News & updates

Supporting patients with a dementia friendly environment

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital recently took the decision to help refurbish patient bathrooms bearing in mind the increase in both diagnosed and undiagnosed dementia across the region. The Throne Project launched in 2018, and raised a huge £11,000 to support the redesign of patient bathrooms across the hospital.

The idea stemmed from ROH Senior Occupational Therapist Tracey Gilbert, who saw a need within the hospital to make subtle changes to bathrooms to make patients feel more comfortable. The ROH Charitable Fund became involved as the changes needed were non-compulsory but something patients would benefit from.

The changes included altering colours to ensure contrast within the rooms which would help the visually impaired, those with anxiety and patients living with dementia. 

Alzheimers UK said: “Using bright and contrasting colours for furniture and furnishings helps patients with dementia see things more easily. Avoid blue and green on flooring as this can be mistaken for water or grass.”

Floor colours were changed from the original blue in order to alleviate anxiety. Hand rails and bathroom aids were changed to be brighter and bolder, which were a great contrast to the pastel light blue walls, white tiles and grey floor. New bathroom signage was put up showing patients in both picture and text form whether the bathroom had a shower and toilet or just one of the two.

Whilst completing the project, the Trust decided to add on additional equipment to help patients with dementia feel supported throughout their hospital journey, not just in the bathrooms. Dementia-friendly clocks were purchased and put in every bay and side room in the hospital, and hospital signage was reviewed to keep consistency. Additionally, wartime scrapbooks and chatterbox cards from the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s were purchased to help provide mental stimulation and encourage conversation for both the elderly, those suffering memory loss and patients with dementia.

As a small hospital, The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital doesn’t see a large percentage of dementia patients compared to the other trusts in the area. However, they are committed to the constant need to adapt and change to support and enhance hospital experiences for everyone where possible.

Tracey Gilbert said: “This is a great example of improving patient experience. It may not be in-your-face or have the wow factor but it really does help our patients feel supported.”

David Gourevitch, Chair of the ROH Charitable Funds said: “We were very grateful to have been involved in funding the project and look forward to hearing the positive feedback from the changes made.”

2020 Leading Lights Annual Staff Awards | Winners Announced

On Friday 7 February 2020, nearly 300 members of staff came together for a night of festivity at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens to celebrate the incredible staff at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital at our annual Leading Lights Awards! Our values drive everything we do here at the Trust, we take pride in delivering exceptional patient care and our values are the foundation of that care.

It is remarkable to know that our staff are being recognised for the outstanding work they do. It is safe to say that the shortlisting panel had a difficult job choosing their winners!

The night went down a storm with patients, staff and visitors in attendance. The amount of support and admiration in the room was visible for the entirety of the evening. Seeing a handful of those who make such a huge impact on the Trust, in one room celebrating one another, really made for a special evening.

Did you know the charity funds the staff awards each year?

Every year the annual staff awards is funded by the Invest In Our Best appeal. Supporting the awards every year is an opportunity for the charitable fund to give something back to the employees and volunteers who enable us to continue to be the first choice for orthopaedic care. Whether that is going the extra mile to take care of a family, or researching and developing ways in which we can help the Trust to grow and innovate.

Thank you to our sponsors

We would like to say a special thank you to those who sponsored our awards:

  • Yvonne Scott, sponsoring the Support Worker of the Year
  • Kirk Bent, sponsoring the Outstanding Contribution to Patient Experience
  • Stella Noon, sponsoring Nurse of the Year
  • Module Co Healthcare Ltd, sponsoring Clinical Achievement
  • DrDoctor, sponsoring the Innovation Award

If you would like to help support next year’s awards, contact the fundraising team on 0121 685 4379 or email

Lynda’s story

Lynda Langan was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer after a fall. She decided to donate to The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital Charitable Fund after “a wonderful experience of care.” Here is her story.

“My journey started two years ago. It all started when I was riding one day and I fell and landed on my coccyx. It was of course extremely painful and I was told it would take some time to heal. After some time with persistent pain I was referred for an X-ray at Fleetwood Hospital. Something odd showed up, which is when I was referred for an MRI at Preston Hospital where I was diagnosed with a tumour called chordoma. Chordoma is a very rare type of bone cancer, making up only 6% of all bone sarcoma diagnosis.

“This was when I was referred to The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, a specialist bone cancer centre in Birmingham. I met with Mr Parry, an oncology consultant who had the most wonderful way of putting me at ease. He explained everything in a down to earth manor, which made me feel safe and ready to put my faith in him.

“Not long after my initial consultant, I had a procedure to have the tumour and my coccyx removed. I was in hospital for three weeks, and was cared for exceptionally by everyone – nothing was too much trouble. It was then I was told I could have proton beam treatment at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust (in Manchester) if I would like. We applied and my case was accepted, ready for the centre to open in January. Before this I would have had to travel to Florida to receive the treatment, so I was really lucky.

