Grapevine - East and North Herts NHS Trust

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					                                                                                 East and North Hertfordshire

                                                                                                                NHS Trust

                                                                                                               Issue No. 44
                                                   By staff for staff                                             May 2010

                                                    Former cancer patients
                                                    test drive surgical robot
                                                    that saved their lives

    Tell us what
    you want to
    read about
    We've already let you know that we
    are going to merge Grapevine, our
    staff member newsletter, with our
    public members' newsletter, The FT,
    this year.
      As we become a foundation trust, we
    think it's the right thing to do to have one
    newsletter for ALL of our members, staff
    and public - more than 10,000 of you - to
    tell you regularly about what's going on in    Around 40 people attended a              far greater precision and safety than
    our hospitals and new ways to get involved.    special hands-on demonstration           has been possible up until now.
      We believe that by combining the two         of the Trust's urology robot at          Because the procedure used is far less
    publications we can produce an even better     the Lister hospital on March 4,          invasive, people can often get home
    magazine for you to read. Rest assured         including those who had been             on the day after surgery, recover
    neither Grapevine nor The FT will lose the     treated for prostate, bladder and        quickly and have far fewer
    features you love.                             kidney cancer at the hospital.           complications, giving them a much
      Everything in it will be by members for        The machine, called the da Vinci       better quality of life experience once
    members. The only difference is that your      robotic system, allows surgeons to       their operation is over."
    stories will reach an even wider audience,     control hi-tech laparoscopic (key          The purchase of the da Vinci robot
    as we plan to make the newsletter available    hole) instruments while sitting at a     was made possible through donations
    for the public to read about our               special console away from the            made by two Hertfordshire
    achievements!                                  patient's side.                          businessmen, Stef and Stelio Stefanou.
      To make sure we get it right, we want          To operate the robot, surgeons           Chris Watt, 57, of Kings Langley is
    your views. So fill in the e-survey we'll be   place their fingers and thumbs into      pictured with the robot. He said: "I
    sending out and posting online and tell us     special grips, the movements of which    think the robot is brilliant. Before I
    what you want when we visit your hospital      are then scaled down but correspond      would have been in for 10 to 12 days
    in the next few weeks.                         exactly with those of the tiny pincers   and left with 10 inches of stitches and
      We want to keep you entertained and          on the end of the robot's 'arms'.        a big scar. This way I was in and out
    informed about what's going on - help us         Mr Adshead said: "The robot allows     in three days. The cancer's gone now
    by giving us your opinions.                    us to perform these operations with      and I'm feeling good."

Hertford County Hospital           Lister Hospital        Mount Vernon Cancer Centre                Queen Elizabeth II Hospital

                                                Survey highlights staff
                                                satisfaction with care quality
                                                More than eight out of ten Trust           NHS for this aspect of the report –
                                                employees are satisfied with the           the national average is 74%.
                                                quality of work and patient care             According to the results of the
                                                they provide, according to the             survey, published last month, staff also
    Marie Scales retires                        Care Quality Commission’s staff            reported that they felt motivated and
                                                survey for 2009.                           were performing at a higher level than
    Dozens of A&E staff at QEII turned out
                                                  The result (81%) places the Trust in     the average for the NHS as a whole.
    to bid a fond farewell to senior sister
                                                the top fifth of organisations in the
    Marie Scales at her surprise leaving
    party on March 31.
      Marie had worked at the hospital for
    42 years and will be sorely missed by       Staff tribute to
    her colleagues.
                                                Lawrence Jarman
    Farewell to David
                                                Tributes have been paid to one             colleagues who
    Last month saw the departure of a great     of the Trust’s most popular                worked on
    employee, David Pogose, who has made        young porters, Lawrence Jarman,            reception and as
    an outstanding contribution to the          who sadly died on 23 January.              porters at the
    facilities department portering team at       Lawrence, 25, had worked at the          QEII for raising
    the QEII hospital since January 1999.       QEII for six years, including six          money to hold a
      His work colleagues described him as      months in the hospital’s histology         celebration of his life at the QEII
    “a top bloke, who showed                    department.                                Social Club.
    determination, ingenuity and respect”.        For his funeral, his family asked that     The QEII portering team asked that
    It is now time for us to wish him the       instead of giving flowers, his friends     the following tribute be included in
    best for his retirement years as he         and colleagues donate money to             Grapevine on behalf of everyone who
    spends more time with his family.           Muscular Dystrophy, a charity that         worked with and knew Lawrence:
                                                Lawrence supported.                          “The portering department at QEII
    Best wishes to Sheila                         A total of £990 was raised, more         Hospital as well as all Trust staff were
                                                than £500 of which was from staff          deeply saddened by the unexpected
                                                members across the Trust.                  death of Lawrence. He was a highly
                                                  Lawrence’s mum, Lesley, said she         respected and remarkable man whose
                                                would like to pass on a huge thank         exceptional hard work made a
                                                you to everyone who donated and for        difference to the smooth running of
                                                all the support she and her family had     the department. We would like to
                                                received.                                  express our heartfelt condolences at
                                                 In particular, she said, she wanted to    this difficult time to his family.”
                                                extend her thanks to Lawrence’s

