One in three women diagnosed with breast cancer each year are aged 70 or over

NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is supporting the national Be Clear on Cancer campaign and are urging women aged 70 or over to be aware of breast cancer symptoms.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in England with around 44,600 women diagnosed every year. National figures show that around 9,500 women die from breast cancer each year and over half of these women are aged 70 and over (5,400). This equates to around 15 women aged 70 and over dying from breast cancer in England every day.

Dr Andy Hall, GP at Orchard Partnership said,
“Despite older women being at an increased risk of breast cancer, they are also more likely to delay in going to their GP with breast cancer symptoms. We are not just talking about a lump, if you notice any unusual or persistent changes to your breasts such as a change to a nipple, or to the skin or the shape of a breast, book an appointment with your doctor and have it investigated.”

It’s important for all women over 70 to not assume they are past it. Early diagnosis of breast cancer is crucial and means treatment is more likely to be successful.  If breast cancer is diagnosed at the earliest stage, it will increase their chances of survival.

Dr Hall continued,
“It’s important to carry on checking your breasts as you get older because the chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer increases with age. The earlier it’s caught the better, so know the symptoms, and don’t be afraid to visit your doctor if you are concerned about any potential signs.”

Possible signs of breast cancer include:

  • A lump or thickening in your breast or armpit
  • Change to the skin of your breast
  • Changes in the shape or size of your breast
  • Nipple changes
  • Nipple discharge
  • Pain in your breast or armpit
  • Any other unusual or persistent changes to your breasts

If you have any of these symptoms, your doctor will want to see you.

For more information on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, please visit our campaign page

February 2018


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Welcome to February’s edition of ‘in touch’.

In this issue we’re excited to tell you about a new Children and Adolescent Mental Health service that starts on 1 April. Over 200 people across Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset and Swindon helped to shape the service which will support young people aged 0-18 years.

NHS England is working with NHS Clinical Commissioners on a public consultation to reduce prescribing of over the counter medicines for minor, short-term health concerns. Drugs like paracetamol can cost the NHS up to three times more on prescription than if patients bought them directly from a supermarket. The results from the consultation will inform national guidance on how such drugs are available in the future. What are your thoughts on buying some medication over the counter? Share your views by completing the survey.

Over the coming months we’ll be focusing on cancer types and the common signs to look out for. 

It’s very easy to ignore symptoms and put off going to see your doctor, but if you are worried you should book an appointment with your doctor straight away.

It may not be anything serious, but if it is cancer it’s important to find it early. See below for the campaigns we’re highlighting in this edition.

While Winter hasn’t quite left us yet the days are gradually getting longer and the sun is starting to brighten up our skies – Spring is nearly here!


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In the news!

New service to support children and young people with their emotional wellbeing

The views of over 200 individuals from across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire have helped shape a modern service for children and young people with emotional wellbeing and mental health problems.

The new Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) service starts on 1 April 2018 and will be delivered by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. The service be providing targeted and specialist mental health and wellbeing support to children and young people aged 0-18 years, which includes having timely access to an integrated system of co-ordinated and effective promotion, prevention, early intervention and community support and treatment.

Ted Wilson, Director of Community Services and Joint Commissioning for Wiltshire CCG said: “With valuable input from young people across Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset and Swindon we have commissioned a mental health service that will better suit their needs, be easier for them to access and will provide improved advice and support.”

National Survey shows improvements in women’s experiences of maternity care

Most women are having a positive experience of maternity care and treatment with the NHS, according to a survey of more than 18,000 people in England.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) survey results reveal responses from women who had given birth in February 2017 in services run by 130 NHS trusts across the country.

Women were asked questions about all aspects of their maternity care from the first time they saw a clinician or midwife, during labour and birth, through to the care provided at home in the weeks following the arrival of their baby. The results highlighted improvements in areas such as choice on where to give birth, quality of information and access to help and support after giving birth.

The full results for England as well as individual results for each trust are available on the CQC’s website.

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Focus on cancer!

