Newsletter for Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Spreading the word abroad We are involving ourselves in more and more international research, but consultant rheumatologist Prof Bhaskar Dasgupta is breaking new ground by having work published simultaneously in three prestigious international medical journals. Collaborating with the giant Mayo clinic in the United States, he has produced definitive classification criteria for polymyalgia rheumatica, a painful inflammatory condition which causes severe pain and stiffness in the muscles as well as inflammation and
...to have the results carried in three leading publications at the same time is a unique event.
swelling of soft tissues. These, and a second paper on patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), were the culmination of six years’ hard graft at 23 centres in research trials led by us here at Southend. The two papers will appear in three of the world’s most influential and respected rheumatology journals: the Annals of Rheumatic Disease, Arthritis and Rheumatism and
the Journal of Rheumatology. Bhaskar, our clinical director of research and audit, said: “We have led this international research and to have the results carried in three leading publications at the same time is a unique event.”
See centre pages for more of our research successes
Pegs a-plenty National Dignity Action Day last month was the perfect occasion to remind clinical staff of the versatility of the humble clothes peg. Keeping cubicle curtains fastened when patients are using a commode or are otherwise indisposed ensures their dignity is not compromised by someone crashing into their private space. If you need any pegs, Ian Finlayson, HCA on Balmoral ward has a supply - or any easily cleanable plastic peg will be fine.
Personal notices Welcome to:
Kelly Stevens, our new compliance manager, who comes to us from South West Essex Community Services where she was responsible for clinical effectiveness. Kelly has been in the NHS since 2006 and previously worked at King’s College Hospital, London.
Dr Moshood ‘Mosh’ Shittu, A& E, on joining our consultant body at the beginning of last month. Mosh has been working with us for a time as a specialist registrar and is delighted with his new appointment: “I have worked in many emergency departments but Southend is the best. The group of consultants in A&E here is unique in terms of the rapport between themselves and the junior doctors and the whole hospital is warm, friendly and loving.”
With degrees in both psychology and law, her remit is to look at how we are complying with CQC regulations across the hospital. She says: “I have been out meeting all the clinical governance leads and heads of service and everyone is very positive. There is a big task ahead but everyone has an embedded sense of what we need to do, so I am looking forward to working together to achieve all our objectives.”
Farewell to: Dr Gurmeet Sen, associate specialist and clinical lead for paediatric audiology at the Lighthouse Centre, who retires next month. Dr Sen has been working in Southend for 31 years and came to us from the community sector in 2001. She says: “I take pride in the fact that, with my team, I have been able to shape services for hearing impaired children and their families in this district. Together, we have been able to provide a seamless service fit for the 21st century.” Her plans are to spend more time on her hobbies – photography and gardening. And she is looking forward to seeing more of her far-flung family – a mother and sister in India, another sister in America and a brother in Africa. They will all be together soon for her daughter’s wedding next month.
Mosh trained in his native Nigeria, initially as an anaesthetist, and subsequently went to The Gambia where he did surgery and urology. On arrival in the UK, he did a stint in orthopaedics before finally settling in emergency medicine nine years ago. Married to a GP with two young sons, Mosh enjoys football (albeit now from the sofa rather than the pitch) and playing table tennis. For the record, he’s an Arsenal supporter. Chrissie Newson, falls lead nurse, on achieving postural stability instructor status, awarded by Later Life Training. To gain the qualification, Chrissie had to undertake written exercises on falls prevention and exercises as well as case studies and a practical examination. Denise Flowers, on her appointment as associate director for clinical governance. Her new role will primarily involve checking our CQC compliance, analysing complaints and compliments, clinical
incidents and audits. In short, making sure we are doing everything we should be doing. One of Denise’s first tasks will be to pick up the report of last November’s CQC visit and to make sure its recommendations are carried out. She is also introducing ‘patient safety walk-rounds’ when the BUDs and executive team will go out to the wards and clinical areas. Nurse Sue Catton (endoscopy) and clinical nurse specialist (CNS) Della Hughes (gastro-enterology), who were both nominated by their patients for the Crohn’s and Colitis UK 2012 inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) nursing awards. Lynsay Pratt, HCA on the central delivery suite, after being named ‘student of the year’ at South Essex College. Lynsay threw herself wholeheartedly into studying for an advanced apprenticeship in health which started as a pilot last year and has now been rolled out across the trust. She said: “Once I have decided to do something, I just do it. I am always looking for the next step.” And that next step is studying for her foundation degree. Dr Lucinda Bell, one of our junior doctors, on gaining her instructor potential status on our first oneday online ALS (Advanced Life Support) provider course. We were selected by the Resuscitation Council to pilot this new course which saw 18 junior doctors receive their crucial training. Resuscitation training officer, Felix Khor said: “Everyone was very impressed with Lucinda’s outstanding performance throughout the course.”
