NHS Update – 17th September

NHS Updates – 17 September

An update from BHRUT (Tony Chambers Chief Executive)

‘Choosing to work on the frontline seemed the right thing to do’

To mark World Physiotherapy Day, on Tuesday 8 September, we shared an honest blog from Mariusz Kadziela, one of our physiotherapists. He talks about leaving his comfort zone to join our Critical Care team, helping Covid-19 patients with their recovery.

I’m sure many of our colleagues will share his sentiment that it’s something he will remember for years to come. I was proud to read his praise for how our teams organised redeploying large numbers of staff at short notice.

Sharing the uncertainty and fear he and colleagues felt, Maiusz also mentions how they chose to work on the frontline with Covid-19 patients. I was pleased to see that he felt proud and honoured to join his ward colleagues and felt a greater purpose in doing this. Make sure you read his blog.

Changes to our car parking

As you’ll be aware, during the pandemic, we removed parking charges from our car parks. This supported more of our staff to park onsite, as well as relieving pressure on patients and visitors.

I’m sure you’ll understand this is something which we couldn’t continue indefinitely, as this income goes towards maintaining our car parks.

We reintroduced charges for patients and visitors on Thursday (10 September). We are, however, currently continuing to provide free parking for staff.

Reopening of our stroke rehabilitation ward at King George Hospital

On Friday (11 September), Heather ward at King George Hospital reopened. This ward cares for patients who are rehabilitating following a stroke. This means more acute stroke beds will be available on our Hyper Acute Stroke Unit at Queen’s Hospital.

Stroke rehab patients had been cared for at Queen’s Hospital, before being discharged to continue their recovering in the community, during the pandemic.

Everyday racism – Devesh’s second blog

Last week I shared with you the first in a series of three blogs, written by Devesh Sinha, our consultant and co-clinical lead for stroke, about his lived experience of everyday racism in the NHS.
This is part of our efforts to provide a supportive platform for our BAME colleagues to ensure their voice is heard, so we can play our role in effecting change.
In his second blog Devesh writes about the structural racism which limits BAME representation at senior levels of the NHS.

He also discusses the role of white colleagues in being part of making change happen. Once again it’s a thought-provoking and important read, find it our website.

Updated blood test information

Our partner NELFT, which is running community blood testing, has added an additional clinic to help meet demand. Forest Medical Centre, in Redbridge, has now been added to the list, which has been updated on our website.

Supporting our vulnerable cancer patients

During the early stages of the pandemic, we had to consider how we could continue to care for our vulnerable cancer patients, while also keeping them safe.

This had a huge impact on our Living With and Beyond Cancer team, which supports patients with advice and guidance, as well as running a number of health and wellbeing events to help them through their diagnosis, and life after treatment.

One of the first things they did was proactively call patients to see how they were – this resulted in several calls to over 800 patients.

It also meant they had to find new ways of providing their service, including through technology. Read their story to find out more about what they did.

Finding a calling and fulfilling a dream – thanks to our Academy of Surgery

A few weeks ago I mentioned here that our Academy of Surgery had successfully prepared its first group to move onto their higher level training posts.

Now I’m delighted to share the story of Taniya Perera with you. Taniya moved here from Sri Lanka to join our academy – an unexpected second chance to achieve her dream of being a surgeon. She was so passionate about it that she came with her husband and six-month-old son in tow!

Reading her story of how our Trust has helped her on her way to achieving her dream, while also supporting her family to settle into a new life, was great. I was also glad to see that after finding her calling with our Orthopaedic team, she has no plans to go elsewhere. Read more.

Ventilator app improves safety

A new app now means we can remotely monitor our Covid-19 patients who are on ventilators at Queen’s Hospital ITU, improving staff safety.

The Draeger ventilator app allows our clinicians to monitor patients’ vital signs and statistics away from the bedside. This allows them to choose how much physical contact they have with our patients, and consultants can give advice without being present.

With hospital zoning in place due to Covid-19, this will reduce the need for our staff to move between zones. Plans are in hand to roll out the software to King George Hospital.

Our Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Lastly, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that our AGM will take place on Wednesday 30 September, 4.30 to 5.30pm. Of course, in line with Covid-19 restrictions it won’t be quite the same this year, it will be a virtual event. We’ll be sharing the link soon and hope that many of you will be able to join us.

Take care and stay safe.

Tony Chambers
Chief Executive

Update from Havering CCG

Breast screening services in north east London are open and safe

Breast cancers picked up by breast screening are usually found at an early stage, when they are easier to treat, may need less treatment and are more likely to be cured.

Evidence suggests that deaths from breast cancer are reduced by about 1,300 per year in the UK due to screening programmes.

Services are back up and running and we have made them safe. Therefore, if you have been invited for breast screening, you must attend. If you are unable to attend, please contact the screening centre, at the earliest opportunity to let them know (the phone number will be on your letter). This will enable them to offer the appointment to another person.

Please do not attend your appointment if you have any symptoms of Covid-19. In this case, please let the service know and they will rearrange it for you.

Measures are in place to protect you from Covid-19, including:

  • Staff will be wearing PPE
  • There will be additional cleaning between appointments
  • You may have your temperature taken when you arrive
  • You will be asked to wear a face-covering

Remember, if you have symptoms that you are worried about, such as a lump or discharge, please contact your GP as soon as possible.

More information, including leaflets in a range of languages, is available on the London Breast Screening webpages.

Positive Behaviour Support Training webinar for parents and carers

‘An introduction to Positive Behaviour Support’ webinar is for parents and carers of children and adults with learning disabilities or autism who can present with behaviours of concern.

This is a three-session webinar and participants need to attend all sessions:

  • Session 1: 29 September 10am – 11am (getting to know each other session)
  • Session 2: 30 September 11am – 1pm
  • Session 3: 1 October 11am – 1.30pm

Please see the outline of the course attached which provides more information about what will be covered.

To book a place please complete the attached booking form and submit to  by 21 September.

New guidance launched to support the mental wellbeing of children and young people

Most families have experienced upheaval in their daily lives during the pandemic.
With children and young people now back at school or college, Public Health
England (PHE)’s new Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign provides NHS endorsed tips and advice to look after children and young people’s mental wellbeing.

Visit: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/


Author: Councillor Gerry O'Sullivan

Gerry is a Ward Councillor for St. Andrews & Hornchurch Resident's Association Executive member.

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