What ELHT means to the people it cares for, works with and employs.
Welcome to our latest publication celebrating the important relationships between the Trust and its stakeholders. Through it, we hope to clearly demonstrate the positive effect that this Trust has had on the whole community – as the main provider of acute, specialist and community care; as one of the biggest employers in the area; and as a force for good in the community. Everyone who has contributed has a story to tell about how they have been – and continue to be – affected by the Trust. We thank them for their time and their permission to shine a spotlight on them. We are both incredibly proud of our staff and what they do, every day, to make a huge contribution to the health, wellbeing and more, of the local population. We are always happy when their professionalism, their commitment, indeed their general fabulousness, are being publicised and appreciated.
What better opportunity than to use all these stories of hope as part of the launch of our new charity – ELHT&Me? We are sure you will enjoy them. ELHT&Me is the name of our new charitable fund. We are embarking on a fundraising drive to buy state-of-the-art equipment, as well as other items and services, to support our patients, carers and staff. All donations are greatly appreciated and received with thanks. Please visit our website for more information www.elht.nhs.uk
Professor Eileen Fairhurst Chairman
Kevin McGee Chief Executive
I feel lucky to be here & I can honestly say that I look forward to coming into work every day
Once I’ve finished my four years of training, I would hope that there would be an opportunity to get a job as a technician within the Trust. Once qualified and working as a technician I would be able to do a level 6 qualification – the same as a degree in clinical engineering – which would be similar to what I am doing now in terms of having a day release from work, but going to university rather than college. Working at the Trust is brilliant and I really enjoy it. I feel lucky to be here and I can honestly say that I look forward to coming into work. I learn something new every day and I don’t think there are a lot of jobs that people can do that in. The team have absolutely loads of experience in the field and it’s great to have those sorts of people around. They are always willing to help me and give me some advice and guidance on what to do. If I have any questions they’re always really keen to help me out and make sure I’m ok. The Trust has put in a framework to support my education and I‘m keen to stay here and continue the relationship we’ve built as I progress my career. Charlie Longworth, Apprentice EBME Technician
When I finished school in 2013 I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I just wanted to get a job rather than go to college. I applied to the apprenticeship scheme at the Trust and got a role in Electronic and Biomedical Engineering (EMBE) as an administration apprentice. EBME manage and maintain all the medical equipment in the Trust; they service it, carry out electrical safety tests, calibration and general repairs. They also ensure that there is a good stock of equipment in every department and that all medical staff have what they need to successfully do their job. I found this an interesting area to work in and stumbling across EBME was really lucky for me; I’ve found a real interest in it and am really glad of the opportunities that it’s given me. My main role as an administration apprentice was to take phone calls about faulty equipment and to receipt and organise repairs. I was working towards the NVQ level 2 in Business Administration and Customer Service. However, I found that I had an interest in the technical side of the work the rest of the team did, so I spoke to my manager, Arif, about getting a bit more experience in that side of the work. I shadowed some of the other members of the team and learned the ropes. I was lucky that a position as an apprentice EBME technician became available as I was finishing my administration apprenticeship. I had to go back to college and get my GCSEs in science, so I did that, and once I had the right qualifications, I applied for the new apprenticeship and luckily got the role. My job is a lot different now. I did engineering training for a year; I continue to shadow engineers at the Trust and have now been given responsibility for repairing and maintaining some of the less technical pieces of equipment. I’m due to go back to college in September to finish my extended diploma in engineering, which will take a year. I can then carry out specific work at the Trust which will support me in getting my Advanced Level 3 Engineering BTEC.
I learn something new every day and I don’t think there are a lot of jobs that people can do that in.
