An update from our hospitals

Content originally from Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust

Maternity services launch focus groups to improve care
We are strengthening the support we provide to families from ethnic minority communities using our maternity services and our staff from ethnic minority backgrounds who work in our women and children’s department. To help do this, we are joining forces with existing staff and members of the local community to establish focus groups.  
The 2019 statistics from MBRRACE-UK
 the research team that collects the country’s maternal death data found that, nationally, the risk of women and babies dying during pregnancy and childbirth is three to five times higher for women who are from an ethnic minority background than for white women.

Given these facts, it’s hugely important that we understand what the challenges are and address these issues head on. The focus groups will provide the support and recommendations we need to play our part in changing these statistics for the better. By working together, we are doing our utmost to be part of the solution.

Stuart thanks staff for his care after 130 days in hospital
A patient who contracted COVID-19 before Christmas returned home this month after spending 130 days in Basildon Hospital.

Stuart Oakley was self-isolating at home when he collapsed and was rushed to hospital. When he awoke, he found that not only was he in hospital, but he was also in a different year, having missed Christmas and New Year.
Stuart said of his care: “When I woke up from the coma, I didn’t know where I was, but I was being supported by a fantastic team. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here today.”
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Targeted Lung Health Checks for Thurrock

The Targeted Lung Health checks programme was launched in Thurrock in November, with the first patients attending the mobile screening from early December. The team had to pause in January and February to support the pandemic response, but were able to restart on 22 March.

In the first two months of the programme, 980 patients were invited to take up a lung health check.

  • 403 people took part in a virtual lung health check.
  • 140 had a CT scan
  • 10 people were referred for further diagnostics for suspected cancers
  • 27 people will be asked to return for further monitoring

The CT scanning units returned to Thurrock on 19 April and are currently situated in Asda Tilbury. They will then move around the borough to ensure equitable access for residents.

Bernard Yung, Consultant Respiratory Physician, Responsible Clinician at Basildon Hospital for the Thurrock Target Lung Health Check Programme, said:

“Targeted Lung Health Checks improve early diagnosis and survival for those diagnosed with cancer. The programme focuses on areas with those likely to be most at risk of lung cancer, so it’s a vital resource to have within our local communities. Following the lung health check people assessed as high risk are offered a CT scan. All the evidence has shown that we’ve been able to find cancer earlier and then offer more treatments, such as curative surgery, which can save people’s lives. I am glad that in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic we only had to pause the service for a short time.”

Moderna jab marks new milestone in our vaccination programme

The Trust is one of the first sites to roll out the Moderna vaccine for healthcare workers and those aged 45 and over, providing even greater access to a COVID-19 vaccine to the people of mid and south Essex.

Our vaccination programme has been a big success, with over 95% of our people having received their first vaccine. Vaccination centres at Southend and Broomfield Hospitals, as well as at the Towngate Theatre in Basildon, alongside clinics run by health partners across our area, continue to provide first and second doses to staff and our local communities.

It’s important that our staff and local communities keep following the ‘Hands. Face. Space and Fresh Air’ guidance to keep ourselves and others safe from the virus.

Almost 800 patients join global COVID-19 trial

Patients across our Trust who had COVID-19 are part of a recovery research project – an international clinical trial to help us learn what treatments are effective against the virus.

Volunteers who sign up to the trial, which is on-going, are offered a range of treatments to see which helps their recovery. The research has been taking place in our hospitals since March last year.

Ashley Solieri, Group Head of Research, said: “It’s great to have almost 800 volunteers involved in this fight against COVID-19; everyone is playing their part. These amazing figures are down to the dedication of the research team and the amazing support of the clinical teams in the Trust.”

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Dr Sami Khan honoured by the Royal College of Radiologists
Dr Sami Khan has been honoured by the Royal College of Radiologists for his exceptional commitment to training during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When face-to-face training wasn’t possible, Dr Khan took his teaching online and gave access to all trainees preparing for their final exams, holding 35 intensive teaching sessions, in his own time, for free.

Dr Imran Syed, Clinical Lead for the Department of Radiology, said “Dr Khan wants the best for his trainees and has upheld this dedication throughout the pandemic, when many were reducing their teaching commitments. Over the last year Dr Khan has been on site most days, including weekends, ensuring the safe clinical delivery of radiology services, whilst also ensuring the morale of staff and trainees was prioritised at all times. We are incredibly fortunate to have him in our department; he is beacon of light to each of us.”