It Takes Two to Tandem

​Congratulations to two of our therapists who settled a regional score whilst raising money for one of our services.

Senior Occupational Therapist Mary-Ann Willmott (third from lef and Senior Physiotherapist Mike Winder (second from left) took part in a sponsored tandem cycle at the Derby Velodrome with the aim of completing as many laps as possible in the time provided.

The pair were part of a team that included British cycling champions and a Paralympic gold medallist and, just to make it interesting, they were representing Derbyshire against another team representing East Midlands rivals Leicestershire.

Mike has a problem with his sight and wanted to raise money for Sight Support Derbyshire, who have a base at our Eye Centre, so he asked his colleague Mary-Ann to support him on the tandem, helping to raise a magnificent £400 for the service.

They both work on the Trust’s Eastwood ward Stroke Unit and frequently make referrals to the service on behalf of patients who suffer vision problems as a consequence of stroke.

And to cap off a perfect day, the Derbyshire team emerged triumphant from the duel to retain the trophy! Congratulations Mike and Mary-Ann for bringing more glory to the county and our hospital!


A Fond Farewell

​The Patient Safety Team has turned its office into a Santa’s Grotto to say goodbye to two of its colleagues.

Julie Howard (right) and Sally Cobb (far left) will both be leaving the Trust on December 22nd and the team have transferred the office into a festive treat, complete with roaring fireplace, toys and games and lots of tinsel!

Julie has worked at the Royal for 28 years, starting out as a cleaner in our Theatres before becoming a receptionist on our Intensive Therapy Unit, moving onto Patient and Public Involvement before eventually ending up in her current role within the Patient Safety Team.

Sally is a relative newcomer compared to Julie, joining the Royal in 2003 in the General Admissions Office before moving to the Medical Records department as a Library Supervisor…she’s been with the Patient Safety Team for eleven years.

​Julie said: “I’ve loved working here and I’m going to miss bumping into familiar faces with a smile on the corridors. As the Patient Safety, Inquest Support Officer I am lucky to be able to meet lots of people in different parts of the hospital so will miss that connection with the wider hospital. I’m going to spend the first few  weeks and months of my retirement decorating and doing all of those jobs that you don’t seem to find the time for when you get home from work. Then I’m going to book a nice, long holiday, maybe a cruise, or a holiday in Madeira or Sicily which are my favourite places.”
​Sally said: “It’s a great team we’re leaving behind and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here, making many good friends. The team has become bigger over the years, more integrated, especially since moving into the old outpatient suite 10 when the building of the Chesterfield Eye Centre saw the Ophthalmic team move out. I’m not retiring just yet though; I’m going to work with my husband as part of his MOT and servicing company which I’m really looking forward to. I’ve been doing his accounts for a while now so it’ll be nice to finally get paid for it!”

Julie added: “We’re definitely going to stay in touch with the girls and I’d like to especially thank Ali and Caroline for being such great colleagues and friends and to Mandy Marsh who’s been so supportive of me over the years. We’re going to miss you all.”


CRH Staff Celebrate Long Service within the NHS

​A range of colleagues from across the Trust came together for a celebration of long service in the NHS, on Tuesday 21st November.

Members of staff from several different departments of the Royal gathered at Relax@TheRoyal to mark 20, 30, 40 and, in the case of Angela Wainwright, 50 years of service!

The grand total of combined years of service was a staggering 1,820, serving and caring for patients across the country.

Staff were given a certificate and voucher to celebrate their commitment to the NHS and were treated to a glass of champagne (alcohol free of course!) with a delicious selection of pastries and cakes!

Chief Executive Simon Morritt, Chair Helen Phillips and Director of Workforce and Organisational Development Zoe Lintin were on hand to congratulate each staff member who could attend the event.

Not everyone who reached a milestone was available to attend, but they have all been listed below. Spot anyone you’ve worked with before?!
50 Years’ Service
Angela Wainwright - Staff Nurse Surgical Services

40 Years’ Service
Kay Mitchell - Staff Nurse Surgical Services

30 Years’ Service
Amanda Marples - Matron ITU/HDU Surgical Services
Andrea Staley - Senior Matron Surgical Services
Ann Flexney - Patient Services Assistant Facilities Services
Denise Etheridge - Outpatient Receptionist Strategy & Performance
Denise Glover - Children's Community Physiotherapist Integrated Care
Elaine Rigby - Assistant Performance Manager Integrated Care
Elizabeth Claridge - Clinical Educator & Training Sister W&OD
Gladstone Thambirajah - Consultant Integrated Care
Jane Hicken - Community Midwife Integrated Care
Janet Cresswell - Consultant Obs & Gynae Integrated Care
Janice Smith - Matron Transfusion Specialist Integrated Care
Jayne Duly - Service Improvement Lead Integrated Care
Jennifer Curry - Sister Surgical Services
Joanne Finch - Head Orthoptist Surgical Services
Julie Edge - Phlebotomy Training Co-ordinator Integrated Care
Julie Whitehead - Senior Clinical Pharmacist Integrated Care
Karen Campbell - Quality Governance Matron Surgical Services
Katherine Gadsby - Community Midwife Integrated Care
Laura Richardson - Matron Medicine & EC
Linda Gustard - Head of Nursing/Midwifery Integrated Care
Margaret Tunnicliffe - Patient Services Assistant Facilities Services
Mark Griffiths - Mechanical Engineer Facilities Services
Mary Kelly-Baxter - Research Midwife Integrated Care
Naomi Bennett - Management Accountant Finance
Nicholas Everitt - Consultant Surgeon Surgical Services
Patricia Keeble - Patient Services Assistant Facilities Services
Patricia Wigmore - Domestic Supervisor Facilities Services
Pauline Telford - Specialist BMS Integrated Care
Penny Lee - Midwife Integrated Care
Sally Allsop - Senior Clinical Technologist Integrated Care
Sally Ann Wilson - Clinical Operations Matron Medicine & EC
Sharon Trickett - Staff Nurse Theatres, Surgical
Susan Higginbottom - Pharmacy Assistant Integrated Care
Susan MacDonald - Specialist Physiotherapist Integrated Care
Trevor Taylor - Service Manager Integrated Care
Valerie Squires - Patient Services Assistant Facilities Services
Virginia Pearson - Transfusion Competency Assessor Integrated Care
20 Years’ Service
Amanda Gascoigne - Departmental Practitioner Medicine & EC
Anahi Wheeldon-Lopez -  Community Midwife Integrated Care
Barry Potthurst - HCA Medicine & EC
Catherine Myerscough - Staff Nurse Surgical Services
Claire Nelson - CAO Paediatric Diabetes Integrated Care
Deborah Thompson - Assistant Practitioner Integrated Care
Donna Hobson - Named Midwife Safeguarding Children Integrated Care
Gary Hicken - Consultant Surgeon Surgical Services
Jamie Temlett - Clinical Operations Matron Medicine & EC
Jenny Huntingdon - Birth Centre Co-ordinator Integrated Care
Julian Pasiut - Staff Nurse Surgical Services
Kathryn Wilkinson - Staff Nurse Surgical Services
Kay Lamb - Principal Technician Integrated Care
Kelly Bennett - Matron Medicine & EC
Leanne Stevens - Lead Theatre Practitioner/Clinical Educator Surgical Services
Lindsey McGarry - CAO Integrated Care
Madeleine Rice - Birth Centre Co-ordinator Integrated Care
Melissa Price Earnshaw - Lead Theatre Practitioner Surgical Services
Michael Alexander - Semi-Skilled Clinical Engineer Integrated Care
Michael King - Charge Nurse Surgical Services
Peter Thornhill - Steriliser Technician Facilities Services
Rachel Howley - Operating Department Practitioner Surgical Services
Rebecca Dilkes - Senior APT Integrated Care
Roger Start - Consultant Integrated Care
Sally Fonseca - Hip Fracture Nurse Practitioner Surgical Services
Samantha Whitehouse - MLA Integrated Care
Sheila Dowker - Occupational Therapist Integrated Care
Sue Shore - Matron Surgical Services
Teresa Parkinson - Midwife Integrated Care
Theresa Keen - Sister Surgical Services
Victoria Rotherham - Labour Ward Co-ordinator Integrated Care

It's a Dog's Life!

​It seems our Stroke Unit Rehabilitation Team is getting younger!

Ten year old Kendo, 7 year old Sumi and 9 month old Khal are Japanese Akitas and have started visiting our stroke patients receiving therapy on the Speedwell Rehabilitation Unit, courtesy of Canine Concern.

