Governors2Members Magazine Summer 2021

Governors 2 Members Newsletter Summer 2021 front cover

Welcome to the summer edition our membership magazine, Governors2Members. This magazine is published four times a year at each quarter.


You can view or download the PDF of summer 2021 edition, here Governors2Members Magazine Summer 2021.pdf [pdf] 2MB or you can read it online by opening each section below.


For more information about becoming a member, please visit There you can also read previous editions of the Governers2Members magazine.

An update from Sally Holland, your lead Governor

Sally Holland, your lead Governor Welcome to the summer edition of Governors2Members. As the weather gets warmer, we’ve seen one of the busiest periods. This time of year means that a lot of staff have been able to have a well-earned summer break and we’re busy preparing for the next Annual Members' Meeting, which we hope to see you at.

Volunteers returning to the Trust

In June we celebrated Volunteers’ Week. I want to express my thanks to our volunteers for their tremendous work as we transition out of lockdown. At the height of the pandemic it sadly wasn’t possible for them to visit our hospitals. However, as restrictions ease and services return to normal, I’m pleased to say we’ve been able to welcome many of them back. And, you can meet some of the team on page three.

“I want to express my thanks to our volunteers for their tremendous work as we transition out of lockdown.”

Involvement with Friends of Broomfield and Braintree

I’m pleased to say that with the help of fellow Governors Susan Sullivan and Andrew Porter who represent Chelmsford and Braintree, we have started conversations with both Friends of Broomfield and Friends of Braintree. Our hope is
that we can, in some way, help them feel re-connected to the new ways
of working.

Elective surgery backlog

The pandemic put a huge amount of pressure on our hospitals and meant that care was prioritised for those who needed it most. The knock on effect of this has been that waiting times have built up. Because of this, our Trust’s acting fast to treat those who had their operations postponed. As well as our normal operating theatres, we now have three brand new mobile theatres across our hospitals. More details of this development are on page four.

Cancer waits

Some people may have felt worried about coming forward and seeking hospital care during the pandemic. As we emerge from lockdown, our hospitals are seeing more patients being referred for cancer treatment. If you or any of your friends or family are still hesitant, please be assured that this will remain a key focus for our staff.

Thank You Day

It was lovely to see all the events happening for the Thank You Day and we are really proud that our Council Governor for Rochford, Julie Gooding was asked to raise the Flag at a special ceremony at Saxon Hall to mark the occasion.

Finally, many congratulations to the NHS for being awarded the George Cross on its 73rd Birthday. An accolade well deserved!

Best wishes,

Sally Holland, Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust Lead Governor.

A final note from Tom Abell, Deputy Chief Executive

Tom Abell, Deputy Chief Executive This will be my last column as Deputy Chief Executive before I move to take up my new role at the East of England Ambulance Service.

I wanted to take the opportunity to say a big thank you to all of you for your support and playing such an important role in the work of our Trust. Although there remains much to do we can be proud of how much has been achieved over the last few years to improve care for our communities and to develop our services.

I’m pleased to say that as part of our plan to reduce waiting times, we have installed additional mobile theatres at each of the main hospital sites, alongside a number of new scanners and other diagnostic equipment.

Another service improvement that’s up and running is our a new Cherry Tree Wing at Southend; a new ambulatory and surgical assessment unit that ensures patients get fast-tracked to the right specialist care.

Finally, I would like to say that it’s been a pleasure working with you all to deliver outstanding care to our patients and wider community, and I look forward to continuing to work to improve care for all of our communities in my new role.

“It’s been a pleasure working with you.”

A chance to meet our Wonderful Volunteers

A chance to meet our Wonderful Volunteers

Across our hospitals, there are more than 200 dedicated volunteers that give up their time to help both our patients and staff. They have not been able to be on site during the peak of the pandemic, so it’s great to see them returning to our hospitals as restrictions ease. It’s hoped that soon, dementia befrienders, mealtime assistants and pets as therapy dogs can also be welcomed back to the wards.

Early June marked Volunteers’ Week, which provided a perfect opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the selflessness and generosity of these helpers. We’re pleased to introduce you to just a few of our volunteers and understand why supporting their local hospital is so important to them.

Wilma Smart, a Trust member and volunteer at Broomfield Hospital Wilma Smart, Broomfield Hospital

Wilma Smart, 76, from Chelmer Village in Chelmsford is a Trust member and has been a familiar and friendly face on the help desk in the main atrium at Broomfield Hospital for the last 20 years.

