Message from Amanda

Last month we welcomed the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to Evelina London Children’s Hospital to talk to patients, their families and staff about the importance of reducing toxic air pollution.


As a Trust we’re committed to supporting initiatives that benefit the environment and improve public health. The Mayor’s visit marked the launch of the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone, which will help to improve the lives of our patients and staff, reducing unnecessary visits to hospital and helping them to lead healthier lives.


In this month’s e-GiST, find out about pioneering new brain surgery for children who are deaf, read about our award winning staff, and find out how we will be celebrating International Nurses' Day.


Amanda Pritchard
Chief Executive

What's new?
Little girl finds her voice

Leia Armitage, seven, was born without her cochlea and auditory nerve in both ears and was never expected to speak. But she can now tell her parents that she loves them thanks to an auditory brainstem implant.


Leia was the first child in London to undergo the pioneering brain surgery when she was 22 months old. The complex procedure involves inserting an electronic hearing device directly into the brainstem, bypassing the cochlea and auditory nerve entirely.


NHS England recently announced that the complex procedure will be available for children on the NHS at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. It is expected to benefit around nine children a year.

Mayor of London visits Evelina London

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, visited Evelina London Children’s Hospital last month to talk to patients and families about air pollution. His visit marked the launch of the Ultra Low Emission Zone, an initiative helping to address London’s toxic air.

During his visit, the Mayor took part in a crafts session and met patients on Beach ward who were receiving dialysis.

He said: “It was a huge pleasure to visit Evelina London and meet the families under their expert care – who will directly benefit from the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone and our fight for cleaner air."

Two minutes with…our diabetic eye screening team

In each issue of the e-GiST we spend two minutes with a member of staff, or their team, to find out about the different clinical and non-clinical roles across Guy's and St Thomas'.


People with diabetes are at risk of damage from diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can lead to sight loss if it's not treated. In this issue we meet the diabetic eye screening team.


If you, or your team, would like to appear in the e-GiST, please email Communications.

What is the role of your team?
We are a team of 20 screeners who care for patients with diabetes by measuring their vision and taking photographs of the back of their eyes. The photographs are checked and graded to see if there are any sight-threatening changes.


Tell us about a typical day
Up to 50 patients are seen at our clinics every day across our hospital and community sites. We greet patients, ask a few general questions, measure their vision and put eye drops in to make their pupils dilate. The back of the eyes are then photographed using a special camera. Once the images are graded, the results letters are produced and sent out within two to three weeks. If diabetic eye changes are detected, a patient is referred to their local hospital for monitoring or treatment.


What’s the best thing about your job?

The best thing about the job is being able to detect changes before they cause harm to a patient's sight. As a team, we manage to screen around 80% of the diabetic population in south east London and are always striving to do more to get those that don’t attend to come to their appointments.

Join our Summer School

Applications are open for local students to join our 2019 King’s Health Partners Summer School. The week-long programme gives students an insight into research careers.


The Summer School is organised by our Biomedical Research Centre and will take place from 29 July to 2 August. It’s open to students in year 10 or 11 who attend a school in Southwark, Lambeth or Lewisham.


The week includes visits to our Trust sites and partners, such as Science Gallery London and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Applications will close on Monday 27 May.

Surgery approved for cerebral palsy

Children with cerebral palsy will now be able to have a surgical procedure that can improve their ability to walk, after analysis by our researchers showed it to be effective.


The procedure, selective dorsal rhizotomy, involves cutting some of the sensory nerves from the legs to the spinal cord. It could relieve stiffness, improve mobility and reduce children’s pain levels.


Professor Janet Peacock, data analytics co-lead at our Biomedical Research Centre, says: “NHS England have now decided that this procedure will be funded as a direct result of this innovative project. It’s great to get this decision so that it will make a difference to patients.”

Mind and body toolkit

King’s Health Partners has launched a health and wellbeing toolkit for staff, which was created by Mind and Body Champions.


This toolkit offers staff a collection of resources that they can use to support the health and wellbeing of their team. It includes tips and ideas, bitesize sessions on a variety of topics, as well as information and links to existing resources.


King’s Health Partners staff development fund has also opened and is designed to help meet the cost of professional development opportunities around mind and body.

Join our equality panel

We are looking for patients or their carers to join our Equality Delivery System Stakeholder Panel.


The panel meets twice a year and ensures that there is equality and equity of services to all our patients.


If you live in Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Wandsworth or Westminster and want to find out more, visit our website.

Support us
Let’s celebrate Evelina London

Our staff have a big birthday wish for Evelina London this year and that’s to care for even more children and families.


You can help make this happen by taking part in Challenge150. What will your 150th fundraising challenge be?


Why not do it as a team and take part in Photo Challenge 150, our baby photo guessing game? You’ll receive a tool kit with everything you need to get started. Don’t miss the birthday buzz, sign up today.

