In this issue
Welcome
Royal opening for Rare Diseases Centre
Can water softeners prevent eczema?
Getting ready for work
Mind and body care
Guy’s Cancer part of research powerhouse
A genetic revolution
New outpatient pharmacy at Guy’s
Use our free wills service
Friends and Family Test – August
Award for LEAP team
Apprentices scoop awards
Coolest baby in town
Dementia-friendly wards
Physio swims Channel for charity
11 October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month
20 October – Low Vision Day
30 October – Psoriasis patient and public event
Donate
Welcome

In this month’s e-GiST you can read about HRH The Countess of Wessex’s visit to St Thomas’ Hospital when she officially opened our Rare Diseases Centre in September. We are incredibly proud to have this wonderful facility which was designed with the involvement of our patients who have a number of complex rare genetic conditions.

 

Our dedicated staff are delighted to have this superb facility to help them provide excellent care to this special group of patients every day, making a real difference to their lives. We are very grateful to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, the charity DEBRA, the Four Acre Trust and the Photodermatology Charitable Trust who made this centre possible.

 

You can also read about a new study that is investigating if water softeners can reduce the risk of infants getting eczema, and find out how scientists at the Cancer Centre at Guy’s will be helping to transform cancer research.

 

Amanda Pritchard
Chief Executive

What's new?
 
Royal opening for Rare Diseases Centre

The Countess of Wessex officially opened Guy's and St Thomas' Rare Diseases Centre last month.

 

Her Royal Highness met patients who have benefitted from the facility and doctors and nurses who work there. She heard how the Centre was designed specifically for patients with a number of complex rare genetic conditions.

 

Speaking after unveiling the Centre’s new plaque, The Countess said: “The testimonies we’ve heard from the patients with different rare conditions make it clear why this was so necessary.”

 
Can water softeners prevent eczema?

A new study will for the first time investigate if water softeners can reduce the risk of infants getting eczema. The study of Softened Water for Eczema Prevention (SOFTER) is being led by researchers at Guy’s and St Thomas’.

 

Isida Pierce enrolled her baby daughter Alessia in the SOFTER study because her husband Edward has eczema. She says: “If the research helps to prevent eczema it could be very useful for us and it’s nice knowing it might help others.”

 

Professor Carsten Flohr, consultant dermatologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’, is the chief investigator of the study. He says: “It’s the first time researchers are looking at the effect of water softeners on babies in their homes.”

 
Getting ready for work

Staff from Guy’s and St Thomas’ offered their time, skills and support to help people who have experienced homelessness prepare themselves for work.

 

Thirty local people took part in the week-long Work Ready Programme, which saw staff from the Trust acting as mentors. Participants completed a CV writing class, IT and budgeting tutorials and practical courses such as health and safety training.

 

The programme was developed by Thames Reach, a leading London homelessness charity, alongside management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. On completing the programme participants were offered a work experience placement at the Trust, as well as a mentor for 12 months.

 
Mind and body care

King’s Health Partners has joined Equally Well, a new collaborative to support the physical health of people with a mental illness.

 

Sarah Wilding, deputy chief nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’, signed the Equally Well Charter on behalf of the Trust.

 

By becoming members of Equally Well UK, we can help spread and learn good practices that already exist. The Charter sets out the shared principles, aims and objectives of Equally Well UK and mirrors the efforts of our Mind & Body programme.

 
Guy’s Cancer part of research powerhouse

Scientists at the Cancer Centre at Guy’s will transform cancer research as part of the Cancer Research UK City of London Centre. London will become a global hub for cancer research and treatment thanks to £14 million from Cancer Research UK.

 

The Centre will unite researchers from King’s College London, many of whom are based at the Cancer Centre, with others in London. Cancer patients in the capital, including those at the Trust, can benefit from pioneering research as part of their treatment.

 

David Cheesman, director of the cancer programme at King’s Health Partners, says: “This is an important step towards achieving our vision of establishing a world-class cancer service at Guy’s and St Thomas’.”

 
A genetic revolution

Genetic testing for people in south London and south east England is set to be transformed with a new genomics laboratory hub.

 

A consortium led by Guy’s and St Thomas’ will provide the new hub and network, which will be made up of NHS organisations in the area. Known as the London South Genomic Laboratory Hub, it is one of seven newly commissioned hubs across the country.

 

The ultimate ambition is for patients with rare inherited diseases and cancer to be diagnosed and treated quicker than ever before, wherever they live.

 
New outpatient pharmacy at Guy’s

A new and improved outpatient pharmacy will be opened at Guy's Hospital at the end of November.

