News Archive 2011
Santas fill the streets of Chester
Wednesday 21st December 2011
Chester's first ever Santa Dash took place on Sunday 11th
December, with 1500 Santa's and reindeers 'dashing' through the
streets of Chester. This festive event, sponsored by M&S Money
set off from the University of Chester Riverside Campus Building in
Castle Street at 9.30am and was officially started by
Ian Puleston-Davies of Coronation Street, who was delighted to
see such a great turn out.
The first runner back was James Preston who lives with partner
Laura Homeyard in Chester but is currently serving in Scotland with
the Royal Navy. He completed the run in 11.06 minutes. It was a
close finish with Lee Horton in 2nd place, Mark Gould in
3rd and Sean Taylor in 4th place.
As well as those running the route there were hundreds of others
walking with babies and children all in festive outfits, and
several dogs also joined in too! The oldest participant was 90 year
old Gertrude Seale.
The Chester Santa Dash was organised by - and is raising
funds for - the Children's Unit at the Countess of
Chester Hospital and the child bereavement service at The Hospice
of the Good Shepherd.
Fundraising Manager, Janet Ratcliffe, said: "We have several
local organisations to thank for their support, particularly
M&S Money Chester, The University of Chester, Hickory's
Starbucks, Smithfield Electronics, Deva Cheerleaders, Funky Money
and the Karumba Samba Band, whose support and assistance was
invaluable in the organisation of the Chester Santa Dash. We
also couldn't have put on such a large scale event without the
support of a large number of fantastic volunteers who manned the
marshal points around the route and the registration desks."
PIP breast implants not used at the Countess of Chester
Wednesday 21st December 2011
The national media has today reported on the potential
danger of a specific brand of breast implants - Poly Implant
Prothese (PIP). This particular brand has never been used at the
Countess of Chester Hospital and the Trust would like to issue the
following statement to alleviate any concerns that our patients or
potential patients may have:
"All women undergoing surgery under the care of the breast
surgeons or plastic surgeons at the Countess of Chester Hospital
(COCH), requiring reconstruction of the breast of any kind using a
silicone implant, or having breast augmentation using silicone
implants, have NOT been given PIP implants. We have never
used this brand of implant. We only use Allergan (aka McGhan,
aka Natrelle), Mentor or Nagor makes of implant. Therefore
our patients need to be reassured that there is no issue, as these
companies use surgical grade silicone and not the inferior
grade used by PIP.
"Women who have had surgery using silicone implants by surgeons
from other hospitals might be referred to COCH or assessment.
Ideally they should be referred to the surgeon who did the original
implant surgery. Women need to find out from their original
surgeon/hospital what make of implant was used in their case
before being referred into COCH. This should alleviate
unnecessary worry. If their implant is not PIP, they do not need to
be assessed. If their implants were PIP, or they
apparently cannot find out, then they should be referred in for
assessment of implant integrity to plastic surgery.
"We await a guidance from the Department of Health as to whether
these patients who have had PIP implants will need additional
breast screening in the future." - Breast General Surgeon
Consultant for the Countess of Chester Hospital, Claudia
Please view the following article for more details around the
Visiting restrictions in place
Monday 12th December 2011
Over the weekend, the Countess of Chester Hospital made the
decision to restrict patient visiting across the hospital to
contain an outbreak of vomiting and diarrhoea. As a result,
visiting all wards is by appointment only via the Nurse in Charge
until further notice.
Visitors are being asked for their help in tackling winter bugs,
which can lead to hospital wards being unable to accept any new
admissions, NHS staff going off sick and appointments being
Cases of diarrhoea and vomiting traditionally go up at this time
of year. They are caused by two types of virus; Norovirus and
Rotavirus. They cause unpleasant but short-lived symptoms for
the majority of people, but can have a devastating effect if they
get into a hospital.
Consultant Microbiologist at the Countess, Dr John Croall, said:
"We know that these viruses are already circulating widely in the
community - for example we have seen local schools affected.
We are asking for the help of everyone visiting the hospital to
keep the bugs out. If these bugs get into a hospital, they
can make people who are already poorly seriously ill, particularly
older people and those who have long term health
"These bugs can pass quickly between visitors, patients and
staff. We have policies in place to de-contaminate ward
areas, but these can take a few days to have an impact. Winter is
always a busy time for us, and the last thing we need is staff off
ill, beds unavailable and appointments being postponed.
What's more, we might have to restrict visiting over the Christmas
period, meaning patients could have a lonely time over Christmas
and New Year."
