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Good Hope’s clear vision for children’s eye service

Ms Raina Goyal, Good Hope consultant surgeon, childrens eye serviceYoungsters needing treatment for eye problems can now be seen at Good Hope Hospital thanks to its foresight and extension of new services.

Boasting three new clinics, the new service offers treatment and surgery for children suffering with squints, lazy eyes or double vision, as well as less common eye conditions. The new services will be led by a new consultant surgeon, Ms Raina Goyal, who specialises in working which children with eye problems.

Tristan Reuser, clinical lead for ophthalmology at Good Hope, said: “Ms Raina Goyal’s clinics have extended the service already offered in the Hospital for children with eye difficulties.

“Expanding our eye services means we are able to treat more children, who no longer have to travel further a field to correct common problems such as squints, lazy eyes and double vision. These conditions can be upsetting for the child and damage their development, so offering them a high quality of care and treatment close to home is a real boost for the Hospital and community.”

Adults suffering from squints and double vision can also be treated at the Hospital’s eye clinics.

For more information about the eye clinics at Good Hope Hospital, call (0121) 424 9529 or

Solihull Hospital's Shirt of Hurt
(Left to right) Denise Casey, Louise Hopson, Hayley Morgan, Martin Cheshire, Professor Jon Gibson and Raj Singh – all staff at the eye clinic, Solihull Hospital.

Staff from Solihull Hospital’s eye clinic subjected themselves to the gruelling task of wearing their rival teams’ football shirts in a bid to raise money for the NSPCC.

Football fans in the ophthalmology department, who specialise in treating eye conditions, raised over £600 for the children’s charity by swapping football shirts in a “Shirt of Hurt” day. The medical secretaries and receptionists – bluenoses – wore Villa shirts and consultant ophthalmologist, Professor Gibson, a lifelong Villa fan, wore a West Brom shirt. Other Villa fans in the team wore Blues shirts and a Newcastle fan wore a Sunderland shirt, much to the amusement of staff and patients alike.

Secretary, Louise Hopson, the event’s organiser, said “I mentioned the idea as a joke and my manager heard it and thought it was a great idea.  We decided to go ahead with it and raise money for the NSPCC, because it’s a really worthwhile charity and the work it does looking after children who have suffered from cruelty is important.

“I’m a really big Blues fan and the idea of wearing a Villa shirt pained me – but I still did it!  Other colleagues also got involved and local companies like Pure Party in Solihull donated helium for the balloons, so it was a real community affair.  It really brightened up the Clinic and raised a lot of money for charity and everyone, even the patients, got a good laugh from it.”

Tracey Goodwin, NSPCC community fundraising manager for Birmingham, said: “We’re really grateful for the team’s efforts and will be using the money as part of the Child’s Voice appeal, which is raising money to expand the call centres where ChildLine operates from.  We’ve found that children prefer to speak to someone with the same regional accent as them, so the money the ophthalmology team have raised will go towards increasing the volunteer counsellors in Birmingham.”

Mr Brian BanerjeeWith National Sun Awareness Week and summer just around the corner, specialists at Heart of England Trust are calling for locals to get outside, stop covering up and start enjoying the sun.

Studies have proven that there are increasing numbers of people being treated in hospitals for conditions such as weak bones and osteoporosis; both linked to a vitamin D deficiency. More people are not getting the recommended amount of sun, with as many as two in 10 suffering from the deficiency. Mild symptoms including tiredness and aches are common and in some cases sufferers may have bone and joint pain.

Mr Brian Banerjee, clinical director of trauma and orthopaedics at Heart of England NHS Trust said: “Osteoporosis and brittle bones can occur when suffering from a lack of vitamin D. These are serious conditions that can be very painful. Sunlight is a great way to look after your bones, because it is free and it’s one of the most efficient ways of getting the sunshine vitamin into the body – just 10 to 20 minutes outside two to three times a week is enough to get your prescribed amount.

“Of course there is no need to go overboard and do take the necessary precautions. Wear sun screen and cover up to ensure your skin is protected from harmful conditions such as sun burn and the more serious threat of skin cancer, especially if you’re fair skinned. It is near impossible to get the full recommended intake of vitamin D from food supplements alone, so go on, get yourself outside and enjoy the glorious weather!”

Sleep specialist Dr Dev Banerjee 1Locals have the chance to question healthcare professionals on sleep disorders when Solihull Hospital holds a talk on the topic next week.

With more than a quarter of people in the UK suffering from sleep-related problems, Dr Dev Banerjee, sleep specialist, will be discussing many of the most common complaints ranging from snoring and sleep apnoea, to insomnia. Dr Banerjee will also be on hand to answer any questions or comments.

Dr Banerjee said: “Healthy sleep equates to a healthy life. A good night’s sleep gives the body time to rest and recover from the stresses of daily life. Not getting enough sleep, or too much sleep can affect your every day life, your blood pressure, alertness, moods and road safety. I hope the seminar will open people’s eyes to value of sleeping well and the many effective treatments we are now able to offer those patients in need.”

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

The seminar is taking place on Thursday 6 May at 5pm in the Education Centre at Solihull Hospital. To book your place or to find out details of the Hospital’s future health seminars, contact Sandra White on (0121) 424 1218 or email

For more information on the Heartlands Hospital Sleep Clinic, visit

Breast cancer sufferers at Heartlands and Solihull Hospitals will now be offered the chance to be treated in the comfort of their own home, thanks to a new pilot scheme.

