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News 2018 January - June


Exeter NHS champions recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours 

A Devon community healthcare champion and an Exeter clinical scientist who has helped to transform the lives of thousands of patients worldwide have been recognised by the Queen in her latest Birthday Honours.   

Professor Sian Ellard, the RD&E’s Consultant Clinical Scientist and Professor of Genomic Medicine at the University of Exeter, receives an OBE, while Steve Hudson, the RD&E’s former Divisional Director of Community Services at the RD&E, receives an MBE.



Posted on: 11 June| Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


RD&E gives “green light” for new patient-centred comprehensive health record system


RD&E has received NHS Improvement approval to proceed with a new clinical transformation programme.  As well as fundamentally improving the way services and care are delivered to patients, the programme will see paper-based patient records at the RD&E becoming a thing of the past. The MY CARE Programme is the cornerstone of a broader programme of change that will engage those people who need our services together with those people entrusted to deliver them, to transform the way that care is delivered and make services at the RD&E more clinically and financially sustainable for the future, enabled by new technology.


Posted on: 06 June| Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


NDHT and the RD&E agree in principle to a new collaboration to maintain sustainability of clinical services in North Devon


Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT) and the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E) have reached agreement in principle on a new collaboration between the two organisations. The collaboration aims to support NDHT to address the challenges it faces in continuing to provide acute services and to ensure that the health needs of the population of northern Devon continue to be met.

With the support of NHS Improvement (NHSI), the two organisations have agreed in principle that the RD&E will provide leadership and management support to NDHT for the next two years, with a dedicated senior management team based at each acute hospital site in Barnstaple and Exeter.

Subject to Board approval, the draft agreement proposes that Suzanne Tracey, currently Chief Executive at the RD&E, will become the Accountable Officer and Chief Executive of both organisations.

Posted on: 29 May | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


RD&E publishes its plans for the future


Over the past 12 months the Trust’s Board has been refreshing the corporate strategy to ensure that we have a clear strategic intent and direction for the RD&E for the next 5-10 years. Our aim is for the RD&E to take a lead in transforming the health and care system in Devon; to get people, services and communities working together to meet the needs of the people we serve.


Our previous strategy has served us well so it is important to underline that this is a refresh of our strategy rather than a complete rewrite. We have maintained our core vision, our values stay the same and we have sort to clarify our corporate objectives in a way that makes them more understandable. We have also sought to better identify what makes the RD&E distinctive through conversations with staff and our governors.



Posted on: 24 May | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


Temporary suspension of birth services at Honiton and Okehampton extended


The Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E) has extended the suspension of birth services at Honiton and Okehampton maternity units until mid-September 2018.


The Trust took the decision last year to temporarily suspend births and subsequent in-patient stays at Okehampton and Honiton maternity units. This step was taken to maintain patient safety due to a combination of factors affecting the stability of the services at these sites and the other units it operates in Tiverton and Exeter.


Zita Martinez, Head of Midwifery at the RD&E, said: “We are sorry for this continued suspension in services. Although we have successfully recruited to a number of our midwifery vacancies, we are still managing a high level of staff absence, including maternity leave. At the same time, the positively received implementation of national policy in the Better Births and Saving Babies’ Lives guidance has meant that the complexity and acuity of women and babies we are caring for has significantly increased. This means that our main maternity unit in Exeter is experiencing greater levels of demand on the specialist care that we provide.  


Posted on: 16 May | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Exeter College join forces to train health leaders of the future


Exeter College will deliver leadership learning and development for managers at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust after they were awarded their largest single contract under the new Apprenticeship Levy.

This forms a ground-breaking programme developed by two of Exeter’s largest organisations designed to support non-clinical staff to develop the leadership and management skills to meet the strategic aims of the NHS and its support for patients. 

The programme combines nationally recognised Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Leadership and Management Diplomas with workplace learning and is funded by the Apprenticeship Levy.

Rob Bosworth, Vice Principal (Schools, Partnerships and Curriculum) Exeter College, said: “Exeter College is developing a specialised and bespoke city based partnership with the RD&E. There has never been a more important time to ensure Exeter as a community-focused college is listening to and meeting the need of its local employers.

