Monthly Archives: November 2016

Local health and care plan outlines improvements to future services for everyone

Health and social care is about to get a whole lot better for the 750,000 residents of North East Hampshire and Farnham, Surrey Heath, The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Bracknell Forest and Slough.

Thanks to a new plan that pulls together partners from local councils, the NHS and community partners, the care that people receive will soon be easier to access, closer to home and delivered in a more straightforward individually focused way.

The Frimley Health and Care Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), published today (Thursday, 24 November), is one of 44 plans set up across the country to deliver a Five Year Forward View vision of better health, better patient care and improved efficiency whether its health or social care that’s needed. The plan sets out how this will be achieved locally and how local services will evolve and become more sustainable over the next five years.

This plan expands upon the work which is already underway locally to transform services for people by improving care and helping them to live longer, healthier lives. Local people will have access to high quality consistent care as close to home as possible, with specialist services centralised where necessary. There are no plans to close hospitals within this STP area.

Cllr Dale Birch, executive member for adult services, health and housing, said: “This is an exciting time for health and social care in Bracknell Forest. The plan builds on the ideas already being developed between the council, NHS organisations and other health and care partners.  It will make a real difference to the health and social care local people receive. Local people will get the opportunity to shape the plan moving forward.”

Dr William Tong, chair for Bracknell and Ascot Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “I strongly support the STP plan. It builds on our existing work and the integration of services and this plan will take it to the next level.

“Health and social care organisations have come together to do the things that can only be achieved by working in partnership.

“Over the coming months, we intend to continue our engagement with our local population, through the significant number of existing arrangements for engagement such as HealthConnect, Patient Assembly, patient panel and the Community Partnership Forum. Additionally, we are planning some further public engagement events for the New Year.”

The plan focuses on four priorities:

  • Supporting communities and social networks so that people have the skills, support and confidence to first of all stay fit and healthy and when not they can be independent and manage their own care.
  • Focusing on the care and health workforce (doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers, mental health experts and volunteers etc.) to ensure everyone delivering any part of the service is ready and skilled to meet the demands of our communities.
  • Delivering consistent and integrated care, which means you will only have to give details once, for all aspects of a person’s life where they may need help to maintain good health and wellbeing.
  • Using technology and creative interventions to help improve outcomes for people and increase the efficiency of our own services.

The Frimley Health and Social Care STP will over the next five years:

  • Invest in frontline NHS and care services to improve (reduce) waiting times, treatment and home-based care for local people. GPs will have more time to see patients and the number of community nurses and pharmacists and other health professionals will increase.
  • Secure extra funding so people can get a GP appointment from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday. This means there will be lots more GP appointments across the borough. There will also be weekend appointments at new GP hubs and new integrated health and social care centres (hubs) across the community for specialist and family doctors, community nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists and pharmacists.
  • Invest in mental health services, particularly children and young people, so patients needing specialist care may not always need to travel out of the area and provide services seven days a week.
  • Ensure patients can access their medical and social care records online, and use technology for those with diabetes, heart or breathing problems, to monitor their health and alert doctors to any problems.

The plans cover a period of five years (from 2016 to 2021) and have now been published on our website, please visit the Sustainability and Transformation Plan webpage.

These plans will only be delivered with the support of local residents so one of the early actions in the plan is to engage with local residents. Local people will be invited to get involved in early 2017 and help shape the health and care services in their community. Details of public engagement meetings and opportunities to have your say can be found on our Getting Involved webpage.

Notes to Editor:

Interviews are available on request. Please contact for more information.

The Sustainability and Transformation Plan planning footprint is the population of 750,000 people registered with GPs in five CCGs:

  • NHS North East Hampshire and Farnham CCG
  • NHS Slough CCG
  • NHS Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead CCG
  • NHS Bracknell and Ascot CCG
  • NHS Surrey Heath CCG

Other stakeholders include:

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust

GP Federations

A GP federation is a group of GP practices that decide to collaborate to provide improved access and quality whilst reducing variation in general practices’ services. In North East Hampshire and Farnham, Salus Medical Services Ltd is a federation made up of 23 GP surgeries.

Mental health providers

  • Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Community providers

  • Virgin Care
  • Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Ambulance Trusts

  • South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
  • South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust


  • Surrey County Council
  • Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council
  • Slough Borough Council
  • Bracknell Forest Council
  • Hampshire County Council
  • Guildford Borough Council
  • Rushmore Borough Council
  • Waverley Borough Council
  • Hart District Council
  • Surrey Heath Borough Council

GP Out of Hours Services

  • East Berkshire Primary Care
  • North Hampshire Urgent Care

Windsor girl amongst hundreds to support national campaign to Stay Well this winter

group-photo-for-mediaA 6-year-old girl from Windsor is amongst hundreds of pupils across East Berkshire to be vaccinated as part of a national drive to help Stay Well this winter.

Alyzeh Hassan (Year 1 pupil) from Hilltop First School in Dedworth welcomed the flu spray from a team of nurses’ yesterday morning (8/11) from Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

On Monday this week (7/11), NHS England and Public Health England launched its national ‘Stay well this winter’ campaign which aims to help people prepare for winter weather.

According to their figures, around 25,000 more people die over the course of each winter compared to other times of the year and there are a range of conditions worsened by the cold weather – 80 per cent of these deaths are accounted for by people with circulatory diseases (such as heart disease, lung illnesses and stroke), dementia and respiratory diseases (such as asthma).

In support of the campaign, the three Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in east Berkshire* are encouraging local residents, particularly the young, old and those with long-term health conditions to get vaccinated this winter.

