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Summer 2013 Issue 47

FaRgaEziE ne m


g n u s n ‘u , n y L ’ hedrmoore an » s r a t s r u of o WIN

Free tickets to

To Sir, With Love – SEE BACK PAGE

Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust




4 News of our nursing conference and also partnership working with KGH 5 A definite date for your diary, as we announce the NGH FESTIVAL – free fun for all the family! 6 Life-saving HOME MONITORS not only correct abnormal heart rhythms – they can get on the phone to tell us if you have a problem.



14 Our new Botox treatment could help sufferers of CHRONIC MIGRAINES 16 Meet surgical care practitioner LYN LUXTON, our ‘unsung hero’ at the NGH Star Awards 19 More of our stars featured in this round-up of winners and runners-up from this year’s STAR AWARDS


24 Another challenging year – facts and figures from our annual report in the 2012/13 REVIEW

Welcome to our Summer edition of Insight, as always packed full of the hospital’s news stories and pictures – and, as always, designed and printed at no cost to the NHS or you.

Recently our posting of the home birth team’s get together with local mums and babies (see page nine) attracted a record number of views. The page has also helped to successfully reunite a toddler with her lost toy bunny, which went missing on her trip with mum to the hospital. So social media does have its uses! Just type in Northampton General Hospital to find us on Facebook, and let us know what you think – maybe give us a like? As ever we would really welcome your views about our Insight magazine, particularly how you think we can continue to improve it. Peter Kennell Editor

9 Our HOME BIRTH TEAM celebrate their third birthday with a get-together at Abington Park 10 We focus on the work of staff at Isebrook Hospital’s HAZELWOOD WARD


For those who can’t wait until the next issue - you might like to know that NGH also has a Facebook page. Along with our website, it’s where we can keep you more up-to-date with news of what’s happening in our world.

8 Read some of the nice things people have been saying about us, here in PATIENT PRAISE and online

26 Comings, goings, accolades – a round-up of some NGH PEOPLE 29 Meet DAVID BETTS, our new hospital chaplain 30 Your gifts to our CHARITABLE FUND help us do that little bit more for patients


33 Read about the new Essure procedure which promises a quicker, non-invasive form of female STERILISATION


34 Our NEWS ROUND-UP features a new robot – and praise for staff from our local MP 36 Announcements, diversions on the Insight NOTICEBOARD 37 Find your way to departments and wards with the WAYFINDING MAP



Insight, the magazine for NGH patients, visitors and the local community is published every three months by Northampton General Hospital Communications, Cliftonville, Northampton NN1 5BD. Insight is available online at www. where you can also read all our back issues (go to About Us, Documents and publications) Editor: Peter Kennell 01604 523871 ( Photos: Medical Illustration 01604 545251 Advertising: Octagon Design & Marketing 01909 478822

38 Read about NGH times gone by in FROM THE ARCHIVE 40 Win tickets to see To Sir, With Love in our Royal & Derngate COMPETITION

It’s a Free for All! Insight is a free magazine, and we encourage our patients and visitors to take one home with our compliments. Please pass it on to a friend or relative when you have read it. Insight doesn’t cost the hospital anything either, as the print and design are provided free of charge in return for the revenue from advertisers. No NHS or charitable donations are used to fund its production.


Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

What we do Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust provides general acute services for a population of 380,000 and hyper-acute stroke, vascular and renal services to people living throughout the whole of Northamptonshire, a population of 684,000. The Trust is also an accredited cancer centre and provides cancer services to a wider population of 880,000 who live in Northamptonshire and parts of Buckinghamshire.


Chief nursing officer attends NGH conference Over 150 of our nurses and midwives attended this year’s NGH Nursing and Midwifery Conference, where Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer for England, was the key speaker.

In addition to the main hospital site, which is located close to Northampton town centre, the Trust also provides services at the following sites in the county:

In her CNO role Jane is the professional lead for nurses and midwives in England, and oversees quality improvements in patient safety and patient experience.

◗ Danetre Hospital in Daventry: Outpatients, day surgery and in-patient rehabilitation ◗ Isebrook Hospital in Wellingborough: In-patient rehabilitation services ◗ Corby Community Hospital: In-patient rehabilitation services

She presented to the NGH conference on the subject of ‘Compassion in Practice’ - the new vision for nurses, midwives and care staff – and encouraged staff to take the lead, get involved, and make a difference to the patients and people they care for.

We provide the full range of outpatients, diagnostics, inpatient and day case elective and emergency care and also a growing range of specialist treatments that distinguishes our services from many district general hospitals.

Our vision and aims Our vision is to provide the very best care for all of our patients. This requires NGH to be recognised as a hospital that delivers safe, clinically effective acute services focused entirely on the needs of the patient, their relatives and carers. These services may be delivered from our acute or community hospital sites or by our staff in the community. The Trust’s prime focus is to provide excellent care for our patients, regardless of the setting where this is undertaken. In order to achieve our vision, the Trust has set out these aims: ◗ Be a provider of quality care for all our patients ◗ Enhance our range of hyper acute services for the wider community ◗ Provide appropriate care for our patients in the most effective way ◗ Foster a culture where staff can give their best and thrive ◗ Ensure we invest wisely to make improvements in care

Who we are Chairman Paul Farenden | Interim chief executive Christine Allen | Interim chief operating officer Clive Walsh | Medical director Dr Sonia Swart | Director of nursing, midwifery and patient services Suzie Loader | Acting director of finance Andrew Foster | Director of facilities and capital development Charles Abolins | Director of strategy and partnerships Chris Pallot | Director of workforce and transformation Janine Brennan | Non-executive directors Graham Kershaw, David Noble, Nick Robertson, Liz Searle, Phil Zeidler.

Contact us NGH all departments: 01604 634700 Website:


Jane Cummings (left) with NGH director of nursing Suzie Loader

Jane also talked about the 6 ‘C’s - Care, Compassion, Competence, Communication, Courage and Commitment - values and behaviours that are at the heart of the vision and all that nurses do.

KGH partnership work is under way Many NGH clinicians and senior managers have been actively involved in working on the Healthier Together programme, a review of acute hospital services across the South East Midlands that was set up in summer 2011. The next phase of this programme is being taken forward locally, and Northampton and Kettering general hospitals announced in January their intention to look at ways of working more closely together, up to and including a full merger. We are now working with our colleagues at Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, plus NHS Nene and Corby clinical commissioning groups, to ensure high quality patient services can continue to be provided to people living in the county. Our aim is to ensure this

work proceeds at a pace that reflects local issues and ensures service provision meets the needs of the communities served. We are pleased to announce that NGH director Chris Pallot (pictured) has been seconded to lead the work looking at the services provided across the two hospitals and seeing

whether there is scope for change in response to the commissioning strategy. His counterpart at KGH, Mike Smeeton, will be leading the work to ensure there is a clear commissioning strategy for acute care in the county and undertake a public consultation on it.

The challenges that face our services ◗ A population that is increasing ◗ People are living longer ◗ Shortages of skilled and experienced clinicians in key disciplines, including A&E and maternity services ◗ The NHS – in common with all UK public services – is under financial constraint


We’re having a Festival! Put the date in your diary now – Saturday 14 September is when we’ll be holding our NGH Festival. The Trust’s Annual General Meeting will take place on that date at 11.00am – followed by an afternoon of live music, competitions, demonstrations and displays on the main car park. We’re also aiming to open a few of our departments so visitors can get to see what happens behind normally closed hospital doors. There will be lots of free activities and no charge for parking, so do come along between 12 noon and 4pm for a fun afternoon. We’ll be finalising the programme over the coming weeks, so please check our website nearer the day for more details of what’s on where. Go to and follow the link from the homepage.

…and also a choir! We’re also planning to set up our own NGH choir, along the lines of the choir from Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust who made it through to the finals of the BBC series ‘Sing while you work’ last year.

our practice evenings every Tuesday, 7pm 9pm in the boardroom at NGH, starting 4th June. Or email us at for more information.

Already on board to help us is Kerry Petherbridge, who until recently was musical director of the Military Wives Choir in Dishforth, West Yorkshire, and has recently moved back to Northampton. We’re aiming for a choir of about 50 people, and are currently inviting interested staff to get in touch with us. Membership will be open to anyone working in healthcare in the county, so if that includes you why not come along to

Our commissioners, Nene clinical commissioning group, are keen to involve people in the decisions they make about local health services. Details of all local and national consultations that you can respond to are posted on their website ( and currently these include:

Re-provision of respite care and health checks for people with neurodegenerative conditions

Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust choir

New pool room for the labour ward Our new midwife led unit will be completed later this year, offering more choice for women in where to give birth. Meanwhile have a look at our brand new pool room, one of several changes we’re making to the existing labour ward.

Have your say on local health services

The only provision for Northamptonshire is at Favell House and currently provides respite for residents in Northampton through the provision of 10 beds. We have developed proposals that we believe will provide an enhanced service for users, and would like to understand what local people think about these proposals.

Community podiatry service Community podiatry services currently provide care for individuals in Northamptonshire. We have developed proposals about how people could receive these services in the future and would like to understand what local people think about these proposals. Midwife Susie Thresher shows off the new pool, which she is quite excited about. “The pool helps to calm and relax the women, and there’s more room for them to move around. It can be used for pain relief during labour as well as the actual birth. I enjoy pool births and I’m really looking forward to using this new one.”

In each case you can read the full consultation documents on the Nene CCG website, and also give your opinion online. Both consultations run until 4 July.



