World Sepsis Day – Tuesday 13 September – What are the signs and symptoms of sepsis?

World Sepsis Day 2016
World Sepsis Day 2016
What are the signs and treatment of sepsis?

“The figures are huge” says John Parker who is Leicester’s Hospitals Sepsis Lead Consultant , “every year in the UK there are 150,000 cases of Sepsis, resulting in a staggering 44,000 deaths – more than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined. Unfortunately the initial signs are often ignored, an individual may say “I just felt like I had a bout of flu, stomach upset or chest infection” and so people don’t get any medical attention. Early diagnosis is essential, so we want to highlight the signs of Sepsis and raise its awareness.”

“It’s important to remember that sepsis is a medical emergency. Every minute and hour counts, especially since the infection can spread quickly. There’s no one symptom of sepsis, but rather it has a combination of symptoms.”

Sepsis is caused by the way the body responds to germs, such as bacteria, getting into your body. The infection may have started anywhere in a sufferer’s body, and may be only in one part of the body or it may be widespread. Sepsis can occur following chest or water infections, problems in the abdomen like burst ulcers, or simple skin injuries like cuts and bites.

“A lot of people will more readily know sepsis as septicaemia or blood poisoning and whilst diagnosis and treatment can be different for adult and children, the basic signs to look out for are:

S lurred speech
E xtreme shivering or muscle pain
P assing no urine (in a day)
S evere breathlessness
I feel like I might die
S kin mottled or discoloured

Amandeep Sadhra who has recovered from sepsis says “I was just going about my normal day, when I noticed a rash on my hand, I didn’t really take any notice of it as I suffer from eczema, but during the course of the day it got worse and was throbbing a lot. By the time I got home after work, I felt very tired and had no appetite. I decided to just take some paracetamol and go to bed. The next day I felt no better and didn’t want to get up and my hand had ballooned up like a boxing glove and I was starting to shiver, I felt like I was getting a fever. It was at this time my husband said we should go to the Emergency Department.

“I received scans, a blood test and was advised that as there was a lot of fluid on my hand that I would have to have an operation, but during the course of the night the doctor advised me that my blood pressure was dropping and the antibiotics were not working and I was going to be transferred to intensive care. The next day I was taken for my operation and woke up five or so days later after my procedure. I was then advised that I had been very ill after my operation, suffering from multiple organ failure, slight pneumonia and it was decided to continue my sedation. I was then advised that I had Sepsis.”

“It was a life-changing event, I had always been fit and healthy but after being discharged from hospital it has taken me several months to recuperate, go back to work, get back to normal. You never think something like this could happen to you, particularly from something so minimal like a skin rash to something life threatening.”

If you suspect sepsis, get medical attention immediately.

Global Handwashing Day – find out why it is important!

Global Handwashing Day
Global Handwashing Day

Patient Talk is supporting the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ‘SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands’ campaign on Thursday 5 May 2016 by sharing an entertaining hand hygiene rap video from Leicester’s Hospitals !

Launched in 2009, the annual campaign is a global action to remind health workers how important it is use and promote the WHOs five moments of hand hygiene.

The five moments for hand hygiene identify the critical moments during patient care when health workers need to clean their hands to avoid transmission of microbes that can cause healthcare associated infections (HCAI).

Thanks to matron Vicky Cartwright, who has written and performed the lyrics, Leicester Hospitals have created their own rap video to Vanilla Ice’s well known 1990s hit, Ice Ice Baby to remind staff, patients and visitors how important it is to wash your hands.

Filmed at Leicester General Hospital, the rap video features a range of staff from nurses, head of nursing, infection prevention nurses, junior doctors and management staff. Our chief executive, John Adler also made a guest appearance!

Vicky Cartwright, matron for surgery services at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “I came up with this rap as hand hygiene is very important, especially in healthcare, and thought this would be a fun and memorable way to remind both staff and patients. I’m really grateful to everyone who helped to make my rap come to life!”

Liz Collins, lead nurse for infection prevention at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “Vicky’s rap is great! We are always looking for new ways to promote hand hygiene and this is by far the most creative. Launching this video is the perfect way to mark WHO’s Clean Your Hands’ campaign. ”

Watch the video here…………..

Hand Hygiene Promotional Video from Leicester's Hospitals on Vimeo.

Healthcare and Social Media – How one hospital is using social media to highlight its surgical breakthroughs and achievements.

Healthcare and Social Media – How one hospital is using social media to highlight its surgical breakthroughs and achievements.

Healthcare and Social Media
Healthcare and Social Media

As many of you know by know I’m a massive fan of social media and really believe that it can, and will, revolutionise healthcare.

On Wednesday 28 October, Leicester’s Hospitals will be using social media to showcase the pioneering techniques and hard work undertaken by staff each and every day in the Theatres and Intensive Care Units at the Royal Infirmary, General and Glenfield Hospitals.

