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October 2016

31 October  

Pathology team to celebrate their role in the hospital for National Pathology Week

The Pathology team will showcase their work with an interactive display where there will be a host of activities to try, including looking at blood cells under the microscope.

From Monday, November 7, until Friday, November 11, they will be celebrating National Pathology Week, an initiative from the Royal College of Pathologists, in the main atrium of Broomfield Hospital.

The event is aimed at both colleagues and visitors to the hospital. Staff members can learn about the reasons that a sample may not be analysed, how to make a successful blood transfusion request and see a ‘Pathology Fashion Week’ of labelled blood bottles, demonstrating best practice. You can also take part in a staff questionnaire – respondents will be entered into a raffle for a £25 Amazon voucher.

The Infection Prevention team is due to attend on Tuesday, November 8, to give hand washing demonstrations. In addition, the programme will include updated training for staff on using the S-Monovette blood collection system on Wednesday, November 9. Using expired blood bottles filled with red food colouring, the team will hold a competition to guess the number of samples in an autoclave container, with a £20 M&S voucher for the winner.

For the general public there will be visual displays describing the work of each discipline and how they are related, question and answer cards and useful information, plus a microscope with blood cells and sterile culture plates to observe.

Sarah Haigh, Blood Sciences Training Lead, said: “Each year, the Royal College of Pathologists coordinates the events for National Pathology Week with the objective of promoting the central role of Pathology in healthcare.

“Specimen reception worked hard to prepare a display for Marquee Week in September to promote the work of the department amongst our colleagues within the hospital.

“Following on from positive feedback from Marquee Week, we felt that this would be the perfect opportunity to spread awareness of the central role of Pathology in the diagnosis and treatment of disease, not only to our colleagues but also to members of the public.”

INFORMATION: The Pathology team will be available at a stand near Costa Coffee from 11am to 3pm each day.

Rhys John fundraises for his sister on Phoenix_Web size

27 October 

Rhys Johns fundraises for the children’s ward at Broomfield Hospital as a ‘thank you’ for care of his sister

Nine-year-old Rhys Johns has raised money for the children’s ward at Broomfield Hospital in appreciation of the care his sister received.

Rhys, from Desborough Path, Beaulieu Park, Chelmsford, held a cake sale at his school last month, raising £72.50 for Phoenix Ward.

He was inspired to help after seeing how well his sister, Chloe, 8, was looked after last year when she was rushed to hospital with what was later confirmed as diabetic ketoacidosis, leading to a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes. She also spent six days in hospital in April this year with a broken leg after being run over by a car and her family were again very pleased with her care.

Rhys’s campaign involved making posters for classrooms and his mum, Kathy, supported him by informing the PTA and other families at The Bishops Church of England and Roman Catholic Primary School about the event.

He said: “I enjoyed doing the cake sale because we ran out of cakes and some people still gave us money.”

His mum, Kathy, 49, added: “Rhys is a very kind, compassionate young man who worries a lot about other people and always wants to help out where he can. 

“He particularly worries about his sister and her condition and often reminds or asks us if she has checked her bloods.”

Yvonne Carter, charities manager, said: “It is wonderful to hear that the care Rhys’s sister, Chloe, received at Broomfield Hospital was the inspiration for his fundraising appeal.

“The Phoenix Ward team members are ever so grateful to Rhys and his family for this kind donation.”

National Burns Awareness Day Web picture 2016

25 October 

Trust raises £400 for charity by hosting a special educational event about how to prevent burn injuries

The Trust raised £400 for charity by hosting a special educational event about how to prevent burn injuries.

Organised to coincide with National Burn Awareness Day on October 19, it included tips to keep safe in the home, with a focus on advice for adults.

Essex County Fire & Rescue Service were in attendance to offer free house safety checks and accept bookings to fit free smoke alarms. Firefighters were also on site with a fire engine for visitors to climb on board for part of the day.

The St Andrew’s Centre team held a cake sale in the main atrium of Broomfield Hospital, which generated the £400 funds to be split between The Children’s Burns Club and Essex County Fire & Rescue Service’s nominated charities.

