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Health and care leaders across B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire are working to improve health and wellbeing, drive up the quality of services and deliver value for money. Find out more about how this is happening here, or you can download back issues of our STOP Press newsletter here


Region moves closer to developing new plan for local health and care services following public engagement

1st August 2019

Health and care leaders in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire will be listening to views put forward by local residents as they draw up plans for the future.

Over 2000 people across the region have passed on their views about improving health and care services by answering questionnaires and attending events organised by local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and independent health champion Healthwatch.

Members of the public were invited to share their views as part of the Our Health Our Future campaign, organised by local CCGs, and the Healthwatch  #Whatwouldyoudo? campaign. The results of the Healthwatch survey have been published online.

The Healthwatch survey showed local people would like to see improved use of technology for booking appointments, more help for people to lead healthier lifestyles, shorter waiting times for access to GP appointments and for health professionals to have a better understanding of long-term health conditions such as autism.

The Our Health Our Future campaign closed on 31st July and collected responses from around 1600 people across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire via surveys and a further 750 people via face to face conversations. Results from the survey will now be analysed by an independent researcher and will be shared with the public in the autumn.

Views collected from both campaigns will be used by health leaders as they draw up a plan for how health and care services across the region will be organised over the next five years

Dr Ian Orpen, Chair of the BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Board, said:

“We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to fill in the surveys and speak to us at events across the region over the past few weeks.

“It’s clear that local people have strong views about how heath and care services should be organised in the future. We will listen to them and make sure we address their concerns as we draw up plans for how we organise services over the coming years.”

Carol Willis, Manager at Healthwatch Swindon said:

“The Government is investing an additional £20 billion a year until 2023 in the NHS to implement the vision laid out in the NHS Long Term Plan. We were asked to help find out what local people thought was the best way for the NHS in Bath & North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire to invest in the right services as part of this plan.

“It was wonderful to listen to so many people keen to make a difference to our local NHS. These views are all in the report and we will now monitor how the local NHS responds.”


Future direction for Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Groups

15 July 2019

Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are proposing to change the way NHS commissioning is arranged across our local area and, as a result, the three groups could become a single organisation as soon as April 2020. The move is in line with similar mergers across the NHS and follows national guidance for health and care services to work more closely together to give everyone the best start in life, world-class care for major health problems and help to age well.

Becoming one CCG will result in reduced variation in care and standardised best practice.  Working as one organisation will also help the CCG meet financial challenges and free up more money to be invested in frontline services and transformational projects.

The Governing Bodies of the three CCGs recently approved plans to apply to NHS England to create one single organisation.  Prior to submitting the application, the CCGs will engage with the public, staff, providers and other key stakeholders, and the GP membership of each CCG will then vote on a final decision to apply for a merger. The three CCGs will then submit an application to NHS England and if approved the three groups will become a single CCG on 1 April 2020.

You can read more about our plans in our stakeholder briefing here

Stakeholder briefing on merger plans

Three local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups take steps to become one organisation

15 July 2019

Three groups responsible for the planning, buying and monitoring of health services in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire could become one single organisation as soon as April 2020.

As one CCG, health leaders can reduce variation in care and standardise best practice so everyone can access high quality treatment and services, regardless of where they live.  Working as one organisation will also help the CCG meet financial challenges by, for example, offering greater buying power, eliminating the duplication of administrative support functions and streamlining governance processes. The savings made can then be invested in frontline services or transformational projects.

The move is in line with similar mergers across the NHS and follows national guidance for health and care services to work more closely together and move towards becoming Integrated Care Systems to give everyone the best start in life, world-class care for major health problems and help to age well.

Dr Ian Orpen, Chair of the BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Board, said:

“CCGs up and down the country have either already merged or are beginning plans to merge to help better meet the needs of their local populations. We believe that now is the right time for our three CCGs to come together to form a leaner, more strategic, single organisation to serve local people.

“The three CCGs have a history of working together to deliver high quality care, and in the past year, we have increased our partnership working. For example, we have a single Chief Executive and executive management structure, which has led to more consistent leadership and a clearer direction to staff.

“I believe that as a single CCG, we will be in a stronger position to improve outcomes for patients, whilst still retaining our local voice.”

At their recent public meetings, the Governing Bodies of BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) approved plans to apply to NHS England to create one single organisation.  Prior to submitting the application, the CCGs will engage with the public, staff, providers and other key stakeholders, and the GP membership of each CCG will then vote on a final decision to apply for a merger.

The three CCGs will then submit an application to NHS England and, if approved, the three groups will become a single CCG on 1 April 2020.

People living in Bath and North East Somerset (BaNES), Swindon and Wiltshire who want to share their views can do so by visiting:


Pupils in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire to have faster access to mental health support

12 July 2019

More pupils in the future across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire will have access to specially trained mental health practitioners thanks to funding for a new programme.

Wiltshire Council, Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group successfully bid for funding to be part of NHS England’s Mental Health Support Team (MHST) Trailblazer programme.

The programme is already being implemented in Swindon and has been successfully rolled out in a number of other areas across the country. Now pupils across B&NES and Wiltshire will benefit from the second wave once the scheme starts in January 2020.

The scheme will see MHSTs working directly in selected schools and colleges across the region by providing on-site access to early mental health support.

The teams will provide early intervention for mild to moderate mental health issues, such as exam stress, low mood or friendship difficulties as well as providing support to staff. They will also act as a link with local specialist children and young people’s mental health services ensuring, if appropriate, that pupils can access more intensive support.

The funding for the scheme comes as recent public engagement driven by local health and care organisations has found that young people would prioritise better and faster access to mental health services.

