A word from Clare Panniker
Welcome to the first edition of Your Hospitals, our new quarterly magazine which aims to give you an insight into some of the work we've been doing to provide excellent patient care.
We are one of the largest NHS Trusts in the country. From three main hospital sites in Southend, Basildon and Broomfield, as well as several smaller sites in Orsett, Braintree and Maldon, we provide care for approximately 1.2 million people who live and work in mid and south Essex.
Below you’ll read about some of the work we’ve been doing to improve care and to celebrate the achievements of staff. Whether you’re a colleague, a patient or a visitor there should be something for everyone. You can also download the Your Hospitals magazine 2022 - Issue 1, Vol 1[pdf] 6MB.
Highlights from our first issue
You'll read about the winners of our recent Shine Awards, our first annual staff awards event. You’ll also learn about the work going on at Basildon Hospital to revamp the main entrance, new specialist equipment to improve care, exciting developments in research aimed at detecting cancers earlier, as well as some of the wonderful feedback we’ve had from patients.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank every one of you for your patience as we continue to respond to the challenges of the pandemic. To colleagues who have gone above and beyond working long hours and to patients for continuing to keep yourselves and others safe through mask-wearing and getting booster jabs – thank you.
Clare Panniker, Chief Executive
Patients who need physiotherapy to benefit from new leg machine
A machine that will help improve the lives of patients who have had surgery and then need physiotherapy has been given to Broomfield Hospital.
The leg press machine, which costs £3,295, works the lower body of a patient with the option of adjusting weights to match their strength. It was donated by The Friends of Broomfield.
Alex Bailess, advanced amputee physiotherapist, said: “We’ll be using this equipment to help a range of patients, including those who have had lower limb surgery and amputees.
“We are very grateful to the Friends at Broomfield Hospital and know the patients that it will help rehabilitate are extremely thankful as well.”
MP thanks Broomfield Hospital staff for hard work
Emergency department (ED) staff at Broomfield Hospital have been thanked for all their amazing hard work by MP Kemi Badenoch, after she saw how improvements in the department will help patients this winter.
The MP for Saffron Walden, who is also Minister for Levelling Up Communities and Minister for Equalities, was shown a new rapid assessment and treatment bay that is helping to improve the flow of patients arriving at ED and ensure the people who need the most help are seen first.
The hospital has also extended the operating hours of its same day emergency care unit to make sure that patients are directed to the right location and can return home as soon as possible.
Mrs Badenoch said: “This time of year brings significant additional pressures on our local health services, alongside those they are already experiencing due to Covid-19. I was reassured to see some of measures the hospital have put in place as we move into winter.
“The key message from our NHS is for residents to make sure they choose the right service for their needs by initially calling NHS 111 to get health advice.
“Thank you again to Laura and everyone at Broomfield Hospital for all of your hard work.”
Your Council of Governors
Following the successful election for our Council of Governors in the summer of 2020, 32 public governors were elected by Trust members, alongside six staff governors who were elected by Trust staff, and appointed governors who were nominated by their organisations.
Meet Hannah Coffey
Hannah Coffey is our new Deputy Chief Executive. We spoke to Hannah about her career and what it’s like to run a busy hospital.
Tell us a little about yourself
“I started in the NHS as a graduate trainee 24 years ago, having proudly grown up in a public sector family. My mum was a nurse and my Dad a firefighter. I’ve had a very broad career so far working in operational and strategic roles across healthcare in London and Essex.
"These are challenging times. There are a lot of operational and emotional pressures from the pandemic and I am so proud of our staff and how optimistic and resilient they have been under significant, sustained pressure.”
What are your biggest priorities?
“A big part of my role is about making sure we do our absolute best for local people through a really challenging winter period, providing the best and most responsive emergency care we can, but also continuing to reduce the number of people who have been waiting a very long time for treatment. It’s about providing consistent, high quality care for our patients.
“The wellbeing of staff is critical to everything we do. It’s so important to me to take the time to walk the floor, make sure colleagues are OK and understand what I can do to make things easier.
