Grape 02 07 by nyut545e2


									                              The Royal United Hospital Magazine                                          February 2007

     INSIDE                             Message from the Chief Executive
                                    At the public trust board held on the 9         once again acknowledge your important
                                    January, I congratulated staff for their        contribution.
                                    hard work and commitment that has                  I am aware that there is still much to
                                    helped to put the RUH back on its feet.         do, we should however all go into 2007
                                        I want to take this opportunity to          with a feeling of growing confidence.
                                    repeat my message from 5 January 2007.             Looking ahead to 2007/08, the trust
                                        Thank you for your support and              has begun to plan how it will deliver its
                                    encouragement and for your hard work            activities and support its ambition: ‘The
                                    and significant contribution in treating        best staff, working together, to give
                                    and caring for patients here at the RUH.        excellent care’.
                                    It has been a difficult few years during           At a national level, priorities for
     Getting the m
P2   across
                                    which you have all played a part in             2007/08 have been set as:
                                    putting the RUH back on its feet and I          ● delivery of a maximum wait of 18
                                    sense a growing confidence prevailing              week for patients from GP referral to
                                    throughout the trust and the wider                 first treatment
                                    community.                                      ● improvement in infection rates –
                                        Whilst things are clearly still difficult      particularly MRSA and C.Diff.
                                    and finely balanced, the overall picture is     ● financial balance
                                    very positive. A lot of things are              ● improving        health    access    and
                                    beginning to click into place and this             outcomes to reduce inequalities.
                                    makes for a far more efficient and              For the RUH, we have brought forward
                                    pleasant working environment as well as,        our themes for development from last
                                    of course, improving the experience of          year and used information and feedback
                                    patients.                                       from patients, staff and GPs to set our
                                        We      have     made        significant    priorities for 2007/08; these are:
                                    improvements in many areas, which               ● putting the patient first: getting
                                    include a decrease in delayed transfers of         better at understanding how our
                                s   care, no medical outliers on surgical              patients experience care, including
     Mark Davies              y     wards, making more efficient use of our            capture of information on health
P7   long serv er David Sulle
                                    operating theatres, treating more patients         outcomes and patient experience
                                    as day cases and fewer patients being           ● better        communication          and
                                    admitted from A&E. Encouragingly, there            involvement: with staff, patients and
                                    is also a reduction in staff sickness levels       GPs
                                    and staff turnover.                             ● valuing staff: improving staff morale
                                        In November we under-spent by                  through greater involvement and
                                    £900k, the second month running that               development opportunities
                                    the trust has underspent its budgets.           ● getting it right first time: improving
                                        I hope that you will agree with me             quality and reducing waste through
                                    that this presents a very positive picture.        better     planning    e.g.     reducing
                                    It highlights improved performance,                cancellations
                                    greater efficiency and spending less            ● Making the most of our money:
                                    money. It shows what we have always                breaking even and getting more
                                    known, that if we can make sure that all           effective and efficient in how we use
     PACS goes liv                  the pieces fit together we can achieve             our money and our staff by looking at
P8                                  high quality care, high efficiency and all         working ‘smarter’ rather than just
                                    within the agreed budgets. You are all             working harder
                                    part of this complex system and I would
                                                                                                            continued on page 2
Message from the Chief Executive
continued from page 1                               RUH Asks Visitors to Help Prevent
●   supporting our community: by                        Spread of Stomach Bugs
    working in partnership with PCTs,
    GPs and other organisations to
    provide better care for patients.     The RUH has installed state-of-the-art    they are unwell or have been in close
These trust themes will be used in        talking posters at entrances to wards     contact with someone who is unwell.
setting priorities for all departments,   to remind staff and visitors about the        "Tempting though it is to visit a
teams and individuals for the year.       importance of washing their hands.        loved one, if you have experienced
They should provide a guide for you       They are the latest weapons in the        vomiting or diarrhoea then please
in setting your own objectives as part    RUH’s      ongoing     high     profile   don’t visit the hospital until two days
of your appraisal.                        campaign to raise awareness about         after the symptoms have gone away.
    We are hoping that, for the first     the importance of good hand               If you must visit earlier, please
time, we will start 2007/08 without a     hygiene to help prevent the spread of     telephone the ward first and report to
debt from over spending in 2006/07.       infection.                                a member of hospital staff as soon as
This is a really important moment for
                                              With increasing cases of diarrhoea    you arrive on the ward.
this trust. It demonstrates that we can
                                          and sickness bugs in the community,           "Along with other local trusts in
take control of finances. Although it
                                          the infection control team are asking     the Bath and Bristol area, we are
has been hard this year, we will have
                                          visitors to think twice about coming      totally committed to controlling the
achieved our financial goal by
everyone working together.                to see friends and relatives in           spread of infection in our hospital.
    In 2007/08, the new chief             hospital.                                 Staff and visitors entering affected
executive James Scott, the executive          Members of the public affected by     wards are asked to take extra care
team and all the staff of this hospital   any stomach bugs or who have been         with hand washing and hygiene and
have a further challenge; to              in contact with other affected family     minimise unnecessary visits. As part
demonstrate to our patients and to        members, should postpone their visit      of our ongoing ‘Your Hospital in
ourselves that we can deliver             to hospital to avoid the risk of          Safer Hands’ campaign we have now
excellent healthcare and balance our      spreading the infection to their loved    installed new interactive posters
books as a matter of routine. I have      ones and other patients and staff in      around the hospital. A normal poster
every confidence that you will            hospital.                                 can all too easily become part of the
achieve this and I wish you all the           Senior infection control nurse        scenery but a voice in your ear,
very best.                                Tracey Halladay says: "I cannot           prompting you to wash your hands,
                                          emphasis enough how important it is       as you enter or leave a ward, is much
Mark Davies                               that anyone planning to visit             harder to ignore."
Chief Executive                           patients in the hospital stay away if

      Deadline for news
     for the next edition:
                                                              Your Hospital
       w/c 6 March 07                                        in Safer Hands
    Editor: Anita Houlding
    Communications Office, Royal          During week commencing 12                 Agency. Look out for further details
    United Hospital NHS Trust,            February, staff and visitors will again   in the Weekly News Round-up and
    Combe Park, Bath BA1 3NG              join in the hospital’s commitment         information posters.
    Tel: 01225 825799                     and enthusiasm to reducing hospital
    Fax: 01225 824304                     acquired infection and maintaining
                                          high standards of cleanliness, making
    Photography: Courtesy of              the hospital a safer place for patients
    communications office,
                                          and staff.
    medical illustration, Bath
                                              The ‘Your Hospital in Safer Hands’
    Chronicle and/or individual
    contributors.                         campaign continues with a week of
                                          de-cluttering, raising awareness and
    If you would like to share news of    reinforcing important messages
    what’s going on in your               through the creative use of art and a
    department, please contact Anita.
                                          visit by the National Patient Safety      Artworks supporting infection control