ELHT has given me real support when I felt anxious & alone
This was another weight off my mind and I found speaking to someone who had been down the same road as me a fantastic way to get information about the condition. The social side is great, everybody that goes is nice and we have a good natter. Numerous health professionals also attend – they are there to help us and it gives us access to their specialist knowledge so we can bounce questions off them. Paul also organises guest speakers who talk to the group about various topics, such as the exercises that we could do to give us smoother breathing, and advice on the sort of benefits people can get to help them manage the condition. Some of the stuff we have learned you’d never really think of being a by-product of lung cancer, but there is a lot out there and it’s interesting to find out about it. The group is also great for socialising – we go on trips out, doing things such as enjoying lunches. The change of scenery is very welcome and our next trip is to the Sanctuary near Northcote Manor. Hopefully after five years of all-clear checks, I will get signed off and won’t need any more checks at the hospital. When that time does come, I think I will still go to the meetings. After 18 months I think it would be strange to stop. I’ve made some good friends there and want to keep helping people as much as I can. The group has given me a lot of help and support and by regularly attending I hope to pay some of that back. ELHT has given me real support when I felt anxious and alone. Frank Pilkington, Patient
I went to the Royal Blackburn Hospital in May 2013 and was diagnosed with pneumonia. While receiving treatment for that I was told that they had found an abnormality on my left lung. I was discharged from the hospital and booked in to have a series of follow up X-rays. I went back for the last X-ray after three months and the abnormality was still there. The doctors examined the results and thought that I may have lung cancer, so I was booked in to see Dr Wilson at Burnley General Hospital. This is when I first spoke to Paul McKenna, a lung cancer nurse. Paul was really good and was obviously an expert in his field. He gave me reassurance about my condition; he kept me in the picture regarding all my treatment. This was much needed, as at the time I was obviously very worried about what could happen to me. By the end of March 2014 I had been operated on and a small tumour had been removed frommy left lung. After coming out of hospital I felt quite alone. There were regular checks on my health but these could be months apart. My brother, who has had prostate cancer, goes to a group to meet with other sufferers, and I thought I would benefit from something similar. Paul and Christine – another nurse specialist – run a lung cancer support group at Accrington Victoria Hospital. I went along to my first session in Autumn 2014 and found that there were over a dozen people there, all either lung cancers sufferers or relatives of sufferers, speaking about their experiences. It’s a fantastic group, with a regular attendance of between 12-20 people, all of whom are really nice, open and friendly. It’s been a great help to me being able to speak to other sufferers. For instance, when I first attended, I was having a strange sensation in my chest. I spoke to another gentleman who had had lung cancer six years before and he told me he had the same problem, that it was normal and nothing to worry about.
This is the perfect role for me & I wouldn’t work anywhere else
I work as a porter at the Royal Blackburn Hospital, mainly on nights. This is a perfect role for me, as I love helping people and feel that I can make a difference when they are at their most vulnerable. I attend the Critical Care Unit memorial service, which is held every six months for family members who have lost a loved one. The families bring a picture of their loved ones to be placed on the altar; we have readings and a get-together over tea and coffee where families can talk about the person they have lost with others who understand how they are feeling. The families are given a white rose to take home with them. I find this a very rewarding experience that I feel privileged to be involved in. I was very fortunate to be put forward for the staff STAR Awards and was amazed to receive the Non-Clinical Worker of the Year Award at a wonderful evening at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel. I am proud to be part of the team at Royal Blackburn Hospital who all give their best for the patients; they are a team of dedicated people. My job involves interacting with people, mostly moving them from one ward to another or to X-ray. When I move a patient, I introduce myself and look them in the eye when I speak to them. I often see they are worried about what’s going to happen, so I make sure I explain what I am about to do and where we are going.
When we do transfer and are going down the corridors, I make conversation so the patient feels involved. When I get to the ward or department, if they are not ‘nil by mouth’, I offer the patient a brew and make sure they are settled. I believe it is important to deliver this standard of care which takes no extra time or effort but makes a big difference to the patient. When I go to move a deceased patient I always knock on the door. Some nurses are amused by this because there is no- one to hear my knock but I do it just in case there are family members in the room. If there are, I offer my condolences. I always talk to the patient while I am preparing to move them. I always try to find a flower to place on the body because I think it is a kindly gesture. I give the family the option of walking to the mortuary with me; not everyone does but some do. If they do, when we arrive at the mortuary door I always offer them time to say a prayer or some final words to their loved one. I will always stand back to allow them to do this. I then reassure the family that I take good care of their loved one. When I take the patient into the mortuary room, I lay them out gently and on leaving say, ‘Good night and God bless’. When people see me at work or at home and ask me why I do this job, I tell them it gives me the opportunity to help deliver care to people when they are most in need. I wouldn’t work anywhere else. John Jackson, Porter
When people see me at work or at home and ask me why I do this job, I tell them it gives me the opportunity to help deliver care to people when they are most in need.
