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Public invited to attend CCG’s January Governing Body meeting

Members of the public are invited to attend NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group’s January Governing Body meeting in York.

The meeting in public will take place at West Offices, Station Rise, York, Y01 6GA from 9.30am on Thursday 3 January 2019.

The CCG’s Governing Body consists of local GPs and other healthcare professionals and is responsible for monitoring the performance and quality improvement of healthcare providers in the Vale of York area.

Governing Body meetings are one of the ways that patients and members of the public can get involved and have their say.

Members of the public are invited along to observe and hear about the work the CCG is doing to improve services, quality and the experience of patients in the local area.

If you wish to ask a question or raise a matter at the 3 January meeting you must submit your enquiry by no later than 5pm on Monday 31 December 2018.

Please send your enquiry by email to valeofyork.contactus@nhs.net

Alternatively, you can send your enquiry by post to NHS Vale of York CCG, West Offices, Station Rise, York, Y01 6GA.

Please note that you will not be able to ask a question at the meeting if you do not submit your question before the deadline.

Use pharmacies and NHS 111 services for minor illnesses during the Christmas holidays

Vale of York residents are being encouraged to use pharmacies for minor illnesses or ailments over the Christmas holiday period.

While the region’s GP surgeries will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, some pharmacies will be open and are the place to go for treatments and advice on common illnesses and ailments, including colds, flu, and minor rashes.

Below is a timetable detailing when certain York and Selby pharmacies will be open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals who can provide many of the same services that GPs do, but you don’t need to book an appointment to see them.

They can also answer questions you might have about any medication you’re taking and, if they can't help, they'll let you know whether or not you need to see a doctor or where else you could get the best treatment.

These videos, featuring GPs from the Vale of York, explain how to treat a number of common  winter illnesses and ailments using over-the-counter remedies from your local pharmacy: www.bit.ly/winterGPvideos

NHS non-emergency number 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When you call 111 free of charge you will speak to a highly trained adviser who will direct you to the most appropriate medical care.

Vale of York residents can now access the NHS 111 service online as well as over the phone at www.111.nhs.uk if they need urgent healthcare or health advice.

Dr Kevin Smith, NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group Executive Director of Primary Care and Population Health, said: “We are all preparing for Christmas and the New Year but time at home can often bring coughs, colds and rashes. GP surgeries will be busy over these next few weeks and will be closed on bank holidays. Pharmacists across the Vale of York have trained for at least five years and can offer expert advice on these winter illnesses.

“Many Vale of York pharmacies will also be open on Sundays and Bank Holidays. They are the ideal place to go for treatment and advice for colds, flu, upset stomachs and many more conditions.

“While pharmacists can help with less serious health concerns, the NHS 111 phone or online service is there if you require urgent medical help or advice for a non-life-threatening condition. Call 999 if you have a medical emergency, such as breathing difficulties, chest pains or if you’ve been in a serious accident.”

For more information about how to stay well this winter, visit www.valeofyorkccg.nhs.uk/winter

Order and collect your prescription medicine well in advance before Christmas

Vale of York residents are being encouraged to collect their prescription medicine and stock up on winter remedies well in advance to stay well over the Christmas and new year holidays.

GP surgeries and most pharmacies will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, so people on repeat prescription medication are advised to order and collect their prescriptions at least a week before the holidays to ensure they don’t run out of essential medicine over the festive season.

Christmas can be a busy time so it’s easy to forget to order prescriptions, but taking a few minutes to order and collect any essential medicine you will require well in advance will save you a lot of worry over the holidays.

It’s also a good idea to have a well-stocked medicine cabinet so you’re well prepared if you’re unlucky enough to become unwell over the Christmas and new year period when access to your GP might be limited.

You might want to keep an adequate supply of:

  • Paracetamol and Ibuprofen
  • Decongestants
  • Cough medicines and throat lozenges
  • Antihistamines
  • Heartburn and indigestion medicine
  • Anti-diarrhoea
  • Antiseptic cream/wipes 
  • Plasters

Many illnesses are self-limiting, meaning they will eventually clear up on their own, so they can be treated at home using over-the-counter products from your local pharmacy.

These videos, featuring GPs from the Vale of York, explain how to treat a number of common winter illnesses and ailments: www.bit.ly/winterGPvideos

Dr Nigel Wells, NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group Clinical Chair and a local GP, said: “The lead-up to Christmas can be a busy time for the public and health services alike, so those on repeat prescriptions are advised to order them at least a week in advance so that they can enjoy the festive season in good health.

“Having a well-stocked medicine cabinet full of over-the-counter remedies from your local pharmacy is also recommended so you can treat any common illnesses or ailments at home.

“Some Vale of York pharmacies will be open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day and are the best place to go for help with minor health concerns. You should use the NHS 111 phone or online service if you require urgent medical help or advice for a non-life-threatening condition; or call 999 if you have a medical emergency, such as breathing difficulties, chest pains or if you’ve been in a serious accident.”

