Mainstream It’s a health record!

It’s a
Pat retires after
40 years!
Page 11
Sharing news about the Trust directly with staff and public members | Number 229 | November 2011
TG Tips
help CQUINs
How the ThinkGlucose initiative is
helping patients with diabetes
Building work and
plans for building at
Colchester General
105 entries
in new Awards
First At Our Best Awards
get a fantastic response
Other news
What Satish did on holiday.......6
CoHoC update .........................6
Midwife receives prize ..............7
Mr Loeffler is new CDD ............7
Pat retires after 40 years!........11
Nearly 1,500 jabbed ...............12
How long will I wait?..............13
In the diary.....................13 & 15
In the news...............................4
Letters | Emails | Your views15
National news.........................11
People news .............................7
Sixty seconds interview ...........14
Briefly for staff .................6 & 12
page 2 | Mainstream
A threat to patient
safety in hospitals
About 100 people stopped by the
national stress awareness day
stands at Colchester General and
Essex County hospitals on 2
November to get literature
on how to live a
stress-free lifestyle.
Kate Farrelly, the
Health & Wellbeing
Team’s specialist
practitioner in
occupational health,
said: “People were
given leaflets on how to
value themselves and
how to prioritise, as well
as advice on sleeping well
and exercise. Some took the opportunity to have their flu vaccine. The
new calm lifestyle package was
promoted and all visitors were
given fruit, donated by Tesco at The
Hythe. Visitors said the event was
very informative and friendly and
they were made to feel very welcome.”
All of the stress-free lifestyle
resources are available from Health
& Wellbeing, as is the stress buddy
initiative, stress resilience and stress
risk assessment training.
Contact Health & Wellbeing
Centre on 01206 745284
Early intervention and support for staff off sick
esearch has shown that
early intervention for
staff with both long and
short term sickness helps
reduce absence and promotes
better health, writes Sheila
Boyle, Head of Health & Wellbeing. Staff feel more valued
and supported and morale
improves as staff recognise
that their health is important
to the Trust, with the ultimate
result being an improved
patient experience.
In March 2011 the Health &
Wellbeing team started a telephone triage initiative to support staff who were off work
sick. The sick member of staff
is advised on the appropriate
measures they could take to
help reduce the length of each
episode of sickness absence.
The initiative has been successful in identifying staff with
various issues on the first day
of absence, resulting in staff
being referred to the appropriate specialists for early support
and treatment. Previously,
many staff could have been
absent for up to four weeks
before a referral to Health &
Wellbeing for an assessment
and support. Initially, staff
were suspicious of the new initiative, but now the majority
contacted say they appreciate
Successful careers fair at home
of Colchester Football Club
he Colchester Careers Convention on 2 November at the Weston Community Homes Stadium
proved extremely popular.
About 80 exhibitors were visited by hundreds of
students from schools in the Colchester and surrounding area. Neonatal Unit Sister Karen Moss is pictured
(on the right) with Sister Clare Harden.
the early offer of care and support. Staff now view the service as one that makes them
feel valued, appreciated and
supported in times of illness.
The triage enables a better
quality of Health & Wellbeing
and gives support to the Trust
in managing sickness absence.
It has a positive impact on
patient care, as early intervention and supporting staff to
reduce staff sickness results in
teams that are working more
Look on the intranet under
Info About > H > Health &
Patients on the Critical Care Unit are playing Wii games as
part of a physiotherapy project to accelerate their recovery
ntil recently, patients
who have been on
ventilators or
haemodialsysis machines have
traditionally been bed-bound
and have taken part in only
limited rehabilitation.
Now, however, patients on
ventilators with some awareness and those who can
breathe unaided are being
offered early stage rehabilitation. The six-month pilot
study is being led by consultant anaesthetist Dr Helen
Agostini and specialist physiotherapist in respiratory care
Jennifer Powner. It involves a
multidisciplinary team
approach by physiotherapists,
nursing staff and doctors and
was launched following some
Barry spent up to 30 minutes each day playing on the Wii. He also
had an exercise programme which included cycle pedals, hand
weights and walking practice. With Barry (seated) from left:
Dr Helen Agostini, Sister Karen Baxter and Jennifer Powner
early successes, which have
included critical care patients
playing on a Wii game console
as part of their rehabilitation.
Among them is Barry
Sheppard who is now back
home after spending two
weeks on the Critical Care
Unit. He is convinced that
playing tennis, golf and tenpin
bowling on the Wii contributed to his recovery.
“I’d played on a Wii before
but when I was invited to have
a go in Critical Care I was a bit
surprised,” he said.
“However, I found it very
beneficial, both from a physical
and mental point of view so
that I regained muscle strength
and my hand-eye co-ordination
Now back home, Barry is
doing three 30-minute workouts a week in the gym and
has been told to expect to
make a full recovery.
Jennifer said: “There is
now a considerable amount of
evidence to show that the earlier rehabilitation begins, the
sooner a patient’s recovery
She believes that our Trust
does more rehabilitation with
critical care patients than the
vast majority of acute hospitals.
November 2011 | page 3
8Vascular surgery public
engagement exercise made front
page news in East Anglian Daily
Times (EADT). Covered by BBC
Look East, Daily Gazette and
others.8Baby boom: BBC Look
East interviewed two new mums
and a matron on the day the
world’s population reached seven
billion. 8Publication of north
east Essex’s Quality, Innovation,
Productivity and Prevention (QIPP)
plan resulted in front page leads
in Daily Gazette and EADT. Also in
Clacton Gazette and Essex County
Standard. 8Walking aids: live
interview on BBC Essex, about the
return of walking aids loaned to
patients. 8Dignity and
nutrition: Colchester General
Hospital and other hospitals
named in Sunday Times (“Where
patients were being failed”).
Coverage included the Director of
Nursing and Patient Experience,
being interviewed on BBC Essex.
