Use emergency services wisely
6 December 2013
Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is asking people who suffer minor accidents or illness this winter to think about whether they really need to go to the Emergency Department or if they would get more appropriate treatment at another NHS facility.
Hospitals can get especially busy during winter when viruses such as flu and Norovirus are circulating, and slips and trips are common. Choosing the right NHS service will not only help ease the pressure on the Emergency Department staff but may also result in quicker treatment.
Dr Andrew Haynes, interim Executive Medical Director at the Trust, said: "It is important that people reflect on their use of the Emergency Department - everyone can play a significant role in helping to ease the burden by assessing their own needs.
"If you feel your case is an emergency, then you must attend the Emergency Department. Significant illnesses or injuries such as suspected broken bones, chest pain, blackouts, difficulty breathing or blood loss are classed as emergencies.
"Very minor accidents and illnesses which don't need emergency treatment include bruises, grazes, the common cold, and young, fit people who have flu or winter vomiting bug. Those suffering these should take advice from their GP, local pharmacist or out of hours service in the first instance".
The GP out of hours service can be accessed during evenings, weekends and bank holidays - ring for an appointment by dialling your usual GP surgery telephone number. The out of hours centre, which is also a 24 hour a day, seven day a week walk in centre, is located alongside the Emergency Department at King's Mill Hospital and is easily recognisable by the Primary Care 24 sign.
Local pharmacies can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illness and complaints, including flu.
Dr Haynes continued: "Full protection from the flu vaccine takes up to two weeks to develop and people should act now to get flu safe and make sure that flu doesn't ruin their Christmas holiday.
"Flu can knock even the healthiest people off their feet for a couple of weeks, but for some people it can be really serious - it can even be a killer.
"In recent years, critical care units across the region have been busy with people who should have been vaccinated against flu, but instead ended up seriously ill over Christmas. Most of these patients would have been eligible for a free flu jab on the NHS.
"Contact your GP surgery now to arrange a convenient appointment and get your jab. It's quick, safe and free for those most at risk from the virus."
December Board of Directors meeting
6 December 2013
Members of the public and stakeholders are invited to Sherwood Forest Hospitals' next Board of Directors meeting, taking place at King's Mill Hospital.
The Trust holds Board meetings each month to discuss quality and safety, finances and plans for the future. The meetings are chaired by Sean Lyons, Trust Chairman.
Amongst the topics on this month's agenda are:
Patient storyImprovement plan – Monitor feedbackNewark surgery reviewCQC updateKeogh Review updateNursing staffing report.
The meeting will be held on 19 December, 9.30am to 2.45pm, Classroom 1, Level 1, School of Nursing.
A copy of the agenda and papers will shortly be available on the Trust's internet site:
Age UK patient advocate hailed as a success
5 December 2013
A partnership between Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Age UK Nottingham & Nottinghamshire to support a patient advocacy service has been hailed as a success.
Jo Pritchard, Age UK Notts Patients Representative/Advocate, has been working at the Trust since April 2013, offering advice, guidance and support to patients who are over the age of 60 across geriatric wards.
Since its launch the service has already received more than 120 referrals. The majority of these referrals have been made by hospital staff but an increasing number of carers and patients are self-referring.
Through the referrals patients have been able to access additional support on discharge and vulnerable patients have been provided with an independent voice while being cared for in hospital.
Jo also signposts patients, carers and relatives to extra benefit entitlements, befriending schemes, specialist day services and respite for carers.
She said: “This service has given independent support to older patients and their carers during their hospital stay. It assists them to have their voice heard and ensures their wishes are respected.
“Upon discharge it also gives people the necessary information about the support available within the community to help them live as independently as possible”.
This new service is being piloted as part of a redesign programme looking to identify improvements that can be made to older person’s services. One key finding was to provide patients with an independent voice, as it can be harder for older patients to speak out and be heard.
Speaking of her experience using the service Mrs Rogers from Mansfield said: “Jo has shown a genuine concern for my husband’s welfare and quality of life. She has provided me with a level of support beyond her duty – making sure I understood the recovery process and ensuring we are well looked after.”
Anyone wishing to refer into this service should call Jo Pritchard on 01623 622515 ext 4675.
Mansfield and Ashfield hospital volunteers rewarded
3 December 2013
Volunteers who give up their time to make people's stay in hospital more comfortable are to be awarded for their efforts.
The sterling work completed by 16 volunteers at Mansfield Community Hospital and Ashfield Health Village will be recognised at two Sherwood Forest Hospitals' Chairman's Awards ceremonies during December.
The awards are in appreciation of service ranging from five to thirty five years. Long service medals will be presented to each volunteer by Sean Lyons, Trust Chairman.
Sean Lyons said: "The amount of work accomplished by this year's award recipients is truly awe-inspiring.
"Our team of volunteers deserve this recognition and the heartfelt thanks from the entire Trust; each and every one of them in some way has made a real difference."
Notes to Editors
Mansfield Community Hospital has 54 volunteers working in various sections within the hospital, including the tea bar, wards and outpatient clinics. Their awards ceremony will be held at The Rushley on Nottingham Road, Mansfield, at 12.30pm on Monday 9 December.
Ashfield Health Village's team of 32 volunteers are being honoured in the Sun Lounge and restaurant at Ashfield Health Village on Wednesday 11 December 2013 at 1.30pm.
School choirs bring Christmas joy to hospital
2 December 2013
Local school choirs will bring the true spirit of the Christmas season to King's Mill Hospital when they entertain patients, visitors and staff with programmes of Christmas carols in December.
Nine school choirs, totalling over 250 children, will perform collections of well-loved carols, accompanied by music and instruments, in the hospital's main entrance over a seven day period.
Paul O'Connor, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: "Listening to the choirs is a real tonic – they bring so much pleasure to everyone at the hospital and we are delighted to invite them back for the fourth year running.
"Nobody wants to be in hospital over Christmas but we do try to inject a little festive cheer and Christmas tradition into proceedings, which we know our patients and staff appreciate."
Notes to Editor
Members of the media are invited to photo opportunities on the dates below – these are the schools with photograph permission in place:
Monday 9 December - 1.30-2.30pm - Leas Park Junior
Tuesday 10 December - 1.30-2.30pm - Orchard Primary
Wednesday 11 December - 9.20-11.20am - Garibaldi College / 11.30-12.30pm - Skegby Junior Academy
Thursday 12 December - 10-11am - Dalestorth Primary
Friday 13 December - 1.30-2.30pm - Jeffries Primary
Monday 16 December - 10-11am - Kirkby Woodhouse Primary
Tuesday 17 December - 9.30-10.30am - John T Rice Infant