Monthly Archives: June 2016

Learning Disability Week

Last week, (20-24th June) was Learning Disability Week.  Is was a great way to raise the awareness of learning disability across Teesside. The theme for this year was friendships.

Dominic, a member of the LD community joined us in the CCG offices, as a health and independence advocate he wanted to know more about us and we wanted to know his thoughts as well.

During his time in the offices he wrote a blog about what he feels is important with health issues, he interviewed local GP and Chair of the CCG Janet Walker and the CCGs Chief Officer, Amanda Hume.


A booklet has been produced by ‘Skills for People’ which offers advice on ‘Friendships’, have a read – Friendship Booklet JUN16



£200,000 awarded to benefit local communities, helping reduce preventable differences in health.

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Targeting overweight men, supporting families whose loved ones are spending time in prison and people whose wellbeing has been affected due to unemployment and the closure of SSI.

South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group invited community and voluntary organisations to bid for a portion of £200,000 to promote better health in Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland.

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.

Health inequalities are preventable differences between people or groups due to social, geographical, biological or other factors. These differences can 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.

A wide variety of people and groups will benefit from the fund, including –

Football Fans in Training (FFIT): Middlesbrough Football Club – Football Fans in Training (FFIT) is a hugely successful lifestyle programme originally aimed at men aged 35+ and with a waist size of 38 inches or more. Participants get the chance to learn about diet & nutrition, health lifestyle choices and take part in gentle physical activity. Each programme runs one evening a week for 13 weeks at the stadium, with participants building up their ability to take part in some football related activity.

“Weight management and dieting are often wrongly viewed as ‘women’s’ issues, meaning that some men do not want to take part in existing weight management programmes. The FFIT programme shows that men are keen and able to make positive changes to their health in the right circumstances, and the football club is a great setting for weight management and other health initiatives. Previous projects have shown that participants really enjoyed being with other men like them, with a shared interest in football and similar health issues to address. They loved having the opportunity to spend time at the club, using parts of the stadium that they couldn’t ordinarily access. And they appreciated the chance to be encouraged, trained, and informed by the club’s coaches.” Andrew Clay, MFC Foundation- Operations Manager

“The Football Fans in Training course looks right up my street and can’t wait to start working out at the stadium with the lads and shifting some of this weight” Nigel B – A participant on the course.

Little Sprouts – This project will address the health inequalities of the people in Redcar & Cleveland.  With deprivation and obesity levels higher than national average, the aim is to provide an innovative, engaging and practical service. The project has participants cooking a variety of healthy food each week. This will help to raise awareness of the effects a poor diet can have on diet-related illnesses.  Additionally, the weekly socialisation has a positive impact on mental health and can reduce isolation in the community.

‘Redcar and Cleveland has higher than average poor health. Adults are making less healthy lifestyle choices; there are key indicators of long term unemployment, and financial hardship in the area. These factors in return have an impact on obesity levels and poor mental health.

Working with established groups we will provide fully inclusive workshops which can work alongside existing health and wellbeing priorities’. Neta Kaur-Brown- Little Sprouts

NEPACS – NEPACS works in prisons across the north east of England, including Holme House in Stockton. They support and assist prisoners families and friends of prisoners in their visits to the prison, and in their life outside the prison.

The funding will help extend awareness of the hidden sentence served by families of prisoners to health professionals, expand the services to provide additional emotional support to these families in order to address poor health and wellbeing of adults and children, and improve joint working with health professionals in identifying and addressing these needs.

“We are absolutely delighted to receive this funding from the CCG as it demonstrates that the local health service recognises that imprisonment is an issue that impacts on the health and wellbeing of children and families, which can affect mental, emotional and physical wellbeing and can be devastating financially and socially isolating. Prisoners families tend to be overlooked by statutory agencies and this is the first time a local health organisation has funded Nepacs to undertake a project specifically with health workers and we hope this will lead to greater partnership working in the future.” Tina YoungCommunications and Development Manager, NEPACS

12 groups in total were awarded monies, Find out more on each awardee


Hemlington Medical Centre

Earlier this year, the NHS tried to find someone to run the contract held by Hemlington Medical Centre. Unfortunately, this last attempt was not successful and the NHS needs to look at further options.

