The Isle of Wight’s Lord Lieutenant, Major General Martin White CB CBE JP, visited St. Mary’s Hospital, Newport on Friday 15th October 2010.
Major General White was met and escorted round the hospital by the Primary Care Trust Board Chairman, Danny Fisher MBE, DL and Chief Operating Officer, Karen Baker.
The tour included a briefing on Organ Donation and signing of the Organ Donation Register, a visit to the Island’s Ambulance Control Room and Communications Centre, a tour of the Pathology Department, a visit to and formal opening of the Fracture Clinic and an informal meeting with the Island’s Award Winning Cleaning and Caretaking Team
Speaking after the visit Danny Fisher said: “We were able to introduce the Lord Lieutenant to a number of people who work in important areas of the NHS on the Island – from the background support services to front line staff. All play an important role in ensuring that Islanders receive the very best of care in safety and relative comfort.”
In the Education Centre on the St. Mary’s site the Lord Lieutenant met members of the Island’s Organ Donation Committee including Consultant Anaesthetist and Clinical Lead for Organ Donation at St. Mary’s, Dr Oliver Cramer and Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation, Helen McManus. Major General White signed the Organ Donation Register and helped launch a campaign to encourage Islanders to sign up.
The Lord Lieutenant then visited the Island’s Ambulance Control and Communications Centre. Chris Smith, Head of the Island’s Ambulance Service and Lee Haward, Control Support Officer explained the role of the centre and the Lord Lieutenant talked with staff. The centre receives 30,000 999 calls per year. In December 2010 it is expected that work lasting four months will start on a new control centre for the NHS on the Island which will encompass many of the ‘out of hours’ health services which support Islanders in an emergency. The centre will be located on the first floor of a new building completed on the St. Mary’s Hospital site in March 2010.
Crossing into the Main Hospital the Lord Lieutenant was met by Pathology Services Manager Liz Thorne and shown around the Pathology Department. On the Island over a 100 people work in pathology and just under one million tests are performed each year. Major General White toured the Chemical Pathology (Biochemistry), Haematology & Blood Transfusion, Cellular Pathology, and Medical Microbiology/Virology where he met Pathologists, Clinical Scientists, Biomedical Scientists, Medical Laboratory Assistants and Phlebotomists.
The Lord Lieutenant then made his way to the new Fracture Clinic where he met staff and patients including 6 year old Mia-Ray Penn Price with her mother Sara-lee Penn. Mia-Ray was attending the fracture Clinic to have her right forearm plastered. Sister Kathryn Taylor explained how children are given the opportunity to choose the colour of their plaster. The Lord Lieutenant then formally opened the Fracture Clinic by cutting a ribbon.
Finally Major General White was introduced to the Award Winning Cleaning and Caretaking Team who were on a well earned morning break. On 6th October the Cleaning and Caretaking Team were the overall winners in the eight main categories in the NHS Isle of Wight Awards. The Awards which are voted on by the audience on the evening saw over 60 entries across the eight categories. The Cleaning and Caretaking Team won £500 in the Supporting Excellence in Healthcare category sponsored by Allocate Software and a further £500 and the Chairman’s Diamond Award in a vote between the winners of the eight categories. Major General White congratulated all the Cleaning and Caretaking staff on their award and for the cleanliness of the hospital. Further information about the Awards can be found by following the link from the front page of the NHS Isle of Wight website at www.iow.nhs.uk.
Commenting on the visit Chief Operating Officer Karen Baker said: “We constantly strive to improve services and meet the needs of Islanders. These are challenging times for the health service as we cope with rising demand for our services and reorganise services in line with the Government’s recent White Paper. Visits like this enable us to recognise the important role played by all health service staff in looking after the health and wellbeing of Islanders and visitors.”
Members of the public who want to see Pathology Department for themselves can do so on Saturday 30th October 2010 between 10:00 am and 4:00p.m. when both the Pathology Department and Mortuary Facility at St. Mary’s Hospital in Newport will be open to any member of the public who is interested in finding out more about the tests undertaken to diagnose disease and the Mortuary facilities provided at St. Mary’s. Tours will be run on a regular basis between these times with the start point in the Pathology Department (blood tests). We regret that children aged under 14 cannot be accommodated and those aged between 14 and 18 must be accompanied by an adult.