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Name and date of meeting:

    Trust Board: 11 July 2006

Document Title:

    Press Summary

Action for the Board:

The report is presented for the Board‟s information.

Key Strategic Issues and Messages for the Board:

The attached paper gives a summary of press coverage for the period 4 June to 4 July


    The report will be presented by Marie Grant, Acting Chief Executive.

Author and Date:

Tim Jones

    Head of Communication 4 July 2006

Contact details:

Tel: 020 8725 2717 E-mail:

     St George’s Hospital

    Blackshaw Road Communications Unit London Room 37, First Floor, Grosvenor Wing SW17 0QT

     Direct Line: 020 8725 5151 Direct Fax: 020 8725 0239



    04.06.06 04.07.06


    How a tobacco farm in Kent could provide a life-saving drug for millions (04.07.06),,329520464-106925,00.html

Scientists say an ?8m project to genetically “tweak” the tobacco plant could provide a powerful

    weapon against Africa‟s HIV pandemic. The genetic intervention aims to ensure that every cell of

    the modified tobacco plant churns out tiny quantities of an experimental drug. When harvested,

    they could bring cheap medicines to millions. The process is called pharming and is to many

    both the future of GM crops and the future of the drugs industry. But Professor Julian Ma, who

    leads the tobacco plant project at the Centre for Infection at St George‟s hospital acknowledges,

    like other GM technologies, that pharming is not without risks, and that the plant‟s pollen has to

    be contained, which is why the plants are being grown in ?35,000 high-security greenhouses

    which are normally used to house experiments on plant viruses.


    Doctors killed half my girl’s brain (28.06.06)

For years, seven-year-old Holly Holmes has had a daily battle with epilepsy, but now, after

    revolutionary brain surgery to disconnect the part of the brain that causes the seizures, the years

    of torment are over. Holly was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at St George‟s Hospital, but it was when Holly was three that an MRI scan revealed the root of her problems. Holy had suffered a

    brain haemorrhage while still in her mother‟s womb. Two years on, Holly has now had a procedure called an hemispherectomy to disconnect the damaged left-hand side of the brain.

    The procedure took place at Great Ormond Street Hospital.


Appeal by father of girl killed by gas leak (27.06.06, page 11)

    One of London‟s richest men has called for every home to be fitted with carbon monoxide sensors after his six-year-old daughter died from a gas leak into her bedroom. City financer

    Nicholas Giaque made the appeal after an inquest found Elisabeth inhaled fatal levels of fumes

    from a faulty boiler in their Wimbledon home. She was taken to St George‟s Hospital where she

    was diagnosed with suspect meningitis. It was only when Elisabeth‟s aunt and uncle, who has

    been sleeping in the girl‟s bedroom, were admitted with similar symptoms, was the diagnosis of

    carbon monoxide poisoning found. The inquest found that an earlier diagnosis would have

    probably not been able to save Elisabeth. Her parents have since donated ?5,000 to St George‟s

    to buy a new diagnostic system that will help to identify the symptoms of carbon monoxide


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Additional coverage: Wimbledon News, Wimbledon Guardian, and The Mirror.

    Best friend saved my life with her gift of a kidney (26.06.06, page 19)

As best friends since school, they were used to making the odd sacrifice for one another. But for

    Alexandria Turner no favour was too great when Kirsty Ferguson suffered kidney failure - so she

    gave her one of her own. Kirsty was diagnosed with Bergers disease when she was 28, but

    when she gave birth to her son, her kidney function deteriorated rapidly. Kirsty was having

    ongoing dialysis at St George‟s Hospital, but it was a new kidney that could save her life. Kirsty

    said: “One day I got a phone call from Alex saying we have to meet at St George‟s. Her words

    were: „I‟ve got two kidneys, I don‟t need them both so you can have one!‟ I was so stunned I

    started crying.” [St George‟s has doubled the number of live kidney donations through using

    groundbreaking keyhole surgery which allows the donor to spend far less time in hospital and

    recovery more quickly.]



    Retiring Chaplain on Queen’s honours list (21.06.06, page 6)

     thA chaplain at St George‟s has been awarded an MBE in the Queen‟s 80 Birthday Honours list.

    Reverend Canon Ian Ainsworth Smith received the award for services to the NHS. Ian has been

    Chaplain at the hospital since 1973 and is due to step down next month after 33 years of ministry

    at St George‟s. Ian said: “It is a humbling experience to have had an opportunity to meet so

    many people of the past three decades. Their willingness to share so much of themselves is

    something I will never forget.” Trust Chief Executive, Peter Homa said: “If anyone deserves this

    birthday honour, it‟s Ian.”


