April 2018


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

Our NHS will soon be celebrating its 70th birthday. All those years ago who would ever have imagined what healthcare would look like now.  The illnesses that we can treat and many of the operations and procedures that needed weeks of recovery have become routine, done in a day and carried out at a local hospital or even a GP surgery!

In this issue the very nature of how and where care is provided, whether that’s in our hospitals, community clinics or GP surgeries continues to evolve. We want to mark this occasion by sharing your memories and reminiscences of the NHS, if you have a story or photo to share, please get in touch – NHS70.wccg@nhs.net.

Earlier this month it was confirmed that the GP led health centre for Devizes can move to its next phase, which is great news. There still remains a considerable amount of detailed planning work to be undertaken and we will keep you updated about the development in future issues of ‘ in touch’.

We are discussing end of life care in this issue. Talking about death is still a taboo subject that so many people choose to ignore. However, talking about death as well as planning for it may not be easy, but it can help us to make the most of life and spare our loved ones from making difficult decisions on our behalf.  

With the arrival of Spring and long awaited sunshine I hope you are enjoying getting out and about in the Wiltshire countryside. We’ve included some information about how to recognise ‘ticks’ and precautions to take to prevent you from being bitten because they are prevalent at this time of year. We hope you find it useful.


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In the news!

Major step forward to development of Devizes Health Centre

Earlier this month, after a commitment of £7million to funding by NHS Property Services , it was confirmed that the GP led health centre for Devizes can move to its next phase.

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is leading the project which aims to deliver significant benefit to patients care by creating a modern and sustainable facility for the people of Devizes and the surrounding areas. The commitment to funding from NHS Property Services to fund the construction costs comes as outline planning permission for the development from Wiltshire Council is expected later this month.

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, Chairman of Wiltshire CCG and lead GP for the project said:

“It’s really exciting to see that the Devizes Health Centre project is taking a significant step forward, and I’m delighted on behalf of the five Devizes GP practices and the CCG. The commitment from NHS Property Services means it’s all systems “go” to work towards the implementation of this important, long awaited scheme that will provide modern, fit for purpose premises for the delivery of healthcare for the people of the Devizes community area. There’s still a lot of work to do, and we look forward to the outcome of the Outline Planning Application, but we’re extremely confident now that we’re well on the way to achieving what we set out to do on behalf of our patients”.

The next step in the project will involve us concluding the outline business case, including a commitment to fund the future costs of running the health centre. If the outline business case is approved, work on developing the detailed design of the scheme can be begin to inform the full business case, which would then need to be approved by us and NHS England.

The health centre development is part of a wider scheme that involves the release of land at Marshall Road for housing, and, in due course, the outdated community hospital in the town.

We will keep you updated on the development of the health centre in future issues of the newsletter.

Help us celebrate 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.

It’s an organisation woven into the very fabric of our way of life with each and every one of us using its services in some shape or form at some time.

To get here from 1948, the NHS has been constantly evolving and adapting to meet changing needs and expectations. All those years ago who would ever have imagined that we would be able to map the human brain, carry out heart transplants and immunise against so many diseases.

We want to mark the occasion by sharing local people’s memories and reminiscences of the NHS – either because they have worked for the service, or have received NHS treatment over the last 70 years. In particular, we are keen to hear from anyone who was born on 5th July 1948 and shares the same birthday as the NHS.

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.

Founded on the principle of free, high quality health care for all the NHS has evolved to meet our changing needs through new treatments, pioneering surgeries and technical innovations – helping us to live longer and better lives. None of this would be possible without the skill, dedication and compassion of NHS staff, as well as the many volunteers, charities and communities that support us and work tirelessly to provide care and support for everyone.

Do get in touch if you:
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

Annual General Meeting

We are holding our annual general meeting in the conference room at Southgate House, Pans Lane, Devizes on Tuesday 26 June starting at 9.30am.

This event provides you with the opportunity to learn about what the clinical commissioning group has achieved in the past year and allows you to ask questions and find out more about our plans for the future – You can also pick up a copy of our annual report and accounts on the day.

Doors will be open from 9am for registration, and the AGM will take place between 9.30 – 10.30am.

If you would like to attend the AGM, please email tracy.torr@nhs.net by Friday 15 June 2018.

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Focus on End of Life Care

End of life care

Being told that you or someone you love and care for has a life limiting illness is tough news to receive. The care an individual needs at this time will be focused upon supporting them to have the best possible quality of life, independence and control over their life and care.

We believe that care at the end of a person’s life is vitally important and know that there is only one chance to get it right. Our end of life strategy sets out our local vision, which is for all patients at the end of life, together with those closest to them, are able to express their needs and wishes, and that as far as clinically appropriate, these needs and wishes are met.

