Insight Northampton - Autumn 2017/Winter 2018

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Autumn 2017/Winter 2018 | Issue 64

Cardiac first for Northampton with new leadless pacemakers INSIDE: Best Possible Care Awards souvenir supplement Supported by Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund


In this edition of Insight, you can read about the winners of this year’s Best Possible Care Awards, a time to remember all the amazing input of our employees who support care in the hospital and the critical role played by each and every one of them. As we head into a difficult winter for the NHS, the awards present an opportunity to reflect on the little things that make such a difference to our colleagues and patients. Many of these relate to the way we treat each other every day – the little smiles and gestures , the kindnesses shown , the thank you that is given , the time we take to understand each other as people and to remember our common humanity. So the celebration of Best Possible Care is all about the little things adding up to something quite important. It is a little thing to nominate someone for an award; it is often all the little things that people do in a role that add up to the bigger achievement that is recognised; it is a little thing to hold an awards ceremony once a year but all of this does something quite big – it helps us all to understand and value each other more. The more we have that, the better we can work together and fulfil our aim of being an outstanding hospital. And exactly why that’s important to us is demonstrated throughout the pages of this magazine, whether it’s the stories of patients Robyn and Karen who both came back to NGH to thank the people who saved their lives; our cardiac team pioneering new technology for our heart centre patients; or our cancer nurse specialist driving through improvements for patients with secondary breast cancer. Throughout these articles is a common theme of NGH employees striving to deliver the best possible care for their patients. Every day I see colleagues doing their bit to make things better for the people we care for, and that is the ultimate reward for those of us who choose a role in the health service.

Dr Sonia Swart

Chief Executive Northampton General Hospital

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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Our pledge to improve services for baby care


ur neo-natal care team is on track to gain the highly-coveted Bliss Baby Charter accreditation for family-centered care for premature and sick babies. Following the submission of our first audit, Bliss presented the team with a Pledge for Improvement certificate recognising that we’re on the right track to achieve the accreditation and we’ve pledged to make further improvements to care and services to reach the standard required to receive the award. The Bliss Baby Charter was developed by Bliss to help hospitals caring for premature and sick babies to assess the quality of care they provide and identify areas for improvement. Through accreditation of this process, Bliss can

recognise and reward excellence in the care delivered by neonatal units, with a specific focus on the delivery of consistent high quality family-centred care that recognises the vital role of parents in their baby’s hands-on care. Research has shown that putting families at the heart of their baby’s care is hugely beneficial. For babies, it can lower stress levels, promote better health, shorten hospital stays and reduce hospital readmissions. For parents, it helps promote bonding with their baby, and improves their confidence as a parent. For professionals, it can help improve relations between parents and staff, as well as freeing up nursing time, increasing productivity and boosting staff morale.

Some of our neonatal team pictured at the presentation of the pledge for improvement. There are only three UK hospitals with Baby Bliss status and we’re determined to join them.


Autumn 2017/Winter 2018 Issue 64

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

Keep in touch Follow us on Twitter @NGHNHSTrust Follow us on Instagram northamptongeneralhospital Like our Northampton General Hospital Facebook page 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. ©2017/2018. Hawks Nest Cottage, Great North Road, Bawtry, DN10 6AB. Tel: 01302 714528


kin conditions and complaints are something which most people experience at some time in their lives. However thanks to new community dermatology services, patients at Northampton General Hospital can now get many treatments closer to home at local GP practices. The concept behind the new project is to integrate dermatology services into the local community with GPs with a special interest in dermatology (GPwSI), treating patients with mild to moderate dermatological conditions, saving many patients a trip to the hospital. Community dermatology clinics have been established in three GP surgeries in Northampton; Delapre Medical Centre, King Edward Road Surgery and Whitefields Surgery. The clinics enable patients to see the most appropriate clinician for their condition, at the first appointment. Referrals are all made using an online system (e-Referral) which allows patients to choose the day, time and location of their appointment, enabling more flexibility and choice for patients. Louise, who attended the clinic with her 5 year old son, described: “It’s helpful to be able to go to the local GP clinic as the waiting time is reduced. The service itself is less rushed and it gives us more time to talk through all of the medical needs with the consultants, doctors and nurses.” GPs who want to specialise in

dermatology received training from dermatology consultants at NGH, which includes shadowing consultant clinics as well as gaining valuable practical experience in a hospital setting. Once qualified, the GP receives support from dermatology nurses and have consultant supervision during their clinics. For consultants, it allows them to work in partnership with local GPs, sharing knowledge and skills to ensure a high quality service is delivered for patients in Northampton.

Jamie John, senior manager, strategy & partnerships at NGH, explained how the integrated service benefits patients: “The community dermatology service is dedicated to providing integrated working across primary and secondary care, to ensure patients in Northamptonshire experience a seamless transition between community and specialist consultant care. This approach offers the opportunity to develop and train the local workforce, to ensure we build sustainable services for the future and provide high quality care to patients.”

Rachel Ruddy and Denise Morgan pictured with a young patient at Delapre Medical Centre

New campaign urges employees to think family

Rosina and Alexandra with their posters about family

A new campaign devised by NGH’s safeguarding team is urging our employees to Think Family and consider the whole family situation when a patient is admitted to us. The campaign is supported by artwork from three children who have been patients on Paddington ward: Rosina aged 7, Alexandra aged 7 and Masoomah aged 9, were invited by the safeguarding children’s team to draw their idea of a family. The children’s drawings were then adapted into posters which will be displayed throughout the hospital.

Sue McRae-Samuel, named nurse for safeguarding children, described the idea behind the project: “The concept behind the campaign was to use the drawings to prompt staff to adopt a ‘Think Family’ approach. It’s important for us to know if a patient has dependents at home, or, if they are a caregiver to ensure both the patient, and those at home, are safe and well and their needs are met.” Congratulations to Rosina, Alexandra and Masoomah - look out for their posters in the hospital!

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REUNION FOR A&E TEAM WHO SAVED R When 27-year-old Robyn Cartwright began to feel unwell on a family night out, her mother tried to reassure her that she was having a panic attack because it was the first time she’d left her new baby. Within hours however, Robyn’s heart had stopped and her family was told they should prepare to say goodbye. Read the remarkable story of Robyn’s rare heart condition and how our emergency department fought to keep Robyn alive against all the odds.

Robyn, her fiancé Paul and their baby Rosie with some of the A&E team who helped save her life


said it sounded like a blood clot and told obyn had been reluctant to go out us to go straight to A&E.” that night having given birth Robyn revealed to her family that to her daughter only two weeks she had suffered chest pains three days beforehand. However, the band that she earlier on the way home from the school and her fiancé Paul were hoping to hire run but hadn’t told anyone. During the for their wedding, Playtime, were playing car journey back to Northampton, and they wanted to see the band Robyn suffered a heart perform before making a attack and on arriving decision to book them. at Northampton’s Robyn said: “When we emergency department, got there, I started to “The pain took my she collapsed in the feel pain in my chest breath away. I wanted waiting area. and shoulder. The pain Initially, took my breath away. to drink some water emergency medicine I wanted to drink but when I reached for nurses spotted some water but when the glass, I couldn’t Robyn collapse I reached for the glass, feel it in my hand.” as she arrived at I couldn’t feel it in my hospital, and doctors hand. We got hold of my suspected she’d suffered fiancé’s stepdad on the a massive pulmonary phone, he’s a paramedic. He 4 ❘ Insight

embolism, a blood clot caused by her recent pregnancy. Her heart had stopped and she was not responding to the attempted resuscitation. Nevertheless, the A&E team battled to save her life; with support from critical care and medicine, 22 members of staff helped to carry out CPR for over an hour, until Robyn’s circulation returned. A CT scan showed that there was no blood clot with the likely cause now being a cardiac problem. An immediate referral was made to Kettering General Hospital where they have a specialist heart attack centre available around the clock. Robyn had six stents fitted in a five-hour lifesaving operation. Kettering’s cardiac team confirmed that Robyn’s coronary artery had split after she suffered a spontaneous coronary artery dissection, more commonly known

