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50 in ye a th e N rs H S

Local Leader of the NHS

June/July 2010

PROJECT TEACHES YOUNG MUMS NEW SKILLS Teenage mums are learning job-friendly skills as part of a peer education project which has been launched in Doncaster. Four young mothers have taken part in the Peer Education Training Programme, which gives them the confidence and skills to go back into the classroom and share their experiences with other teenagers. The 12-week programme, which is co-run by NHS Doncaster Community Healthcare (DCH), includes sexual health training, presentation and communication skills and confidence building. The group has delivered sessions at Armthorpe School, Springboard Centre Pupil Referral Unit and Maple Medical Pupil Referral Unit. Sessions have also been arranged at St Thomas Wharton Community College and Don Valley School and Performing Arts College.

Back row: Karla Tomllinson (Connexions), Ricky Hurley (Teenage Pregnancy Midwife), Alison Parkes (Young Parents Centre), Paula Walker (School Nurse), Nicky Watson (Re-integration Officer), Debbie Burton (Youth Service), Alison Machin (Awards Worker, Youth Service) Front row: Peer Educators Tanya Devnil, Shelly Tate, Mally Hague, Hannah Marriott

The young mums signed up to the project, which is funded through the Youth Opportunity Fund, to help other young girls understand what life is like looking after a baby while their friends are still at school. They will also receive a peer education award accredited by educational charity ASDAN. Paula Walker, School Nurse at DCH, who co-runs the project, said: “This project will bring the young mums’ perspective into a classroom setting, giving school age girls a realistic view into life as a teenage mum. We hope the programme will enable young people to make more informed choices about their own health and future plans.”

Ricky Hurley, Teenage Pregnancy Midwife, said: “Whilst the programme will increase the young mums’ self-esteem and confidence we also hope it will have an impact on teenage conception rates by encouraging the girls to delay pregnancy until they have completed their education.” Peer Educator, Shelley Tate, said: “This course has given me lots more confidence to speak out about being a young parent. “It makes me happy to think we’ll be helping young people make the right choices in life and highlight the difficulties of being a young mum. I feel like it’s a massive achievement and I am proud to say that I’m a Peer Educator.”

National Breastfeeding Week Various activities have been planned to celebrate National Breastfeeding Week, which starts on 21 June. A health promotion stand will be in the Frenchgate Centre outside Debenhams on 21 June and will be used to launch Doncaster’s Breastfeeding Welcome scheme. The programme aims to get local health, social and business organisations to sign up to an agreement that guarantees breastfeeding will be protected on their premises. A stand will be present in the Doncaster Royal Infirmary antenatal clinic throughout the week, which will be staffed on 24 June. A health promotion trailer will also be taken to Clock Corner in Doncaster town centre on 25 June.

Meanwhile, breastfeeding training is now under way among Doncaster Community Healthcare (DCH) staff and sessions have been positively evaluated. Staff at NHS Doncaster and DCH have also been asked to sign a certificate of commitment as the organisations seek to gain accreditation from the Baby Friendly Initiative, a joint programme between the World Health Organisation and UNICEF. For more information about the Baby Friendly accreditation process contact Breastfeeding Coordinators Lizzie Ette and Debbie Ellis or Breastfeeding Project Worker Carrie Wardle on 01302 566 671 or e-mail


Back row from left to right: Fiona Jorden, Ronnie Moore, Dr Stuart Riley, Sadie Pickford, Roger Williams Front row from left to right: Katie Hopkins, Spotty Dog, Chris McCartney, Hannah Vickers

Millers legend Ronnie Moore stopped off at Meadowhall shopping centre in April to check out a key player in the fight against one of Britain’s deadliest cancers. The Rotherham United manager, who lost both parents to cancer, was joined by a number of the first team squad and NHS staff to encourage more people to use the bowel cancer screening kit. The screening programme has been running across Bassetlaw and South Yorkshire since February 2008 and invited 284,000 people to take part but only 150,000 have returned completed kits – an uptake of just 55 per cent. Ronnie, 58, who in a poll was voted Rotherham’s greatest ever player, said: “Most people know someone close to them who has died of cancer and that’s certainly true in my case as I was only 15 when my mum passed away with throat cancer. It had a profound effect on me and made me give up cigarettes as she had been a smoker for a long time. And my dad died of stomach cancer four years ago.