More than one in three people in England will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime.

Cancer can start almost anywhere in the human body, which is made up of trillions of cells. Normally cells grow and divide to form new cells when the body needs them. When cancer develops, old or damaged cells survive when they should die, and new cells form when they are not needed. These extra cells can divide without stopping and may form growths called tumours. These cancerous cells can invade and destroy surrounding healthy tissue, including organs.

There are more than 200 different types of cancer, and each one is diagnosed and treated in a particular way. The four most common types of cancer diagnosed in England are:

Spotting the signs

It is important to be aware of any unexplained changes to your body. If you notice any changes to your body’s normal processes or unusual, unexplained symptoms – such as the sudden appearance of a lump, blood in your urine, or a change to your usual bowel habits, it’s important to see your doctor so they can investigate. The chances are it is nothing serious, but it might be something that needs attention and if diagnosed earlier, treatment can be a lot more successful.

Click here for more information on cancer and spotting the signs and symptoms.

We’re helping to raise awareness of cancer, so keep an eye out for information on the following campaigns in the next few issues of ‘in touch’:

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
In the UK, about one in eight men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
Ovarian cancer is the biggest gynaecological killer of UK women, as most women are diagnosed once the cancer has spread which makes treatment more challenging.

Be clear on cancer – breast cancer in women over 70 
In England, one in three women who get breast cancer are aged 70 or over.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in England with around 44,300 women diagnosed each year, of which around 13,500 (a third) are aged 70 and over. The older you are – the more likely you are to get it.

This campaign aims to get more women with breast cancer diagnosed at an early stage by raising awareness of the symptoms so it’s important to get to know how your breasts look and feel normally, so that you will find it easier to spot something unusual.

A lump isn’t the only sign of breast cancer. If you do notice any changes to your breast you should make an appointment to see your doctor straight away. It might not be anything serious, but if it is, getting a diagnosis early can make a real difference.

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Have your say!

Conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care

NHS England has launched a public consultation on reducing prescribing of over-the-counter medicines for 33 minor, short-term health concerns.

From June 2016 until June 2017 the NHS spent approximately £569 million on prescriptions for medicines which could have been purchased over the counter from a pharmacy, or other outlets such as a supermarket.

These prescriptions include items for a condition:

  • That is considered to be self-limiting and so does not need treatment as it will heal of its own accord;
  • Which lends itself to self-care, i.e. that the person suffering does not normally need to seek medical care but may decide to seek help with symptom relief from a local pharmacy and use an over the counter medicine

NHS England has partnered with NHS Clinical Commissioners to carry out the consultation, which is intended to help produce a national framework for CCGs to use.

The consultation is seeking your views on the proposals and is open until 14 March 2018.

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Know the signs of a stroke and act F.A.S.T.

We are encouraging you to learn the F.A.S.T. test to help you identify the early signs of a stroke and save more lives.




The F.A.S.T. test identifies the three most common symptoms of a stroke and the right action to take:

Face: Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?

Arms: Can the person raise both arms?

Speech: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you are saying?

Time: call 999

If you recognise any single one of these symptoms of stroke, in yourself or others – CALL 999 straightaway. The sooner somebody who is having a stroke gets urgent medical attention, the better their chances of a good recovery.

Your pharmacy can help!

Your pharmacy team can help you with minor health concerns. Visit our website to find out where your nearest pharmacy is:

Community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are qualified healthcare professionals who can offer clinical advice and over the counter medicines to effectively and safely manage a range of minor health concerns.



  • Sore throats
  • Coughs
  • Colds
  • Tummy troubles
  • Teething

Every pharmacist is trained in managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice, so they are the right person to see for minor health concerns.

With over 12,000 pharmacies open every day of the week in England, and many offering extended opening hours in the evenings and weekends, it is easy to find a pharmacy close to you.

Pharmacists are healthcare experts who can give you clinical advice, right there and then, and if your symptoms are more serious, they can ensure you get the help you need...

