2014 news archive

2014 news archive

December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014

January - August 2014 archive (see below)

Public invited to view Budleigh Hospital plans

Provisional plans for the future development of Budleigh Salterton Hospital will be available for people to view at Budleigh Library until Friday 8 August.
Members of the public are invited to drop in to the library on Station Road to view some of the proposals and designs for services that may potentially be provided from the hospital when it launches as a health and wellbeing hub in summer 2015.
 
There will also be an opportunity for members of the public to leave their feedback with the proposals at the library.
 
The current provider of services at Budleigh Salterton Hospital, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT), formally agreed to move forward with plans to develop a health and wellbeing hub at its board meeting last week.
 
Existing services continue to be provided from the hospital, such as the practice nurse, day unit, physiotherapy and audiology services, and it is anticipated that these services will continue to be available while the building work and development is carried out.
 
The community-led vision within Budleigh Salterton is to create a well-being hub based around the community hospital, bringing together social care and the voluntary sector including an intergenerational aspect appealing to all members of the community.
 
The aim is that the wellbeing hub will be underpinned by excellent reablement services and specialist medical clinics.
 
Over 80 members of the public attended the recent Budleigh Salterton Hospital League of Friends AGM, during which the League of Friends and representatives from Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group and NDHT gave updates about the developments for the local community.
 
Dr Alison Diamond, NDHT chief executive, said: “This is an exciting project which will help us better meet the health and social care needs of the local population in the long-term, bringing a range of benefits for people of all ages.
 
“We will continue to work closely with the local community and NEW Devon CCG over the plans and would encourage as many people as possible to visit the library this week to view and comment on the proposals.”
 
Rob Jones, the Project Development Manager for Budleigh Salterton Hospital said: “The hub offers an unprecedented opportunity for local people to have a range of health and wellbeing services right on their doorstep.
 
“It will offer support, information and educational resources to people of all ages and backgrounds, with a focus on preventing illness at the earliest stages. We warmly welcome any suggestions and ideas on services for the hub.
 
The next steps in the development include Rob Jones, the Project Development Manager for Budleigh Hospital, continuing his engagement with the local community including visits to parish council meetings, local clubs and societies and other local groups.
 
At these meetings, Mr Jones will explain some of the changes, answering questions and collecting feedback relating to the proposals.  If you would like Rob to attend one of your local groups or meetings, you can contact him on 01395 441318.  

Nurse to undertake 200-mile cycle challenge to benefit local Leg Club

A nurse from North Devon is taking part in a sponsored 200 mile cycle ride to raise money for Barnstaple's Leg Club.

Andrew Kingsley, Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s lead nurse for healthcare associated infections and clinical advisor to the Leg Club, will cycle from Barnstaple to the Lindsay Leg Club Foundation annual conference in Worcester.
He wants to raise awareness of the Leg Club model of care and the charity that supports it.
 
Andrew will start the 200-mile journey on 23 September and, following an overnight stop in Bristol, aims to arrive at the conference on the evening of the 24 September.
 
He was inspired to take on the challenge after completing a 100km charity bike ride for a local Hospice in North Devon.
 
“The symmetry of the idea of using healthy legs to help ill legs get better really appealed to me,” he said.
 
“I really want to raise some money and try to put a big spotlight on this amazing social model of care that transforms lives and needs to be spread right around the country.”
 
Leg Clubs are a social model of care where patients with lower limb problems are treated collectively on a drop-in basis in a non-medical setting.
 
Barnstaple’s Leg Club is run by volunteers and nurses from Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.
 
The club atmosphere also helps reduce the social isolation that patients with leg ulcers are at risk of and encourages Leg Club members to engage with self-management of their condition through peer support.
 
There are currently over 20 Leg Clubs around the UK, but Barnstaple Leg Club was the first to be commissioned by a clinical commissioning group.
 
Since it was launched in April 2012, the Leg Club has delivered some impressive outcomes in terms of healing rates.
 
The rate of leg ulcers healed at six months was 42 per cent, which is a 33 per cent increase on the national average of just 9 per cent.
 
Furthermore, just 7 per cent of patients at Barnstaple Leg Club had a recurrence of leg ulcers after six months as opposed to the national rate of 46 per cent.
 
The associated cost savings of these results exceeded £18,000.
 
The CCG works with volunteers from North Devon Volunteers Service to provide the social dimension to Barnstaple Leg Club.
 
Sponsors can help raise money for Andrew’s cycle ride from Barnstaple Leg Club to the Leg Club Foundation annual conference at Worcester by visiting:http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AndrewKingsley
 
There is also an opportunity for companies to have their logo printed on a custom made cycling jersey, in exchange for a donation.
 
If your company is interested in taking part by sponsoring or providing ride support contact Andrew at andrew.kingsley@nhs.net

CCG and Trust link up to provide new pathology requesting system for GPs in Northern Devon

25 July 2014

PATIENTS are to benefit from a new electronic ordering system for pathology tests at North Devon District Hospital, which will enhance and speed up the process for GP practices making requests.
 
The system, hosted by the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, provides a direct link between GP practice computers and the pathology service at NDDH.
 
It means staff in GP practices can electronically order a wide range of agreed pathology tests from their computer screens, removing the need to handwrite request forms and labels.
 
The request is linked up to the specimens when they arrive in the laboratory with the use of unique barcoded labels.
 
The project, known as Order Comms, was launched jointly by the Trust and the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
 
Dr Tom Lewis, consultant microbiologist for the Trust, said: “The project is a great example of primary and secondary care working together closely to introduce a standardised system that will bring a wide range of benefits in terms of patient safety, quality, efficiency and cost savings.
 
“Results obtained at NDDH are made instantly available to the patient’s GP, and can be read and acted upon more quickly.
 
“Abnormal results are clearly highlighted for immediate response.
 
“The system cuts down on form-filling and transcribing and provides much clearer detail to ensure everyone involved has as much information to hand as quickly as possible.”
 
The system went live at Northam Surgery today (Wednesday 23 July), joining Fremington and Brannam medical centres as the first GP practices to make the switch.
 
East Street Surgery in South Molton will be the next to join the pilot before it is rolled out to all other GP practices in North Devon and Torridge.
 
The system has been warmly welcomed by GPs.
 
Darunee Whiting, a GP at Northam Surgery and a member of the Northern locality board of the CCG, said: “The hospital has worked very closely with GPs and we are excited we now have a computerised system that can follow a patient’s blood test smoothly from when it is taken in primary care, to its analysis in secondary care and back again.
 
“This system improves safety and our ability to track the receipt of a patient’s blood test to the lab and the receipt of the result back to us.
 
“We look forward to continue working closely with the hospital to see how we can further improve patient care using the facilities that computerised working enables.”

Doctors and healthcare managers pleased to hear feedback from local people on community services

18 July 2014

Doctors and healthcare managers have thanked the 250 or so local people and organisations that gave their feedback on the future of Devon’s community services.
 
The Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s (NEW Devon CCG) Governing Body met yesterday (Wednesday 16 July) and received comments on the draft strategic framework for community services that people have made over the last eight weeks.
 
A summary of the responses was presented to the Governing Body, which was held in public, and its members said they wanted to take time to ensure the feedback is fully reviewed.
 
The Governing Body will then be asked to endorse the final strategic framework, which will be updated in the light of the feedback, at its next meeting in September.
 
Dr Tim Burke, a local GP and chair of NEW Devon CCG, said he wanted to make sure all views received to be taken into consideration before a decision was taken on the future of community services.
 
“At yesterday’s Governing Body we endorsed important priorities and principles for community services,” he said.
 
“Understandably people have told us they are interested in knowing more about community services in their own local areas so we want to work closely with them to co-produce plans for future community services.
 
“In some areas of Devon work to change the way community services are run is already underway, with local communities leading the way in partnership with the NHS.
 
“An example is how health and social care hubs are being developed at the community hospitals in Budleigh Salterton and Moretonhampstead.
 
If you’d like to read the feedback report for the Governing Body, go to:http://www.newdevonccg.nhs.uk/involve/community-services/101039.

Update on Devon’s health community financial challenges

Providers are working with Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) to tackle the financial challenges facing the NHS.
 
The NHS has received small above inflation funding increases in recent years but this has failed to keep pace with what is needed locally.
 
This means that while the NHS in the area continues to meet or exceed most of its key targets, such as the four hour A&E wait or 18 week treatment, a number of NHS organisations are predicting deficits.
 
NEW Devon CCG’s slice of the overspend is £14.7 million this year, and with two main NHS providers with the CCG’s boundary  planning deficits, this has led to the area being identified as ‘financially challenged’ by NHS England, Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority.
 
Given the likely size of the combined financial gap, providers of services are working closely with GPs and managers on the CCG to identify ways in which they can help each other overcome the financial problems.
 
CCG chief officer Rebecca Harriott said the financial situation in the NHS meant that the NHS was putting organisational boundaries aside to tackle it.
 
“Already clinicians from NHS organisations in the area have met to discuss how services could be provided differently in future and local providers are working with us,” she said.
 
“Public feedback from events held throughout 2013/14 suggests that there is an appetite for changing the way services are delivered so we are looking seriously at this.
 
“When we look at the growth in demand from an ageing population and expectations on the NHS to use new drugs and technologies, it is clear that the size of the challenge cannot be solved by any one part of the NHS or public sector working alone.
 
“We are developing a strategy with our partners to address the issues and while we recognise that the issue is primarily one of resources, safe, high quality services are and always will be our first priority.
 
“Working more closely with local councils, the use of new technology and medicines and greater focus on individuals all offer opportunities to improve services and make efficiencies.
 
“These will address the issue but ultimately will only go so far so it’s important people understand that there may also be some difficult choices ahead.”
 
GPs, consultants, management and staff are involved in the project and are working together to look at demography, demand and need against the backdrop of finite NHS resources.
 
An early draft of the CCG’s draft five year strategy is to be discussed at the organisation’s governing body on Wednesday 16 July.
 
The NHS must make £30 billion worth of savings nationally by 2020.

North Devon NHS Boards confirm an extension for patients to comment on Torrington test of change

The NHS in North Devon wants to take more time to hear from local people about the Torrington Community Cares test of change and to complete some final actions before the Boards make a decision.
 
The time people can comment on the test of change is being extended, ensuring people get extra time to make comments or ask questions to Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) and Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT).
 
Dr Chris Bowman, clinical director of community services for NDHT, said: “We have fulfilled all our duties to engage and involve the community during this project.
 
“However, we have always held a genuine desire to work in partnership with the community. Earlier this week we had a very productive meeting with Geoffrey Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon, and members of the Torrington community, including STITCH.
 
“At this meeting, it was requested that the NDHT and CCG Boards agreed to oversee the completion of four remaining tasks before making any final decision about the model of care in Torrington.
 
As part of this extension, the Boards have agreed the following actions should be completed before a decision can be made:
 
1.    21 days for the community to send in their written concerns or feedback about the care they have received from the community health and social care team serving Great Torrington
2.    A completed dataset to be provided to the Torrington Oversight Group to enable them to make a recommendation to the Boards of NDHT and the CCG’S Northern Locality
3.    A final stakeholder forum to discuss the project
4.    The NHS to seek an independent body to conduct an impartial review of the evaluation data
 
To support the achievement of the first recommendation, the CCG and NDHT are asking any patient with concerns or feedback about the care they have received to contact us.
 
Dr John Womersley, chair of the Northern Locality of NEW Devon CCG, said: “Please let us know about your experiences, both good or bad, of being looked after in the community. Your comments are a very important part of the information we use to decide if a service is safe, of high quality and affordable in today's financial climate.”
 