“April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and the players and I want to do all we can to encourage people to take up screening, as detecting the disease as early as possible gives the NHS an opportunity to provide life-saving treatment.” Around one in 20 people in the UK get bowel cancer making it the second biggest cause of cancer deaths in the UK. But if caught in time, 90 per cent of cases can be treated successfully. Everyone aged 60 to 69 and registered with a family doctor in Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield is being invited to take part in the screening programme. People are automatically sent a test kit to use in their own home and screening is free. Those aged 70 or over can request a free kit by calling the freephone helpline on 0800 707 6060. Dr Stuart Riley from Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital is Clinical Director of the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Bowel Screening Programme. He said: “Over 1,500 patients have had an abnormal screening result and we detected bowel cancer in over 200

of them through a follow-up colonoscopy examination - a detection rate of 13 per cent. The internal bowel examinations allow us to pick up cancers at an earlier stage when cure is much more likely. “During the examination we can also remove polyps from the lining of the bowel. Since most bowel cancers develop from polyps, removal of polyps can prevent bowel cancer. Early bowel cancers and polyps do not often cause symptoms so it is essential that the screening packs are returned.” KEY FACTS ABOUT BOWEL CANCER • Bowel cancer is a disease of the large bowel (colon) or rectum. It is also sometimes called colorectal or colon cancer. • Of the 100 new cases of bowel cancer diagnosed every day, almost 50 people die from the disease • Every seven days bowel cancer claims 322 lives – that is like a DC-10 passenger aircraft crashing every week

VERA’S HI-TECH HOUSEMATE IS A HEALTHY HELPING HAND Vera Maddison’s new hi-tech housemate is keeping the South Yorkshire gran in daily contact with local nursing staff and helping her stay out of hospital. The compact little computer, which is about the same size as a small paperback book, lets Vera, 82, monitor her vital signs at home rather than having to go to her family doctor practice or needing a nurse to visit. She is one of the first to benefit from a new £400,000 Telehealth programme being rolled out by NHS Doncaster, using state-of-the art technology to keep a closer check on patients whose on-going conditions can be controlled by medication and other therapies. Every weekday Vera, from Cantley, simply picks up the small touch screen unit and presses a button to link up via her home telephone line to a central data collection at NHS premises In Doncaster. Then, in less than a couple of minutes, a pre-recorded voice prompts her to carry out a series of self checks of her blood pressure, temperature and oxygen saturation levels using screening equipment which wirelessly relays the results to the mini computer for onward transit to the nursing team. Vera, who has serious chest problems and needs a round-the-clock supply of oxygen supplied from portable cylinders, said: “It’s so easy and a man with a lovely sounding voice talks me through the whole process and tells me exactly what to do. He asks me question like ‘Is my breathing any worse today than normal?’ and I then press the yes or no button depending on my answer. It’s reassuring to know

that the NHS is keeping an eye on me to prevent anything going wrong.” The daily ‘MOTs’ of Vera and patients with a variety of incurable conditions are then checked by health workers like Community Matron Mags Dowie, using a secure web link and password. The system provides an early warning of potential changes in a patient’s condition so action can be taken to avoid an emergency hospital admission. Mags said: “The self-checks are quick and simple to do and help patients to take greater control over managing their own health. Working with the equipment manufacturer, we have been able to tailor the units to suit patients with different conditions, including COPD (breathing problems), heart failure and diabetes. “The equipment is enabling us to see from a distance when health problems are starting to escalate so we can help patients like Vera manage how to deal with it. This includes, for example, advising her when to take antibiotics. We also liaise with the patient’s family doctor when we need additional advice. “A key factor is that the equipment is helping us to key a watchful eye over everyone but freeing up more time to concentrate on those patients who need extra help. It doesn’t take away the personal contact but means we can target our

Vera Maddison tests out her new Telehealth kit

resources when and where they are most needed.” Over the next three years, around 180 of the £1,500 apiece units will be installed in the homes of some the borough’s most vulnerable patients. Dr Kevin Lee, a local GP who is advising NHS Doncaster on long term conditions, said: “Our aim is that people should be ‘living with’ rather than ‘suffering from’ their condition or conditions. New telehealth technology like this will help our frontline staff to care for patients better, but of equal importance is that it will improve the quality of life of patients and help them become more independent. “Long term conditions like COPD, epilepsy, diabetes and stroke account for most of the emergency hospital admissions in Doncaster. Improving the management of these illnesses in the community will help avoid this happening. “Life expectancy is set to increase in Doncaster over the next 10 years and we expect to see the number of people aged 65 and over increasing from nearly 50,000 to around 62,000. We expect a corresponding increase in the number of people with long term conditions as the prevalence increases with age. We have a strategy for managing this which includes keeping people healthy to prevent ill health and providing support to those who need it.”

