Monthly Archives: January 2016

Dry January

Well we’re getting through  Dry January, how are you doing?

If its’s been harder than you thought or you haven’t managed and you might just need some extra help or support Middlesbrough recovering together  can help, contact them on 01642 232688.

Lifeline can help those over 18 in Redcar and Cleveland (Their contact number is 01642 481032).

If under 18 and in Middlesbrough, access Platform a service which works directly with young people and their families who are having trouble with any form of drug or alcohol issues.

There is also CREST if you’re under 18, contact them for help and advice on 01642 496006 or 07901 330 037

 

 


Making health simple

We have this week started our public consultation around our plans for changes to urgent care services. Some of you will already have been involved with our listening events over the summer but we would like to encourage you to get involved again or the first time and have your say during the consultation.

For friends or neighbours that don’t have internet access we want to invite them to one of the events where people can learn more, ask questions and then have their say. There will be hard copies of the consultation document available.
We need to hear what you think about our proposed changes. Please join in.

Learn about the events.

Activity update:
For our health at work awards I have an activity counter and have to walk 2 miles a day. I did not hit my target two days in a row last week only reaching 1.9 miles. So I was determined to make amends and my daughter and I went swimming at the weekend- and that day I’d reached my target by lunch time. I was quite surprised how far I’d walked just going up and down the aisles in the supermarket though that morning too – and this does all count!.


NEW date added to urgent care consultation

The CCG has launched a public consultation that focuses on offering extended access to GP services, seven days a week for people across Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland.

The CCG is seeking the views of local people on three different options for the future of urgent care services, all of which offer improved access to GP services, 7 days a week.

Dates have been planned until the end of March for the public to come along, have their say and find out more about the proposed 3 options. Please see below for a full list of dates and venues to attend, including the extra date in Guisborough.

The CCG wants to make better use of its £8.4 million urgent care budget by simplifying services, reducing duplication, and ensuring that the free to call NHS 111 service plays a more prominent role in the future of urgent care services.

The CCG is not reducing its budget for urgent care services. However, by increasing its spending to offer extended access to GP services, it cannot sustain its two walk in centres based in North Ormesby, and its other service some four miles away in Eston Grange. These services will no longer be available after 31 March 2017, and will be replaced by a number of extended hours GP centres across the whole of the South Tees area.

The consultation is also seeking local people’s views on:

  • Introducing a GP in front of A&E to treat or signpost appropriate patients to alternative primary care services, freeing up A&E for those with the greatest need;
  • The number and potential location of extended hours GP centres that will offer access to GP services after 6pm and at weekends.

This follows extensive engagement with local people and key partners, which began in July 2015 and gathered the views and experiences of over 1,500 local people. The CCG were keen to understand local experiences of urgent care services across South Tees, including:

  • GP practices;
  • GP out of hours services;
  • NHS 111;
  • Minor injuries units (MIUs) (James Cook University Hospital and Redcar Primary Care Hospital);
  • Walk in centres (Resolution at North Ormesby and Low Grange at Eston);
  • Pharmacies;
  • Self care (looking after yourself).

A number of key themes emerged from the engagement phase. The engagement report is available on the consultation website – www.makinghealthsimple.org.

These were:

  • Many people find the current system confusing;
  • Most people do try and care for themselves before using services;
  • When they do use a service, most people’s preference is to see a GP;
  • Most people get an appointment with their GP when they need one (although some might not get one on the same day);
  • Most people will obtain health information from their GP practice, the internet or a pharmacist;
  • Many people haven’t heard of NHS 111;
  • The majority of people who phoned 111, said it was a positive experience;
  • People were concerned that the number of questions asked by NHS 111 call handlers caused delays in dealing with their problem;
  • The majority of people reported having a positive experience of using local walk in centres;
  • Most people said that Accident & Emergency should only be used by patients who have a life threatening condition;
  • People believe that it is important that their health records can be shared between services.

As a result, the CCG has formed a number of options for the ‘Making Health Simple: Right Place, First Time’ consultation.

The options for the consultation are described below in more detail. In summary, the CCG wants local people to have their say on:

  • How long seven day GP access should be extended by;
  • How many extended GP centres there are and their potential locations;
  • The introduction of a GP working in front of the A&E department at James Cook University Hospital, to relieve pressure within A&E by treating or signposting patients to other GP services according to the urgency and nature of their health need.

 

Options the CCG is consulting the public on

Option One

  • 6 Extended Hours GP Centres (6pm to 8pm weekdays and 8am to 8pm at weekends, replacing walk in centres at North Ormesby and Eston Grange);
  • GP working at the front of the A&E department at James Cook University Hospital;
  • GP out of hours service reduced to 8pm to 8am, 7 days a week;
  • GP led minor injuries units with x-ray (James Cook University Hospital open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and Redcar Primary Care Hospital open 8am to 9.30pm, 7 days a week – reduced from 24 hour opening to reflect the significant reduction in patient demand after 9.30pm).

