Winter is here and it is that time of year again where norovirus is more common. Did you know between 600,000 and 1 million people living in the UK catch the disease every year (source: www.nhs.uk)?
Norovirus can affect people of all ages and is highly contagious. The virus can easily be spread through direct contact with an infected person, eating contaminated food and drinks or contact with a contaminated surface. More people become ill with the disease during winter although it can be caught at anytime of the year.
It may start with a sudden sick feeling followed by forceful vomiting and diarrhoea. Other symptoms include mild fever, headaches, stomach cramps or aching limbs. Contact your local GP if you think you have the virus.
Outbreaks in congregated areas such as hospitals and schools are common because the virus can survive for several days on surfaces or objects touched by an infected person. Hospital outbreaks are often caused by visitors bringing norovirus into the hospital as they don’t realise they can pass it on to others once they feel better.
So what can be done to help prevent norovirus?Ranjit Virdee, infection control nurse at Heartlands Hospital, explains: “You should avoid direct contact with an infected person for at least 48 hours after their symptoms have gone. Also avoid any food prepared by the person during this time.
“Remember to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water. Good hygiene and following simple steps such as washing your hands before preparing food anddisinfecting any surfaces that may have come into contact with norovirus will help limit the spread of infection.
“Wash any items of clothing or bedding that could have become contaminated with the virus. Wash the items separately and on a hot wash to ensure the virus is killed.
“Rather than seeing your doctor, it is recommended those affected stay at home and let the illness run its course. The symptoms should disappear within two to three days.
“Remaining hydrated is very important if you catch norovirus. A healthy adult should be looking to drink around 1.2 litres of fluid daily. Someone who has norovirus will need to drink at least eight glasses of fluid to replace the fluids lost from sickness and diarrhoea.
“Those suffering from the bug should also take paracetamol to relieve any fevers or aches, drink plenty of water and eat foods that are easy to digest such as soup, rice, pasta and bread.”
If you would like further information on norovirus, please visit the NHS Choices website (www.nhs.uk).
FOI 3466 Surgical Reconfiguration
Published: November 27, 2014
You asked: Would you please supply me with the Minutes of the following under The Freedom Of Information Act – the Sutton Town Hall Public Meeting (23rd October) – the Vesey Ward Public Meeting (Nov 18th 2014) and also the most recent Staff Survey report, which I understand has 24 pages of results.
Minutes of meetings
You asked for the minutes of the meeting on 23rd October called by, hosted by and Chaired by Andrew Mitchell MP. It was a meeting to which we were invited, we did not take any minutes. However, Mr Mitchell’s office may have a record of the meeting. We presented our proposed case for surgical reconfiguration, took questions and showed people how they can submit their views to us. You asked for minutes of a ward meeting. The minute recording for the meeting was taken by the ward team and these are published by the ward team. We did not record any minutes, this would be a matter for the relevant ward. We were invited to present, answer questions and to show people can submit their views to us.
Information on how to feed in your views can be found here.
You asked about a staff survey with 24 pages of results for Good Hope Hospital. We regularly do Trust-wide surveys but do not have anything specific for Good Hope Hospital and do not have a Trust one which is 24 pages long. Our most recent staff ‘pulse’ survey was conducted in August and I have attached the results which were provided to all staff. Every year a sample of staff (850) receive the National NHS Staff Survey. It is issued around October/November and the results are available March of the following year. This year we opted for all staff to receive it and currently staff are completing this survey. You can find the 2014 questions we asked here: We also opted for the additional Patient Experience Questions to be asked as well as the core survey and you can find those questions here. You can find the results from our 2013 survey here (56 pages). If this is not the information you require please do let me know.
FOI 3469 Drug misuse services
Published: November 27, 2014
I would like a list of the names, addresses and telephone numbers of:
Drug misuse treatment services provided by, or commisioned by, Heart Of England NHS Foundation Trust
Please also provide the name of a clinical lead at each service if you have this information.
“The Safe Methadone service is located Ladywood Community Centre, St. Vincent Street West, Birmingham, B16 8RP. SAFE have two direct office numbers here at Ladywood which are: 0121 392 8523 and 0121 3928522. The clinical lead is Dr Claire Robertson.”
FOI 3453 Good Hope Fire Door Contract
Published: November 27, 2014
I am trying to ascertain whether or not the fire door replacement contract at Good Hope Hospital, Rectory Road, Sutton Coldfield tendered 18 November 2013 has been awarded and if so, are you able to tell me who to?
E Manton LTD were awarded the Good Hope fire door contract and the work is complete.
Major award win for pioneering health team that gets patients home sooner
Published: November 25, 2014
An innovative partnership between the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and two West Midlands councils has been recognised for its achievements in supporting patients with a prestigious national award.
The Supported Integrated Discharge (SID) team at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital and Solihull Hospital works in partnership with Birmingham City Council and Solihull Council to help ease the transition from hospital back into the home for frail elderly patients seeking treatment for acute illnesses.
Its excellent success since its introduction in 2012 has now been recognised at the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards 2014 where the partnership won in the Secondary Care Service Redesign category, overcoming stiff competition from 11 other providers from across the country. The judges praised the ‘significant joint working’ by the SID team and said it offered ‘outstanding integrated success’.
