May 2018


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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.


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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: or emailing:

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

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 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 –

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:

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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.

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

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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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


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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