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Patient Falls in Hospitals


With patient falls costing the NHS £2.3billion a year, this remains one of the most important areas of focus for the health service and the safety team at Heart of England.

If a patient falls, their recovery time will be delayed and therefore their time spent in hospital may increase which is bad news for the patient and their health and the Hospital who may then experience increased pressures on the available bed space.

At HEFT all patients considered to be at risk of falling will have an individually tailored falls care plan which details interventions clinical teams can consider to reduce risk. There are also specialised falls clinics and a falls specialist nurse dedicated to supporting patients and clinical teams in this area.

If and when a fall does occur, the patient will have a medical review to assess for any injury and the next of kin will be immediately notified. A report of the fall is also made so that the number of falls can be recorded and monitored each month by the Hospital.

On admission to hospital, one of the first things teams do is identify which patients are most likely to fall so that they can target risk reduction measures appropriately. The risk reduction measures can be something as simple as ensuring patients are reminded to call or buzz if they require assistance.

All ‘at risk’ patients are given a special falls and fractures leaflet to read. Patients who are unable to use their call bell, if they are confused for example, may be nursed in a busier area of the ward where staff are more visible to them and the patient is more visible to staff.

Very occasionally clinical teams may consider having a member of staff with the patient throughout the day and night. This is not necessarily something a patient would wish to occur and this option will only be considered after all other methods of risk reduction have been ruled out.

Patients must be allowed their freedom and a certain level of mobility during their stay in hospital, so we are committed to working on reducing risk and minimising harm to patients whilst in our care.

Community-Physio-002-optimizedPatients in Birmingham are set to benefit from the introduction of a new self-referral scheme for physiotherapy, meaning patients can make an appointment with a physiotherapist without having to see a GP first.

The scheme will help deliver a more efficient and streamlined service for patients, reducing waiting times and ensuring patients receive access to the treatment they require as soon as possible. Physiotherapy can help with a range of aches and pains, including arthritis, sports injuries, ligament sprains, muscle strains and post-surgical rehabilitation.

Julie Hunter, therapy lead for planned care at the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Patients can either arrange an appointment via phone or by completing one of our physiotherapy self-referral forms, which can be obtained from any of our physiotherapy departments or from most local GP practices. Once the form has been received, we will decide the best course of treatment and an appointment will be confirmed.

“Following the first appointment, we will help you understand your condition and work in partnership with you to develop a treatment plan that considers general health and fitness levels and your lifestyle.

“We would ask that while patients are free to make the most of our new scheme, a GP referral is still required for neurological, paediatric, respiratory and women’s health conditions, plus any patients requiring a home visit.”

To book an appointment at Heartlands Hospital call 0121 424 0493, for Solihull Hospital call 0121 424 5446, for Solihull Community Musculoskeletal Service call 0121 329 0107 and for Good Hope Hospital call 0121 424 9053.

Dr-David-Sandler-3Locals will have the opportunity to learn about strokes in a talk at Heartlands Hospital, taking place on Tuesday 26 November.

A stroke is a serious medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. More than 150,000 people suffer from a stroke each year in England and it is the third biggest cause of death, after heart disease and cancer.

Dr. David Sandler, consultant for elderly medicine at Heartlands Hospital, will discuss how a stroke happens, the different types of stroke and how simple lifestyle changes may help to reduce the risks of stroke. The talk will include a presentation and a Q&A session.

Dr. Sandler said: “Prompt treatment is absolutely essential for anyone that has a stroke, to minimise any long-term damage. A key acronym to remember to recognise the symptoms of stoke is FAST: Face-Arms-Speech-Time. Symptoms may include the face dropping to one side, an inability to raise the arms and slurred speech. If you notice any of these signs, then it’s time to call 999.”

Sandra White, seminar organiser, membership and community engagement manager, added: “We are committed to delivering an informative and helpful educational programme to locals in Birmingham. Dr. Sandler’s presentation will provide a valuable understanding of stroke as a condition and what can be done to help those whose lives have been affected by it.”

The seminar begins at 5pm in the Education Centre at Heartlands Hospital. To book your place or find out details of the Hospital’s future health seminars, contact Sandra White on 0121 424 1218 or email

A local dad has raised over £1,000 for Heartlands Hospital by climbing one of the highest mountains in Britain.

