A look back at 2016

Friday, 30 December 2016

This year we continued to deliver exceptional health care for our community.

We have saved lives, relieved pain, anxiety and despair, brought new lives into the world, comforted relatives, shared good and bad news, restored hope, and enabled people to find a better way of living the life they have. We have found better ways of delivering treatment or care, learnt from mistakes, and stretched ourselves to do more.

At the end of 2016, there is much for us to celebrate. Take a look at some of our highlights from the year:


People who donated their organs after their death were commemorated in an art installation at Southmead Hospital. The three-dimensional embroidery recognises the life-changing impact of having an organ transplant as well as the loss experienced by the families of organ donors. The artwork features a cherry tree made up from quotes from the families of patients who have become organ donors as well as the recipients of organ donations. The work, entitled ‘A few words’, was funded by Southmead Hospital Charity and managed by our Fresh Arts Programme.

The first Southmead Hospital housekeepers completed apprenticeships in healthcare support services. Housekeepers are familiar faces on the wards at the hospital, supporting healthcare staff, monitoring stock, helping with patient nutrition, meals and ensuring they are hydrated. Now more than 50 of the hospital’s ward housekeepers have developed their skills by undertaking apprenticeships - we were the first to offer this to housekeeping staff.


Staff at Southmead Hospital helped launch a new Skills for Health and National Skills Academy for Health campaign to highlight the vital role support workers play within the UK’s health sector and to say 'thank you' to unsung healthcare heroes.

#OurHealthHeroes celebrated the 798,600 people across the UK health sector who work as healthcare assistants, assistant practitioners, porters, cleaners, caterers, maintenance staff and administrative staff, by encouraging people who have benefitted from their support to share their stories and thanks.

A short film featuring healthcare support workers from Southmead was released as part of the campaign to illustrate the impact and value the support workforce has on the delivery of individual patient care.


HRH the Princess Royal visited Cossham Birth Centre and saw first-hand the state of the art facilities that include four en-suite rooms, water pools in every birthing room, communal facilities for partners, as well as aids to labour that include TENS and aromatherapy treatments. HRH also met maternity staff and mothers who shared their stories and experiences with her.


Our skin cancer team grabbed national headlines for their advice sessions targeted at tattoo artists - the first of their kind to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms. Specialist Skin Cancer Consultant Jonathon Pleat and Macmillan Skin Cancer Specialist Nurse, Jaye Kissane, organised an event to educate tattoo artists about Melanoma Skin Cancer. As tattoo artists spend time looking at people’s skin the team believes they may be able to spot moles or growths on their customers that could be potential Melanomas.

We relaunched our Carers Support Scheme with added benefits for carers supporting inpatients in Southmead Hospital. Unpaid carers can apply for free parking for the time they are staying with their loved one in hospital. They can also apply for an access card that will enable them to get onto the ward and use the staff restaurant.


ITV’s What Would Be Your Miracle? with Emma Willis followed the story of Mac Macgregor as he had deep brain stimulation at Southmead Hospital. Mac, a 68-year-old retired Marine, was trapped in a body which shook uncontrollably for three years. The programme followed his surgery and recovery – and highlighted how it changed Mac’s life.  

The commitment of our nurses was celebrated in the annual Nursing Director AwardsDirector of Nursing and Quality Sue Jones handed out awards to staff in eight categories during the event, supported by Southmead Hospital Charity, which was held to mark International Nurses Day 2016. Staff across the Trust nominated their colleagues and peers for their efforts in areas including training, research and innovation and patient experience.



A new photographic tour of the Brunel building at Southmead Hospital was launched, and patients can now take a look inside before attending their appointment. The tour provides clear photographic images,  taking users through the main front doors and along the full length of the building, clearly showing key areas such as the reception desk, patient check-in points, pharmacy, toilets and cafes. 

The interactive tour of the main hospital building was funded by Southmead Hospital Charity to enhance the experience of patients attending the hospital.

A look back at North Bristol NHS Trust's 2016


The first patients were recruited to the 100,000 Genomes Project through the West of England Genomics Medicine Centre. We are a key partner in the project and samples taken from patients are processed in the labs at Southmead Hospital.


Staff set themselves a challenge to train 600 members of clinical staff over the course of 60 days, in spotting and responding to the signs of sepsis. The 6 for Sepsis campaign saw clinical staff, including healthcare assistants, registered nurses, junior doctors and consultants, receiving training based on the latest NICE guidelines as part of our commitment to patient safety. The target was smashed well in advance of the deadline!

Emergency staff from the Major Trauma Centre at Southmead Hospital feature in BBC documentary An Hour To Save Your LifeThe programme focused on the work of clinicians in the first hour of emergency care and followed the treatment of patients from the point of the initial 999 call.

We signed the Royal College of Midwives’ Caring for You charter to show our commitment to staff wellbeing. The Caring for You campaign was launched by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) to promote health, safety and wellbeing at work, which helps midwives are to provide high quality maternity care for women and their families.


Southmead Hospital received UNICEF UK Baby Friendly status for the 11th year. The initiative recognises the efforts of maternity staff in supporting mothers with feeding their new baby. All maternity staff at Southmead Hospital are trained in the Baby Friendly standards and receive ongoing training to help them support mothers.

An exhibition was unveiled inside the Brunel building at Southmead Hospital featuring men and women who have undergone treatment for breast cancer. The photos feature some of the people whose stories were compiled for a book to mark 25 years of the dedicated breast care service at the hospital and the support it receives from local charity BUST. The exhibition featured the photographs and words of 10 men and women featured in the charity’s commemorative fundraising anniversary book ‘25 Years, 25 Stories’. 

We were involved in the UK’s largest study into the treatment of prostate cancer which was published. Bristol Urological Institute jointly led the 10-year ProtecT trial.


Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt highlighted the “outstanding care” provided by Southmead Hospital’s maternity unit and outlined plans to roll out our successful PROMPT (PRactical Obstetric Multi-Professional Training) scheme to Trusts across England. 

In a major speech, the Health Secretary, who visited Southmead Hospital in July, unveiled measures designed to further improve maternity safety in the NHS, which includes £8 million for hospitals to roll out multi-disciplinary training packages, such as PROMPT.


Patients at Southmead Hospital got to know a member of the care team that stands apart from the rest – a four-legged caregiver. Flash the therapy dog, a 4 year old whippet, was the first therapy dog to work at Southmead. Flash now visits Elgar House, which cares for patients who need further support before leaving hospital, every week bringing a smile to both patients and staff.


We hosted our annual Exceptional Healthcare Awards. The awards, supported by Southmead Hospital Charity, celebrated the efforts and achievements of some of our outstanding members of staff and volunteers.

Our Emergency Department featured on the One Show, encouraging people to return their crutches after they have finished with them. Emergency Department Matron, Juliette Hughes, explained that it is important to return crutches so that they can be re-used, reducing the cost to the NHS of providing new ones.

Our Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME Service celebrated the success of an innovative pilot that has seen employment support integrated into clinics to help people get back to work. The project has seen 72% of participants achieve their work goals.


The first patients underwent  a procedure to trial a living stem cell bandage at Southmead Hospital. A ‘living bandage’ made from stem cells, which could revolutionise the treatment and prognosis of a common sporting knee injury, was trialled in humans for the first time by scientists at the Universities of Liverpool and Bristol.

The Milk Bank at Southmead Hospital celebrated its fifth anniversarySince its launch in 2011 more than 700 litres of breast milk have been donated by 312 donors. The donor milk bank was set up to provide safe, screened donor breast milk for babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) around the South West and is the only one in the region.

You can read more on these stories by visiting our Latest News section.