Calling all GPs in Wiltshire

NHS Wiltshire CCG is made up of 58 GP Practices who work together to ensure the best possible healthcare is available and meets the needs of people in Wiltshire. Our five year plan projects the vision and describes the road map to the future delivery of sustainable, integrated services to help the people of Wiltshire.

The GP Medical Adviser will secure close working relationships with clinicians to support activities necessary for GP Practices in Wiltshire CCG to meet their safeguarding and child protection responsibilities. The role will also provide clinical leadership for the delivery of the CCG’s Operational Work Programme functions relating to the joint commissioning of primary medical services with NHS England.

We are looking for a GP medical adviser, who will be a practicing GP in Wiltshire, to champion safety issues in primary care and in the wider health and multi-agency economy across Wiltshire.

Interested applicants should apply through NHS Jobs. The closing date is midnight on Monday 15th June.





The next Governing Body meeting including the Annual General Meeting will be held in The Corn Exchange, Market Place, Devizes, on Tuesday 22 September 2015.

The Governing Body meeting will take place between 10.30am until 12.30pm
The Annual General Meeting will take place between 1pm until 2.15pm

Members of the public are welcome to attend.

The agenda and related papers can be found under Governing Body meetings.

Friday’s partial eclipse of the sun

Public Health England (PHE) is reminding people planning to watch the partial eclipse of the sun on Friday 20 March 2015 to take precautions to reduce potential damage to their eyes.

The eclipse will be visible across the country, with observers in Scotland likely to see more of the sun obscured by the moon than any other part of the UK.

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) has published detailed advice and useful information on how to safely view the eclipse. They advise that viewing a solar eclipse is potentially hazardous and should only be attempted with caution. You should never, ever – under any circumstances – look directly at the Sun. In their leaflet they list there are things we can get hold of easily – or even make – that are safe to use.

The UK last experienced a total eclipse of the sun in August 1999. In 2000 the journal of the Royal College of Opthalmologists published a study detailing the health effects of the event the previous August. Approximately 70 people reported a loss of vision, with half of that total reporting issues within 48 hours, as a consequence of gazing at the eclipse. Of those more than half used no eye protection and 30% used some kind of filter, such as sunglasses, which did not have the desired protective effect. Forty percent of those that reported injury had looked at the eclipse for less than a minute.

The reason the eclipse poses a risk to eyes is that most of the time the sun is too bright for us to look directly at it. In an eclipse strong sunlight penetrates into our eyes and the retina can be damaged, without the feeling of pain.

Governing Body Meeting – 24 March 2015

The next governing body meeting will be held at the Civic Centre, St Stephen’s Place, Trowbridge BA14 8AH, on Tuesday 24 March 2015.  The public session runs from 10am to 12.30pm and members of the public are welcome to attend.

Copies of the papers and the agenda, can be found here.

NHS health care commissioners given greater responsibility for primary care in Wiltshire 

The commissioning of elements of primary care in Wiltshire may soon be the responsibility of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, as its expression of interest to embark on joint commissioning in conjunction with NHS England, who manage GP contracts nationally, has been approved.

Pending full approval by Wiltshire CCG’s Governing Body on 24 March 2015, Wiltshire CCG will have the opportunity to further improve primary care services locally for the benefit of patients and local communities by entering into joint commissioning arrangements with NHS England. By tailoring services to meet the needs of Wiltshire residents, the CCG is better placed to deliver its commitment to provide high quality healthcare to all and to keep more people out of hospital and in their own homes.

Deborah Fielding, Chief Officer at Wiltshire CCG comments: “This is a real opportunity for us to ensure that we use our additional responsibilities for the benefit of Wiltshire residents. By working with NHS England we can ensure that primary care services throughout Wiltshire are aligned to our strategic goals and provide the best possible care to people in Wiltshire.

“Given the impact primary health care has on our population, this is a positive move designed to align standards of care right across the county and to focus on delivering the right services, in the right place.”

Jo Cullen, Group Director and leading on Primary Care for Wiltshire CCG said: “Co-commissioning will allow us to deliver our vision to support extended primary care teams which are aligned to community teams, mental health and social care provision. By delivering services in this way we can ensure better integration of health and care services and a more joined-up, seamless approach for patients.”