Hope for silent sufferers It’s a big problem but not one you’ll often hear discussed. After all, urinary and faecal incontinence, constipation and sexual dysfunction are hardly the sort of topics for ‘polite company’. Yet these are just some of the disabling symptoms which result from pelvic floor dysfunction. Consultant colorectal surgeon Mr Bandipalyam Praveen (left) and his team have long recognised the need to provide a comprehensive service for patients with this condition. He says: “The symptoms have devastating effects and significantly affect a person’s quality of life. But these patients have traditionally suffered in silence – partly due to embarrassment but also because many doctors are not aware of the development of the disease and how to treat it.” Two years ago Praveen set up a dedicated pelvic floor clinic which has already seen more than 400 grateful patients. They each see a consultant and are allocated half an hour to discuss their complex problems. Local GPs have also found the clinic invaluable as at last they now have Southend has somewhere to refer this group of patients.
Now Praveen is looking towards extending the local service seeing help on offer, hopefully later this year, to include a huge number diagnostic investigations and prevent patients of patients. have to travel to London for these tests. Also in the pipeline is the recruitment of a specialist nurse who can provide non-surgical treatments like pelvic floor exercises, biofeedback to allow patients to recognise signals and improve their condition and other self-help procedures. Praveen said: “Our physiotherapists have been very helpful in treating many of these patients but a sizeable number still need to be referred to London for treatments not yet available locally.” Those patients who do need surgery are luckier as we have the expertise here to perform the surgical operations – just one in 100 needs to be referred elsewhere. Our service received a major boost with the recruitment in January of Mr James Wright (left), a consultant surgeon with a special interest in laparoscopic colorectal and pelvic floor surgery. Having just returned from the world-renowned pelvic floor centre at Cleveland Clinic in Weston, Florida, James reckons that “Southend has an excellent local service seeing a huge number of patients”. Praveen added: “We are very lucky at Southend to have a high degree of cooperation locally from skilful and experienced urologists, gynaecologists, radiologists and physiotherapists. Now we are forging further links with our community services to improve the service still further.”
Bedside alarms – with a difference New bedside alarms installed on Princess Anne ward are not there to provide a reveille call for our patients. Instead, these padded sensors have been introduced to prevent falls when an at-risk patient attempts to get out of bed unaided. The ward, which caters for many frail and elderly patients, has been trialling the alarms – a pair of padded guards which fit along the length of each side of the bed and are fitted with sensors. As the patient attempts to get out, nursing staff are alerted to assist with toileting or any other need. Carla Boydell, Princess Anne deputy ward manager (pictured here right with HCA Kim Lilley and patient Marjorie Hobbs), said: “They have been really good at reducing the incidence of falls. It means we have been able to reduce the number of ‘specials’ (designated nurses to give one-toone care to high-risk patients), which frees staff up for other duties.” Now the falls team is hoping to get the alarms installed in other wards which cater for patients with a history of potentiallydamaging falls. As qualified physiotherapist and falls practitioner, Kate Chapman, pointed out, falls cost the Trust money, even when they do not result in any injury: there are checks to be made, forms to be filled out and care given to any cuts and grazes. And, of course, they shake the confidence of elderly patients making them more vulnerable in the future.
Research – an integral part of patient care Our research nurses have done us proud at this year’s Essex and Herts CLRN (Comprehensive Local Research Network) best practice awards ceremony, held last month at the Stansted Radisson Hotel. And there was also an award for research champ Prof Bhaskar Dasgupta for ‘promoting local NHS contribution to the National Institute for Health Research life sciences industry research portfolio’.
Research has gradually been creeping up our agenda to its rightful place as an intrinsic component of good patient care. And with our chief executive, Jacqueline Totterdell, now chair of the local CLRN (although she was not on the awards judging panel!), it is now something none of us can afford to ignore. As Jacqueline pointed out, the work done by researchers now will bring enormous benefits to patients in the future: “The drugs, treatments and
Victoria Katsande, winner in
Vicky Goater, runner-up, and
the ‘excellence in clinical research training and/or coaching’ category.