“I also passionately believe that everyone, no matter their background or role, should be able to come to work and be encouraged and supported to be their best. We know that this is not currently the case and this is not okay. We all have a responsibility to welcome and celebrate diversity and this will be a real priority for me.”
What new projects or patient services are you most excited about?
“The pandemic has taught us a lot about things we might want to do differently and given us lots of opportunities to innovate."
"I’ve been so impressed with all of the exciting work that has been happening, despite very real operational pressures."
“Firstly, there's a lot of energy and enthusiasm around transforming outpatients’ services. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to rethink how we deliver services, support patients and GPs, as well as staff. There are also opportunities in diagnostics to transform patient care and the working lives of many colleagues. Finally we’re working on early cardiac screening using risk factors identified by GPs. This is more about early prevention than treatment, working with partners to help people before they become unwell – and this is the future”.
MRI scanner suite renamed in memory of former radiology director
An MRI scanner suite at Southend Hospital has been renamed in memory of a former director of radiology who worked at the hospital for almost 30 years.
Dr Andrew Tanqueray, who was an interventional radiologist, died of cancer in 2018, at the age of 64, but his memory will now live on at the location where he dedicated many years working to help others.
The MRI suite, one of three at Southend, will now be known as The Tanquery MRI Suite, and features a plaque which was unveiled by his family and colleagues during a short, private, socially-distanced ceremony yesterday (Thursday 25 November) in his memory.
Mary, Dr Tanquery’s wife, said: "I think its brilliant Andrew’s name has been given to one of the MRI suites. I am really happy he’s being honoured in this way. A lot of people will remember him fondly, he’d have been a little embarrassed about all the fuss, as he was very humble, but richly deserves it.”
Dr Tanquery had worked at Southend Hospital since 1989 and was a much-loved colleague and respected radiologist, who worked closely with surgeons performing keyhole surgery.
His speciality was a procedure where a small incision was made to gain access to a patient’s stomach for treatment, which often meant patients could go home on the same day.
He studied at Cambridge College and worked in London hospitals and was also the chairman of Southend’s consultant staff committee and the director of radiology, before he passed away at the age of 64.
Dr Saman Perera, a consultant radiologist, who worked alongside Dr Tanquery since 1992, said: “He was an excellent colleague, very knowledgeable and highly respected in the hospital. He is much-missed.
“Dr Tanqueray was a quietly spoken person, but he was well respected for his opinion in radiology. He was really supportive of other staff in radiology and was a good teacher to junior doctors.”
New front entrance at Basildon Hospital gets green light
Basildon Hospital is to get an impressive redesign of its front entrance, offering visitors and staff more facilities and a brighter welcome.
This will include a Costa Coffee, M&S Simply Food and WHSmith, which will deliver the first onsite Post Office in an Essex hospital.
It will also offer a new bereavement and patient advice and liaison service suite, a refurbished multi-faith room, new admin space and a welcoming hub for Mid and South Essex Hospitals Charity.
Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust’s chief commercial officer, Jonathan Dunk, said: “The current front entrance has been here since 1972 and is in vital need of change to bring us into the 21st century. We’re delighted to be working with our new commercial partners on delivering this crucial improvement for Basildon Hospital.
“The new two-storey building will create a safer, more welcoming and modern main entrance that will meet the needs of our patients, staff and the local community for many years to come.”
The hospital will also benefit from a redesigned road layout that will make it easier for traffic to get on and off site; work on this begins today (Monday 18 October).
Work on the new two-storey main entrance will start early next year, with construction due to be completed by late 2022.
The scheme is being created in partnership with specialist developer Noviniti, which has delivered similar projects at other hospitals - such as Colchester, Poole and Northampton - and WHSmith, which will operate the retail units.
Noviniti will be funding the cost of new main entrance, with rent from the retail outlets paying for the two-storey project. At the end of the 30-year lease the building is returned to the Trust.
Colleagues were celebrated in style at our first ever awards ceremony, highlighting their extraordinary efforts during the pandemic.