The doctor is in – but you can be miles away Life-saving gadgets not only correct abnormal heart rhythms, they can now get on the phone to tell us if you have a problem… Living with heart disease can be frightening, but over 200 NGH patients with a life-threatening condition now have the reassurance of being monitored from the comfort of their own home by our cardiology team. Since 2008 doctors at the NGH heart centre have fitted patients suffering from arrhythmia (fast or irregular heartbeat) with devices known as implantable cardiac defibrillators, or ICDs. The small devices provide continuous monitoring and - if a dangerous and potentially life-threatening heart rate is detected – can send a small, painless electrical signal to correct it, and if that fails they can

give a shock to reset the heart electrics. Now however those patients fitted with ICDs are also given a home monitor that automatically downloads data from the device and transmits it over a phone line to a computer in the hospital’s heart centre. It means that patients can attend a ‘virtual’ clinic with the doctor instead of having to travel to the hospital for every check-up. They only need to come in if any problems are detected. Consultant cardiologist Dr Jon Timperley said: “It’s a brilliant system. Whereas before ICD patients had to come and see us every three

Patients are generally given a home monitor at their check-up six weeks after an ICD implant. Here Dennis Humphries from Braunston picks up his monitor from consultant cardiologist Dr Jon Timperley, and cardiac physiologists Fiona Hailes and Sarah Hatch. The home monitor automatically downloads data from the ICD when it is in range, and transmits it to the hospital. Home monitors are also supplied to patients who have been fitted with other devices in order to diagnose their condition.

The small defibrillators - the size of a pocket watch - are implanted in a patient’s chest just below their collarbone, connected by electrodes to the heart, and can correct a dangerously fast heart rate when it is detected. Fabrice Muamba, the now retired footballer whose heart stopped during an FA Cup match in 2012, has been fitted with one of these devices.


months, now we can follow them up by home monitored assessments, and only see them in clinic once a year – really just to check whether they have any questions for us, and to have a two-way chat.

The home monitors are really good, and we haven’t found any negative aspects to their use.

“Home monitoring is a lot quicker, and it picks things up earlier that we would not have spotted until the patient was next in clinic. Patients like it because it saves them time, and they don’t have the travelling and parking costs of coming to hospital so often.” Each ICD costs around £15,000 and buying in bulk means the hospital is able to obtain the home monitors free as part of the contract with the supplier, so no extra cost is involved in providing

the monitoring service. Dr Timperley added: “The home monitors are really good, and we haven’t found any negative aspects to their use. I was concerned initially about how patients might react, but we have found that people are reassured by them, and feel that they have more control. Everyone seems to benefit.” Trudie Lobban, of Arrhythmia Alliance, the heart rhythm charity, agrees. “Remote monitors make such a difference to people’s lives. We’re told it’s like having your own doctor 24/7,” she says. “Any time you are worried, you can phone the hospital and get them to download the relevant data to see exactly what’s happening.”

Home monitoring benefits ◗ Saves time for both patients and clinicians ◗ Provides peace of mind for patients ◗ Allows patients to have checks performed from the comfort of their own home – however far from the hospital they live ◗ Saves on unnecessary hospital transport costs and inconvenience ◗ Improves efficiency of the follow up services ◗ Allows clinicians more time to spend on new patients without compromising the service already provided ◗ No additional cost to the NHS



Fantastic service at DVT clinic

My follow-up today was just as efficient and thorough. I was taken to one side and again time was generously given to talk through exciting new medication that will help me. My particular thanks to ‘Wen and Gill at the department. They personify everything I think nursing excellence is all about. They are caring, professional, knowledgeable, efficient and

Wen Pople and Gill Askens

sympathetic. And they have a healthy sense of humour that is always welcome in these circumstances. My thanks to them, the DVT department and the management at NGH for creating the right atmosphere for professionals like these to thrive. David Orr

Gratitude to all who dealt with shocking injury I would like to extend my thanks and extreme gratitude to all who dealt with Kieran’s shocking injury. Thank you to the paramedic on the rugby pitch, the ambulance crew, the staff on A&E. Thank you also to Mr Potter and his surgical team. If it weren’t for their grit and determination I am sure he would not have made it through. Thank you also to the staff on ITU who were excellent in both their communication, compassion and level of care administered. Thank you also to the nurses and staff on both

Willow and Hawthorn wards for aiding in his quick recovery and subsequent discharge from hospital. All in all a very positive, informative and caring experience. Got free parking too, so that can’t be bad! Kieran is continuing to make a good recovery and is itching to get back to work, get back behind the wheel and get to the gym! My wife and I have both now signed up to the blood donors register, and will be also signing up to organ donation. Shaun O’Connor

Willow ward staff were a delight Having been discharged from the Willow ward on Saturday I felt that I must write and congratulate all the excellent members of that ward’s staff that I encountered during my short stay. Also for the excellent treatment that I received, and witnessed being administered to all the other patients. The atmosphere in the whole ward was extremely friendly and reassuring, and they displayed the highest level of care that anyone


Many of our patients and their relatives are kind enough to take the time to compliment hospital staff and volunteers on the standards of service and care they provide. We really appreciate all your comments and publish many of them on our website. Here are some brief extracts from others we have received recently.

I have just completed my second recent visit to the Haematology/DVT clinic at NGH. What a fantastic service! Corporate companies talk a lot about customer care – but the team here can teach most a thing or two. I was initially seen quickly and comprehensively tested. My problem (a blood clot in the leg) was speedily diagnosed and the implications calmly and thoroughly explained. I have just been made redundant from a senior sales job and the shock news of my medical condition was a second blow. They recognised my struggle with this second blow and took time to help me work through the news and most importantly helped me understand that this is highly treatable.

Patient praise

could wish for. Even the cleaners were a delight to be around, and staff delivering our daily bread. Although my visit was not for the most pleasurable reason it was certainly a most pleasurable delight to meet the staff of Willow ward. Well done Willow ward staff, keep up your excellent work. The NHS at its very best! Stan Chalker

◗ My family and I are celebrating our own "anniversary" this year, as it was 25 years ago I was admitted with periocarditis - dehydrated unable to swallow. Too ill to be moved from your intensive care unit, I survived my operation after much prayer and the skill of the surgeon and theatre staff. I want to say a big thank-you for all the care and attention I received in those six weeks with you. God performed a miracle through you all, and I have been able to enjoy 25 years of retirement. ◗ In all my treatment for chronic ulceration I have never had cause for complaint, and the dermatology staff just seem to be getting better and better. The treatment has been excellent and I have complete confidence and great respect for all the staff. I appreciate the care and treatment very much because it not only alleviates a problem but enables me to carry on with my life interests, ◗ At a time when the NHS is being criticised following what happened at Mid Staffordshire, I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks for the way my mother was cared for at NGH. She was well looked after and felt comforted and reassured. We were kept informed at all stages and impressed by the quality of care exhibited by all who looked after her. Sadly, she died on Wednesday, but this was despite the very best efforts of all involved in her care. Well done NGH and thank you once again. ◗ When my 82 year-old father needed an operation under general anaesthetic, the surgeons and anaesthetists explained clearly, but extremely sensitively, the risks he would be facing and gave him and us every opportunity to ask questions. Words cannot express the gratitude we feel towards the staff at the hospital who all shared in the care of my father. Thank you most sincerely, See more at If you would like to share your positive comments, please get in touch with us - email


Home birth team celebrate third birthday Some of your comments… ◗ What a wonderful photo, no wonder you all look so happy and proud. And what beautiful babies Well done all....... ◗ I had both my babies at home it is a wonderful team xx

Posting this picture on the NGH Facebook page attracted over 10,000 views in a little over 48 hours – a hospital record – and led to many satisfied users of the home birth service adding their praise for the team (see panel).

Our award-winning team of home birth midwives celebrated a birthday of their own when they reached a three-year milestone in April. The celebration was held at the bandstand in Abington Park, with some of the many parents and children that have used their service.

ward. It can make it a lovely experience for all of us. The team go above and beyond for you to make you feel relaxed. They all deserve a medal for their efforts.”

◗ the home birth team was brilliant when i had my son 5 weeks ago x thankyou!!xx ◗ A fantastic team. I had my daughter at home 20months ago, and would recommend them to anyone :o) ◗ had both my babies at home and like we always said... Best call we ever made :) x much love and respect to u all x x thank u :)

The team has so far delivered nearly 900 babies at a rate of up to 30 per month - including Earl Spencer’s youngest daughter in July 2012. Home births make up about seven per cent of all deliveries in the NGH area, three times higher than the national average. The team won a Royal College of Midwives national award in 2011 for their work in offering women a greater choice in childbirth.

◗ a great bunch of women especially tracey who wasnt just a midwife but part of the family b4, during and after. We o her 4 our healthy son. ◗ Super team of hardworking, passionate and beautiful women! So proud to have been a small part of the team and so grateful for experiencing it on ‘the other side’. Truly amazing

One of the mums at the celebration, Beverly Yiangou, from Kingsthorpe, Northampton, has given birth at home five times, three times with the help of the NGH team. She told the Chronicle & Echo that she prized the comfort and safety of her familiar surroundings at what can be a stressful time, and says she would recommend it to anyone. “The whole family have been there sometimes, which you obviously can’t have in a hospital

◗ Fantastic work the home birth team do. 2nd pregnancy was an unexpected home birth. Thanks for the support, 3rd pregnancy definitely another home birth xxx

◗ My home birth was the best... Its fantastic that more babies are being born at home in Northampton - well done all the parents and midwives

Beverly Yiangou

◗ Fantastic team, I will never forget your support xx



Some of our readers may be surprised to learn that the NGH site is not the only one on which we provide services. We also manage a day surgery unit and out-patient department at Danetre Hospital in Daventry, plus three inpatient wards across the county – one at Danetre, one in Corby, and the other at Isebrook Hospital in Wellingborough. We plan to feature all of them in turn in Insight, starting with a look here at Hazelwood Ward, Isebrook Hospital.

Caring closer to home Focus on Hazelwood - one of our community hospital wards The primary focus of the beds at our community hospitals is to provide care closer to home for patients who do not need the acute medical services of a district general hospital. Patients may be transferred from an acute hospital (Kettering or Northampton) for a period of rehabilitation before returning home, or in some cases admitted directly from the community because it is

more appropriate for their needs than an acute hospital. Hazelwood ward at Isebrook Hospital provides physical rehabilitation for both male and female adult patients. It is a 34 bed ward, containing four bays of six beds as well as single rooms. Nursing staff, doctors and permanent therapists are employed

by NGH, with additional rotational physiotherapists and occupational therapists – plus input from dietetics, podiatry, and speech and language therapy – being provided by Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust (NHFT). It is a similar arrangement to NGH itself, with the ward also having its own allocated care manager to work with the team on arranging discharges.

Having relatives visit is an integral part of someone’s rehabilitation, so if it’s easier to visit they are likely to come more often. (L-r) Debbie Emmans, Dr Malathi Suppiah, physiotherapist Sophie McGarity, staff nurse Wendy Chapman, Rosemary Cairns, Annabel Chesser, Pat Cataldo.


Most patients tend to be elderly although the ward will accept anybody over the age of 18 if they can meet their needs. Community hospitals service manager Rosemary Cairns says: “The idea is to provide people with care nearer home, so patients living in the east of the county would come here to Isebrook, in the west of the county to Danetre, and in the north of the county to Corby. Having relatives visit is an integral part of someone’s rehabilitation, so if it’s easier to visit they are likely to come more often. I think it’s good that a lot of the staff live close by too, as they have a personal interest in the hospital and it helps to give a real local feel.” The ward takes patients who have rehabilitation potential - that is, those who have both the physical capability and the motivation to fully participate in a programme of rehabilitation. The ward does not look after patients who need more the specialist treatments available at a general hospital, but is better equipped to provide the appropriate care and rehabilitation for patients who no longer need acute care. The environment is less noisy, less busy, and staff have more time to spend with people to help them get back to the levels of independence they had before they became unwell. The ward has a team of therapists and its own small gym to help patients build up their strength.

In some ways, the ward is like a smaller version of a general hospital, but in other ways it feels quite different.

Six of the beds have recently been designated for use as ‘stage two’ stroke beds, which means that Hazelwood (and Danetre too) can now provide specialist rehab care for patients who have had a stroke. Patients who have been treated at the general hospital immediately following their stroke will now be able to continue their rehab closer to home much earlier than before. Three additional staff have been taken on to provide extra therapy for these patients – a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, and a therapy support worker – plus more input from the supporting NHFT staff. Rosemary adds: “In some ways, the ward is like a smaller version of a general hospital, but in other ways it feels quite different. We are good at working with other organisations and agencies because, not having all the facilities of a general hospital, we have had to be more selfsufficient. There’s much closer working between community hospitals and NGH now, and there’s much greater appreciation on both sides of what the other does.” >>

Pat Cataldo has been Hazelwood ward sister since January. Originally from Rome, she trained and worked as a nurse in Italy before getting married and coming to England. After raising her son and daughter she missed her nursing career, and a friend encouraged her to return to it. Pat says: “I went to work as a healthcare assistant in the Orchard unit at Rushden Hospital while I completed my return to practice programme. I worked here for ten days and I loved it, so at the first opportunity I applied for a job here.” Pat has been here since 2005 and, despite the pressures of being responsible for 34 patients and 32 staff, clearly enjoys her work and is passionate about it. “Patient care is my priority, and I ensure it is the priority of my staff too. Every morning I discuss and plan the care of poorly patients with my coordinator. I cover the ward if staff are sick, support the younger staff, then at lunchtime I’ll go into my office to do the managerial work. When the paperwork is done I’ll be on the ward again because patients and relatives like to see the sister, and I like to be there to reassure them. I introduce myself to new patients and I always tell the relatives to contact me if they have any concerns. We get some lovely thank you letters and cards, saying how approachable the staff are, and how clean and calm the ward is.”



Georgina Byrne and Debbie Green check on patient Graham Parr’s progress

Physiotherapist Georgina Byrne has worked in both acute hospitals and community hospitals since qualifying in 2008, and is just completing an eight-month rotation at Hazelwood. She says: “All of the units are different, and here it is mainly elderly rehabilitation with some neurological involvement too. It is interesting because you get a wide variety of patients, there’s a lot to do and you are never bored. Our aim is to get people as mobile as possible, and that involves all the staff working together to get the best results for the patient.”

Staff nurse Annabel Chesser with patient Rosina Lowe


Occupational therapist Debbie Green also qualified in 2008 and works countywide, and although she has just started her rotation, she has worked at Hazelwood before. Debbie says: “There’s a real sense of reward in getting people back and enabling them to be independent in their own life and that’s what our goals are in occupational therapy. You see patients come in unable to walk or do their normal daily activities, and then have the privilege of going home with them and seeing how they cope there for themselves. That’s really amazing.” Staff nurse Annabel Chesser has been a nurse for 37 years, and first worked at Isebrook after getting married and settling in Wellingborough. Although she has also worked at Kettering General Hospital, she has worked here for the last 15 years. Annabel says: ‘I enjoy care of the elderly and that’s always been my speciality. We have more time to give them here than in an acute hospital. We can plan their discharge, and we can become well acquainted with their families and home set-up, so we generally build up a very good relationship. It’s nice to see patients, who may have come to us very frail, not being able to walk, regain some of their independence and be able to go home. Even though many think when they come here that they won’t be able to do it, we do have a lot of success. There’s a lot of satisfaction in that and it’s very rewarding.”

Healthcare assistant Debbie Emmans says: “I enjoy working here, it’s a nice small hospital and there are still people working here from when I was here years ago, before I had my children. It’s like a little family. The relatives and patients can get used to seeing the same faces here, which is good. We get the patients up in the morning, toilet them, make sure they have regular drinks, help with feeding, generally caring and keeping them as well as we can. I’ve always liked this sort of work. I talk with the relatives, have a joke with the patients, and they like that. Some of them don’t have people to speak to so it’s nice for them. A lot of patients don’t like to leave here so we must be doing something right!”



Dr Paul Davies

Botox treatment could help sufferers of chronic migraines Northampton General Hospital is now providing a new treatment, consisting of multiple injections of Botox, for a specific type of migraine called chronic migraine. The treatment was approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) last year, and NGH is now one of few specialist headache centres in the country offering the service to patients – many of whom are reporting an improvement in their condition. Consultant neurologist Dr Paul Davies said: “It won’t help everyone, but it’s a welcome new treatment we’re very pleased to offer here. It’s not for people who have occasional or even bad attacks of migraine, but for a specific type called chronic migraine. That is defined as having headache on 15 or more days of the month, and eight or more of those days with migraine.” Before being considered for Botox treatment, patients must also have tried three types of migraine

I was a bit dubious about this new treatment at first, but it has made so much difference.


prevention pill each over a couple of months without success. Appropriate potential patients are referred to the NGH clinic by their GP, and the treatment is then offered to those who meet NICE guidelines and are deemed suitable. Dr Davies said: “It involves one session of 31 injections into the scalp, neck and across the shoulders with a very small needle, and takes about 15 minutes. I sometimes say to people it’s a bit like a very heavy session of acupuncture. After a couple of weeks or so quite a few people find their migraine seems to be settling. We often don’t know the full extent of the benefit for about three months, but unless they have had a side effect which is rare, a second set of injections would then be given.”

Migraine sufferer Jackie Brown

been approved by NICE, and is the only treatment that is actually licensed for chronic migraine.

If those injections don’t work then the treatment will be discontinued, but for those who are successful – who return to less frequent migraines and experience a 30 per cent reduction in headache days – it will continue to be provided every three to six months, although it should not be considered a treatment for life.

Northampton is currently the only centre in the area to be offering this treatment (the nearest other one is in Oxford) and one of the few district general hospitals in the country. In fact NGH was a teaching centre for training other doctors in how to carry out the treatment. Around 60 people have been treated here in the first three months, one of them being Jackie Brown, a 45-year-old mother of two from Milton Keynes.

The treatment was discovered by accident some years ago when people who had Botox for cosmetic reasons reported that it seemed to be helping with their headaches. Because it is a muscle relaxant, it was first tested with tension headache – but it did not help with this condition or any other form of headache except chronic migraine. It has subsequently been through the largest clinical trial ever been undertaken in chronic migraine,

Jackie said: “I’ve suffered with chronic migraine since my youngest daughter was born 11 years ago. I tried all the tablets but had horrendous side-effects and nothing worked for me. I was taking time off work and I feel my children suffered because often I was unable to do anything. I was a bit dubious about this new treatment at first, but it has made so much difference. I’m able to work and function normally, and it’s completely changed my life.”

Do you suffer with chronic migraine? If you are having headache on 15 or more days of the month, and eight or more of those days with migraine, you may be suitable for this new treatment. Speak to your GP for advice about whether a referral would be appropriate. The treatment is really for the very difficult end of the migraine spectrum, so it is very important that we offer it only to those who are suitable. Many people with chronic migraine take lots of painkillers which can itself lead to medication overuse headache. However they might still be suitable for this treatment provided we’ve considered medication overuse and have addressed that problem. For more information about migraine visit or search for The Migraine Trust on Facebook.

INSIGHT â?˜ 15


Caring Lyn is our unsung hero Surgical care practitioner Lyn Luxton was the winner of our ‘Unsung Hero’ award at this year’s NGH Star Awards. Nominated by her colleagues for being caring and enthusiastic in her role, Lyn is a vital part of consultant orthopaedic surgeon David Gidden’s team. She reviews patients in his clinics and participates in his operating lists, as well as performing minor hand surgery. One example of Lyn’s caring nature, mentioned on her award nomination, concerned a patient in her eighties who had come in for surgery which unfortunately had to be cancelled. Living on her own, and expecting to be in hospital for some time, the lady had cleared her cupboards and fridge of food, and had no-one to go shopping for her. Lyn went out and bought some essential items. She said: “It’s horrible to have to cancel someone on the day

Lyn being presented with her award


of surgery, but I thought this lady in particular needed our help. I’ve since been with her to appointments in other departments so that we can help sort out her other medical issues before she returns to us for surgery. She’s a real character and I’ve learned all sorts of things from her. I think that there are a lot over eighties like her who perhaps don’t get the opportunity to talk about the fascinating lives they have led. I am particularly fond of the older generation and enjoy being involved in their care as well as taking the opportunity to have a chat.” Lyn, who joined NGH in 2001, has been a surgical care practitioner since 2008, having studied at masters level to perform the role. She performs surgery on patients who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s a condition which comes on - sometimes quite suddenly - for a variety of reasons. Symptoms

can include tingling, numbness and pain around the hand and fingers. Sleep is often disturbed due to the symptoms, which may improve with a change of position or by shaking the hand. The aim of the procedure is to take the pressure off the nerve in the palm of the hand. Patients are awake when they have their surgery under local anaesthetic. Afterwards they have a cup of tea and discuss their aftercare with the ward staff prior to discharge, with the whole visit generally taking no more than two hours. Once the swelling and tenderness have settled down, a few weeks after the operation, patients often benefit from a significant improvement in symptoms. Feedback from patients is good, and waiting time for the surgery is low. David Gidden describes Lyn as the friendly face, the patientcentred part of the service. “She has the inclination to go the extra mile with patients. She has time to step back at times and do things that make it nicer for them, and act on their behalf.” Allaying anxieties is a key part of Lyn’s role. “I’m there with the patients if they are anxious. I can support people who have needle phobias, I can answer additional questions and ensure that patients feel adequately prepared. Every patient who has minor surgery under Mr Gidden’s care is given my telephone number and I’m available if they need advice. Patients appreciate having a point of contact.”