8Health Ombudsman:
publication of a review of
complaint handing in the NHS
reported by Daily Gazette and
EADT. 8How physiotherapy
can combat pain. Daily Gazette
article based on an interview with
a physiotherapist in the Pain
Management Team.8Breast
Cancer Awareness Month Daily
Gazette article interview with a
breast cancer survivor. 8Two
mums in the Clacton Gazette and
Daily Gazette praising the Trust’s
maternity services.
i Read the latest media
summary on our website,
under “Board Meetings”
page 4 | Mainstream
In the news
Highlighting how the media
reported on our Trust last month
From left: staff nurse Caroline Collin-Brown;
chaplain Rev Mark Thompson; the Bishop;
matron Lynda Kitching; Associate Director,
Women’s and Children’s Services, Dymphna
Sexton-Bradshaw – pictured on Mersea Ward
he Bishop of Chelmsford
the Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell visited Colchester
General Hospital last
month and was delighted
with the reception he
received. His tour started at
Mersea Ward and then the
Children’s Unit where he
spoke to patients and staff.
Later he visited A&E and
was particularly struck by the
wall mural modelled on the
Bayeux tapestry which for him
thanksgiving service for the
late Father Richard Smith at
St Michael’s Church,
Myland, which included
within the congregation
many members of staff,
past and present. The Bishop
said he was really pleased
with the experience and hospitality he received and wishes
the Trust great success with its
future plans.
Bishop of Chelmsford “really
pleased” with his visit
illustrated colourfully the
vibrant diversity of care that is
offered by staff at our Trust.
After spending time with
the chaplaincy team he led a
Rehab pilot to improve patient experience
rehabilitation pilot
programme began on
Peldon Ward last month,
aimed at improving the patient
The Enhanced Recovery
Programme (Intensive Rehabilitation) project targets identified
patients on the ward to improve
patient outcome, expedite
discharge and reduce length of
Sophie Stubbings, Specialist
Physiotherapist for Older People,
said: “Patients will be identified by
the multidisciplinary team and
once medically stable will be able
to participate. They will be
encouraged to wear their own
clothes each day and walk to the
bathroom for washing, dressing
and toileting. A daily exercise
group will be run with an
additional physiotherapy session.”
The project will be managed
by Sophie and her colleague
Angela Sherring, and will be run
by senior physiotherapy assistant
Matt Cobbold. The ward will be
supporting the project with one of
their newly-qualified associate
Sophie said: “We will continue
to refer to intermediate care, the
Accelerated Discharge Team and
other community services in the
normal way.”
The pilot will run for six
months initially.
New procedure for
heart patients
octors in Colchester have
started to implant potentially life-saving defibrillators into patients that shock
abnormal fast heart rhythms back
to normal.
It means that Colchester General Hospital is the first district
general hospital in Essex to fit
implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs).
Before the new service started, patients living in north east
Essex who needed an ICD had to
travel to The Essex Cardiothoracic
Centre at Basildon Hospital.
So far, five patients in Colchester have been fitted with ICDs
by Dr Debashis Roy (main picture),
who joined the Trust in March as
our fifth consultant cardiologist.
One of the patients is Mylton
Howlett (pictured right) who had
his implant at Colchester General
Hospital in August.
“When I returned to the hospital for a check-up, they were
very pleased with the progress I’m
making,” he said.
“I’ve been told that I’ll soon
be able to step up my activity levels at home. However, I’ve already
noticed a difference. For example,
in the past I used to get breathless even when walking around
the house but no more and everyone tells me that I’ve got a good
colour whereas before I was
Dr Roy said that compared to conventional
pacemakers, which are
used to treat slow
rhythms, an ICD is for
people who already
have a life-threatening
abnormal heart rhythm
which causes the heart to
beat very fast. It can also be
used in patients with other heart
conditions, such as heart failure,
and who have had, or who are at
risk of having, a life-threatening
abnormal fast heart rhythm.
The ICD consists of a pulse
generator which is a battery-powered electronic circuit and one or
more electrode leads which are
placed into the right side of the
heart through one of the major
veins located underneath the collar bone. A small incision is made
in the chest (pictured below)
where the lead and ICD are inserted. It can give the heart electric
pulses or shocks to get the rhythm
back to normal. If required, it can
also work as a pacemaker.
An ICD was implanted into a
human for the first time in 1980
but over the years the technology
has advanced considerably so that
they have become smaller and
people who have one can live
fully and happy lives.
An ICD is not a cure and
patients are still considered to be
at risk of arrhythmia, which might
cause unconsciousness or cardiac
arrest, if only for a few seconds
before treatment is delivered.
Read the full story on our
website, under “Latest News”:
November 2011 | page 5
For more news, staff can go to
the intranet: http://apollo and
click on “News” or “Forums”
CoHoC update
For anyone thinking about
writing their will, Colchester
Hospitals Charity (CoHoC) has
teamed up with local solicitors to provide a will writing
service during Free Will
Month, in February. You will
be invited to make a voluntary donation to CoHoC as
the solicitors have waived
their fees for simple wills.
Meanwhile, CoHoC will be
launching a hospital lottery
after Christmas email for
details of how to take part.
See back page for contact
information, plus details of
the Santa Fun Run.
Pharmacy extends
weekend working hours
The Pharmacy Department
has extended its official weekend opening hours to provide
an enhanced clinical service to
patients admitted during
weekends, especially via the
emergency route.
It will open from 10am to
2pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Clinical priority is given
to patients on the Emergency
Assessment Unit, care of the
elderly and medical wards.
Members of pharmacy staff
working over the weekend
period can be contacted via
the dispensary on ext 2102.
Briefly for staff
i More details on the
intranet under News
More news for staff, page 12
page 6 | Mainstream
TG Tips help CQUINs
successful pilot to help
people with diabetes at
Colchester General Hospital has been rolled out to all
inpatient wards.
At any one time, one in six
patients in hospital have diabetes compared with a figure
of one in 25 of the general
population. ThinkGlucose (TG)
– a major programme from
the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement – aims
to reduce as much as possible
the inequalities that they suffer. Following a successful
pilot study on Nayland and
Fordham wards last year, the
programme was rolled out to
all inpatient wards.
