Monthly Archives: March 2016

Doctors ask public to think twice before visiting A&E

The NHS across the north east is currently experiencing significant demand for help and doctors are asking the public to think carefully before calling 999 or attending accident and emergency departments.

 

There are increased cases of flu at the moment, as well as diarrhoea and vomiting, but these can easily be treated without visiting a hospital.

 

Dr Stewart Findlay, chair of the North East Urgent and Emergency Care network, said: “A&E departments are only for those who need emergency treatment while less urgent problems can be dealt with by visiting a pharmacy or if you are unsure what to do, phone 111.

 

“However, if the symptoms continue then you should contact your GP.”

 

Demand for NHS services goes up during any holiday period, so it’s crucial that services are kept available for people who need them most. We all need to help reduce unnecessary demand on our emergency services.

 

Dr Findlay added: “Most normally healthy people with a common illness do not need to see their GP, attend A&E and absolutely do not need to call 999. Flu, colds, sore throats, headaches, hangovers, upset stomachs, coughs, aches, pains, diarrhoea and vomiting should all be treated at home or with advice from a local pharmacist, with painkillers, rest and plenty of fluids.

 

“That way you help to reduce the spread of viruses and also keep appointments available for people with serious health conditions who must see a doctor or a nurse.”

For more information about keeping well in winter, visit www.nhs.uk or call NHS 111.


Urgent care over Easter

As we are approaching the Easter bank holiday period it is a really good opportunity to remind you what you need to do if you or your family are unwell over the holiday period.

If you are unsure about what you need to do when your GP surgery is closed then phone NHS 111 who will ask about the symptoms and then be able to tell you where is best for you to go to get the help you need. They know what services are open at what times locally. They know which pharmacies are open , they can make appointments with the South Tees Access and response service if needed.

Of course the 999 service is available for life threatening emergencies, as as A+E , however , let’s keep those services for those patients who are seriously ill and need that level of help.

If you are interested in what happens with health care in the South Tees area you may have seen on the website that we are consulting about our plans to make changes to urgent health care services from 2017. We have our final public consultation event next week, Thursday 31st March , 12-2pm, Tuned In , Majuba Road, Redcar. Do come along and join us . For more details visits www.makinghealthsimple.com

Activity count update-

Too many meetings on Wednesday  mean I have not reached  my target for two consecutive weeks – must make a mental note to get up and walk around more – or take a few extra trips up and down the stairs!

Happy Easter,
Janet.


Final consultation event to find out more about plans to offer extended access to GP services

A public consultation on plans to offer extended access to GP services is drawing to a close, but people in Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland still have time to have their say.

The tenth and final ‘Making Health Simple’ public consultation event will take place at Tuned In, Majuba Road, Redcar on Thursday 31 March from 12pm til 2pm. People will have the chance to find out more about plans by NHS South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to offer extended access to GP services, 7 days a week. People are encouraged to reserve a place by contacting 01642 745401 or visiting www.makinghealthsimple.org. The public consultation draws to a close the following day, Friday 1 April 2016.

NHS South Tees CCG plans and funds the majority of health services on behalf of the local population and has launched a public consultation on changes to urgent care services across Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland.

The CCG is planning to replace walk in centres at Low Grange in Eston and Resolution at North Ormesby with improved access to GP services from either 4, 6 or 8 extended hours GP centres that will be open 7 days a week.

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.

Amanda Hume, chief officer of NHS South Tees CCG said: “The CCG is not reducing its budget for urgent care services. We want to make best use of this critical resource, and respond to the significant feedback around improving GP access across the whole of our population, 7 days a week.

“In order to do this, the CCG cannot also maintain the two walk in centres as they currently exist. Therefore from 31 March 2017 we will be replacing these services with a number of extended hours GP centres across the whole of the South Tees area. Patients who are registered at the walk in centres are not affected by this consultation.”

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


Unwell over Easter – Think pharmacy first

If you feel unwell over the Easter break while your GP surgery is closed, your local pharmacy is a great place to visit to help with advice and treatment for many minor and common illnesses.

They can help with aches and pains, cystitis, colds and skin rashes. With one major advantage, you don’t need an appointment, you can call in when is convenient for you. Leaving A&E free for serious and life threatening emergencies only.

Find opening times of a pharmacy near you over Easter.

NHS 111 is also available, 24 hours a day, all year round. It is free to call from landlines and mobile phones, and the team of highly trained advisors can help with non-emergency, fast medical help. They help guide patients to the best NHS service for their medical needs. 999 should still be called for serious or life threatening medical emergencies.

Easter openings pic

Find a full list of opening times by clicking the link above.


North East Ambulance service inspection

What do you think about your local health services?

