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T H E M A G A Z I N E F O R N O R T H A M P T O N G E N E R A L H O S P I TA L PAT I E N T S A N D V I S I T O R S February/March 2011 • Issue 35

Stopping stroke in its tracks Clotbusting drug is saving lives


Underdiagnosed, misdiagnosed and undertreated

? s i h t s WhoIt’’s ther! Docto


FRaEziE ne mag

WIN free tickets to Annie - SEE BACK PAGE Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

holly house Holly House is a residential care home situated in the village of Milton Malsor, south east of Northamptonshire. The home provides accommodation and personal care for up to 22 older people. Holly House is a large detached property with car parking space to the front and to the rear of the property. The accommodation consists of single bedrooms with en-suite facilities and a communal lounge and dining room. There is a large garden to the rear, which is accessible and has a seating area. The range of fees for 2010/2011 were provided by the Interim Management, starting at £480 to £550 per week. ● Activities ● ●

Outings programme Dementia, old age

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“Matt was quite chubby as a baby” said Mum Lynne

Pictures courtesy of Lynne Smith – not to be reproduced without permission

The Doctor was born at NGH The eleventh incarnation of The Doctor in BBC tv series Doctor Who was born at NGH. Matthew Robert Smith materialised at 16.45pm on 28 October 1982, weighing 8lbs 7ozs.

Who’s there? Doctor.

Matt’s mum Lynne told us: “I was due to be induced, and I remember that when I arrived I had a cold so was given my own room, which was lovely. I walked down to the labour ward in full make-up, my hair done, and all the nurses laughed and said that was rather unique! “After a short labour Matthew made his debut. He was going to be called Alexander, but when the nurse asked what he was to be called, my husband David said Matthew. That name was our second choice but, in all the excitement and me being drowsy on gas and air, Matthew it was. I’ve always joked about it, as Matthew in Hebrew means ‘gift from God’ and I certainly believe he was one special boy.

He was an exceptionally good baby but a very mischievous toddler – always into things he shouldn’t be, and breaking ornaments.

“I received wonderful treatment from the Barratt staff, and the auxiliaries could not have been nicer. I will never forget one special nurse, although I cannot remember her name. Overnight I was missing my baby boy so got up and went to see him in the nursery, and this special nurse was cradling him and giving him a drink of water. She was so lovely. “He was an exceptionally good baby but a very mischievous toddler – always into things he shouldn’t be, and breaking ornaments. Even now on set he is notorious for breaking several sonic screwdrivers, and his abundant energy works well as The Doctor. As a small toddler we had several visits to A&E with Matt, as he would always be banging his head or falling over. In the end he knew exactly where the play area was if we had to see a doctor. “Matt was quite a chubby baby, which makes me laugh now as he is so tall and slim, but from a very young age his love of sport and physical activity kept him in great shape. As a proud mum I always tease him and say ‘on Oct 28th 1982 ... a star was born!’”

Picture courtesy of Chronicle and Echo

And thanks to Matt and the Chronicle and Echo, one of our young patients had a fabulous Christmas present – a visit from Doctor Who! Seven-year-old Alfe Game spent Christmas 2009 in NGH having been diagnosed with nonHodgkin lymphoma. Since he went into remission last July, Alfe dedicated his time to collecting toys, and designing Christmas cards to raise money for children in a similar position. When Matt turned up on his doorstep in Duston to say ‘thank you’ on Christmas Eve, Alfe described it as “fantastic – the best Christmas ever”.


■ Contents ◗ NEWS & VIEWS 6 Spotlight

The NGH estates and facilities team pick up an award for our same sex accommodation – and launch a sustainability initiative.

7 Haematology appeal

As the staff move to a new temporary home, building work starts on a brand new unit.

◗ OUR SERVICES 9C  lot-busting drug gave me my life back

Read how Hartwell man Keith Harris made a complete recovery from stroke thanks to FAST action and clot-busting thrombolysis.

12 Maternity services update

More of our mums are breastfeeding, our midwives are nominated for awards, and a radio show is broadcast live from the maternity ward.

14 Migraine matters to millions

One in seven of us suffer from migraine. We talk to consultant neurologist Paul Davies about the NGH headache and migraine clinic.

16 G  old standard keyhole surgery

More patients are benefiting from keyhole surgery techniques following NGH investment in stateof-the-art equipment.

◗ OUR PEOPLE 20 In the spotlight

Meet some of our staff.

22 Domestic assistants

Research says that hospital cleaners are more valuable to society than City bankers.


Minister praises our discharge scheme A pioneering scheme which has helped keep hospital stays down has received the highest praise from a Government minister. Care services minister MP Paul Burstow visited NGH to find out more about ‘Think Home First’ – which helps to keep people out of hospital by ensuring they receive the care they need in their own homes. It is a multi-agency project involving the county council, local NHS organisations and the voluntary sector. Mr Burstow said: “This is a model of what we need to see happening across the country. It is fantastic to see local government and the NHS working together on a common cause this way. It’s so important to get people out of hospital quickly. Mr Burstow met Marjorie Hutchinson, aged 71, from Far Cotton, who was able to return to her own home four weeks after having a stroke and an operation. Mrs Hutchinson, who received a lot of support and visits from various agencies, said: “There is nothing like being in your own home. I definitely think it helped me to get better quicker.”


Carol Cowie, NGH project coordinator, said: “Think Home First is about getting people back into their own homes and not into residential care. Most people want to be in their own homes and we will do everything we can to get them there.” In November the project won both the Success in Partnership Working and the Putting Patients First categories at the national Health and Social Care Awards 2010.


Was Leila our lightest? We’re not cheap… …in fact we’re completely free! Despite it’s glossy look, the Insight magazine you are reading costs the NHS nothing to design and print, because it’s entirely paid for by advertising.

◗ OUR COMMUNITY 25 Feedback

It’s important to us at NGH that we spend our budget wisely, where it matters – on patient care.

26 Charitable Fund

We’re very grateful to the advertisers who support us, and help to ensure that we can continue to produce this magazine at no cost.

Praise from our patients. How your generous donations help us to do even more for patients.

28 Helping others

Our staff are helping to improve healthcare at Nandom in a remote area of Ghana.

29 Noticeboard

Ads, odds and ends – plus an invitation to come and join us.

30 Wayfinder

Where to find our wards and departments.

32 Competition

Win two free tickets to see Annie at the Royal and Derngate theatre.


Leila Greatorex with her mum Joanne Picture courtesy of Steven Prouse

Leila Greatorex weighed only 1lb 7ozs when she was born, three months early, at just 27 weeks gestation. She has just celebrated a special birthday – turning 11 on 11/1/11. After she was born in 2000, Leila was cared for by Gosset Ward neo-natal staff for almost three months. Leila and her mum now visit the hospital every Christmas Day to deliver chocolates for neo-natal staff and nappies for mums unprepared for an early birth. Mum Joanne said: “We’ll always remember the care Gosset Ward gave.”

We would welcome your support for our sponsors too – so, if you contact one of the advertisers in this issue, please tell them that you saw their ad in Insight. And regular readers may notice that we have been given a ‘new look’ with this first issue of 2011. We hope you like it, and we are always keen to hear from readers about how we can continue to improve the magazine. If you have any comments or suggestions, please email or call us on 01604 523871. Many thanks. Peter Kennell Editor



New interim chief executive appointed The hospital has a new interim chief executive to replace Paul Forden, who left the trust at the end of December. In announcing the appointment, chairman Dr John Hickey said: “I am delighted that Paul Farenden has agreed to take on the role of interim chief executive, and will lead us until we make a substantive appointment later in the year. “Paul is a local man who was previously chief


63 assaults on staff There were 68 physical assaults against NGH staff in the year 2009/10, a small increase on the 63 reported in the previous year. More than 2,500 NGH staff have attended conflict resolution training courses to help them de-escalate potentially confrontational situations. Security manager Andy Watkins said that staff were being encouraged to report all such incidents, however the number of assaults was a very serious matter. He added: “The majority of physical assaults reported are by patients who are perhaps in a confused state, or otherwise affected by their medical condition or treatment. However, staff who are committed to providing health services should not expect to have to suffer violence at work. People who do assault our staff should suffer the legal consequences.”

executive at the Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Paul has some 40 years of experience in healthcare finance, management and leadership. A qualified accountant, he has been chief executive in three NHS trusts over the last 20 years, where he has led large scale organisational change. His experience has provided him with an in-depth understanding of both the NHS and the wider healthcare system.”


