Monthly Archives: February 2020

Health officials warn of silent killer for men on Teesside

HEALTH officials are advising of the dangers of a silent killer and the lifesaving screening which could detect it just ten minutes.

Medical experts on Teesside have warned that men in Middlesbrough aged 65 and over, have the lowest uptake of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening in the region.

In 2018/19 just 65.6 percent of men, who qualified for the free screening programme, attended for a scan – well below the regional figures of over 80 percent attendance.

Emma Golightly, of the North East and North Cumbria AAA Screening Service, said: “An AAA is a bulge or swelling in the wall of the aorta, the main blood vessel that runs from the heart down through the chest and stomach.

“In most cases there are no noticeable symptoms and most people with an AAA won’t be aware that they have one, but over time the aneurysm can expand and burst without warning causing potentially life-threatening bleeding.”

Figures from Public Health England’s NHS AAA Screening Programme estimate that one in every 70 men aged 65 years and over has an abdominal aortic aneurysm which if left untreated can rupture.

Eight out of every ten people with a ruptured AAA die before they reach hospital, or don’t survive the emergency surgery.

Early detection and diagnosis enables the aneurysm to be monitored and treated. The only way to find out if you have an AAA is to have an ultra sound scan. These are available for all men aged 65 and over who are registered with a GP practice.  Men are automatically invited in the year they turn 65.

The National AAA Screening Programme has screening centres across the country and within the North East and North Cumbria service there are 38 screening clinics including; The Resolution Health Centre, Middlesbrough and Redcar Primary Care Hospital.

“Accepting an invitation to attend a screening could prove to be life-saving,” said Emma.

“An AAA is detected through lower abdominal ultrasound screening, just like a pregnancy scan, they are completely painless and take just ten minutes.

“It is a one off scan and results are available the same day straight after the scan.”

NHS South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group GP Dr Janet Walker is supporting the North East and North Cumbria AAA Screening Service, alongside local GPs, Public Health England and a host of voluntary and community sector organisations to try and get the vital health message across.

“It is extremely worrying that men aged 65 and over in Middlesbrough have the lowest uptake for screening in the region,” she said.

“We really want to work with the screening service to encourage people to attend their appointments where a simple ten minute scan really could prove to be lifesaving.”

Anyone who has missed their AAA screening appointment can contact the screening service on 0191 4452554 to re-arrange a scan.

Clinical director of the North East and North Cumbria AAA Screening Service and vascular surgeon Professor Gerard Stansby added:” It is a tragedy when men with so much to live for die unexpectedly of a treatable condition. Screening for AAA has reduced such deaths already and I would encourage all who are elgible to attend”.

For more information, including details of your local clinic, please visit http://www.qegateshead.nhs.uk/aaa


Teesside’s new Psychological Wellbeing Therapies Service

IMPACT on Teesside, a pioneering new NHS-commissioned service, launches on 1 April 2020 and will support people across Teesside who are experiencing depression, stress, anxiety, and a wide range of other common psychological and emotional issues. IMPACT will also provide recovery support for people who have experienced mental ill-health in the past.

Talking therapies are a proven, effective way of helping people with emotional and mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and stress. They help work out how to deal with negative thoughts and feelings and make positive changes.

IMPACT is commissioned by the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) of NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees and NHS South Tees, who have awarded the contract for the service to Alliance Psychological Services who will be working in partnership with Insight Healthcare, Middlesbrough & Stockton Mind, and Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys Mental Health Trust.

The new five-year contract makes IMPACT the first service of its kind in the country to include wellbeing and recovery support. It aims to exceed the ambitions set out in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, including more people accessing talking therapy and more people with long-term health conditions benefiting from the service.

The new service will have an easy-to-use single point of access and staff will work closely with GPs and other healthcare providers to develop mental health provision and support within practices and community health settings.

Welcoming the announcement, CCG Director of Commissioning, Strategy and Delivery, Mike Brierley said:

“We are delighted to announce that Alliance Psychological Services has been chosen to deliver our new psychological wellbeing and therapy services contract across Teesside.

“The CCG has ambitious plans for its mental health and wellbeing services and this new contract goes one step further than the national guidance, offering wellbeing and recovery services for the first time, ensuring that people living and working on Teesside get a holistic approach to their mental health needs.”

Anne Drummond and Leanda Kane Fidgeon, Directors at Alliance, said: “We are excited to be working in partnership with the CCG and our partner organisations to develop this innovative range of services which we believe will bring real benefit to our local communities.”


Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

The NHS in South Tees and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.

The risk to the general public is moderate. If you have arrived back to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau within 14 days, follow the specific advice for returning travellers.

Call 111 now if you’ve been:

  • to Wuhan or Hubei Province in China in the last 14 days (even if you do not have symptoms)
  • to other parts of China, including Macau and Hong Kong, in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it’s mild)
  • to Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Republic of Korea or Malaysia in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it’s mild)
  • in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus

Do not go to a GP surgery or hospital. Call 111, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.

Further information is available on gov.uk/coronavirus and nhs.uk.

Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.

The risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current time, as members of the public who have visited Wuhan, Hubei province, China are currently in isolation.

Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of the hospital and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others.  Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.

Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at www.gov.uk/coronavirus


New Psychological Wellbeing and Therapy service on Teesside

From 1st April 2020 a new Psychological Wellbeing and Therapy service, including current talking therapy services (IAPT), will be provided by a new partnership of organisations.

This new service will be called IMPACT on Teesside and will replace the current NHS Any Qualified Provider Model, which is delivered by 5 different providers locally, with a single service provision.

It will also incorporate the Wellbeing and Outreach support currently provided through the Living Life services in South Tees (provided by Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind) and Mind Skills Recovery College in North Tees (provided by Hartlepool Mind).

