Author Archives: Tom Dew

  1. What should I do if I need help from a medical expert?

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    Did you know that your local pharmacist can offer immediate advice on a wide range of health issues and guidance on whether you need to seek additional help?

    Your local pharmacy can provide help and reassurance from a medical expert, without the need to book an appointment. Some pharmacies are open past 5pm. Find out more:  https://bit.ly/3sbVjGb

    You can also go to your GP for help and support with medical conditions, or to your dentist if you have dental pain or toothache.

    The Emergency (A&E) Department at Kingston Hospital is currently very busy.  If you think you need to come to the Emergency Department, contact NHS 111 first. You can avoid busy waiting rooms by booking an appointment to get the best service for you.

    Go to 111.nhs.uk (for people aged 5 and over) or call 111 for free from a landline or mobile phone (all ages).

  2. Better Together: Our partnership with HRCH

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    We know that working together with other local health and care organisations means we are better able to provide the kind of joined up health and care services that local people want – services which are fair for all and provide good value for money.

    It is only by working together that we can tackle larger population health issues and healthcare inequalities, helping to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions, and keeping our local residents healthy.

    To this end, the boards of Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust and Kington Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have agreed to a close partnership arrangement.

    We already have a joint Chief Executive, Chairman and Chief Nurse. And from April 2022, the two executive leadership teams will come together as a Committee in Common which will be empowered to make key strategic decisions with the benefit of expertise and insight from across our full range of services.

    We call this exciting programme of work Better Together and we’ve created a microsite where we will share regular updates. Find out more at:

    www.hounslowkingstonandrichmondhealthcare.com

  3. Prostate cancer awareness month

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    Prostate cancer is the commonest cancer in men in the UK with over 52,000 diagnosed each year  

    • The Incidence rates for prostate cancer in the UK are highest in males aged 75 to 79 
    • It is predicted that almost 8 in 10 (77.6%) of men diagnosed with prostate cancer in England survive their disease for ten years or more (2013-2017). 
    • There are around 11,900 prostate cancer deaths in the UK every year, (2016-2018) 
    • A person’s risk of developing cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors). 
    • 1 in 6 UK males will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. 
    • Prostate cancer is not clearly linked to any preventable risk factors 
    • Most men will die with the disease rather than from it.  

     [taken from cancer research UK] 

    At Kingston hospital 313 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2019  

    241 men in 2020 and 224 men in 2021.  

    Kingston hospital links with the Royal Marden Hospital where addition treatment such a surgery or radiotherapy takes place. 

    For more details about Prostate cancer and symptoms as well as general mens health please visit  

    www.prostatecanceruk.org 

    www.macmillan.org.uk 

    www.cancerresearch.org.uk 

    Men’s health – NHS (www.nhs.uk) 

    You can visit or call  our Macmillan information centre on the ground floor of the Sir William Rous Unit at Kingston Hospital for further information.  

    Telephone: 0208 973 5001 

    Email khft.macinfoswru@nhs.net 

  4. Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

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    Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

    Two thirds of those with ovarian cancer are diagnosed too late when the cancer has already spread. This March Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

    • Only 1 in 5 women know that bloating is a symptom of ovarian cancer 
    • Only 1 in 100 women know that needing to wee more often is a symptom 
    • 4 in 10 women wrongly believe that cervical screening detects ovarian cancer 

    Diagnosed early, ovarian cancer is easier to treat, yet too many people don’t know the symptoms. 

    March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month 

    For further information on ovarian cancer and its symptoms please go to :

    www.targetovariancancer.org.uk

    www.ovacome.org.uk

    www.macmillan.org.uk

    www.cancerresearch.org.uk

    You can visit or call  our Macmillan information centre on the ground floor of the Sir William Rous Unit at Kingston Hospital for further information.

    Telephone: 0208 973 5001

    Email khft.macinfoswru@nhs.net

  5. A globetrotting tale from Bombay to London: dancing, research, and science

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    Growing up in India and Kuwait, Roshni shares her story from her early childhood, her university days in the USA and her time in Germany, to settling with her family in the UK and what led her to become a Senior Clinical Trials Practitioner at Kingston Hospital.

    Birthplace to Rudyard Kipling, Salman Rushdie and Homi Bhabha, Roshni grew up in Bombay (since she was a baby), which was renamed Mumbai in 1995. She adds: “Both my parents’ families are of south Indian heritage. Growing up in Bombay was incredible – we were exposed to different cultures, and people from all walks of life. I’m really proud of my heritage.”

    Roshni’s father’s job meant a move for the family to Kuwait, where they stayed for nine years. “Life in Kuwait was like Bombay; we were part of an Indian community and had many Arab and international friends.”

    In June 1990, Roshni’s aunt died suddenly. She says: “We flew back to India for the funeral. My parents adopted my two cousins and from then on, I had three siblings instead of one. Only dad stayed back in Kuwait.”

    Shortly after, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Roshni adds: “Our life changed; we couldn’t go back to Kuwait. We didn’t hear from dad for several months, but eventually he got out with a convoy through Jordan. We went from having everything to nothing. This kind of experience teaches you about life and resilience.”

    Roshni went on to finish her undergraduate in nutritional science in Bombay, became a registered dietician and completed her masters, too. She shares: “Initially I had joined medical school, but much to my family’s dismay, because most southern Indian people either become doctors or engineers, it wasn’t for me. I wanted to pursue research because the creativity of conceiving ideas into research projects, that ultimately help people, was very appealing to me.”

    With a PhD scholarship and a one-way ticket, Roshni travelled 8,500 miles to Pennsylvania, USA. She adds: “I experienced winter for the first time – so much snow – I absolutely loved it. Spending 10-hour days in the lab, I adjusted to life away from home on an international campus. Uni is also where I met my husband, Boris, who is German. After 20 years of marriage, people joke that I look quite Indian, but inside I’m quite German; in the sense that I love their straightforwardness and honesty.”

    After her PhD, Roshni started postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins in immunology. She says: “After 9/11, we decided to move to Munich in Germany, closer to Boris’ family and to India. There I started my second postdoctoral training at the Technical University of Munich in nuclear medicine.”

    “In 2007, Boris got a new job in London, and we relocated to the UK. I worked at the UCL Royal Free Hospital in hepatology which was my first insight into an academic university hospital in the UK. Next, it was in cardiology at Kings College, Denmark Hill. These were wonderful research opportunities and gave me a real insight to understand different specialties.”

    Having found their dream family house, they moved from Southfields to Kingston. Roshni says: “Our two girls were young at that time, and I did not want to take up a full-time research job. In 2013, I joined Kingston Hospital’s volunteering team which I found extremely inspiring.”

    Roshni then started working in Occupational Therapy and has been at Kingston Hospital in various roles ever since. She adds: “In early 2021, I joined the Research team. My role is patient focused and currently I am responsible for the delivery of the dermatology portfolio and a few other studies. I’m responsible for identifying eligible patients, consenting, organising patient assessments and visits, seeing patients in clinic, coordinating collection and preparation of biological samples, and supporting patients throughout the delivery of their care on clinical trials.”

    When asked what she likes to do outside of work, Roshni replies: “I’ve danced since I was three. I’m a trained Indian classical dancer and a flamenco dancer. I also make semi-precious jewellery.”

    If she wasn’t a Senior Clinical Trials Practitioner, what job would Roshni like to do? She replies: “I would be a jewellery designer. I love a bit of bling. There’s also the mineralogy and the geology angle to it that interests me, which comes from when my dad took us to the diamond mines.”

    When asked about the best part of her job. Roshni shares: “I love my job and the interaction with patients, clinical teams and various other stakeholders. Research has always been my passion. We have lots to be proud of at Kingston as we strive to improve health through research. We are doing well with engagement from our patients and our clinical teams and if we can use research to develop creative solutions together at Kingston to improve patient care, than that would be the icing on the cake for me.”

  6. Virtual wards empowering patients

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    Working across HRCH, Kingston Hospital, social care and primary care, we have built on the experience of the Covid-19 pandemic by using remote monitoring technology to keep people safe in the community whilst avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions.

    Our virtual ward, which is initially aimed at patients with respiratory or cardiac issues, uses a coordinated approach where patients who attend A&E can be admitted directly to the virtual ward. They will be assessed by a specialist team and shown how to use the remote monitoring tools, such as blood pressure or pulse oximeter. The programme gives power back to patients to understand their own health needs and maintain their wellbeing in the comfort of their own home.

    Find out more in our video below.

  7. World Cancer Day

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    World Cancer Day is today 4th February. A day that unites people around the world to take action against cancer.

    This year’s World Cancer Day’s theme, “Close the Care Gap”, is all about raising awareness of this equity gap that affects almost everyone, in high as well as low- and middle-income countries. More details can be found at;

    Close The Care Gap I World Cancer Day

    Take a look at our Kingston Hospital Cancer webpages

    The Macmillan Cancer Centre at Kingston Hospital offers information and support to anyone who has concerns about cancer.

    Call 0208 973 5001 or email khft.macinfoswru@nhs.net

  8. Sharing site management practices with other hospitals

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    NHS England and NHS Improvement’s elective and emergency care improvement support team recently visited Kingston Hospital to speak with Tracey Moore (Director of Operations), Berenice Constable (Interim Deputy Chief Nurse) and Louise Hogh (Chief of Medicine, Unplanned Care) about our site management and escalation practices.

    The team created a short film to be shared with other Trusts across the country, as part of a winter support resource pack.

    You can watch the film here: https://youtu.be/wqoGmkx7KiU

  9. Our Cancer Service pages have been updated!

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    We are pleased to announce that our Cancer Services pages have undergone a complete redevelopment!

    The Communications Team have worked in partnership with the Cancer teams to create a more engaging, informative, and bespoke user experience. In addition, to make sure we get these changes right, the teams are working with our Cancer Patient Partners Group and asking them to feedback to us on the work done so we can make sure the changes we make are improving patient experience.

    Please visit the page for more: https://kingstonhospital.nhs.uk/departments-services/cancer-services/.

  10. From self-confessed sci-fi nerd to nurse consultant!

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    Born in Italy, Alberto (or Alb) talks about a love of music and how his passion for nursing brought him to the UK and Kingston Hospital, which is the first NHS trust in the UK with two nurse consultants in dermatology.

    Alberto lived in Italy for 26 years before moving to the UK in 2007. After eight years at St George’s, Tooting as a specialist nurse in dermatology, Alberto joined the dermatology team at Kingston Hospital as a clinical nurse specialist in 2016.

    Sharing his family roots, he says: “I was born near Treviso, in the northeast of Italy, which is about 22 miles from Venice. Treviso is the land of at least two great things: one is prosecco and the other is tiramisu. My mum and dad live in Italy, and I have a younger brother.”

    Having a passion for music and science growing up, Alberto shares: “I’ve always been a bit of a nerd. I indulge myself watching sci-fi action movies like The Avengers. I love science, particularly biology, however when I was much younger I loved music. When I was a teenager, music took so much of my head, I could have been better at school. I remember being in the car with my uncle, and there was a thunderstorm and Pink Floyd’s live album Pulse was playing. That was the moment I knew I wanted to learn to play the guitar!”

    Graduating from Padua in Italy – one of the oldest medical schools in the world – Alberto adds: “I decided to study nursing simply because I liked the subject, although I didn’t have a clear idea of what a nurse was back then. I’d never been to a hospital, but I liked the subjects – it’s very scientific and you get to help people. For four years I specialised in critical care. I worked in emergency care and the ambulance service because they don’t have paramedics in Italy – specialist nurses work as paramedics.”

    After Alberto came to the UK, he wanted to find a specialty to master. He says: “I always had an interest in wound care and skin surgery. An opportunity came up to work as a bank nurse in dermatology at St George’s. They noticed that I was really passionate about the specialty, and I think for that reason they offered me further career development.

    “Unfortunately, in Italy, nursing is seen as an auxiliary profession, so you don’t have much autonomy. You’re seen pretty much like an assistant of the doctor. I am grateful to the NHS as it recognises the potential for non-medical professions like nurses, specialist nurses, and physician associates. It’s thanks to that mentality that I have had the opportunity to evolve professionally. In the UK I feel really valued and respected as an individual, but also as a clinician. I felt compelled to give something back to the patients, so I progressed, and I became a nurse consultant.”

    Working with Saskia Reeken, who is also a nurse consultant at Kingston, Alberto adds: “We work so well together – we became a dynamic duo. It’s all thanks to Dr Jana, Nic Kane and Justine Sweet. They saw potential for the service to develop a pathway for patients that is completely nurse led. We started with three, and now we have a team of eight CNSs. We are proud of the holistic service we offer our patients and are always looking at ways to improve.”

    “We work alongside a great team of consultant dermatologists, and we integrate our working activity with them very well.

    “We treat patients with chronic skin disease. People often dismiss these conditions, but actually we see severe cases with large areas of the body affected and these skin conditions can also be linked to a number of health problems, such as obesity, depression, cardiac disease and diabetes.”

    Research is also important to Alberto. He says: “I’m a principal investigator for a couple of national studies about psoriasis. Dermatology at Kingston Hospital was recognised nationally as a high study recruitment site by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)”

    Alberto is also one of the clinical leads for the South West London Dermatology Network. He adds: “As a network we are looking at how dermatology patients will receive the same high standard of care across the hospital trusts in South West London. We are also looking into implementing Teledermatology. It is an exciting time.”

    When asked what the most rewarding part of his job is, Alberto says: “Helping patients with chronic skin disease. These people have often been suffering with their condition for decades, but after we’ve treated them, they are like a new person and can live their life!”

    What one thing would improve Alberto’s quality of life? “For the UK to have proper summer days with 26-degree heat and sunshine, but I guess you can’t have everything!”