ROBYN’S LIFE “The combination of the severity of her illness, its rarity, the positive outcome, and the way we all worked together so well as a team all stood out for me.”

as SCAD. SCAD is an extremely rare and potentially fatal occurrence; Robyn had a rare presentation of a rare disease. Northampton emergency medicine consultant Dr Tom Odbert said: “Robyn was extremely lucky to be in hospital when she collapsed where she had immediate, aggressive and determined resuscitation, and a transfer to a heart attack centre promptly for definitive treatment. “The combination of the severity of her illness, its rarity, the positive outcome, and the way we all worked together so well as a team all stood out for me. Getting the chance to meet up with her and her family afterwards was a privilege that we do not often get in emergency medicine.”

SCAD factfile

Spontaneous coronary artery dissection is a rare type of heart attack. SCAD affects women more than men – 80 percent of SCAD patients are women. Very little is known about why but it’s thought to be linked to hormonal flux in the body. Many patients are young and fit with no risk factors for heart disease, so symptoms can often be mistaken for other things such as indigestion or anxiety. SCAD patients experience different symptoms but the most common are:  Central chest pain or pressure  Pain or numbness in one or both arms  Jaw pain  Back pain  Shoulder pain  Nausea  Sweating/clamminess  Difficulty breathing

Karen and her consultant Dr Alan Ogilvie pictured when she returned from winning four golds and a silver in the World Transplant Games earlier this year

Charity and support group set up by Northampton SCAD survivor Another NGH patient, 62 year old Karen Rockell launched the charity Beat SCAD with two other SCAD survivors, to raise awareness of this rare type of heart attack and fundraise for greater research. They also set up an online support community for SCAD survivors. Karen was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease Autoimmune Hepatitis, also known as AIH, two decades ago. She said: “The swift treatment I received from Dr Ogilvie in Northampton saved my life; he diagnosed my condition when it was almost unheard of. AIH cannot be cured and after fighting the disease for over ten years, I developed liver cancer. I underwent a successful liver transplant in October 2010 at Kings College Hospital and it was shortly after that I had suffered a spontaneous coronary artery dissection.” Karen was motivated to set up the Beat SCAD charity in response to the lack of information which sometimes led to missed opportunities to save lives. “The typical SCAD patient is not somebody who would be considered at risk of a heart

attack,” she explained. “Since I retired, I’ve devoted my time to working with health professionals especially first responders and maternity services to help them recognise the symptoms.” Karen’s other passion is raising awareness of organ donation. This year, she represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland in swimming at the 21st World Transplant Games held in Spain. Karen’s medal haul was four gold and one silver in the 60-69 age category – and she set a new world record for the transplant games in 50 metres freestyle event.  100 metre freestyle gold 5 0 metre freestyle gold and a new world record.  100 metre backstroke gold  50 metre backstroke gold  200 metre freestyle silver More information about Karen’s charity can be found at

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orthampton General Hospital has become the first district general hospital in the UK to fit the world’s smallest pacemaker. The leadless pacemaker can be implanted directly into the patient’s heart via a vein in the leg, halving the risk of major complications associated with conventional pacemakers. Conventional pacemakers are placed in the patient’s chest with leads running to the heart. Beverley Edwards, head of physiology at NGH said: “The leadless device benefits patients thanks to its faster recovery time and fewer physical restrictions. Patients are mobile almost straight away. By comparison, there’s a

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

Our cardiac physiology lead Beverley Edwards w to be fitted with leadless pacemaker in a distric

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IRST FOR NORTHAMPTON WITH G PACEMAKER TECHNOLOGY six-week recovery period for standard pacemakers which includes not being able to raise the left arm above shoulder height. “There are also benefits to our patients’ emotional wellbeing – the lack of scarring and the unobtrusiveness of the device means patients really can forget all about them. They don’t feel ill and they don’t have a constant reminder of the fact they have a device helping their heart to work.” Consultant cardiologist Dr David Sharman carried out the first leadless pacemaker procedure at NGH. He said: “The device isn’t suitable for everyone but is of particular benefit to patients who have higher risk of developing

with Brian Muddiman, the first patient in the UK ct general hospital.

Brian Muddiman, the first patient in the UK to be fitted with leadless pacemaker in a district general hospital, pictured with some of his care team at NGH

complications. For example, those patients already receiving treatment for other conditions such as dialysis. There’s less hardware and it’s all enclosed within the heart, so there’s a significantly lower risk of complication or infection. “And because they’re fitted into the heart via a vein in the thigh, there’s no major surgery required; the procedure can be carried out in less than half an hour without the need for general anaesthetic. It’s great news for our patients that we’re able to offer this procedure.” Brian Muddiman, aged 81, was the first NGH patient to receive the pacemaker. He said: “The whole process has been great. As I lay on the bed I could see my heart on a big screen and see the pacemaker making its way along into my heart. The next day I felt fine. Going up the stairs there was no puffing and blowing like before. It’s great that other people will be able to have it too.” Northampton General Hospital is working with the manufacturers of the device, Medtronic, to pilot its use in UK hospitals that don’t specialise in cardiac

On the left is the world’s smallest - and leadless - pacemaker: NGH is the first district general hospital in U.K. to use this technology

operations. This technology has been available for two years with 2,500 devices fitted in 19 European countries. NGH is expecting to carry out 25 procedures with this device each year.

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NGH PLAY GOES INTERNATIONAL Earlier this year, our play specialist Emma Fee won a scholarship that included the chance to attend an international conference of child play professionals. Here, she shares her thoughts on the trip.


Chief executive Dr Sonia Swart pictured at the formal start of the construction project

New unit for emergency assessment Building work started in July on a new £12 million emergency assessment unit on the site of our A&E car park. The 60-bedded two-storey building will be used to care for seriously unwell patients who need to be admitted from our A&E department or have been referred by their GP for further assessment and treatment. Our patients will benefit from rapid assessments to identify and treat their care needs. By designing a purpose-built facility, we’ve made sure the layout and environment is suited to delivering emergency assessment care especially for our older and frailer patients. It also gives us the chance to look at new ways of working, both with our colleagues across the hospital and with our health and social care partners. 8 ❘ Insight

ealth play specialists are a wellestablished if little known presence in hospitals and community settings throughout the UK, but we struggle to achieve professional recognition, particularly outside of our workplaces. My main reason for applying for the scholarship was a desire to see how child life specialists in the USA innovate change within their own settings, and if they face the same challenges as health play specialists. Prior to conference, the committee arranged for us to tour two Las Vegas children’s hospitals – Sunrise Children’s Hospital and Summerlin Children’s Medical Center. Despite very different healthcare systems in our respective countries, it felt familiar with child life specialists working quietly and compassionately in the background, ensuring that the psycho-social needs of children are met alongside their medical requirements. It’s oddly reassuring to know that on both sides of the Atlantic, child life specialists and health play specialists are banging the same drum. What can I say about the conference? It was everything I expected, and more. I was so impressed by the incredibly high standard of the sessions – delivered with such confidence and passion, every speaker

The international conference was held in Las Vegas

“There is nothing like being in a room with people who share the same passion and sense of vocation to motivate you to grow and develop within your career”

made me think and reflect. I always left with validation of my own practice, which is invaluable in a profession that is often emotionally and mentally challenging. As a result of the trip, I’m in touch with several charitable organisations in the hope that I can work with them to introduce new services within NGH. We have already worked with one charity, Child’s Play, who awarded us a $3,000 grant to purchase a virtual reality system, which is now being used in our activity centre and is incredibly popular with our patients.

