Shrewsbury NHS Trust 250-253

Second Dementia Friendly Cafe to open

A second café for people living with dementia is to open at the Trust which runs Shropshire’s two acute hospitals.

The Golden Moments café will open at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) on Tuesday 4 April.

It follows the successful launch of the Precious Times café at the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford, which is held on the last Tuesday of every month.

The Golden Moments café will be held at the Shropshire Conference Centre at RSH from 3pm – 4.30pm.

Karen Breese, Dementia Clinical Specialist at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs the PRH and RSH, said: “We have been delighted at the success of the Precious Times café since we launched it in January. It was always our intention to run a similar café at RSH as soon as we could secure a venue and the volunteers needed to run it and we hope it will be just as successful.

“We are incredibly grateful to Shropshire Conference Centre for offering us the venue and refreshments free of charge.”

The cafés are designed to give patients with dementia, and their carers, somewhere to network at our hospitals rather than having to seek opportunities elsewhere.

Karen said: “The cafés are open to patients, carers and members of the public and are a chance for people to meet others living with dementia and talk about their experiences.”

The cafés are staffed by volunteers, but there will also be a dementia support worker at each session.

Karen said: “When people come to these sessions we will be on hand to give advice and guidance, and people will be able to share their experiences in our hospitals – good and bad – so that we can learn from them and continue to make improvements in the care we provide.”

The cafés are the latest initiative by SaTH to improve care for patients living with dementia.

Other initiatives include:

  • The Butterfly Scheme, which uses a butterfly symbol to quickly and discreetly identify patients with dementia or confusion.
  • The Carer’s Passport, encouraging carers to visit and stay with patients living with dementia in order to provide reassurance, support, and help with eating and drinking and other day-to-day activities.
  • This Is Me,aleaflet that people living with dementia can use to tell staff about their needs, preferences, likes, dislikes and interests.
  • Twiddlemuffs, thick hand muffs with bits and bobs attached to the inside and out which are designed to provide a stimulation activity for restless hands for patients with dementia.
SDN 250 by 253

Arthritis Research UK introduce ‘Virtual Assistant’ to provide information and advice to people living with arthritis

Arthritis Research UK and IBM today announced the development of a Watson-powered ‘virtual personal assistant’ to provide information and advice to people living with arthritis. The charity has teamed up with IBM to ensure people seeking help will have access to personalised information from the Arthritis Research UK website, delivered in a form that feels like a natural conversation. The service will be accessible on mobile phones and computers, without the need to download an app. There are currently 300 people with arthritis helping Arthritis Research UK to test and feedback before it is launched publicly on the charity’s website later this year. 

For the millions of people living with the lifelong impact of all kinds of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions, finding an answer to questions about their condition can be a challenge. Arthritis affects people in different ways, so for some turning to the internet and sorting through pages of conflicting advice can be daunting and confusing. Every year, Arthritis Research UK’s website receives thousands of personal questions about the impact arthritis has on day to day life, symptoms and treatment options.

 By tapping into IBM’s Watson Conversation API, the charity has found an innovative way for people with arthritis to quickly and easily get answers to questions as soon as it pops into their head – no matter where they are or the time of day. This new service will mean that for the first time Arthritis Research UK will be able to provide every person in the UK seeking information about arthritis, immediate access to the best and most accurate information tailored to them. It will be supported by the charity’s information and enquiries line, where a team will be on hand to help answer detailed or complex questions. 

Liam O’Toole, Chief Executive Officer at Arthritis Research UK, said: “We know that there are millions of people in the UK living with arthritis whose lives are severely limited as they struggle with unanswered questions. We want to ensure that everyone has access to information and support, whenever and wherever they need it.

“We’re really excited to be working with IBM Watson on this innovative new service that will enable us to have conversations with anyone seeking help, that we simply wouldn’t be able to answer so quickly otherwise. We’re confident that this new virtual assistant will help more people push back the ways arthritis limits their lives.”

