Families and Children’s Transformation Programme survey

The Families and Children’s Transformation Programme (FACT) is a programme of work being undertaken by a wide range of organisations looking to make lives better for children, young people and families.

The organisations involved range from the council, police, NHS and schools to family support services, early years’ providers such as children’s centres, childminders and nurseries and also includes a wide variety of community and voluntary sector partners.

The intention of the programme is to align working priorities and practices as much as possible, to make it easier for people to access consistent information, advice and support from services at a time when they need them. The programme can only do that by working with children, young people and families to find out what is most important to them.

In order to reach as many families as possible, an online survey has been created to gather views on some of the key stages of childhood and parenting. The survey can be answered by parents/carers or by children and young people looking at the questions relevant to them.

Access the survey here to share your views.
The survey closes on 7 September 2018.

Please have your say and if you have any further feedback contact FACT@wiltshire.gov.uk.

Change to the prescribing of over the counter medicines

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is following new guidance set out by NHS England in March 2018, meaning that for 35 minor, short-term conditions, medicines that are available over the counter will no longer routinely be prescribed.

The guidance has been published following a period of national public consultation and recommends that over the counter medicines associated with minor, short-term conditions which get better by themselves, or can be self-treated by the patient, should no longer be available on NHS prescription.

Medicines under the guidance include treatments for coughs, colds, dandruff, mild cystitis, nappy rash, warts and verrucae, ear wax, head lice and mild dry skin.

In the year prior to June 2017 the NHS spent approximately £569million on prescription medicines, which could have been bought over the counter from a pharmacy or other retail outlet.

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, Clinical Chair of Wiltshire CCG and GP at Market Lavington Surgery explains:
“It’s no secret that the NHS nationally is feeling the pressure of delivering healthcare services in the face of increasing patient demand and finite financial resources. In Wiltshire it’s no different, which is why as commissioners it’s important that we spend the money we have available in the most effective way that will benefit the most number of people.

“The cost of medicines to the NHS is significantly higher than those available to buy over the counter and because all licensed medicines are regulated by the Medicines and Health Regulatory Authority, they really are as good as your GP can prescribe.

“For this reason we are encouraging people to seek advice from a pharmacist and buy their medicines over the counter where they can.”

There are certain scenarios where certain patients should continue to have their treatments prescribed, including:

  • Patients prescribed an over the counter medicine for a long-term, or more complex condition or;
  • Where a clinician (doctor, nurse, pharmacist) considers that patient’s wellbeing could be affected due to health, mental health or significant social vulnerability.

Patients who contact their GP Practice to make an appointment regarding any of the 35 minor, short-term conditions may be advised by the receptionist to seek advice from a pharmacist instead.

Dr Sandford-Hill continues:
“By not routinely prescribing treatments for the 35 minor, short-term conditions and encouraging people to seek advice from a pharmacist and buy medicines over the counter where they can, means we will also free up valuable GP Practice appointments for those people who really need them.”
Alison Kidner, Community and Practice Pharmacist in Salisbury comments:
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to encourage patients to engage with their community pharmacy teams. Pharmacists are experts in medication and can provide health advice for our customers to help improve their health and wellbeing. The great thing about visiting your pharmacy is that you don’t need to make an appointment and many have a room where you can talk to the pharmacist in private. By visiting the pharmacy it means your GP’s time is freed up for those who really do need an appointment.

“We are all very aware of funding challenges to the NHS and by treating minor, short-term conditions ourselves where we can and by visiting a pharmacy for advice, we can help to save the NHS money. In many cases, the cost of buying a medicine from a pharmacy is cheaper than a prescription charge.”

For more information visit www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk/over-the-counter

The Wiltshire Health and Wellbeing Vision

During 2018, the current Health and Wellbeing Board strategy and the vision statement are being refreshed.

Local system leaders in health and social care invited you to share your views between 11 June – 3 July 2018 on what Wiltshire people consider to be the most important factors in their health and care. This will also be used to help Wiltshire Council and NHS Wiltshire CCG to build and develop Wiltshire’s health and wellbeing strategy.

The feedback you gave us has helped us to create a new draft vision statement and we now welcome your views on our proposed version.