What is end of life care?

Palliative and end of life care is about treatment and care focusing on the need of the whole person as well as their family, carers and friends. It is not just about managing pain and other symptoms but includes support to deal with emotional needs, social and spiritual needs, care in bereavement and help dealing with the financial effects of facing and of life situation.

End of life care includes palliative care, but can start earlier. If you have a terminal illness, or are approaching the end of your life, it may be a good idea to make plans in advance for the future of your care. Planning ahead in this way is sometimes called advance care planning. It involves thinking and talking about your wishes for how you are cared for in the final months of your life.

People usually carry out advance care planning because they have condition that is expected to get worse, which may mean they will not be able to make decisions, or communicated their decisions in the future. However, anyone can plan for their future care, whether they are approaching the end of their life or not. Advance care planning can help you let people know your wishes and feelings while you still can. Your wishes and preferences can then be shared with your family, carers, GP and others as appropriate.

Palliative care helps to make you as comfortable as possible by relieving pain and other distressing symptoms while providing psychological, social and spiritual support for you and your family or carers. This is called holistic approach to care, as it deals with the ‘whole’ person rather than just one aspect of their care.

Talking about death doesn’t bring death closer. It’s about planning for life. Without communication and understanding, death and terminal illness can be a lonely and stressful experience, both for the person who is dying and for their friends and family. There may be practical matters as well as care issues. Though hard to start these conversations, most people find it a great relief once it’s brought up.

Further information

Your GP is a good place to start if you want to discuss end of life, but you can also find lots of helpful information online:

Macmillan Cancer Support – advice and support for end of life
Dying matters – general information about preparing for a good death for the public and professionals
Terminal illness support from Marie Curie – at some stages all of us have to face the fact that we (or our loved ones) have a life limiting condition and are coming towards the end of our lives
Prospect Hospice – our local hospice
NHS Choices – general information about end of life care
What to expect when someone important to you is dying – a guide for carers, families and friends of dying people
Palliative and end of life care – a factsheet from Marie Curie


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One You: Nutrition

Eating out has become very common place and a quarter of our calories intake comes from eating out, meaning many of us are consuming more calories than we realise – an average of 200 to 300 extra calories per day. Over time, these extra calories can creep up on us and cause an unhealthy weight gain.

Public Health England’s One You campaign aims to help you be more aware of the calories you consume on the go and is encouraging people to make healthier choices, whether you are picking up breakfast on the way to work, having lunch at your desk or buying everyday meals.

This calorie creep is contributing to our county’s obesity problem which causes a range of health issues, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

One simple tip can help you make healthier choices while out and about – aim for 400-600-600. Try and stick to around 400 calories for breakfast, 600 calories for lunch and 600 calories for dinner, plus a couple of healthier snacks and drinks in-between.

So if you are looking to eat a little healthier, try a healthier choice today and aim for 400-600-600, because there is only One You: Nutrition.

Beware, ticks are lurking!

With the arrival of Spring, the CCG is advising you to brush up on your knowledge of ticks, what they are, where they live, the diseases they can carry, and how to minimise your risk of infection.

Ticks are small, spider like creatures that feed on the blood of animals, including people. They can be found in woodlands, grasslands, moorland, heathland and some urban parks and gardens.

Ticks are present in most parts of the country and are about the size of a poppy seed, and whilst irritating, most tick bites are harmless however; some ticks are infected with bacteria which can cause Lyme disease.

Symptoms of Lyme disease can include:

A high temperature (fever), headaches, tiredness (fatigue), muscle and joint pain, chills and neck stiffness and a characteristic skin rash that looks like a bulls-eye.

To minimise your risk of being bitten, take these steps to help protect yourself:
  • Keep to paths and away from long grass or overgrown vegetation if possible, as ticks crawl up long grass in their search for a feed
  • Wear appropriate clothing in tick infested areas (long sleeved shirt and long trousers tucked into socks).  Light coloured fabrics are useful, as it is easier to see ticks against a light background
  • Consider using insect repellents, e.g. DEET
  • Inspect skin frequently and remove any attached ticks
  • At the end of the day, check again thoroughly for ticks, especially in skin folds
  • Make sure that children’s head and neck areas, including scalps, are properly checked 
  • Check that ticks are not brought home on clothes
  • Check that pets do not bring ticks into the home on their fur

If you have been bitten by a diseased tick, symptoms of Lyme disease usually appear between 3 and 30 days. You should make a GP appointment as soon as possible and remember to tell them you were bitten by a tick. More information on tick bites can be found on our website.

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