Governors2Members Spring 2021

Governors2Members magazine Spring 2021

Our membership magazine, Governors2Members, is published four times a year.

You can view or download the PDF of the magazine  Governors2Members Magazine Spring 2021[pdf] 5MB  or read it online here by opening each page listed below.

An update from Sally Holland, Lead Governor

Sally Holland, Lead Governor One year on from the merger, I want to give you an update on some key developments from across our Trust. Together we continue to develop innovative ways to improve our services and the health of our community.

Digital innovation

Governors were invited to a presentation by Chief Information Officer, Martin Callingham, on our new digital strategy. He outlined a simple and standardised approach to digital services. These new features will include improved cyber-security, allowing easier access for clinical and corporate staff. He also announced better support for remote and mobile access, which includes the rollout of Microsoft Teams and our new email accounts. This will ensure all three sites can work smoothly using one system. Governors have also been invited to a session on the digital development strategy for the Trust going forward.

New NHS landscape

NHS chief executive, Sir Simon Stevens, has confirmed that we will be one of 13 areas, to be a formally designated 'integrated care system' (ICS) from April 1. ICS exist to improve the health of all residents, better support people living with multiple and long term conditions, preventing illness, tackling variation in care and delivering seamless services while getting maximum impact for every pound. Partnership working has been at the heart of the NHSs response to the coronavirus pandemic and their vaccination programme. Adapting and redesigning care in this way will improve the service and care we provide to our local communities.

New appointment

Im really pleased to let you know that we have appointed to the new role of Director for Patient Experience, Annette Agetue-Smith and we will hear more about her work in the next edition.

Tom Abell leaves the Trust for a new role

After six years with us, Tom Abell will be leaving to take on a new role as Chief Executive of the East of England Ambulance Service. He has done a fantastic job as our Deputy Chief Executive, and while we are very sorry to lose him, this is a very exciting opportunity. Tom has played an important role in reorganising services and improving care for patients. Most recently he led our successful COVID-19 vaccination programme. In the run up to leaving, Tom will work closely with colleagues to ensure that there is a smooth handover. Hes built up a strong and trusted relationships with staff and stakeholders, and all are delighted that he will still be working with us as part of our wider healthcare system.

In this edition you can read more about our first governorsseminar and Council Governor for Rochford, Julie Gooding's charitable work at Southend Hospital.

I would also like to say a personal thank you to all my fellow governors for their positive and prompt responses to my calls for volunteers for the various Groups operating across our hospitals. Finally, I would like to say a huge thank you to all our staff for their incredible efforts over the last year. They continue to go above and beyond to support and care for our patients.

Sally Holland

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust Lead Governor

Message from Tom Abell, Deputy CEO

Message from Tom Abell, Deputy CEO (and Chief Transformation Officer)

A photograph of Tom Abell, Deputy CEO COVID reset and our new Staff Operating Model

As we move past the first anniversary of our Trust were now in full recovery and reset mode in terms of our services following the huge pressure we faced last year.

Its clear that coming together and working as a single organisation has been right for our patients, staff and local communities. We have a new operating model which sees staff from the same specialities across our sites working even more closely together. This will further strengthen the care we provide to patients.

New initiatives such as The Anchor Programme have enabled us to work in collaboration across our Health and Care partnership to provide a number of opportunities for our community. Were working with South Essex College on a project that aims to improve the lives of young people in Basildon with learning disabilities or Autism. The Supported Internship programme, starting in September, will see eligible students take up an internship at our Basildon site. Following the nine month training programme each student will have developed the skills they need to move into paid employment within the Trust.

Planned care

As COVID-19 cases across our Trust fall, we have restarted planned care on our hospital sites and are working with independent hospitals across mid and south Essex to treat patients urgently needing surgery and other medical care. Our outpatient services remain a blend of virtual and in person – with more appointments returning to face-to-face for those who will benefit from this.

Weve also been successful in clearing the backlog of harm reviews for all patients, whose planned treatments were delayed by more than 52 weeks because of the pandemic. This is hugely important for patient care as it helps us understand how we can do better and improve our services. Our focus throughout the coming months remains on how we can continue expand our services and increase the number of patients being treated.