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You can find Wiltshire CCG on social media – follow us and keep up to date with our latest news.
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New group lets cancer patients have their say

People whose lives have been touched by cancer can now come together as part of a new group and have their collective voices listened to by experts from the Great Western Hospital.

The Swindon Cancer Partnership Group, which officially launches next month, will give cancer patients and/or their carers the opportunity to be involved in the development of local cancer services.

By meeting regularly, it’s hoped members of the group will not only be able to talk about their own cancer journey, but work with experts to influence how care is given in the future.

Lyndel Moore, Cancer Nurse Consultant, said:
This new group will provide local people with a forum in which they can have their voices at the very heart of the services we provide.

By listening to, and acting upon, the views of people affected by cancer, we are able to continually make the changes and improvements that will ensure our care is always of the highest standard.   

Our overall aim is for local people, who have lived the cancer journey, to have a hand in influencing the quality of the care and treatment given to others like them.  Whether it’s feeding back directly, taking part in focus groups or just filling out questionnaires, those people coming along can be involved in as much or as little as they like.

The Swindon Cancer Partnership Group will meet four times a year, with attendance open to any person who feels their experience can help make a difference to others.

Last year, a survey of more than 72,000 cancer patients highlighted the positive care happening at GWH.

Of the 438 Swindon patients who took part, the majority gave a favourable account of their experience, with GWH’s cancer care receiving an average score of 8.6 out of a possible ten.

 A special event to launch the group is being held on Wednesday 21 February 2018 in the Cherwell Education Room at Great Western Hospital between 3.15pm and 4.45pm. Please contact the GWH Cancer Team on 01793 646152 or at to register your interest.

January 2018


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Happy New Year!

The cold weather is still biting at our heels and as you will have seen in recent press coverage, the NHS is under massive strain due to winter pressures, particularly due to the high instances of flu and norovirus. In this issue of ‘in touch’ we’re focusing on how you can help to look after yourselves and your families and treat common health complaints early. 

Many winter ailments can take up to two weeks or more to shake off. You shouldn’t need to see your GP unless symptoms become particularly severe and if you make an appointment, there are other healthcare staff that can help you, meaning GPs are freed up to see those who really need them – take a look at our primary care leaflet to find out more.

There are a number of things you can do to help yourself before needing to see a GP and help ease the pressures on our local health system at the same time. Ensuring you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home will help you to treat simple coughs and colds early; seeking advice from a pharmacist at the first-sign of illness may mean you don’t need a GP appointment as well and contacting NHS 111 for advice will help direct you to the right healthcare service.

Flu symptoms are still doing the rounds; it’s very infectious and easily spread by coughs and sneezes. The NHS Catch it. Kill it. Bin it. campaign gives you some great guidance on how to reduce the spread of the flu virus, read the article on page 3 to find out more.

Spring is just around the corner, but until it arrives let’s help keep those winter bugs at bay!


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In the news!

Winter pressures means deferral of non-urgent inpatient operations

NHS England has issued guidance in line with new Winter Pressures Protocol to hospitals as they had been under sustained pressure over the Winter period.

To help hospitals handle the sustained pressure, one of the steps has been to defer all non-urgent inpatient elective care operations until 31 January 31.  Cancer operations and time-critical procedures will go ahead as planned.

These steps will ensure patients in hospitals receive the best possible care over this challenging period.

We are asking the public to call NHS 111 if they need to obtain clinical advice when they start to feel ill and it’s not urgent, which will allow staff in A&E to focus on the sickest patients.

Read the official letter from Pauline Philip, National Director, Urgent and Emergency Care, NHS England and NHS Improvements to systems and press statement here.

Meet the team

We have developed a ’Your primary healthcare team’ leaflet to help you get the right appointment for your needs.

You may not always need to see your doctor.  Many surgeries employ other healthcare staff such as nurses, pharmacists and emergency care practitioners who can help you. Speak to your Practice receptionist, or visit the Practice’s website to find out who could help you.

Each GP practice also has a range of staff including receptionists,, administration support staff and practice managers who work to ensure you have a great patient experience.

