Northlands Surgery nominated for Surgery of the Year award!

Northlands Surgery in Calne is one of 81 practices nationwide that has been nominated for The People’s Choice Award: Surgery of the Year, as part of the national General Practice Awards for 2018.

‘Surgery of the Year’ has been added as a new award for 2018 and offers the general public the chance to give their thanks and show appreciation for their local healthcare team.

Alison Ingham, Practice Manager at Northlands Surgery comments, “It is an absolute thrill that Northlands has been nominated for this prestigious award. Everyone in the Practice Team works tirelessly to provide outstanding care for our patients and I think it is wonderful for our staff to have been recognised in this way.”

Voting is now open and people have until 10 August 2018 to show their support for Northlands Surgery in one of two ways:

The final three shortlisted surgeries will be announced on 3 September and will be invited to attend this year’s Awards Event, which takes place on 30 November in London.

The General Practice Awards are an annual celebration of the hard work, innovation, and dedication taking place in primary care across the UK, showcasing the very best projects, teams, and leaders and sharing in achievements.

A full list of the awards and nominees can be found at www.generalpracticeawards.com

The Wiltshire Vision

Local system leaders in health and social care invite anyone living in Wiltshire to take part in the development of our vision for the way we provide health and care services in the county.  Your views will help us to build and develop our health and wellbeing strategy, which sets the direction for services supporting people to live as well as possible.

We’d like you to help us to understand what Wiltshire people consider to be the most important factors in their health and care.  The feedback you give us will also 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.

Everyone – no matter what age – is welcome to contribute.  This is your county, so please share your thoughts with us.

The survey is open from until noon on Tuesday 3 July 2018 and can be accessed here: Your Wiltshire Vision 2018

 

New dads in Wiltshire, B&NES and Swindon get support in the early weeks of fatherhood with the launch of mobile app

A new app, aimed at new dads in the Wiltshire, BANES and Swindon area, is to be launched this week. The “DadPad” app is a new easy-to-use resource to support dads in the early days and weeks following the birth of their child. DadPad contains practical information on topics including advice on how to change nappies, what to know about breastfeeding, support with bottle feeding and how babies like to be held. The aim of the app is to support dads across B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire to enjoy their new babies and feel more confident about fatherhood.

Lucy Baker, Programme Director for Maternity the B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire Maternity Transformation Partnership said:
“We’ve had loads of conversations with dads, who have told us that they want information on how to care for their new babies, so that they can be more involved right from the start. The DadPad has practical advice which dads can access quickly and easily to help support them in caring for their newborn.”

The DadPad app is also designed to help prepare dads-to-be before the birth of their baby, and can be used as a quick reference tool after their baby is born.

Jerry Wickham, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Public Health and Public Protection, said:”As a dad and granddad myself, I know from personal experience that this app will really help new dads. It’s user-friendly and full of hints and tips to help new dads truly enjoy the experience of fatherhood and to offer them reassurance and support – particularly in those early weeks and months.”

The DadPad was previously launched in Wiltshire as an online and printed leaflet. It is now available in an updated version as a free to download app. Visit the DadPad website to download the app: www.thedadpad.co.uk/app

CQC states that people receiving health and social care services in Wiltshire are safe

A recent and detailed review of Wiltshire’s health and social care system has found that people receiving services in the county are safe.

The Care Quality Commission is carrying out targeted reviews of health and social care in local authority areas and Wiltshire was visited on 20/21 February and 12-16 March 2018.

The review, which was coordinated by Wiltshire Council and NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), also included extensive data and evidence gathering from key partners in the local adult health and social care sectors. All partners involved provided information and evidence of what it’s like to receive care in Wiltshire.

The CQC focused on five main questions in relation to service provision and the impact on users:

  • Are they safe?
  • Are they effective?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they responsive to people’s needs?
  • Are they well led?

The final review published today (14 June) recognises the hard work and effort already being done by all partners to improve the care and support for Wiltshire residents, and provides useful insight into the areas where we acknowledge we must do more to improve for people in Wiltshire. Positive aspects outlined by the CQC include:

