September 2015

Father and daughter from Plymouth urge smokers to quit for Stoptober

28 September 2015

Stoptober, the 28 day quit smoking challenge, is just around the corner - and Patrick and his daughter Becci from Plymouth are urging other smokers to follow their success and quit for good.

According to Public Health data, around one in four people in Plymouth smoke- and many would like to give it up.

With Stoptober, help is at hand. The campaign challenges people to see if they can stop smoking for 28 days and offers extra support and information, including tools and apps, to help them stick to it.

Patrick Lomax, who is ex-military and in his 50s, was smoking up to a packet of hand-rolled tobacco a week when he decided to quit for financial reasons. Having tried before and relapsed, he asked his local Stop Smoking Service to help him quit for good.

Patrick said: “I can’t praise the Stop Smoking Service enough. They were so helpful, encouraging and very understanding. In the end I found stop smoking medicine helped me.

“The advisors are absolutely worth their weight in gold and anybody thinking of quitting should find out what they can offer.”

Patrick’s daughter Becci Lomax, a former nurse from Plymouth and now a full time carer, first tried smoking when she was just 12 years old and later went on to smoke up to 20 roll-ups a day.

Wanting the best for her nine year old disabled son, Becci decided to quit for her health and her finances. Inspired by her dad, Becci contacted the Stop Smoking Service for support to quit.

Becci said: “I want to be there for my son and provide for him every step of the way. I was concerned about my future health. I want to see my son grow up.

“A big motivation for me was the finances. I was smoking 40 roll-ups a day. That adds up to a lot of money that I’d rather spend on things that benefit my son.”

Dr Paul Hardy, a GP in Plymouth and clinical chair for NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS NEW Devon CCG) said: “Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do to improve your health, so I would encourage anybody who is considering giving it up to give Stoptober a try.

“Stoptober is great because it brings people together who all have the same goal and gives them the support they need to stop.”

This year, Stoptober is calling on people to sign up together. Research shows people are two thirds more likely to quit if their partner also stops smoking and around a third more likely to quit if a friend stops.

Dr Hardy added: “Quitting with a friend or relative is a great idea, because you can support each other through difficult days and remind one another why you are doing it.”

Becci has noticed the benefits of quitting and is encouraging others to do the same.

“It gave me a great buzz to see that my health was improving almost straight away. When my Advisor took my carbon monoxide reading I could see it go down from week to week.

“My dad recommended the local Stop Smoking Service and I do too, they are a fantastic support. My dad and I also supported each other because we are both determined to stay smokefree.”

Councillor Sue McDonald, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Public Health for Plymouth City Council, said: “Patrick and Becci are a great example to people that with the right support in place, you can quit smoking at any time in your life, no matter what your age.

“We hope lots of people in Plymouth will take the opportunity of Stoptober to make steps to improve their health – and why not do it together with friends or family?”

If you want to quit this Stoptober, search for Stoptober online and sign up to the 28 day quit challenge. 

You can also sign up at the national Stoptober roadshow, which is heading to Plymouth on Tuesday 29 September. The roadshow will also be a great opportunity for anybody who is considering giving up smoking to meet the Stoptober street team and to discuss the benefits of giving up smoking.

For more information and advice on quitting smoking, contact your local stop smoking service. Plymouth’s Stop Smoking Service can be contacted on 01752 437 177. Devon’s Stop Smoking Service can be contacted on 01884 836 024.

Devon mum urges smokers to quit for Stoptober

25 September 2015

Stoptober, the 28 day quit smoking challenge, is about to begin and 68 year-old Sylvia, an ex-smoker and mum from Tiverton, is urging smokers to give it a try.

According to Public Health data, around one in five people in the South West are current smokers - that’s more than 100,000 people in Devon - and many would like to give it up.

With Stoptober, help is at hand. The campaign challenges people to see if they can stop smoking for 28 days - and offers extra support and information, including tools and apps, to help them stick to it.

Ex-smoker Sylvia Larcombe first tried smoking when she was 13 and went on to become a regular smoker of up to 20 cigarettes a day.

