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March 2017

Chemotherapy donation 31-3-17

31 March

Bereaved husband makes latest donation to The Chemotherapy Unit in thanks for care of his late wife

A bereaved husband has kindly donated a cake to thank staff on The Chemotherapy Unit for the care of his late wife following making a £500 donation raised at her funeral.

Bill Hymas, 81, gave the cake to the staff on Tuesday, March 14, the latest in a total of approximately £2,000 raised over the years through fun days held at Forrester Park Golf and Country Club in Great Totham, of which the couple were members.

His wife, Dorothy Hymas, 79, who was also known as Midge, had suffered with ovarian cancer for 12 years before she passed away on November 1 last year.

Bill said: “She did about four to five months of chemotherapy and then she would have perhaps six months or so when she was reasonably fit and she could go out and play golf and those sorts of things. She kept that up until two years ago.

“The treatment that she received at Broomfield was superb. The thing was that she always looked on the bright side of things – she thought that if she could stay alive there was always a chance that there might suddenly be a cure.”

Radiology Dept Visit 31-3-17

31 March

Radiology Department visited by President of the Society and College of Radiographers

The Radiology Department were visited by Steve Herring, President of the Society and College of Radiographers, on Wednesday (March 22).

He was invited to Broomfield Hospital by Senior Radiographer Sue Webb, who is vice-president of the organisation, to visit different areas of radiology including MRI, CT, Breast Screening, Nuclear Medicine and X-ray. Steve works as a reporting radiographer at Maidstone Hospital.

Sue said: “Steve talked to people and answered any questions they had about current issues, policy, and what’s going on in the wider world of radiology.

“He told me that he found everyone here very supportive of me and my role. He said it seemed like a happy department.”

World Epilepsy Day 30-3-17

30 March

Epilepsy Team host stand at Broomfield Hospital to raise awareness of the condition

The Epilepsy Team at Broomfield Hospital hosted a stand in the main atrium to raise awareness of the condition on Monday (March 27).

It followed Purple Day, an international event to improve understanding of epilepsy, which was held on Sunday, March 26.

The team were supported by Epilepsy Action, a charity which offers a wide range of support to our hospital. This includes attending our transition clinic, where young people with epilepsy are prepared to move across to adult services, and by organising a conference attended by our staff and members of the local community.

Donna Shepherd, Children’s Epilepsy Clinical Nurse Specialist, said: “Working together means that those affected by epilepsy, whether it be the person with the diagnosis, or a parent, family member, or friend, can access the support needed.

“Raising awareness breaks down barriers and if we can get people talking about epilepsy, it helps to reduce the stigma and clarify some of the myths that exist.

“One of the main issues people with epilepsy have to deal with is the impact both the condition and medication have on their lifestyle, memory and confidence. Epilepsy Action offer support services, across the age range, from group meetings to online forums and chat rooms for young people. They also have training videos online for teachers and carers to understand the different types of seizures and the first aid actions to take.”

INFORMATION: Epilepsy Action’s Mid Essex branch support group meets at 10.30am on the first Friday of the month at Brambles Café, Quadrant Store, Chelmsford. Contact Lis for more information on 07929 749994 or local service manager Marie Edgar on 01708 479 536. 

London Marathon Runners_Collage 2017

March 29

London Marathon 2017: Runners Tell Their Stories

Saffron Von Grey — Fundraising for the Burns Department (Our Charity)

“The inspiration to fundraise for the Burns Department came from my work colleagues —around this time last year we lost a very dear colleague who suffered extreme burns and sadly passed away. The individual in question (who their family have requested to remain anonymous) was a long-standing member of our service and meant a lot to many people in the office. As the MEHT Burns Unit was where they were treated, I thought it was a good idea to apply for this charity, as it means a lot to so many people I know and work with. 

“I have had zero experience in marathon running (yikes) and have only ever participated in a 5k race before, so this will be my first marathon and first real big running event! Training has been tough recently as I had a nasty cold for a week! Overall, however, it has been a slow and steady process and not too bad...until I started hitting the big miles. I did 12 miles recently, which is my longest run so far, and it's safe to say I returned with very wobbly legs! I will be doing 14 next and going up two miles a week thereafter. 

