TV Dragon urges Solihull smokers to ‘take the leap’ on No Smoking Day

Published/updated: 27/02/12 13:39

Television’s Dragon’s Den star, Duncan Bannatyne is urging Solihull smokers to ‘take the leap’ and quit the habit on national No Smoking Day.

The multi-millionaire businessman, who is an ambassador for No Smoking Day, says: “As an ex-smoker myself I know how hard it can be to give up but I promise it’s worth the effort. You’re four times more likely to succeed if you get help from your local stop smoking service, which is why I wholeheartedly support Solihull Stop Smoking Service’s efforts to let local people know what help and support is available.”

Solihull Stop Smoking Service advisors will be in Chelmsley Wood and Touchwood shopping centres to help smokers kick the habit on Wednesday 14 March. Smokers will be offered a test to show how much of the harmful gas carbon monoxide is in their lungs and ongoing support to ditch cigarettes for good.

Sarah Stables, stop smoking service manager said: “The benefits of not smoking begin within hours and boost not just your health but your wallet too. Thousands of smokers in Solihull attempt to quit on No Smoking Day, so if you’re a smoker, why not take the leap and join in.”

Nearly one in six UK adults smoke but figures show two thirds want to quit. Smokers are being urged to carry out the campaign slogan ‘take the leap’ from February 29 – leap year day – onwards and get ready to quit on No Smoking Day itself. The Stop Smoking Service is run by Solihull Community Services, which is part of Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. To contact Solihull Stop Smoking Service call 0800 015 8512.

Accident or emergency – choose well before visiting A&E

Published/updated: 22/02/12 13:40

Emergency departments across the region have been experiencing a higher intake of patients, leading to increased waiting times. To tackle this and to stop you waiting in-line, emergency medicine doctors at Good Hope Hospital are once again advising on the alternatives to waiting in A&E, ensuring you get the care you need as quickly as possible.

Often closer to you than your local A&E department, walk-in centers have a whole host of GPs and nurses ready and waiting to see you, with less than half the waiting time of your local emergency department. You can be seen, treated, prescribed and home within a few hours – especially during cold snaps when hospital emergency departments are busier than usual with additional pressures on their services.

If you are suffering from a minor injury or ailments such as cold and flu-like symptoms, you are advised to call your GP or NHS Direct for advice, or to attend a local walk-in centre before heading to A&E. Urgent cases such as loss of consciousness, severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, serious accidents, severe bleeding, deep wounds and serious breaks such as a broken leg, should be reserved for A&E.

Dr Aidan Macnamara, Clinical Director for Heartlands A&E, said: “It is a problem when patients use their local A&E services for other than real emergencies instead of more suitable alternatives. We would like to remind patients of the wide range of information and out-of-hours support and treatment that is available across the West Midlands, aside from the emergency department at the Hospital.”

Remember your options and choose well before heading to A&E. Contact your GP or call NHS Direct which is available all day every day on 0845 46 47 or online at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk. If you need to see a doctor, you can visit a walk-in-centre, one’s local to you include:

Washwood Heath Health Centre,
Clodeshall Road, off Alum Rock
Road, Saltley, B8 3SN
Tel: 0121 465 5165

Birmingham NHS Walk-In Centre
Lower Ground Floor,
Boots The Chemists Ltd, 66 High
Street, B4 7TA
Tel: 0121 255 4500

Summerfield Urgent Care Centre
134 Heath Street, Winson Green,
B18 7AL
Tel: 0345 245 0769

Erdington Health & Wellbeing Walk in Centre
196 High Street
Erdington
Birmingham
B23 6SJ
Phone: 0121 686 8010

Tamworth dad gets on his bike to thank hospital

Published/updated: 20/02/12 13:44

Ben Hart, Jenny Lakin and Joshua Robert Lakin-Hart.
Ben Hart, Jenny Lakin and Joshua Robert Lakin-Hart.

Ben Hart’s son was nursed to recovery following a premature birth at Heartlands Hospital and now the grateful dad is getting on his bike to help other newborns in need.

 

Joshua was born 10 weeks prematurely in February 2010 weighing only 2lbs 10ozs and was cared for by the doctors and nurses in the Hospital’s neonatal unit. He is now a healthy and active toddler and proud dad Ben, from Tamworth, will be cycling a 235 mile round trip to Skegness in April to raise funds for the Hospital’s Newborns in Need appeal.