                                                Ladies to walk at night for
    Friends and colleagues of Mrs Sheila        Michael Sobell House hospice
    Lawrence would like to wish her a long
    and happy retirement. She left the          One thousand ladies walking                There is also a shorter 8km route for
    Trust after 24 years of service on          along the streets of Northwood -           anyone who would prefer to take
    22 April 2010, having worked as a           this is a sight which local charity        everything a little more steadily.
    school screener in the east Herts           Michael Sobell House Hospice                 The walk will start and finish on the
    region and also in clinics at health        hopes to create next June as it            lawn at Mount Vernon Hospital and
    centres around Hertfordshire.               launches its new Ladies in the             follow a marshalled route around the
      Working with children can be a            Night Walk.                                sights of Northwood.
    challenge and Sheila always had a special     This fundraising event hopes to            To find out more, visit
    way of connecting with them and             raise over £50,000 to help the    or
    putting them at ease. She will be           hospice continue to provide its            call 01923 844 152. For more
    greatly missed by the paediatric            specialist and bespoke care.               information about the Michael
    audiology department.                         Those wishing to challenge               Sobell House Hospice, please visit
                                                themselves can walk the 14km route.

   A day in the life of....
   .... the critical care outreach team
By Steve Creswell                                                                                  Clare said that she had
Many of you will probably not                                                                    decided to specialise in
recognise Clare Thorogood,                                                                       critical care after enjoying
matron with the Trust’s                                                                          working in A&E and ICU.
critical care outreach team.                                                                     She has since worked at
  This has little to do with the                                                                 several different hospitals
fact that she’s only been                                                                        before deciding to work in
working here for 15 months,                                                                      outreach in 2002.
however, and more because                                                                          She joined the Trust in
she is usually spotted simply as                                                                 February last year, just a
a blur of red tunic as she flies                                                                 month after the critical care
past.                                                                                            outreach team was
  Clare, it turns out, is very,                                                                  established.
very busy. Thankfully,                                                                             “This is something I really
Grapevine managed to catch up with         increase quality of care for patients on          believe in - I’ve definitely found
her for a coffee earlier this month to     wards, improve patient experience,         my passion,” said Clare.
find out all about the work she and        and reduce avoidable admissions to           “It’s a very satisfying job and I love
her five team-mates are involved with.     critical care.                             the patient side of it - that’s why I
  “There are three main aspects to our       They deal with around 20 patients a      became a nurse in the first place. We
practical work,” explained Clare.          day and work very closely alongside a      are also a very close team and have
  “We follow patients who’ve been in       variety of other teams at both QEII        great team spirit. We are always in
critical care and are then going on to     and Lister, from physiotherapists to       contact with each other and support
wards to make sure the care they get       anaesthetists and surgeons.                each other.
is what they need to limit the chance        The team currently works 12 hours a        “I love the educational side of it too
of them deteriorating.                     day, seven days a week but hopes to        and watching people grow
  “We also get patients referred to us     make this a 24/7 service soon.             professionally. Seeing a student who
who are on wards but are at risk of          “A good example of the sort of           then goes on to put on their sister’s
becoming critically ill. Again, it’s our   patients we deal with would be a post-     uniform is a real buzz and an amazing
job to stop them deteriorating. Finally,   op patient or one with pneumonia or a      thing to be part of.”
we go out to see patients on wards         chest infection,” said Clare.                Clare said she would like to thank
who have become critically ill and           “Basically we would have to ensure       the rest of the team for all their
assist their transfer to ICU or HDU.       that they are monitored properly, that     continued hard work - Myrtle Adoro,
  “On top of this, there is the            their oxygen therapy is accurate and       Marie Sengupta, Nicola Kumar, Inocent
educational side of our work where         appropriate and they are getting input     Chitsvuka, Carrie Kirby.
we try to impart skills and knowledge      from specialists they need like chest        She also wanted to mention former
to all the ward staff to help them         physios.                                   teammates Tracy Wilson, Maria
manage patients who are at risk of           “The influx of work is completely        Rooney and Vicky Cotton for being
critical illness.”                         relentless which makes the job very        instrumental in setting up the service.
  Clare said that the overall aim was to   challenging.”

