite different from the traditional medical director role as I have key strategic and externally facing responsibilities which reflect the changing climate in the NHS as we seek to find a sustainable solution for the long term. We will be working more closely with our colleagues from other organisations as part of the Cheshire West Integrated Care Partnership. There are many challenges facing the NHS right now, but it is exciting to be part of finding the best way forward and I can’t wait to get started.

How will you be approaching your role? I have been appointed as an external candidate


CAREERS NIGHT 2018 Staff from across the hospital hosted the Countess’ latest Careers Night on Tuesday 12 September, with almost 300 guests in attendance. The annual event, which is always a highlight, saw teams from across the Countess creating displays to discuss their own work areas, including nurses, theatre staff, physios, pharmacy and many more.

Ellesmere Port volunteer honoured with British Empire Medal Ellesmere Port Hospital volunteer Alf Scorer has been awarded a British Empire Medal for his longstanding services to the community. Alf, 75, has been a supporter of the NHS for 25 years, lending his experience, know-how and passion to many fundraising projects for Ellesmere Port Hospital, the Countess and his local GP surgery. The retired plumbing business owner attended a ceremony at Tattenhall to collect his honour from the High Sheriff of Cheshire earlier this year. “I was quite chuffed,” Alf said. “Someone rang me up just before Christmas last year and told me I’d been honoured. It was quite a surprise because I didn’t know anything about it and had been put forward for it without my knowledge.” Alf, who owned Whitby Heating, is a keen supporter of the local NHS, estimating that he has played a part in raising around £500,000 over the years “It’s fantastic and I get a real kick out of helping people and giving the community a boost,” he said. “I am very proud of the money we’ve raised, but a lot of people help me and it’s not just one person when you’re doing things like this, it’s a team effort.”


Widening Participation Lead Molly Whelan was delighted with how successful the evening was, saying: “Thank you to everyone involved in another hugely successful Careers Night. It is always such an inspiration to see a sample of the careers on offer at the Countess, with dedicated and enthusiastic staff promoting their work. We received so much positive feedback from the guests that we definitely have some future NHS workers coming our way.”

“Amazing night. It was very useful eyeopener to career opportunities.” “Really interested speaking to staff and made me even more determined.” “I brought my daughter but ended up getting information for myself – new career.” “Excellent event, which opened up options to areas I didn’t even know about.” “It was really helpful to discuss real-life situations with professional who have already been on the education journey I wish to pursue.”

Here are some of comments made by those who attended the event:

“Everyone was really friendly and answered all of our questions. The Countess of Chester should be proud, thank you.”

“Very positive evening. I learnt a lot!”

“Thanks for all the ideas!”

“Thank you to everyone involved in another hugely successful Careers Night.”

Practice Development Nurse Tara Gibbins tests out the Juice Bike

There was a rush on members of staff signing up for activities on the day

STAFF HEALTH AND WELLBEING DAY SUCCESS The Occupational Health department, working closely with the Countess Charity, held the hospital’s first ever Staff Health and Wellbeing Day in September designed to showcase the support available to all hospital employees.

Chef Krishna held healthy cooking demonstrations throughout the day

Given the relentless nature of both providing and supporting frontline healthcare, it is vitally important at the Countess to offer support and activities for the teams that take care of patients. With fitness classes, mindfulness courses, counselling and much more, the Occupational Health team at the Countess already do a lot and this event gave a taste of what is available. It was a great success with 350 members of staff going along. Health and Wellbeing Specialist Practitioner Corrina Gorst said: “Thank you to the Countess Charity whose support enabled the event to happen, and thank you to all the staff who took time out from their busy schedules to join us on the day! Overall, it was a very enjoyable day and we hope to have similar events in the future.” Among the internal and external professionals providing information and resources to staff were the Cheshire Fire Service, who talked about safety within the home and on the roads, while the ‘juice bike’ was a hugely popular attraction and the free head, neck and shoulder massages on offer were also enjoyed by many. Professional chef Krishna Parekh from Neela’s Street Kitchen also held free food demonstrations on the day, instructing staff on how to prepare their favourite curries at home with a healthy recipe. After the sessions Krishna gave the meals he had made to staff in the A&E department as a treat.