                       Faster Monitoring for Patients on Warfarin

                                                                     Senior biomedical scientist Christine Williams
                                                                 explains: "Previously a patient would have had a blood
                                                                 sample taken at their GP surgery. This would then be sent
                                                                 to the RUH for analysis and the results sent back to the
                                                                 surgery, in readiness for the GPs to prescribe Warfarin.
                                                                 Now we can do all this on the spot in about five minutes.
                                                                     "We can now take blood by doing a simple finger prick
                                                                 test, which patients prefer as it can be less painful.
                                                                     "The blood is taken up by a very fine tube and put into
                                                                 our coagulometer, which measures the time it takes for
                                                                 blood to clot. We can then tell the patients what doses of
                                                                 Warfarin they should take and fix a date for their next
                                                                     "It is great to be working closely with the GPs. We also
                                                                 enjoy the face-to-face contact with the patients, rather
                                                                 than always being in the laboratory."
Biomedical scientist Christine Williams takes a blood sample
                                                                     Feedback from the patients has also been extremely
by doing a finger prick test                                     complimentary. One satisfied patient, Mr Robert Burgess
                                                                 says: "The RUH anticoagulation clinic is a complete,
The RUH is offering a much quicker monitoring service for        competent and modern service. All GP surgeries should be
patients taking Warfarin by running anticoagulation              encouraged to use this service because it is in the best
clinics. These are being run every week in seven GP              interest of all Warfarin patients. I would like to thank all
surgeries in the Bath area.                                      the staff for their help, nothing is too much trouble."
    Warfarin is given to people who suffer either from               Haematology staff are delighted with the success of the
abnormal blood clotting, are at risk of a clot or have heart     clinics. Around 350 patients a month have their Warfarin
problems. The response to Warfarin varies from person to         levels monitored and a recent audit showed that the RUH
person, depending on age and metabolism and patients             surpassed the quality standards for Warfarin monitoring.
taking this drug need to be closely monitored.                       Haematology manager Nigel Roberts says: "We are very
    The RUH has been working in partnership with GP              proud of the service that we provide our patients. If any
surgeries to bring these clinics closer to the patient and has   other GP surgeries are interested in working with us to
speeded up the whole process of taking and analysing blood       provide these anticoagulation clinics, we would be very
before prescribing Warfarin.                                     happy to talk to them."

                                                                 and      the       National    qualified accountant. She
            People Moves                                         Confederation of Parent
                                                                 Teacher Associations.
                                                                                                will continue in her role as
                                                                                                chair of the hospital’s audit
                                                                     Peter lives in the         committee.
                                executive director for the       Lansdown area of Bath
                                period 1 January 2007 to 31      with his wife and young
                                December 2010.                   family. Earlier in his NHS
                                   Peter is currently chief      experience he was a non-
                                executive of a strategic         executive director/member
                                management & marketing           of the SW Thames Regional
                                consultancy.                     Health Authority.
                                   He has also been a
                                non-executive      director,
                                chairman and trustee of             Mrs Maura Poole has
                                several national, public,        been reappointed as non-
                                charitable organisations,        executive director at the
                                they include Chartwell           RUH     for the period
                                Industrial Holdings Group,       1   January     2007   to
                                PDSA Trading Limited, UK         1 December 2010.
Professor Peter Tomkins         Youth, the UK Institute of          Maura      lives    in
joined the RUH as non-          Management Consultants           Chippenham and is a

                       Critical Care Team Teach in Vietnam
                                                                 between intensive care practices we see there and in the
                                                                 UK is narrowing all the time. Much of the ‘course’ was
                                                                 actually discussion and exchange of opinions. The teams
                                                                 in this particular hospital work to an extremely high
                                                                 standard. The internet has transformed their access to up
                                                                 to date literature."
                                                                     The clinical staff in Vietnam were very interested in
                                                                 the use of Early Warning Scoring, a simple physiological
                                                                 scoring system to alert staff to sick patients and support
                                                                 decision-making about an individual patient’s clinical
                                                                     They were also introduced to the concept of Critical
                                                                 Care Outreach. This is a service designed to blur the
                                                                 boundary between care in an intensive care unit and on
Teaching in Vietnam                                              the general wards, by ensuring that ICU staff are able to
                                                                 assist in the care of acutely ill patients on these general
Two doctors and a consultant nurse from the RUH critical         wards. Tim, Jerry and Julian also discussed a range of
care team have returned to Vietnam to deliver an                 developments within intensive care including the
intensive care course.                                           management of sepsis, a condition where bacteria enter
    In the latest of a series of visits, which date back to      the bloodstream following an infection, accident or
1997, Tim Cook, Jerry Nolan and Julian Hunt visited the          operation.
Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh. This is also          Tim adds: "The centre sees large numbers of patients
home to an Oxford University Communicable Diseases               suffering from conditions we rarely encounter. These
Research Unit. They were invited by the hospital directors       include malaria, tetanus, typhoid, diphtheria, dengue
and the director of the unit, Professor Jeremy Farrar.           Japanese B encephalitis and increasing numbers of AIDS-
    The team used their annual leave for the trip,               associated opportunistic infectious diseases. Several cases
delivering a four day course of lectures to nursing and          of Avian flu have also been treated here. Their research
medical staff. They visited a variety of hospital                output is awe-inspiring. It was very much a two-way
departments, notably the tetanus unit, malaria unit and          learning experience."
the general intensive care unit.                                     The team are hoping to return to Vietnam in 2008 and
    Things have moved on since Tim, Jerry and Julian’s last      may have the opportunity to deliver similar courses in
visit in 2002. Tim says: "It is interesting to see the pace of   Bangladesh and India in the coming years.
changes in health care provision in Vietnam. The gap

            Are You Producing Your Documents Correctly?
The Freedom of Information Act has resulted in a huge            are created in a standard format and include details of the
increase in the volume of information being made                 document author, the date it was written and when it
available to the public on the Internet. This has                needs to be revised.
significantly increased the workload of the web team, who           "The policy also promotes improved formatting of
make this information available.                                 document content, which will go some way to ensure that
    Web team member Marianne Toms says: "So far, over            all documents conform to the Disability and
5000 documents have been published on the web. In the            Discrimination Act, to which all web pages have to
majority of cases, there are no details regarding                comply."
authorship or date of production and many documents                 With immediate effect all documents that are delivered
do not appear in a standard format. It’s pretty impossible       to the web team for posting on the web will need to
to identify who produced what and whether it is a current        comply with this policy, which can be found on the
version.                                                         Intranet under Policies, Information Management.
    "In order to improve this situation the Governance              Comprehensive online information and help with
Committee has agreed to a policy, put forward by the web         these guidelines is also available on the Intranet under
team, which sets out guidelines for document control.            Documents, Formatting documents, or contact
These guidelines will help staff to ensure that documents        Marianne Toms on ext. 4474.

