News Archive 2010
Local volunteer serenades Trust
Tuesday 21st December 2010
Local businessman, Dr Graham Rideal, serenaded patients,
visitors and staff by playing the clarinet in a Santa outfit at the
Countess of Chester Hospital's main reception recently to raise
over £600 for the Trust's Relative Comfort Appeal.
Fundraising Manager, Janet Ratcliffe, said: "Graham has kindly
visited the Trust on four occasions over the past two years and has
raised a total of £1,160 towards our current Relative Comfort
Appeal which will provide day and overnight accommodation for
relatives of critically ill patients. We have currently raised just
over £170,000 of the £395,000 target so every donation large and
small will help us to reach our target that much sooner".
Graham commented: "The hospital has helped me through both colon
and liver cancer, so I have nothing greater than my life to thank
the hospital for. My music seemed the best contribution.
"It was very satisfying to see the pleasure my music brought to
visitors and patients alike. I must say the staff were also
brilliant, very smiley and very generous. I met two people in wheel
chairs who had come down from the wards to hear me. They said they
were very down and could I play something uplifting, which I did.
They left after three or four songs saying how great they felt and
that music really uplifts one's spirit. That was sufficient thanks
for the day."
For information on how you can raise money for your local
hospital, call 01244 366240.
People's Choice Award triumph
Wednesday 8th December 2010
Voting for the Lean Healthcare Academy People's Choice Award has
now closed and we are pleased to announce the winner is the
Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for their Lean
Mr Peter Herring Chief Executive of the Trust submitted the
winning application to be considered for the Project of the Year
which the organisation also went on to win. The People's Choice
Award was independently voted upon by everyone who took part in the
process and is recognition of an outstanding achievement by the
Transformation Programme team.
The Countess embarked on a journey that is transforming their
culture, fundamentally changing working practices, 'leaning'
pathways and processes, and developing leadership to motivate and
inspire staff. This 'holistic' transformation programme focuses on
cultural change - the new 'Countess Way' of doing things is
radically different from the way they have traditionally
Through strong programme management 'fit for purpose' work
streams were created that uniquely redesigned organisational
structures and working practices with the aim of creating a culture
of continuous improvement and innovation at all levels. The
Countess Way Programme embraces major pathway and process redesign,
a strong quality and patient safety programme and ensuring better
value for money is achieved for every pound spent.
The award submission detailed the pathway redesign work which
embraces 'lean' and clinical transformation tools & techniques
to deliver reductions in patient length of stay, reduction in
rework , improving patient & staff experience and fundamentally
releasing time to care. Work started within both Emergency
Respiratory and Elective Orthopaedic pathways and is now being
rolled out across other clinical & non-clinical areas.
Santa stroll delivers some festive
Tuesday 7th December 2010
Hundreds of fundraisers supported the Countess of Chester
Hospital at the weekend by dressing up as Santa for a sponsored
More people than ever took part in this year's 5km Santa Stroll
on Sunday, raising over £5,000 with around 225 walkers joining
The event again raised funds for the Relative Comfort Appeal,
which will offer accommodation and counselling rooms for relatives
and loved ones of critically ill patients, although some walkers
also raised money for the Breast Care Unit and the Special Care
Fundraising Events Co-ordinator, Kathy Kenney, said: "Inspite of
the frosty weather, everyone had a fun time and there were lots of
smiley. Santas receiving medals who also said they are looking
forward to taking part next year."
The Bluebird Care Team, fromChester, took part in the walk
despite the fact that their offices went up in smoke in the fire
inChesterlast week at Enterprise Centre. One of the team members,
Simon Robinson, said: "It's important to honour our commitments
both when delivering care to our customers and also raising money
for our local hospital."
Midway through the walk the 1st Royal Welsh Fusiliers
looked after the walkers with cakes, mince pies and hot drinks.
Kathy added: "I would like to thank all those who took part and
to the marshals and all those who helped make it such a fun,
For information on other Fundraising events please either call
the Fundraising Office on 01244 366240.
New group puts Weight behind fundraising
Monday 29th November 2010
Several members of a new Weightwatchers group which has
recently been set up at the Countess of Chester Hospital have
signed up to do the Santa Stroll and raise funds for the hospital's
current fundraising appeal "Relative Comfort".