Posted on: 1 May | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


Devon community teams delivering care closer to home


No Place Like Home: Thumbs Up For New Ways of Working One Year On


Personalised care for people in their own homes by enhanced teams of nurses and therapists, keeping people well at home and out of hospital, has won a vote of confidence from people who have used the re-designed services.

One year on from changes to the way that community hospitals provide services in Exeter, Seaton, Honiton and Okehampton – including the closure of 71 inpatient beds – patients, their carers and GPs have broadly welcomed the way that care services are working together to improve the health and independence of those who would previously have been admitted to, or spent longer in hospital.

Those who have recently received the care services at home are backing them, with all those recently surveyed saying they would recommend them to others.

Latest figures show a significant increase in the number of community nurses – up as much as 50 per cent since 2010 in East and Mid Devon - rising from 170 full time equivalent posts to almost 260 in 2017/18


Posted on: 20 April | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


Axminster Hospital Newly Refurbished Radiography Department


On Monday 16th April hospital staff were joined by a number of the League of Friends including Dr. Phil Taylor (Chairman), Ann Veit (Secretary) and Steve Holt (Treasurer) to view the newly refurbished x-ray department. 


The x-ray room has been upgraded and the old computerised equipment replaced with new digital equipment.    


Over the years, Axminster Hospital has enjoyed a close relationship with the League of Friends. The hard work carried out by the League on behalf of the hospital has helped to make many improvements possible. On this occasion the £65,000 donation contributed significantly towards the upgraded equipment. 

Patients will once again benefit from the excellent work carried out by the League.

Posted on: 19 April | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


10M donation for Mireille Gillings Neuroimaging Centre, medical research and leadership programmes


Gift from the Dennis and Mireille Gillings Foundation is the single largest received by the University of Exeter.


The new Mireille Gillings Neuroimaging Centre will be built at the University of Exeter Medical School. It will transform dementia research and diagnosis, thanks to a £10 million donation from the Dennis and Mireille Gillings Foundation.


The new building, located at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E) site, will help accelerate clinical trials for potential dementia treatments over the next five years. The centre is the latest example of the close partnership working between the University of Exeter and the RD&E.


Dr Mireille Gillings is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of HUYA Bioscience International, a global leader in accelerating development of biopharma innovation from China. She has a unique balance of scientific and operational experience in neurological and neurodegenerative disease research, drug development, academic partnering programmes and extensive business leadership skills.


Posted on: 18 April | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


Pets as Therapy dog puts smiles on the faces of all at Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital


For four years Archie has been walking around hospitals, putting smiles on the faces of people he meets. Having begun with Ottery St Mary hospital, he’s now also bringing canine kindness to the RD&E’s wards.
You’re just as likely to see staff fussing over him as you are to see him wagging his tail with a patient.

The eight and a half year old is a springer spaniel/labrador cross. His best friend is his owner, Karen McGilchrist but she’s more than happy to play second-fiddle to his charms on the wards.

Karen signed up to the Pets as Therapy programme four years ago as she wanted to give something back to the community she so loves. Without her kindness, Archie wouldn’t get to do his favourite job: chomping his way through custard creams from his hospital friends.


Posted on: 11 March | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


UNICEF gives RD&E new 'Baby Friendly' seal of approval


The UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative team have given the RD&E’s Maternity and Neonatal services fresh accreditation after a three-day visit to interview parents and staff and review standards.

Both services have held the accolade for several years and recently invited UNICEF back to RD&E to review the care provided by the Trust to ensure that high standards are being maintained.

The assessment, held in late January, comes after Maternity first achieved the UNICEF ‘Baby Friendly’ standard in 2012 and Neonatal becoming the first neonatal unit in the country to achieve it in 2016.

The Baby Friendly Initiative, set up by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation, is a global programme that provides a practical and effective way for health services to improve the care provided for mothers and babies. It is based on a comprehensive set of standards designed to provide parents with the best possible care, supporting them to feed their baby and to build close and loving relationships with them.


