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March 2018

Oscar Roberts Family Donation

March 27

Family generously donates toys in thanks for care

The family and friends of six-year-old patient Oscar Roberts have made a generous donation to Phoenix Ward and the Children’s Outpatients Department.

Oscar rung the end of treatment bell at the end of last year following three years of treatment for leukaemia. His family and friends thanked the team for his care by donating £550 worth of vouchers from Smyths, which were used to buy toys for Phoenix Ward and the Children’s Outpatients Department.

In addition, the family donated three iPads to Phoenix Ward to replace one that was broken.

Oscar’s mum, Laura, said: “Broomfield has been our main port of call and they have been fantastic. The nurses all looked after Oscar when he has been there – he’s a little charmer.

“Doctor Thomas and Dr Joseph have been amazing; it’s like going to see family. They are so good with Oscar - it’s lovely and we are going to miss them loads now.”

To donate to the children’s cancer charity fund, please contact fundraising coordinator Charlotte Jefcoate on 01245 514860 or fundraising@meht.nhs.uk. 

Finley Ranson donation
Finley (second from left) donating toys to Phoenix Ward.

March 26

Family donate selection of toys to ward to “make other children smile”

A family have donated a selection of toys to Phoenix Ward in thanks to the team for their years of support.

Finley Ranson, 7, from Battlesbridge, took part in a ‘trolley dash’, collecting as many toys as possible in a minute, at The Entertainer in Romford on March 10. The event was organised via charity Kids Inspire. 

Finley has multiple food allergies and is tube fed via a medicated feed. He reacts to fat, so is unable to have this in his feed and goes into hospital to have lipid, a form of fat, infused into his port-a-cath. He has been cared for by the Phoenix Ward team since he was seven weeks old.

His mum, Rhys, said: “The ward has been a massive part of our lives. The nurses and doctors have seen us through good and bad times; it’s nice to give a little something back to show how much we appreciate all they do. 

“Finley was very excited on the day; he said he had a funny feeling in his tummy. It was lovely seeing him enjoy himself.

 “He chose to donate the toys to make other children going to the ward smile and so ‘they feel better faster’.”

Nick De Keyser Donation
Nick visited the Chemotherapy Unit to make the donation.

March 26

Family and friends of “role model” nurse donate more than £1,000 to the Chemotherapy Unit

The family and friends of “role model” nurse Pam De Keyser have donated more than £1,000 to the Chemotherapy Unit at Broomfield Hospital in her memory.

Her husband, Father Nick De Keyser, presented cheques to the team totalling just over £1,800 - £500 of which was his personal contribution. The remainder of the funds came from personal donations at or after Pam’s funeral Mass. 

Pam passed away on November 14, 2017, having suffered with cancer since 2001. She was diagnosed with breast cancer that year, which was successfully treated by surgery. The cancer then returned in her bones in 2009, for which she received chemotherapy for three months, and more recently for a few years. A former sister on the Endoscopy Ward, Pam underwent her chemotherapy treatment at Broomfield Hospital.

The funds are to go towards making chemotherapy patients more comfortable during their treatment, in particular to pay for reflexology.

Pam is fondly remembered by her colleagues across the trust.

Jane Tindale, radiology nurse, said: “I think of Pam every day. She was my mentor when I first joined endoscopy and later became one of my best friends.

“When I think of Pam, I think of ‘standards’, whether at work or in her personal life. Even if it made her life more difficult, she would always go that extra mile and do that extra chore to uphold her standards. She was the best role model and the kind of nurse most of us can only aspire to being.

“Her sense of duty and her commitment to speak up for those that were vulnerable was inspiring. Nothing was too much trouble, if you were one of Pam’s patients or if you were really lucky, one of her many friends.

“She told me once that a real nurse always has scissors in her pocket, which may sound such a minor thing, but to this day I remember this and start my day making sure that I have them with me. Every time I use them in an unexpected situation, I thank Pam in my head and will pass this small pearl of wisdom on to the next generation of nurses so that a little piece of Pam’s standards will live on.”