                    Latest Art at the RUH
                                           for purchase at £9.95 at the RUH or
                                           from the RPS on 01225 325733 or


                                           Georgina Thorne Wilkinson, a
                                           recent graduate in photography from
                                           Southampton Solent University, is
                                           showcasing her degree work for the
                                           first time in the hospital’s atrium. The
                                           exhibition consists of a book,
                                           focusing on the death of her father
                                                                                         Anne Newell was awarded a silver
                                           Jim Thorne, a local man who died at
                                           the RUH. It includes photographs           preparatory drawings followed by a
                                           taken around the hospital and a large      three-step casting method to make
                                           scale       seascape,      representing    their own robin. The results from
                                           acceptance after time. Both pieces,        these workshops will be shown in the
                                           exploring notions of time and              west corridor from the 1 February. A
     Ray Spence was awarded gold           memory, collectively document the          framed print of all the preparatory
                                           struggle to move on after such             drawings will be donated to the
The Royal Photographic Society             bereavement.                               children’s ward by Future Publishing.
International Print Exhibition                  Georgina says: "I'm so pleased to        A selection of paintings by the
                                           be showing my work in a location           children will soon be on display in
The RUH is delighted to welcome            where it will reach and hopefully          the central corridor.
back this prestigious exhibition for       influence people in a similar
the second year running. It is a           situation. I hope it inspires people to    Paintings in Hospitals (PiH)
unique and inspiring show of 125           face their own pain and troubles and
prints, chosen from more than 1,900        even create something positive from        The Arts Strategy Group has received
images submitted from over 500             it."                                       some new paintings from PiH
photographers        worldwide.     The                                               including a beautiful still life oil
competition was open to students,          Children’s Robins                          painting by Elizabeth Blackadder,
amateurs and professionals and                                                        which is located on the first floor in
includes contributions from as far         Artist    Angela     Cockayne      ran     the eye clinic area.
afield as China, the USA and the           workshops on the children’s ward.              The Lansdown restaurant is
Philippines.                               These were based on her installation       hosting a memorial exhibition by
    This annual print exhibition has       of 364 robins cast in wax and lipstick,    artist Alexandra Rheinhardt and on
been staged since the formation of         which was shown briefly at the RUH         loan to the the library are four large
the Royal Photographic Society (RPS)       in 2005. A grant was awarded by the        screenprints/woodblocks by abstract
in 1853 and continues to receive           Bath Arts Development office for this      artist Neil Canning.
enthusiastic support from across the       initiative and Angela worked with the          In the south corridor (ground
globe. Its reputation for exhibiting       hospital play specialists and the          floor) are portrait photographs by
the widest range of photographic           education re-integration team. Two         Miranda Kombert and watercolours
taste and outlook, from the artistic to    young patients received a one-to-one       by Steve Hall. In the cardiac centre,
documentary and portraiture to             workshop with the artist in their          third floor, is an exhibition of
natural history, is second to none.        homes.       The    children     made      Lithographs by Lydia Bauman.
    The exhibition is accompanied by                                                      For any enquiries, please contact
a full colour catalogue and is available                                              RUH arts coordinator Hetty Dupays
                                                                                      on     01225     824987    or   email

                        Forever Friends Appeal
                                         their target will be reached and a new        Local groups such as Keynsham
                                         scanner can be ordered.                   Lions, the Chippenham Breast Cancer
                                            Head of fundraising Tim Hobbs          support group and the Morriston
                                         says: "We would like to thank all our     Orpheus      Choir   have     pledged
                                         supporters for helping us reach our       continuing support in 2007.
                                         target. The RUH board has started the         Other fundraising events included
                                         ball rolling on the order process for     music concerts on the Bath Rec. ‘Teds
                                         the new scanner."                         Big Day Out’, the Bath Half
                                            The Appeal launched their              Marathon, Abseils, Fire Walks and Jail
                                         campaign to fund a second CT              & Bails.
                                         scanner with the Jamie Cullum                 Consultant radiologist Dr David
                                         concert in 2005. Then last summer         Glew says: "We are very excited at the
                                         Westlife and stars Elaine Paige and       progress made and are extremely
                                         Michael Ball performed, raising           grateful    to  our     patients   for
                                         £800,000. Donations have been made        contributing to a major part of its
                                         by local businesses, patients and the     success. We are now looking forward
                                         public. Vanessa Kyte walked 85 miles      to later in the year when the
                                         around the hospital’s catchment area,     equipment can be installed."
The Appeal Team with staff in the        bringing in a donation of £150,000            Chairman of the appeal John
radiology department                     from      Trowbridge-based      Virgin    Cullum says: "The support for our
                                         Mobile. Donations have also been          campaign has been tremendous. We
 CT Scanner Success                      made by 14 local firms who are            are delighted to be able to purchase
                                         corporate partners for the scanner.       the CT scanner and will keep everyone
The     Forever   Friends    Appeal’s       Last year, a letter was sent to        updated, from the ordering of the new
campaign for a second CT scanner is      former        radiology        patients   CT scanner to its arrival. The Appeal
nearing its target, thanks to the        encouraging them to support the           will now focus on their next campaign
superb generosity of their supporters,   appeal and help raise £100,000            to launch a major new project in the
businesses, patients and the general     towards the campaign target. Their        Summer."
public. Now with pledges already         overwhelming support meant that
made and events planned for this         they met the halfway mark in just
year, the Appeal has announced that      two weeks.

           HMS Marlborough Insignia Presented to Marlborough Ward
Staff on Marlborough ward were              "My father was in Marlborough
touched and delighted to receive a       ward for almost six weeks and
very special donation to the ward.       received wonderful care from all of
   They were presented with the          the staff. Although they were always
insignia of HMS Marlborough from         busy, they always found time to talk.
the Windeatt family, in recognition         "In recognition of the care and
of the care husband and father Alan      dedication of the staff, one of his
Windeatt, had received during his        wishes was that the insignia of HMS
stay at the RUH. Sadly Alan died in      Marlborough be presented to the
the autumn of last year.                 ward     by    the    White   Ensign
   His son Mark says: "During his        Association.
working life, my dad had been               Sister Natasha Howard says: "It is     Nursing staff with the Windeatt family
involved in ship design, working for     always very special to be thanked in      and the HMS Marlborough insignia
the MOD in Bath. In his retirement       such a personal way for the job that
he had joined the White Ensign           we do, it’s something we never take          The trust chairman James Carine
Association in Trowbridge and had        for granted. Alan Windeatt was a          had since managed to obtain a
continued to take an interest in this    lovely man and we are delighted and       photograph of HMS Marlborough.
area. He knew of the ship HMS            proud      to   display   the   HMS       This is being framed and the insignia
Marlborough and was pleased to be in     Marlborough insignia."                    and the photograph will soon be
a ward with the same name.                                                         displayed side by side on the ward.