Our play team The team works 365 days a year covering Paddington and Disney wards, children’s outpatients, and babies on Gosset ward on a referral basis. The team is made up of:  one play service co-ordinator  five full-time play specialists  three part-time play specialists,  one full-time play assistant,  one part-time play assistant. Our play specialists are easily identified by their bright pink t-shirts and play assistants wear pale pink. Play specialists are trained to use play as a therapeutic tool. They offer all patients bedside and activity centre based play and activities to keep them busy and engaged. For most children, daily input from the play team is enough to support their continued development, though we sometimes work with the nursing team for children who won’t drink, or won’t mobilise. Long term patients are assessed for a hospital play programme, taking into account their particular stage of development.


he introduction of a virtual fracture clinic at NGH will allow many patients to manage their broken bones safely and effectively at home while cutting clinic waiting times for those who do have to return to hospital. Staff nurse Anna Angelo-Lalov and administration support Olubukola Adekitan receive referrals for trauma patients who attend A&E as well as fracture referrals from GP surgeries for assessment. Patient notes and x-rays are sent to the team to evaluate and determine the appropriate outcome. The Orthopaedic nurses contact patients on the phone to discuss the treatment proposed by the team and an

appointment will be booked if necessary. If a patient has an injury requiring immediate treatment they will be asked to come into the hospital on the same day for further investigation. However, if a patient does not need any further treatment they can be discharged with advice from the clinic. GPs receive a letter detailing the outcome of the clinic through a specially-designed software program developed by our IT department.

Previously patients who needed to be seen by a consultant were automatically allocated an appointment with the on-call consultant. However since the new service commenced, the Virtual Fracture Clinic team are now able to assign patients an appointment with a consultant, who specialises in the type of injury or fracture the patient has. Directorate manager Lindsay Woodbridge described the fundamental aim of the service: “The Virtual Fracture Clinic enables a good patient experience by getting patients seen by the right person at the right time in the right place.” Being seen by a specialist soon after the initial assessment reduces the need for multiple appointments and ensures treatment is delivered as soon as possible for patients. For the hospital it means the fracture clinic service overall is more effective with a reduction in ‘did not attend’ patients and releasing more appointments at NGH for staff to treat patients sooner. The team has already achieved fantastic results and since May 2017 the clinic has seen over 2,409 patients with over a third being discharged and 139 patients being identified as requiring immediate care.

New role celebrates nurses’ experience After 34 years of experience combining trauma and orthopaedics, dementia and care of the elderly, nurse Jill Garrett has a wealth of knowledge, skills and understanding – and when she announced her retirement earlier this year, she was the ideal candidate to test out a new role at NGH: the legacy nurse. “The role of a legacy nurse is a new concept at NGH,” Jill explained. “It comes from acknowledging that when nurses retire, all their knowledge and experience can be lost rather than shared or passed on to others.” Instead, Jill is working a few hours a week on Abington ward, supporting the ward in a role that’s additional to the ward staffing numbers “I have had a wonderful time as a nurse and wasn’t ready to stop. As a legacy nurse, I can adapt the hours I work

to fit round what is needed on the ward. It may vary from a little support with a newly qualified member of staff, to teaching on a certain subject, to helping with a project. It can vary greatly but essentially it’s about supporting the ward staff. “The pressure is less and the remit is different. I have really enjoyed it so far and have been made to feel very welcome. I feel that staff have given me respect, and acknowledged what I have to give. They feel they have support and they can ask for help in an informal, confidential way. “It’s wonderful to have this opportunity to share my love of nursing and be part of a team but in a different way. By learning, understanding, and sharing our experiences together, we can help to provide better care.”

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hile most employees make the daily commute to the work, Jon Birks, consultant in anaesthesia and pre-hospital emergency medicine (PHEM), has a journey quite unlike anyone else here at Northampton General Hospital (NGH). Jon spends approximately 75 per cent of his time working here at NGH in the anaesthetic department, with routine work in theatres including vascular, emergency, colorectal and gynaecological cancer lists, as well as providing anaesthetic support to the emergency department. However, the remaining 25 per cent of

ERMTS Info 2016:  634 patients treated  15.00 hrs: the peak time of day for calls  22 minutes: average response time for the helicopter  150 emergency anaesthetics  47 blood product transfusions

Jon’s working time is spent high in the skies with the Welsh air ambulance as one of the emergency medical, retrieval and transfer service (EMRTS Cymru) consultants. In this exciting role, Jon works alongside the pilot and critical care practitioner to bring lifesaving interventions to a wide range of

emergency calls. The team can provide treatment outside the scope of standard paramedic practice such as emergency anaesthesia, surgical procedures, blood transfusions, blood testing and ultrasound scanning, before the patient even reaches a hospital. The unique working agreement devised by Jon, NGH and EMRTS enables him to combines his day job with his passion for pre-hospital emergency medicine (PHEM) while being paid for his time away from NGH by the Welsh government. With a 390-mile round trip between job locations, his job is certainly one of a kind for us, proving anything is possible within the job split scheme. The range of skills and experience Jon uses during a shift on the air ambulance benefits patients here too. Every month, some of our critically ill or injured patients need to be transferred to specialist hospitals for treatment, and Jon’s expertise in this area means he is now the transfer lead for the anaesthetic department. Undertaking two roles is not new for the hospital. Alongside Jon, emergency medicine consultants Tom Odbert and Tristan Dyer have paved the way for other PHEM trainees to start their career in emergency medicine at NGH. Tom and Tristan both work with Magpas Air Ambulance attending serious emergency medical incidents, with both doctors completing one shift per fortnight

Magpas Info 2016:  884 patients treated in 2016  306 patients involved in road traffic collisions  Airborne 302 hours  41 surgical procedures performed on patients before they reached hospital  79 patients airlifted to hospital

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with the air ambulance charity. Magpas leads the way in trauma care training and has a strong clinical heritage of over 46 years. The organisation offers pioneering training to doctors and paramedics wishing to specialise in PHEM. In 2016 alone, the charity treated 884 patients in 12 counties including Northamptonshire. Originally volunteers with the service, Tom and Tristan both wanted to be able to combine their Magpas work with their day to day job. Thanks to the split scheme, they are now paid for their time working with charity. The shifts are agreed in advance helping Magpas to have a consistent medical team on their rota.

“Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine has been a keen interest and passion of mine for years so the chance to combine the two job roles has allowed me to work in my own individual way. My time in Wales is planned well in advance so it is all very structured, with other consultant anaesthetists covering my regular lists whilst I’m away. I’m incredibly grateful to my colleagues and NGH for supporting me in developing this. Whatever your interest is, I would encourage you to come and speak to the departments here as hopefully they can support you to achieve your perfect job too.” Jon Birks

Like Jon, they have bought key skills from their air ambulance experience to their roles within the emergency department at NGH. Not only does it benefit them from a medical perspective, but Tom and Tristan are both educational supervisors involved in training the next generation of PHEM trainees and fellows at NGH. Tristan also assists with national recruitment for PHEM trainees ensuring that only the best candidates are selected to complete the training programme. Alongside practical roles, Jon, Tom and Tristan deliver our site wide training days in the simulation centre and host the national training day covering obstetric skills required in PHEM, building the trust’s reputation as a great place to train. In the now well established and flexible scheme, Jon, Tom and Tristan are encouraging existing and new doctors with an external interest to see how the arrangement could work for them professionally and personally. Whether you have an interest to work for an air ambulance or something different entirely, get in touch to see how the job split scheme at Northampton General Hospital could work for you.

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Best Possible Care Awards 2017 Your pull-out souvenir supplement >>


Clinical Team of the Year:

Unsung Hero (non-clinical):

Allebone and Eleanor stroke wards Anne-Marie Dunkley

The stroke unit is a county-wide service that covers all Northamptonshire as well as areas of Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes, with Eleanor being a hyper-acute stroke ward while Allebone is a ward for rehabilitation treatments and therapies. The wards work closely with the community stroke team so that therapy and support is provided in patient homes where needed. Eleanor ward manager Vicki explained: “We were recently awarded an A rating by the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP) audit, the criteria for this rating includes how quickly we can get an arriving patient scanned, seen by a consultant and onto our wards. We are currently doing this within four hours.” Once on the ward patients have access to a range of treatments from physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dietitians and other health care professionals to ensure great levels of care. The stroke unit teams have also adapted to their new environment quickly after moving their operations from Holcot ward to Allebone last summer. Vicki added: “It was really challenging as it’s hard to get staff to move and adapt to different environments, but now it is much more like a unit, with all of us working together.” Holcot ward sister Jenny added: “Everyone is supportive with each other, if something is happening on one of the wards, the teams from the other ward will see if they can assist or offer support.” This becomes evident with the Allebone ward recently becoming green in ward accreditation. The unit agrees that a good day on the ward is where all patients have seen a consultant, have access to the available therapies and are aware of their discharge plans. Jenny explains: “If we keep our staff happy, motivated and challenged, that makes for a better experience for patients… and that’s what it’s all about.”


Anne-Marie, Health and Wellbeing Co-ordinator’s role focuses on helping our employees to keep physically fit and mentally well through increasing awareness of healthy lifestyle choices, and signposting staff in the right direction where needed. Alongside a busy role as an Executive PA, AnneMarie took an unofficial lead in establishing the health and wellbeing programme and more recently was appointed to the post of Health and Wellbeing Co-ordinator for NGH. Ensuring staff are engaged and supported is one of Anne-Marie’s favourite aspects of the job: “Our staff are under increasing pressure and it’s important to make sure that they are fully supported, engaged and feel valued no matter what their job is and that they know that help is there if they need it.” “I love my job, especially being innovative, helping people and hopefully making a difference. I am so proud of the slimming group I have set up for staff called Mission: SlimPOSSIBLE, this group has amazing members who have achieved so much. This is such a positive group - I can’t wait for Tuesday’s to come around to see what they have achieved. It’s a priviledge to be able to support these members on their weight loss journey.” Amongst the wellbeing initiatives available to our employees are: m ental health awareness sessions m indfulness, stress and sleep management sessions n utrition and fitness programmes o n-site gym with discounted membership w alking group  dance classes  NGH community choir p articipation in the global challenge  under-500 calorie meal options  improved bicycle parking  over-40s health checks

Unsung Hero (Clinica

Margot Emery

Margot Emery is the lead nu of -life care at NGH, respon specialist palliative and end Day to day, Margot helps to strategies and policies ensu and appropriate, while supp is essential to Margot who e with sensitive and often sad friendly shoulder to lean on. Margot said: “It’s lovely to b that the team and I do and I don’t believe I’m a hero, I’m expected of me at the hosp expect of us.” Margot is driven by achieve professional, which has bee accomplishment of gaining service from the Care Qualit day for me is achieving som difference to the patients an volunteer end-of-life care se at the end of their life is not difference to people through



Quality Improvement Award (Joint Winner):

Obstetrics Diabetic Clinic

Quality Improvement Award (Joint Winner):

Dr Toolbox

urse for palliative and endnsible for managing the d-of-life care nurses. o create and implement uring end-of-life care is safe porting staff. Teamwork ensures the team dealing d situations always have a . be recognised for the work what we have achieved. m just doing what is pital and what patients

ements both personal and en showcased in the recent a ‘good’ rating for the ty Commission. “A good mething which makes a real nd the teams. Using the ervice to ensure a patient t alone helps us to make a h the care we give.”

The obstetrics diabetic clinic is a joint antenatal service for pregnant women with pre-existing or gestational diabetes. It was founded by Dr Jo Anthony and Dr Ann Kilvert and they work alongside midwife Helen Groom and specialist nurse Katherine Kerlogue With almost 500 patients seen in the clinic during 2016, the team recognised the need for improvement, to decrease waiting times and ensure women had a positive experience. Their work over the last 12 months has significantly reduced waiting times, creating a happier patient and staff environment. The nomination form for the clinic explained: “Over a period of 8 months they reviewed the way they delivered the service and introduced changes which cut waiting times for patients by almost an hour. Along the way they have also found ways of making more efficient use of clinical resources and developed a combined learning environment.” Face-to-face care is key for the clinic and the personal touch is something valued by both patients and staff. Not only have patients benefitted from the improvements and reduced waiting times, the team has also been strengthened allowing friendly working partnerships to grow. Helen said: “The whole team has worked so hard and we’re so proud of the clinic’s achievements. Every member of the team including health care assistants, maternity support workers, nurses, ultrasound sonographers, consultant diabetologists, administrators, dietitians and our quality improvement team - has been driven to improve the clinic.”

The Dr Toolbox project is a mobile app that was developed with the focus of helping junior doctors who are new to NGH familiarise themselves with their new role and surroundings. Dr Kate Hope, who collected the award on behalf of the project team, said: “The project and app is written by doctors, for doctors. In the palm of your hand is a wealth of knowledge written by someone who has just been in the same position as you. You can easily and quickly read up-todate inside knowledge about different wards, working patterns, numbers to call, how to arrange and order tests, how dayto-day tasks are done, who to call in an emergency and so much more.” The app is helping doctors in unfamiliar environments to keep patients safe and provide the best possible care; this is why the Dr. Toolbox Team has won this year’s Quality Improvement Award.


Team NGH shows its support

Colleagues were only too happy to send their good luck wishes to all our finalists!



Clinical Educator of the Year:

Vicky Garrod

Vicky is our clinical simulation manager, managing our simulation suite (one of only four in the country) and providing medical training to nursing and medical students as well as post-graduate and core medical training for doctors and trainees. The suite provides training courses in various areas, which includes theatres, paediatrics, obstetrics and intensive care. Vicky said: “We are continuously embedding learning through errors and how we make them, and then we can look at what tools are out there to improve our communication, so we can prevent errors where possible.” All of the training that takes place within the simulation suite is performed on hi-tech responsive medical grade mannequins, which removes the risks associated with practicing on live subjects. However, Vicky also performs point of care simulation sessions, where a live actor or mannequin is taken onto a ward and used to test staff responses to scenarios. Vicky said: “We are out on the shop floor and we are doing it live, so you will pick up exactly what you would if a real patient was to go out and be very poorly.” Vicky’s commitment to patient safety and determination to develop the suite’s training services has led to her winning the award this year. “I really love my job. I never really saw myself doing a teaching job because I loved being clinical, and then when I came and did this, it’s such a satisfaction doing this, and it’s a real privilege. I think to be able to be within the NHS, within an education role, where you are giving all your experiences and you are teaching tomorrow’s people is fantastic. “For me, it’s about the people enjoying the learning and seeing how good they are, seeing development in themselves. Hearing them walk away saying that was really good, it felt quite real in there, it’s just beautiful that staff are learning, engaging and seeing the benefits of the training.”


