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Please don’t ask your doctor for medicines like paracetamol or ibuprofen*

In Buckinghamshire, the NHS spent £1,610,952 in the 2017/18 financial year on prescribing items like paracetamol, remedies for indigestion or heartburn, allergy treatments, vitamin supplements and cream for dry skin.  We’ve calculated that in Bucks this could have paid for:

  • 40 nurses
  • 11,364 MRI scans
  • 7,895 general hospital appointments

Medicines like these are easily available over the counter, often at a lower cost than the NHS is charged for them. Where possible, health services are asking patients to obtain these medicines themselves – it is quicker, easier, and will mean the NHS can spend more money on other services that will have greater benefit for the Buckinghamshire population.

Dr Shona Lockie, Clinical Director for the Medicines Management team at NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Whilst we know that some patients genuinely need these medicines in regular quantities for long term conditions and they will continue to be able to have them prescribed; a lot of these medicines are available to buy over the counter from your local pharmacy often at a lower cost than would be incurred by the NHS.

“So we are adopting national guidance for our local GPs which we hope will reduce our spend on around 35 different medicines and treatments for minor conditions and ailments that are usually self-limiting or which lend themselves to self-care.

“We hope that we can free up resources which can be used for other, higher priority areas that have a greater impact for patients and help to ensure the long-term sustainability of the NHS.”

Speak to your pharmacist for advice on treating minor problems; e.g. coughs and colds, mild eczema and athlete’s foot. They will always tell you if you need to see a doctor. Patients who need these drugs in regular quantities or fall into an exception category can continue to get them on prescription.

If you visit your GP who then recommends you buy the treatment, please remember they are following national guidance.

Over the counter medicines are widely available at your local pharmacy or in supermarkets and include:

  • Vitamins
  • Antihistamines and product for hayfever
  • Paracetamol and ibuprofen
  • Cough and cold remedies
  • Eyes drops for dry eyes
  • Cream for dry skin

When required in small quantities or for a short period of time, it would be quicker for you to obtain and will create less pressure on GP appointments if you were to buy these yourself without a prescription.

Further information about this, including a full list of items and exemptions from the change to prescribing, is available at:  www.buckinghamshireccg.nhs.uk/otc

A patient information leaflet is available at:

www.england.nhs.uk/publication/prescribing-of-over-the-counter-medicines-is-changing

* Patients who need these drugs in regular quantities can continue to get them on repeat prescription.


For further information please contact: Neil Phillips, on 01296 382444 or out of hours on 07825430978 

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Update on Flash Glucose Monitoring:

The Executive Committee for the Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Groups approved the TVPC recommendation on the use of Flash Glucose Monitoring on 22 March. This now has to go through a process of implementation.  There will be no prescribing by GPs in primary care until a patient has been assessed within their regular review appointment by their diabetes specialist to ensure that the criteria is met and that patients have the appropriate training to use the device.

GPs will not initiate prescribing of the device. Patients who have been self-funding will still need a review by their specialist to ensure they also meet the criteria as described in the policy before the device is prescribed on the NHS.

Thank you for your interest and we will keep you updated when we know more.

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Smoother, simpler 24/7 Primary Care Services for Buckinghamshire

Since 3 April, residents of Buckinghamshire have been able to access primary care services more easily outside of regular daytime hours – with services working more closely to offer a smoother, simpler experience for patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

NHS Aylesbury Vale and NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which buy in health services for the county, have awarded a new contract to provide these services to a ‘collaborative’ of NHS providers.

These services will include access to urgent GP appointments and healthcare advice for minor illnesses and injuries.

This ‘collaborative’ is made up of:

  • Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, which is responsible for providing hospital and NHS community services
  • FedBucks, which represents the majority of Buckinghamshire GP practices
  • Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, which is responsible for providing mental health services
  • South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, which provides the  ambulance response service and the NHS 111 service

People in Bucks will be able to access the service in several ways – when calling their GP surgery number outside of its regular hours, when seeking urgent healthcare advice via the national NHS 111 phone service or when attending the Minor Injuries and Illness Unit at Wycombe Hospital.