“It will be an amazing achievement and something I will probably remember forever. Plus it will mean I am that much closer to the pub dinner I promised myself after - a big fat steak is definitely on the menu! 

“I have aimed for between £1,000 and £1,500 - I have raised £215 so far but still have plenty of people to hassle!”  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/saffron-mid-essex

Rebekah Lawrence — Fundraising for Breast Reconstruction Awareness (Our Charity)

“I have always wanted to run the London Marathon. Each year I have thought of many excuses not to apply, but recently I was inspired by a patient. I am a staff nurse looking after ladies undergoing breast reconstruction. This particular lady had bilateral mastectomies followed by breast reconstruction surgery and has since run the London and New York Marathons. Like me she has a young family, she has inspired me to run the London Marathon, because of what she has been through I could no longer justify my excuses! I thought I must apply and give it my best shot. It made sense to raise money for the Breast Reconstruction Awareness charity within my department because I know how much the patients benefit from the charity, which provides support and equipment above and beyond what the NHS can provide.

“This is my first marathon — I have only ever run a 5k Race for Life before, so I have no idea what to expect or what I am letting myself in for. I have had to have a three week break in my training, due to starting my training with no idea what I was doing. This resulted in Achilles tendonitis and a pain in my knee relating to a tight thigh muscle, I have now learnt. I have sought the expert advice of a sports therapist, and I am now (hopefully) getting back on track with my training. I have some regular stretches and strengthening exercises to help with my problem areas, so I am putting every effort into these. I did my longest run yet recently,10 miles! I was so pleased that I managed it, even though it was tough near the end. I train Tuesday and Thursday evenings and a Saturday or Sunday. 

“I found it difficult with the dark evenings as I don't like running in the dark alone, but it does make you run quicker! We have got a babysitter booked for Thursday evenings so my husband can run with me. I attended the 'Meet the Experts' day for London Marathon runners and picked up some good advice, I have been told to get my name printed on my top as people shouting your name is a real boost to get you through the hard times on the big day! I have now got some 'proper' running trainers too, had a gait analysis at Runners World, every little helps I'm hoping!

“Crossing the finishing line at this moment seems quite an impossible task! When I do cross that line I think I will be quite shocked and I will hopefully still manage a smile. I have set myself a target of £1500, I am grateful for every single sponsor I get, and it gives me that extra push to do my very best.” https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Rebekah-Lawrence2017


Joanne Saunders— Fundraising for The Children’s Burns Club (Our Charity)

“I chose the Children's Burns Club as I work as a nurse on the Burns Intensive Care Unit and I see the devastating effect a burn injury can have on a child and their family. I think the work the Children's Burns Club do to support children and their family after a burn injury and provide a place where they aren't judged is really important and I am keen to raise money so they can continue to do this. 

“I have always been into fitness and a bit of running but my longest runs were 10ks so the marathon is a massive challenge for me. I am finding the training challenging, especially the longer runs, but I am running around 20 miles a week with 12 miles being my longest run at the moment. I have booked a half marathon this month for a bit of preparation also! 

“I will be so proud of myself when I cross the finish line, as a marathon is something I've always wanted to do and a great achievement. If I can do that knowing I've raised money for a great charity it will make it even more special.

“I'm around half way to my fundraising target but am feeling confident I can get there!” http://www.justgiving.com/Joanne-Saunders6


Daniel Hart—Fundraising for Our Charity

“In October 2015 my daughter was born at Broomfield Hospital. The care my partner received before, during and after Imogen was born was fantastic and as a ‘thank you’ I decided to run the London Marathon on behalf of the Trust’s charities. The money the charities raise goes to projects/equipment designed to enhance the care and experience patients and their relatives receive which can make being in hospital that little bit easier. The charity money goes above and beyond what the government funds and really does make a huge positive difference to thousands of lives each year.

“I have always wanted to run the London Marathon and this will be the first one I have participated in. Training has been going well so far and I am looking forward to the remaining weeks with hopefully some warmer weather to keep me company as the running hours increase.

“Crossing the finish line will put a tick on my bucket list and bring a huge smile to my face knowing that the work I’ve put in, and the generosity of my sponsors, will be for the benefit of many people.