Introduced in November 2012 at Heartlands Hospital, before being extended to Solihull a year later, the SID team is made up of hospital therapists, as well as social workers and carers from Birmingham City Council and the Promoting Independence Service from Solihull Council, who work together collaboratively to ensure patients regain their independence and health as quickly as possible.
Once it has been decided that a patient is well enough to return home, the team will discuss any ongoing care needs with the patient and ensure the right level of support is arranged. Physiotherapy and occupational therapy assessment and treatment are offered to promote recovery in the home, rather than on hospital wards.
As a result of introducing the programme, patients return home sooner and have a better overall experience through a more streamlined discharge and re-ablement process.
Mary Ross, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust clinical director for therapies, said: “This award is a tremendous honour for the Supported Integrated Discharge team and is well-deserved recognition for the hard work and dedication of all those involved which has seen this cross-organisation partnership be a huge success.
“We are very proud of the contribution this team has made to ensuring patients regain their independence as quickly as possible and of the proven benefits of a reduction in hospital stays over 14 days for patients aged over 65, faster recovery rates and an improved patient journey.”
Councillor John Cotton, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Birmingham City Council, said: “We have been delighted with the success of the SID team which has shown what can be achieved when organisations pool their resources and work together to improve outcomes.
“This award is a wonderful achievement and my congratulations go to all the staff whose dedication has achieved this great recognition and most importantly benefitted the patients using our services.”
Councillor Ken Meeson, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Solihull Council, said: “I am delighted that the hard work and dedication of the Promoting Independence Service, who support our patients through the Supported Integrated Discharge service, has been recognised by the HSJ. This is an excellent example of what can be achieved by organisations working together and is a truly outstanding achievement – well done to all involved.”
The HSJ Awards is now in its 33rd year and is the largest celebration of healthcare excellence in the UK highlighting the most innovative and successful people and projects in the sector.
The SID team was also shortlisted in September at the HSJ Value and Healthcare Awards which recognised outstanding efficiency and improvement by the NHS.
Much-loved hospital therapy dog Roo shortlisted for ‘best friend’ award
Published: November 25, 2014
A much-loved four-legged therapist at Solihull Hospital is like a dog with a bone as he tries to sniff out votes in his bid to be crowned a dog magazine’s best friend of the year.
Little Chihuahua Roo, twice a runner-up at Crufts, is well-known to staff and patients on the stroke ward at Solihull Hospital, part of the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, where he works as part of the Pets As Therapy (P.A.T.) project.
The 10-year-old is owned by the ward’s housekeeper Jane Neary who is hoping her beloved pet can get enough public votes to be crowned HiLife Best Friend of the Year by Dog Monthly magazine.
Jane, from Solihull, said: “Roo has been a therapy dog for eight years now and the patients, staff and visitors love to see him. He comes on the stroke ward and works alongside the physios and encourages people to speak and laugh and will chase a ball around.
“He brings a lot of joy to a lot of people and you can see it in their faces when they see him. It’s lovely that he has a chance of winning this award and I hope as many people as possible will vote for him.”
Roo is no stranger to the limelight. He does an online blog, walked the red carpet in a tuxedo at a James Bond event at Merry Hill Shopping Centre, been on stage with the cast of hit musical Legally Blonde and got down to the last 30 for the role of Toto in Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s production of The Wizard of Oz.
Jane said: “Roo has done it all and we will be back at Crufts again in March. However, I think he is most at home when he is being a P.A.T. dog. When he got his yellow P.A.T. jacket on he knows he has a job to do. There is just something special about him – he has a very calming way about him.”
To vote for Roo, who also visits children at Acorns Hospice, email Kathie.L@abmpublishing.co.uk and put ‘Best Friends’ in the subject line and ‘Roo to win’ in the email. Voting closes on December 4.
National recognition for Solihull adolescent mental health team
Published: November 24, 2014
A service which supports young people with complex mental health needs has been described as ‘innovative’ and achieving ‘excellent outcomes’ as it was presented with a prestigious national award.
Part of Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, the Intensive Community Outcome Service (ICOS) within Solihull Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) has been named the Children and Adolescents Psychiatric Team of the Year 2014 by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
ICOS provides intensive community support to young people aged 11-18 with severe mental illness as an alternative to hospital admission, offering an eclectic mix of home treatment, early intervention, assertive outreach and crisis resolution. The team includes a psychiatrist, community psychiatric nurse, psychotherapist, dietitian and a community support worker.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists Awards judges praised the ICOS team for achieving ‘excellent clinical outcomes while reducing the number and duration of admissions, in a cost effective way’ saying the service was ‘highly regarded by users and carers’.
The judges said: “The judging panel were very impressed by the excellent outcomes of this outreach team, managing very high risk patients with severe mental illness.
“Driven by the shortage of inpatient beds, this innovative and clinically responsive team has provided excellent evidence of outcomes and clinical savings. We were particularly impressed by the service user engagement and multi-agency links. An excellent service meeting a high risk level of need.”