By working so closely to deliver this service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the organisations involved plan to provide smoother transitions and referrals to follow-on care for patients with urgent healthcare needs, making the way they receive treatment easier to navigate and understand.

Dr Rebecca Mallard-Smith, Clinical Director for Unplanned Community Care for the CCGs, said: “This new, more joined up way of working will mean that we can align healthcare services across the whole 24 hour period so that routine and urgent primary care becomes seamless and patients find it easier to access the care they need.

“The key benefit to patients is that we can further join-up more of our NHS services, including local integration with NHS 111, directing patients to the best place for their needs so they can access the right care at the right time.

“Throughout the next year, as other changes to NHS services begin to roll out that enhance this new contract, we will work together, with our public and patients, to develop care that is based on the needs of our local communities.”

Dr Tina Kenny, Medical Director at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust said: “Patients tell us that choosing how to access NHS urgent care services out of hours is sometimes confusing – this new contract will allow us to develop swifter access to clear advice and treatment when our patients in Buckinghamshire need the NHS the most.”

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New CCG Location

From Monday 5 February, we will no longer be based at Chiltern District Council and our new Amersham address will be:

Chiltern CCG Office
Executive Offices
Amersham Hospital
Whielden Street
Amersham Bucks
HP7 0JD

Tel: 01494 586700

The main base for the CCGs is going to be in Aylesbury so any communication should be addressed to the Aylesbury office address from 1 April 2018 onwards. This address is:

Second Floor,
The Gateway,
Gatehouse Rd,
Aylesbury
HP19 8FF

Tel: 01296 587220

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The Provision of Primary Medical Services at The Mandeville Practice, Aylesbury

NHS Aylesbury Vale and NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are pleased to confirm that, following a successful procurement process, they have now awarded a contract to Primary Care Medical Solutions (PCMS) for the provision of primary care services to patients at The Mandeville Practice, Hannon Road, Aylesbury. This contract will start in April 2018.

Nicola Lester, Director of Transformation at the CCGs said: “Providing the best possible healthcare service to local communities is our priority. The current contract was awarded on an interim basis to allow time to find a longer term provider and we are very pleased to have achieved this with the appointment of PCMS.

Although there will be some change in those running the practice, the services patients currently receive from The Mandeville Practice will continue.  Patients do not need to re-register or do anything differently; services will continue to be provided as usual and will be transferred seamlessly to the new provider on 1 April 2018.”

Sheraz Khan from Primary Care Management Solutions said: “We are really looking forward to working at The Mandeville Practice. As an organisation we aim to provide high quality medical services to the NHS, specialising in solutions for primary care settings and have a strong track record of working with GP Practices, GP Federations and other NHS organisations to support and lead in the delivery of high quality, patient centred care.”

For more information about Primary Care Management Solutions, please visit: www.pcmsolutions.co.uk

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If you are interested in your local NHS then our roadshow can come to you!

Over the coming months the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Buckinghamshire are keen to speak to people about local developments in healthcare and community based services and what they will mean for you.

Accountable Officer Lou Patten of NHS Aylesbury Vale CCGs said: “We are increasingly working more collaboratively with our partners, including Buckinghamshire County Council and NHS providers to improve the quality of healthcare services for local people.

“We are making significant investments to ensure people receive care closer to their home and are joining up GP, community, mental health, hospital and social care services to help our communities live healthier and more independent lives.

“We would really like the opportunity to speak with community groups and come to one of your meetings to hear from your members and if you think any changes in community healthcare services are needed.”

If you are part of a community group and would like the NHS to be including on one of your meeting agenda as part of a roadshow of events then please reply to CCGcomms@buckscc.gov.uk or through Twitter @bucksccgs with details of potential meetings dates.

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Dementia Friendly Community

High Wycombe is set to become the latest Dementia Friendly Community in Buckinghamshire – transforming into a more caring and supportive environment for people living with conditions that affect their memory.

The town will launch its Dementia Friendly initiative at Wycombe Library on Wednesday, September 28th, from 6.00pm to 8.00pm – it follows other communities, including Stokenchurch and Great Missenden.

