A Charter for Older People

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Two of Thurrock’s leading councillors for adult social care have literally put their names to supporting a series of values and standards for older people.

Cllr Barbara Rice, portfolio holder for adult social care and health, and Cllr James Halden – the shadow cabinet member – both signed the Older People’s Charter, developed with The Older People’s parliament, Thurrock Cover Fifties Forum (TOFF) and through sheltered housing complexes.

Other signatories were Gerry Calder of TOFF and Glynis Pettit from Futures East, members of the age action alliance whose annual general meeting was held on Tuesday (8 September) at The Beehive Grays.

The charter has 10 declarations which the council pledges to improve the quality of life of older people.

Praise for ‘outstanding’ Basildon Hospital pathology technician

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A sad but inevitable part of a hospital’s responsibilities is caring for the deceased and their grieving relatives. The nature of their work means that mortuary staff receive little recognition, but one of the team at Basildon Hospital has won praise from a national training centre for his excellent skills and sensitivity.

Jake Smith is one of the first anatomical pathology technicians (APTs) in the country to achieve a new Royal Society for Public Health academic qualification. APTs play a vital role in assisting the pathologist carrying out post-mortems to determine the cause of death. The team at Basildon Hospital also work with the external forensic pathologist to assist the police with post-mortems.

Most of an APT’s training is carried out in the workplace, and Jake joined the team at Basildon Hospital as a trainee in November 2013. He recently completed the new level 3 diploma course in anatomical pathology technology and last week (3 September) he heard from the training centre for England at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust that he has passed with flying colours.

Hospital teams up with Boots UK for outpatient prescription service

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Collecting outpatient prescriptions from Basildon University Hospital will soon be easier and quicker for patients thanks to a new partnership with Boots UK.

A new outpatient pharmacy managed by Boots UK is set to open at the hospital on Thursday 8 October. Located next to the main outpatient department, the new pharmacy will be open weekdays, 9am-6pm. At the weekend, outpatient prescriptions can be collected from the hospital pharmacy (where the pharmacy is now), 9.30am–1pm.

The project took an exciting step forward this week, as the new temporary Boots cabin was lifted into place. Over the next three weeks the cabin will be fitted out with furniture and equipment, and the staff will receive training and familiarise themselves with the hospital’s facilities and processes.

Consultation of maternity services

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If you or someone you know has had any experiences with NHS maternity services, you now have a chance to give your feedback.

NHS Maternity Review has launched a consultation to get a picture of the current state of maternity services across England. Feedback will be used to determine where improvements can be made.

The consultation is open to women who have been pregnant and supported by the NHS as well as their partners, friends and family members. Healthcare professionals, charities, representative organisations and commissioners of maternity services are also invited to respond. Click on the link below for more information:

NHS Maternity Review Consultation

The consultation will be open until 31 October 2015. All comments will contribute to the Review’s recommendations, which will be published in December on the NHS website.

Better screening service at Basildon Hospital thanks to League of Friends

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Patients who need to be checked for small bowel disease at Basildon Hospital are benefiting from the latest screening technology, thanks to a donation from the League of Friends.

Capsule endoscopy is recognised as the best way to investigate the small bowel for conditions such as cancer, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or anaemia. The patient swallows a minute camera contained in a capsule that passes through the digestive tract, taking about three pictures a second. The images are transmitted to a data recorder held in a belt worn by the patient until the capsule has been passed.

Endoscopy usually involves inserting the camera on a long, thin, flexible tube, either through the mouth – to look at the top part of the small bowel - or the back passage – to investigate the colon, or large intestine.

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