Have your say on carers’ strategy

People are being asked to have their say on a new draft strategy which aims to support carers and ensure their contributions are valued and their voices heard.

Wiltshire Council and NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group have developed a new strategy for carers in consultation with other strategic partners.

The draft strategy has also been worked on with carers and they have helped develop a series of outcomes that they hope the strategy will help them achieve.

The strategy is for all carers. A carer is someone of any age, including a child (young carer), who provides unpaid support to a family member or friend who could not always manage without this help. This could include caring for a relative (a parent, grandparent, sibling, child, spouse, partner) or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or who has mental health or substance misuse problems. It is important to remember that anyone can become a carer.

Members of the public, especially carers, are being encouraged to comment on the draft strategy to influence the future commissioning of support for carers in Wiltshire.

Wiltshire Council corporate director Maggie Rae said:
“Carers carry out such an important role in our communities and we want to ensure they are fully supported.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to get involved in this consultation as we want this strategy to be as effective as it can be and strongly represent the views of carers.”

Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health Keith Humphries said:
“With changes taking place in the adult care sector, this strategy is timely and will help to ensure carers feel fully supported in their important roles.

“I’m really pleased we have been able to engage with carers in developing a strategy which has their needs at the very heart of it.”

Ted Wilson, Director Community and Joint Specialist Commissioning at Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning comments:
“Carers are an integral part of our health and social care environment. Without the support of loved ones and friends many individuals would struggle to cope with day to day life. These essential, voluntary roles are so important and it is through the Wiltshire Carers strategy that we can ensure that carers in Wiltshire are fully supported. By developing the strategy in collaboration with people who care for relatives or friends, we can put in place the right support for all 47,000 carers in the county.”

The full draft strategy can be viewed here.

People should feedback their comments by 13 July 2016 to Karen Walters, Community Commissioner (Carers) at: County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge BA14 8JN or email karen.walters@wiltshire.gov.uk

Advice to patients during the industrial action Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 April 2016

The NHS is working hard to ensure that as few patients as possible are affected by the industrial action planned for Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 April 2016, but some services will need to change. Alternative additional services have been put in place to meet patient demands. Please visit www.nhs.uk/strike to search for the extra services being provided in Wiltshire.

Read more to find out how you can access NHS services on these days. It is especially important if you have a long-term health condition or you look after people in vulnerable groups – such as the elderly and young children – that you know what to do on the days of the industrial action.

Planned operations/procedures and outpatients appointments

If you have a planned operation/procedure or outpatient appointment on one of the days when the industrial action is taking place, your hospital will contact you if it needs to be rearranged. If you have not been contacted by the hospital you should first check the hospital website for additional advice.


Your GP practice will be open and working as normal on the days of the industrial action. Given that GPs may experience greater demand than normal on these days, we strongly recommend that you contact them early if you need advice or an appointment.


Accident and Emergency departments will be open for patients with serious and life threatening conditions, with essential care being provided by senior staff. As is always the case to ensure that hospitals can treat those who most need it, only those patients with serious and life threatening conditions should visit their A&E.

Other medical needs

If you become ill on these days with a non-urgent condition and need advice, please visit www.nhs.uk, or go to your local pharmacist. If you need medical help fast but it’s not an emergency call 111, or contact your GP.

Single point of contact to keep people warm and safe

Wiltshire residents now have a single point of contact to provide support, help and guidance to people living in cold homes and those struggling to keep on top of bills.

Funded by the British Gas Energy Trust, Wiltshire Council will work with the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Centre for Sustainable Energy, to build on the council’s existing Warm and Safe energy advice service which is run jointly with Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service. People are being encouraged to contact the service now to reduce household energy costs for the year ahead and get homes prepared for next winter.

There will be an improved referral system and even more people will be able to benefit from the service. People who are on low incomes, elderly, disabled and suffering in a cold home will get the support they need – quickly and efficiently.

A number of health conditions can be exacerbated by living in cold, damp homes. These include asthma, hypertension and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

The Warm and Safe Wiltshire advice service provides information and support to all residents across Wiltshire who are looking to make their homes warmer and more comfortable as well as providing advice on how people can reduce their energy bills, home fire safety advice and sign posting to other relevant services. Warm and Safe Wiltshire can search for funding for heating and insulation improvements as well as providing home visits to those who need advice and support the most.

