Monday, 15 October 2018

Oliver joins Harvey's Gang at Great North Children’s Hospital

Blood Sciences welcomed its newest Honorary Biomedical Scientist on the 15th October 

when Oliver joined Harvey’s Gang! Oliver, who is 5, suffers from Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) and is a frequent visitor to the Great North Children’s Hospital. ITP causes low platelets and results in recurrent bruising and bleeding.

Oliver’s Grandmother, Nicola, who also attended the visit said; “Oliver is always really interested when they take his blood samples, and wonders why when he’s bleeding they take even more blood!”
During the visit Oliver loaded samples onto the two main analysers and watched as they passed along the track!

He watched some colour change reactions in Biochemistry and also looked at blood cells down the microscope

He also enjoyed looking at the bags of blood cells, plasma and platelets in the Transfusion laboratory!

At the end of the visit Oliver was presented with a certificate and goody bag!

Thanks to Peter, Peter and Jodie for helping with Oliver’s visit!
Steph Teasdale
Trainee Clinical Scientist
Haematology and Transfusion

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you Steph, Peter, Peter, and Jodie, brilliant, great work, very many thanks, and welcome to Harvey's Gang OLIVER

In a year that has seen Malcolm (Harvey's Gang) awarded;

Certificate of recognition from BBTS

NHS70 award for Children and Young People, presented by THE BBC One Show

Biomedical Scientist of the Year 
Overall winner for Allied Health professional and healthcare scientists

Additional films:

Harvey’s Gang Registered Charity Number: 1169181:

Twitter:                       #HarveysGang

Malcolm Robinson
Chief BMS Blood Transfusion
Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Friday, 12 October 2018

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust had their first ever fund raiser for Harvey’s Gang

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust raised £271.28 and we all feel very proud of ourselves and especially proud of Harvey’s Gang. 

(Hi, Malcolm here: I FULLY Agree: £ 271,28 amazing, Thank you Fiona Robinson)

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust had their first ever fund raiser for Harvey’s Gang on the 18th September 2018.

All those involved - patients, visitors and staff, had a fantastic time.

We had a cake sale, tombola and lucky dip - all these raised quite a bit of money and some generous visitors spent money on all three. Those with children were persuaded to part with their money at the sight of the tombola and wrapped lucky dip presents!

We tried our hand with a ‘Pick a Stick’ but this didn’t seem to go down well - never mind, we’ll know for next time! Pity the poor soul who spent hours painting numerous cocktail sticks!

Staff commented how great it was to meet the patients and put a face to a name - sometimes the human side of laboratory work can get a little lost in the day to day of routine work.

Staff enjoyed their time away from the bench and liked seeing other parts of the hospital that they didn’t usually visit.

Having recently become involved with Harvey’s Gang and seeing the difference the experience made to patients, a little time spent raising funds was the least staff felt they could do.

All-in-all it was a very productive, enjoyable and worthwhile event. We raised £271.28 and we all feel very proud of ourselves and especially proud of Harvey’s Gang.

Thank you to all who donated and spent money!

Fiona Robinson

I would completely concur thank you all so much

NHS70 award for Children and Young People, presented by THE BBC One Show

Additional films:

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Harvey's gang goes live in Nottingham University Hospital

Nottingham University Hospital (NUH) News: NUH Pathologists help 13-year old boy with rare illness overcome fear of blood tests

As you are aware we have been setting up the Nottingham university hospital process to take on the next step of the great work of the Harvey’s Gang.

You will know of the time it takes to set up and plan such visits and tours.

It is therefore with great pride that I can send you  the news release and photo’s of the 1st visit that occurred last month. Our second tour occurred yesterday of a younger patient following the feedback from the pilot and others are being planned.

Please let me know if you would like to receive additional information as and when these tours happen.


Michael J Skill
Deputy Service Manager Blood Transfusion

Birmingham Women's and Children's Hospital start Harvey's Gang tours

Young patient goes behind the scenes at Birmingham Women's and children's hospital and joins Harvey's Gang:

On Tuesday 3rd July 2018 the laboratories were joined by 11 year-old Laraib Mahmood to join in the fun of a Harvey's Gang tour.  

Harvey's Gang invites ill youngsters to become trainee biomedical scientists for the day and to tour pathology laboratories with their families.