Team of the Year (non-clinical):

Linen Room Team

“We’ve never been nominated for an award before, in all the time I have been here. So it’s nice to be recognized” said linen supervisor Jean Lee when she heard the team had made the shortlist. Explaining some of the challenges the team deals with, Jean said: “Sometimes our delivery is short from the supplier, sometimes there’s a bug spreading in the hospital, in these cases we have to calculate which wards will need more linen than the others.” During an average day at Northampton General Hospital, the linen team are responsible for the delivery of 3,000 sheets, 1,600 blankets, 2,000 pillow cases, 1,500 towels and 400 modesty and bariatric gowns, to wards, clinics and theatres across the hospital. Melanie Thompson, domestic supervisor tells us: “The team always work really hard, in cases when our deliveries are short, they ensure each ward still has enough linen and the quality checks we do in the linen room ensure that no patient, young or old, will receive creased linen which could cause sores or irritation.” The linen room team have tight schedules on deliveries and collection, with each member of the team having delivery rounds for various wards and clinics, to ensure stock levels never run out. As well as the linen required for our wards and clinics, the team are also responsible for providing uniforms for our doctors and nurses onsite, often providing a last-minute or second hand uniform to staff members who have dirtied their uniforms during the day. Jean explained: “We have had nurses come down here to the linen room, and call us the fairy godmothers when we provide an emergency uniform, it’s quite nice really.”

Outstanding Achievement Award:

Charles Abolins

Charles’ knowledge of the organisation is second to none. A consistent and strong advocate for patient and carer involvement, Charles has been a much respected and highly valued member of Team NGH and has our best wishes on his recent retirement as director of estates and facilities. Charles has worked with local, regional and national bodies to support improvements to patient care, patient experience, the environment, our services and facilities. Not afraid to challenge or implement changes where they are in the best interests of our patients and our staff, ensuring patient safety and a positive experience within a good environment has been a real priority. At the same time he has an excellent record in developing staff, encouraging and supporting entry level staff to undertake training become qualified and develop through to management positions. Our judging panel were unanimous in their view that Charles fully deserves the award for outstanding contribution in recognition of all he has achieved throughout his years of unwavering dedication and commitment to NGH.

A career devoted to NGH Charles retired in 2017 from his post of director of facilities and capital development where he was responsible for our estates and facilities, capital development, purchasing and supply and sustainability. After graduating in hospitality management from Birmingham College of Food and Tourism, Charles held a number of facilities management posts in the NHS and qualified as a Fellow of the British Institute of Facilities Management (FBIFM) in 1997. At NGH, Charles was responsible for leading and implementing complex, major capital building programmes and managing a wide range of facilities support services.

Patient Experience Award:

doctors and nurses of critical care

The award comes as NGH celebrates 50 years of critical care services, caring for patients who are seriously ill and require intensive treatment and close monitoring, or those who’ve had surgery and intensive care can help them recover. This frequently involves the use of hi-tech machinery and advanced treatments as well as the ability to provide counselling to relatives who may have unresponsive family members on the ward. Consultant Anaesthetist Dr Jonathan Wilkinson explained: “We take patients’ wishes and opinions very seriously in here, because, obviously we are dealing with the extremes of lives and treatment. A lot of the time, we have many successes, but we also have to deal with the unfortunate circumstances whereby there is nothing more that can be done and a patient sadly passes away. So, it’s all about us making that process as dignified and easy for the relatives and patients as possible.” ICU and Critical Care are constantly looking at ways to improve the levels of service offered through continuously reviewing the latest medical evidence and treatments offered. “For us to be nominated by patients who have successfully left our unit and are living full and fruitful lives still is a great accolade for us,” Jonathan added. “I think it is also a reflection of how we operate as a team, because, without very closeknit teamwork here it wouldn’t work, at all. So we tend to be very familiar with everybody on the unit, both doctors and nurses, and we work together frequently and we gel very well which means the cogs tend to turn without hitch.”


Volunteer of the Year (Joint Winner):

Bedside Book Club

Volunteer of the Year (Joint Winner): Brian


Brian has been a volunteer with NGH for twenty years and has provided support in various areas. For twelve years, Brian volunteered with the ambulance car service and then later moved on to volunteering on our Billing Road Entrance information desk, where he has been with us for the past eight years. Brian joins us on Friday morning between 7:25am and 11:45am, assisting patients and visitors with queries as well as providing directions and booking transport for patients who are unable to walk around the hospital unaided. “The reason why I come in early is because some departments open as early as 7:30am and people coming for early appointments might need assistance,” said Brian. “I try to relax people who come in, many arrive stressed and I try to help with that. I also have some sign language skills which can come in handy when visitors or patients who are deaf visit the hospital and need help; it can be a nervous experience for them. “People can just have a sit down and chat with me; I can arrange a buggy service if they are tired and need to go to another area. I love volunteering, I always try to do my bit.”

Patient Safety Award: Maxine

Launched earlier this year, the Bedside Book Club is run by a team of six volunteers bringing books directly to patients in our adult wards: Audrey Barnard, Barbara Winter, Bob Faichnie, Denise White, Richard Sheward and Sue Steven-Jones. Sue, who has been involved in the project from the outset explained the importance of the support and distraction the bedside book club provides: “The books provide a friendly distraction from hospital life and allow patients to get lost in a good book.” Volunteer library coordinator Denise is part of the team taking the books out to those on the wards and see’s the positive impact the service has: “It gives the patients a chance to talk to someone new. We’re more than just a library service we provide a friendly chat and company for those who might not have visitors.” The book club required a vast amount of planning and preparation including book collection, fundraising, covering of books and an ongoing effort from volunteers delivering the books and improving the service day on day. With additions of colouring and Sudoku books the service is still growing and expanding to suit a variety of genres and interests. Volunteer services manager, Emma Wimpress, described how the support from volunteers, staff, patients, and the local community drove the success of the scheme. “The project was a team effort. Everyone has been supportive and the volunteers have all worked so hard to ensure the project was success.”



Based on Creaton Ward, Maxine works alongside her team to deliver quality care to patients and ensure their safety at all times. “It’s nice to be acknowledged for the work I’ve done in engaging the team in patient safety and creating a team which strives to provide great care for the patients,” said Maxine. “It’s nice to be recognised and it’s taken a lot of hard work, dedication, determination and positivity to get to where we are on Creaton Ward today. “Patient safety is at the forefront of everything I do and each patient and their family have the same amount of respect and care during their time with us.” Maxine and the ward have taken part in a variety of initiatives with the aim of increasing patient safety and this has been integral in the ward attaining green ward accreditation for patient safety. Overall the team achieved all 15 green results: “It was a very emotional time finding out that we’d achieved the green achievements. The team were thrilled and there was a huge sense of immense joy and celebration across the ward. We’ve achieved something we can be proud of and it proves that we have best possible care and our patients are safe.”