Wiltshire CCG is one of 87 CCGs across the country to have been approved for joint commissioning subject to constitutional amendments. Wiltshire CCG will take on this additional responsibility from 1 April 2015, pending formal approval on 24 March 2015.

Reduced opening hours for Minor Injuries Unit at Chippenham Community Hospital

For three days from Monday 16 March, the Minor Injuries Unit at Chippenham Community Hospital will be operating under reduced opening hours while essential maintenance work is carried out.

On Monday 16, Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 March the unit will open one hour later than normal at 8am and close two hours earlier than usual at 11pm.

This is to allow for a new floor to be fitted in the unit, which is currently undergoing refurbishment works.

Jane Ingham, MIU Lead Nurse at Chippenham Community Hospital, said: “The fitting of a new floor is vital to the upgrade of the whole unit.

“We are committed to transforming the Minor Injuries Unit at Chippenham into a modern care environment that will be of benefit to our patients. We apologise for any inconvenience caused during this time.”

Any person needing medical treatment for a minor injury during the affected hours is advised to visit the Minor Injuries Unit at Trowbridge Community Hospital, which is open 24 hours a day.

Medical help and advice is also available from the NHS 111 service.

In case of a medical emergency, people are reminded to call 999 and ask for the ambulance service.



Finding the right health advice and treatment over the Easter bank holiday

The four day break over Easter can sometimes catch people off guard when it comes to planning for their healthcare needs. With GP surgeries in Wiltshire closed on 3rd and 6th April 2015, Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is asking people to plan ahead and to consider the range of options available to them if they need medical advice or treatment over the bank holiday.

Dr Steve Rowlands, Chair for Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “A&E admissions during the Easter break often reach similar peaks to those seen at Christmas. Those figures can be attributed, in part, to people attending A&E for less serious illnesses and injuries. It’s important therefore, that people are aware, and understand the alternative routes to health advice and treatment they have access to.

“For a minor health problem it may be possible to seek advice and treatment from your local pharmacy, many of which will be open over the holidays. For sprains, dislocations, minor cuts and burns or minor eye injuries then one of the two minor injury units in the county will be open, as well as the walk-in centre in Salisbury. If you’re not sure, then call the 111 service, they will be able to advise you on the most appropriate place to go for advice or treatment. If you need urgent medical assistance for a serious or life threatening condition then always telephone 999 straight away.

“We would also strongly recommend that people think ahead and check that they have enough of their routine medication to see them through the four day weekend. If you need to order more, it is advisable to request it well in advance of the bank holiday to ensure that you receive it in time.

“Our priority is always to ensure that people get the help they need, when they need it. By making the right choices and taking personal responsibility, people can not only help keep themselves well, but also help to reduce the impact on the health system over what is traditionally a busy period for A&E departments in Wiltshire.”

For a list of pharmacies that are open over the Easter bank holiday click here. Pharmacists are experts on medicines and how they work. They can also offer advice on common complaints such as coughs, colds, aches and pains and other health issues and help to decide whether it’s necessary to see a doctor.

For location and opening times of Minor Injury Units in Wiltshire visit Minor Injuries Units are for patients with less serious injuries, such as sprains, cuts and grazes. No appointments are required and they are led by qualified nurse practitioners.

The Salisbury walk-in centre is open from 0800 – 2000 everyday, including bank holidays. The centre is run by a team of experienced doctors and nurses and is based on a first come first served basis, unless someone is acutely unwell and needs immediate attention. For details on how to find the Salisbury walk-in centre visit

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from landlines and mobiles. It is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. Healthcare advice can be given over the telephone or you may be directed to a local service that can help you best.

If a medical situation is life threatening, you should always phone 999. Serious injuries, loss of consciousness, chest pain or suspected stroke are medical emergencies and you should not hesitate to call 999.