The aim of the day is to give the public a behind-the-scenes look into our Theatres to highlight how our staff treat and care for patients who need an operation or intensive care. We will be sharing facts and figures, along with footage of new technology and procedures, information about job opportunities and a closer look at the roles of the staff that patients might meet on their journey through an operating theatre.

Phil Walmsley, Deputy Director of Operations for Theatre Services at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “Theatres are rarely seen by the public so we want to demystify what goes on and celebrate the excellent work done by our staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are also keen to show what we have to offer to anyone who wants join our team to make a real improvement to patient care, but also to help explain to the public what happens in what can be scary places.”

The day will start at 8am with Chris Fowkes, Charge Nurse in Theatres, giving a virtual tour of the recently refurbished Theatres Arrival Area at Leicester Royal Infirmary via the Trust’s social media channels, followed by an introduction to a patient being shadowed for the day to explain the patient journey through our hospitals’ theatres.

Throughout the day, videos will be shared revealing pre-surgery ‘fitness tests’, real patient experiences, pioneering surgery, and advanced robotic surgery techniques. Those following the social media day will see behind the scenes in the Clinical Sciences Lab, the Theatre Matron’s Office to find out more about Operating Department Practitioners, and visit the Recovery Theatres where patients who were admitted earlier in the day will be recuperating from their operation.

In the afternoon there will be a chance to find out what it’s like to ‘manage floor control’, how many patients our reception staff see each day, and explore the role of Healthcare Assistants in the department. This will lead on to a video tour of the Cardiothoracic Theatre where behind-the-scenes images from the Cardiac Surgical Services at Glenfield will be showcased.

The social media day will culminate in a live Q&A session on Twitter (@Leic_Hospital) between 5-6pm with Phil Walmsley, Deputy Director of Operations, Dave Kirkbride, Consultant Anaesthetist and Warren Berman, General Manager, giving the public an opportunity to ask any questions about Theatres and Intensive Care Units at Leicester’s Hospitals using #UHLTheatres.

How one hospital is raising breast cancer awareness

Breast cancer awareness
Breast cancer awareness
An open afternoon is being held at the Breast Care Centre at Glenfield Hospital on Friday 28 August from 2-4pm, to raise awareness of the NHS Breast Screening Programme, the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, and raise money for the unit.

The Breast Care Centre, which opened in 1999, is a purpose built unit at Glenfield Hospital which brings together the specialist staff needed to provide the majority of breast care services for the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Past and current patients, relatives, visitors and staff are invited to come along to see what happens behind the scenes in the department in a bid to raise awareness of the service provided.

On the day there will be exciting activities taking place for visitors to enjoy. There will also be department tours, with demonstrations of the equipment and imaging procedures.

Amanda Gibby, General Manager for Breast Imaging at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “It is important that women are aware of the importance of attending their breast screening invitation and also the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, which is why we are holding this event. We hope to welcome and educate as many people as possible during our open afternoon, and will be using the opportunity to raise some money for our Breast Care Butterfly Account, which will be used to purchase new equipment to improve patient care and experience.”

Breast Screening is offered to women from the age of 50-70 every three years and women over the age of 70 years can self-refer for screening. Women invited for screening are given the choice to attend the centre at Glenfield or visit one of our mobile units, which aim to make screening more accessible in the counties. Detecting cancer early can mean that treatment is more effective. However, not all changes are a sign of breast cancer.

‘Hello my name is…’ Have you heard about the campaign yet? #hellomynameis

Hello my name is…
Hello my name is…
The ‘Hello my name is…’ campaign was created by Dr Kate Granger, who at 29 was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Kate is a young hospital consultant from Yorkshire who works in elderly care. Last summer whilst having treatment, Kate became frustrated with the number of staff who failed to introduce themselves to her. Her campaign, started on social media platform Twitter, has inspired many staff from across the NHS to lend their support to the campaign.

The campaign is simple – it is about reminding staff to go back to basics and introduce themselves to patients and their relatives properly. Kate talks about this as “the first rung on the ladder to providing compassionate care” and sees it as the start of making a vital human connection, helping patients to relax, and building trust. Feedback from patients across the country has shown how vital this is to them, saying that the smallest things make the biggest difference.

John Adler, Chief Executive at Leicester’s Hospitals said: “Backing this campaign was an easy decision. We had already adopted it in small ways across the organisation, but working with the Listening into Action (LiA) team and other NHS Trusts will push this to the forefront of everyone’s minds.”

“We want our patients to remind us if we are busy and forget to introduce ourselves when we first meet them. I know how important the patient experience is to my staff and that they will all give their backing to Dr Granger’s campaign.”

“As well as asking staff to tell their patient’s their names, we are also reminding them to introduce colleagues who are taking over an individual’s care following a shift change. That way, our patients and their families will always know who is looking after them, which in turn will help them to relax and feel safe while in our care”.

Kate said: “ I think the main messages from the campaign about high quality communication and always treating our patients as people with respect and dignity. I really hope my legacy will be exactly that, putting compassionate practice right at the heart of healthcare delivery every single day.”

You can see more about Dr Granger’s campaign at and on Twitter #hellomynameis.