February 2019

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We made it through our first bout of snow for the winter which put pressure on our health and care services, our staff, and the patients and people of Wiltshire.

From sharing resources to providing transport, I know people went above and beyond their usual work responsibilities. I really want to acknowledge the dedication and passion that means NHS and health and care services remain available when patients need us the most.

The focus this month for the Help Us Help You campaign is on making the most of your pharmacist. Twenty-seven per cent of GP appointments could potentially be treated elsewhere, and a visit to a pharmacy is a good choice in the early stages of an illness – don’t wait until you feel worse, ask your pharmacist first.

Looking ahead, the NHS Long Term Plan aims to achieve some ambitious improvements for patients over the next 10 years. We will be working with our staff, partner agencies and the public to help shape our local actions to improve services for the health and wellbeing of our communities.

The Transforming Maternity Services Together consultation period is coming to a close – the last day to have your say is 24 February 2019. I encourage you to share your views on the proposed changes.

Linda Prosser, Interim Chief Officer

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NHS long term plan

The NHS long term plan published on 7 January aims to save almost half a million more lives with practical action on major killer conditions and investment in world class, cutting edge treatments including genomic tests for every child with cancer.

The 10 year plan has three objectives:

  • making sure everyone gets the best start in life
  • delivering world-class care for major health problems
  • supporting people to age well.

To ensure that the NHS can achieve the ambitious improvements for patients over the next 10 years, the NHS Long Term Plan also sets out ways to overcome the challenges that the NHS faces, such as staff shortages and growing demand for services.

The plan brings with it a new guarantee that investment in primary, community and mental health care will grow faster than the growing overall NHS budget. This will fund a £4.5 billion new service model for the 21st century across England, where health bodies come together to provide better, joined up care in partnership with local government.

You can find out more about the NHS Long Term plan at https://www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/nhs-long-term-plan.pdf


AWP Chief Executive announces retirement

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust’s Chief Executive, Dr Hayley Richards has announced that she is set to retire from the NHS at the end of May 2019, following a 33-year long and successful career.

Dr Richards said: “It has been an absolute privilege to be part of AWP over the last 13 years and I am extremely proud of the work we have achieved.

“When I started as Chief Executive in 2016 some of my main aims were to help us re-establish the confidence we deserved to have in the services we provide, to increase clinical leaders, to have senior managers and frontline staff work together more closely and to improve quality. There have been many challenges along the way, of course, mainly around funding and service demand, and these will continue in the coming years.

“I leave the NHS at a time of great challenge and opportunity and I will watch with hope and optimism that true parity of esteem is achieved for mental health service users.”
AWP’s Board will publish their intention regarding recruitment of a new Chief Executive in due course but are keen to initiate recruitment as soon as possible.


New Healthwatch Board

Healthwatch Wiltshire has appointed a new Board to help prioritise the health and social care issues that are most important to the people of Wiltshire.

The Local Leadership Board will be the driving force behind Healthwatch Wiltshire’s commitment to ensure the voices of children, young people and adults are heard by those who run, plan and regulate health and social care services in the county.

The new Board is made up of Rob Jefferson, Hazel Dunnett, David Line, Irene Kohler and Andy Mintram. They will be joined by Emma Leatherbarrow, Director of Partnerships at Help and Care, Healthwatch Wiltshire’s provider.

Visit the Healthwatch Wiltshire website for more information.


News archive

Read more news from Wiltshire CCG in our news archive.

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Get Involved!

Transforming Maternity Services Together – consultation coming to a close

The consultation on a proposal to transform maternity services across Bath and North East Somerset (BANES), Swindon and Wiltshire is coming to an end – the last day to have your say is 24 February 2019.

We’ve been around the county with public meetings, on the streets for market days and at a number of Area Board and Town Council meetings to publicise the consultation.

Some parts of the county seem to be more aware of the proposed changes to services than others and we have had some robust conversations along the way. Maternity services touch on a very personal experience and we encourage people to share their views through the online survey or by completing the hardcopy form to ensure their voice is heard.

The consultation document, link to the online survey and further information on engagement opportunities is available on the Transforming Maternity Services Together website


Patient and Public Voice Partners needed for Quality of Life after cancer treatment project

NHS England is looking to recruit Patient and Public Voice (PPV) Partners to join the Steering Group for the Quality of Life after cancer treatment project. The aim of the pilot project is to test whether collecting data about quality of life from cancer patients can help us to better understand quality of life after cancer.

PPV representation will bring important views, perspective and challenge into the project. The closing date for applications is Friday 15 February 2019.

For more information about the role visit NHS England’s Involvement Hub. To request an application pack, please email Bijal.Purohit@nhs.net.


Share your ideas and help improve services at a Wiltshire hospice

An independent research consultancy is looking for patients, their carers or family members to share their experiences on the services provided by a Wiltshire-based hospice.

A small user advisory group at Dorothy House Hospice Care has been run by Evolving Communities for the last two years. Now in its third year, the group are on the lookout for more people to join to share their ideas on the care and support provided at the hospice.

Lucie Woodruff, from Evolving Communities, explained: “The User Advisory Group is a forum of people who share their ideas on the care and support provided at Dorothy House Hospice Care. These views are then fed back to the decision-makers in the charity to help shape future provision.

To find out how you can get involved contact Lucie at Evolving Communities on 01225 701851 or email info@evolvingcommunities.co.uk.  Or for more information on Dorothy House visit www.dorothyhouse.org.uk.


Governing Body meeting

Our next Governing Body meeting is on 26 March 2019 at 10.00am at Southgate House, Pans Lane, Devizes SN10 5EQ.

You can read the papers from previous meetings on our website

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Sore throat, cough or cold? See your local pharmacist first

The focus for the Help Us Help You campaign this month is on getting help from your local pharmacist first, before you book in with your GP or visit A&E.

Andrew Hobson, Pharmacy Manager at Cohens Chemist in Royal Wootton Bassett and Vice Chair of Community Pharmacy Swindon and Wiltshire said: “Pharmacists can help recognise and treat many common illnesses. We can give advice and where appropriate, recommend over-the-counter medicines that could help clear up the problem. We can also give advice about how to take medicines and answer questions about common side-effects. If we think you need to see a GP for your illness, we will advise you to do that.”

The campaign follows research which shows that 27 per cent of GP appointments could potentially be treated elsewhere and that 18 per cent of these appointments could be treated through self-care and community pharmacists.

Find out more on the campaigns page on our website.


Dementia Roadmap for Wiltshire launched  

Alzheimer’s Support has launched a new website to guide people through the process of being diagnosed with dementia in Wiltshire.

The Dementia Roadmap for Wiltshire is a simple online guide to what to expect during the process of being diagnosed with any type of dementia. It includes a symptoms guide and things to look out for, information of other conditions that can be confused with dementia, and explains the roles of health care and non-medical staff in supporting families at every step of the way. 

Take a look at the Roadmap and the Support Village which pulls together links to relevant local information about the support available.




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