  • Those who needed care and support were judged to be safe.
  • The review found that there was a positive and proactive programme for the transformation of adult social care particularly around prevention, reablement and safeguarding.
  • Integrated discharge teams in the hospitals worked effectively to define the pathway of care out of hospital and to begin that process.
  • There was effective inter-agency working between the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector and hospital services in emergency departments to help people to avoid admission and return home safely.
  • People were supported to stay safely at home for as long as possible through the work of GPs and care coordinators.
  • There were systems in place to identify people who were frail or who were at risk of deterioration in their health or social situation.
  • GPs were key in supporting people to stay safe.
  • People were able to access a number of services in the community to prevent social isolation and when they came into contact with services through their GPs there was good support from them to access other services and sign-posting. They were helped to stay well at home for as long as possible.
  • Avoidable admissions to hospital from care homes in Wiltshire were low compared to similar areas and the England average, and significantly lower with regard to admissions resulting from pneumonia.
  • Frontline staff who provide care were recognised by reviewers for their commitment to achieving the best outcomes for people and being genuinely caring in their approach.
  • Staff who supported people living in Wiltshire were caring in their approach. There was a clear will to put the person at the heart of services.
  • There were systems and processes in place to ensure that people in crisis were supported through the health service.
  • People using hospital services and their loved ones were treated with dignity and respect.
  • People who were in crisis could access support from a variety of settings, and this was provided in a timely way. Wiltshire performed better than the England average in preventing admissions to hospital for common clinical conditions.
  • There were systems and processes in place to ensure that the transition between health and social care prevented any avoidable harm.
  • Acute hospitals were focused on promoting early discharges.
  • There was effective partnership working to ensure that people were discharged from hospitals safely.
  • People’s needs and choices were considered at all stages when planning their return home.
  • All services were focused on improving flow through hospitals and care, with systems being designed and redesigned according to activity and performance.
  • All services had the right skills to support the effective transition of people between health and social care.

With regard to the areas for improvement or where things need to be done differently, we have already produced a detailed action plan, and a single overarching strategy will be produced to address the following areas:

  • Continuing the programme of work to transform adult social care services
  • Adopting national best practice and reviewing the Better Care Plan and will be adding some new initiatives that have been successful across the country
  • A commitment to introduce additional Local Area Coordinators in Wiltshire by early Autumn, to support communities
  • We continue to see the number of people who are medically fit to leave hospital, and the numbers of those people who are experiencing delays in getting home, is reducing
  • Changes are being made which mean that the professionals who are the first point of contact to services are working together better to look at how people return home
  • Creating a provider led Integrated Programme Board to review and improve the post hospital discharge pathways to include Homefirst and Reablement
  • Simplifying our current complex governance structures
Jerry Wickham, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for adult social care, public health and public protection, said:
“We welcome the findings of the review and we are extremely pleased that the services we provide in Wiltshire were found to be safe.

“Given the challenge for the care and health sector this is something that is good to hear and their overall feedback and fresh perspective has been welcome and has already helped to guide improvement in our partnership working and the services we provide for residents.

“The CQC’s findings are very much in line with our own assessment of the local system and how it works, and, most importantly where further improvement can be made.

“Much of this work is already underway as we continue to work towards our long-held vision and priority to integrate health and social care. Our shared focus is to continue to develop services so that people in Wiltshire receive the best care available.”

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, Chairman at Wiltshire CCG said:
“This is a comprehensive and realistic report and we are grateful to our staff and colleagues for their input to it. We are of course pleased that our services are considered to be safe, but we also acknowledge we still have much to do to improve our joint services on behalf of Wiltshire people. The report shines a light on those things that we need to do better or differently and has prompted us to re-energise our efforts. We are fully committed to working closely with all of our health and care partners across Wiltshire, with renewed vigour, to provide safe, high quality and seamless services for our residents.”

As this was a review, and not an inspection, the system isn’t subject to any overall grading or mark, but a detailed assessment on how it works has been provided.

The full report will be published  at www.cqc.org.uk.

Joint corporate director post – health and social care – update

The 70th anniversary of the NHS is being widely publicised and will include the publication of a Government green paper in July to coincide with this anniversary. Whilst the contents of the paper are currently unknown, it is likely that the focus on collaborative working to integrate health and social care services will continue. 

It is also anticipated that the green paper will provide clarity on the future direction for NHS commissioning; particularly commissioning by CCGs of health services. On the basis of the anticipated change, Wiltshire Council and CCG have discussed and agreed that it would be sensible to reconsider the appointment of a joint accountable officer. 

Jerry Wickham, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for adult social care said:
“Our aim to integrate health and care services remains a priority for the council. It is extremely disappointing that the council and CCG cannot proceed, as planned, with a senior joint accountable officer post. We had viewed this role as vanguard in driving integration to improve health and care services. We will, however, continue to look at an alternative joint post with Wiltshire CCG so that we can build on what we have already achieved in integrating services for the benefit of Wiltshire residents.

“With the growing pressures on these services and the rise in the number of older people, partnership working and the delivery of joint services will be vital if we are to manage the increasing demand. Whilst we have a strategy and plan for this, the joint post was viewed as key to its delivery. We are working with our health partners to deliver changes that will help to manage the pressures and this work must and will continue.”

