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<strong>May</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

Sandwell and West Birmingham<br />

NHS Trust<br />

The pulse of community health, Leasowes, Rowley Regis, City Hospital, Sandwell General and the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital<br />

Issue 141<br />

Shining a spotlight on our<br />

nursing colleagues Pages 18-19<br />

This month we celebrate National Nurses Week to recognise the valuable work of our nursing colleagues across our workplace.<br />

Birmingham breathes<br />

easy as clean air<br />

zone launches<br />

SWB doctors are<br />

saving lives in India<br />

Celebrating the 73 rd<br />

birthday of the NHS<br />

International Clinical<br />

Trials Day<br />

Page 3<br />

Page 6<br />

Page 10<br />

Page 22


Welcome to your <strong>May</strong> edition of<br />

Heartbeat.<br />

This month we celebrate the fantastic<br />

work of some of our colleagues. From<br />

National Nurses Week, National ODP<br />

Day, International Day of the Midwife,<br />

the Mouth Care Matters project and<br />

International Clinical Trials Day - we<br />

celebrated as individuals, departments<br />

and as a Trust. We show appreciation<br />

for the valuable work and excellent<br />

patient care they deliver. But that's not<br />

all, we cover the arrival of Birmingham's<br />

Clean Air Zone, the upcoming NHS 73rd<br />

birthday celebrations and how SWB<br />

doctors are saving lives in India.<br />

Enjoy <br />

Contact us<br />

Communications Team<br />

Ext 5303<br />

swbh.comms@nhs.net<br />

Communications Department<br />

Ground Floor, Trinity House<br />

Sandwell Hospital<br />

Published by<br />

Communications Team<br />

Sandwell and West Birmingham<br />

Hospitals NHS Trust<br />

Designed by<br />

Medical Illustration,<br />

Graphics Team<br />

Sandwell and West Birmingham<br />

Hospitals NHS Trust<br />

Submit an idea<br />

If you’d like to submit an idea<br />

for an article, contact the<br />

communications team<br />

Ext 5303<br />

swbh.comms@nhs.net<br />

HELLO<br />

Stay updated<br />

We send out a Communications<br />

Bulletin via email every day and you<br />

can now read Heartbeat articles<br />

throughout the month on Connect.<br />

Don't forget you can follow us on:<br />

One of the friendliest Trusts I’ve ever<br />

experienced<br />

Sir David Nicholson KCB CBE, Chair, joined on<br />

1 <strong>May</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

I am delighted to be penning my first column<br />

as Chair of Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS<br />

Trust since joining at the start of this month. I<br />

have enjoyed spending time visiting different<br />

sites and meeting colleagues right across the<br />

Trust.<br />

What I have been struck by is the friendliness<br />

of the organisation and I have been bowled<br />

over by the welcome I have received. This<br />

must be one of the friendliest Trusts I have<br />

experienced. Without exception, everyone<br />

I have met has been warm and welcoming,<br />

willing to take the time to talk to me and<br />

share their thoughts and feelings about<br />

their role and about our organisation.<br />

Colleagues have demonstrated great<br />

commitment to patients and our citizens.<br />

It is clear that many people have been,<br />

and continue to be, working under<br />

extreme pressure and I recognise the<br />

need to ensure that colleagues have the<br />

opportunity to take stock and reflect on the<br />

experiences over the past 18 months, whilst<br />

understanding that there is a considerable<br />

amount of patient need out there that we<br />

need to be able to respond to.<br />

I have seen an impressive array of support<br />

on offer to help with the physical, mental<br />

and spiritual health and wellbeing of<br />

all our staff. There is lots here for other<br />

organisations to learn from.<br />

It is a genuine privilege to be your<br />

Chairman and I look forward to meeting<br />

many more of you as I continue to get to<br />

know the organisation.<br />

Do feel free to get in touch with me<br />

via Twitter @DavidNichols0n or email<br />

david.nicholson3@nhs.net<br />

Sir David Nicholson, Trust Chairman recently visited the Wellbeing Sanctuary

Birmingham breathes easy as<br />

Clean Air Zone launches<br />

From 1 June a Clean Air Zone will come<br />

in to effect in Birmingham which will<br />

charge the owners of high polluting<br />

vehicles to enter certain parts of the<br />

City.<br />

The Clean Air Zone will help tackle<br />

Birmingham’s air quality problem by<br />

charging the owners of the most polluting<br />

vehicles to drive through an area within the<br />

A4540 Middleway .<br />

No vehicle is banned in the zone, but those<br />

which do not have clean enough engines<br />

will pay a daily charge if they travel within<br />

the area.<br />

If your vehicle meets the following emission<br />

standards you will not need to pay the daily<br />

charge:<br />

• Euro 6 (VI) or better for diesel<br />

engine<br />

• Euro 4 or better for petrol engines<br />

• For diesel/petrol electric hybrids<br />

the vehicle should meet the<br />

relevant emission standards<br />

• Fully electric or hydrogen fuel cell<br />

powered vehicles will not need to<br />

pay the charge.<br />

To check your vehicle and to find out more,<br />

visit https://www.brumbreathes.co.uk/.<br />

The Trust has confirmed that colleagues who<br />

are required to visit a facility or property<br />

within the Clean Air Zone for the purpose<br />

of their work will be allowed to claim<br />

reimbursement via the Trust’s expenses<br />

scheme (Easy Expenses).<br />

Guidance for colleagues is available on<br />

Connect.<br />

To find out more about the Clean Air Zone<br />

(CAZ) and the impact on our Trust, Heartbeat<br />

caught up with Head of Sustainability Fran<br />

Silcocks, she said: “The newly formed CAZ is<br />

a commitment by the local authority to take<br />

action against high polluting vehicles that<br />

travel through the centre of Birmingham and<br />

the hope is that this will spark a change to<br />

move to more sustainable forms of transport.<br />

There is a close link between health and air<br />

pollution - as an NHS Trust we have a duty<br />

of care to help improve air quality. We are<br />

working to reduce our impact by transitioning<br />

our general transport vehicles to low and<br />

ultra-low emission vehicles, installing circa 100<br />

electric vehicle charging sockets at City and<br />


Sandwell Hospital, offering discounts on<br />

public transport, continuing to facilitate<br />

car sharing, and much more.<br />

“We encourage colleagues to review<br />

their commutes in to work and to take<br />

a fresh look at whether other forms<br />

of travel would be better suited. We<br />

have good transport links for bus and<br />

rail in to our sites as well as an ever<br />

growing cycling community, so instead<br />

of sitting in traffic and adding to the<br />

smog, you could be helping us improve<br />

our environment by simply switching to<br />

public transport.”<br />

For more information on the new<br />

Clean Air Zone or to find out if<br />

your vehicle meets the stringent<br />

emissions criteria, check the Brum<br />

Breaths website at https://www.<br />

brumbreathes.co.uk/.<br />

Cycle Parking<br />

At City and Sandwell Hospitals, there are<br />

cycle sheds, shelters and blue, lockable<br />

bike pods. For the cycle pods, please<br />

bring your own padlock and these are<br />

available on a first come, first served basis.<br />

Please remove the lock at the end of your<br />

working day so that others have a chance<br />

to use them.<br />

‘Dr Bike’ sessions<br />

We are running regular, free bike<br />

maintenance checks for colleagues at<br />

City and Sandwell<br />

Hospitals. Keep<br />

checking colleagues the<br />

communications bulletin<br />

for updates.<br />

Bus travel discounted for<br />

colleagues with National<br />

Express<br />

Colleagues are able to access discounted<br />

bus travel when joining the Trust/National<br />

Express Corporate Ticket Scheme. A 5%<br />

discount applies to colleagues joining this<br />

scheme.<br />

For more information, contact Audrey<br />

Hender (existing bus users) on audrey.<br />

hender@nhs.net or Sue Penn on susan.<br />

penn@nationalexpress.com if you would<br />

like to join the scheme.<br />

https://nxbus.co.uk/west-midlands/<br />

travelling-with-us<br />

Car Sharing<br />

The Trust has partnered with a KINTO<br />

(previously Faxi) to provide colleagues with<br />

a car sharing app. The app helps improve<br />

commutes, reduces congestion and<br />

improves air quality. More shared journeys<br />

also reduces parking pressures, saves you<br />

money and is good for the environment<br />

and the local community.<br />

KINTO helps you maximise your savings<br />

in both time and money by connecting<br />

you with colleagues who share your<br />

commuting routes and travel times. Car<br />

sharing can also work well for cross-site<br />

journeys for meetings where travel can’t<br />

be avoided.<br />

Download the app and join the secure<br />

SWBH community using your NHS email<br />

https://www.kinto-join.co.uk/get/<br />

swbh-nhs/.<br />


All hands helped out in<br />

vaccination effort<br />

COVID-19<br />

The Trust would like to say a huge<br />

thank you to all colleagues at<br />

both City and Sandwell who have<br />

helped vaccinate patients and<br />

staff throughout the pandemic.<br />

We would also like to thank all of<br />

the operational staff who helped<br />

set up the hubs to ensure trained<br />

colleagues were able to vaccinate all<br />

who attended. The vaccination hub<br />

at Sandwell and PCN clinic at City are<br />

now closed.<br />

Looking back over the last six months,<br />

we were approved to deliver the vaccine<br />

just before Christmas, and were able to<br />

begin vaccinating the first doses merely<br />

days later, enabling those vaccinated to<br />

ring in the year knowing they had taken<br />

the first steps to protect themselves.<br />

Though the process of delivering a<br />

vaccination is simple, completing a<br />

checklist and ensuring the patient<br />

understands the process makes it<br />

more time consuming hence there is<br />

an incredible amount of work involved<br />

in the logistics - not least designing<br />

Alicia Parker - Lead Professional<br />

Development Nurse<br />

and creating a safe and socially distanced<br />

environment to host the clinics. A huge debt<br />

of thanks is also due to our colleagues within<br />

estates (now Engie) who worked tirelessly to<br />

ensure we could deliver vaccines quickly and<br />

safely with minimum waiting.<br />

Dispensing in the region of 400 vaccinations a<br />

day, a dedicated team of retirees returned to<br />

help with the task, alongside medical students<br />

and overseen by our clinicians. And, we even<br />

saw some familiar faces deliver the vaccine<br />

as our very own lead chaplain Mary Causer<br />

became our ‘vaccinating vicar.’ In total we<br />

vaccinated more than 8,500 patients and<br />

staff with their first dose, whilst over 7,000<br />

received their second dose.<br />

Mary Causer expressed her thoughts on<br />

being a vaccinator: “Wow what a privilege,<br />

as soon as we knew that the vaccine was<br />

coming, I wanted to be part of a team that<br />

extended the great service we offer as a<br />

Trust.<br />

“The first thing I believed was that I was<br />

able to inject some hope into people after<br />

a really difficult year. We are a really diverse<br />

team in practice and faith belief. Being the<br />

Vicar was important for those who may<br />

have needed a sense of peace that it was<br />

okay to take it.”<br />

If you have not yet had your vaccine, you<br />

can book an appointment at Tipton Sports<br />

Academy, Wednesbury Road, which is<br />

available as a destination for you to get<br />

your first dose of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine<br />

with the hub running Monday to Sunday,<br />

8am to 7pm. Book your slot via the national<br />

booking website. Alternatively you can be<br />

vaccinated local to where you live – you can<br />

book yourself in via the national booking<br />

website.<br />

Have you got a<br />


CARE<br />

story?<br />

4<br />

We’d love to hear from you if you have…<br />

• An event or special occasion in your<br />

department<br />

• If you work with an inspirational colleague<br />

• Does your department do something that<br />

makes a real difference to our patients?<br />

Please get in touch if you’d like to be featured in an<br />

upcoming edition of Heartbeat!<br />

Email swbh.comms@nhs.net to submit your story idea.<br />


Quick, convenient and comfortable -<br />

a simple test saving lives<br />

Throughout the pandemic testing for<br />

active infections of COVID-19 has been<br />

crucial in the fight against the virus,<br />

from the initial roll out of PCR tests<br />

to symptomatic patients, colleagues<br />

and their household members, the<br />

subsequent rollout of asymptomatic<br />

lateral flow testing and finally on<br />

to the current offerings of weekly<br />

COVID-19 saliva test (LAMP) tests.<br />

Whilst early testing regimes involved often<br />

uncomfortable nasal and throat swabs, the<br />

new LAMP testing programme involves a<br />

simple saliva sample, with colleagues able<br />

to collect their sample first thing in the<br />

morning and depositing it for testing as<br />

they enter the building.<br />

To find out more, Heartbeat spoke to LAMP<br />

testing lead Kulwinder Johal, sharing her<br />

thoughts, she said: “LAMP testing is the<br />

latest and the most comfortable testing<br />

programme for asymptomatic testing for<br />

COVID-19. It’s completely pain free, quick<br />

and easy – and colleagues will be pleased<br />

to hear it doesn’t involve any swabs.<br />

“We’re keen for colleagues to sign up and<br />

commit to regular testing, not for any other<br />

benefit but to protect themselves and those<br />

around them. Our aim really is to have all of<br />

our colleagues regularly testing and results<br />

Anil Patel, Digital Media Officer collecting<br />

his LAMP testing kit<br />

reassuring them that they are safe and well.”<br />

Colleagues across the Trust have spoken out<br />

in favour of the newly founded LAMP testing.<br />

A nursing colleague commented: “I have had<br />

no problems in carrying out the test - it is very<br />

simple and straight forward. Only downside I<br />

have found is carrying out the test first thing -<br />

before I have had a drink etc - easily resolved<br />

by making sure I drink enough the day before.<br />

“I have found the text messages useful to<br />

remind me to do the test and getting the<br />

result by text too.<br />

“As clinical team leader for swabbing I have<br />

undertaken more COVID-19 nose and throat<br />

swabs over the last 12 months than I can<br />

COVID-19<br />

count, I was interested to see what<br />

the pathway was for LAMP testing,<br />

and the pathway could not be more<br />

straightforward.<br />

“On Friday, I contacted the booking<br />

team to book in for LAMP testing and<br />

after the admin clerk took my details<br />

I was given an appointment for the<br />

following Monday morning to collect my<br />

LAMP test kits.<br />

“After taking a saliva sample on<br />

Tuesday morning I dropped it off in the<br />

sample bin outside phlebotomy and<br />

by Wednesday I’d had text message<br />

at lunchtime to inform me that I was<br />

negative for COVID-19.”<br />

LAMP testing is open to all colleagues,<br />

simply call 0121 507 2664 option 6 to<br />

book in to collect your test kits. A text<br />

message will follow within 24-48hrs<br />

confirming your COVID-19 status.<br />

For further information on the<br />

LAMP testing programme, contact<br />

Kulwinder Johal on email.<br />

kulwinder.johal@nhs.net<br />

Cautious optimism called for as<br />

lockdown is eased<br />

As we begin to ease restrictions from<br />

the third national lockdown, there<br />

are pleas from colleagues on the front<br />

lines to remain cautious as a threat of a<br />

further surge fuelled by a new variant<br />

looms.<br />

Sharing her thoughts on the easing of<br />

restrictions, Acting Chief Nurse Melanie<br />

Roberts said: “We can finally see the<br />

finishing line ahead of us on 21 June, when<br />

it is hoped all remaining restrictions will<br />

be lifted. It’s a time for cautious optimism,<br />

after many months of hard work in fighting<br />

the onslaught of COVID-19, it’s a time to<br />

be celebrate sensibly and to behave in a<br />

responsible way.<br />

“After so much tragedy, so much hard<br />

work and sacrifice, we can’t let ourselves<br />

get carried away and jeopardise the many<br />

months of collective effort, struggle and<br />

sacrifice.<br />

Melanie Roberts, Acting Chief Nurse<br />

“We’re able to begin lifting the rules because<br />

infection rates are low. They will only remain<br />

low if we continue to wash our hands, wear<br />

masks in public and limit unnecessary contact.<br />

In doing so we stand a chance of fending<br />

off some of the new variants we’re seeing<br />

arriving at our shores.”<br />

And whilst COVID restrictions are lifted in the<br />

community, we have begun a phased easing<br />

of visiting restrictions beginning with<br />

supporting visiting on our elderly care<br />

and stroke wards.<br />

Explaining the changes to our visiting<br />

policy Melanie said: “As we begin to<br />

open wards to visiting we will continue<br />

to mandate that all visitors wear a mask<br />

when on site, general patient visits last a<br />

maximum of 30 minutes and be limited to<br />

one visitor per patient. In line with national<br />

guidance, general visiting will only be<br />

allowed for patients who have been in the<br />

hospital for seven days or more.<br />

“We’d like to remind colleagues that there<br />

are exceptional circumstances where visiting<br />

is allowed in all areas, for example for<br />

young patients, patients who lack mental<br />

capacity and patients who are at the end of<br />

their life. For these patients it is important<br />

that we are able to safely facilitate visiting,<br />

so please if in doubt ask your group for<br />

advice.”<br />


SWB medics saving lives virtually<br />

COVID-19<br />

medics to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure<br />

(CPAP) therapy, another successful treatment<br />

for COVID patients.<br />

“I have lots of family there, including my<br />

father, sister and my wife’s immediate family.<br />

They are safe but have been listening to the<br />

advice I have given them throughout the<br />

pandemic.”<br />

Dr Arora joined the Trust in 2007 as a<br />

consultant in intensive care and anaesthetics.<br />

As well as offering the teleconsultations, he<br />

has also been instrumental in pushing forward<br />

the 'Awake Proning ' treatment method.<br />

“We recognised how the condition of<br />

the patient improved on lying prone,” he<br />

explained.<br />

“Their oxygen saturation improved and many<br />

avoided admission to intensive care. Junior<br />

doctors working with us put forward an idea<br />

about capturing this new method on film and<br />

we worked with the communications team in<br />

producing photographic and video content.<br />

“This was shared on the Trust’s YouTube<br />

channel and has been viewed more than<br />

37,000 times.”<br />

Dr Arora has also recorded a shorter<br />

Hindi version of the awake proning video<br />

specifically for patients unable to get<br />

hospital treatment in India. They are able<br />

to follow the simple instructions in Hindi<br />

which is widely understood across the<br />

country.<br />

He added: “Awake proning can be lifesaving,<br />

especially when there is a resource<br />

crunch and lack of oxygen supply and<br />

hospital beds. It is being followed by those<br />

infected in India at home because of the<br />

current terrible situation.<br />

“I hope that this video will reach those<br />

who are unable to get to hospital and<br />

that ultimately it saves lives. I would<br />

urge colleagues to share this so we can<br />

get instructions on how to carry out this<br />

important technique out there.”<br />

To watch and share the video go to<br />

https://youtu.be/1bt6DHuixQ<br />

Dr Anand Arora, who has been<br />

carrying out life-saving virtual<br />

consultations with medics and<br />

patients in India.<br />

They are the SWB doctors who are<br />

saving lives in India by offering vital<br />

medical advice through video and<br />

teleconsultations.<br />

Dr Anand Arora has been carrying out<br />

the consultations through the Indian<br />

Society of Critical Care Medicine,<br />

working alongside other medics, in<br />

delivering virtual care to patients and<br />

also Indian clinicians.<br />

“Some of the patients are in a very bad<br />

way,” he explained. “They have been<br />

taking steroids unnecessarily which has<br />

led to complications, including fungal<br />

infections and other life-threatening<br />

illnesses.<br />

“My colleagues and I are able to offer<br />

medical advice to them because we<br />

speak their language and can help them.<br />

“I feel good to be able to help in a small<br />

way by doing something, whatever I<br />

can to help the people of India at such a<br />

dreadful time.”<br />

Dr Arora usually carries out six to seven<br />

consultations a day, either through<br />

WhatsApp or Zoom. In total he estimates<br />

he has offered medical advice up to 80<br />

times and has also introduced many<br />

Colleagues created a step-by-step video guide to the Awake Prone position<br />

The COVID-19 situation in India is severe and distressing. Many colleagues have loved<br />

ones overseas and are naturally extremely concerned about their wellbeing.<br />

Many of you have been asking how you can best support the crisis in India. NHS<br />

