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For Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust staff and volunteers

WE’RE OFF AGAIN... ...After the highly-successful Bosom Pals On The Road Appeal, our fundraising team are not sitting back and resting on their laurels. They are throwing all their irrepressible energies into our new drive – to provide a superb new laparoscopic theatre suite. The Keyhole Cancer Appeal has already got off to a flying (or, more accurately, pedalling) start with the huge success of our Around The World In 80 Days Cycling Challenge. The 24,901.55mile challenge was due to finish at the end of this month and, at the time of going to press, we were well on target to cover the distance and raise more than £25k towards the £600k appeal total. Energetic staff from around the hospital have joined in enthusiastically and are limbering

up to cross the finishing line in our education centre, where the final stretch of the globe’s circumference is approaching. Once built, the new facility will enable our surgeons to perform the latest and most complex keyhole procedures for patients needing cancer and general surgery. At the heart of the new theatre will be some of the most advanced camera systems in Europe, which deliver top-quality 3-D images. Consultant surgeon Mr Mike Dworkin, said: “We will also be able to bring digital X-rays and body scans to the screens and record or film the operation for the benefit of patient records. It also means the surgeon can use the two-way video conferencing function for teaching purposes.”

Aptly, the official appeal launch coincided with Bowel Cancer Awareness month when our specialist nurses Jacquie Joels and Joanne Glover seized the opportunity to make people more aware of the symptoms of the disease. Ten years ago they set up Southend Beating Bowel Cancer (SBBC) support group which is still going strong and includes a number of founder members. For the good news is that bowel cancer is one of the most treatable cancers if caught early. Joanne extolled the virtues of laparoscopic surgery which, besides leaving patients with barely discernible scars, also means faster recovery times, reduced risk of post-operative infection, hernia or adhesions, less pain, a shorter stay in hospital and quicker return to work or usual lifestyle. Bowel cancer symptoms and further information is available on

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EVERYBODY MATTERS This month we hop over to the education centre where receptionist Helen Proud’s smiling face greets visitors as they come in the door. Tell us a bit about your role. I am one of a team of receptionists who provide a front-of-house meet and greet service for the education centre and help meet the ever-increasing demand for room bookings. What do you like about the job? I really enjoy helping our customers and working with a very supportive team.

FOCUS ON THE OLOGIES Science week (17 – 21 March) saw many members of our staff out and about in the local community, spreading the word to school students about healthcare sciences. Westcliff High School for Girls held a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers fair and invited local schools to attend. We had an information stall at the event and staff from microbiology, pathology and radiotherapy rallied to speak to pupils about their science-based roles.

What are you most proud of? When I see our medical students return to us years later as fully qualified doctors. If you could be granted one wish, what would it be? For us to have more teaching space in the education centre. Tell us something that not many people know about you. I am a ‘mad cat lady’ – there are a few of us about – with two rescue cats of my own.

The event proved to many pupils there’s more to the NHS than just doctors and nurses. The roles represented at the fair received a lot of interest from young people considering pursuing a science-based career after school. David Dommett, principal clinical scientist - radiotherapy physics, said: “It was a very worthwhile event. It was clear that so many young people are not sure what career options are available to them. “An event like this gives us a chance to talk to students as they try to decide on their future and also presents a fantastic opportunity to introduce them to the wide range of careers within the NHS including the numerous technical and specialist STEM-based roles that exist.” Interested in taking part in future STEM events? Please contact for more information.

Helen Proud

If you would like to be featured in a future edition of The Look, please email communications@sou

Everybody Matters. Every thing Counts. le. Everyone’s Responsib

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LEARNING DISABILITIES FILM PREMIERES AT THE HOUSE OF LORDS Our learning disabilities committee had their time in the spotlight last month, when they launched their information film at the House of Lords. The afternoon tea event at the prestigious venue included lots of yummy cakes, a private showing of the film and was attended by actor and dedicated Mencap campaigner Lord Rix. The film entitled ‘Coming to outpatients’ will help patients with learning disabilities familiarise themselves with the hospital before they come in to have treatment, assisting their understanding of what the experience will be like and in turn reassuring those who may be anxious. The need for this first film in a planned series was flagged up by people with learning disabilities on the committee. One barrier to equal care identified by them was poor communication leading to a lack of understanding about treatments. ‘Coming to outpatients’ was produced by the communications team and also starred members of the committee, including Sarah Haines, learning disabilities specialist nurse, as one of the main narrators. Lord Rix’s charitable foundation, the Rix Thompson Rothenberg (RTR) foundation, donated the funds to the LD committee to make the production after becoming impressed with the hospital’s continuing approach to meeting the needs of people with learning disabilities.