Over the last couple of days the Countess has been required to
restrict patient visiting across the hospital to contain outbreaks
of vomiting and diarrhoea. Although not all wards have been
affected by vomiting and diarrhoea, the decision to restrict
visiting on all wards was made as a precautionary measure for the
safety of patients and to ensure it does not spread.
Dr Croall added: "We need people to help us keep our
services running as normal, and there are some really basic steps
they can take. If you have been sick or had diarrhoea within
the last 48 hours then please do not visit the hospital.
Please do not bring children aged 12 years or younger into the
hospital, as they often pick up these bugs at school."
Symptoms such as sickness and diarrhoea can be best treated by
staying at home, drinking plenty of fluids and getting some
rest. Advice is available from your local high-street
pharmacist, on line from NHS Choices www.nhs.uk and from NHS Direct on
0845 46 47.
For information on the visiting restrictions currently in place
at the Countess, please visit: www.coch.nhs.uk.
Clot campaign hits national target
Tuesday 6th December 2011
The Countess of Chester Hospital is proud to announce that it
has achieved the national target of assessing more than 90% of its
patients for their risk of blood clots. This includes Deep
Vein Thombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE - a blood clot that
has travelled to the lung).
The Countess of Chester Hospital aims to assess all adult
inpatients and day cases for their risk assessment of DVT and PE,
and that they receive the correct treatment and preventative
measures, and are provided with information about DVT and PE.
The Countess of Chester Hospital was chosen as the first, and
only, Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) Exemplar Centre in the North
West of England, after assessment by the Parliamentary Thrombosis
Implementation Working Group, in January 2010. In addition,
the hospital had a recent inspection through the NHS Litigation
Authority, at which its work on DVT and PE prevention was
praised. The health initiative is led by Mr Sameh Dimitri,
Chair of the Thrombosis Group, and Consultant and Lead Vascular
Surgeon and Dr Virginia Clough, Medical Director and Consultant
Haematologist. They widely advertised their intiative called
"Stop the Clot 2010" throughout the hospital.
With an alarming 25,000 people dying each year from hospital
acquired VTE, (more than from breast cancer, AIDS and road traffic
accidents put together) the need for initiatives like 'Stop the
Clot' is obvious. Mr Dimitri explains, "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, higher risk
patients with a previous history of venous thromboembolism may
require more complex management. Each course of treatment is
tailored to the individual's needs."
Maintaining this Exemplar status and enviable record regarding
DVT prevention and treatment became a real challenge for the
Countess of Chester Hospital. Working in partnership with Gus
Sagoo, NHS Partnership Development Manager at LEO Pharma, Mr
Dimitri was able to explain the need for a designated nurse to help
us carry out the risk assessments. Prior to this, a vascular
specialist nurse had been conducting the patient assessments
alongside her many other duties. With LEO's support, a designated
VTE nurse was employed.
Mr Dimitri said: "Exemplar status is about having the right
tools in place so that each patient can be properly assessed and
then the right preventative measures or correct drug dosages
administered. It is the role of the VTE nurse to pull all
these factors together. We are most grateful for the support
that Leo have given us".
To further strengthen the ongoing initiative and implement risk
assessments on a wider basis, the Countess is planning to work more
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
can go 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 extended VTE prophylaxis is provided
for 'at risk' patients after they have left the hospital, to
further reduce the risk."
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, Carys Humphreys, Angela Lamberton, Hilary Leggat,
Lucy Langan, Chris Green, Martin Sedgwick, Jeanette Devine, Jed
Hawe, Mark Webb, Sally Goode and Gus Sagoo for their valuable
contribution. We take great pride in providing high standard,
quality care to our patients and continuing to be one of the
leading health providers in theNorth West."
Trees light up hospital
Tuesday 6th December 2011
The Trees of
Light ceremony gave members of the public the chance
to dedicate a light to a loved one last week, an event which
also saw their names being entered into a Book of Honour.
Memories and celebrations of loved ones lit up the
ceremony. The event was organised for anyone who has lost a close
friend or relative, whether or not they were patients at the
Chester Music Society Choir appeared at this year's event which
featured music, readings, and hot mince pies. In addition, Dr
Michael Gilbertson, Archdeacon of Chester, was the event's
guest of honour and switched the lights on. The ceremony was led by
the Trust's Chaplaincy Co-ordinator, Rev John
Fundraising Manager, Janet Ratcliffe, said: "The Trees of Light
is such a special appeal and gives people the chance to honour lost
loved ones or to celebrate the life of a loved one. The fact that
our event takes place near Christmas makes it an even more special
occasion as it can be an emotional time for people."
Chaplaincy Co-ordinator, Reverend John Kingsley, said: "The
proceeds of the Trees of Light annual appeal are used to improve
the care and support to patients and relatives at the time of
bereavement. This year we will be continuing to develop our
bereavement care with the provision of a counselling service. We
are extremely grateful for everyone's generosity which has made
this work possible through the Trees of Light Appeal."