Kath’s trip to Downing Street for NHS70 Staff nurse Kath Holden was selected to represent the Countess at a Downing Street reception to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS. Kath, who works on ward 49, was put forward for the ceremony along with other staff who have clocked more than 40 years of service for the NHS. The sunny July celebration also gave her the opportunity to rub shoulders with Prime Minister Theresa May and then-Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt – with Mr Hunt presenting her with a medal recognising her 40-year contribution to the NHS. “It was a massive honour to be part of such a positive celebration and visiting Downing Street was just amazing,” she said. “I also met some really nice people from across the country, which showed that there are the same

great people in every corner of the NHS.” She added: “I was the only person from the Countess attending so I went there on my own, not knowing anybody else, but everyone was lovely and it was a chance to speak to fellow NHS professionals who I wouldn’t necessarily come into contact with and it was inspiring to be in a room filled with so much NHS experience. The NHS is the jewel in our crown as a country and I’m so proud to have

been part of it for so long.” Once Kath was put forward for the event her colleagues on ward 49 were asked to pass on some comments about her and their words speak volumes about Kath: “She is an exceptional nurse and she is always supportive of her colleagues.” “She has a heart of gold.” “Her knowledge and experience is second to none.” “She has excellent leadership skills.” “You would like Kath to nurse your family.” Kath said: “It’s a bit overwhelming to hear such lovely things from my immediate colleagues. I’m very lucky to be part of such a wonderful team.”


CO-ORDINATION CENTRE SEES COUNTESS NOMINATED FOR NURSING TIMES AWARDS The Trust has been shortlisted for the Nursing Times Awards 2018 in the Technology and Data category. Benefits provided by the Trust’s new Coordination Centre are at the heart of the nomination, with the daily use of real-time patient flow and e-rostering software making a real difference. The TeleTracking system provides a virtual map of the hospital, improving bed management and speeding up logistical processes involved in patient care – including almost halving the amount of time taken for an empty bed to be identified, cleaned and prepared for a new patient. E-rostering provides similar levels of transparency for staffing and patient acuity across the hospital. It also has the added benefits for staff that they can access and make requests for shift patterns and annual leave via their own smartphones at any time. In the Co-ordination Centre, these tools allow staff to manage and take decisive action to ensure the hospital is running as effectively as possible at all times. With in-house data on patient waiting times in the Emergency Department and incoming

information from nearby ambulance trusts also prominent it acts like an air traffic control room, with everything geared towards improving the experience for patients whenever possible. Model Hospital Programme Director Ian Bett said: “We are delighted to be nominated for the Nursing Times Awards as it shows just how much hard work has been put into improving the technology supporting our clinical staff as they care for our patients. We don’t do this for awards, and that will

be very difficult anyway with such esteemed competition, but it is evidence that what we are doing is making improvements for our patients. As we continue to strive towards becoming The Model Hospital, that is all that matters.” The Trust is one of 12 NHS bodies shortlisted for the award, with the team next having to make a presentation to the Nursing Times judging panel before the winner is announced at an awards ceremony on Tuesday 31 October.

West Cheshire among “most improved” areas for one-year cancer survival West Cheshire has been identified as one of the 20 “most improved” areas in the country for one-year cancer survival. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer has commended West Cheshire for improving one-year cancer survival rates every year since 2000, including a rise from 69.1% in 2010 to 74.4% in 2015. In recognition of this achievement, NHS West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s Director of Commissioning, Laura Marsh, is set to attend a reception with MPs and Peers at the House of Commons on Tuesday 17 July. She said: “We are delighted that our ongoing, concerted effort to improve cancer care in West Cheshire is having such a significant impact for local patients.


This is a result of excellent partnership work which encompasses the clinical commissioning group team, GPs and cancer specialists at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

an earlier stage, but that quicker diagnosis to referral times can also be achieved. It has also supported the development of enhanced community services following a diagnosis of cancer.

“Year-on-year improvements against the one-year cancer survival target show that local efforts to focus on early diagnosis are significantly improving patient care – but we’re not complacent. We know there is still plenty of work to do.”

Crucially, all of these initiatives support improved survival rates for people affected by cancer.

In 2016, NHS England made more than £200m available to Cancer Alliances to help develop new models of care which speed up diagnosis and improve cancer outcomes. In West Cheshire, this helped to develop secondary care pathways which not only ensure more cancers can be diagnosed at

Lead Cancer Nurse at The Countess of Chester Hospital, Helen Thomas, said: “It is really positive news that there is an improvement in the one-year survival rate for the population of West Cheshire. We will continue to work with the clinical commissioning group not only to raise awareness and improve early diagnosis of cancer but to develop post-treatment support to enable those living with a cancer diagnosis to live as well as possible.”