Maryam Zare, commendation, in the
Victoria, who has been nursing for seven years, joined us as a trainee research nurse just over a year ago, became ‘fully fledged’ six months later and has not looked back. She said: “Having worked on the wards in the past and seen new drugs, treatments and devices coming along, I wanted to be involved at that level.” She now works with the teams in critical care, A&E, rheumatology and surgery.
I really love the work and the feeling that it will help patients in the future.
When patients suffering acute asthma attacks come into A&E, Victoria is contacted to invite them onto a trial to see if magnesium can benefit them. She explains the details and that they might receive a placebo instead of the drug under scrutiny. If they consent, Victoria or a colleague gives them nebulisers and an infusion, monitors their response and follows them closely for the next 30 days for any reactions. She says: “All drugs on trial have been through a great deal of rigorous testing before they ever reach the patient.” Another trial in rheumatology involves comparing two different licensed drugs to see how they affect the cardiovascular system, while a third is for patients with primary Sjogren’s syndrome, an auto-immune condition which affects moisture-producing glands such as the tear and salivary glands. Victoria explains: “We are trying to test a cohort of people with the condition to see if there may be underlying genetic or environmental factors. Although patients are not benefiting themselves, they are happy to help with the research. We also aim to create a register of patients with the condition to they can be contacted about any future trials. “I really love the work and the feeling that it will help patients in the future.”
‘making a valuable contribution to the implementation of particularly challenging tasks and/or initiatives. Vicky (right) is our first paediatric research nurse and in the short time she has been in post has started five different trials, with another six in the pipeline. She made the shift from being a senior neonatal staff nurse, saying ‘I always need a challenge’. Vicky added: “As a nurse on the wards you are directly helping individuals, but by doing research you are indirectly helping millions of people by contributing to the gathering of evidence essential for best practice. “A lot of people think research is boring but it is far from that. It involves many aspects of clinical care including administering treatments, monitoring patients, running clinics and visiting patients on wards and at their homes.” Vicky’s pet trial at the moment is the Probiotic in Preterm babies Study (PiPS), a double-blind trial aimed at reducing the instance of potentiallyfatal necrotising enterocolotis in babies born under 31 weeks’ gestation. It has been an amazing success: “We were meant to get 10 in a year and we have 17. I have been absolutely overwhelmed and this is where I get my joy,” says Vicky. “Although
It’s not just an ‘add on’
medical devices we use routinely today are only available because someone in the past dedicated themselves to some rigorous and invaluable research.
and more recognised as a research-oriented organisation and I am delighted that new areas are now realising the fundamental importance of conducting these studies as a key part of their day to day work.”
“The future of healthcare depends on health service professionals making that effort and we are delighted that our staff have been so successful in the CLRN awards. “Southend University Hospital is rapidly becoming more
there are risks and parents already have so much on their minds, they have all been open and understand why we are carrying out this clinical trial. Another trial looks at children newlydiagnosed with diabetes, which involves analysing blood samples for antibodies and genes. Samples are also taken from siblings to assess their likely risk of going on to develop the disease. Vicky adds: “It is important to work as part of the paediatric and neonatal teams in order to offer the best care for our patients – which includes offering them the opportunity to take part in clinical trials.” Vicky also collaborated with other CLRN staff to produce a poster on successful recruitment to the PiPS study. Staff from the stroke unit were highly commended for their poster submission.
Here we meet the successful nurses:
In the 14 months she has been with us, Maryam (below), our research site coordinator, has succeeded in increasing the number of areas of research here from five to 23. Maryam, who has 12 years’ experience in international research under her belt, does not wait for a formal approach from a pharmaceutical company or the CLRN before she sets the wheels in motion for a new research project. Instead, she searches to see what is in the pipeline and, if she thinks it is feasible, seizes the initiative.
“As soon as I realise we can do the study here at Southend, I approach potential principal investigators.” She reports weekly to the network and, as a research coordinator, is currently responsible for the conduct of research in 30 trials (and these do not include rheumatology or oncology). Maryam is delighted at our successes in the awards and adds: “Jacqueline Totterdell’s support is vital to us as without it we would not be able to do achieve all we want to. “Research does a lot of good. As well as being beneficial to our patients, it is cost effective for the hospital as most of the trial drugs are paid for by the pharmaceutical companies.”