Staff from Basildon, Broomfield and Southend hospitals and our satellite sites joined the virtual Shine Awards, recognising the amazing achievements of teams across our Trust.
Clare Panniker, chief executive, said:
“These awards help to shine a light on the amazing work that our staff do across all areas of the Trust, and everyone should be justifiably proud of their great achievements.”
There were seven award categories. Winners were chosen from a total of 731 nominations of staff both on the front line and behind the scenes. To see the winners and watch their nomination videos, visit the Shine Awards page.
Patient to see son grow up thanks to team that saved his life
A heart attack patient now hopes to see his six-year-old son grow up after a hospital team saved his life.
Kevin McKee, 38, from Canvey Island, suffered a heart attack in August last year, complicated by a prolonged cardiac arrest. Now he has been back to the hospital to thank the team that saved him.
Kevin, a construction worker, said: “Teddy, my six-year-old son, is truly my life and soul. I am now someone that cherishes every day I wake up, and I’m so grateful that everyone gave their all to save my life.”
Thanks to the hard work of paramedics, the air ambulance and the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre team at Basildon Hospital, he was kept alive with external chest compressions from a machine for over two hours.
Dr Reto Gamma, consultant interventional cardiologist, said: “Kevin’s case shows how early chest compressions, early defibrillation and fitting stents in patients with acutely blocked blood vessels, can make a real positive difference in their outcome. The machine we used helped us to save his life.”
Kevin, who spent three weeks in Basildon Hospital recovering from his heart attack, said: “At one point my mum was being told I might only have an hour left, so I owe my second chance at life to the team. I am forever thankful for their expertise and dedication to their job; they really are forever my NHS heroes.”
First time parents praise brilliant birth experience at Broomfield
A family from Broomfield have praised a team of midwives for the excellent care they have given them during the birth of their first child.
Amelia Whybro, and her partner Kirill Teslia, welcomed their son Jude into the world at Broomfield Hopsital and have had nothing but good things to say about their experience.
Amelia, 33, admitted she didn’t know what to expect from health care services when she fell pregnant with Jude.
The couple were aiming to have a home birth for their first child, and the pair discussed the options with the Lotus Team, who are a team of eight midwives who provide antenatal, labour and postnatal care to the families booked with them at Broomfield.
Amelia ended up giving birth in a birthing pool in the maternity unit.
Amelia said: “As I was being put into the ambulance I said goodbye to my midwife Tara, only to be told she would be coming with me and staying with me the whole time. I was beyond relieved to hear this, making the transfer to hospital less overwhelming and it was great to get that continuity of care.
“Tara stayed with us right until I was discharged from hospital the next day, which helped me remain calm and feel I was in safe hands. The whole team at Broomfield were nothing but professional, polite and supportive to us all.”
“Although it was not the birth we had planned, it was nothing but positive and reassurances and from the team allowed me to remain calm and to enjoy a positive pregnancy and birth.”
And it wasn’t just Amelia who was impressed with the standard of care.
Kirill, 34, also from Broomfield, explained how he was made to feel a part of the whole experience.
He said: “The maternity team had me involved in every single step explaining what was going to happen. I was worried that as a man I might have been not as involved but was really pleased to find that the Lotus Team made me feel included all the way along.”
Kate Prazsky, lead midwife, explained the Lotus Team was launched in September 2020.
Kate said: “I’m so pleased Amelia was happy with the way her first birth went and the care she received. Such continuity of care makes a huge positive difference to women and babies, who have better outcomes and satisfaction with that care. Lotus Team work really hard to deliver that and should be proud of the great work they are doing.”
Heart rate app is a hit at home with patients
A new app has been launched for 400 patients to monitor their hearts for palpitations and murmurs, which can cause strokes and heart attacks.
The Fibricheck app is being trialled across the county by the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre (CTC) at Basildon Hospital.
It and can be downloaded on a patient’s smartphone to test their heart rate remotely, with the results being seen by a specialist heart nurse.
The app uses light technology through the phone’s camera. The patient puts their finger over the lens for one minute and the camera picks up blood flow in the finger.