Part of the success of the
project is the use of a particular form to identify patients
with diabetes. Glucose Project
Nurse Shirley Davis said: “People with diabetes in hospital
have longer lengths of stay,
get more complications and
have more complex problems that need
looking after.
a diabetes
assessment form
on a
admission, as it
identifies someone
that needs immediate or
urgent referral to a Diabetes
Specialist Nurse (DSN) or to a
podiatrist. The DSN will be
able to review the patient’s
glycaemic control and the
podiatrist any foot ulceration
or open wounds.”
Matrons are overseeing
the process with the DSNs
auditing the wards. Ward staff
are using ThinkGlucose
magnetic buttons to
identify patients
that have had a
form completed.
Shirley said:
“We’ve prepared some TG
Tips – a set of
questions and
answers for staff –
to help answer any
queries they may have.”
To help staff remember to
complete a form, the Diabetes
Team are offering the chance
to win a mug by completing
the most forms. Wards that
are doing well will be
What Satish did on holiday
-ray engineer Satish Thaker
spent two weeks of his
holiday last month training
hospital engineers at Mulago
Hospital, Uganda.
Working with the Amalthea
Trust, Satish was part of a team of
UK engineers helping to train
newly-qualified university
graduates to repair and maintain
hospital equipment. A new
course, run by Kyambogo
University and partly sponsored by
the Amalthea Trust, aims to train
20 engineers every year.
Satish said: “I went to Uganda
on 1 October with Steven Daglish,
the co-ordinator for the charity, to
start the pilot scheme.
“In Africa most hospitals
have large quantities of medical
equipment that could be made to
work again with a little attention,
but there is an acute shortage of
trained medical engineers.
“My role was to help Steven
teach basic electronics and identify
repairable equipment at the
hospital in Kampala.
I was covering the first two weeks,
and other volunteer engineers
came after me. The course goes a
long way to solving equipment
maintenance problems, not just in
Uganda but in other Englishspeaking countries in Africa. It
means more operations and care
can be provided, thus saving lives.
Overall it was challenging, eye-
rewarded with some chocolates
and a ThinkGlucose mug.
Meanwhile, ThinkGlucose has
been chosen as one of the Trust’s
patient safety initiatives for this
year’s CQUIN. A CQUIN (Commissioning for Quality and Innovation) rewards excellence by linking a proportion of the Trust’s
income to achieving quality
improvement goals.
The Trust has a target of 90%
of patients having a completed
form by December. This increases
to 95% by the end of March 2012
and therefore staff are encouraged to be particularly vigilant in
completing the forms and to file
them safely in the patient’s notes.
i Contact the diabetes team on
01206 742076 or bleep 185
People news
Midwife receives Zita
Killick prize
Former Colchester student
was awarded the Zita Killick Prize
at her graduation ceremony on
4 October, by Professor David
Humber, Pro Vice Chancellor and
Dean of the Faculty of Health &
Social Care at Anglia Ruskin
The Trust’s practice educator
midwife/senior midwifery lecturer
Bev Lynn said: “The prize is a real
honour and is bestowed to one
student each year for their
contribution to university life and
is presented in memory of the
late Zita Killick, a local midwife
and tutor who was an inspiration
to all who knew her.”
i Staff can read the full
story on the intranet, under
“News”: http://apollo
Mr Loeffler is new CDD
opening and a good experience to
work in Uganda. One thing which
made us feel really proud was the
students saying they were ‘over the
moon’ when they found out they were
going to be trained by UK engineers.
Spending just two weeks in Uganda, I
feel that in this country we take too
many things for granted.”
Orthopaedic surgeon Mr MARK
LOEFFLER has been appointed as
the Clinical
(CDD) for
following the
vacancy left
when Dr Sean
was appointed Medical Director.
Mr Loeffler is one of four clinical
divisional directors – posts that
were created to involve doctors
more in the running of the Trust.
Meanwhile, orthopaedic
consultant Mr SHIV SHANKER
has taken over from Mr Loeffler
as clinical lead in Trauma and
Orthopaedic Surgery.
David Humber
with Stephanie
New consultant posts
Four new consultants start in
new posts at the Trust this
n Histopathology consultant Dr
SOUMADRI SEN has worked in
Birmingham for the past 15
n Oncology consultant Dr
Dakshinamoorthy Muthukumar
(known as Dr KUMAR) has
worked as a consultant in Derby
for the past six years.
n Orthopaedics consultant Mr
TIM WILLIAMS has worked as
locum consultant at the Trust for
the past six months.
n Emergency medicine
consultant Dr EMMA CASTRO
will join the Trust on 3 January.
Meanwhile, some replacements have been made too,
including for Professor ROGER
MOTSON’s post (plus a new
general surgeon post) namely,
GREG WYNN, who join the Trust
substantively, having been locum
consultants here for the past 18
months and two years
respectively. Breast surgery
consultant Mr ARUNMOY
Anwar and obstetrics and
perinatal screening consultant
replaces Mr John Eddy. Urology
consultant Mr ROWAN CASEY
replaces Mr David Galvin.
We do!
ICT and Datix were brought
closer together on 23 September
with the wedding of ICT’s
desktop support team leader
manager JENNY BELL (pictured).
Congratulations to them both!
November 2011 | page 7
he decision has been made
on the location of the
£24 million radiotherapy
department at Colchester General
At the public joint Board of
Directors and Members’ Council
meeting this month, three locations were reviewed. The Board of
Directors unanimously supported
the first option – marked 1 on the
map – by the Main Block to the
west of the Gainsborough link
corridor. Other options were to
the east of the corridor (marked 2
on the map) or adjacent to the
Pharmacy Support Unit (marked
3) – the late-duty staff car park.
The Board based its decision
on an assessment of the relative
merits of each site and the opportunities presented or lost from
each, as undertaken by the architects, engineering specialists and
Trust staff.
