Chesterfield Royal Hospital

Free Chesterfield cancer treatment transport service launched

A new transport service has been launched to provide people from Chesterfield with free, safe travel to Sheffield hospitals for cancer treatment.

The service has been launched by regional charity Weston Park Cancer Charity and will operate twice daily from Monday to Friday, between The University of Derby’s St Helena Campus in Chesterfield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.

The Weston Park Cancer Charity Transport Service could save hundreds of pounds in travel costs each week for people in Chesterfield and the surrounding areas who are living with cancer.

Around 20 per cent of patients at Weston Park Cancer Centre – one of the four hospitals to which the transport service will provide free travel – are from Chesterfield, the equivalent of more than 3,000 patients at any one time and more than 1,300 each year.

The service will follow strict safety measures to keep volunteer drivers and passengers safe at all times. Drivers will all be tested for Covid-19 twice weekly, with buses cleaned thoroughly before every journey.

The launch of the new Transport Service follows Weston Park Cancer Charity’s takeover of Chesterfield cancer charity, Nenna Kind, in 2020. It marks a ’major step forward’ for Weston Park Cancer Charity in its ‘commitment to care in every sense’ for cancer patients and their families in Chesterfield.

Emma Clarke, director of services and grant-giving at Weston Park Cancer Charity said: “Our Transport Service will ensure that people facing cancer will not also have to worry about accessing treatment at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals – and will be able to focus on what’s important.

“A cancer diagnosis is a difficult thing for anyone to hear. But imagine that the recommended treatment is miles away from your home and you have no ability to make that journey. We don’t want anyone to ever have to face the decision to decline treatment because travel to and from their appointments is the barrier.

“The backing of our wonderful supporters enables us to fund this service in its entirety, meaning it’s free of charge for patients.

“It marks a major step forward for us as we look to build on Nenna Kind’s legacy, and to continue our commitment to care in every sense for cancer patients and their families in Chesterfield and the surrounding areas.”

Sheree Hall, Macmillan lead cancer nurse at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, said: “There is enough stress as there is with cancer – going through diagnosis and treatment is one thing, but somebody shouldn’t have to worry about how to get to their treatment in the first place.

“It may appear strange that somebody simply wouldn’t have treatment just because of transport issues, but that does happen. During lockdown, we’ve had a few cases in which individuals have had to contact us because they have no other means of getting to their appointment and simply no money to pay for taxis – and due to Covid-19 there wasn’t even the facility to travel how they might have done before.

“The new Transport Service means a lot and for some people it can be the difference between whether they could have their treatment or not.”

Alison Gibson, community development worker at Community Chesterfield who helped facilitate the scheme, said: “At Community Chesterfield we pride ourselves on connecting the region’s voluntary, community and charitable sectors both with the University of Derby and with one another, opening up opportunities for them to work together to create positive impact in the area.

“After a discussion with one of Weston Park Cancer Charity’s volunteers about the benefits that a transport service of this nature would bring, we are absolutely delighted to help facilitate this vital scheme from our offices at the St Helena Campus. It will without doubt be a huge help to residents of Chesterfield who need to travel to Weston Park to undergo cancer treatment and will hopefully go some way to making their lives during an incredibly challenging time that bit easier.”

Dr Paula Holt MBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care at the University of Derby, said: “We are delighted to be able to support Weston Park Cancer Charity and, in particular, residents of the Chesterfield area who depend upon this vital service.

“This once again demonstrates the value of our partnership with CommUNIty Chesterfield, who have connected us with the hospital charity.

“The University of Derby is proud to engage with the voluntary sector in the town to deliver projects and services which can make such an important and positive difference to people’s lives.

“In this instance, being able to utilise the current capacity at the St Helena Campus provides a solution to the needs of patients who are travelling to Sheffield to receive treatment.”

For more information or for bookings, call Weston Park Cancer Charity’s helpline 0114 553 3330 (option two) or email

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National Accolade for Chesterfield Royal Hospital Pharmacy Team

The Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s Haematology and Oncology Pharmacy Team has won a prestigious national award.

They’ve been named ‘Pharmacist Team of the Year 2021’ at the Clinigen Direct Love Your Pharmacist Awards 2021 at the 25th European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) congress after a year where they’ve had to adapt their service due to the Covid pandemic.

