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Membership newsletter – December 2016

Alder Hey in the ParkThank you for reading our December 2016 newsletter.

Here you can read all the stories featured in your email.

Ward chefs

A healthy and balanced diet plays a key role in children’s treatment. However, certain treatments can have a negative impact upon patients’ appetite, meaning that they might not want to eat at pre-defined meal times. As such, Alder Hey has come up with an innovative solution: to implement a ‘food-on-demand’ service with dedicated ward chefs that provide children with the food they want, following their dietary needs, whenever they want, and so ensuring that food contributes towards a patient’s recovery.

Patients are offered a wide range of fresh meals, cooked with local sourced products whenever possible, giving children the experience of being in a restaurant . “There are no time limits on orders”, Marie Mohan Oncology’s very own ward based chef says. “If someone wants breakfast at 2pm that’s fine by me!”

Chef Dave is enjoying the role working with patients and staff on Ward 1C and critical care areas. Dave explains: “I make a point of saying hello to the children and young people when they’re settled on the ward so I can find out in advance if they have particular dietary needs or other specific eating requirements.

The kitchen is well equipped for us to provide great meals using many fresh ingredients. Waste is also reduced as I can plan what portions are needed for each patient and they’ve chosen what they want to eat. If a child is on the ward for a while, you get to know what their favourite foods are and we’re able to add little touches that can enhance their overall dining experience.”

Along with supporting patients in their recovery, our ward chefs also help our parents and carers’ time at Alder Hey be the best it could possibly be, under what are understandably difficult circumstances.

Katie and Andrew were surprised by a celebration of their ‘non-wedding day’ in August.
On the day that the couple were due to get married, their daughter Lilly, a cardiac patient here at Alder Hey, was too poorly to attend and therefore the wedding was cancelled. Thus the amazing nurses and chefs decided to bring their wedding meal to them instead and the ward chef cooked them a yummy three course treat.

No-smoking campaign

Show you care, don’t smoke in our air!

Since October, visitors to Alder Hey are now greeted by a friendly welcome and a simple request – don’t smoke in our air!

Despite smoking being the single most damaging cause of ill health in the UK, we do see instances of smoking on the Alder Hey in the Park site.

Complaints about smoking from patients, visitors and staff alike have shown that this is an important issue that the Trust needs to address.

To help combat smoking on site a suite of new anti-smoking signage has been developed for installation at each of the main entrances to the hospital.

The signs are eye-catching and child friendly, but with a simple and clear message – no smoking!

The design incorporates new animal figures provided by artist Lucy Casson, joining the family of friendly characters already signposting visitors around the hospital and decorating patient bedrooms.

The signs will be installed on the revolving doors at both East Prescot Road and Eaton Road entrances, the Emergency Department door and the internal doors into the atrium from the car park.

Smoking on NHS premises is a difficult issue for every hospital. The new signs represent just one part of a wider investigation into smoking on hospital grounds, including exploring other installation options and working with third party anti-smoking organisations.


Collaboration and creative thinking injects new life into annual Flu vaccine campaign
Alongside other NHS trusts across the country, Alder Hey runs an annual Flu vaccination campaign for staff throughout the autumn and winter. The vaccine is a vital part of how we can all protect our patients from the virus. Year on year we have achieved an impressive target of at least 75% of frontline staff having their vaccination and this Flu season should be no different.

Expertly led by the Infection Prevention and Control Team, this year’s campaign is aiming to engage staff by injecting a little humour into the mix.

Playing on the fact that staff are asked to take the vaccination every year, the campaign creative features light hearted jokes including “let’s just get straight to the point” and “psssst! It’s flu season, don’t pass it on!”.

What is new this year is how trusts from across Merseyside have banded together to fund and implement the campaign. By using similar resources in different hospitals, NHS staff across the region will definitely hear the message and get their jab.

By basing the social media aspect of the campaign around the hashtag #JabDone it is hoped that a healthy dose of competition – between staff at Alder Hey, as well as between different hospitals – will drive up numbers and help spread immunisation as far as possible.

Council of Governors 26th September 2016 Election Results

In July 2016 the Trust issued election notifications for the following vacancies:


Patient: Merseyside X 2
Patient: Parent/Carer X 2
Public: Merseyside X 2
Public Rest of England X 1
Public: Cumbria & Lancashire X 1
Staff: Other clinical X 1
Staff: Other staff & Trust volunteers X 1
Staff: Nurses X 1

Following a successful election process which concluded on Friday 23rd September, we would like to welcome the following Governors to the Council:

Elected unopposed:
Staff Nurses: Adrian Williams

Elected via a public vote:

Staff: Other Staff and Trust Volunteers: Tony Hanmer (re-elected)
Patient Merseyside: Niamh Rose McCann
Patient Merseyside: Alice Matthews
Patient: Parent Carers: Dot Brannigan (re-elected)
Patient: Parent Carers: Georgina Tang
Public – Merseyside: Hilary Peel
Public – Merseyside: Mark Peers (re-elected)
Public – Rest of England: Rabia Aftab

Continued Vacancies:

Public: Cumbria and Lancashire
Staff: Other Clinical Staff

We would like to congratulate the above on their election/re-election. We look forward to working with you. We would also like to thank our outgoing Governors, Belinda and Norma, for the outstanding support that they have given to the Trust during their time as Governors. We wish you all the best in the future.

Research at Alder Hey

Alder Hey is a key player in children’s health research, with many research studies currently taking place across the Trust. Some are searching for possible cures for rare conditions. Others are looking for ways to control more commonly known conditions such as Asthma, which affects on average three in every classroom in the UK.

Many people underestimate how serious and life-limiting the condition can be, especially for those who live with severe asthma.