“I am hoping to raise at least £1,000 and at present have been pledged £250. I am so grateful for all the support so far and hope as many of you as possible will help me to reach my goal as the money raised will mean so much to so many people.

“Please visit my JustGiving page or text “MEHT £x” to 70070 (replacing the x with an amount).” https://www.justgiving.com/dan-hart-meht

Gemma Conn—Fundraising for Out to Africa

“Out to Africa is a charity linked to Mid Essex Hospitals. It aims to promote improvement in healthcare at University Teaching Hospital (UTH) Lusaka, Zambia, through education. The projects identify areas of need and then link the departments in UTH with peers from Broomfield Hospital to arrange education programmes. It is a multidisciplinary programme involving doctors, nurses, and physiotherapists as well as other support staff. Successful projects have included burns management, pain relief education, teaching of surgical techniques and arranging clinical fellowships so that staff can learn skills in centres of excellence in Broomfield to take back to Zambia. Many of the teachings are of simple interventions that have a huge impact on patients’ quality of life, for example giving adequate pain relief before dressing changes or teaching staff to mobilise burns patients and prevent contractions. 

“I worked in Zambia as a consultant surgeon and have first-hand experience of working in a resource poor environment, so this is a project very close to my heart. I was thrilled to be able to return to Zambia last year to help to teach some of the surgical trainees and was hugely impressed by their dedication and enthusiasm.” https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Gemma-Conn

Alister Cameron—Fundraising for The Children’s Burns Club

“My grandson Archie is my inspiration for running the marathon. He was scalded when he was only nine months old and spent time at the Burns Unit at Broomfield.

“The Children's Burns Club have been amazing and this is a way that I can give something back to them to say ‘thank you’ for all the hard work that they do.

“This will be my first ever marathon and at 56 it is quite daunting. I have been following a 22 week training plan, running four times a week. The furthest I have run up to now is 16 miles.

“Crossing the finishing line will be a very proud moment for me but also a massive relief.

“My fundraising is going ok, I have a target of £1000 which I should easily reach but hopefully will raise more.” http://www.justgiving.com/Alister-cameron1

Philip Cherry – Fundraising for the Children’s Burns Club

 “About three years ago I answered an email from the Children’s Burns Club for volunteers required for a residential activity week. Having helped out at Scouts previously, I knew this sort of thing was right up my street and I didn't know any more about the club. Attending training and a family weekend prior to the national camp, I realised that the club’s work is more than just a fun activity week, providing help, support and advice to children, carers and families of those who've suffered life changing burns injuries combined with fun activities for all.

“Having attended numerous events since, I've seen the benefits of these events, with the children gaining confidence, coming out of their shells and learning how to deal with the situations that arise from living positive lives with such injuries. I’ve heard first-hand the benefits parents and carers have gained from sharing experiences and gaining tips from other families travelling along similar recovery journeys. I understand that all this costs money to put on and I thought I'd accept the challenge of raising funds to support the team’s activities.

“Up to three years ago I had never run, but I was always involved in sport: football, cycling, swimming, and outdoor activities, but running had never really been on the agenda and this will be my first marathon.

“I've run one half marathon two years ago, but nothing further, so each longer training run is new territory for me and on April 23 this will be the furthest I've ever run. I'm lucky to know Martin Byford, one of the club’s other volunteers, and he's a coach at my local running club and has written me a training schedule. I also know two ladies from the club running the Brighton Marathon two weeks before London and we've become long training run buddies.

“The company on these runs is invaluable: encouragement, support, and determination helps you get round the cold dark winter runs, I think I would have skipped some runs had I not had the company. Training has not been easy some weeks - I've really struggled to keep to the schedule and complete the distances set and organising weeks and weekends around running three hours. Now we are at the business end of training mileage - 21 miles two weeks ago - it has taken over a large part of my life. It’s the time commitment that's one of the biggest efforts but will all be worth it I'm sure.

“Crossing the finish line will be a huge personal achievement for me, I'm aiming for a time between 3 hours and 30 minutes to 3 hours and 45 minutes, but honestly just finishing will be huge, and more importantly hopefully raising as much as I can for the club so they can continue the invaluable work that they do.

