On Monday, coinciding with World Cancer Day, our new linear accelerator (linac) was used to treat patients for the first time. Since the linac arrived on site in October last year, a huge amount of work has been put in by our radiotherapy department and medical physics teams to ensure the state-of-the-art equipment was installed on time and our cancer patients were able to start benefitting from the latest technology as quickly as possible. This is the first step in our programme to replace all four of our linacs with the next replacement due in March. Thank you to all the teams involved in securing these developments for our patients.
Earlier in the week, we opened the first part of our Frailty Assessment Unit (FAU), which is based towards the rear of our Emergency Department (ED). The FAU supports our frail, older patients by aiming to prevent admissions to hospital, where possible, for suitable patients. The care provided in the unit is supported by the entire multidisciplinary team, including our community and social care teams. Although the first bays have been opened this week, the unit will not be open to full capacity until early March, once the redevelopment work has concluded.
Many of you will have heard, or will have read about the efforts of Lee Campbell, one of the Sisters in our ED, who has been leading the fundraising appeal for the Butterfly Suite; a dedicated area within the department for those families who suffer loss, often suddenly and under traumatic circumstances. Although not formally opened yet, the work in the Suite has been completed. Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far. Lee and her team had a vision to create a space which would allow those who need it, the time, space and dignity to say goodbye to a loved one. We are indebted to Lee and her team for their dedication and for making their idea a reality.
We recently announced that Allocate will be providing a new e-rostering system which will be deployed across the Trust. Earlier this week the roll out began with G4 becoming our first ward to begin using the system. Over the next six weeks the roll out will continue on our Older Persons wards within the Medicine and Urgent Care Division. Throughout March and April, demonstrations of the new system will be available for those teams involved and details will be shared with teams closer to the time. This is a really positive development as it will make rostering much quicker and more efficient and I look forward to hearing feedback on how the roll out progresses.
Throughout the week, teams right across the Trust have worked tirelessly to respond to an additional number of patients who require our care. I know this has proved challenging at times, but I am enormously grateful for the manner in which staff from across the Trust, have responded. We are working closely with our local GPs, our Community and Local Authority teams, to coordinate our efforts in response to the pressures.
Many of you will be aware of the positive reputation we have due to the volume of research studies we undertake and the number of patients we recruit to them each year. Our research team run a variety of studies throughout the year and supporting them is one way we can all help to make a positive impact on the future of treatments and care provided to our patients. The team are currently running a new research study exploring whether Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can be diagnosed from healthy lungs. So far over 100 people have put themselves forward but more volunteers are needed. The EXHALE 1V study is looking for healthy people, over 40 with a minimal smoking history, or people with COPD to take part. If you or anyone you know is willing to help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call extension 4108.
Thank you, as ever, for all that you do.