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First high street Community Outpatients Clinic launched

Boots Out Patients HEFT CollaborationHeart of England NHS Foundation Trust officially launched Solihull Community Outpatients Clinic this week – the first initiative of its kind nationally.

The new Outpatients Clinic is located in the Solihull branch of Boots and is designed to take healthcare services into the community, giving patients more choice about where they receive their treatment.

Providing walk-in blood testing and outpatient clinics in dermatology treatment, children’s ophthalmology, physiotherapy and pain management; patients to the clinic see the same NHS consultants, nurses and clinical staff and receive the same high level of care as they would have at the Hospital.

Dr Irshad Zaki, consultant dermatologist and clinical director for dermatology at Solihull Hospital, said: “Our aim with Solihull Community Outpatients Clinic is to give patients top quality care outside of a hospital setting. This clinic provides a relaxed, spacious environment for patients, staff and visitors to go to where they can still be confident they have received the best specialist care.

“The feedback we have received has been extremely positive. We are proud of what we have achieved at the clinic and believe it paves the way for more healthcare services in the community.”

Ian Brown, healthcare development manager, Boots UK, commented: “We are delighted to have been able to provide Heart of England with a convenient location for its Community Clinic in Solihull.

“This clinic at the Solihull store is the first NHS facility located in a Boots store to offer phlebotomy and outpatient appointments, which are normally associated with a hospital environment. This removes the need for patients to visit the Hospital and offers the convenience of a pharmacy located on the same site.”

For more information about Solihull Community Outpatients Clinic, Mell Square, Solihull and its services, contact Jenny McGregor on (0121) 424 1336.

Veronica Morgan
Veronica Morgan

Solihull Hospital midwife and cancer survivor, Veronica Morgan, is set to climb Sydney Harbour Bridge to raise money for local breast cancer charity, Breast Friends Solihull.

Veronica beat breast cancer four years ago, and was inspired by the support she received at the time from Breast Friends Solihull – a charity which provides both emotional and practical support to women with breast cancer.

Veronica, said: “When I was going through my fight, having a compassionate circle of women who understood first-hand what I was going through was invaluable. They helped me to conquer my fear then, so I wanted to find a new challenge to overcome to offer something back.

“I am petrified of heights, so hope that when people see me climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge it will inspire them to donate generously to this wonderful cause.”

Breast Friends Solihull also raises money to support cancer services at Solihull Hospital. The group recently funded the full refurbishment of a treatment room as well as purchasing new equipment, such as a sentinel node probe and a tattoo machine for women who have had reconstructions.

Breast Friends Solihull meets every second Wednesday of the month at the Solihull Institute of Medical Training and Research Conference Centre, and welcomes any women suffering from breast cancer.

To donate money for Veronica’s Sydney Harbour Bridge climb, visit her Just Giving page at

I am a Year in Industry student doing a gap year of work experience at HEFT before going off to university. Yikes.

I am lucky enough to be working in the most exciting department – communications. Compared to other departments like theatres, maternity and pathology, why, I hear you ask would I think that communications is the most exciting? Well for me its because I get to view the inner workings of a hospital from a side line, I get to be involved with the most interesting things that are happening in the Trust and not only do I get to know what’s happening in communications, but also what is happening in many other departments.

Having done only done three A levels in maths, physics and biology, I really haven’t done any writing since GCSE’s so please bear with me and my poor writing skills.

I’ve been in the department since December, so have done plenty of other things, but this I find really interesting because I’ve been able to follow it through from beginning to end.

This month is Prostate cancer awareness month. I am more than obliged to spread the word.

Being an 18 year old girl, you would understand why until now prostate cancer has never really crossed my path. I wasn’t even entirely sure what it was – I think the sentence “isn’t it in the willy” springs to mind.

