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Suttonian with a heart of gold thanks Hospital

Picture 006A heart patient impressed with the care received at Good Hope Hospital has decided to give back to the place he was treated – donating £300 to the unit to help other patients just like him.

Mr Karnil Singh Nagra, 67, from Sutton Coldfield, suffered a heart attack whilst in India in 2009 and as a result had to have a coronary angioplasty operation on his main coronary artery. On his return to the UK, he was referred to Good Hope’s cardiac rehabilitation unit, where the team put him on a specialised exercise programme and a ten week programme in health education.

Mr Nagra said, “It has always been a hobby of mine to fundraise since childhood. I wanted to raise money for the unit so that more people can help and encourage donations. They all look after me and I am so very proud of them all.”

Steve Padmore, exercise physiologist said, “We are incredibly grateful for the impressive donation Mr Nagra has given to the unit. We are a busy unit and can often see up to 60 patients in one day, so Mr Nagra’s kind donation will help towards purchasing additional exercise equipment for our cardiac patients.

photoGood Hope breast care nurse, Catherine Zaidi-Crosse is off to Pakistan to raise awareness of breast health.

Catherine will be joining Shanazi Bhatti, from Midlands International Aid Trust in raising awareness and providing advice about breast health to the women in villages, where access to breast care services is often limited.

As part of a long-term project to promote breast healthcare in Pakistan, Catherine starts work on 31 March, initially spending two weeks working with local doctors in Islamabad, then at a clinic in Bashir Hospital in Gujarat, where women can be examined and seek advice about suitable treatment.

Catherine said: “Many women in the small villages in Pakistan have never been taught about breast health care and don’t have access to healthcare services for breast diseases.  I’ll be teaching the women who come to the clinic about examining themselves and the importance of this to detect early signs of breast cancer.  If detected early, the success rates of treatment are much higher.

“I’ve always wanted to do some voluntary work, and I’m looking forward to using my skills to promote breast healthcare to the local communities in Pakistan.  I think the experience will enhance my knowledge of providing healthcare for Asian communities which I can bring back to help set up support groups back in Birmingham.”

Solihull Stop Smoking Service has set up a new clinic to help people wanting to make 2012 the year they kick the smoking habit.

Sessions are held at Ashram Housing, 291A Bosworth Drive, Chelmsley Wood, every Tuesday evening from 5 – 7pm. New clients can drop in between 5 and 6pm before a group session. Anyone is welcome to go along to the clinic, which is free of charge.

Clients will be given support and advice in planning their quit attempt and choosing the right medication to help. They will have their carbon monoxide (harmful gas created by smoking) levels monitored during the sessions.

Stop smoking advisor Jake McGee says: “As a group develops, clients will be able to share experiences and support each other. Clients who use an NHS stop smoking service are four times more likely to quit than if they go it alone.”

To find out more call 0800 015 8512.

The Stop Smoking Service is run by Solihull Community Services, which is part of Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust.

Good Hope Hospital’s unit for babies needing special care is being given a £1.1million facelift.

The new state-of-the-art facilities will create an environment promoting family-centred care and will provide much needed extra space for more cots. Work starts on 25 January with the special care baby unit moving to a nearby ward in the Hospital’s Fothergill building, following a temporary move to the antenatal clinic by the maternity assessment unit.

Head nurse for children’s services Jackie Edwards said: “This is an exciting project which will dramatically improve the facilities, helping us to continue to provide the best possible care for our tiny babies and their families.

“We have robust plans in place to help us through the time while work is carried out so that disruption to the babies and their families will be at a minimum.”

Vera Holly Wd 8 GH Donation 20.12.2011_Han 11Staff on the Richard Salt unit are delighted to have received a donation of an ECG machine from Good Hope’s Guardian Angel, Vera Holley.

Vera, aged 81 from Walmley, has volunteered at Good Hope since her retirement from nursing in 1995. She donated the heart monitoring machine to the Hospital in memory of her husband Ray who sadly passed away in September last year following a long battle with cancer.

A plaque dedicated to Ray, a volunteer alongside his wife at the Hospital, was also unveiled on the unit. Vera said: “I wanted to donate something that would benefit others and help provide patient care. The plaque will leave a legacy to Ray who spent his last weeks on the Richard Salt unit.”

Angela Butts, volunteer service advisor at the Hospital said “Staff on the ward have already received two sessions of training on the new equipment and are overwhelmed at the kind donation.

“Vera is well known around the Hospital and has raised thousands of pounds  which have provided vital equipment and items for patient comfort and care.  Vera still volunteers every Wednesday and Friday and she has helped recruit over 70 additional volunteers for the Hospital. She is an incredible asset to Good Hope and we are very proud to have her as a volunteer”.

Those caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health are supported by a new initiative set to boost help given to carers in the Sutton area.

Members of the Birmingham branch of charity, Carers UK will be on the wards at Good Hope Hospital from January 17 onwards to give advice on any family, health, career or financial concerns patients and their carers may be experiencing.