Kate Davis, Case Manager at the St Andrew’s Centre, said: “The event went brilliantly. Staff were very generous and we had enough cakes to keep replenishing our table. It was a good team effort and we all thoroughly enjoyed the day.

“We gave lots of advice about burn awareness in the home and handed out leaflets. The public showed a huge interest and asked lots of questions. I would like to thank everyone for their support.”

Olympic Teddy Competition Winners 20-10-16_3_Web

24 October 

Winners of our Olympic Games themed knitted teddy competition announced

We are pleased to announce the winners of our Olympic Games themed knitted teddy competition. 

First place overall went to Helen Cole, of Sketty in Wales, with ‘Wilfred the Welsh Weightlifter’. Second place overall was achieved by June Thompson, of Braintree, with her refugee team teddy bear and third place overall was given to Gill Cato, of Maylandsea, and her American bear.

The winners attended for a prize presentation event at the children’s ward at Broomfield Hospital on Thursday, October 20. 

June Thompson said: “I enjoy knitting and I thought it was a nice thing to do for the children. I was surprised to have won second place. 

“I felt myself a competent knitter but I wouldn’t have thought I was competition standard.” 

Gill Cato added: “I saw the article in the paper and I thought it was a lovely idea and I spent some time thinking ‘what can I do?’. When I received the letter to say I had come third I was very surprised.”

Helen Cole said that she hopes Wilfred brings a smile to his new owner’s face.

The Charities Team here at MEHT received more than 50 entries for the competition, with every bear now donated to provide a cuddly distraction for our young patients at a difficult time.

Yvonne Carter, charities manager, said: “We would like to thank every entrant – we were astounded by the wonderful bears that arrived at our office during the competition. It was a very difficult decision for our judging panel to make, and we would like to congratulate Helen, June and Gill on their success.

“On behalf of our medical teams here at MEHT, we would like to express our gratitude for your kind donations. We will have more crafty competitions in the future, so watch this space.”

Burns awareness course 2016

23 October 

Delegates travel to the St Andrew’s Centre from around the globe to hear from our experts on burn care

Delegates from across the world attended a course to learn about the burn care delivered at the renowned St Andrew’s Centre.

From Wednesday, October 19, to Friday, October 21, 22 medical staff and students attended to find out about the best practice and techniques employed at the centre.

The series of presentations were delivered by experts in their fields and followed the burn care journey from the time of injury to discharge from hospital. Topics included initial treatment, wound management, surgery, physiotherapy and scar management. In addition, the expert speakers discussed aspects of care such as the use of prosthetics, mental health, and pain management.

More than 10 of the delegates were Trust employees, and they were joined by international nurses, healthcare support workers, medical students, military personnel and others.

The course, which was originally held over five days and was a training event for employees, has been running for about six years. It is offered twice every year to Trust staff and to paying delegates from outside the organisation.

Nicole Lee, clinical facilitator and sister on Burns ITU, said: “The course covers the whole of our multidisciplinary team and how we work together to achieve the right outcome for our patients.

“It gives us a link in other areas so that the delegates understand what we do and they can come back to us for advice when they have any issues.”

INFORMATION: For more about the course, please contact Penelope Clarke, specialist burns administrator, by emailing penelope.clarke@meht.nhs.uk.

Catherine Robinson Head Shave

21 October

Patient takes on fundraising mission in gratitude for care at Broomfield Hospital

A Billericay woman, together with her family and friends, is raising funds for Our Charity in thanks for saving her life.

Cathrine Robinson, 59, a charity/volunteer coordinator of Harrods Court, has launched her appeal after receiving treatment for breast cancer at Broomfield Hospital. She was diagnosed with the disease – which had also spread to her lymph nodes – in April last year.

She had gruelling chemotherapy and radiotherapy before undergoing removal of her lymph nodes and breast reconstruction surgery.

Now that Mrs Robinson is in remission, she has embarked on a quest to raise as much money as possible for The Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Clinic, which offers support through holding information evenings for patients and also provides a bra to wear post-surgery. 