I’ve worked with the Trust a lot & have really helped effect change
Five to 10 years ago ELHT was a very different organisation – it wasn’t an attractive place to come and work, and the NHS as a whole was getting a lot of bad press. It was really affecting morale and I felt really sorry for the staff when the Trust was placed in special measures – they didn’t have the support they needed to do their jobs properly. Though I was critical at the time, I made it my mission not to sit on the sidelines. In the past four or five years I’ve worked with the Trust a lot and really helped effect change in services and culture. I feel that both I and the Patient Voices Group are now respected and we’ve been invited to sit on panels to appoint healthcare leaders and take part in campaigns I’m passionate about the NHS and this Trust and you can really feel the difference here now. It’s tangible and there is an air of confidence about the place and among the staff. If they are happy then the patients will be happy. I feedback on my contact with the patients to the Trust and the Board and they have been very positive about taking any criticism or suggestions on board and embracing change. I’ve been lucky to be able to use my experiences to give something back and I’m glad to be a part of the buzz about the place. Russ McLean, Chair of Patient Voices Group
I’mBlackburn-born and bred and my professional background has been working in the media. In my time I’ve done live TV presenting, set up cable channels and taught media students at Blackburn College. I also sang backing vocals for the Four Pennies when they reformed and, through the links with the record company, that led to DJ work. I was working really hard in the 1980s when I first became ill and was eventually diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called hyperkalemic periodic paralysis. It was hard to get a diagnosis, and I was tested for lots of different things before finally getting a diagnosis but there was no cure and no treatment as such. Though I learned to spot what triggers an attack, I had to give up teaching and spent a lot of time at home where I didn’t have to see anyone. This illness has meant I had a lot of contact with the NHS, and this Trust in particular, over the years. I was angry at first; angry at the NHS, angry with the illness and to be honest, in the past, I’ve not had good experiences – it was hard when the doctors couldn’t diagnose what was wrong with me and sometimes the care was lacking. Eventually 10 years ago I was referred to specialists at University College Hospital in London, thanks to funding for research into neurological disorders. My illness really opened my eyes, and in a funny way, it’s enabled me to find my forte - helping people speak up for themselves. I got involved in hospital inspections through the old LINK groups who had a statutory role in healthcare services and I enjoyed talking and engaging with patients. In 2010, I was asked to set up a patient advocate group which I now chair. The Patient Voices Group has 12 board members and we have about 2,500members who we report back to and work with us. The hospitals are a beacon for many but can be a bit of an enigma for people. I’m there to help overcome that and I’ve been able to use my media background to promote the group and help patients speak up and get involved in changing things.
The Trust is very supportive of the Muslim community
high. The Burnley Birth Centre was excellent, the latest technology was available, the nurses cared for us both and I have to say it was perfect. I’m so glad we have such services right on doorstep, it really is fantastic. I am now working to further strengthen the ties between the local communities and the Trust, so we can share our knowledge, experiences and plans for the future. We have invited the Trust Board into the mosque for a future board meeting, as well highlighting our-open door policy, so doctors can come to us and get advice at important times, such as Ramadan. The Trust is already very supportive of the Muslim community, having a prayer room for Muslim patients to use at the hospital, and a permanent Imam based there. It’s incredibly reassuring to see that the Trust cares about the Muslim community and the freedoms we have. When I mention it to friends that live in Saudi Arabia and other countries they are suprised at the level of understanding. I think it’s really important to learn about what other people have done. A quote that has always stuck with me is, “Tell them that I gave my today for your tomorrow.” I think that this really is important in terms of the NHS as we are really lucky to have the free care that they are able to give us. We should all appreciate it and cherish it. Faz Patel, Community Cohesion Advisor at Masjid e Tauheedul IslamMosque
I have been volunteering for over 25 years and in 2006 I received my MBE from the Queen. At the time I was one of the youngest British Muslims to receive one and I’ve used that as a platform to tackle extremism and promote a stronger community in Lancashire. I see myself as a social entrepreneur, a community volunteer and a social advisor on community cohesion. I am passionate about what I do, and where I live and it’s my life ambition to create a better world for the adults of tomorrow. Over the last couple of years, I have had a few experiences with the Trust. My grandma had a stroke and had to go into the Royal Blackburn Hospital, followed by rehabilitation in Pendle Community Hospital (PCH). I myself have recently been admitted to Royal Blackburn Hospital and then my daughter was born in Burnley General Hospital. I feel like I’ve used all the services on offer now and know and understand them well. All the experiences I have had with the services the Trust provides have been fantastic; from the nurses that helped with the triage of my grandma, up to the consultants. The staff across all the sites were brilliant and treated her with the utmost care and respect; it was fantastic. The care provided is second-to-none, food, stroke teams, doctors, nurses, they were all brilliant. Unfortunately my grandma passed away shortly after leaving PCH but she was so grateful to have been given a chance to go home one last time following her stroke – and we were glad they were able to help her in the ways that they did. My daughter was born in April 2016 and her name is Mariam – named after my grandma. Luckily my wife’s pregnancy was all straightforward in Burnley General Hospital. She was in labour for a long time, 17 hours in total, so over that time we saw lots of doctors, nurses, midwives and support staff and each one of them was brilliant. The transition between staff across each rota was seamless and the level of care remained
The Trust is already very supportive of the Muslim community, having a prayer room for Muslim patients to use at the hospital and a permanent Imam based there.
