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March 2013

Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Staff newsletter


Visits create lasting impression on chief executive RD&E chief executive, Angela Pedder, has spent the last three months visiting different areas of the hospital from Surgery to Orthopaedics to the Medical wards and Cancer Services, from Physiotherapy to WEEU Outpatients. “This has been a great opportunity for me to meet staff on a very informal basis to get a real feel for what they do every day, and answer any questions or concerns they may have.” “It has allowed me to talk directly to people at all levels of the hospital, to understand their concerns and to give them honest answers to some difficult questions. I’ve had many different discussions covering topics such as the admin review and the South West Pay Consortium. For me, there is nothing off limits, and I’m happy to discuss anything with staff when I visit them. “There have been a huge number of positive outcomes too. My job often involves dealing with problems, so it’s really great to come to the wards and other areas around the hospital and see all the exciting things that are happening here at the RD&E. I feel it is a real privilege to talk to staff, to see what they do every day and understand better the passion and commitment they show for their jobs and their patients. “It has also been very valuable seeing some of the changes we have made on the frontline, say in AMU, Knapp and Capener admission units and Opthamology. People have great ideas and good ways of working. I was particularly struck by how patient-focussed our staff are; despite these

I’ve had many different discussions covering topics such as the admin review and the South West Pay Consortium.

hard times, staff at all levels are clearly doing everything they can to provide the best possible care for their patients. “These visits have created a lasting impression on me. Every day, great things happen at the

RD&E because of our staff – really something to celebrate.” If you would like Angela to visit your area, clinical or non-clinical, please contact your divisional manager or Sarah Linnington at


Pioneering ‘robotic surgery’ research introduced to the RD&E The RD&E is pioneering new research in robotic surgery, thanks to a partnership with academics at the University of Exeter. The news has already been making the headlines in the Exeter Express & Echo and was featured on BBC Spotlight after their film crew spent some time in theatre, watching the robot in action. The Trust took delivery of its first £2.5 million in state-of-the-art robotic equipment in late December 2012 and is one of only around 20 hospitals in the UK now using robots in complex surgery to target prostate cancers. During robot-assisted surgery, the surgeon sits at a remote computer console to operate and control four robotic arms that carry out the guided surgery. The surgeon watches and guides the whole procedure on a high-definition computer screen with 3-D vision. Research and clinical tests have already confirmed the benefits and safety of robotic surgery for patients in certain kinds of complex surgery. These benefits include a faster recovery and reduced blood loss, for example. However, little is known about the benefits that robotically-assisted surgery may offer the surgeon and the operating team in theatre. Consultant urological surgeon, John McGrath (inset right), explained: “Because of the robot’s precision and cutting edge technology such as 3-D vision and magnified views, it has been suggested that surgeons can be trained more quickly and will feel less stress during difficult procedures. “If this is the case, the surgeon may be better equipped to safely deal with stressful situations during complex surgery.” That’s what Mr McGrath and the research team are set to find out, having won a highly prestigious grant from Intuitive Surgical in California, manufacturers of the da Vinci surgical

robot. The company have agreed to fully fund provision of a second robot at the RD&E for nine months to exclusively run studies looking at differences in the mental workload, stress and learning curves of novice and expert surgeons. The findings will help inform the wider NHS about the potential benefits of robotic surgery in training the next generation of surgeons safely, within a timely fashion and with technology that may help them deal more effectively with stressful aspects of surgical procedures. Dr Samuel Vine, at the University of Exeter, said: “The new research programme builds on a previous three-year research programme between the surgeons at the RD&E and researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Hong Kong. We’ve been working to further our understanding of differences in the eye-hand coordination of expert and novice surgeons and how these attributes can better be trained.

We have applied our knowledge from our earlier research in sport, to devise a ‘gaze training’ programme, which teaches trainee surgeons to adopt the eye movements of experts. This appears to help new surgeons learn surgical skills more quickly and to perform these skills in stressful conditions similar to the operating room. Now we’ll be extending that research to understand how similar advantages can be applied to robotically-assisted surgery.” According to Mr McGrath, the research programme signifies an ever growing relationship between academics and clinicians: “We have a longstanding partnership with academic and clinical researchers to develop innovative ways of working to benefit patients. Creation of the South West Peninsula Academic Health Science Network will see this type of work rapidly and more widely adopted so that more people in Devon, Somerset, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly can benefit from these advances in healthcare.”


New Care for Older People

Dementia care – Forget Me Not! A new scheme has been introduced at the RD&E to improve communication with patients who have any form of mental illness. Forget Me Not aims to benefit anyone struggling to communicate their needs and preferences for whatever reason. The new campaign logo now tells staff that the patient needs a little more time, sensitivity and skill to support their journey through services.

n Debbie Cheeseman, consultant nurse, says that the Forget Me Not scheme will improve patient experience

The RD&E has 848 beds and would expect 556 patients to be over the age of 65 and 332 of those to have some kind of mental illness. Consultant nurse for older people, Debbie Cheeseman said: “This new scheme should not be limited to people with a diagnosis of dementia. It can be used for anyone who may benefit from improved communication and interaction if they are in any way disorientated. Older people’s mental health is everyone’s business. The Forget Me Not scheme will support us in improving our patient experience.”

Top tips when caring for a person with dementia

The campaign symbol, a Forget Me Not flower, is now available in magnetic and sticker format. It can be placed on the bed, ward whiteboard, request forms or notes of any patient displaying symptoms of cognitive impairment. This will indicate to staff that this patient is likely to need increased time and support.

and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, also includes a comprehensive training package for all Trust staff with a series of lectures throughout February and March. Additionally, each ward will have two dementia champions who will receive additional comprehensive training.

This initiative aims to:

Feedback to the training has been very positive so far with comments such as those from vocational educational facilitator, Caroline Parnell: “It was very inspiring and good to know what a strong and clear message the RDE is putting to staff regarding working with patients with dementia and delirium. I found the work examples really helpful and when I am next assessing / supporting learners on the ward I will make sure I remember the points raised, especially about the ‘busy’ body language and eye contact.”

• increase interaction time and frequency of contact with patients • increase the therapeutic quality of interactions • improve patient and carer experiences • promote a culture of personcentred care • reduce staff stress. The campaign, developed as a collaborative approach between Devon Partnership NHS Trust and Royal Devon

1. Remember that this is a person with dementia and look beyond symptoms of their condition 2. Try to connect with the person behind the dementia – try to find out something about their life 3. Complete the ‘This is Me’ document 4. About 90% of communication is non verbal – think about body language, gestures and facial expressions 5. Effective communication takes time and patience 6. Respond to emotions not just words – does the person seem unhappy or distressed? 7. Ensure the person can see you – position yourself at their level and maintain eye contact 8. So called ‘problem behaviour’ is nearly always an attempt to communicate feelings or needs. Rather than trying to stop the behaviour try to work out what it means 9. Focus on what the person can do and play to their strengths 10. Involve the family in their care – they will know the person well and how to respond to things


Patient care and innovation

Patient Real Time Feedback Project

Pressure Ulcer Collaborative launched The RD&E’s Pressure Ulcer Collaboration was launched in PEOC’s Lecture Theatre, to an audience of 50 nursing staff on February 7. The year-long initiative is to raise awareness of the Trust’s ‘zero tolerance’ approach to care-acquired skin damage. Our pressure ulcer champions have committed their support to this crucial programme, and will be coming together throughout the year for a series of workshops where they will be able to share best practice and receive the latest training and key learnings in order to help drive change for the rest of the organisation. The launch event was an interactive day with a number of workshops designed to encourage and support participation. Attendees were given the chance to examine notes in preparation for mock legal proceedings, investigate

a CSI-style crime scene and test cutting-edge pressure mapping equipment. One attendee commented: “It’s been challenging today but I’ve really enjoyed it, and I have learnt so much to take back to the ward to share with colleagues. It’s great to have an opportunity to work with teams from other areas and share ideas.” Senior tissue viability nurse, Juliet Price, who was running the workshop, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed with the enthusiasm shown today, everyone has really embraced the initiative and I’m confident between us all we’ll be making some positive advances towards eliminating pressure sores in this Trust. The Pressure Ulcer Collaborative is a high profile programme and one that is going to make significant improvements for patients so I’m really looking forward to what the rest of the year will bring.”

The Patient Real Time Feedback Project is being rolled out across the Trust, as part of the increasing focus on becoming a patientled organisation. The project involves the use of yellow ‘feedback’ cards which are given to patients to complete. They can say ‘what went well’ on the one side and ‘what could have gone better’ on the other. Common themes are recorded, in terms of both positive and negative comments, by a nominated data collector for each division and appropriate action is taken to resolve the issues highlighted. The cards are then showcased in a display on each ward or department for patients, visitors and staff to read. The findings are used to drive service enhancements which are significantly beneficial to patients.

Launch of new surgical admissions unit A dedicated surgery unit has recently been launched at the RD&E. The facility on Knapp Ward follows a huge redesign project to create a ward for all surgical admissions, both in-patient and day-case. Knapp ward matron, Wendy Strode, said “We are delighted to be able to offer this new surgical hub. We now have 30 patient spaces allowing us to manage 50 in-patient admissions and a further 20 day cases daily. “Providing patients and their families with a calm and professional environment was also very important. Coming in for surgery can often be daunting and many of our patients have to travel long distances for their procedures. The new unit allows us to meet their needs more effectively, ensuring that doctors see them in a timely manner and that we get patients home as soon as we can once they are well enough.” The new facilities include a large day room providing a comfortable environment for patients and their relatives and two new treatment rooms where patients can be assessed in very private surroundings.


Patient care and innovation

New drive introduced to hit 100% VTE risk assessments by April 2013 The CQUIN target for Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) risk assessments has just got even tougher, demanding that, as from April 1 2013, 95% of all adult patients who are admitted are risk assessed on admission. At the RD&E we would like to go one better and achieve 100%. Many areas have already seen significant improvements over the last three months and are achieving fantastic results, but it’s vital we all contribute if we are to hit the new target consistently. There are two major steps involved in the process: 1. Document the VTE risk assessment on Page 2 of the drug chart for each and every adult patient on admission. It is crucial to sign the risk assessment to show it has been completed. (Note some areas have agreed alternative methods). 2. Confirm on the electronic ward whiteboard that the VTE risk assessment has been completed. It’s really important that both steps are completed fully. The second step provides the Trust with a method of collecting the data that qualifies for the CQUIN payment. Ward whiteboard data below 95% means no CQUIN payment of £350,000 in 2013-14. In the coming months wards will be monitored closely to check that the VTE risk assessments are being completed for each new admission. If you need help or advice in setting up a procedure to ensure you hit the 100% target by April 2013, please contact Joe Maguire, via email on

Mr Vikram Devaraj wins NHS Heroes Award Consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Mr Vikram Devaraj is an NHS Hero. David May, Mr Devaraj’s nominator said: “Following the excision of two soft tissue lumps, in April 2012 Vikram met with me at an outpatients appointment during which he told me, one lump had been found as cancerous, a liposarcoma. Amidst the shock he reassured me that I was in his care and not to worry. Within two weeks I had a three hour reconstructive excision and flap replacement operation. Mr Devaraj then visited me the following

three mornings (two of which he was off duty) when he checked my condition, healing and drips. His postoperative assurance, skill of his team and leadership has an individuality that makes him my hero as I am sure he is to all his patients and staff.” Chairman, James Brent said: “Mr Devaraj has clearly shown that he goes that extra mile in putting his patients first - a quality that we are very proud of here at the RD&E. The professionalism of Mr Devaraj and his team are exemplary and I am delighted to be presenting this certificate to him today: he is a real NHS Hero.” On receiving his award, Mr Devaraj said: “I am delighted to receive this award but am acutely aware that as a tiny cog in a huge wheel this could be given to a number of people who also deserve public recognition for their work in the NHS. I also appreciate hugely the support my patients and colleagues have given me over the last 30 years since I qualified.”

Ground-breaking heart research The RD&E is leading the way in a new medical trial to develop a better physical treatment for an abnormal heart rhythm. Hundreds of patients will be recruited to take part in the research which is focussed on a condition called supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). This is a heart problem that causes the heart to beat very quickly and affects thousands of people. The research project is being run in nine hospitals across the South West, with the RD&E being its main sponsor site. The aim is to improve the effectiveness of the initial physical treatment for this condition and to reduce the number of patients who need to go on to have emergency drug treatment. The trial does not use any drugs and only takes a few minutes to run. Andy Appelboam, Consultant Emergency Physician and chief investigator for the trial, said: “When patients come to hospital with SVT, they can help to get their heart beat back to normal by doing a physical treatment

called a Valsalva Manoeuvre (VM) but often this doesn’t work. Changing the way the VM is done might make it better at stopping the SVT. “In this trial, people with SVT who come to hospital (but are not too unwell) will be asked if they would like to take part. They will be allocated at random to do a standard or modified VM and the doctors will check if their hearts have gone back to normal afterwards with a heart tracing. After this, people will be treated as usual with no more testing. “If we see that one type of VM is more successful, we will let patients and doctors know which to use to reduce the number of patients who need to have emergency drug treatments.” The trial is being co-ordinated and run through the Peninsula Clinical Trials Unit at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, and has been funded by a Research for Patient Benefit Grant from the National Institute of Health Research. The research has been developed with the help of Arrhythmia Alliance and local Research Design Service (RDS).


Let’s recognise excellence


“Every day great things happen at the RD&E because of our staff – something to really celebrate.” These were the words of Chief Executive Angela Pedder on the eve of the launch of Extraordinary People: the new RD&E staff recognition scheme. Designed in response to staff feedback at the end of 2012, the scheme seeks to recognise staff or volunteers at the Trust who are truly extraordinary. Chairman, James Brent says: “There is no doubt that these are tough times for our organisation and the NHS as a whole. But it’s thanks to our highly committed and dedicated staff – not only clinicians but support services too - who, every day, display such striking passion for their jobs that enables this Trust to deliver high quality care to our patients.”

Chief Executive Angela Pedder says: “Our staff are on the frontline in responding to the healthcare needs of our community. They are the lifeblood of this organisation and I am proud of what they achieve every single day. Through our extraordinary people this hospital has become a real centre of excellence. The innovation and drive demonstrated by our staff

to improve patient care and put patients right at the heart of what we do is amazing. These awards give us the opportunity to celebrate that commitment.”



How does it work? The awards will run three times a year. Each session starts with you nominating your colleagues whom you feel deserve one of the five awards. Nomination forms can be downloaded from IaN or collected from the Health Information Centre in the RD&E main reception. Send your completed nomination form to your line manager or divisional manager/deputy director. Shortlisted nominations will progress to the Trust Judging Panel who will select award winners for each category. Winners will be invited to attend an award ceremony where they will receive a certificate and badge from the Chairman. And of course, there will be lots of coverage on IaN and in RD&E News.

And that’s not all! There is an annual awards ceremony. The first of these will take place in February 2014, where the winners of each award throughout 2013 will be considered for the ultimate award winner for their category. Plus there will be three more important awards to present, including Chairman’s Exceptional Award, Extraordinary Volunteer Award and Experience Award.

Do you know an Extraordinary person or team? There are five key Extraordinary People Awards. Make sure you nominate your colleagues who fit the bill!



Excellent Care Award For staff who go above and beyond normal expectations to care for patients with exemplary kindness, dignity and respect. This is the one award where both staff and patients can nominate.

Exemplar Award For someone extraordinary in the way their drive, enthusiasm and motivation inspires those around them.

Extra Mile Individual Award

Extra Mile Team Award

Recognising extraordinary individuals who consistently go beyond their ‘job description’ to make a difference for patients, carers or colleagues.

Rewarding extraordinary teams who consistently go beyond their ‘job description’ to make a difference for patients, carers or colleagues.