Day of industrial action - 30 Nov 2011
Thursday 24th November 2011
A day of industrial action is taking place throughout the public
sector on Wednesday 30th November 2011 in protest to the
government's proposed changes to public sector pensions.
Although the Countess of Chester Hospital has plans in place to
deal with any disruptions that may be caused, there will
undoubtedly be increased pressure on our services throughout the
day as a result.
Here is some information and advice on how the day of action is
likely to affect the Trust:
Unless instructed otherwise, patients with appointments
should attend as normal - it is not necessary to call the
Appointments Hotline for any further clarification. We
advise patients to arrive early on this day.
- Members of the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal
College of Nursing (RCN) will not be striking.
- The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have issued advice to all
members that they are to report to work as normal on the day of
action and are encouraged, in their own time, to support the action
of colleagues by attending demonstrations or signing petitions
etc... either on or off hospital property
- BMA Members who support the day of action are encouraged to
offer their support by campaigning and lobbying to help raise
awareness - e.g. by wearing stickers or badges, as well as
recruiting colleagues, friends and family members to promote their
- Some non-clinical members of staff (who do not belong to the
above unions) may decide to strike, however it will not be apparent
how many until the day of action itself.
- The Trust has plans in place to deal with any disruption that
may be caused as a result of the industrial action. Patient care
and safety is our main priority.
- Emergency care will not be affected by the industrial action
and will continue as normal.
- Planned procedures will continue to take place, though activity
will be less than normal.
As always, patients should only visit the Emergency Department
(A&E) with major illnesses or injuries. Please ensure that you
only visit A&E if your condition cannot be treated by one of
the following alternatives: NHS Direct (0845 4647), a pharmacist,
your GP, or an NHS Walk-In-Centre.
For more information on making the right choice of treatment,
please visit: http://www.northwest.nhs.uk/yournhs/choosewellthiswinter/
Evacuation exercise a success
Tuesday 22nd November 2011
A recent evacuation exercise which took place at the
Countess was a great success.
The Trust is under a legal duty and a moral obligation to ensure
the safety of all persons on Trust premises and property at all
The two primary pieces of legislation that the Trust must comply
with are; The Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 and The
Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.
Reuben Bellis, Fire Safety Advisor, said: "Competence is part of
good health and safety management. Someone having sufficient
training with experience or knowledge to undertake the work
required properly is competent. It is critical that in all
emergency situations the Trust has sufficient staff with the
requisite skills and knowledge to effectively deal with any
incident that has the potential to seriously injure or incur
fatalities, one such incident is 'fire'."
The exercise, which took place in September 2011 was designed to
test the current evacuation procedure for Progressive Horizontal
Reuben said: "The evacuation was considered by all to be a
success. The small number of learning outcomes identified are to be
directed to specific departmental managers to address issues
The Fire & Rescue Service - who are the enforcing authority
for The Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 - described the
planning, participation and efforts of all of those persons who
took part in the major exercise as 'positive'.
Bereavement service supported by trees
Wednesday 9th November 2011
The Countess of Chester Hospital is inviting members of the
public to dedicate a light to a loved one at the annual Trees of
Light ceremony which will also see their names being entered into a
Book of Honour.
Memories and celebrations of loved ones will be lighting up the
ceremony at the Trust's main entrance from 6pm on Friday
2nd December. Anyone who has lost a close friend or
relative, whether or not they were patients at the hospital, is
invited to take part in the event, as are people who would simply
like to celebrate the life of a loved one.
Over the last year, the funds raised from the Trees of Light
Appeal has enabled the Countess to provide a Bereavement and
Counselling Service. During this time, almost 100 individual
counselling sessions have taken place, while 30 people have
contacted the service and have received telephone support, written
correspondence with advice and help, as well as referrals to other
services to meet their needs. This is all thanks to the funds
raised from the Trees of Light Appeal.
Liz Taylor, Macmillan Support and Information Manager at the
Countess, who also runs the bereavement and counselling service
said: "This service has been very successful and has been entirely
funded by the Trees of Light Appeal. Without this service, many
people would have missed out on the help and support they needed
and thankfully received as a result of Trees of Light. Hopefully it
is a comforting thought for people who take apart in the event that
honouring their loved one is also helping others."
Carolyn Davies, who used the bereavement service after her
husband passed away, commented: "I was reluctant to take advantage
of the service at first because you tell yourself you don't need
help. The main benefit was having someone other than friends and
family who just listens to what you have to say and lets you speak
about what is on your mind. Your family and friends are there for
you but sometimes it is comforting to have someone who is
completely separate. It was a great help."
