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An eggstra special donation!

An eggstra special donation!

The Cepen Park community of Chippenham has kindly donated a huge collection of Easter Eggs to thank the teams working on Cedar and Mulberry Wards at Chippenham Community Hospital.

Cepen Park resident Charlotte Jeanes organised the collection as a way of thanking local NHS staff after a difficult year. She drummed up support from fellow residents and businesses, which resulted in a huge donation of chocolate eggs – one to make the Easter Bunny proud!

Charlotte said: “We all appreciate nurses and the work that they do. We can’t imagine the challenges they have had to face over the last year, and we just wanted to say thank you and let them know how much they are appreciated. I am grateful for all the donations and to those people who took the time to support me with this.”

The Clinical Leads from the wards Julie Rooney and Shona Ioakim (pictured with Charlotte above) took delivery and expressed their thanks for the kind gesture.

Thank you to everyone involved for this generous donation.

Lymphoedema Awareness Week – 1-6 March 2021

Lymphoedema Awareness Week – 1-6 March 2021

The British Lymphology Society has launched the EveryBodyCan campaign- raising awareness of lymphoedema and encouraging people with lymphoedema to become more active.

More information is available here

What is Lymphoedema?

A healthy lymphatic system is a key to overall health. It supports immunity and helps maintain fluid balance in the body. When the lymphatic system isn’t working properly, fluid builds up in the tissues, causing lymphoedema – a serious condition affecting over 400,000 people in the UK with numbers increasing all the time.

Lymphoedema results from a failure of the lymphatic system. Consequences are swelling, skin and tissue changes and predisposition to infection. It most commonly affects the lower or upper limbs, but may also affect midline structures such as the head and neck, trunk, breasts or genitalia.

The Wiltshire Health and Care Lymphoedema Service

The service is for patients with lower limb swelling associated with leg ulceration and skin integrity issues and supports colleagues in community teams and GP practices with bandaging and compression garment options.

Many patients  are referred to us following treatment for cancer or following infections.

Early recognition and intervention is very important and means that treatments are simpler and likely to be more effective. As this is a lifelong condition, patient education is vital to managing long-term health. Poor management can result in repeated infections, loss of mobility and poor quality of life.

More information on the Wiltshire Health and Care Lymphoedema Service can be found here

Trowbridge Minor Injury Unit to reopen

Trowbridge Minor Injury Unit to reopen

The Minor Injury Unit at Trowbridge Community Hospital will reopen for referrals from NHS 111 and GPs on Monday 15 February 2021.

Trowbridge MIU will have appointments available 7 days a week from 10am – 6pm for patients who have contacted NHS 111 either by phone or online and are referred for an MIU appointment. It will not be open to ‘walk in’ patients. This is to maintain the safety of patients and staff and is in line with the national campaign to ‘Think 111 First’.

Trowbridge MIU closed temporarily on Monday 18 January 2021 as frontline clinical staff were redeployed to care for the rising number of patients requiring treatment for COVID-19. Chippenham MIU remained open during this time.

Angela celebrates 40 years of NHS service

Angela celebrates 40 years of NHS service

Angela Rogers is celebrating an incredible 40 years working in the NHS physiotherapy service in Wiltshire.

Angela started out in February 1981 at Frogwell Hospital in Chippenham and has continued to work throughout Wiltshire at various sites. Angela was team leader at Chippenham for several years and is very much the ‘go to’ person in the Chippenham team due to her huge wealth of knowledge.

During her career, Angela has had 4 children and keeps herself fit and active, completing her first half marathon in March 2020.

Angela said: “I like being able to meet and help patients and work with my brilliant colleagues. I also like moving with the changes – in the last 40 years I have experienced changes in technology from pieces of card to paper notes and now SystmOne and the many improvements in the way we treat people.”

We are pleased to report Angela has no intentions of winding down or retiring any time soon.

Well done Angela and thank you for being a valued member of the WHC team.

Temporary closure of Trowbridge Minor Injury Unit

Trowbridge Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) will be temporarily closed from Monday 18 January as frontline clinical staff are redeployed to care for the rising number of patients requiring treatment for Covid-19.

Trowbridge MIU will be temporarily closed to patients booking appointments through NHS 111, but will keep some services open including dressings clinics.

Chippenham MIU will remain open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week and will
continue to see patients who have contacted NHS 111 either by phone or online and are referred for an MIU appointment.

The closure has been introduced on a strictly temporary basis so staff can be redeployed to provide care where it is needed most. It will be monitored with a view to reopening the unit as soon as it is feasibly possible and safe to do so.

Patients with minor injuries should visit the NHS 111 online or telephone service. This will provide advice on where to go for the best care for their symptoms.