The vision statement will help us work out how to prioritise the money we have to help people manage their own health and wellbeing and what support people need to live independently in their own communities for as long as possible.

We would like you to read the statement below about the proposed Health and Wellbeing strategy vision and share your response to some questions about it. This survey is now closed.

Our vision for Wiltshire
People in Wiltshire live in thriving communities that empower and enable them to live longer, fulfilling healthier lives.

The final vision will be supported by strategic priorities identified from your feedback and the joint strategic needs assessment completed by Public Health Wiltshire.

Thank you for taking part – your views are very important to us!


‘Stub it out’ – six months to go!

NHS sites and services across Bath and North East Somerset, Wiltshire and Swindon are preparing to become smoke free from 1 January 2019. 

In six months’ time staff, patients and visitors (including contractors and suppliers) will no longer be able to smoke anywhere on NHS sites, including the grounds and gardens or in vehicles and car parks.

All NHS providers across BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire are committed to no tobacco use on site and many have already started to provide support to staff and patients to either stop smoking or manage their nicotine dependency while at work or during their stay in hospital.

Associate Director for Nursing and Quality at the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust, Alan Metherall, said: “Our trust became completely smoke free in November last year with all staff, service users, visitors and contractors no longer able to smoke or use tobacco products on any of our sites.

“We have focused on how best to support and assist our staff and service users to abstain from smoking and using tobacco products while at work or receiving treatment.

“Since the policy was introduced we have seen a number of positive outcomes. Many of our service users have been able to reduce the amount they smoke as well as their reliance on cigarettes during challenging periods. 

“We want to ensure that our staff and service users are as healthy as they possibly can be and we are training our staff to become Stop Smoking Practitioners so that they can support service users who wish to give up.

“In the coming months ahead we will be looking to work more closely with our community mental health teams to support all service users and to continue to support our inpatient services with their smoke free journey.”

Claire Radley, Director of People at the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH) NHS Foundation Trust said: “As a hospital, we have a responsibility to look after people’s health. Studies show 80% of second hand smoke is odourless and invisible, and those who breathe it are exposed to the same risks as smokers, including heart disease and cancers.

Going smokefree is the right thing to do to ensure those on our site are protected from second hand smoke.  We’re six months away from being completely smokefree, but our Healthy Choices Advisors are already in place and are busy supporting patients and staff, whether that’s providing help to quit smoking or ways to manage cravings whilst on site.”  

Charlie Revell, Health Improvement Practitioner at Salisbury District Hospital said: “The smoking cessation service for inpatients has received six times more patients than last year. As a result many more patients are consenting to follow up in the community by a factor of ten!”

Justin Wride, Health Improvement Service Manager, Virgin Care said: “A recent Smoke Free survey conducted by Virgin Care for the benefit of their colleagues, visitors, patients and suppliers reveals that 81% of people did not consider it acceptable to smoke on NHS sites “because of patients’ health” and “second hand smoke to patients” with most thinking it was a “good idea” and a “very positive step”. 

“We are now offering all our colleagues and patients stop smoking specialist support if they wish to quit and are regularly promoting the benefits of stopping smoking through social media, via team meetings, on-site promotional work and other internal communications. We believe this is a really important step to ensure that our sites are healthy environments for people to work in and to visit.

“For the six-month countdown we have really stepped up our social media and internal communications to ensure that everyone is aware of the Smoke free ‘Go-live’ date on the 1January 2019. It is really important to us that everyone feels supported and ready for this positive change.”    

The decision to become completely smoke free is in line with The Health Act (2006) and The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE 2013) guidelines which state that all hospital sites, including mental health hospitals, and sites where NHS services are provided, should be 100% smoke free.

Kevin McNamara, Director of Strategy and Community Services, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Smoke Free campaign is an excellent tool to highlight the benefits of stopping smoking and the importance of reducing the impact it has on health and the NHS.

“While the number of smokers has been declining, it still remains one of the leading causes of premature death in the UK. Stopping smoking not only saves lives, but also saves the NHS money too.”

For staff, patients and visitors who want to stop smoking before Tuesday 1 January 2019:

  • A range of information and support on how to stop smoking is available at nhs.uk/smokefree
  • Face to face advice on Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and or E-cigarettes is available from your local pharmacy, your GP surgery and local stop smoking services.