Are you taking part in Stoptober – the 28 day stop smoking challenge?

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, GP

NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is urging smokers to take part in this year’s Stoptober Campaign, the 28 day stop smoking challenge starting on 1 October.

If you are a smoker, why not join in with England’s biggest stop smoking challenge – nearly a million people have taken part since Stoptober began five years ago. It’s never too late to stop smoking and quitting success rates are currently at their highest level ever recorded. If you can stop smoking for 28 days it’s widely reported that you are five times more likely to quit for good.

No matter how daunting it seems and even if you’ve been smoking for decades, quitting really is possible. Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health and 83% of smokers want to quit for this reason. As soon as you stop smoking you will start seeing and feeling the benefits to your health and your lifestyle.

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, a GP at Market Lavington Surgery says: “We’ve all heard it before, but quitting smoking at any time of life will greatly benefit your health. I encourage every smoker in Wiltshire to quit this Stoptober and join together with friends and family to motivate each other throughout this 28 day challenge. It’s never too late to quit”

Dr Richard Sandford – Hill talking about quitting smoking

By signing up to Stoptober, you can choose from a range of free tools including daily emails, facebook and text messages to support and motivate you during Stoptober, or download the mobile phone app which includes lots more tips and advice – all designed to help increase your chances to stop smoking. You can also get more expert information from your local Stop Smoking Service on stop smoking aid available to you – Stoptober is here to help you.

Join in with the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind, register with Stoptober now.


Stoptober – the 28-day quit smoking campaign – is back.

Based on research that if you stop smoking for 28-days you are five times more likely to quit for good, England’s seven million smokers are being encouraged to take part in this year’s Stoptober campaign, starting on 1 October.

Visit the Stoptober website to find out about a range of free and proven support available to help you start your quitting journey for 28 days and beyond.

From the app, email and social media support including Facebook Messenger, to more information about the expert face to face support that your local Stop Smoking Service (LSSS) can offer, as well as the different types of stop smoking aids available to you; including medicines and e-cigarettes – Stoptober is here to help you. 3

Everyone’s quitting journey is different, but you will not be alone. Nearly a million people have taken part since Stoptober began five years ago, so join in with the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind, search Stoptober and find the right support for you.

For more information, visit our campaigns page.

More than 4,700 missed GP Practice appointments for Wiltshire – in one month

In July 2016 more than 4,700 GP, nurse and healthcare assistant appointments were missed across Wiltshire’s 58 GP Practices, an equivalent of around 156 days of general practitioner time.

Known as ‘Did Not Attend’ appointments they have a huge impact on the health economy, prevent other patients from being seen and waste the time of ever-stretched doctors and nurses.

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is urging patients to take a few minutes to cancel their appointments if they are no longer required, or if they are unable to attend. Practices will then be able to offer those slots to other patients who require them and help to reduce appointment waiting times.

Dr Peter Jenkins, Chair of Wiltshire CCG said:
“For every missed appointment it is a missed opportunity for practices to see another patient. Simply by cancelling unwanted appointments, even if it is a few minutes before, it means that other patients have an opportunity to be seen more quickly and perhaps see their own GP. We were aware that most practices experience several DNAs each day but 4,700 missed appointments in the course of one month is, quite frankly, shocking.”

On average a GP will conduct 30 appointments per day and based on the total number of missed appointments for July 2016, this is the equivalent of 156 days of general practitioner time that has been lost.

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, a GP at Market Lavington Surgery explains on behalf of Wiltshire Practices:
“As doctors, we understand that people lead busy lives, that plans often change and quite often many people feel better by the time of their pre-booked appointment, so needing to change or cancel it is not a problem – please just let your surgery know. 

“At a time when NHS resources are stretched to the hilt, it’s really important that people understand the impact they have if they simply do not turn up. Everyone has responsibility to look after the NHS – it’s tax payers money after all – and we urge Wiltshire people to cancel when they don’t need the appointment so that those most in need are able to be seen more quickly”.

Pregnant women urged to protect their babies from whooping cough as infections rise across the south

Cases of highly infectious whooping cough have increased by 25% across the south region, posing a serious risk to babies and young infants. Yet despite the rise, thousands of women are still not being vaccinated, with 40% of pregnant women not taking the protection it offers to their new born child.

A regional campaign has been launched to raise awareness of the risks and promote uptake of the vaccine among pregnant women.

Whooping cough – known medically as pertussis – is an infection which can create serious breathing difficulties, particularly in babies and young children. It can lead to major health complications such as brain damage and pneumonia and can be fatal.