Not a true reflection In the Dr Foster Hospital Guide published in November, NGH was one of 19 hospitals named as having high overall mortality ratios. Several NHS trusts named in the report have disputed its methods and findings, and NGH medical director Dr Sonia Swart said that the results did not reflect the quality of care provided at the hospital. She explained: “The figures are not actual death rates, which at NGH are some of the lowest in the country, but are complex calculations of how likely a patient is to die, based on their individual profile. We are working with Dr Foster to understand why the expected death rate has been set so low for NGH – currently the fifth lowest of 147 trusts in England - as this has a significant impact on the published rate.”

Keep up-to-date with news on hospital visiting arrangements and all the latest news on our website CELEBRITY VISITORS

They’re behind you! Disney children’s ward had a Christmas visit from the cast of Aladdin, the pantomime showing at the Deco. Stars of the show, Chesney Hawkes and Melissa Walton, were among the visitors who distributed souvenirs to the young patients, including nine-year-old Gabrielle Rice (pictured).

Welcome from our new interim chief executive Paul Farenden HAVING spent more than 40 years in the NHS including over 20 years in the acute sector, I am delighted to have the opportunity to work in my local hospital. NGH has experienced some difficult challenges over recent years but despite this has consistently improved the quality of care it provides to patients as a result of the dedication and commitment of its excellent staff. I hope I can help the Trust build on the improvement whilst it recruits a new chief executive. The challenges facing the NHS and its staff over the next few years are going to test us all. The economic climate and radical changes to the way the service is configured will require us to be particularly innovative to ensure we get the best value for money for our patients whilst ensuring that the quality of the care we provide improves. Safe, high quality patient care that is responsive to the particular needs of our local community will be the bedrock of the Trust’s approach to its work over the next few years. This will be achieved by working closely with our stakeholders, partners and patient representatives. The Trust Board’s focus will be on providing high quality patient care from a stable financial base whilst requiring Foundation status and becoming the hospital of choice for our catchment population. I very much look forward to working with you all. Paul Farenden Chief executive


The Index NGH news in numbers…


£1 every 15 seconds The annual NGH energy bill is £2.3 million.


Members of staff were physically assaulted in 2009/10


Medicines a day are issued by the NGH pharmacy. That’s more than three every minute.

10lbs 7ozs Was the weight of our first baby of 2011, Alexia Bubnova, born at 2.30am on New Year’s Day

£1/2 million

was the cost of our new state-of-the-art scanner – more news in our next issue

7 miles That’s the amount of ground covered by a hospital porter on an average shift – the equivalent of two Grand Nationals! 6 ❘ INSIGHT

Same sex accommodation wins national building award NGH has scooped a national award for its response to providing same sex accommodation at the hospital. Staff from the estates and facilities team were presented with the award by garden designer Diarmuid Gavin at the Building Better Healthcare Awards in November. The project enhanced same sex accommodation in the hospital by providing 24 en-suite bathrooms in six wards. Instead of taking space from within each bed bay of the wards, a creative solution saw new bathroom ‘pods’

added to the outside of the building, linked to each bed bay. This meant that no bed spaces were lost, and the work could be carried out quickly and with very little disruption to patient care. Kevin Hackett, deputy director of facilities, said: “We have improved accessibility to toilet and shower facilities from bed bays so that patients no longer have to pass bays of patients of the opposite sex. The shorter distance has also helped promote patient independence.”

Sustainability action plan launched STAFF were invited to “Suss out Sustainability” at the launch of a programme to help NGH reduce its carbon footprint. The NHS plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, which would mean NGH cutting its own carbon dioxide output from 12,200 tonnes to 2,700 tonnes a year. The hospital has launched its programme of initiatives including offering discount parking passes to staff who car share, double glazing in the older areas of the hospital site and a computer programme which shuts down personal computers after 6pm. Figures show NGH runs up a total energy bill of £2.3 million a year – or £1 every 15 seconds – and the measures put in place will save NGH £125,000 a year over the next four years. Charles Abolins, director of facilities, said: “It’s not just about being green, the money we save can be ploughed back into hospital care. For instance, we

spend £20,000 a year disposing of waste - which is almost the equivalent of a nurse’s salary.” The action plan for the next 12 months covers areas such as energy management, procurement, travel and transport, waste and water management, and building design.




Work is under way on new unit

Laparascopic surgery is now gold standard A national audit of theatre equipment published last November placed NGH in the ‘bronze’ category of hospitals who were using outdated equipment for keyhole surgery. In fact the audit was based on data gathered early in 2010, since when a range of new equipment had been purchased and brought into use.

Plan showing the layout of the new enlarged haematology suite

Last July, NGH teamed up with Macmillan Cancer Support and the Chronicle & Echo to launch a £1.55 million appeal for a new haematology unit to treat blood cancer patients. The public response has been superb, and we are very grateful to all the individuals and businesses who have given up their time and money to support us. Although we are still a good way from our target, we are pleased to say that building work has now started, and we will be updating you as the brand new unit takes shape over the coming year. Meanwhile, haematology staff have moved out to a new temporary home in the elderly medicine department (Area R, entrance from the road towards car park 5 from Billing Road).

Here’s what our new unit will provide ◗ An extension to allow for more space to treat patients. ◗ A new back entrance with access for patients who find it difficult to walk, and a new garden – shared with Talbot Butler ward – that will offer a calm refuge for patients and their families.

between chairs, hand-held DVD players and earphones to allow patients to watch or listen to something while they receive their treatment. ◗ A revised layout, with all nursing elements at one end of the unit. ◗ More consulting and examination rooms, a procedure room and a separate treatment area with a bed for those who need to lie down to receive chemotherapy.

How you can help ◗ Make a donation ◗ Take part in a Macmillan event, or organise your own fundraising – the Chronicle & Echo will help give you free publicity (call Northampton 467035) ◗ Organise a collection ◗ Involve others at work, school, college, community group etc ◗ Leave a legacy To find out more, or to get involved, contact the fundraising team on 01676 535452 or email

◗ A counselling room backing onto the garden and allowing for a quiet exit from the building for people who have been given bad news. ◗ A light, bright, more comfortable waiting room with more space and a more informal feel. ◗ A new beverage bar staffed by volunteers. ◗ A new office with nurses’ station allowing more space for staff to work and the opportunity to make sensitive phone calls when necessary. ◗ A bigger treatment room with more space

Haematology sister Annette Steele, and Macmillan clinical nurse specialist Trish Hughes

Clinical director of surgery Richard Bell

Clinical director of surgery Mr Richard Bell said: “We should now be given a ‘gold’ rating, because the trust has invested a huge amount in not only new but state-of-the-art laparascopic equipment, including high-definition cameras and monitors. “We are also delighted to say that three laparascopic specialist surgeons have been appointed in the last year to develop keyhole surgery at NGH. These posts have also been key to the delivery of new laparascopic training which has attracted surgical trainees from elsewhere. “It’s excellent news for the hospital, and it means that patients are now recovering very quickly from major cancer surgery. They can go home and get back to normal activity much sooner – sometimes with only a one or two day stay in hospital. There’s good evidence that people recover better at home, and that’s where they want to be. It’s best for the patient and best for the family, and if we can do that without increasing the risk, this type of surgery is definitely the way forward.” Read more about how our keyhole surgery is making a huge difference to local prostate cancer patients, in our feature starting on page 16.