         Pantomime Stars Bring a Little Magic to the RUH
     Children at the RUH were delighted to be visited by          meet some of the actors. We are very grateful to the cast
stars from the Theatre Royal pantomime Cinderella. The            for taking time out to visit us and we hope the pantomime
Fairy Godmother (Ruth Madoc), Cinderella (Gillian Budd),          was a great success for them all."
Prince Charming (Laura Darkins) and Dandini (Venetia
Grivas), all dressed up in their stage costumes made a
fantastic spectacle.
     The stars met the young patients and gave out goodie
bags, which were supplied by pantomime sponsors Bath
     Ruth Madoc, who is well known for her roles in Hi-Di-
Hi and Little Britain, said: "We met some very brave
children at the RUH today and it was a real pleasure to
spend time with them and their families and meet the

                                                                                                                                  photo courtesy Bath Chronicle
hard working staff on the children’s ward."
     Play specialist Lyn Gardiner said: "The children love it
when the pantomime stars visit as they bring a little bit of
magic to the ward. Not everyone can go to the panto, so
it’s a very special opportunity for the children to actually

David Sulley Retires                        colleagues helped him celebrate with
                                            a bit of a ‘do’ at a restaurant in town.
                                                                                        also involved in the scouts yearly ‘big
                                                                                        breakfast’, serving up bacon and eggs
                                            Finance and pharmacy staff then             to hungry shoppers in Moorland
                                            gathered together on his last day for a     Road.
                                            buffet lunch.                                  David intends to spend more time
                                                David became a member of the            reading (there are rumours that he is
                                            accounts      payable      team     after   going to write a novel!) and pursuing
                                            transferring from the pharmacy              his interest in photography. However
                                            department in 2003, where he was            his colleagues think a lot of his time
                                            responsible for processing trust            will be spent enjoying his new toy,
                                            invoices for all the pharmacy               tearing around the countryside in his
                                            deliveries.                                 new Mazda MX5!
                                                A quiet person with a keen sense           Accounts payable manager Helen
                                            of humour, David kept everyone              Bostock says: "David is always a
                                            amused with tales of his elderly aunt       happy chap and we’ll miss having
                                            and devil cat! Outside of work, David       him around. We’ll also miss his
                                            is involved with the scouts and his         contribution to the work of the
David Sulley recently retired after         local church, organising many of the        department. We all wish David a long
working for 30 years at the RUH. His        gang shows and quiz nights. He was          and happy retirement."

 Understanding and Supporting Professional Carers
Counsellor Janet Thomas shares her          constraints of the system. This book is
expertise by publishing a book about        about the tension between altruism and
the rewards and frustrations of working     economic reality, and the effect this has
in health and social care, called           on the well being of staff.
‘Understanding         and    Supporting       "Many people who struggle with
Professional Carers’.                       these problems get help from the EAP.
    Janet, a former haematologist and       Most staff are able to keep afloat
now an accredited counsellor for the        emotionally so long as they have a good
Employee Assistance Programme (EAP),        support network, but if that breaks
a staff counselling service at the RUH,     down, or if difficulties arise in more
knows the stress of healthcare. She says:   than one area of their life at the same
"The desire of doctors, nurses, social      time, that is when counselling can be
workers and allied professionals to do      an invaluable resource."
their job well is so often impeded by the
                         Picture Archiving and Communication S

X-ray films stored in the old way          Installation work in progress            Scanning the patient

The RUH along with The Min, has            difference to the way clinicians and     the new PACS system in operation.
gone live with PACS, a state-of-the-art    staff work.                              They      visited     the     radiology
digital imaging system. Paulton,               New computers and workstations       department to see what the changes
Trowbridge       and    Chippenham         have been installed in radiology,        will mean for patients and staff.
community hospitals, will ‘go live’        theatres and emergency department            Although there may be minor
over the next few weeks.                   at the RUH and in the other hospitals.   teething problems in the early days,
   PACS enables images such as x-          Space planning, building and             PACS is well established and running
rays and scans to be stored                infrastructure work has been finished    successfully in other hospitals in the
electronically and viewed on standard      including a new reporting room for       region. Immediate benefits to patient
computer screens. Doctors and other        radiologists.                            care include; a higher percentage of
health professionals can access the            Hospital and community staff         films reported more quickly, no more
information and compare it with            attended an open day recently to see     lost films and typing of reports will be
previous images.                                                                    simplified with the digital dictation
                                                                                    and voice recognition system. Hard
                                                                                    copy      films     of     radiological
                                                                                    examinations will no longer be
                                                                                    produced and both images and
                                                                                    authorised reports will be accessed
                                                                                    using web browser technology on
                                                                                        The patient will not notice any
                                                                                    difference when they are x-rayed, but
                                                                                    reporting will be much quicker.
Clinicians will no longer view x-rays on
a light box                                                                         Clinicians will be able to view the
                                                                                    images simultaneously in different
   PACS will support clinicians in                                                  locations. For example, if a doctor
treating their patients and will                                                    reviews an x-ray with a patient, they
contribute to a more efficient and                                                  will see the high definition images on
advanced service. PACS is seen as a                                                 a screen, rather than a film on a
really positive improvement for                                                     lightbox. This will also avoid the need
patients and clinicians and will make                                               to carry packets of film around during
a    significant    and   immediate        Taking delivery of the new equipment     the course of a patient’s treatment.