Two approaches of evaluation
Building work on the new £5m
Hospital Sterilisation and
Decontamination Unit (HSDU)
continues, with the delivery and
erection of the first steel girders on
10 November (pictured). It is being
built next to the Old Boiler House
and should be completed in
August 2012.
See September’s Mainstream.
Radiotherapy Centre
Location of new
Rejected locations
page 8 | Mainstream
Accident and Emergency Department
The Accident and Emergency
Department is bordered by the
Radiology Department on one side
and Pharmacy on the other.
The Trust has for some time
recognised inadequacies in the design
and size of the A&E Department and
there have been several attempt
address the situation. Some inclu
ambitious plans to integrate A&E
the Emergency Assessment Unit
(EAU); others have looked at sta
alone solutions for each departm
Expansion of A&E could be
were used. The first, Achieving
Excellence Design Evaluation
toolkit criteria, is not strictly
designed for use at this stage in a
project, but gives useful indications
of design issues that might arise
for each site.
The second used the Trust’s
own criteria, including:
n clinical appropriateness
n accessibility
n “buildability” – site, environmental services and disruption
s to
E and
n financial implications
n strategic impact/fit.
A full business case will continue to be developed to be complete as the contractual arrangements for the scheme come to a
conclusion on a timescale to be
agreed by the Board.
eanwhile, the Board has
committed £150,000 to
support the creation of a
development plan and 1:200 scale
designs to meet the longer term
environmental and space needs of
the A&E department and a reception and retail facility (see boxes
below), addressing the needs of
any displaced services as a result.
It also has agreed to appoint a
commercial partner to develop a
retail and reception facility.
i More on the Trust website,
under “Board Meetings”:
More parking spaces
The Trust will renew plans for 76 extra
spaces in the main hospital car park,
which Colchester Council rejected last
year as it meant removing hedges
providing a screen for residents
opposite the Turner Road site. The Trust
will also apply for a 65-space car park
on land it owns in Mill Road.
More parking spaces will be
needed for staff and patients when it
builds a £24 million radiotherapy centre
and transfers cancer services from Essex
County Hospital.
New reception and retail zone near A&E
achieved externally by building out
from the entrances, or internally by
relocating Pharmacy or parts of
Radiology. These latter options would
have knock-on effects with a
requirement for the services affected
to be reprovided elsewhere.
The current main reception at
Colchester General Hospital is
cramped and restricted and does
not give a good impression to
patients and visitors.
Our Trust is a long way
behind neighbouring trusts in
providing a choice of shops and
catering to visitors and staff at the
hospital. With more people on the
site as cancer services consolidate
at Colchester General Hospital,
the lack of amenities and the
pressure on current facilities
becomes more evident.
Many NHS trusts are
developing retail and associated
facilities in partnership with
specialist companies. The
investment in the infrastructure is
met by the commercial partner on
a long-term lease, typically 20-25
years, with the Trust benefiting
from an element of the rentals
from the sub-let units.
Local examples include
Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford
and Southend Hospital.
Developing a new reception
near A&E will take considerable
pressure off the current entrance
which would revert to being used
principally by outpatients and
people attending radiology.
Judicial review
he decision to centralise cancer
services in Colchester and
Southend is to be scrutinised
by a judicial review after legal
action was sought by a group of
patients in mid Essex. They are disappointed that Broomfield Hospital
will miss out and patients could be
forced to travel long distances for
The decision to expand Essex’s
two existing radiotherapy centres at
Colchester and Southend, rather
than develop a third centre in
Chelmsford, was announced in June,
(see June Mainstream). NHS Mid
Essex Chief
Sheila Bremner said at the
time that it
was accepted
as the best
option for
increasing the
number of
treatments in
on 31 October the four primary care trusts
(PCTs) in the Essex Cancer Network
were served with notice of an application for judicial review in relation
to the PCTs’ decision not to develop
separate radiotherapy infrastructure
at Broomfield Hospital for the population of mid Essex. Our Trust,
together with Mid Essex Hospitals
Services NHS Trust and Southend
Hospital NHS Foundation Trust were
cited as interested parties in the
The documentation submitted
into court by the applicants is being
reviewed and the hearing is expected to be sometime in the New Year.
November 2011 | page 9
A threat to patient
safety in hospitals
Misuse of antibiotics is driving the development of antibiotic resistance in hospitals.
From 21 November the routine antibiotic course length in our hospitals was reduced
he Trust’s antibiotic prescribing IV
stop, oral switch protocol has been
reviewed and updated. Some
patients are exempt from the protocol due
to their location within the hospital.
These include :
n patients on the Critical Care Unit (ITU/
n patients on the Isolation Unit
n haematology/oncology patients being
treated under the protocol for
neutropenic sepsis
n paediatrics, including the Neonatal Unit.
Some patients are exempt with conditions
where long-term antibiotics are indicated.
All antibiotic guidelines can
be found by clicking on the
antibiotic icon (pictured) on
the desktop of all Trust computers. Alternatively, look in
the intranet’s e-library under Pharmacy >
Antibiotics Prescribing and Treatment
Guidelines, or visit: http://apollo and search
for “antibiotic guidelines”.
page 10 | Mainstream
ntibiotic-resistant bacteria are increasingly becoming an everyday concern in
healthcare across the world. European
Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) on 18 November is a Europe-wide public health initiative
aimed at encouraging responsible use of antibiotics.
Dr Gillian Urwin, Consultant Microbiologist,
said: “On 18 November the Trust’s Antibiotic
Management Team had a mobile stand visiting
wards at Colchester
General Hospital to
promote the prudent
use of antibiotics. And
on 21 November we
rolled out a new policy
on reducing the routine
antibiotic course.”
Infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria
may render appropriate antibiotic therapy difficult, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality as well as increased hospitalisation and
costs of care. Although there has not been an
MRSA bacteremia infection at either of our hospitals since May 2010, the Trust has had 23 cases
of Clostridium difficile since April (with a ceiling
for 2011/12 of 25).