The group, which meets every Thursday evening between
5.30pm and 6.30pm, was set up three weeks ago by Group
Leader, Jo Lowndes, of Connah's Quay. Jo encouraged members to sign
up for the 5km Stroll being held on Sunday 5th December as part of
their Exercise and Weight loss programme. New members
are welcome to join the group and for further information Jo can be
contacted on 07712 898552.
Fundraising Manager, Janet Ratcliffe, said: "The weekly rental
that the group pay to hire a room is donated to the
hospital's general charitable fund, and we are grateful
to Jo and Weightwatchers for supporting us in this way
and for taking part in this year's Santa Stroll."
The Relative Comfort appeal is aiming to raise £395,000 to
provide a unit at the hospital with overnight accommodation, a day
lounge and counselling room for use by relatives of patients of
critically ill patients whilst they are being treated at the
hospital. For further information on how you can support this
appeal please call 01244 366240.
Trust supports One World Week
Monday 11th October 2010
The Countess of Chester Hospital will be celebrating One World
Week between 18th to 22nd October.
One World Week is an annual opportunity for people from diverse
backgrounds to come together to learn about global justice, to
spread that learning and to use it to take action for justice
locally and globally.
Each year, thousands of people take part in One World Week
events across the country with one common purpose: to let others
know about some of the global issues that affect us all and to
recognise we can all be part of the change.
One World Week supporters believe that when we come together
collectively to learn about injustice and inequality, we
are prompted to do something about it and great things can
happen. And in coming together and understanding each other's
perspective, our own lives can be transformed and enriched.
The Countess is hosting a number of talks and display stands in
the Spiritual Care Centre between 11am - 2pm each day throughout
the week around various faiths, cultures and global issues.
Karen Townsend, Business Performance Manager at the Countess and
One World week organiser, said: "One World Week is a very important
celebration of all cultures, faiths and global issues and we hope
that as many people as possible will visit the Trust to enjoy and
possibly learn about things that they will find interesting."
In addition, a 'One World Open Mic Night' will be taking place
from 7pm on Tuesday 19th October at Alexanders Jazz Bar
in Rufus Court to coincide with both the Trust's Kisiizi Uganda
Hospital Project and One World Week. Members of the public are
encouraged to come along.
If you would like anymore information about One World Week,
please visit: www.oneworldweek.org.
Careers open afternoon for students
Monday 13th September 2010
The Countess of Chester Hospital is hosting an 'Allied Health
Professionals Open Afternoon' during October half-term for students
thinking of pursuing a career in a health related field.
The Trust is inviting students of school years 11-13 to attend
the event, who may be thinking of pursuing a career in one of the
following Allied Health Professions; Nutrition and Dietetics,
Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Speech and Language Therapy,
Pharmacy, Radiography, or Biomedical Science.
The annual 'AHP Open Afternoon' will take place on Thursday 28th
October 2010, between 12.30pm-4.00pm atUptonHigh School.
Catriona Fleming, Senior Speech and Language Therapist at the
Countess, who is organising the open day, said: "This is a great
opportunity for students who are thinking of pursuing a career in
health, to receive some valuable advice and guidance on what they
can expect. A large number of Allied Health Professionals will be
present on the day to share their knowledge and we hope it will be
a very successful event."
The open day will consist of presentations from each of the
above departments, poster displays, and opportunities to speak with
professionals. Students present will also receive a certificate of
attendance for their portfolios.
There is no charge for this event but students will need to book
a place, either independently or through their school. Students and
schools wishing to reserve places can do so by contacting the
Countess on 01244 365207.
Staff achievements celebrated
Monday 28th June 2010
The Countess of Chester Hospital's annual Celebration of
Achievement Awards took place on Friday 25th June to reward staff
for their efforts and commitment over the past year.
The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Chester was the venue for a glittering
night of congratulation and celebration for a wide variety of Trust
staff. Over 300 members of staff, along with colleagues,
friends and family members joined in the celebrations.