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Clot-busting drug gave me my life back A Hartwell man was back home within 48 hours of suffering a stroke, after clot-busting treatment at NGH stopped the symptoms in their tracks. It was 4pm on a Sunday afternoon when Keith Harris started to feel unwell. He said: “I started to feel as if I was drunk, losing my balance. My wife Pat looked at me and said she thought I was having a stroke. We called an ambulance, and the person on the phone kept talking to Pat until the paramedic arrived in a car. He did some tests on me, and at that point I’d virtually lost all use of my right side. Shortly after that the ambulance arrived and I was taken to hospital, though from then on I’ve got no recollection whatsoever. “The next thing I remember is seeing Dr Srinivasan at the bottom of the bed telling me to raise my right arm and leg. Slowly but surely the use came back, and within two hours I had recovered full use of my right side completely. I was kept in hospital overnight, seen by Dr Srini and assessed by physios on the Monday, and went home on the Tuesday.

I cannot praise the service enough – it was really, really good. I owe my life to the whole team of people involved.

“I’m fine now, and you wouldn’t think there was anything wrong with me. I’m very lucky because we’d arrived home the day before from two weeks holiday in the Dominican republic. If it had happened there, or on the flight home, it might have been a different story. “I cannot praise the service enough – it was really, really good. I owe my life to the whole team of people involved. They gave me my life back. I don’t know what it would have been like if I had not been able to have that treatment. I would probably have been in rehabilitation for a very long time. So I owe a lot to those people, and I thank Dr Srini every time I see him. He says ‘I’m only doing my job’ – but it’s certainly a very, very worthwhile job!”

Read more about Keith’s treatment overleaf >>



Last year Northampton General Hospital was designated the Primary Stroke Centre for Northamptonshire. One of five centres in the East Midlands, it means that stroke patients can get quick access to the specialist care they need, including clot-busting thrombolysis when appropriate.

Time is brain FAST action is required at the first sign of stroke A stroke is a medical emergency and every second counts. The sooner you are diagnosed and treated, the less damage will be caused to your brain. Time is brain, say stroke experts. A stroke is a ‘brain attack’ and is caused by a disruption of the blood supply to the brain. This is either the result of a blood clot (called an ischaemic stroke) or due to bleeding in the brain from a burst blood vessel (a haemorrhagic stroke). Ischaemic strokes make up 85% of stroke cases. Different emergency treatment is given for the two types of stroke, and tests are needed to ensure the right type is given. People who have had a stroke will need a brain scan, blood tests, blood pressure checks and an electrocardiogram (ECG) to find the cause of the stroke, what damage it has done and what medical treatment is needed.


The earlier thrombolysis is given the better, because it can mean that more of the brain is saved.

Treatment may involve thrombolysis, which breaks down clots. Clotbusting drugs work by destroying the chemical bonds that hold a clot (thrombus) together. It is given intravenously, through a small tube in a vein of the arm. But clot-busting treatment is only really effective when given soon after a stroke and within three hours of the first symptoms. That is why it’s so important to go straight to hospital if you think you or someone else has had a stroke. Factors such as the severity of the


stroke and medical and family history are considered before the decision is made to use thrombolysis. Before thrombolysis can be given, a CT brain scan is needed to check the type of stroke that has occurred.

Not all patients are suitable for this treatment, but there are other things we can do to help them recover.

The aim is to give the clot-buster drug alteplase within 30 minutes of arriving in hospital, said NGH stroke consultant Dr Venkatesan Srinivasan, usually known as Dr. Srini. He said: “It’s a drug that breaks down blood clots within the artery, which enables blood flow to return. The earlier thrombolysis is given the better, because it can mean that more of the brain is saved. It is essential the drug is administered within three hours. “Keith Harris is one of many stroke patients we have been able to save from more serious consequences. He was given thrombolysis within about two hours of symptoms developing, and he was allowed home two days later and avoided long-term damage. “Not all patients are suitable for this treatment, but there are other things we can do to help them recover. And for all people who have a stroke, lifestyle changes - such as stopping smoking, moderating alcohol intake and a healthy diet - may be required.”




More local mums are breastfeeding Four out of five new mothers at NGH are now breastfeeding their babies, the highest rate we have ever recorded. And a new breastfeeding support service is being introduced, where trained peer supporters contact new mums in hospital and at home to check on their progress and offer advice. NGH breastfeeding co-ordinator Kate Bates said: “This is fantastic news for both mums and babies. It’s widely recognised that breastfeeding gives infants the best possible start in life, especially if they exclusively breastfeed for the first six months. “Our staff work hard to make sure that

pregnant women understand why breastfeeding really matters, and we give lots of ongoing help with feeding in the first hours and days. For the one in five mothers who choose not to breastfeed, we offer help with bottle feeding too.” New mum Becky Larkin from Daventry had her first baby, Michael, at NGH in November and decided to breastfeed. She said: “I was given a lot of information about breastfeeding at the hospital and I think it’s the best way. It’s good for the baby. The hospital have given me a lot of support and I go to one of their breastfeeding groups.” Emma Reast

Mum to Mum support A new breastfeeding support service called Mum to Mum has been commissioned by NHS Northamptonshire, and is being delivered under contract by Baby Ways. The supporters are all local mothers who have all breastfed their own babies. They have completed a course so that they can help mums with any questions or concerns they have before or after they have their baby. Emma Reast, who will be co-ordinating the peer supporters for NGH mums, is looking forward to her new role. She said: “As a breastfeeding mother myself I received invaluable support from Baby Ways, which helped me to successfully feed my first son until he was one. I hope that our support will help mums to successfully feed for as long as they would like to. Breastfeeding has so many health benefits, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to support new mothers in this way.”

Breastfeeding co-ordinator Kate Bates with new mum Becky Larkin and baby Michael Picture courtesy of Chronicle and Echo


Keep up to date with Mum to Mum news and activities at or email for more information. Get in touch with the Northampton office of Baby Ways on 01604 492474.



Midwives on awards shortlist Two innovative projects designed and implemented by the NGH maternity unit were shortlisted for a national award by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM). The introduction of a homebirth team was shortlisted in the ‘implementing government policy’ category of the 2011 RCM Annual Midwifery Awards, and an educational programme for midwives from Europe in the category for ‘excellence in midwifery education’. The launch of the NGH homebirth team in April last year enabled the unit to offer more choice to women, and to handle more efficiently the rising number of homebirths in the local area. In the first six months of operation the team received 500 referrals, and homebirths now account for around seven per cent of all NGH births – one of the highest rates in the country. The team is led by senior midwives Anne Richley, Bobby Williams and Sally O’Connell. Anne said: “Having a dedicated team of 12 midwives to focus on home births means that we can provide a high quality service. We also provide antenatal and postnatal care of the women who choose to

birth at home, and the feedback we are getting is that women are delighted with the way we look after them. Staff are reporting an increase in job satisfaction too, and there is better continuity and communication across the whole of the NGH maternity service as a result.” An educational programme to enhance the knowledge and skills of midwives from Europe was developed by Dr Sarah Church, senior lecturer in midwifery at the University of Northampton, in partnership with the hospital. NGH supervisor of midwives Krystyna Grey said: “We are seeing an increase in applications from midwives trained within Europe, and this programme was developed to offer them appropriate support. It is not a means of assessing their competency, but is designed to enhance their knowledge and skills, and help them to apply those within the context of UK practice. Those who have completed the programme say it has boosted their confidence as well as their technical knowledge, and that of course helps us provide a better quality of care for the women we support.”