The sonographers at ELHT were really important to me & Charlie; if it wasn’t for them I might have lost him
I feel really lucky to have given birth to Charlie and that he is a happy, healthy little baby. As the weekend that I gave birth was a Bank holiday, if I hadn’t been in to see the sonographers on Thursday, particularly Julie Dimbleby, then by Tuesday it could have been too late. If we had waited over the weekend there was a chance that Charlie and I could have both died. I’m so glad they were able to see me on the Thursday and fit me in on the Friday. I don’t like to think what would have happened otherwise. The service the sonographers provide shouldn’t be underestimated; in my case I really think they saved our lives. The staff were all really great, they helped me and looked after me in what could have been a really bad situation. I couldn’t fault any of the service that I received, the staff were so brilliant, looking after Charlie and myself really well. The sonographers were really important to me and Charlie; if it wasn’t for them I might have lost him. Samantha Roberts, Patient
On 24th March I visited the hospital for a routine growth scan. Up until that moment the pregnancy had been completely normal. After looking at the scan, the sonographer thought Charlie, my baby, looked really small; I got a second opinion from another member of staff and they confirmed he was very small. The next day I was booked for steroid injections with the idea I would give birth two days later. After tests on the Friday they found that I had pre-eclampsia, which can be dangerous. They induced me straight away. I stayed in the Burnley Birth Centre and the staff were really good and helped me with anything I needed. The birth was going slowly and I was struggling to dilate so my doctor decided I needed an emergency C-section. I was rushed into theatre at 12:10am and Charlie was born 45 minutes later. The pre-eclampsia meant I was kept in hospital for five days for 24-hour monitoring with blood and urine tests every four hours. Charlie weighed just 3lb 5oz at birth, so had to be looked after in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for nine days, so he could be monitored, as he was so small. I couldn’t see him for the first 24 hours because of the pre-eclampsia, but when the risk had reduced I was moved to the post-natal ward where, under watch, I was able to walk to the NICU and spend time with Charlie.
Everyone is pulling together & it feels like a real family
The Trust has always been very supportive of the Friends of Pendle and helps us with our fundraisers, with lots of staff getting involved. Kevin McGee, our Chief Executive, attends any event we run and is always happy to buy something – even if it seems he may not need it –helping us raise money. Our site manager, Sherry, is very supportive and a lot of the things we do for the patients couldn’t happen without her input. All the ward managers and matrons have also been supportive of us and we have a very common goal – to do as much as we can to provide safe, personal and effective care to our patients. It’s fantastic to have such willing staff who want to help and want to ensure that we do provide the best care we can. Everyone at the Trust does a wonderful job and you can really see the changes that have been taking place over the past few years. It’s a different place now and focused on moving forward. Everyone really pulls together and it feels like a real family. Kath Haworth, Chairman, Friends of Pendle Community Hospital
I’ve worked at the Trust since 1979 and I am really proud and honoured to have been here for as long as I have. I work as a ward clerk but also wear another hat, in that I am the Chairman of the Friends of Pendle Community Hospital, a registered charity that works to benefit Pendle Community Hospital wards and departments. Our main aim is to provide extra comforts for patients, be it through buying new equipment or just speaking to patients and supporting them. It’s a very rewarding role and adds a new dimension to care giving – seeing patients benefit from the assistance we provide is very rewarding. Recently, we have been raising money to buy some new equipment for Pendle Community Hospital. The money we‘ve raised has allowed us to maintain and redevelop the rooftop garden and the courtyard garden – both of which are now beautiful places for patients to relax. Some patients are even lucky enough to go out there with their occupational therapists and have sessions in the sunshine – I say lucky as we live in Lancashire and getting sunshine seems to be a rare event. Every year we have numerous big events, two of which are the fayres, a summer and winter one, with all money raised being used to buy patient equipment. At Christmas we ensure that all patients in the Pendle Community Hospital receive a gift – something to show that the Friends and the Trust care about them.
I’ve worked at the Trust since 1979 and I am really proud and honoured to have been here for as long as I have.
