MWI opens community conversation about improving services

Tuesday 9 January 2018: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today invites people to a community conversation event focusing on improving addiction, learning disability and mental health (child, adolescent and adult) services at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI). The event will take place on Thursday 18 January 2018 at Pier Six. Light refreshments will be provided, with doors opening at 5pm and the event starting at 5:30pm.

Hosted by MWI staff, the event will bring people into conversations about a number of service improvements, some of which come from ideas raised in BHB’s community engagement event last February. Anyone who is interested in improving MWI services is warmly invited to participate, whether a provider of services, a user of services, a family member or a concerned community member.

Projects to be discussed include: a strategy to reduce stigma; establishing a ‘club house’ in Hamilton; supervised community homes for mental health service users; teen life skills programmes in Bermuda; expanding assertive outreach services to schools; learning disability engagement opportunities; and an outreach and education programme for addiction services.

MWI Allied Health Supervisor Morrisa Rogers, who chairs the MWI Engagement Committee organising the event, comments: “We hope there will be a wide variety of perspectives – this is the unique value of this type of community conversation. We have gathered ideas for improvements from community and staff, but to fully appreciate the scope of a project and ensure it reaches its full potential we need service users and providers, concerned residents and families talking with and listening to each other at the very start of a project.”

BHB Chief Operating Officer R Scott Pearman comments: “This event will delve deeper into the purpose and potential of specific projects across all MWI services, making service improvement a truly collaborative effort. We will share what has been achieved since February’s BHB event, but the majority of our time will be listening to people who may not always be at the table, or may not always be talking together, to influence service improvements.”

BHB Chief Executive Officer Venetta Symonds comments: “In February we asked the community generally how can we get it right and nearly 100 people came, raising conversations that were important to them. I’m excited to see community conversations continue as I believe that opening up to community involvement in improvements gives us the best chance of making positive changes.

“If the community values this deep engagement in improving services, we will have similar events for other hospital services. My vision is that we collectively find a new way of evolving, creating change in conversation with the people we serve.”

9 January 2018 Home Page, News

First mental health nursing scholarship recipients announced

Thursday 4 January 2018: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announces the first two recipients of its mental health scholarship awards: Waleed Lightbourne and Janai Coldwell. The scholarships were newly established this year and are administered by BHB. This year, they were funded with donations from the Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Trust.

Recipients of the award must have completed the two-year Bermuda College Associate’s Degree in Nursing. The two year scholarship pays $40,000 per year to attend Northampton University so the recipient can complete their Bachelor’s Nursing Degree in Mental Health.

Chief Operating Officer R Scott Pearman comments: “I am proud to see the first two recipients of the mental health scholarship awards announced and would like to thank the BHCT for the donation that has launched them. Our mental health services need Bermudian nurses for the stability and future leadership of on-island services. The Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute will see many of their senior nursing staff retire over the next five years, so we are greatly encouraged to see the next generation start their training.”

Chief of Nursing Judy Richardson adds: “Congratulations to Mr Lightbourne and Ms Caldwell! I’m always excited to see new nurses qualify and it is especially pleasing to see two talented and committed Bermudians choose a nursing pathway in mental health. It is a highly fulfilling professional career to choose, with opportunities, if wanted, to advance through different areas and eventually move into higher levels of management. I look forward to seeing them return home after training.”

Waleed LightbourneWaleed Lightbourne: Waleed graduated from the Bermuda College with his associate’s degree in 2015. He was the first Bermudian male to graduate from the Nursing Programme. Waleed is currently working in BHB’s nurse internship programme in the Acute Care Wing of KEMH.

Janai Caldwell: Janai’s interest in psychiatric nursing was peaked during her tenure as a community support worker in the Learning Disability Department at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, a post she currently works in. She decided to go back to school to gain her RN designation and attained her associate’s degree in nursing in May 2017.

4 January 2018 Home Page, News

Bermuda Hospitals Board welcomes Christmas baby 2017

Monday 25 December 2017: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) welcomed Drue Trott as the Christmas baby at 12:25am. The daughter of Anthonea DeSilva and Rodney Trott of Devonshire,  Drue has two older brothers, one ten years old and the other five.

The couple said they did not know the sex of the baby beforehand hand so it was a complete surprise when she arrived.

“I was really hoping for a girl because we already have two boys and I felt a girl would give some balance in the family,” said Mr Trott. Ms DeSilva said she was happy to be through the six hours of labour and was quite surprised that Drue arrived on her Christmas Day due date. “It’s interesting that she was born at 12:25 on 12/25,” Ms DeSilva said.