  11. January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

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    • 2 Women lose their lives to the disease every day
    • 9 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every day
    • 75% of cervical cancers can be prevented by cervical screening (smear tests)

    Further details can be found at :

    Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust | Cervical Cancer Charity (jostrust.org.uk)

    Cervical cancer symptoms and signs | The Eve Appeal

    Cervical cancer – stages, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment – Macmillan Cancer Support

    Gynae Cancer Information & Support UK | Go Girls Support Group

  12. Health and happiness are the best prescription

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    From completing her pre-registration at Chelsea and Westminster, working as a rotational pharmacist at King’s College Hospital, to The Royal Marsden as a clinical trials pharmacist, Rebecca gives an insight into life as a Senior Pharmacist and what led to her specialising in Haemato-oncology here at Kingston Hospital.

    Home to Downton Abbey, Jane Austen and Burberry, Rebecca was born and grew up in Hampshire. She says: “My mum has always been in Fleet and my dad lives in America. I’ve got a younger sister, Charlotte who lives in Southampton. We are always going up or down the M3 to visit one another!”

    Rebecca studied Pharmacy at the University of Bath and says she always wanted to do something in healthcare: “I thought about medicine and dentistry, but pharmacy grabbed my attention. I liked the fact that you could be clinical and patient facing, but I also like the science behind it in pharmacology. It really appealed to me as there’s lots of different career paths within pharmacy. I enjoy being with people – I’m a people person.”

    “I’ve only been at Kingston since May. I think it’s a great hospital and I’m so pleased that I’ve made the move. This role is different to my previous in that it’s not research based and is now specifically in Haemato-oncology (blood cancers), whereas before at The Marsden I was covering solid tumours as well.”

    When asked what a typical day looks like, Rebecca answers: “I’m not sure how I define a typical day because when you walk in, you don’t always know what you’re going to be facing. On three days of the week, I have a rotational pharmacist covering the service with me. We provide a clinical pharmacy service to the haematology day unit and screen all the chemotherapy drugs for our patients. There’s a lot of organisation involved, from making sure we’ve got funding in place, clinically screening the prescription for safety and appropriateness, then ordering the chemotherapy to ensure it is delivered to site in a timely manner, so we don’t delay patients’ treatment on the day. If patients have any supportive medications to go home with, we’ll screen these TTOs too. We also provide a service to our inpatients on the ward.”

    As well as the haematology day unit, Rebecca and the team provide a service to other areas of the hospitals. She adds: “We do a weekly ward round with the haematology consultant to review all our inpatients. We screen oral chemotherapy and haematology prescriptions for the outpatient clinics. There’s a lot of prescriptions we get through, and as we know within the oncology field, the service is ever increasing and evolving.

    “There’s always change because we have new drugs being licensed, new chemotherapy regimens and developments to treatment pathways. It’s really interesting – there’s never a day you don’t see something different or learn something new.”

    Rebecca shares how important the patient experience is: “To make the patient journey as safe as possible, we offer patients counselling on their chemotherapy medications and any supportive treatments that go with that. A holistic approach to patients’ care is paramount. We’ll review not only their chemotherapy, but also the other medicines they’re taking, to make sure there aren’t any interactions or contraindications. We provide information on how best to take their medicines, what side effects to look out for and how to manage them.

    “It can be quite a scary and daunting time for patients, and this gives them an opportunity to ask us any questions or discuss any apprehensions that they might have about starting this new treatment.”

    Rebecca shares her aspirations in life: “I’d love to expand the pharmacy haematology team so we can deliver a lot more of what we’ve got to offer. I would also like to become an independent prescriber. Aside from work, I think the most important thing you could want in life is your health and happiness, which has been particularly evident over the last two years.”

    We asked Rebecca what is the best part of her job. She said: “It’s seeing patients get better from their cancer. If you follow a patient through their chemotherapy treatment and they achieve remission, so they can live a relatively normal life, then you feel like you’ve done a good job.”

  13. Virtual Health and Care Q&A

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    Start the new year by tuning into a virtual Health and Care Q&A. Five experts will share insight into local healthcare services for the community and the impact of COVID-19, followed by a Q&A session. Click here to join Dr Nick Merrifield (GP and Clinical Director of NMWP PCN), Mr Sarb Sandhu (Chief of Surgery and Planned Care at Kingston Hospital), Iona Lidington (Director of Public Health, RBK), Dr Louise Hogh (Chief of Medicine for Unplanned care and Consultant Physician at Kingston Hospital) and Ed Montgomery (Managing Director of Your Healthcare) for this informative session on Thursday 6 January from 5pm. If you would like to submit a question in advance, please email: swlccg.nmwp.pcn@nhs.net.

  14. Jo Farrar appointed Chief Executive of Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare

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    We are delighted to announce that following a formal interview process, Jo Farrar has been appointed as the Chief Executive of Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust. This is in addition to his role as Chief Executive at Kingston Hospital.

    Jo has been Interim Chief Executive at HRCH since 1 April 2021, and has demonstrated his understanding of community services and passion for further developing the crucial role they play in supporting the health and wellbeing of the populations in our three boroughs, Hounslow, Kingston and Richmond. His proven track record for outstanding leadership, his enthusiasm and knowledge will further support our exciting plans for the integration of services and the ongoing development of staff in our boroughs and across the two integrated care systems in which we operate.

    Sarah Blow, Chief Executive Designate of the NHS South West London Integrated Care Board said: “I would like to congratulate Jo on his appointment and thank him for the work he has done in leading HRCH this year. I look forward to continuing to work with Jo in the new SWL integrated care system in the months ahead.”

    Jo Farrar said: “I am really excited to be appointed to the substantive Chief Executive position at HRCH. I’ve really enjoyed working with the fantastic staff at the Trust since April, so look forward to continuing to support them to provide the best care to people in Hounslow, Kingston and Richmond. People tell us that we deliver outstanding care and I look forward to continuing to be a part of the HRCH journey, in the months and years ahead.”

  15. A recipe for nursing – a dash of kindness & understanding, a pinch of empathy & compassion and a sprinkle of goodwill & laughter.

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    From growing up with four brothers in Malaysia to living at a convent boarding school in Singapore, Mary talks about her life and being a CNS Haematology and Chemotherapy Nurse at Kingston Hospital.

    Born in Malaysia to a Singaporean father and Malaysian mother, Mary shares her roots: “My father was half Indian and half Portuguese, and my mother was half Indian and half Burmese. My late husband, Brian was Scottish. I love my Scottish heritage. Both our daughters have Scottish names: Fiona and Zoe.” 

    Mary’s parents’ work meant they travelled to different countries. She explains: “With four brothers, my mum thought it would be better for me if I went to a boarding school in Singapore. It was a safe place and it was there that I was able to nurture my caring side that would eventually lead me to nursing. I learnt to cook and grow fruit and vegetables in the convent gardens. I also learnt to play musical instruments and sang in the choir. In retirement, I plan to take up piano again.

    “Life in the convent taught me many things about myself, as well as my education I cared for the aging nuns so learnt from a very young age the importance of kindness and compassion. I have always been humble and never changed my personality. I’m the same now as when I was younger.”

    After her subsequent nurse training, Mary went on to study psychiatry at St Thomas’ Hospital and then joined Professor Peter Fenwick’s team as a research nurse at The Priory Hospital, Roehampton, she says: “During the ten years I was there, we carried out sphenoidal EEGs to study depression, sleep problems and behavioural change during illnesses.”

    “When you’re nursing, you don’t just use your skills, knowledge and experience. You use your compassion and empathy, while practising the NMC Code.”

    In 1989 Mary joined Kingston Hospital as the Hospital Hotel Manager and stayed in this role for almost 10 years whilst bringing up her daughters. She joined the League of Friends and at that time Norman Lamont was the League’s president, she tells us: “We raised £20,000 for the KingstonCan cancer scanner appeal. I loved it, for four years I helped run car boot sales and organised a black-tie dinner in the nurses’ home which is now Vera Brown House.”

    Life changed significantly for Mary in 1998, when her husband, Brian was diagnosed with cancer: “I quickly completed my return to practice and went back into nursing, mainly to get a deeper understanding about cancer. Although you would never wish suffering on your family or yourself, being a patient or seeing a loved one seriously ill can make you better equipped to understand your patients.”

    “Caring for my patients by making them a cup of tea, having a proper chat, genuinely listening to them, and making them smile/laugh are just as important to me as giving them their treatment.”

    Working on Derwent, a haematology ward at that time, Mary met Lesley Chamberlin who steered her into haematology, cancer, and chemotherapy, Mary now works in the Maxwell Thorne Haematology Day Unit, she says:

    “It’s a joy sometimes to be able to offer hope of remission (or even recovery) to people who think that all is lost. The care we give isn’t just for the sick but also for their loved ones. If we help the relatives and friends, they are then able to give the necessary support to the patients.”

    “Lesley and I have supported each other over the years when life has been tough, it’s essential that colleagues look out for each other.”

    We asked Mary what’s her secret ingredients to life: “I enjoy being kind and I love cooking. I cook to raise money for good causes. I love gardening too. I have a big garden. I bring seeds from around the world and try to grow them. I grow all sorts of things and I cook for the unit. I’m also a big tennis buff. I go to Wimbledon every year.”

    After 46 years working as a nurse, Mary is now retiring. She says: “I feel it’s time to take things a little easier and spend time with my husband Paul – we’ve been married for 7 years, and the family.  I have loved every moment of my 32 years at Kingston Hospital, great memories some challenging times and fun times and tears too. I think the NHS is brilliant. It’s a sacred cow. It’s a very giving system. The people who work within the NHS, particularly at Kingston, are a rich mixture of cultural and diverse backgrounds, our shared vocation brings us together, which makes it a very special place to work.”

  16. Kingston Hospital awarded for commitment to patient safety by the National Joint Registry

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    Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is celebrating after being named as a National Joint Registry (NJR) Quality Data Provider following the successful completion of a national programme of local data audits.

    The NJR monitors the performance of hip, knee, ankle, elbow, and shoulder joint replacement operations to improve clinical outcomes primarily for the benefit of patients, but also to support orthopaedic clinicians and industry manufacturers. The registry collects high quality orthopaedic data in order to provide evidence to support patient safety, standards in quality of care, and overall cost-effectiveness in joint replacement surgery. The ‘NJR Quality Data Provider’ certificate scheme was introduced to offer hospitals a blueprint for reaching high quality standards relating to patient safety and to reward those who have met registry targets.

    In order to achieve the award, hospitals are required to meet a series of six ambitious targets during the audit period 2020/21. One of the targets which hospitals are required to complete is compliance with the NJR’s mandatory national audit aimed at assessing data completeness and quality within the registry.

    The NJR Data Quality Audit investigates the accurate number of joint replacement procedures submitted to the registry compared to the number carried out and recorded in the local hospital Patient Administration System. The audit ensures that the NJR is collecting and reporting upon the most complete, accurate data possible across all hospitals performing joint replacement operations, including Kingston Hospital.

    NJR targets also include having a high level of patients consenting for their details to be included in the registry and for hospitals to demonstrate timely responses to any alerts issued by the NJR in relation to potential patient safety concerns.

    Commenting, Ann Holliday, Speciality Quality Manager for Trauma & Orthopaedics said: “Improving patient safety is of the upmost importance and we fully support the National Joint Registry’s work in facilitating improvement in clinical outcomes and governance for the benefit of joint replacement patients. We are delighted to be awarded Quality Data Provider for a second year running.”

    National Joint Registry Medical Director, Mr Tim Wilton, said:“Congratulations to colleagues at Kingston Hospital. The Quality Data Provider Award demonstrates the high standards being met towards ensuring compliance with the NJR and is often a reflection of strong departmental efforts to achieve such status. Registry data now provides an important source of evidence for regulators, such as the Care Quality Commission, to inform their judgements about services, as well as being a fundamental driver to inform improved quality of care for patients.”

    Full details about the NJR’s Quality Data Provider certificate scheme can be found online at: https://www.njrcentre.org.uk

  17. From North to South in one throw of a dart

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    From working on a ward as a healthcare assistant to working in paediatrics and audiology, Jonny has worked in various roles before his current admin and clerical role: “I love my job and the NHS. I’m one of the personal assistants who look after members of the Executive Team.  I look after Alex Berry, Director of Transformation and Strategy and Yarlini Roberts, Chief Finance Officer as well their deputies – Denise Madden and Irfan Mundiya.”

    Proud of his northern roots, Jonny says: “I’m from Lincoln in Lincolnshire. I’m always going to be a country lad and dream of settling down in the Yorkshire Dales. I love it down here, but I just don’t like all the concrete buildings. With work and such, and with my life as it is, I have to be where I am for now.”

    “I’m the youngest of six children and my family still live in my hometown. I don’t think they will ever leave. I was the one destined to do things differently. One day in 2008, I threw a dart at a map on the wall, and it landed near Kingston upon Thames, so I packed a bag and jumped in the car and here I am.

    “I was always the shy one, but I think as I’ve got older, I’ve become more confident. I used to really worry about what other people thought of me, but it doesn’t bother me anymore. I believe we come into this world as a blank canvas, and I think who we hang out with and who and what we deal with over time, paints the picture of what we think the world is, when it could be totally different. We just need to keep changing our canvas.

    “I didn’t think an admin role would be for me because I’m dyslexic, but I’ve got my coping mechanisms, prompts and ways of dealing with certain words which I can never get right. I keep trying and I don’t let dyslexia define me because it shouldn’t, and it shouldn’t define anyone.

    “This role has been the best opportunity for me. It’s busy but so varied – no day is the same.”

    When asked what the hardest part of his job is: “Actually, I think it’s time. We need to give ourselves time and make time for ourselves. I think it’s the same for everyone and it’s always going to be an issue because there’s never enough hours in the day!”

    14 years ago, Jonny met his husband Ben through Facebook speed dating: “We love our holidays – we like to go on cruises and cottage holidays. With the pandemic I’ve not actually missed going abroad because I’ve now found that I prefer exploring here in the UK.”

    As well as his love for walking, which helps him relax: “I enjoy being outdoors. I have recently taken up running and wild water swimming, and I’m starting fell running soon.”

    Looking to the future Jonny shares his thoughts: “I want to be healthier. I saw myself a few years ago and I wasn’t unhealthy, but I wasn’t where I wanted to be, and I think with COVID now it’s important to have a healthy body and a healthy mind.”