Our vaccination programme has been a big success, with over 95% of our staff having received their first vaccine. Vaccination centres at Southend and Broomfield Hospital, as well as at the Towngate Theatre in Basildon continue to provide first and second doses to staff and the local community. We are now also using the Moderna vaccine.

Its important that our staff and local communities keep following the Hands. Face. Spaceguidance to keep ourselves and others safe from the virus.

Health and wellbeing

Our Trust continues to look for ways in which we can meet the wellbeing needs of our workforce. Last year more than ever before, our staff have undertaken highly demanding and stressful roles. It is hugely important that we encourage them to take care of themselves as well as their patients. To support this weve strengthened the health and wellbeing offers we provide to staff. These now include a great range of incentives that can be taken advantage of, including stress awareness workshops, physiotherapy, counselling and lifestyle advice.

How it's going so far

A photograph of Caoline Beasley-Murray OBE, public governor for Chelmsford First impressions of new Public Governor for Chelmsford Caroline Beasley-Murray OBE

Friends often ask me how Im enjoying my recent retirement after having been Essex Senior Coroner. When they do, I proudly tell them about my fascinating role as one of the newly elected public governors for our Trust.

In many ways I have been able to build upon my past. As coroner I served the wider community by holding hospital representatives to account for their actions. This twofold aspect is also present in my new role. As a Governor, I must look outwards as the voice of the community, as well as inwards as all Governors hold the non-executive directors to account for the performance of the Board of Directors. In this regard, I like the analogy of the two headed Roman god, Janus, who looks two ways in charge of the doorway.

Nevertheless, with any new role there come opportunities to learn and overcome challenges. There is no denying that as I strive to understand more about the Trust, I find myself on a steep learning curve. Likewise, as the health sector landscape continues to evolve, Im constantly learning about new concepts and the many acronyms used. Did you know that ALOS represents the average amount of time a patient stays in hospital – Average Length of Stay and KLEO stands for Key Line of Enquiries? I still have so much to learn in so many ways!

Having been elected during the first lockdown, I havent yet had the opportunity to meet Trust staff, officials or members of public in person and am very much looking forward to this. Governors come from different walks of life and we all have slightly different contributions to make.

It is fascinating to be involved at such a significant time, with further proposed changes following the Governments new proposals on integrated health care. I am grateful to those of you who elected me and for the opportunity to serve in this capacity, its a real privilege.

Governors attend their first MSE Trust seminar

A laptop screen showing an online meeting A seminar was held on 31 March, providing both our new and experienced governors with the necessary tools to highlight and expand on their responsibilities.

The day began with an initial introduction to the NHS, outlining the historic and future changes in service. This was particularly well received by our recently elected MSE governors, including Meena Mitra Public Governor for Thurrock, who said: it was extremely helpful and informative”.

The morning then continued with a session on core skills. This was designed to highlight and expand on their responsibilities as Governors to ensure they effectively represent their constituencies and hold the right people accountable. Whilst all governors found it a great opportunity to learn about best practises, those more experienced also found it to be a positive endorsement of existing knowledge.

The second half of the seminar focused on topics such as our Trusts new culture plan, the handling of serious incidents and our volunteersnetwork. With such developments across our Trust, its important that governors are made aware and kept up to date.

Given that we are a newly-merged Trust, the launch of our new culture values will have a significant influence over organisational change and communication. Having attended this seminar, governors were therefore pleased that our new values will promote fairness and equality for all staff and patients.

After learning about the effective procedures in place, I am in no doubt that the Trust is committed to openness and honesty with all patients

Rachel Clark, public governor for Castle Point

Serious incidents and volunteering

Governors also found our Trusts approach and strategy to deal with serious incidents very encouraging. Rachel Clark, Public Governor for Castle Point, said: after learning about the effective procedures in place, I am in no doubt that the Trust is committed to openness and honesty with all patients”.

