Valentine’s Day Raffle encourages more people to donate blood

Tuesday 2 January 2024: Bermuda Hospitals Board today announces a  ‘bring-a-friend’ raffle being run by the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre. Starting on Tuesday 2 January 2024, if an existing blood donor brings another person who hasn’t donated before to donate blood, both the existing and new donor will be put in a draw for one of six $250 Masters gift certificates. The draw will be made on Valentine’s Day on Wednesday 14 February 2024.

“Masters has donated a number of gift certificates to us and we will be using them throughout the year as we find different ways to thank our donors,” says Lucy Correia, Nurse Phlebotomist. “As this raffle ends on Valentine’s Day we want to see people bring a new donor – it could be a friend, colleague or loved one. Both our regular and new donor to have a chance to win.”

“We always need more blood donors, but we also need people who can donated platelets, which is a special type of donation called apheresis,” Lucy adds. “First time blood donors can be tested to see if they fit the criteria. Platelets are used for patients who have compromised immune systems, such as cancer and leukaemia patients.”

Lucy also notes that people who spent time in the UK can also now donate. She says, “People who had spent time in the UK between 1980 and 1996 can now donate. This criteria was relaxed last year following scientific evidence that it was safe to do so.”

People who want to book an appointment to donate blood should contact the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre by phone 236-5067, WhatsApp 533-9553 or email blood.donor@bhb.bm. The blood donation site https://bermudahospitals.bm/be-a-donor/ also has more information and the latest criteria for donating.

2 January 2024 Home Page, News

BHB purchases Craig Appin building under favourable terms

Tuesday 2 January 2024: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announced it has purchased Craig Appin House in Hamilton in a favourable deal that protects it from future rental increases.

BHB has rented space in Craig Appin for over ten years, after it had to decant its Human Resources, ITS and Finance offices from the Queen Elizabeth Nurses Residence in 2011 due to its poor physical condition. Over 100 BHB employees work in the building, including a medical concierge service that assists patients with medical travel.

The QENR was on the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital campus next to Berry Hill Road. Its construction was completed in May 1960 and originally housed nurses coming to Bermuda from overseas. It was demolished in 2016 following assessments that it would be too costly to try and repair and maintain.

Chief Financial Officer, Arthur Ebbin, comments: “I would very much like to thank the owners of Craig Appin who offered BHB favourable and flexible terms for the purchase. BHB will pay the same amount it has been paying each year in rent as it pays for the building. This means we have been able to afford the purchase based on our cash flow. Rental income from other services in the building will help offset maintenance costs for the immediate future. Critically, this deal protects us from the rental market increases in Hamilton over the coming years and provides us with options for estate planning to benefit our services to the community.”

As is required, the deal was approved by the Minister of Health and Minister of Finance, as well as the BHB Board and Executive.

2 January 2024 Home Page, News

Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre will be closed on Christmas and Boxing Days

22 December 2023: Bermuda Hospitals Board wishes the public a safe and happy holiday weekend. If urgent medical care is required the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre (UCC) in St. David’s, will be open from 9am to 9pm on Saturday and Sunday. It will be closed on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 December.

Please note that if your condition is serious, attendance at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) may still be necessary. BHB also reminds the public that emergency department physicians attend to patients in order of the severity of their condition.

If you need to contact the UCC call 298-7730. To contact KEMH Emergency Department call 239-2009.

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22 December 2023 Home Page, News

Scott Pearman appointed as BHB CEO from January 2024

Monday 18 December 2023: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announces that Deputy CEO R Scott Pearman has been appointed as the new chief executive officer (CEO) & president of BHB following a competitive recruitment process. He will take over the position after Michael Richmond MD leaves at the end of December 2023. Dr Richmond is leaving having successfully completed his contract.

Mr Pearman first joined BHB in 1996 as employee labour relations manager. He was appointed the director of human resources in 2000 and then vice president of physician relations in December 2006. Following a promotion to chief of business development in 2010, Mr Pearman was appointed as chief operating officer at KEMH the following year. In February 2017, his COO role was expanded to include the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute. He was appointed as deputy chief executive officer in 2020.