Realising smoking was damaging her health and with worsening circulation in her leg making it difficult to walk, Sylvia decided to try to stop smoking.

Sylvia managed to cut down and then asked the Devon Stop Smoking Service, which is funded by Devon County Council Public Health, for help to quit for good. 

Sylvia said: “My daughter gave me a big box of chocolates for quitting.

“She made me feel like a hero.  I’ve achieved something amazing after a life time of smoking.”

Dr David Jenner, a GP from Mid Devon and a clinical chair for NHS NEW Devon CCG, said: “Giving up smoking can be the single most important lifestyle change that people can make to give them the chance of a healthy life.

“Stoptober is great because it gives people the support they need to stop.”

This year, Stoptober is calling on people to sign up together. Research shows people are two thirds more likely to quit if their partner also stops smoking and around a third more likely to quit if a friend stops.

Dr Jenner added: “Quitting alongside somebody you know is a great idea, because you will be facing the challenge together and can support each other through it.”

Sylvia has noticed the benefits of quitting, not only for her health but financially too. 

“My health is better, my finances are improved and I now have a better outlook on life.”

Sylvia is urging other smokers to follow her success and quit for good. “Try to do it one day or one week at a time, maybe for the Stoptober challenge.  If I can do it after more than 50 years, I know others can too. It really is easier than you think.”

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:  “Stoptober is now a well-recognised and successful campaign, where thousands of people each year successfully quit smoking.

“With the introduction this year of new laws around smoking in cars where there are children present, there are more reasons than ever to quit, and anyone signing up to Stoptober will receive plenty of support, from an app with comedy clips to motivational quotes and even a money saving calculator.

“Free, personalised face to face advice and support is available through our Devon Stop Smoking Service.”

If you want to quit this Stoptober, search for Stoptober online and sign up to the 28 day quit challenge. 

For more information and advice on quitting smoking, contact your local stop smoking service. Devon’s Stop Smoking Service can be contacted on 01884 836 024. Plymouth’s Stop Smoking Service can be contacted on 01752 437 177.

Improving the resilience of Eastern Devon's community hospitals

25 September 2015 

NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS NEW Devon CCG) is working with local communities in Eastern Devon on the future use of community hospitals.
 
It follows a decision by the GP-led organisation in July which will see the consolidation of beds on fewer sites with a small overall reduction from 174 to 163 beds.
 
It will leave inpatient services across the Eastern locality with 16 or more beds and will help to improve the resilience of inpatient units.

The decision will also enable the CCG to invest £560,000 in community services for patients.

The CCG’s decision was examined by the Devon Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee last week (14 September) where members agreed to set up a task group to look at it further.
 
Mid Devon GP Dr David Jenner, who chairs the Eastern locality of NHS NEW Devon CCG, said:

“Doctors on the CCG’s Governing Body made the decision to ensure community hospitals can provide clinically and financially sustainable care in the future.

“We will work with the Devon Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee task group to make sure they have all the information they need about how we reached that decision.

“We believe it is the right decision, in the best interests of patients throughout East Devon, and are now moving forward with our plans to improve community care for everybody in East Devon.”

Ottery St Mary, Crediton and Axminster Hospitals will no longer have inpatient beds, but the hospitals will still have an important role in providing a range of other health and wellbeing services. Ottery St Mary hospital will also continue to provide specialist rehabilitation beds for stroke patients until September 2016.

There are already more than 20 different clinics running from the hospital site in Crediton – billed as a ‘health and social care hub’ for people across the town and surrounding areas.
 
This includes new specialist consultant-led clinics for older people, expanded depression and anxiety services, services for babies and children, and services to help local people to stop smoking.
 
Plans are also underway in Budleigh Salterton and Moretonhampstead to develop similar hubs for local people.
 
Dr Jenner added: “Hospitals are fantastic resources for communities and they have a very bright future in Devon.
 
“But they must change to meet the needs of the modern patient.
 
“Hospitals are so much more than just inpatient beds and we look forward to talking to local communities about how their hospitals can support more people than they do currently.”
 