To allow us to investigate any concerns or care experiences, we will require the consent of the patient. The consent form can be obtained by downloading from the www.torringtoncares.co.uk website, contacting PALS on 01271 314090 or by emailing ndht.involve@nhs.net. The address to send in consent and experiences will be on this consent form.
 
The 21 days to let the NHS hear this feedback starts on Monday 28 July 2014. The deadline for responses is Monday 18 August 2014.
 
The NHS is planning to complete the remaining three actions as soon as possible.
 
The test of change looks at whether people who may ordinarily have been an inpatient at Torrington Community Hospital could instead be treated in their own homes by the Trust’s expanded community rehabilitation and nursing teams.
 
Ceasing the inpatient service would free up space at the hospital for other health and social care services, meaning some patients could be seen locally instead of having to travel to Barnstaple. The new ultrasound service is a good example of the possibilities for local people.

Plymouth doctor: “Act now or 6,000 more people in the city will have diabetes by 2030”

Doctors and diabetes prevention experts in Plymouth hosted a summit in the city on Saturday in a bid to reverse the growing number of diabetics in the city and surrounding areas.
Figures from Public Health England suggest that unless something is done soon Plymouth, South Hams and West Devon could see an estimated 6,000 more people suffering from diabetes in the next 15 years.
 
Currently about 1 in 15 people in Plymouth and the surrounding area have the condition, but this could rise to 1 in 13 by 2030. The national picture is worse with 1 in 14 currently suffering from diabetes, expected to rise to 1 in 11 by 2030.
 
Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) ran a diabetes education summit in partnership with local health and social care organisations, such as Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust and Sentinel Health and Wellbeing.
 
Dr Gary Lenden, a GP from Plymouth and clinical lead for diabetes for the Western Locality of NEW Devon CCG, said he hoped the event would make a difference.
 
“By bringing organisations with an interest in diabetes together in this way we will be able share learning and look at ways we can reverse growing trend of people with diabetes,” he said.
 
“We really need to act now or by 2030 about 6,000 more people could have the condition, which will in turn place added strain on the whole healthcare system.
 
“For those people who have diabetes we want to make sure they have the right level of education to make sure their condition doesn’t get worse. It’s worrying that about 2,000 people in Plymouth, South Hams and West Devon haven’t yet had an opportunity to get this education.
 
“This is particularly important as diabetes can lead to amputations, up to 80 per cent of which are preventable.”
 
Dr Patrick English, consultant in diabetes at Derriford Hospital, said: “The Western Locality receives around 150 new diabetes referrals each month, the vast majority of which are type 2.
 
“Education and enabling patients to better understand and self-manage their condition is the cornerstone of good treatment.
 
“Therefore, it is incredibly positive that we are able to provide a structured education service to those patients with type 2 diabetes and hopefully lead the way to better outcomes.”

Early report on views on future of community services to be heard by clinical commissioning group’s Governing Body

16 July 2014

The initial report that summarises the feedback from local people and organisations on the future of Devon’s community healthcare services is to be heard today (Wednesday 16 July) by the doctors responsible for commissioning them.
 
The Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) has received more than 250 responses from individuals and on behalf of organisations and groups, following an invitation to local people to have their say on the proposed framework for community services.
 
The feedback report will be presented to the Governing Body for its agreement on next steps for the planning of community services.
 
Dr Tim Burke, a local GP and chair of NEW Devon CCG, said he was pleased with the number of public, staff and organisations that gave their views on the future of community services.
 
“From the outset we wanted to make sure that people had the opportunity to be fully involved with everything we do and it is great to see that this is happening.
 
“If the Governing Body agrees to endorse the updating of the framework in light of the wide range of views received we will continue to work closely with local communities to co-produce plans for future services.
 
“If you’d like to read the feedback report for the Governing Body, go to:http://www.newdevonccg.nhs.uk/involve/community-services/101039.”

Devon’s NHS and local authorities seek people’s views and ideas on mental health strategy for the future

Doctors and healthcare professionals in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay want to find out the views of local people on how the county’s mental health strategy could look in the future.
 
The NHS and local authorities have launched a draft commissioning strategy for adult mental health services and want people to say what they think about the proposals.
 
The draft strategy, which is for 2014-2017, has been developed in partnership with mental health service users and carers.
 
Four events are being run in June 2014 where people can meet those responsible for commissioning, or buying, mental health services on behalf of the population and have their say:
 
  • Monday 16 June, from 2pm, Copthorne Hotel, Armada Way, Plymouth, PL1 1AR
  • Thursday 19 June, from 2pm, The Cedar Inn, Bickington Road, Bickington, Barnstaple, EX31 2HE
  • Friday 20 June, from 2pm, ISCA Centre, Summer Lane, Exeter, EX4 8NT
  • Tuesday 24 June, from 6:30pm, Buckerell Lodge, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4SQ
  • Tuesday 8 July, from 10am – 2pm, Riviera International Centre, Chestnut Avenue, Torquay, TQ2 5LZ.
 
Dr Stephen Miller, a GP from Devon and Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s clinical lead for mental health, called for people to get involved in developing mental health services in the county.
 
“We would like people in Devon to have access to excellent mental health services and we invite everyone to get involved and tell us what they think about our draft proposals,” he said.
 
“Alongside the core mental health services we recognise there is a need for local people and organisations, the NHS, local authorities and voluntary sector to do the things that will support good mental health and wellbeing.
 
“This may include providing choices that promote good housing and a place in the community, strengthen families, enable friendships, and support employment, activities and positive lifestyles.
 
“So we’d ask that people take the time to read through the strategy and tell us what they think.”
 
To book a place at one of the events or for more information, contact Kathy Mitchell, administrator, onkathymitchell@nhs.net or 01392 267 864.

Early report on views on future of community services to be heard by clinical commissioning group’s Governing Body

People in Tiverton and the surrounding areas are to benefit from a new doctor-led minor injuries unit (MIU) set to launch in July this year.
 
This follows confirmation today that the contract to run a doctor-led minor injuries unit (MIU) at Tiverton and District Hospital has been awarded to South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT).
 
Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) launched a formal tender process last year to run a doctor-led MIU to be open 14 hours a day in accordance with the wishes of the community. 
 
Following a thorough and robust process the contract has been awarded to SWASFT. The Trust will now undergo a due diligence process before being able to take over the service from the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT), which currently runs Tiverton MIU.
 
The contract will cover the period between 8 July 2014 and 31 March 2016, while the outcome of the wider NEW Devon CCG Transforming Community Services is being concluded.
 
John Finn, managing director of the Eastern Locality of NEW Devon CCG, said: “This is a great example of the CCG working with the community to develop a service that people felt was right for them.
 
“We wanted to make sure that patients would continue to have access to high-quality care at their local MIU and we are confident that SWASFT will provide this.”
 
Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, the current provider, will continue to run the service until 7 July 2014.
 
John Finn continued: “We want to thank NDHT for running the MIU over the past few years and look forward to continuing to work with the Trust on its provision of most services at Tiverton Hospital, including inpatient and outpatient facilities.”

Public urged to have their say over community services framework

NHS HEALTHCARE commissioners in Devon want to hear from the public after they published a proposed framework to ensure services are right for the future.
The publication of the report, ‘Integrated, personal and sustainable; community services for the 21st century’comes after 12-months of discussions with public, clinical and professional communities about what patients really need.
 
It was produced by NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) and offers proposals to change the way community hospitals, community nursing and urgent care services are delivered - to continue to improve quality for patients and against a backdrop of rising demand, demographic change and economic austerity.
 
The framework is based upon six recurrent themes from discussions with the public and other stakeholders, namely that future community services should:
 
Help people to stay well
Move towards prevention, self management and early help
 
Integrate care
Coordinate and integrate care to remove organisational barriers
 
Personalise support
Give people more choice and control over areas such as personal health budgets
 
 
Coordinate care pathways 
Get the patient flows right and include responses to crises and ongoing care
 
Think carer, think family
Create mainstream services that are much more ‘carer aware’
 
Home as the first choice
Greater emphasis on more personalised and responsive care packages at home.
 
Dr David Jenner said: “GPs have been commissioning local health services since this time last year.  We have listened local people and believe we can continue to improve services for patients, design services to meet health needs and improve quality too.
 
 “We’ve listened members of the public, GPs, and other important stakeholders before putting pen to paper on the draft strategic framework and now we want to test this with others.
 
“There is the potential to really address the challenges of the 21st century - and to make every penny count so we can achieve integrated, personal and sustainable services for our patients, friends and loved ones in future.”
 
The report says that by 2021 – just 7 years from now – there will 22,000 more people (26 per cent increase) aged over 75 living in the area – we need to plan effective services for the older generation. We know people prefer to be at home with the right support, but we also know that we need to rethink the way care is designed. 
 
If not addressed quickly, we know that the number of over 65s being admitted to hospital will rise by 2 per cent a year – we need to make a change.
 
To address this, the framework recommends:
 
·         Putting a greater emphasis on preventing disease and ill health and giving people more control through personalisation of their care.
 
·         Increasing the availability and range of out-of-hospital services to ensure people are able to live independently for longer
 
·         Developing community hospitals in new ways - inpatient beds where they are needed but with some innovated models of ‘health and wellbeing hubs’ so as to serve local people for the future.
 
·         Establishing a small number of urgent care centres which can see, treat and complete care for more people, while reducing the overall number of MIUs. 
 
Some of what is proposed in the strategic framework is already underway in parts of Devon although the document proposes that the work should accelerate.  More in depth work is needed for other areas and we will be sharing more detailed proposals and giving opportunities to comment in the coming weeks and months.
 
Health and wellbeing hubs are being developed in Budleigh Salterton and
Moretonhampstead – with local groups leading the way, working with the NHS to plan and organise future service provision.
 
 In Tiverton, local people worked with the NHS to develop a specification for a 8am-10pm GP-led minor injuries unit. For case studies see appendix a.
 
The CCG wants people to have their say until on the overall strategy from now until July 8.
 
For full details go to http://www.newdevonccg.nhs.uk/involve/community-services/101039

Come along to Exeter’s health fair

Residents and visitors to Exeter are being invited to attend a health fair in the city centre on Friday 27 June 2014.
The health fair, which is being held at St Stephen’s Church on the High Street, is the second event of this type in Exeter and aims to find out people’s views and feedback on what health and social care provision could look like in the future in their area.
 
It is being hosted by Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG), the organisation that commissions, or buys, most healthcare services for people in Exeter.
 
Representatives from healthcare providers such as the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust will be on hand to talk to people about the services they run.
 
Voluntary sector organisations such as Age UK and the Alzheimer’s Society will also be at the event.
 
Dr Rob Turner, a GP from Topsham and Gillian Champion, a nurse partner at The Foxhayes Practice, are both Board members of the Eastern Locality of NEW Devon CCG.
 
They said: “We want to look at ways we could better provide health and social care services in the future and we want to fully involve the people of Exeter in this.
 
“It would be great if mums and dads, shoppers, workers and visitors to the city centre come along to our health fair at St Stephen’s Church to share with us their views on what future health services could look like in their area.”
 
There is no need to book a place, just turn up on the day. Children are also welcome.
 
For more information about the health fair, contact Abi Blee on Abigail.blee@nhs.net or 01392 356 132.

North Devon NHS scoops prestigious national award for improving patient care and environmental sustainability.

