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May 2010
issue 17

World first for St George’s

as keyhole op saves baby


2 Staff pull out the stops for iCLIP

3 A word from David
4 No smoking day
4 Transforming patient care
5 Keyhole op saves baby
6 All the ingredients for a great
6 Patient takes gold at Winter
7 New leaflet launches Dedicated staff ensured iCLIP launch was a success
8 Spotlight on Mickey Koh
9 View from the top Staff pull out the stops
10 Focusing on patient safety for iCLIP launch
11 New Macmillan service
The iCLIP launch went ahead as management and outpatient system to
12 Hi-tech scanner trialled at planned on Monday 29th March. the trust. Subsequent phases will include
St George’s full theatre scheduling, diagnostic
Chief operating officer Patrick Mitchell
12 Robot cuts waiting times said: “Staff worked closely with ordering and resulting and a specialist
13 New approach to procurement colleagues from BT and the London critical care module.”
Programme for IT to ensure a smooth Trust chief executive David Astley was
14 Nurses rise to the challenge
transition onto the new system. We are onsite on the weekend of the launch. He
15 St George’s demonstrates cutting pleased with how things have gone so said: “This is a huge project that has
edge technology far. However, work is ongoing to required a great deal of commitment and
16 Fundraising news ensure the project remains on course hard work from people across the trust.”
and is a success. The ‘go live’ follows years of strategic
“This initial phase has replaced the planning, and months of training to
Ingredients restaurant
Lanesborough WingWing patient administration system and help people get used to working with
provides an integrated A&E, bed the system.
State of the art theatre opens
A new operating theatre has opened in the Atkinson Morley Wing as
St George’s takes its place at the heart of the trauma network covering
southwest London and Surrey.
The theatre has been built to cater for surgical specialties such
as bariatric, robotic surgery and renal transplantation
Front page picture shows Isabel Dolby, the Because trauma now has a dedicated theatre there is less risk
world’s youngest patient to have keyhole of elective operations being rescheduled to make way for
surgery for acute appendicitis, with her
mother Candice and paediatric consultant
emergency cases.
Mr Zahid Mukhtar. The new facility will increase the trust’s overall capacity for
With thanks to Mark Evenden, Media surgery by around 15 to 20 per cent.
Services, St George’s University of London, Clinical theatre manager, Alberto Castrillon, said: “The theatre
for photographic services. has been built to the highest standard so that whatever sort of
work needs to be done, it can be done there. There is an air
the gazette is written and published
Clinical theatre manager purifying system which means that a greater range of
Alberto Castrillon
by the Communications Unit. The procedures can be carried out.
opinions expressed do not necessarily “We are also working to increase the number of staff working in theatres and are
represent those of St George’s advertising in most of the main journals.”
Healthcare NHS Trust. The next edition
will be published during July 2010. If The South West London and Surrey Trauma Network covers an area with a population
you are a staff member with a story for of 2.6million people.
the gazette, please email: Under the network, instead of being sent to local district general hospitals, patients with very severe or multiple injures are being sent to St George’s, which has the
capacity and expertise to provide the best possible care.

2 the gazette
A word from David
As the gazette goes to print we Following St George’s is also making positive
are at a pivotal time in the year – the theme of changes to the hospital environment,
we have just entered into a new continuing such as the opening of the new
financial year and the general election success, we Ingredients restaurant in
date has been announced, the outcome have now Lanesborough Wing.
of which will see challenging times ahead marked an This now offers staff, patients and
for the whole NHS. important visitors an impressive range of freshly
But no matter what happens one thing milestone prepared, high-quality food, bright,
remains the same – our dedication to in the modern décor and top-of-the-range
moving the Trust forward through transformation of St George’s – the facilities. The restaurant has proved
cutting-edge developments in equipment, successful deployment of the trust’s new extremely popular so far, and I would
techniques and training. clinical information systems. encourage you to visit if you have not
This commitment to drive change resulted This launch followed years of strategic already done so.
planning by the trust and months of staff Once again, thanks to staff members
in St George’s becoming a major trauma
training to ensure everyone was fully for their dedication, patience and team
centre earlier this month, putting the trust
prepared. work, which will keep the trust on
at the heart of a major clinical network
which will radically improve access to So far the deployment has gone course to achieve its goals.
specialist care for the most seriously according to plan and I’d like to thank Continuing in this spirit will be essential
injured patients across the capital. staff for their hard work and as we push on towards achieving
commitment. A special thank you must Foundation Trust status, continuing the
This is just one of the many success stories
go to the iCLIP project team and our improvement of services and building
giving us cause for celebration. Other
colleagues from BT and Cerner. projects and ensuring the iCLIP
highlights include the opening of a state-
of-the-art theatre in the Atkinson Morley The iCLIP project demonstrates the value programme remains a success for the
Wing; and one of many firsts, St George’s of collaborative working and I was deeply trust. I am looking forward to another
performing keyhole surgery for acute impressed by their professionalism during successful and
appendicitis on the world’s youngest my time in the project command centre at progressive year.
patient. the beginning of the month.