The digital personal assistant was developed over five months using the charity’s 80 years of research based knowledge and expertise as well as advice from health care professionals, people with arthritis and IBM Watson cognitive computing experts.  Over 350 people with arthritis have been involved during this time, to help develop, test and improve the tool. Initially, the service will be able to provide general information about arthritis and exercise that people can print out or save online.

In time, this knowledge base will grow to enable Arthritis Research UK to answer more questions – including those around diet and treatment options. As IBM Watson learns from each interaction, it will refine the information that is surfaced. Following this, Arthritis Research UK plans to leverage Watson cognitive voice input/output and location services to extend its capabilities, for example to understand questions delivered via speech (versus typed via a keyboard). 

“Arthritis Research UK developed the Watson-powered digital personal assistant themselves, providing a terrific example of how IBM’s open, cloud-based Watson development platform is making cognitive computing broadly accessible to organizations and individuals worldwide,” said Cameron Brooks, IBM European Director for Watson in the Public Sector. “Further, Arthritis Research UK’s use of Watson APIs is a model for organizations thinking about how they might integrate cognitive computing into their services in order to positively impact the lives of people living with a serious health condition.”

Shrewsbury NHS Trust 250-253

Improving communication with patients

“When I receive a letter confirming a hotel booking it is clear, concise and useful. I am instantly made to feel important and my confidence levels in that organisation soar.”

These are the words of Ian Green, who last week led a team of people at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) with the common goal of dramatically improving communication levels between hospital staff and patients.

The week-long long Rapid Process Improvement Workshop (RPIW) as part of SaTH’s partnership with the Virginia Mason Institute in Seattle – the USA’s ‘Hospital of the Decade’ – took place on Clinic 10 (Ophthalmology) at The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH).

Ian, a Learning and Development Trainer at SaTH, said: “From speaking to patients and learning from letters of concern it became apparent that a large number of cancelled Ophthalmology appointments were a result of patients not understanding the letter we sent them.

“The feedback was that the appointment letters were too wordy and didn’t focus clearly enough on the important facts. As a result appointments are being postponed because patients are attending the wrong hospital or not bringing required items with them.”

He added: “By taking a week away from our day jobs and focusing on this small, but significant, area of work it quickly became obvious that changes were needed. At one time we had 40 different appointment letter templates all saying the same thing, but differently!

“We now have just one letter, and furthermore it is clear and concise – much like you’d expect from a hotel or a business. We have removed a lot of unnecessary information, bolded up the important details and put them into a text box.

“We’ve also put the name of the hospital that the appointment is to take place at in large font at the top of the page and colour coded it. The other thing we have done is add an advisory sentence about the importance of reading the letter in full.”

Ophthalmology Outpatients is the fourth area that SaTH is conducting improvement work through its partnership with the Virginia Mason Institute. It is estimated that improvements made last week could save SaTH more than £500,000 every year.

The RPIW also revealed it was taking 56 days for a patient to receive contact from SaTH following a referral to Clinic 10 from their GP.

Ian added: “This is obviously not acceptable so what will happen going forward, as a result of the RPIW, is patients will receive an acknowledgment letter from the Trust within seven days of being referred. We are not reinventing the wheel, but what we do hope to achieve is a greater reassurance, and therefore a better experience, for our patients.”

Patient feedback played a key part in last week’s RPIW, and throughout the week they team took guidance from a regular visitor to the department, Lin Stapely, a visually impaired patient, and her guide dog Woody.

Ian said: “Having Lin with us for the week was a huge asset. It is one thing testing our ideas with Doctors and Nurses but hearing the experience of a patient who regularly uses the clinic was invaluable.

“Lin had very clear ideas about what would help patients and what caused difficulties, and as a result of her input all staff on Clinic 10 will be trained to provide assistance to visually impaired patients. Staff will be required to attend a training course and a watch a short video which our Communications Team made for us during the week.”

The team will now monitor the improvements made during their RPIW in an effort to sustain and/or improve the results. They will report their findings to the public after 30 days, 60 days and 90 days. Initially the changes will be tested on Clinic 10 at RSH but if they prove successful they will then be implemented more widely across the Trust.


Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust

Hospital ward launches #endPJparalysis campaign

Staff on a Ward at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) have launched a campaign which is designed to help patients recover more quickly – by simply maintaining their daily routine.

The campaign, called #SaTHendPJparalysis, has been launched by staff on Ward 32 Short Stay at RSH. It is part of a wider national #endPJparalysis campaign.

Zoe Day, Ward Manager, said: “We want our patients to feel that they don’t have to wear their pyjamas all day, every day just because they are in hospital.

“We want to encourage them to feel better and sometimes something as simple as a wash and a change of clothes does just that.”

The campaign has already been used successfully by other NHS Trusts and is backed by the Emergency Care Intensive Support Team (ECIST), which helps urgent and emergency care staff across England to deliver improvements in quality, safety and patient flow by using solutions that are proven to work.

Clare Walsgrove, Matron for Ward 32, said: “The idea is really simple. Instead of patients staying in their PJs all day, we encourage them to wear their day clothes in the day and get changed into their PJs at night – just like they would if they were at home.

“It might seem like a minor thing that wouldn’t make much difference, but it can have a huge impact.

“Any stay in hospital can lead to a higher risk of infection and reduced mobility which can increase the length of that stay.

“In patients over the age of 80, 10 days in hospital leads to the equivalent of 10 years ageing in the muscles – that can mean a patient walking into hospital from their own home but leaving hospital bed-bound unable to return home.

“Patients want to be at home, not in hospital, and we believe that through this scheme, we can help them to get home sooner.”

Staff on Ward 32 will be speaking to patients and relatives and asking them to ensure the patient has a clean set of comfy outdoor clothes with them at all times.

Zoe said: “We will be making sure that all patients coming onto the Ward, and their loved ones, know about the scheme and what we are trying to achieve through it.

“We have produced a leaflet explaining the benefits and encourage anyone with any questions or concerns to talk to any of our Nursing staff.”

All In Logo_small

All-In Spring 2017 Edition

The Spring Edition of the ‘All In’ activity programme has information about activities and opportunities that are taking place from North To South, East to West of the county. From Short Breaks programme available from April 2017 to Shropshire Youth Association Activities to what you can join in with at Shrewsbury Town in the Community or may be you are looking for Riding for the Disabled, there is so much in this edition.

Click here to see the full programme of activities: all-in-newsletter-spring-2017

lanyon Bowdler

Beth Harrison, Solicitor with Lanyon Bowdler blogs on our meeting.

Beth writes-

Beth HarrisonYesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Shropshire Disability Network Members’ Meeting and hearing about the great work they do in the community.

Safe Places

This initiative is ever expanding, with a fantastic number of businesses in Shropshire signig up to the project, where vulnerable people can go if they feel threatened or need help.

The Shropshire Disability Network is also trying to raise awareness and battle the nationwide problem of people parking and blocking pavements. Actions such as these put lives at risk, as people are forced to step into the road.

See and Hear Exhibition

Shropshire Disability Network is proud to announce its involvement with the See and Hear Exhibition in Shropshire on 10 May 2017. Shropshire Disability Network will be hosting the Boccia tournament as they did last year and I will be popping down between 10am-4pm to try my hand.

New £1 coins

As many of you may be aware that at the end of this month, the new £1 coin comes into circulation. The new 12 sided coin looks pretty special, but the question is what should you do with your old £1 coins which are only valid for use until October? Shropshire Disability Network has the answer… ….they have launched a ‘Give your last £1’ project to collect old £1 coins in order to raise funds for the charity. I picked up a pot today to fill and I am sure my colleagues at Lanyon Bowdler will be digging deep.

Bed sore app

I was lucky enough to hear from some excellent speakers at the meeting. The first was David Sandbach who spoke in relation to healthcare and digital technology. He showed us various different apps which can be used to monitor your health, but I think my favourite was a bed sore app. Bed sores make people’s lives a misery and cost the NHS an arm and a leg to deal with. This app measures the size of the sore and the percentage of necrosis. It has been recommended for use by Community Nurses as it is an accurate record of assessing how the bed sore is progressing.