Wiltshire Pharmacies

Easter Opening Hours

Good Friday

Boots, High Street, Chippenham SN15 3ER – 8.30am-5.30pm
Lloyds, Hathaway Medical Centre, Chippenham SN14 6GT – 10am-4pm
Morrisons, Cepen Park North, Chippenham SN15 3JP – 9am-6pm
Sainsbury’s, Bath Road, Chippenham SN14 0BJ – 8am-8pm
Morrisons, Estcourt Street, Devizes SN10 1LA – 9am-6pm
Boots, The Brittox, Devizes SN10 1AR – 8.30am-5.30pm
Boots, High Street, Marlborough SN8 1LT – 10am-4pm
Asda, Bradford Road, Melksham SN12 8LQ – 9am-6pm
Tesco, Bourne Centre, Salisbury SP1 2NY – 11am-4pm
Superdrug, Old George Mall, Salisbury SP1 2AG – 8.30am-5.30pm
Boots, Silver Street, Salisbury SP1 2NG – 8.30am-5.30pm
Asda, Orbital Shopping Park, Swindon SN25 4YX – 9am-6pm
Asda, Tewkesbury Way, Swindon SN5 7DL – 9am-6pm
Boots, Orbital Shopping Park, Swindon SN25 4AN – 8.30am-9pm
Boots, Greenbridge Retail Park, Swindon SN3 3SG – 8.30am-6pm
Boots, Brunel Plaza, Swindon SN1 1LF – 8am-6pm
Lloyds, Moredon Road, Swindon SN2 2JG – 10am-4pm
Morrisons, Haydon Wick, Swindon SN2 3QQ – 9am-6pm
Sainsbury’s, Oxford Road, Swindon SN3 4EW – 7am-11pm
Sainsbury’s Bridgemead, Swindon SN5 7YH – 8am-10pm
Sainsbury’s Stratton St Margaret, Swindon SN3 4EW – 7am-11pm
Tesco, Ocotal Way, Swindon SN1 2EH – 8am-8pm
Boots, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge BA14 8FZ – 8am-midnight
Tesco, County Way, Trowbridge BA14 7AQ – 11am-4pm
Superdrug, The Shires, Trowbridge BA14 8AT – 9am-5.30pm

Easter Sunday

Lloyds, Hathaway Medical Centre, Chippenham SN14 6GT – 9am-10pm
Lloyds, Rowden Hill, Chippenham SN15 2SD – 3pm-5pm
Rowlands, Pembroke Street, Bemerton Heath, Salisbury SP2 8JD – 3pm-5pm
Hawthorn, Cricklade Road, Swindon SN2 1AE – 10am-2pm
Sparcells, Peatmoor, Swindon SN5 5AN – 10am-12noon and 4pm-6pm
Swindon Pharmacy, Hawthorn Medical Centre, Swindon SN2 1UU – 2pm-6pm
Cohens, Wingfield Road, Trowbridge BA14 9EN – 11am-1pm
Cohens, Bradfield Road, Trowbridge BA14 9AR – 11am-1pm
Lloyds, North Street, Wilton SP2 0HA – 11am-1pm

Easter Monday

Boots, High Street, Chippenham SN15 3ER – 10am-4pm
Lloyds, Hathaway Medical Centre, Chippenham SN14 6GT – 10am-5.30pm
Morrisons, Cepen Park North, Chippenham SN15 3JP – 9am-6pm
Sainsbury’s, Bath Road, Chippenham SN14 0BJ – 9am-7pm
Morrisons, Estcourt Street, Devizes SN10 1LA – 9am-6pm
Boots, The Brittox, Devizes SN10 1AR – 10am-4pm
Boots, High Street, Marlborough SN8 1LT – 10am-4pm
Asda, Bradford Road, Melksham SN12 8LQ – 9am-6pm
Tesco, Bourne Centre, Salisbury SP1 2NY – 11am-4pm
Boots, Silver Street, Salisbury SP1 2NG – 8.30am-5.30pm
Asda, Orbital Shopping Park, Swindon SN25 4YX – 9am-6pm
Asda, Tewkesbury Way, Swindon SN5 7DL – 9am-6pm
Boots, Stratton Road, Swindon SN3 3SG – 8.30am-6pm
Boots, Orbital Shopping Park, Swindon SN25 4AN – 9am-6pm
Boots, Brunel Plaza, Swindon SN1 1LF – 10am-5pm
Morrisons, Haydon Wick, Swindon SN2 3QQ – 9am-6pm
Sainsbury’s, Oxford Road, Swindon SN3 4EW – 9am-7pm
Sainsbury’s, Bridgemead, Swindon SN5 7YH – 9am-7pm
Sainsbury’s, Stratton St Margaret, Swindon SN3 4EW – 9am-7pm
Tesco, Ocotal Way, Swindon SN1 2EH – 9am-6pm
Boots, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge BA14 8FZ – 8am-midnight
Tesco, County Way, Trowbridge BA14 7AQ – 11am-4pm