Sweet gesture from restaurateur

Staff on Benjamin Weir ward were surprises ever received from a patient to on the ward after being given a full graft
surprised and delighted when a the staff on Ben Weir. It was nice that we bypass, and everyone was telling me how
grateful former patient sent them a were able to share it with other staff in serious the procedure is. I was really
huge summer fruit cake. the cardiac unit.” grateful to everyone at St George’s; it
Elle Pitar, owner of the Moulin Rouge in Recovering at home, Mr Pitar said: “I was means a lot to me.”
Kingston-upon-Thames, was given an
emergency bypass and admitted onto the
ward earlier this year.
He is now recovering and asked his chefs
to create a giant cake that could be
shared amongst all the staff on the ward.
Senior staff nurse, Sophie Proctor, said:
“We heard that a big cake was being
delivered to our ward as a thank you, but
when four men entered the ward carrying
a cake nearly as wide as the corridor we
could not believe it.
“It was the talk of the whole unit, and
the cake was shared between every ward
from CTICU to Caroline, secretaries,
doctors, domestics and nursing staff. It
fed literally hundreds of people.”
Ward receptionist, Pearl Livingston said:
“It was one of the tastiest and biggest

Left to right: Kimberley O’Hara, Kate

Fincham, Josette Pitar, Hoda Pitar, Elle Pitar,
Sophie Proctor, Venessa Sookhoo

the gazette 3
kpatient care

Ziggy the ciggie fumes

Better technology over No Smoking Day
to track blood Efforts to stub out smoking were stepped up as St
George’s marked No Smoking Day in March.
A high-tech barcode system is being
Staff, patients and visitors interested in quitting were
introduced to keep track of the hundreds
encouraged to visit a drop-in stand in the hospital’s main
of litres of blood used every month at
entrance for advice and support.
St George’s.
Security staff stepped up efforts to stop people smoking on the
hen the Blood Track system goes live in

hospital grounds, and posters were displayed across the site
May, the Haematology department will reminding patients and staff not to light up.
be able to see where every unit of blood
NHS Wandsworth’s smelly mascot, Ziggy the ciggie, was fuming
is in the hospital and manage the supply of stocks
as he was shunned by hundreds of people passing through the
accordingly. main entrance.
Every month St George’s uses between 2,200 and Mohamed Bhatti, NHS Wandsworth’s stop smoking service
2,500 blood components, each containing between manager, said: “Last year we helped more than 1,200 people to
240ml and 280ml and costing £139. stop smoking. We understand that stopping is not easy, so our
advisors are trained to assess which is the best way for you.”
Under the existing system staff members write in a
register when blood is removed from the main
blood fridge. Under Blood Track, each blood
component will have a barcode, which can be
scanned when it is removed. Six satellite blood
fridges have been placed around the hospital,
which staff can access using their ID cards.
The system will ensure blood is not left out of the
fridges for prolonged periods. It will also be
possible to monitor how much is in stock and when
demand for blood is heavy, which will be more
important than ever with the trust becoming a
Major Trauma Centre.
Training will be rolled out across the trust prior to
the go live date with key staff being shown how to
use the system first, then cascading the knowledge
through their wards and departments.
Ziggy the ciggie seeks advice about quitting

Transforming patient care

Changes to managing patient patients admitted that day. health, but may be better off in a care
discharge are freeing up space on Transformation Director, Alan Thorne, home, rehabilitation facility or at home.
wards and helping people go home said: “We are looking at ways to ensure GPs and community matrons were
as soon as they are clinically ready. that, when a patient is medically fit and invited to a ward round recently, to
A transformation project has been ready to go home, they can go. discuss how care in the community
looking at the way patients are Consideration of how and when a could be provided for such patients in
discharged, to identify where delays are patient is to be discharged from the future.
taking place and find solutions to them. hospital should begin as soon as they Alan added: “This work is not just
Pilot schemes are being run on some are admitted.” about discharge, but about avoiding
medical and surgical wards to find ways St George’s is also looking to reduce admissions in the first place by reducing
of discharging patients before 11am in the number of long-term patients who the episodes and emergencies which
order to make beds available for are kept in hospital because of poor lead to hospital care being necessary.”

4 the gazette
First for St George’s as baby has
keyhole op for acute appendicitis
It was every parent’s worst
nightmare – four-week-old
Isabel Dolby was seriously ill
and in agonising pain, but
nobody knew why.
sabel became the youngest child in the

I world to have keyhole surgery for

acute appendicitis when paediatric
consultant Zahid Mukhtar used the latest
miniaturised technology, including a tiny
endoscopic camera, to operate on her.
Worldwide there have been just 100
recorded cases of appendicitis in babies
during the last 100 years. All were
treated using open
surgery, and sadly, a
third of these children
did not survive.
Isabel’s mother,
Candice, of Raynes
Park, said: “I noticed
The paediatric surgery team made
what looked like a history with an innovative keyhole
milk rash and wasn’t operation
too concerned, at Isabel Dolby, the world’s youngest
first. However, a few endoscope patient with her mother
days later, I noticed Candice and paediatric consultant
Mr Zahid Mukhtar
the rash had become
red and inflamed and
it had spread from her getting smaller and better.
face and neck all the He said: “The Paediatric Surgery
way down her torso. department at St George’s is fast
The rash progressively becoming a leading centre in the
got worse as each day passed.” Staff at Kingston Hospital’s accident and safe development of minimally invasive
She took Isabel to the paediatric accident emergency department carried out blood surgery for young babies. Only last year we
and emergency department at St tests, a lumbar puncture and an x-ray of reported a new laparoscopic assisted
George’s, but doctors were unable to her swollen stomach, but there was no technique to treat intestinal artesias in
diagnose what was wrong with her. clear sign of what was wrong with her newborns.”
Because Isabel was eating normally and apart from an indication that she had an
“Minimally invasive techniques such as
had no temperature they sent her home infection. Isabel was transferred to the
keyhole surgery are far better for babies,
again and told Mrs Dolby not to be too paediatric unit at St George’s where more
because they recover more quickly. Isabel
concerned, as babies do sometimes get tests were carried out.
made a remarkable recovery and the only
rashes and it would probably disappear Mrs Dolby said: “After five or six days Mr remaining signs that she had surgery are
on its own. Mukhtar scheduled Isabel for surgery. The two small marks on her stomach, a few
But over the next few days the rash kept consent form was signed and we sat and millimetres across.
getting worse and Isabel was unable to waited. We had no idea on how long the
He added: “This was the first time this
settle. Mrs Dolby said: “One night, at surgery would last for as we still did not
operation had been performed on a baby.
about 8.30pm, she started crying and know what was wrong with her.
It was only possible because of our unit’s
wouldn’t stop. I picked her up and she “Three hours later we were told that she experience in dealing with babies with
had a projectile vomit and let out an ear had acute appendicitis. I honestly think other surgical conditions through this
piercing scream.” her rash in the beginning was a sign of minimally invasive approach, including
“Her stomach was so swollen and hard. infection from the appendicitis.” hernias, intestinal atresias, Meckel’s
She was screaming, her body rigid in pain Mr Mukhtar said that keyhole surgery diverticulum, which is a swelling in the
for hours, and nothing would settle her. had only recently become possible for small intestine, diaphragmatic hernia and
We took her to our nearest A&E.” babies, as the surgical equipment is bladder and kidney pathologies.”