GRANDMOTHER SEEKS ROYAL SEAL OF APPROVAL FOR COUNTESS CARE A Tarporley grandmother has received a letter from Buckingham Palace after writing to The Queen to praise staff at the Countess. Betty Walker, 80, has been so impressed by the care she has received this year after being diagnosed with cancer that she kept saying ‘if I could tell The Queen I would’. Her granddaughter Lucy helped her do just that by typing out a letter and posting it on the day The Queen recently opened the Chester Storyhouse. The family didn’t expect to get a response, but Betty was thrilled to see both her letter and the hospital staff being recognised. “They gave me my life back,” Betty said. “Everyone from kitchens right through the different wards I’ve been on has been amazing,” She added: “When I saw the envelope and picked it up I saw the sign on the back and thought ‘oh my, this is from The Queen!’” The letter, which arrived last week, is from The Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting and reads:

“I saw the sign on the back and thought ‘oh my, this is from The Queen!’”

“The Queen wishes me to write and thank you for your letter. Her Majesty was sorry to learn of your ill-health, and The Queen hopes you are not too uncomfortable at present. Her Majesty thought it was kind of you to write to her, and The Queen can well understand how grateful you are to the staff at the Countess of Chester Hospital for their dedication and care, which continues as you receive treatment as an out-patient. I would like to send my good wishes to you for the future, and I am to thank you once again for writing as you did.”

Betty and her daughter Jayne stunned staff at the Countess by bringing the letter with them as Betty received chemotherapy treatment.

“We’ve all been really impressed with the teams at the Countess,” Jayne said. “We brought it with us to let everyone know. It’s just a bit of appreciation for everything they’ve done and it feels great to be able to give them a boost like that.”

Jane said: “This has been a special moment for so many of us today. We are under a lot of pressure and it’s great to hear that Betty has had such a positive journey throughout, from A&E, to Ward 43 and now through to outpatient care on Ward 60. So many of our teams at the Countess have made a difference to her and everyone at the hospital should be very proud.” With the news that The Queen had been feeling under the weather herself with a summer cold, Betty added: “I hope she feels better soon and is being looked after as well as I have been.”

Ahead of the NHS celebrating its 70th birthday next week Ward Manager Jane Blackwell explained just how things like this give staff a huge lift.


MEDICAL DIRECTOR IAN HARVEY RETIRES Medical Director Ian Harvey retired at the start of August, bringing a 40year career in the NHS to an end having spent 24 years at the Countess. Mr Harvey, who first worked in Chester as a registrar during his training, returned to the Trust as a consultant orthopaedic surgeon in 1994. He took over as Medical Director in 2012 and then became Deputy Chief Executive in 2016.

Ian Harvey with Dr Ffion James


Over that time, and his career, he has seen the NHS change almost beyond all recognition – something he acknowledged in a farewell message to staff, reflecting on how when he started medical school doctors still wore white coats with pockets filled with books and paper. His contribution to the Countess since returning has been vast, with Chairman Sir Duncan Nichol praising him at Ian’s final board meeting in July.

Every year the start of Augu the medical workforce at th foundation doctors start w farewell to the departing se their specialist training.

“Ian, we have such a lot to thank you for,” he said. “The results of the recent Medical Engagement Survey show you leave us with a high or highest ranking against peers for working in a collaborative culture, having purpose and direction and feeling valued and empowered. You should take great credit for that.’’

Mr Ian Harvey’s decision to retire as Medical Director at the same time added to those contrasting emotions, but one of his final acts was to take part in the fifth annual Foundation Doctors Awards.

In Ian’s farewell message he told colleagues that he has faith in what the future holds for the Countess, saying: “As I head for the exit, I have every confidence that this hospital will cope with everything that is thrown at it and go from strength to strength because the teams here are just so good.” The one thing, Ian says, that remained constant throughout his time in Chester was the friendly approach of the staff and the community feel on the corridors. “I want to thank all of you for everything that you have done to make my time here so enjoyable and rewarding,” he said. “Every ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’ on the corridor leaves its mark and I will leave you with a quote from Einstein – ‘Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted’.”

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Dr Ian Benton, Director of Medical Education, kicked off the ceremony saying: “This is the highlight of our year. You’re all fab and you’ve done a great job. We’ve got a great team of trainers and educators and this is also a celebration of everything they do to develop our foundation doctors.” Awards were handed out to Dr Ffion James and Dr Sam Thomas, named F1 and F2 of the year respectively, with nominees commending both of them for being outstanding team

“Th high ou You’r and yo a gr



ust heralds a huge turnaround for he Countess as newly-qualified work at the hospital and we say econd years as they move on to players and providing consistently high quality care. Dr Ele Woolley scooped the ‘Player’s Player’ award and her popularity was obvious to everyone as a cacophony of whooping cheers greeted the announcement. The final awards of the day went to Dr Matthew Tanti and Dr Saurabh Shandilya for their efforts in teaching the foundation doctors, before Ian Harvey said his goodbyes and thank you to the foundation doctors.