Joe talks to midwife Ola Oluwatayo

Matron Helen McCarthy (right) with producer Anna Bartlett and Joe P

Baby talk on the BBC As part of BBC Radio Northampton’s Health Week in January, the station’s breakfast show was broadcast live from Robert Watson Ward on the NGH maternity unit. The three-hour show started at six o’clock so not surprisingly our new mums weren’t keen to chat, but presenter Joe Pignatiello spoke to many of our staff, who gave listeners a fascinating insight into life on a maternity ward.

Midwives Anne Richley, Sally O’Connell, Bobby Williams from the homebirth team; midwife Nedyalka Apostolova, supervisor of midwives Krystyna Grey, midwife Ivelina Doncheva, representing the European midwives education programme

The show generated some great feedback, with people ringing and texting in to the programme saying how well they had been treated, and praising their midwives for the care they had received. Special thanks to our many radio stars, who included: porter Max Makiniza, hostess Wendy Nice, maternity care assistant Lynn Price, midwives Marie Marshall, Ola Oluwatayo and Caroline van der Kuil, bereavement counsellor Jane Percival (and Spike!), risk manager Krystyna Grey, matron Helen McCarthy and head of midwifery Anne Haines.



Migraine matters to millions

Underdiagnosed, misdiagnosed and undertreated One in seven of us in the UK suffer from migraine. That’s over eight million people, the equivalent of the population of Wales and Scotland combined. But the condition is often not diagnosed by doctors, says consultant neurologist Dr Paul Davies, even though treatment is available. The NGH neurology department is home to one of only around 30 headache and migraine clinics in the country. It is led by neurology specialist nurse Tess Astbury, and Dr Davies is one of two consultants who help patients manage their condition. We asked him to tell us more about the work of the clinic.

What is the most common condition you see?

“We often see people because they’re worried that there’s something seriously amiss, but there almost never is. The vast majority of headache is benign, that is, no danger to health, and it comes in various shapes and sizes. We see hundreds of people a year, including many cases of tension type headache, the less common but more painful cluster headache, and also a lot of people with a medication overuse headache. These are cases where dependence on painkillers has made things even worse.”

“One of the most common is migraine. It affects 15 per cent of the entire British population, and the average attack frequency is one a month, so that’s a lot of people having a fairly regular migraine. “Migraine is a term that’s misused, and there’s a lot of misinformation about the condition. Some people think that unless you get the flashing lights you haven’t got migraine – but the most common form of migraine doesn’t have flashing lights. There are different types and whatever type you have it’s a rather unpleasant condition, and it’s more than just a bad headache. “Unfortunately it’s not always certain that if you go to see your GP you will get good treatment, because many doctors were never taught about migraine. Nor was I as a general medical student, until I went into neurology. So migraine is underdiagnosed, and it’s often considered a low priority, but it’s actually a very treatable condition – and there’s certainly more treatment available now than 20 years ago.”

What is the role of the clinic?

What does treatment normally consist of?

“Our role is to recognise if there is any serious cause, diagnose what type of headache we are dealing with, and provide some appropriate form of treatment. Most headache is treatable. A lot of it is not curable, so we try to help people control their condition rather than have it control their lives.

“Most treatment revolves around two types of drug. There is acute therapy that you take when you’ve got the headache, and preventative or prophylactic medication that you take every day to stop the problem coming on in the first place. The risk with the first type is that if you use

What are the main types of headache that people present with? We see hundreds of people a year, including many cases of tension type headache, the less common but more painful cluster headache, and also a lot of people with a medication overuse headache.

Diagnosis is very important, because understanding what type of headache you’ve got, what triggers it, is a starting point for finding a treatment that works.”

it too frequently you can make matters worse, and the problem with the prophylactic type is that many people are not very keen on taking daily tablets. They may be happy taking daily painkillers but they don’t particularly want to take a migraine prevention pill – even though there is evidence that those pills are very effective.”

Are there any non-drug treatments? “Yes, there are. Neck physiotherapy can be helpful for people with neckrelated problems, and psychological input can be helpful where stress and anxiety is a key factor. Or for people who are not keen on tablet treatment, the solution may involve acupuncture. So we liaise with the pain relief clinic, physiotherapy and other departments to provide the appropriate treatment.”

What about any new developments? “We often get involved in new drug trials. For example, Botox is a new licensed treatment for chronic migraine and, although we are not yet commissioned to provide it, we are one of the centres training doctors in this form of treatment. We hope that specialising in headaches of various kinds in our clinic we can benefit Northampton patients, and hopefully bring them the latest treatments.”

How satisfying is the work you do? “Not every patient we see in the clinic is a success, but we have enough successes to get job satisfaction, and we do feel it’s a job worth doing. It’s great when people come back and say how they have vastly improved. It’s a condition that needs a higher profile, and we’re doing our bit here to make that happen.”

For more information about migraine, visit - the Migraine Trust is the health and medical research charity for migraine in the UK.


Dr Paul Davies was the lead author of a paper that won an award for the best research publication on cluster headache in the world last year. He and colleagues went on to give the seventh cluster headache award lecture at the European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress in Nice where there were 1200 delegates

INSIGHT â?˜ 15


Keyhole surgery is ‘superb’ NGH has invested a huge amount in new, state-of-the-art laparascopic equipment, including high-definition cameras and monitors, and appointed three specialists in keyhole surgery. Northamptonshire patients now benefit from the latest techniques, and are recovering from major cancer surgery much more quickly. Clinical director of surgery Mr Richard Bell said: “We’re now providing a ‘gold standard’ of keyhole surgery, and patients can get back to normal activity much sooner – sometimes with only a one or two day stay in hospital.” Total removal of the prostate gland is a common operation for treating prostate cancer. Known as a radical prostatectomy it is major surgery with many possible side effects.

techniques available at NGH, patients have less pain, spend less time in hospital, and return to normal activities more quickly than with conventional surgery.

But with the keyhole surgery

Our first patient to be treated

with this minimally invasive technique in March 2010 thought it was “absolutely superb”. He even said that he would rather have the operation again than go to the dentist!

A nurse assured me it was all done, but I couldn’t really believe it. I didn’t feel sick, I had no pain, no soreness. Some of the theatre team – John Beatty, Jenny McKeown, Kate Broad, Anthea Pinder, Richard Bell



PATIENT STORY The operation is very much a team approach – it’s not down to one surgeon.

Meet our expert Our first patient David Hewlett (centre) with Richard Bell (left) and John Beatty

Patient: David Hewlett, 63, Wootton Hall Park Procedure: Laparascopic radical prostatectomy David Hewlett had not experienced any symptoms, but a blood test revealed that he had a prostate problem, and further tests confirmed an early stage cancer. David said: “All my options were explained to me, and I asked whether my prostate could be taken out to cure the problem. My consultant Mr Beatty told me that he was about to start performing the operation by this new method, which had a number of benefits, and I said ‘that’s fine with me’. “It’s true I also said ‘So you’re going to practice on me then?’ but he’s such a great guy he completely put my mind at rest. He’s a lovely man and I just haven’t got high enough praise – it was absolutely superb.” David said: “I went in at 7.30am, and when I woke up around midday I asked ‘have you done it yet?’ A nurse assured me it was all done, but I couldn’t really believe it. I didn’t feel sick, I had no pain, no soreness – and it’s been the same to this day. I was advised to take some paracetamol to avoid getting a pain, but I didn’t really need them at all. I spent one night in hospital and was home by 10.30am next morning. “A buddy of mine had the same operation a year before by open surgery and he was in hospital for nine days. For seven of those he felt absolutely terrible, and he was walking around like an old man for about five weeks. The advance is incredible. Keyhole surgery is fantastic.” David’s operation was a complete success, and Christmas 2010 was a better one for him than the previous year, after he had just received his diagnosis. He has since offered to speak to other patients who have needed the same operation, to put their minds at rest. “I’ve had a couple of guys phone me up, and they seemed much better after I’d spoken to them. There’s just nothing to worry about. Honestly, I would rather have that operation again than go to the dentist!”