Maggie Rae, Wiltshire Council corporate director, said:
“Winter can be a tough time for many but this enhanced joined-up service means that more people will get vital support to help keep them warm in their homes.”
Keith Humphries, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health, said:
“We are pleased to be part of this partnership helping provide vital support to those who need it most. We want people to feel comfortable, safe and warm in their own home and this partnership will help more people do that.”
Phillip Morris, Senior Development Manager at the Centre for Sustainable Energy said:
“It is great to be working so closely with the council and in particular the public health team on this project. The project is an excellent example of how well a number of different organisations can work together to provide support to those people who are struggling to heat their homes to a healthy level.”
Dr Tim Ballard, Vice Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:
“As GPs, we look at the physical, psychological, and social factors affecting a patient’s health before we make a diagnosis – and the conditions someone lives in can be key to their overall health and wellbeing.

“If people are living in cold homes, then it makes sense that they will be more susceptible to health problems associated with cold weather, for example respiratory problems such as COPD. It has been frustrating during my career, when my clinical opinion has been that a patient’s health might improve if they lived in a drier, warmer and potentially safer home, but the relevant support has been lacking.

“Pilot schemes have shown a link between initiatives that address fuel poverty and cold homes and a decrease in both GP appointments and hospital admissions, so I am delighted that the College is involved in this important advice and referral scheme in Wiltshire, where I practise.

“This Warm and Safe Wiltshire scheme will not only help the patients concerned, but it may well lead to a decrease in workload for GPs and our teams, who are currently facing intense resource and workforce pressures. We look forward to an evaluation of this pilot scheme in due course to assess the benefits and see if there is scope to roll this out further.”

For more information about the service and how they can benefit people are encouraged to visit www.warmandsafewiltshire.org.uk for all the information they need.


Primary Medical Care Joint Commissioning Committee meeting – 28 June 2016

A Primary Medical Care Joint Commissioning Committee meeting will be held in Southgate House, Pans Lane, Devizes, SN10 5EQ, on 28 June 2016.

The meeting will take place from 2.15pm.

The agenda  is now available on our website.

New service to improve mental wellbeing in Wiltshire

A new service to improve the mental wellbeing of people living in Wiltshire has launched.

The Wiltshire Recovery and Social Inclusion Service, run by national mental health charity the Richmond Fellowship, will support people living with mental health problems to improve their wellbeing through a combination of community and specialist support. It’s being funded by Wiltshire Council and NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

Stephen Smith-Trask, managing director for Richmond Fellowship (South), said:
“We’re really excited to be launching this new holistic service in Wiltshire. It’ll be a one-stop shop for people to improve their wellbeing through one to one sessions, employment support, community activities and peer support.

“Richmond Fellowship already runs a number of services in Wiltshire so the new Recovery and Social Inclusion Service will build on our experiences working with local communities.”

The service will also tackle digital isolation by providing training and support to give people the skills and confidence to use online banking, get information about how to access benefits and wellbeing online, as well as introduce people to online communication and social media.

Maggie Rae, Wiltshire Council corporate director, said:
“We are pleased to be working with Richmond Fellowship to provide this service which will help to ensure that people living with mental health issues do not feel alone and can be supported to help lead fulfilling lives full of opportunities, not barriers.”
Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health and adult care, Keith Humphries said:
“This important service will work closely with communities and help provide people with the day to day skills that many of us take for granted. I’m sure it will have a really positive impact.”
Deborah Fielding, chief officer at Wiltshire CCG said:
“Wiltshire CCG are pleased to be working jointly with Wiltshire Council and Richmond Fellowship to provide this important service to the residents of Wiltshire. It is hoped that the lives of those using the service will be greatly enhanced, enabling them to move forward following periods of uncertainty with renewed confidence and independence”.

The service, operating from Devizes, is open to anybody over the age of 18 who is at risk of, or experiencing mental health problems.

For more information about Richmond Fellowship and the support it offers, visit: www.richmondfellowship.org.uk

B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan

All health and social care organisations are working together across Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES), Swindon and Wiltshire on a five year sustainability and transformation plan (STP) to improve our local population’s health and wellbeing, to improve service quality and to deliver financial stability. We are developing a joint approach that will help deliver the aims of the Five Year Forward View and is in line with other important national guidance such as GP Forward View, Mental Health Taskforce Report and National Maternity Review.

Why do we need an STP?

There are growing pressures on the health and care system, nationally and locally. The proportion of older people is rising and there are more people living with complex conditions. This is contributing to an increased demand for services.