Sharon Toora, CTC lead arrhythmia nurse specialist, said: “This is really going to benefit patients as they won’t have to make the journey into the hospital to get their heart rate results; it’s all done in the comfort of their own home.
“If there are any concerns with the results, we speak to the patient over the phone and this avoids face-to-face check-ups. When we speak to patients we can tell them what medication we will be prescribing for future care to make them feel more relaxed.”
Funding for the app has come from a special Covid Appeal fund and charitable funds from Mid and South Essex Hospitals Charity, and it’s already getting great feedback from patients who are using it.
One of those is Stephen Messer, 67, a retired plumber from Rayleigh, who had a quadruple heart bypass in 2013. He recently used the app to monitor heart palpitations.
He said: “I was checking my heart rate three times a day and getting the results back really quickly from the team which meant I wasn’t splitting my day up travelling back and forth and having to park at the hospital.
“It’s so easy to use and fit into my day-to-day life, and I’m now managing my condition through medication, thanks to the app.”
Basildon midwives win national award for excellence
A team of midwives have won a prestigious Royal College of Midwives award for their excellence in bereavement care.
The team of three based at Basildon Hospital, known as the Lullaby Team, were given the award at an event in London in front of their peers.
Attending the event were the bereavement specialist midwives, Sian Ness, Beth Towsey and Debbie Olajugbagbe.
It’s their job to make sure that every family who experience the death of their baby feels surrounded by comfort, compassion and support through their journey.
Speaking on behalf of the team, Sian said: “It’s amazing to have won this award, but the real reward for us is the feedback we have received regarding our care from bereaved families, support groups and charities and seeing the difference the team has made to people at a hugely difficult time.”
That care includes making sure each family have their own bereavement specialist midwife who helps families with any funeral arrangements for their baby and continual support after their funeral with home visits.
Hope for future Essex cancer patients with new test that could detect more than 50 types of cancer
Future cancer patients in Essex could get their diagnosis more quickly thanks to a new test which could help detect more than 50 types of cancer being trialled at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust.
The hospitals run by the Trust are the only ones in Essex to be trialling this important SYMPLIFY study. More than 700 patients from Essex have taken part to date, which makes the Trust the highest recruiter to the study.
The nationwide SYMPLIFY study, supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), will investigate a new multi-cancer early detection (MCED) test in the NHS, known as Galleri, for patients with non-specific symptoms that could be a result of undiagnosed cancer.
Its aim is to show how the Galleri test could be used to increase cancer detection rates and improve outcomes for patients.
Dr Catherine O'Doherty, medical director for cancer, who is leading the trial at the Trust, said: “The study is looking at whether a blood test will help us to diagnose cancer more quickly and simply in the future. The results of the blood test are compared with the patient’s final diagnosis to help us understand whether this may be a useful test to do.
“Although the SYMPLIFY study won’t directly help the patients who are taking part in it, they are benefiting the lives of future patients. We know that many patients take part in clinical studies not to benefit themselves but rather to benefit others and we depend on this to allow cancer medicine to become better.
“We are really pleased to be able to offer our patients to be part of this major national study which could have a profound influence on the way we diagnose cancer in the future. Being part of this important trial shows our continued commitment to research in helping improve the lives not just of our patients locally, but patients across the UK and the world.”
Recruitment of participants started in summer 2021, and researchers were seeking to recruit around 6,000 patients with early signs and symptoms that might be caused by cancer from sites across England and Wales by 30 November 2021.
These patients will have been referred by their GP for rapid diagnostic tests looking for cancer and a Galleri blood sample will also be taken.
Galleri is a blood test that can detect over 50 different types of cancers with a low false positive rate of less than 1 per cent.
Using revolutionary next-generation sequencing technology, Galleri has the potential to identify multiple types of cancers at earlier stages of disease compared with traditional diagnostic methods. This should increase the chance of successful treatment and improve outcomes for patients.