Mr Pearman has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Rhode Island, a Master of Labour Relations and Human Resources from Michigan State University, a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University, and a professional human resources certification from the Society of Human Resources Management.

Chairman of the BHB Board Matthew Pifer comments: “First I would like to thank Dr Richmond for his six years of service to the BHB and the people of Bermuda, first as chief of staff and then chief executive officer. He was at the forefront of BHB’s COVID pandemic response, oversaw a successful electronic medical record implementation, and developed a new strategic plan that focused the organisation on quality and continuous improvement. We all wish him the very best as he returns home to the UK.

“On behalf of the Board, we are immensely pleased to announce Mr Pearman as the new CEO, taking on this critical role of leading Bermuda’s hospitals. He has shown great leadership in the role of deputy CEO, exemplified by the implementation of the integrated health care programme. Mr Pearman’s appointment following a competitive recruitment process highlights the success of the executive development process at BHB. This is a critical time for public health in Bermuda and Mr. Pearman is uniquely qualified to lead the BHB in its continuing mission to serve the country’s healthcare needs. He enjoys the full support of the Board and we are excited for the future of the BHB under his leadership.

Minister of Health Kim Wilson, JP MP, comments: “It is a great pleasure to have a qualified Bermudian to take over as CEO at BHB, someone with deep experience of Bermuda’s healthcare challenges. Mr Pearman’s many years at BHB along with his growth through continuous learning and development opportunities have prepared him well to take the helm of BHB. I congratulate Mr Pearman on his appointment and look forward to seeing the continued improvement of BHB services in partnership with Government and other community partners and individuals.”

Mr Pearman comments: “I am looking forward to taking on the role of CEO in January.  I’d like to thank Dr Richmond who I have worked closely with as BHB has made progress towards implementing its strategy over the last few years, as well as the Board and my BHB colleagues for their support. I’m looking forward to continuing the drive to improve quality and value at BHB. I remain passionate about our pursuit of excellence, even as we navigate the challenges ahead, working with the wonderful staff at BHB and our many partners in government and the community.”

18 December 2023 Home Page, News

Only visit your loved ones in hospital if you feel well

Friday 15 December 2023: Bermuda Hospitals Board today reminded people not to visit patients in hospital if they have respiratory symptoms, including patients in acute and critical care, Gosling (children’s) and maternity units, and residents in long term care units and group homes.

With figures for respiratory illnesses rising in Bermuda, individuals should also inform staff if they have symptoms and have an appointment or procedure planned.  They should call the services before arriving on-site and reschedule, unless it is an emergency.

People who have respiratory symptoms but have to attend the Emergency Department due to a medical issue must wear masks on entering a BHB facility to protect other patients.  A mask can be provided in the Emergency Department.

Dr Wesley Miller, Chief of Staff comments: “While we are no longer in a pandemic, COVID is still circulating and even the regular respiratory illnesses such as flu, colds and RSV can be dangerous for the more vulnerable members of our community, including older people, those who are already unwell and newborns. We ask people to help protect those most at risk by being considerate and not coming to BHB if they have symptoms, unless it is an emergency. For people who need to be on-site who are themselves vulnerable, a mask is recommended and those who are visiting patients they know are vulnerable should consider wearing a mask while close to their loved one in case they are infectious but asymptomatic.”

 

 

 

15 December 2023 Home Page, News

Blood Donor Centre Call for O-Positive Blood Donations

Wednesday 6 December 2023: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is asking people with O-positive blood to donate. Donors and potential donors are asked to call 236-5067 to make an appointment.

If you are unsure about your blood type but are willing to donate, please contact the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre at (441) 236-5067 or blood.donor@bhb.bm, by WhatsApp at (441) 533-9553.  Appointments are preferred, although walk-ins are accepted.

The Bermuda Blood Donor Centre is located at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30am to 2:30pm, and on Friday from 8:30am to 1pm. It is closed on weekends and public holidays.

The Bermuda Blood Donor Centre team thanks the community for their kind assistance in ensuring they can continue to save lives.

More information about blood donation is available online at bermudahospitals.bm/be-a-donor/.

