Nursing Awards Held to Celebrate Achievement of our Nurses


South West London and St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust (SWLSTG) celebrated the dedication of its nurses by holding an awards ceremony to mark International Nurses Day 2018.

Held on Friday 11 May, the SWLSTG Nursing Awards 2018 put a spotlight on those who have gone above and beyond in their roles. They also provided a chance for the Trust to recognise and say thank you to them for their dedication and care.

The International Nurses Day celebrations were also a chance to celebrate the diversity of the nursing workforce and as part of the celebrations, nurses bought in food from their respective countries which went down well with all those in attendance!

Nurse of the Year 2018 Hazel Nash said: “It’s a great feeling and I’m honoured to win Nurse of the Year. In nursing we don’t always get the recognition we deserve, so this award is very special to me. A particular highlight for me has been listening to the other nurses’ journeys and how they have developed their careers and skills.”

Vanessa Ford, SWLSTG Director of Nursing and Quality Standards said: “It’s been great celebrating International Nurses Day because we have such a fabulous and diverse workforce that gives so much to our patients and it’s nice to be able to give something back to them.”

Improved mental health support for new mums in South West London

New and expectant mums in south west London are set to benefit from funding which aims to ensure that women in this part of London can understand how to access mental health services for themselves, their children and their family.


The funding will be used to expand the existing local service provision across the boroughs in south west London. A key vision of the expanding service is that every woman will be able to access appropriate perinatal mental health care and treatment at the right time and in the right location.


The news comes as part of a national announcement to transform specialist perinatal services so that at least 30,000 additional women can access evidence based treatment that is closer to home and when they need it, through specialist community services and inpatient mother and baby units.


The South West London Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) led the development of the bid across South West London to Wave 2 of the Perinatal Mental Health Community Services Development Fund. South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust (SWLSTG) has supported the bid by working in partnership with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM).


Dr Ben Nereli, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist at SWLSTG, said: “Currently we have a small Perinatal Community Service that operates with limited resources primarily to women in Wandsworth and Merton with complex perinatal needs, giving birth at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. We hope to use the funding to help us expand the service so that more woman in south west London can understand how to access services to support their mental wellbeing and the wellbeing of their children and families.”


Healthwatch launches “snapshot” report on health and social care services in borough

Healthwatch Sutton the people champion for Health and Social care in Sutton has released a snapshot report looking at health and social care services in the borough.


The last 12 months has been a period of planning and implementing significant changes to services in Sutton, especially regarding potential changes to NHS services. In early 2018, Healthwatch Sutton asked residents to complete a short 12 question survey (Take 5) to capture their thoughts on local Health and Social care services.  The Snapshot report contains the analysed data of these responses.

Continue reading Healthwatch launches “snapshot” report on health and social care services in borough

Dying Matters events to be organised during national week long campaign

Dr Rina Patel Palliative Medicine Consultant

Local commissioners and providers of healthcare are joining forces to encourage people to talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, including where they want to die and their funeral plans, as part of national Dying Matters Week, 14 – 20 May 2018.


A number of events will be taking place across the Surrey Downs and Sutton areas, to provide people with a place to talk and learn how the NHS, hospices and other local services are working hard to provide more support to those nearing the end of their lives, as well as their families and carers.  Anyone is welcome to come along, speak to professionals and have any questions answered around death and dying.


As well as getting people talking, this year the focus is on what people can do to help in the community – so even if you are not nearing the end of your life but would like to help others, there are a number of opportunities to do so.

NHS Surrey Downs CCG, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust and partner organisations want to help people who are at the end of life to be cared for in their preferred place of care wherever possible, with support for them and their loved ones.


Dr Simon Williams, End of Life Clinical Lead for NHS Surrey Downs CCG, says: “The local NHS, social care and hospices now have a range of support services available to help those approaching the end of their lives, as well as their loved ones and carers. We know that facing the idea of an end of life plan can be extremely hard to do, but by just starting the conversation with the right people means that we can provide support going forward.”


Dr Rina Patel, Palliative Medical Consultant at Epsom and St Helier, says: “We want to support people in communicating openly about death and dying, and hope that the events we are hosting will give all members of the public the chance to come and find out more.


By holding events throughout the week that get people talking about death we are able to provide advice and tools on what to do when the moment comes.


