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April 2017

27 April

MEHT joins campaign to encourage people across Essex to plan for the future by thinking about their end of life wishes

MEHT is encouraging people across Essex to plan for the future by thinking about their end of life wishes in the lead-up to Dying Matters Awareness Week. 

This year the national campaign, which runs from May 8-14, will ask people to think about three questions:

1.Planning – what can you do to get active in planning for death and dying?

2.Support – what can you do to help someone you’re close to or someone in the wider community in times of grief and bereavement?

3.Conversation – what can you do to talk more openly about dying and death?

To coincide with this, we have been working in partnership with Action for Family Carers, Essex County Council, Farleigh Hospice and Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group to develop an online photo campaign as part of Die Well Essex that starts a conversation about why dying matters. Using Instagram, people are being encouraged to share their favourite images of people, places or things that celebrate life, as well as acknowledging the reality of death. The aim of the social media campaign is also to help to signpost people to support and services available locally.

The online campaign will support the key theme of this year’s national Dying Matters awareness week – What Can You Do? – see http://www.dyingmatters.org/ for more information.

People can share images via their own Instagram account – all that is needed is a sentence on what the picture represents along with #DieWellEssex or tagging @DieWellEssex.

Join in with the conversation in the lead up to, and during Dying Matters Week 8-14 May, on Twitter @DieWellEssex or by searching Die Well Essex on Facebook.

We are also asking people to support the campaign by joining the Thunderclap using the following link http://midessexccg.nhs.uk/livewell/diewell/join-the-thunderclap. 

Neopost Technologies Donation
Lyndon Bradshaw (centre) presenting the cheque to the Breast Unit Team.

25 April

Company raises more than £5,000 for Breast Unit in thanks for care of one of its staff members 

A company has raised more than £5,000 for the Breast Unit at Broomfield Hospital in thanks for the care of one of its staff members.

The management team at Neopost Technologies Ltd (NTL), which is located in Loughton, Essex, and manufactures and supplies production mailing equipment and document solutions, nominated the Breast Unit as their annual charity to which staff raise funds.

This was inspired by their staff member Lyndon Bradshaw’s (pictured centre) diagnosis of breast cancer in 2015.

A spokesperson for the company’s staff and management team said: “Lyndon’s recovery and care was administered at Broomfield Breast Unit, so a decision to raise funds for this great cause was an easy and unanimous decision for 2016.

“Some of the activities and events used to fundraise included a 12K walk/run/cycle challenge, a 101-mile cycle, a one day holiday sale, a car wash day, a media auction, a tombola and various competitions between staff and departments. 

“We are extremely happy that Lyndon is in recovery and that NTL was able to be of some help fundraising for this worthy cause.”

The total funds raised through their endeavours was £5703.20.

Lillie Watts Cake Sale
Lillie Watts and her mum Charlotte (far right), with the Wizard Ward team.

21 April

Generous young girl donates £250 to Broomfield Hospital in thanks to the wards that took care of her

A generous young girl has donated £250 in thanks to the wards that took care of her during her stay at Broomfield Hospital last year.

Lille Watts, seven, of Chelmsford, organised a cake sale at The Bishops School in Springfield to fundraise for Wizard Ward and Phoenix Ward. 

In November, she was admitted to Phoenix Ward for a week with an infection, followed by a stay in Wizard Ward following day surgery for mole removal.

Her mum, Charlotte Mumford, said: “The staff were amazing and Lillie was so relaxed whilst she was in hospital. She is obsessed with arts and crafts and having access to lots of materials on both wards was a huge bonus for her - she spent most of her time gluing and sticking, making pictures and helping to decorate things ready for Christmas.

“Lillie decided all by herself that she wanted to do a cake sale to raise money for the hospital and she spoke to her headteacher to ask if this is something she could do. Mr Waters was more than happy to say yes and it snowballed from there. I then had the task of arranging to either bake or buy enough cakes for the whole school! I managed to ask the lovely ladies of the PTA and they helped a lot too.  

“Lillie is a very sweet, caring little girl and this kind of gesture isn't out of the ordinary for her. She always wants to please other people and for her to have the idea herself for the cake sale was just her way of being able to do something for the wonderful staff on the wards. I am incredibly proud of Lillie for having this idea and being so kind, we raised much more money than we thought we would and she is so proud of herself.”

