Monthly Archives: June 2015

New ‘Mental Capacity’ web resource to empower patients and assist health professionals

NHS Aylesbury Vale Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group have developed an online resource to empower patients and their families to engage as equal and informed participants with medical professionals.

This web-based resource will also support practitioners in providing high quality assessments of capacity – whether a patient is able to make their own decisions.

Vikki Gray, Safeguarding Manager at the CCGs, said: “We are all presumed to have capacity, but sometimes due to conditions that affect the mind or brain people may lack capacity to make their own decisions.

“It is not possible to know if someone lacks capacity without doing a capacity assessment.

“Examples of people who may lack capacity include those with dementia, a learning disability, a brain injury or patients who have had a stroke. These conditions may be temporary or permanent but it is important to be able to assess someone’s capacity to make a decision at a particular time.”

Assess Right has evolved from collaborative working with Bucks County Council, health colleagues and a service user and carer group.  This work has been taken forward by the CCGs in Buckinghamshire to assist people involved in mental capacity assessments. It is available and accessible free of charge to all those who might need it, practitioners and members of the public alike.

Vikki Gray added: This work has been inspired by a variety of situations and circumstances where service users, carers and practitioners experience uncertainty about when and how to assess capacity.  

“The aim of Assess Right is to take the person completing the assessment through a series of steps with prompts that meets the criteria for assessing capacity and generates confidence in the user that the correct steps and stages have been followed. It is a tool to empower both the patient and the professional.”

Assess Right, is a website developed by NHS Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern CCGs and available as a downloadable PDF free of charge.

Carers Hub now open at Stoke Mandeville Hospital – New service to support unpaid carers in Bucks

Carers Bucks, the charity which supports and promotes the wellbeing of unpaid family carers in Buckinghamshire, opened a Carers Hub at Stoke Mandeville Hospital on 8th June 2015, the start of national Carers Week 2015.

The new service, which has been partially funded by NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group, was launched by Carers Bucks in partnership with NHS Aylesbury Vale Clinical Commissioning Group and Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

It will see Carers Bucks staff being able to identify and provide immediate support to carers visiting the hospital.

The Carers Hub, a dedicated room within the hospital is located between Wards 8 and 9 in the Wendover Wing, but the service will be delivered throughout the hospital via a Carers Hub Co-ordinator. Carers providing unpaid care for someone with an illness or disability will be able to visit the Hub and receive information, help and advice on their caring role.

The support they receive from Carers Bucks will help ensure they feel more confident and supported in their caring role when the person they care for returns home from hospital.

Chief Executive of Carers Bucks, Stephen Archibald says: “We are delighted to be launching the Carers Hub in Stoke Mandeville; it is a much needed and eagerly anticipated service which will benefit carers attending the hospital with a family member or friend.

“There are many thousands of carers living in Buckinghamshire who may not recognise themselves as a carer, or they become a carer overnight due to a sudden illness or accident. The Carers Hub means we can now work with health staff at the hospital to identify and meet carers who will benefit from our service face to face.”

The Carers Hub will offer a comfortable space for carers to visit, and where necessary the carer will be linked to Carers Bucks team of professional support staff based in Aylesbury, and the wider services available from the organisation.

Dr Annet Gamell, Chief Clinical Officer of Chiltern CCG, said: ““While being a carer can be a very fulfilling role, it can also be an extremely demanding one at times. This new service will offer valuable support and advice to benefit the day-to-day lives of carers and hopefully ease the pressures they may face.”

Colin Thompson, Director of Operations and Performance for Aylesbury Vale CCG, said: “The Carers Hub is a great example of how the NHS and the voluntary sector can work together to help improve the lives of carers and the people they care for here in Buckinghamshire.”

There are over 49,500** unpaid adult carers in Buckinghamshire and each week almost 200 people become a carer for the first time.

For further information contact Carers Bucks call 0300 777 2722 or visit

For further details about Carers Week visit