Regional conference builds bridges in bereavement care

Published/updated: 28/07/10 12:13

Dr Dawn Chaplin
Dr Dawn Chaplin

Heartlands Hospital hosted a conference last week, to bring health professionals from the West Midlands together to discuss the best way to care for relatives who have lost loved ones.

The conference marks the beginning of a new Birmingham Bereavement Partnership Project, which aims to find new ways of supporting bereaved relatives whilst in Hospital.

Dr Dawn Chaplin, project director, said: “The conference was a great success and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We need more events like today where people can discuss and understand the impact of their care and look at ways of working collaboratively to ensure the end of life and bereavement care we provide is of the highest quality.

“The project is aimed at looking for new ways of working across traditional boundaries to ensure that bereaved relatives are provided with the right information, support and guidance, at the right time, by the right people all along the bereavement journey. This project is jointly supported by The Heart of England, which covers Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull Hospitals University Hospitals Birmingham, which covers both the old and new Queen Elizabeth Hospitals and NHS West Midlands.”

A message from the chief executive

Published/updated: 28/07/10 12:12

I am pleased to be able to advise you that our regulator, Monitor, decided at its Board meeting earlier today to de-escalate the Trust from being in breach of its Terms of Authorisation over issues of quality of care and failure to achieve the A&E target. They will be altering our Governance status on the Monitor website from red to amber/green and if our performance remains unchanged for a further quarter we will be restored to a green status.

It has been and continues to be a considerable effort to keep standards high. We have all worked hard for our patients and for our reputation.

We are not perfect and we will always be seeking to be better.  Today we should congratulate each other for what has been achieved in the last six months.

My grateful thanks to all of you.

Mark Goldman

Chinese officials’ landmark hospital visit

Published/updated: 28/07/10 12:11

Chinese Ministerial visit Photo 1Health ministers from China visited Heartlands Hospital last week in an internationally significant step in the battle against HIV and AIDS.

In a major high-level engagement by Chinese health ministers and the NHS, the delegation, from Henan Province, met representatives from Heartlands Hospital and the Health Protection Agency (HPA) to sign a declaration of intent, signifying a commitment to working together.

Dr Li McCrae, clinical scientist at Heartlands Hospital and the West Midlands HPA, said: “A massive milestone has been reached between the UK and China. The declaration is a step towards a collaborative relationship which aims to improve HIV diagnosis management and treatment in both countries.”

Dr Stephen Taylor, lead consultant for the Birmingham Heartlands HIV Service said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for us to share ideas and our experiences with the Chinese and vice versa. Ultimately our common purpose is to diagnose, treat and prevent HIV transmission whilst offering high quality patient care to those infected with HIV.

“There are important parallels in the two countries’ epidemics. In the UK we must continue to strive to diagnose the one third of people who are unknowingly infected with HIV. This is a public health imperative. The same will be true in China, although actual numbers of people infected will be tens of thousand times greater. Furthermore, we still have a huge problem with stigma here in the UK. We have come a long way in 25 years, but we still have a way to go.”

The event included presentations about the state of HIV in the UK and China and finished with discussions about shared goals and future collaboration. All parties emphasised their commitment to improving the treatment and care of people living with HIV, by raising awareness of HIV and AIDS amongst both medics and the public, combating stigma, and increasing HIV diagnoses through improved testing.

Local students’ splash of colour for new Good Hope building

Published/updated: 27/07/10 12:14

Good Hope's Sutton Schools Art project
Good Hope’s Sutton Schools Art project

Budding young artists have been given the chance to have their work seen by thousands, as Good Hope Hospital unveiled the winners of its local schools art competition.

Thirteen schools took part in a competition to create artworks for Good Hope’s new outdoor gallery.  Over 250 pieces were entered, with judges from the Hospital finally whittling it down to one winner per school.  The winning students were invited to a special ceremony where the outdoor gallery was officially launched by the Hospital’s chairman, Clive Wilkinson.

The students’ art work will adorn the walls of the outdoor gallery at Good Hope before being displayed in a new eight ward, £26 million building which is due to open early next year.

Winning student artist, Christina Barrett from Arthur Terry School, said: “It’s really amazing to think something I’ve drawn will be here forever.  I originally created the piece for my GCSE artwork and my teachers secretly entered me for the competition without me knowing.  The next thing I knew I’d won.  I’m really proud.”

Mona Campbell, Good Hope project manager, said: “I am delighted so many people came to the unveiling of the children’s artwork and the outdoor gallery.

“Schools and hospitals are the heart and soul of the community and it really is fantastic to see them working together.  This project wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the schools and in particular, Becky Maiden from Sutton Girls Grammar School.  I’d like to offer them my utmost thanks for getting involved and working with us.”