“I've set myself a fundraising target of £1,000 and currently stand at just under £600 so I am doing ok, but still have a long way to go so I need every penny anyone can spare for this very worthy cause.” https://www.justgiving.com/Philip-Cherry

March 29

MEHT celebrates NHS Sustainability Day

Staff and patients had the opportunity to learn more about our work to promote sustainable development at the Trust at a special event on Thursday (March 23).

The Sustainability Team hosted a stand in the atrium to showcase their activity to improve the environment and enhance the health of our teams.

At the event, which supported National NHS Sustainability Day, the Sustainability Team discussed their current projects including switching to recycled paper, waste segregation, the Energy Aware = Better Care campaign, bicycle checks, and encouraging more members of staff to become Sustainability Champions.

David Jackson, Sustainability Project Support Officer, said: “It was a majorly successful event, with a lot of positivity and support from both staff and patients. 

“Several visiting staff from other Trusts likewise provided positive feedback and were encouraged by the sustainable actions we’ve managed to achieve and implement.” 

He explained that Sustainability Champions are members of MEHT staff who are enthusiastic about further promoting sustainable actions around the Trust. This includes everything from energy saving, recycling, to well-being and encouraging an active lifestyle. The team made contact with 68 new recruits as a result of the event on Thursday, which combined with those from the former scheme, totals 158 Sustainability Champions across the Trust.

The Sustainability Team would like to thank Tradebe, Steinbeis and Office Depot for supporting the event and supplying free giveaways for staff.

To find out more about any of these projects or to become a Sustainability Champion, contact a member of the Sustainability Team via email on sustainable.development@meht.nhs.uk or Twitter @MEHTSustainabi1. For more information, staff can also access the sustainability intranet pages: http://meht-intranet/staff-pages/sustainability/  

March 28

Trust hosts a special ‘In Your Shoes’ patient listening event for children and young people

The Trust hosted a special ‘In Your Shoes’ patient listening event for children and young people in order to gain an insight into their experiences at our hospitals on Saturday (March 25).

It was an opportunity for around 20 children and their parents or guardians to speak about the care we provide and to make suggestions for improvements.

At the event, which was held at the Medical Academic Unit, the children were divided into two groups according to their age. The younger children gave their opinions via creative activities led by our Play Specialist Team, while the older children participated in a more formal ‘In Your Shoes’ session. During this, they were paired with a staff member for a one-to-one session that included asking the questions: “What would have made your experience ideal?” and “What should we do more of and less of?” followed by being encouraged to share more about their impressions of our hospitals.

Mel Chambers, Paediatric Lead Nurse, said: “It was a unique and innovative event.

“It was a lovely morning, and the children, young people and parents participated giving valuable feedback.”

Upper GI Department Donation
Mr Bruno Lorenzi (second from right) and the Upper GI Team with The Rotary Club of Chelmer Bridge.

March 27

The Rotary Club of Chelmer Bridge donates £2,500 to Our Charity for laparoscopic liver retractor 

The Rotary Club of Chelmer Bridge has made a generous donation of £2,500 to Our Charity for a laparoscopic liver retractor.

The equipment enables the Upper GI Department to facilitate retraction of the liver during keyhole surgery in overweight and obese patients.

However, it can also be used in all patients, including those with normal size livers.

Mr Bruno Lorenzi,Consultant Upper GI and Bariatric Surgeon, thanked the Rotary Club and said: The stomach lies underneath the left lobe of the liver and it is essential to retract the liver to perform the majority of our keyhole operations.

“We won’t be able to see the proximal part of the stomach if it is covered by the liver. The retractor improves our vision during keyhole operations for oesophageal and gastric problems (i.e. cancer, reflux, swallowing problems, etc.) particularly in the case of an enlarged or fatty liver, and facilitates our operations.”

The £2500 raised by the Rotary Club of Chelmer Bridge, with the support of its former president, David Whitehead, came predominantly from The New Year’s Day Concert performed by the Essex Young People's Orchestra at Chelmsford Cathedral, which is one of the group’s annual events.

It was also the proceeds from a Santa collection outside Asda at Chelmer Village. The event was organised in conjunction with Chelmsford Round Table.