She said: “I do really enjoy my role; I wouldn’t still be here doing it if I didn’t. When I retired I wanted to do something to help keep me active, and this has been perfect. It is just nice to be back making a difference for people. You meet some lovely people doing this role and patients are so appreciative of the help we give them."


Moira Bateman, a Trust member and volunteer at Southend Hospital Moira Bateman, Southend Hospital

Moira Bateman, 72, from Thorpe Bay is also a Trust member and has returned to volunteering after the series of lockdowns, which devastatingly saw her lose her youngest son Tim, 43, to cancer. Moira has been a volunteer at Southend Hospital for almost 20 years and has recently returned to her role as a guide/information
desk volunteer.

She said: “It gives me a chance to focus on other things and to get out of the house,” she explained. “I have always felt I want to give something back. Lockdown, particularly the last one, was awful because of the weather. Christmas was horrendous because Tim had died in September. But the volunteering is helping.”


Michael Greenhow, a volunteer at Basildon Hospital. Michael Greenhow, Basildon Hospital

Michael Greenhow, 76, from Aveley in Thurrock, has been volunteering at Basildon Hospital since 2013, and in 2016 was the recipient of Basildon Hospital’s Volunteer of the Year award.

Michael, who previously worked as a retail store manager, was motivated to help out at the hospital following on from the excellent care that his wife Connie received at Basildon after she suffered a stroke. Connie sadly passed away in 2013 but Michael was determined to use the knowledge he had acquired about strokes from caring for his wife and put it to good use. He said: “The district nurses who cared for my wife mentioned about helping out at the hospital, so I wrote a letter and they welcomed me into the Stroke Rehab Unit, where I have volunteered ever since, one or two days a week. The hospital did so much for my wife and this is my way of repaying them. I enjoy talking to people, I enjoy the company and I enjoy having a purpose to get up for in the morning.”

Voluntary Services lead, Jane O’Connell said: “We’ve such a lovely group of volunteers and they are making a huge difference, for both patients and staff. It’s wonderful to have so many of them back.”

To say thank you for this continued level of support, all volunteers will be invited to a Christmas party at the end of the year. Jane O’Connell continued: “It will be a wonderful way to celebrate our supporters and to have a good catch-up after all this time. If I can take a little bit of stress out of someone’s hospital visit, then I’ve had a good day.”

”Celebrate the selflessness and generosity of these helpers.”

Popstar David Van Day turned Appointed Governor shares experiences

Popstar David Van Day turned Appointed Governor shares experiences

Before his role at the Trust, David was well-known as a member of the 80s pop duo Dollar. He has been a councillor representing Thurrock since 2019.


1. What was your journey into becoming a Councillor and Governor?
“I’m not originally from a political background; it’s just something I became interested in later in life. I started following politics more through shows like Andrew Marr and Peston. My interests for these shows continued to grow and I later bumped into a local politician who thought it would be a good option for me. I didn’t think I had any opinions about politics, but it turned out that I did! I then ran for councillor before later becoming an Appointed Governor."


2. Tell us about being a Trust governor?
“I think I’m well suited to this role because of the communication skills I learnt through show business. To get people to vote is like getting people to buy your records or watch your TV show. Being able to represent and communicate the voices of my local community means that I can effectively hold non-executive directors responsible. Plus, I love helping people and enjoy problem solving."


3. What’s the most important part of your job?
“I think the most important part of being governor and councillor is to look at the bigger picture and understand what’s really going on around the country. You’ve also got to hold non-executive directors accountable whilst trusting their expertise at the same time.”


4. Have you seen any significant developments across the Trust? If so, what are they?
“Now we've merged as a Trust, there are 45 governors. This is a huge increase and means that governors can now work as a team across all communities rather than just in their local areas. This has allowed us to explore different areas of policy.”


Microphone 5. What words of advice would you give to someone who is thinking about becoming a member or governor of the Trust but may not think it’s for them?
“To be a governor you do have to gain the respect of your peers and know what you’re talking about. Before you dive into an issue, you need to have the patience to consider it from all angles, understand the circumstances in which it came about as well as who’s responsible for it. It’s important that when you want to achieve something, you need to be persistently consistent and consistently persistent.”


6. How closely linked is your role as a Councillor with being a Governor?
“There are some similarities between the two. As an appointed governor, I bridge the gap between the public and the Trust directors, and through my role as a councillor, I provide a unique link between senior staff and the Thurrock council.

