Did you know prostate cancer is the most common cancer in males with 119 men diagnosed every day in the United Kingdom? March is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month aiming to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms to look out for.
Prostate Cancer UK have already teamed up with The Football League to help promote the disease and the Men United v Prostate Cancer campaign is all about galvanising the football family and inspiring a movement for change in men’s health to win the battle against prostate cancer.
Here at the Trust, our MacMillan Cancer support team are helping to raise awareness of prostate cancer in Birmingham. Nula Allen, urology clinical nurse specialist at Good Hope Hospital, said: “Each year approximately 795 men in Birmingham are diagnosed with prostate cancer and three quarters of those will be aged over 65. Being aware of the signs and symptoms is vital, especially if you are in that age category.
“We want to encourage men across Birmingham to talk to their GP if they have any concerns. Men are often put off by going to the doctor because they don’t want to make a fuss or don’t want to take time off work. The key to the best outcome is early diagnosis and treatment so I would urge anyone exhibiting symptoms of cancer to go and get checked by their doctor.
“The most common symptoms of prostate cancer include having to rush to the toilet to pass urine, difficulty in passing urine and passing urine more often than usual, especially at night. These symptoms are also common when men have an enlarged prostate, which can occur as men get older and can be nothing to do with prostate cancer.
“If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then it’s worth discussing this with your GP. If there are any concerns, your GP can arrange appropriate tests as necessary. If there are no concerns then your GP may be able to suggest treatments that may help your urinary symptoms, so it’s worth the visit.
“It’s worth acknowledging that for some men there are no symptoms at all. For some the first noticeable symptoms are pain in the back, hips or pelvis. These symptoms could be caused by other problems such as general aches and pains or arthritis, but it is still a good idea to get them checked out by a GP.”
Cancer is the toughest fight many people will ever face, and the feelings of isolation and loneliness that so many people experience make it even harder. You don’t have to go through it alone. If you have any worries or questions about prostate cancer, visit www.macmillan.org.uk or call our Macmillan Cancer Support team on 0121 424 9486.
Booklet piloted to help hospital staff improve care to people with dementia
Published/updated: 26/02/15 11:52
Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Good Hope, Heartlands and Solihull Hospital, is piloting a new booklet to provide better dementia care in its hospitals.
Based on what staff and carers have said would help them to respond to the person with dementia’s needs, ‘About me’ is filled out and given to staff when a person with dementia goes onto a ward and provides a ‘snapshot’ of the person behind the dementia. The booklet helps hospital staff to learn about the person’s habits, hobbies, likes and dislikes.
People with dementia can become agitated and confused when they are in an unfamiliar environment and it is this behaviour that nurses can find challenging and prevent them from providing good care. ‘About me’ will help staff to communicate appropriately with people with dementia, helping to reduce any feelings of agitation or distress.
Margaret Meixner, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust dementia practitioner, said: “Staff can sometimes find it difficult to engage and care for people with dementia. We hope ‘About me’ will support staff to provide the best possible quality of care, by helping them to get to know the individual and understand their needs. For family members of patients with dementia, knowing that their relative is being cared for appropriately then also alleviates any feelings of anxiety that they may feel.”
Initially, ‘About me’ will be used on elderly care and trauma & orthopaedics wards at Heartlands and Good Hope Hospital for a three month period, then rolled out across all hospital sites as part of the Trust’s Dementia and Delirium strategy. The fact that by 2015, approximately 850,000 people nationally will have a diagnosis of dementia and that one in four patients within the Trust’s bed occupancy is made up of people with dementia and/or confusion have acted as driving forces for developing this strategy.
Research provides a breath of fresh air for asthma patients
Published/updated: 26/02/15 11:48
Heartlands Hospital is to be a clinical centre for a £4.8 million national research programme launched to help transform the lives of those with severe asthma. Twenty percent of asthma sufferers currently have conditions which are difficult to treat.
Consultant in respiratory medicine at Heartlands Hospital, Dr Adel Mansur said: “This is a very exciting development which I’m confident will lead to patients responding much better to treatment and as a result improve their quality of life, and in some instances even save lives.”
The United Kingdom Refractory Asthma Stratification Programme (RASP-UK) is a partnership between the Medical Research Council, Asthma UK, leading clinicians and academics from across the UK and a group of pharmaceutical companies.
