easysite
You are here > News > News Archive > 2018 News Archive > August 2018
.

August 2018

Anouk Cheque Presentation
The Children's Burns Ward team with Anouk, her parents Tom and Ellie, and Yvonne Carter, charities manager (third from right) and Nick Alston, trust chairman.

August 24

Charity bike ride raises more than £2,000 for Children’s Burns Unit

The family and friends of a young patient who was treated at the Children’s Burns Unit raised more than £2,000 by cycling from London’s East End to Broomfield Hospital’s East Entrance in thanks for her care.

Anouk Leathes, aged two, was looked after by the Children’s Burns Unit team and in the Burns ITU in October 2017 after she scalded her arm and hands having knocked over a jug of boiling water. 

Unfortunately during treatment for her burns, Anouk developed sepsis after 48 hours and had to spend two nights in intensive care. She recovered quickly but some areas of the burns then required skin grafts and she ended up spending 10 days being cared for at the St Andrew’s Centre. Anouk has now made a full recovery.

The 20-strong group of her friends and family cycled 75 miles from Walthamstow, East London, to our hospital and back again to raise funds. The fundraising drive was led by Anouk’s aunt, Lauren Baskett.

On Friday, August 3, Anouk’s dad Tom and mum Ellie attended the hospital to present the cheque for £2,080 to the Children’s Burns Ward.

They said: “The care that Anouk received in the Children's’ Burns Unit and the Burns ITU was incredible. The expertise and support from the nursing staff, doctors and entire team was world class, and we’ll be forever grateful to everyone at Broomfield. 

“Aside from the medical care that’s led to Anouk making such a quick and full recovery, the team also supported us as parents during such a difficult time. They helped us cope with the process, and made us realise that life would get back to normal in time - it has! The staff somehow manage to remain cheerful, supportive and attentive to all the patients in their care and their families.

“With the bike ride we’re pleased to have been able to do something to support the ward and its patients.” 


Yvonne Carter.
Yvonne Carter.

August 22

Less than one month to go until Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust team pedal from the capital to the coast to raise funds for ‘Our Charity’

There is less than one month to go until the MEHT team pedal from the capital to the coast to raise funds for ‘Our Charity’.

Yvonne Carter, charities manager, and Charlotte Jefcoate, fundraising coordinator, will take on the London to Brighton Cycle Ride on September 16, with proceeds going to our robotic surgery appeal. 

They will be joined by a group of other employees and their friends and family, including Jeff Ott, mechanical craftsman, Tony Turland, building craftsman, Phil Robson, head of maintenance, and his fellow cycling enthusiast friends Robin Steward and Paul Edgley.

The route covers 54 miles from south London to the Brighton sea front.

Charlotte said: “With less than a month to go, Yvonne and I are now increasing our distances, even bringing our training into the office with some lunchtime steep stair climbs!

“I’m excited, but also a little daunted – however I’m working hard to be ready to take on the challenge to make a real difference for our patients who undergo robotic surgery.”

INFORMATION: You can support the team via their JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/charitiesteam2018. For more information, call 01245 514860 or email fundraising@meht.nhs.uk.


Jackie Jacob.
Jackie Jacob.

August 21

Patient Story: Head and Neck Service Fundraising – “I highly praise and admire the staff involved in my cancer care”

Jackie Jacob, 64, from Maldon, Essex

Jackie has undergone a total laryngectomy (the surgical removal of the larynx, the vocal cords and surrounding throat area, the region of sound). This requires patients to relearn how to talk, swallow and breathe. 

“I am proud to say I came up with the crazy idea of a climb over the O2 dome to raise money for Broomfield Hospital’s Head and Neck Service. The money raised will go towards buying Electrolarynx machines and iPads with the ‘Verbally’ app. These machines will give back audible communicating skills to patients who have undergone throat operations, avoiding the arduous task of writing everything down on paper. 