The NHS in North Devon has won a prestigious NHS sustainability award for clinical work that involved making changes to the way simple infections are investigated and managed.
The awards, sponsored by PHS Waste Management, honoured those healthcare organisations who had demonstrated great effort in implementing sustainable practices in their workplace.
 
The microbiology department at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT) and Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) collected the top prize in the ‘Clinical Award’ category for their collaborative work.
 
The award submission centred on how some patients, who did not have a urine infection, were being treated with antibiotics, or had invasive investigations when it was not completely necessary. This could result in delays in treatment for patients who did have an infection.
 
By treating patients earlier and avoiding unnecessary tests, the work has improved care and outcomes for patients.
 
The work also showed a reduction in the carbon footprint associated with testing, and has been estimated to have saved North Devon’s NHS approximately £200,000 a year, which could be reinvested in patient care.
 
Dr Tom Lewis, consultant microbiologist at NDHT, said: “We are very proud to have won this award. Environmental problems are likely to be the biggest contributor to poor health in the next century, so as doctors we need to consider how what we do has an impact on this. “This award shows that we can take care of the environment and improve care at the same time.”
 
Clare Noble, Managing Director, PHS Waste Management said: “The NHS Sustainability Awards are an important way of recognising excellence. The microbiology department at the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust is truly worthy winners, and we applaud them for their highly commendable patient care.”
 
Dr Darunee Whiting, a GP from Northam and Board member of the Northern Locality of NEW Devon CCG, said: “This work shows that when GPs and hospital clinicians work together, keeping a focus on what is best for the patient, we can really improve care for patients."
 
"We are proud that we have all worked together as a healthcare community to make improvements for patients that are also environmentally and economically sustainable.
 
“To do this across all areas of healthcare is our future challenge, but this work shows that this can be done, if we all work together."

Residents and holiday makers in Devon urged to use NHS 111 service for non-emergency health advice this Easter

Additional doctors, nurses and support staff in the NHS 111 service will be used this Easter to ensure the service is adequately staffed for an anticipated increase in demand.

Dr Tim Burke, chair of the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG), which is responsible for commissioning the service, said:
 
“As with the implementation of any new service, having the right number of call handlers to provide rapid response has been challenging at times, particularly as more people have used the service and we have seen a higher demand at peak times.
 
“It is possible that during very busy periods, such as over Easter some callers may have to wait longer for their calls to be answered. But as a whole the system is working well.  Please do persevere or ring back if advised to do so by the answer message.
 
“The purpose of NHS 111 is to help people to use the right urgent care service that meets their needs and to avoid using ambulances and hospital emergency departments when other services would have been able to help.”
 
NHS 111 is a free to use service and is available 24-hours-a-day, 365 days a year.
 
When patients call 111 they will be assessed by trained call handlers, supported by clinicians, who will provide healthcare advice and direct people to the relevant local services.
 
These services include walk-in centres, community nurses, emergency dentists, late opening pharmacies or out-of-hours services.

Local people working together to develop future services for Moretonhampstead

People from Moretonhampstead and surrounding areas have been working closely with the NHS to come up with ideas of services they would like to see run from the town’s community hospital.
 Local residents, patient representatives, GPs, voluntary sector representatives, elected representatives and other organisations have formed a group and signed a ‘statement of intent’ for the future of health in the town.
 
They agreed that the community hospital should be adapted and developed as a community health and wellbeing hub offering a wide range of health and social care services from one site.
 
It will mean that some services currently available only in Exeter, Okehampton and Newton Abbot will be accessible from a single local centre better able to support the wider needs of the local community and, in particular, to cope with the increasingly elderly population.
 
The move also reflects the present national financial environment and, coupled with the difficulty of recruiting professional staff at the hospital, means the temporary closure of the inpatient beds will become permanent.
 
Local GP Dr Tim Dudgeon said: “I am pleased we are progressing with the formation of the ‘hub’.
 
“I hope that in the next few weeks services will be up and running and will be available for patients to use.”
 
Philip Fowler, chair of the Moretonhampstead Hospital League of Friends, said: “Moretonhampstead Hospital has been a key part of the health care provision in North East Dartmoor and while it may not now have inpatient beds, it will provide a new range of care that previously might only have been accessible by going out of the area.
 
“The League of Friends looks forward to being involved in this exciting, ground breaking new health hub in North East Dartmoor.
 
Richard Foxwell, of Moretonhampstead parish council, and Mike Elleston, from the Moretonhampstead and Chagford patient group, said:
 
“Moretonhampstead, Chagford and the surrounding area is rural and remote so often health care for residents means travelling to Exeter or beyond. Overwhelmingly, the community supported converting the hospital to a Health and social care hub. Already, it is the base for the Community Nurses, and many regular clinics plus extra health services planned for introduction in the next few months.
 
“Converting the time-honoured Moretonhampstead Hospital into a health and social care hub is fundamental for the future. The parish councils see the increasing number of services opening here enabling many of the health treatments currently provided at Exeter or Okehampton becoming localised. It is the NHS moving to provide daily care in or closer to the patient’s home.”
 
“The group will also look at how services could be designed in the local community, how to overcome transport issues, financial planning and how best to communicate the plans to local people.”
 
The statement of intent was agreed following a series of public meetings and engagement events where the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT) invited people to get involved in securing the future of health services in the area.
 
It was also agreed by the respective Boards of the CCG’s Eastern Locality Board and NDHT, which owns the hospital building and provides community health and social care services to local residents.
 
To see the full statement in intent or for more information, or to get involved, go towww.healthypeoplemoreton.co.uk

Devon GP says “if it’s not an emergency, try your family doctor or pharmacy”

A family doctor from Devon has urged people with a non-urgent medical problem to get in touch with their local GP practice or pharmacy rather than visit busy hospital emergency departments.
With the Easter Holidays in full swing and more people getting out and about in the sun, it is usual that hospital emergency departments see an increase in the number of attendees at this time of the year.
 
Dr David Jenner, a family doctor from Devon and Board member of the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, said people could help ease the pressure on emergency departments by avoiding using them unless in an emergency.
 
“If you’re feeling under the weather but it’s not an emergency then rather than travel to a hospital emergency department please consider getting in touch with your local GP or pharmacy,” he said.
 
“You will potentially avoid a wasted journey by doing this as if you have a non-emergency health complaint that could be better seen outside of hospital then you are most likely to be signposted back to your GP.
 
“It also takes up clinicians’ time when they could be treating people who really need help in an emergency.”
 
Every year, the emergency departments (A&E) in Devon see approximately 300,000 patients, a number of which have common illnesses or ailments.
 
“Many of these patients could have avoided going to the emergency department by getting expert advice and quicker access to treatment from other local NHS services such as local pharmacies or GP practices,” said Dr Jenner.
 
“Some could have quite safely taken care of themselves with just basic self-care, first aid and advice.
 
“However if your local surgery is closed and it cannot wait till it reopens, or you are here on holiday, call 111 for healthcare advice or where to find a service to meet your need.”
 
If you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until your surgery reopens you should call NHS 111. Your details will be taken and a clinician will ring you in order to provide the appropriate advice or treatment.
 
However, if it is an emergency you should not hesitate to call 999 immediately or go to your nearest hospital emergency department. Devon GP says “if it’s not an emergency, try your family doctor or pharmacy”
 
A family doctor from Devon has urged people with a non-urgent medical problem to get in touch with their local GP practice or pharmacy rather than visit busy hospital emergency departments.
 
With the Easter Holidays in full swing and more people getting out and about in the sun, it is usual that hospital emergency departments see an increase in the number of attendees at this time of the year.
 
Dr David Jenner, a family doctor from Devon and Board member of the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, said people could help ease the pressure on emergency departments by avoiding using them unless in an emergency.
 
“If you’re feeling under the weather but it’s not an emergency then rather than travel to a hospital emergency department please consider getting in touch with your local GP or pharmacy,” he said.
 
“You will potentially avoid a wasted journey by doing this as if you have a non-emergency health complaint that could be better seen outside of hospital then you are most likely to be signposted back to your GP.
 
“It also takes up clinicians’ time when they could be treating people who really need help in an emergency.”
 
Every year, the emergency departments (A&E) in Devon see approximately 300,000 patients, a number of which have common illnesses or ailments.
 
“Many of these patients could have avoided going to the emergency department by getting expert advice and quicker access to treatment from other local NHS services such as local pharmacies or GP practices,” said Dr Jenner.
 
“Some could have quite safely taken care of themselves with just basic self-care, first aid and advice.
 
“However if your local surgery is closed and it cannot wait till it reopens, or you are here on holiday, call 111 for healthcare advice or where to find a service to meet your need.”
 
If you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until your surgery reopens you should call NHS 111. Your details will be taken and a clinician will ring you in order to provide the appropriate advice or treatment.
 
However, if it is an emergency you should not hesitate to call 999 immediately or go to your nearest hospital emergency department. 

Mental health expert praises NEW Devon CCG on national radio

A leading mental health expert has praised NEW Devon CCG for its work in trying to put mental health services on the ‘same level playing field’ as physical health services.
 
Speaking on Radio Five Live on Tuesday (1st April), Dr Peter Aitken, director of research and development at the Devon Partnership NHS Trust, and a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, commended NEW Devon CCG for putting mental health services on the same level as physical health services.
 
To listen to Dr Aitken’s radio interview visit the Radio Five Live website.

Devon- wide NHS virtual working project shortlisted for a national award

A DEVON-wide project which saves the NHS time and money while ensuring patient safety has been shortlisted for a national award.
The scheme simplifies the process under which trained staff such as nurses or pharmacists can give medicines or vaccinations without the need for a GP prescription.
 
Until now, there have been a whole range of different processes (known as Patient Group Directions) across Devon – 17 for vaccinations alone.  But these have been replaced by a single working framework for clinicians, pharmacists and NHS managers to use when writing these documents.
 
It has been achieved by the Patient Group Direction Virtual Review Panel  set up between Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group over the past 18 months.

The scheme  is one of 20 projects to reach the final of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Shared Learning Awards 2014.  It will now form part of a Shared Learning poster display at the NICE conference.

In her letter to the two CCGs, Val Moore, guidelines implementation programme director with NICE, said: “”The joint project was highlighted as an example for best practice on the NICE website for embracing the new NHS and challenging the way it works.”

Richard Croker, Head of Medicines Optimisation (Northern and Eastern localities) Clinical Effectiveness and Medicines Optimisation with NEW Devon CCG, said: “To have our project showcased at the NICE Shared Learning Awards is great news. It is a reflection of all the hard work the two CCGs have put in to make our work more efficient, seamless and cost-effective.”

Mr Croker said that during the days of the Primary Care Trusts three PGDs were required in Devon for each treatment.

When the NHS was separated into commissioning and providing organisations NEW Devon and South Devon and Torbay CCGs decided to work together to better harmonise their work and make the PGD process more efficient.

The two organisations created a virtual working environment so GPs, pharmacists and managers would not spend hours driving to meetings to write and review PGDs.

Lorna Collingwood-Burke, Deputy Chief Nursing Officerwith NEW Devon CCG and the chair of the virtual review panel, said: “It is important for our two organisations to be as efficient as possible.

“Devon is a very large place, but thanks to the use of technology we can write and review PGDs in real time without spending hours on the road.

“The creation of a single of PGD for the whole of Devon means we only have to do it once when three were necessary in the past.

“Our virtual review panel means we save time and money for the NHS while still guaranteeing that we have a single but much better PGD document.

“It also means that if changes are needed they can be done on the spot without the need for further meetings.”