Business and community groups have been invited to attend the event alongside health and social care representatives and local dignitaries, including Mayor of High Wycombe, Councillor Zia Ahmed.

The Dementia-Friendly Communities initiative aims to support local communities to work together and respond more positively towards individuals living with dementia or memory impairments. It will work to boost public awareness and understanding about how the condition can affect a person’s ability to complete daily activities. The initiative is being driven by NHS Aylesbury Vale and NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Groups in partnership with Buckinghamshire County Council.

One in three people over the age of 65 will develop dementia in the UK, and this will affect their ability to do the things most of us take for granted – like socialising, shopping, banking, enjoying a meal out or driving.

Dementia Friendly Communities aim to create a supportive environment where people living with dementia can feel safe and secure, and can remain independent, active members of their communities for longer. As well as making people more aware of dementia, there are also practical improvements that can be made within communities, such as  better signage and creating dementia friendly ‘safe places’.

Dr Rashmi Sawhney, Project Leader and NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group’s Clinical Lead for High Wycombe, said: “Buckinghamshire has an ageing population, which means the number of people living with dementia is increasing. It is really important we all improve our understanding of this condition, and the Dementia Friendly Community initiative can help us all achieve this, and provide more support to people in need at the same time.”

Dr Sian Roberts, Chiltern CCG’s Clinical Lead for Dementia, added: “We, as GPs, are working to improve early diagnosis and we would encourage anyone with concerns about their memory to contact their GP or the Buckinghamshire Memory Support Service. The sooner we can diagnose dementia, the sooner we can ensure people have the support they need to live fuller lives for longer. By becoming Dementia Friendly we can also make people more aware of the early signs of memory impairment and seek treatment sooner.”

Cllr Ahmed, Mayor of High Wycombe, said: “We want to create the kind of community in High Wycombe that is welcoming and supportive to people who live with dementia. I am confident the people of the town will embrace this very worthy ambition that will help so many of our residents to live fuller, more independent lives.”

Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, Mike Appleyard, said: “Providing support to help people living with dementia retain their quality of life within the local community is a priority for the county council. The Dementia Friendly Communities initiative helps us to achieve this and should make a real difference to the lives of people in High Wycombe.”

Organisations including the Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, and Carers Bucks will join Buckinghamshire County Council and health service representatives to host the event to raise awareness of the initiative and talk to local people about dementia and the challenges people living with the condition face on a daily basis.

For advice about dementia, contact your GP or get in touch with the Buckinghamshire Memory Support Service on 01296 331749 or email memorysupport@alzheimers.org.uk

You can also contact the Alzheimer’s Society’s National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122 or email helpline@alzheimers.org.uk.

 

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Annual General Meeting – Thursday 15th September

Ask questions and find out about health services in Bucks at Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern CCGs 2016 AGMs, September 15

agm-posterThe two NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups serving Buckinghamshire will be holding their 2016 AGMs on Thursday, September 15– their first since joining forces to strengthen the way they can buy health services for residents of the county.

Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern CCGs are now working together in collaboration, with a single, shared management team.

Their AGMs will be held from 6.30pm to 8.00pm, across two venues. The lead venue, The Gateway Building in Aylesbury will host both meetings, with a live feed being broadcast at the Chiltern District Council Offices in Amersham. CCG staff will attend both venues, and there will be presentations and displays on the organisations’ performance over the last 12 months and their future plans.

All members of the public are welcome to attend either venue, where they can ask questions about local healthcare issues.

The meeting will also be live streamed, meaning anyone with an internet connection can watch. Questions can be submitted ahead of time, asked live or tweeted during the event, when they can be answered by CCG staff.

Watch the AGM Live

Lou Patten, Accountable Officer for the CCGs, said: “These are exciting times for health services in Buckinghamshire, but we have challenges ahead. With our two CCGs working together to innovate and cooperate, we are determined to deliver the services and quality outcomes our population deserves. We hope as many people as possible attend our AGMs so we can let them know about our progress over the last year and our plans for the future.”

Dr Raj Bajwa, newly appointed Clinical Chair for Chiltern CCG, added: “Our CCGs have good track records of delivering for our population, and we are determined to continue to improve our performance and outcomes.