“Using antibiotics wisely keeps the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria and the
risk of C diff to a minimum,” said Dr Urwin.
“All healthcare workers can play an active role
in ensuring antibiotics are used appropriately.”
Use of antibiotics is one of the main factors
driving the development of antibiotic resistance
in hospitals. Unfortunately, misuse of antibiotics
is common. For example, patients are highly
likely to receive antibiotics during their hospital
stay yet studies show that 50% of all antibiotic
use in hospitals can be inappropriate. Prudent
use of antibiotics can reduce the emergence
and selection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Dr Urwin added: “From 21 November we
started recommending the routine antibiotic
course length is reduced from seven to five
days, unless a restriction applies and a longer
course length is indicated by the patient’s condition. To allow for this
the antibiotic prescribing
IV stop, oral switch protocol has been reviewed
and updated.”
IV antibiotic courses
should be no longer
than two days, followed
by three days of oral antibiotics (total course
length = five days). If oral antibiotics are used
the course length should not exceed five days.
Some patients are exempt from the protocol by location within the hospital (see panel
left) while some are exempt with conditions
where long-term antibiotics are indicated.
European Antibiotic Awareness Day is supported by the Department of Health and its
advisory committee on antimicrobial resistance
and healthcare associated infections.
“All staff can play an active role
in ensuring antibiotics are used
Dr Gillian Urwin is based at the Department
of Microbiology on 01206 747374 or by email:
[email protected]
i See also our Clean, Safe, Spotless campaign:
Pat retires after 40 years!
he longest-serving employee at the
Trust retired on 26 October after 40
years’ continuous service.
Medical records clerk Pat Slowgrove
joined the NHS straight from school as a
cadet nurse on 10 September 1971.
Ironically, her first three months were
spent working in the Health Records
Department at Essex County Hospital
which was followed by spells on the children’s ward there, on a geriatric ward at
the old St Mary’s Hospital, Colchester, and
then back to Essex County Hospital to work in the outpatients
Nine months into her NHS career, she decided that nursing
was not for her and she switched to the Health Records Department where she has worked ever since.
Pat said: “I’ve really enjoyed my many years in Colchester,
have made many friends and will really miss it. The role of the
Health Records Department is an important one because it is to
ensure that the right medical record gets to the right place at
the right time. I’ve seen so many changes during my time here
which began before we even had computers and is ending with
the Trust having a purpose-built health records centre at Colchester General Hospital.”
She spent 36 years at Essex County Hospital before transferring to Colchester General Hospital in 2008. From 1984 to 2008,
she was a supervisor and from 2008 she worked part-time to
help her prepare for retirement.
Health Records Manager Teresa Frost said: “Pat has been a
valuable asset to the department with her vast wealth of knowledge and has contributed greatly in assisting with the many
changes faced over the years. She has many friends and colleagues who will sincerely miss her but send her very best wishes
for a long and happy and, certainly, well-deserved retirement.”
Meanwhile, Breast Unit Manager Pat Budd retires on 31
December. In a tribute to her on the intranet, her colleagues
wrote: “It is now time for you to live life according to your own
schedule so savour every minute of it.
“Your knowledge will be missed but you can leave the Breast
Unit in safe hands knowing that you have helped to shape the
team into the great Colchester Breast Unit that it is.
“We have no doubt that you will continue to be busy and
wish you a very happy retirement living in your new home in
NATIONAL NEWS II| IIPrimary care, Dept of Health and beyond
National news
What can you expect from your doctor?
A public consultation has been launched to review Good Medical Practice, the core guidance for UK doctors. Every doctor
has to meet the standards within it and so the General Medical
Council (GMC) wants to hear from patients and doctors.
Under the new measures, patients, and particularly vulnerable adults and children will receive greater protection. The
draft guidance also asks doctors to take prompt action to deal
with problems with basic care, particularly for patients who are
unable to drink, feed or clean themselves. The consultation
ends on 10 February. Add your response to the consultation via
the GMC’s consultation website:
Ground-breaking schemes commended in awards
A series of ground-breaking schemes has helped the NHS North
East Essex (PCT) public health team win a national accolade.
The team was highly commended in the Commissioning Organisation of the Year category in the HSJ
(Health Service Journal) 2011 awards.
Dr Mike Gogarty, Director of Public
Health at the PCT, said: “Our submission
was based on a number of initiatives the
team has commissioned, for example
NHS health checks in the community, senior health checks, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) diagnosis, virtual wards and a reachout project, to improve the health of the local population.”
The 30th HSJ Awards took place on 15 November and more
than 300 organisations took part.
Automated pill dispenser could transform lives
People who have trouble remembering to take their medication at the right time are benefiting from an innovative automated pill dispenser being piloted by NHS North East Essex.
The dispenser’s aim is to allow people who, for whatever
reason, struggle to remember to take their medicine, to remain
independent at home and decrease reliance on health and
social care services.
The dispenser is programmed with the patient’s dosage
times and filled with their medication. At the appropriate time,
a visible and audible alarm alerts the patient that it is time to
take their medication. It can also be used in conjunction with
another device which sends a message to their family if medication is missed.
People can self-refer onto the pilot by phoning the memory
assessment and monitoring support service on 01206 228901
November 2011 | page 11
Continued from page 6
Safety advice for
Christmas decorations
Advice relating to Christmas
trees and decorations in
wards and departments has
been issued on the Trust’s
intranet. No wall or ceiling
hanging decorations are
allowed and any decorations
that are used elsewhere must
be new and in good condition
to reduce the potential infection risks. Ceiling and wall
streamer decorations have the
potential to spread fire exceptionally quickly, obstruct
smoke or heat detection systems and fire exit notices
become difficult to see. All
electrical devices, such as treelights, must be examined and
tested by a competent electrician. Lit candles are not
acceptable either. Look on the
intranet under Info About > F
> Fire Safety.
