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Tennis competition proves to be a hit at local hospital

tennis winners small resIt was game set and match for a team of finance staff who swapped sums for serves to win Heartlands Hospital’s tennis competition this week.

Heartlands Hospital’s finance team, The Racketeer’s, were announced as proud winners of the competition, which was introduced through the Hospitals leading sports and fitness programme. The competition alone was shown in a staff survey to have motivated those taking part to keep fit by 89 per cent.

Led by tennis ace and directorate accountant for planned inpatient care, Adam Winstanely, the Racketeer’s beat teams of junior doctors, nurses and porters to win the four week tennis competition.

Adam Winstanley said: “I think the tennis competition was a great way to bring staff across the Trust together and make new friends.

“Taking part in the competition was a great way to keep fit; for those taking part you could really see the improvement from the first week to last both in terms of fitness and technical ability.”

The Hospital, along with its sister hospitals Good Hope and Solihull has created a sports programme in line with the national NHS 2012 challenge to encourage NHS staff to improve their health through physical activity. This Department of Health Initiative has been inspired by the London 2012 games and is a response to Dr Boorman’s health and wellbeing report to encourage NHS staff to use physical activity as a means to get fitter and be better role models for patients.

For more information on the tennis competition, or the Hospital’s sport and physical activity challenge, please contact Richa Gautam on 0121 424 0973 or email

celebrating diversity picNurses and others working in the healthcare from across the West Midlands got together to celebrate diversity in the profession at a recent conference hosted at Heartlands Hospital this week.

To mark Black History Month the conference, held in collaboration with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), celebrated the achievements of nursing professionals from all cultures and backgrounds across the region.

Pamela Chandler, head of diversity, said: “This was a special event which highlighted the diversity of the staff working at our hospitals and the local communities they serve.  It is important for us to recognise the staff we employ and their different backgrounds.”

Attendee, Nemonee Stone, Assistant Practitioner for Mammography at University North Staffordshire, said: “I’ve enjoyed the presentations and found it very interesting to hear the real-life stories of those working in the profession.

“This is a unique event that should be held every year to celebrate all of our hard work and dedication.”

For more information on equality and diversity at the Trust, contact Jane Turvey, administration manager on: 0121 4241330 or:


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Photograph – Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust midwifery matron, Lorna Foster.


New Attitudes ClinicA sexual health clinic for young people in the region is celebrating a successful first year of providing advice and treatment to those that need it this November.

Over 8,000 people have benefited from the nurse led, patient-focused, fresh approach to sexual health since it first opened back in 2010.November 20.

Cathie Hill, lead nurse at New Attitudes, said: “With the region having some of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy, terminations and sexually transmitted infections, my team and I have enjoyed providing this much-needed service for the local community over the last year.

“We set out to change the perception of sexual health and contraception and wanted to provide young people in the community with a safe and comfortable environment, somewhere they would not feel embarrassed to go to for advice and treatment.

“We have exceeded our own expectations with what we have achieved over the last year and are pleased we have been able to help so many people.”

Open six days a week on a drop-in basis, the clinic provides a full range of sexual health care – from contraception, free condoms, pregnancy testing and emergency contraception, through to STI testing and treatment.

The modern, purpose built clinic opened as a direct result of feedback from the public and professionals about what they would want out of a sexual health clinic.  The service is based on the second floor of Erdington Health and Wellbeing Walk-in Centre, on the high street, but upstairs and away from prying eyes.

The clinic is open Monday to Friday 9am until 7pm, or Saturday 11am to 3pm and is free, confidential and no appointment is necessary.For more information about New Attitudes contraception and sexual health centre, call 0121 686 8030 or visit

Give a dog a voJane Neary & Roote! Chihuahua Roo brings his own special dose of therapy to patients on Solihull Hospital’s stroke ward and now needs your vote to be crowned HiLife Pets As Therapy Dog of the Year 2011/12.

P.A.T. Dog Roo (to give him his official title) is heading to the Crufts show at the National Exhibition Centre in March and his owner Jane Neary hopes he will go one better than his runner-up place in last year’s competition. Roo is one of six finalists chosen from hundreds of nominations.

Jane Neary, a housekeeper on the stroke ward, brings Roo in to work with her once a month and when requested by patients.

Jane explains: “When Roo has got his yellow Pets As Therapy jacket on he knows he has a job to do. There is something special about him, he has a very calming way about him. When I take it off he plays football all day. He has helped many patients. One man recently hadn’t been recovering well but he had always loved animals and Roo was the first thing he responded to. That patient is now at home and doing really well.”