They are brought by dog handlers, and the owners of the dogs, Steve and Bev Deighton, who volunteer to spend time with the patients, recognising the therapeutic effects that dogs can give.

Steve said: “They are fantastic for dementia and stroke patients because stroking a dog is a very calming and relaxing experience and it lifts the spirits. Certainly in the case of dementia patients, it enables them to recall pets they may have had when they were younger and stimulates the mind. In all cases it helps to take their minds off their treatment and give them a moment of calm to enjoy the moment.
​To become registered as Therapy Dogs they have to undertake a strict assessment and are required to be good at sitting with the patients. They are assessed on how to take food safely when offered, be capable of sitting still when others are having conversation, and when they are subjected to simulated stressful situations to assess how they might react to sudden noises such as a fire alarm or a patient who has a sudden change in mood.

“They are very social dogs and love people so it isn’t just hospitals that we visit. We have an open invitation to the NGS Macmillan Unit and regularly visit the Nightingale children’s ward here as well as Durrant and Ashover wards. Kendo also visits schools where children may be having reading difficulty, learning and concentrating issues and it helps to relieve the pressure they put on themselves in classroom situations and has a reassuring effect.

“From our perspective we’ve both had time in hospital and wanted to put something back into the NHS. It’s very fulfilling for us to see the positive effect these lovely animals can have on recovering patients, as well as the staff. It’s calming, a talking point and a focal point away from the treatment patients may be receiving.”

Remembering a colleague and friend

The family of a much loved colleague within the CAMHS team have left the Trust a lasting gift in her memory.

On 17th September 2016, Lead Primary Mental Health Worker Diane Cooper lost her fight against Oesophageal Cancer. It shook the entire team, based on the second floor of The Den, with whom she’d worked since 1987.

Diane’s base was in an office at the Royal but she spent a lot of her time out in the community where she worked with children and their families in schools, doctors surgeries and in children’s centres to carry out mental health assessments, supporting the children and those who worked with them.
​Heather McAlister is a Consultant within CAMHS and a close friend of Diane’s, she said: “It was a very difficult time for all of us as it happened very quickly. Diane continued working right up until the end, coming to work in a wheelchair. She was incredibly dedicated to her job and loved it so much, often staying beyond her normal hours to make sure that she did right by the children she treated and the families she supported.
​“She was so thorough but she was also incredibly cheerful with such an infectious laugh that brightened up the room. But her qualities went beyond making you feel happy; she was very forthright with her views and spoke her mind whenever it was in the best interests of the children. You knew her patients were in good hands and we couldn’t have wished for a more valued colleague and friend, we really do miss her dearly.”

Diane’s love for her work and colleagues was not lost on her family. Her daughter, Kirsty, came up with the idea of donating a bench with a plaque as a memorial to their much-loved friend.

Diane’s husband Mark said: “We had a collection at Diane’s funeral which raised a substantial amount for the Macmillan Appeal to help build the NGS Macmillan Unit. We kept a little back in the hope that we could do something a bit special and Kirsty’s idea was a lovely thought. 

Kirsty (pictured above on the bench next to her Dad, Mark) added: “She talked about the team a lot and we could tell that she was a big part of their lives so we wanted to recognise that. My Dad bought the bench, arranged for the plaque to be placed on it and we got it over to the team in August. It’s been placed on a pathway, just behind the CAMHS corridor window so they can use it any time they like. It’s the least we could to recognise such a large part of Diane’s life and we hope that they get some enjoyment from it.”


​Nursing Times recognises Royal scheme

​A project undertaken to improve the relationships between the Trust and patient’s carers has been nominated for a Nursing Times Award for the work done to recognise carers.

A Trust working group was established in April 2016 to develop and implement a Carer’s Charter as part of a local care quality improvement initiative with involvement from many disciplines across the trust, contribution from external agencies such as adult social care and Derbyshire carers association, as well as vital input from carers themselves.

The Trust signed up to the Carers’ Charter in June this year, committing itself to carers and the role that they play in the treatment and care of our patients. The work done by Rebecca Cowley (picture right, with our Chief Executive Simon Morritt having signed the charter), who was the project lead, overseen by Divisional Head of Nursing for Medicine and Emergency Care Rachel Whyman, has been shortlisted for the ‘Enhancing Patient Dignity Category’ of the Nursing Times Awards 2017.
​Rachel said: “Rebecca was on secondment to get this project off the ground and put a huge amount of work into it. Achieving the goals we had set ourselves to develop and implement the Carers Charter, and for the Trust to subsequently sign their commitment to it, is far from routine, the work she did, with the help of our ward teams, was incredible. Thanks to her work and co-ordination we now have carer champions on each ward, carers passports, an educational package for staff and carer information packs, and most importantly, a growing recognition from all staff groups of the vital role carers play in high quality patient care.

“To achieve this level of recognition from The Nursing Times is a real honour and further displays the extent to which we work with patients’ carers to ensure that they, and the unique relationship they have with that relative or loved one, is included in that care.”

Rebecca added: “Carers do not always recognise that they are ‘carers’ in the broadest sense. They could see themselves more as husbands, wives, mothers, sons or close friends. It’s about recognising that fact and using the expert knowledge that they have about that particular patient to help treat the patient, improve their experience and reduce their length of stay.

But it’s more than that; we also have to recognise that the individual needs to be supported in their role as a carer. It’s up to us to recognise that role as a carer in visitors and relatives. One of our commitments is to ensure that staff are trained in carer recognition and to help carers by pointing them in the direction of support agencies that are available.”

The charter was signed by the Chief Executive Simon Morritt during National Carer’s Week, to demonstrate the commitment that the trust has made to carers.

Rachel and Rebecca will be going to London to present their work to a judging panel in September, and the winners will be announced at a ceremony in December.


Linda's Perspective

Our Head of Midwifery has had an article published in The National Childbirth Trust’s (NCT) quarterly magazine about her and the Trust’s approach to supporting parents through stillbirth.

Linda Gustard has worked very closely with a lady called Sarah Smith (picture together, left) who wrote a book, ‘Life After Stillbirth – Your New Normal’, with the support of Linda and the Chesterfield Royal Hospital Charitable Funds. This work was done after Sarah lost her son, Joel, on her due date and struggled with a lack of information following his funeral.

Linda listened to Sarah’s concerns and for her idea of a book and supported her in the writing and publication of the book which is now handed out to parents who have experienced a stillbirth.
​Linda said: “Here in Chesterfield, we pride ourselves on being sensitive to the needs and emotions of parents under these very sad circumstances. Birth and death are supposed to be separated by a lifetime and it’s the complete absence of life from stillbirth can become difficult for anyone who hasn’t experienced such a loss to understand. Mothers need to feel connected to their baby in terms of contact in the same way as if their baby were alive, they have given birth after all, fathers need to be involved and our midwives are fully trained in assessing the many different situations circumstances that can result and we have a bereavement service and dedicated room.

“Sarah described her experience here at the hospital as comforting and helpful but it didn’t necessarily prepare her for what was to come. I had always thought that the information we gave to parents was adequate, certainly we hadn’t heard anything from parents to the contrary, but it became clear from having spoken to Sarah that there were gaps. The information contained very little following the funeral and this was why Sarah used the expression ‘Your New Normal’, meaning that nothing would be same again.

“We regularly review and update our procedures and pathways and it was important to me to make sure we took this forward and included it as part of the care we offer. We now offer help and advice about returning to work, marking anniversaries of the baby’s death, addressing the different relationships within families and how to recognise and deal with negative emotions and the reactions of others. This all ties in with our Service of Remembrance that we hold every year on the Sunday after Easter for those who have experienced such a loss to join together and remember their baby.”

You can read Linda’s article in the summer issue of the NCT’s magazine ‘Perspective’ by clicking here.


A place on the top table for Royal midwife...

​One of our midwives has been elected to the Royal College of Midwives Board after nearly 25 years at the Royal.

Pauline Twigg joined as a student midwife 24 years ago before making it official with her professional qualifications three years later.  She decided to put herself forward as a candidate having completed a secondment with the RCM as a case worker, thoroughly enjoying this role, and was asked if she’d consider standing.

