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This Month's News

Fast track ambulatory care

Dates for your diary

Urology, Urology, Urology

Update on the lithotripsy service

Electronic notification of patient attendance at A&E

Ultrasound Phone In Service

Update on site developments for both hospitals



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October 2010


Fast track ambulatory care - Avoiding hospital admissions

Medical GP Unit (MGPU)

A new unit has been established to ensure patients are given the most appropriate treatment. The benefit to the patient is quicker triaging and unnecessary hospital admission.

The MGPU has started taking direct GP referrals from Monday 27th September.

This unit takes medical ambulatory patients referred by GPs e.g. respiratory, cardiac and suspected TIA. Patients are assessed, have diagnostic tests and a treatment plan is developed.


Referral Guidelines

Opening hours are 10-6pm Monday to Friday and it is located in A bay within MAU.

Referrals to the unit should continue to be through the on-call Medical Registrar on bleep 5951 (via main switchboard at SPH).

Communicating with the take team or senior nurse in advance of arrival ensures the unit is prepared and facilitates the early assessment and a clear medical management plan.

Please provide the MGPU with GP contact details, NOK/Carer and any significant co-morbidities/presentation.


Patients will be discharged from MGPU to the care of their GP, with a discharge letter, unless their condition requires admission.

The activity of the Unit will be monitored monthly. Any feedback in order that we may improve our service will be greatly appreciated.



Dates for your diary

Clinical Interface Meetings

Quarterly GP and Consultant meetings. Our next date is December 14th at 12pm in the Bessier room at Foxhills country club.


Spotlight Seminars

Gynaecology - 21st October Urology-26th January 2011
Foxhills Country Club at 6,30pm.


Dementia Study Day

7th October at Ashford hospital, phone 01932 722304 to reserve your place. Agenda is enclosed.


GP Training Days

Our 30th GP Refresher course is being held between the 8-10th November at St. Peters Hospital. Phone 01932 723987 to reserve you place. See flyer enclosed.




Urology, Urology, Urology

The urology department at Ashford and St Peters has 5 consultants, Robin Cole, Justin Collins, Bill Dunsmuir, Ravi Kulkarni and Krishna Patil who between them offer an impressive range of sub specialisation. A complete and broad range of urological services are now well established within the Trust. Robin Cole and Ravi Kulkarni provide Surrey with a cystectomy service for bladder cancer and recent audit of their results has been very impressive. A mature and complete laparoscopic service is available and in conjunction with our colleagues in the region, a robotic service is developing.

Bill Dunsmuir, Justin Collins and Krishna Patil provide laparoscopic services including nephrectomy and laparoscopic pyeloplasty. Krishna Patil and Justin Collins also offer laparoscopic prostatectomy and have recently performed their first NHS robotic assisted laparoscopic prostatectomies and are working with the cancer network and other Trusts on provision of the service.

The patients were discharged within 24 to 48 hours and have done very well. Krishna Patil has also recently performed his first laparoscopic cystectomy. Bill Dunsmuir provides an infertility service. As well as these specialist services the team is also developing new services including a new lithotripter to treat kidney and ureteric stones. To provide more rapid access to Consultant led services a number of new one stop clinics are being planned.



Update on the lithotripsy service

A new lithotripter has been purchased by the Trust which will dramatically cut the time that individuals need to wait for treatment.

The Lithoskop in situ

The Lithoskop in situ


The new Lithoskop lithotriptor is now installed and up and running at St Peters hospital. The urology department chose this machine, which is the first of its type in the United Kingdom, because it has several unique attributes compared to other lithotriptors. Lithoskop provides a new and efficient shock wave system with a penetration depth of 16 centimetres which makes Lithoskop well suited even for obese patients. It has a powerful generator and almost all stones can be disintegrated in only one session. It combines the latest digital imaging which provides reliable image quality and because the shockwave head is mounted on a highly maneuverable ‘C-arm’ the lithotripsy can be given without the need to constantly reposition the patient. All these attributes improve the safety and efficiency of the service and we look forward to developing this new lithotripsy service for our patients in Surrey.

If you would like to refer a patient for known or suspected kidney stones then please refer to the Urology department at St Peters Hospital or contact us on 01932 722376.



Electronic notification of patient attendance at A&E

The trust has been trialling the sending of patient A&E attendance summaries via email for a few weeks now following discussion with GP practices.

What this means is that where we as a trust have a nhs.net mail account registered for a practice, daily notification is sent straight to the practice, removing the delay in receiving that information as a result of the postal service.

We have received positive feedback and would like to extend this opportunity to all referring GP practices who access a nhs.net mail account on a daily basis. On a related subject we are really pleased about the rollout of Docman. Where Docman has been installed letters go out via this route.


How to sign up to this email service?

Email Joanna Matthews (Joanna.matthews@asph.nhs.uk) with your practice nhs.net account



Ultrasound Phone In Service

At the beginning of August 2010, the Ashford and St.Peter’s Radiology Department launched a brand new same day phone-in ultrasound service, which is already proving to be a great success.

The old ‘walk-in’ service was extremely popular, both with patients and local GP’s, but the huge demand meant that some patients had a long wait, and we occasionally had to turn patients away. Our brand new same day service means that patients can telephone the department and reserve a slot for that day’s ultrasound list. 


Referral Information

If you would like to refer one of your patients, please complete a same day ultrasound request form, and ensure that you tick only one scan category. We can offer upper abdomen, renal, pelvis (inc. gynae), testes, thyroid and paediatric renal and abdomen.

Please ensure that you sign the same day ultrasound request form and give it to your patient, ensuring that they are aware of the preparation they need to follow. The form contains the telephone number and the times that they need to ring.  Appointments will be offered at either Ashford or St Peters Hospitals.

If your patient requires any other type of scan, they will need to be referred using the routine appointment service. Our current waiting times are 1–2 weeks. Request forms and preparation instructions are available electronically from ros.davis@asph.nhs.uk or at  http://www.ashfordstpeters.org.uk.

The Radiology Department are also trialling an extension to  the GP walk in service for plain film x-rays. Patients will now be welcome to come to the department between 5.00pm and 6.30pm, Monday to Thursday, with their signed request form.



Update on site developments for both hospitals

St Peters Hospital

Since the whole site master plan was approved in early 2010, planning permission has been submitted for new car-parking and we are pleased to say it was approved at the end of August. The trust is now in the early stages of reconfiguring the existing car parking places to ease congestion on site and make it easier for patients and visitors to find a space.

Two car parking decks will be added, the first outside Abbey Wing (completion due summer 2011) and the second later in the year behind the Duchess of Kent Wing.


Upgrades to clinical areas

Endoscopy Unit: With completion in November, modifications to the layout are being made to segregate the sexes and pre and post procedure patients. Together with a new Reception, flooring & lighting, redecorations and improved working practices will modernise the unit and improve patient experience.

The outpatients upgrade is complete, you will now see a smarter reception area, which is newly redecorated and which makes for a better environment.

We are also upgrading Kingfisher ward in order to modernise the ward environment and ensure the facilities comply with single sex legislation.


Ashford Hospital

Driving along the A30 you may have noticed that the West Wing has now been demolished by the private developers who purchased the site.

Internal improvements will be made shortly within the Topaz Suite; with improved air-conditioning in ultrasound rooms and new vinyl flooring laid for better infection control.

An important upgrade of the outpatients department starts in early 2011; this will be a phased development with a modernisation and reorganisation of the facilities.