Charlotte and Lillie also thanked The Bishops School headteacher Mr Waters, the PTA and all of the children and parents who helped them to raise the money.

Caroline Clarke
Caroline Clarke.

19 April

Generous fundraiser to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of The Children’s Burns Club

A generous fundraiser will call upon all of her reserves of “physical and emotional strength and stamina” by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to contribute to the work of The Children’s Burns Club. 

Caroline Clarke, 50, of Elm Road, South Woodham Ferrers, will fly out to Tanzania for the 10-day trip on June 16, where she will trek through grassland, rainforest, moorland and onto rock at the summit, experiencing the weather of all four seasons in one journey. While at first there will be intense sun, heat and radiation, as she climbs higher there will be wind, rain, snow and extreme cold.

Her challenge of ascending Mount Kilimanjaro – the highest freestanding mountain in the world at 5895m above sea level - will be her first mountain climb except for Ben Nevis three years ago.

She has joined a group with her friend for the trek and has begun her training through walking, running and boot camp. She has also taken part in the Brighton Marathon and she is planning to undertake two 12K obstacle races in May.

She said: “Until four years ago I was a couch potato, before I started going to boot camp. I will be flying out on June 16 for a 10-day trip and I am self-funding it in its entirety. Any money I raise will go straight to the Children's Burns Club, which I chose primarily as I know people who have experienced burns injuries as children and appreciate how easily accidents in the home can occur. 

“I hope to be able to raise enough money to fund 15-20 places on Children's Burns Club workshops which will help with the children's recovery and self-esteem. 

“The trek/climb will require physical and emotional strength and stamina. I will be 51 when I tackle this which is a challenge in itself as I will be doing it with people much younger and fitter than me.

“Carrying my required kit and minimum of four litres of water, food and snacks daily whilst trying to deal with the effects of altitude and altitude sickness will be an extreme challenge and one which I will not be able to prepare for.  

“At the end of the trek/climb I expect to feel a sense of camaraderie and team bonding with the other participants after spending 10 days supporting each other through the experience and its highs and lows. I expect to also feel a sense of accomplishment at completing something I never thought I would have the opportunity to do, even though I have wanted to for over 20 years. In the event the altitude sickness gets to me and I do not make the full climb naturally I will feel a sense of disappointment.  However, I am fully intending to complete this challenge and to take on board all of the advice and guidance given. Further, I expect to feel exhausted emotionally and physically but to have ultimately had a good time.”

INFORMATION: You can support Caroline via the following link: http://www.justgiving.com/Caroline-Clarke13.

Laboratory Transfusion, Coagulation and Haematology Department Tour
Biomedical scientists Nicole Wilson and Chand Chooromoney.

18 April

Laboratory Haematology, Transfusion and Coagulation Department showcases its work to diagnose conditions and support patient care

The Laboratory Haematology, Transfusion and Coagulation Department undertakes a broad range of tests to diagnose health conditions and support the safe care of our patients.

The multi-skilled team, who are separated into three main workstreams – Transfusion, Coagulation and Haematology – provide an around-the-clock service. At night, just one highly trained member of staff attends to all requests for the whole of MEHT. 

The Transfusion Team tests approximately 42,000 samples and issues approximately 8,000 units of red cells, 750 doses of platelets and 600 packs of fresh frozen plasma per year. Nick Sheppard, Acting Blood Bank Manager, explained that this figure is reducing year-on-year due to increased clinical awareness about saving resources by providing one unit of blood as a standard, rather than two. 

One of their main remits is cross-matching red cells in order to determine if the donor’s blood is compatible with the blood of the intended recipient. This can be performed manually, which takes about 45 minutes, although if certain criteria are met red cells may be issued by electronic issue (electronic crossmatch) in just five minutes.

Nick added that the work can be very unpredictable: “Where blood is crossmatched by manual techniques this takes approximately 45 minutes, providing there are no anomalous results. On occasions we have to refer samples to the National Blood Service for investigation and crossmatch to ensure we are providing the safest blood possible for the patient. It is important to prioritise urgent work as we never know if the next phone call is to activate the Major Haemorrhage Protocol.

“We are open 24/7 and we have requests where the caller says: ‘we need the units now.’”

The Transfusion Workstream has two analysers which they use for blood grouping and antibody screening, but Nick explained that they are one of the last Pathology disciplines to still complete a great deal of processes manually. In the future, they hope to obtain two new analysers which can be used for cross-matching.

