News in Brief – eco theatre caps, Chief Exec to retire, trauma training in Cornwall

It’s midweek – which means it’s time for our latest round-up of the news in brief.

We’ve scoured staff, workforce, jobs and building news across healthcare to bring you bitesize chunks of what’s happening at NHS trusts and beyond.

This week, we take a look at primary care roles, Chief Executive updates, eco-friendly theatre caps, and wellbeing support that could make a splash…

Liverpool’s eco-friendly theatre caps

Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LUHFT) is introducing eco-friendly theatre caps.

Danielle Checketts, a former nurse and Managing Director at Warwick Med, developed the cloth theatre caps – which are embroidered with names and roles – to aid communication.

The aim is to reduce disposable waste and the reusable caps have now been rolled-out to some staff at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, with further plans to introduce them trust-wide.

New roles for trust staff in GP surgeries

Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust (BEH) has 18 new members of staff ready to take up roles in GP surgeries, as part of the trust’s transformation of community mental health services.

Created under the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS), the posts are 50 per cent funded by the GPs, and sit within their surgeries, while still being managed by BEH.

The positions will include providing specialist support and advising GPs with diagnosis, medication, and referrals, as well as holding caseloads and mental health clinics.

Year one of the partnership will see six Advanced Clinical Practitioners and one Mental Health Practitioner join Barnet, three Advanced Clinical Practitioners support Enfield, and eight Mental Health Practitioners help Haringey.

Royal London Chief Exec to retire

Jackie Sullivan, Chief Executive of The Royal London and Mile End hospitals, will retire later this year.

Sullivan is set to step down in June 2022, providing time for Barts Health NHS Trust to recruit a substantive replacement.

Sullivan, who has held the post for six years, said of her decision: “After 47 years in the NHS I am ready to step down from a full-time role with a view to taking on some trustee work and to enjoy some extended travel – pandemic allowing.”

Alwen Williams, Group Chief Executive, commented: “Jackie led the hospitals to a ‘good’ Care Quality Commission rating, which is testament not only to the quality of care provided and but also to the stable leadership that Jackie herself brought.”

Oxford Chief Exec set to step down

In more outgoing Chief Exec news, Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH), has also announced that he will leave his role in 2022.

Dr Holthof will step down on 30 June, after more than six years in the role. Before his leadership position at OUH, the Chief Exec was also CEO of the Antwerp Hospital Network, from January 2004 until September 2015.

On his decision to leave the post, to “spend more time with family and friends”, Dr Holthof stated: “I have very much enjoyed leading OUH since 2015 and I want to take this opportunity to thank every member of staff for delivering compassionate excellence to the populations and patients who we serve, especially during the current difficult circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Trust Chair, Professor Sir Jonathan Montgomery, said the trust would now “begin the search for his successor and ensure that there is an orderly handover”, noting that Dr Holthof has “shown exceptional leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”

OUH staff photo book published

Staying at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) for our next NIB, the trust has also now published a photo book about staff experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Entitled ‘Beyond Words . . . Images from the COVID-19 Pandemic‘, the publication is intended to act as a record of permanent images which document the period and the trust’s efforts. Many staff are said to have submitted their own photos for the project, which has been designed in-house by the Communications and Oxford Medical Illustration (OMI) teams with funding from funding from Oxford Hospitals Charity.

Free printed copies are available to all staff, and Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive Officer of OUH, commented: “I am delighted that so many staff submitted their photo memories for this book. Our team efforts in diagnostic testing, infection prevention and control, vaccinations, and new COVID-19 treatments have saved many lives in Oxfordshire, the Thames Valley, England and the rest of the world.”

Nottingham’s Centre for Mindfulness accredited

The Nottingham Centre for Mindfulness has been accredited by the British Association of Mindfulness-based Approaches (BAMBA).

This makes the training facility one of the first Health Education England (HEE) and NHS England and Improvement sites in the UK to be recognised for its delivery of mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) in psychological therapy services (IAPT).

The facility is part of a collaboration of four NHS-based mindfulness centres in the UK (also comprising Sussex Trust, Exeter Mindfulness centre, and the North East Mindfulness centre), which provides MBCT training to IAPT services across England. The aim is to make the therapy to more easily available to people accessing primary mental health services.

Dr Julie Attfield, Executive Director of Mental Health, said: “I am delighted that the Nottingham Centre for Mindfulness has become one of the first to be accredited in the UK…anything we can do to ensure more people have access to this treatment is important, and for the Centre to be formally recognised is fantastic. Well done to the team.”

Building work to start at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS

Building work is starting on an Acute Services Block and New Ward Block at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, part of the Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The trust has announced the final approval of the £168.6 million capital scheme, received from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), and has signed a construction contract with Kier, who will start work this month with a view to completion in 2024.

Minister for Health, Edward Argar said: “We have given Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust the green light on their plans to upgrade Luton and Dunstable Hospital, with £168.6 million of funding.

“The Acute Services Block and New Ward Block will house maternity and neonatal services, surgical theatres and critical care wards with new technology to benefit patients and staff, increase capacity and help tackle backlogs.”

Wellbeing support for Cornwall staff

And finally, staff from Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) will receive extra wellbeing support thanks to funding from NHS Charities Together.

The trust was successful with bids for grant funds of £142,000. The money will be used to support the work of the Occupational Health and Wellbeing Team.

A number of projects will now take place over the next two years, including plans for an additional staff garden and other green spaces for rest and wellbeing, a walking route, and exercise equipment.

There will also be training to help staff hope with trauma and challenges and further training for Mental Health First Aiders, as well as funding for alternative ‘therapies’ to help with staff stress and anxiety, such as cold water swimming courses, and surf and music therapy.

Anna Dalziel, Head of Occupational Health and Wellbeing at Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, stated: “This funding will allow us to increase the positive impact we can have on the mental health and wellbeing of more of our staff through some innovative approaches which we have already seen to have great effect.”