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Phenomenal phlebotomy at St Helier’s brand new blood test unit

Patients who need a blood test at St Helier Hospital will now be seen in a light, bright, and welcoming Phlebotomy Department thanks to a £500,000 relocation and refurbishment.

With up to 450 people coming to the department for a blood test every day, it’s vital that the unit can cater for hundreds of people in a safe and social distanced way, and that our expert phlebotomists (the people who perform the blood test) have a modern space to work in.

Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles helped to declare the new unit officially open recently at a small ribbon cutting ceremony. He said: “Blood tests are part and parcel of modern health care – they are routine for many of our patients and because of that, their importance might sometimes be taken for granted, but the fact is that blood tests build the foundation of our patients’ care. They can evaluate how well essential organs are working, can help our staff to quickly diagnose certain diseases and conditions such as cancer, HIV, diabetes and anaemia, and can be used to determine whether a patient has risk factors for heart disease. It’s right that this vital service has an environment worthy of seeing up to 450 patients a day, and so I am delighted to see the new unit open and serving patients.”

Helen Johnstone, Interim Clinical Director for Pathology, Clinical Services and Therapies, said: “The team and I are delighted about the move. The new department has given us a much needed refresh and upgrade from our old facilities. It’s much bigger than our previous facility, with an extra testing bay (taking us to a total of seven), a large reception and waiting area and a staff room that the team are really pleased with! It also has some modern touches, such as air cooling to help keep our patients and staff comfortable.

“We have had great feedback from the patients we have seen so far. Visitors have praised the new look of the department and have been comforted by the fact they are visiting a state-of-the-art facility. The booking process has also been streamlined with the introduction of Swiftqueue, an online system that patients can use to book a blood test – even on the same day – and avoid any waiting when they arrive at the department. Patients have found Swiftqueue easy to use and it has greatly decreased waiting times in comparison to walk-in clinics. The technology has also helped management of the department, as we can plan for the day a lot more effectively now we can visualise how many patients we will be seeing and can organise the required staffing to accommodate this.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in making this happen – from our brilliant Estates Team to our dedicated phlebotomists who stayed after hours on the evening of the move to ensure it was a success. With such an amazing team, the future for St Helier’s Phlebotomy Department is bright.”

If you need health care, whether as an emergency in A&E or are due to have a planned appointment with us, please do not delay accessing our services. Epsom and St Helier is here to help you. To find out more about our Phlebotomy Department, please visit the page on our website (www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk/blood-tests) or to book a blood test, please visit the Swiftqueue website (swiftqueue.co.uk/esh.php).

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Sutton South Hello community group’s “art projects by post” developed to sustain wellbeing

The Sutton South  Hello project has been working tirelessly during the Covid pandemic to ensure the community can sustain its wellbeing. One such project was organised with  local artist Adrienne Roberts who gave her services free of charge  during Lockdown to provide members with projects by post.
Such was the success of these projects that the Sutton Heritage department  invited Hello to exhibit at Honeywood  with other local artists and has now moved the Hello art to Whitehall, in Cheam, with a video of these activities.
To view the video click on the link  https://fb.watch/1mSF5y51jj/
Many have said that these activities have ” kept me sane”, said Heather Honour Chair of Sutton South Hello. “We are now seeking funding so that we can continue these projects over the next five months”.
 
Sutton South Hello was set up eight years ago by local councillors, resident groups and voluntary organisations to address isolation and loneliness in an area of the borough where there is a high proportion of older people living alone.
 
In ” normal” times it meets  on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons in Christ Church Hall SM2 5TN, with board games and other sociable activities on Wednesdays and arts and crafts on Thursdays.  These activities are now continuing in the church building itself, with members joining support groups permitted under Government guidelines. 
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Sutton South Hello group “art project by post” supports the community’s wellbeing

The Sutton South  Hello project has been working tirelessly during the Covid pandemic to ensure the community can sustain its wellbeing. One such project was organised with  local artist Adrienne Roberts who gave her services free of charge  during Lockdown to provide members with projects by post.
Such was the success of these projects that the Sutton Heritage department  invited Hello to exhibit at Honeywood  with other local artists and has now moved the Hello art to Whitehall, in Cheam, with a video of these activities.
To view the video click on the link  https://fb.watch/1mSF5y51jj/
Many have said that these activities have ” kept me sane”, said Heather Honour Chair of Sutton South Hello. “We are now seeking funding so that we can continue these projects over the next five months”.
 
Sutton South Hello was set up eight years ago by local councillors, resident groups and voluntary organisations to address isolation and loneliness in an area of the borough where there is a high proportion of older people living alone.
 