Lucy Baker, Acting Commissioning Director for Maternity, Children and Mental Health at Wiltshire CCG said:

“It’s fantastic news that we’ve received funding for this important scheme. We know children, young people, their parents, supporters and carers want to be able to access mental health services quickly and easily and the Trailblazer scheme is a significant step forward in enabling that to happen.”

Wiltshire Council Cabinet member for children, Pauline Church said: “Now more than ever young people are under pressure, stress and social anxiety can cause real problems which affect their wellbeing and mental health”.

“We know there is some excellent support out there already. This Trailblazer programme will build on that and provide even more support, earlier and where young people tell us that they want to receive it – in schools. The programme will help young people to improve their emotional health and wellbeing and get back on track.



What would you change about local health and care services?

Younger people in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire are being given an opportunity to help shape how health and care services are provided in the future.

Over the next six weeks, NHS and Local Authority organisations will invite all local residents to say what they need to live healthier and happier lives as part of a new campaign being launched today called Our Health, Our Future.

Organisations involved are particularly keen to hear the often overlooked views of younger people who will be using services in the future.

Answers will be used by health and care providers as they work to publish a forward looking plan this autumn which will set out how everyone will be able to access the services and support they need.  The new plan will outline a local response to priorities laid out in the NHS Long Term Plan which was published in January.

People will be able to share their views by filling in a simple survey online at or by asking for a paper copy. They can also pass on their views at engagement events taking place across the local area over the next six weeks.

Tracey Cox, Chief Executive Officer for Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Groups said:

“Health and care organisations and local authorities are developing a bold plan for the next five years that will ensure our services provide support through every stage of people’s lives – so they start well, live well and age well.

In order to plan for the future, we need to know what matters, so we’re asking everyone to take a few minutes to fill in our survey and make sure their views are heard.

Our Health Our Future is about capturing everybody’s views, but we especially want to hear what younger people expect in the future from our services.

We also want local residents to make an effort to share their views with family and friends so, together, we can build healthier communities.”

The Our Health Our Future survey is open until the end of July and takes around 10 minutes to complete. It can be filled in online at , by asking for a paper copy at your local GP surgery or by sharing your views at one of our engagement events taking place over the area over the coming weeks. You can also request a paper copy by emailing or by calling 03333 219464. Survey answers are completely anonymous and will be treated confidentially.

help ease pressure on health services this Easter

15th April 2019

People living in Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES), Swindon and Wiltshire are being urged to get ready for the approaching Easter holidays in order to help ease demand on health services across the region.

As GP surgeries prepare for the Easter break, health and care leaders are asking people to check they have the essential medication they need to see them through the holiday period and make sure they know where to go for healthcare advice and treatment.

They are also being advised that for non-urgent minor conditions, pharmacists are equipped to give advice on over the counter medications and treatments.

Bank holidays can be extremely busy for the NHS and local people are being asked to use services wisely so that accident and emergency departments and ambulance services are available for those who need them most.

Most GP surgeries across the region will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday on 19 and 22 April, although pre-booked appointments are available at some surgeries and walk in centres and some urgent treatment centres will also be open.

Dr Ian Orpen, a GP based in Bath and Chair of BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire’s Clinical Board, said: “Everybody wants to enjoy the Easter holidays, so it’s a good idea to do as much as possible to prepare for them in advance – particularly when it comes to staying well. We don’t want people to run out of their medication, become poorly and miss out on an enjoyable break, so do make sure you have enough repeat medicine to last over the long weekend.”

“If you are unlucky enough to be ill over the Easter holiday, remember you can phone 111. NHS 111 is the Freephone number to call should you need urgent medical advice when your GP surgery is closed. You’ll speak with a trained advisor who will help you. You can also access NHS 111 online, 24 hours a day.”

Other things people across B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire can do to stay healthy and prepare for the Easter break include:

  • Make sure your medicine cabinet is well-stocked and includes essentials such as sticking plasters, paracetamol, anti-diarrhoea medicine and indigestion remedy. Having these items to hand could save you time and the stress of a mad dash to your local pharmacy or shop.
  • Remember that, for non-urgent, minor conditions, pharmacists are equipped to give advice on over the counter medications and treatments. A list of pharmacists open this Easter can be found on regional CCG websites at :,, or on the NHS England and NHS Improvement website at
  • Parents can access expert advice about common childhood illnesses and how to treat them via HANDi App – a mobile app which is free and can be downloaded to any Apple or Android smartphone or tablet.

Tell us how local health services could be better – #WhatWouldYouDo

21st March

In January 2019, the NHS published its Long Term Plan, which sets out key priorities and ambitions for the service over the next ten years. The plan aims to make sure the NHS is fit for the future:

  • giving everyone the best start in life;
  • delivering world-class care for major health problems such as cancer and mental health; and
  • helping people to age well.

Over the coming months, the NHS in B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire will be working with local people and partners – including councils, the voluntary and community sector and social care – to develop a local plan for the next five years. We want to turn the national ambitions laid out in the Long Term Plan into real improvements to services and outcomes for local people, building on the progress we’ve already made together over the last few years.

How you can get involved

In March 2019, Healthwatch England is launching the ‘What would you do?’ campaign, encouraging people to have their say about the Long Term Plan and what changes they would like to see in their local community. The campaign is being supported locally by Healthwatch in B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire. Here’s how you can share your views:

Fill in two surveys

  1. What would you do to give people more control of their care?How would you help people live healthier lives and make it easier for people to take control of their own health and wellbeing? Fill in this survey online, or download a paper version.
  2. What would you do to give people better support?How do you think local health services can provide better care for people with conditions such as heart and lung disease, dementia and autism? Fill in this survey online, or download a paper version.

