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Summer 2019 | Issue 70

And w e under go micros the c and ex ope p lore histop atholo gy and microb iology!

From KFC to keeping it clean!

We meet the team behind the clean, and learn the five steps of decontamination and sterilisation. Supported by Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund


In this issue of Insight we take a look at some of the ‘hidden’ services we provide at NGH and go behind the scenes in our histopathology, microbiology, pharmacy and sterile services departments. The treatment and care we provide to our patients is dependent upon all these services – and others. You can read about what goes on behind the scenes in these areas, find out more about the people who work there and how what they do has a direct impact on patient care. The essential work they do is key to an accurate diagnosis, a safe procedure and effective treatment. In many ways they are part of the backbone of TeamNGH. The commitment of TeamNGH to provide the best possible care they can is the cornerstone of all we do. In this issue we launch our annual Best Possible Care Awards, which provide you with an opportunity to nominate an individual or team working - or volunteering – at NGH for an Award. So, if you know someone who’s gone above and beyond to provide great patient care, improve services or support team members and really make a difference - we want to hear about it! It’s especially heartening to hear of the kindness of others. Ellie Waters is a very special young lady who asked people to donate gifts to our children’s wards to help her celebrate her own birthday. Both she – and we – are extremely grateful for the amazing display of public generosity. We are overwhelmed by your support and kindness. Also in this issue we celebrate another busy year for NGH and take the opportunity to share with you some of our achievements and operational and financial performance. We’ve seen and treated more patients, become the first hospital in the UK to achieve Pathway to Excellence Accreditation and opened our new Nye Bevan Building. These are just some of our achievements, none of which would have been possible without the dedication and commitment of everyone who works at TeamNGH. I hope you enjoy reading our stories and finding out more about the people who work at your local hospital, and the people we care for.

Dr Sonia Swart

Chief Executive Northampton General Hospital

A welcome from our charity team W

e have experienced some exciting times over the last few months, with the charity celebrating its 3rd birthday and the launch of a new logo. Three years ago, the decision was made to make the charity completely independent from the hospital, with independent trustees and independent finances. With this new autonomy the charity grew and took under its wing the charity for Northamptonshire Health Foundation Trust (NHFT). Our team has grown in the last three years and in turn the awareness of the charity has increased throughout Northamptonshire. With thanks to our existing supporters and new followers, fundraising and donations are now being received from across the county. With the charity team now settled into new offices at Springfield and with our support going from strength to strength we wanted to cement the charity presence in the

community by celebrating the green heart! Our new green heart logo spells out what we do, which is to support Northamptonshire health. We are very proud of what the charity has achieved over the last three years; £3.6million in fundraising and donations and legacies and spending just over £4million supporting NGH & NHFT. At NGH we have extended and refurbished the chemotherapy suite, created a relatives room and emergency assessment bay on Talbot Butler ward, bought dementia activity boxes for all wards, paid for pull down beds on the children’s wards, purchased ophthalmology equipment and we are now supporting a new garden on the maternity ward and a quiet room on Brampton ward for elderly and dementia patients. We thank you for your continued interest and support of the charity, we couldn’t do it without you!

We go under the microscope and explore histopathology and microbiology! Read more on pages 16-19


Summer 2019 Issue 70

Insight is a free magazine. Please feel free to take a copy home with our compliments and pass it on to a friend or relative when you have read it. Insight is produced thanks to the sponsorship of Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund.

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

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Editors and contributors: Zoë Catlin, Kieran Jones and Sally-Anne Watts Additional contributors: Kelly Carter and Billie Whitelocke Cover photo: Zoë Catlin Designed and printed by Octagon Design & Marketing Ltd, Hawks Nest Cottage, Great North Road, Bawtry, Doncaster, South Yorkshire DN10 6AB.

Keep in touch Follow us on Twitter @NGHNHSTrust Follow us on Instagram northamptongeneralhospital Like our Northampton General Hospital Facebook page


f you know a member of staff, a team or a volunteer who’s gone above and beyond to provide great patient care, improve services or support team members and really make a difference, tell us about it! The best possible care awards are your opportunity to tell us about those who have made a difference to your hospital experience and who have helped to bring improvements to our services and the care our patients receive.

This year’s categories include: • Clinical team of the year • Unsung hero (non-clinical) • Non-clinical team of the year • Clinical educator of the year • Patient safety award • Quality improvement award • Patient experience award • Volunteer of the year • Unsung hero (clinical)

To nominate the person or team you think has gone above and beyond, you can nominate on our website or download a nomination form from www. northamptongeneral.nhs.uk or a paper form can be picked up from the NGH information desks by all main entrances. The closing date for nominations is midnight on Friday 28 June 2019. Shortlisted nominees will be invited to an awards ceremony on Friday 27 September to celebrate their achievements with colleagues and find out who the grand winner is in each category.

NGH keeps it green NGH has maintained its prestigious Investors in the Environment Green Award following a recent assessment. The Green Award is given to businesses who meet and exceed their targets to reduce their carbon footprint and environmental impact. To achieve and maintain the award NGH is required to achieve a minimum 2% improvement on resource efficiency each year from an agreed baseline figure. Clare Topping, NGH’s sustainability lead, was also recognised with a Best Green Champion Award in recognition of her efforts and achievements that have gone above and beyond. She has ensured NGH has consistently achieved sustainability targets and brought about innovative actions to support NGH to become more environmentally-friendly. Stuart Finn, Director of Estates and Facilities at NGH, said ‘We’ve worked had year after year to improve the impact

that NGH has on the environment. Clare has led this work with dedication and enthusiasm. I am delighted that her efforts have been recognised. These Awards demonstrate our commitment to the environment and highlight the importance of the work we do.’ NGH has also been recognised as one of only 20% of NHS trusts to have excellent reporting of their sustainability initiatives. The Certificate of Excellence was awarded following an analysis of all provider and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) annual reports to evaluate sustainability content by the Sustainable Development Unit (SDU), NHS Improvement and the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA)

Ruth receives the NGH’s accreditation certificate from Major Paul Shipley MBE RA and Professor Tim Briggs.

We are delighted to have been named a Veteran Aware hospital in recognition of our commitment to improving NHS care for veterans, reservists, members of the armed forces and their families. The accreditation, from the Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance (VCHA), acknowledges our commitment to a number of key pledges to support veterans and their families. We are one of 33 members of the VCHA and are part of the second wave of hospitals to be accredited. Ruth Smith, NGH’s armed forces project lead said: “I am extremely proud to have accepted this accreditation on behalf of the hospital. This achievement could only be made possible by the support of the whole of team NGH. We look forward to continuing our commitment to keep raising awareness and offering support, guidance and signposting however we can for all of our valued veterans, their families and carers.”

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ickle cell disease (SCD) is the name for a group of inherited health conditions that affect the red blood cells. The most serious type is called sickle cell anaemia. People with sickle cell disease produce unusually shaped red blood cells – instead of being round they are shaped like a farmer’s sickle. They don’t live as long as healthy blood cells and their shape makes it more difficult for them to travel through small blood vessels and can block them. Here at NGH, Claire Stockley, Emma Perkin and Asha Mathew, our specialist SCD team, have transformed the support and advice we provide for SCD-affected families over the past two years. We are pleased to be able to provide this specialist service which offers personal support and a co-ordinated approach to help our patients and their families both at times of crisis and also with ongoing treatment and care. To mark World Sickle Cell Day the team has been working with families and the East Midlands Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Network, to host a patient and family engagement event at the Space Centre in Leicester on Saturday 22 June from 11.00am to 2.30pm. Tickets are free and

include entry to the planetarium. The event is also supported by University Hospitals of Leicester and the Leicester Hospitals Charity. Families will be able to find out more about the support and self-help