Mr Croker said the creation of the PGD virtual review panel, which uses tools such as teleconferencing and webconferencing for sharing documents in real time, is saving the two CCGs thousands of pounds a year in staff travelling costs and about 20 working-days worth of time.

Iain Roberts, lead medicines optimisation pharmacist  at SD&T CCG said:  “This is a really thorough process and it serves as a great example of working together across the NHS.“.
Dr Tim Burke, chair of the NEW Devon CCG praised the scheme saying: “This is a really excellent showcase for what we can do working imaginatively and differently – congratulations to all involved.”

The NICE website describe the collaborative work between the two CCGs as: “This is a good example of embracing the 'new' NHS.
“It challenges our usual way of working, looks for opportunities to work collaboratively and looks for ways to allow technology to improve the effectiveness and efficiency in ways of working.”

Personal Health Budget transforms Plymouth woman’s life

A WOMAN with a muscle wasting disease has praised an NHS personalised health budget scheme for transforming her life.

Wheelchair-bound Marilyn Smith, from Plymouth, had a tracheostomy as a result of her serious condition and requires daily round the clock care.

Thanks to the NHS Personal Health Budget scheme (PHB), Marilyn was able to choose her own carers and have the care she wants when she needs it most.
Her health improved so much she was able to go on a short break – for the first time in 10 years.

PHBs give people greater freedom to buy services and other items which  help them achieve  their desired health outcomes and stay independent.

Marilyn said: “My life has changed immensely. It’s hard to describe. The stress has moved from my shoulders. I’m no longer a patient, I’m a person.

“I have been able to go on holiday for the first time in 10 years, because I had my own staff who were adequately trained and knew how to help me, so it’s helped me immensely.”

A PHB is an amount of money allocated to support a person's identified health and wellbeing needs, which is planned and agreed between the person and their local NHS team.

Marilyn said: “Before, I didn’t have any real life, so I looked up on the internet and happened to come across the personal care plan budget.”

Personal health budgets enable people with long term conditions and disabilities to have greater choice, flexibility and control over the health care and support they receive.
People who are already receiving NHS Continuing Care will have a right to ask for a PHB from April 2014, when clinical commissioning groups such as Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG will be able to offer personal health budgets to people they feel may benefit from the additional flexibility and control.

For Marilyn having a PHB has transformed her life and that of her brother Kevin for the better.

She said: “Being able to pick my own carers is one of the main things which I’m really pleased about because not everyone wants someone they don’t like in their own house.
“We work like a team. It isn’t like “oh my carers coming in”, it’s like a friend’s coming in to help you out and it is that simple. It sounds idyllic, but to me it is!”

Her brother Kevin, who was her main carer before the PHB scheme was implemented, added: “Life has changed a lot since we’ve had the personal budget.”

Carol Green, a complex care commissioning manager with NEW Devon CCG, first met Marilyn in 2009. She has been able to help her with her PHB and helped Marilyn put in place the best package of care for her.

She said: “Marilyn’s health is good and the PHB has helped improve her health and continues to work very well for her.”

Marilyn’s story is being showcased on NHS England’s own website.

To see Marilyn's story, click here:

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A week in the life of three young Devon NHS apprentices

Three staff members at the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) are taking to social media to spread the word of how they benefited from an apprenticeship with the NHS.
It comes as National Apprenticeship Week takes place from 3-7 March.
 
Howard Stamp, 21, from Chudleigh Knighton, and Nikki Stafford, 20, from Newton Abbot, both joined the organisation as apprentices and impressed so much they were appointed to full time roles at the CCG following an interview process.
 
Georgina Catling, 23, from Exeter, is four months into her 13-month apprenticeship. All three work for the CCG’s department responsible for patient safety and quality.
 
Safety systems officer Howard Stamp, who now line manages an apprentice, said his apprenticeship benefited him so much that he wanted to give something back by telling others how great it was.
 
“I have developed so much in my job thanks to my apprenticeship and would definitely recommend it to others,” he said.
 
“This is why we wanted to do something a bit different and keep a Twitter diary during National Apprenticeships Week to show people how they could benefit too.
 
“The CCG and my apprenticeship mentors at ETS (Education, Training, Skills) have given me such fantastic support that has helped me with my job and most importantly helped me to put individuals at the centre of everything I do.”
 
Georgina Catling, who provides safety systems support, said: “Being given the chance to gain qualifications while doing the day job is fantastic and makes me feel a valued part of the team.
 
“With the opportunities already offered to me, I have become a much more career minded, focused individual with a passion for my job and I have a real sense of gratitude towards the CCG.
 
“I constantly want to improve my skills and I’m determined to make sure that the individual benefits from everything that I do.”
 
Administrative assistant Nikki Stafford, said she had found being an apprentice within the NHS incredibly insightful and interesting.
 
“I have always wanted to develop my skills and gain further qualifications whilst working and this apprenticeship enabled me to do so,” she said.
 
“I am grateful for being given the opportunity and am pleased that after completing my apprenticeship I was able to secure a full time position with the CCG in a team with direct impact on patients. I would highly recommend others to look into apprenticeships and ETS is a great place to start.”
 
Since 2010 the CCG’s Devon Referral Support Services (DRSS), which manages GP referrals into hospitals and other NHS services, has employed 50 apprentices, 49 of which still work for the NHS in some capacity.
 
The CCG’s work with apprentices at the DRSS has led to other apprentices employed throughout the organisation. Out of the CCG’s workforce of 420, five per cent of staff are current apprentices and nearly 15 per cent are current or former apprentices.
 
Dr Tim Burke, a GP from Devon and chair of NEW Devon CCG, said: “I’m very proud that our organisation has employed so many committed apprentices, most of them young people who are taking one of the first steps of their career.
 
“Apprentices have a great deal to offer the NHS and we want to encourage young people who want a career in the NHS to consider this, whether that be at a hospital or clinical setting or in an administrative role.”
 
If you want to follow Howard, Nikki and Georgina during the week their Twitter accounts are: @Howard_NEWDevon, @Nikki_NEWDevon and @George_NEWDevon.
 
If you are interested in working for NEW Devon CCG, go to http://www.newdevonccg.nhs.uk/who-we-are/working-for-us/100097 or for the NHS in general to go: https://www.jobs.nhs.uk (note the new NHS Jobs site launches on 4 March)
 
To find out more about National Apprenticeship Week visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Sidmouth GP backs development of neighbourhood health watch for the town

Local doctors from the Sid Valley have backed the idea for a new hotline for struggling elderly residents to use if they need help.
Following an article in last month’s Sidmouth Herald many local people and organisations have already shown an interest in getting involved with the scheme.
 
The scheme would help to coordinate the large number of helpful organisations in the area to have maximum benefit for the local elderly population.
 
Local residents and organisations are being invited to an event on Tuesday 11 March to explore ideas for developing and building on a range of existing support services in the Sid Valley area.
 
The event will include a presentation on the public health profile and health plan for the district, information about how the neighbourhood health watch scheme works and a facilitated discussion to explore enhancing what currently happens in Sid Valley.
 
The neighbourhood health watch concept is up and running in a number of communities in Devon each one adapted to suit the local community and early feedback has been positive.
A Devon-based GP, Dr Jane Aitken recognised the potential to take the traditional neighbourhood watch approach – which enables residents to assist the police by working in partnership to help reduce crime – and use it to help improve the overall health and wellbeing of communities, using resources that already exist within them.
 
Dr Mike Slot, a GP from Sidmouth, encouraged local people to go along to the event to hear what is available from a neighbourhood health watch scheme.
 
“There are many groups and individuals doing important and helpful work in the town, and this is an opportunity to raise awareness of this and to improve co-ordination between these initiatives,” he said.
 
Devon has many more elderly residents than in most parts of England and Sidmouth has a high proportion of over 65s living alone, which has additional specific needs.
 
Schemes already exist in Devon and across England where communities work together to tackle loneliness, isolation and health. A local example is the Sidmouth Help Link charity that provides co-ordination services.
 
The event to be chaired by the Chairman of the Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce, Steven Kendall-Torry, takes place on Tuesday 11 March, from 4pm – 6pm, at the Sidford Ground of Sidmouth Rugby Club, Sidford, EX10 9QY.
 
To book a place at the event, please email d-ccg.easternlocality@nhs.net or phone 01392 356 079.

People in Devon can now chat online to trained advisors about non-clinical healthcare matters.

People in Devon are the first in England to be able to get advice and give feedback about non-clinical aspects of healthcare by chatting online to their local clinical commissioning group.
 
The Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) is the first CCG in the country to trial this innovative new way to communicate with patients online.

The Live Chat system is available on the NEW Devon CCG website and allows people to talk online to trained non-clinical advisors about their experiences of healthcare in Devon, including feedback, any concerns or general enquiries they may have.

It is another way for patients to get in touch with the CCG about the services it commissions, such as acute and community hospitals, mental health services, community nursing, patient transport, referral services, continuing healthcare, NHS 111 and more.

All people have to do is go to www.newdevonccg.nhs.uk and click the Live Chat button at the top of the page.

The system is typically available Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, and when it is offline there is an option to leave a message for a trained advisor to get back in touch if appropriate. People may remain anonymous if they prefer and data is never shared with a third party. The system is safe and easy to use and a record of conversations can be emailed to the client if requested.

Dr John Womersley, a GP from Devon and board member of the CCG, welcomed the new Live Chat system.

“I’m very pleased that the CCG has developed this innovative way of helping local people to get in touch with us when they need to,” said Dr Womersley.

“People are often hesitant about picking up the phone if they have an issue, especially younger people who are very accustomed to using the internet, so I hope this will encourage more people to raise issues with the CCG, which can only serve to improve the services we commission.

“As a CCG we always strive to put patients at the centre of everything we do and this is another way we can make sure that they have the opportunity to speak to us about their individual concerns.”

Anyone wanting to contact the CCG’s patient advice and liaison service (PALS) by other methods can still do so by calling 0300 123 1672 or 01392 267665 or via email at Pals.devon@nhs.net.

Live Chat is currently being trialled by NEW Devon CCG until the end of March 2014 and could become a permanent fixture if the feedback from Live Chat users is positive.
Attached below is a PowerPoint presentation with a guide on how to use Live Chat and a set of potential FAQs to help answer any questions you may have.

We have also attached a small survey on what you think about the Live Chat service. Please take a few minutes to fill it in, it will really help us evaluate its benefits.

East Devon’s local health services need YOU

People in East Devon with an interest in healthcare developments are being invited to help make sure local people are able to have their say.
The organisation responsible for commissioning, or buying, healthcare services in East Devon wants to recruit a voluntary patient representative, known as a lay member.

The Eastern Locality of Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) has called on people with an understanding of what patients, carers and the public may consider to be important factors when developing healthcare services to participate and provide a patient link at its Board.

One of the main responsibilities of the role is to make sure patients and the public are being given an opportunity to influence decisions about healthcare developments.

This will be done by working closely with patients, carers, voluntary organisations, GP surgery patient participation groups and other organisations.

It would mean spending a minimum of two days a month working with the CCG, though additional time may be required if the individual becomes involved in project work or attends public engagement events or meetings.

The area that would be covered by the patient representative includes Axminster, Honiton, Ottery St Mary, Seaton and Sidmouth. This part of East Devon is known as the ‘Wakley area’ in the NHS.

Dr Simon Kerr, a GP from Ottery St Mary and Board member of the Eastern Locality of Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG, said the lay member role would help to make sure local patients and the public have an equal voice with professionals when it comes to healthcare developments in East Devon.

“We want someone to join the Board who is passionate about health improvements and could help us to find out more about what local people want by speaking to them about their thoughts on healthcare developments,” he said.

“This is all part of the CCG putting patients at the heart of everything we do so we can develop the right services for their communities.”
 
Geoff Butler, who has been a lay member for the Wakley area since June 2013, said: “In the almost eight months that I have been a lay member for the Wakley area it has been fascinating to see how the various parts of the NHS work, and to meet various groups and individuals to learn how they would like our local services to be developed.
 
“There are many opportunities to shape and improve these services, and the CCG has been supportive, and keen to reflect local views."
 
The closing date for applications is Friday 28 February 2014.

To apply for this position or for more information, contact Jemma Moore on jemma.moore@nhs.net or 01392 356 094.

Your health service in North Devon is changing, why not help to shape it?

By Dr Chris Bowman, GP from North Devon and vice chair of the Northern Locality of Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group
 
We want to be confident that we have safe, effective and easy to access healthcare services, available when we needed them.
 
We want you to help us to make sure this becomes a reality.
 
Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, which buys local healthcare services for you, wants to know what you think about how these services could look like in the future.
 
North Devon is a great place to live. Most of us are fit and healthy and enjoy a good quality of life. However 1 in 5 people live in rural isolation and there are parts where there is significant deprivation and shortened life expectancy.
 
We know, and communities tell us, that while there is a time to be cared for in hospital, it is important that high quality, safe and accessible care is provided within our communities.
 
We know individuals want their health problems to cause as little disruption to their lives as possible and we want you to be involved in deciding how this is best achieved.
 
We are holding public events in the market towns of Barnstaple, Bideford, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe and South Molton so please do come along to share your thoughts and suggestions to help make healthcare better in your community.
 
The events take place from 6pm – 8pm on the following dates:
 
Wed 19 Feb: Barnstaple Rugby Club, EX31 1JH
Thu 20 Feb: Assembly Rooms, South Molton, EX36 3BU
Tue 25 Feb: Holsworthy Memorial Hall, EX22 6DJ
Thu 27 Feb: Bideford Town Hall, EX39 2HS
Fri 7 Mar: Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, EX34 9BZ
 
Booking a place is helpful but is not essential. Email d-ccg.northernlocality@nhs.net or telephone 01769 575 154.
 
We look forward to seeing you.
 
Best wishes,
 
Dr Chris Bowman
GP from North Devon and vice chair of the Northern Locality of Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group

Members of the public wanted to help make NHS treatment policy decisions in Devon

The NHS in Devon wants to involve members of the public in helping to make difficult decisions about treatments.
Voluntary public representatives, also known as lay members, are being recruited to Devon’s clinical policy committee to help make sure the best decisions are made when it comes to the funding of medicines and treatments.
 
Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) and South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group (SD&T CCG) work closely together to help reduce variations in treatments that the NHS will routinely fund locally.
 
The two organisations want to make sure the public voice is heard when decisions are made about whether treatments are considered good value for money and should be made available.
 
Devon’s clinical policy committee is made up of eight GPs and 10 advisory members including hospital specialists and public health advisors.
 
Its role is to make treatments available to patients which are effective and provide good value for money while responding to the needs of the local population.
 
Dr Jo Roberts, chair of the clinical policy committee and clinical lead for innovation and medicines (note plural) optimisation for SD&T CCG, said: “We are looking for people who can bring an understanding of the necessity to balance the healthcare needs of specific patient groups with the requirement to resource a comprehensive health service.”
 
Chris Roome, head of clinical effectiveness for NEW Devon CCG, added: “We are looking for someone who can provide the committee with the broader public’s perspective during the decision making process, ensuring that the public interest is acknowledged and taken into account when the committee makes its decisions.”
 
Individuals will be appointed for 12 to 24 months and will attend meetings having read briefing documents related to the decisions to be taken. Although the role is unpaid expenses will be reimbursed.
 
Formal qualifications are not required for the role but it’s advisable that people have some formal committee experience, as well as the confidence to work with technical and complex data.  
 
Clinical Policy Committee meetings are held every six weeks or so and alternate across various sites in Devon including Exeter, Ivybridge and Tiverton.
 
The closing date for applications is Friday 28 February 2014.
 
For more information, go to: www.newdevonccg.nhs.uk/who-we-are//medicines-and-treatments//clinical-policy-committee/public-involvement/100896

Health warning message issued as weather worsens

THE NHS in Devon is asking residents to be extra careful over the coming days as more rain and colder weather is predicted to move in.
The Exeter-based Met Office has issued several warnings for the next few days as low temperatures and more rain coinciding with high tide surges sweep through the region.

With rain, gale force winds and icy roads forecast for the weekend and into early next week, Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) is asking people to take care on the roads, keep warm and look in on elderly neighbours and relatives to make sure they are coping well.

Dr Rob Turner, a GP in Topsham and board member of the Eastern Locality of NEW Devon CCG, said: “With the expected wet and cold weather expected over the next few days we would ask anyone, especially the frail and the elderly, to be extra careful when going outside. 

“Every year hospital emergency departments such as at the RD&E Hospital see an increase in the number of people who have slipped, tripped or fallen because of the bad weather. Spending a day or more in hospital when you could be with your family is nobody’s idea of fun so take extra care.”

Dr Turner is asking people to make sure their home is warm enough, they have plenty of warm food, as well as a well stocked medicine cabinet.

He added: “We would remind people that there are alternatives to emergency departments, especially if it’s not an emergency. Coughs and colds may be easily treated at home. Pharmacies and GP surgeries will give you the advice you need, or you can call the new NHS 111 number.”

The cold weather advice ties in with a newly launched eight-week awareness campaign from NHS England to help people stay well longer.

The ‘Earlier, the Better campaign’ aims to encourage people to make greater use of the self-care information about minor ailments and illnesses on the NHS Choices website, as well as more use of the services available in community pharmacies.

Here are simple steps to help you keep warm this winter: 

Ensuring that you or vulnerable people you know have enough food and medicines in stock, and check that they are able to keep themselves warm.
Have regular hot drinks and at least one hot meal a day – if possible, eating regularly helps to keep energy levels up during winter. Keep as active indoors as possible.
Wear several light layers of warm clothes, and if you’re going outside wear boots, hats, gloves and scarves. Remember, the roads and pavements may be slippery. Take a mobile phone with you.
If you are unable to heat up your entire home, keep one room and one bedroom warm between 18- 21 degrees centigrade - and avoid going outside if possible.
Keep an eye on immediate neighbours or friends, particularly if they live alone.
If the cold snap sets in you should start thinking about requesting any repeat prescriptions in good time, especially if snow is forecast.
Make sure you have some over-the-counter remedies for complaints such as headaches, colds or flu, and make sure you have remedies for children, painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen (or liquid paracetamol/ibuprofen for children) and anti-diarrhoeal medicines.
Party-goers should always consider wearing warm clothing when out on the town, particularly during cold weather. They should also wear sensible footwear to minimise the risk of slipping on icy pavements.
For further advice call the NHS 111 number, visit the NHS Choices website and make sure to check the latest weather update on the Met Office website on http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/sw/sw_forecast_weather.html 

New information revealed about emergency admissions to hospital for people in Devon

Collaborative research between the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and an Exeter GP practice has revealed new information about emergency admissions to hospital.
 The CCG has built a mathematical model, called the Devon Predictive Model, to identify people who are at the most risk of emergency admission to hospital.
 
Emergency admissions to hospital can often be frightening for older people and are expensive to the NHS, costing an average of almost £1,900 in Devon.
 
The model was published in the latest national Journal of Public Health and, according to leading academic and former GP, Sir Denis Pereira Gray, it has “outperformed the previous leading model.”
 
Developed within the NHS it was tested against the previous leading model, the Combined Predictive Model, and performed better in all five categories.
 
This new model reveals that age is a much bigger factor for hospital admissions than has previously been understood and that half of all emergency admissions are for people over 65. It also showed that there are 420 hospital admissions for people aged over 85 in Devon for every 1,000 registered at a GP practice.
 
Rebecca Harriott, chief officer of Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG, said: “We are proud of our CCG’s involvement in this exciting research and we look forward to seeing the benefits for patients. It is great to see this type of model being built entirely within the NHS.”
 
Dr Philip Evans, senior partner and research lead for the St Leonard’s Practice, welcomed the academic collaboration between the practice and the CCG which he said had worked really well.
 
For more information about the model, contact Todd Chenore on 01392 267 723 or for information about population ageing, contact Sir Denis Pereira Gray on 01392 218 080.

New services to be offered from Torrington Community Hospital

In the second phase of the six-month trial of home-based care in Torrington, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (Trust) and Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are planning to extend existing services and have launched new services to run from the community hospital.
The project entitled Torrington: meeting local needs, tests whether the home-based model of care can support the residents of Torrington to live independently in their own homes. For the remainder of the project – four months – the inpatient beds at Torrington community hospital will be closed to admissions.

Instead, the NHS is working with the local community to explore additional services that can be offered locally in Torrington. The following new services will be available in — 2014:

In place now:

    Midwife clinics for expectant mums five days a week.
    Family planning drop-in, open to all ages – you can self-refer. The clinic provides basic family planning advice but also helps with issues related to sexual health.

New for January 2014:

    Extended physiotherapy classes. By moving the physio balance and mobility classes from the old gym to the ward area, we are able to invite more patients as the space is larger.
    Infusion treatments to be provided three days a week. Infusion is a term used to describe an intravenous treatment, covering blood, antibiotics and steroids.

Coming soon:

    Leg ulcer clinic. Following on from the very successful Barnstable Leg Club, we are planning a similar group to be based in the hospital one day a week.

We are also working up other ideas that the community has suggested. These include:

    Ultrasound clinic one day per week
    Cardiology clinics
    Increased chiropody

Chris Bowman, Vice Chair of the NEW Devon CCG Northern Locality, said, “Each one of these new services is saving a resident from Greater Torrington from making a trip to NDDH or is providing a service on more days, which makes it more convenient for people. We welcome feedback from the community about these services.

“Through the meetings with the public and patients, we feel we have a good understanding of the issues facing Torrington. Transport links, public transport, access to services, end-of-life care and the sources of funding to support social and healthcare are all issues the community has told us are important. We hope to be able to trial some services which address these issues.”

Rachel Hooper, Torridge Matron, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, said, “In the new year we will continue to launch new services provided in Torrington Community Hospital. They are based on the ideas people gave us through the workshops and regular meetings in the community. We are currently working up proposals on lots of other services such as chemotherapy, more clinics and opening up the use of the building to the voluntary sector.”

New chair and Board members elected to NEW Devon CCG’s Western Locality

The NHS organisation responsible for commissioning, or buying, healthcare services for the people of Western Devon has elected a new GP chair.
Dr Paul Hardy, a family doctor in Plymouth since 1995, has been voted as chair of the Western Locality of Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG).
 
Dr Hardy has a great deal of experience in clinical commissioning, having previously worked with the former primary care trust NHS Plymouth.
 
He also served in the Royal Navy, at sea (Falklands and West Indies), at home (last appointment HMS Raleigh) and abroad (exchange duties in Australia).
 
Dr Stephen Harris, the Western Locality’s interim chair since Dr Peter Rudge stepped down in September this year, was elected to the position of vice chair.
 
In addition the Board welcomed two new members who were elected following a process run by the Devon Local Medical Committee.
 