Sarah Martin, commendation in the ‘outstanding achievement by an individual or team’ category. Sarah combines her research with her role as a night sister on our critical care unit, where she has worked for 16 years (“I just really like the pace of it and not knowing what is coming through the door.”) She has just completed two studies: one on the effects of medication to prevent fungal infections and the other on the treatment of head injuries. Sarah is currently working on studies looking at the best method of nutrition for critical care patients and how our genes influence the outcome of sepsis. She says: “In the last couple of years research in critical care has really taken off, mainly because of the leadership of Dr Dave Higgins, who is lead consultant in the LCRN.”
Teamwork We may be moving into a new financial year but our focus remains the same – to use what we have to provide the best possible service for our patients.
And it is with that in mind that the change team, made up of a small team of project and service improvement specialists, has been working across the Trust helping staff at all levels. Working with staff on projects looking at everything from the way patients access our services right through to how we can speed up their recovery and discharge, the team are using their skills to help the Trust plan and deliver real improvements. The change team has most recently been working with finance and the business unit directors to help identify schemes that will enable the Trust to maintain and improve services whilst continuing to reduce costs. “Everybody
will have heard headlines Liam with service improvement snr manager Jane Reeve, about there being less programme manager Nick Mapstone, service improvement money, but that doesn’t snr manager Dominic Hall, projects office manager Cath stop us still delivering a Abrams and programme manager Dave Robinson. great service,” says Liam submit the completed TTA information Slattery, newly appointed head of change and programme management. to pharmacy as soon as possible. “We have great staff at the Trust with Another example is the on-going lots of wonderful ideas. We know that introduction of the e-rostering system – because, as a team, we have first-hand Healthroster. Project manager, Joanna experience of working with them McGrath, says: “Healthroster enables across many projects which both managers to arrange their staff better improve service and reduce cost.” which helps to reduce bank/agency spend, whilst also enabling the Trust to The TTA (drugs to take away) project comply with the European working time has shown a definite improvement in directive. The system will soon be linked timely availability of patients’ drugs, to payroll which will mean that staff will reducing delays and improving no longer need to fill out timesheets.” discharge efficiency. The pharmacy ICE system has also been overhauled to help make a dramatic impact on monitoring and turnaround times for TTA completion. You may have also seen the screensaver encouraging doctors to
Ultimately the system will help to improve patient care by making sure the appropriately skilled staff are available to give patients the right care at the right time.
In loving memory of baby Jayden Little Jayden Roddy lived just over one hour after being born prematurely last June.
‘journey bears’ – a pair of identical bears, one of which goes in the baby’s coffin while the other remains with the parents.
But the legacy of the much-loved little boy will live on, thanks to the generosity and energy of his grieving parents, Marie and Alex. They have thrown themselves into holding a whole series of fundraising events to help ease the suffering of other heartbroken parents.
And they are determined to fund more ‘cuddle’ cots.
Alex and Marie with Amanda Cushing and Mason (left) and Mitchel.
In just eight months they have collected more than £1600 which has already bought a special cold cot (renamed ‘Jayden’s cuddle cot’) for our maternity unit. The portable cooling insert can be placed into any Moses basket to cool the baby following death, allowing parents and relatives to spend more time together as a family.
But they are not stopping there. Marie and Alex, who have two other sons, Mason, eight and Mitchel, five, have vowed to keep up their efforts ‘forever and a day’. Next on their shopping list are bigger and better memory boxes for bereaved families to keep their precious keepsakes like foot and hand impressions, candles, blankets and
Marie said: “We started to look at cots before Jayden’s funeral. We just wanted to do something for the hospital. Everyone was so brilliant and we wanted to give something back.”
Jayden’s special cot will prevent other couples having to keep going to the mortuary to see their precious baby if the Butterfly bereavement suite is already in use. Amanda Cushing said: “As a bereavement support midwife, I feel very lucky to receive these donations. We are fortunate to have so many generous people in our community who wish to bring comfort and support to other parents when they are faced with the death of a baby. Equipment like this enables us to provide a better service at such a difficult time. The central delivery suite would like to say a big thank you to Marie and Alex for all their hard work.”
DiaryDates Heart and lung services workshop
Help shape the future of your hospital
From 10am to 4pm at the Regiment Way Golf Centre, Chelmsford
Would you like to become a worker governor for the hospital? We’ll be holding an election later this year – voting takes place in May with seats being filled on June 1.
Organised by the Essex Cardiac and Stroke network to help shape heart specialist services for the entire county.