ARNOLD’S HALF CENTURY IN THE HEALTH SERVICE Arnold Drakeley (left) with NHS Doncaster Chairman Roger Greenwood

When Arnold Drakeley turned up on his first day at work for the NHS, Harold Macmillan was Prime Minister, the Everly Brothers were top of the charts and Burnley had just won the Football League. Now, 50 years later, he’s retiring after half a century’s loyal service to the NHS in Doncaster. The 65-year-old, who lives in Bennetthorpe, stepped down as Head of Strategic Partnerships at NHS Doncaster at the end of May. He said: “The best thing about working in the NHS has been the people. It’s been 50 years but I’ve enjoyed every second of it. I’ve made lots of friends and the people above and below me have always been very pleasant to work with. “What the NHS gives you is the feeling that you are doing something for the people. I don’t really feel like I’ve worked for the NHS for the last 50 years. I feel like I’ve been working for the people of Doncaster. That is a feeling that has given me a lot of pleasure.” Arnold, who is married to Valerie and has two children, Charlotte, 30, and Alexander, 28, left school

with no formal qualifications and started work aged 15 as a junior in the registration section in the Executive Council for the County Borough of Doncaster. As a result of promotions, job and organisation changes he has had 18 different job titles in the NHS in Doncaster over the last 50 years. During his career he was responsible for primary care estates and he secured the development and refurbishment of all the privately owned GP premises in Doncaster. This led to a significant improvement in patient experience and working conditions for primary care staff. In more recent years he has had responsibility for a wide range of initiatives including the Barriers to Work project, a joint programme with the Chamber of Commerce, Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council and Job Centre Plus, which looked at the problems faced by incapacity benefit claimants in Doncaster. Arnold played a vital role in helping Doncaster become a pilot site for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies, a service

to help people in the borough access talking therapies quickly and easily. He now sits as a director on the board of the Doncaster Central Development Trust and will continue to fulfil that role in a voluntary capacity after his retirement. Arnold and Valerie have just moved into a new home and plan to take a holiday later this year for a well-earned rest. Roger Greenwood, Chairman of NHS Doncaster, said: “Arnold is a respected leader and trusted colleague and he has greatly contributed to the ongoing success of the NHS in Doncaster over the last 50 years. “He has had an interesting and varied career and has remained a consummate healthcare professional throughout. He is a popular figure and everyone at NHS Doncaster will be sad to see him leave. We wish Arnold all the best in his retirement and sincerely thank him for all his contributions.”

TEENAGERS URGED TO MAKE RIGHT DECISIONS ON PROM NIGHT Young people across Doncaster are being asked to think carefully about sex as the school prom season commences. Hundreds of teenagers across the borough have been taking part in the It’s Your Prom Night – Get it Right campaign, which has been launched by NHS Doncaster. The campaign asks young people to work in groups to discuss and then make a list of 101 ways they can show someone that they love them instead of having sex. Suggestions put forward by pupils so far have included going for a romantic walk on a beach, writing their loved one a poem and sending them flowers. Posters aimed at 16 and 18-year-olds in years 11 and 13 have been put up in schools and youth services across the borough. It is hoped that the hard-hitting posters, which show a his and hers checklist for prom night including an unplanned pregnancy tick box, will raise awareness amongst teenagers of the risks of unprotected sex and reduce the number of teenage pregnancies in Doncaster. The campaign also encourages parents to talk more openly with their children about sex and contraception. Teenage pregnancy rates in Doncaster were reduced by 12 per cent between 1998 and 2008, from 73.68 conceptions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 17 in 1998 to 64.85 per 1,000 in 2008. But further reductions in the number of teenage pregnancies are a key priority for NHS Doncaster with the number of conceptions in 2008 158 greater than the 2010 target of 208.