  18. A rollercoaster of mathematics, equations, compassion and kindness

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    From growing up in Singapore, to starting her doctor training in India, Archana joined Kingston Hospital eight months ago to continue her training. “I grew up in Singapore and moved to India when I was 17. I have always wanted to be a doctor. I’ve got quite a mixed global heritage, and I think that’s what attracted me to apply to London specifically because it’s quite a multicultural place and Kingston more so, I’d say.”

    In Singapore there are three main cultures – Chinese, Malays and Indians: “I have always felt very attached to my Indian roots, but yet exposed to a lot of different cultures from a young age and then I moved back to India. Both my parents are Indian.”

    As a young student growing up in multicultural Singapore, we asked Archana what inspired her to go into medicine: “My favourite subject growing up was mathematics – I absolutely loved it. When I looked at medicine as a career, I always liked the human aspect of it. I loved interacting with people from a young age. I love communicating and I felt that medicine gave me a good opportunity to tap into those interpersonal elements.”

    “I did my F1 and F2 equivalent years in India. I came here as a trust grade ST1 in medicine. I just knew that internal medicine was what I always wanted to do. It’s been a brilliant experience so far at Kingston, and I’d like to stay for as long as I can. Fingers crossed I get training here – I have to apply next month and then we’ll find out.”


    “I do get a bit emotionally invested sometimes but I’m only human. It can be a rollercoaster at times. I think the key is just to not bring it home with you too much, or just keep yourself occupied outside of work.”

    As well as going to the gym, Archana loves to dance: “I enjoy Indian dancing – I learnt the classical form – then I moved on to doing more semi-classical and contemporary dance. I also play the ukulele. I think anything related to dance and music is always something that’s an escape from reality for me. I’m transformed to a different world when I have time to get dressed in full Indian costume.”

    When asked the best part of her job as a doctor: “Honestly, I just love talking to people, hearing about different experiences of the patient, watching them get better, being there for them when they’re getting worse. That for me is the best part of my job. Unfortunately, a close relative passed away a couple of years ago and I realised then that nothing else really matters more than the human relations when caring for someone unwell – everything else takes a back seat.”

    Looking to the future Archana shares her aspirations: “I want to be a cardiologist. I feel passionately about that – it would be a dream come true if that does happen. I love mathematics and I love equations. For me when I look at ECGs or the physiology of the heart, it’s like a mathematical equation that we have to solve, and I would love to spend the rest of my life doing that.”

    “So, what keeps me going? It’s the process of continuously learning something new, and interacting with such a wide variety of people, not just patients, but staff, and the social element, as well as the educational element – all of it put together – it’s the most wonderful profession.”

    “Everyone has a different role in the team and every patient has a different story. It’s fascinating to see it all come together to deliver something amazing. To get that patient home and well and the impact that has on their family too. The gratitude you receive from a patient who is unwell, and they get better is immensely rewarding. The thank yous from the patients and their families really make my day.”

  19. Your NHS is here for you

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    It’s important to know where to go if you need medical advice. Please use the information below to help us to help you.


  20. Have your say on Kingston’s refreshed Health and Care Plan

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    The refreshed draft of the Kingston Health and Care Plan 2022-2024 has been published, describing the vision, priorities, and the actions we will work on together as partners to improve the health and wellbeing of Kingston’s residents.

    The plan was first published in 2019 with the aim of key organisations working together on priorities that would make the difference in enabling Kingston residents to start life well as children, live well as adults and for older people to age well for longer.

    The new two-year plan for 2022-2024 is a refresh of some of the existing priorities with a new focus on tackling health inequalities across the life course, tackling obesity, improving mental health and improving the lives of carers.

    Before the final plan is published later this year, you are invited to share your views. You can have your say by reading the plan and completing the survey by Tuesday 30 Novemberkingstonletstalk.co.uk/health-and-care-plan

    If you have any issues taking part, or need any of the information available in an alternative format, please get in touch via phone: 020 4526 2722 or email kingstonccg.engage@swlondon.nhs.uk

  21. Have your say on Richmond’s refreshed Health and Care Plan

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    The refreshed draft of the Richmond Health and Care Plan 2022-2024 has been published, describing the vision, priorities, and the actions we will work on together as partners to improve the health and wellbeing of Richmond’s residents.

    The plan was first published in 2019 with the aim of key organisations working together on priorities that would make the difference in enabling Richmond residents to start life well as children, live well as adults and for older people to age well for longer.

    The new two-year plan for 2022-2024 is a refresh of some of the existing priorities with a new focus on tackling health inequalities across the life course, tackling obesity, improving mental health and improving the lives of carers.

    Before the final plan is published later this year, you are invited to share your views. Your feedback will be used to inform the final Health and Care Plan, before it is approved by Richmond’s Health and Wellbeing Board in January 2022.

    You can have your say by reading the plan and completing the survey Richmond Health and Care Plan Refresh Survey – Have your say – Citizen Space

    The closing date for the survey is 10 December.

    If you would like more information or a hard copy of the survey please contact us at  richmondccg.involve@swlondon.nhs.uk  or on 020 4526 2722.

  22. Matron at the heart of our hospital

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    Diane Taboada came to the UK from The Philippines in 2000 and started working at Kingston Hospital. Twenty one years later Diane is now Matron for Cardiology, Gastroenterology and Respiratory, looking after Bronte, Hamble, and Hardy wards.

    Of the 15 years Diane worked on Bronte Ward, she says: “My first love has always been cardiology. What I most love about my job is developing staff and seeing them progress in their careers.”

    “I also like when I interact with patients, not only when they have complaints or when they have issues, as often patients and relatives will see me on the ward and want to give compliments about my staff. That makes me happy.  I make sure that I feed back to staff and thank them after a hard day, because it’s not easy right now in the NHS. It is also important to make sure that staff feel supported and valued because otherwise they will lose the motivation to come to work.”

    When asked how her role facilitates the wards to deliver high quality care she explains: “I do set high standards. First thing in the morning I do my rounds and in that quick round, I talk with the nurse in charge as to what their day would be like, not only about the discharges, but if they have any concerns about patients or relatives.  I then review their KPIs. I also have one-to-ones with the Band 7s of the wards. We look into the Friends and Family tests as well to look to how we can improve the patient experience.”

    As matron, Diane tells us how role modelling plays an important part in her role:  “During the first surge of the pandemic, it was scary, and it was the first time we had CPAP. So every day I went onto the ward to show staff it was okay to go onto the ward and care for our patients with COVID-19 and they shouldn’t be scared as I’m there with them.”

    We asked Diane, if she thinks coming through the last 18 months has made her a stronger person? She pauses. “Yes, I think so, it’s made me think that there’s not much that we cannot achieve if we put our minds to it. There has always been a very can-do attitude here at Kingston. When people pull together and we make sure we all feel supported, then we can get through it.”

    When asked why she has stayed at Kingston, Diane says: “My work family is like my second family. So the teams are like a second family to me. I have a good working relationship with the teams.  I also had staff who stayed with me for 15 years. They always say employees do not leave jobs. They leave their bosses. So, I must have been taken care of well by my bosses!”

    How does Diane relax? “I run, well, I used to run, but it has been so busy. I haven’t been running for a month now but starting again tomorrow! I enjoy going out with my friends. Filipinos have, as I always joke, four stomachs. As long as we have food, we’ll be fine.”

    “I’m still in touch with my nursing cohort of 2000. In October we went on a spa break to celebrate our birthdays for the last 2 years as we were not able to meet as a group due to COVID. There’s five or six of us still working in the trust.”

    When asked what inspires her, Diane explains: “Making a positive difference to our staff and patients’ lives is what makes it worthwhile to come to work, despite all the stresses.  Like I said, Kingston is my second family where else would I want to work?”

  23. Pancreatic Awareness month

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    Pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed late. Nearly 50% of diagnoses are made via an emergency presentation and 88% of those diagnosed via this route will die within one year. Survival is 3 times higher for patients diagnosed via GP referral.

     Risk factors:

    • Age
    • Smoking
    • Being overweight
    • Chronic pancreatitis
    • Diabetes

    Symptoms

    The symptoms of pancreatic cancer can be vague and varied and can include:

    • indigestion,
    •  abdominal pain and/or back pain,
    • unexplained weight loss, nausea,
    • loss of appetite, fatigue
    • , new onset diabetes,
    • or a change in existing diabetes and changes in bowel habit (both constipation or diarrhoea).
    • Jaundice

    More information can be found on:

      Macmillan.org .uk

    www.nhs.uk/conditions/pancreatic-cancer

    https://www.pcrf.org.uk/pancreatic-cancer-research

  24. An interview with Catherine Broomfield, Emergency Department volunteer

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    In August, we welcomed new volunteer Catherine Broomfield to Emergency Department volunteering. In the following interview, Catherine explains her unique journey from a career in aviation cabin crew to volunteering at Kingston Hospital.

    What has your career been to date?
    I started working in the city as a secretary on a trading floor for 10 years. I then moved to France where I started working as an English teacher and ended up working for a company of international wealth managers as a Sales Assistant and Translator.  After 14 years in France, I returned to the UK and ventured into the world of air travel. Firstly, I worked as Cabin Crew for British Airways and then as an International Airline Concierge for Air New Zealand on the LA route. I then applied to Virgin Atlantic as I wanted to go to lots of different destinations. I have been working for Virgin as cabin crew since 2016.

    How do you think your Virgin Atlantic experience has influenced your approach to volunteering?
    When you work in customer service you can’t be someone who holds back. I’m used to dealing with difficult situations and I wanted to show my gratitude after surviving a very challenging 18 months during the pandemic. My way of doing that was to explore volunteering for the NHS. The advert for Emergency Department volunteering on NHS Jobs immediately attracted me as I had started working in the NHS during COVID, when the aviation industry ground to a halt. I trained to become a Blood Donor Carer with NHS Blood and Transplant, which enabled me to learn a new skill, do something useful and keep a roof over my head.

    What is the most rewarding part of ED volunteering?
    The ED environment suits me as I am someone who likes to keep busy and be in an ever-changing environment. You have to be very proactive, motivated and able to talk to anyone. I have found it really makes a difference as people want to talk and for you to listen, especially if they’ve been in the department for a while. Nowadays, we have technology at our fingertips to keep us entertained and constantly in touch with friends and family. However, many older people are not glued to their phones, if they have one, and just want someone to chat to. They really appreciate a cup of tea or coffee (where appropriate) or someone who can run and fetch them a newspaper to read. Volunteering also helps the medical staff as I can run around and help with the basics, such as popping to Boots to get a prescription, showing someone where to get a scan done, or simply dealing with the laundry.

    Would you recommend ED volunteering to others?
    Yes, definitely. I’ve already recommended it to a colleague at Virgin Atlantic. The past year has taught me the importance of getting out of the house and keeping busy – find what you enjoy and don’t be frightened! There are lots of ways to pay things back in society – volunteering at Kingston Hospital is the way that I wanted to do it.

    To register your interest as an Emergency Department volunteer or find out more about the programme of volunteering offered at Kingston Hospital, please email khft.volunteering@nhs.net or call us on 0208 934 3620.

  25. Pulse check: Services for people with diabetes

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    Throughout October and November, Healthwatch Kingston is working with Diabetes UK to talk to residents living with diabetes (including family and friends, carers and advocates) about their experiences of services. Share your views here and help improve services.

  26. CQC publish National Inpatient Survey results

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    The National Inpatient Survey takes place every year and we are grateful to over 400 patients that have taken time to complete the most recent survey, the results of which have been published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) this week. 

    Summary of results:

    The CQC report benchmarks Kingston Hospital against other Trusts and you can read the full report on the NHS surveys website: All Files – NHS Surveys

    (You will need to scroll down the alphabetical list of NHS Trusts).

    Commenting on the National Inpatient Survey results, Chief Nurse, Nic Kane, said: “Kingston Hospital’s commitment to patient care is demonstrated in these survey findings and we are delighted to see improvements in some of the areas that we know matter most to patients.  Our pledge to patients, families and carers over the coming months is to listen to their views on how we can improve in areas where we have done less well and support staff to work together to make change happen.”

  27. Kingston Hospital cancer specialists promote breast cancer awareness on Wear it Pink Day

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    Kingston Hospital cancer specialists, Michelle Harris (Breast Care Nurse) and Archana Sood (Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Manager) were based in John Lewis Kingston’s lingerie department on Friday 22 October, in support of Wear it Pink Day for Breast Cancer Awareness. Michelle and Archana were available to promote breast health awareness, offer literature and to answer any questions or concerns women had in relation to breast cancer. They were joined by Anjali Dargan, John Lewis’ specialist bra fitter, who has expertise in specialist bras for women having breast cancer surgery.

    Michelle felt that the session was extremely valuable as “breast cancer is an extremely sensitive and emotive subject, and so being here to answer questions and offer emotional support to women who are afraid was invaluable today.” Offering a safe and neutral space meant that women felt comfortable to discuss concerns that otherwise might not have been addressed. Archana found that “it was great to have the opportunity to talk to women about checking their breasts for any unusual symptoms and to promote breast health in general. It was particularly heart-warming for me as I met two of our patients who themselves had been through the breast cancer journey at Kingston Hospital. They were delighted to see breast cancer awareness being promoted in a public setting.”

    You can find information and support relating to breast cancer here.

  28. Kingston Hospital’s Resuscitation team teaches life-saving first aid at Waterloo station

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    Therese Sidney, Richard Sandham, Hannah Choules, Jemima Tyrell, and Camilla Bediones, from Kingston Hospital’s Resuscitation team, headed to Waterloo station on Saturday 16 October to support Restart a Heart Day. Each year, in October, the Resuscitation Council UK (RCUK) promote the Restart a Heart initiative which encourages the teaching of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to the public. Ensuring that as many people as possible are trained in CPR is extremely valuable; out-of-hospital cardiac arrests have a less than one in ten survival rate in the UK, and it’s therefore vital for the public to be educated regarding which steps to take if someone collapses and stops breathing normally. Kingston Hospital’s Resuscitation team were able to offer the general public passing through Waterloo station the opportunity to learn how to give hands-only CPR (in line with government social distancing guidance) and how to use a defibrillator. The team were supported by the British Heart Foundation and Dr Marion Norbrook, whose father survived a cardiac arrest at Waterloo station some years ago.