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6 December 2023 Home Page, News

Green is good for your mental wellness

Wednesday 29 November 2023: The management and staff of the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute are urging the public again this year to be mindful of their mental health particularly in this holiday season. Starting on Friday evening, you will notice a soft green light illuminating the Acute Care Wing main entrance of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH).

“Green is the international colour for mental health awareness,” says BHB Chief of Psychiatry Dr Anna Neilson-Williams. “It has been identified as alleviating stress and allowing healing. It’s a colour of nature and in Bermuda, is all around us. There is also significant evidence that being around nature is restorative for our mental health,” she adds.

Dr Neilson-Williams also notes: “The holidays can be a stressful time of year for many different reasons; expectations -including the expectation you should be happy, financial stress, holiday preparation, family conflict, changed weather or spending the holidays alone.

“Coming together with families can also be a source of stress, it is important to set boundaries and to avoid conflict wherever possible. Saying no to situations may actually be a positive for your mental wellness.

“Take a break from social media – constantly comparing yourself to apparent ‘picture perfect’ holidays are unhealthy and unrealistic. This can also lead to feelings of loneliness or emptiness as the expectation is we are having an amazing time all through the holidays.”

Dr Neilson-Williams suggests people try to identify things they are grateful for, that they consider volunteering or identify ways they may be able to be around others to lessen any feelings of loneliness.

“Ahead of any gift buying, set a budget within your means, to avoid January bills arriving with further stress,” she advises. “Essentially try to do things in moderation, as it can be tempting to overindulge.

“And on the green theme, please get out and about around the island,” she says. “Take a walk on one of the railways trails or in a park. You will most likely feel much calmer after doing so.”

At dusk on Friday 1 December, we will turn on the lighting as a reminder to the public to take care of their mental wellbeing,” says Acting Chief Operating Officer Preston Swan. “The lights will remain on every evening for the entire month, so as you drive along Point Finger Road, remember the green light means you should breathe deeply, pause from your hurriedness, and savour at least a moment of relaxation. It’s good for your mental health.”

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29 November 2023 Home Page, News

Donation brings new treatment for enlarged prostate

Wednesday 22 November 2023: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today thanks the Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Foundation for facilitating the donation of $52,500 from The Argus Group to purchase a GreenLight XPS. This equipment will bring the latest laser treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia, more commonly called prostate gland enlargement, to Bermuda.

GreenLight’s laser technology* offers patients better outcomes compared to traditional surgery, with reduced hospital stays, fewer complications and faster recovery. Over 100 local men are expected to benefit each year. Currently, patients who require surgical intervention for an enlarged prostate only have a traditional surgical option available on the island.

The new treatment is expected to begin in January, once the required power upgrades to the operating rooms are complete and BHB nurses and theatre practitioners have been trained.

BHB Consultant Urologist Dr Jonathan Makanjuola comments: “We are so grateful for this wonderful donation from The Argus Group through the Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Foundation. This is a fantastic development for our local urology service.

“Forty percent of the patients we see in the BHB Urology Department have an enlarged prostate, which can be extremely troublesome to patients. If medications become ineffective, surgery is really the only option.

“The great news for men undergoing the GreenLight procedure is that it’s as effective as traditional, transurethral resection of the prostate, what we commonly refer to as TURP surgery, but it also brings many other benefits. Men experience less time in surgery, fewer days using a catheter, shorter post-operative recovery, and fewer complications, and 95% of cases can be done as an outpatient. This is three times higher than the traditional surgery option, where only 32% of patients can be discharged the same day. Sexual function is also less likely to be impacted.

“As it’s a shorter procedure that doesn’t require a hospital bed, we also expect that more of these surgeries can be undertaken. This should help us reduce wait times, which are currently at about six to eight weeks.”

The GreenLight treatment is already recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK and is available in other countries, such as the US, Canada and Europe.

BHB Chief of Staff Dr Wesley Miller comments: “On behalf of BHB, thank you to the Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Foundation and The Argus Group. This new treatment will offer an improved experience and outcome for men with an enlarged prostate compared to traditional surgery. It also reduces pressure on hospital beds and so is less costly to the healthcare system. In addition, the procedure is much less likely to be postponed if there are bed capacity issues.

“We are very grateful for the donation, which helps us provide a better quality, safer and less costly service.”