She will donate proceeds to the clinic’s campaign for a £100,000 microscope. The initial event, ‘Caf’s Coffee & Cakes Morning’ took place at Cathrine’s sister’s house, with her family and friends raising £920 for the cause.

Now, her husband, Dave Robinson, 52, will join his friend, Bob Williams, 60 in having their heads shaved by Bob’s daughter, professional barber Jen Williams, in Billericay on Sunday (October 23).

Cathrine said: “With fantastic support from my husband, family, friends, and medical teams I travelled the road to recovery.

“I found the BRA evening very informative and I said that when I was feeling better I wanted to give something back.

“I was so appreciative of the kindness of the ladies at our charity coffee morning and it’s great that now the guys wish to show their support too.”

INFORMATION: You can donate to the cause at either https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Cathrine-Robinson8 or 


Cuddle Cot presentation

20 October

Bereaved mother donates specialist cot to Labour Ward in memory of her stillborn son

A bereaved mother has donated a specialist cot to the Labour Ward at Broomfield Hospital in memory of her stillborn son.

Poppy Wright, 24, of Heybridge, raised £2,010 for charity 4Louis to provide a cuddle cot and memory boxes for other parents who find themselves in the same tragic circumstances.

The refrigerated cot, which is inscribed with her son’s name – Archie Bryan Jackson – will give families the chance to spend more precious moments both in the hospital and at home with their children before saying goodbye. The memory boxes contain keepsakes to treasure such as teddies, a candle and a box for a lock of hair.

Poppy and her partner, Ryan Jackson, 20, lost their son in December last year, when Poppy was 28 weeks pregnant.

She said: “We went out one morning and I hadn’t felt him move at all. He still hadn’t moved by four o’clock in the afternoon. I went to my local hospital [St Peter’s] and they searched for his heartbeat, but they couldn’t find it.”

She was then directed to Broomfield Hospital and came back two days later to give birth to Archie, on December 13.

She added: “It was horrible. We didn’t have a cuddle cot and I wanted to fundraise so that there was something there for others.

“Fundraising helped a lot, it kept me busy and it took my mind off of losing Archie by knowing that I was helping someone else.”

She held a cake sale, shared the campaign with family and friends and posted to groups on social media, reaching the total in just a few months.

On Wednesday, October 12, she attended the Labour Ward at Broomfield Hospital together with her partner, Ryan, to present the cuddle cot and memory boxes to the team. The couple are now due to welcome their second baby on November 16.

Susan French, Senior Midwife at the Labour Ward, said: “The maternity team at Broomfield Hospital are extremely grateful for the involvement of parents through comments and donations. 

“Poppy, along with Broomfield Baby Bereavement Group, Essex SANDS and 4Louis,  has provided us with equipment which helps us to meet the needs of parents and their families at such a traumatic time.”

Bob and Tracey McGurrell, founders and trustees of 4Louis, explained that in 2009 their grandson, Louis Robert Joseph Knight, was stillborn. Since then, the family and a team of volunteers have supported bereaved parents and worked with hospitals around the country to make a devastating experience more bearable.

For more information about the charity, please visit http://www.4louis.co.uk/what-we-do.

Clare Panniker_2 Oct 2016

14 October

Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust Chief Executive receives honorary doctorate

Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust Chief Executive Clare Panniker has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Anglia Ruskin University in recognition of her services to the NHS.

Clare, who is also chief executive of Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BTUH), received the award of Honorary Doctor of Health Science at a ceremony yesterday (Thursday, October 13). 

She has been leading change and improving the quality of healthcare in the NHS for more than 20 years and was appointed as chief executive of MEHT in May.

Accepting her doctorate from Professor Iain Martin, Anglia Ruskin Vice Chancellor, she said: When I started out on my nursing career, more years ago than I care to remember, I never dreamt that I would one day be receiving recognition like this.