    Therese Sidney, Resuscitation/Simulation Lead said: “We haven’t been able to engage in-person with the public on Restart a Heart Day for the past 2 years due to COVID-19, as restrictions have been eased, my team and I were very keen to resume this again. We were well received by the Waterloo station staff and soon we were teaching a variety of commuters how to perform CPR. The feedback we received was so positive and encouraging, people were genuinely keen to learn and practice this life skill. We really enjoyed it and look forward to a bigger collaboration with London Ambulance Service and others next year.”

    You can watch the RCUK’s short animation video CPR Right Now, which  demonstrates the steps to save a life, while reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

  29. From reporter to porter!

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    From pouring tea to endoscopy, Patricia’s journey at Kingston Hospital has been all about investing time in people and an organisation that she loves.

    Patricia explains: “People say I live a double life. I was a multimedia journalist who has covered high profile news all over the world, but four years ago, I decided I wanted to give something back to my community, one that has made me so welcome since I came here from Brazil. I decided to volunteer at my local hospital. I was the one pushing the tea trolley and working in the coffee shop and now I am a porter and push a different sort of trolley!”

    As a seasoned reporter, it comes as no surprise that Pat is interested in people’s stories, and where else is there a better example of life than a hospital? She said: “I am a different type of reporter when I am here, I report to the doctors and nurses and to the patients. We are like a family. I don’t see my job as pushing beds, I help people. As a porter you see people experiencing all emotions, the happiness of a new baby or some who are scared to go into surgery and maybe find out they have a serious illness. It is life in the extreme. Not forgetting that I’ve pushed those that have lost their lives to Rose Cottage, and it is a reminder to never take life for granted, you never know when your last day will be. It helps you appreciate life.”

    Having been a porter throughout the hospital before settling in Endoscopy, Patricia had first hand experience of how precious life is as she worked throughout the first wave of the pandemic, she explained: “One of the most moving moments of that time was an older gentleman who called me over, he was so poorly and surrounded with so many machines I could hardly reach him. I explained that I wasn’t a nurse, but he said that’s ok, I’m really scared and just want to hold your hand. Even in my full PPE I could do that for him, something that simple can make such a difference. Every day I was pushing those that had lost their lives to the mortuary, and it was hard. I’ve worked as a journalist in some terrible conflicts, in Syria, Israel , Iraq…but seeing the effect of COVID-19 on our staff here was just as serious. We came together as a family, to support each other, in the middle of that storm.”

    When asked about the highs and lows of working at the hospital, Pat is quick to answer: “meeting people, helping and caring for them and sharing their happiness as they get well. The worst is going back to check on a patient you have gotten to know and they’re not there anymore. Seeing a grieving family, that is really hard. As a porter you get the chance to get to know someone a little, they’re not just a body, a person, you see them with their loved ones, and you invest in them.”

    When asked how Pat manages to relax after her busy day job, she says: “Living in this area and working at the hospital has given me the life I always wanted. I visited this area years ago with a friend and fell in love with it, and now I get to call it home. I love my job at the hospital and enjoy working on other projects at my own pace. I am lucky enough to meet people all day and hear their stories and to be a small part of each of theirs. It is a good life.”

  30. The facts on the COVID-19 vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds

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    This autumn, all children aged 12 to 15 years are being offered the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. In the following short film, Nic Kane, Chief Nurse of Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust, discusses the facts on the COVID-19 vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds, with Lydia Roebuck, Chair of Kingston and Richmond Youth Council: https://youtu.be/ASSCw7UngNI

  31. AHPs Day celebration

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    On Thursday 14 October we celebrated AHPs Day. This was an opportunity to acknowledge the fantastic work of our Allied Health Professionals at Kingston Hospital and thank them for everything they do in providing outstanding care to our patients. Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) are the third largest clinical workforce in the NHS, and AHPs Day is an annual opportunity for AHPs to come together and celebrate being part of the AHP family, while showcasing the impact they make to the delivery of high-quality care.

    The ‘Kingston Hospital AHP Awards’ were launched, with Nic Kane (Chief Nurse of Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust), presenting the winners with their awards. Staff were asked to nominate their colleagues according to the eight categories below, and these nominations were then narrowed down (with some tough decisions!) by a judging panel:

    •             “Caring” AHP award

    •             “Safe” AHP award

    •             “Responsible” AHP award

    •             “Value each other” AHP award

    •             “Inspiring” AHP award

    •             Happiest AHP award

    •             AHP Rising Star award

    •             CEO of the Future award

    Congratulations to the winners of our AHP Awards, and you can click here to watch our video thanking our AHPs for the wonderful work they do every day.

  32. COVID Cancer Survey

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    The NHS has launched a national COVID Cancer Antibody Survey to assess antibody responses to the COVID-19 vaccines among cancer patients and is calling on cancer patients to sign up now.  The survey is open to people aged 18 or over living in England who have either been diagnosed with cancer in the last year or are currently receiving cancer treatment.

    Please consider completing it if you fall into the criteria above, or share more widely if you know someone who fits the criteria and might want to take part.

    If you fit the criteria you can sign up here: https://covidcancersurvey.uk/

    Vaccination is an important strategy to protect society from the effects of COVID-19, but there is emerging evidence that a small number of cancer patients may have lower levels of antibody response than the general population. We don’t yet fully understand what lower levels of antibodies mean in terms of outcomes, but it may mean some people with cancer are not as protected from COVID-19.

    The COVID Cancer Antibody Survey is one of the first surveys of its kind that will help us understand what protection people with cancer develop following COVID-19 infection and/or vaccination.

    It will also help us understand whether and how antibody response differs between different cancer types and whether any particular treatments affect response to vaccination.

    Participants will be sent a finger-prick blood test that looks for antibodies against COVID-19 in the blood. This will be sent in the post and comes with everything needed to complete and return the test.

    By signing up for this survey, you can help to develop our understanding of what antibody levels mean for people with cancer and help us to provide the best treatment, care and support for patients, as well as finding out about your own antibody levels.  

    You’ll fill in a short form with your details before being automatically redirected through to the NHS Test & Trace antibody test booking page where you’ll be able to book your free test. There are 10,000 places on this survey and the NHS expects to be recruiting participants for the next two to three months.

    You need to visit https://covidcancersurvey.uk/ to sign up to the survey before ordering your antibody test.

    We are aware that, once you have completed registration on covidcancersurvey.uk and have been directed onto the gov.uk antibody test booking service, one of the questions that website asks you is to confirm your employment status. Please ignore the text underneath this question, which asks you not to continue if you are not working – you do qualify for an antibody test, regardless of your employment status. Simply answer this question and click ‘continue’ – you will still be able to book your test.

    For more information, please use the ‘contact us’ section of the survey website: https://covidcancersurvey.uk/contact/

  33. Meet the governor: Jen Bunn

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    Jen Bunn is an elected staff governor, representing Kingston Hospital’s management and administrative staff.

    We spoke to Jen about her time as a governor so far.


    Q. When were you first elected as a staff governor?
    I was elected staff governor in November 2020, following a nomination process voted for by my peers from the staff groups I represent.


    Q. Why did you decide that you would like to be a governor at Kingston Hospital?
    I have worked at Kingston Hospital since 2010; predominately in admin roles as a ward clerk, physiotherapy outpatient receptionist and now as physiotherapy admin manager. I love working here and feel very proud to work alongside a wonderfully diverse staff group, who work incredibly hard to provide the best patient care.
    I am passionate about promoting the value of admin and non-clinical support staff. I saw the staff governor role as an opportunity to use my voice and champion our support staff, whilst also gaining a greater understanding of the ‘inner workings’ of the NHS. I live in Teddington and have used the hospital services for myself and both of my children, so I appreciate having such a fantastic acute hospital on my doorstep.


    Q. What do you think your experience and skills bring to the Council of Governors?
    I feel my eleven years’ experience of working in the Trust provides me with a real insiderknowledge. I enjoy engaging with staff and I am confident at raising concerns or questioning decisions when necessary. I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2012 and was successfully treated thanks to the incredible joint care of Kingston Hospital and The Royal Marsden. My experience of having a serious illness provides me with an opportunity to consider patient experience; especially relating to gynaecological cancer treatment. I have an undergraduate degree in Counselling, Psychotherapy and Psychology and have a keen interest in promoting staff health and wellbeing. I have recently trained in REACT mental health and will be helping to roll this out to colleagues across the Trust. I am also a newly appointed Diversity Champion and have volunteered to help promote the Trust’s new equality, diversity and inclusion strategy, striving to implement positive change for staff and patients.


    Q. What have you enjoyed the most about being a governor so far?
    I have really enjoyed getting to know all of our locally elected governors and the Trust’s NonExecutive Directors. It has been fascinating to hear about the different motivations for becoming a governor and learning about the wealth of personal and career history – I feel quite inspired by the group.


    Q. What are you looking forward to as a governor of Kingston Hospital?
    Meeting everyone in person!

  34. Breast Cancer Awareness

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    Almost half (47%) of women in the UK do not check their breasts regularly for potential signs of breast cancer and each year, about 55,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK. It is more common in women who are aged 50 and over.

    There are many different signs and symptoms of breast cancer, so its important that you check your breasts regularly for anything different or new.

    The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the better the chance of successful treatment. Getting to know what your breasts look and feel like normally means it’s easier to spot any unusual changes and check them with your doctor. 

    Macmillan Cancer Support and Breast Cancer now

    Breast cancer in women – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

    Breast cancer in men – NHS – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

    Breast cancer – Macmillan Cancer Support

    Breast cancer statistics and facts | Breast Cancer Now

    The Macmillan Information and support service at Kingston Hospital  can help and support you with any queries. Call on 0208 973 5001 to speak to Archana Sood , Macmillan Information manager or email khft.macinfoswru@nhs.net

  35. Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust gains Baby Friendly Award

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    Kingston Hospital has been awarded the prestigious Baby Friendly Award and is the latest UK health care facility to gain recognition from the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) Baby Friendly Initiative.

    “This award from the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative is a reflection of our ongoing commitment to increase breastfeeding rates and improve care for all mothers at Kingston Hospital. We set out to ensure that all mothers and babies are supported to form a close and loving relationship – whatever their choice of feeding method – as this is the best start for every baby” said Kingston Hospital’s Infant Feeding Lead, Breda Murphy.

    Kingston Hospital’s Director of Midwifery, Gina Brockwell, said “We are so grateful to all of the maternity staff whose amazing efforts have allowed us to achieve this award. They have worked tirelessly during a difficult period in healthcare to provide high quality care for women and their families in their chosen method of feeding”.

    The Baby Friendly Initiative is a global programme which aims to transform healthcare for babies, their mothers and families as part of a wider global partnership between UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO). In the UK, the Baby Friendly Initiative works with public services to better support families with feeding and developing close, loving relationships in order to ensure that all babies get the best possible start in life. The award is given to hospitals after an assessment by a UNICEF UK team has shown that recognised best practice standards are in place.

    “We are delighted that Kingston Hospital has achieved full Baby Friendly status,” said UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Programme Director, Sue Ashmore. “Our work to support breastfeeding is based on extensive and resounding evidence that breastfeeding saves lives, improves health and cuts costs in every country worldwide, rich and poor alike. Mothers at Kingston Hospital can be confident that their midwives will provide high standards of care.”

  36. Stoptober – supporting Kingston residents to stop smoking

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    Friday 1st October marks the start of Stoptober, the annual event that aims to encourage smokers to quit for 28 days, with the aim of stopping smoking for good.

    Giving up smoking is one of the best things you can ever do for your health, and it’s never too late to quit.  Join 1000s of people quitting smoking across the country during the month of ‘Stoptober’ – sign up for 6 weeks of free 1-1 support  with Kingston’s specialist stop smoking service. Their advisors can tailor support to you, with advice, guidance & access to medications to help you quit. 

    See https://kick-it.org.uk/  to self refer, or access the service through your local GP practice, pharmacy or Kingston Hospital.

    You can find many more resources to help with the promotion of Stoptober here. 

  37. Our Annual General Meeting and Annual Members meeting is tomorrow!

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    Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Annual Members’ Meeting tomorrow (Thursday 23 September 2021) at 6pm.

    The event will be held virtually as a Microsoft Teams meeting and members of the public are welcome to join.

    The meeting will chart Kingston Hospital’s achievements and focuses of the last year and will include information about elections to the Trust’s Council of Governors, which take place in November 2021.

    Find out more.

  38. Gynaecology Cancer Awareness month

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    “Knowing your body is the best way to look after yourself. It will empower women in many ways!”

    Erica Lucero, Macmillan Gynaecology Oncology Nurse Specialist, Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

    21,000 women are diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer every year in the UK. That’s more than 400 women – our friends, sisters, mothers and daughters – every week.

    But if you had the symptoms of a gynaecological cancer, would you recognise them?

    There are five gynaecological cancers: Cervical cancer, vulval cancer, vaginal cancer, womb cancer and ovarian cancer.

    But they all have one thing in common: The earlier each is detected and treated, the greater chance a woman has of surviving.

    To find out more about gynaecological cancers take a look at the following websites

    Useful links:

    https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/

    https://patient.info/news-and-features/gynaecological-cancer-warning-signs-ovarian-cervical-womb-vaginal-vulval

    https://www.ovacome.org.uk/b-e-a-t

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-screening/

    https://www.macmillan.org.uk/cancer-information-and-support/worried-about-cancer/causes-and-risk-factors/hpv

    Gynaecological Cancer website:

    https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/womens-cancer

    https://www.macmillan.org.uk/cancer-information-and-support/cancer-types

  39. Public parking charges reintroduced from 1 September 2021

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    In line with other NHS Trusts, parking charges for public parking areas at Kingston Hospital will be re-introduced on 1 September 2021, following their suspension during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    From 1 September 2021, car parking tariffs at Kingston Hospital will be as follows:

    ·         Up to 1 hour: £2.00

    ·         Up to 2 hours: £4.00

    ·         Up to 3 hours: £6.00

    ·         Up to 4 hours: £8.00

    ·         Up to 5 hours: £10.00

    ·         Day rate: £12.00

    In line with government guidance, parking will be free for the following:

    ·         Blue Badge Holders who have registered with us

    ·         Overnight parking for parents/guardians of a child who has been admitted or who is an inpatient at Kingston Hospital

    ·         Frequent attenders (defined as individuals attending hospital for an appointment at least 3 times a month, for at least 3 months)

    To find out more, read our ‘frequently asked questions’ document:

  40. Kingston Hospital is extending the system for storing patient health records electronically

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    This change will mean that all your existing paper records will be scanned into an electronic record viewing system.

