Sexual and reproductive health service awarded LGBT Gold Charter Mark

MAIN Sexual and Reproductive Health Service awarded LGBT Gold Charter Mark
Angela Houghton (front, centre in blue cardigan) handed over the award to the NHS Tayside sexual and reproductive health service team

The NHS Tayside sexual and reproductive health service, including the Men Only Tayside (MOT) and HIV services, has been awarded the Gold LGBT Youth Scotland Charter Mark.

The award was presented to the services by Angela Houghton, partnership manager for LGBT Youth Scotland.

Dr Ciara Cunningham, consultant in Genitourinary Medicine (GUM) and lead for the MOT service, said, “We are delighted to be the first services in NHS Tayside to win the prestigious Gold LGBT charter mark award and hope that this inspires other services to achieve the same recognition.

“The LGBT Charter demonstrates our commitment to all local LGBT people and sends a positive message to LGBT people that they are included, valued, supported and will be treated fairly when they engage with our services.

“It makes it clear to other organisations, service users and the public that equality and diversity is at the heart of our services and reassures people that our workplace is safe and supportive.

“The Charter process raised awareness of the needs and rights of LGBT people and our services are continually working to ensure these are met so everyone has confidence in them.”

Chairman Professor John Connell said, “NHS Tayside takes the values of the Charter very seriously. I’d like to thank the services for their hard work and congratulate them on this award.”

The Charter process involved staff training, reviewing service policies, guides and patient information to ensure it was in line with legislation and respectful to individuals of all sexualities and genders and patient surveys to identify whether attendees felt the service was LGBT friendly.

Successful drop-in cervical screening session for Dundee women

MAIN Drop-in cervical screening session for Dundee women

Following a series of drop-in cervical screening sessions in 2017, NHS Tayside offered Dundee women another opportunity to get their smear at Ninewells Hospital yesterday (Tuesday).

Women over the age of 25 who were overdue or had never had a cervical smear test were able to drop-in to the hospital to have their smear carried out.  They also had the opportunity to ask questions or discuss any concerns they may have about cervical screening.  Almost 50 women attended the session with 40 smears carried out.

There was also a stand in the main concourse in the afternoon giving information and advice to patients, staff and visitors.

A series of drop-in sessions were held across Tayside in January last year, followed by further events in Angus between October and December, which saw 121 women who were overdue their smear come forward for screening.

Cervical screening saves around 5,000 lives in the UK every year and prevents 8 out of 10 cervical cancers from developing.

In Scotland, all women between the ages of 25 and 50 are offered a cervical screening test every three years and those between 50 and 65 are offered screening every five years.

Lead colposcopist Dr Kalpana Ragupathy said, “Cervical cancer affects almost 1 in 100 women and Tayside has the highest incidence of cervical cancer in Scotland.  In terms of cervical screening uptake, Tayside is amongst the lowest five health boards.

“An abnormal smear does not mean cancer. It means a surface change in the cells in the cervix that could maybe turn into cancer if left untreated.

“Precancerous changes precede cervical cancer by 10-15 years. Regular smear tests pick up these changes and treatment reduces the risk of cervical cancer by 95%.”

Gynae cancer lead Dr Wendy McMullen added, “Surface changes that need treating can almost always be treated in the clinic, either at the first or second visit. The examination takes about five minutes and the treatment, if needed, about another five to 10 minutes. Nearly all women leave the clinic saying the examination and treatment is slightly uncomfortable but not nearly as bad as they thought.

“We realise that some women have particular difficulties with examination but it is so important that these women come for their smear tests and follow up. It is so sad to see women having life changing treatment for a cancer that could have been prevented by a five minute smear test and a half hour visit to the clinic. Please put it on your list for 2018.”

Want to know more about your smears?

  • Talk to your nurse or GP
  • Like our cervical screening page at
  • Visit or call 0800 224488 (textphone 18001 0800 22 44 88). The helpline is open every day 8am-10pm and also provides an interpreting service.
  • Visit Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust at or call 0808 802800

Ninewells consultants provide training to Nepalese surgeon

MAIN Ninewells consultants provide training to Nepalese surgeon (2)
Mr Sean Laverick in an operating theatre in Nepal

A Nepalese surgeon has spent nine months in Dundee undertaking training with the oral and maxillofacial surgery department at Ninewells.

Dr Mehul Jaisani, who is head of the oral and maxillofacial surgery department in Dharan in Nepal, travelled to Scotland with the support of Face Facts, a charity run by Ninewells oral and maxillofacial surgeon Mr Sean Laverick.

