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Annual Meeting of Members and Council of Governors AGM



Notice is hereby given that the Annual Meeting of Members and Council of Governors Annual General Meeting of the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust will be held at Colmore Gate, 6 Colmore Row, Birmingham on Tuesday 8 September 2015 at 4.00pm to consider, inter alia, the following business: 

Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2015

To receive the:

Annual Report for 2014/15;

Audited Accounts for 2014/15; and

Auditor’s Report for 2014/15.

Members of the public are permitted to attend this meeting. 

Refreshments will be served from 3.30pm.

The Annual Report & Accounts for 2014/15 are available on the Trust’s website and by clicking on the following link:

 The full Agenda and Meeting Papers will be available on the Trust’s website around one week prior to the Meeting.




Next week marks the start of Blue September which aims to put the fun factor into delivering a serious message about men facing up to cancer.

Blue September UK is a major new cancer campaign which will tackle all the cancers that affect men by raising awareness, improving prevention and symptom knowledge, and encouraging men to seek help sooner. It is urgently needed because men are at significantly greater risk of developing and dying from cancer than women.

Every year around 8,000 men living in the West Midlands are diagnosed with either prostate, lung or bowel cancer. Men are 60% more likely to develop one of the cancers that affect both sexes (e.g. lung, bowel, stomach) and 70% more likely to die.

Cancer is the toughest fight many people will ever face, and the feelings of isolation and loneliness that so many people experience makes it even harder. However you don’t have to go through it alone. Your family and friends can be a powerful support system and talking to others who are in the same situation as you can be a good way to learn about your condition. Reading about the symptoms and treatments available to treat cancer will also help you gain a better understanding.

So what can you do to minimise the risk of developing cancer? Sharon West, specialist bowel cancer screening practitioner at the Trust, explains: “Eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as whole grains can help reduce your risk of getting cancer.

“Avoid having a high sugar diet. Eating high sugar foods regularly can not only lead to you having bowel cancer, you could also develop heart disease.

“Those who exercise for at least 150 minutes a week will have a lower risk of developing bowel and other cancers. Making changes to your diet and an increase in physical activities will help you keep your weight under control.

“Did you know smoking can damage your heart and blood circulation? Giving up smoking will help reduce your risk of developing cancer.”

Unexplained weight loss, changes in bowel habits such as persistent bloating and blood in your stools, loss of appetite as well as unusual growths or lumps are common symptoms of cancer, although symptoms  will vary between the different types of 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 you are aged between 60 and 70, you will automatically be invited to take part in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme every two years. Also if you are over 70, you can request a screening kit by calling the free-phone helpline on 0800 707 6060. For more information, please visit the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes website at

J Tunney_1A policy of open visiting which was introduced across all Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust hospitals earlier this year is proving a hit with patients and carers.

Now the Trust, which runs Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital, is seeking formal feedback from patients, carers and staff on the success of open visiting. The policy was introduced across all three sites on April 1 to help aid recovery for patients and provide a more positive experience for relatives and staff.

The Trust is this month holding focus groups with staff to get their thoughts on the impact of open visiting and over the coming weeks we will be seeking formal feedback from patients, carers and visitors through questionnaires.

Deputy chief nurse Julie Tunney (pictured)  said: “The feedback we are getting on the ground from patients and relatives has been good but it is important now that we formalise this and get a broad spectrum of views so we can get a true reflection of the impact open visiting has had.”

Initial signs have been encouraging and the Trust is delighted that all three of its hospitals have now been recognised by John’s Campaign as being welcoming to carers. This is directly as a result of the introduction of the open visiting policy which has given carers the opportunity to spend more time and be more involved in the care of their loved one.

John’s Campaign was launched in November 2014 after the death of Dr John Gerrard with the aim give the carers of those living with dementia the right to stay with them in hospital, in the same way that parents stay with their sick children. This is a view echoed by Julie and by the Trust’s aim to make its hospitals more dementia friendly.

Julie said: “We are delighted to have been recognised by John’s Campaign as making our hospital’s welcoming to carers is a major driving force behind the introduction of open visiting across all our hospitals.

“It is widely believed that support from friends, family or carers can have a positive impact on a patient’s recovery and this is particularly true for patients with dementia. Open visiting gives the opportunity for carers to remain with their loved one, and where appropriate, be actively involved in their care during what can be a stressful and confusing time.”

One person who has seen first-hand the benefit of having an open visiting policy at the Trust is Gareth Shaw, ward manager on Ward 11 at Good Hope Hospital which cares for elderly patients, including those suffering with dementia.

He said: “Having open visiting means relatives can spend quality time with their loved ones and not just have restricted two-hour periods. They can also see first-hand that the team is providing the best standards of care and they can get to know the members of staff that are caring for their loved one.

“For the staff it has also meant that they are not getting lots of questions all at once during a two-hour spell rather having conversations with relatives throughout the day so they are able to achieve their working objectives more efficiently.

“We have seen a big decrease in complaints as relatives feel more involved in their family members’ care and have a greater understanding of their care plans. Also any small issues can be resolved more quickly. It has been a huge improvement.”