    Once your paper records have been scanned, your whole hospital record can be viewed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by any health professional at Kingston Hospital involved in your care and treatment, enabling us to provide better care.

    You may notice health professionals looking at the screen more during your appointment as they review information about your care and treatment.

    The changes are being introduced gradually, starting in Autumn 2021.

  41. Kingston Hospital midwives shortlisted for Royal College of Midwives Award 2021

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    Frances Rivers, Homebirth Team Lead Midwife, and Jackie Latimer, Clinical Midwifery Manager at Kingston Hospital, have been shortlisted for the Royal College of Midwives Awards 2021.

    The team have been shortlisted in the Excellence in Maternity Care During a Global Pandemic category, for their project titled “supporting homebirths during the pandemic” which highlights achievements in continuing to support women’s choices and increasing the homebirth rate over the last 12 to 18 months.

    Find out more about Kingston Hospital’s homebirth team: https://kingstonhospital.nhs.uk/birth/homebirth/

  42. Kingston Hospital staff grow their wellbeing with help from the RHS

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    Kingston Hospital staff tend to planters they designed and created with help from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). Aimed at supporting wellbeing during the pandemic, the project saw teams of clinical and non-clinical staff including admin and clerical staff, doctors, anaesthetists, nurses and allied health professionals work with the RHS to come up with ten planters for all to enjoy in the hospital grounds. Pollinator-friendly planting, upcycled crutches and innovative drip watering systems are among the features.

    There is a growing mountain of evidence that gardening is good for our health and wellbeing. Just adding a few plants to a bare front garden can make us feel happier and more relaxed, while a recent RHS study found that daily gardening is as good for mental wellbeing as regular vigorous exercise. 

    Their amazing efforts came into full bloom recently as their planters were judged by the RHS team.

    Congratulations to everyone who took part, the winners are:

    Best theme – Risk/Patient Safety and Education Centre
    Best decorated – Emergency Department
    Right plant right place – Theatres and Anaesthetics
    Overall winner – Paediatrics
    Most colourful – Pain Clinic
    Best teamwork – Wolverton Centre
    Wildlife friendly – Colposcopy and Radiology
    Sustainability – Colposcopy and Radiology and Physiotherapy (joint winners)
    Sustainability – Colposcopy and Radiology and Physiotherapy (joint winners)
    Best cared for – Audiology
    Best creative – Physiotherapy
    Involvement of the department and patients – Speech and Language Therapy/OT
  43. Meet the governor: Ali Dicks

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    Ali Dicks is an elected staff governor, representing Kingston
    Hospital’s Allied Health Professionals and clinical support staff.


    We spoke to Ali about her time as a governor so far.


    Q. When were you first elected as a staff governor?
    I was first elected as a staff governor in November 2020, in an uncontested seat.


    Q. Why did you decide that you would like to be a governor at Kingston Hospital?
    During 2020 I became increasingly interested in the leadership structures within Kington Hospital, as well as the strategic direction of travel. In particular, I felt passionate about the potential contribution that the Allied Health Professional groups of staff can make. I feel proud to work at the Hospital, because I am privileged to work alongside a very dedicated, knowledgeable and committed team of people who really do put the patient first. I decided that the staff governor role would provide a valuable conduit between the staff delivering care on the frontline, and the hospital management.


    Q. What do you think your experience and skills bring to the Council of Governors?
    I have worked as a qualified physiotherapist for 22 years. I trained in South Africa and worked there for 18 months, before relocating to England. Prior to joining Kingston Hospital in 2008, I had worked in locum roles, the private sector, and studied full time for my Masters degree. Up until last year, I had worked solely in a clinical role. I had just started a combined clinical and operational leadership role when the COVID -19 pandemic struck. Whilst this was a particularly challenging time to take on a new role, it also created opportunities to meet a variety of different staff from across the Trust, to be exposed to various leadership styles and generally become more familiar with the inner workings of the hospital. In addition to being someone who delivers care at the hospital, I have also been a recipient of care as a patient. I therefore care deeply about Kingston Hospital’s patients, staff and the services it provides.


    Q. What have you enjoyed the most about being a governor so far?
    I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting my fellow governors, members of the board, and the Trust’s Non-Executive Directors. Their wealth of knowledge, varied backgrounds and extensive experience is very informative and inspirational. I sit on two sub-committees (the Membership Recruitment and Engagement Committee and the Strategy Committee) and have started to develop a much broader understanding of the strategic challenges facing the Trust. I have also started to have the opportunity to provide staff feedback to the senior management team and have felt positively reassured by the responses I have received.

    Q. What are you looking forward to as a governor of Kingston Hospital?
    I am looking forward to meeting my fellow governors face to face, because up until now, we have only been able to have virtual meetings. I also look forward to being able to join the governor “walk-arounds” of the hospital, so that I can increase my visibility to the staff I represent, and talk to them about issues in their area.

  44. COVID-19 Pharmacy Vaccinations (Ace Pharmacy, Chessington)

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    There will be a vaccination walk-in session everyday, 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm, Monday 19 July to Friday 23 July 2021 at Ace Pharmacy in Chessington.

    Walk in for your vaccine if you:

    • Are over 40
    • Would like your 2nd dose and had your 1st dose 8 weeks ago or more.

    If you have them, please bring proof of:

    • Age – like a driving license or passport
    • Your 1st vaccination – your vaccination card or NHS app.
  45. COVID-19 Pharmacy Vaccinations (Union Street Boots)

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    There will be a vaccination walk-in session everyday, 8:45am to 5.10pm, until Saturday 24 July 2021 at Boots, Union Street, Kingston.

    Walk in for your vaccine if you:

    • Are over 18
    • Would like your 2nd dose and had your 1st dose 8 weeks ago or more.

    If you have them, please bring proof of:

    • Age – like a driving license or passport
    • Your 1st vaccination – your vaccination card or NHS app.
  46. Get ready, get vaccinated! (Harlequins Twickenham)

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    There will be a vaccination walk-in session everyday, 8:30am to 7pm, until Monday 26 July 2021 at the The Stoop Rugby Ground (Harlequins RFC) in Twickenham.

    Walk in for your vaccine if you:

    • Are over 18
    • Would like your 2nd dose and had your 1st dose 8 weeks ago or more.

    If you have them, please bring proof of:

    • Age – like a driving license or passport
    • Your 1st vaccination – your vaccination card or NHS app.
  47. Drop on in, get vaccinated! (Hawks Road)

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    There will be a vaccination walk-in session everyday until Monday 26 July 2021 8:30am to 6.45pm at the Hawks Road Vaccination Centre in Kingston.

    Walk in for your vaccine if you:

    • Are over 40
    • Would like your 2nd dose and had your 1st dose 8 weeks ago or more.

    If you have them, please bring proof of:

    • Age – like a driving license or passport
    • Your 1st vaccination – your vaccination card or NHS app.
  48. Super Saturday – walk in COVID-19 vaccination event at Queens C of E Primary School

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    There will be a Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination event at Queens C of E Primary School Saturday 24 July 10am – 6pm.

    Open to all aged 18 and over, no appointment necessary.

    Both Pfizer and AstraZeneca will be available, for first or second doses. Please note that second doses will ONLY be given to those who had their first dose eight weeks ago or more.

  49. Chief Nurse appointed for HRCH and Kingston Hospital

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    Following a competitive recruitment process, Nic Kane has been offered and accepted the position of Chief Nurse across Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust (HRCH).

    Nic is an experienced senior nurse with extensive clinical leadership, and operational experience. She has been Deputy Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Kingston Hospital since 2016 and in addition the Interim Director of Nursing & Non-Medical Professionals at HRCH since May 2021, a role she shares with Kumal Rajpaul.

    Chief Executive Jo Farrar said “I look forward to working with Nic on both Trust Boards where I know she will champion the voice of patients and represent our nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals workforce providing clinical leadership, to ensure delivery of excellent and safe patient care.

    “I would like to congratulate Nic on her appointment, and I would also like to acknowledge the support from a range of individuals from both trusts, and other partners for supporting the process to recruit to this role.”

    The decision to appoint a Chief Nurse, for the first time, across the two trusts is in line with the recently published White Paper which asks health and care providers to work in more integrated ways to help address inequalities of access and inequalities of outcomes to health and care for local people. With this in mind, Nic will also represent the voice of patients and staff in the work we are doing at borough level and within the integrated care systems, in which we operate.

  50. Face masks must still be worn in NHS buildings

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    COVID-19 is still circulating in our local communities and because the NHS cares for people when they are at their most vulnerable, it will be keeping all of its infection prevention and control measures in place after 19 July to keep patients, visitors and staff safe.

    All patients and visitors to NHS buildings will continue to be asked to wear a mask and sanitise hands regularly. Social distancing measures will also remain in place. This is to protect patients and the community generally.

    Face masks and hand sanitiser are available at entrances to local NHS sites.

  51. Statement about racist abuse of England players

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    Jo Farrar, Chief Executive of Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, has responded to racist comments about England players on social media, following the final of Euro 2020.

    “We at Kingston Hospital are appalled by racist abuse of players who brought England much pride and togetherness in difficult times.

    In the NHS, we do not tolerate racism, or abuse of any kind. We will continue to work with our partners to make our communities feel safe, protected and listened to, recognising the richness and diversity of the communities we serve.

    We see all the great things our colleagues and communities are achieving, their talent and voice for what’s right, and it makes us feel we can make things better together.”

    The Metropolitan Police are ready to help anyone who has been affected by racist behaviour and violence. For more information on how to spot a hate crime, report it, or get help, support and advice visit their hate crime pages. If you feel in any danger, always call 999.

  52. Super Saturday – walk in COVID-19 vaccination event at Healthfield Junior School

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    There will be a Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination event at Heathfield Junior School Saturday 17 July 10am – 6pm.

    Open to all aged 18 and over, no appointment necessary.

    Both Pfizer and AstraZeneca will be available, for first or second doses. Please note that second doses will ONLY be given to those who had their first dose eight weeks ago or more.

  53. Get ready, get vaccinated! (Teddington)

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    There will be a vaccination walk-in session Tuesday 20 July until Saturday 24th July 2021, 9am-4.30pm at the Teddington Health & Social Care Centre.

    Walk in for your vaccine if you:

    • Are over 18
    • Would like your 2nd dose and had your 1st dose 8 weeks ago or more.

    If you have them, please bring proof of:

    • Age – like a driving license or passport.
  54. Get ready, get vaccinated! (New Malden)

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    There will be a vaccination walk-in session Saturday 17th July 2021, 9am-1pm and 2pm-6pm, at the United Reformed Church in New Malden.

    Walki in for your vaccine if you:

    • Are over 18 and waiting for your 1st or 2nd dose
    • For your 2nd dose, you must have waited for at least 8 weeks since your 1st dose.

    If you have them, please bring proof of:

    • Age – like a driving license or passport
    • 1st vaccination – your vaccination card or NHS app.

    If not, still come along.

  55. Van Gogh Alive Charity Day

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    Tuesday 14 September is Van Gogh Charity Day at the beautiful Kensington Gardens. All net proceeds from ticket sales on that day are being donated to Kingston Hospital Charity, Global’s Make Some Noise and Shout 85258, so please book your tickets now. Monies raised for Kingston Hospital Charity will help transform the care environments for children with cancer and for the growing number of patients with age-related macular degeneration and other conditions affecting the back of the eye.

    This multi-sensory experience is expected to be one of London’s most popular visitor attractions this summer. It exhibits the life and work of the seminal Dutch artist with more than 3,000 images, including iconic works like Starry Night, Sunflowers and lesser-known paintings that were inspired by his love of Japanese woodprints, spectacularly presented using a combination of sound, visuals and the aromas of Provence,. 

    To book your tickets and support us on 14 September, please use the link below.

  56. Meet the governor: Richard Allen

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    Richard Allen has been lead governor at Kingston Hospital for the last four years and will complete his term this June. Richard was elected as a public governor, representing the Kingston community. We spoke to Richard about his time as a governor.

    Q. When were you elected as a governor?
    I was elected a governor in autumn 2012, in readiness of the establishment of Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. I was then elected to be the first Lead Governor, but because of a pressing work commitment was unable to carry forward this opportunity. Subsequently I was then elected to the position in 2016.

    Q. Why did you decide to be a governor at Kingston Hospital?
    Kingston Hospital has mattered to me personally throughout my whole life. I was born in the maternity unit and in 1996 I had my life saved by the swift actions of a junior doctor.

    Q. Do you live locally? I live in Berrylands.

    Q. How does your role as governor support the hospital, patients and members?
    Governors are frequently a channel of information between the public, staff and the Trust management. The lead governor often has to pool the feedback from other governors, combining an array of thoughts, concerns, praise and opinions.

    Q. What other involvement have you had in the local community? In October, I will complete five years as Chairman of the Kingston branch of Diabetes UK. In May 2019 I also became the first Chairman of the national charity RALPHH, whose aims include providing defibrillation equipment at sporting locations – the first of these will be installed at Kingston Rowing Club later this summer. I am also a past Chairman of Kingston Victim Support.

    Q. What do you think have been the biggest successes of the hospital over the past four years?
    I believe we have seen improvements in the transparency of decisions being made, so now the public have extended means of finding out what is happening at their hospital. I am also pleased to have played a small part in helping improve service to patients with diabetes – we now have one of the best reputations in the country.

