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Kids artwork is unveiled at local hospital

Local school children were invited to see their artwork displayed at Good Hope Hospital during a celebratory event on 20th September.

Budding artists aged from five to 16 from schools across Sutton Coldfield were asked to take part in a competition to design a piece of artwork with the theme: ‘beautiful things in nature’, to be displayed at Good Hope.

The winning piece of artwork from each school is now displayed in the elderly care ward of the new block one and other areas of the hospital for staff, patients and visitors to see.

Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust Chairman, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath joined children, teachers, hospital staff and patient family members at the event.

Lord Hunt said: “Seeing the artwork displayed in the ward and the rest of the hospital is a great effect.  Not only does it create the right atmosphere, the more art we have, the more welcoming it is.  Having work here by talented people of the younger generation gives an added presence and it is good to invite them back to see their work and meet the patients that will benefit from it.”

Rachael Ford, a student at Plantsbrook School said: “My picture looks really nice and big.  It’s good to see it.”

Lilian Taylor, a patient on the elderly care ward said: “It makes me feel lovely that the children have taken the time to paint these pictures.”

Arts Volunteers in Paediatrics at Heartlands HospitalThe Heart of England Foundation Trust is looking for creative locals to get involved in activities such as arts, craft, poetry and reminiscence sessions for patients.

The workshops on the wards and departments in Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull Hospitals, give patients the chance to spend time creating. This can improve their mobility and communication and lead to a faster and more effective recovery.

The Heart of England Trust’s arts coordinator, Sarah McGrory, explains: “Patients really look forward to these sessions, particularly those who either come into Hospital regularly or have to spend long periods of time in Hospital. We have found that patients love to get involved and it really does brighten up their day by taking their minds off why they are in Hospital. It is a chance to spend some time with a friendly face who isn’t a doctor or nurse.

“The increased communication and activity also benefits their rehabilitation and helps patients along their way to getting better. We are looking to expand the service so that we can hold the arts and crafts sessions on all wards or departments at the Hospital.”

If you would like to become a volunteer at the Heart of England Trust, are interested in helping out with arts and crafts, or would just like to hear more about the workshops, please contact Sarah on 0121 424 0113.

Music_DSC3748Local musicians have been bringing cheer to young patients and their families spending time on the Children’s Unit at Heartlands Hospital.

Children and yog people on the ward had the opportunity to take their minds off their stay in hospital by learning to play an instrument or take part in arts and crafts activities, such as making puppets and glow in the dark planets. Musicians including a violinist, guitar player and singer and theatre artists from local organisations Bridge Arts and Music and Dramask all helped bring a creative and fun environment to the ward.

One of the patients who took part, 12 year old Ben Clarke from Shirley said: “I’ve been in hospital for two days and learning to play the guitar has made it a better experience.”

Bridge Arts and Music Guitarist and singer, Darren Adderley has worked in the community for eight years and said of his experience bringing music to Heartlands: “When children come into hospital they can sometimes feel a bit isolated.  Music helps the patients to get to know each other and provides a great way of bringing everyone together.  It’s great to see the confidence it gives them.”

Bhavna Gokani, ward manager, said: “The nursing team were delighted to welcome the music programme onto the paediatric wards.  We strongly feel that music is therapeutic and helps relieve the anxieties of children and families whilst in hospital.  All of which aids in a speedy recovery.”

Mr_Ehab_Bishay_IDA0606Lung cancer patients can now receive their treatment and be home the next day thanks to a surgical technique introduced at Heartlands Hospital.

Conventional open surgery to remove lung cancers involves patients staying in hospital from between five to seven days. The new technique uses a video-assisted thoracic surgical procedure, meaning it is minimally invasive.  As a result, patients feel better and recover quicker after surgery, with many well enough to go home as early as the next day.

Mr Ehab Bishay, a consultant surgeon for thoracic surgery, said: “We are confident that this new technique will make a massive difference to the treatment of patients suffering with lung cancer.  As the new procedure is undertaken using key hole surgery, there is no cutting involved.  As we no longer have to cut the major chest wall muscles nor spread the ribs, which can often be extremely painful for patients, they regain their energy more quickly and make a much quicker recovery.”