Nicky Williams, endoscopy waiting list officer, added: “I feel very privileged to have worked with Pam for the few years that I did and became very good friends out of work after she retired.

“Pam was a very caring nurse and friend and always put others before herself even when she was going through her treatment and feeling unwell herself. She was always committed to her work and friends and nothing was ever too much trouble.

“She had such a kind nature and never saw bad in anyone. She has been a big loss to the endoscopy unit but her memory will always live on and her work and commitment will never be forgotten.”

Colleague Dianne Price added: “Pam was the most gracious person I have been fortunate to know.

“She was an inspiration. She inspired me to be a better nurse and person.

“When she retired it was a loss for everyone but at least I still had her as a friend. I miss her every day.”

Pam’s husband, Nick, said: “Pam and I were married for over 38 years. She was a truly wonderful wife, mother and grandmother. She was the love of my life and she meant everything to me. Now she is no longer with us there is a huge hole in my life and the lives of our sons, Jon and Tom.

“Although she was in constant pain, and suffering the most horrible and debilitating side effects of chemotherapy, she bore her suffering with immense faith, courage, patience and graciousness. 

“Mere words cannot express adequately the immense gratitude we owe to those responsible for her treatment at Broomfield since 2009, especially the whole team at the Chemotherapy Unit. They are, quite simply, amazing: their medical knowledge and skill, their communication skills and ability to explain things to us in layman’s terms, their gentleness, sensitivity, genuine concern, care and friendship which made us feel we were, in a way, part of a family. To them Pam was not just a patient, she was a person and she mattered to them, she counted.”

Dementia Clocks Donation
Bouygues present the cheque to the dementia team.

March 23

Bouygues generously donate more than £1,000 to support our provision for people with dementia

Bouygues have generously donated more than £1,000 to support our provision for people with dementia.

The team, based at Broomfield Hospital, raised the funds via a festive cake sale last year.

Proceeds will go towards the purchase of dementia-friendly clocks for use in the PFI building, which the company are responsible for.

The dementia team have decided to position the clocks in all bays and side rooms in the Emergency Village and Felsted Ward initially. Future fundraising will be used for similar clocks for Terling, Danbury and Heybridge Ward. The clocks are also soon to be used on Rayne Ward, which have been financed separately.

Julie Green, dementia specialist, said: “We are extremely grateful to Bouygues for such a wonderful gesture.

“For people with dementia, additions such as specially designed clocks with clear to read displays can make a significantly positive impact on their wellbeing while in hospital.”

Vince Ridings, General Manager, Bouygues E&S FM Ltd, said: “We are pleased to be able to help in some small way towards the wellbeing of those affected.”

March 20

Health chiefs welcome new medical school to the region

Health and care leaders in mid and south Essex have today welcomed the announcement that Anglia Ruskin University will welcome its first trainee doctors to its new medical school this year.

Dr Anita Donley, OBE, independent chair of the Mid and South Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership said: “This news is a tremendous boost to the work we have been doing across the system to ensure our services are able to meet growing need and at the same time deliver high quality care and support .

“Workforce is one of the biggest challenges we face across primary, community and hospital care in line with well documented concerns nationally about shortages in key medical professions.

“Having such a training facility locally is a major step forward in tackling that challenge for us in mid and south Essex, as over coming years many students who study at the school will take up local placements and, once qualified, are likely to want stay in the area where they have trained.”

Dr Donley’s comments come as the Department of Health confirmed that the Anglia Ruskin School of Medicine can start educating the next generation of doctors from this September (2018). 

The £20 million building on its Chelmsford campus, which is nearing completion, will feature state-of-the-art skills facilities, specialist teaching space, a lecture theatre and an anatomy suite.

Dr Donley added: “The development of the medical school is an excellent example of what can be achieved through partnership and going forward students will be taught by clinicians from the hospitals, GPs and the university all working together. I am absolutely delighted that our region will benefit.”


For more information contact claire.hankey@southend.nhs.uk

Jill Nicol.
Jill Nicol.