Nearly 1,500 jabbed
The seasonal flu campaign
has been successful with 1,469
staff being vaccinated by 3
November against both seasonal flu and H1N1 (swine) flu
(40% of clinical staff). Health
& Wellbeing continue to hold
regular clinics. Please see
intranet for dates. If you have
not had your vaccine you are
advised to attend one of the
clinics as soon as you can.
Staff vaccinated in October
were entered into a draw and
biomedical scientist Richard
Stevens and HCA Gillian
O’Sullivan both won £50
Marks and Spencer vouchers.
page 12 | Mainstream
Briefly for staff
More than 240
enter Awards
ore than 240 people entered the
Trust’s first At Our Best Awards,
launched last month to recognise staff
and volunteers achievements and to thank
them for what they do. Nominations closed on
23 November, with the ceremony next month.
Anyone – colleagues, patients and the public – could nominate an individual or a team
they felt had made an outstanding contribution
at our Trust. Entries were accepted online or in
writing. People just had to write down the
name of the person or team and explain in no
more than 50 words why they deserved to win
(the citation). Thank you cards, plaudits and letters of praise also counted, as long as they met
the criteria and were sent in to the competition.
Although 241 people entered the awards,
not everyone wrote down the reason why the
person or team deserved to win. Nevertheless,
140 entries were completed, with some individuals and teams nominated more than once.
There were 37 nominations from patients.
Media partners the Daily Gazette supported
the Awards by printing entry forms and running articles.
The judging panel – directors, governors
and staff side representatives – will meet early
next month to judge the entries, with the prizegiving ceremony on 14 December. Entries will
be judged on the citations and the individual or
team that demonstrates the At Our Best behaviours standards and values shown below – caring, communication and consistency.
The judges want to see the reasons a person or team should win and what qualities they
have that make them so outstanding. For
n were they caring, welcoming, respectful and
n did they communicate clearly, keep you
informed and stay responsive to your individual needs?
n did they give you a consistently professional
and safe service?
n did they make a difference to you and your
Although the current Awards closed on
23 November, there will be more individual and
team awards every three months or so, with an
annual ceremony in July 2012.
The next quarterly Awards will be
announced in the New Year.
i More information from:
Have you got your At Our Best leaflet?
ast month the Trust
launched a set of organisation behaviour standards and values developed
from the At Our Best programme.
More than 500 members
of staff, from every clinical
and corporate division and
from all professional groups,
were involved in creating the
standards. The three themes –
caring, communication, consistency – have key actions
underlying them.
The Trust gave a small
leaflet (pictured) to all staff
which highlights the six simple
pledges to ensure patients get
the very best treatment and
experience at our hospitals.
If you have not received a
leaflet, contact Jo Willis, PA to
the Associate Director of
Organisational Development,
01206 742527 or email
[email protected]
How long
will I wait?
For April to September 2011
(Apr to Sept 2010’s figures in red):
JOutpatients attending hospital
for first time 50,790 (51,501)
LFollow-up outpatients 114,395
LDay case spells 11,313 (11,035)
JElective inpatient spells 3,894
JNon-elective inpatient spells
19,188 (19,227)
LRegular day attendances 5,860
In September 2011 (Sept 2010):
LA&E department attendance
6,080 (5,950)
JAverage performance of
patients seen, treated or
discharged against the four-hour
standard 98.10% (97.95%)
L18-week referral to treatment
was 91.53% (94.07%) for
admitted patients
JFor non-admitted patients, it
was 97.33% (95.79%)
J0% (0%) breaches in
outpatients 13-week target
LUrgent suspected cancer
referrals (those meeting twoweek maximum wait from GP
urgent referral to first outpatient
appointment) 94.9% (96.29%)
JMRSA cases 0 (0)
(ceiling is 1 for 2011/12)
LC diff cases 5 (3)
(ceiling is 25 for 2011/12)
JHand hygiene compliance
98.53% (96.74%).
Trust’s financial
position is good
All events at Colchester General Hospital unless
otherwise stated. Members are invited to
attend public events with their friends or
family. Details from Membership Helpline on back
page. (Staff members should look on the Trust
intranet’s Forums under ‘Events’ at: http://apollo)
4 November to 2012
Health Talks for the public
t has been known for some
time that NHS expenditure
in 2011/12 was going to be
relatively flat, but our Trust
continues in a position of
financial strength. It does not
have any historic debt and is
well on course for achieving a
financial surplus for 2011/12
while delivering a Service and
Cost Improvement Programme
(SCIP) of £14.5m. Up to September SCIP schemes had
delivered £5.7m against a target of £7m, with £3.1m of this
being non-recurring.
The Trust has achieved a
year to date surplus of £2.1m,
slightly behind budget of
£2.3m. Over delivery of activi-
ty and income is mitigating
shortfalls in delivering SCIP.
The Trust is taking on more
staff to reduce its vacancy rate.
The capital programme
spend from April to September was £2m and the Trust is
currently carrying out building
work at Colchester General
Hospital (see pages 8-9).
Monthly staff turnover in
September was 1.16% (10.31%
The rolling 12-month sickness absence figure is 3.62%.
i Finance and Performance
Committee Report, Month 6,
on the Trust website under
“Board Meetings”
The cases of C diff at our Trust since April 2008. This
year (2011/12) we have had 23 cases with a ceiling
for the year of 25. Source: Intranet home page
A series of free talks in Colchester where a leading doctor or other healthcare professional speaks on a health
topic relevant to today’s lifestyle. Anyone, including public and staff members, their friends and family, are more
than welcome to come along. 6.30-8pm.
n Wed 30 Nov “Living well with healthy kidneys”
Dr Gabor Cserep, Consultant Nephrologist
n Wed 25 Jan “The brain attacks”
Dr Rajesh Saksena, Consultant in Stroke Medicine.
Recognition of stroke, risk factors, preventive strategies
and management of acute stroke and TIA (mini-stroke).
n Wed 29 Feb “Bowels and Bottoms!”