REVAMP FOR CHILDREN’S OUTPATIENTS AREA Children attending an outpatients appointment now have a much nicer environment while they wait for their appointment. Thanks to a refurbishment program, the children’s outpatients’ area has been moved and extended to include bigger clinic rooms, separate toilet facilities and dedicated space for various specialist clinics; this includes a private clinical and waiting area for our oncology patients. On average, we’ll see 1,500 children each month in our outpatients department. The refurbishment benefitted from a generous donation from local family entertainment centre Riverside Hub, based on Riverside Park, for the decoration and supply of toys, games, books and soft-play equipment. We would like to say a huge thank you to Valentina and her team at Riverside Hub for their support.

Therapies in A&E – pilot scheme yields results A pilot scheme to put occupational therapy and physiotherapy at the frontline of emergency care has shown that these services have a key role to play in avoiding unnecessary A&E admissions, reducing a patient’s length of stay and helping to avoid readmission. Jakki Gilson, occupational therapist and Becky Lovatt, physiotherapist, developed the Therapies in A&E project. The team work for up to four hours per day, Monday to Friday, assessing patients in the emergency department to establish their physical and social wellbeing. Occupational therapist Jakki, explained

why the combination of physiotherapy and occupational therapy helps our patients: “By assessing the social situation of a patient straight away on attendance to A&E, plans can be put in place for their treatment pathway both with us and when they are discharged. This helps us signpost patients and their families or carers to services within the community for support after they leave NGH. Not only does it provide patient support but also reassurance and help for carers or family members.” The service began in March and has already achieved results; the first assessment time

for therapy has been reduced from up to 48 hours to 6-8 hours. By establishing patient needs and circumstances quickly, this can lead to fewer admissions and shorter hospital stays for patients. For those who are admitted, the service has also helped to reduce their overall stay by an average of two days. The future of the project looks positive as Becky Lovatt, physiotherapist described: “By working with a variety of teams, patients are assessed quickly and effectively. The pilot has been really successful and we hope to continue to expand the service for patients in the future.”

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Northampton’s reputation for proving orthampton General Hospital’s exceptional simulation training led to the acclaimed simulation centre is set to break new ground with the simulation team being approached to pilot introduction of UK’s first NHS-run dental a training programme to meet the needs simulation training programme. of dentists. The course, funded by the East Midlands Emergency medicine consultant, Dr Tom Dental Deanery, aims to provide a base Odbert, said: “This curriculum and course level of sedation training for dental aims to provide a standard approach to practitioners and trainees. safe sedation for dentists, including Clinical simulation manager aspects of pharmacology, human Vicky Garrod said: “Historically, factors, technical knowledge, dentists didn’t have to organisational set-up, and take part in continuous “This curriculum basic airway interventions. personal development, “That’s great for and course aims unlike doctors or nurses. patients because there’ll to provide a Dentists now have to be more consistent standard approach prove that they are able practice throughout to safe sedation to provide life support, community dentistry, for dentists.” know how to recognise and it’s great for dentists clinical emergencies and because they’ll have access treat patients accordingly to experienced NHS trainers when escalating them to hospital. who are at the cutting edge of “Due to this change, we have dentists simulation training in the UK.” across the country wanting to take the The first two-day course will take place training required to acquire these skills; early next year. In preparation, Vicky and however nobody is currently offering Tom are working with our consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeon Mr. the service.”

James Gallagher along with some of our anaesthetists and maxillofacial surgeons to prepare and deliver the course for the first group of 14 students. If the training programme proves to be a success, the potential for an in-house sedation training program for NGH staff could be possible for both nursing, clinical staff and local dentists. This means staff can be upskilled and a standardisation for sedation could be rolled out throughout the hospital, with it also being offered nationally at the request of the dental deanery. Vicky added: “The end result of providing this training will be safer dental practice nationwide and a lower rate of patients with dental emergencies being admitted to hospital, which will have a huge positive impact for NHS hospitals.”

If you would like to learn more about the hospital’s simulation suite, there will be an open day on Friday 8th December 2017 between 8:30am and 4pm. To book a place, please contact Gemma Denny ( 22 ❘ Insight


or the past year, wards and departments have been supported with a new way of working that introduces a collaborative approach to making improvements. A number of shared decision making councils are up and running across the hospital leading to improvements in patient care, working procedures and the local environment. The success of the councils lies in the underlying principle that change should be led from the frontline with the support of their team’s management. Shared decision-making facilitator, Catherine Telford, said: “It’s a new type of process for NGH. It recognises our frontline staff are often best placed to see where improvements are needed but they don’t always feel empowered to make

change happen. A shared decision-making council strips away the hierarchy in favour of a collaborative approach to identifying opportunities for improvement. The impetus for change comes from the team and is delivered by the team.”

Case study: Creaton Ward Maxine Chapman, Creaton ward sister, said: “It’s going back to the floor. It’s not about a senior member of the team giving instructions about what’s going to change, it’s about the team identifying and owning the change. “Everyone engages with the change because everyone is involved. “It gives us a way to capture our lightbulb moments. All ideas and suggestions are listened to and looked into; can we do this and how can we make it happen.

“We’ve had a shared decision-making council for a year now and it has really changed the culture on the ward. Everyone feels part of the journey. We keep a scrapbook to record everything that’s been achieved so we can see the impact and see how we’ve worked together to make a difference.” Some of the improvements that have taken place on Creaton ward include:  the introduction of an oral care chart for

each patient  a patient bubble board where patients

can record their thought of the day  sending a bereavement card to convey

the team’s condolences and sympathies to the families of patients who have passed away  providing a massage chair in the ward

staff room to help employees feel rested after a break

Factfile A council can be created on a ward, across a speciality or around a theme. A t NGH, we had six initial councils: Creaton ward; paediatrics; ITU; midwifery; theatres; and newly qualified forum. Other departments have since created their own council or are in the process of starting one. E ach council has a chairperson who represents them at the leadership council, which is chaired by director of nursing, midwifery and patient services Carolyn Fox. Here members of the senior nursing and practice development team give support and advice, and council projects and best practice are shared M embers of each council have six hours each month dedicated time to work as a group to plan projects and implement change.

New symbol for children’s assessments Northampton General Hospital’s paediatric department has a new face: CODEY the Red Bear has arrived to help us identify our younger patients who have scored high on our assessments of their health needs. The Paediatric Early Warning Score (PEWS) is a specialised tool to measure a child’s clinical status and helps to identify signs of deterioration. Previously, when a child scored high on the assessment, we used a red triangle as a visual prompt for our staff.

Now, the red triangle has been replaced with CODEY the Red Bear in a bid to reduce the distress experienced by our younger patients as well as helping us to convey important clinical information without disclosing confidential patient details. The idea and character were brought to life by our resuscitation officer Andy Winter: “I was tasked by paediatric consultant Dr John Hewertson, to come up with something less daunting than the existing triangle currently used

around the hospital. One of my all-time favourite Disney films is Brother Bear, a tale featuring a family of Kodiak bears… Kodiak sounded like Code-y to me and from there it was a small trip to come up with CODEY the Red Bear! I drew up a rough sketch using the movie as my inspiration and sent it over to our graphic designer Laurence.”

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Our people



Rhian Longford spent most of her professional career caring for cancer patients. She started working on Talbot Butler as a staff nurse in the 1980s, before moving to Milton Keynes as the lung cancer specialist nurse. She returned to NGH to work as an anticoagulant nurse and finally back to cancer care as the Macmillan Information & Support Lead in 2011. Rhian has always been passionate about caring for cancer patients and has been an invaluable member of the Macmillan team. Thank you, Rhian, for your hard work and dedication and good luck in your retirement.