Overall across B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire the standard of health and care services is very good compared to other areas in England.

But some challenges remain. Our hospital Accident &Emergency (A&E) departments are under pressure, in some areas patients are waiting too long for GP appointments and there are gaps in quality with some parts of our region benefitting from better health and care services than others. Additionally, there are increasing financial pressures. Across all our local health organisations there was a collective end of year deficit of £6million for 2015/16 and this will rise to £337million at the end of 2021 across our combined area if we do nothing.

So we are working on a collective plan to drive greater efficiency and improvements in quality across the health and care system. For services to be sustainable, we also need to get better at preventing disease, not just treating it, and encourage everyone to take responsibility to manage their own care.

Our STP partners

Our plan brings together our three hospitals (Royal United Hospital, Great Western Hospital and Salisbury Foundation Trust), the three Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs); B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire Councils, South West Ambulance Service (SWASFT) and Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust (AWP). The providers of our community services – Wiltshire Health and Care, Seqol and Sirona as well as the West of England Academic Health and Science Network (WEAHSN) and the Wessex Local Medical Committee (representing GPs from across the BSW area) complete our organisational grouping.

Working together to transform services

The health and care needs of our local population across B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire are diverse and we are developing a joint approach that takes this local variation into account. Our joint work will not replace individual organisational plans or our B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire Health & Wellbeing Strategies. And it will not stop all the great work already going on locally to improve local services.

The emerging STP focuses on shared challenges and opportunities across the wider geographical footprint. This is ‘place-based’ planning that is not limited by organisational boundaries and covers CCGs, NHS providers, specialised services and primary care. It also includes better integration with local authorities including social care, prevention and self-care. Some of our partner organisations such as AWP, Sirona and SWASFT operate beyond our combined area and so will overlap with other STP footprints.

Our emerging priorities

Based on our knowledge of local need and challenges and in line with national guidance, we have developed three transformational work-streams. Each is led by a CCG Accountable Officer. These are:

  • Preventative and proactive care
  • Planned care
  • Urgent and emergency care

Over the past four months, organisation and service leads have been meeting in work stream groups and together at a number of cross-organisational workshops to explore solutions to the common challenges across B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire. They have also begun to identify opportunities for innovation that will benefit the local population, agree some collective health outcomes and explore the potential for a standard set of quality and performance measures across the footprint. There are five emerging priorities:

  • To provide improved person-centred care by strengthening and integrating the specialist services that support primary care
  • To shift the focus of care from treatment to prevention and proactive care
  • To redefine the ways we work together as organisations to deliver improved individual/patient care
  • To ensure we offer staff an attractive career and build a flexible, sustainable workforce
  • To strengthen collaboration across organisations to directly benefit acute and urgent care services.

What next and how can I get involved?

Compared to other STP areas, we do not have an established relationship across all the health and care organisations with the B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire footprint so we are at an early stage of STP development.

We shared our outline proposals for the next five years with NHS England in June and will submit more detailed plans at the end of October. This will enable us to qualify for additional funding through the Sustainability and Transformation Fund from 2017/18 onwards, to help deliver our plans.

Drawing on the experience and clinical expertise of our workforce and those that use health and care services, as well as their carers, will help us to redesign services and to develop new models of care that are sustainable.

Across our combined area, we already have a wealth of patient insight and useful information from recent consultation and engagement activity. However, the STP offers our stakeholders a new opportunity to inform our plans for local health and care services and we are committed to ensuring everyone’s views are taken into consideration at all stages of the process. We are working closely with Healthwatch (the consumer champion in health and care) in B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire to make sure the voice of local people is represented as our plans begin to take shape.

Updates on our STP will be shared at CCG board meetings, AGMs and Council meetings, please check individual organisation websites for details of these. A wider programme of public engagement will commence in the autumn and more information on this will be available here shortly. In the meantime, if you have any questions or feedback, please get in touch by email to ruh-tr.STP-BSW@nhs.net or contact your local Healthwatch office.

Daisy site image - Feb 2016

New Daisy service on target for summer opening

The Daisy, a brand new specialist residential home in Devizes providing care for up to 9 individuals is near completion and will open this summer.

This ground-breaking new home will enable people with complex learning disabilities and challenging behaviour to return to Wiltshire and receive specialised services close to their family and friends, in a home from home setting. A multi-disciplinary team experienced in providing specialist care, will take an innovative and personal approach, supporting and encouraging people to live at The Daisy as independently as possible.

