Friday, 28 August 2015

Congratulations to the fantastic Charing Cross Hospital for an enormously important laser brain surgery breakthrough

Check the BBC article here:

Laser detects brain tumour cells during surgery.

Surgeons in London have used lasers to diagnose abnormal tissue during an operation to remove a brain tumour for the first time in Europe.
The non-invasive technique measures light reflected off tissue to determine whether it is cancerous or healthy.
The patient, Reuben Hill, 22, is making a good recovery after the operation at Charing Cross Hospital.
It is hoped the technique could make this kind of delicate surgery faster and more accurate.
It has only been tried in Montreal, Canada, before now.
Mr Hill, who is from Devon and studying for a PhD in physics at Imperial College London, works with the same laser technology as used in his operation.
Before surgery, he told me: "My inner scientist is fascinated by what they are going to do.
"Understanding the physics involved definitely makes it less frightening."

How it works

During the operation, surgeons use a near-infrared laser probe, pointing the beam of light on to the exposed brain.
This causes molecules in the cells to vibrate.
Fibre optics in the probe collect the scattered light that bounces off the tissue.
This is analysed using Raman spectroscopy, which can measure the frequency of vibrations.
Healthy and abnormal tissue have a slightly different "signature".
The whole process takes a couple of seconds, and is entirely non-invasive.
In all cancer surgery, the aim is to remove all abnormal tissue while sparing healthy cells.
This is especially important with brain tumours, as removing healthy tissue can cause permanent damage to cognition, memory and speech.
The Raman probe can tell surgeons whether to cut or spare tissue.
At present, they rely on biopsies sent for analysis during the operation, which can take up to 40 minutes each.


Neurosurgeon Babar Vaqas, the trial chief investigator, said: "Optical technologies like this are the future. They are fast and don't destroy any tissue and could be used during many types of cancer surgery or when dealing with infection like a brain abscess."
Mr Vaqas said the trial at Charing Cross Hospital - part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust - was aiming to recruit between 30 and 40 patients with brain tumours.
During the same operation, surgeons used another innovative technique - an "intelligent" knife that can give a detailed molecular analysis of tissue.
The "iKnife" is an electro-surgical scalpel that produces smoke as it cuts through tissue.
This is sucked into a mass spectrometer next to the operating table, for analysis, telling surgeons what type of abnormality they are dealing with.
Kevin O'Neill, head of neurosurgery at Imperial, said the combination of new technologies would revolutionise brain surgery.
"This is bringing the laboratory into theatre, giving a real-time molecular fingerprint of tissue," he said.
"The potential is amazing, not just to differentiate between normal brain and tumour, but whether the patient is likely to respond to specific treatments".
The team at Imperial began using the iKnife in September 2014 and are also trialling it in breast, colon and ovarian cancer surgery.

Singing patient

Mr Hill was diagnosed with epilepsy and a brain tumour after he was found collapsed in his bedroom.
He said: "It was a big surprise. I was a fit, healthy person and in the judo team."
The golf-ball-sized tumour was near the area of the brain that deals with language and communication.
Mr Hill is part of the choir at Imperial College, and was concerned that the surgery might affect his speech and ability to sing.
Half way through the operation, he was gently woken up and asked to talk - and sing - so that surgeons could be sure that these would not be affected.
A speech therapist worked with Mr Hill as the surgeons removed the last parts of the tumour.
With the lights dimmed, Mr Hill sang these poignant words from the hymn 10,000 Reasons: "Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, I'll still be singing when the evening comes."
I have witnessed scores of operations over the years, but none like this.
It was a moving culmination to a remarkable piece of surgery.
I met Mr Hill two months after his operation, when he was back at Charing Cross Hospital for a follow-up appointment.
Surgeons were able to confirm that his tumour had not been cancerous.
The operation was a complete success, though Mr Hill will need to be monitored regularly in the coming years.
He said he was now well on the road to recovery and looking forward to getting back to his physics PhD next year.
Mr Hill said being ill had given him a new perspective on life, adding that in the future "I'll be remembering just to be happy".
The research at Imperial College is part-funded by the charity Brain Tumour Research.
Chief executive Sue Farrington Smith said: "Advances in brain tumour surgery such as this are very exciting and give hope to the thousands of patients and their families diagnosed with a brain tumour each year."
  • 26 August 2015

Scandal of the 60 fat cat NHS hospital bosses who took home more than the Prime Minister last year - despite many trusts plunging into financial crisis - Daily Mail

  • More than 60 NHS chiefs found to earn more than Prime Minister's £142k
  • Finance boss at Barts earned £280k as ran up worst deficit in NHS history
  • Imperial College Healthcare chief executive topped list with £342,500
Dozens of London hospital bosses are being paid more than the Prime Minister - despite some of them racking up record levels of NHS debt, it emerged today.
Some are earning £280,000 - nearly double David Cameron's salary of £142,500 - plus many have pension pots in excess of £1 million.  
One chief executive who was flown in from Australia was handed a £50,000 'golden hello' and another was helped with expenses of £36,000 to pay his rent, the Evening Standard reports. 

