Monthly Archives: June 2017

Alliance led by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust awarded the contract for new Thames Valley 111 Integrated Urgent Care Service ‘The new front door to urgent care’

Patients across the Thames Valley will be opening a new front door to urgent care services from September 2017.

South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) has been awarded the contract for the new Thames Valley 111 telephone service by the 10 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across the Thames Valley. SCAS leads an alliance set up to deliver the service, which also includes Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The alliance brings together the relevant skills and expertise from local NHS providers needed for patients to access a wide range of medical disciplines.

Thames Valley 111 will now offer patients a seamless 24/7 urgent clinical assessment and treatment service – bringing together NHS 111, GP out of hours and other clinical advice, such as dental, medicines and mental health.

A team of clinicians will be available on the phone when needed, and will be linked into a new NHS Clinical Hub – a group of healthcare professionals who can help get patients the right care, at the right time, in the right location.

A thorough and rigorous procurement process took place involving clinicians, specialists and NHS managers from across the Thames Valley in the decision-making.

The focus was on selecting a provider which will work across all CCGs to support the development of an integrated 24/7 care service on a local basis.

Sam Burrows, the senior responsible officer for the procurement process, said: “We are pleased to announce that the Thames Valley 111 Partnership, led by SCAS, has been awarded the contract. This is an exciting time and one which is going to improve patients’ experience by getting people to appropriate care more efficiently by this integration of urgent care services.

“We undertook a comprehensive procurement process, which included engaging with clinicians, patients and members of the public to identify issues, address them and design a new integrated urgent care service which will revolutionise the experience for those calling 111. The Thames Valley region will be an early adopter of this new approach which will be rolled out throughout England by 2020.

“During the summer of 2015 the 10 CCGs in the Thames Valley undertook widespread public engagement with key stakeholders, as well as a review of feedback from existing users of the current 111. This gave us a picture of patient experiences and desired improvements to NHS 111, as well as gaining an understanding of public knowledge of urgent care services.

“I would like to thank all those local residents, stakeholders and clinicians who took the time to give their views and feedback during the engagement process. Your valuable contribution will help shape this integrated service and confirms our commitment to ensuring that patients are at the heart of the services we commission.”

Philip Astle, Chief Operating Officer at SCAS, said “We are delighted to be at the heart of these exciting developments of the NHS 111 in the Thames Valley. SCAS has a strong track record of working with healthcare partners to deliver outstanding care to the people of the Thames Valley, and this transformation of NHS 111 will enable us to build on that record.”

A detailed mobilisation plan is now being implemented; working towards the launch in September 2017.

The national Commissioning Standards for Integrated Urgent Care published in 2015, describe an ambitious model of care for the future in support of the Urgent and Emergency Care Review. Commissioners across Thames Valley are committed to delivering a regional service that meets the full potential of these standards.
Note to editors
The Senior Responsible Officer on behalf of the 10 CCGs in the Thames Valley, Sam Burrows (Director of Strategy, Berkshire West CCGs), and Philip Astle (Chief Operating Officer) from SCAS are available for interview. To arrange please email

  1.  The 10 CCGs in the Thames Valley are:
    • Aylesbury Vale
    • Bracknell and Ascot
    • Chiltern
    • Newbury & District
    • North & West Reading
    • Oxfordshire
    • Slough
    • South Reading
    • Windsor, Ascot & Maidenhead
    • Wokingham
  2. The SCAS alliance comprises the South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Good news for east Berkshire patients as Frimley Health and Care Partnership leads on national reform

The Frimley Health and Care Partnership, which includes east Berkshire, has been named as one of nine national leaders on fast-tracking service improvements for local people.

Speaking at the NHS Confederation in Liverpool, chief executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, said: “As the NHS approaches its 70th birthday, we now embark on the biggest national move to integrating care of any major western country. For patients this means better joined up services in place of what has often been a fragmented system that passes people from pillar to post.”

Eight ‘accountable care systems’ (ACSs) across the country are bringing together local NHS organisations, often in partnership with social care services and the voluntary sector. They build on learning and early results from NHS England’s new care model ‘vanguards’, which are slowing emergency hospitalisations growth by up to two thirds compared with other less integrated parts of the country.

The ACSs will also lead the way in taking more control over funding for transformation programmes – up £450m over the next four years. They will also have more accountability for improving health and wellbeing locally, with more freedom to make decisions over how health and care systems operate.

The Frimley Health and Care Sustainability and Transformation Partnership is responsible for  the 750,000 residents of north east Hampshire and Farnham, Surrey Heath and east Berkshire.

It is rapidly building on existing work to help local people live longer, healthier lives.

Sir Andrew Morris, chief executive of Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust and lead for the partnership, said: “We are very proud to have been selected nationally to be one of the leaders in transforming health and care for the community.