Struck down by Norovirus? Stay at home!

When it comes to sickness and diarrhoea, looking after yourself at home is often be the best option.

Norovius is particularly widespread at this time of year, and diarrhoea and vomiting are often among its symptoms.  It’s also very easily spread through contaminated surfaces and close contact with other people.

There is not cure for norovirus but it usually clears up by itself within a few days, and the best way to recover is through self-care at home – get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids and wash your hands regularly with soap and water.  If you need guidance on what you can do to help yourself get better, speak to your local pharmacist – they can provide quick advice without you having to wait for an appointment or sit in a waiting room sharing your misfortune with others!

If you are worried your stomach complaint is something more than a simple bug, the pharmacist will be able to let you know if you need to see a doctor. You can also call NHS 111 and a trained call handler will talk you through the best course of action.

For more information on norovirus visit:

Read more news articles here.

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Have your say!

Help NHS England improve services for patients and take part in their survey

Equality Delivery System Grading

The Equality Delivery System (EDS2) is a tool which helps NHS organisations make sure services are fair for all patients and communities and supports NHS organisations to make sure that the people who work for them are treated fairly and can apply for a lot of different jobs at all levels.

Help them know how well they are doing for people from all backgrounds by taking part in their survey – closes on 18 February 2018.

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Catch it. Bin it. Kill it.

Cold weather can be seriously bad for your health.  That’s why it’s important to look after yourself, especially during the winter.  If you do start to feel unwell, even if it’s a cough or cold, don’t wait until it gets more serious – seek advice from your pharmacist.

If your cold develops into flu, which is very infectious and is spread by germs from coughs and sneezes – it can live on hands or surfaces for 24 hours.

To help reduce the risk of spreading germs – CATCH IT. BIN IT. KILL IT.

Use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze

Germs can live for several hours on tissues – bin used tissue as quickly as possible

Hands can transfer germs to any surface you touch – wash your hands often with warm water and soap

Most of us will catch a cold at some point during the winter months, leaving us with a runny nose, sneezing, sore throat and a cough.  No one enjoys having a cold and by following these simple steps you could avoid passing the virus to someone else.


Change4Life – Nutrition

These days kids are eating too much sugar, saturated fat and salt and in England children are eating nearly three times the recommended amount of sugar. Surprisingly, half the sugar they consume comes from snacks and sugary drinks.

Eating too much sugar can lead to harmful fat building up inside and serious health problems, including painful tooth decay.

To help reduce the amount of sugar children are consuming Change4Life is encouraging parents to choose healthier snacks choices for them by introducing a new simple tip – ‘Look for 100 calorie snacks, two a day max.’

You can also sign up to join Change4Life to receive money-off vouchers for healthier snacks and helpful tips and ideas.

Visit the Change4Life website for more details.


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You can find Wiltshire CCG on social media – follow us and keep up to date with our latest news.
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Work being carried out at Southgate House

Wiltshire CCG would like to announce that NSH Property Services will be working in Southgate House, Pans Lane after normal working hours for one week beginning on Monday 22 January 2018.

Contractors are likely to be on site until 2.30am daily and whilst this work is being carried out noise will be kept to a minimum.

Accessing healthcare in Wiltshire over the Christmas bank holiday

With some health services closing for a few days over the bank holiday, it’s vital that people who need help from NHS services get the advice they need from the right person, in the right place, at the right time.

Ask your pharmacist
Pharmacists are experts in many areas of healthcare and can offer advice on a wide range of long term conditions and common illnesses such as coughs, colds and stomach upsets. You don’t need an appointment to see a pharmacist and many have private consultation areas, so they are a good first port of call if you’re feeling unwell. Your pharmacist will tell you if you need further medical attention.
Call 111
If your GP surgery is closed and you’re not sure where to go then you should make a free phone call to NHS 111, which is available 24/7. An adviser will ask you questions to assess your symptoms and then give you the advice you need, or direct you to the best service for you in your area.
A&E and 999 are for life threatening emergencies
A&E departments and the ambulance service are for life threatening emergencies such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attacks, breathing difficulties or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped. A&E is likely to be extremely busy over the holidays with long waiting times, so please call NHS 111 for advice first if you are not sure where to go.

