About Alison Shadbolt

Positive response to new Welcoming Policy at KEMH

27 July 2017: A new Welcoming Policy programme has been introduced in the Acute Care Wing units of KEMH this month. The new programme recognises patients often need the emotional support of close friends and family as well as quality medical care as they recover.

Launched on Monday 3 July 2017, the programme gives patients control over who can see them and when. Previously, visitors were limited to general visiting hours between noon and 8pm, and visiting outside of those hours was by exception. Now patients are able to select up to two people as official ‘support people’. The designated support people can be in attendance whenever a patient requests, 24/7, or stay overnight if a patient wants them to. Furthermore, general visiting hours have been extended an hour earlier from 11am to 8pm for all other friends and family.

Norma Smith, Clinical Director of Medical and Surgical Services, headed up a ‘Patient-Centred Care’ committee comprising clinical staff, the Hospitals Auxiliary of Bermuda and Security to oversee the project. Patients were also surveyed about the new programme before it went live.

Mrs Smith comments: “This project is very near and dear to my heart. It is an important step in making people’s experience at KEMH truly patient centred. The key is that patients are in control of who sees them and when, rather than the hospital. The selected support people are people who patients think will best support them. Support people may or may not be immediate family, and patients can elect to have no additional support people and just keep their visitors to general welcoming hours.”

Patients have the support person programme explained to them on admission to an acute care ward so they can decide whether they want support people and who they will be. Their designated support people receive a temporary ID and are formally noted in the patient’s medical file, although patients can change who their support people are throughout their stay. Factsheets for patients and support people are provided.

Mrs Smith adds: “Patient support people are there for emotional support. They do not have to be the official next of kin or guardian, as the role is not decision making. Their role is to be available for the patient so patients have access to the people who can provide a calm, loving, supportive presence while they are in hospital. They are not there to direct care, but if the patient wishes, they may be present during doctor consultations.”

Just a few weeks into the project, and already the hospital is receiving positive responses from patients and their families.

One daughter of a patient wrote of the programme: “I love the flexibility and my dad was so much more at ease before his procedure. Hope more people take advantage of it.”

A patient wrote: “The new initiative of two 24/7 access visitors are a very good one and I’m sure many people will use it.”

A patient’s daughter, who lives in the US and flew in the day before her father’s surgery, stated: “It was so good to be able to come straight from the airport that evening, and stay by his bedside until he settled around midnight. He slept better that night and so did I! I am so grateful for this new programme.”

Another lady stated: “I wear my support badge with pride, and use it to take my elderly sister the paper on my way to work, just like I do when she is at home! It’s great!”

Mrs Smith concludes: “I equate this programme to the discovery of a new piece of equipment that will help patients find comfort and healing. It is heartwarming to know that during those lonely, scary or worrisome times during a hospital stay, patients can have someone of their choosing at their bedside to see them through.”

Photo by Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

27 July 2017 Home Page, News

KEMH’s Schultz to be honoured

Dr Edward Schultz

Edward Schultz, Chief of Emergency Services and Hyperbaric Medicine

From The Royal Gazette: The Chief of Emergency Services and Hyperbaric Medicine at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital will be recognised by the Bermuda Health Foundation this month.

Edward Schultz, who has worked at the hospital since 1988, will be honoured at the organisation’s 15th Annual Salute to Service Award Luncheon on June 30.

The BHF noted in a statement that Dr Schultz was the attending emergency physician at Mt Sinai Medical Centre of Greater Miami in Florida before moving to Bermuda.

Published 8 June 2017

Read the full article at www.royalgazette.com

22 June 2017 Media

Community survey to help shape clinical services at BHB

12 May 2017: Bermuda Hospitals Board today invites the community to share their perspectives on what is important about BHB services with a survey. The anonymous online survey is being shared as part of BHB’s Clinical Services Planning project. The goal of the project is to listen to feedback, review healthcare data, and speak to various BHB and external stakeholders in order to identify the services BHB should provide the community going forward.

The survey can be accessed at www.surveymonkey.com/r/BHBClinicalServicePlanning. The link can also be found at bermudahospitals.bm and on the BHB Facebook page.