Patients wishing to book an appointment at Chippenham MIU will need to contact NHS 111 who will triage all appointments and, if a patient meets the criteria, they will be referred to the unit and a member of staff will call them back to arrange an appointment.

Those patients who feel they need a GP appointment should call their local GP practice and are likely to be offered a phone or video consultation in the first instance, unless a face-to-face appointment is absolutely necessary.

No-one with Covid-19 symptoms should attend any medical setting unless explicitly directed to do by the NHS 111 service or a 999 call operator.

Of course, if you feel your symptoms genuinely require emergency treatment, you should always seek help from your nearest hospital.

Douglas Blair, Managing Director of Wiltshire Health and Care, which runs the MIUs in Chippenham and Trowbridge, said: “It has become necessary to temporarily close Trowbridge MIU to NHS 111 appointments from Monday 18 January 2021, so we can release frontline clinical staff to provide care where it is needed most. Patient safety is at the heart of our service delivery and we will continue to review the situation with a view to re-opening as soon as possible. Chippenham MIU will remain open 8am-8pm, 7 days a week.”

Thank you for your continued support.

Calling all 4×4 drivers!

Calling all 4×4 drivers!

In the event of severe wintry weather, we will need the support of volunteer 4×4 drivers to help keep our NHS services going across Wiltshire. We will need help transporting our nurses to and from work and to our community patients.

Any 4×4 drivers who supported us last year or who are thinking of volunteering, we urge you to come forward and join our volunteer team. Personal Protective Equipment will be provided and mileage paid.

If you can help please call Tereasa on 07760 164604 for details and to register (out of hours leave a message). Thank you.

Health and care partners in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire awarded Integrated Care System status

Health and care partners in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire awarded Integrated Care System status

Health and care organisations in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) are set to work in an even more joined up way after NHS England and Improvement (NHS E I) said they had met the criteria to become an Integrated Care System (ICS).

An ICS is a way of working across health and care organisations that allows partners to work closer together to take collective responsibility for the health and wellbeing of populations across large areas.

Across BSW, hospitals, GP surgeries, community care providers, local authorities, a mental health trust, an ambulance trust and voluntary sector organisations have been working together since 2016 as part of the BSW Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP).  The considerable progress made through joint working, especially throughout the Covid pandemic, has now been formally recognised by NHS England and Improvement through official designation as an ICS – working  as the BSW Partnership.

Tracey Cox, Senior Responsible Officer for the BSW Partnership said:

“I am delighted that the dedicated approach to breaking down barriers and working together across the BSW Partnership had been recognised by NHS E I through our appointment as an Integrated Care System.

“We have come a long way as a (now former) sustainability and transformation partnership and more recently our successful joint working in response to Covid-19 has shown that we can achieve great things by working together for the health and wellbeing of our local people.

“We’re confident we can build on our solid foundations and are looking forward to the next chapter in our development as a truly integrated health and care system when we can continue to address health inequalities, improve the health and wellbeing of local people and deliver value for money.”

Working together as the BSW Partnership, health and care partners will prioritise issues that matter to local communities as well as managing health and care provision during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Collectively this will help the partnership to achieve its vision of ‘working together to empower people to lead their best life’.

The BSW Partnership will do this through its five key ambitions:

  • to improve the health and wellbeing of our population
  • reduce health and care inequalities
  • improve the quality and experience of care for those receiving and those delivering it
  • ensure workforce development and wellbeing
  • make the best use of resources

Stephanie Elsy, Independent Chair of the BSW Partnership said:

“The BSW Partnership’s designation is recognition of the progress we have made together in providing joined up care – especially during the national Covid-19 emergency. I would like to thank everybody involved for their incredible hard work, commitment and dedication in getting us to this stage of our development.

“Becoming an ICS will mean local people will begin to see health and care services work in a more joined up way, meaning that they only have to tell their story once and will receive care better tailored to their individual needs.

“One of the first priorities for the BSW Partnership is to increase engagement with the public and other stakeholders, so that everyone understands the work of the partnership and is kept updated about developments and has the opportunity to get involved in our plans.”

Members of the BSW Partnership Integrated Care System are as follows:

  • Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
  • Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Healthwatch Wiltshire
  • Healthwatch Swindon
  • Healthwatch Bath and North East Somerset
  • Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust
  • Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
  • South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
  • Swindon Borough Council
  • Virgin Care
  • Wessex Local Medical Committees
  • West of England Academic Health Science Network
  • Wiltshire Council
  • Wiltshire Health and Care

Think 111 First: Rollout across BaNES, Swindon & Wiltshire as part of national programme

NHS organisations and partners across BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire are working to implement the new national Think 111 First programme.

Wiltshire Health and Care introduced this programme to the local community earlier this year, when Minor Injury Units (MIU) in Chippenham and Trowbridge re-opened on a booked appointment only basis.