The awards offered an opportunity for the Trust to acknowledge
the hard work of individuals, wards and departments who have
excelled in areas such as service improvement, customer service,
and training and development. As a result, a high volume of
nominations were received from departments, along with patients and
the public, who wished to show their appreciation for the hard work
of individuals and teams.
Over 100 people were put forward to receive an award of
recognition for achievements in work and academics, which included:
leadership and management, health and social care, cleaning,
pharmacy, and accountancy. A number of awards were also presented
to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Trust
including awards for service improvements, customer service, and
Staff Development Officer, Lizzie Shevlin, who co-ordinated the
Celebration of Achievement Awards, said: "The event was really
fantastic again this year. It was great to see so many members of
staff enjoying themselves and celebrating their achievements
among colleagues, friends and
family. It showcases the high level of commitment
that is put in by staff all across the Trust, be it to improve
their services for patients or to develop themselves."
One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the
Lifetime Achievement award which was won by Sarah Hoyle, Divisional
Manager for Women and Children's, for her commitment to the
improvement of women and children's services over the many years
that she has spent working for the Countess.
Moonlight Walk a hit for 5th
Tuesday 22nd June 2010
The Countess of Chester Hospital's Moonlight Walk 2010 proved to
be a huge success again on Saturday night, raising approximately
£20,000 for the Trust's Relative Comfort Appeal - the Critical Care
Appeal which provides accommodation for relatives of patients who
are critically ill within the hospital.
Over 300 walkers joined up on Saturday to complete the 10 mile
route aroundChester, with the majority of ladies completing the
walk at around 1am after a 10pm start.
A variety of women took part, including members of Trust staff,
patients, members of the public and staff from Dorothy Perkins
(BroughtonPark), Slimming World (DorinPark), Jane Lewis Health
& Social Care, Bronyffynnon Surgery, and Cherrybank Resource
Centre inEllesmerePort.The Heart 103.4 radio girls were also
present with live music and support to help motivate the ladies
with words of encouragement before the main event.
Jill Bender and Joan Long (the event's oldest walker at 89) who
have both raised a total of £1,000 over the last three events were
presented with a much deserved bottle of champagne to great
applause from the crowd of fellow walkers before the start.
Then after an energetic and fun aerobic workout, the ladies
lined up for the start after chomping on a chocolate bar to help
set them on their way. With the extra bonus of kind weather, the
ladies then began walking, led byChester's very own Roman Soldiers
who escorted them for the first leg.
Dressed in colourful outfits, costumes and complimentary
flashing headbands, the walkers arrived back at the Countess of
Chester Hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning. They were
met yet again by the Roman Soldiers who presented each lady with a
medal and with tired feet, each participant was met with hot drinks
and a bacon roll, courtesy of Chez Jules whose efforts ensured that
the walkers could smell their tasty reward on the home
Heather Lannin, a Staff Nurse at the Countess, was among a group
of four ladies who finished the walk first. She said of the event:
"I really enjoyed the walk and there was a great energy about the
whole evening. I met lots of new friends throughout the night and
the challenge of the walk itself was a great motivator to keep
going, as well as the importance of taking part in the event to
help such a worthy cause."
The Trust's Fundraising Events Co-ordinator, Kathy Kenney,
commented on the event's ongoing success by saying: "This event
proves to be successful every year and it was great to receive the
ladies' ongoing commitment. Like last year, the new route was a
great success and the ladies set the streets alight with their
Kathy also took the time to thank the event's organisers,
sponsors and volunteers who helped make it a success: "As well as
the walkers I'd also like to sincerely thank everyone who helped
out with the walk, from local companies who sponsored the event
including; Home Instead, LWC, Cruise nightclub, First Buses and
Bakemart, to St John's Ambulance and all the volunteers who acted
as marshals at various points along the route - they truly are our
unsung heroes every year."
If you would like get involved with fundraising events at the
Countess of Chester, please visit the Fundraising section of the
Trust's website (www.coch.nhs.uk). You can also phone the
Fundraising team on 01244 366672, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stopping the clot in the North West
Tuesday 25th May 2010
The Countess of Chester Hospital has launched its most important
health initiative of the year to prevent blood clots and as a
result has become the first North West hospital trust to earn
'Exemplar' status, which ensures the trust is doing everything it
can to prevent Venous Thromboembolism (VTE).