“Like most of us who come to work in the NHS – I believe passionately in improving the lives of others. I set high standards for myself as a nurse to achieve that goal. As a chief executive, I want to ensure that every single colleague who walks through the door at Basildon or Broomfield Hospital has the best possible opportunity to do that too – every day, in every interaction, with every patient.”

Dr Ruth Jackson, Pro Vice Chancellor at Anglia Ruskin University, said: “Clare has perhaps the ideal background for a successful career in health services management – she is both a registered nurse and a business graduate. So it’s no surprise that she boasts such an impressive record of achievement.

“Clare’s vision, courage and dedication have helped to raise standards of healthcare provision and created a positive impact on the lives of patients and staff. And today, she carries responsibility for shaping the future development of the healthcare landscape of our region.

“Her professionalism and talent provide a shining example of NHS leadership at its very best.  And as a mentor for aspiring NHS leaders, both from clinical and management backgrounds, she will be an inspirational role model for our students.”

Prior to joining Basildon University Hospital, Clare was Chief Executive of North Middlesex University Hospital for nine years, where she is credited with radically transforming the organisation’s performance and culture.

Shortly after joining BTUH, she faced her greatest challenge to date. Following an inspection in July 2013, the Health Secretary announced that Basildon was to be one of 11 trusts put into special measures for failing to reach appropriate standards of care.

By November 2013, after a second visit, the NHS inspection team endorsed the positive transformation. Following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission in March 2014, Basildon received a ‘good’ rating, while their maternity care was the first in the country to be rated ‘outstanding’.

Subsequently, Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, recommended that Basildon should be the first foundation trust to be taken out of special measures.

Clare has since been named by Health Service Journal as one of the ten most influential chief executives in the NHS. She has also been appointed as the chief executive of a new committee which is representing BTUH, MEHT and Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as part of the Mid and South Essex Success Regimeresponsible for improving the quality of care and ensuring a sustainable NHS in the region for years to come.


The Swan Initiative logo

12 October

Initiative to disseminate a symbol to “trigger a compassionate response” for patients in the last days of life set to launch at Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust

Compassion for patients and their loved ones is at the centre of a new initiative to discreetly indicate to staff that end of life care is being given or a bereavement has taken place.

From next month, Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust will launch the Swan Initiative across its sites as a universal symbol for those who require special consideration, both in the last days of life and following a bereavement.

The symbol will be used on many occasions, including signage on the wards, in relevant documents such as the bereavement feedback form, on cotton bags to be used specifically for the property of deceased patients, and on organza bags for the placement of smaller personal effects.

Accommodations that will be made as a result include offering the patient a side room to allow for privacy, open visiting, a put up bed so visitors can stay overnight, and a wash bag for visitors that unexpectedly stay overnight.

In addition, the swan symbol will act as a reminder to staff to ensure that they strike the right balance between respectful privacy and attentiveness, take care of those important to the patient after the death, connect them with spiritual guidance as appropriate, and assist with matters such as access to food and drink and parking.

Charlotte Hoctor, End of Life Care Facilitator, said: “Death and dying is very difficult to deal with, we only have one chance to get it right and helping patients and those important to them during this difficult time is hugely important.

“The rationale for using the swan image is to trigger a compassionate response from any staff member within the Trust whilst ensuring a calm and respectful environment.

“The sign used in the ward will promote dignity and respect for patients and those important to them whilst ensuring end of life choices are observed.” 

She explained that she has been working closely with the Patient Experience Team to secure funding so that wards can have a supply of cotton and organza bags with the swan symbol.These will be delivered to the Trust shortly and will then be distributed ready for the launch.

The Trust has been able to use the swan symbol with permission from Fiona Murphy at the Royal Alliance Bereavement and Donor Service, who developed the initiative.

INFORMATION: You can watch a video about the Swan Initiative here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so6FgWp4QCE. For more information, please contact Charlotte Hoctor on charlotte.hoctor@meht.nhs.uk.


Training & Innovation Centre collage

3 October

We unveil training facility for staff to learn about Lorenzo which has opened ahead of electronic patient record system launch date

We are pleased to reveal the interior of the newly named Training and Innovation Centre for the forthcoming electronic patient record system.

