Monthly Archives: December 2015
As many of you will know I am not a keen lover of gyms or lycra, I’ve been known to fall off even the exercise bike. I have to confess that my jaw gets more exercise than the rest of me some days and my new activity counter appears to back this up especially on days when I am sat in meetings. I got it before Christmas and, sorry Santa, I just had to try it to see if I could reach my targets before I could admit to having one! Thankfully it is fairly discrete and looks like a watch, although I can wear it on my ankle when I’m at the surgery.
At the CCG we are working towards a better health at work award and the staff have allsorts planned from Dry January through to cycling events. My small part is to prove that if I can get more active by increasing my steps taken during the week even on the days at the office then anyone can. The team have suggested that I should give an update on the blog as to how I’m doing, they also think they should review my target distance walked and start to increase them!
At the moment my target is 2 miles a day or 6,000 steps. Is anyone interested in joining in with me? Send me an email with your progress.
The CCG has completed a review of the Life Store based in Middlesbrough’s Cleveland Centre.
The CCG engaged with over 700 people as part of the review, which commenced in the summer of 2015.
Dr Nigel Rowell, from NHS South Tees CCG said: “We have completed a review of the Life Store and how it meets the needs of people in both Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland. As a CCG we are responsible for meeting the needs of people across the entire population of the South Tees area.
There were a number of factors that prompted the review. This included anecdotal evidence that the service was not accessed by our Redcar and Cleveland residents, along with the end of the contract in March 2016 with Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP) who are commissioned by the CCG to provide services from the Life Store. In addition, the current lease with the landlord was until the year 2020 with a onetime only break clause to be taken in 2016.
“Currently, we spend in the region of £336,000 a year on the Life Store. Approximately £87,000 of this total is spent on the contract with PCP, and approximately £249,000 is spent on the costs of premises. We feel that we could better use this resource to meet the needs of the South Tees population as a whole.
“As part of our review, we engaged with over 700 people across Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland. While most people who had accessed the service were positive about their experience, many people living in the Redcar and Cleveland area had not heard of or accessed the store.
“As commissioners of local health services, we have a responsibility to ensure that the services we buy and plan on behalf of our local populations are as equitable as possible.
“In addition, the way health services are commissioned and delivered has changed significantly since the Life Store was first established by the former Primary Care Trust in 2006, and many of its functions are also available elsewhere locally or through Public Health commissioned services.
“In making our decision to leave the current premises and change the way services are delivered the PCP contract will run until its natural end. The Life Store service will no longer operate after the 31st March 2016. We are committed to working closely with our partners in Public Health to identify clinically beneficial services for the CCG to reinvest resources to further improve the health of local people across both Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland.
“We acknowledge the contribution that the Life Store and PCP has made to improving the lifestyle of local people and appreciate that this may disappoint some of the people who currently visit the Life Store, and we will work closely with them to ensure that they are able to access similar services locally until a new service model is agreed with our colleagues in Public Health.”
The CCG has kept the Joint South Tees Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee fully informed regarding the progress of the review and at its meeting on 18 December 2015 the CCG presented the committee with further details about the second phase of engagement and communications and public relations activity. This second phase aims to ensure that those people affected by the outcome of the review have the opportunity to feedback how the closure of the premises will affect them, seek assurances on how they can continue to access services and provide updates on how the CCG is liaising with colleagues in Public Health on the makeup and timescales of a new service model. Further details will be available on the CCG’s website www.southteesccg.nhs.uk.
Note to editors:
The Life Store was opened in 2006 by Middlesbrough Primary Care Trust. When Primary Care Trusts were abolished in 2013, responsibility for the Life Store was transferred to the newly formed NHS South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The CCG currently commissions Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP), a local charity, to provide services from the Life Store.
In the CCG offices stands a Christmas tree of wishes. Our staff have been encouraged to write down something that they would like to do or see happen during the year ahead for the community of South Tees. It’s not the same as writing to Santa for presents, as what they’ve wished for can’t be wrapped up and delivered, it will take a lot of people working together to make these things happen. I have not placed my wish on the tree quite yet as I’ve been reflecting on the past year and looking at the health and what makes people ill in the South Tees population and there are many things that we need to improve. These can range from prevention and earlier detection of cancers, prevention and treatment of heart disease to reducing antibiotic use and the complications that can come from using them.
There are many things that I know we need your help with to get us all healthier and happier including getting more of you involved with assessing the health needs of South Tees, learning from your experience of the health services, and listen to your ideas and thoughts about new services that we are planning to change. Maybe that’s what my wish needs to be? We wish you a peaceful Christmas break from us all at the CCG. If you need medical help over the festive season our website tells you how best to access this, and your GP practice will have opening times displayed for the surgery.