Fundraising Manager, Janet Ratcliffe, added: "The Trees of Light
is such a special appeal and as well as helping others through the
bereavement and counselling service which it funds, the event also
gives people the chance to honour lost loved ones or to celebrate
the life of a loved one at a special time of year."
If you would like to enter an application to have a loved one's
name included in the Book of Honour, please contact the Trust's
Fundraising department on 01244 366240 or visit the Fundraising
Office to complete an application form before Monday
Santa Dash 2011 - Run or walk 4km to raise funds for two
very worthy local causes.
Wednesday 26th October 2011
Be part of something NEWand EXCITINGthis Christmas and take part
in Chester's first ever SANTA DASH, run or walk 4km to raise funds
for two very worthy local causes:
The Santa Dash is a festive family event open to all ages.
Children aged 14 and under can enter the Santa Dash so long as they
are accompanied by an adult.
The Santa Dash starts at 9:30am on Castle Drive, Chester (it
will be well signposted) and registration will open from 8:30am.
Please try to car share where possible. There will be a limited
number of free parking spaces at the Roodee Car park, but you must
vacate the car park by 12:00 noon.
How do I register?
Please send in your completed entry form and cheque to the
Freepost address shown at the bottom of the application
You will receive your sponsorship pack in the post within three
weeks of entering. This pack will include event instructions (what
to do, where to go, timing on the day) along with a Santa Suit
What does it cost?
The Chester Santa Dash costs £10 per person; your entry fee
includes a Santa Suit, (Adults only) Reindeer antlers (Children
Only) plus seasonal refreshments and a unique souvenir to mark your
We are encouraging people to raise as much money for the two
causes as possible. If you manage to raise over £50 in sponsorship
you will automatically be entered into a free prize draw to win:
FAMILY BOWLING PASS, FAMILY CROCKY TRAIL PASS, ZOO TICKETS.
The Chester Santa Dash route is flat and circular so this could
be the occasion you finally achieve your personal best - just make
sure your beard and Santa trousers are safely secured before you
We need over 50 volunteers to help at this event, if you are
able to spare a couple of hours to volunteer please visit our
website www.chestersantadash.com for
more details of volunteer roles and register your
Alternatively call the Hospice 01244 851811. The jobs we need
help with include, registering walkers, giving out medals,
marshalling the route and serving refreshments.
You can call into one of the following collection points to
Santa Suit or Reindeer antlers from Monday 1st November up to 4pm
YOU MUST TAKE YOUR SANTA SUIT COLLECTION CARD
- Hospice, Backford - 8:30am - 4pm (Mon-Fri)
- Countess Fundraising Department - 8:30am - 4pm (Mon-Fri)
- Whitby Hospice Shop, Chester Road - 9:30am - 4pm (Mon to
- Northgate Street Hospice Shop - 9:30am - 4pm (Mon-Sat)
- Faulkner Street Hospice Shop - 9:30am - 4pm (Mon - Sat)
- Sutton Way Hospice Shop - 9:30am - 4pm (Mon-Sat)
Or you can collect your suit/antlers on the day of the event
before 9am (Remember
to bring your collection Card).
Enter Online at www.chestersantadash.com
The Countess has received a 40Top Hospitals Award for
the eleventh year in succession
Wednesday 26th October 2011
The Countess of Chester Hospital received a 40 Top Hospitals
Award for the eleventh year in succession, one of only five Trusts
in the country to achieve this. The awards have only been in
existence for eleven years meaning that the Countess has
successfully received the award every year since it was comprised
The winners were announced 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 indicators covering safety,
clinical effectiveness, health outcomes, efficiency, patient
experience and quality of care.
Dr Virginia Clough, the Trust's Medical Director, said: "This is
the fourth successive year that I have had the privilege to collect
this award on behalf of the Countess of Chester Hospital. In a
difficult year of change and financial pressure we have still been
recognised nationally as a top performing hospital."
She added: "I pay tribute to the hard work put in by all members
of staff at the Countess. Of particular pleasure has been our
sustained success in tackling Healthcare Associated Infections. The
fact that we have not had a single case of MRSA Bacteraemia since
June 2010 is one of our many achievements in the past year."
