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Press Releases

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Left to right: Lead clinician Mr. Ali Salih, John Baron, MP, Cathrine Robinson and consultant breast surgeon, Dr Wayne Chicken

Basildon Hospital had the pleasure of hosting John Baron MP on Friday, 3 May. John is the Member of Parliament for Basildon and Billericay.

He is the Chairman of the All-party Parliamentary Group for Cancer, which campaigns for improved services for cancer patients. John’s visit was focused on meeting the team on their Breast Cancer Care Unit to hear about the great work they are doing and to discuss how improvements can be made to the service. He also met with volunteer, Cathrine Robinson. Cathrine is a Waitrose employee who is on a placement with the unit. She was a patient there in 2015 and wanted to give back to the team after completing her treatment programme.  

The Golden Jubilee Trust scheme allows Waitrose employees to be released on full pay to work with a local charity.

Cathrine completed a comprehensive application process detailing why she wanted to volunteer. Familiar with her story, Basildon consultant breast surgeon, Dr Wayne Chicken and John Baron MP endorsed her application.

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The care certificate award ceremony was held for new healthcare assistants who completed their care certificate programme in November and February.

The celebration was held in the newly refurbished Kevin Lafferty Lecture Theatre and celebrates the memory of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

The Care Certificate sets out the skills, competencies and standards of behaviour that are expected of support workers in health and social care. It is a nationally recognised standard which shows that you have been assessed to have the skills, knowledge and behaviours to provide compassionate and high quality care.

The ceremony featured an opening address with a lamp procession; this is a re-enactment of the ceremony that takes places every year in Westminster Abbey to commemorate Florence Nightingale’s birthday. The celebrants were handed their awards and took the ‘nurses pledge’.

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Jennifer Marshall, head of nursing and quality for medicine said, “The care certificate award for the healthcare assistants marks the end of the course and the booklet they’ve had to complete.

“To celebrate passing their competency and what they’ve achieved, we like to recognise their hard work as they can now go out and practise. The ladies also get a Basildon badge just to recognise their effort.”

Aiste Jackson, healthcare assistant said, “It has been a great experience spending time with other ladies on the two week course learning all the crucial skills needed for care in a hospital environment. The programme will definitely benefit me in the future and has highlighted why I want to be in care.”

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Mother of three, Kelly Knipes, praises her consultant and Basildon Hospital for saving her family’s lives and delivering great care.

From a young age Kelly battled with sleep behaviour disorders.  She would walk out of her house, wander to the shops, place orders and purchase things online spending almost £3000. On one occasion, she burnt her mouth and arms in her sleep and had no recollection of the events. This was very distressing, and Kelly even took an overdose once while pregnant.  In addition she has also suffered with chronic migraines which had heavily impacted her day-to-day life.

The neurologist Kelly was under performed several tests but found nothing suspicious. He referred her to respiratory consultant Dr Johnson Samuel, lead for the Sleep Service in Basildon Hospital. As this was a complex sleep disorder, Dr Samuel referred her for a full sleep study (polysomnogram) at Royal Brompton Hospital.

With the sleep study not suggesting a definitive diagnosis, Kelly wrote back to Dr Samuel asking for help. Dr Samuel brought her back to his sleep clinic and trialled her on a new device, which confirmed that her sleep was being disturbed with her brain waking on average up to 22 times an hour.

Dr Samuel suggested a trial of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device. This is a simple machine that pumps air through a mask that is worn at night. It is designed to keep the airway open while asleep.

Kelly Knipes said, “When I had the CPAP machine I felt rested and re-energized for the first time in ages. It really has given me my life back. Since starting CPAP, I have not had any abnormal sleep behaviours, have not shopped online at night, my headaches have ceased and I am not depressed.

“I’m so pleased with the way Basildon Hospital has cared for me and my children. If it wasn’t for Dr Samuel, I don’t know where I would be. All my children have been severely ill at some point in their life and Basildon Hospital has saved them on many occasions, I owe them so much.”

Consultant respiratory physician, Dr Samuel said, “I am delighted that patients such as Kelly can significantly benefit from the treatment we offer in the Sleep & Ventilation Service. It is great to see Basildon Hospital making such a difference in the lives of families.”

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Three Dutch nursing students have come to the end of their 3-month placement at Basildon Hospital. They have been working alongside experienced nurses in our accident and emergency (A&E), ambulatory care (AMU) and neonatal intensive care (NICU) units.

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Congratulations are in order for our CEO, Clare Panniker, who has been ranked ninth in the Health Service Journal’s Top 50 chief executives of 2019.

The HSJ’s sixth annual list recognises the NHS leaders whose achievements in tough times impressed the judges.

Clare has made five appearances in this listing and is the only chief executive on the list who manages three trusts. She has worked with the NHS for more than 25 years, leading change and improving the quality of healthcare wherever she has worked.

Well done Clare!

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Team leader and senior charge nurse in our Emergency Department, Mithun Thampi, has helped a young man in his early thirties who went into cardiac arrest at a leisure centre, while on duty with Essex Police as a special constable.

Mithun was on police duty with another officer, when he attended to a man who had collapsed at a sports leisure centre and was in cardiac arrest.

The man had been teaching gymnastics to school children at the Eversley Leisure Centre, when he collapsed. Mithun and his colleague arrived and performed CPR, with the help of paramedic colleagues who were at the scene a few minutes earlier. As an experienced full time nurse in A&E his response was instinctive.

Once the patient was stable, Mithun gave the ambulance crew a brief handover, the man was then transported via Air Ambulance to Essex Cardiothoracic Centre in Basildon Hospital.

The day after the incident, Mithun checked the wellbeing of the patient and met his family who were very grateful for all the help. The man is currently recovering with support from his family.

Special Constable Mithun Thampi, from Basildon Local Response Team, said,

“When I got there I felt like it was another day at work. It was out of my comfort zone as we were dealing with a life and death situation with just two kit bags from the paramedics on a gym floor. I’m pleased I was there to help, and the paramedics were glad to have me as an extra pair of hands.

“My role as a volunteer police officer is very satisfying, as I give up time for a good cause. It’s very interesting and I’ve learned so much. It has also helped with my main job as it’s given me more confidence to deal with difficult and conflicting situations.”

Mithun, who has worked in Basildon for 10 years, gives up his own time to be a special constable. These are volunteer police officers who have the same police powers but sacrifice their free time on a voluntary basis.

From a young age it has always been one of his dreams to join the police force. He joined last year after attending an Essex Police open day at Lakeside. He had to undergo exams, interviews, a physical test and four months of training before he could commence duties as a fully warranted officer.

The Trust is very supportive of his voluntary work and commends him in his live saving efforts.

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Contact us

  • Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
    Nethermayne, Basildon
    Essex  SS16 5NL
    Switchboard: 01268 524900

  • The Essex Cardiothoracic Centre
    Nethermayne, Basildon
    Essex SS16 5NL
    Switchboard: 01268 524900

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