Starting this month, the Herceptin at Home scheme aims to deliver chemotherapy and other cancer drugs away from hospital, in a patient’s home.  The pilot aims to build on research which suggests people are happier and more comfortable being treated at home, particularly when side effects from cancer treatment can include sickness, tiredness and low moods.

The scheme has been set up by the West Midlands Specialised Commissioning Team in partnership with NHS Birmingham East and North and Healthcare at Home Ltd, the UK’s leading provider of out-of-hospital healthcare.

Find out more at

Good Hope 'guardian angel' Vera Holley
Good Hope ‘guardian angel’ Vera Holley

Vera Holley, veteran fundraiser for Good Hope Hospital celebrates her 80th birthday this week.

Raising £25,000 for the Hospital in the last three years alone, Vera, known by friends and staff as Holley, has been fundraising tirelessly for Good Hope since retiring from nursing 15 years ago.

More recently, Holley and her fellow fundraisers raised £500 which is being used to fund a music project at the Hospital’s stroke unit. The monthly music sessions have proven to be a great success for patients receiving treatment, making a difficult time a little more relaxing.

Esther Jackson, music coordinator, says: “Holley has been absolutely fantastic in helping develop the music programme at Good Hope, which will bring a lot of benefits to the patients, visitors and staff at the Hospital.”

Beccy Fenton, Good Hope executive lead, said: “Happy Birthday Holley! I’m sure I speak for the whole Hospital when I say I would like to wish her a very Happy Birthday.

“We really appreciate all the hard work she has put in over the years raising money for the Hospital, running the retirement fellowship and volunteering in A&E. We even have the Vera Holley Clinical Decisions Unit in A&E at the Hospital named in her honour.  The money Holley’s charity has raised has bought some well needed equipment to make patients’ stay in hospital more comfortable.  She’s a well known face around the Hospital and everyone is really thankful for all the work she does.”

Heartlands hearing service picBirmingham patients suffering from hearing damage or total loss in one ear can now benefit from a new procedure offered at Heartlands Hospital Hearing Centre.

Called a bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA), the process directs sound through a small titanium screw implanted in the skull which channels vibrations to the inner ear. It is suitable for people who have had previous surgery on their ears, where the bones of hearing are not functioning properly or where a patient has difficulty wearing hearing aids due to infection, pain or discharge.

Mr Matthew Trotter, Consultant ENT surgeon, said: “This can be a life-changing operation which can give patients a superior quality of sound to the old style hearing aids.  Because the BAHA doesn’t sit in the ear, it doesn’t cause some of the associated problems with wearing a traditional hearing aid such as discharge and therefore enables the BAHA user to have continuous hearing.

“The BAHA requires a yearly maintenance review, so our service at Heartlands Hospital means patients from Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield can now be treated locally rather than having to travel to another hospital further away.”

For more information on the BAHA or other hearing aids available, contact the Heartlands Hospital Hearing Centre on (0121) 424 0888.

Good Hope Hospital’s maternity unit is giving locals the chance to meet the team next week when it opens its doors to the public.

The open day, taking place on Saturday 17 April between 11am and 2pm, offers an opportunity for expectant mums, those thinking of having a baby and their families to visit the maternity unit to find out about the services on offer and gain advice from maternity experts.

Good Hope midwives will be on hand to answer any questions on pregnancy and birth, with the community midwives also in the maternity unit to provide information on home birthing. Tours of the delivery suite are available on the day, alongside information stands on breastfeeding, smoking, natural and water births.

Maggie Coleman, Good Hope obstetrics and gynaecology services manager, says: “This is a fantastic opportunity for mums-to-be to come down and see firsthand where they might be having their baby.

“Having a child can be one of the most daunting and exciting experiences in a person’s life, so we wish to open up our doors and help parents and parents-to-be feel more informed, educated and leave feeling relaxed about what’s ahead”.

The public can stop by the Hospital’s maternity unit, based in the Fothergill Block of Good Hope, between 11am and 2pm on Saturday 17 April. Refreshments are provided and no appointment or prior notice is necessary.

Congratulations to Ellen Ryabov, currently the Acting Chief Operating Officer, on her permanent appointment to the post of Chief Operating Officer.

After a competitive interview process, Mark Goldman would like to congratulate Ellen and sends the following message:

“Ellen has been with us in an interim post throughout the last difficult year and it is a real pleasure to welcome her into a permanent post. She is up and running with a deep understanding of the organization just when we need her, at the start of a new financial year. I welcome her appointment and I am comforted to know that when I leave later this year, she will be here at the heart of everything we do.”

Mark Goldman

A cutting edge, £12m Medical Innovation Development and Research Unit (MIDRU) and Diabetes Centre has been officially opened at Heartlands Hospital this week.

MIDRU and the new Diabetes Centre will specialise in patient-centred research, alongside giving the highest quality care to patients who are obese, have diabetes or live with metabolic disorders. The centre boasts state-of-the-art technology and facilities to accommodate ground-breaking research into many  aspects of medicine, with particular focus given to diabetes, endocrinology and weight management.

The number of people in the UK being treated for diabetes has quadrupled in recent years, and the centre will fulfil the national need for new research and treatment centres to accommodate this unprecedented increase.

The centre was officially opened by Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Chauhdry Abdul Rashid JP, and Heart of England Trust Chairman, Clive Wilkinson.

Along with the official opening ceremony, there were talks from Trust Chief Executive, Mark Goldman, Professor Anthony Barnett, Clinical Director of Diabetes and Endocrinology and Viggo Birch, Managing Director of Novo Nordisk UK.

For more details about the new centre, visit

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