Verbal consent gained by all Edited with sister Odel Jackson in photoA team of eye specialists has won a prestigious award in recognition of its ‘exceptionally good practice’ in its treatment of patients with the most common cause of sight loss in the UK.

The Macular service at Good Hope Hospital has been named Clinical Service of the Year at the 2015 Macular Society Awards – a maiden victory for the team after four consecutive nominations.

The award follows outstanding praise from patients for the treatment of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). The team, headed up by consultant ophthalmologist & clinical director Ramesh Sivaraj, were praised by judges for providing an ‘excellent’ service to its patients.

Mr Sivaraj said: “To receive this award is a great honour and we are all absolutely thrilled.

“Improving our patient experience had been a major focus for the service and we took several steps to achieve this such as virtual macular clinics, community follow-ups and making the service more flexible by providing evening and weekend clinics for our patients. We are however aware of the challenges faced by the NHS and will continue to innovate to provide the best quality of care for our patients.

“The Trust has been supportive of this service allowing us to obtain new equipment and participate in ground-breaking research which puts us at the cutting edge of what we do. We are privileged to be able to offer state-of-the-art stereotactic radiotherapy as an option for certain types of wet macular degeneration, work which has also seen us nominated for a Health Service Journal (HSJ) Award.”

Mr Sivaraj and his team will pick up their prize at the Macular Society’s annual conference in London on September 26.

For information, advice or support concerning macular disease, call the Macular Society’s helpline on 0300 3030 11 or email Details can also be found on the charity’s website at


This year’s Kate Granger Awards for Compassionate Care is just around the corner and aims to recognise individuals, teams and organisations working within the NHS who have made a huge difference to patient care.

The awards, to be presented at the Health and Innovation Expo 2015 in Manchester on 02/03 September, are named after Dr Kate Granger. Kate, who is terminally ill with a very rare type of sarcoma, has worked tirelessly to raise awareness around compassion in the NHS through her #hellomynameis social media campaign.

Earlier this year our Trust launched Compassion Cards which are awarded to nurses who are nominated by colleagues or the public for displaying particular kindness and empathy and routinely going the extra mile for their patients. This drive to acknowledge compassion in delivering patient care has been recognised with an award nomination.

The brains behind the scheme Julie Tunney, deputy chief nurse at our Trust, said: “Compassion is probably one of the hardest things to measure in healthcare so at our Trust we decided to launch Compassion Cards as a way of marking what is such an important part of nursing. These are awarded to our nursing staff as recognition of behaviours such as being kind, going the extra mile and treating patients how you would wish to be treated yourself.

“We have organised celebration events twice a year to award our nursing staff with Compassion Cards and to date we have awarded 30 cards to staff who have displayed these qualities of excellence in care.

“It is fantastic to be nominated for the Kate Granger Awards for Compassionate Care as it is recognition of the work we are doing within the Trust to imbed the principles of the 6Cs of Nursing – the core values and behaviours nurses hold themselves to – in the work we do every day in caring for our patients.”

For more information, please visit the NHS England website

Heartlands HospitalHeart of England NHS Foundation Trust is to welcome a record number of nurses into its ranks following a successful recruitment drive.

The nursing team will welcome an additional 160 nurses to provide care for its patients and a morale boost for staff across the Trust’s Solihull, Heartlands and Good Hope Hospital’s.

Recruitment measures have been put in place to fill nurse vacancies and reduce the use of agency and temporary staff at Heart of England.  The new band 5 nurses, who will join the Trust in September and October 2015, will work across all wards and specialist areas including theatres, endoscopy and radiology.

The new nurses have been recruited from across the UK and abroad in recent months including 41 nurses from the EU to work in the wards and theatres across the three hospital sites. The new appointments have been made following a series of recruitment events for qualified and newly qualified nurses including Saturday ‘one stop’ interview events and Skype interviews across the EU.

Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust Chief Nurse, Sam Foster, said: “Like many Trusts across England, we are working hard to recruit additional nurses at a time when there are national nurse staffing shortages and increasing pressures on hospital services. We are making steady progress and it will be fantastic to welcome the 160 nurses.

Filling these vacancies will also have a positive impact on staff morale and in turn on staff turnaround and sickness levels.  We are confident we have attracted the best talent to provide the best patient care and are hugely appreciative that they have made the decision to join us.”

Recruitment for registered nurses, health care assistants and therapists will continue over the next six months, with these posts advertised on the NHS jobs website.  The Trust recruitment and senior nursing team also have recruitment events planned each month, including attendance at the local University job fares to attract newly qualified nurses to the Trust.

If you are or know of any newly-qualifying or trained nurses looking for new opportunities, or former nurses looking to return to the profession, contact the recruitment team on 0121 424 8993 or at

touchwood eventMembers of the public across Solihull who want to find out more about the progress of the Solihull Hospital Urgent Care Centre can come along to a public information event in Touchwood next week.

Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT), which runs Solihull Hospital, and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are working together to provide a new Urgent Care Centre at Solihull Hospital. This will see all the urgent care services which are currently available, the Minor Injuries Unit at Solihull Hospital, a walk-in centre, out of hours and other urgent care services, being located together, under one roof, through one front door, making the service more integrated and efficient.