DAY SURGERY’S GREAT BAKE-OFF Go on – treat yourself. It was hard to refuse day surgery’s offer, and harder still to choose between the many temptations staff in the unit had cooked up. They held the Easter cake sale and raffle to help raise funds towards a £3,000+ bladder scanner. Ward manager Catherine Hayes (pictured centre) said: “I am very lucky to have such excellent staff - the whole team rallied round to contribute to the sale. “Thanks to everyone who came along and bought - we raised £326 towards the scanner.”

Check out the film on our website and let us know what you think! learning-disabilities/ The committee hopes to spread the word about the film and make it accessible to all local support groups and charities.

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MORE TEA...? As part of Nutrition and Hydration week, the nutritional multidisciplinary team organised afternoon tea events on several wards including maternity and the discharge lounge. Wards offered relatives and friends a cup of tea at visiting time in the hope that patients would be encouraged to drink as well. Medirest provided the food – their cream scones were a big hit with everyone.

WHAT DO OUR PATIENTS THINK? What patients think of the care they receive here is key to shaping our services – and the Friends and Family test is letting us know their views. Last month, we started sending out text messages to inpatients, as well as those who had used our A&E service. Louise McIver, patient involvement coordinator, said: “We are hoping this will make a huge impact on responses and give us useful live data. As from April 1, the target response rate went up to 20% so the introduction of texting should help us achieve that.” All Friends and Family text responses and comments are captured on Envoy and are available on where you’ll find a breakdown by ward and patients’ comments. If you would like access to this system to see what’s been said, please contact Healthcare Communications on or call 0845 9000 890 and they will supply you with a username and password for access. Louise stressed the importance of continuing to hand out postcard surveys for those who do not have a mobile or prefer to fill in the cards while still in our care.

PLANTING FOR THE FUTURE On 27 March, the Trust – along with around 47 others around the country celebrated the second NHS sustainability day by taking part in the ‘NHS Forest’s 2@2’ initiative, which saw two trees planted around the hospital at 2pm – one in the Jubilee Gardens and one near the Lodge. Sue Hardy, chief nurse, and Caroline Hang Hong, travel plan coordinator, got out their gardening tools and planted the ornamental cherry and pussy willow which were donated by consultant anaesthetist Maggie Nicol and Caroline. Caroline said: “The trees mark the trust’s involvement in the NHS forest - a project dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of staff, patients and communities by increasing access to green space on or near NHS land. A tree count will take place this summer and our figure will be added to the current 35,855 trees that make up the forest.” If you would like to find out more about the NHS forest or sponsor a tree, visit

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March winner - Keiran Donovan, project manager IT Keiran has only been a project manager in the IT department for a year but he has successfully led the procurement and implementation of the Radiology Information System (RIS) replacement project within budget and to tight timescales. Typically a project of this scale and complexity would take 12 months - but in this case it was completed in just four. The RIS is effectively a mini-PAS, and in some aspects more complicated. It is tightly integrated with the Trust`s PAS, PACS and ICE environments and essential to the efficient running of the radiology service. Keiran has worked above and beyond what would be reasonably expected of his role to deliver the project whilst at the same time learning the necessary skillsets to accomplish the role. His nomination states: “Keiran has embraced and demonstrated the Trust values ‘Everybody matters, everything counts, everyone’s responsible’ in his day-to-day activities and this has been reflected not only in his successful delivery of the RIS replacement project but by the high esteem in which he is regarded within IT, the radiology project team and by his colleagues across the wider Trust.”


WELL DONE How do our doctors rate the service provided by our pathology department? That was what a survey of 500 hospital medics sought to reveal last year – and the results were a real pat on the back for our path lab staff. Of 35 UK labs taking part in the Royal College of Pathologists’ user satisfaction survey, we were ranked in the top five. And in four of the questions – inclu ding ‘would you recommend this laboratory service?’ – we were ranked No 1! The survey, part of our accreditation process with the Clinical Pathology Accreditation (CPA), was organ ised by Mark Brookes, pathology quality manager (pictu red). He emailed 500 hospital doctors of all grades with nine questions about the service provided and was naturally delighted to get so many positive responses. Jill Elliott, pathology operational/haematology lab manager, said: “Pathology staff from all the discip lines are very gratified with the results. It is a big team effort.” Suggestions to improve the service still further are being assessed and, where appropriate, implemented. Mark said: “My thanks to all those who gave feedback. It is vital to hear both positive and negative comm ents so we can keep improving our service.”

MACMILLAN CENTRE UPDATE Following the start of building work in May last year, our brand new Macmillan Information and Support Centre is now complete. Located in the tower block opposite the main outpatient area , the centre provides a holistic service in a calm and non-clinical environment and has already seen well over 200 people affected by cancer since opening to the public on 17 March.

