Small changes can help you and your loved ones stay well this winter

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is encouraging local people to follow eight simple steps to help them stay well over the winter months, as part of the national awareness week for Self Care.

Self Care Week runs from 13-19 November 2017 and focuses on helping people to help look after themselves better when it comes to their health.

Dr Lindsay Kinlin, a GP from The Avenue Surgery in Warminster, said:
 “Self care is about taking responsibility for your health and we’re encouraging Wiltshire people to make small changes to help them and their families to stay well over the festive period.”

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s eight self care tips for Winter are:

S – see your pharmacist at the first sign of illness

Pharmacists are not only medicine experts, they can also offer advice and information on a range of minor illnesses and injuries. If you start to feel unwell this winter, even if it is just a cough or cold, get advice from your pharmacist before it gets more serious.

E – eat plenty of fruit and vegetables

A healthy diet is vital for your wellbeing, so try and eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

L – learn more about around the clock healthcare services in Wiltshire

In Wiltshire there are many options available for when you need medical advice and treatment. Consider all of the choices available to help you make the right decision about where to go.

F – find out if you’re eligible for a free flu vaccine

People who are eligible include those who are aged over 65 years, pregnant women, anyone who is the main carer for another person or who is in receipt of Carers’ Allowance, and those with a long-term condition such as diabetes or asthma. Children between the ages of two and eight years old are also eligible for the free nasal vaccination, which is quick, harmless and the best way to protect against catching flu this winter.

C – check in on your neighbours

Winter can be dangerous for elderly people, so checking they have enough supplies will mean they don’t need to go out in bad weather.

A – arrange to pick up your prescription

Many pharmacies and GP surgeries will be closed or have reduced working hours over the festive period. If you require a repeat prescription, make sure you order it in plenty of time.

R – restock your medicine cabinet

Looking after yourself when you’re feeling under the weather with a minor illness is easy if you already have a medicine cabinet stocked with painkillers, oral rehydration salts, anti-diarrhoea tables, antihistamines, indigestion treatments and a first aid kit.

E – ensure you stay warm

Cold weather can be very harmful and increase the risk of heart attacks, stroke and chest infections. Try and heat your home to at least 18°C and have a least one hot meal a day to stay warm.

Dr Kinlin continues,
”During winter our health services are put under a lot of pressure. By taking personal responsibility for our health and following our self care tips, we can help to free up valuable practitioner time, allowing us to focus on those people who need us the most.”

Find out more about small changes you can make to stay well this winter by visiting www.wiltshireccg,nhs.uk

Protect your unborn baby this winter with a free flu jab

The immune system is naturally lower during pregnancy, so if you were to catch the flu it could become serious very quickly.  Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is encouraging all pregnant women to get the free flu vaccination this winter.

Flu can cause many complications during pregnancy, particularly in the later stages and in some cases it can lead to still birth or death in the first week of life.

Dr Lindsay Kinlin, GP at the Avenue Surgery in Warminster said,
“Flu can make otherwise healthy people feel very poorly and I would urge any lady who is pregnant to get the flu vaccination as soon as possible.  During pregnancy a women’s immune system is naturally lower to ensure that the pregnancy is successful.  As a result, pregnant women are less able to fight off infections and therefore more likely to be seriously ill if they contract the flu virus.”

The flu vaccination is the best protection against flu.  It is recommended during any stage in pregnancy, from the first few weeks through to the due date.  Keeping fit and healthy in pregnancy is important for your baby’s growth and development.

Women who have had the flu vaccine while pregnant also pass some protection on to their babies, which lasts for the first few months of their lives.

Dr Kinlin, added,
“Even if you have had the flu vaccination in previous years it is important to get it again because the type of virus in circulation changes every year, so the vaccine changes too.”

If you are pregnant, you are eligible for the flu vaccination free of charge.  It’s free because you need it.

Ask your midwife or GP about the flu vaccination now.  You can book an appointment at your GP practice or visit your local pharmacy.

Keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home this winter recommends NHS Wiltshire CCG

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is advising local residents to be prepared this winter with their own well-stocked medicine cabinet, so they can treat themselves at the first signs of coughs, colds, sore throats or stomach bugs.

Dr Andy Hall from The Orchard Partnership in Fovant said:
“Most people can take care of their own health at home when they have minor ailments, such as sore throats and coughs by having a well-stocked medicine cabinet, drinking plenty of fluids and getting lots of rest.”