the gazette 5
Restaurant is the toast of T
“To be one of the best restaurants in Tooting.”
That’s the aim as the new Ingredients restaurant
opens in Lanesborough Wing.
Judging by the reaction of staff, patients and
visitors it is destined to be a great success.

With a menu featuring an

impressive range of freshly
prepared, high quality food, and a
bright, modern décor that would
not look out of place in Canary
Wharf, this is a restaurant
everybody at St George’s can be
proud of.
On the first day of business,
Wednesday 31st March, staff
members clamoured to see the new
facility and were impressed with the
amount of effort that has gone into
making the restaurant a success.
Staff and student discounts are still
in place and the art gallery and

Patient takes gold

at Winter World Transplant Games
St George’s patient Carl Downing won two medals in the Winter
World Transplant Games held in the French ski resort of Sainte Foy
in January.
Mr Downing, 36, of Southfields, has been a regular patient since a
kidney transplant in December 2004, to treat IgA nephropathy, also
known as Berger’s disease, a condition that can lead to chronic renal
The games are open to transplant patients from around the world and
competition is fierce. Carl took the gold medal in the parallel slalom, and
bronze in the giant slalom.
He said: “I’ve always been a very active person and having a transplant
has not changed that. I feel stronger than ever and was very keen to get
out on the slopes and give it my best shot.
“I’m planning to go back and compete again next year.”
Mr Downing still visits St George’s regularly but has been healthy since
his father donated a spare kidney in 2004.
He said: “It was amazing. It took a few weeks to recover but now
I just have to come in for check ups. I’m very grateful to the staff at
St George’s for everything they’ve done.”

6 the gazette
Tooting Healthcare Assistant, Fatmata Sesay, said:
“The play area is a brilliant idea
internet access points are still and I like the food.”
There is a dedicated children’s play
area, a branch of Costa Coffee and
a huge plasma screen television.
Special events and surprises are
being lined up for the months
ahead; keep checking the intranet
and the gazette for details.
Trust chair Naaz Coker said:
“The new restaurant is a
vast improvement on what
we had before, and reflects
wider improvements being
made across St George’s.”

Staff help trust chief executive David Astley and chief executive of MITIE Group Ruby McGregor-
Smith, officially open the new ingredients restaurant

Engineer, Trevor Reynolds, said:

“It’s really nice, the décor’s great and
it’s a hundred per cent better than
the old restaurant.”

New patient leaflet Gene

patie ral inform
nts a
nd vi ation for
available now How
to ge sitors

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ral In
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get t ospit
We m
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A new booklet explaining what patients can e y
numb like a cop you a lea
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expect when they come to St George’s is If you
n fro
m ww
ot rec
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eorge ro le e
being sent to thousands of first-time n
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ca ta uk/fin ca o
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tell th
asp ad a

servic mergenc to wa elp you, e rec

ep ti
it for th on
e tha y pa this. ough plea staff.
‘Welcome to St George’s’ includes useful only t tie
provid transport nt trans
e s som p
nt’s n d for pati e pati ort – this
information for both inpatients and outpatients, eeds
will b
is the
e rev ho have v and from mbulance
d eac ery specif hospital.
and is being sent out with appointment letters.
h tim ic nee It is
e the
y com ds. A
e to h
Information is provided about public transport, al.

to St G
parking, catering facilities and what to expect as
an inpatient on the wards. The booklet also gives ors
and visit
information about what to bring to hospital, patients
A guide
questions that patients could ask clinicians and
how to raise concerns about the care provided.
Abi Changer, patient information manager, said:
“Coming to hospital can be extremely stressful, so
the more information we can provide before people
arrive, the better.”
The booklet is kindly supported by Marks and Spencer
and Whistlestop. 

