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Take a step for hospital sponsored walk

Big steps are being taken for good causes as Heartlands Hospital hosts its annual charity sponsored walk and is inviting members of the public to sign up.

The 6.5 mile scenic walk starts at Heartlands Hospital, follows the canal and finishes at Solihull Hospital. Last year, the event, which was organised by the Hospital’s official Charity, saw around 100 doctors and nurses from the Trust, including Heartlands, Solihull and Good Hope Hospitals, join with members of the public to raise an impressive £7,000.

Emma Hale, Head of Fundraising, said: “After the success of last year, we were really excited to do this event again. It’s a great day out, fun for all the family and vital money is raised for our patients at the same time. We’re looking for more people to sign up, so get in touch!”

Covering Solihull Hospital, Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and the Birmingham Chest Clinic, the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust Charity’s aim is to raise funds for the benefit of its patients. Whether it is funding groundbreaking technology or just a more comfortable chair, the patient is always at the centre of its aims.

The walk will take place on 29 September. If you are interested in signing up, you can get sponsored for any ward or department you like. Contact the Fundraising team on 0121 424 3838 or email to receive a registration form.

Doctors and nurses at Heartlands Hospital will be getting their kit on for a special football tournament and charity fun day next week.

The fun day, which is open to members of the public and is being organised by the Hospital’s ward 19, will feature a face painter, bouncy castle, raffle, barbeque and bar.

Kathy Holder, bone marrow transplant co-ordinator from the ward, said: “This will be a fantastic day, with lots of activities to keep the whole family entertained. Our ward cares for people with blood disease and all money will go towards their care, which could be everything from a new comfortable chair, to a piece of vital machinery. We’re really looking forward to the day and hope we raise lots of money.”

The event is free and all are invited to attend. Come along on Sunday 8 September from 12 noon – 6pm at Light Hall School, Shirley.

If you are interested in raising money for a ward or department in your local Hospital, contact Fundraising on 0121 424 3838 or email

Solihull Hospital took an unusual delivery of new arrivals last week as nine fluffy little ducklings hatched in the Hospital gardens.

The ducks, nesting under a tree by the dental unit, are regulars to the quiet spot and have been bringing smiles to patients, visitors and staff from the windows of the Hospital corridor.

Taking to it like ducks to water, mini ponds have been created by staff with containers of water being placed around the nest. Mother duck and ducklings can be seen splashing around and practicing their swimming throughout the day.

Next time you visit Solihull, keep an eye out for the Hospital’s little feathered friends.

Local mum Vicky Williams has said thank you to Good Hope for the care she received during the loss of her child and raised a fantastic £700 for the Hospital’s bereavement suite.

Vicky from Wilnecote, had baby Finn at Good Hope maternity unit, but due to complications, he grew unwell and sadly passed away in the Hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit.

Vicky was transferred to the Hospital’s new bereavement suite, and was the first mother to benefit from the service. Vicky was so touched by the care she received, she decided to give something back. Along with her mother Veronica, Vicky organised lots of events, including a non uniform day at St Gabriel’s school, a coffee morning for mums and sold cakes and £100 on behalf of local company David J Williams Civils Ltd.

Vicky said: “We stayed 3 days and Finn was placed in a cold-cot. We were given a memory box with candle, hand and foot prints, photo frame, two teddy bear soft toys and lock of hair. We were overwhelmed by the support and care given by the staff. Everyone was brilliant. We were able to take away so many happy memories and photos. We will carry on fundraising and now want to raise money for a new cold-cot for the suite.”

Debra Evans, Bereavement Midwife, said: “We are so thankful to receive this donation from Vicky and her family. This will benefit more mothers as it will go towards TVs, furnishings and a plaque in memory of Finn. This suite is very important as we support mums and familys who are coming to terms with loss and do everything we can to help them.”

The Bereavement Suite opened in May last year and is designed to be as comforting and private as possible, with couches, televisions, and emotional support from staff.

If you are interested in raising money for your local Hospital, or a particular department, contact the Fundraising Team on 0121 424 3838 or email

This Emergency Medicine Application (eMapp) has been developed by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT). It is an electronic resource designed for use at the bedside by registered practitioners working with patients. It contains key information, flowcharts and tables designed to help practitioners to deliver safe, reliable evidence based care at the point of care. The App contains essential information extracted from HEFT and national policies and Guidelines. Content is based on top safety issues and frequently used policies and guidelines in the HEFT Emergency/Acute Care Units.


The Good Hope Fete is an annual event that takes place each year at the Good Hope Hospital and is a fun filled day of fabulous food, activities and community spirit. This year the Good Hope Hospital is calling for Suttonians to come along on Saturday September 14th and take part in the lively community fete to make sure that it is just as much a day to remember as last year’s was.

For 2013, the Good Hope Fete has an exciting schedule of live demonstrations, music and dancing, as well as the opportunity to get to know the hospital and its staff through tours of the newly refurbished theatres and A&E. There will be free health checks provided for those who want a quick check up and the chance to ‘meet the midwives,’ as well as a teddy bear’s hospital for teddies in need a bit of TLC.

