Monthly Archives: October 2015

Stewart George, Chair of Chiltern CCG, to retire

After 25 years of service as a key figure in Buckinghamshire Healthcare, Stewart George, the current chair of NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group, has announced he is to retire next year.

He confirmed at a meeting of the CCG’s Governing Body and Executive last week that he will not seek re-appointment or re-election in the post when his 3-year term comes to an end in March 2016.

Stewart’s role within the CCG has been to ensure that robust process and governance is followed in decision making and make certain the organisation is accountable to its local patients, stakeholders and NHS England. He has been particularly involved in ensuring that public and patients’ views are heard, their needs are understood and, where practicable, are met.

Stewart has been involved in healthcare within the county for a quarter of a century as a Non-Executive Director and Chair. Before joining the CCG he served as Joint Chair for the NHS Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Cluster, and prior to that, Buckinghamshire PCT. His professional background and qualifications are within human resources management.

Whilst the Governing Body and Executive expressed their regret at his decision, they also thanked him for his diligent service.

They now aim to select a new Chair, to be voted in by members, before the end of March 2016.

Annet Gamell, Chief Clinical Officer for Chiltern CCG, said: “While we will all be very sorry to see Stewart leave us, we are also tremendously grateful for the work he has done within NHS Chiltern CCG since its formation in 2013.

“Stewart has served as a conscientious and compassionate Chair, with a firm focus on improving patient experience and ensuring our CCG continually strives to deliver the best outcomes possible for our population.

“We wish him all the best for the future and hope he will enjoy a happy and healthy retirement.”

Ease pressure on the NHS with the new Health Help Now web service

An innovative new service has been launched in Bucks to help people understand where to go for treatment.

Health Help Now is a free service for people in Bucks which they can download to their phone, laptop or tablet so they can get NHS advice about the best place to go for their health concerns.

People can use Health Help Now to check their symptoms and find the nearest place they can go for treatment. All pharmacies, dentists and GP surgeries in Bucks are listed, as well as A and E details and the Minor Injuries and Illness Unit.

The web service breaks down symptoms according to age groups including baby, child, teenager, adult and older adult.

Health Help Now is a free service for people in Bucks which they can download to their phone, laptop or tablet so they can get NHS advice about the best place to go for their health concerns.

People can use Health Help Now to check their symptoms and find the nearest place they can go for treatment.  All pharmacies, dentists and GP surgeries in Bucks are listed, as well as A and E details and the Minor Injuries and Illness Unit.

The app breaks down symptoms according to age groups including baby, child, teenager, adult and older adult.

The app has been developed by NHS Aylesbury Vale and NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Groups to ensure people get the right treatment in the right place.

Dr Kevin Suddes, Aylesbury Vale CCG Executive Clinical Lead for Unscheduled Care, said: “Most people know that going to accident and emergency isn’t the right place for the vast majority of their health complaints, but are confused about what the right places are to go to and get help. Health Help Now will be able to point them in the right direction and help them understand a bit more about their treatment options”.

Dr Rebecca Mallard-Smith, Chiltern CCG Clinical Commissioning Director for Urgent Care, said: “We hope Health Help Now will save a lot of people a wasted trip to accident and emergency and help them get the right treatment in the right place more quickly. This should also help ease the pressure for our colleagues working in A and E”.

The information has been developed with the input of clinicians and includes advice about how people can treat themselves at home for minor illnesses and injuries.  After clicking on an age group, symptoms and location, people are given options for treatment with the most suitable listed first. It shows the nearest services and is time sensitive so details whether services are open or closed and provides a map of their location.  Health Help Now also includes details of which pharmacies are open over the Easter break.

The web app is available via and can be saved to your phone, tablet or computer. Anyone who doesn’t have internet access should phone NHS 111 for instant advice, 24 hours a day.

Safeguarding is everybody’s business – information on protection of vulnerable children and adults

Two organisations dedicated to ensuring children and adults are safeguarded from mistreatment, neglect, bullying and exploitation have produced a short video to explain the importance of their work – and how you can help to protect the most vulnerable in our society.

The Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board and the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Adults Board have also published their annual reports, which are now available to view (see links below).

View the short video on why safeguarding is everybody’s business.

At a recent presentation the two organisations also outlined plans to work together more on areas of common interest in the future – to strengthen their work and become easier for the public and other agencies to understand and access.

The Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Adults Board (BSAB) is a group of statutory, private, voluntary, and independent organisations across the county who work together to empower and protect some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

Its purpose is to raise awareness that some people may be at particular risk of mistreatment, exploitation or abuse and, once alerted, it works with others to protect them from harm and safeguard their interests.

The Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) coordinates local arrangements for safeguarding and promotes the welfare of children in the county across a range of issues, including child sexual exploitation, e-safety and the learning and development of children. It is made up of key people who represent the various agencies in Bucks that work with children and their families.

If you need to use either service to report a concern or get advice, use these numbers:

Safeguarding Children First Response
Tel: 0845 460 0001

Safeguarding Adults First Response
Tel: 0800 137 915

Bucks project to support young people who self-harm shortlisted for awards

self harm

An innovative project aiming to support young people in Buckinghamshire who have self-harmed, and assist schools in helping pupils at risk of doing so, is in the running to win two prestigious health sector awards later this month.

The Young Person’s Self Harm service, pioneered by NHS Chiltern and NHS Ayesbury Vale Clinical Commissioning Groups, has been recognised by the Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards in the categories Commissioning in Mental Health and Innovation in Child, Adolescent and Young’s Mental Health.

The project has seen innovations in two areas. Firstly, in the training and advice given to most secondary schools across Buckinghamshire to help teachers and staff members identify and deal with both potential and actual cases of self-harm. A self-harm advice resource pack has been distributed to schools, and offers advice, guidance, information and even a flowchart of actions for staff to take if confronted with certain scenarios. Feedback from schools on the usefulness of the information pack has so far been overwhelmingly positive.

Also, the way young people who have self-harmed are dealt with on admission to A&E has been altered to ensure they are assessed by the Child and Adolescent  Mental Health Services at the first opportunity, by telephone if necessary, which may not previously have been the case.

This is intended to put more emphasis on their psychological well-being as well as any physical injury or complaint they may have experienced. It will also avoid unnecessary and inappropriate hospital admissions.

Leading the project is Dr Dal Sahota, Chiltern CCG’s Director for Children, who said: “Being shortlisted for national awards like these really helps to affirm the value of the work we have put into this project.

“Our school information pack is genuinely a groundbreaking innovation; one we hope could be adopted elsewhere across the country. We hope it will help prevent cases of self-harm and assist in giving young people the support they need during what may be very difficult times.  At the same time, our refreshed approach to the way youngsters with self-harm injuries are treated in Bucks’ hospitals will focus far more on their psychological sense of well-being than has perhaps been the case in the past.”

Youngsters aged between 16-17 year olds can contact the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services on 01865 902515 (Mon – Fri, 9am-5pm) if they have concerns over anxiety, stress or other emotional issues.

The awards ceremony takes place in Newcastle on 14 October.

My Care Record: Connecting the professionals in Bucks who care for you


Health and social care professionals in Buckinghamshire have a new approach to sharing patient records so they can make the right choices about the care and support people need.

My Care Record will allow medical and social care professionals, with patient consent, to access an up-to-date specific subset of GP records online when someone is in contact with them.

Dr Annet Gamell, the Chief Clinical Officer for Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “€œPeople tell us all the time that they want health and social care professionals to be better connected and share information, so when they need care they don’t need to keep repeating the same basic information over and over again.

“My Care Record will mean we have instant access to this information, even outside of normal office hours, when important information about allergies and medication could be vital, even life-saving.”

Dr Graham Jackson, Clinical Chair for Aylesbury Vale CCG, said: “€œInformation is currently sometimes shared, where clinically appropriate, usually by fax or phone; and rarely at the point of need. 

“€œWithout My Care Record health and social care professionals have to wait until the following day to get important information about people they are caring for during evenings and weekends. This can cause delays in providing treatment, care or medication.”

Richard Corbett, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Bucks, said: “Sharing information is an important part of health and social care so anything which improves communication between different teams is very welcome.

“This will benefit patients and service users because it will ensure people get appropriate care much more quickly.”

Mike Appleyard, cabinet member for Communities, Health and Adult Social Care at Buckinghamshire County Council, said: “I firmly believe that this system will contribute to better patient outcomes by enabling health and social care staff to provide a seamless service to the people of Buckinghamshire.  I am delighted that the council and our partners in the local NHS are taking a lead in the use of digital to improve the services we provide.”

Information included in My Care Record includes what medications someone is taking, any allergies or details of medication which has caused adverse reactions, any health conditions which means someone shouldn’€™t have certain medicines and any factors which need to be considered before someone is discharged from hospital.

My Care Record is a secure site only available to registered health and social care professionals. At no point are copies of the record created, copied or kept once the enquiry is complete. My Care Record provides patients with two levels of control over who has access to their information:

  1. A clinician must ask the patient for permission to view their information at the point of care.
  2. People can also choose to opt out of My Care Record completely in which case their information cannot be accessed by the My Care Record system.  To do so patients need to complete an opt-out form and take it to their GP practice. The form is available online, or at the surgery. Please remember, however, this system has been developed to improve the quality of care, and includes safeguards around access to the data.

View our My Care Record page for more information.  You can also download an opt out form. Leaflets and opt out forms will also be available at GP practices.