Chris Jones from Chelmsley Wood, scaled all 1,085 metres of Mount Snowdon in Wales with two friends to raise a fantastic £1,220 to buy toys for the Children’s ward.

Chris said: “My son Kyle was on the Children’s ward because of a lump on his neck. I decided to take on this challenge to raise some money and say thank you for the care and kindness we received as a family from all the staff at Heartlands. It was a tough climb, but the view at the top made it all worth it.”

Chris’s final sponsorship amount was added to by aluminum manufacturer Alcoa Inc, in Kitts Green where Chris works as an operator. The money raised was put towards Argos vouchers which will be used to purchase new toys for the Children’s ward.

Chris Morrell, play specialist on the Children’s Ward, said: “On behalf of all the staff here, we want to thank Chris for his dedication and to Alcoa for this really generous donation. The money raised will directly benefit our patients, some of whom have to stay on the ward for weeks at a time.”

If you are interested in raising money for your local hospital, call the Fundraising team on 0121 424 3838 or email


There are some changes taking place across the country with respect to the best numbers to call in order to obtain non-emergency medical help. Specifically, the NHS Direct helpline has been replaced with a new NHS 111 service.

What is NHS 111?

The new NHS 111 service is available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, and is designed to cater for ‘urgent but not life threatening’ situations where medical advice or support is required. Calls to NHS 111 are handled by a team of highly trained call advisers, supported by experienced clinicians. Using an appropriate clinical assessment system, questions are asked to assess callers’ needs and determine the most appropriate course of action without the need for re-triage.

This includes ambulance dispatch, referral to a service within the NHS, referral to an alternative service, and information advice and reassurance including self-care. 999 will still remain the number to call for life threatening matters where an ambulance is urgently needed, however, for those situations that aren’t strictly an emergency, NHS 111 is the best option.

How will NHS 111 work?

NHS 111 will essentially replace the triage and advice services that were previously provided by the NHS Direct helpline. As of the end of November 2013 the former NHS Direct helpline number (0845 46 47) will be switched off in the West Midlands and instead the number to call will be simply ‘111.’ This number can be called from any landline or any mobile free of charge and is available around the clock. Anyone who tries to call the old NHS Direct helpline number after it has been switched off will be advised to hang up and redial 111.

Will there be a gap left by the NHS Direct helpline?

No, essentially NHS 111 will provide the same service – you will be asked to provide details of your condition, or the condition of the person you are calling about, and the best course of action will be assessed. The NHS 111 operators can call an ambulance if they feel it is necessary and have gone through the appropriate triage pathways.

When will 111 commence?

The NHS 111 service is being rolled out across the country and will be the sole number for non-emergency medical advice in the West Midlands from the end of November 2013.

Hardworking staff at Good Hope Hospital have raised over £3,000 in less than 4 weeks to help change the lives of local children.

The Children’s emergency department organised a raffle and tombola with a variety of prizes donated by local businesses, including vouchers, makeovers and tickets for attractions. The money raised will go towards multisensory equipment help relax and distract patients, and child-friendly monitoring machines.

Gemma Rayson, paediatric nurse, said: “For anyone, coming into hospital can be stressful, but these items will help reduce anxiety and promote enjoyment and stimulation. Our aim is to eventually raise a total of £20,000 for the department and this will help us get a little bit closer to the target.

“A massive thank you to the local businesses for providing the prizes and our staff for their hard work in making this raffle so successful. Sue Moore, managing director of Good Hope and the volunteers at the Hospital also gave us lots of help and support. Thanks also to the Courtyard pub in Cannock and Dyson Media for their donations.”

Hannah Page and Mickey Johnson from Wellington in Telford won first prize in the raffle; a limited edition print by Doug Hyde worth £435, donated by Whitewall Galleries.

To find out how you can donate to this cause, or how you can support your local hospital, please contact Fundraising on 0121 424 3838 or email

Locals will have the opportunity to take advantage of an exclusive shopping event this month for a very good cause.

House of Fraser in Sutton Coldfield is holding a shopping evening to raise money for the fertility clinic at Good Hope. The event will feature beauty tips from top makeup artists, complementary glass of Champagne, canapés, live entertainment and free beauty gift bag.