Miss Sharmila Gupta, Consultant Colorectal and
Laparoscopic Surgeon
n Wed 28 Mar “ThinkGlucose”
(note: talk is in Clacton)
Dr Charles Bodmer, Consultant Physician.
Future dates: Wed 25 Apr, Wed 30 May, Wed 27 Jun,
Wed 25 Jul, Wed 29 Aug, Wed 26 Sep, Wed 17 Oct,
Wed 28 Nov. More details on our website. For the exact
location and details, call the Membership Helpline (see
back page).
4 Thursday 8 December
Brain Tumour Support group
Farleigh Hospice, Chelmsford, 5-7pm. The North and
Mid Essex Brain Tumour Support Group is being set up
by Elaine Westall, a Macmillan neuro-oncology clinical
nurse specialist at Essex County Hospital and Broomfield
Hospital, Chelmsford. Contact Elaine 07919 304 034 or
email [email protected] for more information.
See also 10 January, page 15.
4 Friday 9 December
Meet the Charity Committee
CoHoC charity funds gatekeepers are invited to attend
the meeting 10am-12noon at the Postgraduate Centre.
For more details, call Caroline Bates – see back page.
4 Friday 9 December
Volunteers’ Christmas Party
Contact Lucy Archer for more details, 01206 744006.
i Visit the page “How long
will I wait” on Trust website:
4 Sunday 11 December
Santa Fun Run!
See back page.
i You can also see monthly
reports on our website under
“Board Meetings”
Continues on page 15
November 2011 | page 13
Describe your job
In the Antenatal Assessment Unit
(AAU) we care for, assess,
monitor and treat ante-natal
women who may be
experiencing problems during
pregnancy. Problems are varied,
but we see many women with a
wide range of conditions. Our
care includes blood tests,
monitoring a baby’s heartbeat,
routine observations, organising
scans and consultant appointments when appropriate. We
also see pre-op women prior to
Caesarean sections.
How does your role
improve patient care?
Prior to AAU, women may well
have been hospitalised but now,
by careful monitoring of these
varied conditions, the need to
stay in hospital is almost always
avoided. The midwives who
work in AAU are privileged to be
page 14 | Mainstream
60 seconds
able to get to know many
women and their partners during
often difficult times. We take
ownership of the care we give,
planning it with obstetricians.
What would you change
at the Trust?
Difficult to say this, but I would
like to see more fairness with
regard to some of the wards and
facilities available to our public.
The new blocks and wards are
bright, airy and spacious with
many much-needed facilities,
whilst other older-style wards are
often cramped and present
difficulties for both patients and
Best part of your job?
Getting to know the women,
playing a part in their care and
then finally seeing them at the
end of their pregnancy with both
mother and baby healthy!
Signs of
am delighted to see so many
entries for the At Our Best Awards
from across all parts of the Trust.
These awards will recognise those
staff and volunteers who truly
demonstrate care, communication
and consistency. I am especially
pleased to see that more than a quarter of the nominations have come
from patients themselves.
In our latest outpatient survey,
93% of respondents said their care
was either good, very good or excellent. This is very encouraging and
suggests that At Our Best is starting
to have an impact on our patients.
However, you may have read the
Daily Mail article on 7 November entitled “The Rudest Hospital in Britain”.
Our Trust was listed as having 161
complaints last year relating to “attitude”. I accept that 161 is 161 complaints too many so, whilst our ratio
of compliments to complaints is
about 27:1, we do need to keep our
focus on patient satisfaction. In particular, staff attitude and our behaviour towards patients is paramount.
That’s why we launched At Our Best
in March to inspire our staff to be at
their best with every patient every
day. As part of the programme we listened to hundreds of patients and
staff to identify a set of behaviours
and values which culminated in care,
communication and consistency.
So I do expect that as we all
embrace the words and the spirit
behind the At Our Best programme,
our patient experience will improve.
One way we will know this is happening will be through the improvements
we see in our patient surveys.
Another way will be through the
NHS Staff Survey. As we know, motivated staff who are passionate about
patients will improve the care we
provide. Many staff – about 54% –
have already given their views, but
some staff have queried how Quality
Health, the company conducting the
survey for us, know if someone hasn’t
replied, given that it is confidential?
I can assure all staff that the Trust has
absolutely no access to individual
responses and they are completely
confidential. There has never been
any leak of data from any staff survey
run by Quality Health. All personal
data is destroyed three months after
the survey closes, and no one outside
Quality Health has access to it.
You can read more about this on
the intranet, under “News”.
So I encourage everyone to complete their surveys with this thought
in mind: “As a team, how do you
think things are going at the Trust?”
Personally, I do think things are
improving. I hope you too have
noticed an increase in confidence, an
openness and improved communication. However, I would like to hear
from you where we have improved
and where we need to improve further.
Dr Gordon Coutts | Chief Executive
St Mary’s Angling & Social Club
I am the secretary of the above club
which has been in existence since the
1980s. Initially it was only an angling club
for the members of the estates department at St Mary’s Hospital. But after a
few years the fishing side of the club
stopped and the social side increased and
today the social activities arranged are
quite varied.
We have 143 members and the £6
annual membership is open to NHS staff
in north east Essex. Membership entitles
first refusal of any event they would like
to attend. Future events are now posted
on the intranet forum, “Events outside of
the Trust”. We look forward to meeting
new members at our forthcoming events!
Heather Wragg, Former Administrative Manager for Women’s Services
[email protected]
Trust HQ, Colchester General Hospital
; EMAIL: [email protected]
She got to know us and felt like a friend
when we left with our precious little girl.
I know a few others who she has
looked after and they all sing her praises
too, which I think really shows her nature
and the standard of work she does. I have
heard some pretty rough birth stories, so I
know it was really down to Michelle that
mine was such a happy one in the end!