England are coordinating a response from the NHS including donations of equipment<br />

and remote clinical support.<br />

Our Trust is actively engaged in these discussions and arrangements. The NHS response<br />

is coordinated nationally, with support focusing on advice on surge hospitals, remote<br />

monitoring/management, clinician/clinician telelink and vetting equipment inventory.<br />

A dedicated email has been setup nationally to coordinate offers of support from<br />

across the NHS to ensure that support is targeted to the areas of greatest need. Please<br />

email nhsi.indiaaidoffers@nhs.net if you would like to help.<br />


Mental Health Awareness Week:<br />

Being at one with nature<br />

In <strong>May</strong> we marked Mental Health<br />

Awareness Week (MHAW) by letting<br />

colleagues know the different ways they<br />

can receive support.<br />

The Trust offers a variety of resources that<br />

can be accessed either via phone or online,<br />

but there is also the option of face-to-face<br />

counselling.<br />

We encouraged people to reach out to<br />

friends if they needed help, whilst Lesley<br />

Writtle, Non-Executive Director and former<br />

CEO of a mental health trust, spoke about<br />

how nature can really help.<br />

She said: “Did you know that one in six<br />

people will have a mental health issue, either<br />

depression or anxiety? Support can come<br />

in many ways either through the places<br />

we work and our wellbeing support and<br />

there are also lots of resources out in the<br />

community.<br />

“Some of the most important things though,<br />

are talking to friends and colleagues. The<br />

theme this year for MHAW is nature. So one<br />

of the things I have certainly found helpful<br />

is taking time outdoors, walking in beautiful<br />

places, taking my dog for a walk or watching<br />

wildlife.<br />

“I even enjoy sitting outside and reading.<br />

They’re all things that can really help us. I<br />

would encourage people to do this if they<br />

have some time spare.”<br />

Accessing support<br />

Urgent support:<br />

• NHS 111 advice line<br />

• CALM – 0800 58 58 58<br />

(5pm – 12am, anonymous)<br />

• ABUSE hotline – 0121 552 6448<br />

Counselling or other support:<br />

• Occupational Health: 0121 507 3306<br />

• The NHS direct counselling service:<br />

0800 06 96 22<br />

(7am – 11pm, 7 days a week)<br />

• Bereavement support:<br />

0300 303 4434 (8am – 8pm)<br />

• Chaplaincy team: 0121 507 3552 or<br />

0121 507 4055<br />

For some there are alternatives such as<br />

behavioural therapies, holistic therapies,<br />

cognitive therapies and there are many<br />

complimentary therapies too as well as clinical<br />

support.<br />

Recent research has shown planning your life<br />

can help support happiness and a stress free<br />

life. Consider this as very soon we can meet<br />

more and even hug. We can sometimes be<br />

stuck so here are some examples of goals to<br />

start a plan today.<br />

You can see the full suite of our wellbeing offer on Connect.<br />

See the services available from Kaleidoscope<br />

www.kaleidoscopeplus.org.uk/self-help-tool.php<br />

COVID-19<br />

Plan your wellbeing...<br />

Read or listen<br />

Find yourself a new<br />

podcast or a book<br />

you enjoy.<br />

A nice fragrant bath<br />

Wash away the stresses<br />

of the day with a nice,<br />

warm, calming bath.<br />

Yoga<br />

Stretch and unwind<br />

with mindful yoga<br />

with Chris.<br />

Talk to a friend<br />

Connect with someone, make<br />

yourself available and open<br />

up. Share your thoughts and<br />

unburden yourself.<br />

Be creative<br />

Paint, draw or write. Revisit an<br />

old hobby and take some time for<br />

yourself, doing something your enjoy.<br />

Music<br />

Research shows that the<br />

right music track can be<br />

relaxing and beneficial.<br />

A gratitude journal<br />

Each day document two things<br />

you are grateful for today.<br />

Plan a walk<br />

Walking is simple, free and one of<br />

the easiest ways to get more active,<br />

lose weight and become healthier.<br />

It improves self-perception and self-esteem,<br />

mood and sleep quality, and it reduces<br />

stress, anxiety and fatigue.<br />

Dance<br />

Dancing and exercise are<br />

well known to improve<br />

mental health and wellbeing,<br />

and whilst the clubs are<br />

closed, take part in Dr Nick Makwana's<br />

#Dance4Wellbeing challenges.<br />

Be a kindness fountain<br />

Do something nice for someone<br />

else the reward returns itself.<br />

Diet<br />

Don't plan to change your life<br />

over night but try to drink more<br />

water, eat more home cooked<br />

meals, and order less takeaway.<br />

Mindfulness<br />

Find something calm to focus<br />

on, even just for a few minutes.<br />

Breathe<br />

To calm down in a stressful<br />

situation, take a deep breath<br />

in through your nose and<br />

hold for 4 seconds. Breathe<br />

out through your mouth and<br />

repeat this process for 2-5 minutes.<br />

Single session therapy at our wellbeing sanctuary – the sanctuary gives colleagues a chance<br />

to de-stress and relax in a confidential safe place. Do you need time to chill out downtime over<br />

a tea/coffee and a biscuit, a listening ear or a chance to talk about anything in confidence,<br />

meditation, mindfulness, relaxation hypnotherapy or music therapy? The<br />

sanctuary is based at Learning Works on Unett Street, Smethwick, B66 3SY.<br />

There is free on site parking. To book yourself a free session please call 0121<br />

507 5886. For further details please see daily sanctuary information sheet.<br />


Are you in on the plans for Midland Met?<br />


NEWS<br />

Over the last few weeks, members<br />

of our executive team have met with<br />

colleagues across the Trust to share<br />

floor plans of where they will be<br />

moving to within Midland Met.<br />

The highly anticipated move has been<br />

met with delight as colleagues have had<br />

the opportunity to see for the first time<br />

what their areas will look like and what<br />

teams they will be working alongside.<br />

As part of the visits, teams have been<br />

tasked with creating dedicated Midland<br />

Met corners, similar to the Unity ones<br />

we used previously. These corners will<br />

be the go to places for colleagues to get<br />

the latest news and updates for their<br />

specific areas.<br />

As the execs made their way around<br />

the organisation, Angie Dudley, Matron,<br />

Priory 2 beamed: “We are all very<br />

excited – it’s starting to feel a lot more<br />

real now. We have talked about it for<br />

a long time, but now we are starting<br />

to see what is happening. It gives staff<br />

reassurance seeing the plans.”<br />

Angie Smith from Priory 2 echoed these<br />

sentiments and said: “We are very much<br />

looking forward to moving across to<br />

Midland Met.”<br />

Karen Jones, Clinical Radiology Lead<br />

in imaging, remarked: “It is going to<br />

mean so much to our department. It's a<br />

new start in a brand new hospital, with<br />

so much fabulous equipment. We are<br />

excited to move in and get working in<br />

our new, state of the art hospital.”<br />

Rachel Barlow, Director of System<br />

Transformation, explained: “There is a<br />

lot of hard work going on behind the scenes<br />

to ensure that Midland Met is a well-designed<br />

hospital. I am pleased that we've been able<br />

to share plans with colleagues to give them a<br />

feel for where they will be working when they<br />

move to Midland Met.<br />

“There is a lot of work going on with teams to<br />

ensure we can get our services ready to safely<br />

move into the building and take advantage of<br />

the new hospital. We have 800 people on site<br />

daily working hard to get our hospital ready;<br />

things are starting to pick up pace now, and<br />

we all have a part to play in making our move<br />

into Midland Met a successful one.”<br />

Rachel continued: “My colleagues and I have<br />

been visiting teams to deliver their floor plans<br />

and have a chat about what they are looking<br />

forward to. It has been invaluable to hear any<br />

Dinah McLannahan, Chief Finance Officer with colleagues from Priory 2<br />

Rachel Barlow, Director of System Transformation presenting Alice Sibanda, Acting Senior<br />