“To do this we must ensure we are meeting the needs of our population and the AGMs are the perfect opportunity for us to do this. Please come along to ask questions and let us know where you have concerns about health services in Bucks and where services are performing well.”

The AGM will take place at The Gateway, Aylesbury Vale District Council, Gatehouse Road Aylesbury HP19 8FF and will be streamed at the Chiltern District Council Offices, King George V Road, Amersham, HP6 5AW.

You can submit questions in advance to bucksccgs@nhs.net or in real time using Twitter @bucksccgs #askbucksccgs. Check the CCGs’ Facebook pages at aylesburyvaleccg and nhsbucksccgccg.

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Dr Annet Gamell’s April 2016 Health Column in the Bucks Free Press

Dr Annet GamellDr Annet Gamell, Chief Clinical Officer, Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), has a health column in the Bucks Free Press each month.

Latest – May 2016

Archive

2016
  • Library
  • Public
  • Chiltern CCG News
  • Dr Annet Gamell's Health Column
  • 2016
276801. January 2016
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276902. February 2016
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277003. March 2016
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277104. April 2016
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341405. May 2016
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2015
  • Library
  • Public
  • Chiltern CCG News
  • Dr Annet Gamell's Health Column
  • 2015
275601. January 2015
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275702. February 2015
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275803. March 2015
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275904. April 2015
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276005. May 2015
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276106. June 2015
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276611. November 2015
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276712. December 2015
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2014
  • Library
  • Public
  • Chiltern CCG News
  • Dr Annet Gamell's Health Column
  • 2014
274603. March 2014
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274704. April 2014
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274805. May 2014
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274906. June 2014
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275007. July 2014
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275107. July 2014
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275208. August 2014
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275309. September 2014
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275410. October 2014.
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275511. November 2014
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Don’t throw your health away – make sure you use your bowel cancer screening kit

Have you been sent a bowel cancer screening kit in the post? If so, please don’t throw it in the bin – you could be throwing away your chance to live a happy and healthy life.

Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the UK, with around 40,000 people diagnosed every year.

NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group is calling for people to make use of the kits which screen for symptoms of the disease so they can get treatment early.

Men and women aged between 60 and 74, who are registered with a GP surgery, are sent a bowel cancer screening kit in the post every two years. This involves a simple test that can be done in their own home, which aims to detect possible early signs of bowel cancer before symptoms develop.

Recipients are asked to take stool samples, using the kit provided, which are returned by mail and analysed for traces of blood – a possible early sign of bowel cancer. If the samples show cause for concern, further action can be taken, including any necessary treatment.

However, a relatively low number of screening kits sent out are returned, with many ending up in the bin.

If the condition is caught early, bowel cancer treatment has a high success rate. But the NHS needs your help to make sure you have the best possible chance to beat this form of cancer – by using the screening kit.

So if you have thrown yours away, please call the Bowel Cancer Screening Hub on 0800 707 6060 to get a replacement.

Dr Raj Thakkar, NHS Chiltern CCG’s Clinical Commissioning Director for Planned Care, said: “It is understandable that some people might feel a bit embarrassed or uncomfortable about using these screening kits, but they really need to think twice before throwing the kit away. Bowel cancer screening kits are very effective, and there are good outcomes for most
patients when we catch this condition in time. It really is vital that eligible people make use of them.

“When people discard these kits, they actually risk discarding their own lives. Embarrassment is no reason to throw away your health, so if you are sent a kit, please use it. And if you have thrown one away, then please call the number below for another.

“We want you to support you to lead healthy, happy lives for as long as possible, but we need your help to do that.”

While the screening programme targets people aged 60 – 74, people aged 75 and over can also request a screening kit by calling the bowel screening helpline on 0800 707 6060.

Remember also that taking some simple steps to improve diet and staying active can reduce your risk of developing bowel cancer. Aim to eat five portions of fruit and veg a day, make sure you eat plenty of fibre. Also, avoid processed meats and have no more than 500g of red meat per week.

For more information about bowel cancer visit NHS Choices.

Further information from Cancer Research UK.

