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April 20th 2018

Gavin Boyle

Something very strange is happening - there seems to be a warm yellow light coming from a curious object in the sky.  There’s nothing like a bit of sunshine to lift the spirits and it’s about time too!  

Something else that lifted my spirits was a conversation on Monday morning with Mansi Shah, who’s an undergraduate medical student here at the Trust.  The fact that we have ‘teaching’ in our name is more than a bit of a clue about a fundamental part of the work that we do.  As well treating patients we are also an important institution for teaching and training all manner of staff both clinical and non-clinical.  One of the jewels in our crown is the Graduate Entry Medical School here which is provided in partnership with the University of Nottingham.  Mansi, who already has a degree in Public Health, came here to do her medical degree and popped along to have a chat to learn more about the life of the hospital CEO.  We had a great conversation but I have to say I was more interested in hearing about her time as a medical student here at the Trust.  She was enthusiastic about her experiences to date and also told me about a project that she was doing as part of her degree all about the welfare of doctors who work nightshifts.  Her final exams are in a couple of weeks’ time but I’ve no doubt that she’ll do brilliantly!  

Talking about the wellbeing of our doctors, another important part of our teaching role is to look after postgraduate doctors in training.  You might have seen that we were in the news this week perhaps not for the best of reasons as a result of a legal case which the doctors trade union had brought in relation to how the Trust monitors junior doctors hours and makes sure that they have the right breaks.  As I’ve said before in this blog, our doctors in training are a vital part of the DTHFT family and so making sure that we look after them while they’re here is so important and I was delighted that the judge who considered the case was able to confirm that the Trust was doing the right thing to ensure that our rotas are organised in a way that helps to safeguard these important colleagues.  

One of the things that really impresses me about DTHFT is the number of clinical leaders who come forward to help to improve the quality of our services.  It was a pleasure this week to be invited along by Sarah Guy, who is senior sister on MAU, to a staff training event all about helping to recognise and treat patients who come to the hospital who have an acute kidney injury.  In typical NHS style we have a three letter acronym AKI to describe this condition.  It may be news to you but this is one of the major causes of death for patients who are admitted to hospital.  Often patients may have already developed AKI in the community and admitted to us as an emergency perhaps for another condition and sometimes AKI can therefore be difficult to spot.  The training event was led by Nick Selby who’s Associate Professor of Nephrology who works here at the Trust but is also part of University of Nottingham.  Dr Shehzad Khan was also on hand who’s one of our new consultants in the Medical Assessment Unit to show me how they’re applying a new approach to identifying and treating AKI there.  This is particularly important because MAU is often where our most sickness patients come to be assessed on admission so spotting AKI as early as possible and then initiating what’s called a ‘care bundle’ that is a series of clinical actions helps to make sure that patients with this condition are getting the right care straight away.  It was great to see clinical leaders from both medicine and nursing taking such an active role in improving the care and safety of our patients.  

I was impressed by another clinical leader this week when I went along to the Medical Advisory Committee chaired by Mr Manjeet Riyat, one of our ED consultants.  Dr Suma Sungandran is leading a project to use our electronic whiteboard system, which is available on all of our wards, to make it easier for a specialist in one part of the hospital to seek the opinion of a colleague in a different specialty to help with the management of one of their patients. This is all about valuing our patients’ time and reducing unnecessary time spent in hospital – it’s part of our Red2Green approach that blog readers will be familiar with.  Suma was being supported Trudi Jones, Project Manager, and together they had piloted this new approach with about 10 different specialties across the Trust.  The plan is to work with all the different hospital specialties to set this new internal referral system up right across the Trust.  Another great example of how colleagues are working together to deliver better care for our patients. 

I hope the sun continues to shine and that everybody gets a chance to catch at least a few rays over the next couple of days.  As always, thanks to our colleagues who’ll be here over the weekend keeping the show on the road and our patients safe.

All the best!



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Gavin


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