As a team we work together to share knowledge & form a trusting relationship
Jo shared her knowledge of the complexity and history of Mitchell’s condition, the capability of the carers, the equipment they used at home, and how to understand Mitchell’s body language and facial expressions. We learned very early on that Jo would bring Mitchell into hospital or ask for advice only when the team and the family had exhausted all the other options and this helped us to respond appropriately. Over the months, we had conversations about Mitchell’s end-of-life plan. We discussed the possibilities, and accepted that there may be elements out of our control. On the day Mitchell died, his family cared for him throughout – from washing to changing and tracheostomy care. As medical staff we knew what mattered to Jo, and following his death, Jo and the family looked after Mitchell at home for a week until his funeral. Jo has since told us that at no point did she feel that Mitchell was being taken away from her, and that, for us and for her, was what really mattered. The way in which staff on the unit embraced a different way of providing care to fully meet the needs of our patient was truly ELHT at its best. Linda Gregson, Critical Care Nurse
I met Mitchell and his family in 2013. Mitchell was a young man from an extremely loving family. He enjoyed music, loved being outdoors, was popular, engaging, and an avid rugby fan. He arrived in the critical care unit with his own team of carers, his own ventilator, and a mum who understood Mitchell’s needs far better than I or the team ever could. Despite the initial challenges this presented, the journey that followed with his family has changed the way we work on the unit for good. Mitchell was one of the first people in the country to receive a personal health budget to manage his care. Born with a complex neuro-disability, he had a range of health needs. From the age of 15 he was ventilated at night, and at 21 this became 24 hours a day. Mitchell’s mum, Jo, had worked extremely hard to ensure Mitchell’s care was personalised and flexible, allowing him to remain at home. As Mitchell moved to adult services, Jo understandably had a number of worries. What would happen when things got tough? Would we still be able to support Mitchell at home? Who would treat Mitchell if he ended up at A&E on a Saturday night? Fortunately, Jo’s fears remained unfounded. The evidence presented to us was clear, and Jo’s thorough understanding as a mother – from what Mitchell liked to what he was communicating and his health needs – became an indispensable part of how we supported him in a safe and effective way. In essence, Jo became part of the medical team. As a team, we worked together to share knowledge, overcome boundaries and form a trusting relationship. We taught Jo and the team of carers about manual ventilation and gave advice to his carers.
I am really happy with the care that I have had from ELHT – I really couldn’t have done without them
We get on like a house on fire, they make me a drink of tea when I ask and go that extra mile to help me. Without their help I wouldn’t be able to go out and I’d miss my Wednesday fish supper with my friend Pat. And it’s not just Pat who would be disappointed, as my cat wouldn’t get half the fish when I get home! The nurses have a lot on, they are hardworking and very busy and it’s a very important service. If they took that off us, we’d be in real trouble and I dread to think what would happen. On occasion, when they have time, we sit down to talk, ‘putting the world to rights’ or discussing families. They’ve become friends over time and I feel like I can confide in them, talk to them and get on well with them. I am really happy with the care that I have had over the years from ELHT – I really couldn’t have done without it. Betty Higson, Patient
In 1993, I suffered an electric shock from one of the looms at work. The shock threw me across the room and injured my back. Over time, the injury got worse and, in 2004, I had a fall which aggravated the back injury and meant I needed injections every six months at the former Rossendale Hospital. All the treatment I received on my back didn’t do my insides any good and led to incontinence. I went to see a specialist who offered a semi-permanent catheter or to catheterise myself. I opted for the catheter which I change myself with help from the community nurses. The community nurses have visited my since 2004, daily at first before slowly increasing the time between visits while I learned to manage my own care. Things have continued like that for the last 12 years and I’ve grown very close to some of the nurses who visit my home. I wouldn’t be able to cope without their visits every 10 weeks. They’re always quick to respond to any help I request. On occasion I call to ask for some help and they always come as fast as they can – I never wait more than an hour or two.
We get on like a house on fire, they make me a drink of tea when I ask and go that extra mile to help me.
ELHT &myself have a natural link – we are both passionate about making the local area a better place to live
I was born and brought up in East Lancashire and my career has been spent in local government. I’m currently a non- executive director at ELHT after spending 22 years as the Chief Executive at Pendle Council, where I started in 1973 in finance after qualifying as an accountant. Following my retirement, I was honoured to receive the Freedom of the Borough after 42 years’ service with Pendle. In June I received an award for lifetime achievement at the Pendle Business Awards for my commitment to business and the private sector. I retired from the Council last year but didn’t want to stop my service to East Lancashire which has been part of my life for so many years. My retirement coincided with a vacancy for a non-executive director at the Trust which I thought was the perfect role for me. The previous year, I’d been a patient at the Royal Blackburn Hospital and had to have emergency surgery for a trapped bowel. The treatment I received from all staff involved in my care was excellent and I was very grateful that I had such good facilities where I live. That, and the vacancy coming up, made me want to give something back – both for the treatment I received and to enable me to continue to make a contribution generally to the community.