Blood tests and blood transfusions are a frequent occurrence for 11 year old Laraib Mahmood, who was diagnosed with ALL ABL2 Leukaemia in February 2017.  
Laraib and her family wondered where her blood samples go and how labs process the results.

Laraib became a scientist for the afternoon accompanied by her Mum and cousin.  Laraib was given her own Harvey's gang lab coat and also given her own trainee scientist badge.  Laraib along with her family saw the machines that test Laraib's bloods and met the scientists who run the labs. 
They also looked through the microscopes at blood cells, saw where the blood was stored and followed the journey of Laraib's blood through the lab.  From haematology Laraib and her family went on to look at the histology and microbiology labs and got to again look at cells through the microscope.

Mum said that the "tour was very special"

Laraib said "it was better than could have ever imagined and gave it a score of 1000/10"

Harvey’s Gang Registered Charity Number: 1169181:

Harvey's gang at Great North Children's Hospital

An update on a promotional event we have been involved in over the summer in Newcastle. We were approached by the Great North Children's Hospital (GNCH) to have a stand for Harvey’s Gang at their pop-up hospital as part of the Great Exhibition of the North. 
We had a stand on two days, involving promoting the Harvey’s Gang concept and also some small experiments for the children who were visiting to learn more about blood cells and laboratory tests. 

Stephanie Teasdale received a very kind letter to:

Stephanie Teasdale,
Harvey’s Gang,
Great North Children’s Hospital,
Royal Victoria Infirmary,
Newcastle Upon Tyne

Dear Stephanie and the Harvey’s Gang team,

On behalf of the Children’s Services Directorate we would like to thank you and your team very much for your attendance at the GNCH Pop up Hospital.  We would like to thank you for your time, enthusiasm, creativity and dedication to the event.  The daily programme of activities helped to enrich the exhibit and proved extremely popular with our visitors. Thanks to your contribution the Pop up Hospital was a great success with over 2,000 people visiting the exhibit.  The Pop up Hospital helped to educate children, young people and families about health and wellbeing, the Great North Children's Hospital and the amazing work that goes on there while having fun too!  We hope you enjoyed the experience.  If you would like to be involved in future events the GNCH may be involved in please do not hesitate to contact us and we will keep you informed of future events and opportunities.

 Sarah Dickson
Administrator and Facilitator
GNCH Pop up Hospital

The team are very appreciative of your contribution
Once again, many thanks for your support

Yours sincerely
Julie Anderson
Research and Innovations Manager
Children’s Services

Stephanie also gave a Harvey's 
gang tour andreceived this 
lovely letter from the lovely young lady, Layla;

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Royal Hospital for Sick children goes live with Harvey's Gang

Hello everyone; FANTASTIC news 

Edinburgh has officially went live with ‘Harvey Gang’

We are delighted to announce to Harvey Gang that Arabella Muir was our first patient at Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh on 08/08/18. 

Arabella was diagnosed with ALL in Nov 2016: Here are a few lines from Arabella:

"I was really excited when I was asked to be the first member of Harveys Gang in Edinburgh.  It was really interesting to see around the labs and find out what happened to my blood.  It was really cool.  I liked looking down the microscope and found that really interesting.  I’ve seen it on load of movies and it was great to do it myself.  I really didn’t know what to expect and I never realised how many things need to be done to your blood to get a tiny test.  The machines were amazing, especially the big robot.  It was all really exciting.  I really liked it when the sample came out the spinner and the blood was split like oil and vinegar.  It was really strange how little was left when the clear bit was taken out and amazing that you can get a result from so little blood.  Getting to see my bone marrow was an extra bonus and let me see what leukaemia looks like.  I really liked looking at the neutrophils, especially the one that looked like a smiley face; it was well behaved!  Thanks for asking me to be the first one to do it.
Harvey Gang tour started with blood samples taken in morning –arrive by hand with patient, Arabella Muir 

The Behind the scene tour begins with Arabella being introduced to the Air Pod System which transports blood samples to the blood Science laboratory from the RHSC hospital, Arabella sent a pod to the hospital clinic with a personal message from her, we then waited to see if the same pod returned with a message sent back; It did! 