More than 25,000 deaths yearly are caused by Venous
Thromboembolism (VTE) nationwide, more than breast cancer, AIDS and
road traffic accidents put together - and many of these are
The Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, expects all adult
patients to be risk assessed for VTE. As a result, throughout 2009
the Countess of Chester Hospital's Thrombosis Team worked extremely
hard to launch a major initiative (which went live in January) to
reduce patient harm in the Trust from unnecessary clots. This
initiative is calledStop the Clot 2010and will ensure that a
detailed Risk Assessment is carried out in all adult in-patients
and day cases when they are admitted to the hospital.
Mr Sameh Dimitri, Chair of the Thrombosis Team and Consultant
Vascular and General Surgeon, said: "Stop the Clot 2010 is the
biggest patient safety initiative that we will undertake this year
and it will aim to tackle VTE in all adults in-patients and day
cases. The important thing to remember about blood clots is that
they are preventable with the correct care and attention. It is our
aim to ensure that everyone that comes into the hospital is given a
full assessment in line with their potential risk - based on their
age, health and other factors such as family history - in order to
minimise the likelihood of them suffering a clot.
"Depending on a patient's health, the actions we take will vary.
For example, a young, fit and healthy adult may require a simple
measure such as compression stockings based on their risk
assessment. However, more at risk patients with a family history of
venous thromboembolism may require more complex management. Each
course of treatment is tailored to the individual's needs."
As a result of the Trust's tireless hard work, the Countess was
chosen as the first Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) Exemplar Centre in
the North West of England following the All Parliamentary
Thrombosis Implementation Working Group visit and assessment of the
Trust in January.
Mr Dimitri commented: "VTE Exemplar Centre status is given to
Trusts that excel in VTE prevention and care. As well as
implementing the patient risk assessment process, this includes
ensuring that continuous clinical training is in place, that
information is available to patients on the risks, symptoms and
treatment for VTE, and that the team has the skills and ability to
offer verbal information and support to patients as and when
In addition to the initiative being embraced within the Countess
of Chester Hospital, part of its success will depend on its
implementation within the community. As a result, the Countess is
working closely with Western Cheshire Primary Care Trust to ensure
that the knowledge is extended to GP surgeries and to the community
in general. As Mr Dimitri points out: "The risk of suffering a clot
goes beyond a patient's hospital stay, and in some patients it
remains there when they are discharged so our aim is to work
closely with the PCT to ensure that 'at risk' patients are followed
up after they have left the hospital, to further reduce the
Mr Dimitri concluded: "I would like to emphasise the fact that
the Stop the Clot 2010 initiative's successful launch and our
subsequent exemplar status accreditation are a richly deserved
recognition of the hard work and dedication of my colleagues in the
Thrombosis Team and all members of staff. I'd like to thank
Virginia Clough, Linda de Cossart, Hillary Leggat, Lucy Langan,
Chris Green, Martin Sedgwick, Jed Hawe, Mark Webb and Sally Goode
for their valuable contribution over the years. We take great pride
in providing high standard, quality care to our patients and
continuing to be one of the leading health providers in the North
Countess of Chester Hospital named as one of the CHKS
40Top Hospitals 2010 for the tenth year in a row
Thursday 13th May 2010
A large group of Chief Executives, Chairs, Medical Directors and
other senior NHS Managers gathered in London for the CHKS Top
Hospitals Conference and Awards Dinner on Wednesday 12th
May. Now in its tenth year, the Top Hospitals Programme celebrates
the success and good performance of the NHS acute sector.
The Countess of Chester Hospital received a 40Top Hospitals
Award for the tenth year in succession, one of only five Trusts in
the country to achieve this. The awards have only been in existence
for ten years meaning that the Countess has successfully received
the award every year since it was comprised in 2001.
The winners were announced at an awards ceremony in London
hosted by CHKS, the UK's leading independent provider of healthcare
intelligence and quality improvement services.