“My story begins in 2003; I visited my GP on the pretext of some other symptoms than the one I found myself needing examining for by an ear, nose and throat consultant. My GP had grown concerned at the unhealthy sound of my rough voice. Scans revealed I had a cancerous lump on my vocal cords. It was surgically removed, but unfortunately, I've had several operations for recurrences. When things settled down, my consultant explained that if I remained well for five years he could give me the all-clear. I remained well, but in 2010, six years after my first operation, scans revealed my cancer had recurred. Several more operations and laser treatments followed this devastating diagnosis.

“In 2013, I fell ill again. My consultant informed me that my scans revealed an aggressive recurrence, with cancer spreading from my vocal cords to the larynx. My surgeon, Mr Stafford, an amazing man, to whom I shall be forever indebted, informed me my only option was a total laryngectomy. Without this, I would die. During this conversation, I felt like a fish looking at the world from under a frozen lake. Three weeks later, I had surgery that would change my life for good. This could have been the straw that broke the camel's back, but I felt angry, and I would show my nemesis that although it had ruined 10 years of my life, this latest setback was not going to beat me.

“However, it is one thing taking on a positive attitude, and another surrounding yourself with positive people; the last thing I needed in my life was people feeling sorry for me. I wanted to stay strong and upbeat for my close family's sake as well as my own. I would never be the Jackie I was, but I am a survivor, not a victim.

“I had a mentor, Norman, he had lived a reasonably normal life for 20 years since his laryngectomy. He answered all my worrisome questions and gave me the strength and courage to go through with my life-saving operation. Norman is my hero. It is such a life-changing procedure, with the harrowing thought of waking up from surgery without your voice. A laryngectomy is literally an amputation of the throat. When the patient sees a healthy survivor of a laryngectomy, and hears them talking, it shows them life can go on after their operation. I now visit patients who are about to undergo a laryngectomy and I smile when I see that I have lifted some of the mystery and cold fear out of their operation, like Norman did for me.

“I regularly talk to trainee speech therapists who are at university, so they can listen to what a laryngectomy survivor has to say. They also have many questions they want answering. It is more than they could ever hope to learn from a book. 

“I highly praise and admire the NHS staff involved in my cancer care. The sponsored walk over the O2 dome came to me as an ideal way to give something back to these wonderful people by raising money and awareness for the Head and Neck Service. This is only the beginning – we plan to have more fundraising events in the future.”

Well done to the Head and Neck Service for their fantastic fundraising, with more than £5,800 raised via their climb over the O2.

JustGiving confirmed that they were in the top 1 per cent of fundraisers for July, out of 47579 different ventures.

To support the Head and Neck Service, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/midessexhospitals, ensuring that you specify your name and that the funds are to be donated to the Head and Neck Service. You can also send a cheque to MEHT Charities Office, Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 7ET. In addition, you can text MEHT01 and the amount to 70070.


Armed Forces Covenant

August 17

Jane Farrell, Managing Director, signs The Armed Forces Covenant

Yesterday evening (Thursday, August 16), at an event hosted by Lord Petre at Ingatestone Hall, Jane Farrell, Managing Director, signed The Armed Forces Covenant, making a public declaration of the Trust's commitment to support for the Armed Forces community. The covenant was also signed by Major Paul Herlihy, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation to those who serve or who have served, and their families, which says we will do all we can to ensure they are treated fairly and not disadvantaged in their day-to-day lives. The government is committed to supporting the Armed Forces community by working with a range of partners who have signed the Armed Forces Covenant. 

The Trust employs a number of reservists and military veterans and is committed to working with and supporting local regiments. 


Matthew Wright Robot Appeal

August 16

Patient Story: “I am forever grateful for specialist robotic surgery treatment”

Matthew Wright, 38, from Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland

“Mr Kadirkamanathan and his team at Broomfield Hospital have given me back my life, so I can live as normal a life as possible. I am back at work, training at the gym and I am gaining weight slowly. I am feeling healthier and happier and that is down to the excellent work and attention I was given by Mr Kadirkamanathan and his team. I am so grateful to them; at a time when we just did not have any idea of what was wrong they were all so helpful and reassuring, if we had any questions they were patient and understanding. I am truly blessed to be under the care of Mr Kadirkamanathan, myself and my family are forever grateful to him for his specialist care!