Claire, Emma and Asha make up the hospitals specialist sickle cell disease team

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awareness tools that are available to them, and there will also be a talk by Professor Simon Dyson of DeMontfort University. The SCD services offered at NGH include screening for pregnant women, which has an uptake of almost 100%, as well as testing all babies at birth as part of the newborn blood spot screen. As SCD is not linked to gender and can present differently between siblings and twins, this service is invaluable in detecting the disorder. On average, two babies a year are born with SCD at NGH with SCD, and about 120 pregnant mums are detected as affected or carriers. Because patients with SCD are at risk of many complications of their disease, and also have a greater risk of stroke, painful or chest crisis and renal complications, the SCD team works closely with the staff on our emergency assessment bays on Talbot Butler ward and Disney ward so that any patient suffering sickle cell crisis can be admitted immediately and not via A&E to ensure there is continuous care for our patients. The support offered by Claire, Emma and Asha means that we are able to offer families full support from early pregnancy screening and paediatric support (including head blood vessel ultrasound and vaccinations) through to adult services of red cell exchange and genetic counselling for carriers who want to have a baby. For more information on SCD, please visit www.sicklecellsociety.org


What our patients said “The service is excellent”

 SCD is inherited from both parents; sickle cell trait is inherited from one parent  SCD can affect anyone, although it predominantly affects people from African and Caribbean backgrounds  1 in 76 babies born in the UK carry sickle cell trait (they carry the sickle cell gene)  Approximately 15,000 people in the UK have sickle cell disorder  Approximately 350 babies with SCD are born in the UK every year  A simple blood test will tell whether you have sickle cell trait or the disorder  Children with SCD are at increased risk for stroke, the risk is highest between the ages of 2 and 16  Episodes of pain may occur in sickle cell disorder and are generally referred to as a crisis

“Claire is fantastic” “Having Claire has really helped us especially in pointing us to different facilities available like Sickle Cell society and other charities”

“We love the care that our two boys with SCD receive from the team at NGH, from Bindu, Claire, Nick in Disney ward, Dr Breene and the rest of the team they are all stars”

“Your patience, time, devotion, support, ready to help always and listen to our complaints - you are the best, thank you”

Information courtesy of the sickle cell society

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We’re baby friendly! N

orthampton General Hospital is celebrating being accredited by UNICEF UK as being a Baby Friendly hospital for the second time. This prestigious award recognises how the hospital care for mothers and babies, the information parents receive about breastfeeding and the support given to patients. Since the first accreditation in 2016, NGH is one of just 64% of hospitals in the UK who have achieved the Baby Friendly status. Kate Bates, Infant Feeding Co-ordinator, explained how this accreditation will benefit patients: “We find that staff are now confident in helping parents not be afraid of spoiling their baby by holding and cuddling them and parents seem really happy to learn how close, loving relationships are so beneficial for their baby’s brain development.” Officers from UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative were impressed by the high level of care mothers reported and

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both every day since. It made everything the confidence they had gained in right again, and I am so very grateful breastfeeding their babies. for that.” Mothers were also quick The inspection process to praise the maternity combines tests and team throughout the “Parents seem interviews about the report. One mother knowledge levels of staff cited the impact their really happy to learn on a range of topics breastfeeding support how close, loving such as; breast feeding, had during her time in relationships are skin to skin contact the hospital: “Everyone so beneficial for and the support offered I came into contact their baby’s brain to mothers throughout with was just lovely, my development.” pregnancy and post birth. community midwife was During the visit mothers exceptional I wouldn’t still are also asked about their be breastfeeding if it wasn’t experience of the hospital and for her.” the support they have been given. Another mother praised the support The Baby Friendly Initiative provide for skin to skin contact and bonding: “My hospitals with guidance on supporting labour was a surprise and everything breastfeeding and relationship-building. happened so fast. Once I had delivered Being accredited as Baby Friendly means I felt completely disconnected from my that NGH is committed to improving babies even though I had talked to them care for all mothers and babies, and we in pregnancy. I had skin to skin with one are working to make sure they receive all of my sons the same day he was born, the support they need. and have had skin contact with them


- TeamEllie Blog

Ellie’s best birthday ever! A

n amazing display of public generosity surfaced on the back of a social media post back in March, after Northamptonshire local and patient, Ellie Waters set up a very special birthday giving campaign to buy new toys, games and electronics for the children’s wards at NGH. At the age of 14, Ellie was told that she had stage 4 cancer, and had a 20% chance of surviving the following five years. Ellie explained “I was told by the doctors that they were 99% sure that I had cancer, my world came crashing down and I was in complete shock. Despite the blindingly obvious symptoms, I didn’t think for one minute that it could be cancer. “I was terrified, ahead of me, I faced 9 cycles of intensive chemotherapy, 28 sessions of radiotherapy and 12 cycles of maintenance chemotherapy. I didn’t know anyone who had undergone cancer treatment, so I didn’t know what to expect. This was a saving grace, as I had no idea how painful the 18 months ahead of me would be.” Ellie continued to tell us that she was now ecstatic to be out of treatment for 2 years, with clear scans. While there was the memories of sickness from treatment, and experiences of mental health issues, Ellie also remembered the doctors, nurses and staff that helped her along the way. “Despite being exhausted by the weekly doses of chemotherapy, I looked forward to clinic day, because it meant that I could see my fantastic nurses and doctors, who were the light in the darkness, I am so grateful for their kindness and eagerness to help.” Holding onto these mixed memories, and the initial fear of not seeing her 18th birthday, Ellie decided that she had to make her 18th birthday a very special one. Ellie explained “I’m not a party animal, or a fan of alcohol. The best way to mark the occasion was doing what I love best, fundraising! Having spent my 15th birthday receiving treatment at NGH, I thought it

would be the perfect excuse to set up an Amazon wishlist so that I could donate loads of gifts to Disney ward. “Despite spending my birthday receiving chemotherapy, it turned out to be a great day, because the nurses kindly wrapped up presents for me to open. Being presented with those gifts put the biggest smile on my face, so I wanted to do something to make a child in hospital as happy as I was.” Ellie had an initial goal of donating 50 gifts; we caught wind of her fundraising in

An incredible act of kindness saw our local community come together to donate over 150 gifts, which were delivered to the hospital by Ellie in May.

late March, and assisted with sharing her post on social media networks. The response was outstanding, with people coming together to donate over 150 gifts, including tablets and DVD players. Ellie said “Coming back from school each day to loads of Amazon boxes was absolutely amazing! I really did not expect so many people to donate, many of which were people that I didn’t even know. It was heartwarming to receive a gift from a parent whose son or daughter had also been treated on the Disney ward. It made me realise how important these gifts are to the hospital. “My favourite gift that was donated were worry monsters. These are cute monsters, you can open their mouth, write down your worry and place it inside. The idea is that the monster will eat your worries so you don’t have to worry anymore. I felt this was perfect for children who undergo surgery while in hospital, as I know how scary it can be.” Ellie had a small family gathering on the weekend following her birthday, and went out for lunch on her birthday… followed by an afternoon of maths revision. Ellie added “I have a twin sister, so it’s always nice to share a birthday with her, because we grew such a strong bond during my cancer treatment.” Play service coordinator, Sue Faulkner said “We would like to thank Ellie and everyone who kindly donated a gift for the children on our wards. The gifts will keep the children entertained while they are waiting for treatments and procedures, helping make their stay a positive experience. We hope you have had a wonderful 18th birthday and enjoyed your celebrations with family and friends.” Northampton General Hospital would like to say a huge thankyou to those who generously purchased gifts via Ellie’s wishlist. The display of kindness during this campaign was truly overwhelming!

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ehind the scenes on hospital street sits a dedicated team helping our surgical teams to have clean and prepared instruments on time for every procedure. The sterile services team, are a team of 40 staff working to decontaminate and sterilise equipment for the hospital and local community. We went to meet the team behind the clean, and learn the five steps of decontamination and sterilisation. On arrival to the department we met Steve Melville. Steve is the sterile services manager and is responsible for the department and the team. He’s worked in sterile services for over 20 years and is also the decontamination lead for the hospital. Working alongside Steve is Gavin, who oversees the production for all areas of the department and manages the four team leaders working in the team.

