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					                                                                     Agenda Item: 8.4
                                                                   Paper No: TB(06)82

Name and date of meeting:

                           Trust Board: 12 September 2006

Document Title:

                                    Press Summary

Action for the Board:

The report is presented for the Board‟s Information.

The paper provides a summary of press coverage for the period 1 August to 5
September 2006.

The report will be presented by Marie Grant, Interim Chief Executive
                                                                                           Agenda Item: 8.2
                                                                                         Paper No: TB(06)78

                                                                                                       St George’s Hospital
Communications Unit                                                                                         Blackshaw Road
Room 37, First Floor, Grosvenor Wing                                                                             SW17 0QT

                                                                                                   Direct Line: 020 8725 5151
                                                                                                   Direct Fax: 020 8725 0239

PRESS SUMMARY                                                                           e-mail:

05.09.06 – 01.08.06


Named: best and worst hospital for children (01.09.06, page 24)

The quality of services for child patients at London hospitals has been assessed in a new report.
NHS Hospitals were given a score by inspectors for having child friendly services, dedicated
areas, properly trained staff and child-sized beds. The report was complied by the Healthcare
Commission to monitor progress towards national standards of children‟s healthcare set in 2003.
[St George’s was given an overall rating of ‘fair’, being classed as ‘good’ in both A&E and
daycase care, ‘fair’ in inpatients, and ‘weak’ in outpatient care.]

Hurt woman carried away by pair fleeing crash inferno (01.09.06)

An unconscious woman was carried away from the scene of a head-on car smash in Norbury.
One car burst into flames and three people left the scene before police arrived. A spokesperson
for the London Ambulance Service said: “The third patient, a 23-year-old male, was taken to St
George‟s Hospital with chest and arm injuries.”

Hospital staff still waiting for the axe (30.08.06, page 4)

Staff at St George‟s Hospital await the decision on how many staff could face the axe. Union
bosses have called for clarification but a spokesperson for the Trust explained that no
announcement would be made until we had first spoken to our staff: “We are looking at reducing
the actual amount of redundancies. We are working with staff, unions and stakeholders on
various consultations on planning our workforce efficiently.” St George‟s took the decision to cut
jobs to reduce its £12m deficit on top of the £10m it has been told to save this year.

                                                                                              Agenda Item: 8.2
                                                                                            Paper No: TB(06)78

Scooter rider dies after car collision (29.08.06)

A scooter rider has been killed after a collision with two cars. The rider was taken to St George‟s
hospital after the incident but died later that evening.
Additional coverage: BBC News online

Cancer hope as vaccine trials start (27.08.06),,329562725-110418,00.html

A new vaccine which targets some of the most serious forms of cancer may prevent patients from
suffering a relapse once they have had initial surgery or drugs treatment. A trial involving 700
patients with kidney cancer will start this year across Britain and other European countries.
Although it is still early days, the work already done suggests the therapy is safe and that it does
trigger the body‟s own immune system to attack the tumour…also Gus Dalgleish, professor of
oncology at St George‟s Hospital, has helped develop a vaccine which may prove effective
against prostate cancer, and is now embarking on a large-scale randomised trial carried out
across many centres.

Hedge crash driver seriously hurt (27.08.06)

A man suffered serious injuries when the car he was driving hit a traffic-light post and crashed
into a hedge in Crawley. He was taken to hospital in Surrey, but has since been transferred to St
George‟s Hospital.

Postcode lottery of hospital wait times is revealed (25.08.06, page 6)

The Healthcare Commission has found a huge variation in diagnostic services according to where
patients live. The report gives each hospital in the country a rating from „excellent‟ to „weak‟,
taking into account patient experience, waiting times, the quality of tests carried out, reporting
times and turnaround times in the laboratory. In London only two hospitals, the Homerton and
Newham, scored „excellent.‟ St George‟s was rated as „good‟.

The saltiest foods (20.08.06),,329554215-118447,00.html

Excessive salt is a major cause of strokes and heart attacks, the two major causes of death in
this country. “We could prevent 35,000 premature deaths a year if we reduce salt intake,” claims
Graham Macgregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at St George‟s Hospital. Eighty-five
per cent of the salt we eat is hidden in processed or takeaway foods, rather than added at the

                                                                                          Agenda Item: 8.2
                                                                                        Paper No: TB(06)78

Five hospitals may lose accident departments (18.08.06, page 4)

Plans to downgrade some of London‟s best known hospitals and force cash cuts on others have
caused uproar. Up to five hospitals around the capital may be stripped of emergency services or
other functions, including Barnet and Chase Farm, the Royal Free and the Whittington. In a
separate development, cuts are being imposed at a series of big-name hospitals in an effort to
rebalance the NHS books after months of crisis. Guy‟s and St Thomas‟ is losing £4.7m and St
George‟s £2.2m. The cuts have been ordered from training budgets in a bid to offset
overspending elsewhere in the NHS.