Looking after yourself when you’re feeling under the weather with a minor illness is easy if you already have a well-stocked medicine cabinet. Keeping the following items will mean you can stay at home and focus on getting back to full health.

What to keep in your medicine cabinet

Painkillers

Aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen are highly effective at relieving most minor aches, pains, coughs and cold

Oral rehydration salts

Can help restore your body’s natural balance of minerals and fluid lost through diarrhoea, fever, vomiting – if you can’t continue your normal diet

Anti-diarrhoea tablets

It’s a good idea to keep anti-diarrhoea medicine at home as diarrhoea can happen without warning. Causes include food poisoning and a stomach virus

Antihistamines

Useful for dealing with allergies, insect bites and hay fever

Indigestion treatment

If you have stomach ache, heartburn or trapped wind, a simple antacid will reduce stomach acidity and bring relief

Suncream

Sunburn can happen at any time of year, so keep some suncream of at least factor 15, with UVA protection. Exposure to the sun can cause sunburn and increase your risk of cancer

Dr Andy Hall added,
“Many people are affected by minor illnesses and ailments at this time of year with coughs, colds and sickness and having a well-stocked medicine cabinet means you can treat these symptoms yourself at home and prevent the need for a doctor’s appointment.  Your local pharmacist can also help with advice and over the counter medicine for many minor ailments and you don’t need an appointment to see your pharmacist.”

If you do need medical help and advice on where to go to access the right healthcare (and it’s not an emergency), then call NHS 111 anytime. It’s free and they operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Listen to your doctor and only take antibiotics when you need to, advises Wiltshire CCG

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting the national ‘Keep antibiotics working campaign’ to highlight the risk associated with taking antibiotics when you don’t need them and are encouraging patients to listen to the medical advice from their doctor.

Taking antibiotics encourages bacteria that live inside you to become resistant, meaning the antibiotics may not work when you really need them to and can put your family at risk of a more severe or longer illness.

Professor Michael Moore, GP and researcher at Three Chequers Surgery in Salisbury said:
“Antibiotics are essential to treat serious bacterial infections, such as pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis. But they are also frequently being used to treat illnesses, such as coughs, colds and sore throats that can get better by themselves or by using over the counter medication that you can get from your pharmacy.”

Research has shown that GPs are experiencing enormous pressure from patients to prescribe them a course of antibiotics to show they are taking their health condition seriously.  In Wiltshire 294,365 antibiotics tablets, capsules and bottles were prescribed during 2016 costing the NHS £1,314,230.

Professor Moore added:
Without urgent action, common infections, minor injuries and routine operations will become far riskier.  Conditions like kidney infections and pneumonia have already started to become untreatable.”

It is estimated that at least 5,000 deaths are caused every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for some infections and this figure is set to rise with experts predicting that in just over 30 years antibiotic resistance will kill more people than cancer and diabetes combined.

Rachel Hobson, Formulary Pharmacist for Wiltshire CCG said:
“We are working closely with our GPs to help reduce inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics so that patients who need antibiotics are getting the right dose, at the right time, for the right condition.  We are asking for you to play your part by trusting your doctor, nurse or pharmacist’s advice as to when you need to take antibiotics.”

If you are prescribed antibiotics, you should take them as instructed, finish the course, never save them for later use or share them with others. For more information on keeping antibiotics working, visit the campaign page on our website: www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk

Don’t put off getting your flu jab – it’s free because you need it

Health leaders across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) are urging people not to delay getting their flu jab if they are eligible for a free vaccination this winter.

People who are eligible include those who are aged over 65 years, pregnant women, anyone who is the main carer for another person or who is in receipt of Carers’ Allowance, and those with a long-term condition such as diabetes or asthma.

Children between the ages of two and eight years old are also eligible for the free nasal vaccination, which is quick, harmless and the best way to protect against catching flu this winter.

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, a Wiltshire GP and the Clinical Chair of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“If you or someone close to you falls into one of the ‘at risk’ categories, the flu vaccination is free because you, or they, really do need it.

“Flu is an unpredictable virus that can cause mild our unpleasant illness in most people, but it can cause severe illness and even death among vulnerable groups. We strongly encourage you to take up the offer of a free flu vaccination so you are protected against flu this winter.’ 

This year, there is a particular emphasis in the BSW Sustainability and Transformation Partnership on carers taking up the offer of a free flu vaccination. A carer is someone of any age who looks after an elderly person or someone with a disability.

