In this issue
Welcome
Royal opening for new emergency department
We’re getting the jab done
Student has innovative heart surgery
Strokes drop by over 40%
Stress-free scans help young patients
Artwork dedicated to patients' champion
Mind & Body birthday
Christmas Smiles
Charity support for the Trust
Friends and Family Test – September
Award for short films
Helping the homeless
Is hard water to blame for eczema?
Zapping migraines away
15 November – World Antibiotic Awareness Week
12 December – Carols by Candlelight
Donate
Welcome

Our emergency department (A&E) at St Thomas’ Hospital is one of the busiest in the NHS, seeing more than 400 patients every day. We have completely redeveloped the department, transforming patient care by creating a dedicated emergency floor that brings together emergency services in a single area of the hospital.

 

In this issue of the e-GiST you can read about HRH The Princess Royal’s visit to St Thomas’ Hospital when she officially opened the emergency department last week, and find out about a medical student who has undergone pioneering heart surgery.

 

Our annual flu campaign kicked off on 9 October and I’m proud to be among the 7,500 staff and students who have already been vaccinated. Every year we encourage all our staff to get a flu jab to protect themselves, their patients and their families.

 

Amanda Pritchard
Chief Executive

What's new?
 
Royal opening for new emergency department

One of the busiest emergency departments in the NHS has been officially opened by The Princess Royal after being completely rebuilt.

 

The emergency department (A&E) at St Thomas’ Hospital sees around 150,000 patients a year or more than 400 every day. That’s the equivalent of filling Wembley and Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium combined.

 

Her Royal Highness was given a tour of the department and met staff who ensured it remained open while the redevelopment took place. She heard how the dedicated Emergency Floor brings together emergency services in a single area of the hospital.

 
We’re getting the jab done

We’re working hard to ensure as many staff as possible get their flu jab to protect themselves, their patients and their families.

 

More than 7,500 staff and students received their vaccine in the first four weeks of our campaign and we’re well on the way to beating last year’s achievement of vaccinating 80% of frontline teams.


Sam Douthwaite, consultant virologist and clinical flu lead at Guy’s and St Thomas’, says: “During last year’s flu season we saw more than 200 patients a month with flu. Having the flu vaccine is one of the best ways we can protect ourselves from the flu and stop us passing it on to our colleagues or patients.” The NHS offers free flu vaccination to a number of at risk groups, including people who are 65 or over and pregnant women. Contact your GP to find out if you are eligible.

 
Student has innovative heart surgery

A medical student born with a genetic disorder has undergone pioneering surgery to prevent potentially-fatal complications from the condition.

 

Sofi Berrisford had open-heart surgery at St Thomas’ Hospital to fix a problem caused by Marfan syndrome. The connective tissue disorder can cause the aorta in the heart to stretch and enlarge, risking a life-threatening rupture.

 

She had a new procedure known as PEARS (personalised external aortic root support). It involves fitting a personalised mesh sleeve over the enlarged aorta, preventing it growing so it is unlikely to rupture. Sofi said: “PEARS had a faster recovery time than conventional surgery, less blood loss and a shorter operation time. The care at St Thomas’ was incredible.”

 
Strokes drop by over 40%

Our researchers have found that the number of people having strokes has fallen by 43% between 2000 and 2015.

 

The research used data from the South London Stroke Register. The Register is a collaboration between Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College London and covers a population of more than 350,000 people in south London.

 

Dr Yanzhong Wang, senior lecturer in medical statistics at King’s College London, was an author of the study. He says: “It’s positive to see the rate of stroke in south London reducing. We hope these findings will help to plan future policy to prevent strokes in the population.”

 
Stress-free scans help young patients

Children who need regular scans of their bones are benefiting from a new state-of-the-art DEXA machine at Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

 

The scan is a quick and painless procedure that uses low dose X-rays to measure the density or strength of bones. Previously, young patients who needed the scan had to use the adult DEXA scanning service at Guy’s Hospital.

 

Thanks to funding from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity and the generosity of donors, Evelina London now has the newest model of the DEXA scanner. It is used in a space-themed room, with a ceiling hoist and an interactive entertainment system.

 
Artwork dedicated to patients' champion

A special ceremony was held at Guy’s Cancer at Queen Mary’s Hospital to unveil new artwork in memory of June Casson

 

As chair of its patient’s group, June championed the voice of fellow cancer patients in the design of the centre.


Guy's Cancer at Queen Mary’s Hospital revealed that more than 22,000 patient appointments had taken place in its first year of operation. When added together this represents saving approximately 550,000 miles of travelling.