The severe and Brittle Asthma Unit (SBAU) at Heartlands Hospital is one of the leading centres for adults providing advice, assessment and treatment to patients suffering from difficult to control asthma. As a supra regional centre, the unit attracts referrals from across the UK. See: http://www.severeasthma-birmingham.co.uk/
New signs at Solihull Hospital to reflect current service
Published/updated: 25/02/15 11:46
New signs are to be erected at Solihull Hospital this week to provide better clarity to the public as to what services are on offer and to improve patient experience.
Solihull Hospital, part of the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, has been running a very successful Minor Injury Unit (MIU) department for many years, which means that patients with minor illnesses, cuts and fractures are treated on site and X-Ray facilities are available.
To reflect the service offered at Solihull Hospital the signage on the site needs to be updated to say MIU which it is hoped will help to improve patient experience by eliminating unnecessary confusion.
The new signage will remain in place until the proposed Solihull Hospital Urgent Care Centre is established. It should be made clear that there will be NO changes to the current service at Solihull Hospital; the signs merely aim to help provide clarity for service users. The signage will be changed this week with the external signage around the local area to be changed by Solihull Council in the coming months.
Matthew Cooke, Deputy Medical Director Strategy & Transformation at the Trust, said: “We want to make sure that signage on site is not misleading or confusing for patients and their families visiting Solihull Hospital. Solihull Hospital has not offered full A&E services for many years; instead it currently operates with a MIU which is why we are so keen to make sure that the new signage will now reflect the current facilities. Once the Urgent Care Centre procurement is underway we will review the situation.”
Rare Disease Day
Published/updated: 20/02/15 14:30
Rare Disease Day is held on the last day of February every year aiming to raise awareness of rare diseases and improve access to treatment for individuals who have rare diseases and their families.
It has been eight years since Rare Disease Day was first celebrated and this year’s theme is ‘Living with a Rare Disease.’ The day will focus on the daily lives of patients, families and caregiverswho areliving with a rare disease.
Did you know there are over 6,000 rare diseases including cystic fibrosis, which affects the lungs and the digestive system, and Huntington’s disease, which causes progressive damage to the brain cells? Examples of lesser known rare diseases are Epidermolysis Bullosa, genetic disorders that result in the fragility of skin, and Lysosomal Storage, a group of rare disorders which can lead to deterioration in the function and structure of the brain, liver and heart.
The majority of diseases classed as ‘rare’ are genetic, serious, chronic and debilitating. Each disease is different but they can affect people in similar ways. Orphan drugs, which are medicinal products, can be used to treat and prevent some rare diseases.
Complications as a result of having a rare disease may mean patients are more susceptible to pneumonia and other infections, injuries related to falls, or other associated developments. This is because rare diseases are progressive disorders.
Cathy Wogan, paediatric respiratory nurse at Heartlands Hospital, said: “It is estimated that there are more than three million people in the UK who have a rare disease, this is one in 17 people. Often inherited from their parents, around 75 percent of rare diseases will affect infants, children and young people.
“Although many of those with a rare condition can live a long and fulfilling life, 30 percent of rare disease patients will die before their fifth birthday.”
It has been recognised both nationally and internationally that rare disease patients and their families need to be provided with as much care and support as possible. For children and adults living with a rare disease, primary care will primarily be provided by family members.
The Department of Health has come up with a strategy to improve diagnosis, research and treatment of rare diseases. The strategy highlights that a clear personal care plan should be provided for every patient which will bring together health and care services, in addition to more support being given to patients and their families.
Rare Disease Day is all about encouraging everyone to continue finding ways of working together to provide different kinds of care that people living with rare diseases need.
Please can you send me the following contract information with regards to the organisation’s telephone system maintenance contract (VOIP or PBX, other) for hardware and Software maintenance and support:
Contract Type: Maintenance, Managed, Shared (If so please state orgs)
Maintenance agreement Hardware & Software with Unify
Existing Supplier: If there is more than one supplier please split each contract up individually.