Lyn is currently completing a dissertation for her masters degree and, although the possibility of further study has been discussed, for now she wants to spend more time riding her bicycle and gardening. Using the hospital’s salary sacrifice scheme she has bought “the most beautiful mountain bike” which she enjoys riding in Salcey Forest, and can also use to get to work cross-country – although she doesn’t like riding it in the wet in case it gets muddy! She is a keen gardener, enjoying growing everything from fruit and vegetables to flowering plants – being a big fan of hellebores. Lyn also has a passion for rock music which she likes loud and live! News of her award drew praise from many of her patients, one of whom said: “Lyn was honest, kind, funny, and excellent at settling my anxieties. Well done!” Staff also added their congratulations, with one saying: “You make everyone at work cheerful as I have never seen you without a smiling face. It’s like a tonic!” Lyn concluded: “It was a real honour to be nominated and, for once, I was lost for words! It was a super lunch and a really good opportunity to learn about the brilliant work which goes on around NGH. We should all be proud of what we achieve together.”

Read about more of our Star Award winners on the following pages…

Lyn performing surgery in theatre

INSIGHT â?˜ 17

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Meet some of our stars Every year we recognise some of the hospital’s ‘stars’ at a special award ceremony to celebrate staff who go the extra mile for patients. Here are all this year’s winners and runners-up with extracts from their nominations. Improving the Patient Experience Award

Mark Hillyard,

Porter, In-Patient Physiotherapy


“If I mention a reluctant patient to Mark he will approach them with sensitivity and encouragement and gain consent when others have failed. Recently Mark’s approach persuaded a patient to get into a wheelchair to go home with the ambulance service when a previous crew had gone away because the patient was adamant that she wouldn’t go with them. Many times I have seen a patient who normally sits with minimal response, smile and even wave when they see Mark again.”

Stroke Pathway Team

Deborah Smith, Hair & Beauty

“Since the introduction of the new model for the countywide delivery of stroke services within Northamptonshire the staff involved in the delivery of the stroke services have significantly improved services for patients. They have transformed the service by taking a multi-disciplinary approach to stroke care throughout the pathway. These changes have combined to improve the quality of care to stroke patients which is evident in the steadily improving rating in the Royal College of Physicians – Stroke Improvement National Audit Programme (SINAP). The Organisational Audit now has NGH in the top quartile for the whole country.”

Co-ordinator, Oncology

“The knowledge and skills Debbie has are incredible and her empathy for the patients is lovely, they do really love her. This is obvious by all the thank you cards given and sometimes the odd box of well-deserved chocolates. I have been close to tears a few times when you see the ladies in particular leave Debbie, with their heads held high feeling empowered and ready to start their journeys and looking like their old selves!” Debbie said: “I was very touched. I’ve had lots of patients come up to me and say well done, and it’s made me realise that the job that I do has been appreciated. A colleague told me about the Facebook comments from patients and relatives, and that brought a tear to my eye when I looked at them. “It is a rewarding job. You see people so distressed initially, but then when they come back and tell me what they have been up to, and about all the nice comments they have had, you see a completely different person. That’s what makes my day.”



Innovation Award

Patient Safety Award

Mandy Massey, Service

Improvement Facilitator WINNER

Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy Team “The Radiotherapy team have just started delivering a new radiotherapy technique – Stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR). The team were able to further benefit patients by using a unique form of low dose imaging to accurately pinpoint the treatment target, dramatically reducing the radiation doses received by patients. No other centre in the UK is delivering SABR treatment with this form of low dose imaging.”

Hybrid Mail Implementation Team

“The Hybrid Mail team are half way through the implementation of the hybrid mail system which releases a substantial amount of

time for medical secretaries, administrative and post-room staff who would previously have had to print letters, stuff envelopes and collect them for delivery by Royal Mail. By the end of 2012 over 100,000 letters were sent through the system, and the whole project will have saved over £30k by the end of the financial year, and contributed to a much improved working life for medical secretaries and administration staff.”

Our Doctors of Tomorrow - Aspiring to Excellence Programme

“The Junior Doctors Safety Board at NGH is now in its second year and has achieved acclamation in national arenas. The course encourages


medical students to question safety principles and processes in place during a working day, the concept being, ‘we can never be safe enough’. An updated safety strategy for improvement was introduced and implemented in 2012. This course has made a real difference to our hospital today and to the doctors of tomorrow.”

“Mandy works closely with the Strategy Group and the Tissue Viability Nurse to train and educate all staff on the prevention of pressure ulcers and how to identify patients who are at risk. Mandy has been instrumental in developing and co-ordinating a video to demonstrate the Trust’s improvements around pressure ulcer prevention. Mandy is a kind caring person who has at heart the welfare of all patients


suffering from pressure ulcers. Her personal commitment and dedication is an inspiration to us all.”

Jo Jennings, Falls Prevention Co-ordinator “Jo has worked tirelessly with staff to raise their awareness of the need to prevent falls and ensuring an understanding of the causes especially with elderly patients. Jo is truly committed and dedicated to the task of reducing preventable falls within the Trust, which is further enhanced by her caring and compassionate attitude. Jo often works in her own time to undertake her role, working quietly but effectively helping this organisation improve patient safety.”

Celia Warlow, Resuscitation Services Manager “Celia works tirelessly to provide training in resuscitation skill and the recognition of the sick / deteriorating patient. Her willingness to include sepsis training in the basic life support training has definitely contributed towards the success seen around the management of the septic patient. Celia manages the Trust wide Early Warning Score Audit and has developed a new escalation and DNAR proforma. She also organises and leads the local advanced life support course, teaching and examining doctors and nurses for the necessary skills needed to maintain life when cardiac arrest occurs.”

Patient Safety Award

Sustainable Environment Award

Mary Hampson,

Rosalind Dawson,

Ward Clerk, Becket Ward

Domestics Manager


“Mary was asked to assist in the preparation of opening a ward for winter pressures with a tight deadline and dropped everything to come to the other end of the hospital. Her huge knowledge of ward needs was clear from the minute she arrived to help. Mary is full of not only cost saving ideas but ways in which to better the job at hand and she really went above and beyond to assist in our hour of need. Her sense of humour and expertise is always evident, I cannot thank her enough.”

Anthea Clarke, Admin Assistant, Diabetes “Anthea is always there to step in where she is needed to support the secretaries. During a time of uncertainty and threatened job loss often going way beyond her remit in her solid support and willingness to take on extra tasks and help out where ever she is needed. Whenever you have a question Anthea is the one with the answer.”

Dave Smith, IT Infrastructure Team Leader “An outstanding individual who has delivered, supported and assisted all members of staff at all levels for the past 16 years. He has an ability to take on a high volume of work and apply a professional can do approach, helping move along a number of clinical projects. Recently Dave has supported the infrastructure segments for delivering the implementation of the new pharmacy system, new Medcon cardiology system, upgrade to the Documentum service and the new Single Sign on project.”

WINNER “Ros has implemented training of her domestic staff in the basics of sustainability; trying to get messages across about how to save water, electricity and resources. She has also reduced paper towel usage across the Trust by putting up posters to remind staff to minimise the number that they take when drying their hands and has highlighted other areas such as reusing uniforms to reduce wastage.”

Una Strain, Practice Development Nurse, Main Theatres

“Una is a big advocate of recycling, particularly in theatres. She regularly ensures that as much as possible is removed from clinical waste and is separated out for reuse or recycling. Una is always looking to highlight new areas where there are recycling streams to exploit.”

Dan Meakin, Maintenance Technician “Dan has made many suggestions regarding areas of wastage and areas for improvement that he has noticed around the hospital. He also made some changes to the light fittings in one of the lifts as a trial and goes out of his way to make sure that the Energy Manager is informed of any changes he becomes aware of in the operation of the hospital so that lights or heating regimes can be changed.”



Team of the Year Award

Unsung Hero Award

Lyn Luxton,

Surgical Care Practitioner, T&O

Stroke Pathway Team “The delivery of the stroke service at NGH has significantly changed the way they work as both individuals and teams to the increased benefit of the patients. The whole service is now regarded as a pathway which starts in A&E and continues through the hyper WINNER acute unit (Eleanor ward), through the acute stroke beds (Holcot ward) and for some patients into their own home with the Community Stroke Team. They have transformed from being stand-alone teams to taking a multi-disciplinary approach to stroke care throughout the pathway.”

Radiotherapy Radiographers

“The radiotherapy team has maintained a high quality patient focused service. The staff have been flexible, often adjusting working patterns at very short notice in order to deliver a service that meets the needs of patients. The team has continued

to meet the cancer waiting time targets ensuring high levels of productivity are maintained with a focus on quality of patient experience. In addition, a number of new initiatives have commenced during the last year including: high dose rate brachytherapy for prostate patients, Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT), and the department has just treated its first Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy patient placing it at the forefront of the implementation of new treatment techniques.”

Catering Services Menu Office “Joanne and Lorraine have been working together as a team for 7 years. During that time they have been a major force in the development of patient care, achieved through diet. They are very active with patients on a daily basis, carrying out patient visits with a very positive and caring attitude. They are responsible for each and every menu that passes through the catering department, checking diets and, adding extras according to dietician’s instructions. Between them, they ensure that the smooth running of the patient menu service is maintained 365 days a year.”


