June 2016


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Dates for your Diary
Council of Governors:
  • 15 June, 4 - 6 pm, Chertsey House, St Peter's
  • 7 September, 6 - 8 pm, Education Centre, Ashford
  • 5 December, 4 - 6 pm, Chertsey House, St Peter's

Trust Board:

All 11am - 1.30pm
  • 28 July, Education Centre, Ashford
  • 29 September, Education Centre, Ashford

Upcoming Health Events
Come and join us for one of our members' health events. These are an opportunity for you to gain information about our services and departments, meet the teams and ask questions. Refreshments will be provided.
  • 28 June, 4 - 6 pm
    Infection Control, Post Graduate Education Centre, St Peter's Hospital
     
  • 24 August, 2.30 - 4.30 pm
    Research and Development, Postgraduate Education Centre, St Peter's Hospital
     
  • 6 September, 4 - 6 pm
    Diet and Nutrition, Post Graduate Education Centre, St Peter's Hospital

Quality Improvement at your Fingertips
Trust staff can now find out more about ways and means of improving the quality of patient care through a smart app on their mobile phone. It has been created as a simple approach to quality improvement as part of the 'Be The Change' programme.

Designed by the Trust's Improvement Team, the app gives staff quick and easy access to all the support and resources they need to help them with improvement projects.

The 'Be the Change' initiative was created in 2014 by junior doctors, inspired by the national NHS Change Day, and has now spread to all staff in the Trust.

You can find out more about the project on their webpages:
https://bethechangeasph.com/

Giving premature babies a better start in life
A clinical trial by a team of doctors at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at St Peter's has shown that premature babies born after 25 weeks can often be stabilised in the delivery room without the need for invasive ventilation tubes or face masks - which are uncomfortable for the baby and upsetting for parents.

Normally a very premature baby will be ventilated from birth, and then switched to a less invasive type of breathing support. At St. Peter's NICU, for the past nine years they have used a system called nasal High Flow (HF), which delivers gas and air at the correct temperature via small prongs in the nose, for non-invasive breathing support.

The team, led by Dr Peter Reynolds, neonatal intensive care consultant, wanted to test the ease and effectiveness of starting the HF treatment in the delivery room immediately after birth where possible to avoid the need for ventilation.

Staff commented favourably on the comfort of the babies in the study, who sometimes opened their eyes and even lifted their heads up. Some parents commented that they liked seeing their baby breathing by themselves after delivery.

Dr. Reynolds said: "We have shown for the first time, in this small trial, that the HF system can support the breathing of very premature babies as soon as they are born. The results are very encouraging but further studies are needed to determine if this is the best form of non-invasive care. I am very grateful to all the parents who agreed to participate in the study."

Hayley Shortlisted for Apprentice of the Year
Early Years Practitioner, Hayley Phillips has been nominated for a Health Education Kent, Surrey, Sussex 'Apprentice of the Year' award, which acknowledges and celebrates an exceptional contribution to their workplace.

Hayley, 22 from Staines, is based at Ashford Hospital's First Steps Day Nursery. She began her apprenticeship in August 2014 and was one of the first on the scheme there. She has now qualified and joined the team as a full time practitioner.

Dawn Hunt, Childcare Manager of the nursery says: "We have been running an apprenticeship programme at the nurseries since May 2013 and Hayley is the perfect ambassador to promote the benefits of the scheme. It's been mine and my team's pleasure to help nurture her into the fine practitioner she is today."

Specialist Cardiology Services
Cardiac services at the Trust have expanded dramatically over the past few years as more patients are referred for diagnosis and treatment and there has been a corresponding increase in the number of consultants and the types of treatments the Trust can offer.

In particular, the team is able to provide a round-the-clock PPCI (angioplasty) service for heart attack patients, to unblock the arteries which carry blood to the heart.


Dr Adam Jacques, Consultant Cardiologist and Clinical Lead for Cardiology, explains: "Time is absolutely critical in these situations and we aim to be performing the PPCI procedure within 30-40 minutes of the patient arriving in A&E. We are the best hospital in the Kent, Surrey and Sussex region in terms of turnaround time and getting these patients safely home quickly."

To provide this type of 24/7 care there are two state-of-the-art catheterisation labs and all in-patient cardiology services are co-located in the new Birch Acute Coronary Unit.

Dr Jacques adds: "Having better facilities all located in one place has made a huge difference to the services and care we can provide. It means we are able to offer more complicated cardiology treatment closer to home, for which patients would have previously needed to travel into London.


Alongside this, imaging facilities for diagnosing heart problems have also improved.

Providing a good cardiology service, however, extends beyond the technology and life-saving treatments available. Dr Jacques explains: "Experiencing a major cardiac episode can be life-changing and traumatic. Even those who have not experienced an acute episode first hand may harbour worries and concerns.

To help, the Trust runs a patient support group with specialist nurses on hand to answer questions and provide support and an extensive cardiac rehabilitation programme aids recovery and return to fitness.


Looking to the future, Dr Jacques said: "Ashford and St Peter's is a really good local centre in terms of cardiology care and we offer some very good teaching facilities. Investing time in training the cardiology doctors of the future is an integral part of what we do and I have no doubt the field of cardiology will continue to grow with many exciting developments."

Wheelchair Gift for Ashford
Ashford Hospital has a new Action 3 reclining wheelchair thanks to the generosity of former patient Mike Clark.

Mike gave 1,100 to the hospital's Chaucer Ward for the new wheelchair and the Ashford Stroke Klub also donated 250 for a tray-table and head rest for the chair. Team Leader Neurological Physiotherapist, Jennifer Jenner who supported Mike throughout his rehabilitation said: "This wheelchair is lightweight and much easier to self-propel than our other chairs. The fully adjustable armrests, leg rests and back rest allow really good postural support and comfort for those who use it. It also reclines which helps those who get tired quickly when sitting upright. This is a great addition to our ward and fills a gap in what we are able to offer patients.

Mike was brought into Chaucer ward in August 2015 following a metastatic spinal cord injury. He was only able to wiggle his big toes when he first came to the ward and left in September 2015 walking with a frame. He has made an amazing recovery and is now walking with the help of crutches.

Nutrition and Hydration Week
It was Nutrition and Hydration Week in March and the Trust joined forces with their catering providers, OSC and held a variety of activities at Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals to promote and raise awareness of the importance of nutrition and hydration for patients in hospital.

Specialist Nurse Nutrition Support, Nina Cron said: "This week has been a lot of fun and we hope the patients and staff have enjoyed the activities and learned some useful information about nutrition and hydration. We haven't heard back about the World Record attempt but we have our fingers crossed! A big thank you to our catering providers, OCS for their support with this week."

To read more click here.