Consultant urologist John Beatty

Consultant surgeon Mr John Beatty went on a fellowship to University Hospital in Leipzig for two months to do nothing but keyhole prostate surgery every day. This intensive experience ensured that he and NGH could provide the operation for local patients in complete safety and without outside mentorship. Here he explains more about the procedure.

THE SURGEON’S VIEW “This minimally invasive operation is for men who have localised prostate cancer and need the entire prostate removed, often with the draining lymph gland. Very complex cases might still need open surgery, but the great majority of our patients will be offered the keyhole approach. We are likely to be doing about 50 of these operations every year. Although we have been offering the service since the start of 2010, it’s really taken off since September, when we started to do them every week. It’s the same surgery but using the keyhole approach. It’s still a major operation. We don’t take any short cuts, and there’s nothing different that we do. The major advantages are that we have magnified vision for more accurate surgery, patients spend less time in hospital, they need fewer painkillers, and eating is much improved. Their recovery and return to work or normal activity

is also much quicker. There is much less tissue disruption than with a big cut required by open surgery. We use five small holes. Patients can go to a normal ward after surgery instead of to the high dependency unit, and they can eat and drink as soon as they come round. There is minimal scarring compared to the old method. I perform the operations with a surgical assistant, who also needs to be very skilled. We’re now using a robotic camera holder which has helped a great deal because it provides a very steady picture, so that we can perform surgery even more accurately. The operation is very much a team approach – it’s not down to one surgeon. The nursing staff have also needed to get used to different equipment and techniques used in this type of surgery.”



❝I’d definitely recommend❞

Fact file ◗ The prostate is a small gland in the pelvis that is found only in men. It is located between the penis and the bladder and surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis. ◗ Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It is responsible for 25 per cent of newly diagnosed cases of cancer in England and Wales. ◗ The chances of developing prostate cancer increase as you get older, with most cases developing in men aged 65 or older. ◗ The outlook for prostate cancer is generally good despite it being relatively challenging to treat. This is because, unlike many other cancers, prostate cancer usually progresses very slowly. It can take up to 15 years for the cancer to spread from the prostate to other parts of the body. ◗ The PSA test is a blood test that measures the level of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. PSA is made by the prostate gland, and some of it will leak into your bloodstream depending on your age and the health of your

Patient Rodney Hardwick


Patient: Rodney Hardwick, 60, Duston Procedure: Laparascopic radical prostatectomy

Everybody says Mr Beatty is ‘a very nice man’ and he is. He even phoned my wife up to let her know the operation had gone well.


Rodney Hardwick also found out about his prostate cancer by means of a blood test. He said: “I asked for a PSA test at the same time I was to be tested for diabetes as part of a well man clinic. A biopsy confirmed a growth, but we agreed to keep it under surveillance for a while. A year later it had grown a little and it was time to do something about it. Fortunately in the meantime keyhole surgery had become available at NGH and I chose to have the prostate removed that way. “Everybody says Mr Beatty is ‘a very nice man’ and he is. He even phoned my wife up to let her know the operation had gone well. I think keyhole surgery is great – the longest cut was only about an inch. I was given paracetamol on the ward immediately after the operation but I’ve had no need for painkillers since. “Even the food was good. You get a choice of courses, and you get a choice of portions. I realise what difficulties they’re under, but for mass catering I think it’s great. I’d definitely recommend this hospital – although I’m not planning to be back!”

We’re very grateful to Prostaid and the Wellingborough Sikh Society for needed robotic camera holder

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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. ©2011. Britannic Chambers, 8a Carlton Road, Worksop, Notts. S80 1PH. Tel: 01909 478822

To advertise in this publication please call the sales team on 01909 478822 INSIGHT ❘ 19




Remembering Jeff Gosden Former hospital chaplain Jeff Gosden died after a short illness in December at the age of 51. Most recently he worked as the lead chaplain at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton. Jeff leaves a wife and two young children. These are a few words from our senior hospital chaplain Revd. George Sarmezey. Jeff joined us here at NGH in July 2002 as associate hospital chaplain. He had come to us with many years of experience of chaplaincy at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Before seeking ordination within the Baptist ministry Jeff had worked in insurance as an assessor; his ministerial training was completed at Northern Baptist College in Manchester in the early 1990’s. One of Jeff’s great qualities was his thorough attention to detail; whether carefully reading through the small print of a document, or the pastoral care of a patient on a ward. Jeff always said that his calling was to be with people wherever they were, in their joys and sorrows. This was one of the great gifts that he brought to the chaplaincy department.

Sheila’s a CBE Former NGH medical director Dr Sheila Shribman has been awarded a CBE for services to children after dedicating her career to paediatrics. Sheila began her career as a paediatrics consultant at the hospital in 1985, working her way up to medical director, and twice served as interim chief executive for the trust. In 2005 she took up a new role with the Department of Health’s advisory board as the national clinical director for children, young people and maternity services. Until recently Sheila continued to work one day a week in NGH out-patient clinics, but has hung up her stethoscope to work behind the scenes instead. She said: “I am thrilled and surprised, it is a great honour – and I hope people will feel they can share in celebrating it with me. It is because of fantastic team work that I am receiving this. You can’t do anything in life without a team or colleagues. “I’ve wanted to be a paediatrician since I was 13 so I’m very lucky to be able to do what I want to. I’m absolutely passionate about young people and children. Sheila added that she is very much looking forward to receiving her CBE, which she intends to collect with her GP husband Jonathan.


As a chaplain Jeff showed a compassion and love with those he met on the wards and around the hospital. I would always hear positive reports from those he ministered to. As a friend and colleague Jeff was supportive and caring; he could be relied on to make good decisions, being wise and perceptive. We shared a love of Fawlty Towers and Black Adder; quotes from both were regularly used to lighten the day when things looked bleak in the office. I, along with the rest of the hospital community will always cherish the memories that we have of him. We were all privileged to have worked with him. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.




Photo success Congratulations to Duncan Kempson and Lee Hillyard of our medical illustration department, who have both been recognised in the Institute of Medical Illustrators annual awards.

It is encouraging that the department is capable of producing work that withstands peer review.

Laura walking up Snowdon

Laura’s trek Laura Grant from the Booking Centre has pledged to help fund a scanner for urology - by signing up for eight days of trekking the Great Wall of China!

My partner Chris and I were looking for a physical and mental challenge, and wanted to raise money for a good cause at the same time.

Laura said: “My partner Chris and I were looking for a physical and mental challenge, and wanted to raise money for a good cause at the same time. The trip to China has been organised through a company called Discover Adventure and involves walking up to eight hours a day over rough and rocky terrain. We understand there will be A LOT of steps! “We will be travelling along some of the more remote areas of the wall and staying in local villages along the way. We have been training since the summer, and took part in a training weekend in Snowdonia in September.” “I decided that I wanted to donate any money we raise to a department within the hospital. We did think of bigger charities but sometimes it’s better to give closer to home and see the benefits first hand. I work in

the Booking Centre where I book the 2-week-wait appointments. One of the departments I book for is urology, where I know that the nurse team are desperate for a mobile bladder scanner. Currently they do not have one of their own and have to borrow one from other wards. “I have spoken to Graham Smith (urology nurse practitioner) and he says that if they were to have their own mobile bladder scanner it would mean the clinics would run more effectively and efficiently. Most importantly, it would reduce inappropriate catheterization, reducing the risk of infection to patients.