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, Chairman of Wiltshire CCG said:
“Although we do not know the contents of the paper, we are confident that our proposals for closer, collaborative working with Wiltshire Council will not be compromised. We have made great strides towards a single, overarching Health and Social care strategy, and are looking forward to a third workshop this month to continue developing our combined ambitions for integrated, seamless services for Wiltshire people”.

Strategy launched to support carers

Wiltshire Council and NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are working with partners in health, social care and the voluntary sector to support the thousands of Wiltshire carers who look after vulnerable loved ones.

In the last census more than 47,000 people in Wiltshire said they provided unpaid care – that’s about 10% of the population. One in five of those devote more than 50 hours every week to caring. Research suggests that there are many more who do not identify themselves as carers formally, particularly young carers and those who care for people with needs relating to mental health or substance misuse. 

This week is Carers Week (11-17 June) with individuals and groups across the country organising events to raise awareness of the vital role that carers play.

Wiltshire Carers’ Action Group (WCAG) has recently launched a five-year strategy to make sure that carers get the support they need when they need it. The joint Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire CCG strategy was co-produced with WCAG members including the Alzheimer’s Society, Alzheimer’s Support, Healthwatch Wiltshire, Wiltshire Parent Carer Council, Spurgeons Young Carers, Wiltshire Citizen Advice and Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living, Wiltshire People 1st and Wiltshire carers.

The strategy aims to ensure that: ‘Carers are identified and accepted as expert partners in care; are well informed; and maintain a good quality of life and healthy lifestyle outside of their caring responsibility.’

There is a detailed implementation plan to deliver the following outcomes:

  • Carers have improved physical health, mental health and wellbeing
  • Carers are empowered to make choices about their caring role and to access appropriate support and services for themselves and the people they care for
  • Carers have the best financial situation possible, and are less worried about money
  • Carers’ needs, and the value of carers, are better understood in Wiltshire
  • Carers influence services

If you are a carer and would like to be involved in how the strategy is implemented you can contact the Carer Engagement Manager at Carer Support Wiltshire on 0800 181 4118 or email admin@carersinwiltshire.co.uk

Carer Support Wiltshire chairs the Wiltshire Carer Involvement Group and coordinates carer involvement in the development of a range of services which support carers and those they care for. Carer Support Wiltshire also runs groups across the county facilitated by Community Connectors who will help to implement the strategy at a local level.

Jerry Wickham, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for adult social care, public health and public protection, said:
“One of the most important duties we have is to protect vulnerable people in the community. Without the devotion of carers in the county that task would be incredibly difficult and costly, and place enormous strain on the resources of the council and the health service.

“Our carers do so much for the community, and it is right that the community helps them in return.”

Ted Wilson, Director of Community Services and Joint Commissioning for NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group said:
“Everybody who works in health and social care understands the vital contribution that unpaid carers make. Looking after a person that you care about is something that many of us want to do, however, we need access to timely advice and support. Our new strategy builds on the great support that is available across Wiltshire, so that carers have the help they need when they want it.”

The strategy can be found at https://www.yourcareyoursupportwiltshire.org.uk/wiltshire-home-page/content/health-and-social-care-in-wiltshire/carers-information-advice-and-services/what-is-a-carer

For more information about Carers Week please visit www.carersweek.org and https://carersupportwiltshire.co.uk/2018/05/11/celebrate-carers-week-with-csw/

Have your say on a new approach to gluten-free prescribing

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is reviewing its policy on prescribing gluten-free foods in line with national guidance and is encouraging Wiltshire patients, the public and clinicians to have their say on two proposed options.

The review follows a national public consultation in 2017 by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on the ‘Availability of gluten-free foods on NHS Prescription’ and the resulting guidance announced in February 2018 to restrict gluten-free foods to bread and mixes only – although this does not affect a CCG’s statutory authority to determine its approach at a local level.

Gluten-free prescribing began in the 1960s when no gluten-free foods or products were readily available. Today gluten-free foods are found in most supermarkets, shops and many cafes – including in Wiltshire – and competition has driven pricing down meaning they are affordable dietary alternatives.

Wiltshire CCG has a duty to ensure that the funds it has available for prescribing are spent in a way that benefits most patients. Between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018 it spent £241,487 on products such as gluten-free bread, pasta and pizza bases, items which are now readily available and competitively priced. Wiltshire is also the highest prescribing CCG in England of Juvela gluten-free bread and bread mix.

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, Chair of Wiltshire CCG explains,
“The two options proposed are to stop prescribing all gluten-free foods in primary care, or to restrict prescribing to bread and mixes only for those patients with a diagnosis of coeliac disease and/or dermatitis herpetiformis up to the age of 18 years.

“While these proposals will reduce the amount of staple gluten-free foods available on prescription in Wiltshire, it will not affect the vital help and support available to patients diagnosed with coeliac disease and/or dermatitis herpetiformis via their GP or dietician.

“There is also no strong clinical evidence that patients who receive gluten-free food on prescription are more likely to comply with a gluten-free diet, or have better health outcomes than those who do not.”

Patients, the public and clinicians in Wiltshire are encouraged to have their say on the proposed options via a short survey available at www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk. The survey is open until 22 July 2018.

Findings from the survey will inform the future prescribing of gluten-free foods in Wiltshire.

Help shape Perinatal Mental Health Services

NHS Wiltshire, Swindon and BaNES Clinical Commissioning Groups and  Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust invite you to attend an event to provide you with an overview of current service provision and to hear your views on the proposal to introduce a specialist community perinatal mental health service in Wiltshire, Swindon and Bath.

Events are being held on the following days:

Wednesday 13 June 2018
Time: 2.00 – 4.00 pm
Location: Wyvern Theatre, Theatre Square, Swindon, SN1 1QN

Thursday 14 June 2018
Time: 2.00 – 4.00 pm
Location: Rose and Crown Hotel, Harnham Road, Salibsury, SP2 8JQ

Friday 15 June 2018
Time: 2.00 – 4.00 pm
Location: Hilton Hotel, Walcot Street, Bath, BA1 5BJ

Refreshments will be provided on arrival. 

If you would like to attend any of these events to help us shape and improve the future of perinatal mental health services, please book a place by sending an email to:  wiltshire.pimhevent@nhs.net

Crèche facilities are available; please let us know if you want to use this service when confirming your attendance as there are limited places which will be applied on a first come first served basis.   

Download poster here

Improved access to Wiltshire Children’s Community Services

Virgin Care is making it easier to access Wiltshire Children’s Community Services, enabling children and their families to get the help they need more efficiently.

The new Single Point of Access (also known as SPA) – a single website, telephone number, email and postal address for all referrals and questions about the services Virgin Care runs on behalf of the local authority and the NHS – launched this week.

The SPA will be the first point of contact for children, young people, families, GPs and health and social care professionals to reach and access child health guidance and support from Wiltshire Children’s Community Services.

People can contact the team on 0300 247 0090, via email vcl.wiltshirespa@nhs.net or by visiting wiltshirechildrensservices.co.uk.

It’s the culmination of two years’ work improving services – developing clearer referral criteria and completing moves to four new, purpose designed hubs dedicated for both colleagues and children and families in Wiltshire – and also delivers another milestone on the organisation’s plans in implementing its five year roadmap to deliver improvements in patient care.

During this process a group of colleagues were recruited to join the team and trained in identifying referral routes across all services, to provide expert support and advice to the parents, carers and health and education professionals across Wiltshire.

 Val Scrase, Head of Operations for Wiltshire Children’s Community Services, said: “Our new Single Point of Access will help us provide a truly integrated referral and advice system, enabling our expert team to process referrals more quickly so people can begin their treatment sooner in the services they need.

“In setting up a SPA, we’re fulfilling one of the key requests made by parents and carers when the service was recommissioned. Children and families will now find services more accessible, with service delivery remaining the same with no changes made to the way they’re run.”

Ted Wilson, Director of Community Services and Joint Commissioning for NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We are committed to ensuring that all children and young people with additional needs are identified early.  This new way of delivering integrated services is to enable children and their families to have easier access to care and support when they need it most.”

 

Pharmacy Bank Holiday Opening Times

Opening times for your local pharmacy services for the upcoming May bank holiday weekend (25 – 29 May) are available below. Please note that these times are subject to change.

Click on the relevant region to bring up the list of opening times for your area.

BRADFORD ON AVON/ DEVIZES/ MELKSHAM/ TROWBRIDGE/ WARMINSTER/ WESTBURY    >

Click here for the downloadable PDF or view the Pharmacy opening times below

WYKD-May-Bank-Holiday-opening-hours
 

SALISBURY/ TIDWORTH/ WILTON/ MERE/ TISBURY    >

Click here for the downloadable PDF or view the Pharmacy opening times below

Sarum-May-Bank-Holiday-opening-hours
 

CORSHAM/ CALNE/ CHIPPENHAM/ MALMESBURY/CRICKLADE/ MARLBOROUGH PEWSEY/ PURTON    >

Click here for the downloadable PDF or view the Pharmacy opening times below

NEW-May-Bank-Holiday-opening-hours
 

 

May 2018

Contents

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Welcome

Hello,

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

We live in a world where people with mental illness often feel alone, afraid and confused, and many find it difficult to find the treatment and support services that can help them make a positive change in their life. Our aim is to change that, and with funding available we want to hear from organisations, which can help make that happen so that people can feel supported, empowered and educated. With your help, we can make a difference in mental health.

Dying is never an easy subject to talk about, and it can be even harder in the work place. We have launched the Wiltshire Dying Well Community Charter this month, which provides employers with resources to help them manage this sensitive subject in the workplace. We are encouraging local businesses to sign up to the charter and show their commitment to staff to help and support them through their difficult times.

Having a consultation with your doctor doesn’t always have to be face to face and NHS England wants to hear your views about the prospect of online consultations. This offers you an alternative way to speak to your GP using the internet.  The survey will take around 10 minutes to complete, so please take part and share your thoughts.

With the sun finally here, we will all enjoy spending more time outdoors in this nice weather.  In this issue there are also a few reminders for staying safe thorough the summer months.

Linda

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In the news!

Funding available for delivering a ‘step change’ in positive mental health and wellbeing within Wiltshire

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is inviting bids from all stakeholders, of up to £50,000, for delivering a ‘step change’ in positive mental health and wellbeing within Wiltshire.

Ted Wilson, Director of Community Services and Joint Commissioning for NHS Wiltshire CCG said:

“We are pleased to be able to offer these non-recurrent funds to support initiatives that aim to enable people to be more positive and confident about their mental health.  We hope that the success of these initiatives will be a catalyst for future collaboration and support.”

We are looking to fund community based initiatives that support national and local priorities of increased focus on prevention and keeping well, and applications will need to demonstrate how funds will be used to deliver their project.

For more information on submitting an application, visit our website.  The closing date for submission is 5pm on Friday 15 June 2018.

Wiltshire Dying Well Community Charter

Are you an organisation that would like to make a difference on how you support your staff who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, or who cares for someone that is approaching the end of their life?

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is committed to supporting people when they or their loved ones have a life-limiting illness or are recently bereaved. The Wiltshire Dying Well Community Charter aims to encourage a community wide approach to support people who are affected by dying, and identifies simple steps employers can take to demonstrate their commitment to supporting their staff.

The Charter will help ensure you have the best possible resources for your workforce to help you manage this sensitive subject in the workplace, and signing up to the charter is easy and doesn’t cost anything.

You can sign up to the Wiltshire Dying Well Community Charter by visiting our website: www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk or emailing: wiltshire.dyingwell@nhs.net.

Businesses are simply asked to commit to demonstrating their support for the Charter by signposting employees, volunteers or students to additional support resources and embedding supportive practices within their organisations for people who are affected.

Dr Helen Obsorn, GP at Courtyard Surgery said, “The Charter has been developed to help bring greater understanding of the problems faced by working people who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, or care for people who are approaching the end of their lives.”

Not sure what to do when a child is poorly? Download the free HANDi app!

The HANDi app is a fantastic free app that gives you expert health advice at your fingertips when you need it the most. Covering the six most common childhood conditions HANDi app provides information and guidance on managing:

  • Diarrhoea and vomiting
  • High temperatures
  • Chestiness
  • New born problems
  • Stomach pain 

The HANDi app was developed and approved by paediatric consultants at the Royal United Hospital, Bath, in partnership with Bath and North East Somerset and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Groups.

The app is available to download for free from iTunes App Store or Google Play.

For more information about the HANDi app, visit http://www.ruh.nhs.uk/patients/services/clinical_depts/paediatrics/handi_app.asp


Celebrating 70 years of the NHS

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service as it celebrates its birthday on 5 July 2018.

The NHS is one of the nation’s most loved institutions, and we are appealing to patients, staff and members of the public to help us celebrate the special anniversary by sharing their stories, photos and memories of healthcare in Wiltshire over the least 70 years.

 

Do get in touch if:
  • You share the same birthday as the NHS – were you one of the first babies to be born on 5 July 1948 in the NHS?
  • You have recollections of working for the local NHS in Wiltshire (past and present) during the last 70 years
  • You have received treatment or care from the NHS in Wiltshire and would like to share your story
  • You can share any memories of our hospitals in Wiltshire, particularly if you have any old photographs of our hospitals (past and present) or the staff who worked in them
  • We are especially interested in any memories and photographs from 1948, the year the NHS was founded and to hear from those who were born in 1948

People can share their memories and photos by emailing the Communications Team at NHS70.wccg@nhs.net or by post to Communications, Wiltshire CCG, Southgate House, Pans Lane, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 5EQ. If you are sending any original photographs and would like them returned, please include your name and contact address.

