Survey launched during Mental Health Awareness Week

Young people, parents and professionals are being asked for their views on how we can improve mental health and wellbeing in Wiltshire. The online surveys for Mental Health Awareness Week will help shape how services are provided in the future. They are one of a number of initiatives the council and partners are involved in to help improve services to support young people’s mental health.

Other initiatives include:

  • Kooth – an online counselling for pupils at all secondary schools. In April this was extended for young people aged from 11 to 25.
  • Youth mental health first aid – an internationally recognised programme designed to promote awareness of psychological and emotional well-being and mental health for eight to 18 year olds.
  • On Your Mind website –which signposts young people to local and national sources of support and provides positive health messages.
Laura Mayes, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for children’s services, said:
“We all have to look after our mental health but it is particularly important to ensure our young people have support.

“Exams, growing up and the myriad of pressures on young people can make life very difficult. We want to work alongside our young people to ensure they have the right support when they need it.”

In April 2018, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust launched a new Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire.

James Fortune, Head of Service, said:
“We are really delighted to be implementing a modern child and adolescent mental health service and want to ensure that children and young people remain at the heart of everything we do.

“Their experiences and opinions, as well as the views of parents, carers and professionals, ensure we can continue to drive forward service transformation and improvements. That’s why surveys like this are so important.

“In Wiltshire we receive over 2,000 referrals a year and offer a range of support, interventions and treatments.”

Catherine, a young person based in Wiltshire, said:
“Seeking support for mental health difficulties is a very important thing to do. It’s by no means easy, but with support from others things can and really do get better. Having just one person who you can talk to, reach out to, offload to and brainstorm with makes facing difficulties so much easier to manage.

“Having someone there as a shoulder to cry on, but also there to share laughter with can help with making sense of your thoughts, give a new perspective on issues and help with moving forward.”

Lucy Baker, Acting Commissioning Director (Maternity, Children and Mental health), Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group said:
“Wiltshire CCG is working together across BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) to transform how we deliver mental health support to better meet the needs of our local population including children and young people. There is a shared enthusiasm to enhance lives and wellbeing with a shared commitment that no-one should be left in need. We really want to hear what people think of our services and how we can make things better.”
The surveys are available at:

Young people

Parents and carers



April  2019

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Primary Care Networks are the way of the future for community healthcare – GPs working together to provide a network of services to their local population. The project to establish the networks in Wiltshire builds on work that was already underway and we are working to a July deadline to complete the initial set up of our 11 networks. Watch this space for more information over the months to come.

At the moment we are working with the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and other partners to develop a new strategy for the delivery of mental health services across the BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire areas. We join AWP in welcoming their new Chief Executive and look forward to working with him when he takes up the role in August.

Healthwatch Wiltshire continues to support our community with the awarding of funding to five projects that aim to boost health and wellbeing in the county – well done to the successful applicants to the Community Cash Fund! 

Engagement on the NHS Long Term Plan with the What would you do? survey is drawing to a close, you’ve only got a couple of days to complete the survey.

Spring is certainly here bringing with it hayfever season. We’ve got lots of good information on our website to help you manage through this tricky season of runny eyes and sneezes.

I’m going to be here a little longer to support our new Chief Executive Tracey Cox as we transition to a new management structure for BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire CCGs.


Linda Prosser, Interim Chief Officer

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Primary Care Networks

The Government announced a number of policies and incentives this year to help the health and care system meet increasing demand. General practice is at the core of these new ideas with the establishment of Primary Care Networks.

Each network will serve patient populations of around 30,000-50,000. Organisations within the network area will work closely together to give patients access to a wider range of health and care professionals, as part of community teams. This includes GPs, nurses, physios, therapists, pharmacists and social care providers – each providing care that is proactive, coordinated and accessible. With the focus on patients seeing the right health professional for their needs, GPs should have more time to spend on patients who need them the most.

To support their establishment, a Primary Care Network Development Programme will be centrally funded and locally delivered. By 2023/24, the PCN contract is expected to invest an additional £4.5bn per year, or £1.47 million per typical network covering 50,000 people.

GPs in Wiltshire have decided on 11 Primary Care Networks:

  • Sarum West
  • Sarum South
  • Sarum North
  • Devizes
  • Trowbridge
  • Bradford on Avon and Melksham
  • Westbury and Warminster
  • Chippenham including Corsham and Box
  • Calne
  • North Wiltshire Border Locality including Malmesbury, Tolsey, Royal Wootton Bassett, Purton and Cricklade
  • East Kennet.

GPs and Practice Managers attended a meeting in mid-March to discuss the establishment of the networks and more recently we had a really good workshop with the 11 emergent PCNs. We will provide more information on the progress of the networks in the months to come.

You can find out more about Primary Care Networks on the NHS England website.

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New Chief Executive appointed to lead Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust has appointed Dominic Hardisty as its new Chief Executive.

Dominic is currently the Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. He will take up his role at AWP in August 2019, replacing Dr Hayley Richards, who announced her plans to retire in January and will be leaving the Trust at the end of May. Simon Truelove will fill the role of Acting Chief Executive until Dominic arrives.