Arabella got to identify the variety of blood collection tubes used in our laboratory –she recognised the different sizes and colours of tubes from a chart of different coloured blood tubes and recalled the colour of tubes she got taken today for blood tests

Arabella was able to view the process in which individual barcoded laboratory numbers are assigned to her own blood samples and ready to be analysed for the requested tests  and the tests requested by the doctor along with patient details are entered into the laboratory computer system

Arabella got to use the whizzy machine ‘centrifuge’ in which a blood sample was centrifuged to separate the cells from liquid part ‘supernatant’ for biochemistry testing.

Arabella then toured the Blood Sciences laboratory watching blood samples being processed.

Arabella meets the specialised machine called ‘Abbott architect’ but we prefer to call him ARCHIE, she watches him perform many different types of chemical reactions on the fluid plasma (supernatant) the most common requests are for analysis of blood on this analyser, we have capability measuring the amount of  30 different substances in blood and  9 products in urine  some in fluids such as CSF, different chemical reactions requires longer time to measure the products, the chemical reactions take place in individual glass cups called ‘cuvettes. chemistry assays can assess your health, check if you have an infection or see how well certain organs, such as the liver and kidneys, are working

Arabella gots to playI SPY in the laboratory and she managed to tick off  everything in the activity book – Well done Arabella!

Arabella visited the Haematology section to meet the analyser  ‘sysmex’  also known as the ‘The gluppie glup’ machine which sorted the blood cells and counted them into different cells;
white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets.

We looked at her own results from today and compared them with the reference range for children of her age and her previous results
Arabella watched a her own blood being spread to make a blood film and then stained> to do this we had to use a machine to ‘dye the cells’ by colouring them in make them in its makes them easier to spot under the microscope
Arabella looked at her own blood sample under the microscope and identify the different types of cells with help from the activity sheets

Arabella also got to view her own previous bone marrow spreads under the microscope as well as her own blood film and bone marrow were viewed from a monitor with an explanation of her diagnosis and treatment needed to make her get better at the end of the tour  Arabella was congratulated on becoming an honorary member of Harvey Gang and presented with Certificate of Attendance on becoming ‘a trainee Biomedical scientist’ for the day
‘Harvey’s Goody bag’ full of presents (age dependent) such as: SYSMEX ruler and coloured post it tabs, a squishy microscope and water bottle from Menarini. Cuddly teddy and highlighter triple coloured pen and pencil from WERFEN. Gonk novelty character, coloured post it tabs and post it pad and pen from IBMS .Harvey’s Gang journal, pen  and coloured pencils pack .orange Harvey’s Gang lanyard and  gonk novelty character. a squishy red blood from Ortho Clinical Diagnostics. a fabulous Harvey’s Gang lab coat from Handelsbanken (The new batches are kindly sponsored by The IBMS)

Special mention to our current laboratory suppliers ‘highlighted’ for their generous donations

If you require any more information , please do not hesitate to ask

Best Wishes
Tamara Hanson
Laboratory section manager
Paediatric Haematology and Biochemistry laboratories
Royal Hospital for Sick children

Harvey's Gang also would like to say thanks to Tammy for her huge effort to start Harvey's Gang and to the team in Royal Hospital for Sick children and welcome Arbella to Harvey's gang.

Additionally  a  huge thanks to Handelsbanken, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics and The IBMS for their kind generous and continued support for Harvey's Gang.

You can help support Harvey's Gang thank you, Malcolm Robinson

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Holly joined Harvey's gang with the Dundee team

The Dundee team were joined by Holly (13) and her mum (Fiona) on 4th June.  

 Holly has Hereditary Spherocytosis and has had her gall balder removed after complications arising from this.  She also has mild von Willibrands factor.  

Whilst she would like to attend school full time the spherocytosis means that she is always anaemic and therefore frequently tired.  She is still diligently studying at home though (wish all the staff here were as conscientious)!

Holly is also a very keen dancer and doesn’t let her anaemia stop her from enjoying ballet, highland dancing, jazz and broadway. Phew!

It was a pleasure to have someone visiting who is so keen to learn and find out about what we do and how it relates to her diagnosis.  A good time was had by all.  Holly is keen to visit the other laboratories to learn even more!

Welcome to Harvey's Gang Holly; I am glad you have joined as and good luck for the future, hopefully the Dundee team will get you into the other laboratories soon, best wishes, Malcolm, Founder Harvey's Gang

Monday, 21 May 2018

Eva joins Harvey's Gang at Southampton

On Friday University Hospital at Southampton (UHS) 

Kerry and team write; "we had the great pleasure of meeting 7 ½  year old
Eva has  Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) and has been treated at UHS since she was  a 1 year old!