Congratulations to Cedar ward sister, Stacey Cheney, on being awarded the Northampton Rotary Club Greystone award. The award recognises an orthopaedic nurse who has been nominated as outstanding by Northampton General Hospital. This year directorate manager, Lindsay Woodbridge, nominated Stacey to receive the recognition by the Rotary Club.


Practice development nurse Valerie McGurk has retired after 37 years in the paediatrics team. Starting work as a pre-nursing student, Valerie has worked in varying departments and wards including Talbot Butler, Gosset and, in her most recent role, took the lead for updating guidelines as well as supporting students and registered nurses in their development.



Whilst most people enjoy a quiet retirement, Valerie will be back at the hospital to train her successor and then plans to fundraise for Cancer Research UK, enjoy time with family and friends and become a lady who lunches! Congratulations and happy retirement, Val. We would like to welcome our new hospital chaplain, The Reverend David Dean. David has served a wide range of churches in America and the UK. He joins us from his most recent position at St Phillip’s Centre in Leicester and has previously been employed as chaplain at Aston University in Birmingham


Good luck to a group of our staff heading to Ghana as part of an internaional medical and surgical volunteer programme. Led by vascular surgeon Rob Hicks the group will carry out hundreds of hernia operations and travel to rural communities providing medical and dental support. Look out for our special news feature in next Insight magazine!



A big thanks to student nurse Jessica Jennings-Bland who along with her fellow students at the University of Northampton trampoline club are raising funds for our Do it for Dementia campaign.


Dr Lyndsey Brawn, consultant stroke physician and divisional director for medicine, retired from NGH after 25 years working passionately and tirelessly for our patients and in supporting colleagues. We send our best wishes for a happy and fulfilling retirement to Dr Brawn.


Retiring? Won an award or professional accreditation? Don’t forget to let the Insight team know if you or a colleague would like to be featured in Our People. Email your photo and details to 24 � Insight




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Mayor of Northampton, Cllr Gareth Eales, joined sponsors, staff and patients to officially open the garden during the summer.



atients with dementia now have a

therapeutic sensory garden area at Northampton General Hospital, thanks to the Do It For Dementia campaign. The therapy garden, near the centre for elderly medicine, was created thanks to a donation of £7,500 from Michael Jones Jeweller. Luke Allebone from Michael Jones Jewellers said: “Michael Jones himself always encouraged us to help the community in Northamptonshire in any way possible. The proposed development of a therapies garden was a perfect opportunity for us to fulfil that desire and to produce a beneficial area for patients with dementia to relax in while in hospital.” The garden, designed and planted by 4th Corner Landscaping, features raised flower

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beds which means that patients can touch and smell the plants without having to bend and patients in wheelchairs can also interact at ease. Amanda Ransome, director of 4th Corner Landscaping, said: “It’s been a privilege to be able to help with the creation of this garden, an area which will enable patients to spend time outside among a variety of flourishing plants including herbs, ferns and flowering shrubs. I hope that the garden will help to stimulate the senses and bring a sense of well-being. “I have had a connection to Northampton General Hospital since working on a previous personal project, which highlighted to me how

much people, particularly in-patients benefit from being outside in a natural flourishing environment. When Alison asked me to get involved I was delighted.” The garden also features a clock and wind chime which adds to the sensory aspects of the garden. Future plans include touch panels for the walls and gardening kits for patients to use at their leisure.

Comfort blankets for premature babies Factfile O ver 7,000 people in Northamptonshire have dementia. T he Department of Health estimates that only 59 per cent of people with dementia have a formal diagnosis. T he Do It For Dementia campaign was set up to raise money to enhance dementia care in the hospital.

We’re delighted to welcome Catherine Lowe to the role of dementia liaison nurse. Catherine’s background is in mental health nursing and she has worked as an Admiral Nurse supporting families in the community. Catherine has been impressed to see initiatives such as our finger food patient menu, the adoption of John’s campaign for open visiting for carers of patients with dementia and the enthusiasm for the Do It For Dementia fundraising campaign. She sees her most immediate challenges are helping ensure consistency of best practice across the hospital, especially when it comes to involving family: “Family and carers are our insight into the patient – are we always working with them, involving them, communicating with them?” Catherine is currently working with our emergency department and Holcot ward to pilot a new form of patient profile modelled on the patient passport which is used to support patients with learning disabilities. In her role, Catherine is available to support patients with dementia and their families as well offering support to our staff, whether it’s advice about caring for a specific patient or delivering bespoke training packages. Catherine can be contacted at the hospital on 01604 544516 or email Catherine.Lowe@NGH.NHS.UK

A Northampton mother who was inspired by her experience with our neo-natal ward for premature babies has created a special miniature comfort blanket for babies - and thanks to funding from our charity, every baby on our Gosset ward will get their own pair. Polly Major created the PetalPatches as a way of soothing babies when they’re parted from their parents. Mums or dads keep a PetalPatch close to their skin while their baby sleeps on top of their own matching blanket. Parents can then switch blankets so that the baby’s blanket smells of mum or

dad. For mums who are separated from their babies and breastfeeding, a blanket with her baby’s scent can help with expressing milk. Polly was inspired to create the PetalPatches after four of her six children were cared for on Gosset Ward. Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund has funded a year’s supply of PetalPatches for Gosset Ward. But they’re not just for premature babies - anyone can buy one! More information is available from the PetalPatch Facebook or by emailing

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Over £16,000 raised for oncology team H

Thank you for Gosset ward Baby Isabella-Rose really surprised her mum and dad when she came 10 weeks early and weighed only 2Ib 12 oz!! After spending two weeks on Gosset ward, she was transferred nearer to home to Warwick hospital for a further six weeks of care. Mum and Dad, Laura and Simon, were so grateful for the care that was given not just to Isabella-Rose, but to them as well that Simon took part in a 10k wolf run to rasie money for the ward. Isabella-Rose came back with her mum and dad to donate the £4,377.68 raised to Grace and her team and show them how much she’s grown and is developing!

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“I’ve never done something so hard uge thanks to Phil Vickers in my life but the satisfaction of raising and the Fraud Team at Barclaycard for their donation over £16,000 was absolutely amazing!” of £16,042.97 for our radiotherapy Accepting the donation, consultant and oncology department. Funds were clinical oncologist, Dr Craig Knighton raised through hosting several events said: “Head and neck tumours were in including raffles and cake sales at decline during the 1980s as people’s Barclaycard along with a 100-mile habits changed with regards bike ride under taken by Phil to smoking and excessive and his team along the drinking, but resurgence South Downs which took has now started with “I’m very proud of place on the hottest numbers increasing Phil and his team, weekend of the year linked to a common who have gone since 1976. virus. The treatment Phil said: “My for both types of through hell and first experience head and neck high-water to achieve with Northampton tumours, however, such an amazing General Hospital’s remains the same, amount of money for radiotherapy and is tough on its the department.” department was as a patients at all stages. result of being diagnosed All patients are required with a tumour on my vocal to undergo arduous, painful cords, I have to say from the and protracted courses of outset, that your emotions are all radiotherapy, some also needing over the place, because you have been chemotherapy, with us healthcare given this piece of news. So I was professionals cushioning the blow. absolutely over the moon to be met “I’m very proud of Phil and his by such professional people that not team, who have gone through hell only treated me but also put my mind and high-water to achieve such an at rest. In terms of fundraising, I just amazing amount of money for the wanted to give something back; I just department. Every penny will be used wanted to acknowledge the treatment on improving patients’ journeys, and that I have received. therefore their outcomes.”

