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by Kathryn Thomson

Chief Executive

A Year in Review

There is something really magical about being part of a Women's Hospital at this time of year.  A big thank you to all of our staff and volunteers who have made the hospital look so festive.

Yet again Liverpool Women's has been leading the way;

A Wirral woman found out that she was pregnant and that she had a high grade cancer all within a matter of days. Her local hospital advised her to have a termination followed by a hysterectomy.  Diane asked for a second opinion and was referred to Liverpool Women's Hospital.  She had surgery at 11 weeks pregnant and Liverpool Women's was the first in the world to report carrying out this surgery. On 20 February 2014, Nancie Rose was delivered by caesarean section at 33 weeks. I hope they have a great Christmas.

HeRo is an early warning heart rate monitoring system that can reduce infant mortality by detecting subtle changes in heart rate long before any symptoms appear. Liverpool Women's is the first Neonatal Unit in the UK to use this technology.

Earlier this year, research led by one of our Neonatologists proved that improving intravenous nutrition of very premature babies through a special drip will help their brains grow better in the first weeks of life. This research at Liverpool Women's Hospital will have a huge impact worldwide on outcomes for babies born prematurely.

The Wellbeing of Women charity announced it has chosen University of Liverpool and Liverpool Women's Hospital as the recipient of a £1 million grant to pioneer vital research into premature birth. Their hugely-inspiring donation will be made available over the next five years and will enable the opening of a new Harris/Wellbeing of Women Centre for Pre Term Birth Research at Liverpool Women's Hospital. The Centre will also act as an international hub for research, and best clinical practice related to preterm birth and will provide cutting-edge research training for early career researchers committed to preterm birth research.

Following the success of the Hospital's Twitter profile earlier this year we launched on Facebook, this has been a real success and we now have over four thousand people engaging with us on this format on a regular basis.

Our annual Dedicated to Excellence Awards 2014 in March had over 100 entries.  It is so humbling to see the number of selfless, caring and compassionate people we have working across the Trust.  Well done to all that entered and to our fantastic winners.

Joan Ellard was named as Midwife of the Year for the North of England by the Royal College of Midwives.  Annmaria Ellard, Miscarriage Specialist Nurse at Liverpool Women’s was recognised by NHS Employers for a national award for Compassion.  Well done to both of these very special people.

Three of our staff were listed in the Health Service Journal's 'Inspirational Women of the Year'. With three staff included in the list, Dianne Brown – Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Angela Douglas – Scientific Director for Genetics, and Annmaria Ellard - Miscarriage specialist nurse, Liverpool Women's was the most well represented of any organisation in the country

Our Neonatal team were voted the best in the UK at the Mothers and Midwives Alliance Awards.  Well done.

20 staff from Liverpool Women's completed a 107 mile bicycle ride to raise money for our Charity.  Well done and thank you to all who took part. A big thank you to everybody who supports our charity including Barry from Little Miracles UK –Liverpool.

In August we said a fond farewell to Ken Morris our Chair.  Ken was well known and respected at Liverpool Women's and we will remember him with thanks.  In September our new chair Edna Robinson took up office.  We are looking forward to working with Edna as Liverpool Women’s embarks on the next journey.

We had a number of special visitors to Liverpool Women's this year, including the Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia, The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, Jenny Murray - broadcaster on BBC Woman's Hour, Cathy Warwick - Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives and Claire Sweeney. We also welcomed over 175 girl guides to the hospital as part of our fantastic International Day of the Girl event in October.

Our staff work hard and like to play hard too!!! In September the hospital's team challenge was 'It's a Knockout'.  Great fun was had by all who took part.

Liverpool Women's has again featured in a number of TV programmes. Miracle Babies was shown recently and demonstrated the difficult decisions made by parents and our staff on a daily basis on our Neonatal Unit.  We are all very proud of the work that the Unit does.

In September, One Born Every Minute commenced filming at Liverpool Women's, we are anticipating that the series will be shown on TV in Spring 2015.  Thank you to all families and staff who took part.

Our Hewitt Fertility Centre helped an Afghanistan veteran become a father after he sustained life-changing injuries when he stepped on an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) while on patrol in the notorious Helmand Province.

Our final success of 2014 was the announcement on Monday this week that Liverpool has been chosen as a site for the World-Leading Genomics Project in the NHS fight against Cancer and Rare Diseases.  Liverpool based North West Coast NHS Genomic Medicine Centre, a partnership led by Liverpool Women's Hospital in partnership with Liverpool Health Partners and the North West Coast AHSN will lead the way in delivering the 100,000 genomes Project.  This pioneering work will transform diagnosis and treatment for patients with cancer and rare diseases. It is not often that you get to watch history in the making, this may be an example of that. We are all very excited. A massive thank you to everybody who worked so hard to put our bid together.

Healthcare is nothing without fantastic people.  A massive thank you to all of our staff and volunteers who have worked so hard throughout this year to care for our women accessing our services and their families.  Have a peaceful Christmas and New Year.

23 December 2014