Pauline said “I talked to our Head of Midwifery, Linda, wo was very supportive of the idea and, having been an RCM rep for more than ten years, I really enjoyed working with the RCM and supporting midwifery and maternity services. I wanted to get more involved. It was a national election with all members of the Royal College of Midwives able to vote and, as a candidate, I had to submit a paper explaining what I stand for and why I should be elected.  Following the voting process I got an email telling me I’d been successful and her I am; a board member for the RCM.

“As a board member we look very closely at the college governance and the financial side of things as well as having a presence on some of the different committees within the organisation.  I don’t know what committees I’ll be a part of, I imagine that will come a little further down the line once I get to grips with the role.  I will also be involved in events such as the RCM conference, where I will take part in running sessions, and being a board presence throughout the whole conference.  I begin my training in July and my first board meeting as an elected member will be in September down in London.”

As well as being a boost to Pauline’s standing as a midwife and a great addition to her CV, it is fantastic news for the Trust as well.  Pauline will be able to support the Chesterfield Maternity Team as they adapt in the rapidly changing world of midwifery.
​Pauline added “It’ll keep the Trust in the know about changes in maternity services, and that close connection with the professional body will support us to adapt.  We won’t necessarily have a direct advantage, but the contacts I will be able to make and access to learning will be invaluable moving forward and I’m very much looking forward to being involved.”


Walking across hot coals...

​A colleague in our Procurement team is walking across hot coals to help raise money for two causes in memory of her brother.

Zoey Henchliffe’s brother, Christopher (pictured left), was killed by a single punch whilst on a night out in Chesterfield and she has organised the event, taking place on 27th August at the Olde House pub on Loundsley Green Road in Chesterfield, along with her Mum, Yvonne.

Chris died on 12th July 2016, nine days after he was assaulted during a night out. 22 year old Benjamin Edwards was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for his manslaughter following a six day trial at Nottingham Crown Court.

Chris was transferred to the Neurosciences department of the Royal Hallamshire Hospital from the Chesterfield Royal; Zoey and her family are looking to raise money for Neurocare who raise money for that department and also for the Royal British Legion as Chris was in the Army for four years.

She said: “We all miss him so much; he was a lovely man, father, and a brilliant brother to me. We’ve tried hard to raise awareness of how one punch can be fatal and promoting drinking soft drinks in town, including a campaign to ‘Stay Cute and Dilute’. That’s what this event is in aid of, the two charities and the message we want to spread, but we wanted to do something that would involve families and be fun.

“We wanted it to include something we’d never done before and, I still have no idea why, my mum suggested fire walking. It certainly fell into that ‘try something new’ category and the more we looked into it, the more we realised that it was possible, could be incorporated into a fun day and attract sponsorship.

“For those taking part and raising money there will be an hour’s training and then the main event takes place at 7pm. We’ve also got a DJ all day, Spire Limos offering rides, strongman Simon ‘Power’ Plant will be performing feats of strength on the day as well as the usual raffles, lucky dips, stalls and face painting.
​“It’ll be a great day and sponsor forms for the event will be £20 to cover the costs of the walk, the rest will be split between the two charities. I think it’s something Chris would have enjoyed and anyone can come along, I think the day allows for around 300 people so it should be a great atmosphere.”

The event starts at 2pm until midnight on Sunday 27th August at The Olde House pub in Newbold. If you would like to get involved then you can contact Zoey via email on  for a sponsor form or contact Yvonne on 07926523768. You can also donate to their Just Giving page by clicking here.


Colleagues come together

​The quick thinking of a colleague and a marvellous example of joined up care has led to a speedy recovery for one of the Decontamination Unit team who suffered a heart attack at work.

Kevin Kellett is a Decontamination Assistant and was experiencing tightness in his chest shortly after arriving for work at 6am on Friday 21st April. He went to see his colleague, Training and Quality Co-Ordinator Debbie Bradshaw, who took him into the tea room to sit him down.

Debbie said: “He told me that he thought it might be heartburn but his colour had drained so I was a little concerned. He said he’d been changing the chemicals in EDU so I went in to check that he’d not ingested or inhaled anything that might have caused the chest pains but everything seemed fine. When I got back to him he looked even paler but he still said that he was generally feeling okay.
​“I’d been the department’s trained first aider and remembered some of that training so, to me, something didn’t seem right, by this time he’d laid down to make himself more comfortable. I spoke to Carol, who was the supervisor, and she agreed that he looked in a bad way so I decided to call the crash team.”

Kevin added: “I didn’t think I needed it but within a few minutes one of the team were there with the rest of them running in very soon after. They asked me questions, took my details and within a few minutes the porters were there with a bed and I was being taken to ED.

“By 6.30am I was lying in Resus with nurses and doctors all around me. They had given me morphine which probably led to the strange feeling I had because I really couldn’t feel much. There was no pain that you think you’d associate with a heart attack.”

Debbie said: “The crash team were incredible and were there within moments, some of them ran from the other side of the hospital and I’m sure that, if it wasn’t for their quick response, the outcome could have been very different. It was at the point when Kevin was in resus that we received the call from ED about contacting his wife because arrangements were being made to blue light him to Sheffield.”

Kevin was rushed to Sheffield Teaching Hospital where he was receiving treatment, including having a stent inserted, within three hours of Debbie’s initial call. “I was lucid and watching them do it on the monitors,” said Kevin, “which was very strange but fascinating at the same time. I don’t think I realised during those moments just how serious it was, or even that it was happening to it me…it was all so quick and efficient.

“I can only imagine what my wife must have thought as she drove to Sheffield and what she expected to find when she arrived. When she walked in the room I felt fine, I was sat up in bed, kind of wondering what the fuss was all about. I was there for another three and a half hours before being transferred to Bassetlaw where I live. I spent a couple of days there and was discharged home where I’ve been able to undergo therapy and rehab.

“It still seems incredible to me now that I was in three different hospitals in the space of about six hours. The joined up care between these hospitals and the East Midlands Ambulance Service was so efficient on the day that it may well have saved my life and has certainly helped me to recover faster. I managed to make it back to work within six weeks on a phased return and feel fit as a fiddle but I’m taking the doctors’ advice and taking it easy!

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the way they treated me, especially the crash team who were working that day. Without their incredibly fast and professional response things may have been very different for me.”

Debbie added: “I’m glad that I remembered by first aid training and it still sends me into a cold sweat to think of what might have happened otherwise and if we had waited before making that call. It just goes to show how important basic first aid training can be and you never know when you’re going to need it. I’m just glad that Kevin is okay and we’re delighted to have him back.”


Coming together to celebrate Eid

​Medical staff from across the Trust came together to celebrate Eid, marking the end of Ramadan.

One of our Emergency Department Doctors, Firasat Khan and Dr Murad, an Acute Medical Consultant, arranged for a meal to celebrate Eid that took place this lunchtime in our Relax@theRoyal staff area.

Dr Khan said: “This is the Muslim equivalent of Christmas celebrations and marks the end of a month of fasting with a celebratory feast. Myself and a group of my colleagues set up a Whatsapp group to co-ordinate this and have opened up an invitation to colleagues of all faiths across the Trust to join us. Our Chief Executive came with our Medical Director Gail Collins and we asked colleagues in other areas including Anaesthesia, Medicine, Surgery and Orthopaedics to extend the invitation.

“I think it’s important to celebrate the diversity that this Trust has and I can’t think of a better way of doing that than involving others in this important Muslim festival. Those who felt comfortable joined us in prayer and celebration and I would like to thank the catering team for providing us with such a wonderful meal and allowing us to come together and mark this occasion.”
​The group of doctors that organised the ceremony all put money towards the feast. The catering team put on a menu of chicken curry and rice for the main course followed by dessert with tea, coffee and soft drinks.

Reverend Colin Barrick was involved in its inception, he said: “I think it’s wonderful that we’re all coming together in this way to celebrate one of the most important days in the Muslim calendar. It’s true what they say that we have more in common than what divides us and I know that the Muslim community has been working very hard to raise awareness of Ramadan, what it means and involve people in the incredible feast to mark its passing.

“At this and any hospital, we all come together, we treat everyone, people who work here serve everyone and joining together to celebrate this occasion is the right thing to do. It’s the first time we’ve marked Eid as a Trust and I very much look forward to doing it again next year.”

Simon Morritt is the Trust’s Chief Executive and attended the Eid celebration. He said: “I’m honoured to have been invited and it was a pleasure to mark one of the Muslim faith’s most important ceremonies. As a Trust we make a real point of marking Easter and Christmas and I think it’s important that we all come together and do the same to recognise other festivals.