One of Mr Bishay’s first patients to have this surgery is 70 year old Robert Westbury, who had half his lung removed using this technique.  Mr Bishay said:  “Mr Westbury is exceptional in himself with determination and drive, leading to him being the first ever patient at Heartlands who has gone out only one day post-operatively after such a Lobectomy.”

Robert said: “I felt slightly sore, which you would expect after an operation, but otherwise I felt fine.  All of the staff were attentive and caring and did their best for me.  I see a positive future for me.”

Medics from Heartlands Hospital seized the day this week, when they took on the Ackers challenge, to raise thousands for charity.Dr Roper and the team in front of 'the tower'

The team of 16 including consultants, nurses, physios and patients, took part in a 70 foot tower abseil, a fan descender and a zip wire activity at the Ackers Adventure activity centre in Small Heath, to raise more than £3,000 towards the Hospital’s Children and Family Centred Care appeal.

Dr Helen Roper, paediatric consultant said: “We all had a fantastic day and were delighted to have raised so much for such a worthy cause. We would like to thank all who took part and those who kindly donated money.”

The Children and Family Centred Care appeal is a charity set up by the Hospital, which hopes to raise a massive £85,000 towards refurbishing the unit including upgrading the parent accommodation facilities and completing colourful artwork in the Unit.

Saturday shoppers in Chelmsley Wood were surprised to see over 20 yummy mummies descend in a flash mob to raise awareness of the benefits of breast feeding.Flashmob pic2

The mothers responded to e-bulletins urging them to come together and feed their hungry babies in the busy Chelmsley Wood shopping centre.

Solihull’s infant feeding coordinator, Carmen Baskerville, who organised the flash mob event explains: “We wanted to catch people’s attention in an innovative way so to take away the taboo that is associated with breast feeding in public. We are calling for action in local young mothers to think about the benefits of breastfeeding as breast feeding is not only immediately beneficial for newborns, it also contributes to a lifetime of good health, lowers the risk of mums getting breast or ovarian cancer and can burn up to 500 calories at a time.”

The event coincided with the first birthday party of You+, the Trust’s local healthy lifestyle shop in Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre.

If you would like more information on breastfeeding and its benefits, please contact or on 0121 713 8924.

Good Hope Hospital has teamed up with Breast Cancer Care to provide a new support programme for locals who are moving forward after treatment for breast cancer.

Launched at Good Hope this month, the free, four week course has been designed to help patients adjust to life after treatment and regain their confidence. The group sessions will be led by expert speakers and aim to provide information, support and professional guidance on how to cope with and adjust to life after treatment.

Elaine Wilkes, clinical nurse specialist from the oncology department at Good Hope explains, “Sometimes, people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer find some aspects of life difficult once their hospital treatment has finished. These sessions provide that extra level of care to our patients who need it most. We will cover everything from managing the side effects of treatment, returning to work, body confidence and relationship issues, to the psychological effects of the disease, and worries around the cancer returning.”

The sessions run for four weeks at Good Hope, starting from Monday 19 September from 10am – 1pm. Places are limited and booking is essential. If you would like to register onto the programme or find out more information, please contact Breast Cancer Care on 029 2023 4070, or email

For those unable to attend the sessions, there is Moving Forward resource pack available to download

A new sleep clinic at Good Hope Hospital is set to help children in the region who suffer from sleep problems ranging from night terrors to insomnia.

The clinic, held on the first Tuesday of every month in the paediatric out-patient department at Good Hope Hospital is open to anyone aged between one and 16 on referral basis. By helping young people improve their sleep patterns, the service is improving the quality of life not only for the youngster, but also for their long suffering families.

Paediatrics consultant Mr Titus Ninan, said: “We are seeing some extreme cases of young people that sleep all day and are awake all night.  Sleeping problems affect these young people’s ability to go to school and perform and this has a knock on affect on their families.  Modern life, which runs at a much faster pace and where children for instance often have two to three electronic devices has resulted in more demand for help with these kinds of problems.

“Treatment can range from advice and information to medication depending on the individual case.”

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