As a non-executive director – or NED as we are referred to – I’m able to continue to contribute to the well being of the people in my local area, something that has always driven me. I bring financial experience and management skills to the Board and have a good knowledge of the area and the politics that drives it. It’s a two-pronged approach and I like to think that I’m respected here and can bring the views of the people to the table and ensure the decisions the Board makes are the right ones for the people they treat. The role of the NEDs is to contribute to the policies and decisions that the Trust makes and challenge them where appropriate; it’s also about monitoring performance and helping the Trust improve with any necessary support. I aim both to challenge and coach the directors – it is a really tough time for the NHS at the moment and I’m happy to offer every ounce of experience I have to assist the Trust in making decisions. I’m also chairman of a local college and have served as a special adviser to the Government on community cohesion, so I like to think that ELHT and I have a natural link in terms of what they do and what I do. I am passionate about making the local area a better place to live and work and that’s what my NED
role hopefully helps me to continue to do. Stephen Barnes, Non-Executive Director
Thanks to the help & support I get, having diabetes doesn’t really impact on my life
I now have to go to hospital every three months and meet Dr Gardner, the consultant, who checks on how I am doing. We have a good understanding of my condition now and I know that Alison or Vicky are always at the end of the phone and are happy for me to text or call themwhenever we need anything. The care all the staff at the Trust have given me has been fantastic. And thanks to the help and support, having diabetes doesn’t really make much difference to my life. I’m still able to do a lot of the things that I was always able to do – playing football was a big part of my life and I can still do that. My family has realised that managing diabetes is a lot about a positive mental attitude. We haven’t really let it affect our lives and stop us from doing anything. This attitude is something that the staff at the Trust helped us with and has allowed me to keep doing the things I love. Jack Christie, Patient
I began to develop diabetes when I was 10 years old. While we were on holiday my Mum noticed I was always thirsty and told me I was having bad mood swings, signs of diabetes. When we got back from holiday, my Mum called 111, gave themmy symptoms and they told us to go straight to our GP. Though my Mum insisted it was diabetes, the doctor wasn’t sure what was wrong with me and didn’t think it was that. But he agreed to do the tests, which examined my urine and showed there were extra ketones, which is an indicator of being hyperglycaemic. Once the results were in, I was sent straight to the Royal Blackburn Hospital where the doctors were really worried about me. Initially they thought I could have kidney failure or some other major issue but, within half an hour of being there, the specialist diabetes nurse, Peter, came across us. Peter looked over my notes, had a chat with me, asked what my symptoms were and thought it looked like diabetes. He couldn’t tell us 100% but from what he saw that was his guess – and he was proved right. At the beginning of my care, two nurses, Vicky and Alison, came to my house every week and helped educate my family and me about diabetes, what it was, how to deal with it and how it could affect us. They kept coming to see me until we were all comfortable and understood what was going on. The help and guidance they were able to provide were invaluable and I’m so glad they were there for us.
My family has realised that managing diabetes is a lot about a positive mental attitude.
Every single person has been extremely supportive of my wish to achieve my future goals
I would like to thank the unsung heroes of the NHS, namely the porters, who as a group are overwhelmingly cheerful, and the health care assistants who are pivotal to keeping things running smoothly. It is also fantastic to see how the different teams work together seamlessly. My surgeon, Ms Kausar, has been absolutely amazing. She also did my first resection and considered the whole family in everything. There have been so many people involved in my treatment and recovery at ELHT that it would be impossible to thank them all. However, every single person has been extremely supportive of my wish to get back to running and achieve my future goals. This has given me the encouragement I needed to keep fighting to get stronger. I think it is important that people are made to feel this way so they can take responsibility for their own recovery, but the support of staff has been essential in motivating me to do that. Ben Ashworth, Patient
I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 and have been undergoing treatment ever since. I have had surgery on bothmy bowel andmy liver andmore than 70 doses of chemotherapy. In June 2016, I underwent a second liver resection. The week before my surgery, it was discovered that the tumour had grown onto my diaphragm and a bile duct, which meant that the surgery I was scheduled for ended up being greater than originally expected. I was in theatre for 11 hours and was in hospital for over seven weeks. I spent a few days on the Critical Care Unit and, when I was told that I would be moving up toWard C14, I admit I was very apprehensive. Up to that point, I’d had a dedicated nurse looking after me. I was worried that on a regular ward with fewer staff and more patients I would be left to my own devices. This wasn’t the case, though, and I didn’t see a difference at all in the standard or the level of my care. The staff were so dedicated and friendly. They always seemed to be able to make time for all patients. They never compromised their practice and always had a smile on their faces. This makes a massive difference to the patients. If staff are unhappy, then it would have a negative impact on patients. It is really frustrating, being a keen runner and an active person, when your recovery takes so much longer than anticipated. Complications meant that I had to have a chest drain fitted to remove litres of fluid over a period of weeks. The nurses, however, were brilliant at listening and understanding how I was feeling and were calming and reassuring me at every turn.
