News in Brief – paramedic degree launched, maternity staff investment and new Northern Centre for Cancer

Welcome to the latest edition of the News in Brief. It has been a busy few weeks for the Leading Healthcare team, as we have revealed some of our finalists for the upcoming Forward Healthcare awards, which take place in September. Find out more information and how to get involved here.

New paramedic degree

A new paramedic science degree has been set up by Buckinghamshire New University (BNU), in partnership with London Ambulance Service, and will start in September 2021.

The new degree will be led by Associate Professor of Paramedic Science, Will Broughton. It will take three years to complete and will be offered at the university’s High Wycombe and Uxbridge campuses.

The degree has received £100,000 in funding from Health Education England, and placements to students will be provided by South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) and London Ambulance Service (LAS).

The HEE Regional Head of Allied Health Professions, Rebecca Tyrrell said: “We are delighted that the strategic development funding has enabled BNU to provide a new Paramedic Science programme and support such valuable growth in paramedics required within our region. We should also like to thank all our stakeholders in supporting the expansion of quality learning environments for the new cohorts of paramedic learners.”

New entrance plans for hospital unveiled

New plans to redesign the entrance at New Royal Liverpool University Hospital have been revealed by Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The process to construct the new “podium” entrance has been brought forward and the plans will be submitted to Liverpool City Council this month to gain planning approval. Major redesign work is in place at the trust, as part of work on the government’s new hospitals programme.

Steve Warburton, Chief Executive at Liverpool University Hospitals, explains: “We have an opportunity to reassess the build programme and reconfigure aspects of the construction to better suit current and future patient needs.

“Clatterbridge Cancer Centre is now open and there has been significant progress on the development of the Knowledge Quarter, bringing increased footfall and traffic to the area, so it made sense to bring forward the planned development of the podium, ahead of the opening of the new hospital.”

Construction is expected to begin at the entrance in January 2022, with the project to be completed in the summer of 2022.

Electric cars rolled out

Electric pathology vehicles have now been fully rolled out by the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust (ROH). The cars are used to collect blood samples in the Birmingham area and are a part of the trust’s sustainability commitments.

The Nissan Leaf vehicles have replaced diesel cars at the trust, with two charging points installed at the hospital and more planned for the future. The cars are charged out-of-hours at the hospital and last 200 miles on a full charge.

The vehicles will travel between ROH and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Edgbaston and will occasionally go to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Maternity staff investment

A funding boost will add an extra 41 staff in maternity care at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust. A £2 million investment package will be used to recruit additional consultants and midwives.

Diane Sarkar, Chief Nursing Officer for Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “With recruitment plans for maternity already in full swing, this funding is a huge boost to help us develop our growing midwifery and obstetrician workforce and team training. It is a priority for us to improve and invest in the care we provide to offer the best start for our new and growing local families.”

The funding will also be used to provide one-to-one care in labour across Southend, Basildon, and Broomfield hospitals. In addition, the money will be used to support services at Braintree Community Hospital and St Peter’s Hospital in Maldon.

Alongside the new staff, the trust will have 60 experienced and newly qualified midwives joining the maternity units in the autumn.

New Northern Cancer Centre

A multi-pound cancer centre has opened its doors for the first time in Cumbria. The Northern Centre for Cancer Care, in north Cumbria, is a result of a two-year project that will see a £35 million investment in Cumbrian health services.

The centre is expected to deliver around 11,500 radiotherapy treatments a year, and its services will be run by Newcastle Hospitals as part of a collaboration between the trust and North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Dame Jackie Daniel, Chief Executive at Newcastle Hospitals, said: “We’re delighted to have welcomed our first patients at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, north Cumbria.

“The centre looks fantastic and all of the teams involved have worked incredibly hard to make sure this is a calm and comfortable environment for our patients.

“The development of the centre demonstrates our commitment to providing high quality and sustainable cancer services to people across north Cumbria and supporting patients to receive care closer to home.”

Two new theatres opened

North Bristol NHS Trust has officially opened two new operating theatres at Southmead Hospital, which will be operational this week. The theatres will be used for operations in areas such as gynaecology, breast, urology, and colorectal surgery and will host 12 procedures a day.

The theatres have been installed next to the Women’s and Children’s building to provide extra capacity while the current theatres undergo refurbishment.

Andrew Jeanes, Director of Operational Estates and Facilities, said: “We started this journey in September 2020, so to see the theatres open in less than a year is an incredible achievement for all involved.

“The new theatres have been designed with patients in mind, utilising every inch available. Having used modular theatres, we were able to minimise disruption on-site and ensured the spaces we created would help our clinical teams achieve exceptional clinical outcomes. We are also proud to say that 20 per cent of the building’s power will be generated by solar panels, helping us reach the trust’s goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2030.”