The renovated building – which was formerly used to house medical records – also serves as a base for the teams who are working on the Lorenzo project. 

In addition to providing a cohesive working environment for the project group, it also offers a modern, high-tech space where staff will be invited to attend training sessions. It is based next to Sterile Services/HSDU on the far side of the Broomfield Hospital site, adjacent to the multi-storey car park.

Martin Callingham, Chief Information Officer, said: “Going live with EPR will affect everybody in the whole organisation – 4,000 people will need to be trained to use the new system. The Trust has received over £200,000 from Department of Health to refit the building – which opened on August 30. This facility will provide the space for staff to get to know the new system so that they feel comfortable will using the EPR when we go live in May.

“The new EPR will bring patient information in to one place making access to information easier and quicker. It’s the start of a big cultural shift as the implementation of modern technology will help to revolutionise the way that we use information to improve services and patient care.”

Further updates about the introduction of Lorenzo on the Bank Holiday - Monday, May 29 - will be provided over the coming months.

Macmillan Cancer Support_4 photos & captions

3 October

Colleagues join forces for a feast in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support

 Our staff rallied together to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support by selling sweet treats at a host of coffee mornings on Friday (September 30).

There were sponge cakes, melt-in-the-mouth biscuits and refreshing hot beverages for all to enjoy both in the main atrium at Broomfield Hospital and on a selection of wards.

It was a chance for colleagues to collaborate by taking part in the national event, which generated more than £25 million of donations for the charity from across the country last year.

Members of the Macmillan Information Support Team – who are responsible for the information pod in the atrium – offered those with a sweet tooth the chance to indulge with a cornucopia of baked goods. Their coffee morning was held in memory of Macmillan volunteer Kim Smith’s father, Robert Porter, who passed away from cancer this year.

She said: “My dad was really helped by the Macmillan nurses. This is about giving something back to them.

“This is the fourth year that we have held this coffee morning. It was lovely – we served about 350 people cakes, biscuits, tea and coffee, with support from the catering department, plus Marks & Spencer donated cakes for us to sell. Last year we raised about £1,000, and this year we raised £937.93, which will be more than £1,000 with gift aid applied.”

Maria Curtis, Macmillan Information Support Manager for MEHT, added: “It went really well, we set up at eight o’clock in the morning and within 20 seconds we were selling cakes. The majority were homemade by Kim in memory of her dad.

“It brings the whole hospital together to talk about the work of Macmillan.

“It’s also the Macmillan Information Pod’s third birthday, so it’s a big celebration of our team – we’ve seen 8,816 people in the last three years.”

In addition, the Oncology and Urology team got involved with the fundraising spirit by serving tasty treats and hot drinks to staff and patients. They were visited by about 50 people throughout the morning and raised £264.81 for the cause. The teams have held a joint coffee morning every year for the last few years.

Yasmin Khalil, medical secretary for oncology, said: “It is very rewarding - because we work in oncology we know the importance of Macmillan.

“We hear about what they do for patients and this is our way of helping.”

At the Surgical Emergency Ward, colleagues took turns to peddle their baked wares for the charity. They served many people throughout the event and raised £150.08 plus gift aid.

Kim Waddell, Ward Clerk at the SEW, said: “We opened in April 2015 and this is the first year that we have ever held a Macmillan Coffee Morning.

“We asked if people could make or buy cakes and bring them in - it’s a real team effort.”

Laura Laws, Staff Nurse at SEW, added: “We raised far more than I anticipated, which is great for the charity as it helps so many people with cancer and we as a ward felt we were doing our bit as sadly patients often receive their cancer diagnosis on our ward.  However, as we are a short stay unit we only support these patients for up to 48 hours before they are moved to a ward or discharged to cancer care in the community.

“I wanted to do the cake sale as we have a number of new staff on the ward and I thought it would give everyone a chance to bond over a treat, show off other talents, have a bit of fun as the ward can be a stressful place to work, and give to this worthy charity.”

The St Andrews Therapy Department also held a coffee morning, raising £90 for the cause.