    Q. What has been your highlight as lead governor?
    No single highlight but I am pleased to have helped governors reach many collective majority views on various matters, increasing the influence and reputation of the Council of Governors.

    Q. Would you recommend the role of governor to members of Kingston Hospital?
    For those prepared to devote the necessary time, the role of a governor can be extremely rewarding and the Trust will always benefit from independent minded people who combine their own research with public accessibility.

  57. Meet the governor: Frances Kitson

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    Frances Kitson has been a governor at Kingston Hospital for over seven years and recently stepped in to the role of Lead Governor. We spoke to Frances about the role.

    Q. When were you first elected as a governor?
    I was first elected in October 2012, to represent Richmond, and when I moved to Kingston, I was re-elected as a Kingston governor. This will be my last term as governor. I was Lead Governor from 2013-2016, and again from June this year.

    Q. Why did you decide to be a governor at Kingston Hospital?
    I saw a leaflet in my local GP surgery, and thought it would be an interesting opportunity to use my skills (I’m a government lawyer, and trustee of another charity) to contribute to the formation and establishment of a new form of governance in our local hospital, to contribute to the community and to learn more about the local and national healthcare system.

    Q. What does the role of Lead Governor involve?
    The Lead Governor is no more important, and has no different duties, from all the governors. The Lead Governor acts as a channel between the rest of the governors and the Chairman, although Sian, our current Chair, has had an open door to all governors at all times. I see my role as a sounding-board for any governor who might have a concern, or a question s/he can’t answer; as perhaps a mentor to less experienced governors; as someone who encourages other governors to use their skills to get involved; and as someone who has the very best interests of the Trust at heart, and takes the hospital values out into the community.

    Q. Do you live locally? Yes, 10 minutes’ walk from the hospital.
    I moved to Kingston from Mortlake, the other side of the Park, six years ago.

    Q. How does your role as a governor support the hospital, patients and members?
    Public governors (we also have staff and appointed governors) have two legal duties, the first to represent their constituency members, and the second to hold the Non-Executive Directors to account. However, the role can be a great deal more than that – we work together with directors and other staff on committees which focus on quality of care, strategy, senior non-executive appointments and membership engagement; we are usually in the hospital a great deal, talking to patients and staff and seeing how specialist functions operate. We are also invited to attend local health bodies’ meetings and we are there to represent the hospital in the wider community.

    Q. Would you recommend the role of governor to members of Kingston Hospital?
    Definitely. Like any voluntary work, it is very rewarding to know that the time and skill you devote to the role (and that need not be too onerous – many governors also work full time) is so highly valued. You would learn a great deal and definitely feel part of a team. You would have the opportunity to meet people who work in all roles in the hospital, and also to see the hospital in action by interacting with its users – patients and their families and friends.

  58. Meet the governor: CJ Kim

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    CJ Kim has been a governor at Kingston Hospital since 2014. We spoke to CJ about his time as a governor.

    Q. When were you first elected as a governor?
    I was first elected in 2014 to be a governor representing Elmbridge. I have been fortunate to have been elected twice and I am looking to stand for a final term this year.

    Q. Do you live locally?
    I have lived in Hinchey Wood for 34 years.

    Q. Why did you decide to be a governor at Kingston Hospital?
    Back in 1994 I had a heart attack and the first hospital I went to was Kingston Hospital and I received such good care there. After my recuperation, I started my volunteer work. I joined the Cardiac Support Group, where I fundraised and visited patients in the hospital. Whilst doing this work, the Volunteer Service Manager suggested that I stand as a governor so that I could be more involved in the hospital. When I found out that I could represent my community at Kingston Hospital, I was immediately taken with the role and what it represented. Also considering the support I had personally received by the hospital, I knew I could bring a lot to the role of governor. As a former headmaster, I do not shy away from my responsibilities and I am used to supporting the local community.

    Q. How does your role as a governor support the hospital, patients and members?
    Going into my 26th year of volunteering at Kingston Hospital, I continue raising money for Kingston Hospital, for example to help purchase specialist medical equipment for the cardiology department. In 2019 I set up a charity in conjunction with the hospital with an aim of raising funds for new wards in the paediatric oncology and eye units. In 2020, my focus shifted to supporting the hospital during these trying times and I was able to help facilitate a financial donation, along with 1,000 facemasks.

    I initiated the Kingston Hospital staff choir as I wanted to boost both patient care and staff morale. At Christmas we held concerts in Outpatients and the Dementia ward and in the latter, patients started singing, remembering words from their childhood. In addition, to try and help with nurse recruitment, I organised student nurse visits to the hospital. I hope to see good nurse recruitment and retainment. In a further bid to boost morale, I chose the winners for ‘Unsung Heroes’ amongst the staff.

    I am active in the hospital open and careers days to meet members of the public and exchange views over the daily running of the hospital. I regularly visit wards and have gained the perspective of patients, their visitors and the staff as well. Having been a patient myself, this year my daughter gave birth in the maternity unit. This all enables me to provide valuable feedback to the Council of Governors.

    Q. What do you think have been the biggest successes of the hospital over the last few years?
    I think that Kingston Hospital has had many successes over the years, which is a credit to the hard-working staff. During the Care Quality Commission inspections, the hospital was rated ‘Outstanding’. We have also seen improvements in both the Dementia and Cancer wards.

    Kingston Hospital was visited twice by the Duchess of Cambridge. She visited the maternity ward, which I believe shows that Kingston Hospital has a fantastic facility. The newly decorated wards help with being a calm environment for deliveries, staffed by the best doctors, midwives and other support staff.

    However, it is not just these visible displays of success that show that the hospital is going from strength to strength. I find that when I speak to patients and visitors they feel genuinely supported in their time of need by both staff and volunteers and this is one of the biggest successes of Kingston Hospital.

    Q: What do you enjoy the most about being a governor?
    I find that as a governor I really have a voice to represent my local community. I work under the slogan of ‘putting the patient first’, and I can support both staff and patients in my role whilst giving back to the hospital. I really care about the hospital and those who to use it, as well as those who work there. Above all, the hospital should provide excellent care for its patients and serve the community effectively. I hope to continue to assist in making this a reality.

  59. Meet the governor: Bonnie Green

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    Bonnie Green is an elected public governor for the borough of Richmond. Bonnie has lived in the borough for around 50 years, in Twickenham, Teddington and now in Hampton. We spoke to Bonnie about her time as a governor.

    Q. When were you first elected as a governor?
    I was elected in 2015 and am two thirds through my second term, having been re-elected in 2018.

    Q. Why did you decide that you would like to be a governor at Kingston Hospital?
    I’ve been associated with healthcare throughout my working life as a communications and public affairs specialist across the health services, the pharma industry and medical charities. When I gave up full time work, I turned that interest into supporting the patient and public voice in local health services in Richmond, through the organisations that were the forerunners to Richmond Healthwatch. This gave me great foresight into both the health and social care issues that were concerning the people of my borough and afforded the opportunity of working with both commissioners and providers of care, including Kingston Hospital. Also during this period, both my husband and I were diagnosed with, and successfully treated for, cancer. My surgery was done at Kingston Hospital and following this, I became involved as a patient partner and helped to re-establish its Cancer Patient Partners Group which is still running successfully today. All of this together made me think that my knowledge of the local health economy and my passion for ensuring that the voice of the patient is heard and acted upon, might be put to good use as a governor of the hospital and it led me to putting my name forward for election.

    Q. How does your role as a governor support the hospital, patients and members?
    I’m proud to currently be Chair of the Governors’ Quality Scrutiny Committee. This is an important committee which provides a channel for the Trust to receive feedback from patients and the community about quality of care, and for the committee to provide assurance to the Council of Governors that the Trust is delivering quality services to patients and that patients and the public are involved in the quality work of the Trust. In this role, I also attend the Trust’s Patient Experience Committee and the Healthwatch Forum, all of which gives me and my committee further insight into patient and public experience.

    Q. What do you think have been the biggest successes of the hospital over the last few years?
    It has to be being awarded the Outstanding rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It’s a tribute to the hard work and dedication of everyone at the hospital, whether in administration or those providing care, to achieve this rating. I remember being in the first staff meeting which was organised to hear the outcome of the CQC inspection in 2018 and it was such a joyous and emotional occasion, particularly because we were the first Trust in London to achieve this. More recently, the way all the hospital staff have pulled together to manage the COVID pandemic and look after patients, has been truly amazing.

    Q. What do you enjoy the most about being a governor?
    One of our roles, although recently due to COVID we haven’t been able to fulfil it, is to visit various areas or clinics in the hospital to talk to patients and family members about their experiences of the care they are receiving. We hear all sorts of experiences, but I have to say that the majority of these are very positive, not only about the care received but also praising the staff at all levels. This all provides a useful source of patient experience, which is collated and the resulting reports come to the Governors’ Quality Scrutiny Committee for review and in turn are shared elsewhere throughout the organisation. I am looking forward to the time when we can start this important activity again.

  60. Meet the governor: Cathy Maker

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    Cathy Maker is an elected public governor for the borough of Richmond and is Kingston Hospital’s Deputy Lead Governor. We spoke to Cathy about her time as a governor.

    Q. When were you first elected as a governor?
    I was elected as a governor in 2017 and was re-elected in 2020 for a second term. I became Deputy Lead Governor in May 2020.

    Q. Why did you decide that you would like to be a governor at Kingston Hospital?
    Having lived in the area for 18 years, my experience of Kingston Hospital has centred on major life events and injuries involving my family and friends. I have always been so impressed by the compassion and care with which the hospital executed its duty. Further to this, I run a disability charity based in Richmond and over the years we have supported many disabled and elderly clients as they transition from hospital care to home support. I know that better integration between hospital and community services would make a huge difference to our clients. I was motivated to join the team at Kingston to gain a better understanding of the hospital processes and to bring my experience of the voluntary sector to aid greater integration between hospital and community services.

    Q. How does your role as a governor support the hospital, patients and members?
    I see the governor’s role as a kind of “check and balance”. We meet and talk to patients and take their feedback to the right people to action. We attend sub-committee meetings, read reports and ask questions. One of our roles is to make sure that the non-executive directors are doing their job well. We do this by observing them in action, listening to presentations and asking questions. We keep the jargon down and the patient to the fore. We also represent the hospital at events, talk to community organisations, and encourage residents to join as a member or fundraise for the hospital.

    Q. What do you think have been the biggest successes of the hospital over the last few years?
    Winning awards particularly for their work with patients with dementia; being rated as ‘outstanding’ by the CQC – this is a high performing hospital. But for me, the biggest success of this hospital is the way it has responded to COVID. To rally as quickly as it has; the flexibility of staff to learn new skills and work in different departments; the high performing maternity team… but most importantly being one of the few hospitals that has continued to meet its cancer treatment targets throughout the pandemic. That, to me, is outstanding.

    Q. What do you enjoy the most about being a governor?
    As governors we go on what is called a “walkabout”. A governor and a non-executive director and a senior member of the executive team visit an area of the hospital and talk to staff and patients. I love this. This is where I really see how the hospital works. Over the years I have visited a number of wards, but I have also been to the HR department, the Information team and even the mortuary. It is humbling to talk to staff and see their passion and enthusiasm for their work. It is also very reassuring to see how the executives and non-executive directors interact with the staff. There is a genuine interest in what staff and patients have to say and mutual respect between all levels of the staff team at the hospital.

  61. Mental health ‘Silent cry for help’ across Kingston revealed by new health and care report.

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    Healthwatch Kingston has published its report (https://bit.ly/3waFzU3HWKingstonAR2020-
    21
    ) on community engagement for 2020/21 which shows incontrovertible evidence of the
    pandemic’s impact on people’s wellbeing across the borough.

    The charity, Kingston’s independent champion for people who use health and social care
    services, has recorded a 100% year on year increase in its engagement activities with
    people. Over 18,000 experiences, views and concerns were shared on a range of issues and
    over 25,000 were assisted with health and social care advice and information.

    The consequences of the deep change in service levels for health and care forced by the
    pandemic are serious and long term. Healthwatch Kingston is determined to ensure that
    the views and experiences of the public are at the forefront of decisions taken for the
    recovery of higher levels of service provision.

    Dr Liz Meerabeau, Board Chair of Healthwatch Kingston, said, “We are grateful for the
    ingenuity and fortitude shown by our colleagues in health and social care and the voluntary
    sector who delivered services in such difficult times. And yet is all too apparent from our
    report how much services had to change in response to the pandemic. I am pleased to say
    that although patient and public involvement for these changes was virtually impossible
    during the pandemic, we are now in a much stronger position, and we urge people who
    avoided seeking advice on potentially serious symptoms to come forward”.

    Alarmingly, an unprecedented jump in people seeking information through web search
    direct from Healthwatch Kingston about mental health stands out, leaping 1,500% from 28
    in 2019/20 to 426 in 2020/21. Similarly, the charity’s engagement with residents about
    mental health leapt from 355 people sharing 1155 experiences, views, and concerns in
    2019/20 to 1202 people sharing 5243 in 2020/21.

    Stephen Bitti, Chief Executive Officer of Healthwatch Kingston, said, “The Healthwatch
    Kingston report shows there is the threat of a growing silent mental health epidemic in
    Kingston. We are really worried about the steep increase in residents seeking mental health
    information and advice for mental health issues. People appear to feel safer to support
    themselves online. Perhaps this is because residents are concerned about the continuing
    stigma associated with mental ill-health, and a concerted effort is needed to increase the
    support they need”.

    Healthwatch Kingston expects the next year to be increasingly demanding as the borough
    begins to recover from the impact of the pandemic. As a small charity, Healthwatch
    Kingston relies upon the support of 81 volunteers, and is keen to welcome new volunteers
    to help meet the challenges ahead. (What can I do as a volunteer? | Healthwatch Kingston).

    These challenges include a close examination of residential care, its issues and needs.
    Social Care remains the charity’s largest single topic of contact from people at 22%, and
    Healthwatch Kingston will publish its findings in a new report due in August.


    The full annual report, ‘Our work with you: Then and now’, 2020/21, is available here.