“The national support we will receive will help to deliver real results fast to people in the community such as taking the strain off A&E, investing in general practice so patients can be seen in a timely manner and improving access to high quality cancer and mental health services.”

To find out more about the Frimley Health and Care Partnership visit

Notes to editors

The eight accountable care systems are:

  • Frimley Health and Care, covering parts of Surrey, north east Hampshire and east Berkshire
  • South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw, covering Barnsley, Bassetlew, Doncaster, Rotherham, and Sheffield
  • Nottinghamshire, with an early focus on Greater Nottingham and Rushcliffe
  • Blackpool & Fylde Coast with the potential to spread to other parts of the Lancashire and South Cumbria at a later stage
  • Dorset
  • Luton, with Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire
  • Berkshire West, covering Reading, Newbury and Wokingham
  • Buckinghamshire

In addition, it is expected that West, North and East Cumbria and Northumberland could join the group of accountable care systems later in the year.


Women with learning difficulties urged to have cancer screening

Commissioners in East Berkshire are urging women with learning difficulties to have a cervical screening test after research showed that many are not taking up the free invite.

The message comes during Cervical Cancer awareness week which began yesterday (12/6). The campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of cervical screening and its role in preventing cancer, as well as encouraging women with learning difficulties to be tested when invited.

Every day, nine women in the UK are diagnosed with cervical cancer and three lose their lives to the disease. While it is the most common cancer for women under 35, it is largely preventable thanks to cervical screening and the HPV vaccination programme.

In England, fewer than one in three women with a learning disability who are eligible for the test received cervical cancer screening. By contrast, three in four without a learning disability received the test.

Dr Anant Sachdev, local GP and the Clinical Commissioning Lead for Cancer across east Berkshire said: “The proportion of women with learning difficulties who get the test is very low compared to the wider population and the NHS is working to combat this.

“It is really important for women with learning difficulties to attend cervical screening as it can detect pre-cancer abnormalities, which, if left untreated, may develop into cancer. We are also asking their friends and loved ones to encourage and support them to get the test done.

He added :”So many lives may potentially be saved with this simple test, and many women will not undergo treatments that could have been avoided.”

The three Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in east Berkshire – Slough; Windsor, Maidenhead and Ascot; and Bracknell and Ascot – have signed up to the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust ‘Time to Test’ pledge demonstrating commitment to raising awareness of cervical cancer prevention in the workplace and ensuring female employees can access cervical screening.

Notes to editors:

Throughout the week, east Berkshire CCGs will be using social media channels to raise awareness of the facts about cervical cancer and the screening programme including reaching out to women who are entering the screening programme for the first time.

Cervical screening is offered to all women aged 25 to 64, with women aged 25 to 49 screened three yearly and women aged 50 to 64 screened every five years.

The HPV vaccine is given to girls at school when they reach 12 and 13. It is still important for women who have been vaccinated to practise safe sex and to take up screening when they reach 25 (the vaccination was introduced in the 1990s)

The NHS screening programme aims to screen 80% of the target population, to offer the greatest protection against cervical cancer. In the south east of England coverage last year was on average 74.3%.

Ascot residents urged to support planning application for vital new medical centre

Commissioners and GPs in east Berkshire are seeking local residents’ support for a vital new medical centre in Sunningdale, Ascot.

A number of people are already in favour of the planning application to build the new centre on the BEN Lynwood Care Village site by early 2019.

However, there is still time for others to pledge their support via email to or in writing to :

Planning Department at Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead,
Town Hall,
St Ives Road,
Maidenhead, SL6 1RF.

Please quote the planning application number, which is 17/01188FULL, together with your name and address. The deadline for all submissions is 8 June.

If the plans are approved by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, the state-of-the-art medical centre will see two doctors’ surgeries coming together under one roof – Magnolia House and Kings Corner surgeries. This would enable them to provide a wider range of services in the community and, thereby, reduce the need for hospital visits.

Plans for the new building were submitted to the council in early April, following consultation with patients, Patient Participation Groups, members of the council, GPs and others.

In addition, more than 140 people attended a public meeting to showcase the plans at Ben Lynwood Care Village, Rise Road, Ascot, on Thursday (25 May). They were able to view the plans, ask questions and listen to a presentation from GPs and representatives from Bracknell & Ascot Clinical Commissioning Group.

A second public meeting will be held Saturday 17 June, from midday to 3pm, at  at Ben Lynwood Care Village, Rise Road, Ascot.

Click to view the presentation proposal from the meeting on 25 May.

Click to view the Ben Lynwood Q&AS from the meeting on 25 May.

For more information, visit the Magnolia House website.

For more information, visit King’s Corner Surgery website.