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Press Releases

Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Annual Members’ Meeting  

Anthony Schirn and Fawad Ali

Pictured is Anthony left with Fawad.

With record breaking numbers of patients visiting A&E, have you ever wondered how our Acute Medical Units are managed, especially when under increased pressure?

If so, then come along and find out at our 15th Annual Members’ Meeting which is being held on Tuesday 24 September 2019. The meeting is open to everyone.

Key note speakers this year will be Fawad Ali, consultant physician, acute medicine and Anthony Schirn, head of nursing, emergency care.

Attendees will also find out more about the work of the Trust and meet our Basildon Hospital governors. We will be offering light refreshments and parking is free.

The meeting will take place from 4pm in Function Room 1, Barleylands, Barleylands Road, Billericay, Essex, CM11 2UD.

To find out more and reserve your place, please call 01268 598975 or email

Notes to editors: You are welcome to send a reporter and photographer to the AMM. Please confirm your attendance with the communications team on 01268 524900 ext 2994.

Radio station Gateway 97.8fm hired The Big Red Memories Bus to visit landmarks including Basildon Hospital, to celebrate 70 years of the town recently.

The hospital radio joined Basildon Community Radio on their journey to collect memories from the people who live in the town. The bus stopped at landmarks such as Wat Tyler Country Park, Basildon Sporting Village, Barleylands, and Wickford Downtowner Youth Club.

Many local people joined the celebration, including Billericay town crier Jim Shrubb, Matt Everard and his Tuk Tuk, that he had shipped over from Thailand and chairman of Gateway Radio, Alan Ursell.

The bus stopped outside Basildon’s outpatient department and the radio team were ready with microphones, broadcasting live and talking to patients and staff about Basildon life.

Jacqui James, chairman of the hospital radio said, “Basildon Hospital is a significant part of the town and it was fantastic to visit the hospital and mark 70 years .”

BHR1287 is the radio service operated by Basildon Hospital Radio, which broadcasts 24 hours a day throughout the year for patients. The live programme plays a continuous mixture of news, features and show favourites.

Money donated to the hospital radio goes towards the running of the service, so entertainment, information and news can be supplied free of charge to the patients of the hospital.

 Left to right: Alan, town crier Jim Shrub and Jacqui outside of Basildon hospital.


L- R: Laura Tomsett, Jackie Gibson, Katy Low, Emma Chaplin, Catherine O’Doherty and Sue Barry

Over 75 family, friends and colleagues joined together in support of Basildon Hospital's cancer services on Thursday 8 August. The evening raised funds for future health and wellbeing events for people living with and beyond cancer in the Basildon and Thurrock area.

The event was held at the Tandoori Parlour in Thundersley where guests enjoyed delicious food and music followed by a raffle with fantastic prizes that were all kindly donated by local businesses in the Basildon, Southend and Thurrock area.

Sue Barry, health and wellbeing coordinator at Basildon Hospital and organiser of the event said:

“We need to raise money so we can host more health and well-being events for patients living with and beyond cancer.

“Macmillan lead cancer nurse, Katy Low and I organise the health and wellbeing events that are designed to educate and empower patients promoting a positive and active lifestyle.

“These events help increase patients’ confidence and knowledge, enabling them to identify the consequences of treatments, deal with the physical and emotional distress associated with cancer and recognise symptoms of cancer recurrence. The events are supported by Basildon Hosital clinical nurses specialist group”.

“The event was very well attended and thank you to all sponsors who donated such wonderful prizes”

Jackie Gibson, cancer manager at Basildon commented:

“All previous events were funded by the Cancer Alliance and this budget is not ongoing.

“Off-site locations are a better environment for patients, but the costs are higher once we add in venue hire, speakers and catering.

“The funds raised at this event will improve the wellbeing of our cancer patients and their carers going forward”.

Congratulations to all winners on the night.

MD 2line logo for website

A new app, Maternity Direct, will mean mums-to-be across Mid and South Essex will have greater peace of mind in between their scheduled midwife appointments.

Basildon Hospital has launched Maternity Direct, a free, secure, web-based app that connects mums-to-be with an NHS midwife. This is the first app to interactively connect registered NHS midwives with pregnant women for secure instant messaging chats.

The app was developed after the Trust found that women had many questions regarding their pregnancy between scheduled midwife appointments. Feedback from women found that searching online did not instill confidence, and some felt uncomfortable contacting their midwife or the maternity unit with non-urgent questions.  

Set up for non-urgent enquiries, the app provides access to up-to-date, evidence-based information and advice. Mums-to-be who have registered with Basildon Hospital for their maternity care can access the chat function of the app, and a record of their chat will be available on the woman’s phone and stored in the Trust’s secure patient record.

The main aims of the app are to improve communication for women whilst reducing the number of unnecessary phone calls, hospital attendances, and GP appointments for non-urgent issues. Midwives can support more than one “chat message” at a time, compared with the time taken on standard telephone calls. A “midwife group chat” will also provide assurance and support.

An in-app appointment calendar offers reminders of upcoming maternity related hospital appointments to help reduce the number of missed appointments.

Clare Panniker, Chief Executive Officer at Mid and South Essex University Hospitals Group said:

“I’m very proud of the work the maternity team have done in creating the maternity direct app. To be able to chat online with a midwife and be guaranteed a response in a few hours for those issues that are not an emergency is so reassuring and will give peace of mind to women going through the normal but unexpected developments pregnancy brings. I’m confident that this app will soon be the first port of call for women all over Mid and South Essex.”

