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Diabetes care in Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country takes flight and goes international

Published: May 29, 2014

Ethiopian Eye ScreeningDiabetes specialists from Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust have taken their expertise to Ethiopia in a bid to help reduce cases of sight threatening diabetic retinopathy, a common complication from the condition that can eventually lead to blindness.

Having established the first diabetic retinopathy screening clinics at the Black Lions Diabetes Centre in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa back in 2006, the team has since trained 40 healthcare professionals in Ethiopia to help run the programme, working with the Ethiopian Diabetes Association (EDA) raised enough money to purchase five digital cameras and two Pascal lasers. With a population of 90 million, Ethiopia is seeing a steady increasing number of diabetic patients since the service began.

Thanks to the help of staff at the Trust, the Ethiopian Eye Screening Programme has now secured funding from the Ethiopian Diabetes Association and World Diabetes Foundation. As long as screening and treatment targets continue to be met, there are plans for the service to be extended to new sites across the country in the future.

Paul Galsworthy, joint programme manager at Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country Diabetic Eye Screening Programme, said: “It is a privilege to be able to help people living in a country like Ethiopia, who do not have access to the same standard of healthcare as those living in the UK. Through donations and raised funds, I have been lucky enough to visit Ethiopia five times to help set up the new digital camera technology and train staff how to use it, which is making a huge difference to the lives of people living with diabetes.

“Those with diabetes are being tested for any signs of deteriorating eye sight in a timely manner, ensuring early signs of diabetic retinopathy are detected early and managed and treated appropriately. We are proud to be sharing the experience and expertise of diabetes specialists in Birmingham and offering it to those less fortunate than us in Ethiopia.”

For more information on the Trust’s diabetes service, visit

Get your walking boots on for Solihull Hospital’s Sponsored Walk

Published: May 28, 2014

Sponsored walkSolihull Hospital is inviting locals to make a big difference and pull on their walking boots for its annual sponsored walk.

The walk starts at Heartlands Hospital and will be a six mile scenic jaunt along the canal to Solihull Hospital and participants can raise money for any ward or department they wish.

Event organiser, Samantha Howell, said: “This is a great opportunity for our staff, patients and their relatives to come together, get involved in fundraising for their local Hospital and have a lot of fun at the same time! I am looking forward to getting my walking boots on and hope many others will be able to join us in a few weeks’ time!”

The last walk saw over 100 people, including friends, family, doctors, nurses and volunteers raise over £5,000 for the Hospital. The money was raised for a wide variety of areas including premature babies, children, stroke care and accident and emergency.

Anyone wanting to take part will be able to choose to raise money for any ward or department at Solihull Hospital as well as at Heartlands and Good Hope Hospitals, with all money raised going directly to where you want it to go.

The walk will take place on Sunday 8 June from 10am. Sign up by calling Sam on 0121 424 9073 or visit

Solihull Hospital hosts beauty event for cancer patients

Published: May 27, 2014

Images taken for Annual ReportSolihull Hospital is teaming up with local businesses to host a free beauty event for local ladies receiving breast cancer treatment.

The women-only ‘Breast Cancer Belles’ event is being held at Solihull Holiday Inn and will include practical advice, beauty consultations and everything ladies need to keep looking fabulous and pampered throughout their treatment.

Event organiser, Samantha Howell, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for local ladies to feel special and spoilt. We know that going through breast cancer treatment is incredibly hard, and we’re full of admiration for the strength and bravery of these women. I would encourage any local ladies undergoing treatment to come along and take advantage of all the advice, information and practical support you need.”

The evening will feature beauticians, advice on bra fittings and free cosmetic goodie bags from John Lewis Solihull and there will be wig, headscarf and semi-permanent makeup consultations from Trendco Hair Supplies Birmingham. Attendees are more than welcome to bring a female friend or family member to the event.

The event is being held on Friday 30 May, 6-8pm at the Holiday Inn, Solihull. Refreshments and a bar will be available. To register, please call Samantha on 0121 424 3838.

Hospitals opens their doors for budding creatives

Published: May 23, 2014

002 Clare Murphy (left) and Georgina Farrow

Music co-ordinators Clare Murphy (left) and Georgina Farrow entertain hospital patients.