The topic of the Trusts volunteer network was also mentioned. Meena Mitra spoke of how she was really pleased to hear about the large number of volunteers across the hospital sites as well as externally.

With plenty of opportunities to learn and ask questions, the day was welcomed enthusiastically by all. Governors found it to be a refreshing approach to help establish their key roles and recognise the lengths our Trust is going to protect both patients and staff.

Governor Julie Gooding's charitable endeavour

A doorstep donation with Julie Gooding, Debbie Copeman and Jane Deeks Governor Julie Gooding went above and beyond her role as governor and local councillor by arranging for gifts, snacks, soft drinks and quick fix foods to be donated to Southend Hospital.

Tea roomsowner and community resident, Debbie Copeman, contacted Julie to ask what she could do to make a positive contribution to the NHS. Together they arranged for a safe doorstep drop off for staff to receive the donations. The goods were then put into quarantine for 72 hours to ensure they were COVID-free before passing on to nursing staff.

Those involved in the project were keen to show their appreciation to staff working under immense pressure during the pandemic. Julie stepped out of her usual duties as governor to provide further support to frontline staff by donating these items.

Julie would like to thank everybody who supplied a variety of items to this great community cause. From a tin of biscuits to a pallet of small bottled drinks, she said this was a small gesture on behalf of our communities and I am truly humbled by everyones generosity”. Julie and Debbies combined efforts ensured staff were looking after themselves and restoring their energy levels whilst working on the frontline.

There are lots of opportunities to get involved and volunteer across the Trust, as well as attend fundraising events held by the MSE Hospitals Charity. For more information, please visit the charity website at Mid & South Essex Hospitals Charity Logo

Frankie Ringwood writes a book and Jo Dennis is an inspiring staff member

5 year-old Frankie Ringwood wrote a book to raise money for Basildon Hospital

Frankie Ringwood with his book Frankie and his family had been staying at home during the pandemic to keep safe and regularly took part in the weekly clap for the NHS.

Frankie then wanted to do something to personally thank the doctors and nurses at Basildon Hospital for working so hard. In just a week Frankie wrote, illustrated and sold his book about penguins to help raise £100 for the COVID wards.

His mum, Jodie, said that creating this book had been such a passion project for the youngster. Frankie has improved his writing skills so much during home learning. Hes in reception and has really enjoyed researching and writing his very first book. He has a huge passion and love for animals, so was full of enthusiasm.”

Clair Grayston, fundraising manager for Mid and South Essex Hospitals Charity, said: Its so lovely that Frankie has thought about helping others at his local hospital during lockdown.

He should be very proud of his book and the money he has raised. Im sure hes got a great future in publishing ahead."

Jo Dennis has been recognised as an inspiring staff member

Our Trust is incredibly proud of its staff and continues to celebrate their hard work. Jo Dennis pictured in the wellbeing hub at Basildon Hospital

Jo Dennis, an administrator in the Emergency Department (ED) and Wellbeing Champion has recently been recognised by colleagues to be an inspiration.

Over the last year, while continuing to work within the ED, Jo has taken on the responsibility of running the Wellbeing Hub to support Trust staff. This has not been an easy task when, during the first wave of the pandemic, the Hub was seeing over 150 members of staff each day.

As a trained counsellor, Jo used this qualification alongside the training she received as an MSE Wellbeing Champion and mental health first aider, to help and support staff when they needed it most.

Worthy of recognition

Jos colleague, Carol Chambers, said; Jos enthusiasm is infectious and her devotion and commitment know no bounds. She has supported her colleagues and shown such dedication during some very difficult times. She is most worthy of recognition”.

Trust research team takes part in global trial to treat COVID-19

A member of the research team takes a woman's blood pressure

Our Trust Research team has been taking part in a global trial to treat COVID-19

Mr Carol Allen The Research and Development team deliver exceptional medical research aimed at improving and transforming the lives of patients.

As the only clinical research centre in Essex, their work is vital to improve clinical practices. Whilst their research can cover a variety of health conditions, throughout the pandemic the team has been taking part in a global Recovery Research project to help tackle the virus.