BHB Chief Nurse and Project Lead Judy Richardson comments: “Healthcare needs have changed drastically since the Bermuda Hospitals Act 1970 first listed mandated services, and reviewing what services BHB should offer and how BHB fits within the overall health system is well overdue. At the launch of our strategic plan last year, we adopted the triple aim of improving the patient experience, reducing the per capita cost of care and improving population health.

“Our Clinical Services Planning process will be making recommendation on how we think BHB can best achieve these goals through the delivery of clinical services across King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute and the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre. Listening to our staff, physicians, and external stakeholders in the healthcare system and community is a critical part of this project, and we hope people in Bermuda will participate so their perspectives can help shape our eventual recommendations.”

The Clinical Services Planning process is currently in its information gathering phase. Detailed data analysis will take place over the summer, and further opportunities to participate for staff and stakeholders will take place in early fall. The goal is to have a plan with recommendations for the public in January 2018.

Download the BHB Clinical Services Survey Flyer

12 May 2017 Home Page, News

Bill Shields appointed as BHB chief financial officer

Bill Shields, BHB CFO3 April 2017: Bermuda Hospitals Board today announces that it has appointed Mr Bill Shields as Chief Financial Officer following an extensive local and international recruitment process.

The CFO at BHB is a legislated position in the Bermuda Hospitals Board Act 1970 and, as such, this appointment is approved by the Minister responsible for Health. The CFO is responsible for financial strategy and reporting, and manages the Finance, Admitting, Materials Management, Procurement and IT Directorates. The position reports to the Chief Executive Officer and the Board.

Chief Executive Officer Mrs Venetta Symonds comments: “I’m very pleased to welcome Mr Shields to BHB as Chief Financial Officer. As our recent budget debate highlighted, BHB is facing major challenges as Bermuda works to control healthcare costs and improve its financial position. A key focus for the coming fiscal year will be developing a clinical services plan that will help us make critical decisions about services going forward. BHB needs a financial executive who understands hospital finances and how they connect to the health system, and has experience in optimizing financial and operational performance to support clinical quality on the front line of patient care. Mr Shields comes with an impressive record within the NHS and we look forward to him bringing this expertise and experience to the team.”

Coming from the UK, Mr Shields joins BHB after over a year working as Executive Director of EY, a health advisory practice that focuses on performance improvement and optimization. In this role he worked with numerous NHS hospitals to transform and improve financial and operational performance. Prior to this position, he worked in the NHS for almost 29 years, most recently with the Imperial College NHS Trust, where he led a recovery of the Trust’s financial and operational performance where he held subsequent positions of Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive.

Mr Shields comments: “I am looking forward to working with the team at BHB. They have worked very hard over the last few years to improve their financial stability, and I know that together we will be able address the current challenges to support BHB’s stated triple aim goals of improving the patient experience, improving population health and reducing the per capita cost of care.”

Having gained his professional qualification from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, Mr Shields also has an MA in Social Sciences from the University of Glasgow. He has won numerous awards, including the HFMA Finance Director of the Year, 2013, HFMA Governance Award, 2013, and Health Service Journal Finance Team of the Year 2013.

3 April 2017 Home Page, News

Corporate Blood Drive contest heats up

Blood donor Joel Schaefer from Argus

Blood donor Joel Schaefer from Argus

From The Royal Gazette: Local companies are queuing up to take part in the annual Corporate Blood Drive, hoping to be crowned the new blood donor champions.

The drive is aimed at helping maintain vital blood supplies for patients at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

As of last week, 17 staff from Bacardi, 11 from Argus and 9 from Ariel Re have given blood.

The competition is organised by the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Seniors…

Published 17 March 2017

Read the article at www.royalgazette.com

27 March 2017 Media

CEO Venetta Symonds on bed capacity at KEMH

23 March 2017: Bermuda Hospitals Board CEO Venetta Symonds updates the public on bed capacity at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in this short video. KEMH continues to experience a surge in demand, which has led to the hospital being over capacity.