Creative types are invited to attend a series of arts and music open days at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital, to learn more about the exciting arts volunteer projects on offer.

The arts department will be on-hand to talk about the range of opportunities available for those interested in arts and music. Locals will also have the chance to make music with Soundbeam, a device which uses interactive sensors to translate body movements into music.

The Heartlands open day will take place on Tuesday 27 May between 11am and 2pm in the Hospital’s main entrance mezzanine; the Good Hope open day will take place on Wednesday 28 May between 11am and 2pm opposite the main x-ray department; and the Solihull open day will place on Monday 2 June between 1:30pm and 4:30pm in the Hospital’s main entrance.

Georgina Farrow, music co-ordinator at the Trust, said: “The arts and music open day is an exciting opportunity for us to raise awareness of the numerous art and music activities taking place around the Hospital. We are also interested in speaking to people attending who would like to volunteer with arts and crafts at the Hospital.

“Arts and music can help provide a welcoming and positive atmosphere within the hospital environment, as well as offering patients reassurance and comfort.”

To find out more about the open day, please contact the arts department on 0121 424 0113.

New medical director discusses Trust priorities in introductory video

Published: May 23, 2014

With more than 25 years’ experience in healthcare, covering a range of clinical, managerial and academic roles, the Trust’s new medical director Dr Andrew Catto is well qualified to lead on the delivery of patient care at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital and Community Services.

In the following video, Andrew discusses a number of priorities for the Trust moving forwards, including quality and safety, medical performance, whole system transformation and how we can support our primary care partners.

If you would like to contact Andrew to discuss any of the issues raised, please call 0121 424 2320 or email

Celebrating International Nurses Day

Published: May 23, 2014


Every year on 12 May, International Nurses Day takes place to mark the contribution nurses make to so many people’s lives every day.

Over 3,000 nurses work at our Trust and to celebrate International Nurses Day this year, the Trust hosted events to recognise the work our nurses provide to our local community. Tea parties were held at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital with nurses asked to bring along an idea for how to improve patient care. Nurses who demonstrated low sickness absence, exceptional work ethic and length of service were also recognised and given special prizes.

Our nursing staff are continuing to ensure the work we do contributes positively to the quality of the patient experience and here at the Trust, we have a set of values our nurses strive to achieve:

  • Safety Focused: Make sure all patients feel safe and always highlight any patient safety concerns.
  • Professional: Act as a role model to other members of staff and inspire confidence in patients, relatives and colleagues.
  • Compassionate: Treat patients, visitors and colleagues with care, dignity and respect.
  • Communicator: Actively listen to patients, relatives and colleagues and act upon concerns. Nurses should introduce themselves to patients and visitors establishing eye contact and smiling.
  • Patient champion: Always involve our patients and their relatives in care planning and evaluation. Also support and speak in favour of our patients.

Roger Adkins, clinical nurse specialist at the Trust, has been working in the peritoneal dialysis unit at Heartlands Hospital for 16 years and values the importance of being able to communicate with patients. He said: “Communicating and helping patients in any way I can has enabled me to build rapport and make patients feel at ease. Since most patients are with us for a number of years, we are able to build relationships with them.

“The nature of the care on dialysis means we have an opportunity to get to know our patients and discuss any concerns they may have on a regular basis. When you hear patients praising the work you do, it is heart-warming and makes you realise that patients are benefitting from your work.

“As part of my role, I carry out dialysis tests and blood checks on patients and I also work with dieticians. The team in the dialysis unit also teach patients how to carry out dialysis tests.”

For more information on the nursing services the Trust provide, visit the Trust’s nursing website:

You can also visit the Royal College of Nursing website for more information on International Nurses Day:

  • International Nurses Day is a worldwide event that sees the general public, nursing staff and patients come together to celebrate the nursing profession.

All the fun of the fête at Solihull Hospital

Published: May 23, 2014

FOSH Fete 1The Friends of Solihull Hospital (FOSH) Association has announced its annual summer fête, full of fun activities to help raise vital funds for the Hospital.