Based near Green Lane Hospital, The Daisy, (so called because of its flower shaped design) has been achieved through the partnership working of NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning group and Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP). Through this collaboration, services will be delivered in a responsive way, enabling people to make their own choices and support them to live their life in the community.

People living at The Daisy will be helped to maintain links with their family and friends and to build a fulfilled life through community integration such as education, sports and leisure.  They will also be able to access mainstream services when they need them, to ensure that their health and social needs are met.

Ted Wilson, Group Director, NHS Wiltshire CCG said:
“The introduction of these new services will help address the need for specialised provision for people with complex learning disabilities and challenging behaviour. We aspire to help people reduce their need for support, as they gain the confidence to have more control to live happy, meaningful and fulfilling lives.”
Jane Anderson, Service Manager for Specialised and Criminal Justice Mental Health from AWP said:
“We are absolutely delighted with the progress. Things are moving on with great speed.  Recruitment is progressing well and we are confident this new service will be an absolute success.”

Each home will offer a fully equipped area with a kitchen, en-suite bathroom, lounge area and garden.  People have contributed to the design of their own areas by choosing colour schemes and soft furnishings. A welcoming communal area will also be available.


For media enquiries please contact:

NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group Communications Team
T: 01380 733738  E: Communications.wiltshireccg@nhs.net

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
T: 01249 468274  E: awp.communications@nhs.net

New provider for Wiltshire’s Children’s Services

A new Wiltshire-focused NHS service for children, young people and families has launched this week. Delivered by Virgin Care the new Wiltshire Children’s Community Health Service will provide consistent and equitable levels of service and support to children and their families no matter where they live in the county.

Community child health services in Wiltshire were previously provided by five separate organisations.  As well as providing a fair and equitable service, the new Wiltshire Children’s Community Health Service, provided by Virgin Care will improve communications between services to enhance the experience for children, young people and families by responding directly to the needs of Wiltshire’s community.

Virgin Care will provide services like speech and language therapy, learning disability nursing and school nursing, among others, to children and young people in Wiltshire.

Virgin Care has a strong track record of delivering NHS services over the last decade, having seen more than four million NHS patients since then.  The organisation currently delivers Integrated Children’s Services in Devon and adult community services elsewhere, alongside various community treatment services across England and GP surgeries. In Devon, Virgin Care brought together health and social care services for children when it took over delivery of those services in 2012.

Jayne Carroll, Virgin Care’s Regional Director, says:
“Since we were named preferred bidder we’ve been working alongside the existing providers and with the very talented colleagues to ensure that the service was ready to go on day one with as few changes to the services families receive as possible.

“Over the coming months we’ll continue that work to make sure the transition to the Virgin Care-provided service is as smooth as possible for children and young people.

“Things won’t change overnight but we’re committed to continuing to listen to feedback from children, young people and families in order to build a truly Wiltshire-focused service which serves the needs of the people who use it.”

Corporate Director for Wiltshire Council, Carolyn Godfrey, Deborah Fielding Accountable Officer for NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Debra Elliott Director of Commissioning for NHS England jointly comment:
“Bringing together community child health services from across the county under one provider was a key priority for us. We want to ensure that every child in Wiltshire has the same access to services regardless of where they live in the county.

“Virgin Care’s plans to utilise digital technology to enhance communication will allow health care practitioners more time with children and their parents or carers. We are confident that Virgin Care can deliver services to our children that reflect their needs, are closer to home and are of the highest standard.”

Colleagues working for the five previous providers who delivered these services have transferred to Virgin Care under TUPE rules which maintain their terms and conditions pay and pension. The majority of service users will see no change to the staff they see and where changes have happened this has already been discussed, and managed, over the past three months.

Notes to editors

  • Services provided in Swindon do not form part of the community child health services in Wiltshire contract

The following services are part of Wiltshire Community Children’s Health Services

  • Public Health Nursing (Health Visiting and School Nursing)
  • Children’s Community Nursing Service
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Integrated Paediatric Therapy Service (Occupational therapy and Physiotherapy)
  • Family Nurse Partnership
  • Children’s Learning Disability Nursing
  • Community Paediatricians – including Designated Doctor LAC, Safeguarding and Child Death Review
  • Safeguarding Children Service
  • Looked after children’s Health Service
  • Portage (Pre-school educational play in South Wiltshire only)
  • Child Health Information Service