While Barts Health NHS Trust ran up the biggest debt in NHS history, its chief financial officer Mark Ogden saw his pay package top £280,000 for the yearThe best paid NHS executive in the Capital last year was Tracey Batten, the chief executive of Imperial College Healthcare, on £342,500
Barts chief financial officer Mark Ogden (left) saw his pay package top £280,000 for the year while the best paid NHS executive in the Capital last year was Tracey Batten (right) the chief executive of Imperial College Healthcare, on £342,500

The investigation found more than 60 NHS hospital bosses were taking home more pay than Mr Cameron.
Kathryn Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, told MailOnline the figures were 'very worrying' when waiting times for operations including hip, knees and cataracts were on the rise at many hospitals.
'Let’s hope they can sleep comfortably in their beds at night, knowing that they are providing the very best and safest care to their patients,' she said. 
‘It really worries us at the Patients Association when you know some of these hospitals are struggling and carry huge vacancies within the nursing profession that senior managers can merit such a high salary.
'Especially knowing that there are many parts of their institutions that are falling below the standards of care that patients deserve and expect.’ 

While Barts Health NHS Trust ran up the biggest debt in NHS history, its chief financial officer Mark Ogden saw his pay package top £280,000 for the year. 
He left the role in January, shortly before the trust declared an £80 million deficit which is expected to increase to £135 million in the next 12 months.
Mr Ogden joined the troubled hospital in July 2012 and earned £545,000 in pay on top of £92,657 to cover rent, in two-and-a-half years.
Hospital accounts revealed some executives, already earning an annual income of more than £250,000, are looking forward to a £1 million pension-pot when they retire.
The best paid NHS executive in the Capital was Tracey Batten, the chief executive of Imperial College Healthcare.
She was paid £342,500 in 2014/15, which included a one-off payment of £49,860 to assist her relocation from Australia. 

Ms Batten, whose annual salary trumps her predecessors by £90,000, has overseen controversial proposals to cut hundreds of beds and downgrade A&E at Charing Cross Hospital.
The TaxPayer's Alliance today questioned the value for money behind some of the salaries, especially as many were overseeing trusts heavily in the red.
Let’s hope they can sleep comfortably in their beds at night, knowing that they are providing the very best and safest care to their patients
Kathryn Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association
Chief executive Jonathan Isaby told MailOnline that excess pay needed to be 'rooted out' at the top of the Health Service.
He said: 'No-one begrudges good pay for excellent doctors but the NHS is stuffed with far too many middle-managers, administrators and bureaucrats trousering telephone-number salaries. 
'We need to get a grip on NHS salaries if we're to ensure the Health Service is financially sustainable.'
In April, the Daily Mail revealed how hospital bosses earned more than £1million last year - and even at hospitals with the worst standards of care directors enjoyed pay packages worth up to £5,000 a day.
Bosses were accused of ‘shamelessly milking the NHS’ by taking £35million in pay rises during the worst funding crisis in a generation. 
Speaking at the time, one influential Government adviser described the situation as ‘on the scale of the MPs’ expenses scandal’. 

EmployeeHospital TrustsSalary 

Dr Tracey Batten

Imperial College Healthcare
Simon PleydellWhittington £285,000 
Peter Morris Barts Health £275,000 
Jonathan Molyneux West Middlesex £275,000 
David McVittieLondon North West Healthcare£270,000 
Sir Robert Naylor University College London Hospitals£265,000
Tim Smart King's College Healthcare£255,000
Sir Ron Kerr Guy's and St Thomas' £253,267 
Robert Bell Royal Brampton and Harefield £245,000 
David Sloman Royal Free £240,000 
Miles Scott St George's Healthcare  £226,251
Tony BellChelsea and Westminster£225,000 
Cally PalmerRoyal Marsden£220,000
Professor Stanley OkoloNorth Middlesex £202,000 
Abbas Khakoo Hillingdon £200,000
Jane WilsonKingston£190,000
Matthew HopkinsBarking, Havering and Redbridge£185,000
Michael BoneGreat Ormond Street Hospital£165,000 
Tracey FletcherHomerton £155,000
Dr Fionna MooreLondon Ambulance Service£135,000
SOURCE: Evening Standard