Local residents in Solihull and further afield are invited to the fête, which takes place on Saturday 31 May between 1-5pm. Situated near the main entrance to the Hospital site, the fête will include a bouncy castle, children’s fun races, face painting, a large range of stalls – including a tombola and cake stall – and a small display of vintage military vehicles from World War II.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy performances from a diverse range of local groups, including music from the Harmonie Concert Band and Birmingham Irish Pipes & Drums, dance presentations from Planet Dance, a martial arts display by a local Tang Soo Do group and a dog training demonstration from Hatchford Brook Dog Training.

Councillor Joe Tildesley, Mayor of Solihull and a patron of FOSH, will also be on hand to draw the summer raffle.

Tickets for the fête are priced at 50p, with accompanied children, staff and patients able to attend for free.

Bill Jones, chairman of FOSH, said: “We are passionate about raising money to support Solihull Hospital and the summer fête provides a fantastic opportunity for the local community to come together, have some fun and raise important funds. All are welcome – we look forward to seeing you there.”

If you would like to get involved with FOSH, please contact Bill Jones on 0791 4791414 or Liz Steventon on 0790 9912525.

FOI 3095 Complaints and feedback

Published: May 22, 2014

1.    How are complaints, compliments and feedback handled at the Trust? This data might be obtained by means such as email, phone, letter, piece of paper in a hospital reception etc. etc.  Is there a central place where this data is collated? Data for Complaints and Patient Services (for those people who raise concerns) are collated onto our Datix System, this allows us to provide reports on themes and trends for Directorates and performance data for the Trust Board and Performance Teams.  We also have Friends and Family tests which is collected at ward level, patient and nursing metrics and this is used to provide monthly reports on how well we are doing.


2.    Does your Trust employ dedicated staff for this purpose? If so how many? We have 2.4 wte equivalent Patient Services Staff who work across the three sites, three complaints leads who have a dedicated administration teams under them 6 wte


3.    Is this data handled on site or is it subcontracted/held-off site? It is handled on site


4.    Are complaints and feedback collated and then reported to authorised people, such as the Trusts board or senior managers? Yes the Chief Nurse receives reports on Friends and Family and Patient and Nursing Metrics and the Head Nurses receive information on a monthly basis about all the areas that they are responsible for and use this information to discuss any themes with either the Chief Nurse or the matrons responsible for these areas. We will also produce reports for Directorates as and when required. 


5.    Who is in charge of complaints and feedback, if anyone? Jamie Emery, Head of Patient Engagement


6.    Is there a standard procedure to follow if complaints and feedback data is obtained? Yes, there is a process for registering complaints and feedback is provided either directly to the Directorates or General Managers and compliments are always forwarded to relevant area when received.  We provide regular reports for Quality and Safety Governance for each site on a regular basis.


7.    What are the operational costs to the Trust for complaints and feedback, excluding redress (staff costs, computer and software costs, storage costs, legal costs, search costs, report compilation costs, maintenance and any other considerations)?  I cannot answer this as every complaint will have a different cost against it, some are extremely straight forward but many are complex, vexatious complainants would cost us more in time and money in order to try and resolve them.  However finance may be able to provide staff costs but we do not have a breakdown of other costs.


8.    Could you please supply your most recent annual complaint volume figures and the preceding 3 year volumes please?


2013-2014 = 934

2012-2013 = 728

2011-2012 = 681

2010-2011 = no numbers


9.    Do you capture and measure concern data separately? Yes

FOI 3078 Non-urgent and urgent A and E patients

Published: May 22, 2014


“The Trust’s A&E Patient Administration system captures diagnosis and presenting complaint of all attendances, however it does not categorise patients into “Non-Urgent” or “Non-Medical”. There is certainly no way to identify patients that should have been treated elsewhere, and this would require a clinical judgement of every patient.”

FOI 3052 Agency spend in Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy

Published: May 22, 2014

You asked: I would be grateful if you could detail agency spend in Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy for the financial years 2011/2012 and 2012/2013.


Our response: We have included the totals below but prior to June 2012 this data was not available to us in an extractable manner so we have estimated the period April 2012-June 2012 which explains the figures being exactly the same:  2011-12 = £42,409.64 and 2012-13 = £42,409.64

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