Voting closes in governor elections
Voting in the Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust Council of Governors elections closes at 5pm on Tuesday 15 September 2020 so if you’re a member and you haven’t voted yet, you only have a few days left.
If you were expecting to receive ballot papers, either by email or by post, and haven’t received them yet, please contact the Trust’s election agents, Civica Engage, as soon as possible. You can telephone 020 8829 8456 or email Ciara.email@example.com or contact our membership manager firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mobile breast screening units make their return
The mobile breast screening units in Grays and Canvey Island have opened their doors to patients once again, screening invited women who are aged between 50 and 71.
Located next to Morrisons in Grays and at Knightswick Shopping Centre on Canvey, the units have additional PPE, wipe clean vinyl seating and flooring and additional hand sanitising points for patients coming along for their screening. Both sites have recorded good attendance since reopening.
They are just two of the mobile unit in the area, with another one sited at Warrriors Square in Southend set to open at the end of September and one outside the Basildon Council building, whose date has yet to be finalised. All sites are chosen for their central and easily accessible locations.
For the screening year 2019/20 23,457 women came to be screened, 613 were re-called to have further assessment and 186 cancers were detected in women in the local area from our breast screening programme.
Breast screening in the community plays a really important role as it helps identify breast cancer early. The earlier the condition is found, the better the chances of surviving it. You're also less likely to need a mastectomy (breast removal) or chemotherapy if breast cancer is detected at an early stage.
Screening saves about one life from breast cancer for every 200 women who are screened, this adds up to about 1,300 lives saved from breast cancer each year in the UK.
Clare Rogers, Programme Manager for South Essex Breast Screening for Mid and South Essex University Foundation Trust, said: “It’s great to be able to welcome women back to breast screening, not only at the hospital site but now on the mobile screening units as well.
“This phased return will see changes to units being made to ensure we are keeping everyone as safe as possible. We are working through the screening backlog as quickly as we can for those who were due to be seen at Warrior Square, Grays and Canvey by putting on additional clinics and opening at weekends where possible. We urge anyone who has any breast concerns not to wait for their screening appointment and to contact their GP immediately.”
Aneurysm wristband will help save men’s lives
The introduction of a wristband for men who have abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) could help save their lives in an emergency.
The wristbands, which are now being introduced to AAA patients across Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust’s hospitals, were the idea of Southend Hospital Healthcare Assistant Leanne Turner.
She explained that she wanted her patients to get the help they need as quickly as possible. “Time is of the essence with an aneurysm, so we wanted something simple that will alert emergency services to the potential problem if one of our patients collapses whilst they are awaiting surgery. Hopefully it gives patients peace of mind as well.”
The simple wristband can be worn in the shower and is safe to wear during a CT scan, so there is no danger of patients taking it off and forgetting to put it on again.
One of the first people to get the wristband was George Millbank, 62, from Leigh-on-Sea. He said: “You don’t notice it is there, it is no different than wearing a watch. Should I collapse I know paramedics will be alerted to my condition straight away. It’s a great idea and I think the more people who know about it the better.”
The NHS AAA screening programme is offered to all men during the year in which they turn 65.
Artwork donated to Critical Care
The Critical Care Unit at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital has received a kind donation from the family of a recent patient. Artist Melanie Aylett and relatives were keen for the stunning painting to be donated to the team in the CCU, who looked after her brother when he was extremely unwell.
Staff have been overwhelmed at the level of support from the local community through what have been often stressful and gruelling periods.
Roopson Paluri, Matron in the Critical Care Unit, said:
“This painting was an extremely kind donation. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been overwhelmed with support from our local and neighbouring communities. It really lifted our spirits, and I can’t thank everyone enough for taking the time and effort in preparing, collating and delivering hot meals, hand creams, and toiletries, clapping every Thursday, and thank-you posters from nearby schools. You have kept us all going."
CareCompare helps give patients needing care greater choice
People in Southend and Chelmsford who need care support at home can now find the right care for them thanks to a new pilot scheme, called CareCompare
It works in the same way as similar services used to find a local plumber or builder, but this is for local care companies, large and small. CareCompare has been developed as part of an Innovation Fellowship at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust.
The site, www.carecompare.net, matches individuals looking for homecare to high quality companies that have the capacity to deliver, speeding up the process of finding care whilst giving patients and their relatives choice and access to CQC ratings, price and specific expertise.
Healthcare professionals, including nurses, social workers, GPs and hospital staff across the region, are now recommending the site to those who need care.
Covid-19 has led to an increase in the number of people expected to need homecare, and put an extra strain on the care sector, with some care workers either unwell or self-isolating, which could lead to a lack of availability. Due to social distancing there has also been less opportunity to find care by speaking to friends, neighbours, their GP or social workers.
Hoping to help fill that gap is Dr Adam Ali, an orthopaedic surgeon, Innovation Fellow and co-founder of CareCompare. He said: “In my work as a doctor, I am often saddened by the immense difficulty faced by patients and their relatives in finding appropriate care. I wanted to take the stress out of this process at a time when patients are at their most vulnerable, and help connect them with high quality companies quickly. Most people have no prior experience of searching for such care at the time they need it, and that’s where CareCompare can help.”
Dr Liban Saleh, a PhD chemist by training and co-founder of CareCompare, added that such an easy-to-use system would have helped his family in the past. “Many of my relatives have struggled to identify quality care services due to the sheer number of companies out there. I wanted to help other families struggling with the same problem of finding the best care for them by providing a platform for them to choose a company that best fits their needs.”
CQC Report – Basildon Maternity Service – August 2020
The Care Quality Commission has asked us to make improvements to maternity services at Basildon Hospital.
It publishes its report on Wednesday (19 August) following an inspection of the service in June.
While inspectors noted improvements had been made since their last visit, they have asked us to take action in a number of areas.
Chief Executive of Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust – which runs Basildon Hospital – said:
“It is so important that mums feel safe when they come to us to have their babies, and that our staff feel supported to deliver the very best care. These are the two areas we’ve been focusing on and have taken urgent and significant action to address.
“We know that our services are safe to use, but I’m sorry that we didn’t make improvements quickly enough.
“Our dedicated staff had already begun to make changes before the CQC visited us – and the report recognises that a raft of improvements had been put in place.
“We have a new leadership team, invested £1.8million in recruiting 29 more midwives and two additional consultants, opened three more delivery beds for high risk women, and created a triage service.
“We have also over-hauled our processes and training to ensure that we offer women the very best care and support and that we are addressing the issues raised by the inspectors.”