There is a seat to fill at both the hospital and Britannia House sites. Election packs for prospective candidates will be available from the end of this month by calling ext 8303.
Book a place on 01206 288271.
Thursday, March 22
Sunday, March 25
Charity spring fair From 10.30am to 4pm at The Mill, Bellingham Lane, Rayleigh In aid of Bosom Pals Appeal on the road. Entry £1.50 adults, children under 16 free. More details on ext 6402.
Friday, April 27
Bowling night From 7.30pm at Rileys Broadway Superbowl, Leigh Basket meal and prizes included. Adults £12pp, children (under 16) £10pp. 6 people per lane. In aid of the Bosom Pals Appeal On The Road.
As part of the Trust’s equality and diversity policy, the communications department is committed to ensuring this publication meets the needs of all our staff. If anyone would find it helpful to receive The Look in an alternative format, eg large print or audio please email the communications department. If you have an item that you would like to see published in The Look, contact Pat Stone on ext: 5048 or by email.
Deadline for next edition – Friday, March 23.
If you have received a present for Christmas or birthday which is just not ‘you’, how about offloading it to our fundraising department who can turn it into hard cash to benefit our patients? The department’s goodies cupboard is looking a bit depleted and Louise Champion would love to see it restocked. Call her on ext 6402 if you can help.
Tree planting is a generation game Anaesthetist Dr Dinesh Aiyappadas and his daughter Nia were among the ecology champions who turned up for some more Sunday planting in the hospital grounds. The stalwart band has now put in 500 hedging plants around the site perimeter, courtesy of The Woodland Trust. An extra bonus was that the children who put in crocus and snowdrop bulbs last October were able to see the results of their labours pushing up through the ground.
Farewell to popular volunteer Mourners packed the large chapel at Southend Crematorium to say goodbye to popular volunteer Hazel Cutler who died on February 2, aged 70. Hazel was a well-loved fixture on the information and care car desks and also helped on Chalkwell ward until ill health forced her to retire last September. The emotional service featured music from Cliff Richard – Hazel was a lifelong fan – and was followed by a burial at the cemetery opposite. The mother-of-two had worked at the hospital for almost a decade and last year received a special Hospital Honours award and small party in her honour, attended by friends and colleagues.
The smile says it all
Anne Milton MP, minister for public health and herself a former nurse, was all smiles when she visited us last month to see our care rounds system in action. Her whirlwind visit took in Edmund Stone, Stambridge and Rochford wards where she shared a joke with HCA Kay Deacon (pictured). Afterwards the minister said: "It was fantastic to visit Southend University Hospital and see the ways nurses are working to improve patient care. All the patients I spoke to were impressed with the care they had received. Well done to all the staff as it takes time and commitment from everyone to achieve high quality care".
Braving the icy blasts in memory of Ryan Staff from Elizabeth Loury ward organised a bracing walk along the pier in memory of popular leukaemia patient Ryan Tolley who died at the end of last year. Claire Howard, one of the ward secretaries, said: “Ryan simply asked if we could do the walk for him if he wasn’t able to and so we did. We were all touched by him and wanted to it in his memory. More and more people joined in.” Although it did not start off as a
fundraising venture, the family still raised £400 which will be used to start up a trust fund in Ryan’s name. His mum, Mandy Short, said: “We used to spend a lot of time at the beach as a family and he always wanted to walk the pier, but it just didn’t happen. Even when he became paralysed he still hoped he would be able to do it and told one of the nursing staff on the ward. “I cannot thank the staff enough for the way they looked after him.”
l to r: Paul, Robert, Cath, Alan and David.
Mountainous challenge for Brit House staff In May Alan Tuckwood, Robert Ketteridge and Paul Tracy from IT and David Robinson from the programme management office, will be attempting the gruelling Three Peaks challenge – climbing the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales within the space of 24 hours. By the time they have finished, they’ll have covered nearly 26 miles and climbed around 10,000 feet. Projects office manager Cath Abrams will be ably assisting them as peak-to-peak driver and supplier of plasters and anti-chaff stick. Walking boots are being broken in. Alan boasted: ‘This is a great challenge which I completed last year with 40 minutes to spare. This year I’m joined by a great team, and we will be going at it hammer and tongs (with crampons!).” The team will be raising money for the hospital’s Bosom Pals appeal and money can be donated through the team’s JustGiving page at: www.justgiving.com/SouthendHospital-3-peaks