“I was 36 when I first became ill, initially with an upper respiratory tract viral infection. I had just returned from a weekend away in London visiting some friends watching the Euro 2016 tournament. I was never sick, however this virus was particularly nasty and led to severe shortness of breath so my GP sent me to our local Emergency Department in Northern Ireland as he felt there was a possibility I was suffering from pneumonia. However, I was diagnosed with a viral infection and after several courses of steroids I began to feel a little better. That didn’t last long - as the respiratory symptoms were settling, the vomiting began after every meal.  It didn’t matter what I ate, it never stayed down more than a few minutes. A follow up with my GP led me to being referred to the local Acute Assessment Unit (AAU) where they diagnosed it as being a side effect of the virus that would eventually settle.  

“It never did settle and I began to lose weight as the vomiting continued after I ate anything. Various tests were carried out which found no obvious cause for the vomiting. After five and half months of constant vomiting I was admitted to my local hospital in Northern Ireland under the care of my gastroenterology consultant who wished to insert a syringe driver to administer anti-emetic drugs to try and stop the vomiting as I could not tolerate these drugs orally. The syringe driver made no difference at all as the vomiting continued as aggressively as ever. By this stage the weight loss had become so severe I was beginning to become malnourished and another GI consultant made the decision a few days after my admission to begin feeding me via NG tube as I was tolerating nothing orally with exception of a few sips of water. Each test that was carried out came back negative including a CT brain scan. 

“Finally after a multidisciplinary ward round one morning another GI consultant said he thought that I may have gastroparesis, which I had never heard of before. I was referred for gastric empty study which did reveal that I had a severe delay in my stomach emptying. By now I had been in hospital three weeks and I just wanted to go home to my family as it was Christmas Eve. I was discharged from hospital with the feeding tube removed and issued with high calorie drinks with a referral letter being sent to a specialist GI Consultant in Essex. 

“My wife and I travelled across to Essex in March to see Mr Sri Kadirkamanathan and his team for the first consultation. From the first moment we walked into the examining room we both felt at ease. Mr Kadirkamanathan and his team were amazing; they were very welcoming and reassuring. After asking about the history and the symptoms it was decided that I would be referred for another specialist test to rule out another condition and once this was done then I could be considered for gastric pacemaker insertion. The additional test was done at the Royal London Hospital in June 2017 and I was reviewed by Mr Kadirkamanathan in October with the results which ruled out this other condition and so it was decided then that I would be put on the list for gastric pacemaker insertion.  Mr Kadirkamanathan wanted me to gain some weight before I could undergo the surgery so it was back home to Northern Ireland to have another feeding tube inserted as I was still losing weight with the high calorie drinks. By this stage I had lost 36kg in weight going from 106kg to 70kg. People were asking my wife if I had cancer, it was extremely upsetting for her and our children. 

“Life was becoming increasingly difficult, as a family we couldn’t go out for meals or even invite friends over for dinner as I couldn’t eat. After a few problems with the feeding tube and another three weeks in hospital I finally got home and started to gain small amounts of weight. Another review with Mr Kadirkamanathan and his team in December led to the date finally being set for surgery. Mr Kadirkamanathan made it clear that there was no guarantee that the pacemaker would be successful but he was hopeful. My wife and I travelled over for surgery in January; we were both nervous but hopeful that this surgery would be the thing that would give me some sort of a normal life again. The surgery went well and for the first time in eighteen months I was able to eat a small amount of toast with tea and not vomit. Signs looked good at this early stage.  

“Mr Kadirkamanathan came and reviewed me in hospital after the surgery and increased the settings on the pacemaker slightly and I was back home in Northern Ireland two days after surgery with a view to a follow up appointment in six weeks. I recovered well from the surgery and as time went on was able to eat small amounts of food with no vomiting.”

‘Our Charity’ is calling on the community to rally together for our £1.5million appeal to fund the upgrading of the robotic surgery service at Broomfield Hospital, including a state-of-the-art new surgical robot and the continued use of surgical robotics.   