James Coles, Director of Research, CHKS, said: "We are delighted
that the Countess of Chester Hospital is one of our 40Top Hospitals
for 2011. These awards recognise outstanding performance in the
areas which we believe are critical to delivering good patient
Trust presented with the prestigious UNICEF Baby
Wednesday 26th October 2011
Coronation Street actor Ian Puleston-Davies - who plays Owen in
the popular soap - visited the Countess on Tuesday 25th
October to present the Trust with the prestigious UNICEF Baby
The Trust's Maternity Unit has been externally audited by UNICEF
UK as part of a three-stage assessment and has achieved the Baby
Friendly Initiative Award. Of the 32 hospitals in the North West
only 10 are fully accredited with this prestigious award, putting
the Countess among a select group of top performing Trusts.
The Baby Friendly Initiative is a worldwide programme of the World Health Organization and
UNICEF. It was established in 1992 to encourage
maternity hospitals to implement the Ten
Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and to practise in accordance
with the International Code of Marketing
of Breast Milk Substitutes.
The Baby Friendly Initiative works with the health care system
to ensure a high standard of care for pregnant women and
breastfeeding mothers and babies. Support is provided for health
care facilities that are seeking to implement recognised standards
of best practice in the care of mothers and babies, an assessment
and accreditation process recognises those that have achieved the
Congratulations to all the staff.
Macmillan centre opens - This excellent new centre
offers help and support to people affected by cancer.
Wednesday 26th October 2011
The Countess of Chester Hospital officially opened its Macmillan
Support and Information Centre recently which offers help and
support to people affected by cancer, including those who are
diagnosed with the illness as well as their family and friends.
People who have been affected by cancer joined the Trust's
Executives, Trust Governors, members of the public, Macmillan staff
and volunteers as well as Stephen Mosley (MP for The City of
Chester), to celebrate the opening of the centre with a cutting of
the ribbon. The event was also supported by a cake sale.
The new centre - which is based on the Countess' hospital site
near to the main entrance - provides a purpose built base for the
Macmillan Support and Information Service which started three years
ago. The service is open to anyone affected by cancer -
including patients, their family and carers, the worried well and
people who have completed their treatment. Macmillan Support and
Information Manager, Liz Taylor said: "I am delighted to announce
the opening of this excellent facility. This new centre builds on
the amazing work that has gone on over the last three years within
the Trust and it will benefit over 250,000 patients in the local
area. We have already helped over 1000 people over the last four
months by answering their questions and worries relating to cancer,
such as the financial issues associated with a cancer diagnosis,
the general impact of living with cancer, and how to find support
locally. Over 70% of these people have been first-time users of the
service which means we are reaching a whole new audience who need
support like ours. Having this dedicated and comfortable space
within the hospital means that we will be able to grow the service
and reach even more people."
Former cancer patient, Helen Lucy, was guest of honour at the
event and officially opened the centre. She commented: "When I was
diagnosed with cancer I had no idea a service like the Macmillan
Support and Information Service existed. All things go through your
mind when you experience cancer and it affects you and your family
deeply. Having a service like this to ask for support is extremely
valuable through the cancer journey. This is a fantastic service
and due to its prominent location in the hospital hopefully many
people will make use of the support available. The facilities and
the Macmillan team are all fantastic and I am privileged to cut the
During a visit to the Countess, Stephen Mosley (MP for The City
of Chester) was present at the opening and emphasised Helen's
sentiments by congratulating the Trust on the opening of an
excellent facility. The new building also acts as a resource centre
for professionals involved in the care and management of cancer
patients, and will provide generic information to those with other
life limiting illnesses.
For any further information about the Macmillan Information
Centre, please contact Macmillan Support and Information Manager,
Liz Taylor on 01244 364948.
The Trust recently underwent a £2m refurbishment
programme to the Emergency Department
Wednesday 26th October 2011
As part of a two million pound investment programme for
Emergency Medicine, the Trust recently underwent a refurbishment
programme to the Emergency Department's Majors area which has added
three cubicles and increased the resuscitation patient capacity
from two to three.
The refurbishment work started in late 2010 and now the newly
refurbished Majors area and the new resuscitation facility is fully
Debbie Bryce, Business Performance Manager for the Acute
Directorate at the Countess, said: "This refurbishment will improve
the Emergency Department's environment for patient care and for
staff. The staff are extremely pleased with the results of the work
The final phase of the refurbishment programme - completed in
August - included the refurbishment for the remaining parts of the
Debbie added: "We will see real benefits to the clinical
environment for patient care and for staff who work in this
extremely busy department."
Although patients are set to see the benefits of these new
facilities, the Emergency Department is still keen to encourage
members of the public to use the Emergency Department wisely over
the coming months. The Emergency Department (also known as A&E)
is for life-threatening and serious conditions only. The
NHS's 'Choose Well' campaign highlights local GPs, walk-in centres,
pharmacists, and NHS Direct as just some of the alternatives to
A&E which are available to assist with minor conditions and
more information, please visit: www.choosewell.org.uk
Meeting essential CQC standards of quality and safety
for older people
Thursday 13th October
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) today published a report into
the standards of care that older people receive in hospital. The
report found that the Countess of Chester Hospital is meeting both
of the essential standards of quality and safety for older
Due to a number of Trust's under-performing, calls have been made
for a system-wide response to combat the failings identified.