The Care Quality Commissions (CQC) is the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England. They register, monitor and inspect services to make sure they provide safe, compassionate, effective, high-quality care to encourage them to improve.

From 18 April 2016 the CQC is inspecting the North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and would like to hear your experiences of the service.

Have you:

  • Used the ambulance service in the last year?
  • For emergency ambulances?
  • For their patient transport or for their NHS 111 service?

If you can answer yes to any of the above questions, you can share your experiences, good or bad with the CQC.

Share your experience by:

Website: www.cqc.org.uk/syeneamb

Email: enquiries@cqc.org.uk

Telephone: 03000 616161


Urgent care consultation – New date added.

An extra date has been added in Redcar. Come along and have your say.

Wednesday 23rd March
17:30 – 19:30
Meeting Room 1 – Redcar Primary Care Hopsital, West Dyke Rd, Redcar, Cleveland TS10 4NW

This weekend we are in North Ormesby at the Trinity centre. Find out more about plans to replace walk in centres with extended access to GP services.

People living in the North Ormesby area will be able to find out more about plans by the local NHS to replace the walk in centre at Low Grange with improved access to GP services at a consultation event on this Saturday.

You will find us at Trinity Centre, James Street, North Ormesby, Middlesbrough, TS3 6LD, 11am til 1pm.

 

BEST discussing options tokens on map resized
People are encouraged to reserve a place by contacting 01642 745401 or visiting www.makinghealthsimple.org.
NHS South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) plans and funds the majority of health services on behalf of the local population and has launched a public consultation on changes to urgent care services across Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland.

The CCG is planning to replace walk in centres at Low Grange in Eston and Resolution at North Ormesby with improved access to GP services from either 4, 6 or 8 extended hours GP centres that will be open 7 days a week.

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.

Amanda Hume, chief officer of NHS South Tees CCG said: “The CCG is not reducing its budget for urgent care services. We want to make best use of this critical resource, and respond to the significant feedback around improving GP access across the whole of our population, 7 days a week.

“In order to do this, the CCG cannot also maintain the two walk in centres as they currently exist. Therefore from 31 March 2017 we will be replacing these services with a number of extended hours GP centres across the whole of the South Tees area. Patients who are registered at the walk in centres are not affected by this consultation.”

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

£1.5m boost for therapy services

£1.5 million invested in therapy services across Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland.

The substantial investment will see therapy services provided seven days a week from community hospitals and a higher level of treatment being delivered to patients in their own homes.

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is recruiting an additional 35 therapy staff as well as providing existing staff with advanced training in specialist areas such as respiratory, stroke/neurology, complex musculoskeletal conditions and dementia.

This extended provision will minimise the amount of time patients need to spend in hospital as well as significantly reducing waiting times for patients requiring rehabilitation at home.

Currently patients have to wait up to four weeks for occupational therapy in the community and up to eight weeks for physiotherapy, but from 1 April all non-urgent patients should be seen within two weeks by the community therapy team.

The new way of working will also see a central point of contact created for referrals to ensure patients always go straight to the right therapist for their rehabilitation.

South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is investing in therapy services as part of its IMProVE (Integrated Management and Proactive Care for the Vulnerable and Elderly) programme which aims to treat more people in the community and to provide additional support to hospital patients to help them regain their independence.
Barbara Stoker, director of integrated therapies for South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “A review of local community therapy services in 2013 revealed that 60% of patients in our primary care hospitals would have benefitted from a higher level of occupational therapy and physiotherapy.

“This substantial investment means we are now able to provide this extended service for patients across Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland.

“This is fantastic news as it will help prevent avoidable hospital admissions, reduce admissions to care homes, shorten the amount of time people have to stay in hospital and increase the range of rehabilitation services we can provide closer to home.”

Dr Ali Tahmassebi, local GP and member of South Tees CCG added: “It’s great to see our IMProVE plans coming to fruition. This is another important step in supporting patients to remain independent.”

 


Guisborough consultation event to find out more about plans to replace walk in centres with extended access to GP services.

People living in the Guisborough area will be able to find out more about plans by the local NHS to replace the walk in centre at Low Grange with improved access to GP services at a consultation event on Tuesday 15 March.

The second event in Guisborough will take place at Sunnyfield House Community Centre – 36 Westgate, Guisborough, Cleveland, TS14 6BA from 10am til 12pm. People are encouraged to reserve a place by contacting 01642 745401 or visiting www.makinghealthsimple.org.
NHS South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) plans and funds the majority of health services on behalf of the local population and has launched a public consultation on changes to urgent care services across Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland.