Woman critical after bonnet slide (18.08.06)

A 19-year-old woman is in a critical condition in hospital after sliding off the bonnet of a car while
it was being driven. The victim hit her head on the road and is now in a life-threatening condition.
The injured woman was taken to Frimley Park Hospital before being transferred to St George‟s.

Air ambulance called for youth who fell from tree (16.08.06)

A 16-year-old boy was taken to hospital complaining of pain in his back and neck after falling out
of a tree. He was taken to St George‟s Hospital by ground ambulance with a HEMS doctor in

Hospital’s cancer follow-up blunder (16.08.05, front page)

Nearly one fifth of all lung cancer sufferers at St George‟s Hospital may have experienced
potentially life-threatening delays in their treatment, a research project has revealed. About 18
per cent of all patients did not have their x-rays followed up promptly. But St George‟s fares
better than most NHS hospitals with delayed lung scans follow-ups predicted at about 20 to 25
per cent. The Trust‟s head of governance Lesley Stuart spent three years researching the
project. She said: “One thing we can do is to encourage patients to ask doctors for the results. If
you have been sent for an x-ray or scan and did not hear get anything back, then contact your
doctor.” She said all scans at St George‟s revealing a potential cancer are now sent to each
department‟s cancer specialist co-ordinator to ensure a prompt follow up if necessary. The NPSA
plan to follow up St George‟s safety procedure nationally.
Additional coverage: Wandsworth Guardian, South London Press

‘Job cuts will affect patients’ (16.08.06, page 11)

New fears have been expressed about the impact of staffing cuts on patients at St George‟s.
Health scrutiny chairman Councillor Ian Hart said Wandsworth Council will now publish its own
review of the cuts which has been promoted by a fresh round of Government-imposed spending
curbs. Coun Hart said: “While St George‟s has made real efforts to avoid cutting staff who

                                                                                              Agenda Item: 8.2
                                                                                            Paper No: TB(06)78

directly care for patients, I am concerned that the overall effect of the job losses will be to weaken
the trust.”

Accident leaves pedestrian dead (10.08.05, page 5)

Police are appealing for witnesses to a fatal road crash in Merton High Street. The 48-year-old
pedestrian suffered head injuries and was taken to St George‟s Hospital, but died the next day.

Drink death man’s new leaf was too late to save his life (10.08.06, page 9)

A 56-year-old man who vowed to quit a long-standing drinking habit died after changing his ways
to late. Keith Francis was found dead by his wife at his home in Wimbledon. He had battled with
alcohol for many years and was a frequent visitor to the casualty department at St George‟s.

Cancer patient ‘used as guinea pig’ claim (10.08.06)

Claims that a cancer sufferer was used as a human guinea pig by a hospital must be probed by
the GMC, her MP has said. Medics at St George‟s Hospital have been accused of testing
experimental drugs on Trelene Cave without her permission. A spokesperson from St George‟s
said a formal complaint from Mrs Cave had been received but added: “We are investigating the
circumstances and cannot comment in detail until we have spoken to the doctors and nurses
involved.” The GMC would not confirm if an inquiry had begun but documents seen by The Post
stated “preliminary enquiries” were underway.

Biker ‘will be missed so much’ (04.08.06)

Tributes have been left at the scene of an accident which claimed the life of a young motorcyclist
after he crashed into a tree. He was taken by ambulance to St George‟s where he later died from
his injuries.

Twelve deny murder of Pakistani brothers (4.08.06)

Twelve men have appeared at the Old Bailey to deny dragging two Pakistani brothers from the
van and stabbing them to death in Tooting. The victims died at nearby St George‟s Hospital.
Judge Peter Beaumont, ordered the men to stand trial in two separate court cases, the first of
which was fixed for January 8.

                                                                             Agenda Item: 8.2
                                                                           Paper No: TB(06)78

Son’s pilgrimage to remember dad (2.08.05, page 14)

A student is retracing an ancient Spanish pilgrimage route to raise money for the cancer unit that
cared for his father in his final days. Henry Trowbridge has spent a lot of time at the Ruth Myles
Unit at St George‟s where his father and a school friend were treated for leukaemia. Henry and
two friends hope to raise £10,000 for the Full Circle Fund by cycling the 500 miles of Camino.
But Henry and friends are not the only ones raising money for St George‟s. Some extreme
midwives are proving life really does begin at 40 by jumping out of a plane at 10,000 feet in aid of
a new bereavement suite on the hospital‟s labour ward. Melanie O‟Brien is one of the midwives:
“We all think we must be crazy but it‟s a passion. The distress experienced by a mother and her
partner when she is sick and her baby dies is like no other and we want to alleviate and reduce
that distress by providing private space and quality equipment.”


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