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You Made a Difference - September 2023

A highly valued and conscientious paediatric consultant and a medical secretary who continuously improves the experience for patients are our winners of the September You Made a Difference awards.

Mark Latimer
Mark Latimer, consultant, paediatric trauma and orthopaedics

Mark Latimer joined the paediatric orthopaedic team here at CUH ten years ago.

He is a highly valued member of the paediatric orthopaedic team.

Mark has a specialist interest in skeletal dysplasias (a category of rare genetic disorders that cause abnormal development of a baby's bones, joints, and cartilage) and soft-tissue knee injuries. He is currently honorary treasurer of the Skeletal Dysplasia Group.

He also has a keen interest in teaching and is college tutor for the Core Surgical Trainees. He also organises an annual national course for registrars about to sit their final Royal College examinations.

Extracts from Mark’s nomination, submitted by a relative of a patient, said:

“Mr Latimer saw my son after he damaged his knee during rugby. He had been told at a previous hospital to wait for it to heal and left in a brace for five months. After seeing Mr Latimer, it was clear he was greatly concerned about the injury and took the case to his team.

“The injury in fact required extensive surgery, but after waiting five months my son had massive muscle loss and lost the use of his leg. At thirteen years old this was a great concern.

Mark Latimer & colleagues
Mark Latimer and colleagues

Mr Latimer saw the urgency and care that was needed and did his best to get my son the operation and aftercare he needed in a very timely manner.

“Three months on he is recovering well and is very, very grateful for the whole team’s efforts to pick up his case.

“Mr Latimer was very good in explaining everything to my son, explaining exactly what had happened and what needed to be done. He put our minds at rest. We are very grateful to him for everything he has done.

Great consultant, great team, great hospital.

Joanne Denton
Joanne Denton, medical secretary, vascular studies unit

The vascular studies unit (VSU) is a team of mostly healthcare scientists who perform ultrasound scans on blood vessels and blood flow to look for narrowings, blockages, aneurysms, varicose veins and DVTs. Jo is the senior coordinator for the unit and is currently the sole administrator for a team of nine vascular scientists.

Jo is an extremely important part of VSU, without whom the department would not run as efficiently or as happily. She is always positive and raises the mood of staff and patients alike.

She gets along with everyone and all her effort goes towards improving the experience for patients.

Jo is constantly striving to improve herself, asking questions about vascular disorders and scans to enable her to help the patients more. She actively tries to take on new roles and tasks to help support the department through day to day running and through gaining IQIPs accreditation.

Extracts from Jo’s nomination, submitted by a colleague, said:

“Jo is a key member of the vascular team. Currently the team is running at a reduced capacity meaning longer waiting times for outpatient scan appointments. In response to this, Jo has invested a lot of time and effort to ensure that outpatient appointments for the vascular studies unit (VSU) are used as effectively as possible.

Joanne Denton and colleagues
Joanne Denton and colleagues

“This has involved identifying high priority patients who require scans prior to their next consultant clinic appointment and liaising with the patients, outpatient clinics and vascular scientists to either confirm an appropriate scan appointment or have the clinic date altered until the scan can be performed.

“This has prevented patients attending consultant clinic appointments unnecessarily and enabling these consultant clinic appointments to be released for other patients.

Jo has used her excellent relations with the multidisciplinary teams and patients to streamline the pathway for individual patients and enhance the efficiency of outpatient clinics. This is typical of the way Jo improves the experience of our patients.”

Jo is always looking after the team. She coordinates the VSU team to ensure that our scanning lists are running as efficiently as possible, but with an awareness for the welfare of the vascular scientists.

Jo embodies the CUH values of Safe, Kind and Excellent and is well respected by patients and staff.