Drue weighed 6lbs 14oz.

25 December 2017 Home Page, News

Hospital request those with respiratory infections not to visit patients

Friday 22 December 2017: Due to an increase in the number of people admitted to hospital with influenza, King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) has restricted visitors to patients on Gordon Ward. Only immediate family of patients on that ward will be allowed access.

Additionally Bermuda Hospitals Board is requesting that members of the public with respiratory and flu-like symptoms not visit patients in the hospital. These symptoms may include sneezing, coughing, body aches or fever.

Hospital patients are more vulnerable to infection from flu and respiratory viruses.

KEMH has seen an increase in recent weeks of confirmed influenza cases in patients that were admitted to the Emergency Department and those that were already inpatients.

So far there have been several confirmed influenza cases – five adults and two children were diagnosed in the Emergency Department and admitted.  In addition, six inpatients with flu-like symptoms are currently Gordon Ward.  All patients with the flu are in isolation.

How can we protect ourselves from catching influenza? Take preventive actions to stop the spread of germs. The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta recommends the following:

  • A yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Frequent hand hygiene.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
  • While there are many different flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the viruses that research suggests will be most common.
  • Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year.
  • It is most beneficial for people at high risk of serious flu complications that include: young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.
  • Vaccination also is important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to them.
  • Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for infants should be vaccinated instead.

 

If you suspect you have the flu visit your family doctor.

22 December 2017 Home Page, News

Holiday hours at Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre and King Edward VII Memorial Hospital Emergency Department

Thursday 21 December 2017: The Bermuda Hospitals Board wishes the public a happy and safe holiday weekend. If urgent medical care is required the Emergency Department at King Edward VII memorial Hospital (KEMH) is open 24 hours a day. Additionally the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre (UCC) in St David’s will be open from noon to midnight on Saturday and Sunday and from 4pm to midnight on Christmas Day – Monday 25 December and Boxing Day – Tuesday 26 December.

Please note that if your condition is serious, attendance at KEMH may still be necessary.

On New Year’s Eve, Sunday 31 December, opening hours will be from noon to midnight and 4pm to midnight on New Year’s Day Monday 1 January.

BHB also reminds the public that emergency physicians attend to patients in the order of the severity of their condition. The poster below details the expected wait times, but please note this is a general guideline.

If you need to contact the UCC call 298-7700. To contact KEMH Emergency Department call 239-2009.

21 December 2017 Home Page, News

Donate blood in honour of a loved one this Christmas: A gift only you can give

8 December 2017: Struggling to know what to get someone you love for Christmas? This year you can donate blood in their honour and give them a special Christmas card thanking them for helping save a life over the holidays. Everyone who donates blood from Monday 11 December through to the New Year will be able to write a note for the person they love in a special card when they donate then present it to them at Christmas.

“When someone’s life is precious to you, you understand how precious the gift of life may be to someone else,” says Lucy Correira, Bermuda Blood Donor Centre nurse. “Christmas is about more than money and presents. Donating blood in honour of someone you care for is a gift that has no price. You are truly giving of yourself and your time. This is a unique way of saying what someone means to you – and it only takes 30 minutes!

“People often fear donating because of needles – but it is never as painful you think, and we do all we can to make you as comfortable as possible. To be able to say to a loved one that you faced your fear for their gift, will perhaps say more about how important they are to you than anything else.”

Dr Eyityo Fakunle, Consultant Haematologist, adds: “All the blood we use is from volunteers in Bermuda and so every donation makes a difference to someone in our community. Our regular donors can give a special recognition to a special friend or family member if they are donating over this time, and we truly hope that people who may not have thought of donating before will see the opportunity for a unique and amazing gift.

“Our usual criteria for donating will still apply, so people should ask the nurses when they call the Blood Donor Centre at 236-5067 or email blood.donor@bhb.bm to make an appointment. Our criteria are also available on the website at bermudahospitals.bm. Please think of donating over Christmas and beyond – your donation may save a life, or help treat someone with cancer or sickle cell. Your gift truly makes a difference and shows you care.”

8 December 2017 Home Page, News

Bermuda Hospitals Board wins at international WOW! Awards 2017

Thursday 7 December 2017: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is pleased to announce it has been voted Workplace of the Year by the international employee recognition programme The WOW! Awards. BHB’s Child and Adolescent Services placed second in the WOW! What a Team category.

BHB was shortlisted in the two categories from more than 20,000 nominations submitted to the independent customer service awards organisation The WOW! Awards. The WOW! Awards help manage BHB’s staff recognition programme, the RISE Awards.