Wherever possible, the public is asked to help hospital staff and the community by using services appropriately and maintaining their health wherever possible:

  • If you have a close relative at KEMH who is ready to be discharged, please work with the hospital teams to get them home without delay.
  • If you have a minor illness or injury, book an appointment with your GP or visit the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre. You will avoid long waits. If you are in an Emergency situation, however, please do not hesitate in seeking care at the hospital.
  • If you know which specialist you need and it is not an Emergency, make an appointment directly with the specialist. If you need a referral, see your GP.
  • Manage any chronic conditions you might have, for example, make sure you take your hypertension or diabetes medication to avoid an emergency.
  • Look after yourself: eat healthily, exercise and wash your hands regularly to try and avoid infections and optimize your wellbeing.
  • Drive safely at all times – and don’t drink and drive! You can avoid Emergency and an admission by not ending up in a road accident.
23 March 2017 Home Page, News

Twelve Bermudians graduate as emergency medical technicians

20 March 2017: Twelve new Bermudian emergency medical technicians, or EMTs, have recently been added to the island’s dwindling corps of first responders. The group made history as the first graduating cohort of the pilot programme of a partnership between Bermuda College, the Bermuda Hospitals Board, and the Bermuda Fire & Rescue Services.

The local programme has also been validated by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), another first, and an accomplishment which Dr Edward Schultz, Chief of Emergency & Hyperbaric Services at KEMH, described as “ground-breaking”. The Registry provides national certification of standards and competency, and is recognised in every state in the United States. It is the first time that the Registry has been allowed to be used internationally.

“This means that Bermuda is now recognised as a designated authorising agency for the NREMT, and that students of the EMT training course offered through Bermuda College are entitled to sit the Basic EMT certifying exam, and if successful gain full NREMT reciprocity in the United States,” he said, crediting the hard work of EMT-Paramedic David Duperreault, formerly of the Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service.

The significance was echoed by BHB Chief EMT Officer Walter Brangman. “This programme was a lot of work but has been very rewarding for me. I’m so pleased to have worked with these 12 dedicated students and witnessed first-hand their passion and drive to make the grade. It takes commitment to complete a course like this and the skills they’ve acquired put us in good stead as a country with world-class, highly trained EMTs readily available.”

Three of the 12 new graduates have already sat and passed the NREMT exam, allowing them to practice locally or anywhere in the United States. Two of the students, Mahkye Steede and Armani Wears, have already secured employment at the Bermuda Fire Services.

Karen Smith, Programme Coordinator of the EMT course at Bermuda College’s PACE Division, credited the teamwork as a main component of the programme’s success. “PACE is always poised to provide customised training leading to certification for local and international programmes,” she said. “The EMT programme is a perfect example of how the College and industry can collaborate to meet the demands of the workforce in a timely manner. I’m proud that the Bermuda Hospitals Board, through Mr Brangman; the Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service, through the efforts of Arnold Botelho, RN and EMT Coordinator; and Bermuda College, specifically the efforts of Kathy-Ann Swan RN, together, were able to design a high quality programme that will serve the industry for years to come.”

Both emergency services anticipate continued job openings in the next three to five years. The 15-week course will launch its second cohort this fall. For more information contact Karen Smith at Bermuda College.

This is a joint release from Bermuda Hospitals Board and Bermuda College.

20 March 2017 Home Page, News

Corporate Blood Drive competition heats up

17 March 2017: Businesses participating in the 2017 Corporate Blood Drive are scheduling special blood donor drives to maximise their chance of winning the competition, which is helping maintain vital blood supplies for people in Bermuda. Over the last few weeks, a Bacardi blood drive encouraged 17 staff donate, Argus had 11 and Ariel Re had nine.

The Corporate Blood Drive is an annual competition between businesses in Bermuda, organised by the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre in partnership with the Ministry of Health & Seniors.

Dr Eyitayo Fakunle, consultant haematologist, comments: “The Corporate Blood Drive is meant to be fun and morale boosting – it is all about people coming together to benefit the community. The blood donated through the competition is adding to the regular donor pool to save lives and treat many patients each day in Bermuda. We are very grateful to all our competing businesses and regular donors in Bermuda, but special mention has to be made at this point for Bacardi, Argus and Ariel Re who have been active in organising special blood drives for their employees.

“The competition is definitely heating up this year: Bacardi and Ariel Re have shown great dedication with three special blood drives since June last year, and Argus had a Valentine’s blood promotion this month after a special presentation by the Blood Donor Centre staff near the end of last year.”

Blood donations are used to save lives in emergency situation, for example after an accident or in childbirth, but even more units are used each month in therapies for people with more chronic disease needs, such as sickle cell, dialysis and cancer patients.

Dr Fakunle finishes: “The competition is not yet over and all 19 competing businesses can put in a special effort in the last four months and perhaps win the trophy. Bacardi is currently in the lead, but it’s not too late for other competitors to catch up. We’d remind all participating companies that they can also invite family and friends to donate too – it will all count to their final tally. We wish all 19 competitors the best of luck and would remind all local businesses that the next Corporate Blood Drive Competition will start in June this year. The numbers of competitors is going up each year and we sincerely hope we can encourage even more participation – it is making a huge difference for so many individuals lives in Bermuda.”

To find out more about the Corporate Blood Drive, or to set an appointment to donate blood as an individual, call 236-5067.

17 March 2017 Home Page, News

BHB urologist performs Bermuda’s first laparoscopic kidney removal

Dr Gordon Kooiman

Dr Gordon Kooiman

28 February 2017: Hundreds of nephrectomies (removal of kidney) have been performed in Bermuda over the years, but the Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) can now report the first case of a patient having the procedure done laparoscopically.

Urologist Gordon Kooiman, MBBS MSc FRCS(Urol), joined BHB last December. A specialist not only in urology but also laparoscopic surgery, he quickly received a referral from another local urologist.

Forty-three-year-old Elizabeth DeSilva said she wasn’t in pain, but when she learned that her left kidney “was completely filled up with large stones” her physician told her it would be best to have it removed. “He called me up and said I should get a second opinion from Dr Kooiman at the hospital,” said Mrs DeSilva. “[He] explained that if he did the surgery I would have a scar about 12 inches long but that Dr Kooiman might be able to do it where the scar would be much smaller.”

Mrs DeSilva said after meeting Dr Kooiman she and her husband opted for him to remove her kidney laparoscopically.

“He was a really wonderful doctor,” she said. “He made both my husband and I feel at ease with the surgery he was going to perform. He was really warm and friendly.”

Elizabeth DeSilva

Elizabeth DeSilva

A mother of three and grandmother of two, Mrs DeSilva said her entire family was concerned about her health. “And I was very nervous,” she added.

She had the nephrectomy on 15 December 2016.

“I was fine when I came out,” she said, “although I was sore. It took some time, but I eventually felt better.”

Dr Kooiman said: “Removing a kidney via the laparoscopic (keyhole or minimally invasive) approach is available in most urology centres worldwide. Three or four small 5-10mm wounds allow a camera and thin, long instruments to be used to free the kidney from the surrounding structures. The kidney is then removed by extending one of the small wounds. Because the main wound is smaller, laparoscopic nephrectomy is associated with less post-operative pain, quicker discharge from hospital and quicker return to work.”

In the case of Mrs DeSilva, she spent only four days recuperating in the Acute Care Wing compared with a likely stay of seven to 10 days if she had undergone open surgery.

If you would like more information on laparoscopic nephrectomy, contact Dr Kooiman’s office on 239-5908 or email Gordon.Kooiman@bhb.bm.

Gordon Kooiman MBBS MSc FRCS(Urol)
Director of Urology

Dr Gordon Kooiman, MBBS MSc FRCS(Urol), is the Director of Urology at Bermuda Hospitals Board. Prior to that, he was Consultant Urological and Laparoscopic Surgeon at King's College Hospital Foundation NHS Trust, and Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation NHS Trust in London, UK. A Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Dr Kooiman has obtained a Masters of Science degree in Urology at the Institute of Urology, London, where he was awarded the Geoffrey Chisholm Gold Medal in 2001. Special interests and skills include open and laparoscopic renal surgery, endourology (laser fragmentation of kidney stones) and general urology including the diagnosis and management of prostate disease.

Bermuda Hospitals Board, King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, 7 Point Finger Road, Paget, DV04
Tel: (441) 236-2345 - Email: Gordon.Kooiman@bhb.bm

28 February 2017 Home Page, News

Update on bed capacity at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital

22 February 2017: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today updates the community on bed capacity at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

Bermuda is currently experiencing higher levels of flu and respiratory illness. This, along with an aging and increasingly chronically ill community, as well as difficulty discharging seniors due to the lack of community nursing home facilities, has caused a sustained surge in demand. This is being felt in the Emergency Department, and admissions have increased for Acute Care Wing and General Wing units, leading to the hospital being over capacity.

In just three days (Saturday 18 to Monday 20 February), there were 279 Emergency Department visits. It took an average of 3.13 hours for Emergency patients to be seen, treated and discharged over this period. Thirty eight (38) Emergency patients were admitted to an inpatient ward just over this three day period. The maximum number of beds in the Acute Care Wing is 90. The wait to be admitted to an inpatient bed was 4.83 hours on Saturday, but on Sunday and Monday it took over 15 hours.

Delays are occurring in Emergency as people wait to be assessed, because the department has been filled with admissions awaiting transfer to hospital ward beds. A Fast Track service is running in the Emergency Department to reduce waiting times for patients. Although the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre (UCC) remains closed for refurbishments until 1 March 2017, UCC staff are working in the Emergency Department to help cope with demand.

To cope with demand for inpatient beds, wards in the General Wing are currently being used for acute admissions. Additional space is being sought within the hospital to cope with the high number of inpatients and some elective (ie non-emergency) surgeries may be postponed as available bed space is optimized, although outpatient surgery will continue as usual.

Chief of Emergency, Dr Edward Schultz, comments: “Our hospital staff are working round the clock across departments to care for the current levels of unwell people in Bermuda. We ask for the community’s understanding and patience if they come to Emergency. We are doing all we can to ensure everyone can access the services they need. This is not about misuse of Emergency services as individuals coming to us at the moment are very sick. However, people who can wait to see their GP should, and we are asking GPs to refer non-emergency cases who need access to specialists directly to the specialist – for example, surgical lancing of abscesses can go directly to a surgeon for an outpatient appointment. This will help us focus on the people who truly need Emergency services.”

Chief of Nursing, Judy Richardson, comments: “Although the situation has eased slightly today, we apologise for the inconvenience caused by delays for patients being admitted to wards and for patients waiting to be assessed in the Emergency Department. As the Island’s only hospital we do whatever is needed to cope to ensure those who are sick or injured get the care they need. While delays are being experienced and people may not find themselves on the usual wards for acute care, I would like to reassure the community that they will be cared for. The surge is most significant in our senior population and the lack of community home beds is making it increasingly difficult to discharge people when they no longer need acute care services to free up capacity. This increase in inpatient numbers has to be staffed and support services increased to ensure safe clinical care, a clean environment and additional patient meals. I would like to thank all of our staff across the board who are working tirelessly and determinedly to keep services available for all those in need.”

The public is asked to help hospital staff at this time of high capacity by using services appropriately and maintaining their health wherever possible:

  • If you have a close relative at KEMH who is ready to be discharged, please work with the hospital teams to get them home without delay.
  • If you have a minor illness or injury, book an appointment with your GP – you will avoid long waits. If you are in an Emergency situation, however, please do not hesitate in seeking care at the hospital.
  • If you know which specialist you need and it is not an Emergency, make an appointment directly with the specialist (if you need a referral, see your GP).
  • Manage any chronic conditions you might have – for example, make sure you take your hypertension or diabetes medication to avoid an emergency.
  • Look after yourself: eat healthily, exercise and wash your hands regularly to try and avoid infections and optimize your wellbeing.
  • Drive safely at all times – and don’t drink and drive! You can avoid an Emergency visit and an admission by not ending up in a road accident.
22 February 2017 Home Page, News