Your local services

Opening times for your local GP and pharmacy services are available below. Please note that these times are subject to change.


Bradford on Avon/Devizes/Melksham/Trowbridge/Warminster/Westbury
Corsham/Calne/Chippenham/Malmesbury/Cricklade/Marlborough/Pewsey/Purton/Royal Wootton Bassett

GP Surgeries

GP Surgeries opening times

Prescription Ordering Direct service

The Prescription Ordering Direct service is new and we completely understand that people are concerned when they can’t get through to the service. 

We also apologise for the deep frustration people feel.  We are taking extraordinarily high numbers of calls currently – up to 900 calls a day, and we ask people to please be patient while they are waiting to talk to a trained prescription coordinator.  Orders are currently taking longer than usual to process because people are ringing to order their medication to cover the Christmas period.

Your call WILL  be dealt with, so please do keep trying.  We are currently training more coordinators so that we are able to manage the high levels of calls and to help cut the time that people are waiting. 

The prescription ordering direct service was introduced in April this year, as a way to help patients order only the repeat medication that they need.

The service is currently being provided from 7 surgeries in Wiltshire:

  • Lovemead Group Practice, Trowbridge
  • Giffords Surgery, Melksham
  • Castle Practice, Tidworth
  • White Horse Health Centre, Westbury
  • Avenue Surgery, Warminster
  • Tinkers Lane Surgery, Royal Wootton Bassett
  • New Court Surgery, Royal Wootton Bassett

There is no need to register to use the service.   Patients just call the POD when they have 7 days of medication left.  For those patients who are unable to ring to use this service, they can order their repeat medication using the online service offered by their GP practice, or alternatively they can speak to a member of staff at their GP practice who will discuss with them other ways they can order their medication.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about the service.

NHS Wiltshire asks patients to plan ahead and order their repeat prescriptions before Christmas

Many GP practices and pharmacies will have limited opening hours between Christmas and New Year, so Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is reminding patients to plan ahead to ensure they have enough medication to last over the festive break.

Alex Goddard, Deputy Head of Medicines Management at Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said,
“As you get ready for Christmas, the last thing on your mind might be to check that you have enough medicine.  However being prepared is important to ensure that you have enough of the medication you need. “Because of the bank holidays and the amount of winter illnesses circulating at this time of year, your GP practice and pharmacy may be busier than normal. Ordering your prescription early means you can save yourself some time and help to ease the pressure on the NHS.”

Ordering and collecting new prescriptions can take several days, which is why patients are being urged to plan ahead. Prescriptions can be ordered by patients visiting, or phoning their pharmacy or GP practice, with some practices offering a quick and easy online ordering system.

Seven Wiltshire practices also use the Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) service, which allows patients to order their repeat prescriptions over the phone then collect them from a pharmacy.

These are:

  • Lovemead Group Practice
  • Giffords Surgery
  • Castle Practice
  • White Horse Health Centre
  • Avenue Surgery
  • Tinkers Lane Surgery
  • New Court Surgery
Alex continued,
“The last thing we want for our patients is having their bank holiday spoilt by not being able to take regular medication. Check now that you have enough daily medication to see you through the break.  If you don’t, call into your pharmacist, local GP or ring the POD so that you get your repeat prescription in good time.”


Joy as Wiltshire charity named UK’s Best dementia Care team

A Wiltshire charity is celebrating after being told it has the best dementia care team in the UK.

The Support at Home team at Alzheimer’s Support won the Best Team category at the prestigious Dementia Care Awards 2017.

The team, which provides highly personalised, one-to-one companionship and support to people living with dementia across Wiltshire, comprises 65 support workers and eight care coordinators. They visit people in their own homes and take them on outings, building up a strong rapport with clients and helping them stay active in their communities for as long as possible.

