NHS Trust News And Press Releases From The Communications Desk Of Maidstone Hospital

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Trust Launches New Cardiology Service

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust launched a brand new service last week, which means some cardiology patients will no longer have to travel to London Hospitals for their treatment.

The EPS (Electrophysiological Studies and Ablation) Service is based in the Cardiac Catheter Lab at Maidstone Hospital and will be used by patients needing treatment for abnormal heart rhythms.  In the past, people needing this kind of treatment would have been referred to St Thomas’s or King’s College Hospitals in London.  For many patients and their families this would have been logistically difficult and stressful.  The Maidstone-based service is the first of its kind in Kent.

The Trust has employed two new consultant cardiologists to establish and operate the service, Dr Laurence Nunn and Dr Dennis Caulfield. They will be assisted by Dr Mike Cooklin from St Thomas’ Hospital, who will help oversee the early stages of this brand new EPS service.

Dr Nunn said: “This new service will help many cardiology patients receive treatment that is more convenient for them, being much closer to home.  Most of the cases we treat will be day cases with no need for the patient to be admitted in to hospital overnight.

“We are expecting to treat around 80 cases within the next year and as we are the first Trust in Kent to offer an EPS Service of this kind, it’s a very exciting time for us.”

Chief Executive of the Trust, Glenn Douglas, said: “Our first three patients were seen last week.  I was privileged to see the care these patients received first-hand and can genuinely say that it is life-changing for them. Patients who were previously managing their conditions through medication left hospital the same day able to live normal lives. This is another extremely positive step forward for the Trust to ensure we provide the very best care and services for our patients.” 

Charity Fundraising From The League Of Friends

The League of Friends, based at Maidstone Hospital, is a charitable group which supports the hospital by offering a number of services and also raise funds to purchase equipment. The League of Friends is a registered charity which started in 1983. 

The Fundraising Committee work year round to raise the much needed donations and organise a variety of events, such as quiz nights, coffee mornings, prize draws, and the pinnacle of the calendar - the annual Summer Fete - which is held within the grounds of Maidstone Hospital

Between May 2011 and April 2012, the League of Friends raised and spent over £61,000 on new equipment for the hospital and have committed to spending a further £208,000.

Items purchased include a Vital Signs Monitor for the Medical Assessment Unit, reclining chairs for chemo patients, murals and pictures for the Birth Centre and monitoring equipment for the diabetes unit.

The League of Friends have also committed funds to, amongst other equipment, a cardiac monitor for the ITU, a TV for the Orthoptic waiting area, cannulation trolleys for A&E, a heavy duty wheelchair for Physiotherapy and a number of urine analysers.

The largest single sum of money, £130,000, will be spent on a urology ultrasound which will be utilised within Radiotherapy. 

Director of Nursing, Flo Panel-Coates, added, ‘We are very grateful to The League of Friends for all the vital fundraising events and projects they organise and bring to fruition.

‘Their hard work means that our patients can benefit from the first class equipment these additional resources allow us to buy.’

This year’s Fun Day will take place on Saturday 8 September between 12-4pm at Maidstone Hospital, Hermitage Lane.

The League of Friends second hand book shop located in Maidstone Hospital provides an important source of income, which enables donations such as this to take place. The shop is always in need of donations of books in a good condition.

New Patient Information System

A team from the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust have designed and created a revolutionary Patient Information System which aims to improve patient safety and the patient experience.

The boards, which will be located above every patient’s bed, are magnetic systems which use large coloured symbols to clearly show the needs and requirements of each patient.  The information system displays visual prompts with regards to all aspects of patient safety, including falls risks, nutritional requirements, communication issues and medication alerts.  The boards also include infection prevention and control information.

Dieticians, therapists, specialist nurses and safeguarding leads were consulted to ensure the system properly met the needs of each of their specialist areas.  The aim was to provide one system which encompassed all of these areas, which could be displayed on a single information board.

The system is clear and simple to use and allows staff of any discipline or role to understand and recognise the individual needs of every patient.  Patients and their visitors are able to view and contribute to the informationwhile it also informs them that staff recognise any risks they may face or any special requirements they have.

The boards have been purchased thanks to generous donations by the League of Friends at both Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospitals, who recognised that the system would be of huge benefit to patients, helping to ensure their personal needs are met and that they are safe and comfortable.

The team responsible for developing the system have now been nominated for a Nursing Times Award, in the category of Patient Safety Improvement.


Kent Oncology Centre – Cancer Prevention Week

Cancer prevention week (from today,14 May), organised by World Cancer Research Fund UK (WCRF), will see many charities and organisations promote the work they are doing towards the fight against cancer.

And Kent Oncology Centre at Maidstone Hospital is no exception.

With 10,000 new outpatients in the last year (April 2011 to March 2012) and over 70,500 individual treatments given in the same period, not to mention ongoing clinical research and a national award under its belt, the centre has a lot to be proud of.

The Kent Oncology Centre at Maidstone Hospital, has a day unit at Tunbridge Wells Hospital along with the other main centre at Canterbury, and provides comprehensive cancer services for the 1.8 million population of Kent, Medway and East Sussex. 