On the day there will be ‘Come Dine With Me’ style food tasting, mouthwatering cream teas, as well as a dog show, bouncy castle, face painting and plenty of other activities for kids (and big kids) to enjoy. For those with an appetite the hospital will be hosting a wide range of food outlets and some great stalls where you can browse for purchases from local traders and craft organisations. This year there will also be a raffle (with tickets available until 2.30pm) with some fabulous prizes, including an i-pad, meal vouchers for a local restaurant, Next vouchers and lots more besides.

There are numerous local traders, charities and craft organisations supporting the event and if you’re interested in setting up a stall at the Good Hope Fete then there is still time! The Good Hope Fete is free for everyone to attend and promises to be a thoroughly fun family day out.

As Susan Moore, Good Hope managing director, said: “The fete was an overwhelming success last year and we are keen to make it an annual event and open our doors for the community to enjoy whilst learning a little more about the Hospital. I would encourage anyone who would like to get involved by holding a stall at the event to get in touch.”

Contact us on 0121 424 9125 for more information if you would like the opportunity to host your own stall.

See you on September 14th!

Good Hope Hospital is looking for volunteers to support the mental health liaison team in providing top class care for patients. 

The Rapid Assessment Interface Discharge Mental Health Liaison Service (RAID) support adult patients with mental health problems including dementia, and wish to recruit locals keen to spend time with patients.  This would involve taking part in activities ranging from arts and crafts, to music sessions and getting together to enjoy afternoon tea in the activity rooms with patients on wards 9, 11 and 12.

Vicky Baynes, mental health nurse for RAID, said: “We are looking to recruit and develop volunteers who are able to befriend and support patients with dementia on the wards. It’s a great opportunity for enthusiastic individuals and one which will prove to be very rewarding.

“Boredom and frustration are probably the most common causes of challenging behaviour in people with dementia, particularly if they are in an unfamiliar environment.  The activity rooms provide space for reminiscence therapy, which is helpful as patients can often remember the distant past more than recent events.  Using these activity rooms also enhances patients social interaction, can improve their eating and drinking habits, aid their mobility and could reduce the risk of falls too.

“All volunteers have regular dementia training and support from both the Hospital’s volunteer service adviser and RAID.”

Volunteers need to be aged 18 upwards and will need to commit a minimum of three hours per week for 12 months. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please contact Angela Butts, volunteer service adviser on 0121 424 7379 for further information.

The Solihull community diabetes team has been recognised for its high standards of care and support offered to local patients.

The ‘X-PERT’ patient education programme, which offers diabetes patients specialist advice, education and support with managing their condition, received a special mention for providing an excellent service in the West Midlands Quality Review Service Overview Report.  This is used to make service recommendations for providers and commissioners in the region. 

 With the West Midlands having the highest rates of Type-2 diabetes in the country, the free X-PERT education health programme helps patients in the Solihull area who are newly diagnosed or who have had the condition for some time.  It covers areas such as how to manage your weight, how to manage your diet and how to reduce the risks of developing complications associated with diabetes; X-PERT

The programme has been shown to improve the management of blood glucose levels, reduce blood pressure and weight and blood fat levels, as well as reduce the need for medication which all help protect long-term health.

Julia Gilroy, lead nurse and manager for Solihull community diabetes service, said: “We have invested in our staff so that they are fully trained to offer this programme at a national standard.  We continue to receive very positive feedback from our patients, and it is great to have received this recognition from other professionals as well.”

For information about the programme or to book your place, contact the Solihull community diabetes team on: 0121 770 4432.


We have just had World Breastfeeding Week and this year it was aiming to provide new mothers with a network of support during that critical period after the birth of a new baby.  The time after a newborn enters a home is joy filled but can be exhausting and isolating too.  Even those new mothers who start out on the right road with breastfeeding can find themselves giving up, particularly if there are issues, such as a baby who won’t take.  Research has shown that there is often a decline in breastfeeding rates and practices – especially exclusive breastfeeding – in the months or weeks after the baby is born.

In order to try and combat this, World Breastfeeding Week 2013 was promoting the idea of peer counselling during this time.  Whilst essential support for new mothers might once have been provided by family and close knit communities, in many situations that layer of help simply isn’t there anymore and that’s where peer counselling can step in to fill that support gap.  This type of counselling can be provided by anyone from community leaders to trained health workers, other mothers or even fathers or partners.  Once trained, Peer Counsellors can become an essential resource for new mothers, answering questions, queries and helping soothe and panic about breastfeeding practices and rates.  Medical professionals feel that “The key to best breastfeeding practices is continued day-to-day support for the breastfeeding mother within her home and community.”

One of the advantages of the Peer Counsellor is that anyone from the community can do it, regardless of history or educational background.  It’s an enormously cost effective way to introduce that essential level of support to help mothers and also benefit future generations.  The idea of World Breastfeeding Week this year is to draw attention to this fantastic resource that can be made available to mothers in every single community and to help gather support and momentum to expand existing peer support programmes. Breastfeeding has immediate benefits for babies and can also be instrumental in long term development, so this is a fantastic way to help ensure that our kids grow up healthy and strong.

Details of World Breastfeeding Week can be found here   but for a more local support website take a look at Heart of England’s site at

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