SYMPLIFY will assess how Galleri can be used to benefit patients with non-specific
symptoms that may be a result of cancer. The SYMPLIFY study is one of the UK-based clinical trials that GRAIL, the company behind the test, is supporting, along with the recently announced NHS-Galleri trial evaluating the Galleri test in primary care settings. Successful results may see this technology radically revolutionising how cancer is identified in the future.
Dr Pippa Corrie, NIHR Clinical Research Network, National Specialty Lead for Cancer Late Phase and International Trials, said: “We are delighted that the NIHR Clinical Research Network is actively facilitating delivery of the ground-breaking SYMPLIFY study, which is testing an innovative blood test to identify early signs of cancer by recruiting 6,000 participants attending rapid diagnostic clinics at multiple secondary care trusts across England in record time.”
Trainee nurse awarded Pride of Essex Award
A trainee nurse has been given a Pride of Essex Award in recognition of the thousands of donations she has helped arrange for colleagues during Covid.
Lauren Dicker, a student nurse at Broomfield Hospital, won the Unsung Hero Award for setting up a fundraising page for gifts for her colleagues when she returned to work after having Covid.
Lauren, 26, from Halstead, said: “I’m so happy to get his award. Coming back to work I realised I could make a difference by giving small gifts of thanks. The response was amazing; people have been so generous with everything they have given.”
Donations included snacks, hand sanitiser, lip gloss and drinks to help her colleagues relax after their shift.
Lauren will qualify as a nurse from Anglia Ruskin University next year, and is looking forward to starting her nursing career at Broomfield Hospital.
She said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time as a student nurse at Broomfield, everyone has been so welcoming, and I’m hoping to get a job on Heybridge Ward as a newly qualified nurse once I complete my degree. The team on the ward have been so fantastic since I started.”
Lauren’s nominator David Wiles, a member of the Braintree Masonic Centre, said: “She is so dedicated to her career she does not realise how humbled people are by her actions. She has not only been working frontline on wards but has also manged to bring joy to her colleagues.”
Specialist radiotherapy for lung cancer patients reaches milestone
A patient at Southend Hospital has become the 50th to receive a specialist form of radiotherapy to help treat lung cancer, without the need for surgery.
Known as SABR (Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy), it has been offered at the hospital since 2017 and is an effective way of treating small, localised cancers almost anywhere in the body.
Dr Abby Cyria c , consultant clinical oncologist and SABR lead, said: “It means we can deliver a very high dose of radiotherapy to a small area of lung with less side effects. It is a very precise treatment with a chance of curing or controlling early lung cancer, almost similar to surgery, and is able to be given to patients who are not fit or not suitable for surgery.
“In appropriate lung cancers we treat to cure the cancer without the need for surgery, and have been delighted to treat our 50th patient.”
That patient is Per Solberg, from Brentwood. The 85-year-old said: “I’ve received three courses of treatment and it has all been totally painless. The staff here have all been amazing and very friendly.”
Previously, patients from Essex had to travel to central London every day to have this treatment, and now the team that have made it such a success in Southend are hoping to start using it to treat other types of cancer as well.
Machine that helps stop hair loss is a “game changer” for Essex chemotherapy patients
New machines that help stop hair loss are making a life-changing difference for chemotherapy patients.
Five Paxman scalp cooling cap machines have been bought for Southend Hospital, after several generous charity legacy donations hit the £60,000 fundraising target.
The treatment works by reducing the temperature of a patient’s scalp by just a few degrees immediately before, during and after having chemotherapy. This in turn reduces the blood flow to hair follicles, which may prevent or minimise hair loss.
It is estimated that the blood flow is reduced to 20-40% of the normal rate through scalp cooling, which helps reduce the amount of chemotherapy that reaches hair.
Hannah Overland, deputy director of nursing for Cancer at Southend, said: “Scalp cooling can mean the opportunity to regain some control and maintain a positive attitude towards treatment.
“We’re extremely grateful for this donation. It is definitely a game changer for Essex chemotherapy patients, as for some people hair loss can be one of the most traumatic side effects of chemotherapy treatment.”