There is significant evidence that demonstrates a number of advantages for patients who have benefited from surgery with the surgical robot compared to conventional surgical techniques including: 

•Shorter hospital stays

•Immediate effects during recovery

•Precision surgery (overcoming limitations of laparoscopic surgery)

Your support will put Broomfield Hospital firmly on the map as surgical innovators in Essex.

You can donate to our appeal, ‘Rally Together for the Robot’, here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/midessexhospitals/surgicalbot


Lions Club Donation
Chelmsford Lions Club making the £1,500 donation to the robotic surgery appeal.

August 15

Chelmsford Lions Club make generous £1,500 donation to our robotic surgery appeal

The Chelmsford Lions Club have made a generous donation of £1,500 to our robotic surgery appeal.

On Thursday, August 2, the group attended the Theatres Department at Broomfield Hospital where they met Mr Sri Kadirkamanathan, consultant upper GI surgeon, Samuel Gnamanani, theatres matron, and Yvonne Carter, charities manager.

They had the opportunity to find out more about the robotic surgery appeal and the pioneering work being carried out with the surgical robot. They were also shown a demonstration of how this state-of-the-art equipment works.

Stanley Brown, community chairman, said: “We chose to support this major appeal as many of our members have relied upon the hospital’s services over the years.

“We wanted to give something back for the wonderful work they do.” 

The funds were from the club’s general fund and an Easter egg raffle with local pubs, which raised £900 of the total.

‘Our Charity’ is calling on the community to rally together for our £1.5million appeal to fund the upgrading of the robotic surgery service at Broomfield Hospital, including a state-of-the-art new surgical robot and the continued use of surgical robotics.   

There is significant evidence that demonstrates a number of advantages for patients who have benefited from surgery with the surgical robot compared to conventional surgical techniques including: 

•Shorter hospital stays

•Immediate effects during recovery

•Precision surgery (overcoming limitations of laparoscopic surgery)

Your support will put Broomfield Hospital firmly on the map as surgical innovators in Essex.

You can donate to our appeal, ‘Rally Together for the Robot’, here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/midessexhospitals/surgicalbot


OSCE collage

August 14

OSCE Success

We would like to congratulate four MEHT nurses on achieving their professional qualification as an NMC registered nurse following a stringent examination process.

Jaison George, a registered nurse on ESS, Biverly Torcende, a registered nurse on the Acute Stroke Unit, Pierre Lunzaga, a registered nurse on Goldhanger Ward, and Tincy Mathew, a registered nurse in ED, have all passed their Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).

The OSCE, which replaced the Overseas Adaptation Course, is required for nurses who trained outside of the EU/EEA to gain their Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) registration.

Deb Cobie, Nurse Recruitment Lead said: “Based on six clinical practice stations, the OSCE features a series of scenarios which nurses are likely to encounter when they ‘Assess, Plan, Implement and Evaluate’ care (APIE).

“This also includes two skills stations which may be demonstrating basic life support, intramuscular or subcutaneous injection, or aseptic non-touch technique e.g. wound dressing and catheterisation. They need to demonstrate safe and effective practice. They are assessed by a panel of examiners and, in addition, they are filmed for quality assurance purposes.

“It is to the nurses’ credit, commitment and determination in their OSCE preparation that they all passed, and I am very proud of them.” 


Friends at Broomfield Hospital Speech and Language Equipment
The Friends at Broomfield Hospital and the Speech and Language Therapy team with the equipment.

August 10

The Friends at Broomfield Hospital fund £40,000 equipment to help patients with swallowing and voice impairments 

The Friends at Broomfield Hospital have kindly funded state-of-the-art technology to enable the Speech and Language Therapy team to provide advanced assessment for patients with swallowing and voice disorders.

Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) will benefit a wide patient group who present with oropharyngeal dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). People with dysphagia frequently include those with neurological disorders, patients who have had an acute stroke, and those who have undergone treatment for head and neck cancer.