Our Trust is one of 180 sites involved in medical trials, offering volunteers suffering from COVID-19 a variety of treatments to find out which are most effective. The teams contribution to the international research has been significant and has helped discover treatments such as the steroid, Dexamethasone. This has been found to reduce deaths by a third for those with respiratory complications caused by COVID-19.

Ashley Solieri, head of ResearchHighly praised

Carol Allen, one of the 800 volunteers participating in the study praised the Research team for being angels” by lending their full support whilst trialling different medicines on him, including a course of steroids. The 65-year-old was admitted to hospital in January with COVID-19 when collapsing at home. He thanked staff at Basildon Hospital for their care and said he would not be here if it were not for them.

Ashley Solieri, Head of Research, addressed the importance of clinical research by describing how it can find answers to things that are unknown, fill in gaps in knowledge and change the way healthcare professionals work”. She also credits the 800 volunteers across the Trust who underwent clinical trials and thanks the dedication of the Research team” in their quest to find better outcomes for patients.

COVID-19 patient recovery story

Philip with daughter Kyra

COVID-19 patient recovery story

More than a year on from the initial start of the COVID pandemic, its important to acknowledge the many positive news stories and heres one of them.

Philip during his stay on intensive care Philip with nurses at Basidon Hospital After contracting COVID-19 in March last year, Philip consulted his GP and began self-isolating. While dropping by to see how Philip was doing, his brother, felt concerned about his breathlessness and immediately dialled for an ambulance. He was then taken to Basildon Hospital and put in an induced coma and on a ventilator with 80% oxygen for three weeks.

As Philips condition deteriorated, it became an increasingly worrying time for his friends and family. There was a very real prospect that he might not recover. Kyra, his eight year-old daughter, found it extremely difficult knowing her Dad was very sick and commented: Nan and Granddad said he would get well - but I was worried. I want to thank everyone who helped make him better.”

Renal Consultant, Poorva Jain was just one of the many staff members to support him through his recovery. Philip had a pre-existing kidney condition that Miss Jain was treating him for, so they knew each other well and had built a great rapport. Seeing Poorva after coming out of a coma made me feel safe and I knew I was alive, well and would be going back home to my daughter.”

APhilip receiving his vaccinefter reflecting on this traumatic experience, he is continuing to urge people from ethnic minority groups to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Philip said: COVID is not a joke - its literally life and death. Ive had the vaccine myself and I would encourage everyone to have the jab and to protect themselves, their loved ones and everyone else.”

Contacts and dates for your diary

New letters to editors section

In future editions of the Governors2Members magazine we would like to introduce a Letters to Editorsection to allow us to hear directly from you, our valued members.

If you have any feedback on any of the G2M articles that you have read or have any recommendations for new articles to be featured, then please email

The editor will aim to publish a selection of the letters that we receive as well as using your letters and feedback to help improve your membership magazine.

Dates for your diary

Council of Governorsmeetings are held several times a year. They are overseen by the Chair of the Trust and are attended by members of the Trusts Board of Directors.

These meetings provide valuable updates on the improvements and key projects taking place across our Trust. As they are held in public, they offer a unique opportunity for our members to see our governors in action and put questions to senior staff.

We warmly welcome and encourage our members to join and take part in these important discussions. If you would like to attend in the public gallery, please contact the Membership Office to reserve your seat.

  • 14 July 2021 at 5pm (venue to be confirmed)
  • 8 December 2021 at 5pm (venue to be confirmed)
  • 2 March 2022 at 5pm (venue to be confirmed)

For all virtual MSE Trust meetings, you do not need to have Microsoft Teams application, just click the link provided.

This year, our Annual Members Meeting will be held on Wednesday, 22 September 2021. Once again, we would love for all members to join the meeting and let us know your thoughts. More details will be included in the next edition.

Don't miss out! Calling all members - do you need to update your contact details with us?

We have found that email is the best way to keep you up to date with hospital events, changes to services and dates for your diary.

If you would like to update your contact details to ensure you never miss out on Trust news, please contact the Membership Office at