1- Unloading and checking

Following a procedure or operation the clinical team place used equipment into a bag on a collection trolley. A sterile services porter then collects the equipment and brings it to the department. The items are placed onto holding racks, marked and are Did you know cables given a specific barcode. This are fully machine barcode stays washable too! Most with the item cables are reusable throughout and can be used and the washing washed between 50 process and 250 times. and helps the equipment to be traced throughout the process. In the washroom the team collect items from the holding racks for cleaning. Items are taken out of the bag and checked using a set list. Some of the sets of equipment are on loan from companies or other hospitals. Multiple pieces of equipment used These sets are loaned in circumstances for a procedure are known as a set. where certain operations require specific

equipment that isn’t usually kept on site at NGH. Janice, who has worked in the department for 22 years, is the office administrator for the department and deals with all loan equipment entering the department.

2 - Pre-cleaning

If necessary instruments are pre-cleaned in sinks to remove any debris left from the procedure. Instruments which may need pre-cleaning include cannulated instruments or items used to cauterise wounds or help to stop blood flow. After items have been pre-cleaned, they are inspected for any damage or wear, disassembled if required, and loaded into one of the 5 washers. The machines are similar to a home dishwasher, however are much larger in size and reach a maximum temperature of 120 degrees. Depending on the equipment types as many as 18 washing cycles can be done in one day.

3 - Clean room

Two computers and a technician must agree that the wash was successful before it can leave the machine. If 8 ❘ Insight

Six steps to squeaky clean!  In the machine a cold wash rinses any debris or fluid from the instruments  Items are washed using a detergent and warmer water and rinsed  he machine rinses in a 90 degree heat T for one minute. This heat has to be maintained for the full minute or the full wash is repeated  Instruments are dried at a temperature of 115-120 degrees  fter 50-55 minutes the cycle finishes A and the machine prints off a record of the washed items  Items are taken into the clean room

it’s unsuccessful it’s sent back to the washroom to repeat the process. In the clean room equipment is inspected to make sure it’s fit for purpose and items are reassembled. These items are checked off against a set or equipment list which provides details of which items need to be in the set. Items are all scanned in against the set list to ensure nothing is missing.

put the wrapped items under a microscope, you would see lots of tiny holes. These holes allow steam to penetrate the packaging during the sterilisation process and sterilise the content. “During the drying process the mist and steam seal up the holes in the packaging and the vacuum sucks the steam out, giving a secure seal. “After sterilisation sets and items are left near the steriliser to cool off to the ambient temperature of the room.”

5- Delivery

The decontamination and sterilisation process is now completed and items are ready to be delivered to the department or destination. The sterile services porters work to deliver the items around the hospital and community. In January and February the team collected, processed and delivered over 25,000 packs of equipment.

From KFC to keeping it clean

Once the items have been checked and assembled they are wrapped. Wrapping provides a sterile layer and barrier to prevent any bacteria getting onto the equipment. There are three different types of wrapping in the clean room, wrapping, plain bags and view pack bags. Each of these methods require a double wrap providing an extra layer of protection. Sets which are going off site are wrapped in a third layer of purple wrapping.

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Meet Nadhia, sterile services technician “Every day is different because you rotate around different roles. My roles can include working in the pre-clean, putting items into the washer, setting up sets, making sure everything works and wrapping. The whole process is really interesting as you get to learn the different instruments and what they’re used for. “I’ve worked at NGH for 6 months and before that worked at KFC. I was inspired to move and work for the NHS as it’s such a broad place to work. I had no idea what I wanted to do so it was something new to try. I had no idea what sterile services was, I just found the job and went for it. “The biggest challenge was learning about the process and the different steps required for sets and equipment. I didn’t know how big the process was. “It’s a great team, I love it. Everyone is really friendly and being new everyone has been supportive and helped me learn.”

4- Sterilisation

Wrapped items are put onto sterile trolleys and transferred into the sterilisation room. Here they go into machines working at a temperature of 134-137 degrees. Mark Duggan, sterile services deputy manager, explains why the items need sterilisation after they’ve been cleaned and wrapped: “When items are in the clean room they are at their cleanest point. However, if you

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hen planning your birth, the hospital car park is probably one of the last places you would imagine delivering your baby, but this was the case for one Northampton mum back in March. Shannon Hitchcock was expecting her second child in March and woke up early on Tuesday 9th at 4:30am with contractions. With initial thoughts on whether or not she was experiencing real contractions, she decided to let her husband continue sleeping and see how they progressed over the following hours. At 6:00am her contractions had become considerably stronger, and she knew her baby’s arrival was close. After waking her husband, the journey to the hospital quickly began. Shannon’s husband, James said: “We live in Crick, it’s about half an hour

away from the hospital on a good day, we midwife, Maiken Hviid was in the car park preparing to start her day reached Kingsthorpe at around twenty to nine, which wasn’t great, as it’s usually visiting expecting mothers in the local community. busy with work and school run Maiken said: “I was getting traffic at this time. It was at this time when into my car at 9:00am when I heard Shannon cry for Shannon told me that “Luckily, I had my she needed to push; I help. I immediately came birth bag with me to her aid. James was immediately started to which we use to trying to get Shannon feel the pressure. I had to do some interesting into the birth centre, deliver babies in the but after a few steps manoeuvres while community; I had she told us the baby driving, but at the everything I needed same time, ensure I was coming. I had to do to safely deliver a very fast assessment wasn’t endangering my the baby.” to work out how much wife and baby.” time I had and what I Shannon and James should do next.” arrived at the drop-off zone It became evident to Maiken outside the Barratt Birth Centre, that there would not be enough time where James began to try and get to get Shannon into the hospital before Shannon into the hospital. the baby’s arrival. Maiken had a Luckily for the couple, homebirth

Shannon and James were reunited with the team that delivered baby Adara in March.

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“When I saw the

of ensuring midwives approach Shannon the car, I just stopped was calm. Maiken worrying, because explained: they were here and I “With my knew I was safe.” expertise in working as a homebirth midwife, I am used to working in small spaces, we have delivered babies in places like yurts and canal boats, so we are used to being creative with positioning women so they can give birth comfortably.” Shannon said: “I was mainly focusing on getting through every contraction; this meant I didn’t have time to panic about the scenario I was in. When I saw the midwives approach the car, I just stopped worrying, because they were here and I knew I was safe.” Shannon gave birth to a healthy baby girl, who they named Adara. When registering Adara’s name, Shannon and James were reunited with the team who had helped on the day. A special thank you was also given to the porter, Nigel, who took the couple into the hospital after the birth. Midwife, Fatima Ghaouch said: “You will never be fully prepared for events like this, and it will always come down to who is leading the situation, and how well you can work as a team. In this instance, everything just felt natural and Maiken was a great leader. When we look back at it, we all felt really happy with the experience and how we worked together.”

Should you come into hospital if you think you are about to give birth?

trainee with her, who made an emergency phone call to the birth centre for urgent assistance. Maiken said: “Luckily, I had my birth bag with me which we use to deliver babies in the community; I had everything I needed to safely deliver the baby. When Fatima, Hayley and Lucy arrived from the birth centre, they helped cover the car with linen to preserve Shannon’s dignity and pass the items I needed.” The midwives then began with the delivery, concentrating on the importance

We asked community midwife, Maiken Hviid the all-important question, should you attempt to drive into hospital yourself if you are due to give birth: Maiken told us “When you are at home, if you think things are moving really fast, don’t get into the car, especially if you have had a previous birth that was fast. It is safer to be at home, with midwives where possible, rather than trying to get into hospital yourself, if you do need to come into hospital, always dial 999 for an ambulance rather than driving. If you do find yourself in the situation where you are going to give birth in your car, make sure the car is kept warm, do not sit on your pelvis, position yourself on your hands and knees, It’s very important that your pelvis is not compromised. Prepare warm towels or sheets, If the baby is delivered, keep him or her nice and warm, give the baby a rub, make sure the airway is open and make sure you have skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible.”