At the annual WOW! Awards Gala held in London last month, BHB won 2017 Workplace of the Year, beating out fellow finalists City University of London, Help to Buy South West, Imperial College London and University of Gloucestershire. According to the nomination committee, BHB won for staff programmes that “recognise their employees as one of their greatest assets and strives to keep teams enthused and engaged”, and because BHB “has shown innovative ways of communicating and recognising their certificate winners and nominees”.

“This win is not only good for BHB, it’s good for Bermuda,” said BHB CEO Venetta Symonds. “Showing the world that we value our patients and our employees breeds confidence in the way we treat each other on the island and the way we do business here.

“Our staff members have demanding, stressful jobs – our community depends on them to safeguard their health and wellbeing. It’s up to us as employers to ensure our staff are taken care of in return and given the best chance to succeed in providing exceptional care.

“On behalf of the management and staff of BHB, we are proud of this achievement and the Workplace of the Year award.”

“Being on hand when they announced the winners was an incredible experience for me,” said BHB Rewards & Recognition Manager Dean Parris. “I was so proud to be representing BHB.

“There were 65 finalists at the awards ceremony. Listening to their stories and sharing the experience with more than 400 attendees was both inspiring and humbling.”

Child and Adolescent Services (CAS) narrowly missed out on the WOW! What a Team award, coming second to the UK’s Durham Constabulary. The CAS team was nominated for two RISE Awards following their highly successful implementation of the Teen Life Skills programme.

Four members of the CAS team attended the London event. Occupational therapist Moffatt Makomo, speaking for the team, said: “The recognition our team received at the awards ceremony was truly motivating for us. We’ll continue to do our best for Bermuda’s youth.”

While in the UK, the CAS team also had the opportunity to tour Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.

Derek Williams, CEO of The WOW! Awards, said: “Bermuda Hospitals Board really impressed the judges with the focus that they have put on their employee engagement strategy.

“Allowing the employee voice to be heard throughout the organisation, creating employee wellness programmes and providing teams with new gym facilities are just some of the examples of keeping employee happiness at the heart of the organisation.

“It is truly inspiring to see such passion for employee wellbeing and a great desire to be an employer of choice. We are so proud to be working with them.”

BHB Chief Operating Officer R. Scott Pearman said: “The People Pillar is one of the four pillars of the BHB Strategic Plan 2016-2021, alongside Care, Performance and Community. Our Human Resources Department is driving a transformational agenda to improve employee engagement and satisfaction.

“Although we have not achieved compete transformation yet, it is inspiring to receive recognition, particularly international recognition, for our work to date. Being named 2017 Workplace of the Year by The WOW! Awards is an indicator we are on the right track for building employee engagement.”

The RISE Awards is BHB’s employee recognition programme. To nominate a BHB employee for providing exemplary service or to learn more about the programme, visit the BHB website at bermudahospitals.bm and search ‘RISE Awards’ or click the link at the bottom of the homepage.

7 December 2017 Home Page, News

Public Advisory: Lamb Foggo UCC closed this weekend

24 November 2017: The Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today informs the public that the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre (UCC) will be closed this weekend due to an unanticipated staffing shortage. The UCC will close at midnight tonight, Friday 24 November, and is expected to reopen at 4pm on Monday 27 November.

BHB will extend its fast track service in the Emergency Department at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital over the weekend to midnight to accommodate people who would normally have attended the UCC and others with non-emergency medical conditions. Individuals with genuine medical emergencies will be seen as usual.

This temporary UCC closure is to ensure adequate staffing to safely manage demand for all patients who require urgent or emergency care. BHB apologises for the inconvenience.

24 November 2017 News

Diabetes Respiratory Endocrine and Metabolism (DREAM) team offer free health screenings

Friday 10 November 2017:

Residents can take advantage of free health screenings as Bermuda Hospitals Board celebrates Diabetes and Chronic Lung Disease Awareness Month. The Diabetes Respiratory Endocrine and Metabolism (DREAM) Centre provide diabetes, asthma and lung disease education and awareness. The accredited team comprises Asthma & Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Nurse Educator Debbie Barboza; Diabetes Nurse Educators Jane Hope, Verna Eugene and Tammoi Jarrett and Clinical Dietitians Letitia Rabain and Jessika Quigley. All programs at the DREAM Centre are accredited and covered by insurance.

The DREAM Centre team will give free health screenings for lung function, blood sugar and blood pressure at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH), General Wing lobby on Wednesday 15 November from 11am-3pm.