Sister, D15 with what will be the start of their Midland Met corner.<br />

feedback colleagues have on the move and<br />

to have these open conversations.<br />

“We’ve visited nearly 80 departments,<br />

and as well as sharing the floor plans, we<br />

have been starting to set up Midland Met<br />

Corners. These will grow over time, but we<br />

hope that teams utilise these corners well<br />

and make them a useful resource.”<br />

Rachel added: “There are clinical tours<br />

available so that you can go up to Midland<br />

Met and see the areas you will be working<br />

in. Please use this opportunity to start<br />

thinking about clinical pathways and how<br />

you will work in the building. Three tours<br />

take place every Friday for up to five people<br />

in each group. If you would like to arrange<br />

a visit, please email<br />

mmuhprojectoffice@nhs.net.<br />

Dr David Carruthers, Medical Director,<br />

commented: “Opening a new hospital such<br />

as ours requires input from individuals and<br />

teams right across our Trust. Midland Met<br />

will bring together all acute and emergency<br />

care services, meaning we will have all<br />

acute clinical teams in one place, providing<br />

a hub for emergency care.<br />

“We will be working with new technology<br />

in modern purpose-built facilities, helping<br />

to improve patient care when we move into<br />

Midland Met. As I chatted to colleagues,<br />

it was interesting to hear feedback on the<br />

project, to see how excited teams are first<br />

hand and to get a sense of how much<br />

Midland Met means to them and the care<br />

they and their teams will be able to deliver<br />

in the future.”<br />


Practice makes perfect – helping<br />

seriously ill children<br />

Colleagues across the Trust have been<br />

signing up to complete the newly<br />

offered Resuscitation Council (UK)<br />

course to perfect their knowledge<br />

and know-how in the recognition and<br />

management of the seriously ill child.<br />

Children can be amongst the most difficult<br />

patients to clinically support with their<br />

limited communication skills, so when<br />

their health deteriorates it is critical that<br />

colleagues are willing, able and confident<br />

to respond and act decisively to give these<br />

patients the best possible care.<br />

To find out more about the new course<br />

offerings, we caught up with Course<br />

Director and Resuscitation Officer, Kevin<br />

Jennison. He said: “We’re dedicated to<br />

delivering high quality training which is<br />

targeted to the needs of our patient groups<br />

and to our colleagues and we’re pleased<br />

to now deliver the European Paediatric<br />

Advanced Life Support (EPALS) course. It’s<br />

a two-day course that gives colleagues the<br />

skills they need to recognise the causes and<br />

prevention of a deteriorating child, or when<br />

a child is seriously ill and in need of an<br />

intervention, as well as training in how to<br />

carry out resuscitation on children.<br />

Sunil James and Kirsty Cockell get hands on<br />

with their EPALS training<br />

“The EPALS course is a blend of lectures,<br />

demonstrations and opportunities to<br />

practice and be assessed, so it’s a thoroughly<br />

balanced course that supports professional<br />

development in a supportive environment.”<br />

Completing the course, CT1 Anaesthetic<br />

Trainee Dr Sunil James said: “Working in the<br />

emergency department we see a lot of young<br />

people, teenagers and children and I initially<br />

felt a little unconfident and uncomfortable<br />

managing how ill they were and I feel that<br />

this course has increased my confidence and<br />

ability to manage them in a systematic way.<br />

I’m a kinaesthetic learner so the design of<br />

the course with a combination of lecture and<br />

practical really suited my style of learning.”<br />

Safety huddles: Focus<br />

on reducing harms<br />

By Dr Chizo Agwu, Deputy Medical Director<br />

Dr Chizo Agwu, Deputy Medical Director<br />

is leading the safety huddles programme<br />

Safety huddles is a national programme<br />

to improve safety by encouraging<br />

multidisciplinary teams to have a quick but<br />

focussed discussion, to agree actions and<br />

to act in a timely and collaborative manner<br />

to prevent patient harm.<br />

SWB now has 25 clinical areas hosting safety<br />

huddles on a daily basis. The rollout continues<br />

in the remaining clinical areas in a structured<br />

manner, in line with capacity and the Trust<br />

recovery plan, with a supportive system and<br />

shared learning structure in place.<br />

Whilst the rollout continues, the majority of<br />

the 25 clinical areas with huddles taking place<br />

have started the weekly huddles which last<br />

for about 30 minutes, for in-depth discussions<br />

among the multidisciplinary teams. The teams<br />

review the safety issues identified throughout<br />

the week, the progress on actions and, to<br />

agree on the harm(s) that all the teams are<br />

going to work on next, to continuously<br />

improve patient safety.<br />

Colleagues from different disciplines come<br />

together to work as one team, feeling<br />

comfortable to raise their concerns and to<br />

share their ideas.<br />

In addition to responding to issues with<br />

timeliness, many new and effective ideas<br />

have come out from these interactive<br />

multidisciplinary discussions. For example,<br />

on D11, the team has agreed to put a sticker<br />

on the patient cabinet, to indicate if patients<br />

have brought their own drugs with them.<br />

This arrangement enhances medicine safety<br />

as well as effective management of patient<br />

property. D26 further developed upon this<br />


NEWS<br />

Also taking part on the course was<br />

Paediatric Staff Nurse, Kirsty Cockell,<br />

sharing her thoughts she said: “This<br />

course has been very interesting, it’s very<br />

scenario based, so you get to work with<br />

a team, it allows you to improve your<br />

skills, communication and take a team<br />

leader approach.<br />

“Doing this course gave me more<br />

confidence in resuscitation being the<br />

nurse in charge looking after a child who<br />

is in cardiac arrest or unwell. This course<br />

has not only given me more confidence,<br />

but reassured me of my ability to provide<br />

the best care for children in these<br />

situations.”<br />

To find out more about the<br />

booking on to and completing the<br />

European Paediatric Advanced Life<br />

Support (EPALS) course, contact<br />

the deteriorating patient and<br />

resuscitation team on ext, 5908 or<br />

email swbh.resuscitationtraining@<br />

nhs.net<br />

idea, to add a third tick box on the sticker,<br />

to highlight if patients require a blister pack.<br />

This arrangement means the medical team<br />

can order the blister pack earlier, providing<br />

additional advanced notice to the pharmacy<br />

team. This sticker with the three tick boxes<br />

has not only improved patient safety and<br />

experience; it has also improved colleague<br />

experience!<br />

Our performance and insight team (in<br />

particular Berenice Lufton and Sameer Farooq<br />

Mohammed) have developed a Trust report<br />

dashboard which shows how our workplace<br />

is doing in the identified harms. In addition to<br />

the Trust’s prioritised harms i.e. VTE and sepsis;<br />

all specialties had the opportunity to input on<br />

the harms to be built into the dashboard.<br />

The dashboard shows that in April <strong>2021</strong> we<br />

were achieving over 95 per cent compliance on<br />

sepsis screening which has now risen to 96.01<br />

per cent (as of 19 <strong>May</strong>).<br />

Work is currently under way to gather<br />

feedback on the safety huddles dashboard. We<br />

plan to review and consult with teams in mid-<br />

June, followed by the phase two development<br />

of the dashboard, to ensure high level data<br />

quality and user experience.<br />

To find out more about safety huddles or to<br />

share any thoughts and ideas, contact Head of<br />

Transformation, Essie Li on 07980935359 or<br />

email Essie.li@nhs.net<br />

Visit the safety huddles Connect page for<br />

all the latest news.<br />


Excitement brewing for the<br />

'Tea-riffic' 73 rd birthday of the NHS!<br />


NEWS<br />

Whilst you take a break and treat<br />

yourself to tea and biscuits, you can<br />

rest assured that everything you<br />

raise will go towards making our<br />

new hospital #morethanahospital.<br />

???<br />

???<br />

Funds raised - or should we say 'bagged'<br />

will go towards improving our services<br />

for young patients, developing play<br />

areas and providing facilities to families<br />

that need to stay overnight with their<br />

children.<br />

Our famous dancing doctor, Nick<br />

Makwana, will be coordinating a flash<br />

mob which you’re invited to join – whilst<br />

those of you who don’t fancy dancing<br />

can vote for your favourite wellbeing<br />

routines that he has performed in<br />

the past year. If you’re taking part in<br />

the flash mob colleagues can set up<br />

sponsorship pages in the charity’s Virgin<br />

Money giving page and appeal to family<br />

and friends to donate.<br />

There are other ways in which you<br />

can get involved by holding your own<br />

tea party at home or in your ward/<br />

department with guests donating £1 to Your<br />

Trust Charity so it can continue to make a<br />

difference.<br />

Amanda Winwood, Fundraising Manager said:<br />

“We’ve been through a year like no other and<br />

this year, everyone has a reason to thank you,<br />

our NHS Heroes. We look forward to hearing<br />

about and seeing everyone’s pictures from<br />

their Big Tea Party in support of Your Trust<br />

Charity. Funds raised will go to our Midland<br />

Metropolitan University Hospital appeal to<br />

enhance the journey of all those using our<br />

services including colleagues, patients and<br />

their families by providing things over and<br />

above what the NHS can provide. Your<br />

support makes a huge difference and we<br />

are so grateful for your help.”<br />

Keep your eyes peeled for more<br />

information in the staff bulletin and<br />

on social media, or you can contact<br />

Amanda on Amanda.winwood@nhs.net<br />

Listening to your feedback<br />

In March’s Heartbeat we reported the<br />

results of the NHS Staff Survey in which<br />

38 per cent of colleagues gave their<br />

feedback about what it is like working<br />

for our organisation.<br />

Over the last two months managers have<br />

been asked (in conjunction with their teams)<br />

to review the results of the survey and put in<br />

place action plans to make improvements.<br />

Managers were asked to identify at least<br />

three themes from their results to take<br />

forward for action planning. The clinical<br />

leadership executive also agreed that as<br />

an organisation we need to gain a better<br />

insight into what we can do to improve:<br />

• The wellbeing support offered to<br />

all colleagues<br />

• Equality, diversity and inclusion<br />

• Team communication<br />

• Line manager development.<br />

Following local feedback sessions, during<br />

the last two weeks in June we will be<br />

holding WebEx events by group where the<br />

senior leadership from each group will outline:<br />

• Engagement that has taken place<br />

locally<br />

• Actions that will be taken forward.<br />

Colleagues will be sent invitations to join their<br />

group’s event allowing them the opportunity to<br />

ask questions and share ideas. There will also<br />

be generic events that everyone can join too.<br />

Further information will be shared in the<br />

communications bulletin.<br />

Conducted once a year, the NHS Staff<br />

Survey allows us to see how colleagues<br />

feel about their jobs and working<br />

for our Trust. It also examines the<br />

sentiments of colleagues across a range<br />

of key areas. Data is then compared<br />

against our performance in previous<br />

years and comparisons made against<br />

other similar organisations to determine<br />

our relative performance.<br />

The national survey is mandatory for all<br />

NHS organisations with the results being<br />

used to inform national initiatives that<br />

can help support improvements in staff<br />

experience and wellbeing. The results<br />

of the national NHS Staff Survey are<br />

also used by NHS England to support<br />

national assessments of quality and<br />

safety.<br />


Rob Kingston returns to volunteering<br />

after 13 months<br />

If you have been to Sandwell Hospital<br />

over the last year, you may have<br />

noticed that a familiar face has been<br />

missing. Robert Kingston, known to<br />

most Sandwell folk as Rob, has been<br />

absent from the Trust due to COVID-19<br />

restrictions.<br />

However, we are proud to announce, that<br />

one of our most beloved volunteers at the<br />

Trust officially returned at the end of April!<br />

Rob, who lives just a few miles from<br />

Sandwell in Hill Top, is well known by<br />

the majority of Sandwell based clinical<br />

colleagues as he has been volunteering on<br />

a variety of wards for over 11 years. Though<br />

volunteers haven’t started retuning to our<br />

wards due to COVID restrictions just yet,<br />

after receiving his second dose of his the<br />

COVID-19 vaccine, Rob is back doing what<br />

he enjoys most, volunteering.<br />

Rob has sincerely missed everyone at SWB<br />

and said: “I have missed it so much. I<br />

get real satisfaction from supporting the<br />

patients and staff so after over a year of not<br />

doing it, I’m so glad to be back.”<br />

Rob Kingston returns to volunteering<br />

77 year old Rob works across a variety of<br />

wards at Sandwell including Lyndon 2 and 3,<br />

Newton 3, Priority 5 as well as SAU and AMU<br />

A.<br />

When asked why he volunteers Rob said: “It<br />

feels good for my soul working in a hospital<br />


NEWS<br />

as it’s nice to help people in their time of<br />

need and give back. I love it so much as we<br />

are like one big family, from the consultants<br />

to the nurses, to the HCAs, to the porters.”<br />

He added: “It’s a privilege and an honour to<br />

volunteer. Many patients don’t want to be<br />

here so while they’re here, I feel it’s my duty<br />

to make their stay and comfortable and<br />

pleasant as possible.”<br />

Liza Gill, Volunteer Service Manager is<br />

thrilled to have Rob back.<br />

She said: “It’s fantastic to finally have Rob<br />

back at Sandwell. All the staff and patients<br />

greatly value and appreciate Rob and his<br />

efforts whenever he is on site and our<br />

volunteer service is better when Rob is a<br />

part of it.<br />

“Rob plays an integral part of volunteering<br />

at the Trust and is the perfect example of<br />

how a volunteer should be at SWB.”<br />

Occy health awarded safety and<br />

quality accolade by national regulators<br />

The occupational health department<br />

demonstrates the highest standards<br />

of practice according to an industry<br />

regulator.<br />

The Faculty of Occupational Medicine<br />

awarded their SEQOHS quality standards<br />

to the team in April. SEQOHS stands for<br />

'Safe, Effective, Quality Occupational<br />

Health Service' and is a professionally-led<br />

accreditation scheme. It is based on a set of<br />

standards for occupational health services<br />

in the UK and beyond. Occupational health<br />

services must demonstrate they meet these<br />

standards before they can be awarded<br />

SEQOHS accreditation.<br />

On awarding the accreditation the Faculty<br />

of Occupational Medicine said: “Sandwell<br />

and West Birmingham Hospital NHS Trust's<br />

occupational health service has continued<br />

to maintain the standards to meet the<br />

annual re-accreditation requirements. The<br />

service has maintained and developed a<br />

comprehensive array of clinical policies,<br />

procedures and protocols incorporating<br />

new processes to handle the impact of the<br />

pandemic. The service is encouraged to<br />

The occupational health team<br />

maintain its standards over the coming year."<br />

Dr Masood Aga, Consultant and Specialty<br />

Lead in Occupational Medicine is delighted<br />

with the accreditation, he told Heartbeat:<br />

“The Faculty of Occupational Medicine is<br />

the professional and educational body for<br />

occupational medicine in the UK and seeks to<br />

ensure the highest standards in the practice<br />

of occupational medicine. For the faculty to<br />

award this accreditation to us is testament<br />

to the hard work the team has done over<br />

the last 12 months to quickly adapt our<br />

services in light of the pandemic, ensuring<br />

colleagues continue to get high quality care<br />

and advice.<br />

“I would like to take the opportunity<br />

to thank the team in their continued<br />

improvement of the service we provide.<br />

They have developed good practices that<br />

have ensured the highest standards of<br />

competence.”<br />

To become accredited, services must<br />

demonstrate their adherence to<br />

the SEQOHS standards. These are<br />

categorised into six domains:<br />

• Business probity<br />

• Information governance<br />

• People<br />

• Facilities and equipment<br />

• Relationships with purchasers<br />

• Relationships with workers.<br />


From Iraq to Birmingham – Bnar’s<br />

nursing journey<br />


NEWS<br />

Over the next few issues of<br />

Heartbeat we will feature inspiring<br />

stories of colleagues who are part<br />

of the SWB family through the<br />

Healthcare Overseas Professionals<br />

(HOP) programme.<br />

The programme supports people<br />

from overseas (who are qualified<br />

healthcare professionals in their own<br />

home countries) to get back into<br />

clinical practice. These colleagues<br />

are required to pass either the<br />

International English Language Test<br />

or the Occupational English test<br />

before they take their professional<br />

exams.<br />

In this issue we meet 35 year old mom<br />

of two, Bnar Osman.<br />

She told Heartbeat: “I came to the UK<br />

in 2008 after completing a nursing<br />

degree in Iraq (Kurdistan). At the time<br />

my husband was already in the UK and<br />

had been running his own business since<br />

2005.<br />

“When I arrived I hardly knew any<br />

English – so you can imagine how<br />

difficult things were for me. But then the<br />

children came along and brought me so<br />

much joy so I decided to study English<br />

in the hope of fulfilling my dream of<br />

Bnar Osman is a healthcare assistant at City<br />

Hospital<br />

becoming a nurse.<br />

“I heard about the HOP programme through<br />

the Brushstrokes community project. When I<br />

learned of the scheme I knew it would help<br />

change my life. The team gave me the belief I<br />

needed to realise that anything is possible and<br />

to never give up.<br />

“With the support of HOP, I attended an open<br />

day at the Trust in 2019 with the hope of<br />

securing a job as a nurse. I was interviewed<br />

on the day but because I didn’t have NMC<br />

registration at the time, I was advised to<br />

apply for a healthcare assistant (HCA) role<br />

instead.<br />

“I was really delighted to be given such<br />

a wonderful opportunity. The HOP team<br />

worked very hard to help me achieve this<br />

success. I was so nervous thinking this is<br />

never going to happen and that I will never<br />

work for the NHS, but the programme kept<br />

me focused and I stayed positive.<br />

“Currently, I am working as a HCA at City<br />

hospital. Working as a HCA has helped me<br />

so much and I am learning more about the<br />

UK culture and I’m improving my English<br />

too!<br />

“I enjoy my job so much; the team are very<br />

supportive, all my patients and colleagues<br />

are very happy with me. When I received<br />

the position it was Band 2 HCA, now I<br />

am going to do some training to move to<br />

Band 3 HCA. This job can help me pass my<br />

Occupational English Test meaning I will be<br />

able to work as a qualified nurse in the UK.<br />

“I am so grateful for this opportunity.”<br />

The Healthcare Overseas Professionals<br />

Programme is delivered by The<br />

Learning Works project team based<br />

at the Wellbeing Sanctuary. For more<br />

information on the programme, email<br />

lawrencekelly@nhs.net.<br />

SurgiNet pushes forward<br />

Since the implementation of Unity,<br />

SWB has taken huge strides in going<br />

digital, in particular with COVID-19 our clinical<br />

systems. This is no more prevalent<br />

than with the introduction of<br />

SurgiNet.<br />

SurgiNet will become a part of electronic<br />

patient record and will replace the<br />

current theatres system ORMIS.<br />

“Massive progress has been made with<br />

the build in developing the system to<br />

be fit for purpose and in terms of the<br />

integration testing part 1 of this new<br />

software with us planning to continue to<br />

test the system more vigorously at the end of<br />

<strong>May</strong> for five weeks as well as start to involve<br />

more end users in testing,” said Vicky Clifton,<br />

Service Planning and Delivery Manager.<br />

“Once testing is completed, we are planning<br />

on rolling out training sessions for all clinical<br />

colleagues in theatres in the summer of this<br />

year. This will be in the form of classroom<br />

sessions with additional e-learning and<br />

simulation exercises in place should any<br />

colleagues feel they need extra support in<br />

helping familiarise themselves with the new<br />

system.”<br />

While testing seems to be going smoothly,<br />

other steps have been put in place to ensure<br />

SurgiNet is operationally ready.<br />

Meetings have started to support the ‘stop,<br />

start, continue’ which is an initiative that aims<br />