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and In February a team from NGH took part in an event at the University of Northampton to talk about sepsis and the work we do to empower people to ask ‘Could it be sepsis?’. Featuring presentations from head of pathology Gus Lusack and patient stories the day bought together medical professionals and the local community to raise awareness on sepsis. Jess O’Sullivan, sepsis nurse and Jono Hardwick, consultant critical care, met Dr Ron Daniels from the Sepsis Trust and spoke to him about the work being done at NGH to diagnose and treat sepsis quickly.


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Happy retirement to Roz Griffin who has retired. Roz worked as a ward clerk on Dryden, Knightley and Victoria wards before moving to dermatology in 2006. When dermatology moved into Area K Roz moved with them and has been a valued member of the department for 24 years. Roz has taken retirement to enjoy time with her family and to indulge in some well-deserved relaxation time enjoying the activities she enjoys such as crafting, crochet and reading. She has said that she will be registering with the Admin Bank after a few weeks off and we are looking forward to her coming back in a bank capacity!

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Northampton General Hospital has appointed two nurses, Julie Cowan and Gillian Thomason, to support pregnant mothers and their babies by providing a vaccination service.

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We say goodbye to Denise Hunt in Urogynaecology who has retired as a nurse specialist. Denise has had a long career in nursing, which started at NGH in 1974. Denise has always gone the extra mile for her patients and colleagues, and she and the urogynae team have been nominated for several awards. Denise herself has received the patient experience award. She may soon no longer be in uniform, but she can always be relied upon to dress up at the drop of a hat, whether as a pirate captain (Red Nose Day), 1920’s gangster’s moll (UKCS Conference), or a brown paper package tied up with string (Sound of Music Singalong.) We wish her a long, happy and healthy retirement, with time to enjoy and add to her many (and sometime bizarre) hobbies, which have varied from clay shooting to belly dancing. All the best Denise, you are one of a kind!



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Bev Al-Azzawi, lead practice development nurse in surgery, and Emily Lambert, practice development nurse in surgery won the poster competition at the national RCN conference in Bristol in March for their The Meds Factor study day.

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Colleagues and patients would like to wish administrator, Sue Craughton from the artificial limb centre a very fruitful retirement. Sue provided the hospital with 28 years of service and remembers the opening of Billing House in 1997.

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Muhammad Abdullah, Maisy Woods and Lee Hayes are the first cohort of students from Northampton College’s level tree health and social care course to have the opportunity to undertake a 12-week placement. The students have experienced a day-to-day life in the NHS frontline across a range of departments, which will better prepare them for their future career.

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MADE IN NORTHAMPTON The aseptic unit (ASU) in our pharmacy department is where our skilled team manufactures bespoke chemotherapy infusions in a cleanroom environment. The team are specially trained, licensed and validated to work in a controlled environment, ensuring safe and precise treatment is provided for each individual patient.


p to 24 hours before an infusion is to be administered, our medical staff review and assess the patient. This includes reviewing their general condition, checking their height and weight, and the results of blood tests, ECG and liver and kidney function tests. All of this information is needed before a master e-prescription is created, which ensures a safe, evidence-based record of what the patient needs, and is then accessed by the ASU pharmacists so they can begin the manufacturing process. Once a patient has been prescribed chemotherapy, the ASU pharmacist will ensure that the treatment is safe by checking the correct treatment has been prescribed, and that the patient’s test results show they are well enough to receive the infusion treatment. 14 � Insight

Creating each infusion involves a strict All the raw ingredients needed to protocol, with built-in medical staff and prepare the infusion are purchased nurse checks at every stage of the direct from pharmaceutical companies process to ensure the product and used to create the exact manufactured precisely medicine as prescribed. The matches the e-prescription. process of manufacturing Did you know? Manufacturing takes chemotherapy infusions The ASU team also place in a cleanroom, is complex and involves creates bespoke infusions sterile environment to hazardous ingredients, under licence for external avoid any contamination so it is governed by companies (such as the of the infusion. From safe handling under Three Shires Hospital in beginning to end, the COSHH (control of Northampton), but this is priority is patient safety substances hazardous to currently less than 1% of and care. health) regulations For the total turnover. Ward staff collect the this reason, these drugs are infusion from ASU in order manufactured in a controlled, to administer the product to sterile environment, where patients and in some cases this isolators, PPE (personal protective requires very careful planning between equipment) and controlled air-flow protect our pharmacy and ward teams because our technical staff.

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the shelf life of the infusion can be as little as 90 minutes – so it is important there is no delay in treatment starting once the infusion is ready and the patient is deemed fit to receive the treatment. ASU are also involved in creating infusions for cancer clinical trials including acute myeloid, lymphyocytic and lymphoid leukaemia, myeloma, ovarian and colorectal cancers. Patients are identified and selected by the clinicians in outpatient clinics, then following a discussion that includes eligibility criteria and informed consent, a decision is made to enrol them into an appropriate trial.

ASU factfile T  here are 21 members of the ASU team, with 7 pharmacists and 14 technical staff  ASU manufactures around 900 bespoke infusion products each month  Each infusion can contain as many as six raw ingredients  ASU receives two deliveries of raw pharmaceutical ingredients every day  Over 300 different products are manufactured by the ASU team to treat patients  The shortest shelf-life of an ASU-created infusion is 90 minutes

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

Insight ❘ 15

Members of the Histopathology team at Northampton General Hospital



istopathology, is an area of our hospital that you may have very little contact with as a patient, but for some, will be an integral part of the care and treatment provided. Histopathology involves the microscopic examination of tissue, from skin ellipses, placentas, breasts, colons and more, this allows us to study and identify diseases. This specialist work is carried out by biomedical scientists in our labs, and is often required to be carried out quickly. We caught up with them to get an

idea of what happens on a typical day.

Check-in reception

Before specimens go through the lab, they need to be checked in. Karen Hackney is part of the team responsible for ensuring samples are correctly labelled and linked to the correct patient. The admin team also transcribe dictations and follow up results while samples pass through the lab. Karen said “It’s important to get things right from the beginning, if specimens are not recorded correctly, data could be sent to the incorrect patient, and that’s why we are here, to prevent that from happening.”

Dissection station:

This station is where investigations are carried out on specimens, and can result in samples as small as 3mm being set in cassettes for further inspection. Some samples only need to be transferred into cassettes for analysis, but some may require dissection, to determine the problem area. The findings from a dissection are dictated into a microphone and transcribed by the 16 ❘ Insight

administration team; diagnoses could range from inflammatory conditions to cancerous tumours. Samples arrive in white containers filled with formalin, a water based solution of formaldehyde which acts as an antiseptic preservative. This keeps tissue in a lifelike state and slows down cell degeneration. Biomedical Scientist, Sarah Matthews explained “We have a wide range of different sized organs that come through; consultants will dissect the larger, whole

organs, such as a kidney or a bowel, and make a diagnosis. We get a range of different specimens to investigate, from skin to appendices, gall bladders and more. For the smaller samples, it’s easy for us to spot the problem quickly. These are then placed onto blocks which are loaded into a processing machine at the end of the day, to dehydrate the sample. On average, we could get through around two to three hundred samples each day.”

Frozen sections:

Embedding centres:

Samples are dehydrated overnight and filled with molten wax, this gives the tissue a solid structure that will not decay. The next day the tissue is orientated into a wax block, using heated forceps. Once hardened, they can be cut thinly on a microtome, a skill that can take time to acquire. The sections taken may have many levels to show the deeper aspects of the tissue.

There are some scenarios where a sample will need to be investigated very quickly, for example, if a patient is still in theatre and the surgeon needs a diagnosis. Samples are investigated in a cold chamber, known as a cryostat microtome. The tissue is embedded in a water based solution which is kept at -19°c. Biomedical Scientist, Emily Clarke explained “Skin tissue is constantly degrading, so it’s important for us to process samples as soon as possible and get the results back to the surgeon. It’s a very rapid process.”

