The Mackay Clinic Newsletter #1 Jan-JULY 2020


A world turned upside down

2020 seemed to start like any other year - full of promise for us and our patients, but that was before Coronavirus became a pandemic affecting people in every corner of the globe.

2020 started off with much promise for Professor Mackay, our patients and staff. We were looking forwards to introducing new technologies into our practice, such as using Nanoscopes, to help make our patient's experience easier and their recoveries quicker. Professor Mackay saw patients as usual for the first two months of the year but there was growing news creeping out of China about a virus that seemed to be very contagious and was causing the deaths of many. As we all know this was coronavirus, which is still sweeping the world and has led to ongoing international shutdowns as countries try to deal with the pandemic.

Here at The Mackay Clinic it quickly became clear that this was a serious situation for the country and as we all know there were initial fears that the NHS would become overwhelmed with critically ill patients. Professor Mackay made an early decision to close the Mackay Clinic and offer his services to the NHS in whatever capacity they could use him.

He ended up working in BMI King's Park Hospital in Stirling which was requisitioned for use as a critical cancer operating centre. As an orthopaedic surgeon this is obviously not Professor Mackay's specialist field but he was drafted in as a surgical assistant in which capacity he has been helping for the duration of the lockdown. He was inspired by the dedicated surgeons, anesthetists and support staff who are going above and beyond to help provide urgent cancer surgery. Often these patients had already faced uncertainty with adjacent chemotherapy being withheld or cancelled to avoid any further immune compromise. The additional cancellation of surgery could have undetermined their chances of a successful recovery. Surgical teams from Fife, Tayside as well as Forth Valley in particular the breast surgeons coordinated a fantastic effort for these patients.

Professor Mackay assisted in these cases for the several weeks before it became clear that the NHS in Scotland was not becoming overwhelmed with coronavirus cases as the UK curve flattened following the first wave of cases. At the time of writing this The Mackay Clinic has reopened and patients are once again being seen and assessed. Please head to our website and our updated Coronavirus statement for more information.

Professor Mackay started doing video consultations with recent patients and has been spending time as a cancer surgical assistant during Lockdown. For a time he was isolating from his family like many healthcare professionals; During surgery full PPE is worn and it is a relief to remove this at the end of an operation; due to the use of radio-active isotopes everyone must be checked to see if they have any on themselves.

We are delighted that our clinics are open again

We look forward to welcoming you

All our Clinics have now re-opened (apart from at Space in Edinburgh) Clinic are of course being run under strict hygiene and sanitation procedures. If you do injure yourself and would like to make an appointment then please get in touch. If on the day of your appointment you are suffering from new continuous cough, fever or any other similar symptoms, or have done within the last two weeks then please call - 0141 810 3151 to rearrange your appointment date.

We are delighted to announce that The Mackay Clinic has now resumed all normal face to face appointment clinics and also surgery, for appropriate cases. Our office is open and takes calls from 9am – 1.30pm, Monday to Friday – 01786 406424, or you can email office@mackayclinic.co.uk

We are once again welcoming patients at our clinics

Our office is open and takes calls from 9am – 1.30pm, Monday to Friday – 01786 406424, or you can email office@mackayclinic.co.uk

Appointments are taking place as follows

Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays at BMI Ross Hall Hospital, Glasgow. Tuesday afternoons at BMI Kings Park Hospital, Stirling. To book appointments please call Ross Hall on 0141 810 3151 (handles both Ross Hall and King’s Park clinics).

*Please note that our clinics at Space in Edinburgh are not open yet


Patients shared their lockdown rehab experiences

Unfortunately for many of our recent patients normal rehabilitation routes were closed during the lockdown such as gyms and physiotherapy clinics, so it is great to see some of these facilities re-opening now. But we enjoyed seeing some of the inventive ways our patients have been keeping mobile and aiding their own recoveries - like Charlotte below.

We love this photo of patient Charlotte - thanks to her Mum for sending it in. "Charlotte on one of our daily dog walks, she has had Meniscus surgery and more recent shoulder stabilisation. Here she is managing to throw an extra large stick for one of our dogs, which she couldn’t do pre-op. Thank you for all your help." Keep up the good work Charlotte.