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Be sure about your sexual health: new service launches across Buckinghamshire

A new service providing free and confidential sexual health advice and treatment across the county launches this month

bSHaW – Buckinghamshire Sexual Health and Wellbeing – has been commissioned by Buckinghamshire County Council and will help people with both contraception and the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.

It will be provided by Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and the Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK’€™s leading HIV and sexual health charity; working together to offer all Buckinghamshire residents easy access to free and confidential local sexual health services.

As with current sexual health services, the bSHaW service will be completely confidential, with friendly and sensitive staff who understand that people using it may be anxious or nervous. To use the service, people can either make an appointment or attend a walk-in-and-wait clinic.

There are also special clinics dedicated to treating young people under 25 years, with a new programme called Young and Free to encourage all young people who are sexually active to get tested for chlamydia every year and/or at every change of sexual partner.  Young people are also able to order an online test kit if they would prefer not to attend a clinic.

Information on this and all other sexual health services in Bucks can be found at www.sexualhealthbucks.nhs.uk

Martin Phillips, Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, who awarded the bSHaW contracts after a tendering process last year, said: “Both Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and the Terrence Higgins Trust have worked with us previously in providing sexual health services. They will continue to provide these services but, by working even more closely together, will be able to give people a more seamless experience with an easier, single point of access for all their sexual health needs. I know that under these new contracts they will ensure that bSHaW is a comprehensive quality service for all residents, with a special focus on the health and wellbeing of our young people.”

Dr Graz Luzzi, Consultant in Genitourinary and HIV Medicine at the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We are excited to have this opportunity to build on the strengths of our existing sexual health service and, in partnership with Terrence Higgins Trust , create this new, easy to access, local service to help improve sexual health and wellbeing across the county”.

Sue Peters, Terrence Higgins Trust Regional Manager South said: “Sexual health is an important part of the public health agenda and sexual health services are absolutely vital for everyone. We will provide a local, non-judgemental, confidential service to all who need it, and we would like to encourage anyone who is sexually active to make use of the service”.

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Remember – there is only ONE YOU

A major health campaign is determined to remind people how important it is to keep themselves fit and healthy -€“ because there is only ONE YOU.

By the time we reach our 40’€™s and 50’€™s many of us will have increased our risk of contracting diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease and increased our increased our risk of suffering a stroke.

It’€™s not just our age and our genes that make us more susceptible to disease -€“ but our lifestyles. Around 70% of disease is related directly to how we live our lives in our adult years.

Whether we are eating the wrong things too much or too often..or drinking more than we should..or that we continue to smoke despite everything we know..or that we are just not being active enough.all these small things can add up, creating a huge influence on our health.

Taking the time to make sure we stay healthy and live well is not always easy -€“ not when there are children to look after, jobs to do, households to run, and often elderly parents or relatives to care for.

The good news is that it’s never too late to make a difference -€“ and the ONE YOU campaign want to help you to do just that. We know that changes to the way we live, no matter how old we are can dramatically reduce our risk factors, as well as help us get more out of life.

But we know it isn’€™t easy. Unhealthy habits creep into our adults lives almost unseen and it is difficult to know where and how to fight back.

Find out more information on local services that can help make a difference to you.

Why not start a conversation with yourself and use the ‘€˜how are you?‘€˜ quiz – this is a quick test to see how you are doing and help you see where (and how) you could maybe make some changes.

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‘Outstanding’ CQC rating for John Hampden Surgery in Prestwood

The Care Quality Commission has this month awarded an ‘outstanding’ rating to John Hampden Surgery in Prestwood, Buckinghamshire, following an inspection on 27 January 2016.

The practice, which looks after more than 3,300 patients, is awarded an outstanding rating for the care and treatment of families, children and young people and of people whose circumstances may make them vulnerable. They are also rated as outstanding for caring. Because of both of these ratings, the practice – a member of NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group – is rated as outstanding overall.

Commenting on the rating, Jan Fowler, Nursing Director for NHS England, South (South Central) said: “These CQC inspections ensure that every patient receives consistently high quality care and the John Hampden Surgery has been recognised for the outstanding service they give to their patients.