In the south region, there were 1141 cases of whooping cough in 2014, increasing by over 25% to 1432 in 2015. In 2012, 14 babies died in England and Wales following a whooping cough infection.

New born and young babies are particularly vulnerable, but a highly effective vaccine is routinely available to pregnant women, who then pass the resistance to their unborn child, protecting the baby from birth until they are old enough to receive their childhood immunisations at around three months old.

The vaccine is given at a GP practice or in maternity units at the point of the foetal abnormality scan, from 20 weeks of pregnancy. Ideally it should be given before 32 weeks, but it can still be given right up to the point of labour, but with reduced effectiveness.

The national average coverage of eligible pregnant women is around 60%.  But in the South there is significant variation – as low as just 43% in Slough CCG area – highlighting areas where many women are not receiving the protection offered by the vaccine.

During the winter flu season, pregnant women should also receive the flu vaccination, which can be given at the same time as whooping cough.

Dr Nigel Acheson, Regional Medical Director, said:
“People often think of whooping cough as an illness from days gone by – but it is a real threat to babies and young children right now and can lead to pneumonia, brain damage and even death.  

“The number of infections increased by 25% across the South region in 2015, but despite the risk, on average just 60% of women receive the vaccination, meaning many are putting their baby at risk.   

“As we are also approaching the winter flu season, I also urge pregnant women to receive their free flu vaccination, which they can have at the same time as whooping cough. This way they will protect themselves and their baby from both potentially fatal illnesses.”

Find out more on the NHS Choices website and search ‘whooping cough’

New Accountable Officer to join Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group

Following the departure earlier this year of Deborah Fielding, the Governing Body of Wiltshire CCG have asked Tracey Cox, the Chief Officer for neighbouring BaNES CCG, to take on the additional responsibility of interim Accountable Officer at Wiltshire CCG from 26 September 2016.  It is envisaged that this arrangement will be in place until March 2017.

Agreement from BaNES CCG and endorsement from NHS England means that Tracey will provide a joint Accountable Officer role across her existing CCG, as well as covering the role for Wiltshire.

Tracey will be taking over from Simon Truelove who has held the role of Accountable Officer on an interim basis since Deborah Fielding left earlier in the year. Simon is due to take up the new post of Director of Finance at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust at the end of this month.

The Chair of Wiltshire CCG, Dr Peter Jenkins said:
“This is an excellent outcome for Wiltshire. It will allow the organisation time to consider potential future arrangements such as closer integration between the CCG and Wiltshire Council and greater collaboration with other CCGs in line with the principles agreed within our emerging Sustainability and Transformation Plan, with particular attention on urgent care, planned care and primary care commissioning.”
Tracey Cox said:
“I am looking forward to working more closely with the committed and hard-working team at Wiltshire CCG. Both organisations share many of the same priorities and challenges across B&NES and Wiltshire and this interim role will enable us to pool our insight and expertise so we can improve everyone’s health and wellbeing, drive up standards of care and achieve financial stability across the wider area.”

To support this arrangement Wiltshire CCG will move quickly to employ an interim Chief Operating Officer who will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the CCG and be accountable directly to Tracey.

Tracey Cox joined the health service in 1990 as a management trainee. She started her career working for a number of London hospitals before moving to the South West in 1997 to take up a role at the Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Foundation Trust managing general surgery and orthopaedic services.  Tracey began her commissioning career with BaNES Primary Care Trust and transferred to BaNES CCG in April 2013.

Do you have questions about the changes to community child health services and how they affect you?

The WPCC has worked with NHS Wiltshire CCG, Wiltshire Council and Virgin Care to arrange question and answer sessions about the changes to community child health services.

The sessions are for parent carers of a child or young person aged 0-25 years with Special Educational Needs and/or a disability (SEND) providing an informal opportunity for parent carers to ask questions of commissioners and Virgin Care, and to review and give feedback. The sessions are being held on:

Monday 19 September, 10am –12pm
Wiltshire College Chippenham, Cocklebury Road
Chippenham, SN15 3QD

Tuesday 20 September, 10am – 12pm
Salisbury and South Wiltshire Sports Club, Wilton Road
Salisbury, SP2 9NY

Wednesday 21 September, 10am – 12pm
The Enterprise Network (T.E.N), White Horse Business Park North Bradley
Trowbridge, BA14 0XA

You must book your place to attend. Online booking is preferred and can be booked online via this link. Alternatively, you can book by calling or emailing the WPCC:

? admin@wiltspcc.co.uk

☎ 01225 764 647

Booking will close at 5pm on Thursday 15 September 2016

Find out more in the session flyer.