“Lyn goes out of her way to help anyone. When a patient was cancelled on the elective theatre list and had cleared her cupboards WINNER and fridge of food because she was expecting to be in hospital, Lyn went out and purchased some essential shopping items for this lady as she lived on her own and had no-one to support her. She not only paid for the shopping herself but when hand to look after her. This is this lady returns for another typical of her caring attitude appointment she will be on and not a one-off.”

Chris Field, Site Manager, Operations Centre “Chris always goes over and above his role to ensure A&E is cleared as quickly as possible. He understands that urgent care, patient safety and meeting performance targets are the Trusts key priorities and he will often be found gently persuading staff to discharge patients, clear beds, make beds and be ready to accept the next patient as well as on occasions portering patients himself. He is an exceptional individual and a valued member of the team, if only we could clone him!”

Denise Sweeney, Trauma Co-ordinator, T&O “Denise has worked her entire career at NGH, during this time she worked tirelessly for both her patients and her nursing colleagues. She has always been selfless in her actions, sharing her knowledge and devoting her time to the welfare of her patients, staff and team. Denise has never faltered in her commitment to the department and our patients. Despite working with around 30 orthopaedic consultants and doctors, she has always maintained a professional appearance and most importantly the broadest of smiles.”

The Ken Hughes Award The Ken Hughes Award is presented in memory of the late Ken Hughes, a former Non-Executive Director of the Trust, who was instrumental in developing our Positive about People Awards. This winners, in the opinion of the judging panel, made an outstanding contribution to the Trust and fully embraces the principle of being ‘Positive about People’. In a break with tradition this year the award was given to TWO winners:


Miller, Matron


Darryl North,

Lead Superintendent Radiographer

WINNERS “Pat is someone who remains calm and can be utterly relied on in a crisis. Even when under extreme pressure, she will always ensure that patients and their relatives remain the absolute priority and are given the personal care and compassion they deserve. She can be ‘straight talking’ and ‘says it as it is’. She is a can-do person and someone they can trust as a source of guidance, sound advice and professional leadership.”

“Darryl has worked in the trust for almost 30 years and is well known throughout the hospital. He is highly regarded as someone who has great integrity and never shies away from tackling difficult issues. He is quiet and measured, always sees things through and can be relied on to get things done. He does what he says he’s going to and always delivers. People find Darryl extremely approachable, his calm demeanour is reassuring to his staff and he is totally dedicated and committed to the hospital, his department and the needs of patients.”



◗ 2012/13 REVIEW

2012/13: Another challenging year The year 2012/13 was one in which NGH again faced the combined challenge of financial pressures and increased demand for emergency services, but the hospital also enjoyed some significant achievements. Here is a short summary of performance and a few highlights from the year.

Performance ◗ During 2012/13 NGH achieved the majority of its key national targets. At the same time we were able to achieve a further £10.5m savings, making a total of more than £29m over the past two years of our transformation programme. ◗ The year saw unprecedented levels of demand for our emergency services and there was a significant increase in both A&E attendances and emergency admissions. We still managed to treat, admit or discharge 91.2 per cent of patients within the four-hour standard. A recovery plan and urgent care programme has been implemented to improve the flow of patients through the emergency pathway. ◗ We continued to maintain delivery of the national 18-weeks journey time for the fifth consecutive year. This means that 95 per cent of admitted patients and 90 per cent of non-admitted patients received their first definitive treatment within 18 weeks of referral. ◗ We achieved eight out the nine national cancer treatment targets, including the two-week referral to first outpatient appointment, and the 31-day diagnosis to first treatment. The 85 per cent target for referral to treatment of all cancers within 62 days was missed by two per cent, due partly to patient choice to defer appointments, and complex diagnostic tests. ◗ There were two cases of MRSA bloodstream infections reported during the year against a target of one, and there were 30 C.Difficile infections (down from 52 in the previous year) against a target of 36. ◗ Throughout the year we continued to deliver the target for a maximum six-week wait for diagnostic tests – except for just one patient who did wait longer due to an admin error. We carried out 86,768 tests within the target time. ◗ For the sixth successive year the trust has delivered a financial surplus, with the financial statements showing a surplus of £0.4m.


Our year in numbers 2010/11




Elective inpatients

2012/13 6,702



Day cases




Non-elective admissions




First outpatient attendances




Follow-up outpatient attendances




Outpatient procedures




A&E attendances (excluding minor injuries and illnesses)




GP referrals


2012/13 Review: Some of our highlights ◗ The Northamptonshire vascular service was centralised at NGH from April 2012, and all vascular surgery now takes place at this hospital. An aortic abdominal aneurysm (AAA) screening programme was launched for all men over 65 across the county.

life. The ward, which has a suite of six palliative care rooms, saving many people from the Daventry area a long journey to receive acute care at NGH or to a hospice, was the first in the country to achieve the Gold Standards Framework Quality Hallmark Award.

◗ The Trust continued to develop the county-wide primary stroke centre based at NGH with the development of the early supported discharge (ESD) team and the community stroke rehabilitation team. The thrombolysis service has been extended and will move to a 24/7 service during 2013.

◗ A Northampton man who suffered a heart attack at home made national news headlines following his life-saving treatment at the NGH Heart Centre. Despite being clinically dead for 80 minutes while he was operated upon, John Thomson made a remarkably complete recovery, thanks to the sterling work of our staff and ambulance service paramedics.

◗ The specialist radiotherapy service provided to patients across Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes was expanded. The Trust extended both intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and image guided radiotherapy (IGRT), and also introduced stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) as part of an East Midlands pilot study. This highly accurate treatment delivers very high doses of radiation over a focused area over a much shorter course than traditional radiotherapy treatments. ◗ Additional funding allowed us to further develop the neonatal service. Two additional neonatal consultants were appointed, ensuring that there is a dedicated neonatal team at all times, and additional nurses were appointed to ensure the number of nurses per cot is aligned to new national standards. ◗ NGH was awarded a national Top Hospital award by a leading independent provider of healthcare intelligence. CHKS Ltd recognised the hospital as one of the 40 best performing acute trusts across the UK, based on the evaluation of 23 indicators of clinical effectiveness, health outcomes, efficiency, patient experience and quality of care. ◗ Staff from Cawthorne Ward at Danetre Hospital in Daventry, which is managed by NGH, were presented with a national award recognising their high quality of care for people nearing the end of

◗ A set of standards was introduced for all our outpatient clinics, to help ensure that all clinics provide a consistently good experience for patients. The ten standards being measured include providing a waiting time of less than 30 minutes, displaying patient feedback in the area, and ensuring that correspondence is back with GPs and patients within 10 days. ◗ The findings from the national 2012 Accident and Emergency patient survey showed some encouraging results for NGH, highlighting improvements in cleanliness, privacy and advice given to patients since the previous survey. Since the survey, we have expanded and updated A&E, providing an additional five cubicles, a larger waiting area, and greater privacy at reception. A new system of working has also been introduced to speed up treatment of seriously ill patients, helping to reduce the time taken for ambulance patients to be handed over to the hospital. ◗ NGH was selected and accredited as a trauma unit, and the hospital plays an important role in the new national trauma care network system that ensures the most severely injured patients get the best care as quickly as possible. Local patients with the most complex needs are transferred to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire for a wider range of specialist services. ◗ Healthcare assistant Chris Head was

presented with a national award for Hand Hygiene Champion of 2012 by the Infection Prevention Society. Chris, who also starred in a viral ‘Gangnam-style’ YouTube video to promote handwashing, was awarded the honour for his proactive and enthusiastic teaching of effective hand hygiene - not just to hospital staff, but also to children and adults in his local St John Ambulance group. ◗ A new prostate cancer treatment was introduced, needing just two visits for high dose rate brachytherapy compared with as many as 40 conventional radiotherapy sessions. The new ‘monotherapy’ treatment means that patients’ travel to the hospital is greatly reduced and they can return to normal life more quickly. ◗ A number of our staff were nominated by patients as part of the national NHS Heroes campaign. Certificates were presented to several individuals and wards who had been put forward for ‘going the extra mile’ and being a credit to the hospital. ◗ A newly refurbished room on the NGH labour ward allows bereaved parents to spend time with their baby in quiet and comfortable surroundings away from the clinical area. The new Snowdrop room was provided through the fundraising efforts of Northamptonshire SANDS - the local branch of the national stillbirth and neonatal death charity. ◗ Staff have continued with their voluntary efforts to support healthcare projects overseas, taking part in ventures such as Operation Hernia, and developing services at our own ‘twinned’ hospital at Nandom in Ghana. Two midwives fundraised and volunteered at a maternity hospital in Zimbabwe, a country which has one of the highest number of maternal deaths worldwide. Another of our midwives presented to the Royal College of Midwives annual conference about her trips to the Gambia to help train staff in delivering safer care.




1 3



NGH people Good luck to Penny Slinn who has retired from her role as nurse manager of our Restart team, which provides a range of support services for patients with respiratory disease. Having joined Kettering General Hospital as a 17 year old cadet nurse, Penny became a ward sister, then sister on the intensive care unit, before joining NGH as a founder member of the Restart team in 2000.


Best wishes to Disney ward staff nurse Rae Winch who has retired after a nursing career spent mostly on the night shift. Rae built up some great relationships with her young patients and



their families, and one of many thank-yous came from the mum of a former leukaemia patient who has recently been given the all-clear: “Rae cared for Beth as if she were her own, and we’ll miss her terribly. I am so thankful for having such a lovely lady care for my daughter.” Well done to pre-op assessment healthcare assistant Charlie Preston, who was also nominated as an NHS Hero. Her nomination said: “Charlotte is a very cheerful and caring person, She has a lovely attitude, always puts a smile on the patients face even though they are going through some awful


times. She is always eager to help and is a pleasure to work with.” We welcome Clive Walsh, who has joined us as chief operating officer. He has significant experience in operational management within the acute healthcare sector, having previously worked in a range of hospitals including Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust.