 
Mind & Body birthday

Last year King’s Health Partners launched the Mind & Body Champions Network, asking staff to become advocates for integrating mental and physical healthcare.


To celebrate we’ve produced a timeline highlighting the wonderful work, opportunities and events that Champions have been involved in over the last year.


We also published a blog, a video from Champions and a special thank you message from senior leaders across our partnership.

Support us
 
Christmas Smiles

This Christmas help us make sure there are toys for all the children spending Christmas at Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

 

Our brilliant staff have carefully selected some special items that they know will bring some comfort while going through a difficult time. You can make a donation towards items such as arts and crafts, board games and medical toys.

 

These gifts will make a stay in hospital that little bit easier for our young patients over Christmas and help bring smiles to the faces of family, friends and hospital staff. For more information or to buy a gift visit the Christmas Smiles website.

 
Charity support for the Trust

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity has published its annual report 2017/18. It showcases how the Charity has worked with the Trust to drive change and improve health across our hospitals and communities.

 

Over the last year our Charity provided £15.4 million (over £5 million more than last year) in grants and charitable donations directly to the Trust.

Kieron Boyle, Chief Executive of the Charity, says: “We’re as inspired as ever by the passion and innovation of our Trust colleagues and look forward to continuing our fundraising and support in the coming years.”

How are we doing?
 
Friends and Family Test – September

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

 

 

 

  • 96% of inpatients and day case/surgery patients
  • 90% of women receiving maternity care
  • 97% of patients using our community services
  • 93% of outpatients
  • 84% of A&E patients
  • 95% of patients using our transport service
 
Award for short films

Congratulations to Guy’s and St Thomas’ cardiovascular team who scooped an Anticoagulation Achievement Award for a series of short films they made.


The films are about anticoagulation medication for patients living with an irregular heart rate, and were made with support from the Trust’s patient information team.


The awards celebrate outstanding practice in the management, education and provision of anticoagulation across the UK. The ceremony was hosted at the House of Commons by Lyn Brown MP.

In the news
 
Helping the homeless

BBC London News and Southwark News featured a story about rough sleepers in Southwark who are the first in London to benefit from same day health checks.


The initiative was set up by nurses at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and is supported by homelessness charity St Mungo’s. 


The project aims to reduce reoccurring visits to A&E by people sleeping rough. The nurses typically see people with respiratory problems, wounds or in need of general health checks.

 
Is hard water to blame for eczema?

Daily Mail, The Sun and South London Press reported on a new study that is investigating if using water softeners can reduce the risk of infants getting eczema.

 

Professor Carsten Flohr, consultant dermatologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’, is the chief investigator of the SOFTER study. The new study will focus on 80 babies in hard water areas identified as likely to develop the condition.

 

Isida Pierce decided to enrol her daughter, Alessia, in the study because her husband Edward has eczema and psoriasis.

 
Zapping migraines away

A BBC World Service Health Check report about migraine treatments featured an interview with Dr Anna Andreou, director of headache research at Guy’s and St Thomas’.


Dr Andreou explained how a transcranial magnetic stimulation device treats migraines. She said: “The patient holds it over the back of their head and a pulse is delivered. Over time it can reduce the frequency and severity of attacks.”


The technique has been in clinics for more than 30 years, but this is the first time a portable device has been available for patients to use at home.

Key dates
 
15 November – World Antibiotic Awareness Week

Did you know that antibiotics cannot cure viral infections like colds or flu? Antibiotics are essential medicines to treat infections caused by bacteria but it’s vital that we use them correctly to help prevent resistance.

 

Join our pharmacy team to find out more on Thursday 15 November, from 9.30am to 4pm, Ocean ground floor, Evelina London Children’s Hospital. The team will also be in Central Hall at St Thomas’ Hospital and Atrium 2 at Guy’s Hospital on Friday 16 November, from 10am to 4pm.

 

Make your pledge, become an antibiotic guardian and get a free cupcake.

 
12 December – Carols by Candlelight

Join us for Carols by Candlelight at the beautiful St George’s Cathedral on Wednesday 12 December from 7pm to 8.15pm.

 

It will be a wonderful evening of carols, inspiring stories and festive readings from our supporters. Following the concert help us celebrate the festive season with mulled wine and mince pies.

 

Tickets are £14 for adults, £3 for children aged 5-16yrs and under 5’s go free. To book visit the fundraising website or call 020 7848 4701.