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Fast action saves stroke patient

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A grandmother of 11 was on her way to a full recovery and able to leave hospital just three days after she suffered a stroke, thanks to the fast actions of her sister and specialist stroke staff at Basildon University Hospital.

Gillian Longman, 60, was at home with husband Dennis and sister Chris when her speech suddenly became slurred. Chris noticed that one side of her mouth was drooping, and recognised the symptoms as a possible stroke from the FAST campaign. She had seen television advertisements highlighting the key points Face, Arm, Speech, and Time, and immediately dialled 999. The paramedics arrived within five minutes.

Gillian, who lives in Pitsea, said: “I was very frightened, especially when I realised I couldn’t walk; I felt like jelly. But when I heard people talking about stroke, I kept saying, ‘no, it can’t be.’  I had felt completely fine all day before it happened.”

Gillian arrived at Basildon Hospital’s A&E department at 10.40pm on 24 January, and was assessed five minutes later by a specialist stroke nurse. She then had a CT scan, which showed that her stroke was caused by clot on the brain and she  was given a ‘clot-busting’ drug, known as thrombolysis, that aims to break up the clot and return normal blood supply to the brain.

Until she suffered a stroke, Gillian had led an active life, helping to care for some of her grandchildren and walking her three dogs. She also works at a supermarket in Pitsea, although she is currently on sick leave recovering from a broken hip.

She added: “I remember there were so many staff around me, and them explaining about the clot-busting drugs. All I could think of was my grandchildren, and how I didn’t want them to see me like this, so I said ‘go for it.’”

Gillian says that she began to feel better within an hour of receiving thrombolysis. She was moved to the hyper acute stroke unit for hourly monitoring, then to the acute stroke unit.

She added: “The care has been brilliant; I can’t fault anyone, if you need them, they come. I had my three children in Basildon hospital and came here when I broke my hip last year, so I knew I would be fine here.”

Basildon Hospital’s hyper acute stroke unit is among the best performing in the East of England according to data from the Royal College of Physicians. Patients receive rapid access to scanning equipment and the best available drugs, have a better chance of surviving and are more likely to return home than go into care.

The hospital’s stroke service, covering south Essex, also provides some of the best physiotherapy and occupational therapy services, helping patients retain their independence after suffering a stroke.

Last year Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Thurrock CCG made an additional £1 million investment in stroke services at Basildon.

Basildon Hospital has used some of the extra funding to extend consultant cover to seven days a week, increase the number of beds on the hyper acute stroke unit and recruit additional staff including a consultant, a dietician, a clinical psychologist and additional nurses and therapists.

The hospital is one of only a few in east England that provides access to specialist stroke consultants, nurses and therapists 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Dr Ravi Rangasamy, clinical lead for stroke medicine at Basildon University Hospital, said: “We are delighted that Gillian has made such a good recovery so quickly after her stroke.

“This is a very clear illustration of how important rapid assessment and thrombolysis treatment is for patients who have suffered stroke due to a blood clot, and we are very pleased that our specialist team at this hospital can offer such a high quality stroke service.”

Roadworks may affect your journey

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If you are visiting Basildon Hospital please allow extra time for your journey as there are major roadworks taking place outside the entrance to the hospital.

An extra lane is being created in Nethermayne, the road which runs alongside the hospital, between Basildon Town Centre and the A13. When completed, this will improve traffic flow in and out of the hospital site, and in the surrounding roads.

The roadworks are due to take place until May 2015.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 10:55

Board of Directors meeting - see how your hospitals are run

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The next Board of Directors meeting of Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will be held on Wednesday 28 January 2015 in Committee Rooms 1 and 2, Basildon University Hospital, starting at 2.30pm.

Local people are welcome to attend our Board meetings, which are meetings held in public rather than public meetings. This means that members of the public have the opportunity to ask questions they have submitted in advance, but are not able to participate in the decision making process.

If you wish to raise a question, please contact Ruth Taylor, Corporate Secretary, no later than Friday 23 January, on 01268 524900 ext 3943 or email:

The meeting offers the opportunity to see how Orsett and Basildon Hospitals are run and the chance to meet some of the Governors.

The Chairman and Chief Executive will update the Board on their areas of responsibility. In addition, the Board will receive reports on how the Trust performed last month in relation to the current finance position, achievement of national targets, clinical workforce numbers, quality measures and safety initiatives.

Copies of the agenda and papers will be supplied at the meeting. Copies can also be obtained from the Corporate Secretary at Basildon University

Praise for care and carpentry at Basildon Hospital

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An entire ward team and a craftsman at Basildon Hospital have received accolades for their excellent work.

Doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, housekeeping and catering staff on Osler ward were highly praised in a letter from a consultant rheumatologist, whose father passed away on the ward.

The consultant wrote to Clare Panniker, chief executive, to say that Dr Dhanraj Aggarwal, consultant, and his medical staff were ‘exemplary’ and ‘sensitive, caring and kind.’ He also said that all staff on the ward were ‘kind, supportive and thoroughly professional’, and added: ‘They have a right to be proud of their service to the patients of the NHS.’

Bella Hernandez, senior sister, Lilian Ngwu, sister, and Tracey Nye, housekeeper, accepted the team of the month award from Clare Panniker, on behalf of all their colleagues.

Bella said: “We remember this patient well. He had himself been a doctor, and many of his family were also medics. He was very appreciative and grateful for his care, and so were his relatives.”

Clare Panniker congratulated staff from Osler ward, saying: “It is particularly nice when patients or relatives commend our staff, and I think this gentleman’s family would have had high standards.”

The winner of the individual staff award was Colin Barrow, who works as a carpenter and joiner in the estates team. Colin was nominated by Laura Ware, a ward clerk in The Essex Cardiothoracic Centre. Laura said: “Colin always goes the extra mile, keeps all promises to return and finish jobs, and is friendly and always smiling.”

Clare Panniker presented Colin with his award, saying: “I always like to see behind-the-scenes staff recognised for their work. They do a really good job quietly keeping the hospital running smoothly.”

Colin said: “I see it as my job to look after the people who look after the patients. If something needs fixing I try to get there as soon as possible and go back the next day to make sure everything is ok.”

He did admit that his wife might see things a bit differently however. He has been working on a new kitchen at home for the last 12 years.

Basildon University Hospital chairman stands down

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The chairman of Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BTUH) has stood down from his position with immediate effect to pursue a career in politics.

Ian Luder, who has been with the Trust since April 2012, had previously announced in November last year that he did not intend to continue in the role when his term expires in March 2015.

However his departure has been brought forward after Mr Luder expressed his wish to be put forward as a candidate to stand at the General Election in May. He stood down from his position yesterday (January 13).

Ron Capes, BTUH lead governor, said: "Ian had already announced his decision to stand down as chairman from the end of March after a successful term during which time the Trust came out of special measures following a 'good' rating from the Care Quality Commission.

"However, after expressing his wish to be considered as a candidate at the General Election, in accordance with Department of Health guidelines it was agreed that he would stand down with immediate effect. We would like to thank Ian for his achievements at BTUH."

Bob Holmes, the Trust's deputy chair, will act as chairman until a successor is appointed. He said: "During Ian's time as chairman our hospitals have made significant progress and are now undoubtedly delivering a high standard of care to the people of Basildon and Thurrock. Ian can rightly be proud of the important role his leadership has played in achieving this turnaround."

The process to appoint a new chairman has already begun. This will be overseen by the Appointments Committee, which is made up of public, staff and appointed governors from the Trust.

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    Nethermayne, Basildon
    Essex  SS16 5NL
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