The use of this equipment is designed to reduce the risk of malnutrition, dehydration, aspiration pneumonia, prolonged tube feeding, readmission and to allow for a safer and faster discharge from hospital.

It is also of benefit in the use of Videostroboscopy; allowing for detailed assessment and management of voice disorders.

The equipment is operated by speech and language therapists, whose training has been supported by ENT in the use of the nasendoscope. The scope is connected to a screen which then provides instrumental guided imaging to assess swallowing and/or voice function. It is portable and easy to use, directly at a patient’s bedside.

On Tuesday, August 7, the Friends at Broomfield Hospital officially presented the equipment, which totalled £39,700, to the Speech and Language Therapy team.

David Curtin, Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist (Head and Neck Oncology) said: “The purchase of this equipment enables us to complete specialist assessment of voice and swallowing disorders. It sets us apart as we are currently the only speech and language therapy service within Essex offering such specialist assessment. 

“It is indicated for use in a select group of patients. It allows for speedier assessment, helping us to formulate and expedite patient management decisions on the wards and in clinics, with an evident improvement in patient care. The Speech and Language Therapy Department are most grateful for this substantial investment from the Friends; and look forward to using it to improve patient care over the coming years.”

Alison Douglas, chairman of the Friends at Broomfield Hospital, said: “The Friends were very pleased to be able to fund this important piece of equipment and support the staff in carrying out their vital work helping patients with complex swallowing and speech difficulties.  

“We were very happy to give this donation, which was raised solely from the profits generated from our two shops and our daily trollies that go round the wards. It makes all of our volunteers’ hard work worthwhile.”


Secret Hamper
From left, Stephen Beeson, Director of Finance, The Mayor of Chelmsford, Cllr Yvonne Spence, the Richardson family and a representative from Countryside Properties.

August 8

‘Secret Hamper’ superheroes make a difference with fantastic selection of gifts for staff to mark NHS 70

The ‘Secret Hamper’ superheroes have made a difference for staff across Broomfield Hospital with a fantastic selection of gifts to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS.

The company, based in Tolleshunt Major, called in the support of generous businesses across Essex to create the bespoke hampers for our hard-working teams.

Some of the hampers were designated for specific wards by donors, while the remainder were for sharing by colleagues across the hospital.

On Monday, August 6, the Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Yvonne Spence, attended the hospital to meet Nigel Richardson, owner of Secret Hamper, as he distributed some of the hampers to the specific wards they were designated for. Joining Nigel were his wife Andrea and children, Gracie, 9, Isla, 6, and Harry, 3, Yvonne Carter, Charities Manager, and Fundraising Coordinator, Charlotte Jefcoate. 

The group visited the Helipad, Neonatal Unit and Maternity Department, the Renal Unit and Phoenix Ward to give them the hampers some of the Essex businesses had donated for them.

Nigel said: “Being the 70th year of the NHS, we knew we just had to do something special. Our core ethos is all about acts of kindness, something which is demonstrated daily by the dedicated staff of the NHS. Having started our launch tour from Farleigh Hospice two years ago and our first ever delivery to Broomfield that same day it seemed only too appropriate to choose Broomfield for our #NHS70 initiative, not to mention that our two youngest children were born here too. 

“Given the amazing support from the local business community and how overwhelmed the staff have been by this show of appreciation to the unsung heroes of the NHS we now plan to attempt to reach out to a total of 70 hospitals around the UK in this next year.”

Yvonne Carter, Charities Manager, said: “It was wonderful to see what a positive impact these gifts had on our staff – there were smiles all round. 

“We are ever so grateful to Nigel and the Secret Hamper team, and of course the very generous local businesses who have been so kind as to support us by sponsoring hampers for our staff.

“I give my thanks on behalf of the hospital to the Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Yvonne Spence, for attending and making this such a special occasion.”


North Essex Ileostomy Association Robot Appeal Donation
From left to right, Charlotte Jefcoate, fundraising coordinator, Stephen Beeson, director of finance, Mr Sri Kadirkamanthan, consultant upper GI surgeon, Raymond and Christine White, and Yvonne Carter, charities manager.