Some members of our 'Rehab Club'

More members of the Corona Rehab Club - from the top left: Sophie Nicholson rehabbing after ATFL surgery, Ailsa Lorimer with her family, Ailsa is recovering well from her Patellar Stabilisation; a great view from Craig Smith who has had ACL surgery on both knees 3 and 5 months ago and is out running; Colin Moran, a university lecturer used his corona, home educating time to get his children to build models to explain how his ACL was fixed with the InternalBrace ; Gordon Wilson has been rehabbing in the garden and village following his Achilles surgery and Allegra Martin rehabbing and riding again following her Cruciate Ligament surgery.

Supporting The Duncan Hospital Charitable Trust

Many of India's poorest people, especially migrant workers and their children have been the hardest hit during the country's hard-line lockdown.

India lockdown leaves millions struggling

The Duncan Hospital in Bihar continues to struggle to keep treating patients and feeding the poorest among the local community as the Indian Coronavirus Lockdown affects the poorest.

Perhaps nowhere more so than India has the Coronavirus crisis had such a devastating impact on the poorest in society. When Prime Minister Nerandra Modhi announced the country would be locked down with only a few hours notice this left millions of migrant workers stranded with no jobs, food or money. Many were thousands of miles from home and, after spending up-to two weeks in refugee camps many set off walking in the heat to try and reach home many with toddler and small children in tow. It is hard to comprehend the sheer amount of deprivation and misery steeped on these, the poorest people as they struggled to reach home. Many still wait in queues at train stations, although reports reach us that trains are now running again.

The Mackay Clinic has strong ties with The Duncan Hospital in Bihar on the Nepalese border and we have been keeping in touch with Blessy Sucharita who is a friend of the Mackays as well as being Senior Paediatrican at the hospital.

Blessy in happier times at the Duncan when the Mackay's visited at the start of 2020.

At the beginning of the pandemic Blessy told us of her fears for the hospital, its patients and staff as the lockdown bit. The hospital receives no state funding and so was left in the position of trying desperately to source supplies of PPE equipment. Junior and some senior staff became fearful as the virus worsened in India. Some of our wonderful fellow supporters in the US began making supplies of facemasks to be shipped out the the hospital but we were all relieved to hear from Blessy that they had managed to source some supplies themselves.

In another of her updates Blessy describes how the hospital is trying it's best to help those locals who are starving and have no work by feeding upto 5000 of them every week. She also describes how patients who have been avoiding coming to the hospital for treatments and medications for serious conditions are now arriving in pitiful critical conditions. They were also very short staffed as many staff got stuck at home when the lockdown took effect and the recent second lockdown in Bihar has once again affected them.

In a further tragic turn of events the hospital is currently battling bad flooding. The team are seen here resuscitating a baby while dirty water swirls around them

Blessy reports that so far actual cases of corona have not overwhelmed them and although they only have a few ventilators they have managed to cordon off a secure area to treat corona patients in isolation.

Normally The Mackay Clinic helps The Duncan by providing funding for infrastructure projects such as the New MacDonald accommodation building we were so proud to open on a trip there in February 2020. At the moment though we are releasing funds through The Duncan Hospital Charitable Trust to enable them to continue to treat patients (many bills are being waived as patients have no funds to pay) and to help them continue to feed local people in most need. We were also delighted that a long-time supporter of the hospital has recently donated a very generous sum for which we thank them, and to every one else for your generous donations

Our new Duncan Hospital Charitable Trust website has just been launched.

Many millions of migrant workers were stranded as Lockdown was announced in India.

The Lockdown has affected the poorest in Indian society leaving many with no food or money.

The Duncan Hospital has been feeding up to 5000 local people every week - using up huge financial resources.

People walked hundreds of miles with infants and toddlers to reach home

Sadly in July The Duncan is struggling with severe flooding causing huge problems for not only staff but also heaping more misery onto local people.

During Corona we are #standingtogether with The Duncan.

Find out more about The Duncan Hospital Charitable Trust by heading to our new website or donate during corona by clicking below to go to our official Just Giving page.