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Small kindnesses make a difference to patients

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PR_07_14_Small_kindnesses_make_a_difference_to_patientsThe first impression that most people have of hospital is usually based on encounters with receptionists or appointment booking teams, so their attitude is hugely important.

In the monthly awards for staff at Basildon and Orsett hospitals, representatives from these departments were commended for going out of their way to help patients.

Carole Butterworth, a receptionist who works in the outpatient department in both hospitals, was named employee of the month. She was nominated by a patient who wished to remain anonymous, but described how Carole had helped after a mistake had been made with an appointment.

The patient said: "I was slightly annoyed, but after the help I received, it cheered me up a lot. Carole went completely out of her way to fit me into another clinic and ensured I was kept informed as she ran round the hospital looking for the doctor."

Clare Panniker, Chief Executive, presented Carole with her prize, saying: "Sometimes it is the small things that make a massive difference; you could just shrug and say sorry, or really try and help, as you did."

The Patient Access Team, who book appointments, were named as team of the month. They were nominated by a colleague for coping admirably under intense pressure, and adjusting to a new computer system. David Partridge, Principal Finance Manager, said: "I feel they are unsung heroes."

Ella Jolly, Christina Wheatley and Lisa Hedgecock accepted the award on behalf of their colleagues. Lisa, Operational Manager, said: "We are the first port of call at the Trust, and patients may be worried about why their GP is referring them to hospital. That is why it is very important that we are compassionate, calm and helpful."

Clare Panniker congratulated the team, saying: "I am glad you were nominated as you are one of a number of teams in the Trust who have really pulled out all the stops recently, coping with the introduction of new computer systems. It is only right that you get recognition for your hard work and efforts to make sure that things continue to run smoothly for our patients."



Photo: L-R Lisa Hedgecock; Christina Wheatley; Carole Butterworth; Ella Jolly; Clare Panniker

Congratulations to our ‘superb’ nurses and midwives

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The Chief Nurse for the East of England has praised the ‘wonderful’ transformation at Basildon Hospital.

On a recent visit, Ruth May spent time with the hospital’s heads of nursing and midwifery to hear more about the initiatives which have contributed to its recent ‘good’ rating from the CQC.

She was told about the impact of increased staffing levels and the rigorous processes which have led to a reduction in patient falls and pressure ulcers.

Other initiatives have included putting up ‘You said...we did’ boards and performance metrics across the hospital to keep patients and visitors up to date.

Ruth said: "It’s just wonderful to see the transformation that has taken place. I first came to this hospital in 2009 and it’s now a very, very different place. It’s got superb nursing leadership, but also great depth to its nursing leadership and they are working as one team. There isn’t a weak link here."

Diane Sarkar, Basildon Hospital’s Director of Nursing, said: "I was really proud to be able to show the chief nurse the huge changes which have taken place in our hospital. We have made great strides in recent years, making sure that our patients are at the heart of everything we do. I’m confident that local people now have access to the best nursing and midwifery care the NHS has to offer."

Photo: Heads of Nursing at Basildon Hospital with Chief Nurse for East of England, Ruth May

Last Updated on Monday, 21 July 2014 14:10

Charity donation could be a life-saver

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Cardiac patients have donated a piece of vital equipment to the hospital which saved their lives.

Representatives from the Hearts and Minds charity returned to Basildon Hospital’s Cardiothoracic Centre (CTC) this week with the £7,000 automated chest compression machine.

The charity was established in 2008 by heart attack and cardiac arrest patients who wanted to ‘give something back’ to the hospital where they had been rehabilitated.

Hearts and Minds chairman Andrew Catley, suffered a cardiac arrest when he was refereeing a football match.

He said: “This piece of kit is a lifesaver and as a group we don’t think we can do much better than to save someone’s life. It replaces manual cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) which is the first aid method used if someone is not breathing properly or their heart has stopped.

“Manual CPR is only effective for two minutes per person because of the physical exertion. This machine will go on all day!”

The Hearts and Minds charity was set up to provide a support network for patients and their families.

Andrew added: “Having a heart attack or cardiac arrest can be a very traumatic experience – it’s a massive shock mentally and physically. The hospital can put you back together physically but it’s also important to have support from people who have had the same experience.”

The charity meets every month and raises funds through events including quiz, curry and bingo nights and barn dances. Andrew added: “This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to Basildon Hospital.”

Keith Loakman, lead resuscitation officer at Basildon Hospital, said: “This kit takes away the inconsistency of people doing chest compressions themselves and will ensure on-going effective chest compressions during the treatment of a cardiac arrest.  It means we have two chest compression devices in the CTC, to enable the intervention and treatment of multiple events in the Cardiac Cath Labs and on the wards within the CTC.”

Photo: (L-R) Hearts and Minds members John Kingsgate, David March, Wendy Wright, Brenda Latchford, Andrew Catley and Steve Brown with Basildon Hospital lead resuscitation officer Keith Loakman

Your local voice

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Come along and meet the governors of Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust at the next meeting of the Council of Governors on Monday 28 July, in Committee Rooms 1 and 2, Level G, Basildon University Hospital, Nethermayne, Basildon, SS16 5NL at 5pm.

All Council of Governors meetings are held in public and local people are welcome to attend and observe first hand your governors at work.

The Council of Governors is made up of 19 public governors who represent the constituencies of Thurrock, Basildon, Brentwood and the rest of England. There are a further 5 staff and 6 appointed governors from partner organisations. Our governors play an important part in providing impartial and considered observations on the running of the Trust, while also acting as a voice of the views, concerns and aspirations of the community and overseeing the plans and performance of Basildon and Orsett Hospitals.

Public governors are elected by the public members of the NHS Foundation Trust. Anyone over the age of 12 can join and members over the age of 16 can apply to become a governor. Members receive a regular newsletter and can participate in surveys, focus groups, and meetings, if they wish.

For more details about the meeting or becoming a member, phone the Membership Office on 01268 598975.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 13:15

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 23 July 2014, in Rooms B2/B3, Education Centre, 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, two days in advance, 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 Hospital and will placed on the Trust website by midday on the Friday preceding the meeting.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 13:16

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    Nethermayne, Basildon
    Essex  SS16 5NL
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