to assess all current workflows to identify new<br />

activities, what will stop and what activities<br />

will continue. This will then allow for any<br />

gaps to be identified and corresponding<br />

SOPs and QRGs can be developed to further<br />

meet user needs.<br />

Vicky believes SurgiNet will have many<br />

benefits to both our patients and Trust<br />

colleagues.<br />

She said: “SurgiNet will allow us to have a<br />

more integrated and accurate patient record<br />

as well as allow us to capture information<br />

more efficiently. Wards and other areas will<br />

be able to track theatre in real time and<br />

clinical processes will be performed under<br />

one system thus improving patient safety.”<br />

She added: “The system will mean that<br />

there will be a reduction in manual<br />

processes and unnecessary duplication of<br />

tasks will only improve the patient journey<br />

at the Trust.”<br />


Shout out has been a regular feature<br />

in Heartbeat and it is fantastic to see<br />

colleagues regularly taking the time to<br />

give positive feedback to each other.<br />

We regularly receive positive feedback from<br />

our patients too, and this month we wanted<br />

to share some of those heart-warming<br />

messages which have been sent via our<br />

website and social media platforms.<br />


NEWS<br />

To – Sean Beswick<br />

Sean is a ward service officer who always<br />

goes above and beyond for all the patients<br />

and staff on D11. He has a calming<br />

influence on everyone and always goes the<br />

extra mile. He is an asset to the team and<br />

we are very grateful to have him on D11...<br />


From – Aleish Tazarab<br />

To – Stacey Walker<br />

Well done for passing her first year with<br />

flying colours in her Trainee Nursing<br />

Associate role. You have worked very<br />

hard and showed nothing but compassion<br />

and kindness to our patients through the<br />

pandemic. You have been a pleasure to<br />

mentor and a credit to AMU. Keep up the<br />

good work in year two and thank you!<br />

From – Levi O'Gorman<br />

To – Learning and Development Team<br />

I would like to extend my gratitude to all<br />

the team in learning and development,<br />

special mention to Emma Hill, Lavinia<br />

Hines, Helen Colbourne, Lauren Weigh<br />

and Stephanie Agger. Thank you all for<br />

your help in achieving my End of Point of<br />

Assessment a great result of DISTINCTION.<br />

You all doing fantastic job!<br />

From – Daisy Siapno<br />

To – Sarah Smith and Elizabeth Wilson<br />

For their compassion and support towards<br />

a distressed patient who had become<br />

very emotional and was late for their<br />

appointment after being unable to find the<br />

MRI centre in time.<br />

From – Anser Khan<br />

To – Adam Draper<br />

Thank you for going out your way to<br />

help with a patient needing a wheelchair.<br />

Very much appreciated. More than just a<br />

postman!<br />

From – Diane Staple<br />

To – Geraldine Blakeman<br />

Geraldine has helped me so much these<br />

past couple of weeks and she has gone the<br />

extra mile for me, she has welcomed me<br />

and made me feel a part of the team.<br />

From – Jatinder Uppal<br />

To – Sarah Byfield<br />

Thanks to Sarah for being really helpful<br />

and responsive with a payroll issue.<br />

From – Jade Osborne<br />

To – Jade James<br />

For helping me with a patient in A&E who<br />

needed district nurse input as well as heel<br />

dressings and lots of personal care. The<br />

patient went home and it felt like a really<br />

smooth and successful morning! You are<br />

Brill! Thank you!<br />

From – Bethany Bate<br />

To – Dane Lincoln<br />

Dane has turned out to be a big part of the<br />

portering department. He has become a<br />

great team leader who listens and tries to<br />

make a difference.<br />

From – Tracy Banford<br />

To – Charlene Bennett<br />

Made the impossible happen. Organised<br />

imaging appointments at very short notice<br />

to enable the service to continue.<br />

From – Karen Jones<br />

To – Mike Lewis<br />

Just wanted to thank Mike, for all the<br />

help he has given me, for a project/report<br />

that I have been working on in the care<br />

home team, based at The Lyng. Without<br />

his continued support the numbers simply<br />

would not crunch, thanks to Mike's IT<br />

guru experience, he makes it look so easy.<br />

Thanks Mike you’re a star.<br />

From – Susan Oliver<br />

To – Denise Matthews and Regina Cica<br />

Both Denise and Regina alongside their<br />

team worked tirelessly to ensure patients<br />

moved from a very busy Sandwell ED<br />

to AMU to minimise long waits for our<br />

patients and for them to be in the right<br />

place to support their care.<br />

From – Cheryl Newton<br />

To – The Catering Team at Sandwell, City<br />

and Rowley<br />

Thanks for the team providing the delicious<br />

and healthy food all the time, with a smile<br />

and kindness. I tried the chef's choice (fish<br />

with cream sauce) at Sandwell recently<br />

which was super yummy. THANK YOU!!<br />

From – Essie Li<br />

To – Tafhim Nazir<br />

A very big thank you. Above and beyond<br />

with IT advice and support.<br />

From – Denise Eivors<br />

To – Dr Diana Toma<br />

Diane came to the rescue to help out<br />

with translating to parents for a complex<br />

discharge on the neonatal unit, both staff<br />

on shift and parents were very grateful for<br />

her super helpful input!<br />

From – Tracy Ring<br />

To – Security Team 2 Sandwell<br />

I would like to give a shout out to team<br />

2 security at Sandwell for going the extra<br />

mile whilst I was covering a team leader's<br />

position. The officers and bank officers<br />

were professional at all times even when<br />

faced with some difficult situations.<br />

From – Vikram Mehta<br />

To – IT Team<br />

Nothing too much trouble. I took my<br />

laptop into the department and it was<br />

fixed within an hour.<br />

From – Fiona Rochelle<br />


Farwell to Dawn, Mary and Sue –<br />

90 years serving the NHS<br />


NEWS<br />

With a total of over 90 years<br />

between them working within the<br />

NHS, healthcare assistants, Dawn<br />

Norman, Mary Mumford and Sue<br />

Steadman reflect upon their time as<br />

they look forward to their upcoming<br />

retirement.<br />

Not many people can say they have<br />

worked in a job they love; in a role they<br />

are passionate about and alongside<br />

great friends. But for Mary, Dawn and<br />

Sue, their time as healthcare assistants<br />

(HCAs) has come to an end as they soon<br />

enter their well-deserved retirement.<br />

Their combined 90 years within the NHS<br />

shows their true dedication and passion<br />

for their roles and their commitment to<br />

caring for others.<br />

Heartbeat caught up with them to find<br />

out more:<br />

So, tell us about your journey<br />

Mary: I started as a domestic in 1988,<br />

loved the contact I had with patients on<br />

the ward, so when an opportunity for an<br />

auxiliary nurse arose, I couldn’t wait to<br />

apply and get started.<br />

Then I started working on Priory 2<br />

surgical ward with Dawn – I loved every<br />

single minute. It’s also lovely that Dawn<br />

and I stayed on the ward together for all<br />

this time, and are now leaving together<br />

too.<br />

Dawn: My career within the NHS started as a<br />

member of the NHS Bank staff. I then joined<br />

Mary on Priory 2 and we worked together<br />

for 30 years. From there we went on to<br />

outpatients. I can honestly say I’ve loved every<br />

minute of the job.<br />

Sue: I became a HCA many years ago after<br />

my gran was admitted to hospital with a<br />

shoulder injury. While I was there I started<br />

helping patients and chatting to them. This<br />

inspired me to leave office work and work in a<br />

nursing home for two and a half years before<br />

applying for outpatients.<br />

What advice do you have for those at the<br />

start of their career?<br />

Dawn: My advice would be to get to know<br />

your patients and build a rapport with<br />

families. Patient interaction is by far one of<br />

the best parts of the job.<br />

Mary: To find pleasure in what you are doing.<br />

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time and it<br />

really has been like working with a family.<br />

Sue: Make sure you enjoy the area you are in<br />

and maybe think about training opportunities<br />

to perhaps become a nurse.<br />

What have you enjoyed most about<br />

working within the Trust?<br />

Sue: I have enjoyed the variety my role has<br />

given me and to learn different clinics.<br />

Dawn: I’ve always wanted to work within the<br />

care sector. We’ve had ups and downs on the<br />

wards and it has been hard work. But when<br />

you’ve got a great team behind you, it makes<br />

all the difference.<br />

Mary: I’ve loved all of it but working with a<br />

great team makes all the difference.<br />

If you hadn’t worked for the Trust,<br />

what would you have done instead?<br />

Dawn: I always wanted to go into care<br />

work. If I hadn’t followed this career path,<br />

I think I would have worked in a nursing<br />

home or another line of care.<br />

Sue: If I had not worked for the Trust, many<br />

years ago I wanted to be a midwife. I also<br />

did some office work too.<br />

What are your plans for your<br />

retirement?<br />

Sue: For me, I plan to spend time baking,<br />

catching up on reading, walking and<br />

generally enjoying life! I also want to spend<br />

some more time in the garden.<br />

Dawn: I can’t wait to enjoy myself and<br />

spend lots of time with family throughout<br />

my retirement.<br />

Mary: I plan to spend my retirement with<br />

my husband, as we approach our 50 year<br />

anniversary. We can’t wait to spend more<br />

time together and enjoy ourselves.<br />

Jaswinder Verdi, Sister, outpatients<br />

department said: “We say a fond<br />

farewell to three of our highly thought<br />

of HCAs. They have shown dedication<br />

and commitment throughout their time<br />

working for the Trust and outpatients<br />

department. They have worked tirelessly<br />

and professionally caring for patients, their<br />

knowledge, expertise and presence will be<br />

sorely missed in outpatients. We wish them<br />

all the very best for their retirement and the<br />

future ahead.”<br />

Sue Steadman, Dawn Norman and Mary Mumford on one of their final days at the Trust<br />


Care and compassion praised as we<br />

celebrate the work of our midwives<br />


NEWS<br />

Chloe Travers, a midwife with the Cedar team, which is part of the continuity of care<br />

programme<br />

We celebrated International Day of the<br />

Midwife by capturing feedback on film<br />

from new mums about their care at our<br />

Trust.<br />

The poignant video also featured midwives<br />

talking about why they were proud to do<br />

their job.<br />

New mum Kazita and her baby Aziel<br />

They included Lilian Ghobrial, and Amelia Bull<br />

who are both shift co-ordinators on the labour<br />

ward, Chloe Travers, who works in continuity of<br />

care and Maike Lehman-Sander a midwife on<br />

the Serenity Suite.<br />

Mum Kazita cradled her newborn Aziel as she<br />

praised her care: “I gave birth to him last night<br />

and the midwives throughout my pregnancy<br />

journey have been really supportive.<br />

New mum Toni with baby Beau<br />

“They really deserve the recognition they<br />

receive and I think International Day of the<br />

Midwife is great thing.”<br />

Toni, who had her baby boy Beau on<br />

Delivery Suite, added: “I had my youngest<br />

child on Serenity which was a great<br />

experience. So with Beau I decided to<br />

come out of area and have my baby at<br />

City Hospital.<br />

“Again, they supported me throughout<br />

my pregnancy journey. I really want to<br />

thank every midwife that has supported<br />

me, because they work so hard with<br />

every baby and I felt I was treated as an<br />

individual, not just a number.<br />

“I really want to thank everyone.”<br />

This year the theme for International Day<br />

of the Midwife was ‘Follow the Data:<br />

Invest in Midwives’.<br />

The Royal College of Midwives called<br />

for investment in quality midwifery care<br />

around the world, improving sexual,<br />

reproductive, maternal, newborn, child<br />

and adolescent in health in the process.<br />

Lilian said: “I’m proud to be a midwife<br />

because I get to help women achieve their<br />

birthing experience. Delivering a baby into<br />

the world is such an amazing thing to do.<br />

I feel a midwife shares a bond with the<br />

woman that no one else gets to share.<br />

You’re delivering this brand new person<br />

that no one has seen or touched and you<br />

get to be one of the first ones to welcome<br />

them into the world.”<br />

Meike has been a midwife for nearly<br />

20 years. She said: “I’m proud of how<br />

midwives are able to empower women<br />

and show them they can actually do<br />

this and to help them have that good<br />

experience.”<br />

Amelia, who’s been a midwife for 12<br />

years, added: “I have developed birth<br />

preparation classes for women who are<br />

booked to deliver their babies at our<br />

hospital. It’s important that midwives get<br />

the recognition they deserve for all the<br />

hard work they’ve put in, especially during<br />

the pandemic.”<br />

Chloe, who works within the Cedar team<br />

told how her favourite part of being a<br />

midwife was helping not only the women<br />

labouring themselves but also their both<br />

partners to feel safe and part of something<br />

special.<br />


Apprenticeships available - It’s never<br />

too late to learn!<br />


NEWS<br />

It may be assumed that<br />

apprenticeships are predominantly<br />

for younger people. However, this<br />

couldn’t be further from the truth!<br />

Currently at SWB we offer a variety of<br />

apprenticeships for colleagues at all<br />

levels. From customer service and team<br />

leading, to health care support worker<br />

and business administration, there is a<br />

whole suite of different courses available<br />

to colleagues at the Trust.<br />

A prime example is apprentice, Karen<br />

Connaughton, Ward Service Officer who<br />

recently completed her Customer Service<br />

Level 2 Apprenticeship Standard and is<br />

now reaping the rewards.<br />

When asked about her apprenticeship<br />

journey Karen said: “I was originally put<br />

forward for the apprenticeship by my<br />

managers and at first I wasn’t sure if it<br />

was something that would be relevant<br />

to me or even something that I wanted<br />

to do.<br />

“I feel that I have gained so much from<br />

my apprenticeship. I have gained a<br />

better understanding of the service that<br />

Karen Connaughton<br />

my organisation provides and my role within<br />

that. I have learnt about how and why we do<br />

things in a certain way.”<br />

She added: “I’ve gained so much knowledge<br />

and developed my customer service and<br />

digital skills along the way but not only that, I<br />

have really gained so much confidence.”<br />

And it’s not just Karen who has taken the<br />

successful leap to learn – Amanda Healy<br />

followed the apprenticeship path for Level 3<br />

Healthcare Support Worker. She now works<br />

on the antenatal day assessment unit in<br />

maternity and is based at City hospital as a<br />

trainee assistant practitioner in midwifery.<br />

Amanda is also studying at Birmingham<br />

City University for a two year apprenticeship<br />

midwifery assistant practitioner foundation<br />

degree.<br />

Amanda said: “In 2016 I was a ward service<br />

officer at City hospital with a dream to<br />

become a midwife.<br />

“My personal determination saw me<br />

overcome a number of organisational<br />

barriers and gain support to work additional<br />

hours in a HCA role as an apprentice. I did<br />

this whilst still doing my ward services role<br />

and it was the first time a domestic had<br />

done this.”<br />

Maxine Griffiths, Widening Participation<br />

Manager and Apprenticeship Lead would<br />

urge everyone who is on the fence about<br />

completing an apprenticeship to sign up now.<br />

She said: “Apprenticeships are for<br />

everybody both clinical and non-clinical. It’s<br />

never too late to learn something new and<br />

enhance your skills. Let us help you grow<br />

and succeed in your career pathway.<br />

“We have trained colleagues that can<br />

support you and as long as you are willing<br />

to put the work in, you can attain your Level<br />

2 or 3 in your chosen subject area with us<br />

in-house at the Trust. We also have an array<br />

of degree and higher level apprenticeships<br />

available engaging with external providers<br />

so, if this is of interest to you, please do get<br />

in touch.”<br />

If you are interested in completing an<br />

apprenticeship in <strong>2021</strong> please email<br />

swbh.apprenticeship@nhs.net<br />


Scream if you wanna go faster!<br />

Charity launches zip line fundraiser<br />

If you're a thrill seeker, adrenaline<br />

junkie or just simply looking for<br />

something exciting to look forward<br />

to - we have the answer for you.<br />

Your Trust Charity will host their<br />

biggest ever fundraising event on 4<br />

and 5 September - a crane mounted<br />

zip line - with funds raised going<br />

towards making the Midland Met<br />

#morethanhospital.<br />

So, what will it involve? You’ll arrive at the<br />

Midland Metropolitan University Hospital<br />

on either a Saturday or Sunday. We’ll even<br />

let you park for free. Then you and some<br />

other brave people will enter a secure<br />

cage at ground level. A crane will then<br />

lift the cage into the air. Don’t worry they<br />

have done this many times before and you’ll<br />

be supported by a zip wire expert who has<br />

done this thousands of times. Once the cage<br />

reaches the agreed height you will simply<br />

zip wire out one by one. Speeding past the<br />

Midland Met at around 35 mph along a 220<br />

metre long zip wire. With just enough time<br />

to wave at your family, friends and colleagues<br />

who will think you’re even braver than before<br />

you zip wired.<br />

To take part (which we know you will) please<br />

follow these simple steps:<br />

• Read the info online to ensure you can<br />

take part – search zip wire on Connect.<br />

• Email trustcharity@nhs.net your<br />

completed fundraising agreement form<br />

to register.<br />

• Start fundraising – each entrant needs to<br />

raise a minimum of £250.<br />

We really want to make the zip wire an event<br />

for everyone at SWB. So why not sign up<br />

as a team or department? Perhaps ask your<br />

manager to take part. Your family and friends<br />

are also welcome to take part - just no one<br />

under the age of 11. The more funds the<br />

charity raises, the more things it can support<br />

within the new hospital. From supporting<br />

education and arts projects to funding R&D<br />

around cardiology, leukaemia and other<br />

conditions that impact on local people. It will<br />

also be able to fund sensory rooms, patient<br />

spaces and outdoor areas.<br />


NEWS<br />

Johnny Shah, Head of Your Trust Charity,<br />

told us: “The mission of Your Trust Charity<br />

is to enhance the experience of all people<br />

using our services including colleagues,<br />

patients and their families. We do this by<br />

providing additional facilities that create<br />

comfortable and secure environments and<br />

by supporting innovative projects. But we<br />

can only do this because of the donations<br />

we receive - so imagine what we’ll be able<br />

to achieve with the funds raised from the<br />

crane zip wire event.”<br />

Remember every penny raised goes to the<br />

charity. The build is paid for.<br />

Johnny added: “The zip wire is our biggest<br />

event to date. We are all excited to be<br />

a part of it and, we’re hoping that our<br />

colleagues will get behind it. Or on it. Even<br />

if you can’t physically take part, please<br />

help spread the word far and wide in your<br />

networks and across social media.”<br />

So please look at the Connect page.<br />

Sign up if you can. Get others to sign<br />

up too. Spread the word. And together<br />

we can support Your Trust Charity to<br />

make the Midland Met more than a<br />

hospital.<br />

Nominations<br />

for our <strong>2021</strong><br />

Star Awards are<br />

now open!<br />

Do you know a team or<br />

individual who deserves<br />

Special<br />

Recognition<br />

for the care they provide?<br />



Shining a<br />

spotlight on<br />

our nursing<br />

colleagues<br />

The week of 10 <strong>May</strong> was a special one across<br />

our workplace as we came together to recognise<br />

and highlight what it means to be a nursing<br />

colleague.<br />

National Nurses Week is an annual celebration<br />

of all that nurses around the world do for their<br />

communities.<br />

The week started with a special COVID<br />

commemoration service – ‘Shine the Light’ led<br />

by our Lead Chaplain, Rev Mary Causer. The<br />

service celebrated nursing and nurses, but also<br />

respectfully honoured the memory of colleagues<br />

we have lost during the last year, including those<br />

who contracted COVID.<br />

Also, during the week our executive team along<br />

with senior nurse colleagues were out and about<br />

across our sites, meeting teams and expressing<br />

their gratitude for everyone’s tireless commitment<br />

during past challenging 12 months. They took<br />

along some goodies too – which were much<br />

appreciated by colleagues.<br />

Every day in the communications bulletin, we<br />

shared videos of nursing colleagues who told<br />

us why they are proud to be in their roles. Read<br />

about what inspires our most senior nurses on the<br />

opposite page.

