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Press Releases


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 were 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 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 and deal with 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”.


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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.”

clare panniker 041 approved web
Mid and South Essex University Hospitals Group CEO comments on IRP decision

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has accepted the Independent Reconfiguration Panel's recommendation to endorse mid and south Essex health plans.

"Our plan to reconfigure hospital services will improve care and outcomes for over 1.2 million people who live in mid and south Essex, so I am delighted that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has advised that we should press ahead with our plans to reconfigure our services.

"We know that making the changes set out in our plans will improve patient outcomes and help us achieve compliance with national service standards and we can now plan for implementation of our first stage of changes this autumn with confidence.

"We believe this advice is an endorsement of the excellent work of our staff from every discipline over the past years in designing and assuring new sustainable and high quality clinical services for the people of mid and south Essex.

"We are on track to deliver phase one of the reconfiguration this autumn:

  • Consolidation of emergency vascular surgery at Basildon Hospital from both Broomfield and Southend Hospitals.
  • Transfer of spinal surgery from Basildon Hospital to Southend Hospital.
  • Offering patients at Basildon and Southend hospitals waiting for a hip or knee operation the option of being treated at Braintree Community Hospital so that they can be seen more quickly.
  • Emergency out-of-hours interventional radiology services to be consolidated at a hub based at Basildon Hospital.

"We are also expecting to merge our three Trusts next year. It will put us amongst the biggest NHS organisations in the country, meaning more support for staff, a stronger financial position and excellent outcomes for patients."

Dr Anita Donley OBE, Independent Chair of the STP, said: “I am absolutely delighted with the recommendation of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel and decision of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. This is a recognition of the hard work by all partners in our STP and an endorsement of the clinically-led plans to improve services and outcomes for our population of 1.2 million people living in mid and south Essex.”

Clare Panniker continues to discuss our plans to reconfigure our hospital services:

infection control website carousel 2019

Basildon hospital staff would like to remind people to please refrain from visiting friends or relatives, if you have any symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting. This is to prevent transmission of infection to both the patient you are seeing and other vulnerable patients on the ward.

Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals are keen to help stop the spread of Norovirus and protect vulnerable patients.

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus and the most common infectious cause of diarrhoea and vomiting in the UK. If you have symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting or have been in contact with someone who has had these symptoms, please refrain from visiting friends or relatives. This will help us prevent transmission of infection to both the patient you are seeing and other vulnerable patients on the ward.

The important things to remember are:

  • Do not visit the hospital if you have had diarrhoea and/or vomiting until two days after symptoms have stopped (even if these were mild symptoms)
  • Do not visit friends or relatives in hospital if you have recently been in contact with anyone who has diarrhoea and/or vomiting
  • Always wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap.
  • If you, or someone you care for, needs medical advice call NHS111, visit your local pharmacist (or phone your GP surgery if you need medical assistance)
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

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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