Farewell to Steve Rowlands as new Chair of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is elected

Following a two year term as Chair of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (Wiltshire CCG), Dr Steve Rowlands will be stepping down on 30th June 2015 and handing the responsibility of Chairing the commissioning of Wiltshire’s health services to newly elected Dr Peter Jenkins.

Dr Jenkins, who was elected through a majority vote process by the Wiltshire GPs who make up the CCG membership of 58 practices, will be responsible for shaping the CCG with members of its Governing Body.

Dr Steve Rowlands comments: “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 Clinical Commissioning Group since it was authorised in 2013.

“As with the NHS nationally, the CCG has been faced with challenging financial constraints which has meant that we have had to make some difficult decisions. However, our vision has always been to provide people in Wiltshire with the right services, at the right time, locally to them.

“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.”

Commenting on his new post, Dr Jenkins, who is currently Senior Partner at Avon Valley Practice said: “I’m delighted to be voted as the new Chair of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Having spent two years as the GP Medical Advisor to Wiltshire CCG, I have a sound understanding of the organisation. I’m under no illusion that with the current financial challenges facing the NHS, this will be an easy role; however, I’m committed to ensuring that the CCG is in the best possible position to enable it to deliver on the objectives set in its five year plan.

“Providing fair access to high quality, locally delivered health services, with people encouraged to take a personal responsibility for their health, is key. Health services in Wiltshire need to adapt to current and future demand and population trends. I’m convinced that by continuing to work closely with our partners across health and social care services, as well as voluntary organisations, we will be able to provide strong, sustainable health services now and for future generations”.

Deborah Fielding, Chief Officer at Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, remarks: “Our CCG has undergone a rapid period of development and the process has been successfully overseen by Steve as our Clinical Chairman. In particular, Steve has made significant contributions to the way we’ve been able to re-shape primary care services closer to home. On behalf of the CCG Board I want to thank Steve for his outstanding commitment to health care services in our area, and the changes he has overseen. I’m confident that Peter will build on the great work already happening within the CCG to continue to drive it forward and to explore new opportunities and ways of working, and I look forward to welcoming him on 1st July.



17 February 2015

Securing a permanent location for Wiltshire’s specialist hospital dementia care ward

After two years in a temporary location in Salisbury, Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is looking to find a permanent home for 20 specialist hospital dementia care beds and is asking Wiltshire residents to share their views.

There are three viable sites under consideration which include; Charter House in Trowbridge, Green Lane hospital in Devizes and Amblescroft South in Salisbury. Whichever location is taken forward as the preferred location, will provide short term hospital care for those people suffering with the most severe form of dementia, which in Wiltshire affects around 120 people a year, and who require a short period of treatment in a hospital setting.

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group together with Healthwatch Wiltshire has been consulting with members of the public since December 2014 and has so far listened to the views of over 500 people, including people with dementia their carers, residents, volunteers, community groups and professionals around the county.

Ted Wilson, spokesperson for Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group comments: “We are really keen to hear what people think about the proposed changes. We’re working closely with Healthwatch Wiltshire to coordinate an extensive public consultation, which takes into account the thoughts and views of those people who have been touched by dementia in some way.

“The public consultation process is due to come to an end on 10 March 2015, so there are only a few more weeks left for people to let us know their thoughts. We would urge anyone interested in the outcome of this consultation to go to our website and fill in an online survey, or to request a hard copy questionnaire, telephone or face to face interview from Healthwatch Wiltshire.”