the gazette 7

Consultant haematologist
and the clinical lead for
bone marrow transplant
Patients needing a bone
marrow transplant are
among the most
vulnerable at St George's.
Consultant haematologist
Mickey Koh, who joined the Trust
in September, is quick to praise
staff members in the many wards
and departments who help them
to recover.
Mickey trained as a haematologist at
the Royal Free before working at Guys
and St Thomas and Colchester
hospitals. He then spent five years at a
hospital in his native Singapore.
There, he led a research project looking
at stem cell therapy, which involves He explained: “In the past we could transplant. Many of the patients are
growing immune cells in the laboratory, only treat patients aged up to 35 years suffering from haematological
which can be put into patients receiving due to the toxicity of the procedure, malignancies, such as leukaemia and
a bone marrow transplant, boosting but over the last ten years the age limit lymphomas, or from aplastic anaemia, a
recovery and reducing the risk of has been raised to 70 years for healthy type of bone marrow failure.
infection. He is carrying on with this patients, and new drugs mean the “Patients who have undergone a stem
work at St George’s and the Singapore procedures are not as toxic as they used cell transplant are immunosuppressed
Health Sciences Authority’s Blood to be. and at high risk of infection, so for a
Service Group. “I think the scope of transplant will transplant to work you need support
The work, which he still oversees, continue to broaden, and the success from ancillary departments across the
involves growing immune cells in the rate of transplants continues to rise, hospital. All patients are nursed in
laboratory, which can be put into due to improvements in supportive care special rooms which have unidirectional
patients receiving a bone marrow and novel ways of reducing the toxicity air filtered through to prevent
transplant, boosting immune recovery, of the procedure. infections. We are careful about the
fighting cancer cells and reducing the “Every patient admitted goes through a food they eat and have in place extra
risk of infection. rigorous process. We have a dedicated precautions for visitors, like meticulous
team of consultants, transplant hand cleaning and gowning up.
Mickey said: “I was keen to come to
coordinators and nurses trained in “I feel lucky that we have such fantastic
St George’s because it is renowned as a
support at St George’s, including the
centre for treating bone marrow “I think the scope of transplant gastroenterologists, respiratory team,
failures. One of the main treatment
will continue to broaden, and pharmacists, apheresis staff,
options for this is a bone marrow
transplant, or what is now more
the success rate of transplants nutritionists, ITU, and staff at the
continues to rise, due to McEntee clinical infection ward. We
commonly termed a stem cell
also have evolved a close link with the
transplant. improvements in supportive
Full Circle Foundation, which runs a
“Over the years, the type of patient care and novel ways of complementary therapy programme for
receiving a stem cell transplant has reducing the toxicity of the our transplant patients, including
changed significantly. procedure.” aromatherapy and reflexology.”

8 the gazette
‘view from the top

and team based (and work based)

learning have become more prominent.
Professor Sean Hilton, Structural changes to the ways in which
is deputy principal of we work, such as the European
St George’s university and working time directive and the
non-executive director on modernising careers initiatives, have
the board. Sean talks to the encouraged the rapid development of
gazette about his role at simulated learning and e-learning.
both organisations and Technological advances mean that
how the trust can meet the many of these are highly sophisticated
challenges facing the NHS. and cutting edge, and we have a lot to
learn about how to employ them most

Can you explain your role as deputy You graduated from St George’s in
principal at St George’s University 1974 and came back as a senior
of London (SGUL)? lecturer in 1987. How has it
Deputy principal is the senior academic changed over the years?
role in the principal’s management and I did my first house job at St George’s
advisory team. Generally, I lead on Hyde Park corner, so there has been
education, but there is a range of other some change! We spent around half
activities including NHS liaison, research, our time as students in the developing
enterprise, collaborations with other St George’s Tooting, but it was still all
universities in research and education, laid out as the Knightsbridge Wing
and international links. remains today.
What do you see as the major
For example, I chair the board of Ingleby House and the student centre
challenge for both SGUL and the
management at the South West (now the Robert Lowe sports centre)
Trust in 2010?
London Academic Network, which is a were the first new buildings. Atkinson
collaboration between Kingston In common with all other universities
Morley Wing is the most obvious
University, Royal Holloway and St and hospitals we face the challenge to
estates development in the last ten
George’s. I am also head of an improve what we do in the face of
years, followed by the new foyer, but
academic division. SGUL recently reduction of resources in real terms, the major change has been in the
restructured into three divisions – not and a rapidly changing external volume, complexity and technology of
unlike the trust – and I am head of environment. patient care.
population health sciences and The good news is that we both face Mostly there are huge improvements,
education. the same challenges, and that together

but I hope we will always remain as
we have the opportunity to work with caring and compassionate a hospital as
How does this fit with your non- the whole South West London sector we have been historically.
executive role on the trust board? to address these. Clearly, for the trust
It fits very well. The hospital and achieving foundation status as soon as What advice would you give to
university medical school have lived possible is the priority, alongside the students thinking about coming to
alongside each other for 250 years and major work to merge with Community SGUL?
there are large areas of common Services Wandsworth and deliver the Do come. You will gain a special
interest in education, research and stroke and trauma centre unit experience of integrated healthcare, on
service development. Indeed it is requirements. an amazing campus, with a university,
essential that we work closely together hospital and community services co-
in these. How is education and development
located in a vibrant and diverse sector
changing for clinicians?
We are separately governed; SGUL is of a great city.
Change is a continuous process, it is
accountable through the higher
education system and the trust is happening across undergraduate, What do you do to relax?
accountable via the NHS. This can cause postgraduate and continuing education My indulgences are frequent concerts
complications and sometimes tensions, for all health professionals. Integration (Wigmore Hall and South Bank Centre
but we have a number of joint of traditional subjects into case based are my favourite venues); football
committees working on strategy and and problem based learning has been a (Arsenal supporter since 1968, though
operations, and I am involved with major shift in the last ten years, and not always relaxing), cricket, and most
many of these. increased interprofessional education of all for relaxation, gardening.