Their responsibilities include issuing blood products such as fresh frozen plasma, cryoprecipitate, platelets, albumin, clotting factors, and Prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC) for warfarin reversal. They also assist with checks before patients go into theatre, ensuring that they have suitable blood available should it be required during the operation, and screen for antibodies in pregnant women and advise on the appropriate antenatal care accordingly.

Another aspect of their role is to source blood from the National Blood Transfusion Service if it is not immediately available, although this is uncommon. They are supported by Transfusion Nurse Tina Parker, who acts as a link between the wards and the laboratory. Her other tasks include looking at processes, updating formal guidance, training and teaching.

The Coagulation Workstream assists with an array of tests to support the work of colleagues across the hospital to provide first-class patient care.

Eileen Caples, Senior Biomedical Scientist – Coagulation, said: “We perform clotting screens for patients who are going to theatre. We also offer tests for patients who are anticoagulated. 

“In addition, we will see patients who are put on warfarin within the hospital for a period of time until their anticoagulation is under control. Other work includes completing factor assays [to test for a deficiency of one or more clotting proteins] and screening for thrombosis.”

She added that their team has two new analysers which are now in use. 

“They are from the same family of analysers as the previous models, but they are more up-to-date and offer more advanced features,” she said. 

The Haematology Workstream performs various tests which are an integral part of the operation of the Pathology Department and the care delivered at our hospital.

They process approximately 1,200 full blood count samples a day, employing three automated analysers. Although most results are auto-validated, when necessary a separate analyser prepares and stains blood films which are then reviewed by one of the biomedical scientists. They also review blood films for malaria. 

An accompanying workstream, Special Haematology, performs tests such as the Hb A1C test. The level of Hb A1C is proportional to both average glucose concentration and the life span of the red cell. The measurement of Hb A1C is therefore used in the management of patients with diabetes. 

They also screen for haemoglobinopathies - inherited disorders such as sickle cell disease – in pregnant women. They aim to perform the tests within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. If the patient is found to be a carrier of any of these diseases the father of the baby is also offered testing, to establish the risk of the baby inheriting the disease.

Funky Voices

13 April

Funky Voices choir donates £450 to the Upper GI Department at Broomfield Hospital in thanks for care of one of its members

The Funky Voices choir has kindly raised £450 for our surgical robot appeal in thanks for the care of one of its members.

Toby Croney, an organiser of Funky Voices and the partner of musical director Sandra Colston, underwent an oesophagectomy last year after discovering that he had cancer. The operation was performed by Consultant Upper GI and Bariatric Surgeon Mr Bruno Lorenzi and his team.

Toby and Sandra attended the department on March 8 to present the cheque to them in person.

“After having surgery and recovery from my operation, Bruno's team suggested that I might benefit from joining their support group. They are a wonderful group of people who gather once a month to chat, support and help each other. It is there that I found out about the surgical robot and that they have various fundraisers for the project, which I wanted to help with,” he said. 

The surgical robot is a state-of-the-art piece of equipment will help to transform the care we provide to our patients, with a wide range of clinical applications.

The money was raised through a raffle at a Christmas party held by the Funky Voices choir and Mr Croney’s band, The Heaters. Their next fundraising event for the surgical robot appeal will be a concert at Chelmsford County High School for Girls on Saturday, May 13, 8pm-9.30pm. Tickets cost £10 for adults and £5 for children. For more information, please visit www.funkyvoices.co.uk.

Our Charity Logo

6 April

Calling keen cyclists to take part in mammoth challenge for Our Charity

Are you a cyclist looking for the ultimate test of your mettle?

Our Charity would be delighted to offer you one of its two available places for the Prudential Ride London, a tough 100-mile cycling course through the capital and the Surrey countryside.

Starting at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, cyclists will pedal through the city and onto Surrey’s country roads before returning to the capital to cross the finish line on the Mall in central London. The event will take place over the weekend of 28-30 July.

We would be grateful for your help - you are welcome to raise money for Our Charity generally or for a hospital department of your choice. We are also fundraising for a surgical robot and would be pleased for support of this project.

For more information, please contact Yvonne Carter on 01245 514559 (ext 4559) oryvonne.carter@meht.nhs.uk.