Posted on: 9 April | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun

The Elizabeth’s Footprint £1million fundraising walk calls in to RD&E for coffee, cake and to raise awareness & funds for children’s care


Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital welcomed the remarkable Natalia Spencer as she continued her gargantuan walk around the South West and Wales in the name of Elizabeth’s Footprint. Bramble Children’s Ward opened its doors to greet the intrepid adventurer as she made a stop at another unit that works closely with Bristol Children’s Hospital.


Natalia, who was joined on this leg of her walk by Sarah Turner, was welcomed at the hospital’s main entrance by a group of local mothers and children that had been following her journey closely. They came to give thanks and support to Natalia for this remarkable and honourable undertaking, and all that it will provide in Elizabeth’s name.


Elizabeth’s Footprint was founded by Natalia after she lost her daughter to a sudden illness in December 2015. Elizabeth was cared for at the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Bristol Children’s Hospital. Following her loss, Natalia decided to make it her mission to help those similarly affected by raising funds for the unit that cared so greatly for them during their all too brief time there.

Posted on: 29 March | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


Healthy food for NHS staff, visitors and patients - Changes in place by 31st March


In our recent Staff Health and Wellbeing Survey, 44% of staff reported that they were overweight, and 67% of staff did not achieve their 5+ a day.


At Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust we are dedicated to providing healthier food options for our staff and, in line with the National Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) guidance for hospital food and NHS England guidance for NHS Trusts, we have made considerable efforts over the past 18 months to promote healthy eating.


March 2017 saw the beginning of the process. The first wave of improvements included the banning of price promotions on sugary drinks and foods high in fat, sugar or salt. Correspondingly, the removal of advertisements for sugary drinks and foods high in fat, sugar or salt was combined with the elimination of such products from checkout areas. To help with this, it was ensured that healthy options would be available at any point, including for those staff working night shifts.


Posted on: 27 March | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


NDHT and the RD&E working together to explore clinical sustainability challenge in North Devon


NHS organisations in Devon have been working closely together to confront the significant challenges we all face in delivering clinical and financially sustainable care for the people of Devon. We are continuing to develop our partnerships, working in a way that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago.


The work carried out together through the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) on the acute services review confirmed that our four acute hospitals in Exeter, Barnstaple, Plymouth and Torquay are central to how we manage NHS services across Devon. More recently, we have been developing our approach to providing clinical services in a more collaborative way, including supporting one another by providing mutual clinical support, which has proved invaluable in addressing short-term service challenges due to medical staffing problems.


Posted on: 27 March | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


Trolley Shop profits buy equipment for RD&E Wards


Patients across the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital are benefitting from new pieces of equipment thanks to a £4,000 donation from the Trolley Shop.

The not-for-profit enterprise is run completely by volunteers and offers patients a range of refreshments, toiletries and stationery during its daily ward rounds. Any proceeds made by the Trolley Shop are put into a fund, and once a year, every ward in the hospital is given the opportunity to apply for support from it. The Trolley Shop Volunteers Committee then decides how the money will be distributed. 


Posted on: 21 March | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


Invitation to join the RD&E’s Service of Remembering and Sharing


Every year, the RD&E holds a service to support all those who have been affected by miscarriage, stillbirth or neo-natal death. The Service of Remembering & Sharing is led by one of our Chaplains and is open to anyone, whether bereavement is recent or from many years ago.  

This year it will be held on Sunday 18 March at 2pm in the Chapel at the RD&E’s Wonford site on Barrack Road, Exeter. It is a simple service, with an opportunity to remember in a safe space, to light a candle or view our memorial books. It is part of the way that we as a Trust take time to remember and acknowledge the importance of such loss. We will also have members of the Exeter SANDS group present.


Posted on: 13 March | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


RD&E celebrates apprentices during National Apprenticeship Week 2018


The benefits of apprenticeships are being celebrated at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust during this year’s National Apprenticeship Week 2018 (5th – 9th March).

Apprenticeships play a vital role in helping young people to get a foot on the career ladder and enable employers to develop a skilled workforce for the future. The theme of this year’s national event is ‘Apprenticeships Work’ and will showcase how apprenticeships benefit individuals, employers, local communities and the wider economy.


