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April 29th 2016

Gavin Boyle

I mentioned last week that I was well overdue another visit to London Road Community Hospital, so I was determined to pay them a visit this week. First thing on Monday morning, I arrived to meet Grace Pearn, Clinical Team Leader in Physiotherapy Outpatients, who introduced me to the team based down there. I was really struck by their friendly attitude and enthusiasm for developing and improving their services. I was particularly impressed by the group rehabilitation classes, which help people to regain their mobility after an injury and the matching curtains too! What a great team.

I also met ‘the’ Ben Smith, a senior physiotherapist who is also a clinical doctoral research fellow. He is carrying out research into different approaches to therapy for people recovering from knee injuries. He is focusing his research on whether therapy regimes that are painful work better than those that are not. I have a horrible feeling about what the outcome will be!

Sticking with rehab, I also spent time with the specialist rehab team based at the Royal Derby Hospital, and heard about their multi-disciplinary approach to managing their particular group of patients. We discussed the benefits of bringing the different strands of their team together in one place. This visit allowed me the chance to talk to a patient who was receiving treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome. She was extremely complimentary about how different professionals work together to help her manage her condition.

I had a fantastic tour of the Pathology service this week, when I was hosted by Steve Kyte and Gerry van Schalkwyk. I met a wide range of staff across the different disciplines of this very impressive service. Lots of examples of the creative use of the latest and best technology as well as innovative new roles to deliver rapid diagnostic services. It really is a very high-tech area. In the Blood Sciences lab, there’s a whole battery of complex-looking analysers linked together by a mini conveyer belt – it’s like Yo! Sushi meets the space age.

This week we saw another episode of industrial action as part of the national dispute over the junior doctor contract. I’m pleased to say that because of the preparations made and the help and support of our clinical teams – not just senior doctors, but  ACPs, therapists, nursing colleagues,  who all pulled together to put these plans in place – we were able to make sure our patients were kept safe and well looked-after. Although unfortunately we did have to postpone about 800 outpatient appointments and 170 operations but we’re hopeful these will be rebooked in the next few weeks. The dispute poses a fearful dilemma for our juniors and is clearly not good either for the patients who are inconvenienced. I do hope that there is some resolution soon to what is becoming a protracted and unhelpful dispute.

To end with some good news, I mentioned last week that I attended the accreditation visit for our Breast Screening service at the invitation of Mr Mark Bagnall one of our Breast Surgeons, and it was a real pleasure to hear the positive feedback from our external reviewers about the good work they do. This week, I also had the opportunity to sit in on the Breast Cancer Service MDT meeting, where surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, specialist nurses and the admin team all work together to  review the care and treatment for each one of our breast cancer patients to make sure that every patient gets the best possible treatment. It was another great example of teamwork leading to great care.

Another bit of good news is that our endoscopy team has now become JAG accredited. This is a mark of quality for our services, and means that we are now able to commence Bowel Cancer Scope Screening for men over the age of 55.

Thanks to all our staff who manned the fort during the Bank Holiday Weekend to make sure our patients were looked after. 

All the best  

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