Ten year old Alfie has lived with severe Asthma since birth and has recently begun a research study at Alder Hey to look at ways to help the condition. There are many triggers that set off his asthma, including all pets, grass being cut and his chest is often tight at night.

It’s often hard for Alfie to exercise and socialise the same as his friends and he often enjoys spending time indoors as a result. Luckily Alfie loves to read, especially fact books and learning about dinosaurs.

Mum Sallyanne explains: “When the research team at Alder Hey approached us to participate in a research study, we jumped at the chance as asthma studies are quite rare.

Alfie’s asthma stops him from visiting friends and family so as a family we’re hoping the research study could help find a solution to get my son involved and living more.”

Alfie said: “I’m really hoping it helps me, but if it doesn’t it might help other kids.”

If you’re interested in research at Alder Hey you can find out more on the hospital website  or discover how Alder Hey Children’s Charity is supporting vital research projects.

Kidzania London

KidZania London visited Alder Hey recently as part of their close partnership with the Trust. The popular children’s attraction in London features an Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where children can take part in fun and educational role play activities as a paramedic, surgeon or midwife!

Urbano (pictured) presented the children with a selection of music equipment, which was kindly donated by world leading digital music manufacturer, Roland.

The musical instruments have been donated in support of Alder Hey’s continued dedication through its arts programme to involve music therapy as a form of distraction while children are in hospital.
A memorable afternoon was had by all as patients created music on their new state-of-the art equipment and watched on in delight as Urbano joined in with all the fun.

Vicky Charnock, Arts Co-ordinator said: “We are so grateful to Roland and KidZania London for their incredibly generous donation. Our patients will have so much fun using them as part of our fabulous art programme. Music is such an important part of what we do and there are proven health benefits for taking part in music making. This donation will help us bring music to more of our patients.”

Dr Ger Graus OBE, Director of Education added: We feel so lucky to able to be in a position to enjoy such a wonderful partnership with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. Education is at the heart of everything we do at KidZania London, so we are thrilled that we are able to offer children staying at Alder Hey the chance to enjoy learning and creating music, just like any other child would have the opportunity to at school.

We are so proud to be partnered with both Alder Hey and Roland and there is nothing like beating the drum for something so positive.”

Our Annual Members’ Meeting: Driving healthcare through innovation

Alder Hey’s Innovation Hub hosted the Trust’s Annual Members Meeting, with those attending given a warm welcome by the Trust Chair, Sir David Henshaw (pictured). Louise Shepard, Chief Executive, and Kate Jackson, Lead Governor, then reported back on 2016, a historic year for Alder Hey: completing a successful move to the brand new hospital, which was officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen.

Mr Rafael Guerrero, Consultant Congenital Cardiac Surgeon, was the evening’s guest speaker and delivered an engrossing presentation titled ‘To be the best or to be the best…there is no question’, in which Rafael talked about Alder Hey’s mission to be a world leader in paediatric care and research.

As evidence of the innovation and research activities conducted on site, members present at the meeting were able to use the virtual reality equipment, exploring a 3D human heart, as surgeons in the future will do!

Dr Richard Appleton honoured

Alder Hey Consultant Dr Richard Appleton has been awarded the Lord Hastings award by national charity Epilepsy Action.

Dr Appleton has been recognised with this prestigious national award after dedicating his career to treating children with Epilepsy. The award recognises Dr Appleton’s outstanding personal contribution to the improvement of the quality of life of children with Epilepsy and their families. Dr. Appleton was presented with his award by former patient Carl Foster, 28. Carl, from Wigan, now works for Epilepsy Action.

Carl was under the care of Dr. Appleton from the age of 14, when his seizures started. At its worst, Carl’s epilepsy was causing him to have about 10 absence seizures a week.

Dr. Appleton guided him through his life with seizures, making several changes to Carl’s medication. One of these changes was instrumental to Carl’s life, stopping Carl’s seizures seemingly overnight when he was 16, just months before he sat his GCSEs. Carl went on to gain a degree from the University of Leeds before starting to work for Epilepsy Action as a fundraising events officer.

Dr. Appleton’s work at Alder Hey has made a huge impact on the lives of children with Epilepsy. He helped to establish the first full-time nurse specialist post in paediatric Epilepsy within the UK, initially funded by the Roald Dahl Foundation. He also established the first transitional Epilepsy clinic in the UK, managing teenage patients’ transition from child to adult services. In 2004, Dr. Appleton was instrumental in establishing the Paediatric Neurosciences Foundation at Alder Hey, another first in the UK.

The Lord Hastings Award was set up in 1990 to recognise outstanding personal contributions to people with Epilepsy. Since it was created by Epilepsy Action, it has only been awarded to eleven people.

Phillip Lee, Chief Executive of Epilepsy Action, said: “Richard Appleton’s contribution to improving the lives of children and young people with Epilepsy is immense and ranges across so many touch points – from clinical practice to research to education to service development and so on. He is a most deserving recipient of the 2016 Lord Hastings Award.”

Presenting the award, Carl Foster said: “Dr. Appleton was a brilliant support to me and my family when my Epilepsy was really bad. It always felt like he cared and paid attention. His knowledge about Epilepsy and how it can be treated was amazing. When my seizures were really bad, I was missing a lot of school and the side-effects of some of the medications meant I was quite spaced out. Dr. Appleton’s great tenacity and knowledge meant that it wasn’t too long before we found the combination of Epilepsy medicines that work for me.

Gill Foster, Carl’s mum, said: “Dr Appleton always went the extra mile and having him as Carl’s doctor made the whole process a lot easier to manage. You can tell that he really cares about his patients and he was always very approachable whenever we had any questions. I’m so pleased Dr Appleton is being recognised for all his great work and I would like to thank him personally for making such a huge difference to Carl’s life.”

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