I dread to think how I would have been if I hadn’t got the care & attention I received
I have set myself plenty of goals since I have been at the Rakehead Centre – I think having something to aim for has really helped me focus on my recovery and what I needed to do. My first goal was being able to walk again which I have achieved. It was hard to get there but now I’ve achieved it I feel great. The next goal is to try to be back onmy barge bymid-August. I have gone with staff to visit it recently, but to actually be living on there again will be brilliant. Beyond that, I want to get back intomymartial arts and going to the gymby Christmas – always being a fit and healthy person is one of the reasons I think I may have survived the haemorrhage. In theNew Year I’ll be aiming to get into walkingmeaningful distances, and by next summer I want to be able to travel around onmy boat again. I think that, thanks to the work that I have done so far and the continued rehabilitation and support that I have received, I should be able to achieve all these goals. I dread to think how I would have been, if I hadn’t received the care and attention I did get from the Trust and all the staff who looked after me. Although what happened to me was awful, I feel lucky to have ended up at the Rakehead Centre. Everyone here has helped me no end on my road to recovery. Michael Sher, Patient
In mid-April this year I got up in the morning like any other morning and walked the dog – the next thing I remember it was mid-May. Unbeknown to me I had had a sub-arachnoid haemorrhage which is basically a weakness in your brain’s blood cells, which has developed all of your life. On that day mine burst. Most people don’t survive this and when I got to the Royal Blackburn Hospital my initial prognosis was poor. My brother was told I might not survive the first 24 hours; once I managed that, they thought I wouldn’t make another 36 hours. Just getting through that time was miraculous in itself, but doctors felt I might not regain any sort of motor skills, essentially leaving me bedridden with very little ability to communicate for the rest of my life. After surgery I went to Pendle Community Hospital to begin my rehab. I don’t remember any of my time in Pendle and don’t think I ever will, but from what I have been told, whilst I was in there I could barely move the left side of my body. My first memory was arriving at the Rakehead Centre in at Burnley General Hospital, sometime in May. I’ve now been at the Rakehead centre for a few months. When I arrived I was still struggling with the effects of the haemorrhage. In June, I finally took my first steps since the incident – albeit with great difficulty and with a stick. The process to begin walking again was very difficult, involving a lot of rehab, sitting in a chair and moving my legs. But taking those first steps again was absolutely brilliant; before that moment I was beginning to wonder whether I would ever walk again. The physiotherapy team at the Rakehead Centre have been great; they have worked with me every day to get me to where I am now. I can currently walk about 500m with a physio by my side.
The next goal is to try to be back on my barge by mid-August. I have gone with staff to visit it recently, but to actually be living on there again will be brilliant.
I love being a nurse & working for ELHT
One way we make a difference for palliative care patients is to provide a specialist bed for sleeping and resting. In hospital, there is the standard single bed. But in a patient’s home, we can make sure they have a special double mattress so couples can stick with their sleeping routines – one side is pressure relieving, the other a ‘normal’ mattress. One of the most important roles in palliative care is to ensure that someone can have “a good death” – make sure everything is in place and that everything is done right. At Clayton District Nurses, we have two excellent Macmillan nurses (Eileen Roberts and Joanne Fellowes) and good care really is a team effort – whether it’s on a ward or in the community, no one can make a difference without the support of their colleagues. After Greg’s death, I kept in touch with Diane and her family and we’ve stayed friends. At the Clayton District Nursing Team, we keep in contact with our patients through our Link Nurse (Debbie Rowan) – a follow-up call after one month, then a ‘Thinking of You’ card on the first anniversary. I was at the STAR Awards and saw the ‘Care to Make A Difference’ film – sometimes it’s the things we take for granted that are really important. I love being a nurse and believe that if I ever felt this wasn’t such a wonderful job, that’s the time to get out. Andrea Brandwood, Community Staff Nurse
People don’t realise how different community and acute nursing actually are and how district nurses need to build a very different relationship with their patients. In hospital, the patient is in a different environment than normal, one where the medical professionals have greater control. In the community, you are in the patient’s home where they feel comfortable and we have to understand that. I’m a naturally cheerful person – Diane calls my colleague Liz Heap and me ‘The Chuckle Sisters’ – and that helps build a professional and personal relationship. I’m also a good listener and it helps to be more diplomatic because, at the end of the day, we’re working in someone’s home. I remember a particular patient, Greg, very well. He had terminal cancer and was younger than many of our patients and I think this helped both he and his wife, Diane, perform a lot of self-care. For many patients, it’s important to ‘plant the seed’ in their minds, give them ideas that they later embrace as their own.