Rosie, a carer and former trustee of the Bath and North East Somerset carer Carers’ Centre. said:

“Caring is an incredibly serious role and carers provide an invaluable service to the community,’

“They care for family members and friends who may be elderly, disabled or have a serious long-term condition and it is vital that they look after their own health as well as the health of the person they care for,’

“One winter I fell really ill, which made me very anxious that I might not be able to fulfil my caring role. So I urge anyone in a caring capacity to protect yourself this winter and have the free flu vaccination without delay.’

Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious complications if you have a long-term health condition like bronchitis or liver disease. It can also cause serious complications for both mother and baby if pregnant women catch it. The flu jab is the safest way to protect yourself from illness this winter – however healthy you might otherwise feel.

If you are eligible or want to check whether you or someone close to you is, contact your GP, midwife or usual healthcare provider. Some pharmacies are also able to provide the flu vaccination to certain eligible groups. Visit www.nhs.uk/staywell/ for more information.

Medvivo to provide integrated urgent care services across BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire

Medvivo has been awarded a five year contract to provide integrated urgent care services across Bath and North East Somerset (BaNES), Swindon and Wiltshire, from 1 May 2018. The healthcare provider, which is rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission will be the lead provider, working in collaboration with Vocare and BaNES Enhanced Medical Services (BEMS+).

Jo Cullen, Director of Primary and Urgent Care at Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:

“In line with the NHS GP Forward View requirements, we have been working hard to develop and deliver a functionally integrated 24/7 urgent care service.

It’s more than just bolting together the existing NHS111 and out-of-hours services and calling it by a new name, it’s the introduction of an innovative new service that dovetails with existing primary care services. It will provide patients with a clear, clinically-led and local urgent care service that ensures they receive the right care, at the right place at the right time.”

Medvivo will be responsible for running the NHS111 service across BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire and will develop the service model to include a new locally managed ‘clinical hub.’

Dr Jamie Brosch, Medical Director for Medvivo, explains:

“The new clinical hub is a fantastic new element of the service. Callers to the 111 service will be listened to and advised about what action they should take next. Following their initial conversation with the 111 call handler, it may be necessary for them to receive further medical advice. In this situation, the caller will be able to talk to the clinical hub – a team of experienced health professionals who can collectively make clinical assessments, give advice and arrange urgent care if required. This will mean that no decision is made in isolation.

It’s local too as it is Wiltshire based, so the team know the area and local healthcare services that are available and with the support of a comprehensive directory of services, are able to confidently pass that information on to callers.

Medvivo’s responsibility for providing the GP out-of-hours service will extend to BaNES. Wiltshire and telecare monitoring and urgent care and response at home for Wiltshire Council will continue to be provided by Medvivo.

We’re really proud that Medvivo has been awarded the contract and we are committed to delivering an innovative new urgent care service for people in BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire.” 

Local patients and residents will receive information about the new integrated urgent care service and how to access it ahead of the launch on 1 May 2018.

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, Chair of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“We are delighted that Medvivo has been awarded this contract and very much look forward to working with them in developing a high quality and responsive integrated urgent care service for people in BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire.”
Peter Lucas, Lay Member of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, added:
“This is an immense project which, importantly, has the opportunity to really transform the provision of urgent care across BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire. I’m really looking forward to seeing this happen.”

The NHS111 service is currently provided by Care UK in BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire. The GP out-of-hours service in Wiltshire is currently provided by Medvivo and by Vocare in BaNES. Great Western Hospitals Foundation Trust will continue to provide the GP out-of-hours service in Swindon, as that particular service was not included as part of the procurement.

Joining up a number of urgent care services across the region will help to ensure everyone has access to the same high quality, personalised and responsive service.

Stoptober – the 28-day quit smoking campaign – is back.

Stoptober, the 28-day stop smoking campaign from Public Health England, is back from 1st October. Stoptober has driven over 1 million quit attempts to date and is the biggest mass quit attempt in the country. It is based on research that shows that if you can stop smoking for 28-days, you are five times more likely to stay smokefree for good.

All the support you need to quit

Everyone’s quitting journey is different, but with Stoptober, you won’t be on your own. Join the thousands quitting smoking with Stoptober and get all the support you need to help you on your quit journey.