Principal Pharmacist for Haematology and Oncology, Ibrahim Al-Modaris, said: “This year we’ve had to work differently for a number of reasons, not least because we were urging a lot of our patients to stay at home as they may well be shielding but also because lots of our team have young children who might force us to isolate if they become slightly unwell (like all children do!) which would put a strain on our specialist service. Remote access and the ability to work from home had to be developed as a priority.

Remote working

“We set up remote working, so we can log in to the Chesterfield and Weston Park systems, look up patients’ results via ICE and access clinic letters. We have access to almost all the relevant information we need for a consultation electronically. With a lot of our consultations with patients taking place over the phone or via NHS Attend Anywhere it is possible to do a clinic from home, and if we discover that there is a need to see the patients face to face, we have been able to arrange appointments or admissions as required. As good as it is being able to log in remotely however, being on site, in clinic, with our hardworking clinic support colleagues is still the more efficient way of working.

“The most important thing is that we have been able to keep most chemotherapy and anticancer treatment for our patients going after doing risk assessments for the treatments we offer. Despite the stressful time we were all in, I believe we managed to reduce some of the stress many of our cancer patients would have been feeling, worrying about how to get their medication while shielding for example. Each patient and each regimen had to be reviewed individually and we worked closely with their consultants and specialist nurses to deliver patients their medication while reducing their risk of exposure to COVID.

“For example, some of the oral chemotherapy we supply, to reduce the need for our patients to come in we have, in some cases, managed to supply two months’ worth of medication rather than just one. This not only reduced their number of attendances to collect the medication, but also the need to have monthly blood tests. We have also been able to arrange for homecare delivery of prescriptions in some cases, including by taxi for more patients who were shielding. We of course continued our counselling in clinic or from home to help advise patients on how to get the most out of their supportive medicines to reduce side effects from their chemotherapy as well.

Satellite Pharmacy

“I am very pleased to say that we’ve also been able to get our satellite pharmacy up and running in the NGS Macmillan Unit. This means that we have a Pharmacy Technician, Helen, in the building Mon to Friday, 9 to 5 who can supply and counsel patients on their oral medication. We have also kept the training going to enable more of our pharmacists to become prescribers which gives more flexibility in clinics with more staff able to assess chemotherapy patients and prescribe their treatment. This enables the consultants in clinic to spend more time with complex patients and address their needs. We are now also expanding this role from oncology to haematology as well.”

“This role of assessing chemotherapy patients and prescribing their treatment is one of the most exciting aspects of working as a haematology and oncology pharmacist at Chesterfield Royal and it really allows us to build good relationships with our patients. We are able to use our expert knowledge of medicines as pharmacists to help optimise patient’s cancer treatments at the point of assessment. We have also undergone the additional training required to request scans that patients will need to monitor the effectiveness of their treatment.

Redeveloping and improving inpatients services

“As well as this we have started work to develop and improve our inpatient service. This work will ensure a continuity of service as we work with our inpatient colleagues by providing specialist chemotherapy and cancer advice as needed. It also gives our patients a familiar face from clinic to reassure them during their inpatient stay.

“We have always worked very closely with our nursing and medical colleagues at Chesterfield Royal and Weston Park and that has continued. All the specialist nurses and healthcare assistants in clinic are always on hand to assist us in arranging various things like blood transfusions or scans that patients require, while our medical colleagues always offer helpful advice when things get complicated. We also rely on the efforts of everyone in the pharmacy production unit who prepare and supply all injectable chemotherapies for the patients as well as the ordering office and dispensary staff who keep us stocked up with medication for patients. Without the work of all these staff we would not be here now.

“It has been a difficult time for everyone, but I am very proud of how our team have risen to the challenge and embraced different ways of working to help each other and benefit our patients. I am sure that some of the ways of working we have adapted and developed will continue once we all get back to normal. We are very grateful to receive this award which is for everyone in our fantastic team and it should encourage us to keep the good work going.”

Chesterfield Royal Hospital supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through  Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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New multi-million pound build set to transform emergency care in North Derbyshire

A multi-million pound development at Chesterfield Royal Hospital is set to transform the face of emergency and urgent care for more than 420,000 people who live in the town and across North Derbyshire.

At an expected cost of around £26 million, the ambitious scheme will create a new Urgent and Emergency Department Care Department – at the front of the hospital site where an existing staff car park is sited. With enabling works due to start immediately, the build itself will get off the ground in early summer – and doors are expected to open to patients at the beginning of 2023.