No decision has yet been made about the future of minor injuries units and walk-in centres and no proposals have been made about the future of individual services. This includes the walk-in centre on Sidwell Street.
 
The CCG was looking at the future provision of these services as part of the urgent care review, but this review is currently on hold while the CCG awaits further national guidance.
 
The Devon Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee’s decision to set up a task group follows a Monitor investigation into the CCG’s decision to name the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust as preferred provider of community services, which found the CCG acted in accordance with regulations.

This gave the green light to a process that, if finally approved, will see the transfer of NHS community services in East Devon from Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT) to the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&EFT).


A summary of the changes is below:
 
Hospital Beds pre-decision Beds post-decision Comments
Exeter Community Hospital 20 medical 20 medical No change
Exmouth 22 medical + 8 stroke 16 medical 8 stroke beds to Ottery St Mary Hospital
Crediton 3 medical + 7 stroke None 7 stroke beds to Ottery St Mary Hospital. Hub also under development
Okehampton 16 medical 16 medical No change
Tiverton 32 medical 32 medical No change
Axminster 10 medical None
Seaton 10 medical 24 medical
Sidmouth 18 medical 24 medical
Honiton 18 medical 16 medical
Ottery St Mary 10 medical + 0 stroke 0 Medical + 15 stroke
Moretonhampstead 0 medical 0 medical Hub under development
Budleigh Salterton 0 medical 0 medical Hub under development
 
The current work in Budleigh Salterton and Moretonhamsptead provides an illustration of some of the possibilities of a health and wellbeing hub in Ottery St Mary and Axminster which, after engagement with the local community, will focus on local need.

In Budleigh, the aim is to develop and run the following services in order to meet local need:

  • Geriatric outpatient clinics
  • Community Nursing, including Rapid Response Team
  • Practice nurse clinics
  • Day hospital / Age Concern social care
  • Café (internet facilities, public Wi-Fi)
  • Audiology
  • Speech Therapy
  • Podiatry
  • Dermatology
  • Physiotherapy / gym
  • Mental health service
  • Dementia focused services, memory café and respite care
  • Carers’ Group
  • Mother and Baby Clinics
  • Transport
  • Health promotion

In Moretonhampstead, the aim is to develop and run the following services in order to meet local need, including:

  • Podiatry Service
  • Audiology Services
  • Primary Care Counselling Service
  • Community Acupuncture
  • Drug and Alcohol Support

Services already based at the hub include:

  • Community nursing team
  • Community therapy team
  • Musculoskeletal (MSK) physiotherapy
  • Chiropody
  • Dermatology outpatient clinics
  • Rheumatology outpatient clinics
  • A new transfusion service has also been launched, saving people from driving to Exeter for this care

In both of these developments, the mix of health and support services is being developed based on need and priorities identified within the communities and after engagement with local people. 

NHS NEW Devon CCG Annual General Meeting (AGM)

25 September 2015

NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s (NHS NEW Devon CCG) second annual general meeting takes place on Wednesday 30 September 2015.
 
The CCG is hosting the event in Exeter at Westpoint Arena.
 
Members of the public are encouraged to attend from 4pm to discuss their local health services and find out more about the CCG, with the formal AGM taking place from 6-7pm.

Dr Tim Burke, a local GP and chair of NHS NEW Devon CCG, will chair the AGM. Dr Burke said: “We are encouraging anybody who would like to know more about the CCG to come along to our annual general meeting.
 
“We really try to keep patients at the centre of everything we do and to listen to them when we make decisions about their healthcare, and the AGM is a great opportunity for us to show people how we are doing this.”
 
If you would like to attend the AGM, please register your attendance by emailing d-ccg.corporateservices@nhs.net or by calling 01392 205 205.

If you are unable to make the AGM but would like to know more about the CCG and its work, you can find more information on the CCG website: www.newdevonccg.nhs.uk.

"Kick the habit this Stoptober," say local doctors

17 September 2015

Doctors in Devon are urging people to stop smoking and take part in this year’s national Stoptober challenge.
 