“Anyone over 40 who smokes or has a history of smoking and who finds it difficult to breathe should come in and take the free lung function test.  If that is not possible contact asthma.centre@bhb.bm,” said BHB Asthma Educator Debbie Barboza. “Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a serious lung disease which over time makes it harder to breathe.”

“Bermuda has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world. It is the leading cause of blindness and heart disease on the island,” said DREAM Centre Clinical Manager Jane Hope. “These side effects can be avoided with prevention, early detection and proper management of diabetes” she added. “At the DREAM Centre we want to help people to control their sugar levels.  Good education has been shown to be as effective at lowering blood sugar levels as many diabetes medications and regular monitoring and appropriate interventions help individuals to avoid the complications of diabetes.”

BHB CEO Venetta Symonds said: “We are pleased to be able to offer these free screenings to the public. As healthcare professionals we recognise the importance of early detection and prevention in chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma and COPD. I encourage you to come in and meet our DREAM Centre professionals. They can help you on your wellness path.”

10 November 2017 Home Page, News

Bermuda Hospitals Board promotes healthy drinks options for its staff

19 October 2017: The Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is taking the lead in helping its staff attain better health by cutting all drinks with high sugar content from its staff cafeterias.

BHB’s Hotel Services Department has been phasing out its beverage offerings that contain more than 15grams of sugar per serving.

“This policy change will result in the elimination of all sodas (except diet), all fruit and all energy drinks that contain high-fructose in excess of the 15 grams per serving limit we have instituted,” said BHB Chief Operating Officer Scott Pearman. “Waters and drinks that contain less than 15g sugar will remain in stock,” he added.

Mr Pearman noted that contrary to the national trend of lower health insurance premium increases, the health insurance premiums for BHB’s employee plan rose 18 percent this year. This increase was not due to inflationary policies by Government or insurance companies.

“The increase was a direct result of actual hospital and major medical claims by our staff exceeding the claims of peer populations by 30 percent,” he said. Chronic diseases were the primary driver of these claims.

BHB’s Dietary Department revealed that the top five beverages sold in staff cafeterias at King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) from 1 April 2016 until 30 September 2017 contained a total of 3,070,778 grams of sugar.

“At BHB we have consumed 3.16 tons of sugar or an average of 3.5 pounds of sugar per staff member over the past 18 months,” said Mr Pearman. “Although our cafeterias serve members of the public as well, the sugar consumption calculation includes only our top five brands so total consumption is actually understated,” he added.

Most of the offending drinks are no longer available in the hospitals’ cafeterias. “By November first we will not have any overly sugary beverages available in our KEMH staff cafeteria or vending machines,” said BHB Director of Hotel Service Jerome Swainson. “By Christmas the same will be true at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute,” he added.

“Research shows that chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension can be significantly reduced by lifestyle choices,” said BHB Endocrinologist Dr Annabel Fountain. “Through this policy, BHB is creating an environment that supports and promotes healthier choices which will reduce the risk of developing these conditions,” she added.

“Staff are rightfully disgruntled when health insurance premiums increase substantially like they did last year, but the rise was driven by expenditures for chronic disease related to our care,” said Mr Pearman. “Removing beverages with greater than 15 grams of sugar will increase staff awareness of the dangers related to high sugar diets. It will also make it easier for us to make better choices. It’s our hope this will result in a healthier workforce and keep health insurance rates at reasonable levels,” he added.

Mr Pearman continued: “Our cafeterias are convenient and popular dining destinations for many of our 1750 staff. Most importantly we believe that eliminating unhealthy options will help us on the road to better health and wellness.”

Debbie Jones, Chairman Bermuda Diabetes Association has endorsed the move taken at BHB. She said: “The hospital is taking the first step in helping to make BHB employees healthy. By ensuring that sugary drinks contain no more than 15grams is supporting the message that people should be choosing water first. Water contains no grams of sugar. Hopefully every employer in Bermuda will follow the hospital’s lead.”

Minister of Health the Hon. Kim Wilson JP MP also threw her support behind BHB’s efforts. She said: “I have long been concerned about the high sugar content in what we consume.  The Throne Speech committed to Government leading the way in wellness by encouraging its employees to make healthy choices. BHB employees see far more clearly than the rest of us the negative health outcomes from obesity and diabetes so I’m delighted that our largest healthcare provider is leading by example. We, in Government, have promoted water only practices and policies in schools through the Healthy Schools Programme, and we are looking to re-introduce the Vending Machine Policy for Government premises, in order to improve healthy options. I urge others to choose water as the first option. A concerted effort by the whole community to reduce our population’s intake of sugar will not only make us healthier, it will also reduce the cost of healthcare premiums.”

19 October 2017 Home Page, News