Many congratulations to Amanda
Ward, Allison West, Kelly Bray,
Oluwaseyi Beyioku, Debra Cutmore,
Clair Plank, Carol Smith, Laura Reed-
Peck, Manoj John, Penny King and
Sara Doswora (not pictured), who
successfully completed the Institute
of Leadership Effective Supervisor
Programme in January. They are
pictured with Fariba Oak, Julia Seez
(course facilitators) and Janet Lynch
(Director of HR). We wish them
every success for the future.

Staff awards celebrate dedi
The Trust’s sterile services team
treated themselves to a few well-
earned glasses of bubbly after
being named Best team at the
Trust’s annual staff awards.
  The team, which ensures that clean
surgical instruments are available at
both Lister and QEII, were presented
with the award at Knebworth Barns on
Friday, 12 March.
  The award is the icing on the cake for
the gang who have moved from
strength to strength in recent years.
  In fact, their latest external assessment
couldn’t find a single area of their work
that needed improving.
  Commenting on the team’s success,
the Trust’s chief executive, Nick
Carver, said: “Our hospitals are
crammed with excellent teams, so
selecting a best one each year is really
challenging. This was especially so this
                                                                            Sterile services
year, with five high quality nominations
being shortlisted for the final stage. But    dedication and hard work, today the        The other winners at the Trust’s
the sterile services team stood out not       service has been transformed.              2010 staff awards were:
just because of the quality of the service    Between them, the team’s members
they provide to their clinical colleagues     have achieved a quality of service of      Best team leader: Debbie
today, but because of just how they           which they – and the Trust – are           Whittaker, senior nurse/matron,
have improved over recent years.              justifiably proud.”                        urgent care centres
  “The team has been based at the               Awards were also handed out for Best     One of the most important
Lister since being brought together in        team leader and Best innovation, as well   developments in east Hertfordshire last
an expanded unit at the hospital back in      as for the chief executive’s awards.       year was the creation of the two new
2006. Initially, this change did not go         Nominations for all the awards are       urgent care centres at Hertford County
anything like as well as had been             made every year by members of staff        and Cheshunt Community hospitals.
planned – which is well documented            and are then short-listed and judged by       Both of these exciting new facilities,
both within the Trust and the local           a panel comprising both management         which have been introduced for the
media. But thanks to the team’s               and staff side representatives.            some two-thirds of people who would
                                                                                         normally choose to go to an A&E
                                                                                         department with non-life threatening
                                                                                         illnesses and injuries, went live to
                                                                                         patients from October. This was
                                                                                         thanks, in no small part, to Debbie’s
                                                                                         tireless efforts. Think of an issue –
                                                                                         from sorting out IT problems to making
                                                                                         sure that sufficient staff were on the
                                                                                         rotas to create a viable service – and
                                                                                         Debbie was at the heart of sorting it
                                                                                            Each centre is now treating between
                                                                                         200 and 300 people every week. You
                                                                                         only have to visit either of them to see
                                                                                         how well Debbie is respected and liked
                                                                                         by her colleagues because of the way
                                                                                         she supports and leads them.