Once the consultation process comes to an end on 10 March, Healthwatch Wiltshire will collate all comments from members of the public taken over the consultation period into a report. This will then be presented to the CCG and will be used to help inform the decision making process.

Full details on the three proposed locations, including costs, can be found in the consultation document available from A link to the questionnaire can also be found on To contact Healthwatch Wiltshire to provide verbal or written feedback please email or call 01225 434218.


Notes for Editors:

  • NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is the commissioner of health care services for the population of Wiltshire.  The CCG is led by local GPs who have first-hand experience of what their patients need.The CCG consists of 58 GP member practices and works closely with local partners including Wiltshire Council, local NHS providers, patients and the public to manage existing NHS services and implement new services to ensure that high quality health and social care is delivered to the population as close to their home as possible. Further information can be found on the website

Further information:

Tracy Torr or Lynsey Thorp, Communications, NHS Wiltshire CCG.
T. 01380 736010 E.

Media Statement

12th February 2015

Westbury Community Hospital

It is well documented that the ownership of Westbury Hospital transferred to NHS Property Services when Wiltshire Primary Care Trust was abolished in March 2013 as a result of the Health and Social Care Act 2013. In line with the Department of Health guidelines, there was a requirement for Trusts to dispose of land and building no longer needed for operational requirements. Information about the transfer of services to the new White Horse Health Centre was shared widely and publicly in Westbury and the surrounding villages before, during and after the closure of the hospital. Since the time of its opening in 2013, many additional services have been introduced. The state of the art health centre was designed and built with the support of the Town Council and will serve the local community for many years to come. Local patients are supported to keep well closer to their own homes for longer, in order to avoid them having to be admitted to hospital.

Dr Debbie Beale, Senior Partner, White Horse Medical Centre, said “Westbury Hospital was a well-loved institution that provided many local services, which are now provided within Westbury and some in Warminster. The new health centre has improved our primary care facilities and the practice continues to work with the community team, local trusts and CCG to continue to provide services as locally as possible to the people of Westbury and Wiltshire. We are particularly excited by the development of a drop in x-ray service run by Salisbury NHS trust on a Monday and Wednesday, which has already avoided admissions and visits to the local A and E department.”

Contact details for further information:

Tracy Torr, Communications and Engagement Officer
T: 01380 736010, E:

PRESS RELEASE from Public Health England

Change4Life Sugar Swaps roadshow to visit Bristol this weekend 

Event aims to highlight simple sugar swaps parents can make to their family’s diet

The Change4Life roadshow is set to visit Cabot Circus this weekend on Sunday 1 February to raise awareness of the high levels of sugar families consume every day, and to offer parents practical advice on how to cut down on sugar consumption by making one or more simple swaps.

While guidelines state that no more than 10% of a person’s daily energy or calorie intake should be made up of sugar[i], at present, children aged 4-10 years are consuming up to 50% more than this[ii].

Eating and drinking too much sugar means extra calories, which causes fat to build up inside the body. This can lead to heart disease, some cancers or type 2 diabetes later in life.

Recently published data highlights that approximately one in five children aged 4-5 years old and one in three children aged 10-11 years old is overweight or obese[iii].

Sugar can also have a devastating impact upon dental health, an integral part of overall health. Tooth decay was the most common reason for hospital admissions for children aged five to nine in 2012-13. 28% of 5 year olds in England have tooth decay and of these, 24% have five or more teeth affected[iv].

Furthermore, a new survey amongst Netmums users found that nearly half (47%) of mums surveyed think their family has too much sugar in their diets[v] and two thirds of mums (67%) are worried about the amount of sugar their children consume.5

Mark Patterson, Health and Wellbeing Programme Leader for the Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Public Health England Centre said:

“Reducing sugar intake is important for the health of our children both now and in the future. We are all eating too much sugar and the impact this has on our health is evident.

“This campaign is about taking small steps to address this. We know from past campaigns that making simple swaps works and makes a real difference. This year we wanted to be even more single minded in our approach, which is why we are focusing on sugar alone.