Lee picked up two bronze awards for his clinical images, ‘eroding ICD’ and ‘recurrent lump’. Duncan picked up two clinical awards, a bronze for an image of a dermal naevus, and a silver for an image of an apocrine hydrocystoma. In addition he picked up a bronze award for an image taken in the NGH sterile services department, which featured in the August issue of Insight last year. Duncan, who heads up the department, said: “It is encouraging that the department is capable of producing work that withstands peer review, especially in a climate that has seen demand for clinical photography increase dramatically over the last few years. It’s also great to see recognition for the non-clinical side of the department’s work too.”

“The trip has cost around £2000 each, not to mention all the kit we have had to buy! We have paid for the trip ourselves so all money raised will go directly for the scanner - people will not be paying for our trip.” To help raise funds and sponsor Laura, please visit her justgiving page: Laura-Grant4

Lee Hillyard (left) and Duncan Kempson



The true value of hospital cleaners Hospital cleaners are worth more to society than City bankers, according to a report that shows many low-paid workers increase the wellbeing of the nation more than the high-flying and much better-paid financial-sector staff. Research by the New Economics Foundation revealed that City workers, advertising executives and tax advisers destroyed value, while hospital cleaners, childcare workers and staff in the waste-recycling industry gave much more to the country than they took out. The thinktank said it had found a way to calculate how much someone should be paid in relation to the value they create through a series of measures including conventional economic returns, environmental impacts, and knock-on effects for jobs and wellbeing in society.

Hospital cleaners play a vital role in the workings of our healthcare facilities.

While collecting salaries of between £500,000 and £10million, leading City bankers were found to destroy £7 of value for every pound in value they generate. By contrast, the report estimated that hospital cleaners generate over £10 in social value for every £1 they are paid. Hospital cleaners play a vital role in the workings of our healthcare facilities. Not only do they clean hospitals and help maintain standards of hygiene to protect against infection but they also contribute towards wider health outcomes. At NGH we certainly recognise that our domestic assistants play an important role in gaining the trust and confidence of patients, as well as providing care and support for them during their stay in hospital.


WILSON OUSEPH NGH DOMESTIC ASSISTANT Wilson is just one of around 250 cleaners employed to keep the hospital clean. He said: “I really enjoy working here and I’m very proud of doing something for the community. It’s very important work.”

£10 in social

value is generated


for every cleaners are paid



Working together to make Britain a great place to grow old WRVS delivers practical services for older people to help them to live well, maintain their independence and play a part in their local community. Due to the changing needs of older people WRVS has adapted to offer services to help somebody prepare for hospital stays whether that is helping to find care for pets, pack bags or arrange transport. We are then able to help with getting settled back at home when leaving hospital, helping with shopping, collecting prescriptions or just offering a helping hand around the house.

Last year through our Home from Hospital service our team of amazing volunteers helped over 1,000 people feel confident about leaving hospital and returning home earlier than might otherwise have been possible, knowing they would be supported by regular visits from people in their local community. For further Information please call 0845 601 4670.

24 â?˜ INSIGHT


Patients praise our staff Nothing but the best at Northampton General [Posted on the NHS Choices website]

I’ve recently been diagnosed with oesophageal achalasia and was scheduled for surgery at the start of September. As a result of my pre-op blood work I found myself needing a bed unexpectedly and was contacted by my surgeon, the brilliant Mr Guy Finch, and was told to expect to hear from the bed manager. By 1515 I was tucked up in a bed on Spencer Ward awaiting surgery the following day.

The ward itself, and everywhere I’ve been in the hospital, is scrupulously clean.

The ward itself, and everywhere I’ve been in the hospital, is scrupulously clean. Everyone I’ve been in contact with on my particular path is obviously very competent, but the

thing that really stood out was everyone’s clear concern for me as an individual. Even on Spencer ward, which is insanely busy and where everyone rises to the considerable challenges of bed management with a smile, I never felt that I was being marginalised, patronised or trivialised. The entire ward team is cohesive and professional. I can’t say enough about my surgeon and his team. Mr Finch and his team have spent time with me and I have always felt that I was the most important patient in the world. I think it can best be summed up by my partner’s statement. After meeting Mr Finch he said, “I felt that although Mr Finch might not know exactly what he was going to find during surgery, he will certainly know what to do about it whatever it is.” I couldn’t agree more. There are too many people to name individually, but thanks to everyone at Northampton. Jeri

Caring hospital for son’s tonsillectomy [Posted on the Patient Opinion website] Hi there, my son went in to hospital in November for his operation, and all the staff were amazing. Each and every one was caring, and such lovely people. As he is 17 I as his mother was very worried about him having this operation, as he has suffered so badly with tonsillitis the last year before the operation. I was immediately put at ease, as was my son, by the lovely staff in Disney ward. I don’t think I have ever been in such a caring hospital in my life. I want to also thank the surgeon and his team as well you are all a credit to this hospital. SamanthaG

Feeding with care on Collingtree [To the Chronicle & Echo] May I say a very big thank you to all concerned on Collingtree and Rowan wards for my stay there with a broken ankle. Everyone was wonderful and nothing was too much for them. I especially noticed the healthcare nurses making sure patients who could not feed themselves, sat and fed with such care on Collingtree ward. I am sure we must be very grateful to all these wonderful carers for all they do for us. God bless you all. E Gable, Bugbrooke

Four-star hotel? [Posted on the NHS Choices website] Disney ward was very clean and the staff the whole way through the experience couldn’t do enough for us. The parents’ room was much appreciated, along with the tea and toast provided. Thank you for making a potentially stressful day feel more like a day in a four-star hotel. Sheila 123

Did we treat you well? If so, we would very much welcome your comments for our letters page in the next issue. And if you are happy to share more details of your condition and treatment for a longer feature, please mention this when you write to us. Please email or leave a message on 01604 523871. If you think we could have done better, please email our patient advice and liaison service (PALS) who will be happy to investigate any points you wish to raise.



Briefly… ◗ A big thank you to Tulun Osmond and her team at Melissa’s café in York Road, who raised over £500 for the children’s wards. The café held a raffle, sold chocolates and donated the takings from a whole day’s trade in the run up to Christmas.

May we thank all the fabulous ro and grey haired groovers who tog night so successful and such fun

◗ Imagine freefalling at over 120mph – but with the safety of being strapped to a professional instructor, and helping NGH at the same time. On Sunday 17th April it could be you. All we ask is you raise £395 in sponsorship money, to allow us to donate an average of £140 to good causes at NGH. For more information call the charities team on 01604 545091 or email greenheart@ngh.

Rockers com with the cas

◗ Many thanks to Prostaid and the Wellingborough Sikh Society, who made a very generous donation of £10,000 for us to buy a muchneeded robotic camera holder for keyhole surgery. The surgical team are delighted with the support, which you can see in our keyhole surgery feature in this issue.

Rock on Tornadoes! Northampton rock and roll raised £1,892 for the hospital’s Knightley Ward playing at the Cripps leisure centre to celebrate Fans from across the world celebrated the reun Tornadoes, with supporters from Australia and in attendance.

Jonathan’s Kilimanjaro challenge

Andy Gotch, original member of the band and b we again thank all the fabulous rocking wrinklie groovers - plus of course the older and future m made the night so successful and such fun to b night away.” Andy’s nieces work for Knightley W Centre, and were the inspiration for where the r donated to.