“At this Trust we pride ourselves on the diversity of staff, both in terms of ethnicity and religious beliefs, so it’s great to see us recognise this. I’d like to thank Dr Khan, Dr Murad and everyone else involved in organising this Eid celebration for sharing the day and bringing this Trust together to mark the occasion.”

You can view pictures from the event in the slideshow above, to view the full gallery please click here.

Education Awards Ceremony 2017

Adult learning has been celebrated at our annual Education Awards Ceremony which, this year, saw Chief Executive Simon Morritt say a few words with awards presented by Partner Governer Lynn Tory and Deputy Director of Nursing and Patient Care Bridget O'Hagan.

It's a wonderful occasion where months, and sometimes years of hard work to further develop careers are rewarded with academic achievement in the form of certificates, badges and diplomas. By keeping up to date with learning and training we are better able to give our patients the best possible care and this Trust does all that it can to support our staff in accessing and completing this training.
Not everyone was able to attend these awards but we have listed all of those who achieved their qualifications below as well as their area of learning. You will also see a virtual gallery above which you can look at, if you would like to see a more traditional then we have set one up, to view simply click here. Here is a roll call of the individuals who successfully completed their training, congratulations to each and every one of you...

Safe Electrical Isolation and Safe Electrical Panel Entry
Ross Martin, Steven Gregg, Kamen Ducker, Jamie Holland, Dominic Heath.

CMI Level 2 Team Leading
Ian Hemsworth, Steve Hollingworth, Jackie Jordan, Alan McPhail, Dave Spencer, Stuart Russell, Margaret Wright, Eric Thornhill, Trina Jackson, Anna Swift, Pat Wigmore, Ami Archer-Barker, Lynn Backhouse, Jake Stone, Nicci Penk.

CIEH Level 2 Food Safety Award
Aimee Jackson, Ionna Papadatou, Sandra Kirk, Joanne Davis, Jenny Dunsmore

CIEH Level 3 Award in Supervising Food Safety in Catering Freshness
Jenny Stone

BTEC Level 3 Award delivery of Conflict Resolution
Peter McKinley-Smith

NEBOSH National Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety/ Institue of Fire Engineers Accredited Fire Risk Assessors Course
Neil Rowley

Certificate in Human Resources Practice Level 3 (QCF)
Helen Sadler

Foundation Degree in Business Management
Anne Limb

NHS Leadership Academy Mary Seacole Programme Award
Gemma Cort

Level 2 Apprenticeship IT, Software, Web and Telecoms Professional
David Poole

Level 3 Apprenticeship Health Pharmacy Services
Ellie Varley

AMSPAR Level 2
Richard Glogley, Pauline Goddard, Julie Haslam, Felicity Merrin, Sarah Pyne, Lesley Webb, Nicola Williams, 

AMSPAR Level 3
Georgina Baddley, Jo Stansfield Skelding

First Line Management Development Programme
Kerry Daff, Angela Downes, Laura Bissett, Donna Tuck, Pauline Williams

Foundation Degree in Healthcare Play Specialism
Charlotte Jones

Promoting Quality Care for People with Dementia - Facilitator Training
Joanne Borea, Jo-Ann Bowman, Louise Burton, Emma Johnson, Denise Richards

Promoting Quality Care for People with Dementia
Sheree Bradshaw, Tracey Hodkin, Rheanna McPhail, Anna Jenkins, Carolyn Milner, Karen Newton, Editha Pintor, Elisabeth Roe, Rebecca Smith, Karen Squires, Laura Stewart, Yovana Ward.

Best Practice in Dementia Care for Healthcare Assistants
Janet Brown, Abigail Pickup, Samantha Ellis, Kelly Spencer, Anna Griffiths, Joanne Rees, Jemma Landicho, Carol Roberts, Bethany Leusby, Wendy Swift, Maria Pickering, Mary Whittle, Alison Burrows, Stevie Jones, Lucy Collumbine, Emma Lennox, Susan Diggle, Debra Peploe, Laura Harrison, Ronald Ramos, Emma Hopkinson, Jodie Owen.

Mentoring in Practice
Lorna Bothamly, Sheree Bradshaw, Tracy Coppinger, Stacey Elbelkasy, Hayley Gregory, Sharon Jarvis, William Kinsey, Aimi McKinley, Sarah Moulds, Joanne Oldale, Samantha Pennell, Rachel Revill, Kimberley Smith, Diane Stevenson, Alessandro Squarcina, Julie Whitmore, Amanda Hardy, Ambilimol James, Carla Grundy, Donna Taylor, Holly McLean, Jade Alexandra Fisher, Julian Francis Atkinson, Kelly Spencer, Lorna Bateman, Nicola Mallen, Rebecca Massey, Rebecca Dixon, Shelley Jones, Stephanie Blakeley, Nicola Imrie, Colette Dye, Deborah Lievesley, Kelly Oliver, Rebecca Hewins.

Sign Off Mentor Workshop
Elizabeth Haslam, Laura Keane, Emma Smith, Samuel Badger, Donna Jarvis, Vivian Mwashita, Susanne Glasby, Maria Coleman.

Sign Off Mentor Preparation for Midwives
Hannah jenkins, Kerry Newton, Lindsay Starkey.

Preceptor Preparation
Charlotte Adams-Heath, Ryan Barnett, Cheryl Baker, Tamisha Bayford-Wynn, Amy Booker, Joanne Borea, Lorna Bothamley, Lorraine Brooks, Siobhan Browne, Melissa Bulloch, Shelley Butler, Caroline Cook, Helen Corfield, Lauren Dack, Jennifer Dann, Joshua Draper, Joanne Earrye, Caroline Flint, Vcitoria Grayson, Rebecca Hall, Beverley Harvey, Susan Hawkin, Julie Hopkins, Donna Jarvis, Lisa Lewis, Claire Mestdagh, Karen Newton, Virginia Pearson, Margaret Peat, Sarah Renwick, Sarah Ridal, Rebecca Sears, Emma Sharp, Susan Shore, Karen Squires, Lesley Swale, Irene Villmora, Carly Walsh, Bronwen Waring, Rebecca Wilks, Sally-Anne Wright.

QCF Level 2 in Clinical Healthcare Support
Diane Burgess, Leanne Carter, Rebecca Gipson, Kirsty Miles, Hayley Pickles, Abigail Pickup.

QCF Level 3 in Clinical Healthcare Support
Paula Groves, Bekki Lawes, Deborah Wilcock, Carol Turner, Rebecca Wilson.

Care Certificate Supervisors
Katie Glassbrook, Gemma Mitchell, Lola Moore, Joanne Rees, Keri Whatley

Care Certificate
Lorraine Bagnall, Jacqueline Ball, Rachel Barker, Diane Barksby, Kathryn Bingham, Claire Birch, Jess Bittles, Carole Bramley, Stephanie Brassington, Helen Brown, Aimee Bryan, Mary Callender, Zoe Crawley, Tracy Crofts, Natasha Crossland, Louise Davidson, Joanne Davies, Alison Galloway, Michelle Gascoigne, Gemma Gayles, Michael Hall, Lindsay Hall, Jane Hall, Julie Hallam, Bethany Higgins, Charlotte Hulatt, Marie Jenkinson, Susan Jobi, Kylie Kasprzycki, Danyel Kelly, Soumya Kuriakose, Michaela Lance, Lindsay Lowde, Suzanne Lowe, Catherine Mansbridge, Carla Marsh, Sophie McCardle, Susan Morris, Danielle Oldfield, Dawn Parkes, James Pickess, Chelsea Porter, Nicole Porter, Sarah Putland, Bethany Ravey, Jodie Rodgers, Amanda Rose, Julie Rowley, Fiona Schmidt, Debbie Sharpe, Katie Spencer, Karen Stevenson, Adam Torincsi, Kari-Lynne Whitaker, Claire Whitbread, Melanie Wilson, Stephanie Wright, Sarah Wright.

Thank you and congratulations to you all!


Trek of a Lifetime!

Two of our staff nurses are going to Nepal for two weeks to lend their medical skills to villagers who really need it.

Helen Kearney (pictured, left) and Megan Wood (right) are staff nurses on Ridgeway ward and will be flying to Kathmandu in September, from where they will undertake a six hour hike, set up camp and provide medical treatment for the surrounding villages. It’s part of the Trekt Adventure ‘Medical Treks’ which allows people with experience of healthcare and clinical practice to volunteer their skills to local villagers.