There a lots of ways to quit and Stoptober can help you choose what works for you. You can quit using medication (including nicotine replacement therapies such as patches and gum) or e-cigarettes. Stoptober offers a range of free support to help you including an app, daily emails, Facebook Messenger and lots of encouragement from the Stoptober online community on Facebook. In addition, you can get expert face-to-face advice from local stop smoking services.

Those who use stop smoking aids and who get face-to-face support from their local stop smoking service are up to four times more likely to quit successfully. Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for your health and the health of those around you. If you can make it to 28 days smokefree, you’re 5 times more likely to stay quit for good.

Just search ‘Stoptober’ or visit our campaigns page to find out more.

How healthy is your heart?

Heart disease (including heart attack and stroke) is still the leading cause of death amongst men. Throughout September alone, 12,700 people will die from a heart attack or stroke.

To increase awareness about heart health and reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke, Public Health England (PHE) is urging adults to take three minutes out of their day to take the Heart Age Test.

The Heart Age Test is being re-launched as part of the One You Adult Health programme to mark the start of PHE’s Healthy Heart campaign, which will run throughout September in partnership with leading cardiovascular charities.

The Test offers an online assessment for anyone over 30 which allows a person to input basic physical and lifestyle-related information, and provides an immediate estimation of their ‘heart age’. Having a heart age older than your chronological age means that you are at a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Helping the over 50s be clear on cancer

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is supporting the national Be Clear on Cancer campaign and encouraging local people, particularly the over 50s, to recognise respiratory symptoms and get the appropriate help where needed. A persistent cough or inappropriate breathlessness during everyday activities could be symptoms of a variety of conditions including cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and, in the case of breathlessness, heart disease.

Dr Andy Hall from The Orchard Partnership in Fovant said:
“People aged 50 or over are at greater risk of having undiagnosed respiratory problems and make up 97 percent of lung cancer diagnoses, so it’s particularly important if you fall within this age group to get any unusual symptoms checked out.”

Diagnosing these conditions at an early stage makes them more amenable to treatment. Those who have a persistent cough lasting more than three weeks, or are experiencing breathlessness when completing everyday tasks, are encouraged to make an appointment with their GP, as they may be exhibiting the early signs of lung disease, including cancer.

Across England, around 37,600 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year and in Wiltshire during 2015, there were 282 people diagnosed with the condition.  

Dr Hall added:
“Before you visit your GP it may help to write down your symptoms and how you feel so you don’t forget anything during your consultation. This will help answer some of the questions your doctor may ask you, such as how long have you had your symptoms and whether they have changed over time.”

Signs to watch out for:

  • A cough that has got worse or changes
  • Frequent chest infections
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest or shoulder pain
  • Getting out of breath doing everyday activities such as light housework
  • Feeling more tired than usual for some time
  • Losing weight for no obvious reason, or loss of appetite

Learn more about the Be Clear on Cancer campaign.

Strategic Outline Case for Wiltshire

26 July 2017 – Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body yesterday approved a Strategic Outline Case (SOC) which identifies a preferred model and way forward for the future provision of community and primary care estate in Wiltshire.  

The SOC, which was presented and approved at Wiltshire CCG’s Governing Body meeting held in public in Devizes on Tuesday 25 July, is the cumulation of a strategic overview of health care in one area of Wiltshire – Chippenham, Melksham and Trowbridge – which began in autumn 2016. 

This initial stage of planning means the CCG is in the best position to secure capital investment for much needed updating of health buildings in Chippenham, Melksham and Trowbridge.  However, there are also priority areas for the rest of Wiltshire and the CCG will now set out a timetable for developing a more detailed clinical strategy and a Wiltshire-wide programme of capital and estates funding requirements. 

Steve Perkins, Wiltshire CCG’s Chief Finance Officer said:
“Wiltshire CCG has a strategy founded on commissioning health services which are based in our communities rather than in acute hospitals. Keeping people well, supported and able to be live as independently at home is at the heart of all of our work. We know that flexible solutions will be the key to being able to support the health and wellbeing of our local population, in a way which is financially sustainable into the future. 

“This means that we anticipate, and seek, an increase in the use of our community buildings – such as GP practices and larger primary care centres – so that we rely less on hospital facilities. Our approach aligns with the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) which has five priority areas, one of which is ‘Making best use of technology and our public estates’.