Option Two*

  • 4 Extended Hours GP Centres (6pm to 9.30pm weekdays and 8am to 9.30pm at weekends, replacing walk in centres at North Ormesby and Eston Grange);
  • GP working at the front of the A&E department at James Cook University Hospital;
  • GP out of hours service reduced to 9.30pm to 8am, 7 days a week;
  • GP led minor injuries units with x-ray (James Cook University Hospital open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and Redcar Primary Care Hospital open 8am to 9.30pm, 7 days a week – reduced from 24 hour opening to reflect the significant reduction in patient demand after 9.30pm).

*The CCG believes Option 2 is the best option because:

  1. It is the optimum affordable solution.
  2. It offers extended opening in primary care until 9.30pm that matches demand.
  3. It reduces confusion and makes services simpler for people to understand. After 9.30pm, people would call NHS 111 and be directed to the most appropriate service (minor injuries unit at James Cook University Hospital or GP out of hours service). This would provide the right care, first time.

Option Three

  • 8 Extended Hours GP Centres (6pm to 8pm weekdays and 8am to 8pm at weekends, replacing walk in centres at North Ormesby and Eston Grange);
  • GP out of hours service reduced to 8pm to 8am, 7 days a week;
  • GP led minor injuries units with x-ray (James Cook University Hospital open

NHS England briefing on Hemlington Medical Centre

NHS England has released a briefing about Hemlington Medical Centre.


Emergency Services under pressure

Our hospitals and the ambulance service are currently extremely busy and we are asking members of the public to only visit A&E or call 999 if they have a life threatening or critical condition.

People using these services for minor conditions can add to the pressures and take up valuable time needed to treat critical cases.

Local NHS organisations want to encourage members of the public to consider other options when they are ill and it’s not an emergency, such as taking care of yourself at home, phoning NHS 111, visiting a local pharmacist for advice if you’re unsure about symptoms, or making an appointment with your GP.

A&E and 999 are for health emergencies only, including major accidents, broken bones, breathing problems, severe chest pains, unconsciousness, suspected stroke, and major blood loss.

Many ailments, such as colds, sore throats, upset stomachs, and winter vomiting, should be treated at home with pain killers, rest and plenty of fluids, or with the advice of your local pharmacist.

People can also visit their local NHS walk-in centre or minor injuries unit.

You can also call NHS 111 for advice on what to do. NHS 111 is the non-emergency telephone number that is being introduced to help make it easier for the public to access local health services when they need medical help fast, but it’s not a life-threatening emergency.

NHS 111 will signpost you to the most appropriate service, first time and is available 24/7, 365 days a year and is free to call from landlines and mobile phones.

So please play your part in ensuring services are used appropriately and thinking about the right service for you this winter.


5 steps to wellness

Getting through the festive period, and then facing a New Year can be tricky for many. Reality can bite and these 5 steps to wellness may help.

These are five steps that we can all take to make a change to how we live our life that can really help how we feel:

  1. Connect with those around you – work on relationships with those around you or meet new people
  2. Keep learning – learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and build up your confidence.
  3. Be active – take a walk, find an activity you like and build it into your week
  4. Give to others – even the smallest act can count, smile, be a volunteer.
  5. Be mindful – take notice of what is around you, the sights/ smells, sounds and tastes as well as the thoughts and feelings you have from one moment to the next.  Mindfulness is described as being present centred and can help how you deal with the challenges of every  day life.

If persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness or worry are affecting your life , but you’re reluctant to talk about it: you’re not alone and help is available. Psychological Therapies services offer free, effective NHS-approved talking therapies in Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland. This can help you overcome the problems you are facing. Don’t bottle it up, we can talk. Visit www.wecantalk.org or call us on 0345 045 0620.

If you have been affected by the recent job losses in our area, be sure to mention this to the service and they’ll see you as quickly as possible.

Regular blog readers will know that I’ve got one of those activity step counters and I’m trying to be more active. With all this rain it may be less easy to get outside. It can be a matter of grabbing a gap in the rain to catch some steps .A break in the rain when I was visiting family at New Year gave a golden opportunity to convince my father in law to walk me through the streets of the Midlands to get back from the restaurant where we’d been out for lunch.  The rest of the family may well have  arrived home drier than we did and somewhat earlier but we’d had a good chance for a catch up and did feel really virtuous !

Maybe next year we’ll all walk to and from the restaurant?

If you’re reading this blog for the first time, having been led to us by the link from the Gazette column  – hello and  great to have you joining us.

During 2016 we are working on the website to make it a more interesting way to learn more about the CCG, what we are doing and how you can get involved with helping to shape health services across South Tees.