Both surveys are available in Easy Read format and British Sign Language (BSL). To request the surveys in a different format, please email or call 03000 68 3000.

Chat to Healthwatch

During March and April 2019, Healthwatch in B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire will be out in the community, asking people to share their views on:

  • How services could be improved for older people and;
  • How GP practices can work more closely together and with other services (such as hospitals, pharmacies, mental health and social care), to improve care for patients.

We will soon be sharing a list of dates when you can go along and chat with Healthwatch in different locations across B&NES.

Help shape our local five year plan

In the early summer 2019, NHS BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire CCGs will respond to feedback that people have shared with Healthwatch during the ‘What would you do?’ campaign. We will then be asking people to share their views on our local priorities and plans for health services. This feedback will help shape our five year plan, which we will submit to NHS England in the autumn 2019.

Stay tuned for more information and how you can get involved.

For more information about the NHS Long Term Plan, you can read a summary, watch this video, or read the plan in full at:

New Chief Executive appointed to continue integration of health and care across BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire

1st March

Three NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have appointed a single Chief Executive to oversee the ongoing improvement and integration of health and care services across the region.

Tracey Cox has taken up the position of Chief Executive of Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire CCGs and will also lead the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) for the region.

The STP brings together NHS providers, GPs, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Local Authorities, hospital trusts and other community organisations to join up and improve health and care services for local people.

Tracey was previously Accountable Officer for BaNES CCG and Interim Senior Responsible Officer for the STP. She will oversee closer working between the three local Clinical Commissioning Groups, which will operate with a single senior management team, use their collective resources more efficiently and streamline their respective decision-making arrangements.

Her appointment comes as the NHS sets out its vision for the future in its new Long Term Plan which emphasises the importance of health and care organisations working collaboratively and looks to give everyone the best start in life, world-class care for major health problems and help to age well.

Tracey Cox, Chief Executive Officer for BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire CCGs and STP said:

“With our local health and care system facing unprecedented demand and financial pressures, it’s now more important than ever before that health and care providers work in a joined up and seamlessly integrated manner.

Where it makes sense, we will work collaboratively to deliver health & care improvements for a larger population across the region. We will also continue with our existing plans for local integration and transforming services that benefit our local communities and are responsive to people’s needs.

The views and the needs of people living in the local area will play a central role in the way we shape services in the future and we will be starting a programme of public engagement about this over the next few months.”

Dr Ian Orpen, chair of BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire STP’s Clinical Board, said:

“Tracey’s appointment asserts the local health and care system’s commitment to integrated working which will deliver improved health and wellbeing, better services and better value for money for everyone living in B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire.

Councillor Jerry Wickham, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Public Health and Public Protection on Wiltshire Council and Chair of B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire STP said:

“I’m delighted that Tracey has been appointed to oversee closer integration of health and care services across our region. It is only through working together as a truly integrated system that we will be able to help people to stay well, act early to prevent ill health and, where care is needed, make sure it is delivered in a joined up way.

This move builds on existing good joint working across the three CCGs and local authorities and is in line with what is happening in other areas of England.”

Sharing of care records between health and care professionals takes step forwards

February 28

There are ongoing initiatives to join up information in B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire to make it easier for health and care professionals to access patient records across the region.

Thanks to work by teams across BSW in the digital workstreams, plans that patients have in place for end of life care will soon be accessible to health and care professionals across the BSW region, including South West
Ambulance Service.

The development means that, over the next few months, the specific plans patients have for end of life care will be available to health and care professionals from different parts of the BSW system to view.

Angela Parratt, Chief Digital Officer at BSW said the development was a great step forwards.

“Work to enable the safe and secure sharing of an individual’s health and care information as they move between different parts of the NHS and social care is a top priority for BSW and the fact that this has now starting to become a reality is a significant development.

Sharing access to end of life care plans is the first step in an ongoing process and we will be working to build on this early success in the near future.”

New campaign launched to tackle decline in cervical cancer screening


Public Health England has launched a new campaign to increase the number of women attending cervical screening across the South West.

The Cervical Screening Saves Lives campaign will encourage women to respond to their cervical screening invitation letter, and if they missed their last screening, to book an appointment at their GP practice.

Around 275 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the South West each year and around 62 women die from the disease. It is estimated that if everyone attended screening regularly, 83% of cervical cancer cases could be prevented.

New research from PHE shows nearly all women eligible for screening (90%) would be likely to take a test that could help prevent cancer, and of those who have attended screening, nine in 10 (94%) would encourage others who are worried to attend their cervical screening.

Despite this, screening is at a 20-year low, with one in four eligible women in the UK not attending their test. Dr Julie Yates, Lead Consultant for Screening
and Immunisation, Public Health England said: “We want to reach out to all those women who may have not responded to their screening letters, or who may have missed a previous appointment, to arrange a screen now and stop putting it off.”

First joint Operational Plan for BSW sets sights on the future

February 27

Strong commitment to a joint approach to managing health and care across the BSW area has been highlighted as teams across the region begin to finalise a joint System Operational Plan for 2019 – 2020.

The organisation-level plan outlines a system-wide approach to health and care in the BSW region and is being developed in time for a submission deadline of early April, when the plan will be scrutinised by NHS England.

Once finalised, the plan will form the basis of BSW’s approach to its own five year plan and delivery of the roadmap set out in the recent NHS Long Term Plan.

Central to the Operational Plan for 2019/20 are five key priority areas which bring into focus BSW’s planned approach to health and care provision across the region (see below).

Tracey Cox, Chief Executive for BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire CCGs and STP said: “This system operational plan is an important step forwards in terms of joint working and really lays the foundations to how we look to the future and prepare to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan.”