After completing his first charity trek in Peru in 2009, and with a lot of support raising over £5,000 for Diabetes UK, Jonathan Percival signed up for another charity adventure by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro last October. ◗ Heart radio breakfast presenters Stuart and Natalie visited the children’s wards to celebrate the arrival of brand new Starlight fun centres, which were funded by the station’s charity, Have a Heart. The centres incorporate HD flatscreen TV, Nintendo Wii and the latest games and film releases, providing yearround entertainment for seriously and terminally ill children. ◗ Neurophysiology send a big thank you to the Estates team, who donated funds raised by a recent raffle. They were able to purchase two fans to cool the department in summer, and a pushchair to assist with treating children. ◗ The Bill Evans boxing academy put on a spectacular evening of boxing, featuring a black-tie dinner at the Park Inn Hotel, charity auction, and a guest appearance by ex-world welterweight champion John H Stracey. Proceeds of £400 were donated to the NGH charitable fund.


Jonathan said: “As a Northampton boy, born in the Barratt Maternity Home, I chose to support NGH rather than a multi-national organisation, as smaller charities often get overlooked when large scale tragedies and natural disasters happen.” With help from the Charitable Fund, he identified a vital piece of equipment called a Resuscitaire that is required to help save the lives of many newborn babies born at the hospital who need that little bit of extra support. Jonathan is still collecting in donations, and as we went to press he had amassed an impressive total of almost £7,500. The Kilimanjaro Trek is a challenging trek at altitude, climbing the highest freestanding mountain in the world - also the highest mountain on the African continent. It involves trekking through thick rainforest and moorland, climbing over rock and scree, and trying to avoid altitude sickness. After two hours sleep at the end of the fourth day, Jonathan and the team made a midnight start for their final summit climb lasting nine hours. Enduring pain, physical exhaustion, minus 15 degree temperatures and only 50 per cent oxygen, they finally reached Uhuru Peak at 5895m above sea level. Once they had congratulated each other and had photographs taken at the famous sign, it was time to start their descent, which took another one and a half days.


Northampton Gene Registered charity n

All donations to the hospital are manage from NHS finances, by the trustees of th Charitable Fund, a registered charity. If like to make a donation, or be involved i money for NGH, please contact our fund on 01604 545091.

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


ocking wrinklies gether made the n.

me up sh

band the Tornadoes d and Heart Centre by e their 50th anniversary. nion of the original musicians from Spain

bass player said: “May es and grey haired musicians - who together be there dancing the Ward and the Heart raised funds were


Kerry Messam, Andrew Bigley and wife Vicky, Pat Calcott, Dr Sonia Swart, Dr Roy Mathew, Dolly Barron and Vicky Howard

Cancer survivor makes £14k donation A 47-year-old Wellingborough father-of-two who spent months fighting cancer has made a huge donation to the oncology centre.

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aising stories

Andrew Bigley was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in September 2008, and underwent gruelling chemotherapy, radiotherapy and operations to save his life. He remained positive despite many setbacks, and resolved both to help raise awareness of cancer symptoms, and to raise funds for NGH and the Oxford hospitals where he was also treated. A cheque for £15,000 was handed over - the money was raised by the organisation of a charity ball, held at Sywell aerodrome in May, that attracted over 500

guests. An auction, raffle, and donations from individuals and companies added to the ticket sales, taking the grand total beyond £30,000. Half of the money is being donated to Occtopus, the Oxford Colon Cancer Trust. Andrew, who is group MD of mechanical and electrical contractors Dodd Group, said: “I had always been very fit and active, full of life, and I never dreamt I would have cancer. I feel indebted to the specialists who have saved my life, and this is one way of putting something back and helping them to treat other people in similar situations.” Dr Roy Mathew, NGH clinical director for oncology, said: “This is a huge donation that Andrew is making, and we are absolutely delighted that his

This is a huge donation that Andrew is making, and we are absolutely delighted that his organisation of the charity ball was so successful.

organisation of the charity ball was so successful. We are very grateful for this extra funding, which we are using to purchase more syringe drivers. These enable us to provide continuous delivery of a range of therapies to aid comfort for patients with cancer, particularly for those who are unable to take medication orally.”



Bringing hope to Ghana hospital AT first glance the group of 20 volunteers look an unusual combination. There is a cocktail barman working alongside an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, and a bespoke cabinet maker working with a biomedical scientist. The ages range across five decades, and the heritage of team members leaps from Europe to Africa to Asia. Yet they all have one altruistic goal in common: improving the health and education of deprived villagers living in a remote and largely forgotten corner of Ghana. Northampton-based charity FREED UK has been working in the Nandom area for six years, developing the regional hospital and supporting local schools.

hospital kitchen team to oversee a series of projects all funded by UK donations. NGH clinical nurse specialist Anne Hicks has been a member of the charity since its inception. She said: “We all have many different skills but we work as a team and that is why this charity has been so successful.” The final stage of the £35,000 kitchen project was to build work tops and storage units for the food and kitchen equipment. Northampton cabinet maker Mark Dayman built the kitchen units in just three days with the help of hospital carpenter Richard I-Kenye.

The charity was set up by NGH dental surgeon Dery Tuopar, who grew up in Ghana. Rather than turning his back on the town and villages he called home as a boy, Mr Tuopar is using his western skills and finances to invest in the region and set up a series of sustainable projects.

The aim of the kitchen is to reduce the number of people cooking meals on the bare grounds of the hospital to feed their sick relatives and to improve nutrition to help recovery rates. With no kitchen in the past, patients suffered from malnutrition and would sometimes die after successful operations due to a lack of adequate food.

In November he again travelled with a team of volunteers to the upper west region of Ghana, 400 miles north of capital city Accra. The group split into a dental team, laboratory team, school and orphanage team and

Money initially raised by Chronicle & Echo readers went into the first stage of the project, making the bricks for the building and getting the outer shell constructed. For the past three years FREED UK has been raising further

Picture and copy courtesy of Lily Canter and Chronicle and Echo


funds to build the internal frame, develop a store room, toilet and canteen, plus pump gas into the kitchen and buy three large cookers. Mr Tuopar said this trip had been the charity’s most successful to date. He added: “The impact has been absolutely huge. The hospital has been so busy because they know about the work we are doing. People are now moving away from traditional methods of treatment and coming to the hospital which is now a centre of excellence.”

Latest progress ◗ £35k hospital kitchen project officially opened, shelves fitted throughout ◗ Drilling completed to provide borehole for water at Ko farm, supplying crops for hospital kitchen ◗ Hospital library formed, equipped with custom-built shelving and medical books from UK ◗ Surgical ward block renovated, and mortuary established ◗ Dental suite opened and treating patients daily


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

Who can give blood?

Most people can give blood. If you are generally in good health, age 17 to 65 (if it's your first time) and weigh at least 7st 12Ib you can donate. You can give blood every 16 weeks, that's approximately every four months. For more information please visit The next donor sessions at St Giles Church Rooms, St Giles Terrace, Northampton NN1 2BN are: Friday 11 Feb 1.00pm to 3.30pm; 4.30pm to 7.30pm Monday 21 Feb 10.00am to 12.30pm; 2.00pm to 5.00pm Monday 28 Feb 1.00pm to 3.30pm; 4.30pm to 7.30pm Monday 04 Apr 1.00pm to 3.30pm; 4.30pm to 7.30pm Friday 29 Apr 10.00am to 12.30pm; 2.00pm to 5.00pm To book an appointment call 0300 123 23 23.

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

COACH TOURS & DAYS OUT Quality UK coach tours and days out. Executive coaches, 3/4 star hotels. One pick up only. 2011 tours include Kent/Sussex and Windsor. For more information please contact Caroline on 07710 677311. RETIRED (or soon to be?) NHS Retirement Fellowship (Northampton Branch) meets on first Wednesday of each month at 2.15pm in Cripps Recreation Centre. Interesting and varying range of speakers, together with other activities throughout the year. Membership open to ex NHS staff, together with spouse or partner. Please contact the chairman Mike Parr on 01604 406869.

