We started November with the task of distributing the recently printed Red Cell News to hospitals around the Network. I’ve taken trips to Lewisham, Croydon, Guy’s, the Evelina, and Wooden Spoon House, and posted the newsletter far and wide. The newsletter is published four times a year and it can take me a couple of weeks to make my way around the Network and make sure it has reached every corner of the region – it’s great to flick through when waiting for an appointment.
For the most part November was a month of meetings, but thankfully successful and productive ones! Towards the end of the month the Network Leads met for a business meeting at Guy’s Hospital. Key points on the agenda for this meeting included:
- discussing what events we’ll be holding in 2018,
- agreeing some of the finer points of the regional MDM (for example, how many patient referrals we can discuss in one meeting),
- looking at what audits we can undertake to monitor and improve services.
For those who are interested our Network Leads are volunteers who represent a particular area of the Network. For example, we have an audit and governance lead, a research lead, a psychology lead, and several leads representing the adult and paediatric services across the Network.
This month we also held an Education and Peer Support Meeting on the theme of stroke. We welcomed a total of 58 professionals from across the Network and Greater London to this meeting, from consultants to nurses to psychologists to students to specialist registrars and everything in between. The meeting was a great success and we had a range of speakers covering the prevention and management of stroke in sickle cell patients.
Our Guidelines Group also met this month to work on our Network-wide guidelines and patient information leaflets. One guideline has been sent to the Network for comments and will be published online as soon as it is finalised. The Group has been developing guidelines for managing strokes and these were discussed at the Education and Peer Support Meeting – we’re collating the feedback from the meeting now for the next draft.
Elsewhere in the Network, Giselle, Transition CNS at King’s College Hospital, created a poster about the transition service that was displayed at the Queen’s Nursing Institute Transition of Care Conference. Giselle’s contribution was awarded third prize in the poster competition.
Things in the wider sickle cell community have also been busy this month: Dr Kofi Ani, a leading clinical psychologist for SCD (and probably one of the first!), was awarded an MBE, and an evaluation of the National Screening Programme was published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. You can read the article here. The Network’s own Dr Moira Dick contributed greatly to the programme and the evaluation of it.
And that’s everything for November! December is a month for planning and preparation (and celebration, naturally), so I’ll be sharing another Month in Review in the New Year. It will include plenty of dates for diaries.