Dr Edward Parry-Jones, a salaried GP at the Ernesettle Primary Care Centre in Plymouth, was elected, along with Dr Rachel Tyler, a GP Partner at Chard Road Surgery in St Budeaux.
 
The Western Locality covers Lifton to Salcombe and Plymouth to North Bovey.
 
To get in involved in local healthcare developments, contact the Western Locality by telephone 0845 155 8000, email westernlocality@nhs.net, Facebook (nhs.westernlocality), or Twitter (@NHSNEWDevonWest)

Doctors say “choose the right service for your health needs this winter”

With the festive season approaching fast and many people getting out and about shopping or at Christmas parties, doctors in Devon are urging people to use the NHS wisely.
 
Dr David Jenner, a GP from Devon, said:
 
“Our message to people is to choose the right service that meets their needs this winter. That may be their family GP practice, local pharmacy, or a walk-in centre/minor injuries unit. If you’re unsure, before turning up at the emergency department, call NHS 111 or go to www.nhs.uk.
 
“I’d also remind people who aren’t already registered with a GP practice to do so as soon as possible. This will help avoid any delay in getting a doctor’s appointment.”
 
Dr Jenner also suggested that people should stock up on medicine and not get caught out by the upcoming Christmas bank holidays.
 
“There are a number of steps you could take to make sure you are prepared for the Christmas and New Year holidays, when GP surgeries are closed,” he said.
 
“You should request any repeat prescriptions in good time and, if you are away for a holiday or weekend break, it’s important that you take enough medicine with you.
 
“Stock up your medicine cabinet with over the counter remedies for ailments such as headaches, colds or flu, and ensure you have remedies for children.
 
“It is also worth checking the opening times of local pharmacies and GP surgeries over the festive period, as some are open until 6pm.”
 
GP practices and many pharmacies are closed on 25 – 26 December inclusive and again on 28 – 29 December and 1 January. Opening times can usually be found on the front door or window of the pharmacy or GP practice, or alternatively you could check their website.
 
Adam Reuben, Head of the RD&E’s Emergency Department, said:  “The public can be confident that we will always give the same high standards of care to anyone who attends our emergency department.
 
“However, it’s important that people with some non-emergency conditions, such as long-term muscular pain or viral conditions like coughs and colds, consider using alternatives to the emergency department such as GP services or Walk-In Centres.
 
“This is important during the winter period where we see the number of attendances to the emergency department increase.
 
“Clinicians and healthcare managers at the RD&E are doing a lot of work to make sure patients who present to the hospital get the right care in the right setting so we can ensure patients who need the most urgent care are able to access it without delay.”
 
A spokesperson for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We are seeing more than 95% of patients who come into our Emergency Department within four hours and our staff are working really hard to do this.
 
“We have been very working hard in the lead-up to winter to make sure we are as prepared as we can be, this has included opening a short stay ward which provides targeted care for medical patients requiring a stay in hospital of less than 72 hours.
 
“We have also worked hard to embed the “Plan for Every Patient”, a tool used between in-hospital professionals and external agencies to aid communication and ensure we give the right care at the right time to patients.
 
“We are very supportive of the Choose Well campaign which positively signposts people to the different healthcare providers and advisers available.”
 
“Between 10 and 20 per cent of people attending our Emergency Department could safely be seen in other settings such as a minor injury unit, by their GP or the out of hours services. Due to our location and the rural/mixed nature of cases we see, our figure tends to be lower than what may be seen in other Trusts. The reasons why patients choose to attend different services are complex, and relate to their own assessment of the urgency of a condition, ease of access, perceived quality of service and the complexity of options available.”
 
For general health advice you can call NHS 111 on 111 or go online at www.nhs.nhs.uk.
 
If you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until your surgery reopens you can call Devon Doctors the out-of-hours service for Devon. Your details will be taken and a clinician will ring you in order to provide the appropriate advice or treatment. Out-of-hours, Devon Doctors can be contacted on 0845 6710 270.
 
Patients that require urgent dental care outside of normal working hours should contact 01392 823 682.
 
However, if it is an emergency you should not hesitate to call 999 immediately or go to your nearest accident and emergency department.

NEW Devon CCG nursing team in fundraising bake-off

MEMBERS of the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s nursing team have been baking for a good cause.

The Exeter-based team was inspired by the Great British Bake Off TV show to bake their favourite cup cakes, chocolate pudding and sponge, and helped raise money for the 1664 Challenge.

The 1664 Challenge aims to raise £500,000 for injured Royal Marines. The nursing team raised £200 for the charity.

The idea to support the armed forces charity came from Sue Moreton, a manager with the Chief Nursing Team, after her son, Sam, a Captain with the Royal Marines decided to take part in the gruelling challenge.

Mrs Moreton decided to tap into the pool of talented bakers within her team and set them a series of weekly challenges.

She said: “We have some excellent bakers in our team and I thought that this would be good fun.

The Great British Bake Off was on TV at the time and a lot of my colleagues were enjoying the show.

After chatting with those who were supportive I set a number of challenges each week, such as apple week or chocolate week.

The most unusual ingredient week was interesting. I don’t think the maple syrup and bacon muffins will be hitting the high street yet.

The signature bake week was spectacular and the cakes were delicious.”
Mrs Moreton said the cakes were judged on appearance, texture and taste and the best bakers were given prizes.

There were eight regular bakers each week with the rest of the team buying and eating the vast array of Battenburg, Victoria sponges, plum bread using cottage cheese, chocolate pear cake, Chocolate fudge cake, Devon apple cake, peanut butter cookies and Chocolate brownies.

Mrs Moreton added: “We will be having the final awards at our team bring-and-share Christmas lunch.

“I’m pleased with how the fundraising turned out. We raised £200 for the 1664 Challenge and had a bit of fun and far too much to eat at the same time. Not bad for 40 pence a slice.

“Our bakers said it wasn’t for the glory but I am not at all convinced.”

Community to take the lead in development of ‘health and wellbeing’ hub in Moretonhampstead

FOLLOWING a positive public meeting on Monday 9 December residents of Moretonhampstead and surrounding parishes will lead the way in designing and developing future health services in the area.

Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group and Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust have committed to work with the community on designing the health services they want to see  – including a ‘ health and wellbeing hub’ at Moretonhampstead Community Hospital.

The aim is to design a facility which will provide services which fit with people’s needs and wishes for greater integrated health and social care services in the area.

Below is a selection of comments left by some of the 150 residents who attended the public meeting on Monday 9 December 2013. These will act as a starting point for working with the community to design sustainable health services for the future.

What residents have told us:
“I attended the public meeting to support forward progress”

“A positive and encouraging meeting. Here in Moreton perhaps we can help make an efficient effective template for rural health services. Moreton really could blaze a trail. Now is a critical time to have the opportunity to restructure our local health provision. Good ideas will come from local organisations.”

“The proposals I have heard sound good. I hope the hub gets going as soon as possible – thus hanging onto the hospital building.”

“I support Dr Tim Dudgeon’s vision of all the facilities which could be provided via a hub and having this happen quickly.”

“I heard an excellent explanation of a hub system for Moretonhampstead Hospital in the future.”

“I heard clear proposals for the future change of use for the hospital.”

What happens next:
Following the meeting on Monday NEW Devon CCG, Northern Devon Healthcare Trust and the community of Moretonhampstead have agreed the following:
  • The community will meet to discuss what services it would like to see provided in the future.
  • To develop a written agreement that describes how the community will work with the NHS to develop the new vision.
  • A draft specification for services that could be provided at the community hub will be developed.
  • The local Health and Wellbeing boards and Healthwatch Devon will be involved.

Update on Enhanced Minor Injuries Unit procurement at Tiverton Hospital

The formal process to appoint a provider to run the Enhanced Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Tiverton and District Community Hospital has been extended.
 
The process had been due to run until December 23 2013 with a preferred bidder being announced at the end of December.
 
The deadline for those with an interest in running the service has now been extended to open up to future competition and ensure commissioners are able to secure the best service provider.
 
John Finn, managing director of the eastern locality of Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group said: “There were a number of providers who expressed an interest in bidding to run the service but who were not able to meet the deadline for submitting a formal expression of interest.
 
“These included both NHS and private providers and as a result we have opted to extend the deadline to allow those who wished to become involved in the process to join.
 
“We are confident that widening the pool of bidders will allow us to secure the best provider to run the MIU at Tiverton and District Community Hospital.”
 
The bidding process will reopen on 25 November 2013 with a view to the new provider being in place by July 81 2014.
 
The preferred provider will work to a contract running between 8 July 2014 and 31 March 2016.
 
The specification for the new MIU service was developed in partnership with the community and will be a doctor-led service.
 
“John Finn added: “The community has told us what it wants to see at Tiverton and District Community Hospital and we are commissioning a model of care which is consistent with this.
 
“Extending the amount of time for additional providers to come forward will give us the very best chance of doing this.”

Devon GPs challenge popular myths about schizophrenia

Doctors in Devon have backed a national charity’s campaign to raise awareness of schizophrenia by challenging popular myths about the illness.
 
Schizophrenia Awareness Week takes place from 11-17 November and GPs at Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) are supporting the campaign, which is run by national charity Rethink Mental Illness.
 
Last year a national independent commission on schizophrenia and psychosis found that a change in attitude towards schizophrenia was needed both in the NHS and wider society.
 
One of the ways NEW Devon CCG is developing safe and evidence-based mental health services is by involving patients to identify local needs and local expectations.
 
Dr Stephen Miller, a GP in North Devon and clinical lead for mental health for the Northern Locality of NEW Devon CCG, said he hoped the awareness week would get people talking more about schizophrenia and mental health in general.
 
Dr Simon Kerr, his colleague and mental health lead for the Eastern Locality of the CCG, added:
 
“Schizophrenia is a long term mental health condition that causes a range of different psychological symptoms, including hallucinations, delusions, muddled thoughts and changes in behaviour.
 
“It is so important to make the diagnosis of schizophrenia as early as possible and that we can make sure patients have access to appropriate treatment.
 
“So, we want to encourage people to start talking about schizophrenia and learning about the symptoms of the illness.”
 
“There are many misconceptions about schizophrenia. For example it is not, as characterised, commonly associated with violent crime. In fact, those suffering from schizophrenia in the community are 14 times more likely to be the victims of a violent crime than to be arrested for one.”
 
Most services that treat schizophrenia and mental health in Devon are run by Devon Partnership NHS Trust or in Plymouth they are run by Plymouth Community Healthcare.
 
Dr David Somerfield, Medical Director and Consultant Psychiatrist at Devon Partnership NHS Trust said:  "In all of our work, we are trying to reduce the stigma and the myths that are, regrettably, still too often associated with mental illness.
 
“Our aim is for people to be as comfortable talking about schizophrenia and depression as they are talking about cancer and coronary heart disease."

Devon GP: “Have a cough or cold? Take care, not antibiotics”

A doctor from Devon has reminded people of the importance of using antibiotics wisely to help prevent the increase in antibiotic resistance.
 
Antibiotics Awareness Day takes place on 18 November and Dr David Gwynne, a GP from Devon and a clinical lead for medicines optimisation at Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), has backed a European campaign that encourages responsible use of antibiotics.
 
Studies show that patients are less likely to ask their GP for antibiotics if they are advised what to expect during the course of their illness.
 
The NHS has now developed an information leaflet for doctors or other medical professionals to give to their patients that explains what illnesses do not require antibiotics, what patients can do to ease the symptoms and during what instances they should go back to their GP practice or contact NHS 111.
 
