News in Brief – new palliative care services, Chief Exec to step down, Badgernet roll-out begins

Welcome to the latest edition of the News in Brief, where we cover all the latest news from healthcare across the past seven days.

It’s been a busy week at Leading Healthcare, where we’ve covered the biggest stories from the Department of Health and Social Care, and the Royal College of Nursing.

Here’s what else has been hitting the headlines…

New palliative care services

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has launched a new palliative care service that will support children and families in the North East. The Children’s Holistic Integrated Palliative Service (CHIPS) will be based at the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle.

Dr Jo Elverson, Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Newcastle Hospitals and St Oswald’s Hospice and part of the CHIPS team, said: “We’ve recently marked Children’s Hospice Week, so it is timely to talk about the work that we’re doing to support children and their families.

“We are there for children and families during those times where there may be uncertainty about what is going to happen next, when difficult decisions need to be made, or when the child, their family or the teams caring for them need some extra support or advice.”

The CHIPS team will work across a wide range of conditions and offer advice, teaching and training to teams in the region.

Virtual ward for heart patients

Patients who have suffered heart failure will now be monitored at home via technology recently introduced by London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, including tools such as an oxygen finger probe, blood pressure monitor and weighing scale. Important information will also be made available to specialist clinicians through a purpose-built smartphone app.

Emil Elias, a cardiac nurse practitioner and heart failure specialist at Northwick Park Hospital, said: “I believe that the virtual ward programme is going to revolutionise the management of heart failure patients. Research has shown the use of remote monitoring can predict deterioration and offer long-term benefits for heart failure patients through outpatient management. This allows us to improve symptoms, reduce hospitalisation, increase survival and enhance these patients’ quality of life.”

Dr Harmandeep Singh, a cardiology consultant at Ealing Hospital, added: “We’re potentially on the brink of delivering a new era of home-based healthcare which could potentially be deployed to tackle a range of conditions, such as COPD.

“It’s very exciting and especially relevant given the past year when people have been reluctant to come to the hospital because of COVID-19.”

New Chief Executive announced

East and North Herefordshire NHS Trust has announced that its new Chief Executive, Adam Sewell-Jones will join the trust following Nick Carver’s decision to retire at the end of the year.

Adam Sewell-Jones, who was previously Chief Executive of Newham Hospital and Group Director at Barts Health NHS Trust, will start his new role at the end of the year. He has also previously worked in senior roles with NHS Improvement before the merger with NHS England.

Ellen Schroder, Chair of East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to offer my congratulations to Adam and I look forward to working with him as we recover from the impacts of the pandemic. Our priorities will continue to be to deliver high-quality care to our patients while developing and supporting our people to be the best that they can be.”

Training programme launched

A new set of training programmes, called ‘Get Into’, have been launched by South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, with the goal of starting a recruitment drive in the area.

The trust is collaborating with Sunderland College, the University of Sunderland, and the Prince’s Trust, to deliver the programmes.

Kath Griffin, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust said: “The NHS has faced incredible pressure over the last 18 months and at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust we remain committed to developing our future workforce throughout these challenging times.

“We recognise that, as a result of the pandemic many people may be reconsidering their career goals and thinking about a future career within the NHS. Similarly, those leaving schools and colleges who want to start a career in the NHS may be interested in pursuing one of the new ‘Get Into’ programmes to gain vital experience and qualification.”

The ‘Get Into’ programmes will cover a wide range of disciplines across 20 separate training programmes. The trust is also holding a virtual engagement event on 27 July. For more information, contact

Chief Executive to step down

The Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust has decided to step down from the trust and will formally retire in November. News of her replacement is expected to be announced in September.

Tracy Dowling, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It has been a true honour to have led the Trust since 2017, and in that time I have been inspired and humbled by the incredible commitment, expertise and kindness of my colleagues.

“The last 18 months dealing with the pandemic has been particularly tough on us all. I have been so impressed and proud of how our staff have risen to the challenge, demonstrating incredible strength, compassion and determination to advocate for our patients and carers in the most extreme circumstances.

“I will continue to work hard with colleagues and partners between now and November to improve how together we address the needs of the people we serve.”

Tracy Dowling became Chief Executive in 2017 and, under her guidance, the Care Quality Commission rated the trust as “outstanding” for its research activity.

Badgernet roll-out in maternity services

A new healthcare platform called Badgernet, which will provide digital maternity services, has been launched at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT).

The platform is a part of a collaboration between UHMBT, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, East Lancashire NHS Trust and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The electronic patient record system is being gradually rolled out across the maternity departments and is expected to undergo a complete roll-out across the integrated care system in South Cumbria and North Lancashire, with the expectation that it will be completed by the end of 2021.

Karen Bridgeman, Digital Midwife, UHMBT, said: “We are so pleased to be able to implement Badgernet at our trust and continue to work with our partners to provide the best maternity care possible.

“Anyone registering at UHMBT in early pregnancy will now be able to benefit from using the Badgernet system. This includes access to the Badgernotes app which provides week-by-week pregnancy information, access to care plans and maternity records, and an open line of communication with our midwives.”