March 20

Clinical physiologist who has shown “great passion and dedication” retires after 50 years in the NHS

Jill Nicol, clinical physiologist, is set to retire after 50 years of service to the NHS.

Jill began her career in neurophysiology at Runwell Hospital when she was 17, later taking up a post at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, where she worked as chief clinical physiologist.

When she married and had children, she moved closer to home to work at Oldchurch Hospital in Romford.

She was part of a small team who helped to set up and develop the neurophysiology service at Broomfield in 1993. Two years later, she accepted the role of clinical service manager of the neurophysiology department, where she has worked ever since.

Her colleague, Lyn Nield, clinical service manager for neurophysiology, said: “Jill has shown great passion and dedication to the service over the years and has been a big support to all of her colleagues through times of change in the NHS and personally. We will all miss her and her wicked sense of humour!”

Chelmsford Cancer Charity Donation
Chelmsford Cancer Charity presenting the cheque to trust chairman, Nick Alston (far left), Mr Sri Kadirkamanathan (centre) and Nick Archer, theatre matron (second from left).

March 19

Chelmsford Cancer Charity generously donates £20,000 to our robotic surgery appeal

Chelmsford Cancer Charity has generously donated £20,000 to our robotic surgery appeal, helping us to reach the extraordinary fundraising total of more than £1million.

On Friday, March 9, representatives from Chelmsford Cancer Charity attended Broomfield Hospital to present the cheque to Nick Alston, trust chairman, Mr Sri Kadirkamanathan, consultant upper GI surgeon, and the theatres team.

We are extremely grateful for their kind contribution towards the upgrading of the robotic surgery service, which includes a state-of-the-art new surgical robot and the continued use of surgical robotics.

Ross Hammond, trustee from Chelmsford Cancer Charity, said: “Our aim is to support Broomfield Hospital in providing the best treatment and care for patients and those affected by cancer in Essex.  

“It’s reassuring to know the funds we raise go directly to improving facilities for local people. 

Our donation to the robot appeal is only possible due to the continued work from volunteers and supporters, who’ve helped through local fundraising events and by visiting our charity shop in Danbury. We’ll continue to raise funds to help reach the target needed.”

Nick Alston, trust chairman, added: “Chelmsford Cancer Charity’s work to raise money for clinical trials and research which benefits patients who are diagnosed with cancer is remarkable and it has been wonderful to see such support for our robotic surgery appeal. We are very thankful for the donation of this fantastic sum and for their ongoing collaboration with our hospital.

“We are delighted to have now reached the £1million mark in our appeal, and we look forward to further energetic fundraising among our community to reach the £1.5million we need.”

We are working in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University, who will utilise the older model of our surgical robot for education purposes, and our surgical team will support the new generation of surgeons with their training.

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 improvements during recovery

•Precision surgery (overcoming limitations of laparoscopic surgery)

•Articulation beyond normal manipulation

•Naturally occurring tremors filtered out by computer software

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

March 12

Theatre Department successfully retains prestigious accreditation

The Theatre Department has successfully retained a prestigious accreditation following a compliance inspection from the International Organisation for Standardisation.

The three-day intense inspection took place from February 21 and the result recognises the department’s 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 retain 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.

Nick Archer, theatre matron, said: “This means we remain one of the very few, if not the only, operating departments in the United Kingdom to hold such an accreditation.

“This is a great achievement and is a credit to all of the staff involved.”

March 6

Patient Story: “I never thought I’d return to a life that I recognised”

Rebecca Lambert, 24, from Guildford, Surrey

“The summer before I was meant to start my third year of university, I was the fittest I’d ever been; rowing for my uni and loving a busy but carefree student life, with a healthy mix of socialising and studying. However, I then started to feel very sick and uncomfortably full after eating, rarely being able to finish a meal. Slowly this nausea increased and I began to not tolerate anything more than a few snacks and nutrition drinks a day, without seriously sharp pains in my stomach. This then progressed to being sick after any food at all. 