The outdoor gallery can be viewed on the board just behind A&E at Good Hope Hospital.  For more information on the work Good Hope does with the local schools, contact Mona Campbell on 0121 424 9321.

Senior Clinicians, Health Protection Agency and Chinese Health Ministers Sign HIV/AIDS Declaration

Published/updated: 22/07/10 12:15

A declaration of intent is to be signed today by health ministers from Henan Province, China, and representatives of both the West Midlands Health Protection Agency (HPA) and Birmingham Heartlands Hospital – signifying the commitment of health services in China and the UK to working more closely together in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The declaration offers a drive towards improving the treatment and care of people living with HIV in both nations and outlines the goals shared by all parties. These include raising awareness of HIV/AIDS amongst both medics and the public, combating stigma, increasing HIV diagnoses, enhancing patient care and improving surveillance of the infection – all working towards reducing the spread of HIV both in China and the UK.

Henan Province’s health delegates attended the 18th International AIDS Conference in Vienna this week, before travelling to Birmingham Heartlands Hospital to meet with specialists from Heartlands Hospital HIV Service and the HPA. Through presentations and roundtable discussions, the three parties are to spend time learning from each other, building relationships, and exchanging ideas about how to meet future challenges in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The declaration of intent is to be signed during the visit.

Dr Li McCrae, clinical scientist at Heartlands Hospital and the West Midlands HPA, played a lead role in setting up links with Henan Province. Dr McCrae said: “An important and significant milestone will be reached today. The declaration represents a really positive step in the UK and China’s efforts to tackle HIV/AIDS.

“When I met with Dr Wei Huang, Director-General in Henan, he expressed a great interest in visiting the UK to familiarise himself and members of his delegation with the work we are doing here. The delegates’ visit will be a great opportunity to share the breadth and quality of the Trust and HPA’s work with HIV diagnoses, patient care, surveillance, prevention and treatment.”

Dr Stephen Taylor, lead consultant for the Birmingham Heartlands HIV Service said: “There are important parallels in the two countries’ epidemics. In the UK we must continue to strive to diagnose the one third of people who are unknowingly infected with HIV. This is a public health imperative. The same will be true in China, although actual numbers of people infected will be tens of thousand times greater. Furthermore, we still have a huge problem with stigma here in the UK. We have come a long way in 25 years, but we still have a way to go.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to share ideas and our experiences with the Chinese and vice versa. Ultimately our common purpose is to diagnose, treat and prevent HIV transmission whilst offering high quality patient care to those infected with HIV.”

Hospital student bags business award

Published/updated: 21/07/10 12:20

Oliver receives his award from Geoff Jellis
Oliver receives his award from Geoff Jellis

A student working in Good Hope Hospital’s lean academy has achieved a successful start to their Hospital career after winning prestigious regional business award from The Year in Industry scheme.

Oliver Davison, 19 from Rugby, is a pre-university student and beat over 40 applicants, gaining national recognition for the West Midlands in the annual ‘Contribution to Business’ competition. Placed in the Lean academy at Good Hope Hospital, Oliver’s winning project demonstrated how to reduce time taken between drugs being requested from pharmacy and arriving on wards. This cuts down patient waiting time and improves patient flow through the Hospital.

On his achievement, Oliver, said: “Whilst working as part of the Lean team, I have been both supported and allowed to work independently, receiving fantastic personal development. I have been involved with challenging work that is making a real difference to patient’s experiences of our services. I am deeply grateful to the Trust, my department and particularly my line manager for the support given.”

Geoff Jellis, regional director of the Engineering Development Trust (EDT) the organisation which set up the award said: “This year’s initiative has produced some great projects and my congratulations go to all participants for the extremely high standard of work. All of the projects entered and showcased are of great benefit to all partner companies working with EDT.”

The award was set up to recognise the work students have done while on business, engineering and automotive placements. There are also a further 15 student placements in the NHS in the West Midlands, all employed by Gateway Family Services, a Birmingham based social enterprise.

Students’ good deed for Solihull Hospital

Published/updated: 21/07/10 12:19

SH0016 - Students good deed for Solihull HospitalSolihull Hospital car park hosted a group of students from Solihull College last week for a day of charity car washing.

The five students, who raised a total of £85, took part in the car washing as part of their business studies qualification and have donated the money to the Friends of Solihull Hospital Association (FOSH).

Paul Butler, business lecturer at the college, said: “Thanks to the students’ hard work and enthusiasm, they have been able to raise even more money towards the Hospital. It is good to know that the money raised will go directly to benefit the lives of patients.”

The Friends of Solihull Hospital Association will put the money towards vital equipment and machinery and have raised over £600,000 since the group started in 1953.