Nancy Evans, a patient currently on the stroke ward, said: “He is a beautiful dog. The way he looks around is lovely. He makes me feel a lot better. He’s as good as gold,” she said as he sat on her lap enjoying a stroke.

Public votes will form two thirds of the overall decision along with the choice of a celebrity judging panel. To vote for Roo, who also visits children at Acorns Hospice, email and type ‘I vote for Roo’ in the subject line.

Solihull Hospital’s rehabilitation services are being strengthened over the busy winter period.

This will mean many older Solihull residents needing further hospital care following initial treatment at Heartlands Hospital for conditions such as a hip fracture will be cared for closer to their home.

A 20-bed orthopaedic rehabilitation ward will transfer from Heartlands to Solihull Hospital from October until February 2012. The move will also increase bed capacity at Heartlands Hospital to deal with the increase in admissions traditionally experienced over winter.

Most, if not all, of the patients benefiting from the additional service at Solihull Hospital will have Solihull postcodes. Similar rehabilitation facilities will continue to be provided at Heartlands Hospital.

Claire Molloy, managing director of Solihull Healthcare, which covers Solihull Hospital and community services, said: “This will benefit Solihull residents over the difficult winter period by helping us bring care closer to patients’ homes.”

The rehabilitation service will move into accommodation vacated in the summer by a temporary gynaecology inpatient ward at Solihull Hospital.

Clive RyderA top expert in childhood arthritis has joined Heartlands Hospital.

Dr Clive Ryder, took up the post of medical director for women’s and children’s services on 5 September having moved from Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he was a consultant paediatric rheumatologist.

As co-chair of the West Midlands Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology Network Group, Clive works hard to ensure that local, high quality and safe services are provided for all children with arthritis and their families – wherever they live.

Dr Ryder said: “I am delighted to become a medical director for one of the country’s biggest and leading hospital organisations and look forward to ensuring that the very best care is provided, not just in my speciality, but for all women and children who use our services.”

Tahlia_09.09.2011_DSC3975Heartlands Hospital children’s ward staff surprised long-term patient, Tahlia Banks, with a birthday celebration to mark her last admission before she transfers to an adult ward.

The teenager from Marston Green, who has received treatment on the ward for Cystic Fibrosis throughout her life; was surprised on her 17th birthday by ward staff and her family on the ward.

Tahlia said: “I can’t believe everyone managed to keep the surprise from me.  Thank you to the staff at Heartlands for organising the party and being so kind to me over many years.  They have become like a second family to me.  I’m going to miss them all when I go to the adult ward.”

Joanna Hutton, staff nurse said: “I came in for the party on my day off because Tahlia has been here a long time and she means a lot to me.”

The balloon release that took place at last year’s Heartlands Hospital memorial service ‘A Time to Remember’.

Heartlands Hospital is holding a special memorial service for parents and families whose babies have died

The balloon release that took place at last year’s Heartlands Hospital memorial service ‘A Time to Remember’.

The service ‘A Time to Remember’, which coincides with National Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day, will give parents the opportunity to meet other families and to remember their babies together. During the service remembrance candles are lit and leaves placed on a memory tree. The service ends with a balloon release followed by refreshments.

Clare Beesley, bereavement support midwife, said: “More than 150 people attended the memorial service last year and we found that the service provided parents and families with an opportunity to remember their little ones.”

All are welcome to attend the service to be held at St Paul’s Centre, Belchers Lane, Bordesley Green, B9 5SY on Saturday 17 October at 3pm.

The memorial will be led by the Hospital’s bereavement support team, Heartlands chaplain Rev. Nicholas Ball and others within the chaplaincy team. For further information on the service and to confirm attendance, please contact Clare Beesley or Teresa James on (0121) 424 2088.

Baby loss memorial serviceA memorial service, ‘A Time to Remember’ hosted by Heartlands Hospital is to take place this week to give parents and families the opportunity to remember their babies that died through stillbirth, miscarriage or neonatal death within the past year.

The service will coincide with National Baby Loss Awareness Day and will give parents the opportunity to meet with other families to remember their babies together.

Clare Beesley, bereavement support midwife, said: “The memorial service can be a real source of comfort and support to parents. During the service remembrance candles are lit and leaves placed on a memory tree with a balloon release to finish. It is a time when they can come together to remember and acknowledge their baby or babies. We would welcome anyone wishing to attend.”

The service to be held at St Paul’s Centre, Belchers Lane, Bordesley Green, B9 5SY on Saturday 8 October at 3pm.

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