Improving health, care and well-being: Key priorities for 2019/20

Banes, Swindon and Wiltshire STP is working together to jointly deliver the following priorities for the next twelve months:

Priority 1: Improving the Health & Wellbeing of our Population

  • Increasing our focus on prevention  and reducing inequalities.
  • Taking a Life course approach
  • Health in all Policies
  • Making shared decision making with individuals regarding plans for their care the norm in BSW.
  • Supporting people to take more responsibility for their health and wellbeing and seeking to involve the third sector and communities in the planning, provision and delivery of care.
  • Using initiatives such as Making Every Contact Count & 3 Conversations to offer a strengths based approach to care support.
  • Engaging with stakeholders and the public about our local vision for delivering the NHS Long Term Plan and agreeing early priorities.

Priority 2: Developing Sustainable Communities

  • Delivery of joined up efficient and effective primary, community and social care services, appropriately scaled.
  • Primary Care Networks community services and secondary care working together with an initial focus on managing frail individuals to maintain independence, reducing length of stay and preventing admission to hospital wherever appropriate.
  • Leveraging the efficiencies from this integrated approach to reduce care costs for all partners.

Priority 3: Sustainable secondary care services

  • Acute Hospitals Alliance partners working together to address capacity issues; specialties under pressure; back office services and co-designing care pathways.
  • Determining where it makes sense for specialist services to be commissioned locally as part of the care pathway redesign work.
  • Aim to utilise Acute hospitals to their full potential for elective care

Priority 4: Transforming care across BSW

  • Focusing on Mental Health, Maternity and Outpatient Services
  • Working with partners in BNSSG and AWP to agree plans for service reconfiguration and developing plans for transformation of our mental health services in BSW to ensure parity of esteem is equal to physical health.
  • Concluding our consultation regarding maternity services and implementing the Better Births plans.
  • Rethinking our approach to outpatients’ service to reflect the potential of technology and way in which the public wishes to receive care in the 21st Century and delivering ambitions set out within LTP

Priority 5: Creating strong networks of health and care professionals to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan and BSW’s operational plan

  • Reviewing our Leadership arrangements for all health and care professionals including social care colleagues to drive the development and implementation of BSW Five Year Strategy to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan.
  • Investing in leadership development, quality improvement methodology and workforce training to support service transformation.
  • All health and care professionals including social care colleagues working together across BSW to determine priority pathways for review.
  • All health and care professionals including social care colleagues leading the engagement on our long term plans.

Workshop looks at workforce planning for older people care model

Crucial work to develop new approaches to the way older people across BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire are cared for is continuing and will fall under the spotlight at a meeting of senior clinicians and health and care service leaders in Devizes next month.

The meeting is aimed at both those responsible for strategic workforce planning around an older peoples’ perspective and also to gather the views of those working at the frontline of older people’s care.

It will link into the developing STP workforce strategy and examine ways of co-creating a resilient workforce which is able to respond to the new care models and ensure that BSW has the right people doing the right thing at the right level in the right place.

The event takes place in Devizes on the afternoon of Tuesday 2nd April. For more information, contact BSW STP Older People’s Programme Manager Jill
Couvreur at


Sore throat, cough, cold or minor illness? See your local pharmacist first

30 January

People in Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES), Swindon and Wiltshire suffering from minor illnesses including sore throats, coughs, colds, tummy troubles and aches and pains are being urged to seek help from their local pharmacist in the first instance  rather than booking an appointment with their GP or visiting their local A&E department.

The advice is part of a new NHS campaign to encourage the public – and particularly parents with young children – to visit a local pharmacy as their first choice for help with common minor health concerns.

The campaign follows research which shows that 27 per cent of GP appointments could potentially be treated elsewhere and that 18 per cent of these appointments could be treated through self-care and community pharmacists.

Andrew Hobson, Pharmacy Manager at Cohens Chemist in Royal Wootton Bassett and Vice Chair of Community Pharmacy Swindon and Wiltshire said:

“Every year, millions of people visit their GP with minor health problems that a local pharmacy could easily help with. By visiting your pharmacy instead of your GP about a minor illness, you could save yourself time. Seeing a pharmacist will also free up appointments for your GP to see other patients.

Pharmacists can help recognise and treat many common illnesses. We can give advice and where appropriate, recommend over-the-counter medicines that could help clear up the problem. We can also give advice about how to take medicines and answer questions about common side-effects. If we think you need to see a GP for your illness, we will advise you to do that.”

Richard Brown, Chief Officer of Avon Local Pharmaceutical Committee, said:

“There is a strong network of local pharmacists across B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire. They are often open late and at weekends, can see people without an appointment and their highly trained staff can offer quick and effective treatment and good advice about many common conditions.

For minor health concerns such as coughs and colds, don’t wait until it gets worse, ask your pharmacist first.”

BSW partners support winter comms drive

January 28

Representatives from BSW partner organisations appeared on local TV, radio and in newspapers recently in a push to deliver key messages about how the public can help their local health and care system cope with increased demand this winter.

BSW representatives including Clinical Chair Dr Ian Orpen, Sponsoring Board Vice Chair Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, Bath-based GP Dr Louise Abson and South Western Ambulance Service’s Jane Whichello all took part in interviews during December to help spread the word.

The four were quoted in a number of stories on a range of topics including increasing the number of available GP
appointments, how to help reduce demand on services by being prepared for winter and advice for avoiding unnecessary alcohol-fuelled A&E visits on Mad Friday – the last working day before Christmas.

The comms push got a number of important messages over to the public in the B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire area and will continue throughout the winter period as demand on services continues.


£45m cash boost for services in BSW

January 28

Crucial services in B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire are set to receive £45m of new government funding thanks to successful bids from teams in health organisations across BSW.

