Monday, 24 December 2018

Callum joins Harvey's gang at RVI Newcastle

There are many young children that require lots of blood samples and it is scary/frightening. We have reduced this fear! Scientists are introducing young children into their laboratories to help overcome their fear of needles and to empower the young patients to help take charge of their own illness or disease.

Blood Sciences at the RVI welcomed its latest Trainee Scientist on the 20th December when Callum came to visit. 

Callum, 6, comes to the hospital every month for a check-up and blood tests.

He brought his own blood samples down to the lab, and watched Lisa book them onto the computer system. After this he put the samples into special racks and then onto the two big analysers.
In haematology he watched his sample pass along the track to the storage area. We then made a blood film, and Callum looked at his own blood cells down the microscope. Callum was really excited that one of his neutrophils looked like a smiley face!

In the transfusion lab, Peter showed Callum all the different blood products we keep in stock and he really enjoyed feeling all the different products as they were different temperatures!
In biochemistry, Denise showed Callum how the analyser tests our blood for the hundreds of different things we carry around the body. Callum, and his mum and grandad, had to guess what the colour the plasma would change to – he guessed correctly twice out of three times!
At the end Callum was presented with a certificate and goodie bag – welcome to Harvey’s Gang!

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

MERRY Christmas Callum, and Merry Chriistmas to ALL

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Harvey's gang live in TASMANIA

I am so very proud to introduce Mike and their inaugural Harvey's Gang member Michaella.

Mike writes;
I am originally from the UK (born, bred and trained) and therefore am a Fellow of the IBMS. I emigrated to Tasmania in 2004 and have been here at the Launceston General Hospital ever since. I saw on Facebook your achievement award for Harvey’s Gang from the IBMS about 8 months ago and of course read your story. I had a similar (but much less grander) idea about 5 years ago but obviously just for our own Hospital rather than the global phenomenon you have created. Having seen your tour and now in a managerial role I decided to re-visit the idea of doing our own tour. I got approval from our Laboratory Manager and then approached Sonja our Nurse Unit Manager on our Children’s ward who was hugely supportive and enthusiastic about the whole thing.

Without that initial support this would have stopped where it was. Having got her approval to progress this I contacted our professional bodies asking for pens, pencils, and other items that were suitable for this tour with young children in mind.  Our Transfusion Nurse mentioned Harvey’s Gang to a Doctor at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service in Melbourne and she said she had heard about it and believed that you were trying to go global with Canada having just achieved that. That is when I contacted you back in May.

The attached templates you sent me have been invaluable and we have adjusted and updated to our own local needs and regulations. They certainly saved us a huge amount of time. We then needed to get permission from all levels of our Hospital structure and that in itself has taken a while to sort out especially as Children and social media are involved. While we waited we thought about new ideas to build on the experience we had planned so we added a few gifts of our own and then asked other areas if they would consider being involved. Our House services approved our Hospital Security to issue a VIP Hospital ID badge with the patient’s picture that gives swipe card access to Pathology and the Children’s ward. Afterwards it gets deactivated but they get to keep it on your Harvey’s Gang lanyard. Our Food services department made a meal that the child had identified as being their favourite and they got to enjoy that when they returned to the ward after their visit.

And finally our tour from being just a Haematology or Blood Transfusion experience became a Pathology tour as all our Heads of Department wanted to become involved. Every single person involved with this or involved with the approval process has been massively supportive.  This also includes Harvey’s Gang who supplied us with some additional gifts and the Harvey’s Gang Laboratory coats. Too many people to name and not fair to single individuals out as everyone is playing their part however minor it may seem to be.

 Now to the first Harvey’s Gang VIP visitor…..Michaella

Michaella is a long time visitor to our Children’s ward and regularly receives blood products from us so we were very proud to invite her and her mother Sally to the first Harvey’s Gang tour in Tasmania and indeed Australia according to yourself. She visited our entire department including our Office, Specimen Reception, Central Separating Department, Biochemistry, Cellular Pathology, Microbiology, Haematology and Transfusion Department. 

She got to send specimen tube carriers in our vacuum delivery system, do an osmolality in Biochemistry, mount some sections on a slide in Histology, plate out a bug and drawing her own picture with it and finally got to look at all the Blood products and look at Blood Films in Haematology and Transfusion.

At the end of the tour I presented Michaella with her honorary Harvey’s Gang certificate and she had her picture taken with her mother holding the Harvey’s Gang gift bag. An email I received from Michaella’s mother Sally yesterday was very complimentary of our efforts and both mother and daughter enjoyed it.