Diana Ham, Fertility Nurse Specialist at the Hospital, said: “This promises to be a great event, for a great cause. It can be heartbreaking when couples find out they can’t have a baby and the fertility services at Good Hope works to change that. Trying to conceive can be a really emotional process, which can lead to more upset if people aren’t successful straight away. Our service offers advice, support and treatment for women who are struggling to conceive.”

The event will be held on 28 November at 6.15pm – 9pm. Tickets cost £5 and can be purchased in store or from Diana Ham on 0121 424 9758.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Response to Dispatches, Channel 4, from Dr Mark Newbold, Chief Executive for Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust:

Firstly, I would like to re-emphasise that, on behalf of the Trust, I very much regret what has happened to so many women, and our thoughts are with them and their families. We are doing everything we can to offer support through what is a most difficult time for them. A telephone support line is available on 07805 656 629*, and anyone with any new concerns or queries may call our helpline on 0121 424 0808*.

There is no doubt that mistakes have been made in the past and this is why, since I came into post, we have focused on what the patients and staff have been telling us to identify fully what happened, and taken every possible action to prevent this from happening again. I have requested an independent review led by Sir Ian Kennedy QC.  I expect Sir Kennedy’s report to provide clarity around the specific areas that need to be addressed; and we have committed to this report being made public when it is presented which we believe will be in the next few weeks. We will respond swiftly and positively to Sir Kennedy’s findings and recommendations.

Since my appointment, and the appointment of a new Chair and Medical Director from 2010, I have taken a number of important steps. These include:

  • Suspending Mr Paterson from the Trust in 2011.
  • Writing to all the women who had mastectomies performed by Mr Paterson, and by March 2012 they had all been reviewed within our clinics (this follows the earlier partial recall).
  • Introducing the new national doctors’ re-validation process at the Trust. Part of this process looks at doctors’ performance and will ensure problems are picked up. It compares patient experience and complaints with clinical audit information.
  • There are now many routes through which our medical and other staff can raise concerns – anonymously or otherwise. In addition to standard whistle blowing procedures, we hold regular staff workshops to discuss patient safety and staff have open access to me and to the Trust Chair. This is an ongoing programme which responds to the Francis Report, and we will see further initiatives launched within the Trust.
  • Members of the Board attend the monthly safety visits which take place with clinicians. These take place without senior managers being present and provide an opportunity for staff to raise any concerns and issues relating to patient safety, and together we make sure that these are addressed.
  • I, and other members of the Trust’s senior team, have met individually with many of the women and their families who contacted us with concerns about the care they received from Mr Paterson.

*Both help lines are open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. Please note, telephone number 07805 656 629 is a mobile number and calls will be charged accordingly.




Friday 8 November 2013

Please find below the Trust’s response to a letter received from Channel 4 Dispatches on 4 November 2013:


Please find below a link to all Freedom of Information act requests and responses in relation to Mr Ian Paterson on the Breast Care Review website:


Sassy Suttonian and popular television presenter Emma Willis made a return trip to her home town this week to present the midwifery team at Good Hope Hospital with an award for supporting local mums with breastfeeding.

Having made her name in popular programmes such as Big Brother, Prize Island and Girlfriends; mum of two Emma was keen to take time out to celebrate with the midwives following the valuable advice and support she received from them when her children, Isabelle and Ace, were born.  The future co-presenter of BBC One’s talent show, ‘The Voice’, presented the team with the UNICEF Baby Friendly Award in acknowledgement of the their work to ensure babies receive the best start in life.

Jackie Scott, Good Hope infant feeding co-ordinator, said: “It’s such a pleasure for us to be awarded the prestigious UNICEF Baby Friendly Award. We are all passionate about supporting mums with their feeding choices.

I would like to thank Emma for presenting the award to the team, she is a role model for young mums and her support for the Hospital is greatly appreciated.” 

Emma said: “Good Hope Hospital has been in my life forever – I was born here, my sister gave birth here, my parents worked here and I’ve received advice about feeding my daughter from Jackie.

“For me I’m over the moon that the team have got this award as the Hospital is part of my life.”

Anyone wanting help or advice from the Good Hope breastfeeding service can call 0121 424 9741 or the national breastfeeding helpline on 0300 100 0212.

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