Tuesday 12 May marked the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale who famously set up her first nursing school at St Thomas' Hospital in 1860.
It was a fantastic opportunity to say thank you to all of our inspiring nurses and midwives, and everyone who supports them in their roles, particularly at this incredibly challenging time.
In this issue of the e-GiST, you can find out how we celebrated International Nurses' Day by projecting Florence Nightingale’s image onto Guy’s Hospital, St Thomas’ Hospital and the Houses of Parliament. You can also read about a video call between our nurses, Evelina London Patron, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, and The Countess of Wessex.
Dr Ian Abbs
Still here for you
While we focus our efforts on meeting the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, we're still here to help you.
Our emergency department (A&E), specialist children's emergency department and urgent care centre at Guy’s Hospital remain open as usual. Our Hospital Birth Centre and Home from Home Centre are fully operational, and if you're booked to have your baby at St Thomas' Hospital you are still able to give birth here.
You can find out how to keep in touch with your clinical team, which may include by email or telephone, by visiting the services section on our website.
Celebrating International Nurses' Day
Guy’s and St Thomas’ and the Houses of Parliament were illuminated with Florence Nightingale’s image to celebrate her bicentenary on International Nurses' Day.
Events were held across the Trust to celebrate, including with the Chief Nursing Officer for England, Ruth May, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. Dame Eileen Sills, Chief Nurse, says: “It is vital that we celebrate our nurses and midwives and recognise the huge contribution they have made during this challenging time.”
Watch our new film to hear some of our nursing and midwifery colleagues explain why they love what they do at Guy's and St Thomas'.
Duchess of Cambridge dials in
In celebration of International Nurses’ Day, members of The Royal Family spoke to healthcare professionals across the world to pay tribute to their hard work. The call was hosted by Nursing Now, a global campaign aiming to raise the profile of nursing.
As Patron of Evelina London, The Duchess of Cambridge, joined by The Countess of Wessex, spoke to three Evelina London nurses. Each nurse has been working on the frontline during the pandemic.
Christina Feasey, community nurse, says: "I explained to The Duchess and The Countess that what I love most about my job is providing clinical care in the home so that children do not have to come into hospital.”
Caring for our carers
Thanks to support from Guy's and St Thomas' Charity, we’ve enhanced our ‘Showing we care about you’ health and wellbeing programme to better support our staff during the pandemic. We’ve split what’s on offer into four key areas: self-care, personalised support, support for teams and managers, and practical support.
This includes psychological support for teams and individuals, extended hours and discounts at our onsite facilities and free parking and laundry services.
We’ve opened rest and recharge areas, alongside our wellbeing zones. They provide a space for reflection and contain massage chairs and exercise bikes. We’ve also trained more than 200 staff members to become specialist wellbeing advisors.
Veterans support Guy's and St Thomas'
A charity for veterans has been supporting Guy’s and St Thomas’ during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Team Rubicon UK’s volunteers helped support the running of the Trust’s emergency food supplies service. It provides essential household items and fresh food for staff struggling to get to the supermarket and is funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.
Team Rubicon UK mobilises veterans and volunteers to serve communities at home and abroad. Georgina Charlton, operational lead for the emergency food supplies shop, says: “The volunteers used their military expertise to support us expand the service across our hospital and community sites so that all of our staff could benefit. The service has been a huge success and has been used by our staff more than 14,000 times.”
Meet the experts
King’s Health Partners have launched a series of seminars where experts share their experiences and learnings on managing COVID-19 patients.
In the absence of fully established peer-reviewed data, experts from around the world are coming together to discuss their learnings and ask pressing questions.
The seminars take place each Tuesday and are available on the King’s Health Partners Learning Hub.
Ready, Steady 30in30
Ready to get out of lockdown limbo? Join the new 30in30 virtual fundraising challenge for Guy’s, St Thomas’ and Evelina London.
Simply hit 30 miles in 30 days from May onwards – walking, running, cycling, stair climbing or through another activity of your choice. Prefer something a little different? Why not drop to the floor for 30 press-ups or flex your willpower to give up something for 30 days.
All funds raised from 30in30 will go towards our coronavirus appeal, helping to provide valuable support for hospital staff on the frontline of the pandemic.
Research helps COVID-19 effort
As one of the top trusts in England for research, we play a key part in halting the current pandemic. Our researchers are working to identify and test COVID-19 treatments and diagnostics.
Setting up new trials usually takes several months. Our Research and Development team have worked to allow the Trust to join national priority studies in just weeks. We are incredibly grateful to the patients who have already joined these trials, and their families.
More than 1,000 Guy’s and St Thomas’ patients have already joined the ISARIC trial, which aims to understand how COVID-19 progresses. We are also the top recruiter in the country to GENOMMIC, a study finding out whether patients’ genes affect how ill COVID-19 makes them.
Young Investigator Award
Congratulations to Dr Christos Tziotzios, a consultant dermatologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’, who has been given The Young Investigator Award from the British Skin Foundation.
Dr Tziotzios, who is also honorary clinical senior lecturer at St John’s Institute of Dermatology, was recognised for his work on frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA). FFA is a condition that causes hair loss, mainly over the hairline at the front of your head.
Dr Tziotzios says: “Increasing our understanding of the genetic basis of the condition may enable us to devise genetic risk scoring tools, which may allow us to predict who might be at risk of developing the condition.”
Patient information awarded new accreditation
We are proud to be among the first group of organisations to pilot and be awarded the PIF TICK – a new quality mark for health information.
The Trusted Information Creator Kitemark demonstrates our robust production process and dedication to putting the needs of patients at the heart of what we do.
Nicki Bickford, patient information manager, says: “This accreditation scheme will give our patients and staff reassurance that our information has been produced to the best possible standard.”
Shining a light on nurses and midwives
ITV London News reported about an event that took place at St Thomas' Hospital to mark International Nurses' Day.
Speaking to around 20 socially distanced nurses outside the hospital, England’s Chief Nursing Officer, Ruth May, praised nursing and midwifery staff around the world for their work during the pandemic.
Toni Lynch, deputy chief nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas', said: "The morale has been really upbeat as we galvanised as a team."
Blood plasma treatment trial opens
The BBC covered an exciting new trial taking place at the Trust of a treatment for COVID-19. They interviewed Dr Manu Shankar-Hari, our critical care consultant leading the trial.
The treatment, known as ‘convalescent plasma’ is being tested as a treatment for patients who are severely ill with COVID-19.
If you are interested in donating plasma to the trial, go to the NHS Blood and Transplant website.
Prime Minister thanks staff
National and international media reported how the Prime Minister praised the “exemplary care” he received at St Thomas’ Hospital during his coronavirus treatment.
Boris Johnson paid tribute to critical care nurses Jenny McGee and Luis Pitarma who he says: “for every second of the night they were watching and they were thinking and they were caring and making the interventions I needed.”
Jenny, from New Zealand, gave an exclusive interview to TVNZ about the “surreal” experience, which also featured on Sky News.