“I had eight-and-a-half weeks of proton treatment and it was an amazing experience. The technology and engineering were unbelievable, it was like a space station. All of the staff became friends and were so kind and made you very comfortable. We stayed in Manchester at Staycity Aparthotel; it was like a home from home. We had everything we needed whilst we were there. A mini bus picked us up each day to take us to the centre.

“Mr Parry had told me because I was very fit and healthy for my age, he was confident that I would come out well from my experience, which I feel I have done. I was an athlete at school and was in county teams for athletics and netball. Until I had my accident, I was still very sporty, playing golf, hiking, swimming daily, cycling, bowling and Nordic walking.

“It has been a long and difficult journey but I have got through it with the help of all of my family and friends. My husband has been my rock and supported me through it all. We have been very happily married for 51 years and are looking forward to many more years ahead. My son came the other day and said “you’re looking really well, mum.” That made me smile. I thought about it for a few minutes and said to myself “you’re right. I’m getting my mojo back, I’m feeling more like my old self more each day.”

“I have always kept a very positive attitude and been able to accept what has happened to me and get on with it, knowing that I was in the best possible hands.

“I will always be eternally grateful to those involved in my journey and those who helped save my life. Now I’m carrying on, living my life in the fast lane.

“Recently I have recently been involved in a research study for chordoma, supported by nurses at the ROH. It came as a surprise, but I felt very privileged to have been given the opportunity to help those who are diagnosed in the future.

“As I had such a wonderful experience of care at ROH, my husband and I decided to make a donation to further support this research programme, and those diagnosed with chordoma in the future.”

Peter’s Sarcoma Story

An osteosarcoma patient who had his leg amputated at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital has shared his story, in honour of World Cancer Day.

Peter Lloyd, from Manchester, was living with his wife Kate and had recently welcomed their first child when he had a fall at work, which was the beginning of his journey at the ROH.

“After the fall, I had an MRI in Royal Oldham and was referred to the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (ROH) by the consultant there,” said Peter. “He said he’d worked with a fantastic orthopaedic surgeon, who turned out to be Mr Carter.

“I had a biopsy done in August 2007 and that came back as benign fibrous dysplasia.”

Fibrous dysplasia is a non-cancerous bone condition in which tissue develops in place of bone. This irregular tissue can weaken the bone and cause it to break down.

“I was up and down the M6 a lot over the next few years having surgery and trials to see if they could stop the bone degrading. After the trials were considered successful, in December I was told to get fit and go back to work. In January 2009 I joined the gym, started running and went back to work. I ran the Manchester 10k in May 2008 with a time of 1 hour, 1 minute and 18 seconds, and we welcomed our second child in August 2009.”

All seemed to be going well for Peter until an appointment revealed that his femur had been fully eaten away. This meant he would require more surgery.

“I’d been seen by pretty much every surgeon and consultant at the ROH but finally was put under Mr Grimer, who agreed to do a femoral replacement (an alternative to lower limb amputation) to relieve the issue of whatever was happening with my bone. Fortunately this was a success but at the same time, my pathology report came back as a high-grade osteosarcoma.”

Osteosarcoma is a type of cancer that produces immature bone. It is the most common type of cancer that arises in bones, and it is usually found at the end of long bones, often around the knee. 

Peter began chemotherapy three weeks after his diagnosis and appointments were made for him at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester. He finished chemotherapy in January 2012 and returned to the ROH for a full hip replacement. Unfortunately, his pain continued.

“I carried on as best I could for five years but eventually asked for an elective amputation from the hip. I could no longer support myself with the affected leg, I was in pain again and I’d fully lost trust with it.

“I had my amputation in October 2017 and in 2018, I was discharged from the ROH.

“When I woke from the amputation it was obviously a little strange not having my leg there but there was instant feeling of relief. There was a moment after my surgery that I will never forget where I ended up in a rendition of ‘You’re Welcome’ with one of the nurses on the High Dependency Unit (HDU) as the film ‘Moana’ had not long come out in the cinemas.”

Physiotherapists helped Peter out of bed the next day on the ward and he was discharged a few days later. However, he admits he didn’t anticipate how hard his recovery would be.

“My children were the reason I wanted to have an amputation. I wanted to be able to play and walk holding their hands. No one knew how hard it would be for us all.

“There were some very dark times where frustrations and tempers were at full pelt but we made an agreement that nothing said during treatment was personal as we needed to vent.

“My family are everything to me and are the reason I’m still here. I wanted to be able to provide a good life for them and be able to give them the best of my years too.