The prostate is actually a small gland in the pelvis that’s found only in men. It’s located between the penis and the bladder and surrounds the urethra – the urethra being the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis. Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men usually developing in men over 65. A quarter of all diagnosed cases of cancer in England and Wales are prostate cancer. It can be treated if caught early enough, thus the importance of raising awareness.

What does this have to do with me?

Well, one of the things we do is help raise the profile of the Trust, be it through the newspapers, radio, interviews, facebook, advertising etc… So anything good or interesting that is happing, we love to brag about! Prostate cancer is the perfect chance to show off the fantastic Urology department we have and just how much the specialists care.

STEP 1: find a specialist – We managed to get Mr Manu Nair interested in giving out interviews. Not only is he really passionate about prostate cancer and it’s treatment, he is a media devil and is confident enough to give live and face to face interviews.

STEP 2: Write media invite – this is the part that I haven’t quite perfected yet… Takes a couple of goes and a few amendments but eventually it is good.

STEP 3: Send out the media invites – we send out via email the media invite to all out media contacts, for radio or bigger newspapers it is usually best to follow up with a phone call.

STEP 4: interview! The Solihull News was interested. Yey. Mr Nair gave a great interview, just waiting to see the results…

Update: Just got the newspapers from last week. Both the Solihull news and the Sutton Coldfield Observer picked it up. Fantastic.

Mr Tristan Reuser
Mr Tristan Reuser

Locals have the chance to question healthcare professionals on common eye problems this week, when Good Hope Hospital holds a health seminar on the topic.

With more than 100 people in the UK losing their sight each day, consultant ophthalmologist, Mr Tristan Reuser, will be discussing a range of sight and eye issues, such as glaucoma and cataracts, and will look at how these can be treated.

Mr Reuser said: “With sight being such a precious sense, it is important for everyone to be aware of the signs and symptoms of common problems that can occur within the eye. There are many ways to prevent and treat eye conditions and these are continuously being developed and improved. I hope this talk will encourage the local community to come along and learn more and also to seek help if they notice any changes in their vision.”

Organiser of the health seminar, membership manager, Sandra White, said: “The public will have the chance to ask our experts questions and discuss their own thoughts and experiences of various eye problems. We hope that attendees will go away feeling more knowledgeable about the topics that will be discussed, as the Hospital is committed to educating the community about their health.”

The health seminar is taking place this Thursday 18 March at 5pm in the Education Centre, Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield.  To book your place, contact Sandra White on 0121 4241218 or

Sandra White, membership manager
Sandra White, membership manager

Locals are being given the chance to meet the governors of Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust next week, when the Hospital hosts a public seminar.

Governors are elected to represent the views of the public, the community and Trust staff, so the aim of the talk is to inform attendees of the governors’ role and how they benefit the Trust, its patients and staff. Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust provides general and specialist hospital care across Heartlands Hospital, Solihull Hospitals, Good Hope Hospital and Birmingham Chest Clinic.

Claire Lea, Trust company secretary, said: “The work of the NHS governors is integral at the Trust. The seminar will provide a fantastic opportunity for the public, staff and members to gain a better understanding of the role of the governor and the key part they play in the choices and decisions made by the Trust. By hosting this seminar I am hoping that those who attend will leave with a greater knowledge and understanding of governors.”

Organiser of the seminar and membership manager, Sandra White said: “We hope people will come along to the seminar to learn about the role of our Trust governors and perhaps even decide to stand for governor in future elections. Attendees will have the chance to ask our experts questions and discuss their own experiences.”

Claire and Sandra will be on hand to answer any questions, and there will also be breakout sessions of small groups who will have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues directly with governors.

The health seminar is taking place on Tuesday 16 March at 5pm in the Education Centre at Heartlands Hospital. To book your place, contact Sandra White on (0121) 4241218 or email

Today Caroline Spelman, MP for Meridan, posted a news story on her website about the temporary changes at Solihull maternity no longer happening.