Dr Gwynne said many antibiotics are prescribed and used for mild infections when they don’t need to be and people often get better without them.
 
“Our main message is that antibiotics are losing their effectiveness at an increasing rate due to “antibiotic resistance” and therefore, for most people, if you are suffering from a cough or cold you should take care, not antibiotics,” he said.
 
“We know that most people will get better without antibiotics. In fact antibiotics may even make the situation worse by causing unpleasant side effects such as sickness or diarrhoea.
 
“Resistance to antibiotics is becoming increasingly a serious problem in many countries and most resistance rates have more than doubled in the past five years, which is an alarming rate.
 
“We can all play a part in helping to ensure our bodies do not become resistant to antibiotics by always completing a course of antibiotics as instructed by our family doctor, and never skipping doses or saving them for later.”
 
Pharmacies can also provide a range of health services and advice, including medication for the common complaints that are sometimes inappropriately treated with antibiotics such as coughs, colds, sore throats and earaches.
 
People don’t even need to make an appointment and a pharmacist is usually available to spend some time with them.
 
More information about Antibiotics Awareness Day is here: http://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/EAAD/Pages/Home.aspx

Your health, your future, your say – transforming community health services in Plymouth, South Hams and Western Devon

Doctors in Western Devon are inviting people to help shape the future of health services in their communities.
 
Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group is set to work with patients, carers, councillors and members of the public to decide how community healthcare services should look and be provided in future.
 
This follows the national Transforming Community Services programme and will inform the future of healthcare in Western Devon from 2016 – 2020. There will be opportunities to make improvements prior to then.
 
The work will be led across Plymouth, South Hams and West Devon by Dr Steve Harris, a GP from Ivybridge, who said the CCG wanted to make sure patients and the public were fully involved in decisions about healthcare developments.
 
“Our vision is healthy people, living healthy lives in healthy communities,” he said.
 
“If we are to truly make this a reality, we must change the way healthcare services are run, moving the focus away from merely treating disease to prevention.
 
“We also need to think about targeting NHS services where they are needed and are most clinically effective.
 
“The public know a great deal about the NHS and their expertise as patients is invaluable when we are designing services.”
 
The TCS programme will run from now until October 2015.
 
To make sure people can have their say there will be a number of events offering them the chance to hear what other members of the public have already contributed and to share their own thoughts. These events are taking place in:
 
Plymouth       12th November          18.00-20.00   Plymouth Guildhall
Kingsbridge  13th November          18.00-20.00   Kingsbridge Library
Tavistock       14th November          18.00-20.00   Bedford Hotel, Tavistock
Plymouth       19th November          18.00-20.00   Boringdon Park Golf Club
Plymouth       20th November          14.00-16.00   Stonehouse Creek Social Club
Ivybridge        26th November          14.00-16.00   Ivybridge Methodist Church
Plymouth       27th November          18.00-20.00   Futures Inn, Plymouth
 
 
To become involved, please register your interest at westernlocality@nhs.net or visit our web pages to find out more:
http://www.newdevonccg.nhs.uk/western/your-health-your-future-your-say/100806
 
You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook
https://twitter.com/nhsnewdevonwest and https://www.facebook.com/nhs.westernlocality

Moretonhampstead residents invited to attend series of public events on the future of healthcare in their community

RESIDENTS in Moretonhampstead and surrounding parishes are being invited to a series of public events to share their views on the future of healthcare provision in the area.

Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) and Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT) are jointly organising a series of weekly engagement events throughout November and December to hear views from the community on the type of community health services they would like to see in the future in their town.

The face-to-face appointment sessions will be an opportunity for local people to meet with GPs and NHS managers to ask questions and provide feedback on future models of healthcare in Moretonhampstead.

Dr Alex Degan, a GP with Mid Devon Medical Practice and the vice chair of the Mid Devon locality of the NEW Devon CCG, said: “We want to start a discussion on what future healthcare models could look like in Moretonhampstead and how we can best deliver them.

“The engagement events we are holding over the next few weeks are the perfect opportunity for members of the community to join this discussion.

“We hope as many people as possible will to come to these appointment sessions.”
Kate Lyons, Director of Operations at the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, said:
“With an ageing population and people living longer with more complex health issues, we and Trusts across the country are exploring ways of delivering services which meet these needs.”

The appointment sessions will take place on the following dates (Wednesdays):
  • 13 November  -  Cheriton Bishop Village Hall – 10am-12pm
  • 20 November  -  Dunsford Village Hall – 10am-12pm
  • 27 November  -  Moretonhampstead hospital – 9am-1pm
  • 4 December  -  Chagford Jubilee Hall – 4pm-6pm
Appointments for the engagement sessions will need to be booked through Stacey Avery on 01392 356102 or by email on staceyavery@nhs.net.

Community comes first as CCG shortlisted for awards

The way the NHS in Devon is reaching out to involve local communities in decisions about healthcare has been recognised by the NHS Leadership Academy.
 
Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG), which buys and develops most healthcare services for people in Devon,* has been shortlisted for three South West NHS Leadership Academy awards.
 
The awards recognise NHS staff who have gone above and beyond in their role to make a difference to the way patients are cared for.
 
Sally Parker, from Dartington, has been shortlisted for a prestigious ‘community leader of the year award’.
 
As part of her role as community relations manager, Sally goes out into the Western Devon and Plymouth community to talk to people from all different backgrounds about their healthcare priorities and how they can get involved in future developments.
 
Sally said she was very pleased to be in the running for an award. “I am very passionate about making sure the public and patient’s voice is heard when decisions are made about developing healthcare services,” she said.
 
“This nomination means a lot because it strengthens my own commitment to this and helps to make sure we are listening to people and involving them.”
 
The CCG’s deputy chief nurse Lorna Collingwood-Burke, from Umberleigh in North Devon, is in the running for the NHS Partnership/System Leader of the Year.
 
Lorna has been shortlisted for the way she has helped make sure the CCG works closely with patients, carers, healthcare providers and voluntary organisations in the community to make improvements to the health of people in Devon.
 
Lorna said she felt very proud to have been nominated for an award. “As a Nurse, I am absolutely committed to keeping the patient at the centre of everything that we do,” she said.
 
“The teams in both NEW Devon CCG and the healthcare providers we commission have worked hard to establish the safety systems that we use to improve patient experience and keep people safe.”
 
Nick Pearson, from Exeter, is head of communications and community relations and his role is to involve people in decisions about healthcare. Nick has been shortlisted for NHS Emerging Leader of the Year.
 
He said: “I always strive to put patients and those that use NHS services at the centre of everything we do, then making sure we get it right for people.”
 
NEW Devon CCG’s chief officer, Rebecca Harriott, said she was delighted that staff at the CCG had been shortlisted for the awards.
 
“I’m very proud that our staff have been nominated as it shows how they are striving to make sure our patients have the best possible experience when using local healthcare services.
 
“One of the main objectives of the CCG is to listen to people and take action on what they say about services, and Sally’s nomination in particular shows how well we are doing this.”
 
The south west regional awards ceremony, where the winners will be revealed, is being held on Friday, November 22.
 
 
*NEW Devon CCG commissions healthcare for the whole of Devon, excluding South Devon and Torbay.

Local NHS service launches artwork competition for school children

ALL primary school children in Exeter are being invited to enter an NHS drawing competition and show off their artistic talent.

Children aged five to 11 in all 29 primary and special needs school in the city now have the chance to express their creativity with a picture of what being healthy means to them.

The arts competition is being organised by the Northern, Eastern and Western Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) whose core value is the promotion of healthy people leading healthy lives in healthy communities.

The subject of the competition is ‘A Picture of Health’ and all drawings, paintings, collages and pictorial artworks will be displayed during a special health engagement event for the public at the Guildhall on Friday 29 November 2013 between 11am and 6pm.

Letters have been sent to the head teachers of every primary and special needs school in Exeter to encourage pupils to take part in the NEW Devon CCG arts competition.

Gillian Champion, a nurse partner at the Foxhayes GP Practice and co-chair of the Exeter sub-locality with NEW Devon CCG, is organising the public engagement event at the Guildhall.

She said: “We are working to transform health provision in Devon but we cannot do it without people’s input.

“We are constantly seeking the views and ideas of communities on what health services could be like in the future. We want to hear what everyone has to say.

“Children in our city have their own ideas. This arts competition is a great way for them to show us what being healthy and leading healthy lives means to them, and for us to listen to their views and ideas.

“With half term now upon us and plenty of rain on the way, it’s time to sharpen your pencils and crayons and get creative.

“We hope every child in the city will draw their picture of health and take part in this exciting competition.”

Mrs Champion added: “We are inviting mums and dads to come along to our health pop-up shop at the Guildhall to see their children’s artwork on display and share with us their views of what future health services could be at the same time.”

First, second and third prizes will be W.H. Smith gift vouchers for £40, £25 and £10.

Entries will be judged on an age related criteria, imaginative and creative ideas coupled with communication skills. All entries should not exceed A3 in size on paper or card.

Images can be initially submitted using a JPEG format at helen.cox4@nhs.net. Please include a word document with details of school, name and age of the child and title and size of each picture.

The closing date for submissions is Monday 25 November 2013.

For more information on the competition call Helen Cox on 01392 356132.

Devon’s NHS joins forces with national charity to improve healthcare for lesbian, gay and bisexual people

Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been successful in a bid to take part in national charity Stonewall’s Health Champion programme.

It is the only CCG in the south west to be accepted onto the programme this year and one of just five CCGs in England.

Involvement in the programme means the CCG becomes a health champion for lesbian, gay and bisexual people, who should expect to benefit from improved health services.

Participation in the programme comes at no cost to the CCG and Stonewall will provide free consultancy time.

It means the CCG gets free support for a year to develop health services for lesbian, gay and bisexual people. The support will be based on research by Stonewall and public health experts in Devon and Plymouth.

Jenny Winslade, chief nurse for Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG, said:

“We are delighted and proud to have been chosen by Stonewall to become a health champion for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

“Over three million people in England are either lesbian, gay and bisexual and we know from extensive research that they often have significant differences in their health needs compared with those of heterosexual people.

“The vision of our CCG is healthy people, living healthy lives, in healthy communities and we believe this should be the case for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or protected characteristic.

“One of our main objectives is to commission, or buy, services with our partners to reduce the inequalities that exist, while improving people’s lives.

“As part of our pledge to involve people in healthcare developments we are committed to gathering views from lesbian, gay and bisexual people in our local communities so we can learn what is important to them.

“We want to make sure our healthcare providers are sufficiently meeting the needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual patients, leading to identification of the underlying causes of their health problems sooner rather than wasting time and money on misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment.”

The CCG will display a rainbow tick on its website and printed materials so people know it is a lesbian, gay and bisexual-friendly organisation.

National research by Stonewall shows that lesbian, gay and bisexual people face significant health inequalities, as well as discrimination, when accessing health services.

A gay member of staff at the CCG welcomed the organisation’s involvement in the programme and said he found the CCG allowed lesbian, gay and bisexual staff to be themselves without the worry of discrimination.

“In Devon I know of people who have experienced how difficult it can be for gay, lesbian and bisexual people to get access to the treatment they need,” he said.

“They have told me that sometimes they feel they have no one to speak to about the problems they are experiencing so it is fantastic to see that the CCG is working with Stonewall to improve awareness of their needs.

“Having experienced levels of homophobia in some of the previous organisations I have worked for, I feel that as a gay member of staff, the CCG allows me to be myself.

