Team of the Month - June 2018

We’re delighted to announce that the winner of our June 2018 Team of the Month award is the Acute Oncology Nursing Team.

This service was launched only last year but has already made a huge impact, thanks to the specialist advice it is able to offer medical teams throughout our hospitals who are treating oncology patients as emergency admissions.

The team features Sally Simister, lead nurse for acute oncology, and Sue Scott, clinical nurse specialist.

Together, they work in a busy and sometimes difficult environment with real care and compassion, moving from different settings – on the wards, A&E, and in clinics – and across different groups, including consultants, ward staff, and patients and families.

Clinical nurse specialist Zakra Nisa nominated the nurses for going “above and beyond their call of duty”.

“They’re a small team slowly building up a bigger team to meet the needs of patients who have been diagnosed with cancer and support their journeys,” said Zakra.

The judging panel felt the real strength of the team was that they provide a relatively new service which has really strengthened the specialist care we provide to cancer patients and improves their experience of our hospitals.

Presenting Sally and Sue with their award, Tanya Claridge, director of governance and corporate affairs, praised the team for the impact it has made. Tanya’s sentiments were echoed by Amanda Procter, lead cancer nurse, who thanked both Sally and Sue for their hard work.

Often patients with known cancers are admitted as emergency cases due to acute complications surrounding treatment including chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Sally Simister (left) and Sue Scott
Sally Simister (left) and Sue Scott

In these cases, doctors in A&E or the medical assessment unit (MAU) can call on the team for advice and support. This helps to ensure that patients experiencing complications from their diagnosis or treatment are managed appropriately.

The team can also help when patients are suspected of having cancer; they can assess patients and will support them while investigations are taking place.

And they even provide a telephone advice line for patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Patients can call if they are concerned about any side effects and, if needed, will be reviewed by the team.

Many congratulations to Sally and Sue for all their hard work.

Employee of the Month - June 2018

Patricia Kay (centre) receives her award from Pat Campbell (director of HR (left) and Debbie Grimes (specialist speech and language therapist
Patricia Kay (centre) receives her award from Pat Campbell (director of HR (left) and Debbie Grimes (specialist speech and language therapist

Putting our patients at the heart of all we do is the very ethos of our Trust, and the recipient of June’s Employee of the Month award does exactly that.

This is the very reason that Patricia (Trish) Kay, a housekeeper on ward 6, our Stroke and Neurology ward at BRI, caught the eye of colleagues who nominated her. Well done, Trish!

Specialist speech and language therapist Debbie Grimes said: “Trish is the glue that holds the ward together. She is constantly looking at ways to improve how patients with swallowing problems manage their modified diet and fluids and ensuring they get food from the correct texture menu. This is above and beyond her role but a massive help to the whole speech and language therapy team. The little things often go unrecognized by management but they are often very important aspects of patient care.

“Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) is common post stroke and it is vital that it is managed correctly to ensure patients do not develop chest infections and pneumonia and prolong their hospital stay. Trish is very caring and considerate of all dysphagia patients and quick to inform the speech and language therapists if any of them are struggling with their recommendations, as well as keen to learn if any of their recommendations have changed to ensure they are constantly given the correct meals. We cannot express enough thanks to Trish – a very deserving winner.”

Accepting her award from Director of HR, Pat Campbell; Trish said she was thrilled because she really enjoys her job – which she only started in February, having worked as a cleaning services assistant on the ward previously.

Trish also has real insight into the swallowing problems that some patients have. “I like helping patients and I know exactly what they mean when they say that swallowing is difficult, as I had throat cancer five years ago and speech and language therapists here at the Trust helped me,” she explained.

Speech and Language Therapist, Abby Gibson added: “Ward 6 has the biggest percentage of patients with a modified diet. Trish ensures that all patients on modified diets have the correct meals, and when one of the Speech and Language Therapy team upgrades a patient’s diet, she is always on hand to order the correct meal.

“Trish goes above and beyond her role every day. She has a fantastic awareness of what to look out for with patients with dysphagia, and is invaluable to ward 6.”