The new funding will help to expand services at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital emergency department and contribute towards developing an integrated care centre in Trowbridge.

The £29.6m awarded to the Great Western Hospital will help its emergency wards cope with a significant increase in demand.

The money awarded will see the Great Western Hospital expand its Emergency Department, purchase land for potential expansion and help to develop a different model of care based on intensive rehabilitation to reduce future demand.

Nerissa Vaughan, Chief Executive at the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust welcomed the investment.

“This announcement was great news ahead of the busy winter period. We will now start to develop our plans, which we’re sure will benefit local people and our incredible staff for years to come,” she said.

NHS Long term Plan: Having your say on the future of health and care in BSW

January 28

Now the national plan has been published, we – as the local health and care system in B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire – need to decide how to turn the ambitions it contains into real improvements in services over the next few years, building on the progress we have already made by working more closely together.

And, just as the national plan was developed in partnership with patients, staff, local councils and others, so will be our own local plans.

As we’ve reported in previous issues of Stop Press, leaders across BSW are also currently developing an Integrated Health and Care strategy which will reflect the scope of the new Long Term Plan and sit at the centre of our own five year plan.

More details about opportunities to help shape those plans will be shared shortly.

Joined-up health and care approach central to delivering new NHS Long Term Plan

January 28

The NHS’s new Long Term Plan has highlighted the importance of a joined up approach to health and social care provision.

The plan, published at the beginning of January, sets out to build an NHS fit for the future and save almost half a million more lives with practical action on major killer conditions and investment in world class
cutting edge treatments.

The plan will ensure everyone gets the best start in life, that the NHS delivers world class care for major health problems and will support people to age well.

It also underlines the central importance of joined up working between health organisations, local authorities, GPs, hospitals and social care providers in order to improve health and wellbeing, drive up the quality of
services and deliver value for money.

Tracey Cox, Interim Senior Responsible Officer for B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire STP said the need for people to work together was at the heart of the plan.

“The NHS Long Term Plan lists a number of important ambitions for the next few years, but central to the delivery of all of them will be the need for people to work together – whether that’s GP surgeries teaming up so they can provide more appointments and services,
or whole health and care systems coming together to plan and deliver real improvements for patients in crucial areas like care for older people, mental health, cancer or stroke care.

“As a system we will be working together over the coming months to determine what the NHS Long Term Plan will mean for people in our area, building on progress we have already made together, and in partnership with those who know the NHS best – patients, staff and the public.”

NHS Long Term Plan to tackle major killer conditions and save up to half a million lives

January 7

The newly published NHS long term plan,will save almost half a million more lives with practical action on major killer conditions and investment in world class, cutting edge treatments including genomic tests for every child with cancer.

The blueprint to make the NHS fit for the future will use the latest technology, such as digital GP consultations for all those who want them, coupled with early detection and a renewed focus on prevention to stop an estimated 85,000 premature deaths each year.

Measures outlined by NHS leaders today will help prevent 150,000 heart attacks, strokes and dementia cases while more than three million people will benefit from new and improved stroke, respiratory and cardiac services over the next decade.

Patients will benefit from services ranging from improved neonatal care for new parents and babies to life-changing stroke therapy and integrated support to keep older people out of hospital, living longer and more independent lives.

The NHS long term plan is also the first time in the NHS’ 70 year history when there will be a new guarantee that investment in primary, community and mental health care will grow faster than the growing overall NHS budget. This will fund a £4.5 billion new service model for the 21st century across England, where health bodies come together to provide better, joined up care in partnership with local government.

The commitment to tackle major physical conditions comes alongside the biggest ever investment in mental health services rising to at least £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24. Building on significant expansion in recent years, the long term plan will see around two million more people who suffer anxiety, depression or other problems receive help over the next decade including new dads as well as mums, and 24 hour access to crisis care via NHS 111.

The NHS long term plan will also:

  • Open a digital ‘front door’ to the health service, allowing patients to be able to access health care at the touch of a button
  • Provide genetic testing for a quarter of people with dangerously high inherited cholesterol, reaching around 30,000 people
  • Give mental health help to 345,000 more children and young people through the expansion of community based services, including in schools
  • Use cutting edge scans and technology, including the potential use of artificial intelligence, to help provide the best stroke care in Europe with over 100,000 more people each year accessing new, better services
  • Invest in earlier detection and better treatment of respiratory conditions to prevent 80,000 hospital admissions and smart inhalers will be piloted so patients can easily monitor their condition, regardless of where they are
  • Ensure every hospital with a major A&E department has ‘same day emergency care’ in place so that patients can be treated and discharged with the right package of support, without needing an overnight stay.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: “The NHS has been marking its 70th anniversary, and the national debate has rightly centred on three big truths. There’s been pride in our health service’s enduring success, and in the shared social commitment it represents. There’s been concern – about funding, staffing, increasing inequalities and pressures from a growing and ageing population. And there’s also been legitimate optimism – about the possibilities for continuing medical advance and better outcomes of care.

“In looking ahead to the Health Service’s 80th birthday, this NHS Long Term Plan acts on all three of these realities. It keeps all that’s good about our health service and its place in our national life. It tackles head-on the pressures our staff face. And it sets a practical, costed, phased route map for the NHS’s priorities for care quality and outcomes improvement for the decade ahead.”

Seventy years after the NHS was founded, the health service will expand care for patients and their families at every stage of life, supporting people to start well, live well and age well.

The NHS will be the first health service in the world to offer whole genome sequencing for children with cancer and young people who have a rare genetic disorder, in addition to adults suffering from certain rare conditions or specific cancers.