““Nursing is about caring for others and being kind<br />

and compassionate to each other and our patients.<br />

Each day brings something new - challenges,<br />

frustrations, new learning but also pride and joy in<br />

what we do.” Acting Chief Nurse, Melanie Roberts<br />

“Nursing is probably the most privileged position you<br />

can be in. Where people will confide in you and share<br />

with you their inner most thoughts. You are also with<br />

them at positive moments but also some of the worst<br />

moments of their lives.” Julie Thompson, Group<br />

Director of Nursing – Medicine and Emergency Care<br />

“I’m proud to be a nurse because no other job could<br />

make me laugh, cry, challenge or fulfil me as much<br />

as nursing does. A quote from <strong>May</strong>a Angelou really<br />

resonates with me - ‘While they may not remember<br />

your name, they will always remember how you<br />

made them feel.” Sarah Carr-Cave, Deputy Chief<br />

Nurse<br />

“I feel very proud to be a nurse because I believe<br />

I can make a difference to a patient’s journey, by<br />

providing comfort and reassurance at one of the<br />

most frightening times of their lives. And I always<br />

try to be the nurse that I would want as a patient.”<br />

Amber Markham, Group Director Nursing – Surgical<br />

Services<br />

“I’m proud to be a nurse as I get to lead and develop<br />

community services that make a difference to our<br />

patients and communities every single day.” Nicola<br />

Taylor, Group Director of Nursing, Primary Care<br />

Community and Therapies<br />

“I’m proud to be a nurse because our core mission<br />

is to make a difference and help others. I work with<br />

colleagues who are compassionate and committed<br />

to making a difference to our patients and local<br />

communities.” Cheryl Newton, Group Director of<br />

Nursing, Women and Child Health<br />

“It would be fair to say that every day comes up with<br />

a new challenge. And I think (nursing) it’s one of the<br />

few professions where you go home every single<br />

day, thinking every single hour, that you have made<br />

a difference to somebody’s life.” Diane Eltringham,<br />

Deputy Chief Nurse<br />

“<br />

“Being with families at the very start of life and the<br />

start of their journey together is such an important<br />

and inspiring role. We really can make a difference,<br />

we’re bringing families together and we’re making<br />

a difference for future generations.” Helen Hurst,<br />

Director of Midwifery

Doctor’s research will improve quality<br />

of endoscopy<br />


NEWS<br />

Consultant Gastroenterologist Dr<br />

Nigel Trudgill has been successfully<br />

appointed to the prestigious<br />

Clinical Research Network West<br />

Midlands Health and Care Scholars<br />

Programme.<br />

This is a two year programme which will<br />

provide funding to free up consultant<br />

time for a day a week to allow Dr<br />

Trudgill time and support from the CRN<br />

to focus on and develop his research<br />

ideas.<br />

Dr Trudgill explained: “We will be<br />

working with support from the<br />

Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit on a<br />

major grant application for a national<br />

randomised trial to improve the quality<br />

of endoscopy in the UK and reduce<br />

the chance of cancer being missed at<br />

endoscopy.”<br />

Dr Nigel Trudgill<br />

Dr Derek Connolly, Director of R&D said: “This<br />

was a competitive interview and Dr Trudgill<br />

has done very well in attaining this valuable<br />

post. It builds on our previous successful<br />

applicants Dr Ispoglou and Mr Velota Sung.<br />

Research is at the heart of everything we<br />

do at SWB and it’s imperative as we go into<br />

the new hospital that we have world-class<br />

researchers.”<br />

We need to talk about dying<br />

Healthcare organisations united earlier<br />

this month for a virtual event in honour<br />

of Dying Matters Week, held between<br />

10 to 16 <strong>May</strong>.<br />

The annual event is a chance for companies,<br />

individuals and partners to come together<br />

to open up the conversation around dying,<br />

death and bereavement. As part of this<br />

our Trust, the CCG, Healthy Sandwell and<br />

a number of other organisations spoke at<br />

a special presentation with public sector<br />

workers, the community and voluntary<br />

sector, and members of the public to share<br />

ideas about how people can be more open<br />

about end-of-life and help them to prepare.<br />

Many people are reluctant to hold<br />

conversations with their loved ones about<br />

their preferences about end-of-life care,<br />

funeral and financial planning. The event<br />

looked at how families, employers and<br />

communities as a whole can remove the<br />

stigma from talking about death and dying<br />

and make a difference for the people they<br />

care about.<br />

“Many people die without discussing their<br />

wishes with their families, but this may be<br />

for lots of different reasons,” Dr Anna Lock,<br />

Consultant in Palliative Care told Heartbeat.<br />

“Often it might be that they are reluctant<br />

to face up to the reality of death which<br />

comes to us all eventually, but there are also<br />

cultural and community barriers to open<br />

Dena Ross, Advanced Clinical Practitioner<br />

conversations. We also discussed how employers<br />

can support those in their workforce who have<br />

been bereaved, and the needs of younger people<br />

who are faced with bereavement, including how<br />

schools and colleges can help.<br />

“As always when it comes to Dying Matters Week,<br />

we really want to hear from anyone who wants<br />

to help break down the taboos around death and<br />

dying as well as supporting people to make plans in<br />

advance.”<br />

As part of the event Dena Ross, Advanced Clinical<br />

Practitioner spoke about how death has affected<br />

her on a professional and personal level, particularly<br />

when it comes to the matter of the Coronavirus.<br />

“I looked after residential and nursing homes and<br />

COVID was very, very difficult for those, there<br />

were a lot of deaths. People dying on their own.<br />

Personally I lost my father at the beginning of the<br />

COVID-19 pandemic, in April of 2020<br />

which was extremely difficult.<br />

“When we found out that my father was<br />

in hospital and was dying, we were asked<br />

to come in to the ITU and it was a very<br />

difficult decision with the limits on those<br />

that can attend – two people, and we’re<br />

a five children family as well as mum. We<br />

knew what to expect, and I knew what<br />

to expect as a nurse, but the reality (the<br />

masks, the gloves, etc.) was difficult.<br />

“My dad was a Jamaican man, and<br />

culturally we talk about death all the<br />

time. I knew how my dad wanted to die,<br />

pain-free and peaceful, which it was. He<br />

talked about his funeral. He talked about<br />

how he wanted us to be dressed and<br />

what he wanted to wear. Having those<br />

conversations are important. I’m quite<br />

blessed that I’m from multiple cultures that<br />

all discuss death openly but I think NHS<br />

staff need some guidance on how to speak<br />

to families, especially as we’re dealing with<br />

so many different cultures. We need to be<br />

able to communicate not just sympathy but<br />

the next steps, to ask the difficult questions<br />

whilst we’re able.”<br />

You can find more information<br />

about Dying Matters Week over<br />

on https://www.dyingmatters.org/<br />

AwarenessWeek.<br />


Introducing the equality, diversity<br />

and inclusion team<br />

The newly formed equality, diversity<br />

and inclusion team (EDI) sprang into<br />

action in April this year with the aim to<br />

drive forward our Trust EDI ambitions<br />

and fulfil EDI responsibilities linked<br />

to the NHS People Plan. Consisting of<br />

a team of three, Estelle Hickman, EDI<br />

Advisor, Khalil Miller, EDI Manager<br />

and Donna Mighty, Head of EDI, they<br />

are currently in the process of scoping<br />

short, medium and long term priorities.<br />

The team are underway with their plans<br />

to introduce a Cultural Ambassador<br />

Programme with Cohort 1 taking place in<br />

June, establishment of an EDI Committee<br />

and EDI lunch and learn sessions.<br />

A NHS Cadet foundation programme for<br />

14-16 year olds will launch in September<br />

<strong>2021</strong>, in regards to the NHS Cadet<br />

programme, we acknowledge that our<br />

community is very diverse and many<br />

inequalities exist. “We must play our part in<br />

offering our young people a good start in<br />

life,” said Donna.<br />

Frieza Mahmood, Chief People Officer<br />

said: “After commencing my role as Chief<br />

People Officer for the Trust in January it<br />

was clear that one of my key priorities<br />

was to ensure active progression of the<br />

Trusts EDI ambitions. Following a review of<br />

available resources it soon became apparent<br />

that although efforts of individuals had<br />

been concerted despite challenges, these<br />

were actually very limited in nature for the<br />

scale of our aspirations in this area. The<br />

result was a significant additional burden<br />

of responsibility being placed on our staff<br />

networks. I’m pleased to say the Board agreed<br />

and demonstrated their tangible commitment<br />

to the progression of our renewed focus<br />

for EDI by funding a case for investment in<br />

additional resources.<br />

“What followed was an extensive search for<br />

people within and outside of the Trust across<br />

multiple sectors for the necessary passion,<br />

commitment and vision. After a challenging<br />

competitive process, we found exactly what<br />

we were looking for right under our noses<br />

in two exceptional individuals who have<br />

worked tirelessly for many years in the Trust<br />

on the delivery of this agenda through their<br />

support of the networks and wider staff<br />

experience work programmes, along with<br />

working outside of the organisation on the<br />

advancement of EDI objectives. I couldn’t<br />

be more proud that despite having other<br />

comparable opportunities available to them<br />

within the ICS and beyond that they chose to<br />

stay with us.<br />

“They have made a great start and I am<br />

confident that they will bring the right focus<br />

and drive to the delivery of our Trust plans.<br />

However we cannot underestimate the scale<br />

of the challenge ahead, the long standing<br />

nature of some of our issues and the collective<br />

effort it will take to make lasting challenge.<br />

The role of the EDI team is to act as a conduit<br />

to enable us to understand our individual<br />

responsibilities, as we are all accountable<br />

for the delivery of this work. This is about<br />


NEWS<br />

facilitating a culture in which our staff<br />

and patients can be valued for their<br />

individuality, be supported to meet their<br />

needs and truly be themselves at all<br />

times.”<br />

Estelle joined the Trust 12 and a half<br />

years ago in the role of equality and<br />

diversity advisor she told Heartbeat: “I<br />

am passionate about equality, diversity<br />

and inclusion and love working in a<br />

role which can have such a massive<br />

impact on people’s lives and the journey<br />

our patients have when accessing our<br />

services. Now that we have the newly<br />

formed EDI team I am looking forward<br />

to working alongside Khalil and Donna,<br />

meeting the challenges that EDI agenda<br />

holds for us.”<br />

Over the years Khalil has worked with<br />

staff networks within the Trust to help<br />

raise cultural and religious awareness.<br />

He also voluntarily assisted staff, patients<br />

and visitors in matters of race and<br />

gender discrimination. He said: “I have<br />

written articles for Heartbeat around<br />

assisting Muslim staff in Ramadan and<br />

written pamphlets for Muslim patients.<br />

I have recently become the equality,<br />

diversity and Inclusion manager to<br />

conclude the ‘EDI trio’ alongside Estelle<br />

and Donna.”<br />

Estelle Hickman, Khalil Miller and Donna Mighty - equality, diversity and inclusion team<br />


Celebrating International Clinical<br />

Trials Day<br />


NEWS<br />

International Clinical Trials Day is<br />

celebrated on 20 <strong>May</strong> each year to<br />

recognise the day that James Lind<br />

started what is often considered the<br />

first randomised clinical trial aboard<br />

a ship on <strong>May</strong> 20, 1747.<br />

It is an opportunity for everyone to<br />

recognise people who conduct clinical<br />

trials and to say thank you for what they<br />

do every day to improve public health.<br />

It is also an opportunity for the research<br />

community to raise awareness of clinical<br />

trials – and of clinical research as a career<br />

option – among the greater public.<br />

Gina Dutton, Head of Research and<br />

Development, said: “This year more<br />

than ever we need to celebrate the<br />

achievements that research has brought<br />

to our response to the COVID pandemic.<br />

There has been plenty of research news,<br />

the drugs which help and those that do<br />

not, the rapid pace of development of<br />

the vaccines, but I want to focus today<br />

on the people that made this happen in<br />

our Trust.<br />

“Many people will be aware that we<br />

have a research team and our job is to<br />

conduct research studies and ensure that<br />

the Trust is compliant with regulations.<br />

This year the team like everyone else<br />

have completely changed how we have<br />

worked and there have been some many<br />

learning opportunities. I am immensely<br />

proud of the team and how they have<br />

responded.<br />

“I do want to say a special thanks<br />

and recognise all of the other Trust<br />

colleagues who do not have research<br />

in their job title who have ensured that<br />

our patients are able to participate in<br />

research if they wish to.<br />

“In addition to those departments who<br />

often support research such as pharmacy<br />

and the labs, we have been supported<br />

by an innumerable amount of doctors<br />

and nurses on the wards and critical<br />

care.<br />

“Colleagues from the medical infusion<br />

suite delivered trial treatments to<br />

patients on the wards and in critical<br />

care. Blood transfusion staff provided<br />

convalescent plasma. Infection control<br />

have completed reams of data about<br />

hospital acquired infections and<br />

phlebotomy have taken more than<br />

10,000 of blood and PCR samples for<br />

the SIREN study, all of which have been<br />

On International Clinical Trials Day Patience Domingos a research nurse shares what she<br />

does in the team<br />

processed by our labs and results distributed<br />

by occupational health.<br />

“The business information team have helped<br />

us identify eligible patients.<br />

“There have been some individual stars: the<br />

person in phlebotomy who raised awareness<br />

of SIREN and signposted colleagues our<br />

The research and development team<br />

Did you know?...<br />

department so we could tell them about the<br />

research.<br />

“The post porter who offered to deliver<br />

the paper copies of the information sheets<br />

around City Hospital.<br />

“We had offers of help to raise awareness<br />

and get involved and medical students<br />

volunteering to help with data.”<br />

The research and development team<br />

receiving their 2020 Star Award<br />

• Since 2016 over 16,000 patients have participated in a research trial at SWB.<br />

• Over 200 different research trials have been conducted at SWB in the past<br />