Around half of the hospitals needed to do more to ensure that they
were meeting people's needs - with twenty of the hospitals visited
failing to meet essential standards required by law. However, the
Countess was found to be fully compliant in all quality and safety
areas for older people.
The review was part of an inspection programme
to assess how well older people are treated during their hospital
stay. In particular, the inspection focused on whether they were
treated with dignity and respect and whether their nutritional
needs were met.
Earlier this year an inspection team visited the
Trust's Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) and Ward 53 (Tower Ward), to
observe how people were being cared for by speaking to patients and
staff during the visit.
The investigation centred around two outcomes. The first outcome
stated that 'People should be treated with respect, involved in
discussions about their care and treatment and able to influence
how the service is run.' The second outcome stated that 'Food and
drink should meet people's individual dietary needs.' It was found
that the Countess is meeting both of these essential standards.
According to the report, all of the patients who inspectors
talked to said their needs were met and that they were given
information and encouraged to take part in drawing up their plan of
care and felt confident that if they didn't understand anything
they could ask for further explanation.
Director of Nursing, Quality and Environment, Gaynor Hales,
said: "I am extremely pleased with the Trust's performance and this
indicates the excellent standard of care provided by all members of
staff to patients. We aim to treat every single patient as an
individual with respect and dignity, as well as catering for basic
needs and requirements. Thanks to the effort of our staff, this
report demonstrates that we are among the best Trusts in the
country for providing such care."
Duke of Westminster opens Parent Unit
Tuesday 11th October 2011
His Grace the Duke of Westminster visited the Countess of
Chester Hospital today to open a newly refurbished facility for
parents of sick children being treated on the Children's
The Duke was accompanied by the Trust's Chief Executive, Peter
Herring and Chairman, Sir Jim Sharples, along with many members of
staff and members of the community to see the opening of
Christopher Wing was originally opened in 1998 following the
tireless fundraising of Tim and Gill Worrall. The wing was named
after Mr and Mrs Worrall's son Christopher, who sadly died in 1994
of a brain tumour while being treated on the Children's Ward.
Throughout their time at the hospital, Tim and Gill felt that it
needed a designated space where families could go to rest or to
simply have some quiet time but still be close by to their children
at all times. As a result, Mr and Mrs Worrall helped raise funds to
open the Christopher Wing in 1998.
Since then the wing has required further modernisation and
improvements and the Chester Childbirth Appeal recently donated
almost £90,000 towards refurbishing it. It was refurbished in
response to feedback from parents who suggested that parent
accommodation and facilities needed to be improved. Space was made
available through the refurbishment, it was made more easily
accessible and welcoming, and the overall facilities in the
kitchens and bathrooms have been completely modernised. A 'Quiet
Room' was also built for counselling parents and for breaking
sensitive news in private.
While unveiling the new facility, His Grace the Duke of
Westminster, said: "As a parent myself I understand the importance
of this facility and I am very impressed with it. I want to pay
tribute to Mr and Mrs Worrall who originally provided this
facility, and the Chester Childbirth Appeal."
Founder of the Chester Childbirth Appeal, Mrs Pat Daniels MBE,
added: "We are very grateful to His Grace the Duke of Westminster
for sparing the time from his busy schedule to come and open the
Christopher Wing. The Chester Childbirth Appeal celebrates its 20th
anniversary this year. During that time it has raised over £1m,
which has been spent on amenities and facilities to benefit the
women and children attending the Countess of Chester Hospital."
Annual Members' Meeting - 4th October 2011
Tuesday 11th October 2011
The Trust's Annual Members'
Meeting is taking place from 5pm on Tuesday 4th October 2011 at the
Countess of Chester Hospital. This is an opportunity to meet staff
and see examples of the developments and achievements made during
the last year.
During the meeting there will be updates on topics such as quality,
financial accounts, and service developments. There will also be
time for people to speak with staff from across the Trust about the
progress being made and to view display stands with details about a
number of Trust services.
Trust Secretary, Stephen Cross, commented: "The Annual Members'
Meeting is a great way for the public and Trust Members to meet
with staff from their local hospital and learn more about the
progress and improvements which have taken place over the last
year. It also gives an opportunity to hear the views of Trust
members and the public."
The meeting will be held at the Countess of Chester Hospital's
Education and Training Centre and will start at 5pm. All are
welcome, so please come along to find out about the progress your
local hospital is making.