Contact NHS 111 First 

To keep patients who are thinking about attending an Emergency Department or MIU safe and allow them to maintain social distancing, they will be asked to contact NHS 111 first, either by phone or online. They will then be booked into the right service to meet their needs and this will include timed appointment slots in Emergency Departments or MIUs, where appropriate.

Think 111 First will ensure that patients who need urgent help can access the clinical service they need, first time, both in and outside of hospital. If someone needs an urgent face-to-face assessment or treatment, this can be arranged immediately, without any further delay leading to shorter waiting times for all patients. Advising people where and when to attend, will hopefully control queues in waiting rooms and lower the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.

All patients who need a blue light response will still receive one and no patient will be turned away if they self-present to an emergency department without first calling NHS 111.

Patients with life-threatening emergencies should continue to call 999.

This approach is being developed by hospital consultants, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, mental health specialists, Medvivo and GPs in the region, using local knowledge and expertise.

More health professionals are being employed to ensure the 111 service can respond to the expected increase in demand.

 

Carers Rights Day – 26 November 2020

Are you looking after someone in the role of a Carer?

Many people at some point provide unpaid care for someone who is older, disabled or seriously ill. Carers Rights Day brings together organisations from across the UK to provide carers with information, advice and support.

This year’s theme is Know Your Rights. The Looking after Someone Guide 2020-2021 gives carers the practical and financial support available to them every year.

Wiltshire Health and Care has already taken several steps to support carers but we want to do even more.

So far we have:

  • Proudly achieved accreditation as a “Working For Carers” Employer and developed a WHC Carers Charter
  • Championed flexible working where possible, particularly during the pandemic and updated our Flexible Working Policy to confirm the right to flexible working requests for those individuals who are Carers
  • Developed a Managers Guide to supporting Carers in the Workplace
  • Invested in an additional and new Employee Assistance Programme for staff which can provide 24/7 personal help and support  as well as advice and information on different areas of wellbeing
Key tips and support available for Carers:
  1. Get a benefits check

Carer’s Allowance is known as the main benefit for carers. But not everyone is eligible to claim it, so it’s a good idea to arrange a benefits check to see what financial support you may be entitled to. You can also use the Turn2us benefits calculator on our website: carersuk.org/benefits-calculator

For information about what financial support is available, visit carersuk.org, email advice@carersuk.org, visit the Turn2us website or contact your local Citizens Advice.

  1. Find out about practical support

You may need practical support to help you care, like short breaks, equipment to help make caring easier or information about local groups that can help.

All carers are entitled to a carer’s assessment from their local council which could lead to you receiving extra support from social care services to help with caring.

Contact your local council/trust social services department for a carer’s assessment or visit carersuk.org/assessment for more information.

  1. Connect with other carers

When we’re looking after someone, it’s not always easy to find people who really know what caring is like and are able to give us help and understanding. There are carer support groups across the UK that can help you meet other carers, as well as access local advice and support. Carers UK’s website has a directory of local services at carersuk.org/localsupport

The Carers Support Wiltshire leaflet contain further information.

Many carers also find online forums a huge source of support – a place where you can share what’s on your mind, anytime of the day or night, with other carers who understand what you are going through. Find out more about the Carers UK Forum at carersuk.org/help-and-advice/get-support/carersuk-forum

Carers Support Wiltshire has also produced this useful guide on helping to ease the discharge process.

16 Days of Action: Increasing awareness of domestic abuse in young people

Over the next 16 days we will be helping to raise awareness of domestic abuse in young people’s relationships. Wiltshire has identified the impact of domestic abuse on young people and have developed resources to raise the profile of the issues found within this group.

Young people are surprisingly tolerant of violence in relationships, with 1 in 5 young men and 1 in 10 young women, who think that abuse and violence against young women is acceptable.

We do have the opportunity to influence teenagers if their views are not entrenched.

Abuse in relationships can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation and family situation.  Teenage relationship abuse can often be hidden, because teenagers typically:

  • Have little experience of relationships
  • Can be under pressure from peers to act cool
  • Have ‘romantic’ views of love.

The likely consequences of teenage relationship abuse:

  • Violence and abuse can have a long term impact on the teenagers’ physical and mental health.
  • It may lead to depression, obesity, substance misuse and sexually risk taking behaviours.
  • Sexual abuse can lead to early and unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Teenage Relationship Abuse: A parent and carers guide to violence and abuse in teenage relationships can be viewed here

In schools, teenagers will receive lessons addressing the issues around domestic abuse as part of the PSHE curriculum and teachers will have the opportunity to attend a virtual session with the Independent Domestic Abuse adviser for Young People in Wiltshire.

If you or your family are affected by domestic abuse please phone the numbers advertised below.

Contact details for support across Swindon and Wiltshire can be found here.