five years.<br />

• Our Trust conducts research in over 25 different specialities.<br />

• Our Trust takes part in local, national and worldwide clinical trials.<br />


Celebrating our<br />

stars of the week<br />

Star of the Week<br />

Claire Jones<br />

Infection Prevention Nurse<br />

During the pandemic, Claire has been<br />

working with Sandwell public health<br />

team to monitor and advise care homes<br />

in Sandwell on managing outbreaks<br />

of Coronavirus. The role has involved<br />

developing close relationships with care<br />

home managers. She has developed<br />

training for care homes on specific infection<br />

prevention and control precautions.<br />

The importance of correctly donning and<br />

doffing PPE has been crucial to prevent<br />

transmission of coronavirus to colleagues<br />

and residents in the community. Claire<br />

led practical training sessions within our<br />

care facilities. She was instrumental in<br />

developing a care plan for residents with<br />

coronavirus and has developed proformas<br />

to enable data to be collected from<br />

information provided from the care homes.<br />

Star of the Week<br />

Adriana Lup, Ward Service<br />

Officer based in the BTC<br />

Star of the Week<br />

Darren Whitehouse<br />

Allergy CNS<br />

Darren has worked single handed to<br />

organise and deliver all immunology’s day<br />

case treatments since at least October.<br />

Without him, treatments would have been<br />

delayed, leading to patients experiencing<br />

worsening symptoms, likely calling on acute<br />

medical services when they are already<br />

stretched.<br />

His work has meant that immunology<br />

has been able to deliver a normal day<br />

case service at a time of colleagues on<br />

secondments. Darren’s work is greatly<br />

appreciated by the entire team and the<br />

Adriana is the nominated touch-point ward<br />

service officer in the BTC. Her attention to<br />

detail is exceptional and represents to our<br />

patients a clean and safe environment that<br />

is required to ensure our infection control is<br />

the key item when visiting the Trust.<br />

Her constant visibility and dedication in the<br />

area has not gone unnoticed as the majority<br />

of colleagues have commented on her<br />

performance.<br />

Star of the Week<br />

Nicola Coley<br />

Nursing Associate<br />

Nicola worked very hard to arrange<br />

elements of a complex discharge for an end<br />

of life patient. She ensured all plans were in<br />

place and the patient was safely discharged<br />

home with all required equipment and<br />

community referrals in place despite also<br />

caring for a bay of patients.<br />

Nicola’s hard work during a very busy shift<br />

meant that a patient’s wishes at end of life<br />

were met. She kept the family updated<br />

at all times about the progress of the<br />

discharge and involved them in the process.<br />

Star of the Week<br />

Jacqueline Deeming<br />

Senior Ward Service Officer<br />

Do you know someone in your team that has gone above and<br />

beyond the call of duty? Why not put them forward for Star of the<br />

Week by visiting Connect.<br />

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started,<br />

Jacqueline has always supported the<br />

ward service officers giving them latest<br />

advice helping them through challenging<br />

times. Even though she has had her own<br />

difficulties and duties to manage, she has<br />

always given any support them team have<br />

needed especially to her colleagues who<br />

work on the weekends.<br />


Ensuring our patients get the right<br />

oral care<br />


CARE<br />

Encouraging good oral health has<br />

shown to significantly reduce the<br />

risk of oral infections for patients<br />

while in hospital. Declining<br />

oral health regimes can lead to<br />

complications during their stay<br />

such as infections or pneumonia. In<br />

turn, this could result in prolonged<br />

hospital stays, requirements<br />

for antibiotics and other health<br />

implications.<br />

Earlier this month, colleagues came<br />

together to promote the Mouth Care<br />

Matters project. 18 clinical areas hosted<br />

awareness games and activities and took<br />

part in a competition to create a mouth<br />

care matters board for their area.<br />

Each board was judged by Melanie<br />

Roberts, Acting Chief Nurse, Janice<br />

Nelson, Clinical Procurement Specialist<br />

Nurse and Julie Thompson, Group<br />

Director of Nursing for Medicine<br />

and Emergency Care based on visual<br />

appearance and the content – with<br />

points for innovative ideas and thinking<br />

outside of the box. In 3rd place was<br />

D11 at City, Priory 3 at Sandwell were<br />

awarded 2nd place with Cardiology from<br />

City taking the lead in 1st place.<br />

There was also a stand set up in the<br />

main reception area at Sandwell where<br />

colleagues and visitors were greeted by a<br />

giant toothbrush and toothpaste in a bid<br />

to raise awareness on the importance of<br />

mouth care.<br />

Janice Nelson said: “It was great to see<br />

so many clinical areas take part in raising<br />

awareness for the Mouth Care Matters<br />

project. There were so many great<br />

initiatives taking place across the wards<br />

and it was pleasing to see so many<br />

colleagues recognising the importance of<br />

good mouth care for our patients.”<br />

1st place - Mouth Care Matters board<br />

from Cardiology at City<br />

2nd place - Priory 3 Mouth Care Matters<br />

board<br />

3rd place - D11 Mouth Care Matters<br />

board<br />

Following a pilot on D11, D26, Priory 4<br />

and Newton 4 to improve the oral health<br />

of patients, mouth care matters is set to<br />

roll out across the whole organisation in<br />

July.<br />

Julie Thompson said: “It’s really<br />

important that we get the basics right<br />

and mouth care is part of that. It<br />

contributes to how we eat and good<br />

nutrition, if you’ve got a sore mouth,<br />

you won’t eat.<br />

“Last years’ pilot resulted in reduced<br />

hospital acquired pneumonia by 40 per<br />

cent, not only does it make a difference<br />

to patients’ lives, but to their mortality.<br />

“In light of these results, we are rolling<br />

out mouth care across the whole<br />

organisation. From 5 July, good mouth<br />

care is coming to you, there will be<br />

trainers across the organisation, lots of<br />

info, so you will be able to read explore<br />

and look at what that means for your<br />

clinical area.”<br />

https://www.youtube.com/<br />

watch?v=sYnHMoVTICo<br />

Mouth Care Matters is a Health<br />

Education England funded project<br />

that aims to improve the oral<br />

health of adults in hospital. The<br />

initiative aims to upskill nursing<br />

staff and health care professionals<br />

so they can support vulnerable<br />

patients with mouth care. They<br />

will be better informed to carry<br />

out checks on people’s oral health,<br />

talk with them about this and<br />

confidently carry out oral health<br />

interventions such as helping<br />

people brush their teeth, cleaning<br />

their dentures and how to use<br />

the right tools to do this. This is<br />

particularly important for those<br />

patients unable to carry out their<br />

own personal care and rely on<br />

others for support.<br />

Colleagues at the Mouth Care Matters<br />

stand at Sandwell<br />

Colleagues dressed as toothbrush and<br />

toothpaste at Sandwell Reception to<br />

boost awareness for Mouth Care Matters<br />

Lyndon 5 celebrating Mouth Care<br />

Matters with patient games and cake<br />


Fostering a culture of safety in the<br />

community<br />

Safety huddles have now been<br />

introduced across our organisation<br />

supporting effective communication<br />

at key points in the care of our<br />

patients.<br />

Our colleagues in the community have<br />

been the head of the pack having<br />

introduced the short multi-disciplinary<br />

meetings over a year ago. The safety<br />

huddles are held daily at the end of<br />

handovers – and again for the multidisciplinary<br />

team at the end of board<br />

round. There is a multi-disciplinary team<br />

huddle once a week on a set day at a set<br />

time.<br />

We caught up with Matron, Justine<br />

Irish who told us more. She said: “We<br />

started safety huddles quite a while<br />

ago on some of our wards before they<br />

were launched across the organisation.<br />

However, they were not always<br />

consistent or focussed enough on our<br />

real risks - the introduction of safety<br />

huddles via Dr Chizo Agwu, Deputy<br />

Medical Director has given us the focus<br />

and structure we needed. The huddles<br />

help colleagues prioritise patient care<br />

with a focus on safety. We discuss any<br />

events that have occurred, how they<br />

Safety huddles taking place on our community<br />

wards<br />

happened, and how to prevent recurrences.”<br />

Justine said involving colleagues from multiple<br />

professions has probably been their biggest<br />

challenge. “We don’t have medical teams like the<br />

acute wards,” she said. “We are predominately<br />

nurse led we have our therapy colleagues, ACPs,<br />

pharmacists and GPs on all wards and we try<br />

to involve them all. We have even had to trial<br />

different times to suit the whole multi-disciplinary<br />

team; the daily huddles are often the hardest,<br />

although the weekly ones get a good multidisciplinary<br />

team attendance.”<br />



Having the safety huddles is enabling<br />

colleagues to talk about harms, harm<br />

free care and the vital role everyone<br />

plays in recognising and mitigating<br />

avoidable harms.<br />

“We have really built on this over the last<br />

few months with small projects being<br />

established out of our weekly huddle,”<br />

added Justine. “We have prioritised the<br />

personalisation of care, especially during<br />

handover. We feel this is the moment we<br />

get to recognise individualised risk, plan<br />

for it and deal with any omissions in the<br />

personalised care planning.”<br />

So how easy it is to conduct safety<br />

huddles as well as continue with other<br />

safety checks that need to take place?<br />

“Easy!” said Justine. “If you concentrate<br />

on your priorities, the huddles only take<br />

less than five minutes. Of course this<br />

changes as we move on with our plans<br />

to prevent harm but it doesn’t prevent<br />

us from having a helicopter view on all<br />

necessary safety checks.”<br />

Clinicians to lead new study into<br />

Behçet’s disease<br />

Our clinicians will lead one of the largest<br />

studies into the rare auto inflammatory<br />

disorder Behçet’s disease to identify<br />

prevalence and incidence and assess the<br />

impact of the condition.<br />

Dr Priyanka Chandratre, Consultant<br />

Rheumatologist, is the primary investigator<br />

for the study which has been funded equally<br />

by Your Trust Charity and Behçet’s UK to the<br />

amount of £71,862.<br />

Dr Chandratre said: “The aim of our study is<br />

to establish the prevalence of Behçet’s disease<br />

in adults in the UK. To our knowledge this will<br />

be the largest study to systematically identify<br />

patients with a diagnosis of the disease.<br />

“The most important milestones will include<br />

establishing the prevalence and incidence of<br />

Behçet’s disease for the first time in the UK,<br />

using multiple data sources to maximise case<br />

ascertainment.<br />

“Our project will identify cases for inclusion<br />

in a national Behçet’s registry populated via a<br />

validated pipeline.”<br />

Dr Priyanka Chandratre, Consultant<br />

Rheumatologist<br />

It means that for the first time it will be feasible<br />

to assess the impact of the National Centres of<br />

Excellence for Behcet’s disease. There are three<br />

situated across the UK – one at City Hospital,<br />

another in London and the third in Liverpool.<br />

The aim of these centres is to optimise care<br />

and improve outcomes for patients with<br />

Behçet’s disease in the UK, shortening<br />

time to diagnosis from first symptoms and<br />

reducing complications such as visual loss.<br />

The study will also mean those living with<br />

the disorder will be able to take part in<br />

clinical trials where available.<br />

Dr Chandratre added: “The study will be<br />

led by myself and supervised by Dr Deva<br />

Situnayake, who is lead for the National<br />

Centre of Excellence for Behçet’s disease in<br />

Birmingham.<br />

“Our collaborators include both centres<br />

in Liverpool and London and the Institute<br />

of Applied Health Research, University of<br />

Birmingham. We want to thank both Your<br />

Trust Charity and Behçet’s UK for funding<br />

this important study.”<br />

In the UK, Behçet’s disease is a rare immune<br />

mediated multisystem inflammatory<br />

disorder. It can lead to blindness, brainstem<br />

atrophy, blood clots and pulmonary<br />

aneurysms. But little information is known<br />

on the frequency of poor outcomes.<br />


Imaging celebrates PhD success<br />


Bahadar Bhatia, Principle Medical<br />

Physicist<br />

Greg James, Senior Clinical Scientist<br />

It’s not every day you get to celebrate<br />

gaining a PhD. Well, the imaging team<br />

they have reason to celebrate not one<br />

but two success stories. Both Bahadar<br />

Bhatia and Greg James, from the physics<br />

and nuclear medicine department, have<br />

recently received their PhDs.<br />

Bahadar Bhatia, Principal Medical Physicist,<br />

has achieved out of this world success as<br />

he gained a PhD for his work carried out<br />

at the Space Research Centre (SRC) at the<br />

University of Leicester. The SRC is part of the<br />

Department of Physics and Astronomy and<br />

runs an extensive programme that looks at<br />

developing novel sensors and optics for high<br />

energy astrophysics, planetary landers and<br />

orbiters and interdisciplinary research in life<br />

sciences and medicine.<br />

A type of detector used to take pictures of<br />

astronomical gamma-ray bursts was adapted<br />

to develop a small handheld portable opticalgamma<br />

camera. The concept behind this<br />

work explored how it could be used at the<br />

bedside and in clinics. Bill Thomson, Head<br />

of Physics and Nuclear Medicine, explained:<br />

“Bahadar used computational ‘Monte Carlo’<br />

techniques to optimise the light detection<br />

within this novel camera and is currently<br />

planning to bring it to our organisation for<br />

a clinical trial, something we are all excited<br />

about.”<br />

Similarly, Greg James, Senior Clinical Scientist<br />

has been awarded a PhD for work within the<br />

physics and nuclear medicine department.<br />

Greg’s PhD is an integral component of a<br />

new five-year national scheme for higher<br />

scientific training. It intends to prepare and<br />

train senior colleagues to be the leaders of<br />

the future.<br />

Bill Thomson, Head of Physics and Nuclear<br />

Medicine, remarked: “For his PhD, Greg<br />

investigated a novel use of the CT scanner<br />

built into our gamma camera system that is<br />

normally used for 3D SPECT/CT studies. The<br />

CT scanner carries out a low-dose 2D X-ray<br />

view before the full CT to identify the correct<br />

anatomical area to scan.<br />

“Greg has been using just this low-dose<br />

image to work out a detailed attenuation<br />

map of the patient. This mapping can be<br />

used to correct a range of nuclear medicine<br />

studies for the effects of body attenuation,<br />

and so, it gives us absolute quantification<br />

figures. This low dose mapping opens<br />

up many new avenues for more accurate<br />

quantification in nuclear medicine.”<br />

Dani Joseph, Group Director of Operations,<br />

commented: “We are thrilled with the<br />

achievements of Bahadar and Greg. They<br />

have delivered and continue to deliver<br />

on important initiatives that will help to<br />

drive efficiencies and improve the patient<br />

experience.”<br />

Congratulations Bahadar and Greg!<br />

Hats off to newly qualified advanced<br />

critical care practitioners<br />


Vicki Davies and Kayleigh Wadrup are<br />

on their way to contributing to the<br />

continuity of care for patients and their<br />

loved ones and help deliver strong<br />

service leading to greater efficiency<br />

and support of best practice.<br />

The two are part of the advanced critical<br />

care practitioners team. Vicki and Kayleigh<br />

will be awarded Faculty of Intensive<br />

Care Medicine associate membership<br />

enabling them to be part of the medical<br />

team, incorporating the knowledge and<br />

experience gained through working in<br />

critical care for many years.<br />

Vicki began her career as a healthcare<br />

assistant and had always had an interest<br />

in advanced practice roles. She said: “I get<br />

the best of both worlds. I can still use vital<br />

Vicki Davies and Kayleigh Wadrup<br />

nursing skills gained over the last 20 years and<br />

the many new skills I have acquired within the<br />

critical care medical team.”<br />

Kayleigh became interested when she worked<br />

with critical care practitioners while completing<br />

her degree, she said: “The independence,<br />

knowledge and experience first drew me to the<br />

role and the Trust has supported me through my<br />

MSc and the last two years of supernumerary<br />

practice.”<br />

This year as we know has been particularly<br />

tough on the whole of the NHS, with a<br />

complexity and volume of patients we have<br />

never seen before.<br />

Kayleigh added: “Alongside the COVID-19<br />

pandemic, many of the trainee critical care<br />

practitioners have completed university<br />

modules and other clinical competencies, so<br />

we can become associate members of the<br />

Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine. So this has<br />

been an additional challenge.”<br />

Vicki echoed this and said: “The sheer<br />

enormity of what we encountered makes me<br />

incredibly proud to work within this team. The<br />

faces and lives of the many patients and their<br />

families that we treated will be forever in our<br />

memories of this pandemic.”<br />

Congratulations to both Kayleigh and<br />

Vicki for their qualification and award<br />

of Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine<br />

associate membership.<br />


Behind closed theatre doors -<br />

Celebrating National ODP Day<br />

National Operating Department<br />

Practitioner Day took place earlier<br />

this month in a bid to promote the<br />

profession and celebrate the vital work<br />

that practitioners perform in the NHS<br />

every day. Following a particularly<br />

tough year, it is more important<br />

now than ever to give thanks and<br />

recognition to our colleagues who play<br />

vital roles within our NHS. Sandwell<br />

theatres marked the occasion with<br />

posters, a specially made cake with a<br />

hand designed topper to share amongst<br />

colleagues, gift bags with some token<br />

goodies, and photo props to snap some<br />

pictures and share via social media.<br />

Louise Horton, Theatre Manager said:<br />

“National Operating Department Practitioner<br />

Day is really about ensuring our existing<br />

practitioners feel valued, and also spreading<br />

the word for the next generation.”<br />

It can be said the role of an operating<br />

department practitioner is perhaps one<br />

of the less well known healthcare roles;<br />

however their work has played a key role<br />

in helping the NHS deal within the influx<br />

of patients in hospitals during the outbreak<br />

of COVID-19. The role of an operating<br />

department practitioner is a diverse one<br />

where you can work as an anaesthetic<br />

practitioner alongside an anaesthetist, as a<br />

scrub or circulating practitioner, alongside<br />

the surgeon and surgical team, or as a<br />

recovery practitioner. Operating department<br />

practitioners are patient advocates, providing<br />

high levels of individualised patient care<br />

throughout all stages of their operation and<br />

supporting patients through the perioperative<br />

journey. They work alongside anaesthetists,<br />

surgeons, theatre nurses and healthcare<br />

assistants to ensure every operation is as<br />

safe and effective as possible – right from<br />

when patients arrive in the operating theatre<br />

department, to discharge from the recovery<br />

room.<br />

Dr Subash Sivasubramaniam, Clinical Director<br />

Theatres and Consultant Anaesthetist said:<br />

“These dedicated NHS staff work tirelessly<br />

behind the scenes throughout the journey of<br />

the patient through the operating theatre.<br />

“They are the key personnel who greet patients<br />

in theatres, allay their anxiety and ensure<br />

those patients receive the best care, from the<br />

moment someone is anaesthetised to their<br />

discharge back to the ward.”<br />

Balbir Kaur, Matron echoed this and said:<br />

“All colleagues (operating department<br />


practitioners, nurses and HCAs) have<br />

gone above and beyond during this<br />

unprecedented and challenging time<br />

where they have been working as ITU<br />

reservists ensuring patients receive their<br />

surgery in theatre and supporting cases<br />

in additional departments in the hospital<br />

and in the community. Their work is<br />

highly appreciated and they have all<br />

demonstrated flexibility, adaptability and<br />

dedication to ensure all patients receive<br />

high quality care.”<br />

Or workplace welcomes apprentices in<br />

theatres, who on successful completion<br />

are offered HCA roles. In the near<br />

future we aim to introduce an operating<br />

department practitioner apprenticeship<br />

programme which will be open for those<br />

with relevant theatre experience.<br />

For further information on<br />

apprenticeships or our current theatre<br />

vacancies please contact Lisa Lewin,<br />

Training and Development Lead on<br />

lisalewin@nhs.net or extension; City<br />

5043, Sandwell 3569 or BMEC 6825.<br />

Colleagues celebrating National ODP day<br />


Urology demonstrate recovery of<br />

surgical services<br />


Urologists at City Hospital have shown<br />

that the introduction of an innovative<br />

treatment for men with enlarged<br />

prostates, combined with new efficient<br />

ways of working, can not only benefit<br />

patients but can also help with the<br />

post-COVID-19 recovery of surgical<br />

services. Patients with benign urological<br />

conditions, such as benign prostatic<br />

hyperplasia (BPH), who require surgery<br />

to treat their symptoms have been<br />

particularly hard hit by the impact of<br />

the pandemic.<br />

Consultant Urologist, Ananda<br />

Dhanasekaran joined the urology team<br />

at City Hospital in 2015, bringing with<br />

him the aim of introducing novel, NICErecommended<br />

treatments to patients with<br />

benign urological conditions. Supported<br />

by the urology team and the surgical<br />

directorate, in 2018, he started offering<br />

patients with symptoms of BPH a totally<br />

new approach to their condition – UroLift<br />

(a prostatic urethral lift). UroLift had been<br />

recommended by NICE and, at the time,<br />

was one of the innovations supported by<br />

NHS England as part of its innovation and<br />

technology programme.<br />

This novel treatment is designed to relieve<br />

symptoms, is very quick and requires<br />

minimal time in hospital. This contrasts<br />

Ananda Dhanasekaran, Urology Consultant<br />

with traditional surgical treatments for BPH, such<br />

as TURP which involves a general anaesthetic, a<br />

longer procedure time, an inpatient stay of 1-3<br />

days and a lengthy recovery.<br />

The urology team have also developed ways to<br />

make the treatment pathway more efficient and<br />

easier for the patient. They were the first in the<br />

country to carry out the UroLift procedure under<br />

a complete local anaesthetic with no sedation<br />

or anaesthesia. A one-stop assessment clinic for<br />

patients with symptoms of BPH also means that<br />

the number of times a patient needs to visit the<br />

hospital is minimised.<br />

Ananda said: “Introducing innovative treatments<br />

like UroLift offers benefits including improved<br />

patient experience and quality of care. Compared<br />

with traditional surgical approaches, the new<br />

treatment is associated with improvement in<br />

quality of life, preservation of sexual function and<br />

quick recovery time. We have also found that<br />

a simplified pathway, involving fewer preoperative<br />

investigations, did not compromise<br />

outcomes and was associated with shorter<br />

waiting times for treatment.”<br />

There are also important benefits for the<br />

Trust by being able to streamline the patient<br />

pathway and a reduced requirement for<br />

theatre time and inpatient beds. These benefits<br />

have been brought sharply into focus this past<br />

year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, where<br />

patients with benign urological conditions<br />

have been most affected by the impact of<br />

the pandemic on elective non-cancer surgical<br />

services. Three or four UroLift procedures can<br />

be completed in the time it takes to perform<br />

a single TURP. With the current backlog of<br />

patients with benign urological conditions<br />

awaiting surgery, offering UroLift instead of<br />

TURP where appropriate, means it will be<br />

possible to treat these patients and relieve their<br />

symptoms quicker. Also, by using UroLift which<br />

does not require an overnight stay, inpatient<br />

bed capacity is also freed up for patients who<br />

require it.<br />

Ananda said: “Our Trust now offers UroLift to<br />

a wider range of patients with more complex<br />

prostate anatomies and we are glad to see<br />

now our SWBH trust is a recognised UroLift<br />

training centre.”<br />

By offering minimally invasive treatments<br />

like UroLift to patients who need surgery<br />

for BPH, Ananda and the team have shown<br />

how adopting innovation can be part of the<br />

solution to post-COVID-19 recovery of surgical<br />

services.<br />

Did you know that you can download<br />

treatment-specific patient information<br />

leaflets from the EIDO Healthcare<br />

website for FREE?<br />

EIDO has hundreds of patient leaflets for different procedures that<br />

are being carried out across the Trust.<br />

They are available in an easy-to-read format and<br />

in different languages.<br />

Patient information for hundreds of procedures carried out across<br />

the Trust can be downloaded for free and passed on to patients<br />

to help them better understand the procedure they may be<br />

undergoing. Many of these are available in different languages and<br />

formats and help patients to give informed consent.<br />

Visit Connect Clinical Systems EIDO PT Leaflets.<br />

For more information, please contact the communications team<br />

on ext.5303 or email swbh.comms@nhs.net<br />


Critical care in the pandemic –<br />

no alarm clock necessary<br />


Critical care colleagues gathered for a day of reflection and restoration in <strong>May</strong><br />