Helen said: “I’d always wanted to do some kind of volunteering and got talking to Megan about it so we decided to look together. We initially looked at Africa but that was more about volunteering whereas the one in Nepal looked much more ‘hands on’ in terms of medical work and being able to provide these villagers with a nurse for a day appealed to both of us.

“For many of these villagers it represents their only chance to see a doctor or nurse; these settlements are incredibly remote. According to the website and testimonials you can see up to 150 people at the clinic, which is set up in our camp, and the range of conditions can be anything from very mild, common symptoms to Polio which we don’t really come across here and some conditions that doctors haven’t been able to diagnose. It’s a genuine chance to help people less fortunate than ourselves, develop our own skills and experience something that could be truly life changing for us.”

The camp usually consists of fourteen doctors and nurses, some volunteers and they will have their own cook and guide. The team will hike for a day before setting up the clinic for the following day so every other day will be a hike further into remote Himalayan wilderness. The village surroundings are very mountainous and there is lots of wildlife but Helen and Megan are prepared for that.
​Megan added: “I want to prove to myself that I can handle it in the wild and also that I can transfer the skills I’ve learnt on the ward into a challenging community setting. I qualified as a nurse in March 2016 so me and Helen have known each other a while and I know we can support each other if we have a wobble out there. Helen has more experience than me having been travelling and backpacking before.

“There’s a lot we need to prepare for, not least the food and water. There are no taps out there so we need to make sure we have water purification, there are vaccines to think about and it will be tough physically. But we will also have an amazing time. The villagers put on tribal shows and ceremonies for us including dancing and music which will be a once in a lifetime experience. We’re very lucky to have the chance to go and we’d like to thank our senior matron for authorising the time and supporting us in being able to do this.”

Helen and Megan will fly out on 8th September for the trek which will start on 12th…we’ll catch up with them when they get back, we’re sure they’ll have some stories to tell!!!


A Very Close Shave

​Our Ophthalmic Photographer has taken a little off the top by shaving his head for the Little Princess Trust having spent almost an entire year growing it!

Jake Oakley (above left and right, before and after!) spent a large part of 2016 raising a considerable amount of money, almost £20,000, for Breast Cancer Care in his role as captain of a Ice Hockey Team that took part in the UK Forums All Stars Tournament in the summer. However, in his own words he wanted to ‘give more than just money’ which became the inspiration behind his latest charitable activity.

Jake said: “I’d had a stubble for quite a long time so decided to let it grow for a bit along with my hair and people started to say that it suited me so I carried on for a bit. I’d always had short hair before and my sister had at one point wanted to donate her hair to the Princess Trust so I thought it was something that I could on behalf of both of us.

“I’d wanted to do more and something a little bit different than just fundraising and this certainly fit the bill. Some of it was difficult, my beard was difficult to maintain and I did have to give it a little trim from time to time because it came back looking like a good hedge. But I enjoyed doing it and I gave myself a new look that I may well try out again some time.”

Jake entrusted his locks to a Hair Salon in Greenhill, a friend of his co-owns the Ambiance Hair Salon where he took the hot seat to go ‘under the scissors’.

“It was a little nerve wracking,” admitted Jake, “as I’d grown attached to my hair if you pardon the pun and it was a drastic change. In order to send it over to the Princess Trust they are quite specific about how it needs to be cut. I had to have my hair in plaits which is definitely a new look for me as it was past shoulder length by this time, to ensure they get as much as possible. They then get shaved off, placed into a bag and put in the post which was all very strange.

“It feels odd now as it’s quite a weight to take off. My head feels a lot cooler now, although in the sun it also feels hotter as there is nothing protecting my scalp. Feeling the wind on my head instead of in my hair will take some getting used to. I’m not sure which style I prefer, probably somewhere in between but I’m very pleased that I did it and I hope that it will help children struggling with hair loss, far less fortunate than myself.”

You can still donate to Jake's cause through his Just Giving page by clicking here.

​One of our own named Student Midwife of the Year

​One of the student midwives on placement at the Royal has been named Student Midwife of the Year 2017 by The Nursing Times.

Claire Vinter is in her third and final year as a student at the University of Nottingham and was nominated for her second year on placement. All student midwives across the country are eligible for the award and Claire was one of only ten who made the shortlist.

She said: “I had to go down to the Nursing Times headquarters and sit in front of a panel whilst they asked me questions, which was incredibly daunting. They asked me questions such as in what way I think I’m a role model, I had to give them an example of challenging practice or people, how would winning the award change the way I approach my work and what does midwifery mean to me?
​“The awards were held at London Hilton on Park Lane with a big screen, it was a very plush ceremony and I really didn’t expect to win. In fact I recorded it on my phone, expecting to film someone else going up. When my name was announced you can just see the phone shake and me screaming! I really couldn’t believe it and it’s such an honour, the plaque’s got my name on it as well so I get to keep it, I’m so pleased with it.”

Claire is on her final year at the Royal but also spent time on placement at the Derby Royal Hospital. She will graduate in August and be a fully qualified midwife in September.

“We tend to do placements in more than one hospital now,” she added, “because there were concerns that midwives were becoming clones of their mentors. By spending time in more than one place you get to know different methods of working, learn different techniques and experience different environments.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and all of my choices at school were geared towards a career in care. I was a Maternity Assistant here at the Royal for five years and did an NVQ Level 3 in Maternity and Paediatric Support. I also did an access course supported by the Royal so I had experience of this sort of environment and learnt a lot before I even got to University.

“I’ve been very lucky to work with some incredibly supportive mentors and colleagues who have given me the confidence to keep working hard during this very difficult and demanding degree. It’s fantastic to get that level of support and belief from the hospital and my colleagues, support that has been an added incentive for me to do well and make this a success.”

So, to paraphrase the panel who interviewed her ahead of the awards, what does midwifery mean to Claire?

“What does it mean to me? It’s hard to put into words. It’s a part of who I am and I really can’t see me doing anything else. It’s an opportunity for me to be there at a point in a woman’s life that changes things forever and turns a woman into a mother, a couple into a family. It’s not just about giving birth, although it’s partly about making that moment as calm, comfortable and straightforward as possible and be the person to tell her ‘you can do this’, giving her that belief and reassurance that she’s doing everything right. It’s also about following that person through their pregnancy and into motherhood so it’s a journey rather than being about a moment in time. Why would I want to do anything else when I can do that?”


​Speech and Language mark Swallowing Awareness

​The Speech and Language Team has been raising awareness about Dysphagia and the problems surrounding swallowing.

You might wonder what speech and language has to do with swallowing and the answer is anatomical. Speech and language therapists study the head and neck structures in great detail, part of which is an understanding that the food pipe and wind pipe are right next to each other. This presents the risk of food and drink going down the wrong way when somebody is unwell. The body has protective mechanisms in place to prevent this from happening but sometimes these may not work sufficiently.

Kerry Danaher is one of our speech and language therapists, she says: “A lot of the patients we see who may have speech and language difficulties, particularly stroke, may also suffer from swallowing problems. As we have a good understanding of this particular part of the anatomy it has become our area of expertise and part of the work we do.

“Our awareness event centred on Dysphagia which is a broad term used to define a range of symptoms. It could be that a person suffers pain when they swallow, something gets stuck in their throat or even their mouth; there could be an odd sensation when they swallow such as burning or it could be something that we see clinically.
​“The biggest complication is food and drink going down the wrong way which activates the cough reflex. This is called Aspiration and can lead to Pneumonia which has the potential to be disastrous in vulnerable groups and the elderly. What we try and do is reduce the risk of Aspiration and improve the experience of eating and swallowing which most of us take for granted but is of huge importance to us in day to day life.”
​Part of the experience of which the team were aiming to raise awareness was the role of pureed food. They arranged for breakfast, a selection of lunchtime courses and puddings to be brought from the hospital kitchens to their stall outside the EMU spine to invite people to sample the food. They also challenged themselves and Chief Executive Simon Morritt (picture right with Head of Adult Speech and Language Therapy Michaela Wright) to spend a day eating only pureed food.

Simon added: “I was happy to accept and it represented a good opportunity for me to put myself in the position of a patient with swallowing difficulties. I found it surprisingly difficult, we can all cope without eating for a short period of time but what struck me was how much satisfaction you get from the texture and chewing of your meal that you just don’t get from pureed food. The nutrition and flavour is still there but you can’t savour it in the same way so I can see how it would affect you over time.”
​Kerry added: “We also took part in the challenge and the whole awareness event was a learning curve for us as well. We don’t see what goes into the making of this food and what goes on behind the scenes to make the pureed meals as appetising and nutritious as possible, to make it presentable on the plate and make certain that it’s safe for our patients’ dietary and swallowing needs.