Specialist staff and highly-trained volunteers at the £650,000 purpose-built centre provide a range of vital information and support to patients, family members and carers when they need it most. There are also plans to provide Macmillan information points in key places such as oncology outpatients, the heart and chest clinic, urology clinic and chemotherapy and breast units for the benefit of those who may not be able to visit the centre directly.


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BEHIND THE SCENES IN THE LINEN ROOM There are plenty of secret places all over the hospital, places which are out of bounds to visitors and which most staff are unaware of. We’d like to take you behind the scenes of just one... The linen room plays a major role in the daily running of the hospital. Manager Ben Tucker is responsible for the service and he is supported by a team of four. Situated in the depths of the tower block basement, the linen room supplies freshly laundered items like bed sheets and gowns to all wards and departments.

hoists, slings, breast gowns and curtains, with only a 72hour turnaround. And they provide a cleaning facility for the mops domestics use to clean the hospital. Ben said: “The team deals with a vast amount of work on a weekly basis. We thrive on a challenge and work with drive and determination to keep achieving our targets. “We will always take time to listen, look ahead and deliver exactly what our customers need.”

A typical day in the life of Ben and his team starts at 7am and includes collecting dirty laundry, calculating each area’s linen needs and delivering clean items to the various wards and departments – they deliver around 50,000 pieces of linen a week! The linen room also provides a uniform fitting service for all nursing staff, where alterations and repairs can be made dresses can be adjusted to suit an individual’s height, holes sewn up and zips fixed. Also the service can launder specific items like slide sheets,



This stunning shot of a lone gull soaring high over the snowy North Yorkshire Moors earned Westcliff ward domestic Penelope Barritt first place in the ‘Winter’s Here’ stage of our Four Seasons photography competition. Penelope, whose camera accompanies her on all her holidays and outings, was out tramping the Cleveland Way at Roseberry Topping when the graceful bird obligingly appeared at the top of a sheer rock face. She was delighted when professional photographer Lynn Tait pronounced it the winner out of a bumper tally of 40 entries. Lynn, from the eponymous gallery in Leigh, was particularly impressed with the fine detail of the feathers. Penelope (pictured) said: “Everyone’s interpretation of winter is completely different and I was surprised to win. The competition is such a good way of bringing different members of staff together. I got to chat to people I would never have met otherwise.”

Specialist genetics counsellor Kate Simon and acute pain associate CNS Rachael Dolan were both highly commended in this round of judging.

Penelope Barritt

Competition organisers Karen Kinnear, associate business unit director for theatres, critical care and anaesthetics and medical photographer Linda Murray, were delighted at the response and are hoping to receive even more entries in the next category, ‘It’s Springtime’, by the closing date on Monday, May 5. Email images (not exceeding 10MB) to

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Prior to volunteering, Jo worked as a domestic supervisor with elderly patients at Rochford Hospital. After she retired in 1991, her wealth of experience was invaluable to the running of the Memory Lane Reminiscence Centre which provided activities and entertainment for elderly patients.

Josephine Baverstock 15.4.1933 – 4.1.2014

We are sad to announce the death of longstanding volunteer Jo who has died after a short illness. Jo was a well-known face on the main outpatients desk, where she was part of the original team which started the service in 1994.

Congratulations to... Nadine Cohen, rota coordinator obs & gynae, who took part in a sponsored swim at Garons Park for Sports Relief. Nadine Cohen Nadine completed 200 lengths of the pool in just over two hours and with the help of her colleagues, raised over £800 for Sports Relief. Three paediatric staff nurses on Neptune ward have just completed and passed their mentorship. Sam Hutchinson, Sarah Shepherd and Wiz Hull are now looking forward to mentoring their first set of students. Hospital boss Jacqueline Totterdell, on being named one of the country’s top 50 chief executives by the influential Health Service Journal. Judges based their decision on the percentage of staff who would be happy for a friend or family member to be treated here, as revealed in the last staff survey. A ‘gobsmacked’ Jacqueline said: “Being a chief executive in the NHS today is quite tough going. There are a lot of great ones and I wouldn’t have considered myself to be in the top 50.” All working in the Memory Clinic which has once again received accreditation by the Royal College of Psychiatry.

Welcome to... New finance director, James Sullivan, who succeeds Brian Shipley.

Jo received a Hospital Honours award in Josephine B averstock 2009 for her services to the hospital. She is survived by husband Don, three children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Angela Bosnjak-Szekeres, our new company secretary, who takes over the hot seat from Anna Milanec. See the May edition of The Look for more on James and Angela.