The oncology team comprises of Consultant Oncologists, Consultant Haemato-oncologists, and a large team of therapy radiographers, oncology nurses, clinical nurse specialists and other allied health professionals including physiotherapists, dieticians, occupational therapists, counsellors, care managers, secretaries and Management support teams.

Treatment facilities include two CT and one conventional simulator for radiotherapy planning, and nine Linear Accelerators providing the only radiotherapy facilities in Kent -  six at Maidstone and three at Canterbury.  There is also equipment for specialist radiotherapy.

There is a day case unit on the Charles Dickens Ward, our Haematology and Oncology Day Unit (HODU) at Tunbridge Wells and one inpatient ward, based at Maidstone Hospital. 

And alongside all of this, the Clinical Trials Unit based in the Kent Oncology Centre currently have a portfolio which, wherever possible, offers a trial for all types of cancers and includes different modalities of treatment. These trials will provide invaluable information to assist cancer treatment in both the present and future.

In the last year, 463 cancer patients took part in clinical trials across the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells sites.

The Clinical Trials Unit works in close collaboration with the Kent & Medway Cancer Research Network. This allows Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust to deliver a greater depth of studies, enabling ‘tomorrow’s treatments today’ for our local patients.  For more information on Cancer Clinical Trials visit www.kentmedwaycancernetwork.nhs.uk

In addition, last November, The Kent Oncology Centre radiotherapy team were awarded the prestigious Pfizer Excellence in Oncology Award in the Best Patient Support Initiative category at the annual National Cancer Research Institute conference.  They took the prize for their Breast Radiotherapy DVD which explains in simple straightforward terms how breast radiotherapy is carried out, what it’s purpose is and what any possible side effects might be.

Kent Oncology Centre also works very closely with Macmillan Cancer Support. Macmillan has supported the centre in a number of ways, from funding posts and training staff, to providing practical and financial support to patients, relatives and carers.  Recently, Macmillan has funded three new Clinical Nurse Specialist posts and they also helped to fund and develop the Macmillan Information and Support Centre situated in Radiotherapy. The Centre has been running for more than four years and provides information, advice and emotional support to people affected by cancer.

Dr Stewart Coltart, Divisional and Clinical Director for Cancer Services said:

“We are very proud of the Kent Oncology Centre and the ongoing work that it does.  We have state of the art equipment, excellent facilities and dedicated staff so we can provide the best possible care for cancer patients in our area.”

For more information about Kent Oncology Centre, please visit www.kentoncologycentre.nhs.uk

As part of Cancer Awareness Week, the WCRF have promoted tips for healthy living.  They advise eating a healthy plant-based diet, regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight.

For further information please contact Gianna Pollero-Payne, Communications Manager, on 01622 225858

Maidstone Birth Centre hits estimated number of births for a year in just seven months

On Saturday (28 April), almost exactly seven months after the opening, the 200th baby to be born at the Birth Centre arrived, at 6.25am.

Consultant Midwife at the Birth Centre, Sarah Gregson, said:

”We are absolutely delighted that in seven months we have already seen our expectations exceeded.  It goes to show that prospective parents across the area are keen to use the Birth Centre and its fantastic facilities.”

And just the day before the 200th baby was born, the Birth Centre recorded the busiest day it has had since it opened on 22 September 2011, with a total of eight babies being born in a 24 hour period – three of them in just one hour, between 8 and 9am.

Sarah added:

“The number of births on 27 April was unprecedented but it was an absolutely wonderful day, with Birth Centre staff and our community midwives pulling together to deliver eight healthy babies.”

Further information from Communications Manager Gianna Pollero-Payne on 01622 225858.

New Stroke Unit opened by BBC’s Rob Smith

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust’s new Stroke Unit at Tonbridge Cottage Hospital was officially opened today (8 May), by BBC South East television presenter, Rob Smith, during Stroke Awareness Month.

The new Stroke Unit will provide dedicated, specialist care to stroke patients from Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells.  The Unit also has the facilities to provide physiotherapy and occupational therapy for patients.

Previously, stroke patients were treated in a combined Neuro Rehabilitation Unit, at Kent &Sussex Hospital, which also looked after patients with other neurological problems and people with serious head injuries.

The new unit will allow the focus to be solely upon stroke patients and will allow specialist staff to work with them and their families to provide the best possible treatment to aid their recovery.

The official opening, this morning, was combined with a coffee morning for all patients at the unit, their families, other guests and members of the public.

Stroke Unit nurse, Claire Manneh, said:

“The opening of this unit is a very exciting event for us.  We have fantastic facilities here which are dedicated to stroke patients, their treatment and rehabilitation.  We are very pleased so many people came along today and we are very proud of what we have to show them here at the Stroke Unit.”

Maidstone Hospital also has a dedicated Stroke Unit. Stroke Awareness Month runs throughout the month of May.

Further information from Communications Manager Gianna Pollero-Payne on 01622 225858.

© Hospital Radio Maidstone 2014