If you would like to find out more about the Friends of Solihull Hospital Association, to make a donation or volunteer, please email Liz Steventon, liz@steventon.net

A touch of glory for Hospital rugby winners

Published/updated: 21/07/10 12:16

Heart of England winners The Hospreys
Heart of England winners The Hospreys

Members of a hospital touch rugby team claimed their own victory this year, as they were once again crowned winners of the Heart of England NHS Touch Rugby League this week.

The winning team, the Hospreys, claimed victory with a two-nil defeat over junior doctors, the Heartlands Hurricanes.  Having been part of last years winning team, the Hospreys included five previous winners from the Stroke My Ego team and beat 25 other teams to claim triumph.

Richa Gautam, Touch Rugby project lead, said: “We’ve had a fabulous turn out for the finals, with over 400 players and 2,000 spectators.  It’s been a really great league and I’m really pleased for the Hospreys.  I hope people enjoyed the league and are inspired to keep active.”

The Trust’s Touch Rugby league is part of a wider initiative to get NHS staff more involved and active.  The Heart of England Trust, which runs Heartlands Hospital, is also embarking on tennis and netball tournaments as part of a year long programme to increase staff wellbeing.

For more information on the Touch Rugby league or the upcoming sporting events, contact Richa Gautam on 0121 424 0973 or visit the website, www.sportandphysicalactivity.nhs.uk/.

Local sister recognised for good patient care

Published/updated: 15/07/10 12:23

Good Hope patient, Ellie Milner, receiving the patient carer of the year award on behalf of Ruth Creber, sister at Good Hope
Good Hope patient, Ellie Milner, receiving the patient carer of the year award on behalf of Ruth Creber, sister at Good Hope

A nurse at Good Hope Hospital who went beyond the call of duty for one of her patients was officially recognised last week, at the Hospital Trust’s annual Staff Recognition Awards.

Ruth Creber won the award for her exceptional care working as part of the critical care outreach team at Good Hope, who treat patients with potentially life-threatening illnesses and require additional support.  Ruth Creber, a sister at the Hospital,  was nominated by seventeen year old patient, Ellie Milner from Sutton Coldfield, who suffers from severe asthma.

Ellie Milner, who nominated Ruth, said: “I have severe asthma so I am well known to the ward.  I cannot express how much Ruth supported me.  She looked after me so much, made me feel at ease, stopped me from being scared and kept me informed of what was going on.  She was not just amazing with her clinical knowledge, but really supported me throughout the night emotionally.  I would like to follow a similar career in a similar field as I have so much respect for what she does.”

Mark Goldman, chief executive, said: “These awards are a great way of recognising staff that go above and beyond the call of duty.  We aim to always provide good clinical care, but it is the little extras that make all the difference.”

The annual awards, presented by the BBC’s Michael Collie, recognise the outstanding work of the staff and volunteers at the Trust.

For more information about Heart of England’s Awards, please visit the website:http://www.staffrecognitionawards.co.uk/.

Sun, sex and STIs – national campaign launched as medics warn this could be a summer to forget

Published/updated: 15/07/10 12:21

Ribbed Robby
Ribbed Robby

The summer holidays are in full swing and with more than 30 million UK residents travelling abroad each year, medics at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital are urging holiday makers not to bring home more than they bargained for.

A national sexual health campaign, called ‘Beer Goggle Johnny’s Guide to Sexual Health’, has been launched this week by the Hospital aimed at informing people about the importance of having fun on holiday responsibly. The campaign includes a guide to sexual health, with facts, figures and fun graphics, conveying the simple message: wear a condom, all the time, every time.

Dr Steve Taylor, sexual health and HIV consultant at Heartlands, said: “69 per cent of British men with heterosexually acquired HIV were infected through sex on holiday, as were a quarter of women. Although the public are more aware of the dangers of unsafe sex these days, we are not seeing people putting this into practice, which is worrying.

“It’s while on holiday, as people relax, soak in the sun and consume alcohol, the chance of having unprotected sex is increased. We want holiday makers to take precautions, pack condoms in their suitcase and attend sexual health screenings on their return if they are unsure.”

“This campaign is out to make safer sex fun, a natural part of looking after ourselves, whether at home or abroad. It’s about making our summer holidays just as wild – but much safer.

“The only way we can help prevent widespread infection of STIs in this country is through early testing, and treating infections before they can spread – and when they are easier to treat. Even HIV, for so long a virus to dread, can be managed very effectively if detected in its early stages.

“It is ever more important that people are aware of the dangers from Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV: the earlier people get tested, the easier it is to treat their condition – and prevent transmission.”

To access Beer Goggle Johnny’s Guide to Sexual Health, as well as video interviews with patients and experts visit: http://www.sexualhealthbirmingham.co.uk/

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