As well as individual awards for patient safety, quality of care
and data quality, CHKS celebrates excellence amongst its clients
across the UK with the 40Top Awards. These are based on the
evaluation of 21 key performance indicators1 covering
safety, clinical effectiveness, health outcomes, efficiency,
patient experience and quality of care.
Dr Virginia Clough, the Trust's Medical Director said, "I
collected this award on behalf of all the staff at the Countess
whose amazing work makes this hospital one of the safest places to
be treated in the country. We are privileged to be singled out as
one of only 5 Trusts in the country to have been awarded this
accolade ten years in a row. To receive this award year after year
recognises our ongoing drive for excellence in clinical care."
James Coles, Director of Research, CHKS, said: "We are delighted
that the Countess of Chester Hospital is one of our 40Top Hospitals
for 2010. These awards recognise outstanding performance in 21
areas which we believe are critical to delivering good patient
Serving up a Fairtrade menu
Thursday 25th February 2010
The Countess of Chester Hospital is showing its support for
farmers in the third world again this year as part of the Fairtrade
Foundation's two week awareness campaign - 'Fairtrade
The two week event aims to promote Fairtrade products, in
addition to informing the public about how the foundation's
activities aim to get farmers and workers in the developing world a
Many organisations and businesses are showing their support for
the national event - which runs from Monday 22nd
February for two weeks - by taking part in a number of promotional
and awareness events.
However, the Countess has gone one step further by introducing
Fairtrade options onto their staff restaurant menu. Fairtrade
Spaghetti Bolognese and Chilli Con Carne were just a couple of the
meals which appeared on the staff menu last year and similar
options will be present on the menu throughout the two week event.
Fairtrade beverages such as tea and coffee are also on offer, as
are a range of Fairtrade cookies, flapjacks and cakes.
The Trust's Head of Catering Services, Joy Ingram, said of the
initiative: "The Fairtrade options on the menu have been a great
success over the last two years and have proved very popular with
staff, so we hope the same happens this year. Taking part in
initiatives like this allows the Trust to make a difference in an
active way. As always the catering team will be working extremely
hard to prepare this food on a daily basis in order for the Trust
to make a valuable and meaningful contribution to Fairtrade
Fortnight, so I would like to personally thank the whole team for
A Tesco store on Frodsham Street has also donated a hamper
consisting of Fairtrade products as part of a Trust competition.
Members of staff who purchase a Fairtrade meal will receive a
raffle ticket and will be automatically entered into the draw for
the hamper after Fairtrade Fortnight.
If you would like more information about how you can get
involved with the Fairtrade Foundation's 'Fairtrade Fortnight',
visit their Website at: http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/thebigswap/.
Quality stroke service expands
Monday 22nd February 2010
The Countess of Chester Hospital today (Monday 22nd
February) officially expanded its Stroke Unit from 6 beds to 28
beds thanks to an increase in specialist stroke nurse support and
the recruitment of a new consultant post.
In order to improve stroke care locally the Countess has
invested approximately £450,000 to expand its specialist stroke
clinical team. The unit's expansion to 28 beds enables patients to
receive intensive, high quality care from a greater number of
specialist stroke clinical staff. This increase will also allow for
a greater number of direct admissions thereby avoiding unnecessary
delays in specialist care.
The Trust's stroke service has been developing for several years
and this latest investment is a substantial move forward, which the
Trust is hoping will pave the way towards a 24 hour a day
thrombolysis, clot busting drug service - which is currently only
provided by a small number of Trusts in the region.
Dr Chatterjee, Lead Consultant for Stroke Services, said: "Stroke
is the third biggest cause of death in the UK and the largest
single cause of severe disability. Each year more than 110,000
people in England will suffer from a stroke and what is more
worrying is the fact that anyone is at risk."
The Department of Health recognised the importance of developing
better stroke services by including specific milestones, targets
and actions in the National Service Framework (NSF) for Older
People launched in March 2001. Following on from this, the
Government launched a national stroke strategy to modernise service
provision and deliver the newest treatments for stroke.
A lot can be done to reduce the impact of a stroke. The
Department of Health recently launched itsAct F.A.S.Tawareness
campaign which aims to educate healthcare professionals and the
public on the signs of stroke and that prompt emergency treatment
can reduce the risk of death and disability. It encourages people
to recognise the signs of stroke and feel confident to phone 999
for an ambulance on detecting any single one of them.