From Caroline’s website;

Solihull will now maintain a full maternity service until formal consultations begin to decide the future of the town’s Maternity Unit. Delays in building work at Heartlands Hospital have forced NHS management to admit that they could not guarantee the safe transfer of higher risk women from Solihull.

Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden, says: “I welcome this news. It means that the midwives at Solihull can be trained ‘in situ’ to provide a midwife-led unit.

To read the rest of the new story, click here.

This information is not correct.  The planned changes to temporarily provide a birthing unit at Solihull continue on track.  We anticipate the change will happen during April as soon as we are confident all the necessary safety arrangements are in place.

The Trust is keen to take part in the PCT-led consultation process when it occurs and will honour the outcome.

If you have any concerns or questions about Solihull maternity and the temporary changes announced, please visit this site regularly, check the frequently asked questions or comment on the stories.  Please email individual concerns to

MG Devon House“We must reject the idea – well intentioned but dead wrong – that the primary path to greatness in the social sectors is to become ‘more like a business’.

“Most businesses fall somewhere between mediocre and good. Few are great. When you compare great companies with good ones, many widely practised business norms turn out to correlate with mediocrity, not greatness. So then, why would we want to import the practices of mediocrity into the social sectors?”

Not my words but those of Jim Collins. This is the opening paragraph of Good to Great and the Social Sectors, the 2005 follow-up to the business tome Good to Great. I was moved to have another look at this slim volume (35 pages) after digesting the 62 page From Good to Great, Andy Burnham’s five year plan for the NHS, and Sir David Nicholson’s Modus operandi, the NHS operating framework (52 pages). For good measure I would add another text, The Power of One, the Power of Many (a chunky 141 pages), inspired by the NHS Institute and lauding the worth of social movements inspired by people with a cause.

By June one thing is certain: we will have a new government. We, the many, will be pursuing current ministerial ambitions or resolutely embracing new ones. It is the nature of NHS staff – managers in  particular – to fall in behind the current approach and seek to maximise the opportunities for the communities they serve, It is not in our nature to rise up in revolt at modest adjustments to emphasis on spend or the mode of delivery. In all probability, day-to-day business will continue to be conducted under the existing operating framework. Those of us seasoned by the experience of regime change know that in terms of the delivery of services, change will be slow to take off. Essentially then it will be business as usual next year. And in our hearts we know that business as usual will not be enough to preparation for the rigours to come.

Inspiring people is not an exact science. Invictus, a relatively unknown poetic relic as of a time gone by, has been given wings by the revelation that it inspired Nelson Mandela during his lengthy incarceration on Robben Island. Its reach also extended to the Oklahoma bomber and the current prime minister. The point is not that we should all rush around reciting Invictus, but that we should all try to use some means to distil from ourselves the words that give meaning to out mission and stir our souls.

I was travelling back from London several weeks ago on the Pendolino the tilting train which always makes me a bit queasy. It was dark. Unable to work I was sitting back in my seat thinking deeply about several sad letters I had received form patients and relatives. While in this sombre place, the gist of a poem came into my head.

Unusually, as this happens to me from time to time, I bothered to write it down. The poets among you must forgive its schoolboy simplicity. It’s called The Man in the Next Bed.

The man in the next bed will die,
At night I feel his helpless cry,
The nurses never catch his eye,
The doctors simply pass him by,
His relatives around him sigh,
He will surely die.

I offer it to you for two reasons. First because I would like you to be aware, if you are not already, of the helpless emptiness of a hospital ward at night and how some of our patients are feeling. My words reflect theirs and. I suspect from some of the calls, letters and emails I receive, we can and should do much better for all out patients.

Second, I know from within my own organisation that we have many pieces of creative writing from members of staff at the time of the NHS 60th anniversary. I am not the only one who outs pen to paper to capture feelings. Rather surprised by my efforts, I sent it to a colleague for an opinion.