The new, individually tailored treatments will be introduced alongside cutting edge testing services that will mean three quarters of cancer patients are diagnosed early, when the condition is easier to treat, up from half at present, saving 55,000 lives a year.

Around 23,000 premature deaths and 50,000 hospital admissions will be prevented over the next decade by putting over 100,000 patients with heart problems through a healthy living and exercise programme every year.

Children and young people’s health will be a priority with the introduction of a new transformation programme to oversee delivery of commitments for the next ten years, from bringing mental and physical care together to services for 0-25 years so that care is timely and continuous.

A renewed focus on prevention including action to help people live healthier lives will stop thousands of people developing life threatening or limiting conditions, including the expansion of the Diabetes Prevention Programme.

And as more people live longer, care will increasingly be delivered in people’s homes or somewhere convenient, freeing up space in hospitals for those who need it most.

Ian Dalton, chief executive of NHS Improvement, said: “At the heart of the NHS are hard-working staff who pull out all the stops to care for patients every day. It is thanks to their dedication that the NHS is admired around the world and that it has taken great strides over the last seven decades.

“We need to build on these achievements and make the best use of the new investment to fundamentally reset how the NHS is run so that our growing and ageing population can get the right care at the right time and in the right place.

Stub it out! NHS sites across B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire go smoke free this new year

January 2019

Patients, visitors and NHS staff across Bath & North East Somerset (B&NES), Swindon and Wiltshire are making a fresh and healthy start to 2019 following the introduction of new policies to make all sites smoke free from Tuesday January 1st.

The move to smoke free status sees a total ban on smoking anywhere on NHS sites, including grounds, gardens and in vehicles in car parks.

The decision to become completely smoke free is in line with the Health Act (2006) and The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE 2013) guidelines which state that all hospital sites, including mental health hospitals, and sites where NHS services are provided, should be 100% smoke free.

Smoking is a significant public health issue in England and a leading cause of preventable ill health, premature death and disability. Smoking caused over 484,000 hospital admissions in England during 2017.

For patients, stopping smoking before or during a hospital visit can also speed up recovery and reduce the risk of complications.

Cherry Jones, Director of Public Health at Swindon Council said:

“The fact that all NHS sites across B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire will be smoke free from January 1st is fantastic news and a great way to begin 2019.

We’re starting the new year by taking some real steps to help people comply with our policy, so we’ve taken down smoking shelters and are supporting those who are looking to give up smoking and switch from tobacco by allowing vaping and the use of e-cigarettes in outdoor areas on Trust properties.”

Cara Charles-Barks, Chief Executive of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“As a health organisation we’re very clear that this is the right thing to do and we’re proud to be going smoke free. Breathing someone else’s smoke increases your risks of heart disease, cancer and respiratory problems. Clean air is better for everyone”.

NHS providers across the region have been offering support to staff and patients to either stop smoking or to manage their nicotine dependency while at work or during their stay in hospital through a range of initiatives including the provision of nicotine patches and vaping devices.

Dr Bernie Marden, Medical Director of the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust said:

“Clean air is better for everyone, so we’re clear that as a health organisation that going smoke free is the right thing for us to do. Quitting smoking is a personal choice and we’re encouraging everyone to make sure they’re ready for not smoking on Trust grounds.

There’s lots of help available for those that need it. Patients can talk to our dedicated Healthy Choices team, and Occupational Health are providing free and confidential support for staff who are cutting down or quitting.”

Revellers urged to stay safe for Christmas

December 2018

Revellers across Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES), Swindon and Wiltshire who are celebrating the start of the festive season this Friday have been asked by local NHS staff to take care of themselves and their friends to help avoid unnecessary visits to hospital.

As pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants gear up for the annual celebration of the last working Friday before Christmas – commonly known as Mad Friday or even Black Eye Friday – those looking to join the festivities are being asked to celebrate responsibly, and know how to get urgent medical help if they need it.

Jane Whichello, South Western Ambulance Service’s Deputy County Commander for Wiltshire said:

“Everyone likes to let off steam and celebrate at this time of year – NHS staff included! Enjoy yourselves sensibly tonight and remember to look out for those you are partying with too.

Our under-pressure services are already stretched to breaking point and if everyone can do their bit to help themselves, it will help us to make sure our services are available for those who need them most.

NHS staff should be spending their time helping patients in genuine need of urgent medical attention rather than dealing with alcohol-related accidents that could be easily avoided with a bit of planning and foresight.”

Help the NHS in BSW help you this winter by taking simple steps

December 2018

People living in Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES), Swindon and Wiltshire are being urged to do their bit to help the NHS cope with an increase in demand for services this winter.

As the season gets underway and Christmas approaches, health and care leaders from across the region are asking people to do as much as they can to stay healthy to avoid any unnecessary hospital stays at such a busy time.

Dr Ian Orpen, a GP based in Bath and Chair of B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership’s Clinical Board, said:

“As winter gets well and truly underway, health and care services in B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire will begin to experience an increase in demand, so the more our residents can do to stay well this winter and help reduce that pressure, the better.

Taking simple steps such as making sure you have a flu jab, seeing a pharmacist rather than ignoring minor ailments, calling 111 for urgent medical help and ensuring you have a supply of any over the counter medications before the Christmas holidays will really help.

It’s also important that everyone uses the service that is right for their health and care needs. During the winter, hospitals and A&E departments can get very busy – so calling 111 or visiting your pharmacist or GP can make all the difference in making sure that the NHS works most effectively and hospitals are more easily able to treat those with serious conditions or injuries.”

The winter advice has been issued by the B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership and is part of a new NHS and Public Health England campaign called Help Us Help You.