There is no need to register or book a place, just simply put the
date in your diary and turn up on the day.
For further information about any aspect of the Annual Members'
Meeting, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 01244 365
For people attending the event, there will be no charge for car
Local mums are Bosom Buddies
Wednesday 13th April 2011
A group of 17 local mums, completed training to become
breastfeeding peer supporters known as 'Bosom Buddies'.
These mums, who have previously breastfed their own babies,
wanted to help and support other mothers to do the same and are now
committed to improving support for breastfeeding mothers.
The training is provided by Janet Beech (Infant Feeding
Co-ordinator) and Linda Gendler (Midwifery Support Worker) at the
Countess of Chester Hospital, using the La Leche League training
programme. The La Leche League is an international organisation
helping women to breastfeed in over 65 countries through a network
of mother-to-mother support.
Infant Feeding Co-ordinator, Janet Beech, said: "The training
programme includes all aspects of getting infant feeding off to a
good start, enabling the Bosom Buddies to give mothers the right
support and encouragement to feed their babies and helping mums
make breastfeeding work - in day to day living and when they are
out and about."
After completing the training, the Bosom Buddies will provide
mother-to-mother support in hospital and community settings in and
Amanda Rowlands, a newly qualified Bosom Buddy, said: "After the
birth of my second child I knew I wanted to breastfeed as I had
done with my first child. The first few days were very
different with my second child compared to the first, I just
assumed that everything would be straight forward. I received some
one-to-one support from a Bosom Buddy on the hospital ward, without
this support I received around hand expressing and correct
position and attachment I would have not had been able to establish
successful breastfeeding and I would have had to artificially
feed my baby."
She added: "The support I received from Bosom Buddies at the breast
feeding support group was fantastic, I picked up some really useful
hints and tips following the birth of my first child, I was
able to successfully express milk so I was able to return to
university when my baby was only 18 days old. This made all the
difference to me as I was able to continue exclusively
breastfeeding while returning to university. This also gave my
husband an opportunity to feed my baby expressed breast milk from a
bottle; this made him feel very involved with feeding my
baby. I have recently graduated as a Bosom Buddy, I feel that lots
of new mums need support in the first few weeks to establish
successful breastfeeding and without volunteer peer supporters then
this essential support may not be offered to mums."
Each of the newly qualified mum's were presented with a certificate
by Irene Finney of Dee 106.3 at a graduation event on
11th April in the Countess of Chester Hospital's
Education & Training Centre.
Sessions to help people with diabetes
Monday 28th March 2011
The Countess of Chester Hospital is running group sessions for
people with Type 2 diabetes.Diabetes Essentialsis a specifically
designed education programme for people diagnosed with
Diabetes Essentials is targeted at people with newly diagnosed
or existing Type 2 diabetes. These sessions give people the chance
to learn more about diabetes management and will allow the time and
opportunity to learn from a health professional specialising in
diabetes who will present information in a simple and easy to
understand way. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet other
people with diabetes and learn from their experiences as well as
ask questions to everyone present at the sessions. Leaflets on all
subjects covered will be provided during the sessions.
There will be general information included to explain what
diabetes actually is, the different types of diabetes, monitoring
and managing diabetes, the prevention of long-term health problems,
healthy eating, physical activity, foot care, as well coping skills
for dealing with diabetes in everyday life. People attending are
welcome to bring one other person with them - the person that does
the shopping and cooking in the household, if not the person with
diabetes, is particularly encouraged to attend.
Sarah Fitzgerald, Diabetes Specialist Dietician, said: "This is
an excellent opportunity for anyone who has, or is affected by
diabetes to learn more and gain valuable information about various
aspects of dealing with the challenges it entails."
The sessions are approximately 2½ hours in duration and are
delivered by a qualified health professional, currently a
registered dietitian, and are open to people from theWestern
Cheshirearea. They run twice a week with two monthly evening
sessions being provided. Venues are; The Cheshire County Sports
Club (Plas Newton Lane, Chester), Cheshire County Sports Clubhouse
(Mannings Lane North, Chester) and the Masonic lodge, Orchard Suite
(Chester Road, Ellesmere Port). All venues have free car parking
and frequent bus services. Days for each venue vary but morning
sessions are 9.30am - 12.00pm, afternoon sessions are 2pm - 4.30pm,
and evening sessions take place between 5.00pm - 7.30pm.
This is a self referral service and patients should contact the
appointment line directly.
If you would like to attend one of the sessions please call
Therapy Services on 01244 363 230 or if you would like more
information please email email@example.com.