In ” normal” times it meets  on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons in Christ Church Hall SM2 5TN, with board games and other sociable activities on Wednesdays and arts and crafts on Thursdays.  These activities are now continuing in the church building itself, with members joining support groups permitted under Government guidelines. 
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Detectives release images of suspected stolen paintings and a ring – do you own them?

Three paintings and a high value ring are in the care of detectives who believe they were stolen from a home or vehicle in London, specifically within the south west area.

The items were recovered on 15 October after a man, aged 37, was subject to a stop and search in Battersea, SW11.

He was later released under investigation.

The paintings are dated and signed by an artist based in London who died a number of years ago, while the ring, a platinum band, is believed to be set with diamonds.

There is also a name on the back of one of the paintings which the team investigating may be able to use to corroborate who the rightful owners are, should anyone come forward to claim them.

Trainee Detective Constable Ben White, investigating, said: “These items are distinctive and we really want to reunite them with their rightful owners.

“They are clearly portraits of loved ones commissioned by a family, and if you know who they belong to, please contact us without delay – we are keeping them safe.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via 101, quoting CAD582/15Oct or Crimestoppers, 100 per cent anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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Beddington Farmlands habitat creation continues this autumn

Viridor’s restoration of the 120-hectare Beddington Farmlands in South London is continuing with the creation of the first phase of the wet grassland habitat, including the start of a seeding programme that has seen over 150kg of seed spread across this first phase ahead of further habitat management.

In the past decades the Farmlands, located in the London Borough of Sutton, has supported the safe disposal of the non-recyclable waste of one million Londoners. The landfill site has now closed. Viridor is restoring the Farmlands and creating a network of high-quality wildlife habitats and public access.

One of the key habitats to be created at the Beddington Farmlands is wet grassland, this replicates formerly common habitat found on river floodplains. Across the UK many wet grasslands were drained for agricultural purposes, such that over 90% have been lost. With the first phase of wet grassland now completed, seeded and managed, the site team’s attention will now turn to the second and third phases which may be created by the end of the year.

Marcus Kohler, director of MKA Ecology shared a perspective on the project: “The creation of wet grassland is a key restoration goal at Beddington that will create breeding habitat for target species, notably lapwing, a species on the red list of conservation concern. Lapwing have historically bred at Beddington on the sludge beds, created through the traditional management process of sewage management. Now that this process no longer takes place, the creation of the equivalent of 15 football pitches of wet grassland is fundamental to the sustainability of this unique urban population. With good management, it will also become a significant resource for migrating waders, and other target species such as Little ringed plover.”

Adrian Frost, Head of Project Delivery for Viridor, said: “We are pleased to deliver the first phase of the wet grassland at Beddington, we know that operations across the Beddington Farmlands is changing with the cessation of sewage sludge being spread across the site. To support the lapwing population at Beddington, we are continuing to manage the sludge drying beds to ensure that the lapwing continue to find suitable habitats onsite as the new wet grasslands establish. The community can also follow this journey with our restoration roadmap now updated for 2020 and will be installed in the bird hides accessible from the permissive footpath.  Viridor is also working with the newly appointed Farmlands warden and members of the Conservation and Access Management Committee to develop the first in a series of interpretation boards to be installed in the bird hides for members of the community to engage with the establishing wet grasslands.”

Steve Thomas, long-time member of the Beddington Farm Bird Group added: “Wet grassland habitat is one of the most rapidly declining habitats in Britain, so this is an important area of conservation work. At Beddington Farmlands, the newly created habitat may just be mud and water now, but as it develops it will form low vegetation with wet areas and become a very suitable stopover point for migratory wading birds, some of which will be undertaking huge journeys from the very North of Europe to the West of Africa. As a breeding species, lapwing in the UK is of great conservation concern, at the Beddington Farmlands they have previously bred on the north of the site, due to changing industrial uses of the site, historic sludge spreading has now stopped, these beds are now drying out and are unsuitable for breeding lapwing. Hence the importance of the new wet grassland area.”

Cllr Tim Foster, Independent councillor for Beddington North and Chair of the Conservation and Access Management Committee said: “I recently visited the site as the chair of the Conservation and Access Management Committee for the Beddington Farmlands, the site is still a working area but Viridor is turning former waste land into a nature reserve. This summer wet grassland habitat has been created to the north of the site with channels and islands with some of the birds already enjoying it. The Conservation and Access Management Committee is a partnership between Thames Water, Viridor, the London Borough of Sutton and most importantly the community – representatives form Hackbridge and Beddington. That is what this whole project is about, the community and restoring the Farmlands for their use.”