At present, the “chat” and “my appointments” functions of the app are only available to women who have referred their pregnancy to Basildon Hospital although anyone can access the app as a guest for health information. Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals are part of the Mid and South Essex University Hospitals Group, and Maternity Direct will be introduced to the Southend and Mid Essex sites within the next year.

Karen Berry, Maternity Commissioner of the Acute Commissioning Team for Mid and South Essex, said: “The Maternity App has been tested by our maternity patient partners and will grow and develop, supporting the great work being undertaken in our local maternity community. The app will also offer women information about their choice of maternity services, along with accessibility to personalised care plans and will enhance the continuity of care throughout their pregnancy journey. The development of this app forms part of the BETTER BIRTHS initiative, the aim being to improve outcomes to our mothers and babies.”

Lesley Overy, Head of Midwifery, Nursing & Quality at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals said: “This app is a fantastic step forward to helping provide women with greater confidence during their pregnancy. With up-to-date information and a midwife to hand, women can access non-urgent support and advice when they need it. The need to organise non-urgent appointments may also be reduced, saving women time whilst protecting our appointments for those women who require closer monitoring".

The Trust partnered with software developer Acadiant Limited to create Maternity Direct.

Jackie Kestenbaum, Director of Acadiant Limited, said: “With Maternity Direct, pregnant women will now be able to get the answers they need easily, from a reliable, trustworthy source in the manner they are most comfortable using—on their smartphones. Maternity Direct is a wonderful software solution using telemedicine to enhance a woman’s pregnancy journey while better scaling Trust resources. It has been a delight to partner with Mid and South Essex University Hospitals Group on this important innovation.”

To view the app please go to

How to get the maternity direct app

The help video below shows you how to add the app to your phone:

 FY1 photo

Left to right: surgical registrars, Osman Chaudhary and Ali Navi with Dr Shiva Dindyal, vascular and endovascular surgeon and FY1s.

Training is underway for 44 foundation year 1 doctors (FY1s), who started a 10 day induction in Basildon Hospital on Monday July 29.

To apply, all FY1s were able to choose the region and hospital where they wanted to start their medical careers. All in attendance obtained their first choice to train at Basildon.

Starting with a welcome to the Trust by Dr Tayyab Haider, medical director and responsible officer, the group will learn about the hospital and its support systems; be given an introduction to the different directorates in the hospital; undergo core practical skills sessions and workshops and then finally each will shadow a current FY1 who has been with the hospital for a year.

Speaking about the programme and the importance of these new recruits to Basildon, Dr Shiva Dindyal, vascular and endovascular surgeon and foundation training programme director commented:

“Today is the first day of over 30 years of work for our new doctors and will be the most important day of their careers. Medicine is changing and the challenges they face are different to those I faced when I was a trainee such as the increase in technology and robotics across hospitals to improve patient care. Quality of life is also more important now and our training curriculum has changed to reflect this.”

Dr Haider added: “These are exciting times for our foundation year 1 doctors. Coming out into the real medical world can be very different from the time they have spent in the lead up to this day. We are looking forward to teaching and inspiring this new generation and welcome them all to Basildon”.

As part of their training the FY1s will undergo leadership and personal skills development and at the end of the year will be fully registered doctors. After completing their FY2 year they will decide if they want to specialise in hospital practice, become a GP or go into psychiatry.

Hitchem Bouayed, Umar Mithawala and Onik Chowdhury, all from London, are looking forward to the challenges they will face during their induction.

Speaking for the group, Hitchem said: “We are all looking forward to training at Basildon and learning about the medical environment here. This is the first day of the rest of our medical careers. Although it is daunting, we want to eventually make a difference and use the skills we learn.


“Working together to provide better and safer care”.


20190730 095545 Edited resized

The liver team of specialist nurses raised awareness for World Hepatitis Day at Basildon Hospital on Tuesday 30 July.

An estimated 215,000 people in the UK are living with Hepatitis C (Hep C). This is a blood-borne virus that predominantly infects the cells of the liver. This can result in inflammation and significant damage to the liver.

The team delivered a presentation and set up a stand all day in our reception area. This helped to inform and educate staff and patients about Hep C and the screening and treatment options available.

The World Hepatitis Alliance have launched a campaign to ‘Find the Missing Millions’ that are unknowingly living with viral hepatitis. This is because individuals generally show no symptoms until they develop complications such as Liver Cirrhosis.

Liver Cirrhosis is the scarring of the liver caused by long-term liver damage; the scar tissue prevents the liver from working properly. This can eventually lead to liver failure, which can be fatal.

NHS Trusts and health organisations across England have taken action to raise awareness to ‘Find the Missing Millions’.

NHS England has set out plans to be the first in the world to eliminate the virus with a goal of 2025, at least five years earlier than the World Health Organisation (WHO) goal of 2030.

Both organisations are working with pharmaceutical industries to provide the best value for money for treatments for Hepatitis.

Sarah Fairclough, liver nurse specialist stated:

“Within an hour of our Hepatitis C presentation to staff in the morning, we received calls from the wards with staff enquiring about their patients.

“This shows that if we continue to spread awareness we can continue to ‘find the missing millions’ of people living with Hep C.”

Useful links

safeguardingVisit our safeguarding page

healthwatchClick here for Your one-stop-shop for information about health and care services in your area.

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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