The desire to reinvent emergency services at the Royal has long been under debate. In 2019, after years of discussion with NHS bodies, staff, patients and public engagement, agreement was initially reached on a way-forward that effectively re-designed the existing Emergency Department (and its adjacent areas) to the tune of around £19 million. This four to five-year project would have been carried out in a number of complicated stages, to fit around the continuation of patient care and service provision.

Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer at the hospital, Berenice Groves is leading the revised project and explains the change of plan:

“The COVID-19 pandemic stopped our original proposal in its tracks, but it’s given us an opportunity to step-back and re-examine this important development, to make sure we really have ‘got it right’,” she comments.

“In the space of a year, like other hospitals across the country, we have had to work smarter. The pandemic has hastened improvements to our care processes and pathways and it’s become clear, over the last few months, that a new Urgent and Emergency Department Care Department build, outside the confines of the existing available space, offers a better solution in a shorter time-frame. Whilst on paper it might add up to a bigger financial commitment, the additional investment enables an even better environment for our patients to receive the care they need and more improvements to the workplace for our staff. Crucially, it future-proofs emergency and urgent care for everyone and provides much-needed sustainability.”

The latest architect’s plans are still being finalised, but the layout of this new and preferred option will still bring emergency, urgent and primary care services together in one space, although within defined areas. The aim is to get people where they need to be as quickly as possible, so they can be seen by the right clinical expert – whether they need treatment for a minor injury, emergency care for a serious accident, critical care for a life-threatening condition, or medical support for a long-term illness that’s causing concern. For staff, facilities will include changing areas, a staff rest room, office accommodation and an area for training. Throughout the pandemic we’ve learned just how critical these amenities are for staff to take a well-earned break and to continue their education.

The development also encompasses designated zones to care for children and those with a mental health need, as well as allowing for more in-depth assessment of patients who may require additional, but immediate support from other professionals, including therapists, voluntary and social services. There’ll also be improved access to nearby x-ray and imaging services to reduce the length of time patients spend in the department.

The transformation doesn’t stop there. As part of the project a paediatric assessment unit (PAU) will also be constructed, alongside the Royal’s Nightingale Children’s Unit. This additional aspect of the scheme will ensure babies, children and young people with acute illness or injury are assessed, investigated, observed and treated with an expectation of discharge home in 12 hours or less.

Over the next few weeks and months, a number of smaller projects will be carried out that will help the larger scheme to ‘get going’. These include works within the grounds and gardens to prepare the site, as well as other refurbishments within the existing hospital building. At the end of last year, to get ready for an earlier opening date for the Urgent and Emergency Care Department, the Trust opted to finance a pharmacy within its main entrance – which is already giving people easier access to over-the-counter and prescription medications, as well as advice from pharmacy specialists.

Dr Katherine Lendrum, Consultant in Emergency Care – and the Emergency Department’s Clinical Lead – is delighted to see progress taking place. She and the ED team have had input into the new plans and will be involved at every stage of the building programme. Commenting on the decision to adopt a new-build approach she says: “This will make such a difference and the team is incredibly excited to see the revised plans unfold. It’s absolutely the right decision for our patients and our staff. We have an opportunity to apply what we’ve learned throughout the pandemic, to cement the partnerships we’ve developed and to strengthen new ways of working that ensure our patients’ experience is a good one.

“Whatever level of care you need you will immediately be in the right place when you arrive at the door. Then it’s our job to assess you and make sure you see the right expert in the right part of our Emergency or Urgent Care Department as quickly as possible. This could be a GP, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Therapist or Consultant, but it will be someone with the skills and expertise that you require.”

Over the coming months staff, patients, the public – and other interested parties – will be able to share in the new development as it gets underway, through a series of on-line information events that build on previous engagement and involvement. These will include opportunities to view the plans and a ‘fly-through’ of the new building – to get an idea of what you’d experience as a patient. Financed by the NHS England and Improvement (through the Department of Health) and the Trust, this exciting scheme is one of the biggest recently seen on the Chesterfield Royal Hospital site and will revolutionise this aspect of hospital services that were first opened in 1984.

Baby Box


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Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s paediatric X-Ray room given space theme thanks to Fastsigns and Fujifilm

Younger patients will have an out of this world experience if they need to visit the paediatric X-Ray room at the Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

The room has been decked out with a space theme thanks to Fastsigns Chesterfield & Sheffield and Fujifilm who have worked with the hospital’s Imaging teams to transform it, making it feel less clinical and help to reduce the anxiety.