                             Debbie Whitaker

ication and commitment

                       Home Dialysis                                                        Lorane Fitch
  Best innovation: renal home                  Chief executive awards: Lorane                existing service going in temporary
  dialysis service                             Fitch, consultant microbiologist              accommodation, whilst keeping a
  Last year saw the Trust’s renal medicine     Lorane’s contribution to the Trust’s          cheerful and positive atmosphere for
  team become amongst the first in the         infection prevention and control efforts      both staff and patients alike.
  NHS to expand into a new form of             has been immense. Her support of her
  home renal dialysis. Just speaking with a    clinical colleagues, as well as the wider     Chief executive’s award: Jane
  patient undergoing dialysis shows the        infection control team, has always been       Wheeler, nurse team leader,
  impact that this vital life-saving service   typified by a cool, calm approach that        Lister fracture clinic
  has on their lives. In and out of hospital   has helped to ensure effective                Jane has been the senior nurse in the
  every other day, these patients seem to      outcomes.                                     Lister’s clinic H – known more
  spend much of their time either                In her time at the Trust, Lorane has        commonly as the fracture clinic – for
  travelling to, from or in one of the         been at the heart of a wide range of          much of the last decade. Having joined
  Trust’s three renal dialysis units at the    initiatives, including the introduction of    the Trust in 1976, she has worked in a
  Lister, St Alban’s City or the L&D           isolation wards, the Trust’s deep             number of areas – including elderly
  hospital.                                    cleaning programme and, most recently,        care, orthopaedics and, having
    There are an estimated 20,000 dialysis     MRSA screening for elective patients.         completed her conversion course, A&E.
  patients in Britain, with only 1.1% being    She retires this May.                           Talk to her colleagues and they will
  able to treat themselves at home                                                           highlight Jane’s outstanding feature being
  currently. Yet such home haemodialysis       Chief executive’s award: Louise               a real talent when it comes to plastering
  is significantly more cost-effective for     Hobday and Joanna Gohil,                      – limbs that is! As a qualified plaster
  the NHS than treatment in a hospital or      chemotherapy sisters, Mount                   technician, her skills have come to the
  clinic. Last July saw the home dialysis      Vernon Cancer Centre                          aid of countless local people.
  team, which is led by renal medicine         Louise and Joanna are the                       Jane has become an outstanding and
  consultant Dr Roger Greenwood, take          chemotherapy sisters at the cancer            inspirational role model for her
  delivery of the latest NxStage home          centre, who between them have                 colleagues, demonstrating a
  haemodialysis machines from the United       managed their team through some very          commitment and dedication in
  States. Patients are now being trained       difficult changes whilst the new CTRT         everything she does. A picture of
  at the Lister to use the new service,        building was completed – it opened to         courteousness and respectfulness to
  thus reducing the numbers needing to         its first patients in February 2010.          patients and staff alike, nothing is ever
  come in to hospital for their dialysis.      Louise and Joanna managed to keep the         too much trouble for her.

          Louise Hobday and Joanna Gohil                                               Jane Wheeler