Innovative new breast unit leads the way
Tuesday 22nd March 2011
The Countess of Chester Hospital recently unveiled its new
Breast Screening Unit at an opening event to promote the changes
that have been taking place recently, namely the complete transfer
to digital imaging for breast screening.
The Ursula Keyes Breast Screening Unit at the Countess of
Chester Hospital is one of the first breast screening units in
Cheshire and Merseyside to make a complete changeover from analogue
to digital imaging, exceeding the standards set by the Department
of Health for the NHS by the end of 2010. The change has been made
possible thanks to joint funding from the Countess of Chester
Hospital who invested over £500,000 for the cost of the digital
equipment and NHS Western Cheshire Primary Care Trust who will be
funding the ongoing running costs to provide a fully digital
service to patients in Chester and the surrounding areas. The
Trust's Breast Screening Unit also had to satisfy rigorous quality
control standards to prove it was ready to implement the latest
digital imaging technology. This became fully operational on
1st December 2010.
The unit has also seen the installation of Visual Art Therapy.
The Visual Art Therapy has been an ongoing project for the past
year and provides nature-based digital art films to the clients and
patients who use the Breast Unit. The aim of this visual therapy
project is to create areas that are naturally welcoming and
peaceful to help reduce stress and anxiety.
Joe Gildea, of the Ship Victory Pub, whose fundraising efforts
in recent years have helped to raise £86,500 for the Breast Care
Unit, was the guest of honour at the opening. He said: "I'd like to
say congratulations to everyone involved in the opening of this
unit. It's a privilege and an honour to be here today. We describe
the Ship Victory pub as 'the little pub with a big heart' but it's
actually more accurate to say that is a little pub of people with
big hearts. There are too many people to thank individually for
helping to raise £86,500 for this unit over the years, but the
reason why people are so generous with their time and money is
because this unit provides such an important service and everyone
will know or know of someone who has been treated here. The staff
in the unit are the best at what they do and they provide an
invaluable service. They are people of great worth."
Consultant Radiologist on the Unit, Dr Amr Hamid, commented:
"Over the past 12 months major funding and huge efforts have been
poured into this unit. Two brand new digital mammographic imaging
machines with biopsy facility have been placed in our unit and we
have also purchased two new breast ultrasound machines. All this
new state of the art equipment will improve the imaging quality and
therefore enhance our diagnostic accuracy to detect breast cancer
at an earlier stage. We have also installed visual art
therapy in all mammography and ultrasound rooms as well as in all
waiting areas to try to reduce patients stress and anxiety."
After installing the mammography digital equipment, the Breast
Screening Unit was able to start breast screening age extension in
December 2010, as part of the Nationally Randomised Trial.
This means that the Trust will continue to invite women aged
50 - 70, whilst those aged 47 - 50 and 70 - 73 will receive a
randomised appointment according to the trial. The Trust is also
one of the first breast screening units in the entire North West to
go fully digital and implement age extension.
Dr Hamid added: "This has been an enormous team effort and I
would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in
bringing this unit to where it is now. There are also countless
local individuals and charities who have given generously over the
years to supply equipment and provide general support who I would
like to thank today. A special thank you goes to the Angela Gildea
charity foundation who have funded the visual art therapy
installation in our unit and several other pieces of equipment over
the past years."
Stoma care open day
Monday 14th March 2011
The Countess of Chester Hospital is holding an open day at
Ellesmere Port Civic Hall to show the advances in treatment for
stoma care patients.
Stoma Nurses Julie Clements and Maria Brown are holding an Open
Day at Ellesmere Port Civic Hall on Wednesday 23rd March
2011. All stoma patients from Chester, Deeside and Ellesmere
Port area are invited to the event which is taking place between
1.30 - 5.30pm.
An abdominal stoma can be formed for a number of reasons
including; bowel diseases such as Cancer, Ulcerative Colitis,
Crohns, Diverticular disease, Fistulas or bladder disease. Many
will be temporary but generally those with bladder disease will
have a permanent stoma.
All the major appliance manufacturers will be at the event to
show the latest improvements in stoma care and the most up-to-date
products and accessories will also be on display.
Maria Brown, Advanced Practitioner in Stoma Care, said: "People
who attended last year's event commented that it was great to be
able to talk to manufacturers about the range of products and to
have the chance to offer suggestions on how they could be
improved. This year there will be a talk from a
Dietician. There will also be complimentary therapy available
for stoma patients, an Indian head massage and reflexology."
Visitors will be able to find out about the Stoma Social Support
Group which meets every three months and they can also talk to a
The open day is part of the continuing care the Countess of
Chester Hospital provides to stoma patients. For more information
on this event please contact Maria Brown on 01244 366 170.