Both jobs require patience to consider other people’s positions and to be able to work well in a team. It’s easy to be an armchair critic but it’s much harder to point out and praise good things. So, in both roles it’s important to show kindness and generosity.”


7. We have to ask… How often are you recognised by your constituents given your ‘popstar status’?
“Well, I’m not noticed as much anymore. Before lockdown I was able to have highlights in my hair. People would immediately see the bright colour, take a closer look, and then realise it’s me! But since  lockdown I haven’t been out as much and so there’s less of a chance to be recognised.

I also think that my choice to take a step back from reality TV to focus on my political career means I’m noticed less when I’m out and about. But on the occasions that I am, I have been asked to sing a note or two!”

New Cherry Tree wing, blood-testing services and mobile theatres

New Cherry Tree wing New Cherry Tree wing at Southend Hospital will speed up patient care

The Cherry Tree wing is designed for same day emergency care patients and brings together specialist teams of surgical, medical and orthopaedic staff.

The new wing has eight assessment cubicles, three large side rooms and a seven-seat treatment bay area. With 18 bed spaces, the unit is conveniently located near the Same Day Emergency Care on the ground floor. This is a huge benefit in reducing the journey and wait time for those needing CT, MRI, or Ultrasound scans.

The first floor is the new home for the Surgical Assessment Unit, and sees patients who have been referred by their GP or by the Emergency Department (ED). A brighter, more spacious discharge unit has also been created on the top floor, making it a faster experience for patients getting ready to return home.

Clare Panniker, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: “We’ve had investment in buildings across the Trust to help enhance our patient care, so it has been amazing to see how quickly this new wing has come together. It’s great to see it open and it will make a huge positive difference to both our patients and the staff working in these new state-of-the-art areas.”


Mobile Theatres Improving waiting times with new mobile theatres

Waiting times have built up hugely over the past 15 months, and we know that patients have had to wait far longer than they or we would like.

As part of the planned care recovery programme new mobile theatres have been installed at each of the main hospital sites, to be used alongside the pre-existing theatres.

Whilst waiting times have built up across all specialities, Ophthalmology and Orthopaedics have the most people waiting for treatment. For this reason, the mobile unit at Broomfield will be used to treat ophthalmology patients, and the unit at Basildon will be used for orthopaedic operations. The mobile theatre at Southend will be used for general surgery, meaning we can free up space for more orthopaedic cases in the hospital’s main theatres.


Shopping bags New blood-testing services in the community

Plans are now well-underway for brand new blood-testing clinics to open in each of the communities our hospitals serve. Victoria Shopping Centre in Southend, the Eastgate Shopping Centre in Basildon and on Fairfield Road in Chelmsford.

By bringing this service into the local town centre, patients can have their appointments closer to home and, there’s the convenience of combining this with a trip to the shops. Crucially, we reduce unnecessary footfall to our hospitals and free up space to keep our patients and staff safe.

Information will be sent to all patients to keep them up-to-date on the development and official opening of these clinics. In the meantime, a temporary clinic is running within the main Vaccination Centre at Southend University Hospital.  More information can be found at

16 year-old smashes his fundraising target

16 year-old smashes his fundraising target

16 year-old Liam Clark smashes his fundraising target for Southend Hospital

Liam and his family have raised a whopping £3,095 for Southend Hospital, in memory of their much-loved uncle. George McGhie, of Rackenford, Shoebury, sadly passed away at the age of 82 in Southend Hospital after having coronavirus.

The student at King Edmund School in Rochford, set up a fundraising page and completed an online auction of donated items. The money raised will all be going to Rochford Ward at Southend Hospital, where Liam’s uncle was admitted.

Liam said: “Uncle George was taken care of by the wonderful doctors and nurses on Rochford Ward so I just wanted to give something back. My original target of £250 was reached so quickly due to everyone's generosity – I’m overwhelmed. Everyone who has helped has done my uncle proud.”

The Trust has been shortlisted for two national nursing awards

The Oncology team at Broomfield Hospital. Sandra Morton-Nance, Liaison Nurse Two projects in Essex that have been improving patients’ lives during COVID-19 are now in the running for awards from the Royal College of Nursing.

The oncology team at Broomfield Hospital have been shortlisted for the Excellence in Cancer Research Nursing Award. The team have been able to help patients with mesothelioma (a cancer caused by asbestos), live longer and spend more time with loved ones, thanks to treatments fast tracked by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Also up for an award in the category of Learning Disability Nursing is Sandra Morton-Nance, a hospital liaison nurse at Broomfield. Sandra developed a virtual clinic to manage and support people with intellectual disability and two or more long-term conditions.