At the start of September a group of female surgical on-call doctors shared a celebratory selfie on Twitter, but they had no way of knowing it would reach more than 170,000 people. Locum registrar Miss Kat Parmar decided to post the photo after colleagues suggested it would be a positive image for young girls looking to follow in their footsteps. Kat, who is currently doing surgical research in Manchester and does occasional locum shifts across different hospitals in the North West, noticed that many of the junior doctors on call that weekend were surprised and pleased to be part of an allfemale surgical team. “Although I see this with increasing frequency as a senior surgical trainee who works with female surgical consultants regularly, it’s something others don’t see as often,” she said. “I was overwhelmed by the response, feeling proud that the image had provided inspiration.” The tweet captured the imagination of many using the social media platform, being shared almost 700 times, liked almost 3,000 times, generating a mountain of replies and appearing in more than 170,000 news feeds. An unexpected bonus was when a patient treated that weekend got in touch to praise

and thank them for their care. “It is always a privilege to hear that people are happy with the care they received,” she added. “This is the first time I have ever heard this via Twitter though!” Kat is now looking forward to working again at the Countess, having always held the hospital in high regard. “I think what makes the Chester General Surgery team special is that they all enjoy working together and are happy to do that little bit extra for their patients and for their colleagues,” she said. “A team who work effectively together make it a pleasure to come to work and most importantly, create the best environment for good patient outcomes. I look forward to working with them again!”

“I was overwhelmed by the response, feeling proud that the image had provided inspiration.”

Surgical Consultant Mrs Jennie Grainger said: “It was a pleasure to work with the team on call that weekend. I would hope the picture highlights to young people that gender should not be an issue in any profession, and that if you work hard enough, anything is possible. I was lucky to have positive female role models throughout my career and it would be great to think this picture taken during a busy weekend on call may inspire someone out there to go for a career in surgery.”

“Every one of you is an essential part of the Countess and you have all made a great contribution to caring for our patients, thank you,” he said.

his is the hlight of ur year. re all fab ou’ve done reat job.”

Ian Benton then presented Ian Harvey with a gift for his retirement, saying: “I’d like to say a special thank you to Ian Harvey. He has been a huge support for all of us in Medical Education. Ian has been one of the most powerful advocates for junior doctors.”

(left to right) Locum Registrar Miss Kat Parmar, F1 Dr Charlotte Nott, F2 Dr Grace Markham and Surgical Consultant Mrs Jennie Grainger


Eye clinic’s rocking horse carefully restored A rocking horse that has been a feature of the Orthoptic Department children’s waiting area since the Countess of Chester Hospital first opened has been lovingly restored. After more than 30 years of happy, playful use it had started to look tired, with a patchy mane, chipped paint and a broken base. Orthoptist Karen Hordern enlisted the help of Anaesthetic Practitioner Ian Gibbons to fundraise for it to be refurbished, but York-based The Rocking Horse Shop instead offered to do it for free. “The rocking horse has been a fixture of our department for as long as we’ve been here but it was no longer safe and in desperate need of restoration,” Karen said. “We are absolutely delighted with the final results – and so are our patients. We can’t thank The Rocking Horse Shop enough.” Ian found The Rocking Horse Shop and sought their help to breathe new life into the treasured steed, saying: “We had started to raise money to do it ourselves and had been quoted up to £1,500 so for Jane and her team to do it for nothing really made such a difference and now it can be enjoyed by child patients having eye tests for another 40 years!” Jane Cook, Managing Director of The Rocking Horse Shop, said: “I saw a Facebook cry for help from Ian and just felt we needed to step up to the plate and help him out to give the children their rocking horse back. We were all delighted to see the final result but when we saw Ian’s face when he came to collect it, we knew it had all been worthwhile. It is so rewarding to think that we have brought joy to the children.”

STAFF RAISE ALMOST £1,500 FOR CANCER RESEARCH UK The Surgical Admissions team at the Countess of Chester Hospital have raised £1,434.88 including gift aid for Cancer Research UK by completing the Birkenhead Race for Life. Staff from the hospital wanted to give something back to the cancer charity, having been touched by the disease both personally and professionally. Alyson Field-Baines, Team Leader for Admissions, said: “On a daily basis we speak to a large number of cancer patients and we see first-hand the distress and uncertainty they experience during such a difficult time. One of our colleagues has also recently faced her own battle and, thankfully, she is now coming out the other side. It was this combination of our work and personal stories that motivated us to do something positive and take part in the amazing ‘Race for Life’ initiative.” Wearing a fetching ensemble of frilly tutus, head bands and leg warmers they joined more than 1,760 women on the starting line in searing 28-degree heat at Birkenhead Park for the 5k run on Sunday 1 July. Alyson’s team have now already started planning for next year.