The campaign aims to help make it easier for the public to understand the things they can do to manage their own health and get the best out of the NHS. By following the expert advice of NHS staff, the public can stay well; prevent an illness getting worse; take the best course of action; and get well again sooner.

More GP appointments across BSW to help tackle increased demand for services this winter

December 2018

It will be much easier for people living in Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES), Swindon and Wiltshire to book an appointment to see a GP or nurse during the evenings and weekends this winter thanks to a new initiative to help health and care providers across the region cope with increased demand for services.

As winter begins, surgeries and practices have made it easier for people to book appointments at a number of surgeries across the region at times ranging from 6pm-9pm during weekdays and 8am to 12 noon on Saturdays and Sundays.

The new initiative to make it easier to see a GP or nurse is part of a range of measures introduced across the B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership to ensure people stay well, stay out of hospital and help reduce the increase in demand for health and care services during the winter months.

Other initiatives include encouraging eligible patients to take up the offer of a free flu jab, highlighting the importance of talking to a local pharmacist for advice before minor ailments or winter illnesses get worse and raising awareness of the NHS 111 telephone and online service, which directs patients to the most appropriate service.

Dr Ian Orpen, a GP based in Bath and chair of B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire STP’s Clinical Board, said:

“Offering people across B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire an opportunity to see a GP or nurse at a time that is convenient for them is good news for patients this winter and we hope will help relieve some of the pressures faced by other hard-pressed areas of the health service such as urgent and emergency care.”

“Many people across our region find it hard to access GP appointments during normal appointment times and this initiative will be an enormous help to them.”

“Winter is always a challenging time for the health service and it’s important that people in our region avoid getting unwell as far as they possibly can. Ultimately, we want to ensure that people who are most at risk of preventable emergency admissions to hospital over winter are aware of and, where possible, motivated to take actions that avoid that happening.”

Dr Andrew Smith, Chief Executive Officer of B&NES Enhanced Medical Services (BEMS), a local GP federation which is currently providing extra appointments on behalf of 19 practices across BaNES with the remaining five to offer the service within the next two weeks, said:

“It is fantastic that people living across the region will be able to access routine appointments at times that suit them best.  Patients may need to attend a different GP surgery to the one they usually go to, but staff of the services will have access to their full medical records. To access the full range of appointments, patients will need to book with their usual practice, by phone, during normal working hours.”

Developing BSW’s Health and Care Model

November 2018

Clinical leaders from across B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire came together at a key strategic meeting in Bath recently to have their say about how integrated health and care will work across the region in the future.

Drawn from a range of backgrounds including nursing, physiotherapy, general practice, acute care, social care, mental health and community health, over 45 clinicians gave up their time to share their views and participate in the exciting steps towards the creation of a clinical strategy for BSW STP.

The clinicians spent the afternoon discussing how care could be delivered across BSW, with a strong focus on the frail elderly and end of life care.

Dame Angela Pedder, who is acting as a strategic advisor to the STP, said the new integrated care model addressed a number growing problems currently facing BSW related to our ageing population.

“In modern day health care, hospital is no longer the first choice for care. Instead services should focus on supporting people to stay as well as possible, for as long as possible – helping them to remain independent in their own communities.  Only where there are good clinical reasons should people travel to hospital for treatment.”

Clinicians attending the event agreed the need to move care out of hospital and into people’s homes. They also agreed the need to strengthen the broad focus of care across BSW so people who are frail and at risk of being admitted to hospital are assessed as early as possible, so a care plan can be put in place to keep them independent.

Planning for the future: BSW looks ahead to next five years

November 2018

Health and care leaders across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire will be looking to how to shape future health and care needs across the region by starting work on a new five year plan over the coming months.

The plan, which will be delivered in the summer of 2019, will look to set out a broad strategy on how local services will be run over the next five years, using the resources available.

BSW has been asked to produce the plan alongside every other STP in England by NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens.

In a letter sent to health leaders across the country, Stevens highlighted how the plan will need to be developed through engagement with all parts of the STP and will need to provide “robust and credible solutions for the challenges faced in caring for local populations over the next five years.”

BSW’s plan will also reflect the strategic direction for the NHS which will be laid out in a forthcoming long-term plan which is expected to highlight the importance of prevention in the future of health and care provision.

BSW Senior Responsible Officer Tracey Cox said the creation of the new plan presented a great opportunity.

“BSW is looking with confidence and ambition to the future. Producing this new five year plan presents us with a great opportunity to set out our vision and show, through working in a more collaborative and joined up way, we can all work together to improve health and wellbeing, drive up the quality of the services we provide and deliver value for money.”

Transforming maternity services together across BSW

November 2018

Mums, dads and families in BaNES, Wiltshire and Swindon are being asked for their views on proposals to improve maternity services across the region.

The proposals have been put forward by local health leaders following a two year period of working with over 2000 women and families, staff and partners to look at how and where improvements can be made.

Specifically, maternity service leaders want to provide more equal access to the different birthing options available to women, improve personalised care and provide better continuity of care to improve the relationship between mother, family and midwife.

The proposed improvements would also look to boost community support to provide targeted care close to home and integrated care regardless of where and how women choose to give birth.

But health leaders have said the improvements can only happen if changes are made to the way maternity services are currently provided. While the proposals do not include any plans to reduce spending on maternity services, cut staff or close buildings, they do allow for more efficient use of existing budgets, resources and staff to provide more services, not less for women and families across the BSW area.

Lucy Baker, Acting Commissioning Director for Maternity, Children and Mental Health at Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group said the proposed improvements were all about providing more choice and making better use of existing resources.

“By using what we have available to us differently, we can make sure our maternity services can meet the needs of women and their families and provide staff with a great place to work, now and in the future.