Steven Cullen, Clinical Specialist Radiographer, said: “It looks spectacular and gives the children, teenagers and even the adults a real lift when they come in. They’ll be coming for a diagnostic x-ray and won’t necessarily know what to expect so to be brought into this fun and uplifting environment really changes their mindset, puts them at ease and helps them to relax whilst we perform the scan.

“We’ve become a reference site for Fujifilm after they redeveloped our Radiology Department and they offered to come in and design the space for us. It was their idea to fill the walls with spaceships, aliens, planets, stars, installing some mood lighting and even put what can only be described as a mission control panel across our own scanning booth. It’s really very inventive, visual and I think some of the parents and even my colleagues get a bit of a buzz from it as well.”

Paul Allison, Director at Fastsigns Sheffield & Chesterfield said: “We have been planning this project with FujiFilm and Chesterfield Royal Hospital for almost a year and we are delighted to have played our part and finally bring this to life in a challenging year.”

Non-Clinical Environments

Using artwork and colourful surroundings to help relax patients is something that has been happening in many different areas across the hospital. The NGS Macmillan Unit has been designed with a glass front to bring the countryside view to chemotherapy patients, there are pictures of the Derbyshire landscapes and landmarks above most beds in the new and refurbished wards and the main entrance was designed in a way to make it feel less clinical.

Steven Cullen added: “We’ve done it for the adults as well. Another of our rooms has now got a huge mural of the Chesterfield town centre where a panoramic photograph has been touched up to resemble a painting. It has the same effect as the space theme in that people look at it and try to find their house, favourite pub or restaurant.

“I suppose you could call it a distraction technique to help put patients at ease and give them something else to concentrate on instead of the machinery, which can be imposing against our very high walls, and whatever it is that’s causing them to be here.

“It’s been very well received, encouraged discussion between our patients and radiographers and we’re hoping that we can do something very similar in other x-ray rooms, maybe even in other imaging modalities such as CT and MRI. Anything such as this that improves the patient experience is worth considering.”

It took less than a day to install the artwork, that can be wiped down in compliance with infection control guidelines, in each room.

FastSigns Sheffield and Chesterfield supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Vaccination hub at Chesterfield Royal Hospital reaches key milestone

The team running the COVID-19 vaccination hub at Chesterfield Royal Hospital has plenty to celebrate – reaching a major milestone since they opened the doors.

Matron Gemma Cort gave the first vaccination on Tuesday, December 8 2020 to colleague Ian Hazel, Director of IT and Infrastructure at DSFS. Ian has been shielding throughout the pandemic – as a failed kidney transplant and subsequent haemo-dialysis makes him extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.

Yesterday (Tuesday, 26th January) it was the turn of Matron Stacey Burton to mark the moment – when she was called upon to deliver the 10,000th ‘jab’ to Amy Chapman from the Community Nursing Team at Alfreton Primary Care.

It means the Royal – one of the first 50 hospital vaccination hubs in the country – has given the Pfizer vaccine to around 4300 of #TeamCRH (over 90%), as well as to colleagues from other local NHS organisations, care and residential homes, and some of its most vulnerable out-patients.

These were priority groups for the first phase of the national vaccination programme, which has now moved progressively out into the community, helping even more people to access the vaccine at a local centre, closer to home.

Commenting on the team’s achievement, Chief Nurse, Krishna Kallianpur said: “I am incredibly proud of them all. They came together at short notice to create a well-organised system, working outside of their ‘normal’ duties to support the vaccination programme.

“It’s been incredible to be involved right from the start. Achieving 10,000 vaccines in just seven weeks is phenomenal and we are looking forward to supporting the next stage in the country’s biggest-ever mass vaccination programme.”

The Royal is to take a step-back for the next few weeks, to enable the community vaccination programme across Derbyshire to become the main point of access. The hub will temporarily suspend its services at the end of this week; and will pick back-up in around four weeks-time, when second doses will need to be administered.

“It will allow staff working out of the vaccination hub to return to their substantive medical, nursing, pharmacy and administrative roles, supporting other areas of the hospital at this critical time.

“This short pause in vaccinating will help the rest of the hospital,” continued Krishna. “Right now we are balancing the demands of caring for over 180 patients with COVID-19, with equally high numbers of the ‘normal’ medical and surgical admissions we see at this time of year.