the gazette 9
vpatient safety

patient safety
Patient safety is at the heart of we expect it to deliver
everything we do at St George’s, real benefits for patients,
and the trust is continuously looking allowing them to access
at ways of improving the care we services more quickly
provide, based on audits and and to recover in the
implementing the latest research. comfort of their own
n 2002 the trust invested in a homes as soon as they are

I mortality monitoring system, one of

the first in the UK, which compares
death rates with the expected average
clinically able to do so.”
Clinical auditors play an
important role in patient
at St George’s. safety working with
A mortality monitoring group, made up clinical staff to assess
of senior clinicians and members of the whether care is
clinical effectiveness team, meets consistent with
regularly to examine the data and look recommendations from
for worrying patterns or trends. high quality research.
The system now operates in 30 areas, In one such case, a new
providing a comprehensive and almost protocol was introduced
instant snapshot of clinical outcomes for patients coming to St
across the trust. George’s for an
angiography, a type of
Steve Milan, head of the clinical Steve Milan, head of the clinical effectiveness team, talks to
X-ray that examines the junior sister Vennessa Sookhoo about the scheme in place to
effectiveness team, said the system
inside of blood vessels, improve patient safety issues
usually highlights two or three
arteries, veins and
unexpected rises in mortality data every
chambers of the heart. background, assessment,
year. Once an increase is spotted, the
The test is carried out as a day case and recommendation (SBAR) tool that was
group launches an investigation looking
at why death rates have recently involves a contrast agent, or dye, being brought in, to look at how well that is
changed, and whether this indicates a injected into the jugular or femoral vein. being used.”
problem with care provided at the trust. Patients need to rest after the test, but Kate said the way audits are carried out
Patient notes are examined to see if following research carried out at St had changed for the better in recent
anything could have been done George’s the amount of time they years. She said: “Until 2003 there was
differently, and clinicians from the spend resting has been reduced. no central audit team and so there was
relevant department are asked for their Clinical auditor, Mike Pollard, said: wide variation in activity across the trust.
views. “Under the old guidelines patients Now there is an audit team covering
would rest for four hours. We carried each speciality or care group. Year-on-
In an exciting new development for St year there have been more audits
George’s, the same systems are now out a study in cardiology involving 499
registered on the trust clinical audit
being developed to create an early patients, where we got them up and
database, and I am confident the quality
warning system that will show when about two hours after the test. Research
of audits being carried out has improved.”
patients are staying in hospital for longer has shown that this is better for patient
than necessary. comfort and helps to reduce any pain. The clinical effectiveness team also
provides training to staff across
As with mortality monitoring, a group “There were no safety issues and
St George’s, and the number of people
will meet regularly to discuss length of complications rates were low, so the
taking part is increasing.
stay in wards across the trust, and where two-hour guideline is now in force for
all angiography patients. That’s a good During 2008/09 clinical effectiveness
patients are staying longer than
example of where audit has changed and audit training was attended by 332
necessary, the reasons behind the trend
participants, which is an increase of 27
will be scrutinised and solutions sought. practice, and patients are benefiting as
per cent over the previous year. A total
Eventually the system may help free up a result. We wrote up the study and it
of 473 projects were registered on the
space on the wards, leading to shorter was published in the British Journal of
trust clinical audit database during the
waiting times for patients and a more Cardiology.”
year, 161 of them carried out with
efficient hospital. Clinical audit manager, Kate Hutt, said: support of the clinical audit team, an
Steve said: “St George’s is leading the “We are about to carry out another increase in activity by the team of over
way in implementing this system, and audit looking at the situation, 14 per cent.

10 the gazette
St George’s
born and bred
Nurses raised a toast to Sue Cooper as
she retired from her long and
successful career at St George’s on
Wednesday, 31st March.
Sue, deputy director of nursing, was born
on the top floor of St George’s Hospital
The picture shows left to right, Martina McGill of Macmillan Cancer Research and Beverley at its old Hyde Park Corner site, but only
van der Molen, St George's cancer information officer
came to work for the trust by accident.

New Macmillan service launched She trained at the Royal Free hospital in
Hampstead and Angus College of Nursing
Macmillan Cancer Support launched Infozone, and it proved to be very in Scotland, between 1968 and 1974,
an innovative new service at St useful for patients and their carers. It and then came back to London as an
George’s during February. included a screened-off seating area agency nurse.
Patients and visitors visited the with an information advisor, internet She said: “I started at Atkinson Morley by
Infozone, a booth offering information access and specialist booklets about accident. I didn’t want to work there but
cancer which people could take away. agreed to do it temporarily as a favour,
on all issues relating to cancer. The
and I was placed in the intensive
booth was located in Grosvenor Wing “The hospital is very large and a lot of treatment unit.”
for a week and then at the Atkinson departments deal with cancer in one
Morley Wing for a second week. In 1992 she joined St George’s at the
way or another, so it was great benefit
Tooting site, where she carried on building
Around 15 people visited the service to have one point where people could
her career and improving standards and
every day, seeking advice on topics go to ask for help and advice.” procedures for nurses. She said: “I have
ranging from treatment options to their The Infozone is just one part of always absolutely loved working at
rights at work and which benefits they Macmillan’s mobile information service, St George’s, and I’m really proud to have
may be entitled to. which also includes a travelling been part of the team. I’ve had my ups
Beverley van der Molen, Macmillan exhibition which visits events across the and downs, but I’ve loved it and I’ve been
information and education officer at St South East, and a team of three offered so many opportunities.”
George’s, said: “St George’s was the specialists who provide talks for groups
first hospital to be visited by the and at community events.