Systems (PACS) ‘Go Live’                                                                  Clinical
                                                                                        Audit Day -
                                           provision of radiology to our
                                           community. We will become more
                                                                                        29 March 07
                                           efficient and provide faster reports on   The clinical audit department,
                                           more patients than ever before. Our       together with BANES PCT, will be
                                           patients will notice the quicker          hosting a clinical audit day for
                                           turnaround and will no longer             staff on Thursday 29 March.
                                           experience clinic visits without x-rays   Clinical audit is a way of
                                           or reports."                              comparing current practice
                                               Project manager for PACS Steve        against agreed best practice
                                           Boxall said: "The success of this         established by research.
  New ways of viewing images on a PC                                                     RUH chief executive Mark
  anywhere in the hospital                 project is down to a true team effort
                                                                                     Davies and chief executive of
                                           by clinical, technical, managerial and
                                                                                     BANES Rhona Macdonald will
     Consultant radiologist and clinical   administrative staff from the RUH,
                                                                                     kick off the event, which
  lead for the project David Glew said:    The Min and the community. Thank          showcases the clinical audit work
  "PACS is a major step forward in the     you all."                                 carried out by the different
                                               There will be another update on       specialties and how this has
                                           PACS in the next edition of               improved clinical practice.
                                           Grapevine. If you would like further          Head of clinical effectiveness
                                           information or have any questions         Viv McHale says: "Despite the
                                           about the project, please email PACS      pressures experienced by the
                                           project manager Steve Boxall at           RUH this year, staff have
                                         demonstrated their commitment
                                               Alternatively, visit                  to maintaining a high quality of
                                                                                     clinical care by continuing to
                                                                                     find time to audit their practice.
  Opportunities for GPs to view in the                                               Recent clinical audit projects
  surgery                                                                            undertaken       have     led     to
                                                                                     improvements in patient care
                                                                                     and       have      demonstrated
                                                                                     excellence in clinical practice
                                                                                     within various specialties.
                                                                                         "We are very grateful to all the
                                                                                     local organisations who donated
                                                                                     prizes, which we will be awarding
                                                                                     for a number of categories,
                                                                                     including best presentation and
                                                                                     best poster. An additional £100
                                                                                     prize will be awarded to the ward
                                                                                     or department that has carried
                                                                                     out the best audit. All attendees
                                                                                     will be entered into a prize draw
                                                                                     for a bottle of champagne."
                                                                                         Staff who would like to
                                                                                     present their clinical audit
                                                                                     projects as either a poster or
                                                                                     presentation, or who would like
                                                                                     to attend the clinical audit day
                                                                                     should contact Rob Eliot on ext.
                                                                                     1430. Deadline for submissions
                                                                                     is the end of February 2007.
  High resolution images in the new reporting room

                              RUH Helping the World to See
                                                                 colleagues in the eye unit to help gather as many pairs of
                                                                 spectacles as possible, ready to be sent overseas in the New
                                                                     Heather says: "We’ll be sending the specs to people in
                                                                 third world countries through the charity Vision Aid
                                                                 Overseas (VAO).
                                                                     "Poverty and the lack of skilled opticians affect
                                                                 millions of people who don’t have the spectacles they
                                                                 desperately need. Giving them a pair of spectacles can
                                                                 help change their life. For those with poor vision in the
                                                                 developing world, education and employment are out of
                                                                 reach. With the correct spectacles, people can learn, work,
                                                                 and achieve a quality of life which would otherwise be
                                                                 completely unobtainable."
                                                                     "If people want to donate old specs, they can still do so
                                                                 by dropping them in to the eye outpatients department,
Specs Appeal: Orbital prosthetist Heather Jefferies and junior   first floor central, at the RUH."
sister Sylvia Bishop with some of the donated spectacles
                                                                     Senior sister Joan Dean, who works in the eye
Eye unit staff are helping the world to see by asking            department, says: "Donating specs is a very simple, cost-
people to donate any unwanted pairs of spectacles. These         free way of helping others and yet it has such a big
spectacles will be sent to third world countries.                impact. We are very happy to help, knowing that these
   Heather Jefferies is an orbital prosthetist who               spectacles will really make a difference to people
provides an artificial eye service at the RUH. She asked her     overseas."

                                            album to show her. It is a most            the Beynon family and sent a letter to
   RUH Staff Turn                           interesting historical record of life in   their address in Street. We got a call
                                            the     1950s,     60s     and      70s.   from Sandra very soon after that. It is
 Detective to Return                        Unfortunately I inadvertently left the     lovely to know such a valuable
  Family Heirloom                           album at the hospital. I made several      heirloom is safely back in the hands
                                            calls in the hope of finding the           of the family - it clearly means so
                                            album, without success.                    much to them."
Reception staff tracked down the                "Recently I received a letter
owners of a family heirloom years           addressed to my late parents. It was
after it was left at the RUH by             from the hospital. They had found
mistake.    Detective     work     by       the album and had been trying to
receptionist Jill Cole and her              locate me for some time. I think that
colleagues ensured that a photo             this interesting tale would make a
album, described as ‘priceless’ in its      nice story and it would go some way
sentimental value, was reunited with        to convey my deepest gratitude to
the Beynon family after spending            the staff of the hospital for their
three years in the lost property            tireless work in locating me and
department.                                 returning this family treasure, which
    Sandra Beynon brought the               is so invaluable to me and my sister."
album into the hospital in 2003 to              Reception staff at the RUH
                                                                                                                                 photo courtesy Central Somerset Gazette

cheer up her aunt who was an                recognised the sentimental value of
inpatient. Compiled by Sandra’s late        the album and had repeatedly tried
father, the album contains sepia            to track down the owners.
toned photographs and memorabilia           Receptionist Jill Cole says: "We had
documenting thirty years in the lives       almost given up, but then Neil in the
of the Beynon family and neighbours         communications team searched on
in Burleigh Lane, Street.                   the Internet using clues gathered
    Sandra Beynon says: "I visited my       from the pictures and documents
aunt in the hospital and took this          that were in the album. He located         Sisters Sandra Beynon and Pauline
                                                                                       Cullen reunited with the album

                 Older People’s Unit Employee of the Year
Staff on the older people’s unit gathered together for a
special celebration at Christmas time to honour ward
manager Sue Leathers. Sue had been nominated by her
colleagues as the unit’s ‘employee of the year’.
    Lead clinician Dr Chris Dyer presented Sue with a
bottle of champagne and flowers in recognition of her
outstanding contribution to both her ward and the
    Dr Dyer says: "Sue was nominated for her exceptional
qualities; she is always so supportive to her team and to
other wards. She works with determination, calmness and
professionalism to maintain staff morale and to achieve
both unit and corporate objectives. She is always
thoughtful and compassionate and goes the extra mile to
help others whenever she can."
    Sue has been a nurse for over 30 years and has worked
                                                               Ward manager Sue Leathers (centre) with Matron Janet
as senior sister on Combe ward since the service               Saunders and Dr Chris Dyer
transferred almost five years ago from St. Martin’s
Hospital.                                                         Modern matron Janet Saunders also presented
    A surprised and modest Sue says: "Thank you all very       Christmas gifts to the ward managers, their deputies and
much, I’m speechless! I am very pleased and amazed and         nursing teams, as a thank you for their great dedication,
don’t feel I do anything special to deserve this, as all the   commitment and hard work.
sisters work just as hard. I am proud to work with the OPU        She says: "The staff work extraordinarily hard and I’m
team."                                                         very proud of them all. Sue is the most experienced, she is
    Sue’s colleagues were delighted to congratulate her in     an excellent nurse leader and deserves to be especially
recognition of the care she extends to the whole team.         honoured for her achievements."