August 7

North Essex Ileostomy Association generously donate £1,000 to our robotic surgery appeal

The North Essex Ileostomy Association have generously donated £1,000 to our robotic surgery appeal.

Raymond White, chairman of the group, visited Broomfield Hospital together with his wife, Christine, treasurer, on Thursday, July 27, to present the cheque. They were met by Mr Sri Kadirkamanathan, consultant upper GI surgeon, Stephen Beeson, director of finance, Yvonne Carter, charities manager, and Charlotte Jefcoate, fundraising coordinator.

Mr Sri Kadirkamanathan explained to Raymond and Christine about the advantages of robotic surgery, which Raymond hopes will greatly benefit fellow patients who have an ileostomy (a procedure where a stoma is inserted into the colon to allow for the removal of waste from the body externally). Raymond underwent this procedure in 1992 after suffering from ulcerative colitis. 

Raymond said: “We were inspired to make the donation after seeing the appeal advertised in the hospital and the hugely positive outcomes for patients with gastrointestinal issues. We hope this money will make a difference for others.”

Yvonne Carter, charities manager, said: “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of our donors every day, and we’re so grateful to Raymond, Christine, and the North Essex Ileostomy Association for supporting our robotic surgery appeal.

“The development of our robotic surgery service is of paramount importance to our hospital and our patients in the region. The support of our community is vital to ensure its advancement.”

‘Our Charity’ is calling on the community to rally together for our £1.5million appeal to fund the upgrading of the robotic surgery service at Broomfield Hospital, including a state-of-the-art new surgical robot and the continued use of surgical robotics.  

There is significant evidence that demonstrates a number of advantages for patients who have benefited from surgery with the surgical robot compared to conventional surgical techniques including: 

•Shorter hospital stays

•Immediate effects during recovery

•Precision surgery (overcoming limitations of laparoscopic surgery)

Your support will put Broomfield Hospital firmly on the map as surgical innovators in Essex.

You can donate to our appeal, ‘Rally Together for the Robot’, here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/midessexhospitals/surgicalbot


Schools Robot Appeal Visit
Pictured, trust chairman Nick Alston, second from left, and Mr Sri Kadirkamanathan (far right) with Joe (second from right) and Sam.

August 6

Winner of ‘name the robot’ schools competition visits Broomfield Hospital to see our surgical robot

The lucky winner of our ‘name the robot’ schools competition visited Broomfield Hospital to see the surgical robot on Thursday, August 2.

Eleven-year-old Joe Squire, from Rayne Primary School, and his little brother Sam, 6, had the opportunity to don surgical aprons and see how the robot – now named ‘Buster’ - works. Joe’s entry to our competition was the winning name picked out of the hat by the robot itself – with consultant upper GI surgeon Mr Sri Kadirkamanathan at the controls.

They met Mr Kadirkamanathan, alongside Nick Alston, trust chairman, and Samuel Gnanamani, theatre matron, who explained to them and their mum, April, all about our robotic surgery appeal and the pioneering work being carried out with the surgical robot.

Joe and Sam tried out operating the console – which Mr Kadirkamanathan explained was not dissimilar to playing Xbox – and saw how the team use advanced technology to help improve patients’ lives.

Joe said: “It was so exciting being able to touch and use Buster", and Sam added: “It was an amazing experience.”

Their mum, April, said: “It was fantastic to learn how modern technology is advancing so fast and to get a hands on, in depth view of it was out of this world.”

Yvonne Carter, charities manager, said: “It has been absolutely wonderful to be able to reach out to young people and give them an insight into the surgery of the future. Some of the young people reading may even be inspired to become the surgeons of tomorrow.

“Congratulations to Joe on winning this competition – he can always know that ‘Buster’ is now helping people across the Mid Essex area.”

‘Our Charity’ is calling on the community to rally together for our £1.5million appeal to fund the upgrading of the robotic surgery service at Broomfield Hospital, including a state-of-the-art new surgical robot and the continued use of surgical robotics.  