We would like to hear your views about our plans to secure a branch service and the concerns you may have if we need to ask you to re-register with another local practice.

We have written to all patients of Hemlington Medical Centre to ask them to complete a short survey.

If you are a patient of Hemlington Medical Centre, we want to hear from you.

See the list of where and when to attend the planned Engagement Events

Find out more about the changes.



Guest Blog – Dominic Jones












Dominic joined us at the CCG as part of Learning Disabilities awareness week. Below is a blog of what he feels is important with health issues –

What help do you need with your health?

By Dominic Jones, from Independent Voices

Here are some questions that I have thought of, for you to ask yourself.

  1. What help do you need with any type of health matters?
  2. When you eat do you need any help? Some people have problems chewing and might choke.
  3. When you go for a health check or for any other health appointment do you need more support? People sometimes need support and guidance, mainly for the very young.
  4. What is your day to day interest in your health? We can do things for our health every day, like choosing our snacks well.
  5. Are you afraid to go to the GP surgeries? Your friends can help you if you are nervous.
  6. Do you need home visits from a GP instead?
  7. In future do you want information from the service to look at? They might be able to give you a leaflet to take away with you, raising any concerns or issues.

If you have any questions on the above, please contact us on



Football crazy

NHS 139I feel that I can’t avoid  making reference to football this week giving England’s success in the past week against Wales. I can’t confess to being a football fan but I know many of you are.

What I do know is that how a local team are doing in the league does have an influence on the well being of the local  population. I am really hoping that Boro’s  move into the Premiership does boost health and well being across South Tees! Anything that inspires us all to get more active must be a good thing.

It was great to hear on the radio about the under 11 girls team from St. Edwards RC Primary school in Middlesbrough who have just won the Danone Nations Cup  – a National football competition. Well done girls!

At the CCG we are also doing  our bit and have been continuing our Office Olympics with races during the week and promoting healthy eating at the end of the week.

Sometimes small changes can  make a big difference.


Activity update – I have not done as well this week. I’ve spent too many hours sat in meetings or sat in the chair driving to them and then not knuckling down at the end of the day to make up.  I’m hoping that the weather will start to get better again to make an evening walk more inviting. I think I need some of those small changes to spur me on.

Cervical screening saves lives – don’t be the one missing out

This week is Cervical Screening Awareness Week (13-19th June), the staff at South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group are helping to raise awareness that screening can saves lives! 


Cervical screening prevents 75% of cervical cancers from developing in the UK, yet one in four women do not attend cervical screening when invited.

Not going for cervical screening is one of the biggest risk factors for developing cervical cancer.

Find a list of screening clinics in Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland below, where you can get your free, routine NHS screening, including venues where you don’t need an appointment, you can just walk in.























See the full document here.

Carers week

Janet WalkerIt is carers week 6-12th June. At the CCG we recognise the need to celebrate and raise awareness of the vital  role that carers play in the heath and well being of so many of our South Tees population. As a GP I regularly see many carers providing outstanding levels of physical and mental care needs support to their loved  ones, sometimes to the detriment of their own health, and as health professionals we need to ensure and ask how the carer is, offering understanding and onward signposting to where they can access more support.

I had the privilege of attending the Young Carers event, hosted at the Riverside stadium by The Junction Foundation. It really was  fantastic, if emotional at times, to watch videos, hear stories, have live music performed by a local young person and be able to recognise young carers from Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland. Many of the young people received awards as recognition of the work they had done as individuals, in groups as well as individuals involved with peer support and mentorship. They really were an inspiration.



Activity update.
I have learnt that it is  not a good idea to drop your activity counter into the weed bucket when gardening,  and it does get sticky when you are applying sunscreen. But I’m doing not badly with my steps. The weighing scales though tell me I need to increase my targets .  I will have to keep you posted.