For more information about how to stay well this winter, visit www.valeofyorkccg.nhs.uk/winter

Local health commissioners commit extra funding to mental health services

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is investing a further £120,000 each year to improve child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in the local area.

Mental health was one of the key topics identified by the Vale of York people during the CCG’s ‘big conversation’ engagement events, when the CCG asked the community ‘what is important about local healthcare services?’.

And mental health is subsequently highlighted as a key priority in the CCG’s commissioning intentions for 2018-19, which were launched in February 2018.

The Commissioning Intentions are the start of a journey of local transformation and, as part of this transformation, the CCG has committed to investing a further £120,000 each year from this financial year (2018-19) to improve child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). 

The CCG and Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV), which provides mental health services on behalf of the CCG, have been working closely with partners in the Vale of York area to ensure that the extra funding goes to improving key priority areas within local mental health services. The money will be used to employ extra clinical psychologists and mental health nurses.

The CCG has also committed an extra £90,000 during the 2018-19 year to help facilitate additional autism assessments.

Since 2016 the CCG has invested £200,000 each year for school-based services for early identification and intervention when children show signs of mental health problems.

In York, this has been by way of partnership funding for the highly regarded School Well-being Service, which offers mental health support in all state schools in the city.

The CCG has also invested £165,000 each year since 2016 in mental health services for children and young people with eating disorders. These investments are in addition to the £3 million the CCG invests each year in CAMHS services. 

Denise Nightingale, the CCG’s Executive Director of Transformation, Complex Care and Mental Health, said: “Mental health is one of the CCG’s key strategic priorities as we outlined in our commissioning intentions for 2018-19, which reflect the views of the Vale of York people which they shared during our extensive engagement activity in October 2017.

“This extra financial investment will help improving mental health services in the local area by employing more trained staff and improving service capacity, as well as further improving the early identification and intervention elements of the services.

“But it’s not just about spending more money; it’s also working together with local healthcare providers and local authority partners to ensure that the services are tailored to meet the needs of the people they have been created to help.”

Have your say about our website

As part of continuing efforts to improve the NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group’s website we want to know how well we are doing to meet your needs and how satisfied you are with your visit to the website.

We are looking at redeveloping the website and it is important to us to know how you use the site and where we can make improvements.

Please take our website survey:  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/voyccgwebsite

If there is any additional information you would like to provide you can contact us by: 

Phone 01904 555 870 or email voyccg.communications@nhs.net

Public urged to help prevent spread of norovirus

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group is calling on Vale of York residents to help prevent the spread of norovirus during winter.

Norovirus, which causes vomiting and diarrhoea, is commonly referred to as the ‘winter vomiting bug’ because it can be more prevalent during winter - but outbreaks can occur at any time of the year.

It spreads very easily in public places such as hospitals, GP surgeries, nursing homes and schools – and is usually brought into these places by visitors once it becomes prevalent in the community.

People are therefore being asked to help prevent the spread of norovirus by:

  • Staying away from hospitals and other healthcare facilities if you or someone you live with (or are in close proximity to) has vomited or had diarrhoea in the last 48 hours.
     
  • Staying at home until you or the person you live with (or are in close proximity to) have been free of these symptoms for 48 hours.
     
  • Washing hands with soap and water (not alcohol-based gels) frequently, especially before and after visiting hospital, a GP surgery or other healthcare facilities.

This video, featuring Beverley Geary, Chief Nurse at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, explains more: https://youtu.be/No9tcbKu-6c

You don't normally need to see your GP if you have norovirus because there's no specific treatment for it – you simply have to let it run its course. Symptoms should normally clear within 24-48 hours.

Stay at home during this time but call, rather than visit, your GP or use the NHS 111 service if symptoms persist of if you’re concerned or need medical advice.

When you’re at home waiting for the symptoms to clear, make sure you drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Be sure to get plenty of rest and take paracetamol to ease fever or aches and pains.

Dr Kevin Smith, NHS Vale of York CCG Executive Director of Primary Care and Population Health, said: “Being ill is never a nice experience but the winter vomiting bug is particularly unpleasant. We can all help each other by staying away from public places when we are ill or have been in contact with someone who is suffering.

“Norovirus can disrupt hospital, GP and other healthcare services because it’s highly infectious and spreads easily so people are urged not to visit these places until at least 48 hours after their symptoms have cleared.

“You can always call your GP, rather than visit them, or use the NHS 111 service if you do need medical advice.

“The best place to be if you do catch norovirus is at home getting lots of rest and drinking plenty of fluids. It’s also important to practise good hygiene by regularly washing your hands with soap and water.”