“The family challenge highlights that simple swaps could lead to big changes if sustained over time and we’d urge parents in Bristol to come along to the Sugar Swaps roadshow this weekend, learn more about Sugar Swaps and sign up for their free pack full of swap suggestions.”

The Change4Life Sugar Swaps roadshow will consist of a number of interactive, fun and informative activities to teach families about the swaps; including:

  • Kitchen zone: A fun zone for all the family which reveals the surprising amount of sugar in food and drinks that kids have at different times of the day, such as at breakfast and after school.
  • The Funny Face photo board: A place where visitors can be photographed in funny poses and encouraged to put their photos across social media.
  • Sign Up Zone: An area where families can register for their FREE Sugar Swaps packs. The packs are filled with hints, tips and recipe suggestions, plus money-off vouchers, swap cards and stickers.

Change4Life recommends four simple Sugar Swaps to choose from, tackling different ‘sugar occasions’ in the day:

  • The Breakfast Swap: sugary cereal for plain cereal e.g. wholewheat biscuit cereal
  • The Drink Swap: e.g. from sugary drinks to sugar-free or no-added-sugar drinks
  • The After School Swap: for example from muffins to fruited teacake
  • The Pudding Swap: for example from ice cream to low-fat lower-sugar yoghurt.


[i]Department of Health (1991). Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom Report of the Panel on Dietary Reference Values of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy. Report on Health and Social Subjects 41. London. HMSO.

[ii] Department of Health (1991). Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom Report of the Panel on Dietary Reference Values of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy. Report on Health and Social Subjects 41. London. HMSO.

[iii] National Child Measurement Programme 2014

[iv] National Dental Epidemiology Programme for England: oral health survey of five year old children 2012.

[v] Online survey conducted with 687 parents of children aged 5-11 & 1720 parents of children of all ages, October 2104

Be Clear on Cancer campaign in Wiltshire to raise awareness that ongoing heartburn can be a sign of cancer

Latest data reveals around 530 people in Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire are diagnosed with oesophago-gastric cancers each year.

A ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign in Wiltshire urging people from the area to visit their doctor if they have heartburn most days for three weeks or more, as this can be a sign of oesophageal or stomach cancer.

The campaign launch coincides with results of a new survey commissioned by Public Health England, which reveals that nationally, only 1 in 2 people (55%) would visit their doctor if they experience the above symptom.

The most recent data has revealed that in Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, around 530 people are diagnosed with oesophageal or stomach cancer each year and approximately 438 people die from these diseases annually.

Early diagnosis of oesophageal or stomach cancer (also known as oesophago-gastric cancers) is crucial and means treatment is more likely to be successful. Nationally, around 67% of people diagnosed with oesophago-gastric cancers at the earliest stage survive for at least five years. This figure drops to around 3% for those diagnosed at a late stage.

According to the survey, 59% of respondents did not know that heartburn could be a sign of cancer with just 15% saying they were certain that it is a symptom.

Another symptom highlighted by the campaign is that of difficulty swallowing food. Here the survey found that 70% did not know food sticking in the throat could be a sign of cancer and just 13% of those surveyed said they were sure it is a symptom.

Dr Shona Arora, Centre Director for the Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Public Health England Centre, explains the importance of this campaign:

“People may be reluctant to visit their doctor about persistent heartburn, thinking that it’s something they just have to live with. But heartburn most days for three weeks or more could be a sign of cancer.

“The earlier cancer is diagnosed, the higher the chance of survival. If we’re to improve early diagnosis rates, we need to encourage people with symptoms to go to their doctor, which is what this latest Be Clear on Cancer campaign aims to do.”

It has been estimated that around 950 lives could be saved in England each year if our survival rates for oesophago-gastric cancers matched the best in Europe.

Of those diagnosed with oesophago-gastric cancers, more than 9 out of 10 people are over the age of 50,0 making this the target age group for the campaign.

The four-week campaign will see adverts running nationally throughout England on TV, radio and in the press.

A local roadshow will also be visiting the Broadwalk Centre in Knowle, Bristol on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 February to raise awareness of oesophago-gastric cancers.