“Our vaccination team will return to their roles for a while to support areas of greatest need, returning in a few weeks to do it all again when we’ll start to give people the much-awaited second dose. In the meantime we’ll be linking in with our health system partners to ensure that appointments for NHS and social care staff will continue to be prioritised at other centres, including the Winding Wheel in Chesterfield town centre.”

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Rosewood Wealth management donate toys to Chesterfield Royal Hospital children’s ward

For the third year running, the team at Rosewood Wealth Management have collected and donated toys for the Nightingale Ward at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

The appeal has been running through most of November and December, with dozens of gifts being handed over to the hospital last Thursday, just in time for Santa to give them to all the children who are spending Christmas on the ward this year.

Donations from local residents and businesses across Chesterfield ranged from ages 0 to 17, so there were gifts available to everyone from toddlers to teenagers.

Rosewood’s Donna Robertson said: “This is the third year we have done it and it has grown each year. We are so overwhelmed with the amount of gifts we have received this year especially due to Covid.

“Being a mum who’s daughter had to have minor day surgery a few years ago, I feel it is the least we can do to say thank you for making things feel very normal for the children on the ward.”

Financial Services Administrative Apprentice, Abigail Denman added: “I feel so proud to be part of a company that is always looking to be able to give back, My mum works for the NHS so doing the toy appeal made me feel really pleased that we were able to give something back especially after the year we have had.

“We didn’t expect to receive many donations this year with people not wanting to venture out and we were shocked by people’s generosity. Chesterfield really is a special place to live.”

Rosewood Wealth Management supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.


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Chesterfield Royal Hospital Joins Region’s Medical Image Sharing Network

Chesterfield Royal Hospital has become the latest Trust in the East Midlands to go live with a system that allows regional hospitals to share diagnostic images.

The Royal has been part of the East Midlands Radiology Network (EMRAD)for some time and will now be able to share x-ray and other scanned images in real-time through a new Picture Archive Communication System (PACS)with neighbouring Trusts. This will give patients across the region, a faster diagnosis and improved care.

This means that health experts at the Royal, Kettering General, Northampton General, Sherwood Forest, United Lincolnshire and Nottingham University can share their knowledge and experience for the benefit of patients.

Anoop Unnikrishnan is the Royal’s Divisional Director for the Integrated Care Division and oversaw the Trust’s involvement, he said: “This is a wonderful achievement for the Trust and will ensure that our radiologists and those involved in supporting diagnostic care will be able to complement each other and draw on each other’s expertise as part of a collaborative approach.

“It means that we will be able to reach clinical decisions in a more informed and timely manner, share information about patients who have perhaps visited different local hospitals for the purpose of a diagnosis more effectively which will lead to a faster diagnosis, swifter treatment plan and better outcome for the patient.

“Meanwhile for our clinicians it represents a tremendous opportunity to share learning and knowledge, benefit from adopting new skills and training that are available through EMRAD masterclasses and become part of a wider network of colleagues in terms of providing and receiving support.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the project, both clinical and technical, for making this happen. A lot of hard work has been done across the board to make sure that we now have a system in place that will of benefit to patients and colleagues across the region.”

Amy Quick is the Application Support Lead who has been responsible for the technical side of implementing the new system. She said: “The East Midlands Imaging Network is very well established and we’ve benefitted from joining the image sharing system at a very good time. The Picture Archive and Communication System and reporting tool are incredibly robust and will complement the expertise of our clinicians.

“Our teams will also have access to additional training, not just in the new systems and imaging network but also new specialties in the form of masterclasses and course run by EMRAD. As we move towards a time when digital transformation means that collaborative working across regions becomes seamless, this can only be a positive move for patients and clinicians alike.”

Dr James Thomas, Medical Director of EMRAD said: “We’re delighted to welcome Chesterfield Royal Hospital onto our region-wide image sharing system. It’s fantastic news for patients, especially in the north Midlands, as their medical images and scans will now be instantly available to clinicians across the region. From next week, if a patient from the Chesterfield area needs to be brought to the QMC, their scans and images can arrive in Nottingham before they do, allowing clinicians to get a head start on assessing their condition and planning their care.

“We know that the image sharing portal is already speeding up and improving clinical decision-making, which will improve patient care. It is also helping to avoid delays to patient treatment caused by unnecessary transfers between hospitals, and preventing patients having repeat scans to examine the same issue if transferred to a different hospital trust”

Chesterfield Royal Hospital

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