WHHT - Annual Report 05/06

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Annual Report 2005-2006: Our Services

Annual Report 2005-2006: Our Services

Advances in Surgery

Very few aortic aneurysms (weakness in the artery wall) are diagnosed in life. The few that are identified can be repaired surgically, but not without the risk of complications.

Over the last year, with the help of surgeons, consultants, nurses and clinical support, the Trust has developed a ‘minimally invasive aortic surgery programme’ in which aortic surgery can be carried out without the need for a large incision, thanks to the use of a special mini camera, and other special surgical equipment on the end of a tube, inserted via a small cut.

Mr Sanjeev Sarin, Consultant Vascular Surgeon and Clinical Director said: “We are extremely excited about this new technique. All the staff at the Trust have been very supportive, encouraging and helpful in terms of progressing this new procedure, which is available in only a few centres in the world.”    [ top ] 

Cardiology Team Scoop Top Prize

The Trust’s cardiology team won two awards (first place in the Effectiveness, Efficiency and Quality category and also the Chairman’s Special award) for the development of local
percutaneous coronary intervention (opening up arteries to prevent heart attacks), in the Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire NHS Investing in Your Health awards. These awards reflect the whole team effort in developing and implementing this programme in west Hertfordshire. This work was previously carried out at St Mary's and Harefield hospitals for patients in
this area. Patients now have a local service, which has led to reduced waiting times and a shorter length of stay.    [ top ] 

Radiology Goes Digital

Over the past few months, new technology has been installed in our hospitals, to replace the old chemical photographic process used in X-ray, moving the Trust firmly into the 21st

CT scans, Ultrasound, and Nuclear Medicine images are already produced in a digital form, but at the moment all these machines operate independently. The Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) will allow all images to be stored on a central computer. These images can then be viewed in any department, in any of our hospitals, at any time. This means that doctors and/or practitioners treating a patient in any ward or department can have pictures and reports available to them, when required, to help in diagnosis and treatment.[ top ] 

New Breast Unit Opens its Doors

September 2005, heralded a new era for breast services in west Hertfordshire with the opening of the new centralised Breast Unit at St Albans City Hospital. The new state-of-the-art unit provides a full breast care service to patients including dedicated rapid access clinics.

In most cases, patients needing treatment will have surgery at St Albans City Hospital. Dedicated breast care nurses will play an important role in the management of breast patients, and will work closely with GPs, Grove House, District Nurses, MacMillan Nurses, and counselling services.

Representatives from the Patients’ Panel, breast-patient groups, and the local community were involved with the hospital and local PCTs in the planning of the unit.   [ top ]

Stub it Out! Trust Becomes a No Smoking Zone

Smoke-free hospitals – inside and out – were introduced in the Trust’s hospitals in March as part of an NHS-wide initiative.

Chief Executive David Law, said: “A smoke-free environment will be better for everyone in many ways. It will reduce litter as well as improving the health of our local communities. We will help those staff who would like to give up smoking to do so, and those who choose to continue to smoke, to deal with being unable to smoke at work.”

From March of this year, smoking has not been permitted anywhere on the hospital sites, either inside the buildings or outside in the grounds.   [ top ]

Alexandra Birthing Centre Celebrates its Fifth Birthday

April saw over 30 mums, babies, children and staff celebrating the Alexandra Birthing Centre’s (ABC) fifth birthday. The innovative low-risk Centre was opened at Watford General Hospital in April 2001, and has proved extremely popular with mothers and babies. The Centre provides a fully integrated, midwife-led service for women who wish to have their baby in hospital, but in a homely environment and without medical intervention. Using water for labour has been particularly popular and the Trust has one of the highest number of water births in the UK

Entertaining our Patients

A new bedside audio-visual communication and entertainment system, designed to help patients have a more ‘relaxing’ stay in hospital, has been installed at Watford General Hospital as part of the NHS led ‘Patient Choice Agenda’. This is part of a national programme, which commissions such systems in hospitals with at least 300 beds.

In partnership with Hospital Telephone Services Limited (HTS), the Trust has installed a Hospicom bedside entertainment system terminal beside each bed, for the exclusive use of the patient. Patients can watch TV and make and receive telephone calls directly from their bed.

Dermatology Team Thank Fundraisers

Local fundraisers have raised 6,000 to purchase an additional UV light cubicle for the Dermatology Department at Hemel Hempstead General Hospital. The UV light cubicle is used to treat patients with skin conditions like Psoriasis, Eczema, Vitiligo and rare forms of skin lymphoma.

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Download a copy of the Trust's Annual Report:

2005/2006 Annual Report

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