“The challenge was also fascinating and those of us that took part were surprised at how much we were affected on an emotional, psychological and physical level. We had made assumptions about how it affects our bodies and how we might react to it but until you try it for an extended period you can never truly understand what it means to not be able to eat solid food.”

You can take a look at the web page and blog that our Speech and Language Team created and maintained for European Swallowing Awareness Day by clicking here.

Extra qualifications for our leaders

Three of our senior leaders have made it through the prestigious Nye Bevan Programme.

Director of Nursing and Patient Care Lynn Andrews (left), Director of Workforce and Organisational Development Zoe Lintin (right) and Assistant Director of Finance John Williams (centre) completed the intensive, 12 month programme and attended their awards ceremony earlier in March to collect their certificates.

The programme has been designed to develop senior leaders to better meet operational challenges and enable change. It has been tailored specifically towards experts in health and organisational performance, offering support and learning to build personal resilience, confidence and capabilities for effective leadership.

Lynn Andrews said: “It’s been an incredible experience and an honour to complete the programme which has been a real challenge for all of us, particularly in the current NHS climate. From my perspective of delivering effective patient care, it has offered great insight into how my role as a leader allows me to inspire our teams at ward level to see the challenges we face within the NHS from a different perspective. Our aim is to put the patient at the centre of everything that we do. The insight I’ve gleaned from this programme will stand this Trust in good stead in terms of the contributions I can make to improving and maintaining good quality patient care at this Trust and I look forward to putting what I’ve learned into practice.”
​John Williams added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the programme and have already been able to apply elements of the learning to my own role within the Trust. In particular I’ve been focussing on the importance of patients being at the centre of decision making and listening and supporting our people to make changes to improve the care we provide to our patients. I have also enjoyed the opportunity to develop knowledge and experience around Systems Leadership; supporting the development of our local Derbyshire Sustainabity and Transformation Plan (STP) working with colleagues across the Health and Social Care sector within Derbyshire.

Zoe Linton said: “This has been a great experience and unlike any other development course in which I have taken part. We were encouraged to think about different perspectives across the wider health and social care system. It was valuable, insightful and gave me the opportunity to meet new colleagues from a range of organisations, professions and areas of the country which helped to look at the bigger picture and learn new ways of approaching different situations. It helped to support me in my Acting Executive role and I can put it into practice within my new substantive role.”

The programme provides individuals with the skills to succeed at executive level, enhance and influence local policies, focus on their own behaviours to improve organisational outcomes and patient care and enact positive change to improve patient experience, staff engagement and morale. The Royal as an organisation will also benefit with skills developed to help in the retention of staff, improve leadership across the Trust, strengthen the effectiveness of the board and instil stronger preparation for the challenges ahead.

The Royal’s Chief Executive Simon Morritt said: “It’s no small feat to complete this programme and I’d like to congratulate Lynn, Zoe and John on behalf of the Board and the rest of the Trust. Leadership is crucial at this time of change within the NHS and we need to be smarter about the way we approach the challenges currently facing this Trust. I know that some of the work done by Lynn, Zoe and John during the programme has already begun to influence other leaders within the Royal and my hope is that the entire Trust will benefit from their involvement in the programme as we move forward.”


​Two Royal Apprentices Shortlisted for Regional Award

​Two of our Apprentices have been shortlisted for the North Midlands and South Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards 2017. 

Ellie Varley, who is based in Pharmacy, and Sarah Hazeldine from the Research team were both recently recognised at the Royal’s own Apprenticeship awards. They were put forward for the regional award and have been shortlisted for the ceremony which will take place on 16th May 2017. 

Ellie (left)completed her Pharmacy apprenticeship in 2016 and has secured a permanent job at The Royal.  She said, “You really have to put hard work into an apprenticeship but it’s worth it for the opportunities that open up afterwards. It’s completely different from classroom learning and gets you used to what it’s like having a career. It’s not just the responsibilities of the job, it’s about your responsibilities, getting here on time, working with and dealing with other people. It’s another way of learning a skill and it’s really paid off for me with a full time job doing something that I enjoy.”

Martin Shepherd, Head of Medicines Management said: “The apprenticeship initiative plays a vital role  in supporting the training of pharmacy technicians who undertake  such important work in the safe and effective  management of medicines for patients cared for by the hospital.  The enthusiasm, energy and dedication of the young people who we have trained, and are currently training with us, is very encouraging and serves as inspiration to all members of the pharmacy team.” 
​Sarah (right) was on a short term contract with her previous employer before discovering the apprenticeship scheme, starting at the Royal in June 2014. Her time was split between the Human Resources Support Office and the Education Centre teams before she moved to the Research team in October 2014, completing her apprenticeship in August 2015.

She said: “I started my Level 3 BTEC in Business Administration in January 2016 and am due to finish that in July this year. I really enjoy it here with the Research team and would love to stay if they’ll have me. With apprenticeships you get the best of both worlds, the experience of working whilst continuing to learn and develop, and I would urge anybody thinking of undertaking an apprenticeship to give it a go.”

Hayley Watts, Apprenticeship Champion, said, ‘We’re delighted for Sarah and Ellie and remain very keen on supporting our local community and helping people to start their careers in healthcare here with us at The Royal. We’ve always supported apprentices and our managers are only too aware of the benefits that welcoming a new individual with fresh ideas and skills can bring’.

It’s an incredible achievement for both Ellie and Sarah and everybody at the Royal wishes them the very best of luck.


Supporting our Midwives

​The Maternity Service at Chesterfield Royal Hospital has introduced a new role to allow midwives more time to carry out the duties that only midwives can do.

Four midwifery support workers have completed their twelve week induction and competency assessment to enhance the care that our midwives already provide, working with midwives out in the community.

Sarah Petty is the Senior Matron for Midwifery, she said: “The aim of this new role is to enhance the care that our community midwives offer by providing support in tasks that don’t necessarily need to be performed by a qualified midwife. We talked through the support role with our midwifery team and identified areas where they felt support would be beneficial for them in terms of freeing up time to carry out tasks that only a midwife can do.
​“We now have four whole time equivalent midwifery support workers and they have just finished their three month induction and training programme. They were supervised by a midwife during home visits throughout that period and can now carry out those visits on their own, talking to new mums about feeding support, carrying out the heel prick test and weighing babies. These tasks, whilst of huge importance to the baby’s development, take community midwives’ time away from more complex queries and this new role bridges that gap perfectly.”

The group (picture above, left to right, and below with their mentors), Kate Swindell, Nina Crowther, Laura Carr and Frances Reed, started as Midwifery Support Workers in December and are now able to carry out their duties independently. Before then they were mentored and supervised by community midwives with each of them assigned to one of the midwifery bases.

​Laura said: “We’re thoroughly enjoying the job and it’s great to be a part of the antenatal and postnatal care. As well as the clinical work, antenatally we have been trained to carry out meaningful conversations with regards to healthy eating and lifestyle, talk about birth plans and feeding. Postnatally we will see new Mums on day three and five to have further conversations about infant feeding as well as looking for signs of things such as jaundice or if the baby is passing water and stools properly.”

Frances added: “For the Mums it’s a case of taking bloods, checking blood pressure and checking their BMI as well as being able to carry out the Glucose Tolerance Tests. In terms of the baby, our visits are very much about the general wellbeing and we’re able to answer questions ourselves or take the more complex queries back to the midwives.”
​Nina said: “What is interesting is that, as we’ve now been doing this for more than three months, we’ve started seeing some of the ladies, who we initially saw antenatally, with their babies and they’ve recognised us. For me that’s a real pleasure and demonstrates that our role in their pregnancy has been significant and worthwhile so I’m looking forward to building on that. The experience we’re getting from seeing these ladies in their homes is invaluable and we’ve received good feedback from them and from the midwives who have been mentoring us.”

“That’s been one of the most pleasing aspects,” added Kate. “I’ve worked at the Royal for a while so for me it’s a developmental role and the midwives have really welcomed us and been incredibly supportive with the training and advice. They’re used to having students with them so the mentoring side came very naturally but, from the feedback we’ve received, it’s really going to play a part in taking the pressure off and give them more time to concentrate on the work that is specific to their qualifications.”