Within in minutes, she responded:

Can this be true, I hear you say,
Is patient care received this way,
I never thought I’d see the day,
When all that one could do was pray.
There has to be another way,
Compassion’s not a world away.
The man in the next bed will die,
At night I sooth his weary cry,
The nurses never pass him by,
The doctors all ask how, not why,
His relatives around him cry,
In death, the joy of life looms high.

In the hard times that are yet to come we will be tested to the limit. We will get pages of ministerial blueprint. Perhaps there is also a room for a few sparse words and lines to stir the inspiration from within.


This article was originally published in the Health Service Journal last week.  We are reproducing it with their permission.

(Please note that this does not affect Heartlands or Solihull Hospitals)

As of March 11th, 2010, Wards 7, 9, 14 and 18 are still currently closed to all visitors.  Patients on all other wards are now allowed 1 visitor per day.

As of March 5th, 2010, there were seven wards closed to new admissions at Good Hope, this includes the PCT ward. Due to the severity of the outbreak, the need for elective surgery for Monday and Tuesday will be reviewed tomorrow. Day surgery will continue as normal.  All wards at Good Hope will remain closed for this Friday and Saturday except for the children and maternity wards.

Paediatrics and maternity visiting has restricted visiting in place of one visitor per patient per day. Staff are asked to advise visitors to speak to their relatives and friends direct by phone or by calling the Hospital switchboard on 0121 424 2000 and requesting to be put through to the ward manager. In some wards, there is a facility on the television to receive and send emails. Visitors should also be advised to check the Hospital’s for any further visiting updates.

On Sunday, the non-affected  wards at Good Hope will be open to restricted visiting as per the policy of one visitor per patient per day.

Siobhan Quenby
Siobhan Quenby

Women who suffer from recurring miscarriages can now seek treatment from a pioneering miscarriage expert at Solihull Hospital.

Professor Siobhan Quenby, who has joined the maternity department, specialises in treating women suffering from recurring miscarriages using steroids. Professor Quenby is the only consultant in the UK to offer this treatment, which she created whilst working with Liverpool Women’s NHS Trust.

Siobhan Quenby, who also works in research at the University of Warwick, said: “Miscarriage during pregnancy is an extremely upsetting experience for women, and even more so when it is a recurring problem. My method of treatment has proven successful in trials carried out to date, so I am looking forward to extending my research in partnership with Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and the university.”

The steroid treatment for recurring miscarriages is believed to work by blocking increased ‘natural killer’ immune cells, preventing embryos from implanting, which is often what leads to a miscarriage. Professor Quenby will undertake a series of randomised control trials as part of her ongoing research.

Women can be referred to Heart of England’s Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic through their GP, by requesting Rachel Small, Recurrent Miscarriage Midwife, Care 4 Suite, Solihull Hospital.

Professor Quenby will also be leading a weight management clinic for pregnant women.

Siobhan explains: “Obesity is a major issue within obstetrics, as over a third of women are overweight during pregnancy. It can cause a host of complications including increased need for caesarean section, haemorrhaging, thrombosis, raised blood pressure, blood clots and even death during labour. The new weight management clinic will offer women advice and support which will help to improve the quality of their pregnancy.”

Chapelfields School pupils with their art work for Solihull HospitalBudding young artists have taken inspiration from some of art’s greats for an abstract art display at Solihull Hospital.

Year four pupils from Chapelfields School in Solihull created colourful works of art after looking into the works of Austrian artist and architect, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, famous for his bright colours and eccentric style; and Wassily Kandinsky’s study of abstract squares. The paintings, displayed in the outpatient clinic areas of the Hospital, show the pupils’ interpretation of different shapes and environments.

Janet Roberts, arts coordinator for Solihull Hospital, said: “We have an extensive arts programme at the Hospital which welcomes art work from many of the local schools. We want to make our surroundings for patients as pleasant as possible and the Chapelfields school pupils have created some fantastic pieces of work which are sure to brighten up the outpatient areas.”

The pupils created the works of art in the school’s art club and their pieces will be on display at Solihull Hospital for the duration of the next school term.

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