“There is always work to do in terms of connecting with lesbian, gay and bisexual people, but the fact that the CCG has become a health champion shows its commitment, not only to the patients and public that it serves, but also to its staff.”

James Taylor, Stonewall’s senior health officer, said: “By being part of the Health Champions programme Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG will receive free support from Stonewall to achieve real improvements in the care provided to lesbian, gay and bisexual people and their families.”

Help shape future healthcare in the Torrington area

Eight-week exercise to collect ideas on the role of the community hospital

An eight-week exercise gets under way on 1 October to gather ideas for the future shape of community health services in the Torrington area.

Also launching on the 1 October is a six-month evaluation of the enhanced model of home-based care currently in place in Torrington and surrounding area.

The exercise is being led jointly by Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which assesses local needs and purchases healthcare accordingly, and Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs services in the area.

Inpatient beds at the community hospital will be open to admissions for the involvement and engagement period, which runs to 26 November 2013.

During that time, the focus will be on one broad question:

What should the role of Torrington Community Hospital be in the future, for the greatest benefit of people in and around Torrington?

Kate Lyons, Director of Operations at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We know patients like being cared for at home, in familiar surroundings and with the support they need. We want to ensure this care is effective and of a high quality, which is why we are planning a more formal evaluation.”

Dr Chris Bowman, a GP from North Devon and vice chair of the CCG’s Northern Locality, said: “This is a real opportunity for people in and around Torrington to tell us what sort of care they would like to see closer to home. We know travel is a problem in rural communities, so what else could be brought into Torrington to save those difficult journeys? What needs aren’t currently being met and how could the hospital be used to fill this gap?

“Once we’ve looked at people’s ideas and tested them, we’ll be able to put the results alongside the evaluation of home-based care to shape ideas for the longer-term future.”

A 16-page document called ‘Meeting Local Needs’ has been prepared for people in support of the eight-week exercise. It is being distributed to local venues across Greater Torrington and can also be downloaded from www.torringtoncares.co.uk

Ends

Editor’s notes:

Since the end of 2011, extra investment locally has seen more and more Torrington patients cared for at home by nursing and therapy teams, backed by support services such as night-sitting where needed. This means people can often come straight home from North Devon District Hospital or avoid admission altogether.

Some 180-200 people are now being cared for at home at any one time. As a result, inpatient admissions to the community hospital have fallen from an average of 12 a month in 2010/11 to 5.5 a month in the first half of 2013 (up to July 2013).

People can find out more and have their say by:
  • Going to the project website to see all documentation and fill in the feedback form: www.torringtoncares.co.uk To request a copy be posted, please contact 01769 575 151
  • Picking up a printed copy of the 16-page document, which will be left at drop-off points in the community over coming days – see website for details. A feedback form and freepost envelope is included in each copy.
  • Coming to one of our continuing Friday drop-in sessions, which are designed to generate an ongoing dialogue and will help highlight any issues that need consideration before the end of the engagement period – see attached flyer
  • Inviting us along for a discussion with your own group (please call 01769 575151 or 575154 to arrange)

For further information and the latest updates, please continue to check online:

www.torringtoncares.co.uk

NHS listens to community as more services are provided at Tiverton hospital – but for fewer hours.

BIDDERS have come forward to run a doctor-led minor injury service (MIU) at Tiverton and District Community Hospital.

It follows work to understand the wishes of the local community.

Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG), which commissions minor injuries services at the hospital, have begun a formal process to select a suitable provider to run the service from 1 April 2014.

It has now been announced that three organisations have indicated their wish to run the service.

The specification for the new MIU service was developed in partnership with the community.

Tiverton MIU will continue to provide treatment services for sprains and strains, minor cuts and burns, minor head injuries and insect and animal bites. When the new service is up and running it will provide a range of enhanced services.

To make these additional services possible, it will open between the hours of 8am and 10pm seven days a week.

The new opening times will begin on November 1.

Until the tender process has concluded, and to support the new opening hours, NEW Devon CCG has also agreed to commission additional GPs in the Devon Doctors treatment centre on Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays.

John Finn, managing director of the eastern area of NEW Devon CCG, said: “The community has told us what they want to see at Tiverton MIU and we are commissioning a model of care which is consistent with this.

“We are pleased that three potential providers have come forward.

“To ensure that the public receive the best possible care, the preferred bidder will have to undergo thorough checks, including due diligence processes before it can start to run the MIU service at the hospital.

“We are working closely with our current service provider and the Tiverton residents’ group CHOICE to make sure the MIU continues to provide the care and support the community wants for their town.”

The successful provider will be announced before the end of 2013.

The preferred provider will then work to a two-year contract running between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2016.

North Devon first to use new NHS 111 number service

RESIDENTS in North Devon will be amongst the first in the county to use the new free single NHS number for all their non emergency health needs.
 
NHS 111 has already replaced the previous NHS Direct and will replace GP out of hours numbers from 1 October 2013 in North Devon.
 
GP practices will be changing their answer phone messages to direct patients to call 111 when their surgery is closed. Anyone ringing NHS Direct will also hear a recorded message advising them to redial 111 instead.
 
The call-handling aspects of these out of hours GP calls currently being provided by Devon Doctors will be gradually migrated over to the NHS 111 service between October 2013 and April next year for the rest of Devon. However the clinical services for out of hours will still be provided by Devon Doctors. Only the number has changed.
 
NHS 111 is a free to use service and is available 24-hours-a-day, 365 days a year. When patients call 111 they will be assessed by trained call handlers, supported by clinicians, who will provide healthcare advice and direct people to the relevant local services. These services include walk-in centres, community nurses, emergency dentists or a late opening chemist.
 
If an emergency ambulance is required then this will be arranged automatically.
 
The new three-digit telephone service is a national initiative which has already been pioneered in Dorset for the last six months. Now it is coming to Devon and health bosses in the county want to make sure people only need one number – 111.
 
Dr Mike Haugh, GP clinical lead for Devon’s NHS 111 service said the easy-to-remember number was being introduced to make it easier for patients in North Devon to access local health services, when they have an urgent need but do not necessarily require an ambulance.
 
He said: “If you don’t need to call 999 then call 111. We are running a gradual transfer of out of hours calls to NHS 111 and North Devon will be first.
 
“We are working closely with GP practices in the area to ensure patients are directed appropriately and ensuring that the 111 number is highly visible to people
 
“NHS 111 is a great service which will help patients navigate their way through the myriad of health and care services that are out there. It is easy and free to access and will point patients to the best place to meet their urgent healthcare needs.”
 
The Devon NHS 111 service is commissioned by Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG), including Torbay.  It is being provided by South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT) over a five-year contract term. 
 
SWASFT have already been providing a successful 111 service in Dorset and Devon and has already been performing well. The Devon 111 service covers the whole of Devon including Plymouth and Torbay.
 
Dr Haugh added: “We have been careful in our planning and preparation for the Devon service and during testing the Department of Health praised SWASFT for their recruitment and training processes. We are very pleased with the first month performance in Devon and our performance is already comparable with some of the best in the country.”
 
Dr Andy Smith, Medical Director for SWASFT said: “We have been running the service in Dorset for nearly six months and will be bringing that experience and expertise to North Devon.  We have a Devon base in Exeter with local staff and all the local knowledge that comes from managing our successful ambulance service in the county too.”.

Counselling and psychological therapies pilot project underway at Honiton and Sidmouth Practices

A SINGLE point of contact has been set up at Honiton and Sidmouth GP Practices for patients with some mental health conditions.

The small pilot project was launched on 1st September 2013 by Devon Partnership NHS Trust’s Depression and Anxiety Service (DAS) and Devon Primary Care Counselling Service to provide an integrated referral process for both counselling and psychological therapies in primary care.

The pioneering scheme, will act as a one-stop shop for people with mild to moderate anxiety and/or depression.

People who could benefit from this scheme will now have access to a raft of psychological therapies from counselling, couple therapy, treatment for depression and anxiety, to post traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders, all under one roof.

Tim Francis, Mental Health Commissioning Support Manager for the Northern and Eastern Locality - NEW Devon CCG, who is leading the project, said: “This provides an excellent opportunity to demonstrate partnership working to enhance the pathway for people with mild to moderate anxiety and/or depression through the provision of evidence-based interventions. We look forward to receiving progress of the pilot in due course.”

Referrals of patients within the Honiton and Sidmouth practices will be managed by Devon Primary Care Counselling Service Clinical Lead and Depression and Anxiety Service therapists.

Meanwhile GPs can continue to refer patients with common mental health problems to secondary care services via the Devon Access and Referral Team (DART) and people from both these practices can still continue to self-refer to the Depression and Anxiety Service.
Visit www.devonpartnership.nhs.uk for more details.

NHS in Devon shortlisted for award for its A&E campaign

The organisation responsible for buying most healthcare services in Devon has been shortlisted for an award following its efforts to help reduce inappropriate attendances at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) research project aimed at understanding how urgent care services were being used in Devon has been shortlisted for a national Chartered Institute of Public Relations campaign award.

The CCG will find out if it has won the award at an event on 22 November.

The campaign was run by the CCG in partnership with the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, local GPs, pharmacies, public health and other healthcare providers.

It showed what healthcare professionals had suspected – three large groups were coming into the emergency department at the RD&E Hospital that would be served better elsewhere. These were young professionals, students and young people living in deprivation.

The conclusion was that even the more educated weren’t aware what type of care each NHS service provides, and busy working lifestyles meant traditional GP appointments weren’t convenient. All of this resulted in them choosing to attend the emergency department as it suited them better.

A range of educational materials were developed as a result of the findings, including large banners on bus shelters and outside the hospital, pocket-sized z-cards.

Dr David Jenner, chair of the eastern locality of Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG, said:

“We are very pleased with the efforts of all local healthcare staff who have helped to reduce demand for emergency care services, improve the experience of patients and reduce waits for emergency patients.

“The campaign followed a sound methodology of research, co-creation of messages and campaign materials with the intended audience and evaluation. We are keen to share our learning with others so that they too can get maximum impact out of this type of approach.

“This work could not have been achieved without clinicians working closely with expert managers.”

Minor injuries services to be temporarily relocated to Coleridge Medical Centre from August

Minor injuries services for people in Ottery St Mary are to be temporarily provided by the Coleridge Medical Centre for three months from August.
 
The minor injuries unit at Ottery St Mary, which is run by Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT), will transfer over to the GP practice from 1 August to allow for newly recruited staff to be trained at the hospital.
 
The service will continue to be run from 9am – 1pm, Monday to Friday, and outside these hours people will still be signposted to the nearby Honiton Hospital MIU.
 
John Finn, managing director of the Eastern Locality of Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, said he was pleased the local GP practice was able to step in to make sure the town continued to have minor injuries provision while staff training took place at the hospital.
 
“When NDHT informed us of the operational need for training for new staff recruits we contacted the local GP practice to see if it would be able to provide an identical minor injuries service for three months.
 
“We are pleased that the Coleridge Medical Centre confirmed it was able to provide the service from 1 August, the day after the service at the hospital is temporarily closed.
 
“We will make sure local people are made aware of the temporary change by placing posters around the town.”
 
People should visit the minor injuries services if they have the following ailments:
 
  • cuts, grazes and wounds
  • sprains, strains, muscle or joint injury
  • broken bones (fractures),
  • a skin complaint – bite or sting (including human bites), unexplained rash or even severe sunburn
  • a minor infection which needs treating
  • emergency contraception
  • minor head injury
  • eye problems, such as minor eye infections, scratches or something that is stuck in their eye.

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