New cleaning company,
new uniforms, new approach
Eagle-eyed members of staff will                A dedicated, rapid response floor
probably have spotted that the               cleaning team
Trust’s cleaners have all ditched               Each ward and department having
their tunics in favour of polo shirts        their own equipment to reduce the
and trousers.                                need for moving it between areas
  Grapevine set out to investigate. It          Ongoing and comprehensive staff
turns out that the Trust now has a new       training, including regular infection
cleaning contractor called G4S, which        control quizzes.
last month spent around £350,000 on
new equipment and overhauling the              Marion Bragg, G4S mobilisation                prepared for any questions.
Trust’s cleaning systems.                    manager, said: “When they walk                    “We want them to be proud of the
  The new investments and innovations        through the front doors, we want the            work they do because they all do a
include:                                     public and patients to instantly know           fantastic job.”
   All new electrical equipment and          that this is a clean hospital. We also            She added: “There’ll be some
mopping system                               want our staff to get used to people            significant challenges ahead, not only
   New uniforms                              coming up to them on the wards and              with the ongoing battle against hospital
   New IT equipment and cleaning             asking them questions.                          infections but also in the light of the
monitoring systems                             “We know it can be intimidating for a         major service changes going on across
   A move to include all cleaning staff on   cleaner, especially when the hospitals          the Trust’s sites.
Agenda for Change                            are inspected, but with all of these new          “Things will be constantly changing
   Cleaning audit results posted on          measures and systems in place we aim            over the next few years, so we will
ward and departmental notice boards          to make them feel more confident and            have to adapt to maintain standards.”

Lister lifts!                                 From Ticket to Ride to Bridge
Watching a lift grind to a halt at
                                              over Troubled Water: a choir
every floor on its way down from
level 11 at Lister, it can often feel         takes shape after first session
like you’re waiting for it to make a
journey back from the moon.
   But what you probably didn’t know
                                              for Trust staff novices
was that over the last 38 years, the four     Have you watched the                                             Michael Price directing
lifts have carried people 998,640             fascinating TV                                                   them at very short
kilometres – enough to get all the way        programme about                                                  notice. Believe it or not,
to Earth’s lunar neighbour.                   choirs being started                                             he got them singing the
   Sadly, they have now come to the end       up by people who’ve                                              Beatles’ Ticket to Ride,
of their shelf life and nearly £850,000 is    never previously                                                 I Dreamed a Dream from
being spent on replacing them.                thought about singing                                            Les Miserables and Paul
 The new lifts will be faster and far         for fun?                                                         Simon’s incomparable
more reliable than their predecessors,          Well, it could be                                              Bridge Over Troubled
with smart new interiors and display          YOU if the turn out at                                           Water.
systems – both audio and visual. They         a first Singing for the Terrified session in      So if you would like to be added to
will also use the latest technology to        the Lister Education Centre on 24 April         the mailing list for future sessions,
ensure a smoother ride that is more           is anything to go by.                           please e-mail at librarylister.enh-
energy-efficient.                               Grapevine has learned that around    or phone the library team
   The project should take about eight        35 people attended, most of whom had            on x5520 or x5336 at Lister.
months to complete and, as everyone           never sung before or been in a choir.             For those of you who would like to
who works at Lister will have spotted,          For those of you who weren’t able to          know a bit more about choirs and
they are being replaced in pairs to allow     make it... you missed a real treat and          singing, the following websites may be
two of them to always be in constant          the existing choir members are hoping           of interest:
use.                                          to see you next time.                 
   The first pair are set to come into          They were very fortunate to have    
service from July this year with the          professional composer and music editor          works.shtml
second pair up and running from

Ten take on the Race for Life challenge
by Hannah Gledhill

 Ten ladies from the Our Changing Hospitals
 team are preparing to pound the tarmac for
 this year’s Race for Life in Stevenage on Sunday
 11 July.
   Barbara Jenkins, Philippa Graves, Sam Ellix, Kirsty
 Mainds, Mandy Shoben, Wendy Scarr, Tracy Moore,
 Jane Speed, Jo Arthur and Hannah Gledhill make up
 the enthusiastic team of runners who will be
 representing the Trust at the event.
   All are putting in a big effort to improve their fitness,
 with many choosing to ditch their cars and walk, run
 or cycle to work instead.
   And it’s fair to say that some of them have really
 pulled out all the stops to prepare themselves for the
 5km run in aid of Cancer Research UK.
   The team have a target sponsorship total of £500
 but hope to raise much more.
   They would appreciate any donations, however big
 or small. Visit their online sponsorship page
   If you would like to take part in, or volunteer at, a
 Race for Life event this year you can register at