How are we doing?
Friends and Family Test – March

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




  • 96% of patients recommend our Inpatient Wards and Day Case / Day Surgery
  • 91% of patients recommend our Maternity care
  • 98% of patients recommend our Community Services
  • 93% of patients recommend our Outpatient clinics
  • 84% of patients recommend our A&E Department
  • 94% of patients recommend using our Transport Services

Centre of Clinical Excellence

Evelina London Children’s Hospital has been recognised for providing outstanding care for children and young people with muscle-wasting conditions.

The neuromuscular service, which cares for around 800 children with all types of muscle-wasting conditions, was awarded Centre of Clinical Excellence status by Muscular Dystrophy UK.

Dr Elizabeth Wraige, consultant paediatric neurologist, says: “Muscle-wasting conditions require a range of expertise to treat and manage. Every member of our team plays a key role in caring for our patients.”

Dermatology team wins national award

Guy’s and St Thomas’ national XP service was named dermatology team of the year at the British Medical Journal Awards.


The team were recognised for providing outstanding care to patients with Xeroderma Pigmentosum. People with the condition are not able to repair the damage caused to their skin by the ultraviolet part of daylight.


Dr Bob Sarkany says: “This award is recognition of the dedication and ingenuity of the XP team. The team’s work is leading to patients having a longer life expectancy.”

Dedicated community nurse scoops award

Congratulations to Kafeelat Adekunle who has been chosen as one of the 70 most outstanding Nigerians at the NHS@70 Excellence Awards, organised by the Nigerian Healthcare Professionals UK.


Kafeelat is a community matron for long term conditions and admission avoidance based at Aylesbury Health Centre in Walworth.


At the ceremony, the judges said Kafeelat is a “dedicated community nurse who is always willing to embrace innovation in order to benefit her patients.”

Award boosts infection research

Professor Julian Naglik has received a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award. This includes £2 million for his research aiming to find new treatments and vaccinations against fungal infections.


Every year, around 1.5 million people die of fungal infections. However, little is understood about how the fungi infect and damage human cells.


Professor Naglik, who is a programme lead for our Biomedical Research Centre, says: “This is a huge honour and will allow us to really expand the work we have been doing. In the longer term there is potential for our work to have a huge impact for patients.”

In the news
World first to remove blood clot

ITV News, Daily Mail and The Sun reported that a Guy’s and St Thomas’ patient became the first person in the world to be treated with a new clot-removing device.


Jackie Field had the procedure for deep vein thrombosis in her leg as she could not be treated with drugs. Researchers say the device could reduce costs for the NHS and cut down the time patients spend in hospital.


Jackie says: “I felt very secure. I wasn’t under general anaesthetic, just had some pain relief.”

Marathon dad thanks Evelina London

ITV London News, Mirror Online and The Sun online featured Tom Golding, who celebrated his daughter’s first birthday by running the London Marathon for Evelina London Children’s Hospital.


Isabelle Golding was born with a rare and life-threatening birth defect which meant she was unable to swallow. At just two days old, she had specialist emergency surgery at Evelina London.


Tom says: “It goes without saying that our story could have had a very different ending if it wasn't for the unbelievable treatment and care that Isabelle continues to receive at Evelina London – every single member of staff at that hospital is an angel in disguise.”

Youth workers inside A&E

The Sun highlighted the Oasis service which operates in the emergency department at St Thomas’ Hospital.


Youth workers, provided by the charity Oasis Waterloo, are on hand to speak to any 12 to 24 year olds admitted to the department due to knife wounds, violent assaults or self- inflicted injuries.


Dr John Criddle, paediatric consultant, says: “The earlier you can intervene with a young person, the easier it is to get a positive effect.”

Key dates
9 May – International Nurses’ Day

We’re celebrating International Nurses' Day at our hospitals and community sites on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 May.


Join us for an interactive roadshow, an art tour and watch our fearless fundraisers abseil down the front of St Thomas’ Hospital.

Everyone is invited to help us celebrate our outstanding nurses and midwives.

14 May – free abdominal pain seminar

Our next free health seminar for Foundation Trust members will be held in the Robens Suite, Guy’s Hospital, on Tuesday 14 May.

The seminar will take place from 6pm to 7.30pm and includes presentations, a question and answer session and refreshments.

Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis so book as soon as possible. Email or phone 0800 731 0319.

14 May – Dying Matters Week

Join us for an evening of performance and discussion during Dying Matters Week.


We’ll be joined by Fine Mess Theatre who will perform 'A wake in progress' on Tuesday 14 May in the riverside marquee at St Thomas’ Hospital.


‘Let’s talk: transforming end of life care conversations’ is an initiative led by Guy’s and St Thomas’ that aims to improve the experience of patients, carers, staff and the general public in talking about and preparing for death.