First UK Macmillan specialist bereavement nurse ticks the right box

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Thurrock 16

The first dedicated Macmillan bereavement nurse in the UK has been appointed at Basildon University Hospital as part of the hospital’s commitment to improve end of life care.

Karen Harford’s (pictured left) appointment as bereavement nurse specialist will involve supporting patients, relatives and staff both before and after death.

Her appointment will drive forward the Trust’s dandelion project which aims to improve end of life care at the hospital.

Dawn Patience, director of nursing, said: “End of life care is everyone’s responsibility. Staff have one chance to get it right, once chance to create a lasting memory for a bereaved family.”

Karen, whose background is in intensive care nursing, critical care outreach and most recently, organ and tissue donation, will be the point of contact for support, advice and information for staff, patients and families.

She aims to do focused teaching with ICU staff helping to support them to have difficult conversations with families about end of life.

Waiting for your exams results getting you down?

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exams results stress waiting small

The exam period can be a stressful time and waiting for the results can cause feelings of stress, worry and anxiety but there are services available to help. 

So, you’ve done all the revision, completed the exams and now it’s a waiting game for the results. Sounds simple enough, but not knowing what to expect can be overwhelming and can leave you feeling anxious or worried, particularly as you start to plan your future.

If you are expecting GCSE or A-Level results soon, you might be concerned about the outcome and the impact this could have. While it’s perfectly normal to feel down sometimes, if you notice these feelings start to become worse, or they occur more frequently, it’s time to talk to someone. This could be a family member, friend or professional. Or if you don’t want to speak to someone face-to-face, there are plenty of opportunities available online to access the support and advice you need to feel better.

Start by checking out Big White Wall, a safe, anonymous, online community which gives you the opportunity to share your experiences with others who may be going through the same thing. Big White Wall lets you be yourself without being judged and will give you the confidence to take control and achieve your goals.

New for Thurrock, pharmacists in GP surgeries to help manage long-term health conditions

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Anesi Healthcare Ltd, a group of GP practices in Thurrock and Basildon, have been successful in gaining funding for a new NHS England scheme to recruit clinical pharmacists working in GP Practices.

The new initiative has seen over £100m investment across England to help alleviate pressure on GPs. The clinical pharmacists are highly trained experts in disease and medication that can work as part of the general practice team to provide specialist advice for patients, particularly the elderly and those with more than one health condition.

Denise Rabbette, Head of Medicines Optimisation at Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group said;
“We are very pleased to be able to improve access to healthcare through the use of clinical pharmacists. Recruitment for the pharmacists is starting imminently and we hope to have the scheme up and running by September. We have had issues in Thurrock with recruiting nurses and GPs, so we had to think about other ways to support patients’ healthcare needs.

“By taking responsibility for patients with chronic diseases, clinical pharmacists can enable GPs to focus on more complex patients. It is hoped this will prevent people who can’t get appointments, from going to A&E departments. The pharmacists will work closely with community and hospital pharmacists to provide joined-up NHS pharmacy services for patients.”

Russell Vine, CEO Anesi Healthcare Ltd said:
“Winning the bid for funding means we can really start to make radical improvements in the service our practices can offer to patients. We are working to quickly recruit three clinical pharmacists from our known talent pool and hope to have them available as soon as possible. Whilst this bid covers Thurrock – we look to do the same in Basildon and Brentwood CCG area soon.”

Anesi Healthcare Ltd, is owned by a Federation of GP practices in Thurrock and Basildon, the Thurrock practices who will initially benefit from the first clinical pharmacists, include:

  • Hassengate Medical Centre
  • Sai Medical Centre
  • Dr Yadava Practice
  • Dr T Abela and Partners
  • College Health at Corringham Health Centre
  • The Surgery, Orsett

In addition to working with patients with long-term health conditions, clinical pharmacists may also carry out the following roles:

  • Supporting people with their medicines review
  • Providing support to vulnerable patients in reviewing their treatment
  • Monitoring adherence to medication
  • Educating patients on appropriate antibiotic use
  • Improving medicine safety by encouraging patients to report side effects/benefits of medications.

The funding is for three years initially with funding on a sliding scale. The CCG hopes that more practices across Thurrock will be keen to bid for funding to have a pharmacist to support their patients.

High standard of care at Basildon Hospital for patients with lung conditions

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Joanne Peacock third from left and members of the respiratory team
Joanne Peacock (third from left) and members of the respiratory team

The respiratory team at Basildon University Hospital has received a plaudit from Britain’s leading medical professional body for the care and treatment it provides for patients with certain lung conditions.

All hospital respiratory teams are now required to submit data four times a year to the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) on the treatment of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties.

The first results for this new national COPD audit show that Basildon Hospital is one of the best performing in London and the south east of England. The data showed that the respiratory team ensure that the care and treatment of high numbers of patients meets the standards set by the RCP. These include being seen by a specialist within 24 hours of admission, being assessed for an exercise and education pulmonary rehabilitation programme, and being advised on smoking cessation programmes.

Latest heart valve repairs for patients at the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre

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Doctors and John Orchard
L-R Dr Rajesh Aggarwal; Dr Swamy Gedela, consultant radiologist; John Orchard; Mr Inderpaul Birdi; Sheila Smith, specialist nurse; Dr Rohan Jagathesan

A procedure to repair damaged heart valves, which does not involve major surgery, is now available for patients at the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre (CTC).

People suffering from the most common form of heart valve disease will no longer have to travel to London for the minimally invasive treatment, but can go to the world-class specialist centre at Basildon University Hospital.

Last month, Mr John Orchard, aged 88, was the first patient to have a transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) procedure carried out by specialists at the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre.

Narrowing of the aortic valve, known as stenosis, leads to obstruction of blood flow out of the heart. It is the most common form of heart disease and occurs in two to four per cent of adults over the age of 65 years.

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