For further information about the signs and symptoms of oesophageal and stomach cancers, please visit

For more information, see this page


PRESS RELEASE: Thursday, 15 January 2015


As the proposed acquisition of the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) – or ‘The Min,’ by the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust (RUH) moves closer, NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Chairman, Dr Stephen Rowlands, comments:

“As one of the commissioners of RNHRD’s services, we are pleased that the acquisition is progressing as planned; there will be benefits to patients as well as to both hospitals.”

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group commissions the healthcare services for almost half a million people within Wiltshire. This includes general and specialist hospital services in Bath, Salisbury and Swindon as well as a wide range of further hospital and community health related services throughout the county.

Dr Rowlands, continued, “The proposed acquisition will ensure continuity of the highly regarded specialist services which RNHRD provides. The RNHRD is renowned internationally for its rheumatology, pain and fatigue services. We are fully reassured that, moving forward, patient care will not only be maintained but enhanced, too.”

Wiltshire CCG will continue to work with RNHRD, RUH and neighbouring CCGs as the acquisition progresses, and is confident that there will be no disruption of service to patients.

The Board and Governors of both the RNHRD and RUH have formally approved the proposal. Subject to the approval of Monitor (the sector regulator for Health Services), the acquisition could take place early in 2015.


Further information:

Sarah Tranter or Lynsey Thorp, Communications, NHS Wiltshire CCG.
T. 01380 736010

Notes for Editors:

  • NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is the commissioner of health care services for the population of Wiltshire. The CCG is led by local GPs who have first-hand experience of what their patients need.
  • The CCG consists of 58 GP member practices and works closely with local partners including Wiltshire Council, local NHS providers, patients and the public to manage existing NHS services and implement new services to ensure that high quality health and social care is delivered to the population as close to their home as possible. Further information can be found on the website
  • The RNHRD NHS FT is a national specialist rehabilitation and rheumatology hospital based in Bath. Offering services to adults, children and young people, the trust has expertise in general and complex:
    • Rheumatological conditions
    • Chronic pain management including Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
    • Fatigue Management (CFS/ME and cancer survivorship fatigue)
    • The RNHRD has an excellent reputation for research both nationally and internationally. Research informs their treatment programmes and contributes to a better understanding of many of the conditions in which they specialise
  • More information can be found online at and

Press Release from RUH and The Min

Happy New Year to one and all

Steve-Rowlands-2014_WEBAnd what an interesting one we have to look forward to; with a forthcoming election and the NHS already being used as a political football.

As we will all be aware, the NHS has seen unprecedented levels of activity with Accident and Emergency departments across the country working beyond their capacity, ambulance services stretched beyond belief and primary care creaking at the front door.

And why is this happening? Well…

Between Christmas and the New Year, I took the family to a local cinema and followed it up with a pizza. As I was getting stuck into my Firenzi, I was interrupted by the noise of a siren and blue flashing lights pulling up at the front door of the restaurant.

A paramedic jumped out the ambulance, rushed into the restaurant and was directed over to a lady sitting at a table behind us eating her meal and who seemed to be perfectly happy. She was escorted into the back of the ambulance and 30 minutes later came back in to finish off her meal eventually leaving the building laughing and joking with her partner.

I was astonished at this. Not only would this have incurred a cost of at least £276, it tied up two highly-skilled professionals for probably the best part of an hour, during one of the busiest times of the year.

My kids could not believe what they had just witnessed and were even more astounded when we got home that night and put the TV on to be greeted with a news report on how stretched the ambulance service in the South West is and how they were not managing to respond to urgent calls.

Was this event a symptom of why the whole system is in overload?

I suspect the answer is yes, but no, but…

On chatting to colleagues in our three District General Hospitals there have clearly been a lot of very sick elderly people seen and admitted over the last three weeks. However the A&E departments were also overloaded by people who could and should have been treated elsewhere.

If, as a nation, we want to maintain an NHS that is free at the point of delivery, we have to treat it with the respect that it deserves and not waste people’s valuable time and expertise.

I wonder if this particular lady would have been as eager to call for an ambulance if she subsequently received a bill for £276…