The CCG is planning to replace walk in centres at Low Grange in Eston and Resolution at North Ormesby with improved access to GP services from either 4, 6 or 8 extended hours GP centres that will be open 7 days a week.

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.

Amanda Hume, chief officer of NHS South Tees CCG said: “The CCG is not reducing its budget for urgent care services. We want to make best use of this critical resource, and respond to the significant feedback around improving GP access across the whole of our population, 7 days a week.

“In order to do this, the CCG cannot also maintain the two walk in centres as they currently exist. Therefore from 31 March 2017 we will be replacing these services with a number of extended hours GP centres across the whole of the South Tees area. Patients who are registered at the walk in centres are not affected by this consultation.”

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

All three options for urgent care

 

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

Business as usual for Guisborough Hospital clinics

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is reminding patients that all outpatient, diagnostic and therapy services will continue to be provided as usual at Guisborough Primary Care Hospital when Priory Ward closes.

 

The ward closure, announced following formal consultation by South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in 2014, is planned to take place by 31 March 2016 and will see the hospital’s inpatient service transfer its remaining beds to East Cleveland Primary Care Hospital in Brotton.

 

All other services will remain at Guisborough Hospital with plans to redevelop part of the site later this year to better accommodate existing services and potentially create space for additional ones.

 

South Tees CCG plans to redevelop the hospital’s Chaloner Building (the former maternity unit opposite the main building) but is also exploring the possibility of building a new health centre on the main hospital site if national funding can be secured.

 

“A decision on whether we can proceed with this will be made in August, at which stage we will further engage with the public to seek their views,” said Julie Stevens, commissioning and delivery manager for South Tees CCG.

 

In future patients who would have been treated on Priory Ward will be admitted to East Cleveland Hospital’s newly refurbished Tockett’s Ward or Redcar Primary Care Hospital, which specialises in stroke rehabilitation.

 

Priory Ward’s nursing staff will all be relocated to other wards across the trust including East Cleveland, James Cook and Friarage hospitals.

 

Bev Dredge, directorate manager for community services in Redcar and Cleveland, said: “We want to reassure patients that all existing outpatient, diagnostic and therapy services will continue to operate from Guisborough as usual after the ward closure.”

 

The changes are being implemented as part of South Tees CCG’s IMProVE (Integrated Management and Proactive Care for the Vulnerable and Elderly) programme which aims to improve health services for vulnerable and elderly patients in Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland.

 

The IMProVE project is investing in community services to enable more patients to be treated closer to home, reducing the demand for community hospital beds.

 

Reviews conducted as part of the IMProVE programme revealed it would be too costly to maintain the ward building at Guisborough to an acceptable standard.

 

For more details on the IMProVE project visit www.southteesccg.nhs.uk/improve or for the latest updates on Guisborough Hospital services visit southtees.nhs.uk/hospitals/guisborough/


A few words to encourage all us girls…

I spoke last month about our making health simple consultation around our future plans for urgent care services. Thank you to those who have already participated; the consultation is ongoing and we have 4 further public events for you to hear about our plans and have chance to have your say. For more details please visit www.makinghealthsimple.org.
It’s International Women’s Day on 8 March and it felt appropriate for me to say a few words to encourage all us girls to get out there and reach our full potential. The theme this year is ‘Pledge for parity.’ When I went to medical school to train to be a doctor at Newcastle University, there were more female than male students taken onto the course – so I feel that I have had equal opportunity. But that is not always the case in all walks of life and certainly not the case in areas around the world.
All of us have many roles in life and these are not defined just by what we do for paid employment. Being a doctor and chairing the CCG is only part of what I do. Like many of you I am also a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother. It’s all these roles that celebrate what is good about women’s achievements.
My daughter thought I should put in a reminder about it being Mother’s Day on Sunday, and she is right; the appreciation for what our mums have done for us does set the scene well for International Women’s Day! Not the need to have cards or gifts, just the chance to say thanks. Us girls can’t do it on our own though. Behind many a good woman there is a good man; and again we are talking fathers, sons, brothers, husbands, uncles…
The day after International Women’s Day is No Smoking Day on Wednesday 9 March. I’m really lucky that I have never smoked, but I have many friends and family that have had varying success in their attempts to quit. Is this the same for you? Maybe you’ve tried to stop before and not managed to stay off: maybe you’ve been wanting to stop and this date would give you something to aim for.

The evidence is that you do better with support – so the challenge is for all of us smokers and non-smokers alike to help each other. Help is out there too www.nhs.uk/smokefree is a good place to start. Locally there are stop smoking services – please visit http://www.nth.nhs.uk/services/stop-smoking-service/ or call 01642 383819. Local pharmacies and surgeries may also be able to help.