Larry’s blood is extra special (20.06.06)

Larry Unthank has never met the baby boys born to Lisa O-Connor or any of the victims of the

    July 7 bombings. But these and thousands more owe him and other blood donors like him their

    lives. All donors are vitally important, but what comes out of Larry‟s veins is not just blood. It is O

    negative, a group which can be given to anyone regardless of their blood type. Because his

    blood type is so baldy needed, Larry donates fortnightly at St George‟s Hospital.


     Men jailed for gay barman murder (16.06.06)

Two men have been jailed for life at the Old Bailey for the homophobic murder of gay barman

    Jody Dobrowski. Mr Dobrowski was taken to St George‟s Hospital after the attack in October last

    year. He was so badly injured that a pathologist was unable to say how many times he had been

    hit but identified 33 areas of injury to his head, face, ears and neck.



    NHS praised by hit-and-run victim’s family (15.06.06, page 7)

A man whose wife was left with a broken pelvis, collar bone, ribs and ankle after being run over

    several times has spoken of his gratitude to the NHS. Dave Crowe, 58, told how doctors at St

     - - 2

George‟s Hospital successfully “bolted” his wife‟s pelvis back together after the horrific incident.

    Mr Crowe said: “You always hear the bad things about the NHS, but I feel they ought to be

    commended for the way they looked after my wife.”


    Choked to death on egg and chips meal (15.06.06)

A woman has choked on her meal of egg and chips after taking a cocktail of prescription anti-

    depressants and alcohol, a court has heard. Susan Harris, 47, of Wimbledon, was found dead in

    her bed by a concerned neighbour in April. Dr Peter Wilkins, a pathologist at St George‟s

    Hospital, said the drugs and alcohol could have sent her to sleep and suppressed her gag reflex,

    causing her to choke on her food.

Doc’s death a mystery (15.06.06)

Mystery surrounds the death of a retired doctor found drowned in the Thames. Nyan Tin, 68 of

    Wimbledon, was found floating near Putney Pier in April. An inquest at Westminster Coroner‟s

    Court heard that Dr Tin had been behaving oddly since finding out he had heart problems. Dr

    Peter Wilkins, a pathologist at St George‟s Hospital, who carried out the post-mortem, told the

    court that Dr Tin drowned.

    Two women injured after traffic collision (13.06.06)

Two women were injured when their car collided with a delivery lorry. The two women were cut

    out of the car by the fire brigade before being taken to St George‟s for treatment. Their condition

    was said to be stable.


    Father wants justice for son killed at bus stop (09.06.06)

A roadside shrine has been put up where a promising law graduate was killed waiting for a bus

    just yards from his front door. Andrew Jagroop, 21, was set to take a place at America‟s Harvard or Yale universities. The 18-year-old driver of the car which hit Andrew was cut out of the car and

    taken to St George‟s Hospital with serious leg injuries. He was now in a stable condition.

    Samurai attacker apologies to churchgoers (09.06.06)

The man who carried out a terrifying samurai sword attack wounding 11 churchgoers at Thorton

    Heath while mentally ill has said “I am very sorry.” Eden Strang stripped naked and attacked the

    congregation at St Andrew‟s Church in November. One victim, Paul Chilton, the most severely

    injured in the attack, had his finger and thumb severed from his right hand. The digits were re-

    attached during an operation at St George‟s Hospital.

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Asbestos exposure leads to hospital worker’s death (08.06.06)

A man has died after he was regularly exposed to asbestos for 10 years while working at St

    George‟s Hospital. Derek Geear, who died in April aged 63, worked as a maintenance fitter at the hospital in 1970, an inquest at Westminster Coroner‟s Court heard. Mr Geear was diagnosed

    with mesothelioma after complaining of chest pains. He made a claim against St George‟s Hospital and an out-of-court settlement was made. A spokesman for the Trust said: “According

    to our records we have six historic asbestos-related claims. Unfortunately this isn‟t very unusual

    considering the size of our estate, which was built largely during the 60s and 70s when the use of

    asbestos was very common.”

Knocked down in high street (08.06.06)

A teenage girl was taken to St George‟s Hospital with leg injuries after being struck by a car in

    Sutton High Street. An air ambulance, road ambulance and paramedic in a fast response car

    were called to the scene.


    Cutbacks threat as NHS deficits hit ?1.3bn (08.06.06),,329499471-103690,00.html

Nearly a third of the NHS trusts in England overspent in the last financial year, racking up deficits

    worth ?1.3bn in spite of record growth in the health service budget, according to accounts

    published by Patricia Hewitt. The National Audit Office, parliament‟s spending watchdog, said

    most of the trusts would now have to make such severe financial cut backs to break even that

    patient care would suffer. But Ms Hewitt said she would not allow this to happen. The accounts

    showed Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust notched up the biggest individual deficit at ?40.8m.

    Other big spenders included St George‟s Healthcare (?33.6m) and West Hertfordshire hospitals


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