Registered Services Manager Sally Haddrell-Jenks, who accepted the award on behalf of the team, said:
“I am absolutely thrilled to be receiving this on behalf of our wonderful colleagues who do so much to support people living with dementia in Wiltshire. The important work we do is very much ‘behind the scenes’ so it is wonderful for the team to get this recognition.”
CEO Babs Harris said:
“I am bursting with pride. Our small Wiltshire outfit stood out amongst all the large, national, and well-funded organisations and what came through was the dedication, understanding and love that our colleagues show every day in their work.”
Joanne Armstrong, from Devizes, who cares for her husband Robin said: 
 “This is so well deserved. The service from Alzheimer’s Support has been wonderful. I cannot speak highly enough of the support worker who comes to us at home. He understands our needs.”

The award was handed over by former Emmerdale actor John Middleton at a ceremony in Doncaster as part of the National Dementia Congress.

The judges’ citation said:
“Support at Home was chosen because the team is making a tangible difference every day to people in their own homes. Even though the support workers work with clients individually, there is an immense feeling of belonging and team identity. There’s been huge investment in team development and support which has been acknowledged and spread across Wiltshire.”
Ted Wilson, Community and Joint Commissioning Director said:
‘We are really proud of Alzheimer’s Support.  They have considerable engagement and commitment and allow people with dementia to take an active part in the community and participate in meaningful activities.  We highly commend the level of support they give to people, and are absolutely dedicated to ensuring that the people they support lead full and happy lives.”


Firm commitment made to support carers

Local organisations have made a firm commitment to work together to recognise, support and promote the wellbeing of carers by signing  a memorandum of understanding.

By signing the document at the recent Wiltshire Health & Wellbeing Board meeting,  the organisations have committed to abide by a number of principles. These focus on:

•       Carers’ physical health and emotional wellbeing
•        Supporting and empowering carers to manage their caring role and their life outside of caring
•        Raising carer awareness within health and social care
•        Respecting carers as expert partners in care
•        Improving information sharing and early identification of the needs of vulnerable carers.

The updated Wiltshire Carers’ Strategy, due to be published in March 2018, will detail how this will be achieved.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook OBE, Leader of Wiltshire Council and Chair of the Wiltshire Health and Wellbeing Board, said:
“ We are all fully committed to supporting carers in Wiltshire and we recognise the invaluable contribution that they make, as well as the positive impact that the work they do has in reducing the pressure on the health and social care system. “This is certainly not a nine to five job and is one that can really take its toll. We have made a commitment to work together to make sure they have the support they need and deserve. This memorandum of understanding underlines how collectively we aim to achieve this.”
Peter Jenkins, Chair of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Deputy Chair of the Wiltshire Health and Wellbeing Board added:
Peter Jenkins, Chair of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Deputy Chair of the Wiltshire Health and Wellbeing Board added: “We recognise how important it is to support carers in their role because without them giving their time and commitment to tend to the needs of their friends and families, the number of people who are looked after in their own homes would be fewer and the impact on the health and social service system would be overwhelming. We understand the demands placed on carers and the difficulties they may face looking after someone – we welcome this memorandum of understanding as our carers deserve to be valued and supported.”

Representatives from the following organisations have signed the memorandum of understanding:

•         Wiltshire Council
•         NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group
•         Salisbury Hospital Foundation Trust
•         Bath Royal United Hospital
•         Great Western Hospital
•         South West Ambulance Service
•         NHS Foundation Trusth
•         Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership
•         Healthwatch Wiltshire
•         Carer Support Wiltshire

Good feedback for cancer services in Wiltshire

Cancer patients in Wiltshire have rated the overall care they receive as a positive 8.8 out of 10, according to the 2016 National Cancer Patient Experience Survey published in July 2017.

Patients answered a series of questions which asked for their thoughts on the quality of care and standard of cancer services in Wiltshire. A total of 845 patients (72%) completed the survey, representing a response rate higher than the national average of 66%.