“To help us to understand the future estate and infrastructure requirements, in autumn 2016 we began a strategic overview of health care in one area of our county. This work has now been developed into a Strategic Outline Case (SOC) which identifies a preferred way forward for the future provision of community and primary care estate in Chippenham, Melksham and Trowbridge to support the sustainable delivery of community, secondary and primary care services.  The cost implications of not making the much-required improvements to facilities in north west Wiltshire are significant, and national funding has been made available for primary care facilities in Trowbridge.  The strategic planning helps to align clinical priorities with estates and infrastructure requirements”.

The SOC, which can be found here considers the healthcare needs of the Wiltshire population into the long term, based on what our GPs and clinicians require to support people to live well at home, and in consideration of the expected population growth in Wiltshire between now and 2026.  By working with our partners and stakeholders to review and understand the current and future local service requirements, Wiltshire CCG has considered options for the way we deliver locally based healthcare services in the future.

The recommendation approved by the CCG Governing Body yesterday is for one community hospital (hub), one community ‘spoke’ and three urgent treatment centres, alongside development of primary care estate to increase much needed capacity for GP practices. Details and definitions for each of these facilities can be found in the SOC.

Linda Prosser, Interim Chief Officer of Wiltshire CCG said:
“The preferred way forward takes account of key national, regional and local drivers for change and was arrived at following detailed meetings with clinicians, GPs and other key stakeholders.  The SOC is the first stage in the business planning process and therefore the size of accommodation and cost is only indicative at this stage. The SOC does not make an assumption about the location of the facilities, but we expect that for the north west patch of Wiltshire they will be located in the Chippenham, Melksham and Trowbridge area”.

The next stage will be for further development work to Outline and Full Business Cases and it is expected that locations will be identified through options appraisals at the Outline Business Case stage of the planning process, before proceeding to a full public engagement programme.

Chairman of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group to step down

25 July 2017 – Dr Peter Jenkins, the Clinical Chairman at Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, is to step down from his role at the end of September following a two year term.

Dr Jenkins, who has been in post for the last two years, said:
“Much has changed since I began my clinical career a number of years ago, but what remains unwavering, regardless of what job people do within the NHS, is the commitment to delivering the best possible service, where the patient is at the centre. This theme has been core to Wiltshire CCG and it’s been an absolute privilege to work with a fantastic team and supportive colleagues. I will leave knowing that the CCG’s vision of delivering health care closer to home remains in safe hands with a dedicated, committed group of people and I’m proud to have been part of helping to develop health services in Wiltshire that are aligned to the needs and demands of a growing and increasingly ageing population, now and into the future”
Linda Prosser, Interim Chief Officer at Wiltshire CCG added:
“On behalf of the Governing Body and all the staff at Wiltshire CCG I’d like to thank Peter for his commitment to health care services in our area, and the changes he has overseen. As with the NHS nationally, the last two years have been extremely challenging but Peter will leave us having successfully laid strong foundations for the future integration of health and care services”.

In line with the CCG’s constitution, an election for a new Chairman will be held amongst the CCG’s GP membership practices.

Cover Up Mate and reduce your risk of skin cancer

19 July 2017 – As part of the national Cover Up Mate campaign Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging men who spend long periods of time outdoors cover up and to protect themselves from the sun. 

The number of people being diagnosed with skin cancer is increasing and men are being targeted as they are less likely to slap on the sun cream and don’t realise the harm they are doing to their skin.  

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill from Market Lavington Practice said:
“Being outdoors is essential for farmers, builders, groundsmen and sportsmen, but it’s important they understand the risks associated with the sun and take steps to keep themselves safe from skin cancer. Getting burnt, even if it is just slightly, does increase your risk in the long term.”

Skin cancer rates in the South West are higher than average and figures released by Public Health England show that between 2005 and 2014, deaths related to skin cancer increased by 22 percent in men, but there was no increase in deaths among women.

Dean Smart, a construction worker in Marlborough is supporting the cover up mate campaign and said:
“I would urge anyone who works outside to cover up and make sure they wear suncream.  It’s great working outside when the sun is shining and I didn’t really think about the risks of skin cancer that come with it – I will definitely be slapping on the sun cream and covering up from now on.”
Dr Sandford-Hill continues:
“The good news is that’s it’s easy and simple to keep yourself sun-safe when working outside.  By taking just a few minutes to apply sun cream and ensure you’ve got your hat and sunglasses can help protect you from skin cancer.”