    For further information about Healthwatch Kingston: www.healthwatchkingston.org.uk

  62. COVID-19 Vaccination Oxford-AZ (Hawks Road)

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    There will be a vaccination walk-in session from today (Wednesday 23 June) to Sunday 27 June 8am to 7.45pm

    • 1st and 2nd dose walk in clinic for Oxford-AZ
    • 2nd dose at least 8 weeks after your first.

    Under 40? A clinician will be available to speak with you about your vaccination options.

    If you have them, please bring proof of:

    • Age – like a driving license or passport
    • 1st vaccination – your vaccination card or NHS app.

    You don’t need to be registered with a GP.

  63. COVID-19 Vaccination Oxford-AZ walk-in sessions (Harlequins Twickenham)

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    There will be a vaccination walk-in session from today (Wednesday 23 June) to Friday (25 June) and on Sunday 27 June 8am to 7.45pm

    • 1st and 2nd dose walk in clinic for Oxford-AZ
    • 2nd dose at least 8 weeks after your first.

    Under 40? A clinician will be available to speak with you about your vaccination options.

    If you have them, please bring proof of:

    • Age – like a driving license or passport
    • 1st vaccination – your vaccination card or NHS app.

    You don’t need to be registered with a GP.

  64. Mairead goes back to the floor

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    On Tuesday Chief Operating Officer, Mairead McCormick, went back to the floor with the Paediatrics team. Mairead attended a simulation with the medical and nursing team, this had a communication theme and showed the doctors and nurses dealing with a difficult conversation. Mairead also joined Dr Filkin on his ward round and got to see a variety of paediatric patients. Claire Murphy, Paediatric Matron said, “we really enjoyed having Mairead with us, the team felt that she really listened and showed lots of interest in the department and supporting the team”.

    Mairead really enjoyed the morning and found the simulation session very powerful and Mairead was really able to reflect back on her nursing days where these simulations didn’t exist and it’s great to see how training has progressed. Mairead said, “I thought it was a really powerful training session and a fantastic opportunity to practice extremely difficult conversations in a safe environment. They are led by paediatric consultants and the simulation team from the education centre and ironically, I then went on to meet a parent and child who would have experienced this difficult message recently. This was on the ward round led by Jon Filkin, paediatric consultant, and Marveen, registrar, with Sinead as the junior sister.

    “There was a tremendous sense of team work and I noticed a huge capacity to make children and parents feel at ease. This of course was aided by the play therapists who certainly got the best welcome from the kids who even managed to produce a smile despite their illness, again really representative of great rapport. I managed to have a conversation with Jamie, our practice development nurse, whom I remember well from my days in ED. We reminisced that we have both been in the NHS for 33 years and it was just great to hear how much she still loves her job. I was keen to know how she managed to still look so young?

    “I was struck by the volume of children present experiencing mental health problems and found it helpful to see that we are focusing on something that will make a difference as a system. This is primarily the input from children’s mental health teams for the future, but also the environment where these children receive their care. It was pretty hot on the ward so we even managed to resolve this by getting an air conditioning unit, aided by a very responsive estates and facilities team. Overall, this was a fantastic opportunity to see the great work of our teams and I enjoyed it immensely.”

  65. COVID-19 Vaccination Oxford-AZ and Pfizer walk-in session

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    There will be a vaccination walk-in session this Friday (25 June) at the Kingston Mosque from 10:30am to 6pm.

    Walk-in if you are:

    • Due a 2nd dose of Oxford-AZ and had your first dose before mid-April 2021
    • Elligible for your 1st dose.

    Under 40? A clinician will be available to speak with you about your vaccination options.

    If you have them, it’s helpful if you can bring:

    • Your vaccination card from your first dose
    • or if this is your first dose proof of age like a driving license or passport.

    You don’t need to be registered with a GP.

  66. COVID-19 vaccine Q&A session for the Korean community

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    Do you speak Korean? Do you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine?

    The NHS in South West London is running an online Q&A session on Wednesday 16 June, 9.30am – 10.30am, in association with Refugee Action Kingston. Local GPs will be available to answer your questions through a translator.

    Email questions in advance to kingstonccg.engage@swlondon.nhs.uk (in English or Korean) by Thursday 10 June.

    Join the Zoom meeting at: https://zoom.us/j/95697065427?pwd=NTRMM2lGd1dUS25IQWZ5VU9WbEZrUT09

    Meeting ID: 956 9706 5427
    Passcode: Korean

  67. Nursing Careers webinar to highlight opportunities for new nurses

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    Newly-qualified and student nurses can get a special insight into starting their careers in the capital at an online webinar hosted by nursing leaders from the four NHS Acute Trusts in South West London.

    Together Croydon, Epsom & St Helier, Kingston and St George’s trusts are recruiting registered nurses for their first permanent Band 5 Registered Nurse role. Together we cover hundreds of teams across nine hospital sites, community and specialist clinical services – serving millions of people locally and further afield.

    Discover opportunities and ask questions that matter to you before starting your first nursing job by joining our Nursing Careers Webinar, 6.30pm – 7.30pm on Wednesday 23 June.  Register to attend here: https://startyournursingcareerinlondon.eventbrite.co.uk

    Registered nurses and final year students can also apply now – whether to work at a specific Trust, or discuss opportunities in different services, wards and teams. Our South West London Recruitment Hub team offers a ‘one-stop-shop’ service and will arrange an interview online. You can start your new role if successful on a date to suit you.

    Find out more and apply here: https://www.nhscareerssouthwestlondon.nhs.uk/nqns

  68. Join Princess Alice Hospice for their Death Café

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    At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death.

    A chat about death over coffee and cake might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it could get people talking about a subject that is still taboo for many. In our Death Cafés we aim to empower communities with the knowledge, skills and confidence to engage with death, dying and loss.

    The objective is ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’.

    A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion rather than a grief support or counselling session.

    Please note, this is not a bereavement cafe and is not suitable for anyone who is recently bereaved.

    Princess Alice Hospice runs regular death café sessions which are open to everyone. Please click on the following link for further information and how to book a session: https://www.pah.org.uk/events/category/death-cafe/

  69. South London Listens – 16 June (6pm – 8pm)

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    Community leaders, the NHS and Local Authorities across South London
    invite you to take urgent action to prevent a mental health crisis caused
    by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    On Wednesday, 16 June 2021, Community Leaders from South London will be hosting an urgent community summit
    on 16 June between 6-8 pm to share the top priorities for a two-year action plan which over 5,700 people have shaped
    following the four-month South London Listens campaign.

    Whether it is dealing with the virus itself, being impacted by unemployment, feeling isolated, or the tragedy of losing a
    loved one, we have all had a very personal experience of living through this pandemic, and we know that it is not over
    yet. In 2020 the UK experienced the most significant decline in GDP since the 1920s, and during the first three months
    of this year, 21% of adults experienced depression, more than double the level in 2019. 67% of young people believe
    that the pandemic will have a long-term adverse effect on their mental health.

    For some of us, the impact of the pandemic may be short-lived, but for others, COVID-19 will cast a long shadow as they begin to rebuild their lives.

    South London Listens priorities and two-year action plan

    Since last year, through South London Listens, over 350 community leaders have been bringing their communities
    together to talk about their personal experiences and codesign solutions that will have a lasting impact. More than 5,700 people have shared their stories and ideas. At this summit they will present their action plan around four key areas that need to be urgently tackled: social isolation, work and wages, young people and parents, and access to services.

    Hundreds of members of our communities will be joined by NHS Mental Health Trusts, local authorities, voluntary sector organisations and commissioners who will all be pledging to take specific actions. By pledging their support, this summit marks the beginning of a two-year mental ill health prevention and recovery programme to turn the tide and help create strong, resilient and healthy communities.

  70. COVID-19 vaccinations – please have your second dose when contacted

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    Millions of people have now received a Covid-19 vaccine, which is a safe and effective way to help fight coronavirus. 

    The first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine offers a high level of protection, but to get longer-lasting protection everyone will need to get a second dose. You should get the same type of vaccine for both doses.

    It is important that you come back for your second jab when you are contacted, or if you have an appointment booked.

    If you had your first vaccine at a hospital hub or through a local GP service, you will be contacted about your second dose. If you booked your first vaccine online through nhs.uk, or by calling 119, you should have booked both your first and second dose appointments at the same time. If you have any concerns, you can speak to your GP, go online, or call 119 for advice. Find out more: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/.

    Some appointments have been brought forward

    The Government and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation announced on Friday 14th May that second dose appointments will be brought forward from 12 to 8 weeks for those aged 50 and over who are waiting to receive their second dose.

    Those who have their second dose booked in the next ten days, up to and including 24 May, should attend their appointment as planned.

    Nobody needs to contact the NHS, the NHS will contact you to let you know when you can rebook.

    How to access the second dose:

    • People who received their first dose in a hospital hub or through a GP service will be contacted to receive their second dose. You do not need to contact the NHS unless you are concerned.
    • People who booked their vaccine appointments online at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination will have booked both their first and second dose appointments at the same time.  People who booked online can remind themselves of the place and time of their second dose using the ‘manage my appointments’ section on www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination
    • People who booked their vaccine appointments by ringing 119 will have been given details of their second appointment over the phone. You can call 119 if you have any queries about your booking, or need to change it.

    On Oxford /AstraZeneca and the second dose:

    • It’s recommended you have the same vaccine for both doses.
    • If you had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for your first dose and did not have any serious side effects, you should have it for your second dose. Speak to your GP or staff at the vaccination centre if you have any questions.
  71. International Day of the Midwife

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    Today is International Day of the Midwife and we are celebrating our fantastic midwives here at Kingston. Please watch our film and hear our midwives talk about what makes them proud to be a midwife.

  72. Symptoms of bowel cancer

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    Bowel cancer is very treatable but the earlier it’s diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. People whose cancer is diagnosed at an early stage have a much higher chance of successful treatment than those whose cancer has become more widespread.

    If you have any symptoms, don’t be embarrassed and don’t ignore them. Doctors are used to seeing lots of people with bowel problems.

    The symptoms of bowel cancer can include:

    • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
    • A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit 
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
    • A pain or lump in your tummy

    Most people with these symptoms don’t have bowel cancer. Other health problems can cause similar symptoms. But if you have one or more of these, or if things just don’t feel right, go to see your GP

    Sometimes, a tumour can block the bowel, causing sudden strong pains in the stomach area, bloating and feeling or being sick. This is called a bowel obstruction. You may also be unable to empty your bowels or pass wind. If you think you have a blocked bowel, see your GP straight away or go to a hospital accident and emergency department.

    Bleeding

    There are several possible causes of bleeding from your bottom or blood in your bowel movements (poo). Bright red blood may come from swollen blood vessels (haemorrhoids or piles) in your back passage. It may also be caused by bowel cancer. Dark red or black blood may come from your bowel or stomach. Tell your doctor about any bleeding so they can find out what is causing it.

    Change in bowel habit

    Tell your GP if you have noticed any persistent and unexplained changes in your bowel habit, especially if you also have bleeding from your back passage. You may have looser poo and you may need to poo more often than normal. Or you may feel as though you’re not going to the toilet often enough or you might not feel as though you’re not fully emptying your bowels.

    Weight loss

    This is less common than some of the other symptoms. Speak to your GP if you have lost weight and you don’t know why. You may not feel like eating if you feel sick, bloated or if you just don’t feel hungry.

    Tiredness

    Bowel cancer may lead to a lack of iron in the body, which can cause anaemia (lack of red blood cells). If you have anaemia, you are likely to feel very tired and your skin may look pale.

    Pain or lump

    You may have pain or a lump in your stomach area (abdomen) or back passage. See your GP if these symptoms don’t go away or if they’re affecting how you sleep or eat.

    What else could it be?

    Most people with these symptoms do not have bowel cancer, but if you have one or more or if things don’t feel right, visit your GP. Your symptoms could be caused by other common conditions that can be treated or controlled by your GP, such as:

    • Constipation
    • Diarrhoea
    • Piles (haemorrhoids)
    • Anal fissures
    • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
    • Diverticular disease
    • Crohn’s disease
    • Ulcerative colitis

    Find out more about these conditions on nhs.uk

  73. £10,000 Donation to Kingston Hospital Charity from Korean Communities

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    Dr Kim, Chairman of KOCHAM UK (Korean Chamber of Commerce) together with Mr Song, President of the Korean Residents Society and Mr Nahmkook Sun, Minister (Deputy Head of Mission) from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea visited Kingston Hospital to present a cheque for £10,000 in support of our staff’s health and wellbeing.  This was their second visit during the pandemic, after they presented a cheque for £22,162 in May last year. At this visit the Ambassador, Her Excellency Enna Park also attended.

    Governor CJ Kim and Chairman Sian Bates were delighted to accept the cheque on behalf of Kingston Hospital Charity.

    In total the Korean communities, including the London Full Gospel Church, have contributed over £62,000 since the pandemic started to support our staff and to thank them for all they have done to care for those affected by COVID-19, which included those from the Korean communities that live in and around the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.

  74. South West London Recruitment Hub makes the finalists for the HSJ Awards!

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    We are delighted to announce that the South West London Recruitment Hub has made it through as a finalist in the HSJ awards! The hub has been nominated for the People & Organisational Development Initiative of the Year Award. This is a fantastic achievement, and it is great to see staff are getting recognition for this fantastic collaborative initiative.

    Kelvin Cheatle, Director of Workforce at Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which manages the service said: “The hub was established last year to manage staff recruitment for the four acute trusts in SW London, which are Croydon, Epsom and Helier, Kingston and St George’s.

    “In addition to recruiting to the four Trusts, the hub has successfully staffed 9 vaccination sites across SW London, hiring 700 bank staff across various disciplines to support in delivering the COVID-19 vaccine programme. Thanks to the great work of the hub, the vaccination programme in South West London has been incredibly successful, helping to keep those in the area who are most at risk, safe from COVID-19.”