Story book reaches children
Friday 22nd January 2010
The Countess of Chester Hospital has gone to new lengths to
engage with the public by producing a children's book for young
Building on the success of previous public engagement projects
involving Facebook and Twitter, the award winning Trust has
developed 'Sam goes to hospital' to communicate with children who
use the Countess.
The book was produced internally by a team comprising of the
Medical Photography & Illustration department and the Marketing
& Communications department. The team was also assisted by 16
year old Catherine Hanson of Christleton High School, who produced
the fantastic illustrations whilst on a work experience
Marketing & Communications Officer, Andrew Duggan said: "We
always try to engage effectively with the general public however it
is more difficult to communicate well with children and we want to
ensure that we do this because they are as important as any other
service user. We developed the book to simply engage with young
patients and to offer them something that will make their stay in
the hospital less daunting."
The book's unique factor lies in the story which features two
real members of Countess staff in Consultant Paediatrician, Dr Ravi
Jayaram and Staff Nurse, Karen Echlin. So it is highly likely that
children reading the book on the Children's Ward will see two of
the characters come to life in front of them.
Ravi commented on the book by saying: "I think the book is a
great and light-hearted way to explain to children what being in
hospital will be like. However I hope that they won't be too
disappointed when they see that the real Dr Ravi looks at least 10
years older than the cartoon one and doesn't have shiny spiky
Copies of the book have recently been placed on the Children's
Ward and in Children's Outpatients and are free to all young
visitors. Schools and members of the public are also invited to
request copies by calling 01244 366 381 or emailing email@example.com.
Parents raise £20k in memory of Oliver
Thursday 14th January 2010
The parents of a baby who was treated at the Countess of Chester
Hospital have raised over £20,000 for the hospital in his
Through charity dinners, a golf day and other fun events, Craig
and Barbara Newnes - with the support of their friends and family -
raised the huge sum in memory of their son Oliver, who tragically
died inOctober 2007 of a rare brain abscess which affects 1 in
Craig and Barbara who are also proud parents of twins Harvey and
Samuel, visited the Countess to hand over their £20,000 cheque just
before Christmas. The money they raised for the Countess will
be split between the Human Milk Bank and the Special Care Baby Unit
Fundraising Manager, Kate Taylor, said: "Barbara and Craig have
done an amazing job to raise such a huge amount of money again this
year and their continued support for the hospital is much
appreciated by the Fundraising Team, the Human Milk Bank and SCBU.
We are extremely grateful."
Teamwork beyond the normal call of duty says Chief
Wednesday 6th January 2010
The Countess of Chester Hospital's Chief Executive has thanked
hospital staff for their efforts during the current treacherous
The hospital is currently operating at maximum capacity and has
seen an increase in the number of patients visiting A&E over
the last two days. Over Monday and Tuesday this week alone, 400
patients arrived at the Emergency Department for treatment.
The current pressure on the hospital site has resulted in the
Trust asking people to only visit patients in the hospital if it is
After an extremely demanding Tuesday evening, Chief Executive,
Peter Herring, said to staff: "I want to thank all of you for
coping so fantastically yesterday with the extremely difficult
circumstances we faced. Many of you went well beyond the normal
call of duty and I am very grateful for your efforts.
"I suspect the next few days will remain difficult for the
hospital and for some staff to make it in, nevertheless I am sure
with the sort of effort demonstrated yesterday we will cope ably
with the circumstances."
The Trust says that there is plenty that local people can do to
support their NHS at this time.
Director of Operations, Tim Lynch said: "We are expecting more
cold weather at a time when Accident and Emergency departments
throughout the county are already being challenged by the numbers
of people falling and slipping over. We would strongly urge people
to take extra care and especially if you are elderly. It you need
shopping, please ask someone to do it for you or take extra care if
you must venture out and about."
NHS Direct which can be contacted on 0845 4647 offers
round-the-clock health information and advice. You can also visit
the website at: www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk
For further information on hospital visiting, please visit: www.coch.nhs.uk