According to Public Health data, around one in five people in the South West are current smokers- and many of them would like to give it up.
 
Stoptober challenges people to see if they can stop smoking for 28 days and offers extra support and information, including tools and apps, to help them stick to it.

Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to give up smoking. Whether it’s because of a desire to improve your health, save money or to break free from the addiction to nicotine, it’s never too late to quit.
 
Research shows that if you manage to make it through the whole Stoptober challenge, you are five times more likely to stop smoking for good.
 
Last year saw more than a quarter of a million people sign up nationwide, with more than half of them making it for the full 28 days.

Dr Paul Hardy, a GP in Plymouth and clinical chair for NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
 
“Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do to improve your health, but it can be very difficult without the right help.  

“Stoptober is great because it gives people the encouragement and support they need to stop.”
 
The Stoptober campaign is calling on people to sign up together this year.

Research shows people are two thirds more likely to quit if their partner also stops smoking and around a third more likely to quit if a friend stops.

Dr Hardy added: “Giving up smoking can be easier when you team up with somebody else, as you can support each other on difficult days and remind each other why you are doing it.”
 
There’s another reason to give Stoptober a go this year. The start of the challenge coincides with the introduction of new legislation which makes it illegal to smoke in vehicles when someone under the age of 18 is present.
 
The law is changing to protect children from the dangers of second-hand smoke.
 
Every time a child breathes in second-hand smoke, they breathe in thousands of chemicals, putting them at risk of serious conditions including meningitis, cancer and respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
 
With one less place to smoke, there is one more reason to sign up to Stoptober.
 
For more information and to join the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind, just click here or visit https://www.stoptober.smokefree.nhs.uk.

Devon GPs rated among top in the country

15 September 2015
 
Patients in Devon are more satisfied with their GP surgeries than elsewhere in the country, according to the results of a national patient survey.
 
More than 15,000 people who use GP services in the NHS NEW Devon CCG area responded to the national GP patient survey.
 
The randomised survey asked patients about their overall experience of visiting their GPs, access to GP services, making an appointment, opening hours, out-of-hours services and more.

The results show GP surgeries in the CCG area scored above the national average in many aspects of the survey.
 
GP surgeries in Devon scored particularly well for overall patient experience. 91% of patients who responded described their overall experience of their GP practice as good or very good.
 
Dr Tim Burke, chair of NHS NEW Devon CCG, said: “The GP patient survey results are fantastic news for the CCG and its member practices.
 
“Our patients are our top priority, so their opinion is what really matters when we are looking at the quality of care we offer.
 
“It’s a challenging time for the local health economy, but these results show that our local GPs and staff at the surgeries continue to provide good quality care and a great service.”
 
Key results include: 

·         Overall experience of GP surgery: 91% good or very good against a national average of 85%
 
·         Ease of getting through to GP surgery on the phone: 81% good or very good against a national average of 71%
 
·         Helpfulness of receptionists: 91% very helpful or fairly helpful against a national average of 87%
 
·         Convenience of appointment time: 95% very convenient or fairly convenient against a national average of 92%
 
·         Overall experience of making an appointment: 83% Very good or fairly good against a national average of 73%
 
·         Confidence and trust in GP: 95% of people said they had confidence and trust in their GP, against a national average of 92%
 
·         Confidence and trust in nurses: 88% of people said they had confidence and trust in the nurse they say, against a national average of 85%
 
The NHS NEW Devon CCG areas also scored above the national average for success in getting appointments,  satisfaction with waiting times, opening hours and overall experience of out-of-hours GP services.

You can view the full report for NHS NEW Devon CCG on the GP Patient Survey website here.

The GP patient survey is an England-wide survey, providing practice-level data about patients’ experiences of their GP practices. Ipsos MORI administers the survey on behalf of NHS England.
 
32,108 surveys were sent out at random to people in the NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group area. 15,032 of these were returned completed, representing a response rate of 47%. This is higher than the average national response rate of 33%.

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