These proposals will allow us to offer more choice of place of birth and make sure we have the right resources in the right place at the right time.”

Public consultation on BSW’s maternity transformation proposals takes place between now and 24 February 2019, so it’s important to let us know what you think as soon as possible.

You can do this by:

New Chair and Vice chair appointed to STP

November 2018

BSW has made some key appointments to the board that oversees the smooth running of the STP and assures delivery of its key programmes of work.

Councillor Jerry Wickham takes up the position of Chair of the STP Sponsorship Board. Councillor Wickham is a Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Public Health and Public Protection on Wiltshire Council.

The position of Vice Chair has been taken by Dr Richard Sandford-Hill. Dr Sandford-Hill is a GP and senior partner at the Market Lavington Surgery in Wiltshire and Chair of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

Speaking about his appointment, Councillor Wickham said he was delighted to be taking up the position.

“Health and social care providers across B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire are already working in a much more joined up way than ever before and BSW is playing a central role in enabling that to happen. I’m proud to be taking a key position and look forward to contributing to a really exciting period of change for the way health and care is delivered across the region and in particular ensuring that the promotion of healthy living and preventing ill health, becomes a central part of our work.”


Focus on transforming care for older people across BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire

October 2018

The population across BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire is older than average and this gap is expected to widen. At current rates, people over 65 years old will account for 22.5% of our total population in 2025/2026, compared to 18.9% at present.

That’s why work being led by BSW STP across the region to transform the care of older people is so important.

Last month key leaders from older people’s health and social care including consultant geriatricians, directors of nursing, older people’s health commissioners and local authority community nursing leads attended a workshop to discuss health and care related issues affecting older people.

The event gave an opportunity to focus on the well-being and health of older people, understand and assess what is happening across BSW and agree opportunities for joint working.

The session also offered a chance to learn about initiatives taking place across the STP footprint and assess the problems health leaders in BSW are trying to solve.

The workshop heard from Dr Jonny Drayson, Consultant Geriatrician and Clinical Lead for the Department of Elderly Care at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, who gave a perspective on the challenges faced by hospitals of caring for an ageing population

Those attending the event agreed a number of common themes where working together across BSW could add value.

Health and Care: A Model development

October 2018

As BSW works towards the next phase in its development, senior leaders involved in looking to the future and setting strategy have been spending time refining a top level plan for how integrated health and care will work across the BSW area.

The BSW Integrated Health and Care Model is currently under development and is due to be discussed by senior clinical leaders from across the BSW area at a meeting this month.

The developing model looks at how CCGs, acute trusts, primary, community services, mental health and social care partners from across BSW can build and enforce common models of care, reduce duplication and avoid unnecessary costs.

The developing model echoes the overall commitment of BSW to improve health across the region through prevention and promoting independence, improving the quality of health services and delivering value for money.

Strategic support for BSW

October 2018

BSW’s executive leadership has received a boost through the appointment of a senior Strategic Adviser to offer help and support during the next exciting phase of the STP’s development.

Dame Angela Pedder (above) has been appointed on a three month basis to act as a Strategic Adviser to help BSW’s Executive Board through the next stages of its development.

Angela will help BSW develop a strong health and care model and provide additional help and advice.

Dame Pedder has worked in a number of senior positions in the NHS throughout her career and was Chief Executive of Royal Devon and Exeter
NHS Foundation Trust for 19 years and leader of Devon STP until 2017.

Meanwhile BSW has appointed Angela Parratt as Chief Digital Officer to lead the digital and information transformation process in primary and secondary care across the region.

Angela joins BSW from Bath and North East Somerset Council where she most recently held the position of Head of IT Services and Digital Transformation. Karen King has also recently taken up the position at BSW STP as Financial Lead.

 Leaders meet for Transformational Change discussion

October 2018

BSW leaders and representatives from health and social care organisations across the South West met, networked and exchanged ideas about transforming services at a training event in Bristol recently.

The two day event looked at how those responsible for setting future health
strategy and driving forward change could help the organisations they lead and represent work together in a more effective way.

Representatives from across BSW partners including Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, BaNES CCG, Wiltshire CCG, Swindon
CCG, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Royal United Hospital, Virgin Care, Wiltshire Health and Care and the West of England Academic Health Science
Network attended the event.

The course provided a brilliant opportunity for sharing experiences and views of the challenges facing those leading complex change programmes.

Feedback from delegates highlighted how useful the course was in terms of helping teams from across different areas drive change more effectively.

“The programme gave us time to explore the transformation project with colleagues in a focused way, getting to know each other and building trust. We came away with a range of techniques and methods to support our transformation.”

Using technology to join up and improve health and care across BSW

October 2018

IT systems and digital technology play an essential role in how health and social care services across BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire can be transformed and BSW STP is working hard to help make this happen.

Our plan across BSW is to move forward ambitiously and work collectively across organisations looking to the horizon for technology to enable digitally delivered care, a digitally enabled customer experience and digitised operations fit for the future.

As part of the ongoing work to join up and transform IT systems, BSW entered proposals for a share of funding provided by the government to better use IT to improve health and care across the region.

If applications are successful, funding will be allocated to 9 projects covering a range of essential IT-related areas including making it easier for NHS staff to share patient information, using barcode technology to improve patient safety, improving the way staff are rostered on busy wards and automating time consuming and repetitive manual administration work.

Kaylyn Hudson, Digital Programme Manager at BSW STP said the proposals were an important development in the ongoing work to use technology to improve care.

“Digital technology is a key enabler in the transformation of health and social care delivery in BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire and the STP presents an opportunity to accelerate adoption of new technology at scale and further join up each organisation’s information systems. These proposals are an important step in the right direction and will do a great deal to help turn our vision into a