Wiltshire Council’s Big Pledge is back – sign up today!

This year’s Big Pledge is now underway and the council wants you to take part.

This year’s theme is: Beat the Clock and is for any age or ability.  It’s free to sign up to and easy to take part in – it’s just a timed challenge for any sport or activity. 

The challenges are:

  • Beat the clock challenge – if you want to get active or are new to activity or have a disability then this is for you
  • Beat the clock plus challenge – already active and looking to push yourself. Then this is for you!
  • Beat the clock team challenge – do with colleagues, friends and family
  • Beat the clock schools challenge – this challenge is for schools

It’s a great challenge to take part in with friends, family and colleagues – so round them up and get involved.  The challenge finishes on 8 July.

Sign up and beat the clock on the Big Pledge website – www.wiltshire.gov.uk/bigpledge

Have Your Say

Online consultations – an alternative way to have a consultation from your GP

NHS England would like to hear your views about online consultations – this is a service offering patients an alternative way to have a consultation with a GP online via the internet, rather than waiting for the next available appointment to attend in person.


Online consultations are a way for patients to contact their GP practice without having to wait on the phone or go into the practice. Using a smartphone, tablet or computer, you can contact your surgery about a health issue and the practice will ensure you here from the right person in the team – this might mean you have a phone call with the GP or nurse, or you might need an appointment at the surgery to see the GP in person.

Benefits of using online consultations include:

  • Patients are able to get a quicker response, rather than wait for an appointment in person
  • It is more convenient as patients do not have to travel to their GP practice or wait for the next available appointment
  • GPs are able to provide more appointments for patients, offering the same level of consultation, diagnosis and necessary actions as the patient would get in a face to face appointment.

Some places are already using online consultations, and it doesn’t matter if you have not used this system – your views are still of interest to the NHS.  The survey can be accessed here and should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Closing date is 15 June 2018.

For more information on the survey, please visit: www.engage.england.nhs.uk


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Focus on Mental Health

Mental health and wellbeing

Are you feeling stressed, anxious or depressed?  If so, you are not alone because one in every four of us living in Wiltshire will experience a mental health problem during our lifetime.

Most people experience ups and downs in their life, and you can feel unhappy, depressed, stressed or anxious during difficult times.  Many difficult events and experiences can also leave us in low spirits or cause depression; this is a normal part of life. Having said this, sometimes it is possible to just feel down without there being an obvious reason.

Recognising that you may have a mental health problem and taking the first steps to get help can be difficult. 

Mental health should be treated the same as physical health and in Wiltshire there’s a wide range of national and local services and support available to people.  We’ve listed some of these here:

Psychological support

Relate | The Relationship People
Provide counselling, support and information for all relationships.

Cruse Bereavement Care
Provide bereavement support and counselling.

Turning Point: Wiltshire Substance Misuse Service
Help and support you to think about your drug and alcohol use and make changes.

Revival Wiltshire RASAC
Provides support, advice and information for adults who have experiences sexual abuse as a child.

General counselling services

British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapists
They can signpost you to the right person to help you. 

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
They can help you find the right counsellor or psychotherapist for the therapy you need.

Work and financial issues

Richmond Fellowship
Provides employment advice and guidance for people seeking work, training or voluntary roles and they also offer support to help people with a mental health problem experiencing difficulties at work.

National Debt Line | Free online Debt Advice
Gives advice and information to help you deal with your debt.

Wiltshire Citizens Advice Bureau
Gives advice and information on money, debt, housing, employment, benefits and education.

Money Advice Service
Gives free and impartial money advice.

Leisure, activities and social support programmes

Leisure centres
There are lots of leisure centres in Wiltshire that offer a wide range of facilities from swimming to running clubs.

Health Trainers | Wiltshire Council
A dedicated health trainer can assist you every step of the way to achieving and maintaining your goals.

Splitz
Wiltshire based charity that offers a variety of support for women and young people experiencing the trauma of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Volunteering
There are great benefits to volunteering for individuals – this is a good starting point to search for volunteering opportunities near you.

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Campaign 

Stay well this Summer


Most of us enjoy spending time in the sun and the opportunities that nice weather brings for activities, outdoor living, fresh air and fun. But on laid back, sunny days it’s easy to switch off to messages about health risks, so here are a few reminders on what to do when you are enjoying time outdoors.

Stay safe in the sun

It’s all too easy to overdo exposure to sun rays, and it’s easy to underestimate how much time we spend in the sun and not realise we are getting burnt. By taking a few steps to safeguard your skin you can stay safe in the sun while you enjoy the sunshine!

  • Seek shade and stay out of the hot sun, particularly between 11am and 3pm
  • Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and cover up – wear loose clothing and a wide-brimmed hat and protect your eyes with sunglasses
  • Have plenty of cold drinks to keep hydrated, but avoid caffeine and alcohol

Sunburn

If you do have minor sunburn, you can treat this at home by:

  • Cooling the skin down by having a cold bath or shower
  • Applying soothing after sun or calamine lotion to moisture your skin
  • Drinking plenty of fluids, will prevent you from getting dehydrated
  • Painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol will help relieve any pain

You could also visit your local pharmacy for advice on treatment to help ease your sunburn symptoms and reduce any inflammation.

Don’t let allergies take the spring out of your step

Spring and summer are the time of year when allergies such as asthma and hay fever can get much worse, with symptoms including sneezing, coughing and shortness of breath. 

But there is no need to get bogged down by runny noses, itchy eyes and tickly throats.

If you are an allergy sufferer, you can prepare for the warmer weather by getting the medicines you need from your local pharmacist – who can also offer you expert advice to manage your health during the summer months.

For more information on summer health, visit our summer health campaign page on our website.

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Drink wisely this weekend

There are plenty of excuses to have a few drinks this weekend – with a royal wedding and the FA Cup Final, and Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group are asking people to enjoy the festivities safely.  

The Government’s guidelines state that men and women should not drink more than 14 units of alcohol each week, and with just three standard glasses of wine, or three pints of normal-strength beer amounting to seven units – half the recommended weekly maximum intake for an average adult it’s very easy to drink more than you realise.

Regularly exceeding the limit,  known as ‘binge drinking’, places an individual at greater risk of harming their liver, stomach, heart and brain function, and also increases the chances of you contracting several kinds of cancer.

Dr Lindsay Kinlin, GP at The Orchard Partnership said:
“We know that people can tend to drink more than usual when they are enjoying festivities, like the Royal wedding as everyone likes to let their hair down and enjoy the socialising that comes with it, but it’s easy to get carried away and have one drink too many.  We are not saying ‘Don’t drink’, but we are encouraging people to consider their health when consuming alcohol and to drink sensibly.“

To reduce your risk of binge drinking and allow you to celebrate the weekend’s events sensibly, we have some useful tips and advice on how to drink safely:

  • drink more slowly
  • drink with food
  • alternate with water or non-alcoholic drinks
  • plan ahead to avoid problems, such as making sure you can get home safely or have people you trust with you.

Further information can be found on the NHS Choices website

Many people forget that alcohol is also high in calories, and seven units of wine or beer can be the equivalent of eating a couple of burgers –  which takes almost an hour of running to burn.

Alcohol is known as ‘empty calories’ as it provides no nutritional value; do you know what’s in your drink? Visit Drink Aware to find out more.  

Jerry Wickham, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for public health said:
“It’s a great time of the year to arrange a get-together, whether it’s indoors with the TV tuned to the football or events at Windsor Castle, or outside with cold drinks.”

“But it’s also a good time to remember that heavy drinking carries consequences for health, and the best advice is to celebrate well – but celebrate wisely.”

If you would like free, confidential advice about your drinking, please contact the Swindon and Wiltshire Active Recovery Service here.

For more useful information please visit the alcohol concern website.  

 

 

Wiltshire Dying Well Community Charter

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group has launched its ‘Wiltshire Dying Well Community Charter’ to coincide with Dying Matters Awareness week (14-20 May) and is appealing to local companies and organisations to sign up to the charter and make a commitment to support their staff towards the end of their life. 

The Charter encourages a community-wide approach to support people who are affected by dying, and identifies simple steps employers can take to demonstrate their commitment to supporting their staff and their loved ones.

Dr Helen Osborn, GP at Courtyard Surgery in Lavington and Wiltshire End of Life Programme Board member explains, “The Charter has been developed to help bring greater understanding of the problems faced by working people who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, or who care for people who are approaching the end of their lives.”

Signing up to the Charter is easy and doesn’t cost anything. Businesses are simply asked to commit to demonstrating their support for the Charter by signposting employees, volunteers or students to additional support resources and embedding supportive practices within their organisations for people who are affected.

Helen added, “The Charter will help local businesses ensure they have the best possible resources for their workforce and show that they are committed to supporting their employees who may be trying to balance their work commitments with the difficulties they face at home.”

The Charter is led by the National Council for Palliative Care and its ideas and commitments were recognised by many local organisations who came together to look at how we could create a Wiltshire Charter. Organisations involved in the original development of the Charter and who have already signed up to supporting their staff are: Dorothy House Hospice Care, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Healthwatch Wiltshire, Prospect Hospice, Public Health Wiltshire, Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, Salisbury Hospice Charity, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Wiltshire Health and Care.

The Wiltshire Dying Well Community Charter was developed in 2017 after consulting with local people about the Wiltshire End of Life Care Strategy.

Wiltshire Dying Well Community Charter, visit www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk or email wiltshire.dyingwell@nhs.net.

Funding available for delivering a ‘step change’ in positive mental health and wellbeing within Wiltshire

NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is inviting bids from all stakeholders, including the voluntary and third sector, of up to £50,000 for delivering a ‘step change’ in positive mental health and wellbeing within Wiltshire.

Ted Wilson, Director of Community Services and Joint Commissioning for NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group said,
“We are pleased to be able to offer these non-recurrent funds to support initiatives that aim to enable people to be more positive and confident about their mental health. We hope that the success of these initiatives will be a catalyst for future collaboration and support.”

Wiltshire CCG is aspiring to fund a number of different community based initiatives that support national and local priorities of increased focus on prevention and keeping well. Proposals for the funding could be smaller bids in a defined area of the county to larger multi-agency bids that cover the whole of Wiltshire, if agencies want to work together to apply collaboratively. 

Bids are welcome from those with an interest in delivering services where they are able to:

  • Develop and model a responsive preventative approach to mental health
  • Build on community resilience where individuals see themselves as part of a mutually beneficial collective, which aims to improve personal wellbeing through social interaction and inclusion
  • Encourage joint working and collaboration across agencies delivering services
  • Demonstrate an innovative and scalable approach to community based care that promotes independence
  • Be able to demonstrate benefits in 1 year

Applications will need to demonstrate how funds will be used to deliver the project and the bid also need to fully describe the expected outcomes.

Proposals for the funding should be made using the application form which can be downloaded from www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk. The closing date for submission is 5pm on Friday 15 June 2018.

All proposals will be reviewed by an expert panel, including commissioning and GP leads and people with experience of mental health issues.  Successful applicants will be informed by 30 June 2018.

Stay safe in the sun

Summer’s almost here and with temperatures starting to soar, Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Wiltshire Council are supporting Sun Awareness Week (14-20 May) by offering advice to people in Wiltshire on how to stay safe in the sun.

Many of us enjoy spending time in the sun, but you can burn when you least expect it. Sitting in the garden, walking the dog or going for a run are just a few activities where you can be caught off guard.

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, GP at Market Lavington Surgery and Chair of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“Although a moderate amount of sun exposure is recommended because it provides essential vitamin D, too much sun can be damaging. Don’t forget; you can still burn if it’s cloudy or overcast and while sunburn is usually short-lived and mild, it’s important to take precautions to avoid it because it can increase the chances of developing skin cancer later in life.”

How to protect yourself from sunburn

You can help safeguard your skin from the harmful effects of the sun by following these simple steps.

  • Cover up when you are out in the sun – wear loose clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to protect as much skin as possible and protect your eyes with sunglasses that block at least 99% of UV light.
  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and at least 4-star UVA protection and reapply every 2 hours and after swimming.
  • Seek shade and limit your direct exposure to the sun, especially between 11am and 3pm when UV rays are at their strongest.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps – both cause serious long-term damage and contribute to skin cancer.
Dr Sandford-Hill added:
“It’s important to enjoy the sun safely by keeping hydrated and when you are out remember to carry a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses with you for protecting yourselves from the sun’s harmful rays.”
Jerry Wickham, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health said:
“Wiltshire in the sunshine is glorious and we want people to enjoy it, but it can be easy to underestimate the strength of the sun when you’re outside, and you may not realise you are getting burnt.  If you feel you have sunburn, you should get out of the sun as soon as possible by heading indoors or into a shady area.”

What to do if you have sunburn

If you do have minor sunburn, you can treat this at home by cooling the skin down by having a cold bath or shower and then applying soothing after sun or calamine lotion to moisturise your skin.  You could also visit your local pharmacy for advice on treatment to help ease your symptoms and reduce inflammation.

Drinking plenty of fluids, will help cool you down and prevent you from getting dehydrated, and painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol will help relieve any pain.

If you start to feel unwell or have any concerns about your sunburn, particularly if you are burnt over a large area, have blistering or swelling of the skin, chills, dizziness, sickness or a high temperature of 38c or above, call NHS 111 – they are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you notice any changes to your skin after being out in the sun, including a new mole, growth or lump or you have any moles or freckles that have changed in size, shape or colour, you should go and get them seen by your GP.  Skin cancer is much easier to treat if it’s found early.

For further information on how to keep safe in the sun, visit: www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk