A decade after the North East London NHS Treatment Centre opened, its team and patients are celebrating the centre’s success. They also raised funds for local Romford-based charity Blesma during celebrations on Wednesday 8 February.
Since the centre’s new recording system started in 2010, 84,962 referrals have been made and 58,984 procedures have been carried out for NHS patients from North East London and across Essex.
In those years, 1,402 hip replacements and 2,286 knee replacements, along with many thousands of hours of physiotherapy, have enabled people to live healthy, independent and pain-free lives.
Thanks to 7,989 cataract operations, people across the region can also see more clearly, enjoy reading and can carry on working and driving. And 13,808 endoscopies have led to either diagnosis and reassurance or diagnosis and treatment to put them on the road to recovery.
Hospital director Kerry White said: “It’s a wonderful service, staffed by a team of dedicated professionals who are committed to delivering great quality care to our patients. 10 members of our current team joined in 2007 and their long-term commitment to patients has enabled us to build a unique service that has very high rates of patient satisfaction, with 100 per cent of inpatients and 99 per cent of day cases saying they would recommend the service to friends and family.”
One of those 10 is clinical supplies manager Colin Watts. As the doors of the centre opened on the first day a 21-year-old Colin helped patients as a porter. But within weeks he had been invited to become an assistant in the store. He said: “I was put on courses and there was lots of encouragement from my manager.”
He then went on to become a theatre stock controller; ensuring theatres had the supplies they need to perform procedures. When the then supplies manager relocated to another treatment centre, Colin was promoted into the role and now he ensures that the Ilford centre and one in north Kent are stocked to support their patients.
He said: “It is a challenging but worthwhile job; the team’s work allows us to ensure our colleagues’ work is seamless, which adds to the experience of care patients receive. I have some great colleagues and that always adds to the pleasure of any job.”
Pharmacy technician, Asia Khatun, also greeted people on the centre’s opening day, as she then worked on the reception desk. She said: “I enjoy working at the centre. I went from working as a receptionist to working as a theatre clerk. Patient safety is our top priority and, as a clerk, I would record the product codes of every item used in an operation to ensure we could trace everything. We also ensured that all the necessary equipment was at hand for the next day.”
Asia then went to work in the pharmacy, where she has taken pharmacy qualifications and is currently studying for a higher technician qualification.
She said: “The managers have been very supportive in developing my career. I have a wonderful job and if a patient has had surgery at the centre they have probably met me. Each day I visit the wards to take patient histories. I liaise with their GPs, to ensure we know what their regular prescriptions are, and to ensure the GPs know what medication we will be prescribing. This not only ensures optimum care and support for recovery but also keeps our patients safe.”
Patients and the team are supporting the work of locally based charity Blesma, which is dedicated to assisting serving and former service personnel who have suffered the life-changing loss of an eye, sight or limb, in service.