Jess the Goth Fairy

The second speakers were Jo Almond and Jess Hiles, an inspirational mother and daughter team. Jess suffers with disability and her Mum, Jo, has been her carer. Jo is keen to raise awareness and fight for the carers and the loved ones who are often forgotten. Jo and Jess are releasing their third book of the ‘Jess the Goth Fairy’ series later this year with a launch planned in Shrewsbury on the Sabrina Boat for September or October 2017. This is definitely one to look out for.”

SDN says It was so pleasing to welcome back members & to meet with many new members at our meeting on 9th March. We thank all who enabled this meeting to be so successful. We hope to see many of you again on Thursday 8th June, when we meet at Casey’s Cordingley Hall, Donnington, TelfordTF2 8JS 

(More details )

We thank Beth for her support in attending our meeting and writing this blog for us.




Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust

New Director of Nursing and Quality appointed

A new Director of Nursing and Quality has been appointed at the Trust which runs Shropshire’s two acute hospitals.

Deirdre Fowler has been appointed to the role at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, which runs the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital, in Telford.

Deirdre, who is currently Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Quality at Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust will join SaTH on 1 May 2017.

She has a wealth of experience in the NHS following completion of her nurse training in Dublin in 1988 and subsequently as a midwife in Croydon, South London in 1994.

Deirdre said:  “I’m excited to be joining SaTH as Director of Nursing and Quality.

“I’m really passionate about making improvements for patients, their families and hearing their stories. For me, our patients are the first and last point of all my decisions. I also want to grow the voice of nurses and midwives at the Trust.

“SaTH values are very much aligned to my own and I’m looking forward to joining the Trust and to meeting as many staff and patients as I can to hear their views.

“Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and mid Wales is a beautiful area and I look forward to finding out more about the region and exploring it further.”

Simon Wright, Chief Executive at SaTH, said: “This is a first class appointment and I’m delighted Deirdre is joining SaTH.

“Her experience, empathy for our patients and drive for improvement will play a big role on our journey to provide the safest and kindest care in the NHS.”

Deirdre replaces Sarah Bloomfield who recently left the Trust. Colin Ovington will be interim Director of Nursing and Quality until Deirdre joins. Colin will then remain with SaTH from May until August 2017 reporting into the Chief Executive to support the Trust’s quality improvement programme and Transforming Care work.

Deirdre has been Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Quality at Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust since May 2014.

Disabled Access Day 2017

Disabled Access Day 10th-12th March 2017-SDN asks what will you do?

Disabled Access Day 2017 is back by popular demand it has been extended from a one day event to 3 days! It starts on Friday 10th March & ends on Sunday 12th March, enabling more people to get involved and more places to be visited.

What is Disabled Access Day? 

In 2015 Disabled Access Day began as a day to celebrate good access and created opportunities for people to try something new. The day was about highlighting the fantastic access that already exists in places, such as touch tours, relaxed performances, sensory experiences, level access and of course a warm welcome!

Where is Disabled Access Day?

Anywhere and everywhere! This year the majority of events took place across the UK, but there were also events across Europe and future afield. No matter where people are, anyone can get involved. Search our events and see what’s happening in your area!

You can find out more by clicking this link:

Shropshire Disability Network -What are we doing? We have registered with Disabled Access Day and will be bringing you more information as the days get nearer.

How can you help us & help others? Tell us in the comment box below what places you intend visiting during the weekend or if you are an organisation tell us what you are doing OR if you are a Cafe, Hotel, Shop etc let us know how you intend engaging in Disabled Access Day.  You can also contact us via this link or email [email protected]

Things going on: For more information on the events below see our Events tab.

  • Quest 88 Accessible Pedal in the Park – Saturday March 11th 2017, 10 am-3.30 pm.
  • Canal Boat trips in Welshpool from Heulwen Trust, Welshpool 12/03/2017 12:00.