    Sue Winter, Director of Workforce for SWL Acute Provider Collaborative said: “When preparing for the national COVID-19 vaccination programme, South West London was in a strong position, as the recruitment hub was already in place. We had a central structure and were able to move quickly to recruit the staff we needed for the programme. We were also able to support the hospital hubs in South West London from a single central department to vaccinate healthcare staff.

    “Having a dedicated website http://www.nhscareerssouthwestlondon.nhs.uk/covid-19-vacancies has also been critical for the success of hub. It has given a single point of contact and source of information for staff who want to support the programme and for applicants to apply for the variety of roles we had available.

    “Having a central team and a single website has been critical to managing the high volume of applicants we have received. The facilities for virtual interviews and the ability to quickly deploy staff has meant that our time to hire for this project from interview to offer has been just 3 weeks.”

    The hub is currently running a programme to help drive up recruitment of newly qualified nurses, which has already received over 100 applications, even in these early stages.

    To be nominated for this award means that the hub has had an impact not only in South West London, but also across the UK, as other NHS organisations across the country look to the hub as an example of how to carry out their own collaborative initiatives. Congratulations to the team!

  75. Take the survey: let Healthwatch Kingston know what you think about the COVID-19 vaccine

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    The NHS is doing everything it can to deliver COVID-19 vaccines in Kingston, but there might be things that can be improved.

    Let us know what you think about the COVID-19 vaccine. 

    Healthwatch Kingston is the local champion for health and social care services working with, but independently of, Kingston Council, the NHS, and voluntary and community sector organisations.

    Healthwatch Kingston (in collaboration with Kingston Council, the NHS, and Kingston Voluntary Action) have put together a survey to gather resident views on the COVID-19 vaccine.

    Whether you have you had a COVID-19 vaccine, not been vaccinated yet, planning to get vaccinated or don’t want a COVID-19 vaccine, they want to hear from you. 

    We want to know:

    • what you think about the COVID-19 vaccination programme
    • what you think about information on the COVID-19 vaccine

    Your feedback will be anonymised and can help services spot issues affecting care for you and your loved ones.

    Share your views

    Please spare five minutes to let us know what you think about the COVID-19 vaccine.

  76. 2020 NHS Staff Survey results – Kingston Hospital highly recommended!

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    Kingston Hospital highly recommended as a place to receive care and to work

    The results of the annual NHS staff survey for 2020 were published today with the vast majority of Kingston Hospital staff saying that they would recommend the Trust as a place to receive care and to work.

    The report showed that:

    • 83% of staff would recommend the hospital as a place to receive care (against an average of 74.3%)  
    • 91% of staff felt their role makes a difference to patients (against an average of 89.7% from other trusts)
    • 82% of staff felt the Trust acts on concerns raised by patients (against an average of 74%)
    • 75% of staff would recommend the hospital as a place to work (against an average of 67%)

    Jo Farrar, Chief Executive of the Trust said: “We have a fantastic and highly engaged group of staff at Kingston Hospital and I’m grateful to them for taking the time to respond to the survey during a very busy year.

    “This data was collected between October and December in 2020, when colleagues were under unprecedented amounts of pressure having worked through the first surge of the COVID pandemic, and heading into the second one. It’s testament to the Kingston Hospital community that scores are higher than average in many important areas including staff morale and engagement, communication between staff and managers, and the quality of care being delivered.

    “I’m in particular pleased to see that so many of our staff would recommend Kingston Hospital as a place to receive care and to work, with percentages significantly higher at the Trust when compared with other similar organisations.

    “We worked really hard to keep our staff safe and well during 2020, so it’s great to see that staff have acknowledged the health and wellbeing support which is on offer for them as employees here.

    “Some areas for improvement are identified with staff reporting musculoskeletal problems and a desire for more support around career progression. I am also sad and concerned to hear through the survey that bullying and discrimination at work continues to be an issue and for some this was on grounds of ethnic background.

    “Based on insight from staff gathered last year, we have recently reviewed and strengthened our equality, diversity and inclusion strategy, so with this feedback in mind we will continue to give this work the focus it needs to ensure that everyone in our community understands that racism, bullying and harassment of any kind will not be tolerated. We will continue to do everything we can to support our staff to stay safe and healthy at work so they know that they are valued for their contribution to providing outstanding care to our patients.”

    Notes:

    Link to NHS staff survey results for 2020: https://www.nhsstaffsurveyresults.com/

    77% of staff at the Trust returned this year’s survey, which was the highest rate of return for an acute hospital in the UK.

  77. Congregation of London Full Gospel Church give heartfelt ‘thank you’ to Kingston Hospital staff

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    Numerous members of the congregation of London Full Gospel Church in Raynes Park have been cared for at Kingston Hospital throughout their lives. Consequently, the church has made the collective decision to donate £30k to Kingston Hospital Charity, as a gesture of their gratitude for the care given to their community. This sum will go towards supporting the health and wellbeing of hospital staff. A heartfelt film accompanied this generous donation, featuring some of those who have benefitted from the care provided at Kingston Hospital; including individuals who have recovered from Covid-19.

    Director of Kingston Hospital Charity, Rob Aldous said: “We are most grateful to everyone at the London Full Gospel Church for their very generous support and for the touching film they produced which we are sharing with our staff. Their support and messages of gratitude are greatly valued by colleagues, after a very challenging few months.”

    Kingston Hospital Charity supports Kingston Hospital by raising the monies needed to: fund high quality clinical research; help transform parts of the hospital that require additional investment to create patient-centred spaces, designed to deliver the best quality of care possible; purchase the latest medical equipment for better diagnosis and treatment; and recognise the dedication and caring commitment of staff by supporting their development and wellbeing.

    To find out more about Kingston Hospital Charity, visit www.khc.org.uk .

  78. Cancer doesn’t wait for COVID-19

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    Unfortunately, even during times like these, cancer is as much of a risk as ever.



    If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is important to make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible:

    ·         A cough or hoarse voice that lasts for more than 3 weeks

    ·         A chest infection that does not get better, or repeated chest infections

    ·         Feeling bloated most days for 3 weeks

    ·         Any unusual or persistent changes to your skin

    ·         Loose poo for 3 weeks.

    Cancer is easier to treat when it’s caught at an earlier stage and so coming forward for a check could save your life.

    NHS services have put a range of measures in place so that people can be treated safely throughout the pandemic including Covid protected cancer surgery hubs, a Covid friendly drugs fund which means fewer trips to hospital and chemotherapy being delivered in more convenient locations.

    Remember, finding cancer as early as possible makes it more treatable.


  79. Help Us Help You – Lung Cancer

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    Today, NHS England and NHS Improvement, together with Public Health England, are launching the ‘Help Us, Help You’ lung cancer campaign to encourage people with a cough lasting three weeks or more and who don’t have COVID-19, to contact their GP practice.

    As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some members of the public are reluctant to use NHS services, citing concerns about being exposed to the virus and not wanting to be a burden on the NHS.

    In addition, there is a lack of awareness that a cough for three weeks or more on its own can be a sign of lung cancer, and a need to remind the audience to act on a persistent cough and not wait to see if it resolves.

    While a cough for three weeks or more is probably nothing serious, it could be a sign of something that needs treatment. If it is cancer, finding it early makes it more treatable1 and can save lives.

    The ‘Help Us, Help You’ lung cancer campaign has released a powerful video, featuring Sir Andrew Strauss, Gaby Roslin and members of the public who have first-hand experience of how lung cancer can affect you, your friends and your family.

    The video urges people to contact their GP practice if they’ve had a cough for three weeks or more and don’t have COVID-19. It also encourages friends and family to support a loved one if they are concerned for their health. 

    Your NHS is here to see you, safely. Help Us, Help You.

    Visit nhs.uk/cancersymptoms for more information.

  80. Possible changes to how you collect your prescriptions at Kingston Hospital

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    Help Kingston Hospital decide by sharing your views in this short survey

    The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in lots of changes to the way our patients access health services. This has allowed us to test new ways that people can get their hospital prescriptions. Some of these changes could be made more permanent, but we need know what you think about them first.

    Please share you views by taking 5 minutes to complete the online survey linked below. The closing date is Friday 5th February

  81. Tools and resources to help your mental health and wellbeing

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    It is normal and okay to feel upset, anxious or confused at times. 

    You might be feeling anxious and worried about coronavirus and that it could be affecting your mental health. It has never been more important for each of us to think and talk more about mental health and wellbeing, and to seek support when needed. 

    In London, there are a range of free resources, online tools, and helplines available to help you cope and stay mentally healthy. 

    You should know that even though things can feel very hard at times, support is available for whatever you are going through.

    In this short training video, you can learn more about resilience and get lots of practical ideas and inspiration about how you can strengthen your own ability to adapt well to stressful circumstances.

    Simple ways to improve your wellbeing

    Thrive LDN has put together a list of little things you can do to keep yourself well and some useful ways to get support if you are finding it hard. 

    If you’re feeling anxious or stressed about work, housing or financial difficulties, then explore the helpful range of resources and guidance on City Hall’s Hub.

    Available support now – online tools to help your mental health

    The NHS-approved digital mental wellbeing service, Good Thinking, promotes proactive self-care for the four most common mental health conditions: anxiety, low mood, sleeping difficulties and stress. Take the clinically validated self-assessment tool to get a better understanding of what you’re going through, helpful resources and if necessary, relevant treatment options.

    To help build resilience and maintain good wellbeing, there’s a range of resources for everyone at Every Mind Matters. Including an interactive quiz, the Your Mind Plan, to get top tips and advice relevant for you.

    NHS wellbeing webinars

    A collection of NHS Coping Well During Covid webinars are available if you are feeling anxious about coronavirus and how it is impacting you, your loved ones or your work. The 60-minute sessions will guide you through ideas and tools to support your mental health and wellbeing in an evidenced based and interactive way.

    The webinar topics include managing wellbeing, anxiety, low mood, sleeping difficulties, and mindfulness. Additionally, there are also specific webinars on managing financial anxiety and working from home and staying well.

    NHS psychological treatments

    If you do not require urgent support but are still concerned about your mental health, contacting your GP is a good place to start.

    You can also refer yourself for free, non-urgent NHS psychological therapy (IAPT) services which provide evidence-based treatments for depression and anxiety. These services are open in London [or borough] if you feel like you may need further, professional support. You can find your local service here.

    Getting urgent help for mental health

    A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a physical one. You will not be wasting anyone’s time.If you have an existing mental health condition and an assigned care team or care worker, then it’s important to contact them. 

    NHS urgent mental health helplines are for people of all ages. You can call for:

    • 24-hour advice and support – for you, your child, your parent or someone you care for
    • help to speak to a mental health professional
    • an assessment to help decide on the best course of care

    Alternatively, when life is tough the Samaritans are here to listen at any time of the day or night. You can talk to them about anything that’s troubling you, no matter how difficult. Call free on 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website.

    Shout offers confidential 24/7 crisis text support for times when you need immediate assistance. Text SHOUT to 85258 or visit Shout Crisis Text Line.

    The bereavement care charity Cruse is helping families affected by coronavirus. Call free on 0808 808 1677 or visit the Cruse website.

    Useful links

    Financial anxiety and personal difficulties – Debt Free London

    Support for sudden bereavement

  82. Please do not contact the NHS before you’ve had an invitation to be vaccinated

    Comments Off on Please do not contact the NHS before you’ve had an invitation to be vaccinated

    The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus. The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus.

    We will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine. It’s important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then. Vaccinations are by appointment only – please don’t turn up to the hospital to be vaccinated unless you have a vaccination appointment.

    At this time, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals to:

    • some people aged 80 and over who already have a hospital appointment in the next few weeks
    • people who work in care homes
    • health care workers at high risk

    The vaccine will be offered more widely, and at other locations, as soon as possible.

    The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

    Further information:

    For more information visit the NHS England website

    Update 5 January 2021: If you are over the age of 80 and are due to attend an appointment at Kingston Hospital this week, you may be offered the COVID vaccination.

  83. The people’s choice… vote for your favourite animation

    Comments Off on The people’s choice… vote for your favourite animation

    In spring 2020, first year students from the University for the Creatives Arts embarked on a project with patients and staff to create a short animated film to help people understand pain

    Amazingly students worked through lockdown, battling with technical limitations and the challenges of remote working to come up with their creative endeavours.  The work of four teams was shortlisted over the summer and now your help is needed to choose the winning film.

    You can watch the shortlisted films by clicking on the links below (around 2-3 minutes each) and then vote for your favourite:

    Voting closes on Thursday 24 December

  84. Think you need to go to A&E? Think NHS 111 First

    Comments Off on Think you need to go to A&E? Think NHS 111 First

    If you need urgent, but not life-threatening care, call NHS 111 before turning up to an emergency department. If, following a conversation with NHS 111, it is appropriate for you to attend the emergency department you may be scheduled a time to attend.

    Thinking NHS 111 First will also help you get to the most appropriate service when you may not have to attend the emergency department. This could include self-care or a slot at your GP practice, a GP hub or a nearby Urgent Treatment Centre.

    You can still go to ED and UTC without calling ahead but thinking “NHS 111 First” will mean: ​

    • Shorter waiting times ​via a booked slot at the emergency department or another appropriate service and
    • safe social distancing away from busy emergency department waiting rooms to protect you and others from COVID-19​.

  85. How people access urgent care in London is changing – Think NHS 111 First

    Comments Off on How people access urgent care in London is changing – Think NHS 111 First

    From next week, anyone who needs urgent, but not life-threatening care is advised to call NHS 111 before turning up to an emergency department in London. If, following a conversation with 111, it is appropriate for someone to attend the emergency department they may be scheduled a time to attend.

    A national advertising campaign will launch next week to support this change, and we will be backing this up locally with a Kingston Hospital focused campaign.

    Tracey Moore, Director of Operations at Kingston Hospital said: “Thinking NHS 111 First will mean that people will be directed to the most appropriate service and may not require to attend the emergency department. These services include self-care, GP practice appointments, GP hub appointments and the Teddington Urgent Treatment Centre. For those who still need to access the emergency department, they will be given an appointment which will reduce the time that they have to wait to be seen.”

    The communications campaign will encourage people with serious or life-threatening illnesses or injuries to continue to dial 999.


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