Quality control: The microtome:

A microtome is used to slice the wax blocks that contain the cells from a sample. You could compare a microtome to a meat slicer that you would find at a deli; however this can cut blocks into very thin strips. The blade is typically set to 3 or 4 microns, which cuts the block to a thickness of one cell. The slice is then carefully floated on to a bath of warm water which flattens out the wax and tissue to remove any creases. The slice is then placed onto a glass slide with a number which identifies the sample. Once dry, the slide is flattened which melts the surrounding wax, leaving the tissue sample. This is then stained, using a staining machine. Special dyes are used to stain the samples; haematoxylin is used to stain the nucleus a purple colour, which is important in a cancer diagnosis. Eosin is used to stain the cytoplasm and other cellular components shades of pink. Sometimes, special staining is required to demonstrate specific components that are not as evident in a routine stain. For example: bacteria, fungi, collagen, elastic fibres, glycogen or deposits of iron. The presence or absence of these components, as well as their quantity and location if present, aids in the diagnosis of different conditions.

Samples finally arrive for quality control before being passed to the histopathology consultant for reporting. The check involves ensuring all details of the patient case are complete and correct. The microscope slides should show all of the desired elements and it is at this point blocks should be re-embedded and/or recut if needed, this ensures there is no delay on the patient receiving their results. Once the consultant has finished the report, the microscope slides are kept for thirty years, so they can be recalled if necessary in the future.

Are you interested in a career in Histopathology? Visit www.heathcareers.nhs.uk and search ‘Histopathology’ for more information on career opportunities and what skills and qualifications you will require. Insight ❘ 17



Have you ever wondered what happens when you have a sample or a swab taken by your GP or in hospital?


s part of our under the microscope feature we went behind the scenes to learn about the microbiology team and what happens to your samples. Microbiology is the study of very small living things like bacteria or fungi. The team at NGH work to identify causes of an illness or condition and then help to identify the best methods of treatment and the most effective antibiotics. Samples are sent into the laboratory from wards and departments at NGH as well as 70 GP surgeries across Northamptonshire. Much like histopathology this is not a job for the faint hearted, as the team have the luxury of sorting through faeces, urine and bodily materials including nails or hair.

Sue receives the urine samples and begins processing them

Ur-ine good hands! We looked at what happens to a urine sample in the lab and how the team diagnose illnesses and provide guidance on the most effective treatment. Once the urine has been checked in, Sam receives the samples and sorts them for the team

Sam, associate practitioner and supervisor, told us what happens when your sample comes into the department “We receive about 2,500 samples per day which are sorted and bought into the department. They come to us in big mixed boxes and from there we sort the individual samples by type ready for processing. “The samples we receive include MRSA, wound swabs, genital swabs, faeces, urine, sputum samples, chlamydia samples and bloods. Within these categories there is a huge variety of sample types. Wound swabs include specimens such as hair, nails and diabetic ulcer swabs.” Once sorted by type these are prepared for processing and collected by the staff. The teams rotate around job roles based on their skillset giving variety to the role. 18 ❘ Insight

The samples are put into the analyser machine

samples are labelled and a given a unique number. Once labelled samples go to Sue for testing. The team scan these labels and request a sample on the computer system. Between 3 and 5 millilitres of the specimen is tipped into the labelled tube. Sue puts these tubes into an analyser machine to test the urine and take lots of microscopic photos. The machine processes the samples in a couple of minutes and can provide some initial results for the biomedical scientist to interpret. Sue explains: “The computer system highlights any abnormalities including any crystals, yeasts, particles and red or white cells. The images are so detailed you can sometimes see crystals in the urine shaped like diamonds, triangles and other shapes. “Samples which show 80 white cells or more will produce a positive result for something abnormal. These will automatically need more testing.

MRSA & wound swabs

The chromogenic agar plate tests each of the 95 samples and changes colour to show many abnormalities

Anything showing less than 80 white cells is a negative result. The biomedical scientist, will always check samples which the machine flags.” Positive samples will then be prepared for more testing which is called a culture. The testing can accommodate 95 samples at a time all from different people. Biomedical scientist Dana, explained: “The urine is placed onto a chromogenic agar plate. This special plate is designed to change colour based on which organisms are found in the sample. “The plates are put into another machine which takes photos of the plate. The machine reads the results and tries to detect any changes in colour and give a result. For example a positive result for E-coli will show as pink. “As well as showing the diagnosis, it also shows me reactions to antibiotics to see which would be most effective. This helps the medical team to prescribe the best treatment. If a lot of resistance to antibiotics is shown then further testing will be done to give a wider choice of antibiotics.” Once the process has been completed, the samples will be kept for 7 days in case they need further investigation and the result will be added to the patient record for the medical team to begin treatment.

MRSA lives harmlessly on around 1 in 30 people, usually in the nose, armpits, groin or buttocks (NHS England). Having MRSA on your skin won’t make you sick, however it can lead to an infection if it goes deeper into your body. Everyone coming into hospital for an operation or procedure is tested for MRSA. During a preoperative assessment or appointment swabs will be taken, most likely from your nose and groin. For testing MRSA the team have a specially designed agar plate for more efficient screening. Once in the department the swabs are rolled onto an MRSA screening agar plate, streaked and incubated for 24 hours in aerobic conditions at 37°C. The streaking process, works by using a sterile

Sue streaks the plates using a sterile loop

loop to lightly scrape the plate and spread around the sample. This ensures the inoculate becomes less dense and allows room to grow individual colonies of bacteria. A lid is then put onto the plate and it is incubated for up to 48 hours. Each plate is left in a cabinet with an appropriate atmosphere e.g. air, carbon dioxide or anaerobic conditions which encourages the growth of the microorganisms.

Andrea checks on some of the incubated plates

Did you know the time of year affects the types of samples we get? Dana checks the results and helps to identify suitable treatments

Operational manager of microbiology, Andrea O’Connell explains; “During winter periods our team have more work to do to test for flu and norovirus. In the summer or warmer weather when people are barbequing we see an increase in tests for food poisoning to detect salmonella or e-coli!”

Insight ❘ 19

Our TeamNGH ye I

t’s been another busy year for NGH and we’re delighted to share with you some of our achievements from the past year, our performance and financial information. In a year when we celebrated 70 years of the NHS, we saw 133,460 people come into our A&E department for treatment. We continued to face increasing pressure and demand for our services, which in turn affected our performance. However, our staff remained focussed on our core value of putting patient safety above all else. They responded to the challenges they faced, displaying care and compassion as they worked to deliver the best possible care. This year has seen big changes for NGH in terms of our physical site and the way we work to provide the best possible care for our patients. We’ve seen the opening of our new Nye Bevan unit in November including the Esther White ward and Walter Tull ward. The opening was a proud day for everyone involved and the team effort to make sure the building was ready and equipped to treat our first patients took a lot of hard work and dedication from our staff. As well as this we were proud to become the first hospital in the UK to achieve the Pathway to Excellence accreditation from the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center. This accreditation recognises hospitals which create a positive work environment for nurses and midwives helping them to provide outstanding patient care. As well as receiving global recognition for team NGH’s achievements we introduced our Everyday Hero awards to sit alongside the DAISY awards in recognising times when our staff go above and beyond for patients or colleagues. From 20 ❘ Insight

leaving handwritten notes by patients’ bedsides, supporting colleagues through challenging times and providing constant reassurance new mums through worrying and life threatening scenarios our team have shown examples of over and above best possible care. You can see regular updates of all of our Everyday Hero and DAISY award winners on our social media pages, detailed on page 2. As well as our staff supporting each other we’ve worked to ensure staff are feeling supported and respected. In July 2018 we launched our respect and support campaign to tackle workplace bullying and harassment. Developed with