Posted on: 07 March | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


Staff give the RD&E a positive report in the annual NHS Staff Survey 2017


Staff at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust have given the Trust yet another positive report in the 2017 NHS staff survey released today (6 March 2018). Staff highly recommend the Trust as a place to work and to receive treatment placing it above average of Acute and Community Trusts nationally (3.97 out of 5 compared to a median of 3.75).

RD&E staff rated 21 out of 32 Key Findings in the survey better than average for all Acute and Community Trusts in 2017, including staff involvement in improvements at work, effective team working, support from immediate managers and placing the care of patients as the organisation's top priority. No Key Findings were below the Acute and Community Trust average. In all, 50.2% of RD&E staff completed the survey in 2017 - up by over 8% year on year.


Posted on: 06 March | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


RD&E renames hospital ward after world renowned surgeon


The achievements of world renowned Orthopaedic Surgeon Professor Robin Ling OBE, co-developer of the innovative Exeter Hip, has been celebrated with the renaming of a ward at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

RD&E elective and rehabilitation orthopaedic ward Tavy was officially renamed Robin Ling Ward on 22nd February 2018 in memory of the late Professor Ling who sadly passed away last year.


Posted on: 22 February | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun

Renal Open Evening, 8th March, 5-9pm


Curious about kidneys? Drop in and find out what skills you could learn working in an academic renal unit where your development and education is a priority in order to deliver excellent care to our diverse patient group.


Come and enjoy some refreshments while talking with our friendly team about the opportunities on offer. Open to all staff, potential staff and students.

Posted on: 22 February | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun

Fundraisers donate new chair to RD&E’s Intensive Care Unit


Patients on the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital can now benefit from a new chair to help with their rehabilitation thanks to support from local fundraisers.


The Sara Combilizer chair has been jointly funded by the RD&E’s League of Friends and the Chappell family from Exmouth, who each donated £9,000 towards the new piece of equipment. 


Posted on: 21 February | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun

RD&E Maternity services rated highly by local mums


Maternity services at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust have been rated highly by mums in the 2017 National Maternity Survey. The Trust performed well across the survey, and has been rated as one of the top performing nationally.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) survey asked women about their experience of antenatal care, care during labour and birth, and postnatal care. It was sent to more than 18,000 women who gave birth in February 2017 in services run by 130 NHS trusts across the country.


Posted on: 20 February | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun

Margaret’s knitted Christmas puds raise hundreds for RD&E’s Breast Cancer Support Fund


Local Sandford fundraiser Margaret Phillips has raised over £500 for the Breast Cancer Support Fund at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital by selling knitted Christmas puddings.

Margaret, who fundraises for the charity every year, raised the money by selling her knitted Christmas puddings with a chocolate hidden inside to friends, family and her local community. The puddings were even stocked in local shops and pubs around Sandford and the chocolates were kindly donated by local supermarkets in Crediton.


Posted on: 09 February | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


Exeter’s world diabetes expert awarded CBE


A world-leading diabetes expert today (Thursday 8th February) received his CBE for his work in revolutionising global diagnosis and treatment.


Andrew Hattersley, Professor of Molecular Medicine at the University of Exeter and a diabetes consultant at the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, was mentioned in the Queen’s birthday honours list last year following a string of international awards for his work in combining genomics research with clinical diagnostics to make a real difference in the sub types of diabetes across the world.


Posted on: 08 January | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun

Alzheimer’s patient encourages others to sign up to take part in dementia research


A retired pottery shop owner with early Alzheimer’s disease has said research has given him a new hope for life.


Eighty-year-old Martin Wallis, from Honiton, is currently taking part in a clinical trial at Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust.


The study, being supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in the South West, the research arm of the NHS, is one of many being carried out locally looking to halt the progression of dementia, the biggest killer in the UK.


Posted on: 29 January | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun



RD&E to change visiting hours to 8am–8pm from 5 February

Visiting friends and relatives in hospital at the Royal Devon and Exeter is set to become easier as the Trust opens up its visiting hours.From Monday 5th February 2018, patient visiting will be open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. The public are currently only able to visit patients on general wards at set times in the afternoon and early evening.


Posted on: 29 January | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun



FORCE cancer charity funds chemotherapy first in Okehampton

Cancer patients in West Devon are to be offered chemotherapy treatment in Okehampton for the first time, thanks to funding from FORCE Cancer Charity.