Dr Debbie Beale, a GP at White Horse Health Centre in Westbury said:
“There is much to be proud of with this feedback from our patients. Areas in which we have historically done well and continue to do so include good quality patient care, involving patients in the decision process of their care and treatment and our clinicians instilling our patients with confidence and trust. ”

Key highlights include:

  • 81% of patients said they were definitely involved as much as they wanted to be in decisions about their care and treatment
  • 89% of patients said that they were given the name of a Clinical Nurse Specialist who would support them through their treatment
  • 90% of patients said that, overall, they were always treated with dignity and respect while they were in hospital
  • 95% of patients said that hospital staff told them who to contact if they were worried about their condition or treatment after they left hospital
  • 66% of patients said that they thought the GPs and nurses at their general practice definitely did everything they could to support them while they were having cancer treatment.
Debbie continued:
“Our cancer services team work incredibly hard to ensure that people have the care and support they need before, during and after cancer treatment. These results show us that the vast majority of our cancer patients are very positive about the NHS care they are getting and we are proud to see continued improvement in patient feedback about cancer care In Wiltshire.

We are delighted with the results of the survey, and are pleased that a majority of our patients feel that they are getting the treatment they deserve; there will always be areas where we can do better, so we will continue to strive for improvements. These latest results from the national cancer patient survey are testament to the team and the GP practices who work together to ensure high-quality care and services for their cancer patients.”

Helping you make the right decision about where to go for health care in Wiltshire

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is helping local people to make the right decision about where to go for healthcare treatment with the help of an easy to use clock.

Dr Peter Jenkins, Chair of Wiltshire CCG said,
“We recognise that knowing which services to access for health advice and treatment can seem a little confusing. There are numerous ways for you to get healthcare advice and treatment and knowing what health services are available when you start to feel ill, will help you to manage your condition quicker.”

Because it’s confusing, people very often go straight to a hospital or to a GP regardless of their healthcare requirements. To help you understand the range of healthcare services available and to help you make the right decision about where to go for treatment, Wiltshire CCG has produced an easy to use “Around the clock healthcare in Wiltshire’ leaflet available to download from their website.

Around the clock healthcare in Wiltshire

NHS 111 – Free non-emergency number where trained callers will listen to your symptoms and direct you to the best medical care for you and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

NHS Choices – UK’s biggest health website for information and advice

GP out of hours – available from 6.30pm until 8am on weekdays and all day at weekends and bank holidays. Call your GP practice to access the service

Minor Injury Unit – treats minor injuries that are not life-threatening e.g. cuts, bites, stings and simple fractures

Pharmacy – experts in medicine and can give you advice on common ailments and are a potential alternative to a GP visit

GP – if you have a condition that can’t be treated with over the counter medication or advice from a pharmacist, make an appointment to see your GP

A&E – for genuine life-threatening emergencies only and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

When we are able to make the right decision on the type of treatment we need, we’re actively helping to ease the strain on a pressured NHS by taking personal responsibility for our health. This helps free up time for doctors and healthcare professionals allowing them to focus on those people who need their services the most.

The NHS in Wiltshire – The challenges, our responses

Come along for an opportunity to find out what is happening to local health services in your area from local GPs, what it means for you and how you can help

Events are taking place on:

Tuesday 25 October – 6.30pm until 8.30pm
Civic Centre, Sambourne Road, Warminster, BA12 8LB

Thursday 27 October – 6.30pm until 8.30pm
Devizes Bowl Club, Long Street, Devizes, SN10 5BY

Tuesday 1 November – 6.30pm until 8.30pm
Melksham United Church, High Street, Melksham

We look forward to seeing you there.

Salisbury Walk-in Centre

The Walk in Centre will be providing a service for patients for advice and treatment when their GP surgery is closed from 6.30pm and extended until 10 pm every weekday evening, and 8am until 8pm every weekend and bank holiday as currently. There will be an increased GP presence over the later opening times to provide more GP advice and treatment.