Work is well underway behind the scenes to bring this project to reality and both HEFT and Solihull CCG are committed to keep the public informed of its plans for the Urgent Care Centre. They have been hosting public information events at Touchwood Shopping Centre in Solihull over the summer with representatives from the CCG and HEFT on hand to answer any questions.

The next of these events takes place on Thursday 27 August in Touchwood by the Next store between 10am – 4pm, with the aim to hold more similar events in the coming months to keep the public updated on the project’s progress.

stblSolihull will welcome delegates from around the world as they attend the EASYCare Giving Voice to Older People conference on 20 and 21 August.

And it’s all thanks to Professor Ian Philp, recently appointed as Deputy Medical Director for Older People’s Care at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. Ian is an adopted Silhillian and former national ‘Tsar’ for older people. He is now responsible for transforming the care for older people across the Trust and specifically for Solihull.

Professor Philp, who has been a Director of the international EASYCare Project for 25 years, says: “Following my appointment to the Trust, the EASYCare international co-ordinating and research centre will be based here in our Solihull Division. The EASYCare approach, which is now active in over 40 countries, is already being used in Solihull.  At the conference we will be showcasing how it is already starting to improve older people’s lives.

Professor Philp continues: “We are also establishing a locally based social enterprise which will license and assure the authorised use of EASYCare throughout the world, manage the population data base about older people’s needs and set up an international franchise for training in person-centred care using the EASYCare assessment.

“The NHS has recently recognised Solihull for its work on Urgent and Emergency Care, awarding it “Vanguard” status The EASYCare approach will be is part of the transformation work of the Solihull Vanguard. We will be discussing how the EASYCare approach can transform care systems for better outcomes for older people and family carers.”

The conference will include a Civic Reception, where delegates will be welcomed by the Leader of Solihull Council, Cllr Bob Sleigh.

Councillor Sleigh explains the significance of this event. “With the national spotlight on integrating health and care services, it’s great news for the borough that Professor Philp has taken on this role at HEFT and has chosen Solihull as the venue for the conference. This is an opportunity to showcase to an international audience what we are already doing in Solihull to improve care and support for our residents.”

Cllr Sleigh continues: “And there is a lot to be proud of. This is a real tribute to the work we have been doing through Solihull Together for better lives, the borough’s shared commitment to ensure that everyone gets the right care and support when they need it.”

Icilda Samuels bidding farewellA well-loved nurse at a Birmingham hospital was given an emotional send-off after providing care for poorly children for 40 years.

Brought up in Jamaica and now living in Moseley, Icilda Samuels started working in nursing at Heartlands Hospital in the early 1970’s caring for young patients on the children’s unit with a range of conditions from those suffering with severe physical difficulties to those with cystic fibrosis.

Better known as ‘Sammy,’ Icilda is now preparing to take a well-earned retirement and plans to volunteer at her local church. She reflected on her time at Heartlands as an enjoyable experience.  She said: “Ever since I was a child, I always wanted to get into nursing. I really enjoyed my role and I don’t have any regrets.

“Over the years I have met many lovely and interesting people and I have found the work to be very rewarding. There were so many aspects of my role I enjoyed. From caring for patients and treating them like they were part of my family, to supporting student nurses and seeing them progress.  I wish I could have stayed longer and started out again in nursing.

“There have been so many changes in the NHS ever since I started working at Heartlands. More staff are being employed and the environment in which care is given has improved.  Time really has flown by.

“I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life but I will miss being a part of the hospital community and the people I came into contact with every day.”

Julie Rowland, ward 16 manager at Heartlands Hospital, said: “Icilda was a pleasure to work with, she always came into work with a smile on her face. Her dedication and commitment was first class and she will be missed.”


big latch on 2The Solihull Community Infant Feeding Service was out in force during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week giving advice and guidance to mums on breastfeeding – and helping to break a global record in the process.

The team from the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust together with local mums and babies were at Mell Square Shopping Centre in Solihull last week taking part in the Big Latch On 2015 as they looked to help break the Global Big Latch On record for the most women breastfeeding simultaneously.

It has now been confirmed that 14,889 children latched for one minute in over 176 countries to smash the previous record and 12 mums with their babies played their part in Solihull.

Elaine Bates, infant feeding specialist at the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, said the team had enjoyed taking part in the record attempt and were delighted to help break the record.

She said: “It was great to have all the mums and babies in one place to take part in this global record attempt and promote the natural and important process that is breastfeeding. To have been a small part in breaking the record as well really puts the icing on the cake.”

The theme of this year’s World Breastfeeding Awareness Week (August 1-7) is working women and breastfeeding and part of its aim is to campaign for women to be supported in combining breastfeeding and work, whether in the formal sector, non-formal sector, or at home.

“By taking part in the Big Latch On in Mell Square we hope we have helped to support this message and had an enjoyable time while doing it,” Elaine added.

For further advice and support on breastfeeding, please contact Solihull Community Infant Feeding Service on 0121 713 8924, email or visit their website

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