Kim Pratt, executive director of the Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Foundation, comments: “We are so happy to be able to facilitate this generous donation from The Argus Group to BHB for a service that is going to make a big difference to over 100 men each year. This speaks to our vision to support BHB in enhancing health and healthcare services in Bermuda.

“Thanks to Argus’ generous donation we now only need $17,500 to completely fund the new equipment. If you would like to make a donation please email kim.pratt@bhcf.bm or visit Donate Now (bhcf.bm) to make a donation online.  Please reference that the donation is for GreenLight.”

Argus Americas Chief Executive Peter Lozier comments: “With the alarming rate of prostate cancer and benign prostate enlargement in Bermuda and its profound implications on the lives of our male population, it’s imperative that we champion technology that provides timely treatment for these conditions.

“The introduction of the Greenlight Laser XPS system marks improvement in surgical care. Through this contribution, we are facilitating quicker treatment and recovery, reducing healthcare costs, shortening hospital stays and, most importantly, saving lives.”

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

*GreenLight works by using a laser to vaporise excess prostate tissue, rather than cutting away the tissue as is done in the traditional surgery called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). The procedure allows rapid tissue vaporisation, resulting in a faster procedure with less bleeding and associated complications.

Clinical evidence shows that GreenLight is as effective at treating an enlarged prostate as TURP and has many benefits to patient experiences and outcomes over the older surgical procedure. Benefits to patients include:

  • 95% of cases can be completed as outpatient procedures, compared to one or two days in hospital after TURP
  • Faster recovery with less pain and discomfort and a quicker return to normal activities
  • Fewer catheterisation days
  • Reduced bleeding. The laser coagulates blood vessels, minimising the risk of bleeding and reducing the need for blood transfusions. (The need for blood transfusions in the traditional TURP procedure is six times higher than for the GreenLight procedure.)
  • Suitable for patients on anticoagulant medications
  • Sexual function more likely to be maintained after GreenLight procedure
  • Lower risk of TURP syndrome, when excessive fluid absorption during the procedure leads to electrolyte imbalance

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22 November 2023 Home Page, News

BHB resumes pre-COVID visiting hours

Friday 17 November 2023: Bermuda Hospitals Board has resumed its pre-Covid visiting hours which are slightly longer on most units.

“Visiting hours on our Inpatient Medical-Surgical Units at KEMH have returned to 11am to 8pm allowing family and friends more time with their loved ones,” said BHB Chief of Nursing Judy Richardson. “We recognise how impactful every visitation minute is to both our patients and their friends and families, particularly in the holiday season when loneliness is often felt more strongly.”

Visiting hours for all units at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute are available on the BHB website bermudahospitals.bm and are listed below. General in-patient inquiries are also available by visiting or calling the KEMH main reception desk on 239-2001 or the MWI main reception desk on 236-3770.

KEMH Ward Visiting Hours

  • Inpatient Medical-Surgical Units (Acute Care Wing)
    11am to 8pm
  • Intensive Care Unit (General Wing)
    Only immediate family is allowed to visit ICU: 10am to 2pm and 4pm to 8pm
    Rest period (no visitors): 2pm to 4pm
  • Maternity Unit (General Wing)
    Mothers and fathers: 8am to 8pm
    Grandparents, siblings and general visitors: noon to 2pm and 4pm to 8pm
    Quiet time: 2pm to 4pm
    Visitors for gynaecology patients: noon to 8pm
  • Gosling Paediatric Unit (General Wing)
    Paediatric patients: 7:30am to 7:30pm
    Paediatric over-night stay: 7:30pm to 7:30am
    Adult patients: noon to 8pm
  • Long Term Care Unit (General Wing)
    noon to 8pm
  • Agape House
    Open visiting hours

MWI Ward Visiting Hours

  • Somers Annex and Somers Ward 
    noon to 8pm
  • Reid Ward:
    noon to 8pm
  • Devon Lodge:
    noon to 8pm
  • Child & Adolescent Services
    The nursing team arranges visiting times with families during these hours:
    Weekdays: 6pm to 8pm
    Weekends: noon to 8pm

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17 November 2023 Home Page, News