Willow ward staff nurse Sam Roberts was one of 55 people nationally who were chosen as a “care maker” for the chief nursing officer conference in Manchester. The role






involved inspiring colleagues to use the values outlined in the new nursing strategy, launched at the conference – and encouraging senior nurses to sign up and use Twitter to discuss professional issues. “Social media is a great leveller,” said Sam, “you can get students and directors of nursing talking to each other, and there’s absolutely no hierarchy.” Janine Brennan, who has worked in a number of acute trusts and is qualified in law and human resources management, joins us from Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust as our new director of workforce and transformation. Janine’s special interest is in developing staff commitment and engagement.


Management accountant Mark Richardson raised £550 for Comic Relief by staging a 24-hour indoor triathlon on Red Nose Day. A few guests


helped out, but Mark and cricket colleague Martin managed to cover 222km between them – rowing 78km, cycling 96km and running 48km – in over nine hours of exercise each.

8 Congratulations to pharmacy apprentice Tammy Archer who was nominated as an NHS Hero for her dedication. Her nominator said: “As an apprentice on a very low wage, Tammy made the effort to go in by walking to work in the bad weather, and also going to Birmingham college on day release even though there was a possibility she could get stuck there. That’s dedication for you.” Critical care charge nurse Martin Fowler has retired after 41 years service at NGH. Having started as a theatre technician he met and married wife Ann, former Singlehurst ward sister, and also worked in the path lab. Missing the patient contact, he acted on Ann’s


suggestion to do nurse training, and then spent the rest of his career within ITU. Now touring and triathlons are on the leisure agenda – plus putting back together that motorbike he’s had since he was 16! Wendy Smith, previously ward sister at Cransley Hospice, has joined us as our new end of life care facilitator. She has extensive experience of supporting patients and families at the end of life, gained both in community and hospice nursing. Wendy’s role will include developing our strategy for achieving and sustaining high quality end of life care in the hospital.





Meet David, our new chaplain New hospital chaplain David Betts has joined us to work alongside senior chaplain George Sarmezey. Born in Melton Mowbray, David’s first job was as a lab technician working for Bostik, and yes, he’s heard all the jokes about not sticking at it! Although he enjoyed the job, he was conscious there was a calling on his life that wasn’t going to be fulfilled by making glue, so he went on to theological training in Edinburgh. He had a placement in a small village church on the north-east coast of Scotland, where one day he expressed an interest in going into Inverness, and someone arranged for him to get a lift. David said: “I was waiting outside the church on a beautiful Monday morning when a car drew up and a young lady introduced herself and said she was taking me to Inverness. She’s been taking me places ever since, because I married her!”

We are here for patients, their families and friends – and the staff are a priority as well.

For three years David and Christine worked for the national children’s home at Evenley Hall near Brackley, before moving back to Scotland. David worked in social care, became a deacon at the Barn Church in Culodden, and went into the ordained ministry spending time in Inverness and Glasgow. The family returned to Leicester when David’s father became ill, and he was fortunate enough to become a chaplain at Leicester Royal Infirmary. After further roles in Cheshire, he saw an advert for a full-time chaplain post here at NGH. “When I came down for the interview, I thought this is exactly the sort of situation where I feel I could make a contribution. I’m delighted to be here. George is a fabulous colleague to work with, and I hope that together

we can continue to raise the profile of chaplaincy in the hospital so that people are aware that we are there for them. “We are here for patients, their families and friends – and the staff are a priority as well. All of them are so busy, and it’s important that they know there is somebody they can turn to, and who shares their concerns. All those I have met have impressed me with their professionalism and the way they get on deal with things, these

enormous issues in life and death.” It’s perhaps unusual for a religious man to say that he has a ‘wicked’ sense of humour, but David admits that he does have a fondness for winding up his family and friends. However his main interest outside work is most types of sport – so much so that he even arranged for Sky to be installed at his new home in Little Billing the day after they moved. “My wife couldn’t believe it,” he said, “we hadn’t even unpacked!”




ble ChaFruitnad

Northampton General Hospital Registered charity no: 1051107

All donations to the hospital are managed, separately from NHS finances, by the trustees of the NGH 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.

Sarah raises over £4,000 Sarah Ayres’ aim was to raise as much money as she could for both Gosset and Paddington Ward as they have looked after her little boy so well in recent years and continue to do so. Together with other enthusiastic fundraisers Sarah and her team raised over £4,000 for the children’s wards. Whilst Kiddikaroo nursery held a

sponsored “Toddle About” and James Cartwright did more than a toddle when he ran the Mablethorpe Half Marathon and raised over £800. The Willy Wonka Chocolate Ball Sarah organised went with really well too. Both Paddington and Gosset wards are very thankful for the funds received and

Please visit our website for more fundraising stories and details of how you can get involved

Calendar Girls reprise their role for ENT The Moulton Players kept to the script when performing their version of the Calendar Girls at the end of last year. The ladies took to the stage in all their glory and raised funds for patient waiting room chairs as in the original production. ENT Outpatients were looking to update their waiting room so the £700 raised by the Calendar girls has helped complete the purchase of 10 chairs for the area. Manager Suzie Kelley was thrilled with the donation: “We are very pleased as most of our old chairs were too low for our elderly patients to get up from, with no arm rests for support either.”

plan to use them to benefit the patients in different ways. Chris Wood, Sister on Paddington Ward said: “We are thrilled with these funds as they will go towards the purchase of some slimline recliner chairs. These will stay permanently beside the patient beds for the parents to use and sleep on whilst staying overnight with their children”. This is something Sarah has much empathy with. Gosset Ward Manager, Wendy Copson was delighted to receive the cheque for £2,095.84 and said: “We will put this towards the purchase of a much needed new transport incubator. This piece of equipment is vital in the transport of babies from labour to the Gosset Ward and our current transport incubator is in need of upgrading.”

Students heartshaped donation Barry Road Primary School students that form part of the School Council (years 2 to year 6) walked to the hospital in their lunch break to donate funds they had raised to the children’s wards. The students were asked by the Friends of Barry Road Primary School to collect as many 2p coins as they could ahead of Valentines day this year. All the children at the school were involved in creating the shape of a heart with the 2p coins one afternoon in February and they managed to collect over £150. Thankfully the children brought in a cheque and not a bucket full of 2p’s to hand over to the ward team! The children also brought with them books they had collected from World Book Day. Bethan Haigh handed the cheque to Play Service Co-ordinator Sue Faulkner. Ward Sister Chris Wood said: “We are very grateful to receive this especially as the children have had such fun raising the money. We are in need


of a stool for the doctor to sit on whilst using the new heart ultrasound machine, and we thought this would be ideal as it keeps in line with the heart theme.”


Huge £28,000 donation from the Bigley Ball

NGH has been given £28,000 to make over its chemotherapy suite following the Andrew Bigley Charity Christmas Ball held at Sywell. Mr Bigley, a 48-yearold father of two, who was a councillor in Wellingborough, died in 2011 after months fighting cancer. The suite will get new flooring, pods for privacy, new sinks, tables and large windows and doors to brighten up the room. Vicky Bigley, Andrew’s widow, was supported by her sister Sara and husband David Warwick in organising the Ball, along with a group of local people who formed a team of helpers. They had great support by local companies for the auction and raffle prizes. Vicky and Sara’s mother raised over £500 with the Innerwheel Club, Wellingborough that she is a member of; Sara’s son in law raised over £800 by taking part in the Movember fundraising - and all of these funds were included in the total of £28k. The family have offered to come back in when it’s time to refurbish the room and help move the Chemo suite to a temporary location. They also hope to organise another ball in 2014. The NGH Oncology department also received a donation of £15,000 from Andrew Bigley in 2010 - and an additional £2,000 in May 2011.

National Grid employee raises funds for Gosset Ward

In this case these funds will be put towards the purchase of a new intensive care transport incubator.

Stephen Murray, current chairman of the Midlands Section of the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers, hosted the annual Dinner Dance at the The Belfry in Warwickshire last September. The chosen charity for the evening was NGH Gosset ward, and the evening was well supported by over two hundred people. The principal sponsors for the evening were National Grid & Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions with the tables and raffle prizes being sponsored by various generous companies. The evening went very well with £3,695 being raised to benefit Gosset Ward. Consultant paediatrician Dr Nick Barnes said: “We are extremely grateful for your support in this way and of course to all your colleagues that attended the Ball, as well as to National Grid for I understand contributing supplementary funds in addition to the sum raised on the night. To be able to purchase

the very best pieces of equipment for use on the unit we are significantly dependant on donations of this nature, and in this case these funds will be put towards the purchase of a new intensive care transport

incubator. This incubator allows us to continue intensive care commenced on labour ward after delivery whilst transporting a baby safely up to the Special Care Baby Unit for further ongoing treatment.”


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Permanent birth control, without surgery NGH offers women a quicker, simpler method of sterilisation A groundbreaking new service for couples looking for a permanent method of birth control - either because their families are complete, or for women where childbirth presents a risk – is now available at Northampton General Hospital. The Essure procedure is a minimally invasive method designed to provide a non-surgical alternative for women seeking sterilisation. Unlike the Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Owen Cooper and nurse consultant Gillian Smith, who are both trained to perform the procedure, with the tiny device.

conventional operation, which requires a daycase admission, the new technique involves no anaesthesia, and no cutting. The overall time spent in hospital is around an hour, and the procedure itself takes, on average, just ten minutes.

We are delighted to be offering this service at NGH for local women.

The clinician uses a hysteroscope – a narrow (3mm) telescope – to insert a soft and flexible insert into each fallopian tube around which tissue develops, effectively closing the tubes. How it works

A confirmation test – either an x-ray or scan - is performed

three months after the procedure to confirm the device is in the correct position and been successfully implanted. During this time, couples must continue to use alternative methods of contraception. Nurse consultant Gillian Smith said: “We are delighted to be offering this service at NGH for local women. I think it’s very important that women make choices for themselves and we finally have a technique comparable in simplicity, accessibility, and safety to vasectomy in men.”



Vascular team raise awareness of arterial disease During the recent vascular awareness week the NGH vascular team put on a display to warn people of the dangers of arterial disease.

It’s an exciting time for the NGH vascular centre.