 

The pharmacy is moving from its current location within Sainsbury’s in Great Maze Pond to the main hospital building.

 

The new pharmacy will provide a larger, much improved patient-facing area, enabling staff to dispense prescriptions more efficiently and offer a better service to our patients and their families.

Support us
 
Use our free wills service

Would you like to have a simple will written by a qualified solicitor for free? The fundraising team is offering this opportunity and in return all they ask is for you to consider supporting the amazing care our hospitals provide in future.

 

Alison Fielding, who has been treated under Guy’s Cancer for four years, has chosen to leave a gift. She tells us her story and explains the reasons behind her decision.

 

There is no obligation to leave a gift in your will but it would be truly wonderful if you chose to do so. For more information visit the fundraising website or call the team on 020 7848 4701.

How are we doing?
 
Friends and Family Test – August

Most patients who completed the Friends and Family Test questionnaire in August recommend the care at Guy’s and St Thomas’ to their loved ones:

 

 

 

  • 96% of inpatients and day case/surgery patients
  • 92% of women receiving maternity care
  • 97% of patients using our community services
  • 92% of outpatients
  • 89% of A&E patients
  • 94% of patients using our transport service
 
Award for LEAP team

Congratulations to the Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP) Health Team who won the Royal Society of Medicine's John Horder award.

 

They were successful for their work on improving the communication between early years health professionals. The Health Team supports the wider partnership goals of improving social, emotional, communication and language development of babies and children.

 

LEAP is a Big Lottery funded programme that aims to improve outcomes for children from conception to their fourth birthday.

 
Apprentices scoop awards

Two apprentices from Guy’s and St Thomas’ picked up awards at the regional finals of the National Apprenticeship Awards.

 

Jessica Eley, dental nurse apprentice, won Advanced Apprentice of the Year. Danielle Lebby, business admin apprentice at the London Procurement Partnership, won Intermediate Apprentice of the Year, while Kiran Kaur was highly commended in the same category.

 

Jessica and Danielle will now go through to the National Awards which take place on Wednesday 28 November. The annual event celebrate outstanding apprentices, employers and individuals who go above and beyond to champion apprenticeships.

In the news
 
Coolest baby in town

Evening Standard covered the story of Sophie Miles who was saved from suffering permanent brain damage by advanced treatment at Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

 

She was placed in a water-cooled jacket for three days to reduce her body temperature from 37C to between 33C and 34C. To mark Sophie’s fifth birthday, her dad, Ben, took part in Guy’s Urban Challenge to raise money for Evelina London.

 

Ben says: “Taking part in the event is my way of saying thank you to the amazing staff who looked after Sophie.”

 
Dementia-friendly wards

The Economist featured a story about dementia-friendly hospital wards, which included the Older Person’s Unit at St Thomas’ Hospital.

 

The unit’s layout and decor has been designed for dementia patients with improved lighting, bright colours and large signs. A Pets as Therapy dog also visits the unit to improve patients’ mood.

 

Simple changes can have big benefits for patients with dementia. Staff at St Thomas’ recently hosted a tour of the unit for health officials from Australia and Singapore.

 
Physio swims Channel for charity

Physiotherapist, Samantha Poulsen, swam across the English Channel to raise money for Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.

 

Evening Standard and Southwark News highlighted her fundraising, which she was inspired to do after caring for cancer patients at Guy’s Hospital.

 

Thousands of jellyfish, busy shipping lanes and an injured shoulder were just some of the obstacles she faced. She completed the gruelling 21-mile swim from Dover to Cap Griz Nez in France in 12 hours and 40 minutes.

Key dates
 
11 October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Come and meet the cancer risk assessment team to find out about breast awareness, breast cancer risk factors and cancer family history.

 

The team will be holding an information stand in the main reception of Guy’s Hospital on Thursday 11 October from 9am to 4pm.

 

They will also have a stand in the Welcome Village of the Cancer Centre at Guy’s on Friday 12 October from 9am to 4pm.

 
20 October – Low Vision Day

Do you or someone you know have poor eyesight? Even with glasses? Join us on Saturday 20 October for Low Vision Day.

The annual event will take place between 10am and 2pm in Shepherd Hall, South Wing, St Thomas’ Hospital.

There will be lots of information on offer and you can try a whole range of low vision aids. No registration is required.

 
30 October – Psoriasis patient and public event

Join us for an evening discussion about psoriasis on Tuesday 30 October from 6pm to 7pm at Guy’s Hospital.

 

It will include a summary of upcoming research opportunities and a Q&A session with a dermatologist.

 

Please email dermatologytrials@gstt.nhs.uk to confirm your attendance, however you can drop in on the night.