Top sun safe tips include:

  • Use at least factor 15 sunscreen with 4 stars and use plenty of it
  • Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin – don’t forget your neck and ears and your head if you have thinning or no hair
  • Wear sunglasses and a hat
  • Get to know your skin and check on a monthly basis to detect any change in the colour or size of moles. If you are concerned that a mole is changing you should see your GP in the first instance.  The sooner a cancerous mole is discovered the better the chance of successful treatment.

Don’t let finding the right healthcare advice cloud your summer

12 July 2017 – Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is helping people to make the right decision about where to go for healthcare treatment over the summer months in Wiltshire, with the help of an easy to use healthcare clock – a signposting tool to help people choose the right healthcare service for their illness or injury.

Dr Peter Jenkins, Chair of Wiltshire CCG said:
“We recognise that knowing which services to access for healthcare advice and treatment can be difficult.  With the many services available, it can be confusing to know where you should go for treatment. The healthcare clock is a really useful tool to help you make the right decision about where to go for healthcare advice and treatment this summer.

The warmer weather and longer days tend to mean we see an increase in sports injuries, food poisoning from barbecues, sun burn and alcohol-related accidents.  Keeping a copy of our healthcare care on your fridge or in your bag will help you to make the right decision quickly about which healthcare service to use.”  

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

Patients in the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) area are set to benefit from expansion of diabetes prevention programme as NHS England drives forward changes to support people to live healthier lives.

The head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, has announced 13 new areas, including Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire partnership, are now live and ready to offer a leading NHS prevention programme to patients identified at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. 

Wave 2 of the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme  is part of a wider package of measures to support people at risk of type 2 diabetes to get healthier, keep well and reduce their risk of developing the disease.

Local people from the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) area who are referred on to the programme will get tailored, personalised help to reduce their risk of developing the disease.  Their support will include education on healthy eating and lifestyle choices, reducing weight through bespoke physical exercise programmes and portion control, which together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing the disease.

The programme, which is run collaboratively by NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK, was officially launched last year, with the first wave made up of 27 areas and covering 26 million people – almost half of the country. The latest national figures reveal the programme is making good progress, with just under 50,000 people referred in Wave 1 and more than 18,000 on the programme in at the end of April. This exceeds the original target set in the NHS Mandate of 10,000 referrals during 2017/18.

Wave 2 areas will cover another 25% of the population, with an estimated 130,000 referrals and up to 50,000 additional places made available thanks to the expansion.

The ambition is for the programme to eventually cover the whole of the country and these figures could rise to as many as 200,000 referrals and more than 80,000 people on programmes by 2018/19.

Early evidence is positive and suggests that just under half of those taking up the programme are men – a much higher proportion that traditional weight loss programmes, while roughly a quarter of people are from black and ethnic minority communities.

Dr Andrew Girdher, Clinical Lead NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, BSW said:
“Type 2 Diabetes is a growing problem and potentially a preventable disease through diet, lifestyle and exercise. 

“I am delighted that our area has been chosen to be part of the second wave of the evidence-based NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. This is a free locally delivered 9 month rolling programme to target people who are at risk of developing diabetes.

“Those at risk of developing diabetes now have access to this robust programme to improve their health and reduce their risk of developing diabetes. I would strongly encourage anyone who has been invited to attend as this is an important step in helping to prevent diabetes and associated ill health.”

Jerry Wickham, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health said:

“Prevention of type 2 diabetes is very important as it gives people the opportunity to lead longer, healthier lives.

“We’re pleased this prevention programme has been introduced and I hope people respond well to it and take positive strides towards a healthier future.”

New Interim Chief Officer joins Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group

Linda Prosser has joined Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as Interim Chief Officer.

Chair of Wiltshire CCG, Dr Peter Jenkins said:
“We look forward to working with Linda and are confident she is well-placed to lead us through the challenges we know are ahead of us”.
Ms Prosser, who joins the CCG from NHS England South West where she was Director of Assurance and Delivery, said:
“I’m delighted to join Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group. This is a very strong CCG with a good track record that is well placed to rise to the challenges facing the health and care system in the next few years. I am very pleased to be a part of that.

We will be working very closely with our colleagues in Wiltshire Council to this end, including the appointment of a shared leadership role across the CCG and Adult Social care. I intend to provide the leadership and support to the CCG during this period up until this new post is taken up. Meanwhile we will continue to put local people at the heart of what we do to commission healthcare services that get the best possible outcomes for them.”

Ms Prosser replaces Tracey Cox, who took on the interim role in October 2016 alongside her Accountable Officer duties for Bath and North East Somerset CCG, and has now returned to that role.