Farewell to... Jenny Sartain, PA in occupational health, who has retired after 35 years with us. During her long Jenny Sartain career here, she has seen hospital life from all angles, having worked at Rochford and Thamesgate House as well as the main site. She’s getting excited about the imminent birth of two new grandchildren and looking forward to getting her garden ‘back to some semblance of order’. Brian Shipley, director of finance, who has retired after more than eight years in the role.

Brian Shipley Brian started his NHS career in 1991 as director of finance and deputy chief executive for Essex Ambulance Service where he played a key role in creating the air ambulance charity. Chief executive, Jacqueline Totterdell, said: “Brian’s loyalty to the trust over the last eight years has been outstanding. Never one to miss an opportunity, we will miss his quick wit and indomitable sense of humour. There will never be another Brian!”

Dona Shine, IT project manager, who has worked for the trust for 11 years. She leaves us to take up a new challenging Dona Shine IT role at Barts NHS Trust. Dona started life at Southend as an IT trainer but her most high profile job was managing the recent PAS replacement. David Robinson, programme manager, said: “Her tenacity, commitment and the positive outlook she maintained whilst implementing the PAS project and indeed everything else she has worked on, will be sorely missed by her colleagues.” Anna Milanec, trust secretary. Anna joined the hospital over four years ago, her first role in the NHS, and is moving on to be director of corporate affairs at the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust. Anna said: “The staff are the trust’s most valuable asset and their diversity, experience, diligence and humour should be treasured and nurtured. I’ve made some very good friends here who I will be keeping in touch with.” Yvonne Townsend, audit coordinator, who has retired after 20 years’ service. Yvonne, who started her career here retrieving healthcare records for the audit department, will be much missed by her colleagues. She said: “I have seen lots of changes in the trust and had the opportunity to work with many brilliant people.” After a trip to Venice, she is now looking forward to going to Canada later this year.

Yvonne Tow nsen


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TOUGH AND STRESSFUL WINTER... HELP IS AVAILABLE It’s been another hard winter for the hospital and many of you may have experienced struggles and need to offload on someone. Do not fear as help is at hand: our employee assistance programme (EAP) run by Validium is available 24/7 and can offer confidential support to all members of staff. The EAP telephone counselling line can give information, signposting and support for all types of issues that are causing employees concern or distress. Staff can take advantage of this service and tackle issues as soon as they arise, allowing them to continue with their work and personal life without the worry. Rick Dallaway, a consultant with Validium, said: “It is understandable that for some people, using the EAP

may seem daunting or uncomfortable. Our team are very understanding and empathic of how all types of issues can affect staff. I would say there aren’t any issues that are too big or too small for us.” When a member of staff calls the helpline, they will speak to a professional counsellor who will explore their concerns and discuss the best way to address the issue. This may be in the form of a referral to one of Validium’s debt counsellors or a health and wellbeing nurse. To access the EAP, please call 0800 3 58 48 58. This number is free from a landline. For mobile phones, employees can use 0330 332 9980 which uses contract minutes to make the call. The numbers are accessible 24/7, 365 days a year.

Dates for the diary May THURS


Dying Matters

n Exhibition in the educatio part of centre exhibition area as ness the annual national aware lude week. Topics covered inc nation, funerals, tissue/organ do and spiritual care.



Tackle the Tower

Charity abseil down our tower block in aid of Southend Hospital Charity. No experience necessar y. Entry fee is £39 plus minimum rd or sponsorship of £100 for a wa ice. cho r you of department

Quiz Night

June FRI


7.30pm for 8pm Start

For more informat ion on these fundraising events , please email fundraising@sou or call ext 5337.

In aid of the endoscopy a department and dementi services. y Way, At the Freight House, Bradle . Rochford, SS4 1BU of 8. Tickets £6 per person; teams buy but Bring your own nibbles drinks at the bar. d for in Bookings to be made and pai 337 or advance – contact 01702 385 nd email fundraising@southe

July FRI


Boogie In The Barn

Brought to you by Tropicana Nights

appeal In aid of the Keyhole cancer d, Tabor Farm Barn, Shopland Roa 1LH SS4 ex, Ess Rochford, 7pm – 12pm, over 18s only. Tickets £10pp, available from k



Foulness Island Bike Ride

Participate in this rare opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Foulness Island up close while raising money for the Keyhole cancer appeal. 11-23 mile bike challenges available, entry from £7.50.

Sept SUN


Walk for Wards

Raise money for a ward or department of your choice by either taking part in the 7km seafront stroll or the 18km Hadleigh hike. Entry is free but . minimum sponsorship is £15

Look April 2014  
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