Honours and a scholarship for

St George’s cardiothoracic team
Doctors and clinicians of cardiac excellence for cardiac surgery in North
surgery from St George’s took top America. He said: “I hope the experience
honours at the Society for gained will be something that benefits Sue Cooper is going to relax after a long and
Cardiothoracic Surgery of Great not only me but also our patients back at successful career
Britain and Ireland’s annual meeting. St George’s.“
Sue said she is thinking about moving to
The unit presented eight abstracts, the Consultant John Smith was appointed Scotland for her retirement, where she
highest number in UK. chairman of the intercollegiate board. will pursue her hobbies - walking and
Specialist registrar, Antonios Kourliros Professor of cardiac surgery, Marjan making quilts. “Mostly I’m just looking
was awarded the Best Presented Paper, Jahangiri, said: “There were four awards forward to having a rest,” she said.
and Kalypso Karestergiou the Heart made nationally and three were awarded Zoe Packman, who worked alongside
Research UK award. to members of the team at St George’s. Sue as a deputy director of nursing, said:
We’re all very proud of the result.” “She always has the patient at the heart
Specialist Registrar Justin Nowell was
of everything she does. Sue has done
awarded the £10,000 Travelling This reflects the high quality of work both
excellent work on patient pathways,
Scholarship, which he plans to use in clinical and academic cardiac surgery reducing the length of stay for patients
financing a stay at the Cleveland Clinic in and success of new and novel with a fractured neck or femur, and she
Ohio, USA, a well-known centre of developments in the unit. has made a valuable contribution in
supporting and developing nursing
Alison Roberton, director of nursing and
patient safety, said: “Sue has also led on
the safeguarding adult agenda and her
knowledge and expertise will be missed.
Her focus on what matters to patients
really shines through.”

the gazette 11

Laboratory robot cuts

waiting times Hi-tech scanner trialled
at St George’s
A hand-held ultrasound scanner that is only slightly
bigger than a mobile phone is being trialled at St George’s.
George Sutherland, Professor of cardiac imaging, has been
working with the Vscan device and says that when it is rolled
out across the NHS it will lead to significant improvements in the
triage and diagnosis’ of patients.
Traditional full-size ultrasound scanners would still be
performed when more a comprehensive diagnosis was
Prof Sutherland said: “In terms of clinical practice it’s a huge
step forward. “Here we are giving people essentially an
electronic stethoscope in their pocket that images and looks at
all parts of the body.
“With adequate training this should mean we can diagnose
The latest technology is helping a St George’s rapidly and treat accordingly. It should be an amazing
laboratory to carry out faster and more development.”
accurate tests across a range of specialities.
BBC News visited St George’s recently to film Prof Sutherland
he cytogenetics laboratory, part of the South

T West Thames Regional Genetics Service, has

installed a £250,000 automated microscope
that has dramatically decreased the time it takes staff
using the machine, the story featured on BBC One and Radio 4.
The Vscan, developed by GE Healthcare, has been approved for
use in Europe and North America and is expected to cost
around £5,000 per unit. It could eventually be used by GPs,
to analyse and report cases for a raft of specialities.
accident and emergency clinicians and paramedics.
Instead of taking months, results are now returned
within around three weeks, leading to an increase in
the number of consultants using the service. The lab
processes around 4,000 samples every year and
provides vital screening for specialities including fetal
Doctor at sea
medicine, paediatrics, obs and gynae and infertility Clinical Fellow Dr Solène Aoutin has returned to St George’s
clinics both here at St George’s and other hospitals in after an inspirational year aboard the Africa Mercy, a former
the region. cargo ship converted into a floating hospital.
The laboratory’s quality manager, Will King, said: Solène volunteered for Mercy Ships, which sails the African Mercy
“There are other laboratories across the UK that have along the west coast of Africa, helping adults and children who
the same equipment, but we are the first to have require surgical interventions.
fully integrated it into our clinical and laboratory The ship has a crew of more than 400 people, and boasts four
management software using barcoding for patient wards, an ICU, a recovery room and several operating rooms.
sample tracking. She said: “I had heard of this organisation at medical school through
“Departments we serve have responded very an ex-anatomy tutor of mine, retired general surgeon Lord Ian
favourably and it has been a massive morale boost to McColl, and had always wanted to go to help out.”
staff. In May, 2009, Lord McColl invited Solène to be his assistant for his
“The equipment reduces the risk of errors occurring time on the ship. She said: “Before I knew it I was on the medical
during processing and has also freed up some time rota looking after ward patients post-operatively and assisting with
for staff to investigate developing other new the on-call rota for the 400 crew.
technologies to further improve our services for “I also got involved in land projects where in the space of one week
patients. our team saw more than 700 patients.”
“This work is also being presented at local training “I love Africa because it has a magic about it that I have never found
sessions and national and international conferences anywhere else.
as an example of service improvement.”
“When you see patients trying to lead a ‘normal’ life with their
The £250,000 investment came from a variety of incredibly disabling and often disfiguring medical conditions, which
sources, including the Department of Health, medical maybe have remained untreated for 20 or 40 years, it reminds me
equipment funds, charitable funds and a business how lucky we are here and that I must never take anything for
plan approved by the trust. granted.”