Exceed Award For individuals or teams who are extraordinary in making a difference through their bright ideas.



Recognising your achievements Every nomination will be acknowledged with a congratulatory letter. Seasonal award winners will be presented with certificates, badges and featured on IaN and in RD&E News. Annual award winners will receive a certificate, photographs, a £100 gift voucher and be featured on IaN and in the RD&E News. All nominations will receive recognition from colleagues, managers and the wider hospital community, patients and carers.

Get involved!

Need more information? Just contact the Communications Team on rde-tr.RDEComms@ or call 6941

These are your awards and there are lots of ways to get involved. You can nominate if you are an employee of the Trust or a volunteer. Nominations are also invited from patients and people who use the Trust’s services. • Spread the word – make sure everyone, staff, volunteers, patients and carers, know that they can nominate. • Nominate your colleagues – you can nominate as many people as you want – there are no limits to the number of forms you can complete. • Invite patients and their carers to nominate. • Celebrate all your department’s nominations at departmental meetings. • Make sure there are posters up in your area and nomination forms are available for patients. • Ensure that other staff such as the facilities teams servicing your area know about the awards.

Dates for your diary: 11 March 2013 Launch of the Extraordinary People Awards 26 April 2013

Closing date for nominations

15 May 2013

Spring Panel Judging Day

16 May 2013

Invitations sent out to Category Winners for the Awards Tea Party

29 May 2013

Spring Celebration Event Awards Tea Party


Peninsula Pain Management Study Day More than 70 ward nurses, specialist nurses and medical staff attended a Pain Awareness study day, hosted by our Acute Pain Management Team. The purpose of the autumn event, held at the Peninsula Medical School, was to raise awareness of the management of acute pain. Areas of clinical need were identified by medical and nursing colleagues who wanted to improve pain management in their clinical settings. Sessions were presented by guest speakers from: Clinical Psychology (Devon Partnership NHS Trust), Lead Nurse for Pain Management (Poole NHS Trust), Chronic Pain Consultants (RD&E) and Matron for Pain Management (RD&E).

FREE confidential Health and Wellbeing checks for staff who are carers If you are a member of staff who has a friend and/or family member who depends on you for care and support then you are entitled to have a FREE Carers Health and Wellbeing check undertaken by a professional and impartial Health and Wellbeing check nurse practitioner. Checks will typically include: • A vascular check (if appropriate) covering blood pressure, cholesterol, and pulse • Lifestyle advice and access to routine health screening • Discussing concerns about personal and home safety • Investigating access to work,

education and leisure • Looking at how they work with others as an expert carer • Reviewing whether they need help with benefits entitlements and managing money

In response to the positive feedback and requests for future events like this, organisers are currently planning a programme of annual study days to meet this need. Clinical Nurse Specialists for Pain, Maria Bracey and Sharon Mulcahy, would like to thank all those who attended for their support and positive feedback. If there are any topics you would like them to consider for future agendas, please do not hesitate to contact them at rde-tr.

Where will the check take place? Health Information Centre, back room, main entrance When: Thursday 21st March How: Appointments last up to an hour and are available on a first come first serve basis. Book now by contacting the hospital’s Health Information Centre on 01392 402071.


Cornea donation: Encouraging staff to talk to relatives RD&E staff are being encouraged to discuss tissue donation with relatives of deceased patients, in order to increase numbers of corneas that can be used to help others.

for easy reference. Contrary to public perception, many eye problems do not affect the suitability of corneas for transplant. There have been successful eye donations from patients who have suffered from cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and even patients who have been blind from birth. Glaucoma is the only contraindication for eye donation.

Following NICE guidance, it is Trust policy to offer the service and, in December, when 146 people died in the hospital, only 13 corneas were retrieved. After a patient has died, there are only 24 hours in which to retrieve corneal tissue, so it is essential that the subject is raised soon after death. In the event that nursing staff do not discuss the subject the Tissue Donation Team will try to speak to families but only if there is enough time. Information requested by donation support officers needs to be provided as soon as possible. Medical staff will shortly be receiving aide memoire cards to be worn on the back of their security passes

Mortuary manager, Martin Goddard, said: “In December, in Exeter, there were 146 deaths and 13 corneas were used. The age limit for suitable donors is 90. Two people can be helped as a result of one donor as both the eyes are taken.”

n Camille Phillips, Louise Jenkins and Martin Goddard are encouraging staff to talk to patients about tissue donation.

If ward staff need advice on how to approach families and ask the question, they can contact the donation support officers.

Budleigh angels Stroke unit nurse Nikki Marshall and medical matron, Anny Willett, spent six weeks over Christmas and New Year providing much needed support to the stroke re-hab team at Budleigh Salterton Community Hospital. The unit was about to close its doors to new admissions due to staff shortages, so the two were sent out on loan to help relieve the pressure. Hospital matron, Di Walker said: “They have been great to work with and totally committed and reliable to the Budleigh team. Anny and Nikki have both been a

real asset over the last six weeks and exemplary in all their work – a real credit to the RD&E. I wish we could keep them!” Nikki said: “As a nurse on Clyst ward I often see patients in the early days after a stroke. Working on the Budleigh unit gave me the opportunity to experience a community setting and witness the problems which may be faced in that environment. Having a deeper understanding of this is helpful in improving effective communication between the two settings and thereby ultimately n Anny Willett (L) and Nikki Marshall (R) improving patient care.”


Picture board

Katie is a true NHS Hero

Claire’s board shows importance of blood donation Healthcare assistant, Claire Baker, has created a noticeboard dedicated to giving people all the facts about blood donation. The board, in the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Centre, tells people how to give blood and the importance of eating healthily. She said: “I wanted the display to reflect to patients how valuable a commodity blood is, and to

highlight the importance of donating blood. “I am very grateful for the help Dr Biddy Ridler has given me whilst doing this display and I commend her for her ongoing work for blood conservation.” Claire added that the board had already proved very popular with patients who had taken leaflets away with them to learn more about the vital service.

Alie wins the lottery

n The winner of the Christmas lottery draw was Alie Owen, nursing auxiliary. She won the grand total of £3,600.

RD&E oncology nurse, Katie Williams, is an NHS Hero. Nominated for the award by the daughter of one of her patients, Katie received her certificate from RD&E NHS Foundation Trust chairman, James Brent. Melody Floyde, who nominated Katie said: “My Dad’s last weeks were spent on Yeo Ward. Katie is an outstanding nurse who worked tirelessly to ensure that Dad was comfortable and well cared for and treated him with such kindness. She even worked late on one occasion to get advice on pain relief for Dad when he was uncomfortable. She was a great source of support for us when we were going through such a difficult time, ensuring we had tea, biscuits, a bed to sleep on and so many words of comfort. She is a true NHS Hero and I will be eternally grateful to her.” Yeo Ward matron, Clare Rowley said: “We are all extremely proud of Katie’s achievement. She is a first class nurse who regularly goes above and beyond the call of duty to provide the best possible care for her patients. She is part of a terrific team of nurses on Yeo ward who are totally dedicated to putting their patients first, making them comfortable at what can often be a distressing time. We were delighted to have the opportunity to share in Katie’s success.” Chairman of the RD&E NHS Foundation Trust, James Brent said: “Katie is an exceptional nurse who deserves this recognition as an NHS Hero. We are delighted to have our hard working staff acknowledged in this way for their commitment to putting patients right at the heart of everything they do.” NHS Heroes was a recognition scheme that was launched to coincide with the NHS’ 64th birthday in July 2012. It ran until mid-September and was designed to celebrate the extraordinary work that staff in the NHS carry out every day. NHS Heroes gave everyone in England the chance to acknowledge NHS staff. For the first time, patients, their friends and families, work colleagues and professional peers nominated their personal NHS Hero.


Lucy succeeds with Weigh to a New You

n RD&E Chairman, James Brent, cuts the ribbon, watched by Em Wilkinson-Brice, Director of Nursing and Patient Care, and staff who will work in the new wards.

Yealm and Ashburn wards are officially opened Two new wards, giving the RD&E an extra 48 beds, were officially opened at a small ceremony. The £4.5 million project to deliver two new wards was approved in June. But the project wasn’t just about the building work: 119 new nurses and additional Allied Health Professionals have been recruited from the around the UK, Ireland, Scotland and Spain to staff the new wards and fill other vacancies. Director of Nursing and Patient Care, Em WilkinsonBrice commented: “People talk about winter pressures,

and the last two winters have been very difficult for us; but we’ve actually experienced more patients being admitted throughout the whole year. These new wards will help us to cope with that increase, and allow us to make sure our patients get the right care, in the right place at the right time.

Losing weight can be a very challenging journey but, as Exeter Pharmaceutical Service’s Production Manager in the RD&E’s Pharmacy Department, Lucy Williams, says, it can be made easier with the RD&E weight management programme, “Weigh to a New You”. “I joined the RD&E’s weight management programme in September last year when I weighed 13 stone and 3.5Ib. My BMI was 30, I was clinically obese and I hated having a family photograph taken. “My reasons for embarking on the 12-week weight loss scheme were to lose three stone over three months, to be able to walk up hills without puffing,

The new wards are located between the stroke unit on Creedy Ward and the Centre for Women’s Health. Ashburn is a 28 bed medical ward for older people whilst Yealm is a 20 bed rehabilitation ward.

to have a BMI of 23 and, ultimately, to be happy to have a picture taken with the family. “The dieticians were fabulous and gave me a massive amount of help. It is such a good scheme; they set out exactly what I needed to do to obtain the results that I wanted. “I went to every session and found the help and support talking to other ‘losers’. I also kept a food diary and found a food buddy to work with along with eating simply, avoiding processed foods, and taking up walking in a serious way. “The ‘before’ photograph here shows me one week before the beginning of the programme and the ‘after’ photo shows me just 12 weeks later, at 11 stone and fitting in to my red dress. My BMI is 24.88 and I am now classed as a ‘healthy weight’. “It has all been fantastic and I can’t thank the team enough.” If you would like more information about the programmes, contact Gemma Moffatt in the Nutrition and Dietetic Department on x 2524.

David takes Gold

n Germain Lam and Melody Vincent with David Newman.

An Exeter Health Library employee has received an award for ‘going the extra mile’ in his work. David Newman, the library’s Information Skills Trainer, was nominated for a Staff Aureus Award by Peninsula Medical School students whom he had helped with their Doctors as Teachers Special Study Unit.

He received his award, a trophy and a certificate, from two student representatives at the PCMD prize giving evening, held at the Eden Centre at the end of last year. Virginia Newton, Library Manager, said: “We’re all very pleased that the quality of the library’s services has been recognised in this way.”


Praise Page

Mandy wins national City and Guilds Medal of Excellence

Arts & Health at RD&E gains recognition at one of Britain’s top Universities

Dermatology nursing auxiliary, Mandy Spinks, has achieved a prestigious national award for her City and Guilds Clinical Healthcare Support Level 2 qualification. She started the course with some trepidation as she had not studied since leaving school 32 years ago. As part of her course, Mandy received excellent support from her work based assessor, Rachel Trethowan and was also supported by Teena Evans, Vocational Education Tutor in Learning & Development. Teena nominated Mandy as she was so impressed with her level of commitment and determination, and she felt that Mandy had shown true resilience to complete her award even though at times she found it very difficult to research and produce work to this level. Matron, Marion Thorn, said: “Mandy has developed both

The head of Exeter HealthCare Arts at the RD&E has been appointed an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Exeter. Stephen Pettet-Smith has been recognised for the leading work that the RD&E does in the field of arts, health and the environment. Dr Jane Milling, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Drama at the university, said she hoped that the university would work even more closely with the hospital in the future. She said: “We are delighted to welcome Stephen PettetSmith as an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Drama at the University of Exeter. “This consolidates a longstanding relationship between Stephen and the department, and we look forward to drawing on his

professionally and personally. From the outset, she showed dedication and commitment to her role as a band two”. Mandy will attend the Award ceremony in June at the Roundhouse, London where she will also be shortlisted for the Lion’s award which includes the People’s Choice Award. City and Guilds will be launching a microsite where the public can also vote for their medallist sometime in February.

expertise to enhance our teaching and research in the field of Arts and Health.” Mr Pettet-Smith said: “It is great to be recognised in this way and it is good for the Trust and Exeter HealthCare Arts reputation. This follows my ongoing work with the Department of Drama centered on dementia care. This involves students visiting care homes and day facilities to engage with patients on reminiscence projects.” Stephen, a member of the hospitals Dementia and Delirium Steering Group, is presently coordinating the design of a dementia garden to help patients and carers.

‘Angel’ nurse has big send-off on last day at work A popular paediatrics nurse who was with the RD&E for nearly 30 years has been given a great send off by colleagues on her final day with the Trust. Kirsten Jones began her career in Devon at the NNU Exeter in 1983 after completing her neonatal nurse training in Buckinghamshire. In 1986, she started working on the children’s wards at the old Wonford site, remaining there as a sister until 1993. It was then that her career took a final turn into Paediatric Diabetes Nursing. Over the past two decades, she has been totally committed to the

Paediatric Diabetes Service, developing it into the service that it is today. Julie Kitchen, Paediatric Specialist Diabetes nurse, said: “We are very sorry to see Kirsten leave. She has been a wonderful colleague and friend, and a

fantastic nurse. We wanted to show her how much she means to us so that is why we held the party for her. We all wish her the very best in retirement.” Her colleagues compiled a book filled with photos of the children that she helped

during her career and letters that they had written to her. One of them called her an ‘angel’ liaison nurse and another thanked her for being there from the beginning of, and throughout, a very difficult journey. Another patient said: “You have helped so many people. I cannot thank you enough for how much you have helped me to make progress with my diabetes to make my life better.” Kirsten’s last day in the ward was December 14. Colleagues threw a party for her in the Bramble playroom.


RDE Staff Rock

Tell us your views on RD&E News We’re in the process of reviewing RD&E News and would love to know what you think. Tell us your views – what do you really enjoy reading? Do you want to see more about people, projects or developments around the Trust, or would you rather the focus was on one department? Do you like lots of photography? All suggestions are welcome: email us at RD&E News is your publication.

A new RD&E rock pop choir has been established and the 90-strong group have already been invited to sing at a music event in the summer. Members of the choir have been working on three songs : River Deep, Mountain High; Next to me; and Ain’t no mountain high enough. They have been invited to sing at Chudfest in July and will be rehearsing in earnest – but they are also looking for a name and suggestions are very welcome.

Marie Taylor, who is helping to organise the choir rehearsals, said: ‘The response to the choir has been amazing and although we practise in the PEOC lecture theatre at the moment, it is a bit of a squeeze so we will using the PMS lecture theatre for future meetings. The cost of the choir is heavily subsidised for staff with a contribution from the Improving Working Lives Lottery Fund. Any suggestions for naming the choir can be sent to Marie.

Free cycling lessons to make you feel safer on the roads If you have considered cycling to work but don’t feel confident enough to do so, help is at hand. Free private cycling lessons are currently on offer to people living or working in the Exeter and Exmouth areas as part of the Department of Transport/Devon County Council funded Cycling and Walking Works project. Leisure East Devon provides friendly and qualified instructors who will meet you at a mutually convenient time and place to help you enjoy the freedom and fun of cycling. Don’t have a bike yet? Don’t let that stop

you, as free hire bikes are available. Cycling helps to inspire many people to become fit but it also helps you to save money that you spend on petrol and parking, as well. So, if you fancy a lunch break with a difference, book a session. If you need a little moral support and some extra fun bring along a colleague or two. Other times, including weekends, are also available. If you would like to know more please contact Lottie on 01395 562507or email outreach@

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RDE News March 2013  

RDE News March 2013

RDE News March 2013  

RDE News March 2013