Not just a cup of tea                                                                      Renal team
Occupational therapists at the QEII now       through the Trust’s charity, enhance
have a new kitchen to help them assess
and treat patients, and help them look
                                                The kitchen was officially opened by
                                                                                           in top six
after themselves following an illness or      Sheila Marwood, Chairman, and Janet          The Trust’s renal team is now officially
disability.                                   Fitzpatrick, Trustee of League of            in the top ten nationwide as more and
 The facility, based at the Ascots Day        Friends, QEII on 10 March.                   more patients benefit from their life-
Centre, boasts a range of daily living          Alison Wilcox, head occupational           saving service.
gadgets designed to help patients regain      therapist at the QEII, said: “This is a        This year’s Renal Registry report
their independence by preparing               fantastic facility and we’re all extremely   revealed that our specialist units at
anything from a cup of tea to a meal.         grateful to the League of Friends for        Lister, St Albans City and Luton &
  The refurbishment was only made             making it possible. It’s so important for    Dunstable hospitals were providing
possible thanks to the generosity of the      our patients to feel independent again       the sixth best service in the country in
QEII League of Friends, who donated           and even something as simple as being        terms of annual survival rates.
more than £3,000 to the project               able to make a cup of tea can help.”           The report, which is published every
                                                                                           year by the Renal Association, also
                                                                                           showed that the rate of improvement
                                                                                           seen by the Trust’s team since 2002
                                                                                           has been higher than the national
                                                                                             This year’s report looks at 2008 data
                                                                                           from 71 separate dialysis services in
                                                                                           NHS hospitals across the UK.
                                                                                             Back in 2002, the Trust’s adjusted
                                                                                           annual survival rate stood at just over
                                                                                           86%, which by 2008 had risen close to
                                                                                             Over the same period, the average
                                                                                           survival rate for the UK as a whole
                                                                                           went from just over 85% to around

Easter egg
Children at QEII and Lister had
plenty of chocolate to munch their
way through over Easter thanks to          Bloodrunners
several donations.
  The SERV bloodrunners, who
supply out-of-hours emergency
blood to the Trust’s hospitals,
turned up on their motorbikes at
both sites.
  And employees from local
employment specialists Osborne
Appointments and Randstad
dropped in to Bluebell ward at the
Lister to hand over a heap of
chocolate eggs.                                                        Randstad                  Osborne

                           Cardiology team reaches
                           European pacemaker target
                           The Trust’s cardiology team has       the Trust was implanting
                           been revealed as one of the best in   pacemakers at a rate of 716 per
                           the UK for implanting pacemakers.     million - one of very few trusts in
                             European guidelines recommend       the UK to hit the European target.
                           that 700 people in a million will       Victoria Sealy, of Austen Paths,
                           need to be fitted with a pacemaker    Stevenage (pictured left), is one
                           to regulate their heart beat every    patient who has benefited. She
                           year. In the UK, the figure           said: “I realised the difference it had
                           currently stands at 511.              made almost immediately. I’ve only
                             However, the Heart Rhythm           had two days off sick since I had
                           Devices National Report, published    the pacemaker put in.”
                           in December 2009, showed that

Local pupils donate books to Bluebell ward
Poorly youngsters on the Lister’s
Bluebell ward will never be short of a
good book to read - thanks to the
generosity of pupils from a WGC
 More than 200 new books, from
colourful picture books to teen horror
fiction, were donated by years eight and
nine at Monk’s Walk School.
 Adam Lancaster, the school’s librarian,
said: “We think it’s really important to
help make sure our local hospitals have
lots of good resources for the children
who use them and this was a nice thing
for the pupils to get involved with.
  “They all know friends who have had
to go into hospital, so it’s nice to be
able to give something back.”

Got any stories             Send your information or ideas to Grapevine editorial board, postal location code L69
for Grapevine?              or contact Steve Creswell in public affairs on ext. 5940 (L), e-mail

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