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Local Health services this August bank holiday

With the Bank  Holiday weekend fast approaching, local doctors have issued advice to help you to stay well and make sure you have enough medicines to see you through the long weekend.

If you rely on regular prescription medication, check you have enough to last you over the bank holiday. If you need more, be sure to order it as soon as possible, as many GP practices and some pharmacies will be closed on the bank holiday Monday (26 August 2019). Details of opening times for local pharmacies can be found on the NHS website.

Anyone seeking medical help or advice over the holiday should in the first instance call the NHS 111 service, which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Dr Rob Gerlis, Chair of West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

GPs and pharmacists from across the area are working together to encourage people to consider the cost and health implications of not taking medicines as they are prescribed, or ordering medicines which are no longer needed.

“Most GP surgeries and pharmacies require at least 48 hours’ notice to prepare a repeat prescription, so I would urge people to check they have enough to get through the holiday.

“I would also suggest people take the opportunity to go through their medicines cupboard at the same time. If they already have more than one month’s supply of any item they need to take regularly, hold off from reordering but do check the ‘use by’ date. Stockpiling out-of-date medicines can be dangerous to other family members, particularly children.”

“If people do need any further advice about medicines over the weekend speak to a pharmacist or call the NHS 111 telephone service, which is free to use and there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

“The NHS 111 advisers and clinicians will also give advice on any other health matters and help people find the best service for their needs, whether it’s an out-of-hours GP appointment, emergency dentist or even a referral to A&E.”

Even more young people in Hertfordshire and west Essex to benefit from mental health support at school

Many more school children in Hertfordshire and west Essex will be able to get early help with their mental health difficulties, thanks to a national ‘Trailblazer’ programme.

Two new mental health support teams will join those already in place in 32 schools and colleges in St Albans and East Hertfordshire, following another successful bid for national funding.

One of the new teams will cover special schools across Hertfordshire and west Essex, hosted by the PALMS* service at Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust and the other, hosted by the mental health charity Mind, will cover schools in Harlow.

Staff for the new teams will be recruited from September and will work in schools and colleges to:

  • support children and young people who are experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues
  • help the senior mental health lead in each school or college to develop the support that they offer to the whole school community
  • give timely advice to school and college staff, liaising with external specialist services to help children and young people to get the right support and stay in education

Dr Geraldine O’Sullivan, Hertfordshire and West Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) Clinical Lead for Mental Health said:

"The announcement of these two additional teams is great news for children, parents and carers for our area."

"Half of all lifetime cases of mental health disorders begin by the age of 14 and one in eight children experience a mental health problem. That’s why getting early help from someone who can identify children’s mental health issues and put in place the right support is vitally important.  This is an important part of our plans to deliver a healthier future for our children and young people." 

Mental health support teams are a new workforce. Each team includes Education Mental Health Practitioners, higher level therapists or senior staff, a team manager and administrative support.  The teams are exploring ways of delivering care and advice for young people’s mental health in the familiar environment of their school or college, helping to make getting mental health help as ‘normal’ as a visit to a first-aider.

Strengthening the links between education and health services should also help to minimise delays for children and young people who need help.  Children who may be struggling with issues like anxiety about friendships or family pressures can be supported, alongside friends and family members, to build their understanding of mental health and how to manage their wellbeing.

NHS Board meeting and AGM on Thursday 25 July, 2019

AGM 2019

NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is inviting members of the public to its next Board meeting which takes place Thursday 25 July, 2019 from 9.30am.

 

The Board will meet in the Conference Room, Harlow Health Resource Centre, Harlow, CM20 3DT. It will discuss safeguarding adults and children, workforce and equality and diversity.

 

Local people are invited to observe NHS West Essex CCG Board meetings, which are meetings held in public rather than public meetings. Although members of the public are not able to participate in the decision-making process, by attending they have the opportunity to hear the latest news on the vision for health and care in Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford.

 

Agenda papers can be viewed now at: https://westessexccg.nhs.uk/news-and-publications/publications/ccg-board-papers/2019

 

The final part of the meeting will provide local people with the opportunity to put questions to Board members.

 

The AGM will take place in the afternoon, from 2.15pm and attendees will be able to hear from the chief officer, chair and finance director as well as have the opportunity to ask questions.  To submit a question please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Peter Wightman, Acting Accountable Officer and Director of Primary Care at West Essex CCG said: "People will be able to hear about what we have achieved over the last year, our plans for the coming year and how they can engage and work with us. We are very keen to hear from our residents across Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford".

Thanks for not standing us up!

A new study into why people miss GP appointments has been published by Stellar Healthcare.

The report, which targets millennials (21-35 year olds) as the most likely group to miss appointments, reveals insights into why Did Not Attend (DNA) rates remain high amongst younger adults.

Commissioned by NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (WECCG), Stellar Healthcare undertook a four phased approach to identifying the causes and the remedies for people who miss their appointments, with a special focus on evening and weekend GP appointments.

Debbie Bodhanya, Chief Executive of Stellar Healthcare said, “We believe this is the first time anyone has taken a holistic view on the reasons why people miss their appointments. Our team took a three-pronged approach which included research and data, patient insight and practice review in order to get an in depth understanding of the issues. We then created a communications campaign targeting millennials which could help raise awareness of the challenges facing general practice every day.”  

The key findings in the report include:

  1. Millennials do not have the same nostalgic and historical relationship with the NHS as older generations do.
  2. Technological advancement is crucial to booking and cancelling appointments and GP practices need to modernise.
  3. GP practices should streamline and harmonise their appointment processes.
  4. Regular text message reminders reduce DNA rates and encourage attendance/cancellation of appointments.
  5. Admin errors are often the reason why appointments are missed.
  6. Direct messaging is the best way to communicate with millennials.
  7. Promotional and health messages should be targeted to younger adult groups.
  8. Millennials feel like they are being told off and respond better to praise.
  9. Campaign messaging should appeal to their desire to help others.
  10. Sometimes life gets in the way and people just forget or can’t attend their appointments.

Peter Wightman, Director of Primary Care, NHS West Essex CCG, said: “The issue of missed appointments is a big concern for us as it wastes valuable GP time that could have been spent with patients. This study gives us some real insight into the reasons behind why people do not attend, in particular among our younger population and their emotional response to messaging.  In line with the ambitions of the NHS Long Term plan, with its focus on digital there are also some key actions for GP practices around modernisation, something we are keen to support and encourage.”

The study also provides recommendations and practical changes that practices can adopt in order to improve attendance. A full copy of the report is available at http://stellarhealthcare.net/news/260-thanks-for-not-standing-us-up.

Notes to editors:

  1. Stellar Healthcare is an award winning GP Provider company in Harlow and Epping.
  2. Stellar Healthcare successfully delivered the Evening and Weekend GP service between October 2015 and April 2019 with a positive patient satisfaction rating of 97 per cent.
  3. The study on Did Not Attends (DNA) began in January 2019 for four months, and focused on evening and weekend GP appointments.
  4. In 2018 the Evening and Weekend GP service in west Essex had an average Did Not Attend (DNA) rate of 12.8 per cent. This equates to over 6,400 missed appointments and has cost the service an estimated £192,000 in wasted clinical time.  During normal surgery hours, the DNA rate in west Essex is lower at 4.9 per cent for a similar period (November 2017 to October 2018).

For more information, please contact:

Kay Odysseos

Communications lead

0300303 7300

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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