During the winter months we all need to look after ourselves making sure we have a well-stocked medicine cupboard, asking your pharmacist for advice about minor symptoms and how to seek medical advice.
There is now another way you can access medical advice and that is through the STAR scheme. This stands for the South Tees Access and Response scheme. This scheme is operated by the 46 GP practices across South Tees and provides access to GP services between 6.30pm and 9.30 pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 8pm Saturday and Sunday.
You can access an appointment by phoning 111 as you would normally when your own surgery is closed when you have an urgent health problem. When you have gone through the 111 questions they will then offer you an appointment at STAR if this will meet your particular health need. There are two sites where the scheme operates, both of which allow access to your GP health records ,if you give your permission for this to be accessed. One hub in Linthorpe, Middlesbrough and one hub in Redcar at a GP surgery in the Primary Care Hospital. If you need to be seen they will give you an appointment time. If you turn up at the door you will be given an appointment time and this may involve a wait. It is therefore much better to ring 111, then you can arrive at the centre at your appointment time and have a shorter wait.
We hope that you remain well over the Christmas period and the only star you need to see is the one at the top of a Christmas tree.
I’ve talked already in the blog about looking after ourselves during the winter months, with a well-stocked medicine cupboard, asking your pharmacist for advice about minor symptoms and how to seek medical advice. You can find my ‘Winter Essentials Checklist’ on our Facebook page – NHS South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group.
I thought it was worth saying a bit more about the STAR scheme. This stands for the South Tees Access and Response scheme. This scheme is operated by the 46 GP practices across South Tees and provides access to GP services between 6.30pm and 9.30 pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 8pm Saturday and Sunday.
Click here to view a video about the STAR scheme.
You can access an appointment by phoning 111 as you would normally when your own surgery is closed when you have an urgent health problem. When you have gone through the 111 questions they will then offer you an appointment at STAR if this will meet your particular health need. There are two sites where the scheme operates, both of which allow access to your GP health records ,if you give your permission for this to be accessed. One hub in Linthorpe, Middlesbrough and one hub in Redcar at a GP surgery in the Primary Care
Hospital. If you need to be seen they will give you an appointment time. If you turn up at the door you will be given an appointment time and this may involve a wait. It is therefore much better to ring 111, then you can arrive at the centre at your appointment time and have a shorter wait.
I hope that you remain well over the Christmas period and the only star you need to see is the one at the top of a Christmas tree.
Ditch the drink!
Better sleeping patterns, healthier skin and more energy – Who wouldn’t want this? All in exchange for avoiding alcohol for 31days with ‘Dry January’.
Over-indulgence of food and alcohol during Christmas have some counting down the days until the detox begins. Studies have shown that even just one month without alcohol can have positive effects on health, meaning there are real benefits to taking part. Drinking more than the recommended limits can have serious long-term implications for health, with proven links to seven types of cancer, plus conditions including liver disease, anxiety, stomach ulcers, raised blood pressure, strokes and dementia.
With the magic of Christmas over, the dread of the credit card bills slamming onto our door mats and needing to visit the sales as our clothes have gotten too tight, New Year is the natural time to take stock of our health and make a fresh start. Dry January could bring smaller waistlines and a larger bank balance.
Mary Edwards, Programme Manager Alcohol Treatment at Balance, said: “Accepting the Dry January challenge before the excesses of the festive period, a time when many of us can overdo it, is the perfect way to commit to taking a break from alcohol. In addition, many people taking the challenge find that the health benefits they notice over the month encourage them to reassess their drinking habits and make positive long-term changes.
The North East is a region with will-power and we like a challenge – we topped the country’s table of ‘drink ditchers’. Around 70,000 people proved they were up for ‘Dry January’ last year. Set the challenge with your mates, partners or work colleagues. Why not join thousands of others in Dry January. Save your cash and give your body a break! Get support and advice, sign up here.
Problems alcohol can bring
Over the past fifty years, alcohol consumption has doubled. As well as the risks associated with how alcohol changes people’s behaviour, there are also risks for mental health. Find out more.
It’s estimated that the average adult spends around £886 every year on alcohol – that’s almost £75 every month, which is money in your pocket for Dry January! Click here for a few suggestions on what you could spend that extra cash on.
Alcohol is incredibly high in empty calories (so called because it contains no nutrients) – in fact the average adult gets 10% of their calories from alcohol. You can find out more at the Alcohol Concern Calorie Converter.
Like the feel of a glass in your hand? Fill it up with a mocktail. Show off with these yummy and healthy options, click here for recipes…
Oh, what a beautiful morning
It’s surprising what you are capable of when you have a clear head. Here are a few suggestions of activities for all the family that will use up that spare time.
What to Expect Over The Month
You are what you eat
If 2016 is going to be your year for change and plan to eat healthy the NHS weight loss plan can help guide. Their 12 week weight loss guide combines advice on healthier eating and physical activity.
Keep us up to date on how you are doing:
Local CCG Announces £200,000 Community Innovations Fund to tackle health inequalities
GP commissioners are inviting community and voluntary organisations to bid for a portion of £200,000 to promote better health in Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland.
NHS South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has announced the launch of a £200k Community Innovations Fund (CIF). The aim is to support and develop health related proposals into practical and inspiring initiatives which make a positive difference to the lives of local people.
There were many success stories from last year’s fund, here are a few.
1.Through money provided by last year’s fund ‘Carers Together’ have been able to employ another member of staff, her role to increase dementia awareness. Linking in with businesses and 5 local secondary schools to run courses to educate on people with dementia in their communities.
A local Leisure Centre and supermarket are in the process of offering training to customer facing staff thanks to this fund. Both businesses have expressed that they would like to make their environments more dementia friendly. Thanks to Carers Together they are able to do this.
2. Victim Support is a charity for victims and witnesses of crime, which tackle domestic violence, antisocial behaviour and hate crime, they help children and young people and deliver restorative justice. They were given (Insert here), for their mental health innovation fund. It was used for emotional support, telephone support, providing alarms (personal alarms, door alarms, security lights, window locks/alarms) and advocacy (which included support with housing, police, finance and legal issues) for victims across the region.
3. The Wellbeing Recovery College in Saltburn benefited from £20,000 with last year’s fund which was used on developing courses to increase life skills, copy strategies, anger management and employability.
The centre was initially set up to target those who were in alcohol and drug recovery, people experiencing depression or anxiety (including carers) and those with mental health services who are stable.
The monies used so far have had a massive impact of lives of those in the area with one user stating ‘I feel privileged to have been on this course. It’s great to see more ways of dealing with depression and anxiety. I feel positive about the future.’
And another saying: ‘When I think about how I felt on the first day of the course – I realise how much better I feel now! I can take control of my life, I have learnt the tools and techniques to help me.’
This year, the CCG is inviting bids that support its commitment to reducing the preventable differences in health which exist within the South Tees community, known as health inequalities. Health inequalities are differences between people or groups due to social, geographical, biological or other factors. These differences have a huge impact, because they result in people who are worst off experiencing poorer health and shorter lives. The money could be used to fund start-up costs and some continuing costs for services or activities, which contribute, at a local level, to the objectives of the CCG.
Organisations can submit an application for up to £40,000. For bids under £10,000 there will be an opportunity for local groups to pitch their ideas directly to the CCG. You will find application forms and more information here. For further information please contact STCCG.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01642 263030.
If you become unwell over Christmas and New Year while your GP practice is closed, you can visit your Pharmacy or call NHS 111. Whether you are suffering from a persistent cough, cold or a tummy bug, find opening times for a pharmacy near you.
A sure sign of winter is the number of people with coughs, colds and those nasty winter tummy bugs. The commonest cause of diarrhoea and vomiting are viruses, one of the common ones you may have heard of is norovirus.
There are things that you can do to reduce your chances of becoming unwell. Handwashing can reduce the spread of the infection and washing your hands before eating will help. If you do become unwell you can very easily infect other people so do be sensible and keep yourself away from others. Kids should be kept off school for 48 hours after the symptoms have passed to reduce the risk of infecting all their friends and teachers. The most important thing when you are unwell is to drink fluids and rehydrate yourself. Paracetamol can also help you to feel a little better. And keep washing those hands!
Many of you will have heard about the Middlesbrough signing santa- for those that haven’t I added the video below – many great things happen in Teesside – and we should not miss an opportunity to spread the word. Read the full story here.
Governing Body meetings – you are welcome.
The CCG has a governing body meeting every 2 months and members of the public are warmly invited to come along to these meetings. We now hold all the meetings at our offices in North Ormesby Health Village located above the dialysis centre.
Our last meeting was on the 27th November and papers are available on the website. We talked about our plans for urgent care, and our commissioning intentions, quality and financial reports and much more.
All the items on the agenda are of relevance to any residents of Middlesbrough or Redcar and Cleveland so if you are interested to listen to how we make our decisions, hear what we are talking about , or learn more about the CCG make a date in your diary for the next one. Wednesday 27th January 2-5pm