Unify (previously Siemens)
Annual Average Spend: The annual average spend for this contract and please provide the average spend over the past 3 years for each provider
8 switches 5 sites 84.5K
4. Number of Users:8000
5. Hardware Brand: The primary hardware brand of the organisation’s telephone system. Siemens Realitis
6. Application(s) running on PBX/VOIP systems: Applications that run on the actual PBX or VOIP system. E.g. Contact Centre, Communication Manager.None
7. Telephone System Type: PBX, VOIP, Lync etc 7 PBX & 1 VOIP
8. Contract Duration: please include any extension periods. 12 Months
9. Contract Expiry Date: Please provide me with the day/month/year. 16th April 2015
10. Contract Review Date: Please provide me with the day/month/year. January 2016
11. Contract Description: Please provide me with a brief description of the overall service provided under this contract.
24/7 365….. 4 hour response…… Maintenance charges cover all hardware including Screen Based Operator Consoles, faults and Battery Care
12. Contact Detail: Of the person from with the organisation responsible for each contract full Contact details including full name, job title, direct contact number and direct email address. Lyn Ward, Telecommunications Manager, Lyn.email@example.com
FOI 3583 Food Wastage
Published/updated: 18/02/15 15:02
How much food is thrown away each year from each of your hospital each year? What is the total expenditure on food and what proportion is thrown away? Please show results in by month by the last five years.
We do not keep month by month records of food wastage or food expenditure but we have annual information which is below.
Food Expenditure £
Food wastage %
Wastage cost £
The target percentage waste is 10% for the next 12 months
FOI 3575 Salmonella Outbreak
Published/updated: 18/02/15 15:01
Do you have information that the outbreak at Heartlands Hospital was caused by eggs from Southern Germany?
The strain of Salmonella found at our hospital is indistinguishable from the strain which caused the outbreak in Germany.
How many people got infected at Heartlands Hospital during the outbreak last summer?
7 staff and 21 patients. We also identified 3 carriers.
What are the costs caused by the salmonella outbreak for the Hospital?
We have not calculated this and it would be very difficult to do so. For example there is no way to estimate how much Salmonella exacerbated the existing conditions of the patients who contracted it whilst in hospital.
Do you take legal action against companies from Germany?
In this particular case we are not seeking any legal redress. We would be unable to categorically state that we do not take legal action against companies from a specific country.
The Birmingham City Council told me that one of their officers was working with Heartlands Hospital to help control the outbreak. His contributions would have been noted in reports/minutes produced and held by the hospital. Is it possible to provide me with these reports or any other background information on the salmonella outbreak? or any other background information on the salmonella outbreak?
An investigation into the outbreak is still ongoing and a report will be published in the future.
1. Does your NHS trust have a mechanism in place to identify and flag patients with learning disabilities and protocols that ensure that pathways of care are reasonably adjusted to meet the health needs of these patients? The Trust has introduced mechanisms to identify and flag up patients with Learning Disabilities through the electronic “Nurse Hand-over System”.
2. Does your NHS trust provide readily available and comprehensible information to patients with learning disabilities about the following criteria:
Learning disabilities patients are supported to receive clear treatment by guidance provided through Learning Disabilities policy/guidance and information for patients/carers and staff. Learning Disabilities policies, protocols and adjustable pathways of care are in place.Learning Disability Health Facilitation Nurses provide support /communication aids to LD patents and staff to enable patients to understand their care /treatment and express their needs. HEFT Speech &Language Therapy/ Vision and Hearing services provide individual care pathways for patients with Learning disabilities. Trust’s Special Care Dental Service provide individual care pathways for example;
Provide and help development of picture pathways/ social stories to aid visits
Acclimatisation and familiarisation visits
For those who require a general anaesthetic for their treatment this is undertaken at Spire Parkway to offer individual rooms with removed chairs or the bed, covered mirrors depending on individual needs/ behaviours. use a back door entrance which allows patients to come straight from the car park into a bedroom without walking through the hospital to keep their anxieties etc as low as possible.
best interest meetings involving parents to allow as much flexibility about appointments and how to address treatment when necessary
seeing patients in a domiciliary setting if required
working with the Ministry of Justice to achieve treatment when required
providing support and training with carers to improve the oral health (tooth brushing), diet and outcomes for their patients
Link in with other disciplines for treatment when using sedation and GA. For example undertaking blood tests, podiatry visits and also have seen patients jointly with ENT/ gynaecology/ podiatric surgery.
3. Does your NHS trust have protocols in place to provide suitable support for family carers who support patients with learning
Suitable support for family carers who support patients with Learning disabilities in consultation with key stakeholders Please see
View Equality & Diversity Department Internet webpage Learning Disabilities Policy etc. via: