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Freisenbruch wins Corporate Blood Drive for the third time

Friday 14 June 2024: It’s World Blood Donor Day today and the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre is excited to announce that Freisenbruch Insurance Services Ltd has been crowned as Corporate Blood Drive champions of 2024. Freisenbruch were also winners in 2020 and 2021.

The friendly annual competition is run by Bermuda Hospitals Board and the Ministry of Health. The winner is announced on World Blood Donor Day each year in June. This is the eleventh competition. Bermuda businesses and organisations participate by having their employees, and their employees’ friends and families donate blood on their behalf. The Corporate Blood Drive helps sustain adequate supplies of unpaid, voluntary blood for people who need transfusions in Bermuda. There are nearly 2,000 donations made each year, and every donation can help up to three people.

Participants alongside Freisenbruch in this year’s competition were: Ariel Re, Ascot, Aspen, Athene, Bacardi, Bermuda Bicycle Association, Bermuda  Monetary Authority, Butterfield & Vallis, Conduit Re, Fidelity International, Fortitude Re, Hamilton Princess Hotel & Beach Club, Hiscox and MS Reinsurance.

Minister of Health, the Hon. Kim Wilson JP MP comments: “Congratulations, Freisenbruch Insurance Services Ltd, and thank you to all the participating organisations. It’s wonderful to see this competition bring businesses together to help meet the need for blood in Bermuda. It’s a way for every business to make a huge difference to our community and I encourage more businesses to sign up this year. I was very excited to be able to start donating last year with the lifting of the restrictions for people who’d spent time in the UK. Please donate and encourage your employer to sign up and save lives.”

Chief of Pathology and Consultant Haematologist Dr Eyitayo Fakunle notes: “Well done, Freisenbruch, for their third win. We enjoy celebrating the winner because they often have gone above and beyond to encourage their employees, and their employees’ friends and family to donate. But every donation made as part of the competition is saving lives. Wide participation of the Bermuda community ensures everyone can access blood and plasma proteins when they need it. So thank you all our blood donors. Your selfless donations have had a profound impact on the lives and well-being of thousands of people in Bermuda.”

CEO of Freisenbruch Patrick Neal comments: “We are proud to win the Corporate Blood Drive Competition for the third time. We know how important our support of blood donation is to our employees and we are happy to be back at the top! More seriously, it is a wonderful way for us to support our community and to do our part to ensure everyone in Bermuda has access to donations given with great generosity by their fellow residents. Thank you to our employees for their donations. We look forward to defending our title in 2025!”

Companies interested in joining the 2025 competition can email or call 236-5067.

14 June 2024 Home Page, News

BHB celebrates accreditation decision

Sunday 9 June 2024: Bermuda Hospitals Board has achieved accreditation in its 14th onsite survey by Accreditation Canada. The organisation has been accredited since the 1970s.

“Today is World Accreditation Day, and I am proud to announce that BHB has met all of the requirements for accreditation,” said BHB CEO and President R Scott Pearman. “It’s quite an achievement that the staff managed to maintain these rigorous standards during the 2019-2023 accreditation cycle, while working non-stop through a global pandemic, significant healthcare cost containment pressures and implementing an organisation-wide electronic medical record system that radically changed our way of working.”

From 6-10 November 2023, four independent surveyors assessed BHB against 26 sets of healthcare standards, 35 priority processes and 30 required organisational practices, a total of almost 3,800 applicable criteria. They spent time at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre and BHB’s group homes, observing staff, reviewing documents and files, and interviewing staff, patients and community partners.

The surveyors’ findings were then reviewed thoroughly by the Accreditation Canada team before an accreditation decision and preliminary report were issued. The decision committee requested the submission of additional evidence for some of the criteria, issuing their final decision of ‘Accredited’ in May 2024.

In their decision letter, the Accreditation Decision Committee said: “We congratulate you on this achievement that demonstrates your organization’s determination and commitment to ongoing quality improvement. We applaud your leadership, staff, and accreditation team members for their efforts and dedication to the provision of safe, quality health services.”

Mr Pearman said: “In addition to praising our pandemic response and successful electronic medical record implementation, the surveyors highlighted our adaptive and caring workforce, improvements in our laundry and pharmacy, and our 2021-2026 strategic planning process.

“They also commended our work on integrated healthcare pathways and our continuing efforts to develop integrated care in the community to reduce the need for emergency care and admissions for chronic diseases.

“However, the most important part of the accreditation process is its role in our vision ‘to pursue excellence through improvement, to make Bermuda proud.’ The surveyors bring a wealth of knowledge from healthcare organisations around the globe, helping us identify challenges and recommending improvements large and small.”

Chief of Nursing Judy Richardson added: “We have already started to investigate and implement many of their recommendations, building on work that began after the 2019 survey.

“Quality begins at the unit level, and we are continuing to roll out unit-based quality and safety teams throughout the organisation, including in non-clinical areas. We are also planning the expansion of our Wards of Excellence evaluation programme. Both programmes encourage creativity and collaboration in making improvements on the units, and sharing our successes and lessons learned.”

Mr Pearman said: “Another key change we have made since the survey is the introduction of our Quality and Innovation Committee, which will prioritise our work to further reinforce the accreditation standards in our everyday operations, to improve the quality and safety of the services we provide.

“Notably, we are leveraging PEARL, our electronic medical records system, to improve communication between hospital physicians and our patients’ physicians in the community, particularly their general practitioners.

“We are also moving ahead with our people-centred care strategy. The surveyors noted that patient-centred care is already well established at the treatment level. The strategy aims to incorporate the voices of patients and families at every level of decision making.”

Mrs Richardson said: “The staff are dedicated to providing the best possible care for our community every day. On top of that, they put in an incredible effort to ensure we were ready for accreditation, with every ‘i’ dotted and ‘t’ crossed. Since the survey, they have been busy putting the surveyors’ recommendations into practice with the help of our expert quality team. Like Scott, I am incredibly proud of our staff and our hospitals.”

Accreditation Canada will continue to work with BHB throughout the four-year accreditation cycle, reviewing evidence related to unmet criteria, providing feedback, and monitoring standards and practices to ensure the organisation continues to perform at the expected level.

Accreditation Canada is a non-profit organisation that works with the Ottawa-based Health Standards Organization, healthcare providers, policy makers and patients to improve the quality of healthcare services. More than 1,100 health and social service organisations in Canada and around the world have been accredited by Accreditation Canada with a goal of safer, high-quality healthcare. Accreditation Canada surveyors are volunteers who are healthcare professionals in senior clinical or administrative roles at other accredited organisations.

The accreditation report, decision letters and survey comparison table are available on the BHB website at > About BHB > Providing Safe Care (

In addition to organisation-wide accreditation by Accreditation Canada, the BHB Pathology Department is accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI), the Mammography Department is accredited by American College of Radiology (ACR), the Turning Point Substance Abuse Programme is accredited by Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), and the Primary Stroke Centre achieved a Certificate of Distinction from Accreditation Canada.


9 June 2024 Home Page, News

New generator will help secure hospital power supply

Wednesday 5 June 2024: An additional generator will be installed at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital this year. There will be temporary changes to visitor and staff parking during the construction phase of the project.

“The new generator will provide added security of our electrical supply,” said Preston Swan, acting chief operating officer at Bermuda Hospitals Board. “It will work with the two existing generators to provide redundancy and ensure we have enough power to back up all essential systems, including air conditioning and ventilation, during a BELCO power outage.

“Paget Health Services, our partner in building and maintaining the Acute Care Wing, is managing and delivering the project as part of their obligations under the public private partnership contract.”

Paget Health Services General Manager Nicole Caines said: “We will be constructing housing for the new generator on top of a building currently in the main visitor car park at the ACW. Once this work has been completed, we will proceed with the installation.

“The construction portion of the project is scheduled to take 16 weeks to complete, and unfortunately there will be some disruption to parking at the hospital while this work is underway.”

Mr Swan said: “Starting on Monday 10 June, parking in the main ACW visitor car park will be reduced. Additional parking has been set aside further along Point Finger Road in our Springfield staff parking lot.”

Ms Caines added: “Signage will be posted and security staff will be stationed in both lots to assist hospital visitors in securing parking.”

The entire generator project will take 30 weeks to complete. BHB will not incur any costs related to the project.

5 June 2024 Home Page, News

BHB wishes everyone a safe and joyous Bermuda Day holiday weekend

Thursday 23 May 2024: Chief of Emergency Dr Chikezie Dean Okereke comments: “While we hope everyone enjoys the running, swimming and parade, for anyone in need of emergency or urgent healthcare services, we will be here.

“The KEMH Emergency Department is open 24 hours throughout the weekend for medical emergencies and if someone experiences a mental health crisis they can call BHB’s 24-hour mental health crisis hotline 239-1111 for advice. As a special reminder, if an individual experiences stroke symptoms, they must come in immediately or call 911. Do not wait to see if symptoms resolve or think you can wait. A full recovery following a stroke can depend on you getting treatment in time. We see up to five stroke victims a week and time is often the most important deciding factor on their outcome.

“The Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre will be open for its usual weekend hours, 9am to 9pm, on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 May. It is not open on Friday 24 May. The UCC can help if you have an urgent, but not emergency healthcare need. There will be an x-ray service available, so if someone hurts their ankle or arm, for example, they can get their diagnostics in St David’s while the UCC is open.

“However, if your issue does not require an immediate healthcare response please remember that your family doctor is best placed to assist you. As your primary healthcare provider, they can advise, treat and refer you as necessary.

“Finally, look after yourself and ensure your family doesn’t get bad news this weekend by driving carefully and especially not taking drugs, drinking and driving. We cannot stress enough how important road safety is in preventing life-changing injuries and deaths. Please care for yourself and for all those in our community. Let’s enjoy this wonderful Bermuda holiday peacefully and safely.”

For details on stroke symptoms, remember the BE FAST acronym: If you experience a sudden issue with your Balance, Eyes (vision), Face (one side drooping), Arm or leg weakness or Speech problems, it’s Time you call 911. Watch this short video for more information or read the graphic below.



23 May 2024 Home Page, News

BHB offers Heartsaver CPR AED training to the public

Wednesday 22 May 2024: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is celebrating CPR & AED Awareness Week this year with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) courses for the public. BHB is an American Heart Association (AHA) International Training Center. All CPR courses follow AHA guidelines and standards.

A cardiac arrest can happen anywhere, and the victim could be someone you know and love. BHB is pleased to support the American Heart Association and its mission to increase survival from cardiac arrest. The organisation is asking all Bermuda residents who are able, to learn the lifesaving skills of Hands-Only CPR.

BHB will offer the Heartsaver CPR AED course for $20. Training takes approximately two hours and is done to music. People are more likely to remember the correct rate when trained to the beat of a familiar song.

Registering for the courses

Please note that neither course is appropriate for clinicians.

Heartsaver CPR AED ($20 fee) will be offered on Saturday 1 June and Sunday 2 June from 8:30am to 6pm. Four sessions will be offered each day.

Day Session 1 Session 2 Session 3 Session 4
Saturday 8:30am-10:30am 11am-1pm 1:30pm-3:30pm 4pm-6pm
Sunday 8:30am -10:30am 11am-1pm 1:30pm-3:30pm 4pm-6pm


Call 239-1821 to register or email Please include the time and date you would like to attend.

Click here for the flyer. 




22 May 2024 Home Page, News

Blood donation criteria now based on individual sexual activity

Tuesday 7 May 2024: Bermuda Hospitals Board today updated its blood donor eligibility criteria to include risk-based questions that will be the same for every individual, regardless of sexual orientation, sex or gender. These questions reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted infections, such as HIV.

The change brings Bermuda in line with blood donation criteria in the UK, Canada and the US.

Consultant Haematologist and Acting Chief of Pathology Dr Eyitayo Fakunle explains: “Our focus is always to ensure that our criteria maximise the safety of our blood supply. We test all our donated blood and we also defer donations from people who do not meet our criteria. Deferrals of higher-risk individuals and testing of all donated blood together give us the best protection overall.”

Prior to this change, the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre criteria had time-based deferrals specific to men who’d had sex with men (MSM) and women who’d had sex with MSM during the previous three months.

“These criteria didn’t address the sexual behaviour of all individuals, nor did they recognise that not everyone in one group has the same level of risk,” Dr Fakunle says. “The new questions will therefore be asked of all donors, irrespective of their sexual orientation.”

The new criteria will defer prospective donors who report having anal sex with a new sexual partner or more than one sexual partner of any gender in the past three months. People who are in monogamous relationships of three months or more will therefore not be deferred, irrespective of their sexual orientation.

Dr Fakunle adds: “We continue to use global research and evidence so that our blood donation criteria ensure safe transfusions for our patients. This is without doubt our most important priority in transfusion services.

“Criteria are updated when science indicates there is a more effective way to ensure safety. As a small jurisdiction, we closely follow the US and Canada specifically as we are accredited by patient safety bodies from both those countries.”

People can review a factsheet on sexual activity and blood donation, and all the blood donation eligibility criteria on the BHB website at

7 May 2024 Home Page, News

Mental health of youth to be highlighted at fair

Wednesday 1 May 2024: On Thursday 9 May, the Child and Adolescent Services team at Bermuda Hospitals Board will host its second annual Children’s Mental Health Awareness Fair. Organisers aim to educate middle and high-school students about services available to help them with a variety of mental health concerns, while exposing them to potential careers in the field.

Child and Adolescent Services Clinical Manager Vakita Basden said: “In 2023, our multidisciplinary team provided services to 296 children and adolescents on the island in more than 2,000 appointments.

“The most common disorders among our clients are attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression.”

The 9 May fair will be held at Bermuda College from 10am to 1pm and will include partners from Solstice, Bermuda College and the Department of Education.

“Children’s mental health matters because it shapes their present wellbeing, future prospects and the broader fabric of society,” says Mrs Basden. “By prioritising mental health support and resources for our youth, we can foster healthier, happier individuals and communities for generations to come.”

According to the 2021 World Health Organization (WHO) Report, one out of seven adolescents experienced mental illness globally that year. The report also lists suicide as the fourth leading cause of death for people between 15 and 29 years old. Depression, anxiety and behavioural disorders are listed as the leading cause of mental illness among adolescents.

Jascinth Albouy-Onyia, BHB’s assistant clinical director of mental health, said: “We believe that children have the unique ability to thrive in the face of adversity, with each new day presenting an opportunity for growth and change.

“We provide services to families and their children who are 4 to 18 years old and have a moderate to severe presentation of mental health symptoms that impact their social, vocational and educational functioning.

“We provide our clients with sessions in locales that best meet their needs. Some are seen in the department for their appointments, some in other locations. We always aim to meet their needs and respect their right to privacy”.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health and the World Health Organization, children’s mental health is profoundly important because it impacts lifelong wellbeing, academic success, social development, physical health, long-term outcomes, family dynamics and community wellbeing.

More information about Child and Adolescent Services is available by calling 239-6344 or emailing

1 May 2024 Home Page, News

BHB Traffic Advisory: No through traffic at KEMH between Point Finger and Berry Hill roads for one week

Thursday 18 April 2024: Bermuda Hospitals Board advises the public that there will be no through traffic on the campus of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) between Point Finger Road and Berry Hill Road for one week starting on Sunday 21 April 2024.  Through traffic is scheduled to resume on Monday 29 April 2024.

The closure is necessary to facilitate trenchwork across the KEMH road between the Acute Care Wing (ACW) ambulance bay and the ACW main visitor car park.

People will be able to access the Emergency Department, the main ACW entrance and the ACW visitor parking lot from Point Finger Road.

Access from Berry Hill Road will stop at the Botanical Gardens’ gate to KEMH.


18 April 2024 Home Page, News

Chief of Staff Wesley Miller retires from BHB

Wednesday 3 April 2024: After many years of distinguished service, Dr Wesley Miller has decided to retire from his position as chief of staff at BHB. The Bermuda Hospitals Board wishes to thank Dr Miller for his service and to wish him well in his return to private practice. BHB has already started the process of recruiting for Dr Miller’s replacement and will provide an update as soon as possible.

While the recruitment process is being completed, Chief of Psychiatry Dr Anna Neilson-Williams has agreed to be the acting chief of staff.

We wish Dr Miller every success in his future endeavours.

3 April 2024 Home Page, News

BHB shares update about hospital – physician communications

Tuesday 2 April 2024: Bermuda Hospitals Board has had a physician advisory council to participate in the ongoing development of our electronic medical record, PEARL, for over a year. Community and BHB physicians are represented to collaborate on optimising our ability to share highly confidential medical information about our patients.  The public should be reassured that BHB only uses secure methods of transmitting their medical information.

Communicating with physicians via private emails and fax does not constitute the highest level of safeguarding patient data. As we work through making improvements, we have continued faxing to community physician offices so there has been no cut off of available patient information through older systems.  Faxing is not perfect, however. There can be issues with transmission, or risks of paper running out at the receiver end or getting lost in the community offices. This is why their use is being phased out in other countries such as the UK.

Email and messaging can be used if they are on secure platforms. Many family doctors now have their own electronic medical records and we are already in the early stages of implementing an integration engine that will allow the different EMRs in these offices to connect more directly with PEARL.

BHB has also hosted two community physician workshops over the last year to assist them with using BHB systems and PEARL. We certainly want to hear from any physicians who are having issues receiving or sharing information with us at BHB. We already are in contact with certain offices and site visits are arranged if there are issues that can’t be resolved remotely. Prior to the question being tabled to the CEO at Docs for Dinner, BHB was aware of the particular concern voiced and our team had committed to support with a solution.

The requirements of the personal information privacy act do need to be complied with and this is a good thing for Bermuda. Within health care, an individual’s medical information should always be protected to the highest standards available. The onus is on us in health care – in the hospitals and community – to work together and find solutions that safeguard medical information while making it as easy as possible for physicians to care for their patients.

2 April 2024 Home Page, News