“It was overwhelming to see thousands of people, all with incredible stories, running for their loved ones. The atmosphere was amazing, so inspiring and it was an incredible feeling knowing that together, in some small way we were making a difference,” she said. “I’m sure that this won’t be the last time Surgical Admissions do the Race for Life, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be an annual event!” Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring women-only series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy, Half Marathon and Hiking events which raises millions of pounds every year to find new ways to tackle cancer. Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK’s North West spokeswoman said: “A huge well done to all the ladies in the surgical admissions team for raising such a large amount of money. “It’s thanks to all the mums, grans, daughters, friends and work colleagues who take part in Race for Life and help fund vital research that Cancer Research UK’s scientists and doctors can continue to make strides forward in their efforts to beat the disease.”

Plans lodged for new neonatal unit The Countess Charity have spoken of their delight after plans for a new neonatal unit were lodged with the council as a result of The Babygrow Appeal. Lesley Woodhead, Head of Fundraising, described the enormous pride she felt after almost five years of hard work by her team and the people of Chester made it possible. Backed by its media partner The Standard, The Babygrow Appeal raised a whopping £2.4 million from its launch in 2013. The money will pay for a new extended unit that, once complete, will be more than twice the size of the current one. Subject to approval by Cheshire West and Chester Council’s planning committee, it is hoped that work will begin on the facility in October with a grand opening pencilled in for September 2019. “The whole team feel immensely proud,” said Lesley. She added: “We have had so much support from individuals, businesses, charitable trusts and the community across Chester we are really grateful and could not have done it without you. “Special thanks go to The Standard for all the coverage and help. This has had a major impact on the appeal.” Major events in the city that have helped raise cash for the appeal include the Santa Dash, Duck Race, and MBNA Chester Marathon.

“We have had so much support from individuals, businesses, charitable trusts and the community… we could not have done it without you.”

The existing neonatal unit was built in 1974 and its design has become out-dated. The new building will not only be packed with state-of-the-art, life-saving technology, it will also focus on providing space, privacy and as much comfort as possible for the tots and their families.

The unit will be built on wasteland behind the existing building, which will remain open and fullyfunctioning while construction work is carried out.

When complete it will have its own entrance with a secure foyer for parents and relatives to access, with not only increased capacity to care for newborn babies but also additional facilities such as a shower room for parents to use. “The main thing is that there is much more

room for each baby,” said Lesley. “We think this is the first unit that has been designed for integrated family care. “Back in the Eighties mum and dad would have been looking through the window and watching, but now they will be right next to their baby, involved in the care as a team with the staff.” There will also be two bedrooms where families can stay before they take their baby home for the first time. “Overall this has been a long time coming and is the product of a lot of research and visits of other units across the country,” Lesley said. “We can’t wait to see it open!” She added: “We are still fundraising for the drop down beds for the parents to sleep on and for the furniture. Anyone who can help is asked to call the fundraising office on 01244 366240. Thank you.”


Governors’ News Annual Members’ Meeting

Governor Ward Rounds under way

The Trust’s Annual Members’ Meeting is taking place in the Education and Training Centre from 1.30pm – 2.30pm on Tuesday 23 October 2018.

The Governors arrive unannounced on the ward, let staff know who they are and then spend time talking to staff and patients in that area as well as observing and making a note of good practice and areas of potential improvement.

The Board of Directors and Council of Governors will be hosting the Annual Members’ Meeting and as well as detailing information about the Trust’s performance over the last year, they will be on hand to answer questions from members of the public. There will be refreshments available and free parking for those who attend the meeting.

Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, has not vetted the advertisers in this publication and accepts no liability for work done or goods supplied by any advertiser. Nor does Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust endorse any of the products or services.


The Governors have started doing regular visits of wards across the hospital to better understand and reflect on what the experience is like for patients and visitors.

Governor Peter Folwell said: “As Governors we are here to represent the views of the public and reflect that back to hospital management. By starting these regular visits, we are able to quietly observe how things are working and then provide feedback.” The Governors have, to date, completed three visits and reported their findings back through the patient experience group. Areas of identified improvements have been taken on-board and actioned by the relevant staff who have subsequently reported back to the PEOG.

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Countess Matters Autumn 2018  

Countess Matters Autumn 2018  

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