help from staff from across the organisation we’ve provided bespoke training, a telephone hotline and a programme of training and tools to resolve conflict and maintain positive relationships. Our vibrant health and wellbeing programme for staff has grown during the year and more than 30% of staff have taken part in at least one of our health and wellbeing activities which include our in-house slimming group, yoga classes, dance classes, walking and running groups and a choir. There has been a particular focus on mental health throughout the year with workshops on mental health awareness, mindfulness, sleep and stress

management workshops and a menopause workshop. You can find out more detail about our past year in our annual report available from our website www. northamptongeneral.nhs.uk


y m m



Our care

We put patients at the heart of everything we do, which is why our vision is to provide the best possible care for all of our patients from birth to the end of their lives. As well as providing care for patients physically in the hospital our teams are working hard to modernise services and support patients to receive treatment at home or having phone appointments or advice lines available to save a trip to the hospital. This year our midwives set up a dedicated phone service for expectant parents that receives up to 60 calls a day. Our telephone triage service is available, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for those who are 20 or more weeks’ pregnant. Women can call with any problems or worries they have regarding their pregnancy and have told us they find the service reassuring, knowing there is someone they can speak to who is able to offer expert advice. While our irritable bowel disease clinical nurse specialists have set up a patient advice line for patients running 5 days a week every afternoon from Monday to Friday. This advice line offers support, counselling and they can even provide same day prescriptions for patients who may be suffering from a flare up. This saves the patients having to go to their GP or A&E with their concerns and means they can access the advice they need quickly. As well as offering virtual support to patients we’ve been working hard to improve our environment and make it less daunting for some of those who may find hospitals scary. We saw the opening of our new dementia room on Abington ward to provide patients There has been a with a 1950’s themed space to share meals articular focus on mental together, socialise and health throughout the support patients to feel year with workshops on calm. As well as this mental health awareness, we welcomed our new train themed buggy to mindfulness, sleep and transport children to and stress management from treatment or surgery workshops and a thanks to the support of our local community. menopause workshop.

We delivered babies


We performed scheduled 47,259 operations and procedures

Our A&E department saw 133,460 patients


New and follow-up outpatient appointments

We treated 86% of A&E attenders within 4 hours

A&E admitted

50,588 patients

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Insight ❘ 21

Our place O

our site and help us to become even ur environment is key to helping more sustainable. us to provide the best possible Over the last twelve months NGH has care for patients. While we  Reduced carbon emissions from know some parts of the building are buildings, travel and anaesthetic gases older, we pride ourselves in making  Maintained Investors in the improvements to ensure patients Environment and Food For have the access to the best facilities Life accreditations. and equipment.  Been recognised for Our biggest developments its Excellence in this year have been the opening of the new Sustainability Nye Bevan unit Reporting by NHSi and the opening We’ve increased We’re also working closely of the Talbot our recycling by with our local community Butler emergency 38.3% and made to increase the amount assessment steps to remove we spend locally. unit. But behind plastic from the scenes our site. We’ve Wherever possible we will our estates removed plastic choose a local company and facilities cutlery from to supply the goods or team have been the restaurant working to make and replaced with services we need. improvements across wooden alternatives

We reduced our emissions by

9.2% saving 848 tonnes of c02e

We’ve removed 1,500,000 pieces of plastic cutlery from the restaurants and replaced with wooden alternatives

and we’ve removed plastic straws from retail areas. As well as this we are moving to traditional crockery in patient areas instead of plastic cups. The hospital also successfully won a bid of NHS funding to replace older lights with new energy efficient LED alternatives along hospital street. And in 2019/2010 we will be trialling circadian rhythm lighting to replicate the natural sleep and wake cycle. This kind of lighting can aid patient sleep patterns and help to minimise disruption to patients circadian rhythm while they’re staying in hospital. We’re also working closely with our local community to increase the amount we spend locally. Wherever possible we will choose a local company to supply the goods or services we need. Last year 9% of our suppliers were from the NN postcode and a further 13% were within 25 miles of NGH.

Thats the weight of 157 Asian elephants We have sold 45 wooden pallets for reuse

We have increased our non-clinical waste recycling by 38.3%. 7 tonnes of recycled non-clincal waste in total. That’s 7 polar bears We recycled 750kg of items and saved almost £4000 using recycling platform WarpIt Graphics provided by flaticon.com under the flaticon basic licence.

22 ❘ Insight

22 tonnes of food waste was sent away to generate renewable energy

Our money £290,000,000 We have a budget of

The past year provided new challenges and pressures both operationally and financially for the hospital. We have a budget of £290 million to provide the care for our patients. We’ve worked to invest in our estate, medical equipment and IT assets and have spent £20.3 million on improving our facilities for patients and staff However we focussed on provision of high quality care for our patients and working to achieve our savings goal of £14.5 million as set by our regulators. We’ve worked to achieve the challenging savings target however the challenge will continue for 2019/2020. As an acute trust we’re well prepared to face what lies ahead and have detailed plans agreed with our divisions and regulators, to support us to continue providing the best care for patients. We have been grateful for the support of the Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund in enabling us to purchase things which would have been above and beyond what the NHS could provide. Examples of projects that the charity have helped us to fund include £340,000 for our emergency assessment bay on Talbot Butler ward, funding a holiday caravan for our oncology patients and their families who would not otherwise have a holiday, and funding our successful Pathway to Excellence accreditation and application. We are grateful for their ongoing support and appreciate the efforts of our community in We have been grateful fundraising for our for the support of the hospital.

Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund in enabling us to purchase things which would have been above and beyond what the NHS could provide.

290 million

We have invested


in our estate, medical equipment and IT assets


was spent on opening the new

NYE BEVAN UNIT We received an additional


in non-recurrent funding, because we exceeded our financial target by £66k

We have achieved savings of

£14.5 MILLION Our charity paid out

£883,000 in grants, during the financial year

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Insight ❘ 23


aving full use of your hands is something that you may often take for granted. Our hand therapy team at Northampton General Hospital are here for patients who have sustained an injury to their hand or wrist. Patients will usually be referred to this service after undergoing plastic or orthopaedic surgery. The team here is made up of hand therapists with a background in occupational or physiotherapy with support from administrators. A wide range of treatments and programmes are available for patients who pass through the service after surgery. Hand therapist, Deborah Wheeler told us “We see patients throughout their program of care and provide a range of services from wound care to splinting, exercise and strengthening programmes, with the main goal of regaining movement in your hand.” After an injury to the hand or wrist, it is common for your hand to stiffen quite quickly, which can result in the loss of function and movement, If a tendon is damaged, they can stick, this can be considerably risky if a programme of hand therapy is not followed, as it can result in permanent loss of movement to your hand. Debbie explains “Swelling happens when you don’t move your hand often; it becomes glue like and stops tendons gliding and joints from moving as they should. Joints can stiffen and tendons can shorten.

Deborah Wheeler, senior hand therapists, Emma Baker, senior hand therapist and Jan Thomson administrator/receptionist.

24 ❘ Insight

We can see patients for a single appointment, where we might provide some take away exercises, or for extended periods of time, if a wrist has been in plaster for many weeks, you may require to see us for six months upwards.”

HAND THERAPY AND TECHNOLOGY: Various different technologies are used in the hand therapy department, from machines that produce splints out of thermoplastics and environmentally friendly woodcast, to wax baths which involves placing a hand into a liquid wax bath which helps relax soft tissues for manipulation and stretching. Debbie said “Our thermoplastic and woodcast splits are used to hold your hand in a certain position while it is healing, or to promote movement, we can then reheat these splints to change the positioning. We also use ultrasound for the promotion of healing and also were able to purchase an e-link which we raised money for through Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund. The e-link is a computer program and controller, which

relies on a user’s hand and wrist movements to control a basic videogame. It can be used by both children and adults and tracks data on the patient’s range of movement and the progress they are making with regaining hand movement.”