“I felt scared in a way I can’t explain, I<br />

remember the morning Boris was admitted<br />

to critical care in London, and strangely<br />

that made it even more real. I remember<br />

that morning sitting at my coffee table<br />

crying before driving into work (not to do<br />

with Boris, but rather that this virus could<br />

take down the leader of our country).<br />

“I felt a knot in my stomach for weeks. I didn’t<br />

need an alarm clock as I was awake at 3am<br />

every morning, without fail. I never worried<br />

about our patients because I know our team<br />

is outstanding, I worried for my staff, making<br />

sure they had everything we could get them<br />

to make them safe, however it is difficult to be<br />

strong and in control when you’re as scared as<br />

everyone else. The reality is regardless of role<br />

we all had our moments though,” said Becky<br />

O’Dwyer Lead Nurse and Joint Clinical Lead for<br />

Critical Care Services on reflecting back about<br />

the realisation that COVID-19 would become<br />

a big deal.<br />

Becky’s feelings are typical of those felt by<br />

colleagues who for more than a year have<br />

been dealing with the havoc wrought by the<br />

pandemic, so alongside her colleagues Leeanne<br />

Owen, HR Business Partner for surgical services<br />

and Catherine Beddowes, Senior Sister Follow<br />

Up Support Service, she organised a series<br />

of supportive and restorative away days for<br />

exhausted critical care colleagues.<br />

Leeanne explained: “In HR our aim is to<br />

support colleagues as much as possible, and<br />

so we have been immersed in the groups to<br />

enable us to react quickly when we see what<br />

is required. These events gave us a great<br />

opportunity to understand what colleagues<br />

need going forward. To ensure the days<br />

were run safely we arranged four dates to<br />

accommodate all colleagues who wished to<br />

attend.<br />

Catherine added: “It’s obvious that over<br />

the last year our team spirit has developed<br />

significantly as we’ve all seen the amazing<br />

support for each other when we were at<br />

our lowest point. The wellbeing of staff is so<br />

important. We’ve seen people at breaking<br />

point, so during our restoration events it was<br />

lovely to see people laughing.”<br />

The agenda for the day covered a look back,<br />

and forward, with a debrief, wellbeing and<br />

self-care signposting, alongside meditation,<br />

holistic therapies and an opportunity to<br />

try yoga. Members of the exec team got<br />

involved with a feedback session and for many<br />

attendees the high point was the personal<br />

testimony of a COVID-19 survivor – who many<br />

of the team would have personally looked<br />

after.<br />

Speaking to colleagues at the first event was<br />

Paul Snookes who said: “When I first came<br />

round after being on a ventilator I thought<br />

I was in a zombie apocalypse. I told my<br />

daughter that I had the top of my head taken<br />

off, my brain removed and washed, then put<br />

back in. You see the most difficult part of this<br />

disease was the hallucinations, I kept seeing<br />

things, including three dogs coming into the<br />

room. It was all very strange.<br />

“But as I started to come to terms with what I<br />

was going through, it was the little things<br />

that you did that mattered. Wetting my<br />

lips, combing my hair, brushing my teeth,<br />

and preserving my dignity. As I recovered I<br />

was just more and more grateful for what<br />

you had done for me. Thank you to each<br />

and every one.”<br />

At the event Carys Himan, Sister on critical<br />

care at Sandwell commented: “I am here<br />

today because I am hoping it will give us all<br />

a chance to reflect on the past year, and to<br />

share the experiences that we have been<br />

through together, and it would be nice to<br />

get the patient’s perspective on what they<br />

went through.<br />

“The last year was difficult for me,<br />

especially having three children (6, 9 and<br />

15) being home-schooled, so that on my<br />

days off I became their teacher.”<br />

Her colleague on City site Laura Beaman<br />

added: “I actually had mixed feelings<br />

about whether I really wanted to share<br />

or revisit all the thoughts and emotions<br />

from the last year. However the day turned<br />

out to be fun, insightful and emotional. I<br />

especially enjoyed the patient experience;<br />

I don’t think there was a dry eye in the<br />

house during that! It really helps us to<br />

appreciate that with everything everyone<br />

went through, people did survive and it<br />

makes it all worthwhile. It was difficult<br />

to see this during the time. Until we start<br />

talking about the events of the past year, I<br />

don’t think we realise just what an impact<br />

it has had on us emotionally and can take<br />

you back a bit. I am not a big crier usually,<br />

however I think I've cried a lifetime of tears<br />

over this past year!<br />

“Some of the memories that stand out for<br />

me are when I held a patient’s hand and the<br />

phone to her ear while she passed away, so<br />

that her dad could say his goodbyes to her.<br />

He lived too far away to visit on time and<br />

couldn’t get Wi-Fi connection on his phone<br />

to go on the lifeline.<br />

“Another was on a patient’s birthday.<br />

He was not conscious, however one of<br />

the reservists made a birthday card and a<br />

banner for him. We all sang happy birthday<br />

around the bed space. We called his wife<br />

and children on the lifeline later that day<br />

and they also had a big sing-along to him.<br />

You could hear them telling him all about<br />

their day, telling him to remain strong and<br />

he will get through this. The hardest thing<br />

was knowing that he was probably not<br />

going to survive this, and sadly he did not<br />

make it. I often felt a real sense of guilt that<br />

I was there with their loved one when they<br />

should have been.”<br />


Newborn records get SMaRT-er as<br />

NIPE comes to SWB<br />


A screenshot of the S4N database<br />

A new electronic system for documenting<br />

the newborn physical examinations<br />

is coming to the Trust with mandated<br />

training for all newborn screening<br />

colleagues.<br />

Newborn and Infant Physical Examination<br />

(NIPE) screens newborn babies within 72<br />

hours of birth, and then once again between<br />

six to eight weeks. The second screen is<br />

needed because some conditions appear later<br />

on.<br />

The new NIPE IT system, SMaRT4NIPE (S4N),<br />

originally went live at several Trusts such as<br />

Medway, Wye Valley and Cornwall on 1 April<br />

2019 with immediate positive feedback,<br />

New donations all sewn up<br />

although, just as we ourselves found out<br />

with the introduction of UNITY, not without<br />

some initial teething issues.<br />

S4N has a cleaner appearance and better<br />

functionality than its predecessor, and two<br />

years down the line its ease of use has<br />

already proven a boon to those using it.<br />

From 1 June all NIPE’s are to be documented<br />

on S4N. It is a live system and training is<br />

necessary.<br />

Contact the Newborn screening team:<br />

Ext 5775 or swbh.nipe-and-nbs@nhs.net<br />

for more information.<br />

News from Your Trust Charity<br />

where Elaine Lane and friends from<br />

Bredon have knitted blankets and<br />

hats for our vulnerable children in<br />

the community and have also made<br />

some twiddle muffs for our older<br />

patients with dementia.<br />

The group previously supported our<br />

organisation over Christmas with<br />

donations of hats and scarves and have<br />

continued to support SWB staff and<br />

patients in the months since.<br />

The group usually meet weekly but due<br />

to the pandemic they have carried on<br />

knitting in isolation to support those<br />

most in need.<br />

Amanda Winwood, Fundraising<br />

Manager told Heartbeat: “We’re<br />

delighted to receive yet more support<br />

from Elaine and her group. These items,<br />

though small, can make a massive<br />

difference to the comfort of some of our<br />

most needy patients.”<br />

This isn’t, however, the only creative<br />

avenue Your Trust Charity has been<br />

receiving donations from, having also<br />

recently taken ownership of their first<br />

delivery from volunteer organisation<br />

Project Linus.<br />

Project Linus, as the name might<br />

suggest to you, aims to provide a<br />

sense of security and comfort to sick<br />

and traumatised babies, children and<br />

teenagers through the provision of<br />

homemade patchwork quilts and<br />

knitted blankets. The organisation giving<br />

volunteers across the UK the opportunity<br />

to contribute to their local community and<br />

delivers around 3,500 quilts and blankets to<br />

sick, disabled or disadvantaged children across<br />

the UK each month.<br />

SWB’s first delivery and has already been<br />

passed on to paediatrics for distribution to<br />

those who may come in with nothing, no<br />

parents and in need of a hug.<br />

You can find out more information about<br />

this at https://projectlinusuk.org.uk/<br />

Knitted items donated to vulnerable children in the community<br />


Karen Bennett<br />

Community Children's Epilepsy Nurse<br />

Karen Bennett - Children's Community<br />

Epilepsy Nurse<br />

Karen Bennett has recently joined<br />

our Trust as a Children’s Community<br />

Epilepsy Nurse Specialist.<br />

Karen joins the community children’s<br />

nursing team and brings a wealth of<br />

experience to her new role. She has<br />

previously worked in both hospital and<br />

community settings. This invaluable<br />

experience will directly support the work<br />

she is undertaking in the acute and<br />

community paediatric directorate.<br />

The team works in partnership with children<br />

and their families who have or are likely to<br />

have an epilepsy diagnosis. The overall goal<br />

of managing epilepsy is to enable the child<br />

or young person and their family to lead<br />

a life as free as possible from clinical and<br />

psychosocial complications. This is achieved<br />

through access to specialists such as Karen<br />

and the wider team.<br />

Karen explained: “My role aims to provide<br />

care closer to home, work closely with the<br />

consultant paediatricians and the multiagency<br />

teams to provide specialist epilepsy<br />

nurse provision for children/young people<br />

with epilepsy and their families.<br />

“By providing a service which is both<br />

accessible and responsive in the more than<br />

just a hospital setting, allows me to act<br />

as a contact for families, GPs and other<br />

professionals on epilepsy related matters,<br />

coordinating between agencies.<br />

“I visit the hospital, home and schools as<br />

needed to ensure continuity of care. It’s a<br />

varied role, one that requires me to provide<br />

specialist information, emotional support<br />

and teaching.”<br />

This holistic approach to epilepsy and<br />

supporting young people with epilepsy,<br />

their families and carers, allows Karen to<br />

provide tailored care to meet the needs<br />

of individuals. She remarked: “By taking<br />

this approach, I’m able to offer a specific<br />

care plan for each child. I work closely with<br />

schools and nurseries to ensure children<br />

can access education by; care planning,<br />

facilitating appropriate participation, doing<br />

risk assessments, medication training and<br />

telephone advice.”<br />

Karen added: “This role involves working<br />

as part of a wider community, linking with<br />

the West Midlands Paediatric Epilepsy<br />

Nurse Network (PENN). An integrated<br />

approach for the epilepsy care pathway<br />

is fundamental to delivering high-quality<br />

care for children and young people with<br />

epilepsy.<br />

“Local epilepsy clinical networks include<br />

professionals from all disciplines,<br />

safeguarding unified, current practice,<br />

clinical expertise and supporting service<br />

development. Specialist epilepsy knowledge<br />

and skills help ensure the young person<br />

transfers to adult services.<br />

“I’ll be working closely with SWB transition<br />

key worker, the adult epilepsy nurse team<br />

and consultants to establish an effective<br />

epilepsy transition pathway for young<br />

people into the adult services. I’m hoping to<br />

work with the transition key worker to set<br />

up teenage networking activity groups to<br />

further support this. We know that young<br />

people who can manage their conditions<br />

are more likely to transition into adult<br />

services and ultimately maintain their care.”<br />

If you would like to contact Karen with<br />

any epilepsy queries, you can reach<br />

her via karen.bennett4@nhs.net or by<br />

calling 07971 875 287.<br />

Afrah Muflihi<br />

Lead Midwife for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion<br />

Afrah Muflihi, who is lead midwife for<br />

diiversity, equality and inclusion<br />

She is already a well-known face within<br />

the maternity department having<br />

worked as a community midwife for<br />

the past seven years.<br />

Afrah recently joined the Willow Continuity<br />

of Care team where she delivered focussed<br />

care on mums living in specific areas of<br />

Birmingham.<br />

She told Heartbeat: “I hope to improve<br />

accessibility for all our women who use the<br />

service. I want to understand the behaviours<br />

of women who are accessing our services<br />

and tell us more about their needs.<br />

“I also want to understand how we can<br />

look at tackling unconscious bias and keep<br />

this in check.”<br />

Afrah said it was important for colleagues<br />

to talk about inclusivity and understand the<br />

behaviours of the women they are caring<br />

for.<br />

The post is a secondment and is funded for<br />

11 months by the Local Maternity System<br />

(LMS).<br />

Clare Cheatham, Consultant Midwife<br />

added: “Afrah is highly motivated to drive<br />

improvements in services for our culturally<br />

diverse and vulnerable families with the aim<br />

of improving outcomes and experiences,<br />

alongside ensuring that SWBH leads the<br />

way in expertise.<br />

“She has a wealth of experience as a<br />

registered midwife; having worked five<br />

years in team midwifery in the late 1990s<br />

where she worked in all areas of maternity<br />

services.<br />

“During Afrah’s career she has also gained<br />

experience of working in community health<br />

development when she worked alongside<br />

Public Health, strategic organisations and<br />

the voluntary sector.<br />

“We wish to congratulate Afrah in her new<br />

post.”<br />


Wave goodbye to…<br />

Jan Clarke<br />

Head of Support Services<br />

Jan Clarke, Head of Support Services has<br />

retired after giving 36 years to helping<br />

improve the services we offer at the<br />

Trust.<br />

Janet’s (known to most as Jan) career spans<br />

over three and half decades across the<br />

organisation. She first joined the NHS in a<br />

temporary post as a domestic assistant for six<br />

weeks.<br />

“I had been made redundant and was keen<br />

to get back into to work as a soon as I could,”<br />

said Jan.<br />

“Even after six weeks I immediately fell in love<br />

with the NHS. The people were lovely and<br />

it was clear from the start that if you were<br />

willing to put the work in and work hard, the<br />

Trust would enable you to grow and develop<br />

as well as facilitate training and education<br />

courses to support your advancement.”<br />

And that is exactly what Jan did! She knew<br />

in order to work her way up the ladder<br />

to where she wanted to be, she would<br />

need to complete further education. In her<br />

case specifically it was a Master’s degree<br />

in Business Administration which the Trust<br />

supported her in obtaining.<br />

During Jan’s illustrious career, her professional<br />

development saw her go from a domestic<br />

assistant and work her way up to head of<br />

facilities and more recently head of support<br />

services.<br />

When asked specifically about her time at the<br />

Trust, she said it will be a time of her life she<br />

will look fondly upon.<br />

She said: “I have met and worked with<br />

some wonderful people over the years and I<br />

have seen a great deal of change, however<br />

the one constant thing is the wonderful,<br />

caring attitude and selfless devotion of our<br />

staff, who will always go the extra mile to<br />

contribute to patient care.”<br />

She added: “It has been an honour to support<br />

the advancement of the departments within<br />

support service. I will be leaving a brilliant<br />

team that I will miss immensely, but have the<br />

confidence that they will continue to manage<br />

their services professionally, moving forward<br />

to the new Midland Metropolitan University<br />

Hospital.”<br />

Aner Marcelo who was working alongside Jan<br />

has taken over as head of support Services.<br />

When asked about Jan he said: “What<br />

impresses me about Jan is her honesty and<br />

reliability. Jan is a very supportive leader. The<br />

intangible support she has given me means a<br />

lot to us in the team. She always puts patients<br />

first and foremost in everything she does. As<br />

her successor I hope I am able to come near<br />

what Jan has achieved at the Trust with her<br />

36 years of service, dedicating and being<br />

committed to providing excellent patient<br />

care.”<br />

As part of her retirement Jan is planning on<br />

spending more time with her friends and<br />

family once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.<br />

Good luck for the future Jan!<br />

Janet Clarke<br />

Sammy paints a path to<br />

colleague wellbeing<br />

The topic of wellbeing has come up a lot<br />

over the course of the last year, as our<br />

organisation and the members of it have<br />

moved to have a greater focus on the<br />

mental as well as physical aspects of our<br />

battle against COVID-19 and beyond.<br />

Pulse<br />

Some have even taken to getting additional<br />

training to help support friends, relatives<br />

and patients in the future.<br />

One such individual is second year<br />

pharmacy student Sameena (“Sammy”)<br />

Khaliq. She will be qualified and registered<br />

as a pharmacy technician this summer,<br />

having already secured a job within the<br />

Trust. Sammy recently undertook the Trust’s<br />

Wellbeing REACT training to become an<br />

advisor.<br />

“I wanted to give back to my colleagues<br />

and decided to undertake a course called<br />

REACT. It is a Level 2 Mental health and<br />

News in brief from around our organisation<br />

Wellbeing poster<br />

wellbeing course.” Explained Sammy in an<br />

email to colleagues late last month. “It has<br />

been a pretty tough and difficult year for<br />

everyone and everybody has been impacted in<br />

one way or another. I would like to offer help<br />

and support for anyone who wants to reach<br />

out.<br />

The course aims to direct people to correct<br />

services for referral.<br />

“I would be able to play an integral part in<br />

If you have a story you would like to appear<br />

on the Pulse page, please email a photo and a<br />

short explanation to swbh.comms@nhs.net<br />


referring especially where hardship and<br />

wellbeing are concerned. This is a voluntary<br />

service and I will strive to do my best with a<br />

non-judgmental attitude and confidentiality<br />

in a relaxed environment.”<br />

One of the projects as part of the course<br />

is the creation of a wellbeing poster<br />

(pictured) which Sammy describes as a<br />

creative representation of our spiritual<br />

connection as humans with nature.<br />

“How the forces of a waterfall and<br />

mountain are powerful and can resonate<br />

with our own mind-set empowering us<br />

with resilience, strength, endurance, and<br />

the ability to carry on staying focused<br />

being firm and maintaining a balance in<br />

our lives. It is something to uplift inspire<br />

and hopefully send out a positive message.<br />

Do not forget about yourself, do not get<br />

lost. Keep yourself in mind - and if you do<br />

this is a reminder to reinforce your selfworth.<br />

Keep a check on yourself and don’t<br />

be afraid to ask for help when you feel you<br />

need it.”<br />


Pulse<br />

News in brief from around our organisation<br />

If you have a story you would like to appear<br />

on the Pulse page, please email a photo and a<br />

short explanation to swbh.comms@nhs.net<br />


Green fingers in the great<br />

outdoors<br />

With the sun in the sky and a spring<br />

in their step, the children at Sandwell<br />

Day Nursery have been getting stuck<br />

in to a spot of gardening in their<br />

newly refurbished outdoor space.<br />

Keen to get out in to the great outdoors<br />

and make the most of the improving<br />

weather, the children have not only<br />

begun cultivating their own little<br />

community allotments outside Hallam<br />

Restaurant but they’ve made friends with<br />

all of the bugs and animals in their own<br />

back yard with their own little bug hotel.<br />

Sharing the news of their new found<br />

freedom, Day Nursery Manager Emma<br />

Collier said: “The children have really<br />

taken to the outdoors, they’ve loved<br />

looking after their allotments, cultivating<br />

the crops and growing their herbs. The<br />

multisensory environment with the<br />

opportunity to get some fresh air, get<br />

your hands dirty and have some fun<br />

really has made a huge difference.<br />

builders who have been working for the<br />

Trust, but the children have been really keen<br />

to have some space in the nursery grounds<br />

that they can take ownership of.<br />

“We’re proud to have been able to open<br />

up our own little bug hotel, where the<br />

children can take some time to explore and<br />

see if they can spot any of our little creepy<br />

crawly residents. We also have some seating<br />

and best of all, we’ve finally been able to<br />

make full use of the whole site, safe in the<br />

knowledge that everything in it is designed<br />

for the children we have.<br />

“Whilst it’s not all a bug’s life, the children<br />

will soon have the opportunity to plant a<br />

whole range of wild flowers and plants in<br />

the garden, creating a habitat for bees and<br />

butterflies in our own back yard.”<br />

“The nursery garden has also been<br />

transformed recently thanks to some<br />

very kind donations and support from<br />

It’s a bug’s life as nursery children explore the<br />

outdoors in their newly refurbished garden<br />

Irene Bayliss: Three decades at<br />

SWB<br />

After 30 years, a familiar face<br />

to many, Irene Bayliss, Medical<br />

Secretary at City A&E is retiring.<br />

It was March 1991, The Clash were at<br />

number one with hit single Should I Stay<br />

or Should I Go and Teenage Mutant<br />

Ninja Turtles 2 was number one in the<br />

box office. Irene has just joined the Trust<br />

as a domestic.<br />

“Though I had worked as a domestic for<br />

quite a while, I then moved on to work<br />

in the pathology reception”, said Irene.<br />

“After a few years I then moved to ward<br />

D12 as a ward clerk but I was soon on<br />

the move again as the regular ward clerk<br />

returned so I was then transferred to<br />

ward D19 and then D10.”<br />

After a lengthy stay on D10 she was then<br />

asked to support ward D9 and would<br />

later move to Rheumatology outpatients.<br />

Irene wanted more and to advance<br />

further at the Trust. In order to progress<br />

her career, Irene decided to complete a<br />

Irene Bayliss<br />

part-time night school course and an audio<br />

typing course at Sandwell College to get<br />

her AMPSAR qualification. AMSPAR is the<br />

Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice<br />

Managers, Administrators and Receptionists.<br />

It was established in 1964 with the aim<br />

of creating and promoting appropriate<br />

qualifications, initially for those working as<br />

medical secretaries and subsequently for<br />

medical receptionists, administrators and<br />

practice managers.<br />

Irene said: “Having achieved my qualifications,<br />

I was then able to successfully obtain a role as<br />

medical secretary for acute medicine at City<br />

Hospital.”<br />

Irene has had a positive impact on many of<br />

her colleagues across her 30 years – here are<br />

just some of their kind words:<br />

Clare Hale, Team Leader, City A&E<br />

Reception: “Irene is an amazing colleague<br />

who always goes above and beyond to<br />

help anyone in need. It will be a sad loss<br />

to the Trust when she retires. She will be<br />

greatly missed by all.”<br />

Natasha Thompson, ED Administration<br />

Team Leader: “Irene is a polite and<br />

hardworking member of staff. I have<br />

managed her for a few years and within<br />

that time she has been one of the most<br />

helpful colleagues I have encountered. We<br />

are sorry to see her go but I know she will<br />

be happy. I wish her all the best for the<br />

future!”<br />

As part of her retirement Irene plans to<br />

spend more time with her husband and<br />

when COVID-19 restrictions are eased<br />

she wants to travel to Wales. Irene is also<br />

hopeful to be able to travel on the Flying<br />

Scotsman train for her recent birthday as<br />

she was unable to celebrate fully due to<br />

the recent national lockdown.<br />

The Trust would like to wish Irene a<br />

happy retirement and good luck in the<br />

future!<br />


Letters, of less than 200 words please, can be sent to the Communications Department,<br />