“The practice was found to have a clear vision with quality and safety as the top priority and their strategy to deliver this was regularly reviewed with staff. Outcomes for patients were found to be consistently good with staff supporting patients using a targeted and proactive approach to health promotion.

“This outstanding rating is a great achievement for staff at John Hampden Surgery.”

Dr Annet Gamell, Chief Clinical Officer, Chiltern CCG, said: “Ensuring the quality of primary care services is crucial for us as a Clinical Commissioning Group and I am really pleased that John Hampden Surgery is rated as outstanding with the CQC.  Through their hard work and dedication, the practice has received just recognition about the standard of care they deliver. We will continue to support the practice going forward.”

Dr Rebecca Mallard Smith, Senior Partner and GP at John Hampden Surgery said: “We are very pleased to receive this outstanding rating from CQC and would like to thank our staff and patients for their continued help and support. It is really heartening to see the work we have done in areas such as improving support for carers and becoming dementia friendly being recognised in this way. We are committed to ensuring the primary care service we provide is of the best possible quality and will continue to work hard for the benefit of our patients.”

The CQC particularly highlighted the following areas of outstanding practice at John Hampden Surgery:

  • Practice awarded ‘dementia friendly’ status in February 2015. The practice identified dementia patients early, supported them to access good quality care, improve their quality of life and prolong independent living. The actions put in place to support patients were various and included a named dementia nurse for personalised care planning.
  • The practice recognised that carers’ health often takes second place or is neglected and offers carers’ clinics on Fridays; proactively contacting carers to offer an appointment.
  • The practice supports patients to live healthier lives using a targeted and proactive approach to health promotion and prevention of ill health.
  • The practice became a Safe Place Scheme Member in partnership with Buckinghamshire County Council. This scheme provides reassurance to vulnerable people and their families and carers, so that they have a means to alert someone of any potential risk or emergency if they are out alone.

Read the full CQC quality report into John Hampden Surgery.

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Please tell your doctor if you notice blood in your pee

Did you know that blood in your pee could be a sign of bladder or kidney cancer?

The current NHS Be Clear on Cancer campaign encourages people to go to their doctor if they notice blood in their pee, even if they only see it once. The chances are it’s nothing serious, but if it is cancer, finding it early makes it more treatable.

Around 17,450 people in England are diagnosed with bladder or kidney cancer each year. These cancers can affect people of all ages but are most common in those over 50.

Blood in your pee is a key symptom for both bladder and kidney cancer.
Other bladder cancer symptoms include:

  • Cystitis (a urinary tract infection) that is difficult to treat or comes back quickly after treatment

Other kidney cancer symptoms include:

  • A pain in the side, below the ribs, that doesn’t go away
  • Weight loss.

You’re not wasting anyone’s time by getting your symptoms checked out. If you’ve been to the doctor but your symptoms haven’t gone away, go back €“they’€™ll want to know.

Dr Raj Thakkar, NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group’s Director for Planned Care, said: “€œMany cases of bladder cancer, in particular, can be completely cured by relatively non-invasive treatment, but only if they are picked up early.  Although blood in your pee is an important symptom and may be a sign of cancer, there are many other more common, curable and less serious causes.  So it’€™s vital not to let fear prevent you from seeking advice as soon as possible.”

Want to know more? Visit www.nhs.uk/bloodinpee

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Make sure you take up your cervical screening – it could save your life

Are you due for a cervical cancer screening? Or have you already forgotten about that smear test reminder that came in the post?

Too many young women are missing out on a very simple way of avoiding a potentially fatal disease -“ and NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group is encouraging them to make sure they get screened regularly.

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35, and yet in Buckinghamshire alone, around 24,000 eligible women aged 25-49 have not gone for screening in the last three years. Women aged 25-29 year old are especially likely to have missed screenings.

While most women will have perfectly normal results, those that don’t can usually been treated very easily and are unlikely to develop cervical cancer.  However, delaying screening can mean delaying treatment if you need it – and therefore not giving yourself the best chance of beating this disease.

Dr Raj Thakkar, NHS Chiltern CCG Clinical Commissioning Director for Planned Care, said: “€œAttending cervical screening is absolutely essential for young women, who are most at risk of developing this form of cancer. It is a simple, quick test that can detect pre-cancerous abnormalities, which, if left untreated, may develop into cancer.