INSIGHT Insight, the magazine for NGH patients, visitors, and the local community is published every two months. It is entirely supported by advertising, and no NHS or charitable donations are used to fund its production. To advertise on this page in the next issue please contact the editor. For larger display advertising, please contact Octagon Design & Marketing for a quote. Ring 01909 478822 and ask for Sales. Editor: Peter Kennell 01604 523871 [] Pictures Many of our pictures were taken by NGH Medical Illustration, and copies may be available to purchase. Please call 01604 545251 for details. Website You can read back issues of Insight online at - go to About Us > Publications

WORDS OF WISDOM Youth is not a time of life, it is a state of mind. People grow old only by deserting their ideals and by out growing the consciousness of youth. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. You are as old as your doubts, your fears and your despair. The way to keep young is to keep your faith young, your self-confidence young, and your hope young. [Dr LF Phelan]

FASCINATING FACTS The total number of possible chess games lasting 40 moves each is greater than the number of atoms in the universe. On the planet Mercury, a day lasts twice as long as a year. It takes 88 days to orbit the sun and 176 to turn on its axis.

LAST LAUGH In our house, we always have soup when it’s wet. We find it easier to swallow that way.

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


Find your way around the hospital Follow the signs to the area letter, then look for local signs to the ward or department you need DEPARTMENTS D Accident & Emergency L Antenatal Assessment Unit K Antenatal Outpatients N Anti-Coagulation Clinic K Audiology W Billing House H Biochemistry K Blood Taking Unit R Centre for Elderly Medicine E Chapel D Chest Clinic L Child Development Centre K Children’s Hearing Clinic K Children’s Outpatients U Chiropody J Cripps Centre K Day Surgery Unit K Dermatology J Diabetes Centre E Discharge Lounge C Echocardiography K ENT L Eye Unit B Forrest Centre D Fracture Clinic R Genitourinary Medicine K Gynaecology Outpatients R Haematology (temporary location) A Hand Therapy C Heart Centre T Health Psychology Q Human Resources B Integrated Surgery W Limb Centre F Main Theatres Admissions Unit A Manfield day case R Maxillofacial Unit K Medical Outpatients H Mortuary and Chapel of Rest J Neurophysiology E Nuclear Medicine N Oncology Centre S Pain Relief Clinic R PALS and Bereavement Service G Pathology K Pre-operative Assessment D Radiology (X-ray) D Rapid Access Chest Pain J Research and Development F Respiratory Laboratory F RESTART C Rheumatology W Sunnyside Q Training & Development


WARDS E Abington (Orthopaedic) 545982, 544945 C Allebone (Gen medicine & dermatology) 545536, 545336 S Althorp (Elderly rehab) 544410, 544413 L Balmoral (Maternity) † 545434, 544826 D Becket (Medical short stay) 545981, 544972 C Benham (General medicine) 545537, 545337 R Brampton (Elderly medicine) 544460, 544462 A Cedar (Trauma) 545553, 545353 A Collingtree (Orthopaedic) 543944, 543966 S Compton (General medicine) 545332, 545532 C Creaton (General medicine) 545539, 545339 M Disney (Children’s) † 545518, 545318 C Dryden (Cardiology) 545540, 545340 C Eleanor (General medicine) 545804, 544808 D Emergency Assessment Unit (EAU) † 545613, 545304 D Finedon (Renal) 523530, 523560 M Gosset (Neonatal) † 545520, 545320 A Hawthorn (Surgical) 545551, 545351 C High Dependency Unit (HDU) † 545544, 545344 R Holcot Stroke Unit † 544430, 544432, 544433 C Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) † 545542, 545342 S Knightley (Head & neck) 543961, 545509 M Paddington (Children’s) † 545319, 545519 M Paddington HDU (Children’s) † 545836 L Robert Watson (Maternity) † 544928, 544819 A Rowan (23-hour surgical) 545549, 545349 L Singlehurst (Eyes) 545483, 545083 S Spencer (Gynaecology) 545525 M Sturtridge (Labour ward) † 545058, 545426, 545898 M Sturtridge HDU † 505455 G Talbot Butler (Oncology & Haematology) 545534, 545334 S Victoria (Elderly Medicine) 545326 A Willow (Surgical) 545548, 545348

INFORMATION Northampton General Hospital, Cliftonville, Northampton NN1 5BD Tel: 01604 634700 D Reception Cliftonville. Open Mon-Fri 9.00am – 6.00pm. Dial 0 from any corridor phone and ask for “operator” when prompted. E Restaurant Hospital Street, open Mon-Fri 7.15am – 7.00pm; Sat-Sun 7.15am – 6.00pm. D Café Royale Main reception, Cliftonville, open Mon-Thurs 9.00am – 3.30pm; Fri 9.00am – 3.00pm. WRVS shops E South entrance, open Mon-Fri 9.30am – 8.00pm; Sat 1.00pm – 4.00pm. T Billing Road entrance, open Mon-Fri 9.30am – 4.00pm; Sat 1.00pm – 4.00pm. Buggy service Guiding and transport service provided by Friends of NGH volunteers Mon–Fri 8.30am – 4.00pm. Dial 88 then 4501 then enter your extension number to request the buggy. D Travel office For car parking permits, and travel info. Open MonThurs 9.00am – 4.30pm; Fri 9.00am – 4.00pm. 01604 545966 or 544600. E Bank Cash dispenser in lift lobby near south entrance (entrance from main car park 1) E Chapel Open to all. For details of services or to contact the chaplains, call 01604 545773.



We aim to provide a high standard of care and specialist service that meet the needs of the whole community regardless of race, gender, sexuality and ethnic origin. We offer care and support for older people, Domiciliary care, supported living and independent living specialists. Our range of homes provide a relaxing, comfortable, and scenic environment for service users Msaada Community Care Dolphin House 188 Kettering Road Northampton NN1 4BH T 01604 475333 F 01604 630915 E

INSIGHT â?˜ 31


Leapin’ Lizards it’s Annie one of the best loved family musicals of all time!

Win free theatre tickets Annie Tue 29 March – Sat 2 April

Leapin’ Lizards it’s Annie - one of the best loved family musicals of all time! Leading a cast of over 40 talented artists, the hilarious Su Pollard stars as the dastardly ginsoaked Miss Hannigan. With a brilliantly memorable score including It’s A Hard Knock Life, Easy Street and of course the legendary Tomorrow, fantastically visual choreography, and a side-splittingly funny script... it really is no surprise that Annie has become one of the best loved family musicals of all time. “THE CHARM OF ANNIE IS IRRESISTIBLE” DAILY MIRROR “ONE OF THE MOST ENCHANTING MUSICALS I HAVE EVER SEEN” THE SUNDAY TIMES

Evenings 7.30pm Wed & Sat matinees 2.30pm

TICKETS £15.50 - £26.50

For more information or to buy tickets for Annie and other productions at Royal & Derngate, call the Box Office on 01604 624811 or visit For a chance to win two tickets to see Annie on Tuesday 29th March at 7.30pm, answer the five questions below. Send your entry to arrive by Wednesday 16 March to – or by post to Insight Editor, NGH, Cliftonville, Northampton NN1 5BD. Please note that your entry must include a daytime telephone number. 1 Who is our new (interim) chief executive? 2 What is the name of Annie’s dog? 3 Where did Dr Beatty do keyhole prostate surgery every day for two months? 4 When did The Doctor make a surprise visit to young Alfe Game? 5 How much is the annual energy bill at NGH?

◗ The winner of the ‘Chinese State Circus’ tickets in our last competition was Kathy Best from Abington Park Surgery Designed & Published by Octagon Design & Marketing Ltd, Britannic Chambers, 8a Carlton Road, Worksop, Notts. S80 1PH Tel: 01909 478822


The magazine of Northampton General Hospital

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