PATIENT STORY: I’ve visited the hand therapy department on two occasions, once in 2009 and again this year, my first visit was after severing the tendons in my left hand and requiring plastic surgery to join them back together. I had just under a years’ worth of appointments with the department, who taught me how to use my hand again. My most recent visit was after I partially severed a tendon, again in my left hand, when a glass shattered while washing the dishes. Initially, I thought I had cut the skin, so put a plaster on and went to bed. The next day, the pain continued and my hand started to become stiff, I visited the A&E department and found my tendon had been cut; I was referred to the plastic surgery for repair under local anaesthetic. Two weeks after surgery, I was back with the hand therapy team. My fingers had stiffened and were stuck in a straight position, and I was unable to make a fist. I received a programme of exercises and massage to release the scar tissue from my tendon, which slowly allowed free movement again. It’s a very strange feeling, as you are conscious that you are telling your brain to move your fingers, but they won’t. The use of your hands is certainly something you take for granted and I’m grateful that the hand therapists were able to bring movement back to my hand.

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The Cottage Care Home, 80 High Street, Irchester, Northampton, NN29 7AB T: 01933 355 111 E: cottage.reception@wellbeingcare.co.uk W: www.wellbeingcare.co.uk Insight ❘ 25

From the Archive

Cripps Post Graduate building


n the 8 May we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the official opening of the Cripps Post Graduate Centre . At a cost of £300,000, this WAS THE largest and possibly the best post-graduate medical centre in Britain at the time. It was built through the generosity of the Roade businessman Sir Cyril T Cripps, Director of Pianoforte Supplies Ltd. In 1919 the company moved from London to Roade to develop their piano metal

components business. The company grew into a major supplier of metal fittings for other trades, especially the motor industry, and created parts for vehicles and aircraft as part of the war effort. The Cripps foundation, a charity established in 1956 by the Cripps family, gifted £250,000 for the centre and also financed the staff recreation centre, built in 1974. Before the centre was built postgraduate studies were carried out in the boardroom. The idea for the Northampton centre was pioneered by three prominent members of the hospital staff, Mr W.C. Gledhill, chairman of the medical staff committee, Mrs A.T. Dalgleish, a senior consultant anaesthetist and Mr E.E.Taylor, a consultant general surgeon. In 1966, unable to devise a satisfactory plan within the financial limitations of the hospital, they sought a meeting with Sir Cyril Cripps, who showed an immediate interest in the project. After discussion with the co-trustees of the Cripps foundation, it was agreed to finance the centre. Its main purpose was to provide a meeting place for all doctors and

professional colleagues in the area. It was partly residential for medical students and had catering facilities for residential medical staff and visitors. There was a lecture hall seating over 200, a lecture theatre, a projection room and CCTV from operating theatres and other clinical areas in the hospital. On the lower ground floor there was a medical library, a seminar room for 23 people, a room equipped for audio visual studies and a sound-proofed television room. The Cripps centre was only one of many benefactions by this Northamptonshire philanthropist up to his death in 1979. The family, continues the foundations good work, believing people who have been so fortunate to amass great wealth should channel it to the greater good.

Northamptonshire Health Charity

A big thank you to all of you, our wonderful supporters Mark Warren’s son Harley was born 25 weeks early and spent time being cared for on Gosset ward. To thank them, he got together Harley’s Runners, raising a fantastic £2,677! Thank you all so much!

A very special thank you to all the members of Al Jamatul Muslimin of Bangladesh Mosque for donating £1,044.15 in aid of the new buggy for patient transport.

26 ❘ Insight

A big thank you to Michelle Munday & Wendy Stone who have raised £1,265.37 in aid of Gosset ward. The grandmothers of baby Noah walked and climbed an incredible one million steps between them.

Luke Pooley & Ben Smith both spent time on Gosset ward when they were born 16 years ago. A huge thank you to them both for raising £835 in aid of the ward, from a range of activities including a charity football match.

Callum Shields and his teammates at AFC Hackleton raised £850 in aid of the Snowdrop room in the maternity unit. Thank you to everyone who took part and raised this money at your latest Stars In Their Eyes event!

Northamptonshire Health Charity

Help us create a quiet room for elderly & dementia patients on Brampton ward

Jane Drew, Brampton activities co-ordinator “Having this new room will give us a space on the ward where we can take patients, daily activities for the elderly while in hospital…can be key to the success of their treatment.”

Help us transform this spacious storage cupboard into a relative’s room

Brampton ward is a short stay ward for the elderly and many of their patients have dementia. As hospitals can be disorientating and frightening for older patients or those with dementia, the team on Brampton have identified a space they would like to turn into a quiet room where patients can get away from the noisy ward. The new room will be a comfortable environment where activities can take place such as bingo, or armchair aerobics. The Northamptonshire Health Charity has been asked to fundraise for this precious space as unfortunately the room is not something the NHS will fund because it is not essential. The charity provides the funding to; improve the hospitals environment, buy the very best equipment and support staff development & training. With your help we can transform the existing store cupboard on Brampton ward to a peaceful room where patients can spend some quiet time with their relatives. The room will also be somewhere where doctors can have confidential and sometimes difficult discussions with patients loved ones. You can help us make this valuable difference to Brampton ward. The cost of transforming this area, together with furniture and fittings is £15,000. With the help of your donation we can make this happen. Thank you.

Insight ❘ 27

Northamptonshire Health Charity

Team Theo fundraises for CritiCool unit & kickstarts maternity garden appeal Rob and Kate Crussell are such an inspiration. Not only do they work tirelessly to raise awareness of pre-eclampsia but by October last year together with their team of friends and colleagues they had already raised well over £51,000 for charity. They do all this in memory of their first child, Theo. Theo sadly passed away 44 hours after an emergency delivery following Kate’s diagnosis of severe preeclampsia almost four years ago. Last August, Rob and nine friends took on a mighty challenge cycling from Northampton to Paris in four days. Their aim was to raise funds for a new piece of equipment for Gosset ward and maternity observation, where Theo and Kate were

Rob & Kate Crussell with some of the wonderful members of Team Theo.

The unit will help prevent further brain damage for babies

28 ❘ Insight

looked after. This was in addition to the donations in 2016 that had already helped us to purchase a cuddle cot for the Snowdrop room. This cuddle cot makes a huge difference to families by allowing parents to spend precious time with their baby after they have passed away. As part of their 2017/2018 fundraising for Gossett and maternity, including the 361 mile cycle to Paris, Team Theo smashed their £13,000 target to raise a massive £20,609.84! It is thanks to Rob, Kate and all of the wonderful members of Team Theo that the hospital has been able to purchase a CritiCool unit this year. This therapeutic cooling equipment helps to prevent further brain damage a baby sustains following a lack of oxygen to the brain by cooling the temperature of their head. Rob and Kate came in with some members of the team to officially present their amazing donation to staff. It also provided an opportunity for them to see the CritiCool unit on the ward. This dedicated and continued support for the hospital means that the care available to babies is now significantly enhanced. Following the purchase of the CritiCool, Rob and Kate have also very kindly donated the remainder

of their fundraising total towards our appeal for a new garden on the maternity ward. There really aren’t words available to convey our gratitude to them for being able to kick-start this new appeal with over £6,000! You have all helped to ensure lives are changed for the better. Thank you so much.

Rob Crussell “This couldn’t have been achieved without the help of all of Team Theo…and to every single person who sponsored, we couldn’t have done this without you all! Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts, you are all helping to keep the memory of our precious little boy alive.”

Northamptonshire Health Charity

Help us deliver a NEW outdoor space for maternity Birth is a life changing event and we know that when new mums give birth in the hospital it needs to be as welcoming and calming as possible. Having access to a garden from the maternity ward would give mums at NGH the opportunity to relax outside of the ward environment. Having a breath of fresh air in a pleasant garden environment could help to reduce stress, anxiety or give our patients much needed space and relaxation. We have an outside space available outside of Robert Watson ward bit it’s not currently accessible from the ward and it is in need of a makeover. We have launched a new appeal to raise funds to create access to and improve this outdoor space.

