Monday, 14 January 2019

Jack is launched in memory at Worthing hospital

A fabulous and emotional journey happened today at Western Sussex NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust, Worthing hospital.

WE had the honour of naming our second Ortho Vision Blood grouping analyser, JACK, in memory of Jack Bray.  

It gave us the opportunity of reuniting Jack and Harvey in our Blood Transfusion laboratory.

We had the honour of being visited by Jack Mum, Andrina, Dad, Dan and Jack sister, Nicole, and Leigh our retired Senior Biomedical Scientist.

It was Leigh that gave Jack his laboratory tour prior to the start of Harvey's gang. When I launched Harvey's gang I did promise that one day I would reunite the two friends, in memory, Jack and Harvey. In my last week before retirement it did fill me with joy that I could live up to that promise to Andrina.

We had Jack' two Play Specialists, Hayley and Christie join us too. A time of reminiscing and sharing of stories

We had our haematology colleagues join us for the launch too. The Picture and plaque very kindly donated by Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, and we all had our Harvey's gang coats on, thanks to the Institute of Biomedical Sciences.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

At Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary Harvey's Gang first tour of 2019

Blood Sciences at the Royal Victoria Infirmary welcomed its first visitor of 2019 when six-year-old Olivia and her mum, Terry, came to visit the laboratory.

Olivia requires red cell transfusion every 4 weeks so was really excited to find out what happens to her blood samples and to look at where the bags of blood come from. 

She brought her samples down to the lab and booked them onto the laboratory computer system with some help from Marc. She then loaded them onto the different analysers, or train tracks as we like to call them!

We made a blood film of Olivia’s sample and she was able to look at this down the microscope! She really enjoyed looking at her blood cells, and finding all the different white blood cells.

In transfusion we showed Olivia and her mum all the different blood products and found some blood that was the same group as her.

Finally in Biochemistry, George showed Olivia how the analyser works by demonstrating some colour change reactions – Olivia was especially excited when one turned her favourite colour, pink!

Welcome to Harvey’s Gang Olivia – it was a pleasure to have you!

Thank you Steph Teasdale and all Harvey's gang team at Newcastle RVI

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Secret Santa at Worthing hospital Laboratory; WOW, Thanks Santa

I have been blown away by Secret Santa at work:

A calendar that beats all the competition; Secret Santa gave me my very own Harvey's Gang 2019 Calendar

The beautiful identical twins, Claudia and Annabelle

Francesca with her Mum, Julia, and BBC One South news team; Harvey's gang launches

Pathology Laboratory team at Worthing at the launch of Harvey's gang

Elle Mae and Malcolm

The Ortho Vision; "Harvey" with Malcolm with Harvey's parents Richard and Claire

Awarded Biomedical Scientist of the year 2018; very PROUD

William; aged 4 Halloween 2014

Awarded BBC The One Show #NHS70 NHS Patients Thank you award 2018 for Children and Young People's Care Award 

To finish the year, amazingly awarded Certificate of Recognition from BBTS (British Blood Transfusion Society)

Aiya joins Harvey's Gang at Birmigham Children's hospital

Aiya is a nearly 4 year old girl who has leukemia currently in year 2 of her treatment programme.  

Aiya  has numerous blood tests and blood transfusions.  

She has been poorly over her treatment period, requiring her to spend long periods in hospital to which her brother, Zain (who is 8 years old) has been resident and attending school in the hospital.  

Zain struggled with Aiya having the blood transfusions regularly commenting "is she going to die" whenever he saw a blood transfusion in progress.   

Mum contacted me about the tours after seeing a poster that I had displayed in the oncology parents room and from hearing the experience of another family. 

The tour was a huge success, we received excellent outstanding feed back where in summary (as was a lengthy feedback) mum stated that

" I can’t thank Michelle and the Lab scientists enough for the experience. And simply all their hard work that completely goes unnoticed!! It is a complete eye opener into what goes on behind the scenes. We have gained knowledge and understanding, and I think I’ve gained a scientist in the making!!"

Initially I had no scientists volunteer to lead the tour so it was led by one of our MLAs however as the tour got under way it become evident that the team were all pitching in at different areas of the labs and it ended up 

a team event and they all thoroughly enjoyed it and felt that this was a better approach rather than leaving it to one scientist which is how we had run the other tours. 

Kind Regards
Michelle Wakelin
Blood Transfusion Practitioner

Friday, 4 January 2019

Malcolm tries to put pen to paper as a lead up to retirement from the NHS

As I sit and ponder, Oh how I wonder what will happen, where I’ll be in the year ahead.

I have met many young patients that had fears in their heads when they were bled.
That is why I started Harvey’s Gang to help empower
To help educate the young after seeing first-hand how we helped young Harvey, and gave him the power.

There is a bond that should never be stressed or broken, the love of a mother and her child, the love of Dad and his lad.

To hear of the woes, tears and fears that the young lad or lass had of being held tight by Mum, and their tears and his fears of being bled.

A simple tour allayed those fears, meeting the people, seeing the machines, looking down microscopes seeing the tracks and watching the barcodes being read.

Saying “Hi” to the people, meeting the biomedical scientists that deal with many samples, not going to bed.

They have their own made to measure white laboratory Harvey’s gang coat to protect them on their visit to the lab

Don’t they just look fab; the coat empowers them, the coat protects, not just as a trainee Scientist, but as their own superhero coat, as they leave and step into the cab.

The young lass leaves the lab to go back to the ward still in her coat, with Mum or Dad or both, still wearing her I.D with pride, see that smile.

Smiling together, their lovely shared memories, but oh so different memories from different perspectives, but both to the same end, reducing the fear and stress of both lad and Dad.

She talks to her Play Specialist, friends and then presents at school about that fabulous day, still at play, in her own coat.
That day that changed her life, the day in hospital with a smile on her young face,
The day that will never be forgotten, by both her and all the laboratory staff that were able and honoured to meet her.

That day never forgotten, always remembered with a smile, a smile of hope, a tear of happiness, a hospital ward of hope, a world of potential, perhaps new biomedical scientists.

Where will I be in the year ahead, the year I retire, where will that lad or lass be?
Less fearful, if only.

Malcolm Robinson
Harvey’s Gang
January 04th 2019

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Carson joined Harvey's gang in Dundee in November

In 2017 Carson was diagnosed with a brain tumour and has undergone several operations and many doses of radiotherapy and chemotherapy since then. 

We had Carson (5) visit us in Dundee in November.
During that time he received 12 red cells transfusions and 4 platelet transfusions.

Carson certainly made the most of his day out as a trainee scientist and has been enjoying teasing his sisters for the last week about his visit.

 It was great to meet Carson who is so enthusiastic (but kept us in line) and not fazed by any part of his treatment.

Loving the paw patrol wellies.  Ready for any eventuality!

 A Transfusionist of the future perhaps? Carson showing the empowerment and education of a Harvey's Gang tour, allaying any fear of the unknown.

Carson joining the great Harvey's gang team at Dundee. A picture showing our fabulous team work is; Putting the Patient at the Heart of the Laboratory: Patient Blood Management at work.