For more information about how to stay well this winter, visit www.valeofyorkccg.nhs.uk/winter

Vale of York GP provides top tips for staying well in winter

Vale of York GP provides top tips for staying well in winter

People in the Vale of York are being urged to keep warm and well during winter as the region gets ready for the arrival of the cold weather – and a local GP has provided some top tips to help everyone do so.

There are a number steps you can take to help protect yourself against the cold weather. With that in mind, Dr Nigel Wells, NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group’s Clinical Chair and a local GP, has provided his tips to help you stay well this winter.

Get your free flu vaccination

Flu is easy to catch but even easier to prevent. The annual flu vaccine is the best protection against flu so if you are eligible for a free flu vaccine book an appointment now.

You are eligible for a free flu jab if you are:

  • Pregnant
  • Aged 65 and over
  • Have a long-term health condition (COPD; bronchitis, emphysema; diabetes; heart and kidney disease, or those who have suffered a stroke)
  • A child aged two to nine (pre-school, and reception class to year five)
  • A carer

Contact your GP practice, local community pharmacy or midwife to arrange a flu vaccination.

Why wait to see your doctor? You may not need to…

When you’re not very well, you just want to get help as soon as possible. But it may not be necessary to see your GP and it could be more appropriate and quicker for you to see other health professionals, such as a practice nurse, counsellor, physiotherapist or pharmacist.

Click here for more information.

Consult your pharmacist at the first sign of illness

At the first sign of a cough or a cold get help from your pharmacist before it gets more serious. Pharmacists can provide many of the same services that GPs do, but you don’t need to book an appointment to see them.

They can offer treatments and free advice on common illnesses and ailments including: colds and flu; coughs, sore throats and runny noses; upset stomachs; ear infections; diarrhoea; back pain and minor rashes.

Be self-care aware

You can self-treat many minor illnesses and injuries at home by resting and using over-the-counter medicines available at your local pharmacy. Most ailments will begin to get better within a couple of days.

The CCG has teamed up with a number of Vale of York GPs to create a series of self-care videos, to help you self-treat common illnesses such as cold and flu at home using over-the-counter medicines. These can be viewed here.

Use NHS 111 for urgent but non-life threatening conditions

NHS non-emergency number 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When you call 111 free of charge you will speak to a highly trained adviser who will direct you to the most appropriate medical care.

Vale of York residents can now access the NHS 111 service online as well as over the phone at www.111.nhs.uk if they need urgent healthcare or health advice.

Heat your home well

It’s important to keep warm during winter when indoors as it can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems.

Setting your heating to at least 18C (65F) will keep you warm at home but you might want your living room, or whichever room your spend most time in, to be slightly warmer.

Eat well and drink plenty of fluids

Try to eat at least one hot meal a day, drink plenty of water and hot drinks through the day. Food and water are vital sources of energy, and they help to keep your body warm.

Keep your medicine cabinet well stocked

Make sure your medicine cabinet is stocked with plenty of over-the-counter remedies to treat coughs and colds so that if you do catch something you do not have to venture out into the cold to get medicine.

If you’re on medication make sure you visit your local pharmacy in time to get repeat prescriptions to avoid running out.

Wrap up warm when outside

If you do need to go outsid be sure to wrap up warm, wearing plenty of layers rather than one chunky layer.

Don’t forget to wear a warm hat, scarf and gloves. Clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres help to maintain body heat.

Look out for others

Check up on older neighbours and relatives, and those with heart or respiratory problems, to make sure they're safe and well, warm enough  and have enough food and medicines.

Dr Nigel Wells said: “Prevention is key to staying well during winter so if you are eligible for a free flu vaccine you should book an appointment now. Getting a flu vaccine is one of the quickest, and most effective, things you can do to stay well this winter.

“At the first sign of a cough or a cold get help from your pharmacist before it gets more serious and speak to your pharmacist about medicines you should have in stock to help get you and your family through winter.

“GPs are here to help you get better but are often extremely busy during winter, when illnesses such as cold and flu are much more prevalent and therefore demand for services is significantly greater.”

Visit the CCG’s dedicated winter page at https://www.valeofyorkccg.nhs.uk/winter/ for more information.

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group’s Assurance Statement (Reference Number: 2015/13271)

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group’s Assurance Statement (Reference Number: 2015/13271) An independent investigation into the care and treatment of MS: Published 14 November 2018

NHS England’s commission of an independent investigation following a serious incident that led to the death of a patient in April 2015 has highlighted where improvements and learning were needed.

The CCG is satisfied that the commitment by Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust to decrease the likelihood of recurrence provides assurance and the evidence were changes have been implemented and improvements have been made.

We are committed to ensuring that the Vale of York community can experience services that are safe and of a good quality and the CCG will continue to monitor the services it commissions for local patients.

The independent investigation report can be found on NHS England’s website: https://www.england.nhs.uk/north/our-work/publications/ind-invest-reports/