The partnership delivering IMPACT on Teesside includes:

  • Alliance Psychological Services Limited
  • Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind
  • Insight Healthcare
  • TEWV NHS Foundation Trust.

The CCGs, the new IMPACT partnership and the outgoing providers will collaborate to undertake a seamless transition to the new service; and a joint transition plan has been robustly developed and is now being implemented to achieve this.

Please continue referring and encouraging self-referrals into the service in the usual way. All current providers will be continuing to book and deliver appointments as normal up to, throughout and beyond the transition period, and your patients/clients should experience no disruption at the point of service transfer.

Prior to transfer, all referred patients in treatment or waiting to be seen will receive a short letter to advise them of change in provider and transfer of their data if relevant to them. This is a necessary step to comply with GDPR legislation and allow anyone to ‘opt out’ if they so wish, although in practice this very rarely happens.

The IMPACT partnership and our mobilisation team are really looking forward to working with partner agencies across Tees in new ways and would very much like to meet as many GPs, practice managers and staff and other referrers as soon as possible. If you would like a visit or a telephone call then please let us know and this will be arranged for you.

 

Key contact address for all enquiries is:

enquiries@impactonteesside.com

 

Key contacts for the mobilisation team are;

  • Anne Drummond – Director, Alliance Psychological Services Limited
  • Stephanie Pederson – Mobilisation Project Manager, Alliance Psychological Services Limited
  • Emma Howitt – CEO, Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind
  • Liam Gilfellon – Director of Service Development and Programmes, Insight Healthcare
  • Deborah Wright – Locality Manager (Redcar & Cleveland AMH & Crisis Services Teesside), TEWV NHS Foundation Trust

Information for the public regarding Coronavirus

The NHS in South Tees and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.

The risk to the general public is moderate. If you have arrived back to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau within 14 days, follow the specific advice for returning travellers.

Anyone who has travelled to China or places listed above in the last 14 days and develops symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, should immediately:

  • Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
  • Call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country

Information for the public is available at gov.uk/coronavirus

Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.

The risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current time, as members of the public who have visited Wuhan, Hubei province, China are currently in isolation.

Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of the hospital and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others.  Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.

Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at www.gov.uk/coronavirus


Breast Diagnostic Services Patient Engagement extended

We are engaging with patients across South Tees, (Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland areas) about their experience of the Breast Diagnostic Service at University Hospital of North Tees. The engagement has been extended until Thursday 30th April 2020 from the initial 12 weeks engagement that was due to end on the 7th February. This is to allow sufficient time for people to share their views post Christmas.

In October 2015 the Breast Symptomatic Diagnostic Service at James Cook University Hospital (JCUH), Middlesbrough, temporarily moved to University Hospital of North Tees due to an inability to recruit breast radiologists.

Middlesbrough Health Scrutiny Panel were concerned that their constituents were disadvantaged by the breast symptomatic service being located in Stockton-on-Tees and in 2017 requested that the CCG engage with patients to obtain patients views of the service.

We carried out some patient engagement in August and November 2017 and we are now talking to patients who have accessed the service since 1 January 2019 to determine any impact there has been for patients in South Tees –  Middlesbrough Redcar and Cleveland.

What is the Breast Diagnostic Service?

Women or men with suspected breast cancer following an appointment with their GP (and for the purposes of this engagement – not via the breast screening service) are referred into a specialist breast service (breast diagnostic service – also sometimes known as a breast symptomatic service) and are offered a triple diagnostic assessment in one single hospital visit in accordance with National Institute of Clinical Excellence standards (NICE 2016). Under NHS Standards all breast patients should be offered an appointment within two weeks whether the GP suspects cancer or not. South Tees CCG is responsible for the commissioning of the Breast Symptomatic Service for South Tees patients.

The triple assessment involves;

  • Clinical examination
  • Breast imaging (mammography and/or ultrasound)
  • Taking a sample of breast tissue

This ensures rapid diagnosis whilst reducing anxiety associated with multiple hospital appointments. It was the breast symptomatic diagnostic service outlined above that closed temporarily at JCUH in October 2015. Since then women or men in South Tees have attended University Hospital of North Tees hospital for that service.

The CCG is keen to build on previous patient engagement undertaken and understand how patients from the South Tees area are accessing breast symptomatic services, any barriers to service, what ‘good’ looks like to them in order that they can build a more detailed picture of the service and feed this into work ongoing across the region that is looking closely at the way breast symptomatic services are organised.

What does good look like?

NICE referral quality standards [2016] state that commissioners should ensure they commission specialist services that provide a service whereby people with suspected breast cancer are referred to specialist services and offered a triple diagnostic assessment in a single visit.  Whilst quality standards are aimed at driving the quality of care, NICE acknowledges this may not be appropriate in practice and that local arrangements can be developed.

The “Gold-Standard” recommendation for a One-Stop Breast Clinic in the diagnosis of symptomatic breast cancer requires provision of a facility staffed by professionals with the combined abilities to perform triple assessment:

  • Clinicians [Doctors and/or Nurse Practitioners] with the necessary clinical skills to take histories and perform clinical examination of patients.
  • Radiologists and radiographers to perform mammography and ultrasound examination.
  • Expertise to undertake biopsy.

 

Get Involved

The CCG is providing a range of opportunities to help people get involved in the engagement to ensure we gather feedback concerning the impact of the change in 2015 to where the breast diagnostic service was delivered and provide. These include, a patient survey going out to all patients who have accessed the service at University Hospital of North Tees since 1st January 2019, targeted focus groups, an online survey and wider public events (the wider public events are now complete).

You can help by sharing the online survey www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/breastservices

Paper copies of the survey are also available by e-mailing NECSU.engagement@nhs.net  or by calling 01642 745401.