Dr Hugh Bond, from Wilcodoc who runs the services says
“By being open until 10pm every weekday evening and from 8am to 8pm at weekends and bank holidays, we will be supporting our local Emergency Department (ED) by giving patients access to our service when ED is at its busiest, and the GP surgeries are closed. We also expect our waiting times to reduce enabling patients to see a health care professional more quickly”.

The most common problems patients attend the Walk in Centre for are minor illnesses such as respiratory infections and sore throats, and medication queries. During working hours, advice and treatment for these conditions can be advised through NHS 111 or talking to your local pharmacist or by a patient making an appointment with their own GP practice. If a patient’s condition is serious enough to warrant an on the day appointment then individual’s practice will be able to advise on this.

Patients are advised to attend the Walk in Centre during the opening times for minor illness and minor injuries rather than attending the Emergency Department which is for emergency situations only.

The decision was taken by the GP led Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group after due consideration and debate by clinical leaders. The changes are to ensure that our finite and precious GP resources are being used in the best possible way, at times when patients’ own GP surgeries are closed and working to provide an alternative service for patients than attending the Emergency Department.

The Walk in Centre will be open from Monday to Friday 6.30pm until 10pm and then on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays, from 8am until 8pm as currently.

If people need to access services during the day time Monday to Friday then they should ring their GP in the normal way. If an urgent appointment is required then all practices will be able to accommodate. Alternatively, people can ring 111 and they will be directed to the service which is most appropriate for their needs.

First patients from west of England recruited to 100,000 Genomes Project

The West of England Genomic Medicine Centre (WEGMC) is helping the NHS build a new genomic medicine service by providing NHS patients with the opportunity  to take part in the 100,000 Genomes Project.

Last month, the WEGMC achieved the major landmark of enrolling the first patients in the West of England region.

The project, a ground-breaking initiative launched by former Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012 and the largest national genome sequencing project of its kind in the world, aims to sequence 100,000 genomes from around 70,000 people with a rare disease, and their families, and from people with cancer. The West of England region was successfully awarded the status of being a national Genomic Medicine Centre at the end of 2015.

Adrian Shipp, 39 and from Bristol, is a haematology patient at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and is one of the first people to join the 100,000 genomes project at the WEGMC.

Adrian said:
“I’ve had a haematological condition since birth and I think this important genomics research could provide some answers around it. I also hope the research could lead to improved diagnosis and treatments for people with rare conditions.”
Professor Ruth Newbury-Ecob, WEGMC rare disease clinical lead, said:
“At the moment many patients with rare conditions go through a ‘diagnostic odyssey’ of tests. Genomics has the potential to provide prompt and accurate diagnoses. As a result of this project, genomics may also provide screening and targeted treatments for common conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease in the future.”
Dr Andrew Mumford, clinical director of the WEGMC, said:
“Patients, like Adrian, are absolutely at the heart of this project. We are thrilled to see that patients in the West of England region are supporting this very important initiative that will shape the future of healthcare and personalised medicine in the NHS.”
Professor Sue Hill, Chief Scientific Officer for NHS England, said:
“Genomics is vital to the future of healthcare and this is another great step in keeping NHS care at the cutting edge of science. The contributions of people like Adrian as well as families of people with rare disease are helping to build the future of healthcare across the country.

“We’ve been particularly impressed by the strength of the partnerships that the West of England Genomic Medicine Centre has brought together between the NHS and other key players which will help them to ensure a strong and effective service for the region.

“The UK is already a leader in genomic technologies and the unique structure of the NHS allows us to deliver these advances at scale and pace for patient benefit. This is another step towards building the knowledge and skills to improve care for generations to come.”

Clinicians from the hospitals involved will recruit potentially eligible patients. Patients choosing to be involved will then take part in a test which will then be processed in a lab at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, before being sent to a national centre for sequencing.

Some of the patients involved could benefit from a quicker conclusive diagnosis for a rare and inherited disease. Cancer patients may benefit because a treatment might be suggested based on a particular genetic change in their tumour.