The Trust have just taken on another two Midwifery Support Workers who have just begun their twelve week training programme. They will be fully qualified and join Laura, Frances, Nina and Kate in June.


Leading by Example

One of our Biomedical Scientists has been praised for a presentation he did about the incredible work done by his team and colleagues within Pathology.

Biomedical Science Team Leader Michael Collins was invited to the UK NEQAS (National External Quality Assessment Service) Microbiology Scientific Meeting in Bloomsbury, London where the focus was on the severe infection of Sepsis and about molecular methods of testing and diagnosing.

Michael said: “We thought that, rather than talking about the far more expensive molecular testing, my presentation would focus on how traditional methods of using blood cultures (pictured left) can result in significantly faster methods of diagnosis of an infection where quick detection is key to a favourable outcome for the patient.

“The presentation outlined how the work traditionally done by Microbiologists during what you might call ‘office hours’ are done by the Blood Science team overnight. It means that turnaround times for blood culture samples are reduced dramatically without using any additional resources other than tapping into the willingness to learn new skills and the flexibility of both teams.
​“It was an international meeting so there were representatives from hospitals all over Europe and a lot of them came up to talk to me about what we’ve done afterwards. I also got a prize for the best presentation so it’s very pleasing that what we’re doing here at Chesterfield is being recognised, not only in this country but on an international level and it’s a credit to the teams I work with for making that happen.”

The blood Culture analyser has been moved to Blood Sciences, where they work 24/7, allowing them to load cultures on receipt and begin processing any samples that signal positive, instead of being left until the following morning when the Microbiology team returns. The new way of working has seen 50% of cultures being reported within 24 hours of collection compared to just 2% for a teaching hospital.

Michael added: “The laboratory now receives 96% of cultures within 90 minutes of collection and these are loaded on the analyser within ten minutes of receipt  24 hours a day which is critical when talking about the diagnosis of Sepsis. For every hour that Sepsis remains undiagnosed, the risk of death increases by 7% so I’m certain that, thanks to the work of our Microbiology and Blood Science teams, there are people walking around Derbyshire who otherwise wouldn’t be.”


Supporting those who support our staff

​Following a number of suggestions by staff and the persistence of union representative Bridget Dunks, help and support from the Staff Partnership Committee (SPC) is now easier to find.

Staff raised concerns about a lack of privacy when waiting for disciplinary hearings and a difficulty in finding and getting hold of staff side representation. But this has changed, thanks to your suggestions.

Bridget said: “It all started when Nicky Hill, the Director of Workforce and OD at the time, gave up part of her office space. Staff attending disciplinary hearings had to wait on chairs outside the office and everybody who walked past knew precisely why they were there which was incredibly embarrassing. In giving up that office space it created an alcove, just a small space, but it was a place where we could talk in private, away from passers-by and, for me, made a huge difference.
​“The old office was based at Poplar Court which was hard to find. We had to go to Security for the key to lock it, it was dark and dismal and the wi-fi signal was patchy. When Amanda Rawlings took over from Nicky she wanted to know what I would like in an ideal world. So I asked for a room for the SPC in the main hospital building. There were a few options available but, at the time, nothing that was more appropriate than what we had at Poplar.

“We went to one of the HR huddles and the question of a wish list came up so I brought up the subject of a room again and this was seconded by many of my colleagues. It seemed clear that they wanted us on the HR corridor and it came at an opportune time as there was a great deal of re-organisation with Amanda and then Terry Alty leaving. It meant that a room had become available. So, we talked with Acting Head of Workforce and OD Zoe Lintin and Ged Holland from Security about getting a staff partnership presence in there.

“Within a few weeks we were in there and it’s made a huge difference to us and to staff wanting advice and help. For a start it’s a proper room where staff can knock on the door, come in and have a private discussion so it’s easier for them to speak out rather than meeting them in the corridor where they’re conscious of other staff walking past. All of the paperwork can be locked up more securely and, being situated at the top of the HR corridor it’s more easily accessible if we need it for a disciplinary hearing.

Sarah Harrington-Pollock is Chair of the SPC. She said: “From my point of view it’s fantastic because I work in Imaging so it’s a place that I can do to do my SPC work where confidentiality and discretion can be upheld. It can be hard to find a quiet place within Imaging but in this new office I can use the phone and desktop knowing that I can focus solely on the issues affecting that particular member of staff without distraction. It also allows myself and Bridget to work more closely together to resolve problems quickly and gives us good access to the Executive Team nearby.

Bridget added; “We feel part of the Workforce and OD team as well so in terms of our own morale and feeling valued, it’s made a difference and of course we’re easier to find. If a member of staff has any concerns or issues that they wish to discuss or need advice about, they can contact me or Sarah and we're much easier to find. This move has not just benefited myself and Sarah as part of the SPC,  but also staff across the entire Trust who now have much easier and more confidential access to our services and it’s all down to a suggestion and showing a bit of willing. This is a good example of partnership working with our colleagues on the Management Side.”


Royal Midwives back the Shoebox Appeal

One of our midwives has been instrumental in making sure that Chesterfield’s homeless don’t go without this Christmas.

Jemma Temple, her colleagues and friends helped to collect 201 boxes for the Chesterfield Homeless Christmas Shoebox Appeal which have been taken to the Whittington Cricket Ground ready to be distributed to local charities.

Jemma said: “I wanted to do something so enlisted the help of my colleagues and friends, supported by the Royal College of Midwives, to collect as many as possible. The support we had from the hospital was great, especially from the Birth Centre, Neonatal and Imaging and we collected a lot from my home town of Holmfirth as well.
​“I did it last year and only managed seventeen so set myself a target of 50 this year. I really can’t believe the response we’ve had, we pretty much filled the van with shoeboxes and I can’t thank all of those who donated enough for supporting us.”

The donated shoeboxes contain items such as books, non-perishable foods, toiletries and small items of clothing such as hats and gloves. There were three categories of donations which were the homeless, dogs and the elderly with local charities including Contact the Elderly, The Freedom Project, Pathways of Chesterfield and Church on the Bus set to distribute the boxes.
​Elaine Osbourne is from the Shoebox Appeal, she said: “This is an incredible collection and to put it into context, last year we collected 736 in total, across the region. This year we have pledged 800 but set ourselves a target of 1,200 and, with this collection from the Royal and others that we know about, we will comfortably beat that. So many people will benefit from these generous donations this Christmas, it’s overwhelming and we would like to thank Jemma and all of her colleagues and friends who have helped to make this possible.”

As well as being a midwife, Jemma (pictured right, far left) is also a Learning Rep for the Chesterfield Branch of the Royal College of Midwives, an elected position requiring her to help with the learning and development needs of her colleagues. It’s also about getting people more active in the workplace and the Trust has signed up to the Caring for You Campaign to help improve the wellbeing and safety at work of colleagues working within maternity.
​Jemma said: “I think our involvement in this appeal qualifies as part of the Caring for You Campaign because it’s created a real buzz about the Birth Centre and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed collecting on behalf of this appeal. One of the things I need to do as part of my RCM duties is to get people more active in the workplace and I’ve got plans to incorporate elements of the campaign into next year’s shoebox collection.”

The Shoebox Appeal deadline for collection has been extended to the 9th December so if you would like to make up a shoebox and donate it then you can still drop it off at the Birth Centre before that date.  


Rolling Back the Years - Celebrating Long Service!

Nicky Rollins (second from left) marking 40 years's service!
​Over the last few years, the Trust has been working hard to recognise long service within the NHS.

On Friday 18th November, colleagues who had worked within the NHS, not just at the Royal , for 20, 30 and 40 years were invited to an event at our Relax@theRoyal facility to acknowledge such a milestone.

There was more than a thousand years of NHS experience crammed into that room with each member of staff treated to a glass or two of bubbly (non-alcoholic, but the bubbles still hit the spot!), a buffet, a voucher reflecting their length of service and a special certificate to mark the occasion.

Chief Executive Simon Morritt, Chair Helen Phillips and Acting Director of Workforce and Organisational Development Zoe Lintin were there to hand out the accolades before a cake was cut to bring the celebrations to a close.

​It was one of Simon’s (picture above, far left) first major public engagements since joining the Trust in September and he said: “It’s a real honour for me to be here, surrounded by so much experience and dedication to the NHS. It’s because of people like you and your colleagues that we’re able to provide the best care possible for our patients and it’s with dedication that you’ve all shown to the service that we’ll ensure the NHS continues to provide that care for many years to come.”