Bio Chemistry Tour 2017

March 14

Biochemistry Department offers behind-the-scenes tour of its day-to-day work

It is a hive of activity, aiding the diagnosis of illness in patients across our hospitals and the wider area.

The Biochemistry Department carries out more than 20,000 individual tests per day, responding to electronic requests for inpatients and manual requests for outpatients.

There are three main workstreams – urgent, inpatient and GP. Each has a different turnaround time – for samples from the Emergency Department, the team generates results in one hour, compared with four to six hours for ward samples and on the same day for samples from GP practices.

Dr Emily Leach, Consultant Clinical Biochemist, said: “There are a lot of time pressures - such as certain tests have to be done quite quickly otherwise the sample can degenerate - time can have huge consequences.

“I am very excited about moving over to Lorenzo – it will revolutionise the way testing works. It will make a big difference.”

The process begins at the Pathology specimen reception, where pods containing samples from around the hospital are delivered through pneumatic tubes. Some are also delivered in person to the reception desk. From here, they are sorted and escalated as appropriate.

Dr Leach added: “If the system at reception doesn’t work, nowhere else works. It is the centre of Pathology – it really is key.”

The Biochemistry Department is supported by the Office Administration Team, who assist with matters such as results and appointment bookings for blood tests at Christchurch United Reformed Church in Chelmsford.

Within the main laboratory, which runs 24/7, the noisiest and busiest area is the Biochemistry Automation section. There are multiple analysers which carry out a wide range of tests including renal, hormone and bone profiles.

While urgent samples are processed independently, an automate machine is used for pre-analytical work, such as sorting samples.

Prior to testing, the serum is separated from the blood cells using a barrier gel and the sample is spun in a centrifuge.

Once the results have been generated by the analysers, a team of validators and authorisers check that the results are analytically sound. Any abnormal results are flagged and checked by a senior clinician in order to verify them, prior to communicating them to the requester.

The Clinical Biochemistry Team also tests for multiple myeloma and, if a positive result is found, is then able to type it in order to aid the diagnosis.

A further major area of their work is maternal serum screening for the region. They use an analyser to determine the risk of the foetus having Down’s syndrome, Edwards’ syndrome, and Patau’s syndrome, assessing 20,000 potential births per year.

In addition, the department oversees the appropriate use of Point of Care Testing, such as glucose meters and pregnancy testing.

March 13

Wizard Ward to practice some culinary magic with cake sale to raise funds for distraction tool

The Wizard Ward team will be practicing some culinary magic to raise money for a distraction tool for our young patients.

They will hold a cake sale in the main atrium of Broomfield Hospital on Wednesday, March 22, from 10am-4pm, with proceeds to go towards an iPad to provide distraction therapy for children.

Debbie Burgess, play specialist on the ward, said: “The new iPad on the ward will be used when children go to theatre and also when they are having procedures under local anaesthetic.

“They work as a fantastic tool in the theatres environment, providing a fun dimension to the anaesthetic experience.”

March 10

Hospital Radio Chelmsford team nominated as finalists for prestigious awards

The Hospital Radio Chelmsford team have been nominated with finalists in six categories ahead of a prestigious awards ceremony. 

The Hospital Broadcasting Association Hospital Radio Awards 2017 judging panel has shortlisted the following: 

Paul Morrish for Best Male Presenter

Nita Jhummu for Best Female Presenter

 Nita’s Eurovision Through The Years programme for Best Specialist Show

Eric Smart for his interview with Robert Lee Bird of the Essex Oesophago-Gastric Cancer Support Group in the Best Speech category

Craig Greenslade’s trailer for ‘Hospital Radio Chelmsford at the OSCAs 2016’ in the Best Station Promotion category

 Hospital Radio Chelmsford as (Hospital Radio) Station of the Year

 The team will find out if they have been successful at the finals ceremony in Bolton on March 25.

 Craig Greenslade, Head of Production at Hospital Radio Chelmsford, said: “It means a great deal to the station, particularly as during the last 18 months, we’ve worked very hard to add value to the hospital itself. We have done so by recording staff podcasts, promoting staff events, covering many of the special occasions and events which help support patients in their time of need, publicising many health issues and some of the area’s local voluntary groups; generally getting more actively involved in the Chelmsford community as a whole.