Jamie Emery, patient and public involvement manager at Good Hope Hospital, said: “These sessions will provide a great opportunity for those that work tirelessly to care for loved ones to get advice and support. These people contribute so much to society and it is important to recognise their needs through open sessions like this.”

From 17 January 2012, drop-in sessions will be held every Tuesday afternoon from 2-4pm.

Locals will have the opportunity to ask medics about two of the most common skin conditions, eczema and psoriasis, at a forthcoming health seminar at Good Hope Hospital.

With psoriasis affecting around 2 per cent of the UK population and eczema now diagnosed in one in five children, skin condition specialists, Dr Kaur and Dr Bhat are keen to offer advice on the causes of these conditions and treatment options available to improve quality of life.

Dr Kaur said: “It important to raise awareness about these common skin conditions, which, as well as causing disruptive physical symptoms such as redness, itching and scaling, can profoundly impact on a person’s emotional well-being, work, relationships and day to day life.”

The public health talk is to be held at Good Hope Hospital on Thursday 26 January in the Hospital’s Education Centre at 5pm. To find out more, please contact membership and public engagement manager Sandra White on 0121 424 0655 or email

Steve Bull with seven-year-old Tyler Farlow and head nurse for children’s services, Jackie Edwards.
Steve Bull with seven-year-old Tyler Farlow and head nurse for children’s services, Jackie Edwards.

Football legend and former Wolverhampton Wanderers football player, Steve Bull scored a hat trick with young patients and staff at Heartlands Hospital’s children’s ward when he made a generous donation to the unit.


Bull presented a £3,000 cheque to the Hospital’s chairman, Lord Philip Hunt and head nurse for children’s services, Jackie Edwards to be used to purchase a ventilator which will help some of the region’s smallest babies.
Steve Bull said: “I have enjoyed success and good fortune over the years and I wanted to give something back to help those who aren’t so lucky. Knowing how hard all the staff in the Hospital work and that there is a need for equipment to benefit sick babies, we just had to help.”
Paula Lane, senior nurse on the high dependency unit where the ventilator will be used, said: “The new machine will be able to ventilate children weighing from five kilos upwards so that they can be transferred once stabilised into intensive care. This machine will be so valuable because it has a wide enough weight range to use with all of our patients, which is not the case with older machines. The ventilator has to go with a child when being moved so having the use of this new machine will make a difference and save lives.”

The money was donated from the Steve Bull Foundation, which was set up to help West Midlands organisations focusing on young people, the disabled, the sick and the disadvantaged.

Builders of the Bull Ring, Sir Robert McAlpine, have donated a whopping £18,561 to Heartlands Hospital to help the region’s sickest babies survive life threatening illnesses.

Ian McKenzie, the building and civil engineering company’s regional manager based in its Birmingham office, saw the wonderful work performed by neonatal staff when his grandson Thomas was born 10 weeks prematurely back in May 2011. The money raised from the company’s annual fundraising efforts will go towards a cooling machine aiding a new therapy set to benefit hundreds of babies.

Consultant neonatologist, Dr Vidya Garikapati, who is an expert on hypothermia treatment for newborns, said: “We are delighted to receive this donation which will go towards buying much needed cooling equipment used for treating babies who have suffered a shortage of oxygen to the brain around the time of birth. These vulnerable newborn babies may die. Those who survive are at risk of developing severe disabilities including cerebral palsy. There have been no specific treatments to prevent this brain damage, until now. The new therapy, called “Therapeutic Hypothermia” or “Cool Babies,” is now used to limit the amount of brain damage. Heartlands Hospital is the cooling centre for the whole of the Southern West Midlands and this generous donation will go towards acquiring a second cooling machine.”

Sir Robert McAlpine’s supply chain co-ordinator, Michelle Elleman and estimating manager Gez McDaid, raised most of the money with their ‘golf day’ and were there to present the money to the Hospital’s Chairman, Lord Philip Hunt.

Most people say they would prefer to pass away at home but many end up dying in hospital. In Solihull that situation is now changing, thanks to the introduction of a Hospice at Home service.

The Single Point of Access Hospice at Home (SPA H@H) team gives additional support to patients nearing the end of their life to help them either stay at home or leave hospital if they have already been admitted. It works closely with GPs, district and community nurses, Macmillan nurses, community matrons and Marie Curie Hospice to deliver the best possible care for patients.

Helen Meehan, Solihull Community Services’ lead nurse for palliative care, says: “When someone has said they would prefer to die at home we want to be able to do everything we can to enable that to happen, which is why we have introduced this service. SPA H@H can provide hands-on nursing care to patients in their own home in the last weeks of life. This service works in partnership with community nurses.”

Solihull Community Services, which is part of Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, has also recruited five extra district nurses to boost its teams across the borough and give further support to patients with end of life care needs. A new consultant post has been funded by Solihull Primary Care Trust to provide specialist medical support in the community and in the local hospice.

Solihull’s end of life care provision is already well regarded nationally and won a National Health and Social Care Award in 2009.

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