Following an emergency response trip to Nepal following the 2015 earthquake, Sean has returned to Nepal twice to provide teaching courses and training in head and neck oncology, facial trauma and cleft lip and palate surgery.

Whilst these trips can be very rewarding for the units and people involved, they can only benefit small numbers due to the limited time available so, through Face Facts, Sean aims to provide surgical training in the UK for overseas surgeons to be able to provide an ongoing service within their own country and make a lasting change to their health service.

Dr Jaisani visited Dundee at the request of the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, with training recognition from the Royal College of Surgeons of England.  Face Facts paid for Dr Jaisani’s travel, accommodation and day-to-day expenses to allow him to spend nine months training in Ninewells.

Sean said, “Mehul proved to be a popular member of the team and received extensive training from all consultants in the maxillofacial department.  Mehaul and the department all agree that it has provided him with an excellent grounding with which to return to his department in Nepal.”

Dr Jaisani is the third surgeon who has visited the oral and maxillofacial department at Ninewells from developing countries over the last seven years and Face Facts has now signed a memorandum of agreement with Dharan Hospital for the next three years.

A head and neck pathologist will be joining the team in Dundee in the next couple of months and this funded trip will teach current techniques in histopathology in order to support the surgical oncology team in Dharan.

Oral cancer is the most common cancer in the region and services are hugely overstretched.  Sean is hoping to take other doctors over to Dharan with him over the next few years and cement a strong and permanent link between Dundee and Dharan.

Anyone wishing to support Sean’s Face Facts charity can email

MAIN Ninewells consultants provide training to Nepalese surgeon (1)
Dr Mehul Jaisani and Mr Sean Laverick

Nominate your NHS Tayside STAR

MAIN Nominate your NHS Tayside STAR

We’re at the halfway point in the nominations period and we’ve already had over 250 nominations for the NHS Tayside STAR Awards!  A huge thank you to everyone who has taken the time to nominate so far.

There’s still two weeks left so if you haven’t managed to nominate your STAR yet, please visit

Anyone who has difficulty accessing the website or who needs assistance to complete the nomination form can call the nomination phone line on 01382 632087 or 01382 740063. The phone line is open Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm.  Nominations close on Monday, 5 February at 5pm.

You can nominate your NHS Tayside STARs in six categories and we’d love to see more nominations in the three categories that are only open to nominations from NHS Tayside staff – Innovation in Practice, Quality/Service Improvement and Inspiring Educator.

Chairman Professor John Connell said, “Our staff are committed to delivering high-quality healthcare to the people of Tayside and the STAR Awards are a great opportunity for members of the public and colleagues to show their appreciation for their hard work and dedication.

“Last year’s inaugural awards were a fantastic success with the number of nominations far exceeding our expectations.  There were lots of very worthy winners and runners up and I’m sure that this year will be no different.

“We know that often it’s the little things that make the biggest difference to patients, their families and colleagues, so if someone has gone that extra mile for you, why not say thank you by nominating them for a STAR Award?

“No matter what their job is, any member of staff can be nominated, including medical and nursing staff, therapists, community staff, support staff and those who work in the more ‘hidden’ departments who may not deal with patients on a day-to-day basis.”

The award categories are:

  • Outstanding Individual (clinical) e.g. a doctor, nurse, healthcare assistant, consultant, surgeon, physiotherapist, occupational therapist etc

Someone who goes the extra mile for their patient or colleagues/NHS Tayside

  • Outstanding Individual (non-clinical) e.g. domestic assistant, porter, receptionist, catering staff etc

Someone who goes the extra mile within their job role helping colleagues/NHS Tayside or patients and visitors

  • Outstanding Team e.g. a service, ward team or a team that works in the community etc

A team who works together going the extra mile for patients or colleagues/NHS Tayside

  • Innovation in Practice

An individual or team who, through their research or innovation and commitment to do things in a new way, has positively changed the way services or support is provided or improved patient experience

  • Quality/Service Improvement

An individual or team who has demonstrated a commitment to continuously improving services and adding value

  • Inspiring Educator

An individual who mentors, supervises or trains people on the job. Someone who not only shares good practice and new skills, but is a role model for their values and attitudes. This will be an educator who has gone the extra mile to support, help and inspire learners in their work.

All finalists will be invited to the STAR Awards ceremony at the Apex Hotel in April, where the winners will be announced.