During our recent Immunology patient webinar, we asked people how confident they felt about leaving the house since the start of the Covid pandemic. Our straw poll showed that over half still had concerns, and 1 in 3 felt very uncomfortable.
The impact of Covid on the lives of people with weak immune systems is not fully recognised. Hopefully Prof Richter’s talk helped everyone to understand the risks. Our patients can also ask for support from our psychology service.
We are delighted to welcome Nicola Wilson, our new Clinical Psychologist, to the Immunology team. Nicola will be available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the Heartlands site, offering psychological support and talking therapies to help our patients in managing worries, stresses, and emotional challenges related to living with a condition affecting their immune system. You can read more about the service here.
If you’d like to speak to Nicola, just ask one of the Immunology team.
Following a thorough assessment and an inspection visit, the West Midlands Immunodeficiency Service was recently awarded full accreditation for the service it provides for children and adults with immunodeficiency and HAE.
A team from the Quality in Primary Immunodeficiency Services (QPIDS) scheme, part of the Royal College of Physicians accreditation unit, visited the service at Heartlands Hospital in October. They were full of praise for the service we provide for our patients with immune disorders. This provides us and our patients with reassurance of the quality of the service, and also helps ensure our continued commissioning as a specialised service.
The service was first accredited in 2012. This year the assessment was against new and rigorous independent standards, and we are only the third centre in the UK to be accredited to these. You can find out more about the QPIDS scheme here.
Many of our patients know the calm and kind voice of Margaret, our secretary. She has been taking calls from our patients for many years, helping them to get the best from our Immunology service. And of course she is an indispensable support for the doctors and nurses on the team.
At the end of our regular team meeting in July, she was amazed to see some old friends and colleagues turn up to celebrate her 40th anniversary at Heartlands hospital.
Professor Ron Thompson, who founded the department 48 years ago, was first to congratulate Margaret on her achievement.
She also received cards and emails from many of the patients who have come to know her over the years. Many thanks for everything you’ve done, Margaret.
Some of our HAE patients and their families joined us on Saturday 17th September for a day of presentations, discussions and a chat over coffee and lunch.
The Heartlands team were joined by Laura Szutowicz from HAE UK, Dr Andrew Volans (A&E consultant from Scarborough) and Laura Dight (Dietician) for a wide-ranging programme.
We will post highlights of the day and more photos on the patient pages soon.
Members of the Immunology team helped to spread the word about Primary Immunodeficiency (PI) to mark World PI Week in April. The stand in our hospital health information area was well visited. The most popular leaflet was one helping people understand how their amazing immune system works.
Immunologists from Heartlands Hospital led the bid to bring the conference back to the UK for the first time in 30 years. This unique conference combines patient and nursing groups with a medical and scientific meeting, and is the largest Immunodeficiency congress in the world.
Once again the sun shone on over 100 people who joined us for our Immunology Patient and Family Day on Sunday 3rd July. Patients and professional speakers all shared their experiences of living and working with immunodeficiency. There were moving and inspiring patient stories, updates on treatment and research, and workshops to explore specific topics in more detail. Of course there was plenty of time to chat and swap stories over coffee and lunch.
We’ve had some great feedback and plan to put a summary of the meeting, photos and patients’ questions on this website soon.
Dr Alex Richter speaking to patients from Heartlands Hospital and University Hospital Birmingham about immunoglobulin products.
This year’s Immunology Patient and Family Day will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel NEC on Sunday 3rd July. Patients from anywhere in the West Midlands are welcome to attend. As usual the packed programme will include talks from expert speakers and patients, an excellent lunch and of course plenty of time to chat and share stories. There will be a creche, so bring the kids.
If you would like to attend, call Margaret on 0121 424 0185.
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