The thought that I can make someone feel better & put a smile back on their face makes my job so worthwhile
One of my patients lost 10kg in six months which has improved things so much that she has postponed an operation as she now feels so much better. Having my roots here in East Lancashire, I really feel like I am giving something back to my local community. The thought that I can make someone feel better and put a smile back on their face makes my job so worthwhile. ELHT is such a happy place to work that I look forward to coming in each day. We have a great diversity of staff, both culturally and in terms of specialities. Everyone pulls together to achieve the very strong vision and values that flow throughout the organisation. As challenging as it is with the hours that I work, I always make sure that any time when I am not in work is dedicated to my wife and two boys aged 9 and 12. I think it is vitally important both for them and me that we have that family time. Qaisar Choudry, Clinical Director &Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
I am a consultant orthopaedic surgeon and Clinical Director for the Trauma and Orthopaedic Department. I have worked at both the Royal Blackburn and Burnley General Hospitals for about four and a half years now. I was born and bred in Blackburn, in the old Queens Park Hospital, and went to School in Lammack and Pleckgate, so I am delighted to be working in the same place as I was born. I actually did my medical degree in Prague and I then returned to the north west to do my training. I have also completed a couple of fellowships in paediatrics and trauma in Oswestry and in Germany before returning to East Lancashire to become a surgeon. My working day is very varied. I tend to arrive at work about 7.30am where I catch up on any messages I need to deal with and generally prepare for the day ahead. Clinics will start at 8.30am and, as my work is split between adult hip and knee replacements and paediatric work, the day can vary greatly. On a theatre day, I will begin seeing patients just before 8am to get prepared and ready to start theatres from about 8.30am. My clinics and theatres usually finish around 5.30pm. Then I have meetings or emails to catch up on as part of my role as Clinical Director so I tend to leave work at around 6.30pm. The thing I love most about my job is being able to help people. Sometimes problems with people’s hips and knees are made worse by their weight, so I provide guidance and advice for reducing that weight to ease the pressure on the joints, which in itself makes a massive difference to the patient.
The thing I love most about my job is being able to help people.
ELHT is a real community & we aim to support and develop the workforce to benefit the local area
There is a team of us at Nelson and Colne College who work closely with ELHT to deliver apprenticeship qualifications both to young people in the local area and to Trust staff. Over the years, the College has built up an impressive apprenticeship success rate and we link with local employers. ELHT is one of the biggest organisations in the area and we know it’s not just about training as a doctor or nurse; there are lots of other jobs on offer and our role here is about tailoring what the learner needs to what the employer needs, and preparing them for the world of work. The college also runs traditional A-level courses as well as HNDs and we have a cadet nurse scheme which is another route into working in nursing straight from school. ELHT has supported us with our courses and placements. The Trust worked with us on the idea of upskilling people and preparing the workforce of the future and, in turn, it gave us an insight into what it is like to work there.
We have a mutually supportive relationship - the Trust attends our careers days and Freshers’ Fair and we go into the Trust and deliver training and work with current staff to develop them and enable them to gain further qualifications. We very much work in collaboration with each other. We have some truly talented students at the college and we work hard to make sure they know what opportunities there are in the local area. We encourage them to bring back their enthusiasm and skills to the local area, even if they go to university elsewhere in the country, making their career and home here in the future. Both we and the students feel that ELHT is a real community. We see our role as supporting that community in the wider sense, developing the workforce across East Lancashire and giving local people the chance to gain skills and qualifications that benefit not only them but also the local area. Barbara Livesey & Sarah Lord, Nelson and Colne College
This publication is available in other formats and languages on request. East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust Trust Headquarters Haslingden Road Blackburn BB2 3HH