“A few weeks later I was vomiting up to 40 times a day, sometimes unable to even keep water down. My weight plummeted and I was dangerously weak and fragile. I was admitted into urgent care several times with severe hypovolemia (decreased blood volume) and hypokalemia (a low level of potassium in the blood). On a few of these occasions my body went into shock due to extreme dehydration and malnutrition. All of this was due to having gastroparesis (paralysed stomach) as a result of a genetic connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Currently there is no cure for gastroparesis. I tried every medication and every diet change, plus I’ve had seven endoscopies including multiple botox injections, pyloric dilatation and two feeding tubes inserted. 

“My quality of life was almost non-existent, I had to leave my friends and life behind at university to be nursed at home, spending most days lying on the bathroom floor in pain, overwhelmed with nausea and dizziness. I had lost all muscle tone and strength in my body, so could barely walk or leave the house without serious determination and a mind over matter mentality, sought from a desperation for fresh air and social interaction.

“However, there was one last option before a life reliant on permanent tube feeds, which was to have a gastric pacemaker fitted. A year and a half after I first experienced symptoms, I underwent robotic surgery to see if this would help. It is now three months later and it has changed my life. The day after my operation I had breakfast for the first time in months and experienced zero discomfort, let alone sickness! Having this operation carried out by a robot meant that my time spent in hospital post-surgery was massively decreased. The precision of the robot meant that the operation was minimally invasive and I am left with very neat scars that healed quickly.

“I can now eat so much more and have my independence and strength back. I am starting to play sport again and living like a normal young person once more. I honestly do not think my recovery would have been so efficient if the operation had not been carried out by a surgical robot. I never thought I’d return to a life that I recognised and thanks to my genius surgeon Sri and the precision of this remarkable machine, this has now happened. My future no longer looms with uncertainty. In September I will start studying a masters in law and plan to qualify as a solicitor. Although it is not a cure for gastroparesis and I will need my pacemaker batteries changing every few years, I can rest assured that as long as these operations are completed by a surgical robot, my experience and recovery will be nothing to fear or worry about!” 

‘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 improvements during recovery

•Precision surgery (overcoming limitations of laparoscopic surgery)

•Articulation beyond normal manipulation

•Naturally occurring tremors filtered out by computer software

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

Judy Harper-Bright
Judy Harper-Bright.

March 5

Nurse celebrates “dream come true” after qualifying via trust’s work-based learning initiative

A nurse is celebrating a “dream come true” after qualifying via the trust’s work-based learning initiative.

Judy Harper-Bright, staff nurse on the Stroke Unit, has just completed her first two weeks in the role after finishing her training.

Judy began her career at Broomfield as a healthcare assistant in 2002, undertaking a level 3 NVQ with the trust in 2005.

She then took a break to care for her family, before returning to work as a healthcare support worker in 2009. In 2010, she moved to the Stroke Unit. 

She said: “I have worked in various wards and departments over the years and during my training, each and every one has welcomed me and supported me. Throughout my years at Broomfield my peers have always asked me why I haven't done my nurse training, and the simple answer was I couldn't afford to leave to do the three year training course, and also I didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself. Then, in 2015 I was given the opportunity to train as a band 4 at Anglia Ruskin University, alongside working, which was perfect.

“Once this training was completed I was then given the opportunity to train as a nurse by commencing the Work Based Learning Degree at the University of Essex for 18 months.

“The trust has enabled me to achieve my dream of becoming a trained nurse by seconding me throughout my years here and without this I would not be where I am today. This has provided me with the knowledge and training I need to further my career in nursing should I wish to do so.”

She thanked her team for their encouragement and support, including matrons Jo Clayden and Justine Wren, ward manager Jill Downey, and clinical nurse specialist for stroke, Michelle Keen.

“Mid Essex is employee and patient focused, giving the opportunity to staff to further their career to ensure the best patient care. I was able to start work within the trust as an HCA and work up to become a registered nurse, all with the trust’s backing and support. The staff that work within the trust are so supportive also, you are never alone. I hope to stay within the stroke service as I am very passionate about stroke,” she said.