               New Data Collection System Helps to Reduce Waiting Times

By the end of 2008, patients should wait no longer than 18         In order to collect this information, the RUH has
weeks from GP referral to treatment and the RUH is well        developed a new a computerised data collection system,
underway with preparations to meet this new national           called the ‘Referral to Treatment Tool’ or RTT for short.
waiting standard. By April 2007, the hospital should be        The RTT will be used by clinicians to collect the necessary
working within this maximum waiting time for nearly all        data during clinics and is easy and quick to use.
patients.                                                          The urology department is currently trialling the RTT.
    To ensure that patients start their treatment within 18    Consultant urologist Tim Bates says: "I can see the
weeks, it is important that every patient coming to the        importance of this tool in ensuring the hospital
RUH is carefully managed to an agreed treatment plan. For      successfully identifies those patients who require
example, patients who don’t require hospital treatment         treatment within 18 weeks. By capturing this information
should be discharged back to their GP, who will be in a        as early as possible, we maximise the time for arranging
better position to keep an eye on them. Likewise patients      diagnostic tests and commencing treatment for the
should not be re-booked for review without clear clinical      patient."
advice. The much shorter waiting times will make it easier         Director of planning Brigid Musselwhite says: "I hope
for GPs to re-refer quickly if necessary.                      that using this new tool will provide an opportunity for
    Currently the RUH sees about 250,000 outpatients and       staff to review how they are currently managing patients.
50,000 inpatients/day cases a year. A clear plan for every     Hopefully there will be some areas where we can become
stage of a patient’s care needs to be identified to ensure     more effective and efficient in how we use our clinicians’
they are cared for correctly and efficiently.                  time. Achieving 18 weeks will be a huge challenge and we
    The administration to support this new waiting             will need to focus on making sure we are only doing those
standard is extremely demanding. Data not routinely            things that we really need to."
gathered before, will need to be collected in outpatient           For further information on the 18 week wait, please
clinics.                                                       contact Clare O’Farrell on (01225) 825397.

         The Magnificent Seven - Hospital Porters Accomplish NVQ

                                                              to do. Sometimes it was harder than I thought it would be,
                                                              particularly when I needed to research something outside
                                                              of my normal scope of work. The assessors have been very
                                                              supportive and I now have a greater understanding of why
                                                              we need to perform tasks in a particular way."
                                                                 Craig Davies previously ran his own catering business,
                                                              before giving it up to go travelling. He was looking for a
                                                              career change and is now a portering team leader in
                                                              theatres. He says: "It’s good that we have this formal
                                                              qualification and to be recognised for what we do. You
                                                              have to be prepared to make a commitment and be quite
                                                              organised as studying takes a lot of your own time. I find
                                                              working at the RUH rewarding and it is good to feel
                                                                 Facilities manager Mike Newport is also delighted with
Dave Higgins                                                  the achievements of the porters. Mike says: "The general
                                                              porters provide an essential service for our patients and
Seven RUH porters have become the first in the south west     the training they have undertaken will go a long way to
to have successfully completed a National Vocational          ensuring that the hospital achieves its objectives of
Qualification (NVQ).                                          putting the patient first and getting the job done right first
   The RUH was one of the first trust’s nationally to have    time."
developed this NVQ level 2 for porters, offering them an
opportunity to gain a recognised qualification for their
jobs. To complete the NVQ the porters had to study
equality, diversity and rights, health and safety, manual
handling of patients, as well as ensuring a positive
impression of the RUH.
   There are 70 porters who all play an extremely valuable
role within the hospital. They work closely with patients
and staff across the whole hospital site, including areas
such as the emergency department, theatres, medical
records, x-ray and the post room.
   Dave Higgins is a general porter and has worked at the
hospital for nearly ten years. Before this Dave was a
technical illustrator in the marine and shipping industry.
He says: "The NVQ has taken me about a year to complete
and involved quite a lot of research, which was interesting   Craig Davies

                                                                                       Family Link carers are also
               Could You Be a Foster Carer?                                         required to provide a service for
                                                                                    disabled children and their families
Shirley Sheppard is a social worker      placement team are keen to recruit         by looking after these children on a
with the disabled children’s team        new foster carers and family link          short break basis. These children may
(part of BANES children’s services)      carers and I thought a little piece in     have physical or learning difficulties
based at the RUH. They work with         Grapevine might encourage people           or autism. Carers are matched with a
hospital staff to provide a service to   to find out more about fostering."         particular child and provide regular
children and young people attending          The family placement team need         short periods of care, which can be
the hospital.                            carers able to foster young children.      for a few hours a week day care or
   Shirley also works with disabled      Usually these placements are short         overnight stays.
children     and     their    families   term; while permanent plans are               If you, or someone you know, is
throughout the BANES area and is         made for their future. Foster carers       interested in being a carer and
linking with the BANES family            are required to offer long term homes      want to find out more, please
placement team, trying to find a long    to older children, either individuals      contact Ruth Martin, recruitment
term carer for a young child with        or brothers and sisters needing to live    social worker for BANES family
learning and language difficulties.      together.                                  placement team on 01225 395340.
Shirley says: "I know the family

                                                              5-6 years. The trial began in August and so far 200 have
   RUH is Top UK Recruiter for                                been recruited in the UK of which seven have come from
                                                              the RUH.
    Bowel Cancer Drug Trial                                       Dr Ed Gilby said: "It is exciting to think that in this
                                                              important trial we can begin to offer our patients new
                                                              drugs that are less toxic than those we use now. Our
Consultant oncologist Dr Ed Gilby and his team are            successful recruitment rate is down to the hard work of
celebrating news that the hospital was the top recruiter in   our clinical trials team, who are currently running 28
the last quarter for the number of patients taking part in    clinical trials covering a range of cancers."
the QUASAR 2 drug trial. As a thank you the team at the
RUH received a tray of festive muffins from the Oncology
Clinical Trials Office at the University of Oxford who are
co-ordinating the project.
    QUASAR 2 is an international study open to patients
who have had surgery for bowel cancer and who require
follow up chemotherapy treatment. Patients who join the
trial are being offered a new drug called Avastin in
addition to their normal chemotherapy drug. Avastin is
one of a group of monoclonal antibody drugs, currently
being investigated for treatment of cancer patients.
Avastin has shown promising results in recent years for
treating bowel cancer patients in the later stages of the
disease; QUASAR 2 is now looking at how effective this
treatment may be in the earlier stages.
    A total of 1,300 patients worldwide need to be
recruited onto the trial, which will continue for the next