Trust Headquarters, Sandwell Hospital or by email to swb–tr.SWBH–GM–Heartbeat@nhs.net<br />


Will working life resume as<br />

normal?<br />

Dear Heartbeat,<br />

So our esteemed leader Boris is planning on<br />

abolishing mandatory face coverings and social<br />

distancing come the end of June. Though this<br />

is great for England fans and the Euros what<br />

does this mean for staff working at the Trust?<br />

Will I now walk into an office without a mask<br />

and forget the last 12-18 months of social<br />

distancing? Will my manager send me an email<br />

Monday morning telling me and the rest of our<br />

team we are now required to all report to office<br />

as per usual per pandemic? Am I now allowed<br />

to give my colleagues a big hug seeing as I have<br />

missed out for the past year? What do I do?<br />

Some clarification or even something in writing<br />

which is official on this would be great as I’m<br />

hearing another wave could be on its way in<br />

the summer and I wouldn’t want to knowingly<br />

contribute towards this unnecessarily.<br />

Kind regards,<br />

Anon<br />

Dear colleague,<br />

Thanks for the way you have been following<br />

the national guidelines, and indeed our own<br />

local policies over the past year. Keeping<br />

pace with the rapid changes has not been<br />

easy but I am pleased that all our staff have<br />

responded well to the latest updates.<br />

We are continuing to monitor the impact<br />

of the changes that we have brought in<br />

as lockdown restrictions have eased since<br />

March. This has included a phased approach<br />

to visiting across some of our wards. We will<br />

continue to monitor and review changes in<br />

guidance and adapt them to our own Trust,<br />

dependent on our own risk assessments<br />

that will include the numbers of cases of<br />

COVID-19 in the community and in our<br />

hospitals.<br />

We are not expecting a full return to all<br />

roles being on site full-time and the current<br />

remote working guidance will remain<br />

in place whereby managers can put in<br />

place reasonable arrangements for their<br />

colleagues who can work remotely, that in<br />

many cases will mean a mix of on site and<br />

remote working.<br />

With regard to hugging, we would urge<br />

you to be cautious and sensible. Having the<br />

vaccine, following infection prevention and<br />

control guidance and doing regular LAMP<br />

tests are the best ways to beat this virus so<br />

make sure you are regularly testing.<br />

Any changes to wearing of PPE including<br />

masks will be shared through our COVID-19<br />

weekly bulletin and your group leadership<br />

structures.<br />

Kind regards,<br />

Mel Roberts<br />

Acting Chief Nurse<br />

Will there be improved security in<br />

car parks?<br />

Dear Heartbeat,<br />

I returned to my new car in the car park to yet again<br />

more serious damage to my car for the second time<br />

in one year (and the 5th time including door bangs<br />

and dents). I contacted security, with little hope of<br />

assistance; to be told where I am parking (Brookfield<br />

House) there is no CCTV coverage. This is the 3rd car<br />

parking area I have move to in City Hospital where<br />

my car has been damaged and happens to be in a<br />

CCTV blackspot. If this is not concerning for security<br />

of our cars, surely this is a concern for security of<br />

staff walking to cars, especially at night.<br />

I understand that the Trust cannot take liability<br />

for our property on the site, but I did hold some<br />

hope that assistance can be given to identifying the<br />

culprit for hitting my car and driving off. The last<br />

time this happened 12 months ago, (parking by the<br />

DGM building) the whole wing of my car had to be<br />

replaced and cost £2,500 and I am now facing yet<br />

another bill for body repair.<br />

If I could get away with not using my car anymore, I<br />

would, however I do not live in Birmingham, so this<br />

is not possible.<br />

Can the Trust give some assurances with the new<br />

company taking over the car parking, that there will<br />

be better security monitoring and/or specific staff<br />

parking areas? I am beyond frustrated with finding<br />

my car damaged on a regular basis after my shifts<br />

and paying for the privilege. I can no longer ask my<br />

insurance company for help with this damage as<br />

they refuse to cover me at work anymore.<br />

Kind regards,<br />

Anon<br />

Dear Colleague,<br />

First of all I would like to say that I’m sorry to<br />

hear about the incidents that you have had with<br />

your vehicle whilst parked on site. We want<br />

all staff, patients and visitors to feel confident<br />

in leaving their vehicles on the premises. The<br />

Trust has appointed Q-Park as our operational<br />

management partner for car parking and in<br />

conjunction with the trust security teams,<br />

Q-Park are working towards creating a more<br />

secure site. This is being achieved by adding<br />

Q-Park patrols to those carried out by the<br />

security team and building two new multistorey<br />

car parks. Our aim is to have the majority<br />

of vehicles concentrated into a safe and secure<br />

area so the risk of damage will be significantly<br />

reduced due to the design of the new car parks.<br />

Any potential damage within the multi-storey<br />

car parks will be more easily identifiable on<br />

CCTV.<br />

Kind regards,<br />

James Pollitt<br />

Assistant Director Strategic Development<br />

Hospital traffic flow issues<br />

Dear Heartbeat,<br />

The new carpark at the City Hospital site is going<br />

well and will be an asset for the future but since<br />

building started, there has been a change in the way<br />

in which traffic flows into and around the site.<br />

Traffic entering the Western Road entrance has to<br />

queue for quite a distance and the wait is around<br />

15 mins. Obviously, staff waiting this amount of<br />

time is not ideal but worse than this is the negative<br />

effect on local traffic as some drivers take risks to<br />

try and dodge the queue. The queue affects drivers<br />

navigating that junction as well as it blocks the view<br />

from certain angles.<br />

My other concern is traffic flowing past that barrier<br />

towards the supplies department, then onto the old<br />

nursing home and old transport dept. Traffic flows<br />

in both directions on this road but outside supplies,<br />

there is only enough space for one car. This is a very<br />

busy working area at times. Delivery trucks have no<br />

choice but to park outside supplies to offload vital<br />

stock. Our supplies staff are often seen working<br />

hard alongside the delivery drivers so at times there<br />

are a number of people in that area. There are<br />

also pedestrians walking across the road too from<br />

the estates dept. and from the car park. Too many<br />

cars travelling in both directions in what was used<br />

to be a fairly quiet zone. To make matters worse,<br />

the road bends after the supplies department and<br />

I have seen cars on to the wrong side of the road,<br />

probably because they may have considered it to be<br />

a single lane and one way. There needs to be a risk<br />

assessment of that area and better signage so drivers<br />

know what they are navigating.<br />

Kind regards,<br />

Anon<br />

Dear colleague,<br />

Thank you for your letter regarding traffic flows<br />

and road networks in and around City Hospital.<br />

The building of the new multi storey car park<br />

has been a huge logistical challenge and this<br />

wasn’t helped by the overnight introduction<br />

of the new road lay out on Western Road by<br />

Birmingham City Council. We have appealed in<br />

the strongest terms to the council about this<br />

layout and the problems it continues to cause<br />

and requested that it is returned to its previous<br />

condition, but it seems to have been to no avail.<br />

The challenge of building a 550 space<br />

multi-story car park and the demolition of<br />

a significant building whilst trying to keep<br />

disruption down to a minimum has been<br />

immense. The site continues to receive deliveries<br />

of plant on low loaders, site cabins, scaffold<br />

lorries and other equipment and will cause<br />

some continued disruption, and for that we can<br />

only apologise.<br />

The good news is that the multi-story car parks<br />

are on track and should be open by mid-August.<br />

This will hopefully help reduce the tail backs<br />

and the amount of traffic passing Brookfield<br />

House and further along by the supplies<br />

department.<br />

King regards,<br />

James Pollitt<br />

Assistant Director Strategic Development<br />


Richard talks about: The future of healthcare -<br />

multidisciplinary working<br />

Richard Beeken, Interim Chief Executive<br />


National Nurses Week begins each year<br />

on 6 <strong>May</strong> and ends on 12 <strong>May</strong>, Florence<br />

Nightingale's birthday. These permanent<br />

dates enhance planning and position<br />

National Nurses Week as an established<br />

recognition event. As of 1998, 8 <strong>May</strong> was<br />

designated as National Student Nurses<br />

Day, to be celebrated annually. It has been<br />

particularly noteworthy to celebrate the<br />

work of nursing this year, given the last 14<br />

months experience of the pandemic and it<br />

is important that we recognise the role the<br />

profession has played in the teeth of the<br />

gale of COVID, as well as the role nursing<br />

and nurses will play in a successful recovery<br />

from COVID, whatever form that recovery<br />

eventually takes.<br />

There were two very different events that<br />

week which celebrated nursing in the Trust.<br />

The first, on 10 <strong>May</strong>, was a service which<br />

neatly and expertly combined a memorial<br />

service for our own colleagues who we had<br />

tragically lost during the pandemic, whilst<br />

also celebrating the role the profession<br />

plays in being the patient’s advocate in their<br />

hour of need. It was a privilege to attend<br />

the event, which was also attended by<br />

the families of those we have lost, which<br />

made it all the more poignant. The second<br />

event which I attended that week with Mel<br />

Roberts, our chief nurse, was a different<br />

affair – the acute medicine Great Bake Off<br />

event. Mel, Demetri Wade (group director<br />

of operations – medicine and emergency<br />

care) and I had the honour of judging 12,<br />

high quality entries which, by the end of<br />

the session, made me feel rather queasy.<br />

The winner was the Victoria sponge, of<br />

course. Two very different events, both<br />

equally as important in appreciating nurses<br />

and recognising the changing role of the<br />

profession in modern healthcare.<br />

Rather obviously, there are other professions<br />

than nursing in the health service, many<br />

other professions. Not that long ago in<br />

history however, if someone took a photo<br />

of the multi-professional leadership team<br />

at the front of any hospital in this country,<br />

there would be:<br />

always middle aged and nearly<br />

always a physician, he was the<br />

hospital director.<br />

• Next to him, in a starched blue dress<br />

and equally starched hat, always<br />

looking like Hattie Jacques and always<br />

a scary looking woman, was matron.<br />

• Next to her, pencil thin, in an ill-fitting<br />

suit and with a thin smile, was the<br />

hospital administrator.<br />

That was it! Now, we have something like<br />

300 professions or professional demarcations<br />

in the NHS. This can cause confusion and<br />

at times, division. This is why the cry for the<br />

return of the generalist these days is so loud.<br />

Despite that, we can do more, aligned to<br />

our own personal and professional values,<br />

to create a genuine multi-disciplinary, multiprofessional<br />

environment. On 19 <strong>May</strong>, I spent<br />

over an hour on our respiratory hub at City<br />

Hospital, hearing about their journey over<br />

the last 14 months. We discussed why calling<br />

the pandemic “challenging” is euphemistic<br />

and unhelpful. We discussed recovery from<br />

the emotional journey of the last year. We<br />

discussed post-traumatic growth (thank you,<br />

Sarah!) and, of course, multi-disciplinary<br />

working. The photograph is their safety<br />

huddle board. Whilst the learning and<br />

the actions are divided into the different<br />

professional groups after each huddle<br />

and there remains much that is clunky<br />

about the huddles at the moment,<br />

nevertheless, they are genuinely multidisciplinary.<br />

They are mutually respectful<br />

and the learning is learning achieved as<br />

a team. It was a heartening visit.<br />

It is therefore vital that we don’t divide<br />

ourselves into our respective professional<br />

“silos”. Multidisciplinary working is the<br />

future of healthcare and as we start<br />

to turn our attention to the Midland<br />

Metropolitan University Hospital<br />

development, the blurring of those<br />

professional boundaries and, at the<br />

very least, improved working between<br />

our professions, each seeing each<br />

other respectfully as equals, is critical.<br />

I challenge you all to use, for example,<br />

your safety huddles to achieve that goal.<br />

You can all play your part, whatever your<br />

profession.<br />

• An august looking gentleman in<br />

a white coat, peering over halfmoon<br />

spectacles, with a stethoscope<br />

around his neck. Always a man,<br />

MDT safety huddle board from the respiratory hub at City hospital<br />


Workwear donation to support<br />

colleagues and those in need<br />


@SWBHCharity To donate<br />

to the Your Trust Charity text<br />

“SWBH16 £5” to 70070<br />

Throughout the last 18 months, many<br />

businesses and organisations have<br />

proven their generosity throughout<br />

the COVID-19 pandemic in support of<br />

the Trust and Your Trust Charity. This<br />

is no more prevalent than the OT<br />

Group Ltd who has kindly donated<br />

over £1,000 worth of workwear<br />

clothing.<br />

The Smethwick based business offers and<br />

supplies a range of tailored goods from<br />

PPE, interior and furniture to office wear<br />

Pete Hall from OT Group Ltd alongside Amanda<br />

Winwood, Fundraising Manager with 1k clothing<br />

donation<br />

and supplies across the borough.<br />

The clothing donated is specifically<br />

workwear and consists of trousers and tunics<br />

tops in a variety of colours and sizes as well<br />

as scrubs for our clinical colleagues.<br />

Amanda Winwood, Fundraising<br />

Manager accepted the donation on<br />

behalf of the charity.<br />

She said: “When I first saw the vehicle<br />

arrive at Sandwell Hospital I was<br />

pleasantly surprised with the sheer<br />

volume of clothes which had been<br />

donated by OT Group Ltd. I must say<br />

a huge thank you to Pete Hall and OT<br />

Group Ltd for this kind donation.”<br />

She added: “We are in the process of<br />

sorting through the 100s of pieces of<br />

garments and will ensure they go they<br />

go to the departments and areas that<br />

need them most including our homeless<br />

patients.<br />

“Our homeless patients often do not<br />

have access to clean and fresh clothing<br />

so this donation will certainly benefit<br />

them all.”<br />

A token of appreciation<br />

Utilita with care packages<br />

International Nurses Day is observed<br />

every year on the anniversary of the birth<br />

of Florence Nightingale, 12 <strong>May</strong>, to honour<br />

nurses around the world and recognise<br />

their contribution to society. To mark the<br />

occasion, Utilita have donated 200 care<br />

packs to support our nurses here at SWB.<br />

The packs include little treats, reusable<br />

cup, pen, stress reliever, snack and other<br />

wellbeing items to bring a little cheer to<br />

nursing colleagues.<br />

Ashley McIntosh, Retail Manager said: “It is<br />

our pleasure here at Utilita West Bromwich<br />

to support such a fantastic cause, especially<br />

through the pandemic – the hard work and<br />

endless support that the NHS have provided<br />

the borough of Sandwell, and the whole<br />

country in fact, it is important that their<br />

hard work and their efforts do not go<br />

unrecognised. We are so pleased to offer<br />

support, and we are grateful to be a part<br />

of the committee now, which is fantastic<br />

and exciting. It is pleasing to see so much<br />

passion and enthusiasm to support the<br />

local community, in which we share.<br />

Thank you all.”<br />

Amanda Winwood, Fundraising Manager<br />

said: “We really appreciate the support<br />

of Utilita for acknowledging the work of<br />

our nurses, the last year was particularly<br />

difficult for all and having these treats will<br />

hopefully show just how appreciated our<br />

nurses are not just today, but every day.”<br />

<strong>May</strong> <strong>2021</strong> staff lottery results<br />

1st £178<br />

Sara Adamkiewicz<br />

2nd £106.80<br />

Joanne Page<br />

3rd £71.20<br />

Tracey Clayton<br />

Don’t forget that Your Trust Charity lottery costs just £1 a month and anyone<br />

who works for the Trust can join. Payment is deducted from your wages each<br />

month. To take part email amanda.winwood@nhs.net.

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