There are a number of ways people can get involved in Dying Matters Week, including joining one of our public events:


  • Monday 14 May: Launch event, featuring the Epsom and St Helier Hospital choir, 1pm, St Helier main reception. Come listen and join in
  • Tuesday 15 May: Drop in event, 2-4pm, MacMillan Butterfly Centre, Epsom Hospital. A chance to chat or ask questions to health and social care professionals
  • Wednesday 16 May, ‘I Did It My Way Café’, 2-4pm, Pink Room, St Helier Hospital.”


You could also:

  • Visit the main receptions at Epsom or St Helier hospitals during the week for information of events and available support
  • Use personal experiences of end of life to provide feedback – see the End of Life care strategy at
  • Offer practical support to those who may be struggling with end of life, such as helping with shopping or dog walking
  • Volunteer at a local hospice or charity. You can find out more about Epsom and St Helier support groups and charities here:



‘And I would walk’… all the way round the Isle of Wight – midwives take on challenge

A group of 11 midwives from St Helier Hospital will take part in the Isle of Wight challenge (a 67 mile walk around the island), to raise funds for vital new equipment for the unit.

 The group of midwives, also known as One More Push, will be walking 106km (67 miles) around the coastal path of the Isle of Wight, non-stop and with no sleep! The walk will begin on the morning of Saturday 5 May morning and finish on Sunday, around 33 hours later.

The idea was hatched by Alison Hide, a longstanding member of St Helier’s maternity unit, who wanted to achieve something special before her 60th birthday in July. The Isle of Wight challenge falls coincidently on International Day of the Midwife, which she thought was a perfect way to celebrate both! Alison asked the other midwives if they wanted to get involved and they all signed up together.

Continue reading ‘And I would walk’… all the way round the Isle of Wight – midwives take on challenge

New dedicated advice line for borough’s pregnant women and new mums

A new dedicated advice line for pregnant women and mums who have recently given birth, which is staffed by midwives and offers clinical support around the clock, officially launched this week.

The Surrey Heartlands Pregnancy Advice Line is available for women under the care of Epsom and St Helier hospitals, Royal Surrey County Hospital and Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals during pregnancy, labour and following the birth of their baby.

One telephone number will connect to Surrey Heartlands Pregnancy Advice Line, call: 0300 123 5473.

The advice line will:

  • Triage calls, assess any risks and signpost women to the most appropriate place for their care, providing easier access for all women to the right maternity care
  • Give women access to clinical advice from qualified midwives, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Enhance links with emergency services when required for pregnancy related health issues
  • Connect women with midwives who have up-to-date information on the capacity of each maternity unit, enabling the midwives to direct pregnant women to the best place for their care or birth at any time
  • Enable health professionals to get fast access to a midwife for advice or triage.


This local Pregnancy Advice Line is part of the national NHS Better Births plan to transform maternity services for pregnant women and families with new born babies, offering personalised care. Surrey Heartlands is one of the first areas in the country to introduce this initiative which covers all aspects of the maternity pathway giving pregnant women, and the families of new born babies a better package of care, more choice and easier access to midwives and other health professionals.


Midwives are based in a bespoke call-centre hub at South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) Head Office in Crawley working in partnership with the SECAmb team.


Vicky Williams, Head of Commissioning Acute Paediatrics and Maternity for Surrey

Heartlands CCGs, said: “The new Advice Line is a major step forward in achieving our

‘Better Births’ vision to provide sustainable, high quality health care for women and

children; responsive and accessible to local need.”


Epsom and St Helier’s Director of Midwifery and Gynaecology Nursing, Marion Louki, said: “We are delighted to see that the mothers we care for will now have a brand new advice line available to them. To have 24/7 access to advice and support from trained midwives will really help mothers to get the support they need not only from our Trust, but from trusts across the entire Surrey Heartlands area. This is just one of many improvements that we will be continuing to make to the maternity care that we provide at our Trust, ensuring that we maintain our provision of outstanding care to our mothers and babies.”


Surrey Heartlands is one of seven early adopter sites for the Maternity Transformation

Programme across England.


Free Consultations For Bowel Cancer Screening Advice On Saturday 7th April

Are you worried that your tummy symptoms could be due to bowel cancer? Do you have a family history of bowel cancer and want advice on screening? Do you want more information about cancer and polyps in the large bowel?

April is Bowel Cancer Awareness month and on the morning of Saturday 7th April, Consultant Gastroenterologist Dr Andy Poullis will be offering free consultations to anyone worried about bowel cancer at the New Victoria Hospital, Kingston.

Dr Poullis can also offer a personalised guide based on family history as well as providing diet and lifestyle advice to help reduce the risk of bowel cancer.



Dr Andrew Poullis BSc, MBBS, MD, PGCert HBE, FRCP is a Consultant Gastroenterologist at New Victoria Hospital and is an accredited screening colonoscopist for the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. He also holds NHS posts at St George’s Hospital and Queen Mary’s Hospital.

MP hears of impact of arthritis on constituents

Tom Brake got to grips with the huge impact that arthritis has on nearly 25,000 local people and 17.8 million people across the UK, by attending a parliamentary event on Tuesday 20 March 2018.

Tom said, “I was shocked to learn that in Carshalton and Wallington, 6,550 people aged over 45 live with osteoarthritis of the knee, 3,946 people aged over 45 live with osteoarthritis of the hip, and 15,547 live with back pain. Too many people locally are living with daily pain, fatigue, and isolation. This is unacceptable.”

MPs who attended the event also met people living with arthritis, who explained how the condition can affect their lives in different ways – from going to work, to coping with the daily tasks such as cooking or driving that many of us take for granted.

Shona Cleland, Public Affairs Manager at Arthritis Research UK, said:

“It was great to see Mr Brake at our event. Arthritis can cause severe pain and fatigue and its effects can be devastating. We believe all people with arthritis should have support to live full and active 2 lives. To make this a reality, we need MPs to tell their constituents about the help on offer, raise awareness of arthritis in Parliament, and work to ensure that all people with arthritis get the services and support they need.”

The event coincided with the launch of Arthritis Research UK’s new ‘Ask Us’ campaign, which encourages those living with arthritis to reach out to the charity and ask questions about their condition. The campaign directs people to information and advice provided by the charity, which is based on many years of research and knowledge from experts and patients. This information and advice is provided via their online information, helpline, and online ‘Virtual Assistant’.

To find out more about the charity and to ask any question about arthritis please visit

Sutton Women’s Centre run by women for women in the borough

Sutton Women’s Centre is a local organisation run by women, for women, to provide them with the chance to achieve their potential through education, advice and sources.

It is one of the Mayor of Sutton’s Chosen Charities 2017-18. Find out more at the website.
The organisation is dedicated to helping women in Sutton with information, support and advice on local services and education, and provides a number of services. Click to find out more about:

For more details go to WOMEN 


Sports village multi million pound refurbishment to include extreme trampoline park

Work is underway at Better, Sutton Sports Village, on a £2.3 million refurbishment programme, which will include improvements to tennis, soft play and nursery facilities – as well as the introduction of a brand new Better Extreme trampoline park.

Better’s eighth and latest trampoline park will be the first of its kind in the borough, and will include a range of exciting features for all the family.

In a later phase of the project, three indoor tennis courts removed to accommodate the trampoline park, will be replaced with a tennis dome covering four existing clay courts – increasing the centre’s indoor provision from nine courts to 10.

In addition, the project will also include converting the existing café into a Better Coffee Corner. As part of its social enterprise ethos, Better Coffee Corner supplies sustainably-sourced coffee, tea and the cocoa in its hot chocolate from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms – while 2p from the sale of every hot drink goes to the GLL Sport Foundation –  which helps talented athletes from across the UK reach their true sporting potential.

Further works include expanding the centre’s nursery, with the installation of a new toddler room, as well as extending the site’s purpose-built gymnastics hall.

Simon Sen, Regional Director at GLL, said: “We are hugely excited to begin the refurbishment programme at Sutton Sports Village.

“At GLL, we remain committed to getting more people more active more often. New developments at Sutton Sports Village underline our commitment to providing a diverse, affordable and accessible leisure offer for all ages.

“In addition to dance, gymnastics and our brand new trampoline park – we will be retaining our ‘beginner to elite’ tennis programme.”

“We will be doing everything possible to limit disruption and aim to continue our full provision of facilities and programme schedule throughout.

“We thank our customers for their patience and look forward to welcoming them to the new and improved facilities.”

Works are scheduled for completion in Summer 2018. For more information, including project updates, visit