Ben explains: “When Joshua was born he managed to breathe on his own but he quickly became tired as his lungs were not fully developed and needed some help. He spent the next ten weeks receiving treatment but finally on the 19th April, we got to take our brave little man home weighing 6lb 4oz.

“Joshua is now nearly two years old and is fit, healthy and certainly keeps us on our toes. We could not have gone through this time without all the help and support of the doctors and neonatal staff. We have decided that it is now our turn to give something back to Heartlands Neonatal Unit and raise as much money as we can to help the unit, other babies and parents that find themselves in this situation as without the staff, our son would not be here today.”

The Newborns in Need appeal helps the neonatal units at the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust to provide the best care for some of the most vulnerable babies. The units provide 24 hour care using sophisticated monitoring and breathing equipment and an expert team of staff. Between them they care for around 1,400 babies a year. If you would like to find out more about the Newborns in Need appeal or make a donation to the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust Charity, please contact the fundraising team on 0121 424 3838 or email fundraising@heartofengland.nhs.uk. For more details on Ben’s fundraising efforts, please go to http://www.justgiving.com/Ben-Hart1.

Students have a ball helping sick children

Published/updated: 20/02/12 13:42

Student Richard Merrell and Prince’s Trust team leader, Vanessa Morris.
Student Richard Merrell and Prince’s Trust team leader, Vanessa Morris.

Young patients at Solihull Hospital are set to benefit from a generous donation made by local students.

 

The 17 – 24 year olds from Solihull College raised £100 by raffling a signed ball donated by Birmingham City Football Club and by selling cakes as part of a Prince’s Trust Team Challenge. The money will be spent on equipment and toys for the children’s outpatients department.

Nicola Beaumont, Hospital fundraising manager, said: “We really appreciate the valuable contribution the students have made. It will make visiting the Hospital a more pleasant experience for our young patients.”

Vanessa Morris, Prince’s Trust team leader, said: “We are continuously looking at ways to help our local community and this time the students decided they wanted to focus on children especially as most of them can remember a time when they have been in hospital as a child. The students’ ‘Team Challenge’ is part of the Prince’s Trust Team Programme designed to help improve young people’s social and team building skills.”

To find out more about fundraising or make a donation to the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust Charity, please contact the fundraising team on 0121 424 3838 or email fundraising@heartofengland.nhs.uk.

Boost for fertility patients at Good Hope

Published/updated: 15/02/12 13:45

Locals going through fertility treatment are invited to attend a new support and advice group launched at Good Hope Hospital.

Fertility treatment can be a difficult and an emotional strain for patients, so the group aims to help those going through the same process support each other through it.

Clinical nurse specialist, Diana Ham, said: “It’s common for patients either considering or undergoing fertility treatment to feel a wide range of emotions.  Through this group, we want to give patients an opportunity to talk with others facing the same experiences.  We will also be offering advice and information about the fertility treatment procedures currently available at the fertility clinic at Good Hope”.

The support group’s first meeting will be held on 23 February at 6.30pm in the Partnership Learning Centre at Good Hope Hospital.  For more information about the group and to book a place, please contact the fertility clinic staff on: 0121 424 9758 or 0121 424 9376.

Chance to learn about irritable bowel syndrome from Hospital specialist

Published/updated: 08/02/12 13:49

Locals interested in learning more about irritable bowel syndrome have the chance to hear from a Solihull Hospital specialist when the Hospital hosts a talk on the subject.

Consultant Dr Rex J Polson will talk about the digestive condition experienced by many people at some point in their life. There is no cure or clear, precise cause but he will talk about how to improve symptoms and deal with aggravating factors.

Dr Polson explains: “Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is not a dangerous condition but it can cause bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation that can be distressing and make life difficult. It is unpredictable. A flare-up can follow many symptom-free months but with treatment and lifestyle changes there is no reason why people with IBS should not expect to live a normal, full and active life.”

Seminar organiser, membership and community engagement manager, Sandra White said: “We hope people will come along to the seminar and leave feeling a lot more knowledgeable about irritable bowel syndrome. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask our expert questions and discuss their own thoughts and experiences of the disease. The Hospital is committed to educating the public about their health.”

The seminar is taking place on 21 February 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 Sandra.white@heartofengland.nhs.uk.

Hospital medics advise on ‘cold snap’ alternatives to A&E waits

Published/updated: 07/02/12 13:53

Dr Ian Sturgess visit to HEFTWith the sudden ‘cold snap’ and temperatures continuing to fall, emergency medicine doctors at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust are advising on the alternatives to waiting in A&E, ensuring you get the care you need as quickly as possible.