Bronwynn Slater, Young People’s Public Health Improvement Coordinator, said: “Prom night can be a very special and emotional occasion for teenagers and they often want to share these moments with their boyfriend or girlfriend. But there are lots of different ways that they can show their feelings for each other without having sex. “Research tells us that many young people regret and don’t enjoy early sex. This delaying approach offers

ways of helping them meet emotional needs through means other than sex – for example through supportive friendships, until they feel genuinely ready. Delay aims to give them the awareness, skills and self-esteem to make positive choices for themselves.”

Neighbourhood Energy Officers Anthony Wright (left) and Ashley Gill (right) with Energy and Sustainability Team Leader for Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council Richard Smith

MEN ON BIKES RAISE AWARENESS OF FUEL POVERTY Council workers have been getting on their bikes to promote key messages about fuel poverty as part of an NHS Doncaster-funded scheme. Fuel poverty is when a household cannot afford to keep adequately warm at a reasonable cost. The most widely accepted definition is a household that needs to spend more than 10 per cent of its income to heat the home to an adequate standard of warmth.

Fuel poverty is a major health concern, both in terms of its effect on health, the additional pressures it places on local health services in the winter and the fact that it disproportionately affects the most vulnerable members of the community.

Travelling on bikes, Neighbourhood Energy Officers have visited some of the most vulnerable communities in Doncaster providing friendly, face-to-face advice to residents as part of the Neighbourhood Energy Action programme.

Many households in Doncaster contain one or more individuals who, because of age, long-term health conditions or disability, require higher temperatures for health and wellbeing or comfort.

They have offered top tips to households such as how to avoid build up of condensation and how to set heat controls to save energy. The project has targeted some of the most vulnerable communities in the borough including Balby, Edlington, Hexthorpe, Hyde Park, Stainforth, Town Centre and Wheatley, contacting over 10,000 households.

By addressing fuel poverty and affordable warmth the health of the population is improved, health inequalities are reduced and the quality of life and independence of people is enhanced. The number of deaths across the Doncaster community caused by the cold winter climate will also be reduced. Other services that are offered to households as part of the scheme include home energy reports, grants for heating and insulation

improvements, benefit entitlement checks, fire safety checks including safety exit checks and free smoke alarms, stop smoking assistance and free security measures for people over 50. Phil Micklethwaite, NHS Doncaster’s lead for Energy Efficiency and Carbon Reduction, said: “The project’s direct targeted approach to tackling inequalities has proven successful, with many households receiving multiple services where they might have not even accessed one. “The improved energy performance of buildings will help make residents healthier and reduce heating and lighting costs. “It will also improve the condition of buildings, contribute to making homes decent, reduce carbon emissions and help Doncaster meet national carbon reduction targets.”

SPOTLIGHT Under the What is your most valued possession? My cello – a really good one that suits your style is like a needle in a haystack!

Where would you most like to go on holiday? New Zealand because I would love to sail, walk and climb around Lake Taupo.

If you could be somebody famous for one day, who would it be and why? Jacqueline du Pre because it would be amazing to be able to play the Elgar and Dvorak Cello Concertos the way that she did.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given? I’ve been given two really good pieces of advice. The best manager is always willing to serve others and the map is not the territory.

What makes you laugh? Most things! Funny films and TV programmes like Friends, Scrubs and Have I Got News for You. What do you do to relax? I love outdoor sports and music so sailing, climbing, walking, and music-related things (playing the piano, cello and singing) or meeting up with friends to watch cheesy films. What is your favourite television programme? I don’t really watch much TV because I like to be outside but I’d probably go for Scrubs because it’s light hearted and comical.

What would you spend your last £10 on? My nieces and nephews because they are little cuties. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Probably an outdoor sports instructor or a music teacher because I’d love to be able to do more of both. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would do? I think I would book the whole family a holiday to New Zealand.

Catherine Leggett Equality and Diversity Manager

Who or what has been your biggest inspiration? Becoming a Christian as it completely changes every part of your life and perspective. What would you do if you had the gift of magic for a day? I would fly to Peru and get a bird’s eye view of the Inca Trail and make several stops before flying back.

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This is YOUR magazine and we want to hear from YOU If you have any items for future issues of the magazine please contact Matt Gibson on 01302 566 249 or email:

Staff planning any communication and engagement activity must liaise with the communication and engagement department before doing so. For more information contact Gordon Laidlaw on 01302 566 062.

NHS Doncaster Communicator  

NHS Doncaster Communicator

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