12 the gazette
kstaff news

New approach to procurement

David Astley, chief executive, talks to the team about the Transforming Procurement programme

Staff should always have the right

equipment at the right time and in
George’s and supports the productive
theatre and product ward goals.”
World kidney day
the right quantity – that’s the aim of Kidney donors attended an event
Moira Crabtree, programme manager,
improvements being introduced to held to recognise the generosity of
said: “This is a long-term programme
the trust’s approach to procurement. their actions.
which will be hardwired into the
t George’s has launched a More than a dozen donors were at

St George’s culture to ensure success
the event on World Kidney Day,
programme, Transforming and increase efficiency within the
Thursday, March 11, where they heard
Procurement, to look at the organisation. An additional benefit of from clinicians how important their
methods the trust uses to acquire the programme is that it will deliver donations had been, and of the need
supplies. This includes sourcing, substantial savings. for more organ donors.
contracting and how we distribute and “For example, we are launching a There was also a stand at the main
manage supplies. scheme, the Theatre Case Cart System, entrance where staff carried out blood
The programme focuses on freeing which will assist Theatre and medical pressure checks and gave advice on
up time for matrons, sisters, consultants staff by providing the equipment they diabetes.
and clinicians, so that they are able need for surgery, allowing more cases
to focus on providing excellent to start on time by addressing needs
patient care. prior to going into theatre.
This will be achieved by increasing the “We’re aiming for a process where the
responsibilities, capacity and capability right supplies and quantities are
of the procurement team. delivered at the right time.” A further
Chief executive, David Astley, said: “The trust-wide briefing will be circulated
Transforming Procurement programme soon, covering the objectives, approach
forms a central part of reaching the and anticipated benefits of the
goal of transformation within St programme in more detail.

Staff Survey shows progress

Thousands of you took part in the 2008 Staff Survey are having a positive everybody who took the time to respond
2009 Staff Survey, providing the effect. to the survey.
most accurate picture to date of Questionnaires were sent to 5,903 “It is encouraging to see that working
what it is like to work at St George’s. members of staff, and 2,730 (50 per conditions are improving. We listened to
The results show the trust making good cent) responded by the deadline in the opinions, experiences and concerns
progress across the board, and that December. that were raised in the 2008 Staff Survey
improvement projects introduced as a Sally Storey, interim director of human and have worked hard to address those
result of feedback provided during the resources, said: “I would like to thank concerns.”

the gazette 13
Nurses rise to the challenge Volunteers
sought for anti-
bullying hotline
A hotline is being launched for
staff members who are concerned
about bullying. The new initiative
is part of a joint project between
the trust and Staff Side.
olunteers are being sought to run

V the confidential service, which

will be operated on Mondays and
Wednesdays from 4pm to 9pm.
The hotline is being provided as part of
the One Team initiative, in response to
concerns raised in last year’s staff
survey about harassment and bullying.
Callers will be able to discuss the most
appropriate ways of dealing with their
situation by themselves, how to seek
other sources of support and what
A team of nurses from St George’s Winning team: (L-R) Abbe Robertson, Jolita formal processes exist if appropriate.
took first place at the 2010 Zarnani, Helen HcHugh, Dana Scott, Laura Volunteers operating the line will be
Nursing Times Challenge. Dowd and Dee Kapfunde given comprehensive training in how to
The event, staged in Coventry, listen to callers and provide the best
involved teams from trusts across the included having microphones and support, information and advice for
country competing against each other cameras shoved at us, and we had to their situation.
in a role playing event. collaborate with some of the teams Sally Storey, interim director of human
we were competing against. resources, said: “We are seeking
St George’s interim head of nursing volunteers and plan to launch within
for patient experience and quality, “It was a really useful exercise and
the next two months.
Laura Dowd, was one of those who gave us a good appreciation of the
issues facing the wider NHS, and the “Staff members are still experiencing
took part.
problems with bullying, so we’re
Laura said: “We played the role of a challenges that St George’s is likely to
hoping to find volunteers with good
strategic health authority and were be facing in the next few years.” listening skills who understand the
put into a number of situations The team took first place and was complex issues surrounding bullying
including a major incident. We had to short listed in all but one of the other and harassment, and are keen to learn
attend a fake press conference, which categories. new skills.”
Staff Side secretary, Jane Pilgrim, said:
“Many months of work and
negotiation have gone in to planning
New team of nurses will ensure this partnership project, which has
been carefully thought out for the
continuity of care benefit of both the callers and the
volunteers, in order for it to have the
A new team of nurses who will provide cover across the trust whenever best chance of success."
and wherever it is required will soon be launched. Once they complete their training the
The nursing response team will be made up of 12 nurses, working day and advisors will carry a mobile phone for
night shifts, who will be trained to provide care in a number of areas, and to two five-hour shifts every other month
provide escalation beds during busy times, without causing a knock-on effect in their own time.
in other wards. Would you like to be part of a team
Jenny Muir, head of nursing projects, said: “Very often when there is a shortage, which believes in offering confidential
nurses are asked to move to a different ward or department to provide cover. support, information and advice to
people who feel that they are being
“This can be disruptive for patients, who do not receive the same continuity of harassed or bullied in the work place?
care, and can be annoying for staff who would prefer to stay on their own ward.
“We hope this will lead to a reduction in the trust’s reliance on agency and If you are interested in
bank staff. ( joining the team as an
advisor and would like
“Because members of the nursing response team will be employed directly by
St George’s, they will understand the hospital better than an agency nurse further information, please
contact Di Emmerson,
would, and cost less to employ.
executive assistant to the
“We are still recruiting at the moment but there are seven staff members already HR director, via email or
in post, and we expect to be fully staffed by May.” telephone extension 2204.