 Dominic brings with him 20 years as a leader, with the last 10 in the NHS, where he has worked across acute and community trusts. He has led teams to transform services across acute, community, mental health and children’s/young people’s pathways, as well as leading on responses to CQC inspections and formation of partnerships across primary, acute, community and social care.

The Chair of AWP, Charlotte Hitchings, said: “I am absolutely delighted to be appointing Dominic.

“He brings a wealth of relevant experience, both in mental health and strategic and operational management.  Dominic made a great impression on the more than 50 staff, service users, carers and other stakeholders involved in the assessment and interview process.”

Dominic said: “I am thrilled to be appointed Chief Executive of AWP.  There are great things going on in the Trust and I look forward to joining and working with staff and stakeholders to ensure we build on current good work and continue to do our very best for service users, their families and carers, as well as for our staff to make AWP outstanding.”

Charlotte added: “I am excited about Dominic’s aspirations for the Trust and we are all very much looking forward to working with him as we continue on our drive for continuous quality improvement across our services for the benefit of the people we serve.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Hayley Richards once again for her commitment, passion and hard work throughout her long career with the NHS and to wish her well in her retirement.”

Dominic holds a degree from Oxford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School and is currently training to be a Health Care Assistant (HCA).

In another new appointment, Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Sarah Constantine has joined AWP as the new Medical Director, starting in the role on 16 April 2019.

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Community Cash Fund winners announced

Healthwatch Wiltshire’s Community Cash Fund grants have been awarded to five projects that aim to boost the health and wellbeing of people in Wiltshire.

The call for grant applications in March attracted 41 applications for funding of up to £2,000 each.

Healthwatch Wiltshire manager Stacey Plumb said: “Thank you to everyone who applied to the Community Cash Fund. We were delighted to receive such a high number of applications and it was a really tough job deciding who should receive funding.

“We’re really excited to be supporting these incredibly worthwhile projects and are looking forward to following their progress in the months ahead.”

The successful projects are:

Anybody Can Cook, who want to run healthy eating courses for families on a low income at children’s centres in Chippenham and Corsham. Their vision is to promote health equality across communities, with the ultimate aim being less visits to the GP and dentist, maintaining a healthy weight, better mental health and increased confidence.

Pound Arts Centre and Rewired Counselling, who are hosting SPARK, a two-day health and wellbeing event in Corsham on 12 and 13 July. The first day is aimed at Year 9 students and focuses on sleep, stress, body, food and confidence, while the second day is open to all and includes a variety of speakers and a marketplace of groups and services.

Rowden Hill Surgery, who are looking to start a choir for patients with respiratory conditions who attend the Rowden, Lodge and Hathaway surgeries in Chippenham. Singing regularly is thought to have a positive effect on the quality of life of someone with a lung condition, and sessions would be open to both patients and their carers.

Wiltshire People 1st, who are launching their Happy Hearts Dance Group for adults with learning disabilities and/or autism. The sessions will promote a healthy lifestyle through conversation, cooking and dance activities.

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, for their Wellbeing at the Orchard project, which is aimed at people who are experiencing mental health issues. The project, based at Roundway Orchard in Devizes, features eight weeks of outdoor activities including conservation, wild-cooking and nature-based craft. Designed to help improve mental wellbeing, the project also provides skills and knowledge on managing an orchard.

More information on the Community Cash Fund is available on the Healthwatch Wiltshire website. 

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News archive

Read more news from Wiltshire CCG in our news archive.

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Get involved!

Last chance to have your say – What would you do?     

You’ve only got a few more days to have your say in the Healthwatch survey that ask would you would do to improve your local services.

Take part in the What would you do? survey on the Healthwatch website and share your views today.


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Are you using your asthma inhaler correctly?

Asthma is a common lung condition that affects the airways and can make it difficult to breathe. It affects 3.4 million people in England and is usually treated by using an inhaler. But, research has shown that a third of people with asthma aren’t using their inhalers correctly. 

The new patient decision aid from NICE– Inhalers for asthma aims to tackle this and ensure that people with asthma are aware of the different devices available to them. If you have asthma, the decision aid could help you find out about the options available. It could help you and your healthcare professional decide which inhaler will suit you best. 

Asthma UK has also published a number of short videos designed to help you use your inhaler properly.

We have more information on asthma on our website.


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It’s hayfever time

With the arrival of spring, many of us will be spending more time outdoors – in the garden or local parks. It’s not all good news if you have hay fever.

Hay fever is a common allergic condition that affects up to one in five people at some point in their life. You will experience hay fever if you have an allergic reaction to pollen. It is usually worse between late March and September, especially when it’s warm, humid and windy.

Your hay fever symptoms can be treated by you going to visit your local pharmacist and using over the counter medications, such as antihistamines.

We’ve got advice on managing your hayfever along with other advice and tips to help you stay well this summer our website.





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Wiltshire Pharmacy Opening Times for the May Bank Holidays

Opening times for your local pharmacy services during the upcoming May Bank Holidays (6 and 27 May) are available below.
The pharmacies listed should be open on the dates as shown, the details are correct at the time published but are subject to change. You are advised to contact the pharmacy before attending to ensure they are open and have the medication you require.
View the downloadable PDF