Read more: 

London's fat cat hospital bosses revealed: 60 NHS chiefs earn more than the Prime Minister - Evening Standard

More than 60 London hospital chiefs were today revealed to be earning more than the Prime Minister — including one who received £36,000 a year extra to pay his rent.
High earners included a chief executive lured from Australia with a £50,000 “golden hello” and an agency finance chief who cost £275,000 for less than a year’s work. The figures were revealed by an Evening Standard analysis of hospital annual accounts.
It found that some executives are sitting on £1 million pension pots in addition to earning about £250,000 a year or more.
Barts Health chief financial officer Mark Ogden was allowed to claim up to £36,000-a-year expenses for his accommodation — while the trust ran up the biggest debt in NHS history.
Mr Ogden, dubbed “Johnny Vegas” due to his resemblance to the comedian, earned so much at Barts Health in one year that his pay package topped £280,000 — outstripping his boss, chief executive Peter Morris.
His departure in January came as the trust was about to declare an £80 million deficit — a figure predicted to rise next year to £135 million.
He came to Barts in July 2012 from an NHS job in the North-West. In two and a half years there he earned £545,000 in pay on top of £92,657 to cover rent.
In a similar deal, fellow Barts executive Len Richards was paid £58,700 accommodation costs in less than two years. It is believed the pair were flatmates.
Barts, Britain’s biggest NHS trust, was embroiled in similar controversy in June when it emerged interim finance chief Ian Miller was paid, via his private company, £46,800 a month — more than most Barts staff earned in a year. 

Dr Ron Singer, a retired GP and chairman of campaign group Newham Save Our NHS, said: “Some managers seem to earn in excess of their worth. There seems no accountability for failure.”
Imperial College Healthcare chief executive Tracey Batten was London’s best-paid NHS boss, with £342,500 in 2014/15 — including a one-off £49,860 to aid her move from Australia.
Since arriving in London Ms Batten, who earns £90,000 more than her predecessor, has been at the heart of a row over a proposed A&E services downgrade at Charing Cross Hospital and the axing of hundreds of beds.
Trusts with numerous executives who earn more than David Cameron’s £142,500 included University College London Hospitals with seven, Barts and Guy’s and St Thomas’ with six, and the Royal Free, King’s College Hospital and Chelsea and Westminster with five. All figures exclude pension contributions.
With two trusts still to publish their annual accounts, the Standard found 64 executives earning more than the Prime Minister.
The executive bill at West Middlesex Hospital in Hounslow included almost £200,000 for since-departed chief Dame Jacqueline Docherty as well as the £280,000 it paid to its interim finance director Jonathan Molyneux.


Barts Health said the accommodation deals for Mr Ogden and Mr Richards were unlikely to be repeated, adding: “In lieu of relocation expenses, Mark Ogden’s agreed remuneration package included an allowance towards the cost of renting London accommodation.”
Mr Ogden could not be contacted for comment. Mr Richards, now in Australia, did not respond.

Monday, 10 August 2015

​What’s going on at Charing Cross?

Not a lot was my view after a series of private meetings with the local NHS except a slow run down of services in the expectation of demolition in five years’ time.  Though they are starting work on the plans for that this autumn – another bonanza for management consultants.

But I followed up by attending the Imperial Board meeting last week, and discovered:

•    Stroke services will be moving from St Mary’s Paddington to Charing Cross, bolstering the already excellent services there.  The Stroke Association made a plea to the Board to leave them at Charing Cross permanently, but this was ignored.

•    They are now describing the long-term plan for emergency services at CXH as ‘a 24/7 A&E appropriate to a local hospital’.  I asked what this meant and was told they couldn’t say now but would tell us by autumn next year! Previously, I was told this ‘A&E’ will be staffed by GPs and will be the same as a walk-in clinic but with a few short stay beds and x-ray facilities.

•    The business plan that will contain all the details of the new development including financial information is to be kept secret until finalised no earlier than autumn 2017.

These last two points are unacceptable, and I have made Freedom of Information requests for both the details of the A&E services and the business plan.

Meanwhile, the closure of Ealing maternity services, which puts extra pressure on us, is described as a ‘success’ and the privately-run Ealing Urgent Care Centre, has been exposed by ITV as offering inadequate care.  

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