Icy conditions increase the number of admissions seen due to unsteady, slippery pavements and paths, increasing injuries from slips, trips and falls. Walk-in centers have a whole host of GPs and nurses ready and waiting to see you, with less than half the waiting time of your local A&E department. You can be seen, treated, prescribed and home within a few hours – especially during winter when hospital emergency departments are busier than usual with additional pressures on their services.

If you are suffering from a minor injury or ailments such as cold and flu-like symptoms, you are advised to call your GP or NHS Direct for advice, or to attend a local walk-in centre before heading to A&E. Urgent cases such as loss of consciousness, severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, serious accidents, severe bleeding, deep wounds and serious breaks such as a broken leg, should be reserved for A&E.

Dr Aidan Macnamara, Clinical Director for Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust A&E, said: “It is a problem when patients use their local A&E services instead of more suitable alternatives. During this unexpected cold snap, we need to remind patients of the wide range of information and out-of-hours support and treatment that is available across the West Midlands, aside from the emergency department at the Trust.”

Avoid infection this winter by:

  • Having a vaccination. These are still available from your GP and also most supermarkets offer these for a small price. The vaccination is available free from GP surgeries to the at-risk groups – the over 65s, pregnant women, children under 5 and people suffering from chronic disease.
  • Preventing cold and flu germs spreading.  Use a tissue when you sneeze, put the tissue in the bin then wash your hands.  Did you know that when you sneeze, germs travel at 80 mph – that is as fast as a car travels on the motorway?!
  • To avoid norovirus, wash your hands with soap and water, keep surfaces, objects and fabrics clean, and do not eat raw or unwashed food.

 

 

Elderly couple thank medics in tune

Published/updated: 07/02/12 13:51

_KEV1578Retired husband and wife, Roy and Sue Watson are singing the praises of Heartlands Hospital’s doctors and nurses after they saved Roy’s life from a fatal attack.

When Roy, aged 64 had a heart attack last year, he was rushed to the Hospital, where staff worked around the clock to treat him and aid him back to recovery.

As a thank you, the Meriden couple play guitar and sing in the reception area of the Hospital for patients and visitors to enjoy. The multi-talented pair also play the banjo, harmonica, percussion and tenor recorder between them.

Sue explains: “Roy was rushed to ward 6 at Heartlands when he had a heart attack, and within minutes he was on his way to have a stent fitted in the troublesome artery. Because all the medical team were so calm, professional and positive, it wasn’t until the next day when the consultant told Roy they only just caught him in time, that we realised just how gravely serious the situation had been. We are so very grateful to every single one of the staff who cared for him during that week and during subsequent treatments and check-ups.

“So when we heard a young lad playing a keyboard in the reception area on one of our visits to the outpatients clinic, this spurred us to volunteer to play some music. It is great to have the chance to do something positive to support this wonderful Hospital and, hopefully to cheer those who are suffering a much harder time than us – our theme song is: ‘always look on the bright side of life’.

Esther Jackson, music co-ordinator, said: “Music in the main reception areas of our hospitals helps patients and visitors to take their mind off the reasons why they are here. The arts team is really grateful to all the volunteer musicians.”

Picture: Roy and Sue playing at Heartlands Hospital over the festive period.

Kids drum up support for local hospital

Published/updated: 06/02/12 13:46

Young drummers united for a charity bash to help children in Heartlands Hospital.

Local youth group, Kids United, used its musical debut performance on Monday (6 February) to raise funds for the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust Charity.

The children, mostly aged 11 to 15 and from Hodge Hill, have been taking part in African drumming workshops based at Heartlands Hospital and put on the show of their new musical skills for members of the local community.

Esther Jackson, the Hospital’s music coordinator said: “The sessions, funded by Youth Music, are being used to give young patients in Heartlands Hospital and local children the chance to learn new skills and take part in a fun activity.”

The show, which the children put together themselves, was staged at the Naseby Centre, Alum Rock.

Proceeds will go to the children’s unit and its Children and Family Centred Care Appeal, which aims to raise £85,000 to upgrade the parent accommodation facilities, completely refurbish the high dependency unit and decorate the entire unit with professional artwork.

For more information about the children’s appeal or to donate, please contact Nicola Beaumont on 0121 424 3838.

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