     NHS Chief Executive Gives More Power to Local Staff
In a recent letter Chief Executive of the NHS David               "PCTs will also be required to agree local priorities with
Nicholson sets out the priorities for the NHS over the        local authorities to tackle health inequalities and address
next year, with a greater role for local NHS staff to         the issues that require most urgent attention.
decide and deliver on local health and healthcare                 "The Operating Framework for 2007/08 provides
improvement targets. "The Operating Framework for             consistency of purpose for the NHS, setting out the key
2007/08 sets out key targets to improve patient               targets that our staff need to focus on in order to improve
experience, reduce health inequalities and achieve            patient experience, reduce health inequalities and achieve
financial health.                                             financial health.
    "The main priorities are: to make further progress            "Greater clarity and consistency of purpose means that
towards the 18-week maximum wait from GP referral to          we can increasingly devolve the way in which change is
treatment; to continue to reduce hospital acquired            delivered at a local level. For example, the operating
infections including a new drive on Clostridium difficile;    framework sets out the importance of tackling all
to achieve financial health and deliver a net surplus of      healthcare associated infections, and instead of setting a
£250m across the NHS by the end of 2007/08 and reduce         new national target, requires PCTs to engage with
health inequalities and promote health and well being.        clinicians to agree local targets for reducing levels of
    "The key milestones on the 18 week target are being set   Clostridium difficile.
for Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) and all providers. By March        "………… The Operating Framework for 2007/08
2008, 85% of patients admitted for hospital treatment and     provides timely clarity for the service, not just about what
90% of patients that do not require admission should be       needs to be done but why we need to do it. This is a
treated within 18 weeks.                                      national framework designed to help local NHS staff shape
    "The framework makes clear that faster progress is        services around the needs of their local communities. But
needed to reduce MRSA infections and steps up the fight       the degree of transformation and change that our patients
against hospital acquired infections by ruling that local     and citizens require can only be delivered by our greatest
targets should be agreed between PCTs and providers to        resource - the staff who work for NHS patients.”
reduce levels of Clostridium difficile.

         Play Specialists Celebrate Award
Delighted play specialists, Jo Powell,     really      impressed      by     their
Lyn      Gardiner       and      Demi      commitment. I think they are doing
Papakyriakou,        were     recently     an     excellent     job    and     are
awarded their first Children and           demonstrating good practice.
Young People’s Rights Charter.                "To      prepare    children     for
   The Children and Young People’s         procedures the play specialists
Rights Charter is about enabling           explain what is going to happen and
children and young people to have a        how, using photographs, dolls and
say. It is about celebrating good          real objects. For example, they show
practice, and ensuring that children       them that the doctor will be wearing
and young people are able to               a hat and a mask and explain how the

                                                                                                                               photo courtesy Bath Chronicle
contribute to decision-making that         child will be given ‘sleeping
affects them in a way that is              medicine’, where possible offering the
appropriate to their age and               child a choice of having spray or
understanding.                             cream. They encourage the child to
   The role of the play specialist is to   ask questions and they can play with
use play to welcome children to            a doll and objects such as hat, mask,
hospital and prepare them to cope          lines, a syringe and bandages.               "They help each child to make
with surgery or other procedures.             "In outpatients, I observed a play     decisions about what toys to play
They encourage children to keep up         specialist helping a child who finds it   with or activities to do. Children
their usual interests and use specific     extremely distressing and scary to        confined to bed can choose what they
play techniques to minimise stressful      have his bloods taken. By using toys      want to do and the toys or activities
events by acting them out in advance.      and activities they managed to            they choose are brought to them."
   As part of the assessment process       distract the child, making the process       The play specialists say: "A key
for the Charter the play specialists       much easier and more positive for         requirement of the charter is making
were observed on a number of visits        him and his family. Another child         sure that the children and young
made by a representative of the            being prepared for surgery on his hip     people on the ward are listened to, are
Children’s Society Sonia Mainstone-        was told he would be in plaster after     given the opportunity to make
Cotton. Sonia says: "Staff work really     his operation. The play specialist        choices where possible and that their
hard to prepare the children for           showed him photographs of other           ideas and views are respected. We are
procedures and to help them to make        children with legs in plaster and he      honoured to think that, in our
decisions in the every day activities of   played with Ernie the doll, putting       everyday work, we have been putting
the children’s centre. I have been         him to sleep and bandaging his legs.      into practice The Children’s Charter."

          What Should Staff Know About The Electronic Staff Record (ESR)?

You may have heard of ESR – the NHS wide payroll and            - an external data management company - staff records are
human resources database which will go live at the RUH          being updated and will be transferred from the existing HR
on June 4. But how will this change affect hospital staff?      and payroll systems. The software is being thoroughly
   ESR is designed to create a single system that replaces      tested before going live. McKesson have assured us that
the many different HR and payroll systems currently used        personal information will be handled discreetly and
in the NHS. This means that data will be easily shared          securely and their assurances have been examined by the
between trusts all over the country, cutting down on            data commissioner and will comply with the Data
paperwork and making staff records more accessible to           Protection Act.
employers and employees.                                            Testing of the ESR system is already underway. All NHS
   What does this mean for me? Staff will receive a new         Trusts will be live by spring 2008.
simplified payslip. Employees with more than one job at             The RUH is planning a second phase to the project
the RUH will receive multiple payslips in order to provide      approximately 12–18 months after ‘go live’, to introduce
a straightforward record of their earnings for each job.        the self service aspect of the system. Eventually staff will
Existing staff should continue to inform payroll of any         be able to access and amend their own records, making
changes during this time.                                       each staff record more accurate.
   The switch to ESR will be automatic and the process is           If you have any further questions, contact ESR
being handled by HR and payroll. Working with McKesson          project manager Holly Clark on ext. 4451.