Cricket club chairman holds charity fun day Teeing off for charity

Fun was had by all at the Northampton County Cricket’s Family Fun Day held as a birthday party for Gavin Warren, Chairman of the Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, who continues to fundraise for Dryden Ward. Some of the ward team even attended the event to help on the day! The day included a celebrity 20/20 cricket match between Christian Day’s Saints XV and Chairman’s Steelbacks XV. An amazing £203.34 was raised by the bucket shake alone which will go towards Dryden ward. Proceeds from the day will be split with two other charities so watch this space for the final amount!

Our second annual charity golf day took place at Northampton Golf Club and raised £2,500 towards the cost of a new paediatric adolescents’ area at NGH. The paediatric department aims to raise £60,000 to fund dedicated facilities for young adults. The golf day was sponsored by local companies Barfield Wealth Management and Henderson Fabrications.

Raising funds for prostate cancer support A big thanks to Kelsey Power and Louisa Howson who raised £700 for our urology team. The pair organised a beauty evening and raffle to raise money to thank the urology team for the fantastic care received by family friend Ian Wright when he was diagnosed with Prostate cancer. Ian’s wife Lorraine said: “We are so happy that monies raised have gone to hopefully make a little difference in raising awareness for all men and prostate cancer.”

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. Find us on Facebook/ NorthamptonshireHealthCharitableFund

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“I think the key thing that has come from the pledge is that we understand how patients are feeling.”


orthampton General Hospital has teamed up with the UK’s leading breast cancer charities – Breast Cancer Now and Breast Cancer Care – to improve services for local people diagnosed with incurable secondary breast cancer. There are about 36,000 people living with secondary breast cancer in the UK – cancer that has spread beyond the breast or armpit to other parts of the body, such as the lungs or liver. While secondary breast cancer cannot be cured, it can be treated and controlled, in some cases for a number of years. Together, Breast Cancer Now and Breast Cancer Care have formed the Pledge Partnership pooling their

expertise and experience to help hospitals review their services and ultimately improve patient experience. Secondary breast cancer nurse specialist, Ruth Fox said: “I heard about the pledge at a study day for secondary breast cancer nurses. I was setting the service up and I thought it was an unbelievable opportunity to use patient experience to shape the service. “I think the key thing that has come from the pledge is that we understand how patients are feeling. Also, that our patients understand some of the issues within the health service that we are trying to improve for them that cannot necessarily be done overnight.” Through questionnaires and workshops

Pictured at the launch of Northampton’s pledge L-R: Susanna Glover (Senior Health Advocacy Officer at Breast Cancer Now), Tamsin Douce (Patient Representative), Ruth Fox (Macmillan Secondary Breast Cancer Nurse Specialist), Diane Moulds (patient), Elizabeth Summers (Cancer Lead Nurse)

30 ❘ Insight

over the past year, a range of patientled service improvements have been identified, including:  providing a booklet dedicated to secondary breast cancer to ensure patients receive individualised information and advice that is relevant to them  developing health and wellbeing sessions to make sure patients know where and how they can access support  creating poster displays to highlight the importance of drinking plenty of fluids prior to cannulation, to ensure patients are as comfortable as possible during the procedure  developing a photo board to ensure

Patient engagement In 2017, 50,000 women will be told they have breast cancer, and while the UK has one of the lowest breast cancer survival rates in Western Europe, as many as 12,000 women will lose their lives. The two charities jointly identified that patients diagnosed with secondary breast cancer, for a number of reasons, can also often experience a poorer standard of care in comparison with treatment provided when diagnosed with primary breast cancer. Northampton General Hospital worked with the charities to produce the pledge to improve services. Fifty two patients completed the patient experience survey, almost half of our patients who are being treated for secondary breast cancer. The information from the survey helped to identify the actions needed to make improvements. patients are aware of which members of staff are responsible for their care  raising awareness of ongoing clinical trials, and reassuring patients that they have been considered for any trials that they are eligible for The pledge was designed with secondary breast cancer patients in mind; this provides patients and staff with the opportunity to share views on issues that matter to them most through the collection of surveys and delivery of a patient focus groups. The data is then compiled and fed back to hospital staff, where Pledge Partnership staff can identify potential service improvements. Patient representative Tamsin Douce explained: “I’d like to think that patients’ voices have been heard. It’s the start, but certainly not the end. We’ve done the pledge, but it shouldn’t stop there. People can still add to it, they can come back with ideas. “I’ve noticed little differences already, where staff are introducing themselves - it’s much more appropriate. If you have anything written that you don’t understand, information is provided or we are signposted to information that will explain.” Patient Diane Moulds said: “Many of the pledges will meet my needs, mainly the continuity between patient and doctor. Also, knowing that Ruth is there is just amazing. I can ring her and ask a question, she will talk to the consultant and find out for me and also do anything for me to make me feel more at home. That is very comforting.” Susanna Glover from Breast Cancer Now said: “There are only around 30 people in Ruth’s position in the country; many hospitals do not have a single point of contact for breast cancer patients, and their key contact will be their oncologist, who they cannot just call for support if they are having a bad day. “It’s really important for patients to have someone like Ruth who can help co-ordinate things and help explain what an oncologist has said. If a patient is worried or concerned about anything, they have in Ruth an expert who is trained in the area of secondary breast cancer.” Our work to improve secondary breast cancer services is heavily dependent on the involvement of our patients. One patient in particular - Maria-Trinidad Crake, more usually known as Trini - was committed to sharing her experience with us so we could identify improvements. Trini worked alongside patient representative Tamsin, pictured above. Sadly, Trini was not well enough to attend the launch of the pledge and has since passed away. We would like to extend our sincere condolences to Trini’s family.

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

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:


Insight ❘ 31

Win free theatre tickets

New adaptation of Kipling classic The Jungle Book takes to Royal stage for Christmas A vivid new adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s family classic The Jungle Book will be staged at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate this Christmas from Tuesday 28 November to Sunday 31 December 2017, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Kipling’s birth. A wild and funny story of family, belonging and identity, this world premiere production is packed with memorable characters, new songs and brilliant storytelling. The well-loved tale sees Mowgli the man cub battle for survival in a heart-warming coming of age story about a boy raised by wolves in the jungle. With the help of his animal friends including Bagheera the panther, Baloo the bear and Kaa the python, Mowgli outwits the tiger Shere Khan and learns the law of the jungle. This vibrant new musical version of The Jungle Book is part of Royal & Derngate’s Made in Northampton season. A co-production with Children’s Touring Partnership, it will take to Northampton’s Royal stage from Tuesday 28 November to Sunday 31 December, before embarking on a major national tour. Promising to be the perfect

festive entertainment for all ages, tickets are priced from £10 to £30* and can be booked by calling Box Office on 01604 624811 or online at Made in Northampton is sponsored by Michael Jones Jeweller. * 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 a family ticket for four (max two adults), answer the questions below. Send your entry to arrive by Wednesday 22 November 2017 to or by post to Insight Editior, Communications Department, Northampton General Hospital, Cliftonville, Northampton NN1 5BD. Please include a daytime telephone number with your entry. 1. Who won the Outstanding Contribution category in this year’s Best Possible Care awards? 2. Name the two air ambulance charities featured in this edition of Insight.

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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