Thousands of people nationwide visit their doctor with flu symptoms each year. Many will need hospital treatment because of flu-related complications, and in some cases, these complications can be fatal.

The flu vaccination is provided free of charge to the following groups of people as they could be particularly vulnerable to complications from the flu:

  • Children aged two, three and four on August 31 2016 – that is, children born between September 1 2011 and August 31 2014
  • Children in school years one, two and three
  • Children aged 2 to 17 with long-term health conditions
  • Everyone over 65 years of age
  • Anyone with a long term condition such as diabetes, chronic liver or neurological disease
  • Pregnant women
  • The main carer of an older or disabled person.

Director of Nursing & Quality at the CCG, Sarah Bellars, said: “If you have a long term condition such as asthma, diabetes, a neurological disease or chronic liver, kidney or lung disease, then protecting yourself against flu is vital.

“The strain of flu can change each year which is why we strongly recommend that even if you were vaccinated last year, that you are vaccinated again this year. Catching the flu could make you seriously ill and make complications more likely.

She added: “Flu can be serious for young children and because they mix with so many family members they are called ‘superspreaders’. For these reasons, we feel it is critical for children to be given the nasal spray to protect themselves and those around them.”

Children aged 2, 3 and 4 years old can attend a flu clinic at their GP practice while children aged 5 and 6 will receive the flu nasal spray at their school. The nasal spray for children offers a free, fast and painless way to protect children from flu.

When explaining the reasons why pregnant women should to be vaccinated, Sarah Bellars, said:

“If you are expecting a baby, catching the flu could lead to some serious complications. For this reason, it is important for pregnant women to get their free flu jab. The vaccine can be given safely at any stage of pregnancy, from conception onwards. Your doctor or midwife will be able to guide you with specific advice and details of local vaccination clinics.”

Some simple steps to help keep safe this winter:-

  • Wrap up warm in freezing weather. Research shows even at above freezing temperatures, for every one degree centigrade drop below five degrees, there is a resulting increase in older people consulting their GP for breathing problems, as well as an increase in associated deaths.
  • Make sure your gas, solid fuel and oil burning appliances are serviced by a registered engineer so that they are working effectively and safely before the winter sets in.
  • Experts are also advising people to heat their homes to at least 18°C (65°F) and to look out for those at increased risk of illness over the winter months. Cold and damp homes can contribute to poor mental health and social isolation, which are also key factors in increased winter deaths and disease.
  • Remember that eating a healthy, balanced diet and staying physically active can keep you healthy.

*Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead CCG, Slough CCG and Bracknell and Ascot CCG

Seven days of free health and fitness activities for residents

bfcResidents are invited to enjoy a week of free health and wellbeing events in the borough between 14 and 20 November as Bracknell Forest Council and its partners’ award winning Self Care Week returns.

Volunteers will take to Princess Square to provide shoppers with health and wellbeing advice throughout the week. Tailored ‘self-prescriptions’ will be offered, signposting people to local organisations and activities to help residents improve their overall health such as help to quit smoking, falls prevention and free leisure centre activities.

Look out for the street doctors offering on the spot health checks along with advice on managing your blood pressure and weight.  The street doctors will be at different locations in Bracknell Forest throughout Self Care Week.

Get into the rhythm of keeping fit and mentally stimulated with free health walks and Tai-Chi sessions created with you in mind. Other activities include Parkrun, beginner exercise sessions and educational events.

Talking Therapies group, part of Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, will also be on hand to help residents manage their mental wellbeing, answering questions and providing advice.

Residents are encouraged to get involved with the range of activities to help them look after their physical and mental wellbeing while keeping fit this November.

Cllr Dale Birch, Bracknell Forest Council’s executive member for adult services, health and housing, said: “Self care is extremely important in enabling people to remain independent. It’s a range of actions people take for themselves and their families, helping them to stay fit and have good physical and mental health.

“Our Self Care Week is designed to help people make time to look after themselves, try out a new fitness activity and get the information they need to equip them for treating minor ailments and managing long term conditions themselves.

“Self Care Week 2015 was a huge success and we hope even more residents take advantage of the range of activities and information events on offer this year to help them remain as independent as possible, for as long as possible.”

Self Care Week will also involve children and vulnerable groups of the community; seated exercise plans will be sent to sheltered housing complexes, residential homes and nursing homes to encourage residents to participate in exercise together.

Schools are encouraged to get involved through a poster competition which will be running across the borough with some fantastic prizes, including family tickets to The Look Out, generously donated by partners and providers supporting the event.

Dr Martin Kittel, director and self care lead for Bracknell and Ascot Clinical Commissioning Group and Forest End GP, said: “A great many A&E attendances, hospital admissions and even GP appointments are avoidable if people improve their self care and conditions get diagnosed earlier rather than later. Self care doesn’t mean that you’re on your own, or that the necessary support or services won’t be there for you when you need them. Talking to your GP and other healthcare workers, including pharmacists, can help, but there is a lot you can also do yourself.”

A full list of events, street doctor locations and details on how to book a place on one of the sessions can be found at or by calling 01344 352765.

You can support Self Care Week by volunteering your time to help spread the word on self care. Volunteers are needed to talk to shoppers in Princess Square with slots running from 10.30am to 12.30pm and 12.30pm to 2.30pm between Monday, 14 November and Friday, 18 November. If you would like to volunteer, please give call 01344 352765 or email:

Get updates on Self Care Week by searching #BFSelfcare on Twitter and Facebook.