“Our eldest was the most affected. We were close at first, but once chemotherapy started and I was away for long periods of time it became really difficult for him. Our bond has never been the same.”

Peter and Kate welcomes their third child in 2014, which he says “completed” their family.

“I cannot fault the care I was given at the ROH. I’m eternally grateful for all of the expertise from everyone at ROH. Without them, I wouldn’t be here. Now I’m discharged, my care is now in the hands of the Specialised Ability Centre in Wythenshawe and they really are amazing.

“My quality of life (since the amputation) has improved massively and I would make the same choice over and over.”

You can follow Peter on Twitter @hopalonglloydy

London school donates £10,000

A school in London has raised a staggering £10,000 for the ROH Charitable Fund, to say thank you for the care the hospital provided for a teacher’s relative.

Alleyn’s School, in Dulwich, South London, is a co-educational school for pupils aged four to 18. The school has eight houses, each made up of around 200 students. Every year, the houses vote for a charity to support. Last year, one of the houses, Tulley’s, chose to support the Trust’s charity after hearing about the experience their own housemaster, Jude Fitzgerald, had with the hospital.

Jude’s mother was a long-term patient at the hospital when she was treated for sarcoma. She was brought to the ROH from Lancashire, and spent several months there. Jude credits Professor Abudu, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at the ROH, with saving her mother’s life.

The pupils decided to choose the charity as a chance to say thank you for the care the ROH provided, and make a difference to the hospitals future. Jude said: “I entered the charity into the mix on a whim. We don’t influence the children in anyway and we let them choose what they are most supportive of. In this case it was The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, which was really lovely for me, as I have such a personal connection with the hospital.”

Lots of fundraising events were held to keep the number of donations growing. The school held everything from dinner parties and talent shows to lip sync battles and a Mario Kart tournament, played out on a giant screen. The majority of the money came from a charity ball featuring a live auction with gifts donated by the pupils’ parents, performances from the students themselves and food and drink sales.

Jo Williams, Chief Executive at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, said: “To all the fabulous students and staff at Alleyn’s School, we are so grateful for your hard work. It is an amazing amount of money to raise and on behalf of the team at the ROH, thank you – we are truly overwhelmed.”

The money was collected by ROH Associate Medical Director Mr John Va Faye, and representatives from the ROH Charitable Fund and communications team. They had the opportunity to enjoy a special lunch with staff and a group of students, some of whom were involved with the fundraising from beginning to end. The group discussed future opportunities the Trust could work with Alleyn’s and will ensure the funds go towards something the children are passionate about.

We cant thank the staff members and pupils enough for their passion to support us. We will be engaging them in the near future of how their funds will impact patients at ROH.

Para-swimmer Tully Kierney visits ROH Fundraiser

This December Para-swimmer, Tully Kierney drove all the way from  Manchester to surprise one of our renowned fundraisers, Autumn.

Autumn, who is a scoliosis patient at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, raised over £700 earlier this year by forfeiting her birthday presents for donations to the hospital. We used the funds she raised to renovate one of our young adult rooms on our spinal ward.

We wanted to do something special to thank her for her support. When we asked Tully if she would be interested in surprising Autumn when she visited the room, she instantly said ‘yes’ and couldn’t wait to meet her.

Tully has been a patient at the ROH since 2010 and has recently been diagnosed with scoliosis. Despite having cerebal palsy, dystonia and now scoliosis, she has become a world champion para-swimmer. Tully is an advocate for ROH and an avid follower of the Trust on Twitter, so knew all about Autumn and her fantastic her fundraising story.

Autumn, her mum Anna and younger sister Violet, visited the hospital and were shown photos of the room autumn funded and got to hear some of the amazing feedback families had given in regards to the renovations.

Tully brought along her medals for us all to look at, and Autumn was  mesmerised by the weight of them. There was a lot of inspiration in the room. You could see that Autumn and her family were all in awe of Tully and all that she has achieved, but also Tully was undoubtingly inspired by Autumn and her generous nature at such a young age.

Tully and Autumn had a lot in common, and talked about some of the lovely staff in the orthotics department who have helped them over the years. They joked about the patterns available for braces, and that they would change every time they would visit, which made it even harder to choose.

You’ll probably notice Autumn is holding a Giraffe in her photos. This was a gift given by the executive directors at the ROH for her fundraising efforts. The giraffe has a body brace, just like the one that Autumn used to wear, and also the same pattern that Tully uses on her foot braces.

Tully wanted to do something to show Autumn how much she cared. She made Autumn her very own Christmas decoration to take home, which was a really lovely gesture. They all had a fantastic time, and everyone left feeling in high spirits and motivated to do more.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Tully for taking the time to visit us and Autumn. It was a lovely surprise and one that we’re sure they will remember for years to come.