Andrew Clements, head of operations for Solihull Hospital and Community Services said the award for the ICOS team was recognition of the vital work they do for young people in the Solihull area.
He said: “It is fantastic that people in Solihull can be assured that they have a nationally recognised and highly revered service such as ICOS helping young people to cope with severe mental illness.
“The judges’ comments show how highly regarded the service is by its peers and I would like to congratulate everyone in the team on this marvellous achievement and thank them for their continued hard work and dedication to achieving excellent outcomes for their patients.”
Community ambulance station launches at Solihull Hospital
Published: November 21, 2014
A dedicated community ambulance station, home to 20 ambulance staff, has opened its doors at Solihull lHospital.
Based on the Lode Lane site, the community ambulance station officially became operational at 6.45am on Wednesday 12November. It has modern facilities for 20 staff and dedicated parking spaces for two ambulances which will be operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week to serve the local area.
The opening of this new station follows the Trust’s Make Ready project to overhaul and modernise the ambulance service in the West Midlands.
The Make Ready project involved the creation of new hubs and the sale of traditional ambulance stations including that in Hermitage Way in Solihull, which have been replaced by various smaller, lower maintenance and lower cost community ambulance stations such as that at Solihull Hospital. Ambulances are prepared at Erdington Hub, which opened in September 2013, and then dispersed to these community ambulance stations from where they respond to 999 calls.
Dean Jenkins, the Trust’s Area Manager for the North of Birmingham, said: “When we introduced make ready we always said that we would monitor the situation to ensure patients got a better service than the previous arrangements. In line with that commitment, we have opened this new facility to further enhance and refine Make Ready and the service we provide to patients.
“The new community ambulance station is a far cry from the old facilities at Hermitage Way just around the corner, and brings the Service into the 21st Century. Thank you to Solihull Hospital for their hospitality and providing us with the facility. Whilst it has been disappointing to experience delays in completion of this project, our staff who are now based there have been very patient and we now look forward to further improving our cover in Solihull.”
Andrew Clements, Head of Operations at Solihull Hospital and Community Services, part of the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’m delighted to be working with West Midlands Ambulance Service to provide this dedicated community ambulance station on site. We as a hospital were very keen to make this happen to support WMAS to improve outcomes for patients needing to use the service. Having the ambulance service presence on site will be a further boost in our commitment to provide safe care for residents of Solihull and the surrounding area.”
Solihull MP Lorely Burt visited the new facility and said: “It’s especially good news for local residents that we have the ambulances in time for the coldest months. Icy roads and winter bugs will mean their services are really appreciated. I hope local residents will have reassurance now that an ambulance will be nearby if they need help.”
Spread some Christmas cheer at Good Hope
Published: November 20, 2014
Good Hope Hospital is calling for local singers and musicians who would like to take part in next month’s Christmas Carol evening – singing carols around the wards.
The Hospital is starting early to arrange musical Christmas programmes for patients and visitors, and needs the help of local musicians to fill the slots.
Clare Murphy, music co-ordinator at Good Hope Hospital, said: “Christmas can obviously be a very emotional and difficult time for patients, so we are hoping that the visiting singers will spread some festive cheer and distract them for a short while. We’re looking for individual singers and musicians, groups and choirs – anyone who wants to sing for the patients. “
The carol evening will take place on 17 December from 6pm. If you would like to volunteer, please contact music co-ordinators Clare Murphy or Georgina Farrow on 0121 424 0113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trust lung cancer rehab programme wins national quality award
Published: November 20, 2014
A successful programme that has changed the way lung cancer patients who have surgery are cared for has won a national award.
The thoracic team at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust received the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) Quality Improvement Award in the effective dissemination of information category. The award was presented to the team for good practice achieved through the rehabilitation for operated lung cancer (ROC) programme.
The multi-faceted ROC programme is designed to help lung cancer patients optimise their fitness prior to surgery and involves elements including pulmonary rehabilitation, smoking cessation support, dietary advice and patient education. These services are widely available but rarely utilised by the patient group. The team, which is formed of thoracic surgeons and specialist nurses, impressed judges with a DVD and app developed as a vital resource to educate and support this patient group during their rehabilitation.
Implementation of the ROC programme at the Trust has reduced the incidence of post-operative complications by seven percent, reduced the number of re-admissions due to surgical complications by nine percent and has been adopted by thoracic centres across the UK.
Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust consultant thoracic surgeon, Professor Babu Naidu said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have won the Quality Improvement Award as it is fantastic recognition for the team which is committed to providing high quality patient care. Currently 5,000 patients in the UK undergo curative lung cancer surgery and 15 percent of patients develop complications. These complications can lead to an admission to intensive care, a longer hospital stay and even increased risk of death. Easy access to information and support to help patients prepare for surgery better has improved patient care significantly. Patients can be required to attend exercise classes before surgery and the availability of the DVD means that they can still do some of these exercises if they are unable to attend a class. We’ve noticed a huge improvement in patient recovery and reduced length of stay since introducing the programme.”
HQIP chief executive, Jane Ingham, said: “The HQIP Quality Improvement Awards received a record number of entries this year and standards were extremely high. Heart of England did extremely well in a strong field and I congratulate them on being worthy winners.”