Consultant vascular surgeon Mr Valsan Kappadath said: “With the ageing population there are a lot of people who develop arterial disease but often it’s not picked up very early. Many people who have difficulty in walking may put it down to old age or bad joints. It’s been shown that people with arterial disease are more prone to heart attacks or strokes, so it’s important that we raise awareness of the condition, particularly amongst people who have difficulty in walking, or who have other problems like blood pressure or diabetes. By picking it up early we can modify the progression of the disease and save legs and lives.”

Last year services were merged with Kettering General Hospital, and NGH became the vascular centre for the whole county. Valsan said: “It’s seen a massive increase in our workload, and the range and complexity of procedures we do. We

also provide quite a lot of community services, with our specialist nurses running claudication clinics and supervised exercise programmes, all helping to reduce the risk factors of arterial disease. It’s an exciting time for the NGH vascular centre.”

The vascular patient group are a motivated group of medical staff and ex-patients or carers who have an interest in the way forward for the vascular patient. We have developed an inpatient booklet, a passport, which contains current vascular information for each individual patient, and we also have speakers to tell us about what services are available - for example Age Concern. If you are interested in joining the vascular patient group please contact Liz Turiccki (nee Earby) on 01604 545174.

Pharmacy installs replacement robot A new robotic system to dispense medicines has been introduced at the NGH pharmacy. The new robot is faster, has more capacity, and is more efficient than the system it replaces, which was installed in 2006. Pharmacy operations manager Gianni Facchiano said: “The old one

was becoming more unreliable and difficult to service, and this is a huge improvement.”

huge number of medicines can be stored within the robot, and storage space is minimised.

As before, medicines are stored within a sealed shelving unit where two “picking arms” remove the drugs, print labels and deliver them to the dispensing staff. The shelves are stacked closely together, so a

The new system can pick more stock in one go, helping speed up delivery to the wards, and it can sort and load around 500 packs of medicines automatically, saving staff time in feeding the boxes manually. The greater efficiency will mean that pharmacists can spend more time on the wards. The new robot has been installed in a different place to the old one, enabling the transition to be made without interruption to service, and paving the way for more changes within the department. Gianni said: “We’re installing a new pharmacy computer system called Ascribe, which will go live


in June, and will be rolled out to the wards from August. Instead of pharmacists using a paper-based system when they go out to the wards, in future they will be able to enter what medicines each patient needs on to a laptop, and they will be dispensed by the robot here in pharmacy. The turnaround will be much quicker. It could also lead to full electronic prescribing in the future, with patients’ medical histories available electronically.” Later this year the layout of the pharmacy reception will change. The entrance will still be in the same place on Hospital Street, but the reception will be moved to the left, in line with dispensary, to make the layout more efficient for receptionists handing out medicines to patients and staff.


Transplants save lives As you read this more than 10,000 people of all ages across the UK are waiting for an organ transplant.

Photo courtesy of Chronicle & Echo

Brian Binley, MP for Northampton South, with Dr Saijan Mittal in the new NGH haematology unit where Mr Binley is receiving treatment for Non-Hodgkins lymphoma

MP Brian praises haematology staff The Northampton South MP Brian Binley has praised staff of the NGH Macmillan haemotology unit where he has been receiving treatment. Brian found a lump in his neck and was diagnosed with low grade Non-Hodgkin lymphoma two-and-ahalf years ago. The MP knows he is among four members of his family to have had blood cancer, including his brother, who died aged 34, and his father. He now considers himself an ambassador for the unit, which was opened in 2012 with help from a £1.5 million fundraising campaign.

treat you like an intelligent, credible human being and I found that perhaps the best thing of all. To say it’s a pleasure to come here is foolish but for those who have to it’s a heartwarming experience.” “I tell all my constituents that here in Northampton we have a haematology unit which is second to none in the country. We’re lucky to have such a quality of service.”

Brian, who helped fund the campaign three years ago as a Strictly Northampton dance contestant, said: “To benefit from it now is ironic to say the least, but it’s pleasing to know that the money raised by making a spectacle of myself has helped to create this wonderful centre.

Consultant haematologist Dr Mittal speaks enthusiastically of the benefits of the unit – for both staff and patients. He said: “From the second you walk in to reception you can see, it’s now open and bright and there’s much more space. We have bigger consulting rooms, and a dedicated room for breaking the bad news which we didn’t have before. It is much more patient friendly and lifts their spirits and ours too.”

“I’ve been treated here with the utmost kindness, friendship and professionalism. I can’t speak highly enough of them. To anybody coming into this situation I would say you will meet friends and others who will

Haematology patient Betty Mitchell and her husband George agreed: “It’s such a more uplifting place to come to now, a vast difference to what it was. There’s much more space, and the whole outlook is nice and bright.”

Yet many people – on average three a day – die before they can have a transplant because there are simply not enough organs available. Do you believe in organ donation? If you would take an organ, would you be willing to give one to help someone live after your death? If so, please take a few minutes to join the NHS Organ Donor Register, the confidential database of people who have registered. Even if you have a donor card, you should join the register to make sure your wishes are recorded. The more people who join the register, the more lives could be saved. Black and South Asian people are more likely to need a transplant than most and there is a better chance of getting a closer match and a successful transplant if the donor and recipient are from the same ethnic group. So it’s important for everyone to join the register. Please remember to let those closest to you know your wishes about organ donation. Thank you NHS Blood and Transplant

Join the Organ Donor Register now Call the donor line on 0300 123 23 23 Or visit www. 96% of us would take an organ if we needed one. Yet only 28% of us have taken action and joined the NHS Organ Donor Register. If you believe in organ donation, prove it.



MORE ONE-LINERS A shepherd once told me to count his 37 sheep and then round them up. So I told him there were 40. If having dogs has taught me anything, it’s how to eat biscuits very quietly. The boss just put me in charge of obeying him. I hate people who say ‘Age is just a number’ — Age is clearly a word. An onion just told me a joke. I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.

FOR HIRE MARQUEE The Friends of Northampton General Hospital have a Marquee for hire. The Marquee comes in two sections each measuring 20ft x 10ft with sides. The cost of hire is £20 for each section. For further information telephone Sheila Baker on tel 01604 545802 or email friendsofngh@


Depresso: When you’ve run out of coffee. I’ve completely lost my will to live. Sorry, did I say “live”? I meant “work”. Heat makes things expand. So, I’m not overweight, I’m just a little too warm. Sometimes the first step to forgiveness is understanding the other person is a complete idiot. Silence is golden. Unless you have a toddler. Then, silence is just suspicious.

SUDOKU Fill the grid so that each row, column and 3x3 block contains the numbers 1 to 9.

96% of us rely on the other 4% to give blood. Please don’t leave it to someone else.

Who can give blood? Most people can give blood. If you are generally in good health, age 17 to 65 (if it’s your first time) and weigh at least 7st 12Ib you can donate. You can give blood every 16 weeks, that’s approximately every four months. For more information please visit The next donor sessions at St Giles Church Rooms, St Giles Terrace, Northampton NN1 2BN are: Friday 21 June 10.00am to 12.30pm; 2.00pm to 5.00pm Monday 01 July 1.00pm to 3.30pm; 4.30pm to 7.30pm Friday 12 July 1.30pm to 3.30pm; 4.30pm to 7.30pm Monday 29 July 10.30am to 12.30pm; 2.00pm to 5.00pm Monday 12 August 1.30pm to 3.30pm; 4.30pm to 7.30pm To book an appointment call 0300 123 23 23.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AGM Northampton General Hospital’s Annual General Meeting takes place on Saturday 14 September, 11.00am at Cripps Post Graduate Medical Centre NGH. Please phone 01604 523894 if you wish to attend. RETIRED (or soon to be?) NHS Retirement Fellowship (Northampton Branch) meets on first Wednesday of each month at 2.15pm at Northampton East Salvation Army, Northampton, NN3 8EZ. Range of speakers and activities. Open to ex NHS staff, together with spouse or partner. Please contact the chairman Mrs Pat Oliver on 01604 839085. BACK ISSUES of Insight are available online at - go to About Us > Documents and Publications

Come and join us By becoming a member of Northampton General Hospital you can have a say in the way your hospital develops, and you can be sure your voice is heard. You may want to simply sign up for our members’ newsletter, or you may want to attend meetings and local focus groups, or even stand for election to become a member of our Governors’ Council. The choice is yours. All you need to do is fill in the form and return it to the Freepost address below; or you can call us on 01604 523894, or email us at We look forward to hearing from you. Please return your form to this Freepost address – there is no need for a stamp: Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust, Membership Office, Freepost RRBA-RGGA-TEEL, Cliftonville, Northampton NN1 5BD. Title and name ..................................................................................................................................... Address ................................................................................................................................................. ....................................................................................................Postcode ............................................ Telephone . ............................................................................................................................................ Email address ...................................................................................................................................... Please write clearly in BLOCK CAPITALS, thank you


Find your way around the hospital Follow the signs to the area letter, then look for local signs to the ward or department you need DEPARTMENTS D Accident & Emergency L Antenatal Assessment Unit K Antenatal Outpatients K Audiology W Billing House H Biochemistry K Blood Taking Unit R Centre for Elderly Medicine E Chapel D Chest Clinic L Child Development Centre K Children’s Hearing Clinic K Children’s Outpatients U Chiropody J Cripps Centre K Day Surgery Unit K Dermatology J Diabetes Centre E Discharge Lounge C Echocardiography K ENT L Eye Unit B Forrest Centre D Fracture Clinic R Genitourinary Medicine K Gynaecology Outpatients G Haematology D Hand Therapy C Heart Centre Q Human Resources B Integrated Surgery W Limb Centre F Main Theatres Admissions Unit A Manfield day case L Maternity day unit R Maxillofacial Unit K Medical Outpatients H Mortuary and Chapel of Rest J Neurophysiology E Nuclear Medicine N Oncology Centre S Pain Relief Clinic R PALS and Bereavement Service G Pathology K Pre-operative Assessment D Radiology (X-ray) D Rapid Access Chest Pain J Research and Development F Respiratory Laboratory F RESTART C Rheumatology W Sunnyside Q Training & Development

