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A word from our Chairman, Pradip Patel

Dear Members, 
In our first newsletter of 2023, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all very happy and healthy new year.  

Not a day goes by that I am not filled with pride at all that the selfless members of our Frimley Health family do to care for our communities and 2022 was no exception - if you haven’t seen it, take a look at the review of the year on our website.  

This year has had a particularly busy start, with exceptionally high numbers of patients presenting to our emergency departments and because they are more unwell, many need to be admitted to our wards. I’d like to thank you for continuing to attend only when it is an emergency so that our staff can care for those who need them most. 

Looking ahead, we have a lot to be excited about. We are continuing to develop the proposals for a new Frimley Park Hospital; we are reducing waiting lists for planned care by maximising the benefits of our state-of-the-art new Heatherwood Hospital; we are working with our colleagues in the community and integrated care system to deliver care closer to home for patients where it makes sense to do so; and we are on track to become a centre of excellence for clinical training with our new simulation suite at Wexham Park Hospital. 

You can read more about all these exciting plans in this month’s Members’ Newsletter.  

Finally, I’d love you to join us at our next virtual members’ health event where we will be joined from members of our cardiology team – see below for more details and how to register. 

As always, we would also like your feedback on this newsletter, so that we can continue to ensure that it meets your needs. If there are things you would like us to cover in the coming months, please do let us know.
Pradip Patel, Chairman 

New year, new calendar of events for members

We’ve been busy finalising our events’ calendar and are delighted to share that the next members’ health event will be held on the evening of Tuesday 21 February 6.30pm-7.30pm via MS Teams. It will be exactly a week after Valentines’ Day and it’s sheer coincidence that the topic of this next event is about matters of the heart.

Presented by experienced cardiologist, Dr Peter Clarkson, the event will give you a great insight into our cardiology services, the latest achievements that have led to it becoming a centre of excellence and the vision for the future at Frimley Park. Dr Clarkson will be joined by three of his colleagues, including Dr Lydia Sturridge, who will talk about introducing a brilliant new cardiology service in our community hubs - an exciting initiative that will see GPs given specialist training in low-risk cardiology services - which will significantly reduce wait times for patients, while also freeing up hospital services for more serious cases.
Our Chief Executive, Neil Dardis, will also give a more general update. 

We hope you can join us for this informative and interesting virtual health event on Tuesday 21 February 6.30pm – 7.30pm. Click here to sign-up for the webinar

HRH The Countess of Wessex officially opens new Heatherwood Hospital

It was a momentous occasion at Heatherwood earlier this month as HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO visited the site and declared the hospital officially open. The Countess visited the planned care centre on Thursday 19 January to meet staff and patients during a special tour of the hospital, before unveiling the plaque at an official opening event.   
The tour programme included the hospital’s state of the art theatre area, the day surgery ‘pods’, the ophthalmology department, and the inpatient ward.  Around a hundred staff were involved in the event representing all the departments across the Trust that played a part in making Heatherwood happen, from the early planning stages and the move into the new hospital, to delivering excellent care to patients during the first 10 months of opening.  

Read more here

Ground-breaking Frimley Park redevelopment commences next week

On Monday 30 January the demolition of Frimley Park Hospital’s old medical records building - M block, will make way for a new £47 million building and marks the exciting first phase of a transformational redevelopment. 

The new three-storey modular building will provide state-of-the-art diagnostic facilities and a large increase in beds all within a modern environment. Because it is linked to the main building, access and delivery of services will be easier and more efficient.

This new building represents a significant investment and will play an important part in our ambitious plans and ongoing commitment to deliver first-class patient care, and will offer:
74 inpatient beds – two storeys offering a combination of single rooms and four-bed bays 
Dedicated breast care diagnostic and outpatient unit - providing a ‘one stop’ service in a much-improved modern environment 

State-of-the-art imaging centre - providing increased capacity and capability with the latest diagnostic imaging equipment (comprising three CT scanners, two MRI scanners and two gamma cameras), all within comfortable, purpose-built accommodation 

For more information about the development, what it means for you and what steps we are taking to mitigate the disruption, please see our website

Wexham Park’s new clinical training suite

A new simulation suite being built at Wexham Park’s postgraduate medical centre will see the hospital become a centre of excellence for clinical training. Simulation suites usually consist of mannequin-type medical simulation models and a range of ‘dummy equipment’ controlled electronically via a laptop. The models can mimic medical problems and respond to treatments or drugs to help trainee doctors, nurses and other staff prepare for the real-life scenarios.
The ambitious new sim suite being constructed contains a dummy operating theatre, a two-bed bay, an observation room, debrief and study rooms, store, office and kitchenette. The £97,000 project is expected to be completed by the spring and will replace the current, smaller suite located within the Theatres department of the hospital. 

Sharon Burfield, deputy director for clinical education, said: “We’re delighted that we will soon be able to offer a bigger and better simulation facility for our clinical teams. It will support our trainees to improve their skills and make them more confident to deal with difficult situations and ultimately benefit our patients.” 

Help with common winter illnesses in children  

During these winter months, its common to see a rise in children experiencing sore throats, coughs and colds, flu, wheeze, fever, diarrhoea and vomiting. With many winter germs in circulation, parents and carers in our communities can look to Frimley Healthier Together for advice about whether their child is well enough to go about their usual daily routine.  
For some, this means taking simple medication like paracetamol and continuing to attend their nursery, preschool, or school setting. For others, their symptoms may mean they should stay at home to recover and avoid spreading germs to others.  
If you are unsure whether an unwell child should stay home, you can check on the dedicated Frimley Healthier Together page. You will also find a simple menu of common childhood illnesses and symptoms, with advice on everything from various treatments to how long their symptoms might last, and whether the child can go back to nursery/school. For example, if a child has flu, it's important not to send them into nursery/school. Flu can be serious for them, and they could spread it to vulnerable family/friends. Read more here

Share your views on GP websites

GP websites across the region have recently been updated and our system colleagues would like to hear your views on how the websites could be further developed. If you have a suggestion or an idea about the future development of the website, please take a couple of minutes to complete this GP survey.

Do you experience chronic pain? 

The NHS in Frimley is planning to launch a new chronic pain pathway later this year. As part of their research, they would like to understand people’s current experience with chronic pain services, how it affects people’s daily lives and how the services could be improved in the future.
Chronic pain, sometimes known as long-term pain or persistent pain, is pain that lasts for more than 3 months. It is often described as pain that does not go away as expected after an illness or injury. 

If this affects you and you would like to have your say on future services, please complete this short survey.

Save the date

The spring health event will take place on Tuesday 18 April early evening so please mark the date in your diaries. Further details will be sent nearer the time. 

Tell us what you think

We would love to know what you think of the monthly email, and what you would like to see in it. Please email your feedback to:

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