Janet Hoffman, Junior Sister on Robert Watson Ward “We’ve done a lot of work around the birthing process and we use the feedback from parents to improve the environment. Having an outdoor space would be both beneficial to our mums and their families…to be able to use the space already there and turn it into something wonderful would be great”

“We think helping the Robert Watson team gain access to a peaceful attractive garden from the ward for mums and their families to enjoy is a very special thing. If you think you can make a donation to enable this to happen, we would be very grateful. We will also be approaching local businesses to see if they can help.” Alison McCulloch We’re lucky to have wonderful supporters and this new appeal has been started from a very generous donation from Rob and Kate Crussell as seen on page 28. We are grateful to them and Team Theo for helping us to start the appeal with such a substantial donation. Also, leading by example from the maternity ward are midwife Sonia Jabke and ward clerk Laura McDermott, who are challenging themselves to abseil the express lift tower at the Northamptonshire Health charity abseil day on June 22nd. The duo admit to being rather nervous about the challenge ahead of them, but they know all too well how the money they raise will contribute towards the appeal. If you would like to sponsor them, make a donation or get involved with some fundraising please get in touch. Visit the appeal page on our website www.nhcfgreenheart.co.uk

Help us reach our target to create this new space for mums and mums to be.

Insight ❘ 29

Northamptonshire Health Charity

New logo launch for charity’s 3rd birthday We recently celebrated our third birthday and Staff and supporters recently celebrated the charity’s third birthday what better way than to celebrate with friends, supporters and a new logo. We would have loved to invite every kind and generous person who has helped to make a difference to the hospital but due to limited space we couldn’t invite everyone. However we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has made donations and taken part in fundraising events for us. It’s thanks to you that we are able to make things better for patients, staff and their families. Money from charitable funds doesn’t pay for standard equipment or medicines, but for equipment that is above and beyond what the NHS provides. For example, a Birthday cake to patient might decide to donate celebrate 3r d birt or fundraise for a piece of and logo rebr hday and equipment they might Alison McCulloch, have had to wait to charity coordinator use. Purchasing “We are almost like a support another such item mechanism for patients, range of initiatives at on Talbot Butler ward would reduce NGH, including: waiting times and R  elocating and donors and the hospital enhance patient  Chemotherapy suite enhancing the staff…from the hospital side care. Or people refurbishment emergency they have got somewhere to may want to  Purchasing Accuvein assessment on come to throw their ideas and fundraise for a equipment to make Talbot Butler ward piece of specialist finding veins easier We are grateful for the generosity say we could do with this in equipment that  Pull-down beds for of local people whose donations help make our the department, do you think enhances the care parents on the wards more comfortable and help us support the charity would be able to for patients and children’s wards staff development and training, buy the very best makes the job a little support it’?”  Activity boxes for wards to equipment, further medical knowledge & expertise easier for the staff. help engage dementia patients as and to help us improve the environment for The last three years part of the Do it for Dementia appeal patients and staff. You can choose to donate to has seen us support a  Creation of a relatives room the ward or service that most touched your family.

Help us today to improve lives tomorrow. How can you help? You can make a donation to the area of greatest need or to the area most personal to you, or alternatively why not try some fundraising? Contact the charity team to register your interest on 01604 626927, email greenheart@nhcf.co.uk or visit www.nhcfgreenheart.co.uk NorthamptonshireHealthCharity @NHCFGreenHeart

Ways to make donations  Post us a cheque: please make cheques payable to Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund or abbreviate to NHCF and post it, or hand deliver

to: Northamptonshire Health Charity, Springfield, Cliftonville, Northampton, NN1 5BE.  Bank transfer: please contact us.  Online: visit our website and click make a donation. M  astercard, Visa, Visa Delta and Switch: credit/debit card payments can be accepted over the phone. R  egular giving: you can donate regularly by setting up a standing order, please give us a call for details. P  ayroll giving: you can arrange with your employer to deduct a set amount each payday. Please give us a call for details.

G  ift in your will: Call us to find out how you can make a gift in your will. G  ift Aid: remember if you are a UK taxpayer we can claim an extra 25p from the Inland Revenue for every pound you donate. This won’t cost you a penny! Just let us know if you’d like us to claim Gift Aid when you donate. We really appreciate your donations and it’s important to us that they reach the ward/ department you choose. Please let us know which area your donation is for and please include your contact details so we can let you know when your donation has been received, thank you.

Your donation will make a real difference, thank you for helping us today to improve lives tomorrow. 30 ❘ Insight

Northamptonshire Health Charity

Thanks to you, we’ve reached our target!

Thanks to the incredible support from our local community, the emergency assessment bay on Talbot Butler ward has been open since late last year. The feedback we’ve received from patients and staff has been truly heart-warming. Patients are able to call up at any time, day or night, and if they need to come in to hospital for urgent assessment, they access the EAB instead of going through A&E. This wouldn’t have been possible without your fundraising and from your many thoughtful donations in aid of our appeal over the past year. We are so grateful to everybody for helping us create this new facility at NGH. One recent donation totalling £7,550 came from the Freemasons Emma Cuthbert, of Northampton and Talbot Butler Ward Sister Towcester. As a patient “Without having to go who had been through through A&E, it ensures a treatment, Richard Members of Freemason Lodges of Northampton & Towcester real continuity of care for our Norman picked up a presenting their donation to staff in the EAB. leaflet about the appeal. patients. They are able to be Richard then enlisted the Lactodorum Lodge, donations to come in, but we would like to share assessed and looked after assistance of provincial our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has got Towcestrian Lodge, more efficiently.” behind this appeal. It is thanks to our fundraisers grand charity steward, Spelhoe Lodge, Grey that the EAB is providing enhanced care to Gerry Crawford. Gerry Friars Lodge and Chapter patients. There are always improvements that can coordinated fundraising and of Fidelity. There were also be made so your continued support for Talbot donations from Lodge of Fidelity, several personal donations from Butler ward and the EAB is greatly appreciated. Masons and their families.

Members of the Rotary Club of Nene Valley pictured with EAB staff and some of the equipment their donation purchased.

Another recent donation came from best friends Jane Bayliss and Emily Rootes, who proved Smarties really do have the answer. While bored in hospital, Emily asked Jane to go and buy some Smarties. Families and friends were invited to join in the fun and receive a tube full of smarties in return for a tube of coins for charity raising an incredible £603.75. Alastair Rowton, Alan Sutton and David Latham, members of The Rotary Club of Nene Valley, also paid a visit to the EAB to see the equipment their generous £7,200 donation purchased. Thanks to their donation staff have bought an ophthalmoscope, otoscope, two cardiac monitors and two Dynamap vital signs monitors. There are a final few fundraising events and

Emily Rootes and Jane Bayliss presenting their donation to Paula Wadhams and Emma Cuthbert in the EAB.

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


Insight ❘ 31

Win a pair of tickets to

Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story on Monday 9 September at 7.30pm

“Forget feel good, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, is feel great! Experience the drama, passion and excitement as a cast of phenomenally talented actors and musicians tell Buddy Holly’s story, from his meteoric rise to fame to his final legendary performance at The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. Enjoy two Peggy Sue-perb hours of the greatest songs ever written, including That’ll Be The Day, Oh, Boy!, Rave On, La Bamba, Chantilly Lace, Johnny B Goode, Raining In My Heart, Everyday, Shout and many, many more!” Buddy- The Buddy Holly Story takes to the stage from Monday 9th to Saturday 14th September at the Royal and Derngate. For a chance to win a pair of tickets to see the production on Monday 9th September, get in touch and let us know which article you enjoyed most in this edition of Insight. Send your entry to communications@ngh.nhs.uk or by post to Insight Editor, Communications Department, Northampton General Hospital, Northampton, NN1 5BD. Please include a daytime telephone number with your entry so we can contact you if you’re the lucky winner. Send your entry to arrive by Friday 30th August 2019. The winner will be chosen by random lottery. Designed & Published by Octagon Design & Marketing Ltd, Hawks Nest Cottage, Great North Road, Bawtry, Doncaster, South Yorkshire DN10 6AB. Tel: 01302 714528

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