14 the gazette
Cancer information St George’s demonstrates
evening showcases cutting-edge technology
St George’s care to VIP visitors
A cancer information evening
held to highlight the cancer
services available at St George’s
was hailed a success by its
The evening, entitled Evolving Cancer
Care: Working Together Beyond Care
Boundaries, was held in the Hunter
Wing in March, and was opened by
chief executive David Astley.
It covered three main areas of cancer
care at St George’s, including
diagnosing cancer, delivering high-quality cancer services
and supporting patients through their cancer pathway.
The aim was to highlight how St George’s works well with
other organisations, such as the PCTs, local hospices and
cancer support groups, to offer patients a seamless care
June Allen, lead cancer nurse at St George’s said: “We had
a fantastic response of about 80 people and it was a very
good mix of professionals and patients. It is important to
highlight how well St George’s works with other Kate Baskerville, A&E superintendent radiographer, demonstrates
organisations.” CT technology to Sir David Nicholson

Patient user Valerie Emmons said: “The event brought NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson visited
together an interesting mix of people concerned with St George’s on Tuesday 2nd March. During his visit
current and future cancer care at St George's, including staff Sir David met with clinical staff from St George’s stroke
doctors, nurses and managers, plus GPs, students, PCT unit and trauma centre teams and received a tour of
representatives and local user and support groups. the Trust’s new advanced CT scanner.
“It was good to have the opportunity to meet new people Three of NHS London’s non-executive directors visited the Trust
and talk over ideas. I think everyone took away with them on the same day to learn more about, stroke, trauma and
some new knowledge and a very positive feeling that St maternity care. The group also visited St George’s University
George's is working hard to develop its already excellent where they learnt more about the work that has been done to
cancer care both in the hospital and the community.” widen student access to higher education.
Veronique Furse, patient user, said: “It was re-assuring and
exciting to hear about the extent and variety of cancer
services at St George’s as well as the plans for the future.”
New deputy chair
Based on the success of this event, the organisers are now Congratulations to Emma
planning another event for spring next year. Gilthorpe, who has been board
appointed deputy chair after
first joining the trust as a non-
executive director in August, 2008.
Trust chair Naaz Coker said: “I’d like to
thank Paul Murphy for his outstanding
contribution to St George’s over the
two years he was deputy chair, and
wish Emma all the best as she takes on
the extra responsibility of this
demanding role.”
Emma, who will retain her current portfolio of interests, also
sits on the audit committee, finance committee and the
nominations and remuneration committee. Emma also chairs
the risk assurance and compliance committee and the equality
and human rights committee, and is a maternity champion.

the gazette 15

News from St George’s
Hospital Charity
Schools engagement Sarah Papageorgiou, senior staff
Our schools engagement nurse, Ocean ward and Lisa
programme is taking shape, with Lewington, play specialist, attended
Rokeby School in Kingston naming
us as one of its chosen charities for
a school assembly: “We are thrilled
the Rokeby Parents’ Circle has
Nurses’ Voices
two years after a couple of its pupils picked us. The money will buy a St George’s Day, Friday 23rd April,
were treated on Ocean ward. The new wheelchair to help bed-bound was marked by the launch of a
Parents’ Circle raised a staggering children get out in our garden for very special book: Nurses’ Voices -
£1,000 from a cake sale, with great some fresh air, and provide Celebrating 60 Years Of Nursing
plans for further fundraising additional equipment, toys and At St George’s Hospital London
activities over the next 18 months. items.” 1930-1990.
urses’ Voices captures the oral
Walking the Wandle Festival, we’re supporting the event
N history of St George’s from the

Following the success last year of again this year. For more perspective of its nurses. More
our sponsored walk along the River information call Sheila in the than 150 interviews and 1,000 hours of
Wandle, part of the Wandle Valley fundraising office on ext 4917. recordings have been generated,
featuring nurses and midwives who
Third year running… trained or worked at the trust from

We’re delighted that the Balham and Tooting Community Association is around 1930 to the present day.
supporting St George’s for the third year running. The community fun day Memories of historical events are
on Saturday 12th June is hosted by the different for each person and by
St Augustine Church and Gatton School, recording personal experiences the
both on Broadwater Road, Tooting. project boasts a richness that cannot be
gained from static records. How did it
The now notorious and traditional Great
feel to work in healthcare at the
Tooting Ambulance Pull will also take
introduction of the National Health
place that day, finishing the punishing
Service? Which clinical practices were
route through the streets of Tooting at
undertaken that would cause uproar
the fun day itself.
today? What were the personalities
involved like to work with?
Nurses’ Voices has its origins in a
Balham gig sells out! research project lead by Kath Start and
managed by Carol McCubbin from the
Even before the gig took place on Friday 12th March, rumours were rife the Faculty of Health and Social Care
Crazeefass gig at The Bedford in Balham could be their last. A source close Sciences at Kingston University and
to the band revealed this month Shola Adegoroye was moving to the NHS St George’s University of London. The
Intensive Support Team and key fundraiser Sarah Hart to Canada. publication of the book has been
To give Shola and Sarah a great send off Jonesy’s Jukebox collated some funded by St George’s Hospital Charity.
particularly excellent tunes and the band practised hard, as anyone passing
Bence Jones offices in the evenings prior to the gig would have heard. Alan
Thorne learnt a fourth
R Priced at just £25, or £20 for all
those who contributed to the oral
chord, Osian Powell history project, with all proceeds
discovered his voice, going to St George’s Hospital
Richard Billington found Charity, the book is available to
faith and the band was buy in the main entrance,
powered by a mystery Grosvenor Wing on Friday 23rd
drummer. April, St George’s Day, and
All proceeds are going to Wednesday 12th May, Florence
the St George’s Hospital Nightingale’s birthday and
Charity, specified for the International Nurses’ Day.
refurbishment of the family Copies are also available from the
waiting area in the fetal fundraising office, main entrance,
medicine unit. Grosvenor Wing.

16 the gazette