WARDS E Abington (Orthopaedic) 545982, 544945 C Allebone (Cardiac, respiratory, medicine) 545804, 545336 S Althorp (Elderly medicine) 544410, 544415 L Balmoral (Maternity postnatal) † 545434, 544955 D Becket (Respiratory) 545981, 544972 C Benham (Emergency assessment - male) 545537, 545337 R Brampton (Elderly medicine) 544460, 544462 A Cedar (Trauma & orthopaedic) 545553, 545353 A Collingtree (Medical) 523870, 523780 A Collingtree (Surgical) 523944, 523939 C Creaton (General medicine) 545539, 545339 M Disney (Children’s) † 545518, 545318 C Dryden (Cardiology) 545540, 545340 C Eleanor (General medicine) 545804 D Emergency Assessment Unit (Female) † 545613, 545304 D Finedon (Renal) 523530, 523560 M Gosset (Neonatal) † 545520, 545320 A Hawthorn (Orthopaedic) 545551, 545351 S Head & neck 545509 C High Dependency Unit (HDU) † 545544, 545344 R Holcot Stroke Unit † 544430, 544432 C Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) † 545542, 545342 S Knightley (General medicine) 544620 M Paddington (Children’s) † 545319, 545519 M Paddington HDU (Children’s) † 545836 L Robert Watson (Maternity) † 544928, 544819 A Rowan (General surgical) 545549, 545349 L Singlehurst (Ophthalmology) 545483, 545083 S Spencer (Gynaecology) 545525 M Sturtridge (Labour ward) † 545058, 545426, 523629 M Sturtridge HDU † 545055 G Talbot Butler (Oncology & Haematology) 545534, 545334 S Victoria (Elderly Medicine) 545326 A Willow (Vascular) 545548, 545348 Visiting 2.00pm – 4.30pm; 6.00pm – 8.00pm unless marked with † (please check with these wards)

INFORMATION Northampton General Hospital, Cliftonville, Northampton NN1 5BD Tel: 01604 634700 D Reception Cliftonville. Open Mon-Fri 9.00am – 6.00pm. Dial 0 from any corridor phone and ask for “operator” when prompted. E Restaurant Hospital Street, open Mon-Fri 7.15am – 7.00pm; Sat-Sun 7.15am – 6.00pm. D Café Royale Main reception, Cliftonville, open Mon-Fri 8.00am – 7.00pm. WRVS shops E South entrance, open Mon-Fri 7.00am – 8.00pm; Sat, Sun, bank holidays 10.00pm – 4.00pm. T Billing Road entrance, open Mon-Fri 9.00am – 4.00pm. Buggy service Guiding and transport service provided by Friends of NGH volunteers Mon–Fri 8.30am – 4.00pm. Dial 88 then 4501 then enter your extension number to request the buggy. D Travel office For car parking permits, and travel info. Open MonThurs 9.00am – 4.30pm; Fri 9.00am – 4.00pm. 01604 545966 or 544600. E Bank Cash dispensers in lift lobby near south entrance and near Billing Road entrance E Chapel Open to all. For details of services or to contact the chaplains, call 01604 545773.


From the Archive

Hospital letters to contributory schemes seven years old, with the exception of accident cases. For every two guineas that a parish or society subscribed they were entitled to letters for one in-patient and four out-patients per year. A subscriber of one guinea was given the added privilege of recommending for vaccine inoculation as out-patients,

This year marks the 75th anniversary of a major change to gaining admission into the hospital. When the first infirmary opened in George Row a ‘Hospital Letter’ was required to gain admittance. The wording of this letter was as follows: “Gentlemen,

“As many poor as he or she may think proper.”

I Desire you will admit, if a proper Object for the Charity, ----- of the Parish of ------ to be an In (or Out) patient of the County Hospital, and will oblige.

At the turn of the 20th century contributory schemes began to increase in popularity. Persons paid in regular amounts either at their place of employment or clubs, societies and churches. Then when they needed treatment the funding was there to pay all the expenses. These ‘sick clubs’ proved invaluable, particularly with patients suffering from tuberculosis, which often involved several months of treatment.

Your humble servant, These letters were purchased by individuals and then given to the person requiring hospital treatment. The purchaser of each letter also had to pay 15 shillings caution money, to cover the cost of burial if the patient did not survive. This sum was refundable if a cure was achieved. It has to be remembered that the person requiring the letter was not able to fund hospital treatment and presumably the same would apply for funeral arrangements. There was a wide range of conditions that could not gain admission to the infirmary. These included women in late pregnancy, children, mental illnesses and infectious diseases. However, emergency and accident cases would be admitted without the requirement of a Letter. Competition became fierce amongst the purchasers of the letters, who were the wealthy and philanthropic section of the

Payment scale to obtain letters, from the 1914 annual report

population. A rationing system soon became necessary allowing each individual a certain number of letters per year, for both in- and out-patient treatment. Purchasers who had servants or estate staff were taking advantage of the system to get their staff treated and back to work. The admission process took place on Saturday mornings and those admitted were chosen by the Board of Governors as, “A Proper Object of the Charity.” No doctor was involved in this decision making. If an emergency patient was found to be an, “Improper Object of the Charity,” they would then be charged for treatment, medicines and fees for the doctor and the apothecary.

A committee meeting in the Board Room in the 1830s

Moving forward another century, now at the new infirmary on Billing Road, it remained much the same with letters required and limitations of conditions admitted. No children under

Finally, after 195 years of the letter system it was terminated in 1938 and a contributory scheme was introduced, based on different income brackets. Those who could not afford to pay into a scheme had their treatment paid for by various local charities. Persons with higher incomes paid for treatment and became private patients. The change of system had a dramatic effect on the work load of the lady almoners. Those who were not paying into a scheme found themselves having to go through an assessment procedure to determine which category they fell into with regards to payment. With the introduction of the National Health Service 10 years later most of these schemes were no longer needed. Some carried on, for example the Hospital Guild helping patients meet additional costs to their health care.

1743 Ward scene - George Row infirmary

Learn more about the history of the hospitals in Northamptonshire by visiting the Historical Archive at NGH. Open on Wednesday mornings 8am to 1pm Telephone: 01604 544868 Email:


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Friday 27th September 2013 10-12noon Come and see our co-educational Independent Day Prep School situated in 50 acres of Northamptonshire countryside. Contact the Registrar on for an invitation or to arrange a visit to see the school.

This is an extraordinary School - Good Schools Guide

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Sign up for Membership with this advert and receive a FREE gift! Costco Milton Keynes only Quote code: NHS 2013

For membership queries, or for further information about Costco please contact the Marketing Team at Costco Milton Keynes

Call 01908 285 020 or visit

Independent School Inspection Report

Tel: 01604 847292

The Althorp Partnership of Primary schools - Harlestone and Brington Have you thought about a small village primary school for your children? We think our schools are amazing and would love to invite you to see how we engage and inspire your child/children through our creative curriculum.

l Ofsted visited our schoo d an 13 20 d an 10 in 20 reported that: “The way subjects are taught is imaginatively s designed with good link ts jec sub en twe be made and supported by a range of extra activities which is good.”

As Harlestone and Brington are small village schools, many of our children come from surrounding areas.

Church Lane, Harlestone, Northants NN7 4EN Tel: 01604 842391 Little Brington, Northampton, NN7 4HX Tel: 01604 770286

Richardson on Please contact Hayley to arrange a visit. 01604 842391 / 770286

How can NPPS support me?

We aim to provide a range of flexible services that ensure you are: • Provided with accurate unbiased information on your rights, roles and responsibilities within education. • Given practical support to help in discussions with schools and other agencies, providing opportunities for early disagreement resolution. • Helped to express your views and assist in getting them valued by professionals • Provided with information about other agencies which can help. • Supported to participate in strategic decision making for services for children and young people in Northamptonshire.

We also work with schools and Northamptonshire County Council promoting working partnerships to ensure parents’ views are heard. For More Information: Helpline: 08452 415552 - Telephone: 01604 636111 Email: - Internet:


I believe one should fight for what one believes. Provided one is absolutely sure one is absolutely right.

Win free theatre tickets To Sir, With Love

Adapted by Ayub Khan Din Based on the novel by E R Braithwaite

“I believe one should fight for what one believes. Provided one is absolutely sure one is absolutely right.”

Tickets £13 - £28

Based on an autobiographical novel, To Sir, With Love is an inspirational story of courage and hope. Ricky Braithwaite, a Cambridge graduate, arrives in London and soon learns what it is to be black in post-war England. As a teacher in a “failing” East End school, he must find a way into the hearts and minds of his unruly class to motivate and inspire the disillusioned and challenging teenagers. Teacher and pupils embark on a difficult journey as Ricky learns humility and understanding and his pupils learn to trust, respect and love this highly unusual man.

Fri 6 – Sat 28 September

Made into a major film in 1967, this new stage adaptation of the book is by Ayub Khan Din, author of the acclaimed East is East. Peppered with songs and music of the late ‘40s, this world premiere production will feature local young people in the cast. As relevant today as when it was first written in this time of austerity and unemployment, this inspiring story is still a lesson for us all. Eves 7.45pm (excl. Tue 10 September 7pm & Tue 17 September 5pm) Thu & Sat Matinees 2.30pm (excl. Sat 7 September)

For more information and to buy tickets for To Sir, With Love and other productions at Royal & Derngate, call the Box Office on 01604 624811 or visit For a chance to win two tickets to see To Sir, With Love on Monday 9 September at 7.45pm, answer the five questions below. Send your entry to arrive by Friday 2 August to peter. – or by post to Insight Editor, NGH, Cliftonville, Northampton NN1 5BD. Please note that your entry must include a daytime telephone number. 1 Who wrote To Sir, With Love? 2 What do the Friends of NGH have for hire at £20 per section? 3 Where else in the county does NGH provide services (name the three towns)? 4 When is the NGH Festival due to take place? 5 How many attendances at A&E did we see in 2012/13?

◗ The winner of the ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ tickets in our last competition was Sara Friend of Moulton. Designed & Published by Octagon Design & Marketing Ltd, Britannic Chambers, 8a Carlton Road, Worksop, Notts. S80 1PH Tel: 01909 478822

Insight Northampton Summer 2013  
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