A look back at our successes in 2013

2013 has been a successful year for Whittington Health with many staff across the organisation gaining awards, recognition and acclaim. Here is a round-up of some of our successes over the last 12 months.

In February, Whittington Health’s consultants Myra Stern and Louise Restrick, together with Islington GPs, were highly commended at the NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes ceremony. The recognition was for their work on the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) local enhanced service. The service has improved diagnosis, assessment and management for COPD patients seeing GPs, reduced hospital admissions, and helped patients to self-manage their condition.

The work of our Haringey learning disability nursing team was recognised at the Nursing Standard Nurse Awards 2013 in March. The team won the Nursing Disability Award, which is given to teams of nurses whose work has improved the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities. The team was commended for its patient-centred approach to care.

Whittington Health's track record for having one of the lowest mortality rates in England was recognised in April when it was awarded the CHKS Top Hospitals Patient Safety Award 2013. The award is given to the hospital that outperforms others on a number of safety indicators. During the year, The Trust consistently achieved the lowest or second lowest Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI) - a key safety measure on the number of patients who die while in hospital or in the 30 days following discharge.

A number of Trust staff were recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June. Mrs Celia Ingham Clark, former medical director at Whittington Health, received an MBE for services to the NHS, and recently retired Dr Lorna Bennett, who specialised in the blood conditions sickle cell and thalassaemia, received an MBE for services to people with blood disorders. Nurse consultant for community children's nursing, Joan Myers, received an OBE for services to children and nursing. An OBE also went to Lorraine Lawton, paediatric nurse consultant in our emergency department, for her role as an RAF reservist squadron leader.

June also saw Whittington Health dietician Lucy Jones, who specialises in bariatrics - a branch of medicine that deals with the prevention and treatment of obesity - awarded the BDA Media Spokesperson of the Year. As well as her position at The Whittington Hospital, Lucy works as a media spokesperson for the BDA, and regularly provides expert views on diet and nutrition stories in the national media. She was recently selected to co-present the primetime Channel 4 programme The Food Hospital.

In July, a couple spoke of an ‘incredible‘ set of circumstances that led to their entire family being successfully treated at The Whittington Hospital. Colette Callus and Jim Morris were celebrating when their son, Barney, was safely delivered by emergency caesarean section in the maternity ward. The couple’s joy quickly turned into dismay when Jim suffered a double cardiac arrest when he arrived to collect mother and son. Staff in the postnatal ward were quick to respond when Jim collapsed in the entrance. His life was saved twice by our resuscitation team. The couple thanked staff for their ‘unbelievable response time and skill’ in interviews in local papers Islington Gazette and the Ham and High, and the national magazine Real People.

July saw four leading clinicians from the Trust voted among the most inspirational women working in healthcare. The Health Service Journal (HSJ) asked for nominations from across the sector, looking for women who stood out for their passion, innovation and ability to drive change. Dr Caroline Allum, consultant radiologist, associate director of quality and medical appraisal, Joan Myers, nurse consultant for community children’s nursing, Kim Holt, paediatrician, and Professor Jane Dacre, rheumatology consultant and non-executive director, were named on the inaugural top 50 list.

The summer also saw the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago announce that it was to create a little piece of Whittington in its west-central city of Couva. The country has based its new specialist Haemaglobin Disorders Treatment Centre on the internationally-renowned thalassaemia unit at The Whittington Hospital. The new centre, which will open in the New Year, is the first of its kind in the Caribbean and is set to transform treatment for Trinidad and Tobago’s thalassaemia patients. The Trust's thalassaemia unit was chosen as a template of best practice because of its globally-renowned reputation for effectively treating the blood disorder.

A team of midwives at The Whittington Hospital won London’s Supervisory Team of the Year Award in September. The award was made by the local supervising authority for London (London LSA) – the organisation responsible for the effective supervision of midwives in London. The team was given the award for a project that enables partners and companions of new mums to stay overnight at the hospital’s postnatal Cellier Ward.

In November, medical journal The Lancet published a study co-led by one of our consultant surgeons on a procedure that could transform breast cancer treatment. The study showed that targeted radiotherapy delivered during surgery for breast cancer could offer a viable alternative to the daily radiotherapy sessions patients have to attend after surgery. The research, which spanned 33 centres over five years, was led by the Whittington Health breast surgeon Professor Jayant Vaidya, Professor Michael Baum of University College London and oncologist, Professor Jeffrey Tobias of University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The Whittington Hospital has a significantly lower than expected mortality rate, according to the 2013 Dr Foster Hospital Guide published in December. The guide provides an assessment of standards and services at hospitals in England using seven key measures of mortality. It named the hospital as one of 20 hospital trusts that is low on at least two of Dr Foster’s main measures . The hospital has a significantly lower than expected Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR) – a measure of deaths occurring in hospitals. The guide also shows that the hospital has a low mortality rate in the Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI) - another key measure of hospital mortality.

The Trust received a number of awards and commendations at the Health Education North Central and East London 2013 Quality Awards, held in December. Our self- management programme for patients with type two diabetes won the service transformation through education award. We were also awarded the patient and carer-centred education award for our advanced development programme. Our supporting lifestyle behaviour change training was commended in the promoting healthy living through education and training category, as was our respiratory team in the partnership education category, and our compassion model in the excellence in multi-professional education and training category.

December also saw a Trust programme providing fast and safe treatment for cancer patients win a national patient safety award. The oncologist-led programme, which is part of Whittington Health’s award winning Acute Oncology Service, aims to reduce the amount of time it takes for cancer patients with suspected neutropenic sepsis (a potentially fatal complication from chemotherapy) to receive treatment. The team running the programme won the patient safety award in the Quality in Care (QiC) Excellence in Oncology Awards.

Thank you and congratulations to all staff involved in Whittington Health’s successes over the year.
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