A fantastic experience for all so thank you for allowing us to be part of this. We have already identified another patient and hope to show our next VIP around in the middle of January 2019.

We look forward to seeing our efforts on the Harvey’s Gang Facebook page in due course and I have attached the photos that Michaella and her mother selected for sharing.

Thanks again, Mike

Thanks Mike and all of the team in TASMANIA; I am so very proud of you all, and the extended efforts you have gone to so that your patient's benefit education and empowerment, and will always remember your kindness. You have put yourselves and Harvey's Gang number one in healthcare in Australia;

BRILLIANT work: well done Mike and THANK YOU

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Holly climbs Snowdon to raise funds for Harvey's gang

Firstly a HUGE apology from me, Malcolm, for my tardiness for loosing these pictures and stories though my lack of I.T. skills. SORRY Holly.

I would like to send a huge thanks to Holly Whitehouse for such a mountainous effort.Well done Holly

Holly writes:
Dear Malcolm,
I'm here to tell you about my walk up the mountain, Snowdon.
After school I rushed home because my friend was picking us up after school. It took us three hours to get there. Once we were there we went for food. Since we didn't stop through the journey we had to go for food. Once we got back to the hotel I went straight to sleep since I had a big day the next day.

The next day, I was up and getting ready. For breakfast we went to Weatherspoons for a joyfull breakfast. While everyone was getting there I put on my walking boots and waited for everyone to get there. I felt excited to get started because I had my Mom and brother; also scared because I knew it was going to take ages. Off we set to climb the mountain.

At first it started with a few hills and then when we got to the start of the mountain we took a few photos. Me and my football team mates, tried to stick together, but we ended up splitting up. When we got to the halfway house we stopped for the toilet and an ice cream. 

When we came to a massive hill I was shattered but I was not about to stop. After that hill there was another massive hill. Me and my friend were terrified because we are scared of heights and you could see over it. We just didn't look down. 

When we made it to the top it was freezing. We were that high we were in the clouds.I had a picture right at the top and went to the shop there. i got a stress ball to play football with my brother. It took us three hours and thirty minutes. On the way down it was much quicker and not as hard. 

When we got back down we went back to the hotel and me and my brother watched TV in the hotel. Eventually me and my brother went to bed. In the morning we set off home. When I was home I went straight to sleep.
That's my story of me climbing Snowdon,
yours sincerely, Holly,
 aged 11

What can I say, Malcolm, wow Holly well done and a HUGE thanks Well done you are an inspiration, and your two-page handwritten letter is lovely, neater handwriting than mine.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Our Newest Trainee Scientist – Charlie!

Charlie is a frequent visitor to the Great North Children’s Hospital – 

but finds it really upsetting to get his blood taken. His mum, Hollie, thought it would be a great idea for him to find out about the important of blood tests, and hoped that it would relieve some of his anxieties.

After a shy start Charlie was soon enjoying his visit to the lab; learning about the different blood cells with Peter, a biomedical scientist (BMS), and then drawing what he saw down the microscope.

He then performed some biochemistry tests and Denise, a biochemistry BMS, explained the importance of having just the right amount of chemicals in your blood, which is why we need to test it. Charlie really enjoyed guessing what colour would be made in the experiments and he was able to wear goggles and gloves like a real scientist!

Charlie, and everyone in the lab, really enjoyed his visit and he was presented with a certificate at the end! Well done to Charlie and welcome to Harvey’s Gang!

Thanks Steph and all the team in Newcastle. Harvey's gang is growing well.

Harvey’s Gang Registered Charity Number: 1169181:

Twitter:                       #HarveysGang

best wishes, Malcolm

Aiden joins Harvey’s Gang at Great North Children’s Hospital

Aiden, a 6-year old patient from the Great North Children’s Hospital, visited the Blood Sciences lab with his mum on the 8th November. 

He was shown how to label a sample and book it onto the computer in reception and sent a message in the pod to everyone on the ward he was from!

He then loaded a sample onto the full blood count analysers, and learnt about how these machines count all of our cells. We then found Aiden’s sample from this morning and made a blood film which he looked at down the microscope! Aiden really enjoyed looking at his own blood and was amazed at how many blood cells he had!

In transfusion Laura, the biomedical scientist, showed his how samples are processed on the analyser and we selected some blood products that were the same group as Aiden.

Finally in the Biochemistry department, Aiden really loved all the big machines; he performed some colour change experiments and even helped us track away some samples.
When Aiden was back to the ward he sent the lab a message thanking everyone for

showing him around! What a great day for Aiden and the blood sciences lab!