Not everybody who was invited could make the celebrations but below is a list of all those that were honoured and how many years they’ve given the NHS, including Nicky Rollins, the only one from this group to work an incredible 40 years’ service…we’ll try and get hold of Nicky for an interview to feature in a future article.

A special thank you to Volunteer Services Co-ordinator Helen Kirkwood, Workforce Information and HR Support Service Officer Meesy Goodwin and the Communications Team for organising and preparing the event.
​40 Years’ Service

Nicola Rollings – Transfusion Competency Assessor

30 Years’ Service

Adam Barrow - CAMHS Service Manager
Lynn Barsby – Clinical Coding Officer
Matthew Beardshall – Lead Sonographer (Ultrasound Department)
Susan Bennett – DU Admin/Receptionist (Decontamination Unit)
Ruth Bramwell – Midwife (Trinity Ward)
​Lisa Bree – Deputy Lead Nurse (Infection Prevention Control)
Ann Davies – Patient Services Assistant (Domestic Services)
Elizabeth Ellis – Payroll System Manager
Philip Hope – Extended Scope Physiotherapy Practitioner
Stephen Hunt – Theatre Support Worker
Robert Hunt – Semi-Skilled Clinical Engineer
Julie Longmore – Accounts Officer
Patricia Martin – Mammography Co-ordinator (Breast Cancer Screening)
Jeannette Moore – Maternity Assistant (Antenatal Ward)
Patricia Moslin – Healthcare Assistant (Outpatient Suite 4)
Helen Swain – Pharmacy Technician
Jayne Tague – Head of Nursing (Surgical Services)
Jane Turner – Healthcare Assistant (Outpatient Suite 4)
​Jane Walker – Senior Matron (Surgical Services)
Linda Marceniuk – Buyer (Procurement)
Rebecca Bane – Specialist Biomedical Scientist
Julie Lyons – Senior Advisor (Assistance and Complaints)
Susan Simpson – ODP (Theatres)
Amanda Brown – Behaviour Support Nurse
Rita Tinker – Phlebotomist
Jill Perkins – Dietitian
Melanie Coy – Head of Nutrition and Dietetics
Isobel Dawson – Staff Nurse (Murphy Ward)
Paul Hetherington – Transformation Project Manager (Choices)
Mark West – Matron (EMU)
​20 years’ service

Caroline Bell – Sister (Cardiac Catheter Suite)
Stacey Burton – Matron (Medicine and Emergency Care)
Emma Cobbald – Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist – Child Health
Carole Fox – DU Assistant (Decontamination Unit)
Wendy Grimson – Nursery Nurse (Play Service)
Alison Ludditt – Medical Laboratory Assistant (Blood Services)
Karen Maddison – Receptionist (Emergency Department)
Barbara McTighe – Healthcare Assistant (Ridgeway Ward)
Andrew Moss – Staff Nurse (Ashover Ward)
Catherine Nicholson - Receptionist/Housekeeper (Neonatal Unit)
Rachel Parker – Children’s Epilepsy Nurse
Debbie Sharpe – Buyer (Procurement)
Diane Stevenson – Patient Services Assistant (Domestic Services)
​Diane Stevenson – Patient Services Assistant (Domestic Services)
Sandra Taylor – Receptionist (Cardio-Respiratory)
Susan Towner – Assistant Advisor (Assistance and Complaints Service)
Julia Tramontano – Upper GI Nurse Practitioner
Pauline Twigg – Midwife (Community Midwifery)
Sam Wain – Senior Matron (Medicine and Emergency Care)
Michaela Wright – Head of Adult Speech and Language Therapy
Keri Comins – Clinical Educator (Hasland Ward)
Tracey Kearney – Service Improvement Lead (Choices)
Sarah Petty – Senior Matron (Maternity Outpatient Services)
Rebecca Sheldon – Lead Occupational Therapist
​Susan Wright – Medical Workforce Officer
Dr Sarah Beavis – Consultant Intensivist (Medical Staff)
Gail Collins – Medical Director
Caroline Duffin – Principal Clinical Pharmacist
Julie Lawrence – Staff Nurse (Robinson Ward)
Craig Pollard – Chief Cardiac Physiologist (Cardio-Respiratory)
Janet Smedley – Healthcare Assistant (Ridgeway Ward)
Andrea Thompson – Sister (Outpatient Suite 4)
Sarah Wakefield – Service Improvement Lead/ODP (Clinical Specialist Services)
Laima Wilson – Senior Radiography Practitioner (MRI)
To see the full gallery of pictures, please click here

Adult learning leads to better patient care

​Keelie (Pictured, left) is one of nine trainee Advanced Clinical Practitioners (ACPs) who have been appointed at the Trust who are about to begin their three year training programme. The areas where the trainees will initially work include ED, EMU, Stroke, Care of the Elderly, Acute Surgery and Critical Care.

One of our current nursing team about to undertake that training is Keelie Stock who is a Sister on Eastwood Ward Stroke Unit. Keelie has worked on the Stroke Unit for seven years, four of them as Sister, and is keen to progress her role, seeing this as an ideal opportunity.

She said: “I’ve just finished a University module in Advanced Physical Assessment so was looking for something that I could do which would utilise these skills. I heard about the Advanced Clinical Practitioner role on NHS Jobs and thought it was ideal for me so applied.
​“I had heard about the role before and knew that if it came up here on the Stroke Unit that it would be a good fit for me. The role will be incorporated within this ward so in terms of my background, previous qualifications and the time I’ve spent on this ward it seemed to be a natural progression.

“I’m aware that it will be a challenge, it’s a three year course which involves one day a week at University and four placements throughout the Trust. The last of these will be a year on the ward ​where you intend to practice which, for me, will be here on the Stroke Unit. I get the best of both worlds as I end up in my area of expertise where I have progressed through nursing but gain experience of other areas to develop new skills.

​“I know there have been some concerns but our consultant, Dr Sajid, has been incredibly supportive and welcomes the appointment. He’s brought in some books for me to help in my course and says they could do with all the assistance they can get. That is the main point of the role, to give us the qualifications and capacity to pick up on some of the time consuming elements of the consultants’ duties, such as prescribing, whilst losing none of the nursing side. Speaking for stroke anything that can maximise our doctors’ time in the treatment of patients is very welcome and beneficial for everyone.

“I’m really looking forward to starting; in fact I don’t really feel like I’ve finished University since qualifying for my Nursing Diploma. Since then I’ve done a Degree in Nursing, a Stroke Diploma and of course my Advanced Physical Assessment. I think it’s vital, not just for career progression but for the continued development in knowledge and skills to be able to keep your nursing qualifications and skills set up to date.

“This course will mean that I qualify with a Masters but I know that there will still be plenty more that I need to learn to fulfil this role but it will give me a great foundation and exciting new skills, such as prescribing, which I can put to good use.”

Acting Head of Workforce and Organisational Development, Zoe Lintin, said ‘We want to make the Royal a great place to be for our staff and I am really pleased that we have been able to support the career development of one of our experienced nurses. Keelie will be a fantastic role model and hopefully encourage and support other professionals in the Trust to apply for the training.’

Keelie starts her training with the other Advanced Clinical Practitioners on 21st November.

A new name for safeguarding children

​As you may already be aware, Dr Kiran Kumar has stepped down as the named doctor for safeguarding children so we’ve got an introduction to make!

Dr Lindsay Lewis joined the Trust in early September as a General Paediatric Consultant, marking her first position as a fully-fledged consultant, and takes over the reins from Kiran as the named doctor.

Lindsay said: “As the named doctor, I will be responsible, along with Theresa Critchlow our named nurse, for ensuring that all staff training relating to safeguarding children is compliant with national requirements. Importantly too, I along with Theresa, will able to offer advice to colleagues who have any safeguarding queries or concerns relating to a child, which are not answered through their usual route. In my role I will also ensure our policies and procedures with regards to safeguarding children, are up to date and meet local and national standards.
​She added, “I’ve settled in well, we’ve got a great paediatric department here and the whole team is wonderful. I’m based in Paediatric Audiology and you can reach me on bleep 625, extn 6871 or email me on .” I do work less than full time, my usual working days are Monday to Wednesday so please bear this in mind when trying to contact me.

Lindsay completed her training at Sheffield Children’s Hospital in general paediatrics with a special interest in acute paediatrics and safeguarding. She has worked in many of the local district general hospitals and is now looking forward to her future here at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.