“The early warning signs of cervical cancer can stay hidden, so it is really important women don’t wait for symptoms before booking a test. Screening people without symptoms as a preventative measure really works – it has saved countless lives over the years.

“So if you have received an invitation for screening, have missed your smear or are due to be screened, please get in touch with your GP surgery to arrange an appointment – it may well save your life.”

For more information about cervical cancer screening, visit NHS Choices or the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust charity.

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Get ‘Sugar Smart’ with new app to help reduce childrens’ sugar intake

Parents in Buckinghamshire are being encouraged to become ‘Sugar Smart’€™, with the help of a free new app that can reveal just how much sugar lurks in the everyday food and drink consumed by their children.

It forms part of the national Change4Life campaign, launched by Public Health England to help adults manage the sugar intake of their family.

NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group is supporting the initiative, which follows revelations that 4-to-10 year olds consume over 5,500 sugar cubes a year, or around 22kg – equivalent to the average weight of a 5-year-old.

The new app allows parents to scan the barcodes of products with mobile phones to display the total amount of sugar they contain in cubes and grams. Currently the average child consumes three times the maximum recommended daily amount of sugar every year.

Dr Dal Sahota, NHS Chiltern CCG Clinical Director for Maternity, Newborns and Children, said: “We, as a society, are consuming far too much sugar nowadays and this has alarming health consequences – particularly for our children who often become accustomed to an unhealthy diet at a young age.

“Aside from the problem of tooth decay, consuming excessive amounts of sugar can lead to a number of very serious long term conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

“€œThis campaign offers a simple way for parents and carers to be more aware and to manage the amount of sugar they put in their shopping basket, and that can only be a good thing for the health of their entire family – both now and in the years to come.”

Change4Life has also created a short film to warn parents about the impact eating and drinking too much sugar has on health.


A fifth of 4-to-5-year-olds and a third of 10-to-11-year-olds are overweight or obese. Obesity costs the NHS £5.1 billion per year and is projected to rise to £9.7 billion by 2050, with wider costs to society estimated to reach £49.9 billion per year.

The recommended daily maximum added sugar intake is:

  • 19g – 5 sugar cubes for children aged 4 to 6
  • 24g – 6 sugar cubes for children aged 7 to 10
  • 30g, – 7 sugar cubes children aged 11 or older

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NHS Chiltern CCG among highest in country for mental health recovery rates

NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group has one of the highest recovery rates for patients treated for mental health disorders in the country, according to the findings of a recent report.

Psychological Therapies: Annual Report on the use of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) 4 services, England, 2014/15 was published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) in November.

It measured patient referrals and outcomes from various therapies, including psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy counselling and couples therapy, among others. As part of the report, the HSCIC compiled the percentages of patients who were recorded as having recovered from a mental health disorder after completing such a course of therapy.

NHS Chiltern CCG had a recovery rate of 61.6 % among its patients (1,230 of 1,995 referrals) during the period studied – the third highest achieving CCG in the country after NHS Cannock Chase CCG and NHS Stafford and Surrounds CCG, out of 211 CCGs nationwide.

The service, called Healthy Minds, focuses on depression and anxiety disorders.

Dr Steve Murphy, NHS Chiltern CCG’s Director for Mental Health and Staying Healthy, said: “It is great to see that the work being done in this area within the CCG has been so effective and is being recognised nationally as a result. Depression and anxiety disorders affect a large number of our population and can potentially have a devastating effect on people’s lives. We want our patients, and their loved ones, to have confidence that the services we offer can help them through the difficulties they may be experiencing. 

“Going forward, we are determined to continue to improve the quality of services offered here and ensure that we attain even better outcomes for our patients in the future. We are investing in additional capacity so that patients with more complex needs have less time to wait, and we will provide more psychological therapies and support to patients with physical long term conditions.”

Dr Murphy added that Chiltern CCG’s strong results had been achieved by rigorous supervision of therapists and by working closely with patients, encouraging them to complete their courses of therapy to help ensure that they experience long term improvements.