The virtual clinic was set up for people who regularly missed appointments, allowing Sandra to speak to patients and liaise with doctors and clinicians so that unnecessary hospital admissions or investigations are avoided.

Diane Sarkar, Chief Nursing Officer at the Trust, said: “The research team going the extra mile for our patients and Sandra seeing an opportunity to create a virtual clinic to provide care and support all speaks volume to the quality and dedication of our staff.”

Motor Neurone Disease - supporting our patients

Volunteers from the South Essex Branch of the MND Association Motor Neurone Disease - supporting patients and undertaking pioneering research

Our Neurology department plays a vital role in treating patients who have nervous system disorders – a complex and sophisticated system that regulates and coordinates the movement of the body.

Within the neurology department sits the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) team. Through their links with Queen Mary University, London and The Royal London Hospital, this group of experts conduct innovative research into the diagnosis and treatment of MND. There is a 1 in 300 risk of getting MND across a lifetime and it can affect adults of any age but is more likely to affect people over 50.

Finding effective treatment

By conducting clinical trials, the team hope to understand the progression of the condition as well as the most effective treatment. At the forefront of this work is the measurement of plasma known as neurofilaments, which are little pieces of protein that are released within the brain. This ongoing research has contributed to the development of technology that can measure this plasma in a new, less invasive way.

Andrea Malaspina, Clinical Academic Lead for the Motor Neurone Disease Centre, said: “This innovative research is only possible because of the generosity and goodwill of our patients and staff, including Clinical Trials Practitioner, Georgina Butt and Research Coordinator, Colette Bloomfield. Despite the additional challenges brought on by COVID-19, everyone has been amazingly helpful and remain committed towards defeating this disease.”

Working with a local charity

Working alongside the Trust is the South Essex branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association. This branch is run by Sue Nash, Chairperson and a dedicated team of non-clinical volunteers who build awareness and provide support for those suffering from or affected in some way by MND.

Members of the branch attend MND clinic days at the main hospital sites monthly to offer their guidance and assistance to newly diagnosed patients. They also work to ensure that patients can enjoy social activities throughout the year along with their family and friends. For example, before COVID-19, patients attended the annual pantomime at the Cliffs Pavilion and got involved with several fund-raising events.

Sue said: “As there is no official diagnosis or cure, our work is crucial in creating that community network and letting people know that there is help out there for those who need it.”

Andrea Malaspina spoke incredibly highly of Sue and her team, saying: “Members from the Association are instrumental in supporting patients as often they are a friendly face. Plus, with the money they raise, we can acquire new, advanced equipment.”

Rachel Clark, Public Governor, Castle Point, said: “I recently attended the MND South Essex Branch AGM and learnt of the vital work being undertaken, along with the important support the local branch offers. This disease has devastating consequences so the dedicated research and support that the Trust and Association undertake, is vital for anyone affected by MND.”

If you would like to learn more about the support offered by the Motor Neurone Association South Essex Branch, please visit their website at: MND Association South Essex Branch (

Contacts and how to get involved

Illustration of a notepad Dates for your diary

This year, our Annual Members’ Meeting will be on Wednesday, 22 September 2021 between 5pm-6:30pm and will be held on online using Microsoft Teams.

Once again, we would love for all members to join the meeting and let us know your thoughts. As well as highlighting the challenges of the past year, there will be a spotlight on the future of critical care.

To register your interest email

Throughout the year, Council of Governors’ meetings are also held to 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.

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

*you do not need to have MS Teams application, just click the link provided*


Calling all members - We need your emails or you may miss out!

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 on


Editorial team contacts

Esther Kuku, Head of Communications, Campaigns and Public Affairs - call 01268 524900  ext 2993

Eve Lambie, Membership Manager, Corporate Governance and Membership Services - freephone: 0800 018 5202

Rachel Clark and Les Catley, Public Governors MSEFT membership office - email

Basildon Hospital switchboard is 01268 524900

Broomfield Hospital switchboard is 01245 362000

Southend Hospital switchboard is 01702 435555.


New letters to editor 

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

If you have any feedback you would like to give on any of the stories you read. Or, would like something featured in a future edition of Governors2Members then please email:

The feedback you provide will be crucial in helping us improve your membership magazine.