Eva bought hospital bear along on the visit, he had his own home made lab coat which was super awesome!

Eva loves science and was really excited and engaged by her tour.  Eva’s mum said the initiative was inspired and a great experience for the children, often the blood tests needed are not explained to the family.  Eva went back to clinic, had her sample taken and came back smiling to load it on the track.

Eva’s play specialist Jenny took her second tour alongside Eva, Jenny said she loved the way each tour was tailored to the child and was very age appropriate.  Apparently Eva was buzzing with excitement after the tour and she wants to be a scientist J

For me today it was humbling to watch Eva intently listening and taking in everything we told her, such a smart young lady.  She put a smile on all the staffs faces.

Looking forward to our next little visitor

Kerry Dowling
Blood Transfusion Laboratory Manager

Laboratory Medicine

Southampton General Hospital

Thanks Kerry and Harvey's Gang team at Southampton: Did you Catch the BBC The One Show? I was recognised, with an NHS70 Healthcare award for Children and Young People, for the work that Harvey's Gang is doing in 40 Trust sites around the UK. Very humbled, thank you, Malcolm.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Portsmouth QA hospital launch Harvey's Gang

Good news Portsmouth QA hospital (Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust) hosted Harvey's Gang:

Nathan Hunt, Blood Sciences Laboratory Manager for Portsmouth writes; "our first Harvey's gang tour on Thursday of last week. Our first patient was Sam, an 8 year old boy with immunodeficiency which required a Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT). He was accompanied by his older brother Liam and his Dad. Unfortunately the other little boy was too sick to attend but Paediatrics were able to speak to the family of two brothers, Abdullaah and Abdurrahman, with beta Thalassaemia and they were able to attend at short notice with their Dad. 

From left - Laura Wainwright (Consultant Clinical Biochemist), Mark Cubbon (Chief Executive of the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust), Liam Merrick and brother Sam Merrick, Melloney Poole (Chairman of The Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust), and Andrew Flatt (Clinical Director of Pathology)
They were greeted by the CEO Mark Cubbon and the Trust Chairperson, Melloney Poole where they also received their Harvey's Gang lab coats (a favourite with everyone including the staff) and Harvey's Gang goodie bags before splitting into two groups to have a look around Blood Bank, Haematology, Flow (Sam only) and Screening (Abdullaah and Abdurrahman only). 
There were interactive ‘experiments’ in Blood bank and some pressing of buttons in Haematology.

Everyone seemed to really enjoy the tour and feedback from the the Paediatric Consultants, parents and also the staff involved was very positive and appreciative. 
There is a wash up meeting planned for later this week and some fund raising events also in the pipeline (we do love cake in pathology!). (isn't that the truth! comment by Malcolm)

I have also suggested some lunchtime educational meetings for the staff based on the conditions the boys have, to complete the loop as it were, as some of the lab staff do not have a great deal of knowledge of these particular conditions. I will keep you updated re the fundraising.

Thanks Nathan, Harvey's Gang tours are great Continual Professional development (CPD), as some laboratory teams specialise in different area's and some staff groups do miss out. I am so very pleased that you, as a local Trust, Portsmouth, are now live with Harvey's Gang tours. Harvey's gang are live in 35 NHS Trusts now we are halfway to this year' goal of NHS70

Brilliant work Team Portsmouth, many thanks Malcolm

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Another Harvey's Gang tour at Southampton, today

9 year old Zakir joined Harvey's Gang today

Kerry and her team in the Pathology laboratories are busy; Today the laboratories at UHS Southampton had the pleasure of a visit from Zakir (9) with his brothers, Rahim and Yasin, and their Mum & Dad

Zakir is a kidney transplant patient

His favourite part of the tour was ‘blobbing’ (AKA tile group) and his 12 year old brother loved the microscope

Help Harvey's Gang and donate here, please; Thank you

Well done Kerry and Team, welcome to Harvey's Gang, Zakir;

And now we have "Blobbing" for Tile Grouping, but will this overtake yesterday's "Mango slushie" for (Platelets)! It's a new vocabulary, and I didn't do well with the real one!Have a great day, best wishes, Malcolm Robinson, Harvey's Gang