Allie Alderson, by email
ACE bit of feedback
I work for Anglian Community Enterprise
(ACE) and regularly read Mainstream. I
think it is a great bit of PR work and actually makes me want to work for your
Trust, as it paints such a good picture of
your work.
Alix Sheppard
Health Champion Coordinator
Anglian Community Enterprise
Colchester Business Park
Midwife Michelle was so friendly
My daughter Lena was born on 25
December last year – so needless to say,
getting to the hospital in the snow and
ice was pretty scary! Paired with a threeday on-and-off labour and the baby getting in distress, it could have made for a
very hard experience. But midwife
Michelle Carrington turned it all around
for us.
Michelle was so friendly and encouraging and proactive that it made all the
difference to me. I thought I was facing
forceps and she managed to get me to
give that last bit of energy I had and Lena
made it safely into the world without any
problems. Michelle took a real interest in
us as people (we are Jehovah’s Witnesses
and so having a baby born on Christmas
Day was certainly a conversation starter!).
Review of tax codes
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
(HMRC) are checking employees’ tax
codes and as a result a number of taxcodes are being changed to “BR”.
In the vast majority of cases this is
incorrect and you may pay too much
income tax. If you receive notification of a
BR tax code, I would strongly advise you
to contact HMRC.
When contacting HMRC please ensure
you quote the Trust’s Tax Office ref
083/CO53 and your own National Insurance number.
The phone number for HMRC is 0845
Kevin Ward
Senior Human Resources Manager
Your views
Letters | Emails
Your views
# WRITE TO: Mainstream Editor
4 Monday 12 December
Chief Exec’s Staff Briefing
Postgraduate Centre. Dr Gordon Coutts briefs senior
managers who report to an associate director or similar.
Key messages are then cascaded to all staff.
If you do not receive the cascade, email
[email protected]
n Mon 12 Dec. 11am (Note change of date)
Dates for 2012 are currently being decided. Go to
intranet http://apollo (Info About > ‘B’ for Briefing).
4 Tuesday 13 December
Windscreen safety checks
Staff car park. Free windscreen check from Autoglass.
See intranet for more details or call ext 6049.
4 13-15 December
Christmas lunch at
Senses restaurant
Come and enjoy a feast of delicious dishes, with table
service by the catering team. £12.50 each, payable by
7 December. To make a reservation for you or your
party, contact Chrissy on 01206 742478 or email
[email protected]
4 Thursday 22 December
Monthly payday
More information on the intranet.
4 January to April 2012
Members’ Council &
Board of Directors meetings
The Members’ Council works closely with the Board of
Directors to influence decision-making and strategic
planning. Local people and our staff are represented by
their governors.
n 19 Jan Members’ Council meeting in public
n 16 Feb Board of Directors meeting in public
n 12 Apr Members’ Council meeting in public
Staff and the public are welcome to attend.
Download the agenda and papers (with venue and time)
from our website (look for Board Meetings under the
About Us menu) or contact the FT Membership Office
on 01206 742586.
4 Tuesday 10 January
Brain Tumour Support Group
Postgraduate Medical Centre. See 8 December, page 13.
4 Christmas to New Year
Bank holiday opening times
The intranet keeps staff familiar with departments’
opening times on bank holidays. Departments can add
information to it themselves. Christmas and New Year
schedules all listed. Go to the intranet http://apollo
Forums > Events > Bank holiday opening times.
November 2011 | page 15
taff who look after cancer
patients at Essex County Hospital launched the Colchester
Hospitals Charity’s (CoHoC) second
Santa Fun Run this month.
The 3km (1.86 miles) Santa Fun
Run will start and finish near the
bandstand in Colchester’s Castle Park
on Sunday 11 December.
Last year’s event attracted 115
runners who raised £6,000 in sponsorship which was used to buy a vital
signs monitor for the Children’s Unit
at Colchester General Hospital.
The money raised this year will be
used to support patients in the new
cancer centre that is to be built at
Colchester General Hospital.
The event is being organised by
Caroline Bates, CoHoC Fundraising
“Five companies have generously
agreed to sponsor the fun run which
means that every penny raised will be
used to help cancer patients,” she
said. “We want more people to join in
the fun so we can raise as much as
possible. It’s open to children and
adults of all ages and abilities.”
Sir John Ashworth, Chairman of
the CoHoC Committee, said:
“CoHoC aims to make a difference to
patient care at Colchester General
Hospital and Essex County Hospital
by providing the many extras that
cannot be supplied by the NHS alone.
“We want as many people as possible to sign up and have fun running,
walking or strolling around the park.”
The entry fee is £10 for adults
(aged 16 and over), £5 for children
aged 5-15 and £5 each for members
Staff who work with cancer patients launch Santa Fun Run
of a team of at least 10. A limited
number of people will be able to
enter on the day for £20 each. Anyone raising £50 or more will have
their entry fee refunded.
Entry for the under-5s is free but
everyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Adults will be given
a Santa suit and children aged 5-15 a
Santa hat. The 3km course is on hard
i Get an information pack or entry
form from Caroline Bates (CoHoC),
Fundraising Office, Villa 10. Call
01206 745282 or email:
[email protected]
Trust website:
The cast of Tendring District Council’s
pantomime made a surprise visit to the
Children’s Ward at Colchester General
Hospital on Saturday 22 October. Performers
from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
chatted to children, parents and staff.
Children’s Services Fundraising Co-ordinator
Graham Appleton said such visits are always
a boost for the patients and their families.
Tickets available at:
Membership Helpline: 0800 0 51 51 43, weekdays 9.30am to 5pm. Email: [email protected]
Freepost ANG 2707, Chief Executive, Colchester General Hospital, Colchester, CO4 5BR
4 EDITOR: Paul Searle, Head of Communications, 01206 742348. Send your photos, news or articles to: [email protected]
4 DISTRIBUTION: 2,000 copies delivered monthly to Trust sites (7,000+ to Public members in September, December, March & June).
4 ONLINE: Monthly at: 4 NEXT EDITION’S DEADLINE: 2 December by midday.