“To be recognised for that in parts of what we do is an enormous vindication of the new approach to Hospital Radio we’ve been undertaking, and we look forward to making more progress in expanding our work in the community further. Additionally, it’s also humbling and happy to know that while doing this, we’re also making high quality radio, both in front of the microphone and behind the scenes, giving patients and Chelmsford something they can enjoy and be proud of.”

He added that they were “very surprised” to discover that six of the 10 entries they submitted had been nominated.

“I like to think that the judges have recognised the hard work we’ve done around the hospital and the community, and that we keep the patients at the forefront of all of our output, whether it’s our competitions, our music request shows, informing people about support groups, or what’s going on in their local area, which they might like to see once they leave hospital. It’s at the heart of everything we do, to entertain, interest and inform the listener, and we’re glad the judges seem to agree.

“We’ve entered submissions nearly every year the awards have been run, and we’ve had numerous winning entries over the years. I think I can speak for all of our team when I say that we would be overjoyed if any of our entries won, but the nomination that has special significance for us this year is us being nominated for Station of the Year. We’ve only won that particular award twice in 2006 and 2010, so to win it this year would be a dream come true for many of us,” he said.

 INFORMATION: You can listen to the nominated entries via the following link: https://soundcloud.com/hr-chelmsford/sets/hba-2017-national-hospital

March 9

New Accessible Information Standards section of MEHT website launched

The new Accessible Information Standards section of the MEHT website has now been launched.

It features details about the framework, which ensures that all service users are provided with information in a format that is appropriate for them.

It is of benefit to those with information and/or communication needs relating to a disability or sensory loss, including people who have a learning disability, a sensory impairment, aphasia, autism or a mental health condition which affects their ability to communicate.

A variety of resources are available on the AIS section of the website, such as guidance concerning the related national legislation and information from NHS England and the Department of Health.

There is also a selection of downloadable documents produced by Sandie Morton-Nance, Hospital Liaison Nurse Specialist, in which she elucidates further on specific topics, plus a list of useful websites.

Sandie said: “I am delighted to announce the launch of the new AIS pages. I hope that this will prove useful to those visiting our website.

“Should anyone have any questions about AIS, please feel free to contact me.”

INFORMATION: You can access the Accessible Information Standards section of the website here: http://www.meht.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/accessible-information/more-help/. To contact Sandie, please call 01245 516596or email sandra.mortonnance@meht.nhs.uk. Please note that the information available is not an exhaustive list and will be updated over time according to patient demand.

Nishi Randive fundraising family photo

March 8

Nine-year-old daughter of two Consultant Anaesthetists at Broomfield Hospital to embark on 13,000-mile fundraising adventure

The nine-year-old daughter of two Consultant Anaesthetists at Broomfield Hospital will embark on an adventure of over 13,000 miles, across 18 countries, more than 100 cities and through eight time zones to fundraise for the Head and Neck Cancer Service.

Nishi Randive, daughter of Seema and Nilesh Randive, will join her grandparents on a 72-day road trip from Mumbai to London, starting on March 24 and finishing on June 3.

The proceeds that she raises through sponsorship will go towards the rehabilitation of head and neck cancer patients, funding resources that help in improving their quality of life post-treatment.

Nishi said: “I'm told it's an experience of a lifetime, even if you are much older than nine years!

“My parents work as Consultant Anaesthetists at Broomfield Hospital. Every Wednesday, my daddy comes home very late. I never see him before I go to bed. When I asked him, “Why are you not home on a Wednesday evening?”, he told me that he helps people suffering from H&N (head and neck) cancer get better. I was very impressed with all the things my daddy told me the hospital does to improve their life after the cancer has been treated. I was thinking of ways I could help them too!

“With this 'epic' road trip, I have got the opportunity to fundraise for a cause. The monies I raise will help in rehabilitation of these patients and improve their lives.”

Her proud mother, Dr Seema Randive, added: “Nishi is a nine-year-old girl, and like any other girl her age; she is full of beans and ready for exciting adventures.

“During her free time, she loves singing, and probably never stops singing! She has a passion for music and currently plays four musical instruments - piano, violin, flute and the recorder. No doubt that she will keep her fellow travellers entertained! She enjoys reading and her favourite authors are Chris Colfer, Enid Blyton, Jeff Kinney and Rachel Renee Russell. She also loves ice skating and is working towards the gold grade.

“Nishi is nine, thus making her the youngest to take on this feat. You can follow her journey, titled ‘Peace is Possible’, on Facebook.”

You can support Nishi by making a donation via the following page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Nishi-Randive.

Immunology Department Tour 2017

March 8

Immunology Department gives insight into its activities to diagnose immune-mediated diseases

The Immunology Department plays a crucial role in the diagnosis of diseases and conditions which affect the immune system, helping to instigate the delivery of the best care to thousands of patients every year.

Consultant Immunologist Dr Hilary Longhurst, who visits MEHT but is based primarily at Barts Health NHS Trust, and Dr Sarah Linstead, Principal Clinical Scientist, who is based on site at Broomfield Hospital, oversee the department.

Dr Linstead said: “Our main work is to help diagnose diseases that affect the immune system such as autoimmune diseases and allergy.

“We can also do tests to diagnose immune deficiencies and malignancies of the immune system.”

She explained that although the Immunology team is quite small, they are able to process between 300-400 tests per day with the help of multiple high throughput analysers to assess samples for abnormalities.

 “Our automated, random access machines allow some results to be available the same day, although some Immunology tests are done manually and will take longer to process,” she added.

The two analysers that Dr Linstead describes as the “main workhorses” test for autoantibodies mainly associated with rheumatological disease and coeliac disease and the other tests for specific IgE for allergy.

They will also soon bring antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) testing back in-house, which is used to diagnose certain forms of autoimmune vasculitis.

For allergy testing the team add the patient blood sample to the suspected allergen to look for IgE antibodies to that allergen. If a positive reaction occurs it shows that the patient has become sensitised to the particular allergen. This information, with the clinical history, guides the clinician to recommend the most appropriate management for the patient.

Dr Linstead is keen to offer guidance to colleagues who have specific queries or would like to find out more about Immunology. She can be contacted on 01245 514895 or sarah.linstead@meht.nhs.uk

Bone Day photo 27-2-17

March 3

Nurses take part in second orthopaedic study day this year

Nurses participated in an orthopaedic study day at Broomfield Hospital on Wednesday, February 27.

The programme featured educational sessions to expand knowledge and enhance training.

Activities included a demonstration of therapy equipment, followed by a quiz and a prize presentation.

Prabha Guske, Senior Sister at Notley Ward, said: “The staff enjoyed the day and we have had lovely feedback from colleagues across the Trust. This event, which is the second in the series, was supported by Matron Jo Francis. It was made successful with the team work of Orthopaedic Sisters Gemma Hughes, Caroline Forder, Prabha Guske and therapy leads Charlotte Storrar, Diana Knight and Kylie Marks.

“The therapy leads were involved with the sisters in planning these successful events, and their involvement with our study day has proved that team work improves morale within the department.”

The final orthopaedic study day this year will be on Thursday, March 30.

Theatre Accreditation photo

March 3

Theatre Department at Broomfield Hospital celebrates successful achievement of prestigious accreditation

The Theatre Department is celebrating its success following a rigorous accreditation process from the International Organisation for Standardisation.

It has been awarded the new ISO 9001:2015 – a new and stricter accreditation – in recognition of its quality management system. The accolade is applicable to any organisation, regardless of its type or size, or the products and services it provides.

In order to receive the award, an organisation must demonstrate its ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. It must also enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for improvement and the assurance of conformity to customer, statutory and regulatory requirements.

Tom Gudde, Head of Theatres, said: “ISO 9001:2015 is based on criteria for a quality management system and is the only standard that can be accredited to any organisation. The standard also highlights that there is a culture of continual improvement and shows and ensures that patients consistently receive a good quality of care and services.

“Continued monitoring and scrutiny that the department performs to the standard is an integral part of the ISO 9001:2015 and we have worked extremely hard to maintain and achieve this and this should be celebrated as a considerable success.”