Sumayya joins Harvey's gang in Ninewells, Dundee

Dundee BTS were joined by Sumayya (7), along with her Mum, Dad and brother Hassan. 

Lesley, how can you not grant this young Lady anything; Lovely picture.

A rare opportunity to see the lovely Lesley smiling. More please.

 Sumayya was born with Beta Thalassaemia Major, a genetic condition which means that the structure of the red cell is weakened and can result in red cell destruction.

This means she requires a transfusion every month. 

The staff at BTS were happy to meet Sumayya as we have been providing transfusion support for her since birth, and it’s lovely to put a face to the name.

This visit also included Blood Sciences Laboratory for the first time; 

David and Fiona did a great job showing Sumayya how her samples are processed on the automated track. 

They created a ‘make your own blood’ experiment (which I loved!), showed slides being made with her sample and what they looked like down the microscope.

The next day Sumayya arrived at BTS (with her Nurse) to collect her transfusion that she saw being crossmatched. She was proudly wearing her Harvey’s Gang lab coat and sporting her very own wee stethoscope.

Thanks Lesley for their tour and for sharing the story of Sumayya and Hassan.

Harvey’s Gang Registered Charity Number: 1169181:

Twitter:                       #HarveysGang

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

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Nyah joins Harvey's gang in Watford

Nyah met the team at Watford laboratory and joined Harvey's gang having an in-depth tour of the laboratories. 

Nyah said she wanted to know about science to understand more of the tour. So Nyah' wish was Ben's command and he tried to make it as simple as possible without being too basic.

In Nyah' Harvey's gang tour (with her Grandad) the team came together and an experienced Clinical Scientist in chemistry explained the in-depth difficult chemistry department.

Then we had a Specialist Biomedical Scientist (BMS) explain Haematology. 

A Senior Laboratory Assistant (MLA) explained how the Laboratory Management System and sample reception and booking in worked. 

Regretfully on the day the Blood Transfusion laboratory was very busy so the tour was quite quick. However Nyah did get to see blood cells down a microscope and put her own sample on the Full Blood Count analyser.

Nyah' really enjoyed the tour and was really pleased with it.
Ben has offered her another visit in the future should she wish it, when she’s learned more from school.

The local press have written Nyah' story too: Watford Observer

Many thanks, Ben Sheath
Transfusion Practitioner
West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Watford General Hospital

Very many thanks Ben and all the team at Watford great to see, and welcome Nyah to Harvey's gang:

To help Harvey's gang continue to grow please help and donate here

Ryan and Kyle join Harvey's Gang in Taunton

Taunton Laboratory at Musgrove Park had two visitors to the lab today. (31st October 2018)

Ryan and Kyle are cousins who suffer from IGA Nephropathy. 

Both them and their family had a great time learning what happens with their blood when it comes in the lab. 
Kyle in particular is needle phobic and he may be coming to see us next time he is in to have his bloods collected to make sure his blood is tested ok!

Being Halloween Suzanne the MPH play worker kept in theme!.......
Many thanks, Matt Barnnett

Brrriiillliiiiaaaannnntttttt picture;

Welcome Kyle, welcome Ryan to Harvey's Gang; very best wishes, Malcolm Robinson

Harvey’s Gang Registered Charity Number: 1169181:

Twitter:                       #HarveysGang

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Hamza and Safina join Harvey’s Gang at Great North Children's Hospital (GNCH)

Hamza and Safina have a little brother, Zayd, who has leukaemia 

and were interested to find out why he has so many blood tests.
We began the visit with Hamza and Safina, who are 9 and 5, booking in a sample in reception and sending a pod around the hospital.
They then loaded some samples onto the MPA and watched it pass along the track.

Hamza and Safina then performed two biochemistry tests that are usually done on the analyser. They enjoyed wearing gloves and goggles like a real scientist! 

In Haematology we looked at some blood films, and identified the different types of cells. We also looked at a blood film from a patient leukaemia so they could understand what we look at when we look at their brother’s blood.

Zayd had received platelet and blood transfusions during his treatment so in the transfusion lab we selected some blood and platelets that were the correct group for Zayd.

Finally Hamza and Safina were presented with goodie bags and a certificate!

Very many thanks Steph Teasdale for the story and pictures;

Just look at those smiles, great recognition of a great day and hopefully now Hamza and Safina can help their brother Zayd, just a little more. Welcome to Harvey's gang, Hamza, Safina and Zayd.

Many thanks, Malcolm

Additional films:

Harvey’s Gang Registered Charity Number: 1169181:

Twitter:                       #HarveysGang

Malcolm Robinson