The service will be available every Wednesday between 10am and 4pm at Okehampton Hospital from February 21.

The money is funding specialist nurses from the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital to administer some of the more straightforward treatments to patients, saving them the journey to Wonford whenever possible.


Posted on: 26 January | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


Temporary suspension of birth services at Honiton and Okehampton to be extended

The RD&E is to extend the temporary suspension of birth services at Honiton and Okehampton birth centres for a further three months.


Good progress has been made to recruit staff into vacancies within the wider Maternity Service, but ongoing staff sickness and high patient demand in the acute unit in Exeter means we have not yet been able to reach acceptable staffing levels. As a result, the Trust is continuing to suspend birth services at Honiton and Okehampton to ensure patient safety and quality is maintained across our maternity service


The extension means that women will not be able to give birth at either site for a further three months. The Trust will review the suspension again in April. (Read more...)


Posted on: 22 January | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


Exeter Chiefs open new X-ray room with a jungle-style makeover

Stars from the Exeter Chiefs Rugby Club officially opened a newly refurbished paediatric X-ray room at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital recently.

The room has been given a jungle-style makeover so it is more friendly and welcoming for children thanks to a fundraising campaign led by Radiology staff and the support of digital imaging company Agfa HealthCare. 
It is the second room to receive a makeover as a result of the RD&E’s Big Raise for Little Rays campaign. 


Posted on: 18 January | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun

Volunteer Paula receives long service medal after 20 years at the RD&E

Volunteer Paula McConnell has received a Royal Voluntary Service Long Service Award to mark 20 years of dedicated service at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. 

Paula, from Budleigh Salterton, has volunteered in the Orthopaedic Outpatients department at the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Centre (PEOC) since October 1997 when the building first opened until late last year when she retired due to ill health.


Posted on: 16 January | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun

Five ways to stay well and out of hospital this winter

The winter period is always incredibly busy for hospitals and we expect this winter to be no different. The fact is that colder weather usually means more illness and more accidents and that means demand for our services, particularly our Emergency Department, becomes very high. Meeting this demand can be challenging but we plan in advance with our partners to ensure we are ready for the winter period. The plans we put in place include additional staff, closer work with GPs and community teams, and treating people without the need for a bed. As always, our absolute priority is to deliver safe and high quality care even in the busiest of times.


Posted on: 09 January | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun

Family donate Cuddle Cot to RD&E’s Labour Ward

A family from Exeter have donated a Cuddle Cot to the Labour Ward at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in memory of their son Louie.

The cot enables bereaved parents to spend more time with their babies if they are stillborn or pass away shortly after birth. The cooling cot can be wrapped around a baby allowing parents to stay with them for longer and giving other family members a chance to say goodbye. 


Posted on: 05 January | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun

More than 10,000 people sign up to health research at Exeter

Thousands of people in Devon have signed up to take part in high-quality research, accelerating meaningful benefits to patient health.


The Exeter 10,000 project has reached a milestone of 10,000 people providing their data and samples of blood and urine which are used anonymously for health research.


The majority of participants also agree to be contacted again if their health or lifestyle profiles match the requirements of future research studies.


Posted on: 04 January | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


Alex raises over £800 to support research into Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Exeter teenager Alexandra Daniels has raised over £800 to help fund respiratory research at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in memory of her grandfather.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a lung condition which causes scarring on the lungs and makes breathing increasingly difficult. It has no known cause or cure and the number of people affected by it is rising every year.

Posted on: 04 January | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


Advice for patients: Non-urgent operations and appointments

“As expected the winter period so far has been very busy with continuing high numbers of patients coming to our Emergency Department (ED), including a high number of patients with flu. Our staff are continuing to work to deliver high quality, compassionate care despite the challenges. 

“We have implemented our winter plan with our partner organisations to help manage the forecast increases in patient numbers during winter. The plan includes a range of measures including additional doctors and nurses, more care available to people in their homes, more specialist staff working at weekends and freeing up extra space in the hospital for patients requiring a bed. (Read more...)


Posted on: 03 January | Posted in: 2018 Jan-Jun


Call 111 when its less than urgent