       RUH Medics' Revue is a Sell Out - Review by RUH Theatre Critic

                                                              carried out successful hand hygiene spot checks and
                                                              smoking patrols. Dr Amy Green's thorough hand hygiene
                                                              technique was impressive and 'smoker' Mr Matt Mason
                                                              gave a spirited performance, leaving the audience in no
                                                              doubt that unless prepared for trouble, you're better off
                                                              'skipping' the fag break.
                                                                  The performance of Dr Amy Nicol might have had
                                                              talent spotters signing her up for the cast of Little Britain
                                                              (Nichol is from Bristol, surely?), had they not left
                                                              following Lashbrook’s confession that the revue was
                                                              actually a cover for a 12 hour audit meeting.
                                                                  Dr Robin Fackrell sang his way close to the hearts of
                                                              the audience as ‘the discharged patient’, and was
                                                              supported by female members of the cast in a vocal tribute
Vanessa Boyce, Amy Green, Robin Fackrell, Amy Nicol and       to the ‘one and only’ Dr David Glew. Fackrell also proved
Lucy Rowse pay tribute to David Glew
                                                              himself as a talented actor effortlessly illustrating the
The New Year couldn't have got off to a better start for      challenges of managing the trust's finances (have you bet
around 400 hospital staff, family and friends as a cast of    the Min, John?) as well as the benefits of rhyming slang
talented medics delivered hours of stupendous hilarity        having a place in the medical dictionary.
that was the 2007 'Royal United Hospital Revue'.
    There was no end to the vitality and invention of the
show's writer and director Mr Dan Lashbrook as he took
a captivated audience through an immensely entertaining
series of films, sketches and musical performances that
touched the very edges of hospital realism.
    The entertainment ranged from a sketch 'Who wants to
Beat Millennium' - based on a popular TV game show - to
an intense romantic French black and white film 'Le
Chirurgien', (the surgeon) in which the unfolding drama
was belied by English subtitles. In the film, Lashbrook and
his co star Dr Vanessa Boyce used their fluency of the
French language (Boyce is French, surely?) to demonstrate
some of the finer points of communication amongst
doctors and their consultants. A guest appearance from Dr
Carol Peden left the audience chuckling all the way to the    Dan Lashbrook provides the music for the show
    The opening film delighted members of the executive            Dr Lucy Rowse gave a rousing performance in Green
team as it was a clear sign that the messages about hand      and Nicol's adaptation of 'He had it Coming', and shared
hygiene and smoking are getting through! The trust got a      her clear grasp on the complexities of prescribing
tick in the box on two counts as 'auditor' Lashbrook          antibiotic therapy.
                                                                  Lashbrook’s take off of a number of consultants as they
                                                              sold themselves to the video camera was so convincing, it
                                                              caused some to wonder whether some of the consultants
                                                              had in fact agreed to star as themselves.
                                                                  Credit must also go to the technical team; the notably
                                                              high standard of sound, lighting, video editing, costumes
                                                              were all very much in keeping with the performances.
                                                                  By Monday morning, the hospital was buzzing with
                                                              talk of the show, widely recognising that the biggest ever
                                                              staff outing was a great success and an excellent morale
                                                              boost. For those that sadly missed out, there will be a
                                                              chance to see a DVD of the whole performance during an
                                                              evening viewing, or to buy the DVD for around £15.
                                                              Details, once confirmed will be published in the trust's
                                                              electronic newsletter, the Weekly News Round-up that
Pearly King and Queen Dan Lashbrook and Vanessa Boyce
visit their GPs
                                                              comes out every Thursday.

                                  News of the Hospital Friends

"When looking back at how we spent our funds in the           who might still be hanging on to this expensive habit!
past year, some of our donations are more visible than        We gladly paid for this machine and thought what a
others. The garden in the fracture clinic was a pleasure      great idea it would be to have them in schools –
for us all to see come to fruition and the endless number     prevention is still better than cure! We learn a lot from
of chairs and wheelchairs we have supplied are well           the requests put forward to us and are full of admiration
used. There are also many other incredibly varied items       for the care and medical progress we see.
that are tucked away in wards, clinics and waiting rooms          "We ended our year on a delightful musical note,
etc.                                                          with Dr Chris Lovell conducting the Farmborough
    "This is a reminder to send in your requests to us for    Church Choir for carols in the atrium. They sang all of
financial help in early 2007, but please do remember          our favourites and ended with a special one, Oh Holy
that they must be solely for the benefit of patients. Our     Night and made a collection for the Friends. It was a
pledge to pay for new defibrillators, which are badly         very enjoyable evening.
needed, made us feel we were truly supporting the staff           "With our heartfelt good wishes for 2007 to patients,
as well, in their vital role of nursing and saving lives.     staff and volunteers and everyone at the RUH."
    "Recently we financed a smokalyser, a machine that
reveals the amount of carbon dioxide in the lungs of a        Tessa Berridge
person who smokes. This really shocked our members            Chairman

                        Hospital Volunteers are Not Just for Christmas
The League of Friends continued to                                                their best to make Christmas for the
offer their invaluable support to the                                             patients and for themselves."
patients and staff at the RUH by                                                      Chairman James Carine says: "In
spending time visiting the wards                                                  the short time that I have been
over the Christmas holiday.                                                       chairman of the trust, I have been
    As well as giving out over 500 gift                                           most impressed with the work done
vouchers to patients on Christmas                                                 by the League of Friends whether
morning, volunteers served tea and                                                meeting and greeting and acting as
coffee on the wards over the                                                      guides, managing the shop and
Christmas break.                                                                  coffee shop, organising raffles,
    Visits    from      the    Friends                                            looking after tea trolleys - the list
volunteers are especially welcomed                                                goes on. I am particularly grateful to
by patients who are confined to bed                                               those who gave up their time over
for long periods. Over the weeks and                                              the     holidays,     especially    on
months, friendships often develop,                                                Christmas day, to help us maintain
as they spend a little time each day                                              the friendly and helpful nature of
having a friendly chat.                                                           the hospital."
    Volunteers Graham and Janet                                                       The RUH League of Friends has
Hart (right) from Saltford came in to                                             330 working volunteers who support
the RUH for a couple of hours on                                                  patients and staff in all departments,
Christmas day to serve tea and                                                    generously giving over 40,000 hours
coffee to the patients, as well as                                                each year. Despite this number of
handing out the gift vouchers.               "We didn’t mind coming in on         people giving up their time, more
    When asked why they offer the         Christmas day, it’s a bit quieter and   volunteers are always needed, not
gift of their time Graham and Janet       there’s more time to chat with the      just to make tea and coffee, but also
said: "A couple of hours a week is a      patients. They are always pleased       to help distribute magazines, work
small thing for us to do, but it          and surprised when we give them         in the shop or act as a hospital guide.
means a great deal to others. We are      the gift vouchers, they don’t expect        Anyone who is interested in
happy to help where we can and            anything. It feels like we are giving   becoming a hospital volunteer can
have a laugh and a joke to make the       them a personal gift. The staff         contact Jayne Cresswell in the
day brighter. It’s a very personal way    appreciate our visits too. They         volunteers office at the RUH on
of helping people.                        always work so hard and they do         01225 824046.


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