Lucy Thomas-Clayton, director of charities and voluntary services at mid and South Essex Hospitals Charity, said: “Combined legacy donations such as this make a huge lasting impact. It allows us to buy the latest medical equipment and make a real difference to the lives of patients.”
To find out more about leaving a legacy donation, please contact the Mid and South Essex Hospitals Charity team.
Supporting our community in Southend
We are teaming up with local health and care partners to support people most in need in Southend.
Our Trust has been awarded over £400,000 to deliver a landmark initiative that will help eligible local people find new routes into employment.
COVID-19 has been challenging for everyone. This programme will provide opportunities for members of our local community to retrain or gain new skills.
Southend Hospital will be the lead site for the project, which is called the Anchor Programme. The hospital will work closely with partners that include Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, A Better Start Southend, South Essex Community Hub and Generation Medics to create new opportunities for local people to enter employment within the health sector.
This will bring benefits for those most at risk of the negative health effects of long-term unemployment.
Working with partners through the Anchor Programme will help us fulfil our ambition to be a major employer of local people.
The money has been awarded by the Government’s UK Community Renewal Fund, which aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK.
To find out more, please visit our Anchor Programme page.
Mural makes children break a smile at fracture clinic
Children coming to the fracture clinic at an Essex hospital have been wowed by a new mural painted by a talented local artist.
The mural at Broomfield Hospital, which shows happy and smiling children not letting their injuries stop them having fun and playing, is proving to be a real boost to those that see it and its positive message.
It was painted by Arthur Dess, from Chelmsford, who has been painting for over 15 years and creates unique murals up and down the country.
He said: “Whenever I get to take on a project like this it’s exciting as I know the children will love it. The children on the mural are smiling and happy despite their injuries. I really wanted to show that, no matter what, children can bounce back from anything.”
And it is already getting the thumbs up from young patients, their families and staff alike.
Paediatric orthopaedic nurse specialist Helen Gille, explained how she wanted to develop a small area specifically for children to feel comfortable in the waiting room.
“My aim was to brighten up the waiting room and create a talking point. It was done within a week and the reaction of the families has been amazing. Parents are taking photos of their children next to the matching picture of their treatments – the children love it.
“The pictures of the children illustrate some the work we do in the fracture clinic, so it really helps to normalise the treatment for the children and the parents to show they are not alone on their journey.”
Thank you to our generous supporters
Our supporters from the local community continue to amaze us with their generosity and it’s been great to see many of you following the return of fundraising events this year.
The charity has gratefully received many donations allowing us to fund some great projects to benefit our staff and patients. These have included:
Broomfield Hospital's physiotherapy department received £3,295 for a leg press from The Friends of Broomfield, which is benefitting a range of patients.
The radiology department at Southend Hospital received a sensory light column to help our more anxious patients (generously donated by local Rotary Clubs who raised £3,060).
Over £60,000 of funding has been provided for FEES Equipment at Basildon and Southend Hospitals. The two machines will improve the assessment and rehabilitation of speech and language patients. Southend Hospital Charitable Foundation funded the purchase of the equipment at Southend whilst charitable funds made the purchase possible at Basildon Hospital.
Star fundraiser: Rosemary Slade
Following her own treatment for cancer in 2004, Rosemary Slade (founder of United Against Cancer) has raised more than £100,000 for cancer care at Southend Hospital over the last ten years. Rosemary recently raised another £5,000 by holding her ninth ‘black dress and pearls’ charity night which attracted over 200 guests.
Clair Grayston, community fundraising manager, said:
Rosemary’s amazing fundraising has meant we have been able to make many improvements to the equipment and facilities available to our patients undergoing treatment for cancer.
Sunday 6 March: Fire walk, Barleylands Farm Park
Monday 21 March: Afternoon tea, Waltham Barns
Tuesday 22 March: Afternoon tea, Orsett Hall
Wednesday 23 March: Afternoon tea, The Roslin Beach Hotel
Friday 29 April: Quiz night, Chelmsford
Saturday 14 May: Tackle the Tower abseil, Southend Hospital