There is significant evidence that demonstrates a number of advantages for patients who have benefited from surgery with the surgical robot compared to conventional surgical techniques including: 

•Shorter hospital stays

•Immediate effects during recovery

•Precision surgery (overcoming limitations of laparoscopic surgery)

Your support will put Broomfield Hospital firmly on the map as surgical innovators in Essex.

You can donate to our appeal, ‘Rally Together for the Robot’, here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/midessexhospitals/surgicalbot


Mayor's Visit
The Mayor of Chelmsford, Cllr Yvonne Spence, and the Deputy Mayor of Chelmsford, Cllr Christine Garrett (centre) with staff and patients from our elderly care wards.

August 2

Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Chelmsford visit Broomfield Hospital to meet the dementia team as part of their support of fundraising project

The Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Yvonne Spence, and the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Christine Garrett, visited Broomfield Hospital on Tuesday, July 31, where they met with the dementia team, whose work they are supporting as one of their charities of the year.

The Mayor has kindly selected our dementia project as a cause she will fundraise for during her term of office, alongside Kids Inspire.

Cllr Spence and Cllr Garrett spoke with staff and patients on Baddow and Braxted Ward about the care provided for people with dementia.

The team explained more about the initiatives they are hoping to fund via the appeal. This includes the provision of day rooms on our elderly care wards (Baddow and Braxted), to enhance our patients’ hospital experience. This will provide a space for patients to socialise together, plus meet with their relatives and visitors.

The dementia team are also planning to purchase ‘kwick screens’ to enable the easy division of the day room areas for different purposes, helping to create a calm environment and make the area less clinical. They hope to be able to buy entertainment equipment, such as a record player so patients can enjoy music from a bygone era and a projector to screen classic films, in order to encourage patients to reminisce about their past experiences and to create a familiar environment.

Other desired improvements which charitable funding could facilitate are the provision of 'serene side rooms’, featuring mood lighting, aromatherapy and decorated ceiling tiles to reduce overstimulation of the senses for people with dementia. In addition, the team would like to purchase activity trolleys for the wards containing craft items such as card and wool as a tool to benefit people with dementia, offering a distraction from the ward environment. 

This is the continuation of our work to support the care of people with dementia at our hospital, following the completion of our two dementia-friendly gardens, the ‘Forget-Me-Not Garden’ and the ‘Live Well Garden’. We also encourage a wide range of other initiatives, including the Daily Sparkle newspaper, a medium of communication and a strategy for refocusing attention; music in hospitals, helping patients to regain a sense of control, independence, and confidence; and we receive donations of activity sleeves, knitted goods which assist with relieving stress and providing a source of motivation both physically and psychologically. Furthermore, patients enjoy visits from dementia therapy dogs on our wards and benefit from clear to read dementia-friendly clocks. 

Cllr Spence said: “I was very impressed with the sensitive care being offered to the patients in the wards visited. The staff have tried to make the surroundings more dementia-friendly and it is wonderful to hear their ideas of how more improvements can be made, especially the day rooms, which is the focus of our Mayor’s charity fundraising.

“It was lovely to talk with patients and visitors alike and all were very happy with the care provided.

“I was also delighted to hear about the fantastic results the trust achieved in the last National Audit of Dementia, as the top in the country for carers’ perceptions of dementia care, and they are working very hard to maintain that position.

“We will do our best to raise the money your department needs!”

Justine Wren, Matron for Medicine, said: “It meant a great deal to our staff to have the opportunity to meet the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor to speak about the developments in the dementia team and what we hope to achieve with charitable funding.

“It was a fantastic occasion, complete with a visit from our ‘pets as therapy’ dog, Gordon, culminating in a group discussion in the lovely surroundings of the Baddow Ward dementia-friendly garden. Thank you to the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor for attending and for their ongoing support.”

Yvonne Carter, Charities Manager, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor to our hospital to see first-hand the difference that the items the team wish to purchase could make for people with dementia, encouraging positive memories and relaxation.

“We are very much looking forward to continuing to work with the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor throughout the year.”