Latest News

Extended access to primary care services set to launch in York

In addition to standard, weekday appointment times, people living in York and its surrounding area will soon have the opportunity to visit, or talk to a healthcare professional in the evenings, at weekends and on bank holidays thanks to a new scheme that launches in October 2018.

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has awarded Nimbuscare Ltd, a group of local GP practices, a contract to deliver a new extended access primary care service in central York.  

Dr Kevin Smith, the CCG’s Executive Director of Primary Care and Population Health said: “I am delighted to announce that patients in areas of central York and Pocklington will be able to access primary care services in the evenings, at weekends and on bank holidays from early autumn 2018.”

Dr Smith added: “We asked the Vale of York community to tell us what is important to them about local healthcare services and providing extended access to primary care services was identified as one of the main themes.

“Our investment to increase access to primary care services is the start of a very exciting journey that is transforming the delivery of local healthcare.”

Dr Russell Saxby of Nimbuscare Ltd and My Health Practice said: “This is fantastic news for patients. It is the biggest investment in primary care for some years and we are delighted and proud to be at the forefront of this new service in York.

“We know people currently find it difficult to get a face-to-face or telephone appointment at their GP practice, at a time to suit them.

“This new service will give people a better choice of appointment times and more options to speak to a clinician, or even, eventually, have a virtual consultation on their mobile device or computer.”

Under the new contract, appointments will be available between 6.30pm and 8pm each weekday, with additional slots available at weekends and bank holidays. The appointments will be pre-bookable, by telephoning local surgeries or by contacting NHS 111.

Mrs Jayne Bone, Senior Manager at Nimbuscare Ltd said: “We will constantly listen to people’s views about the service, so that we can change it to suit their needs.  Our aim is to offer a range of routine appointments with GPs and other clinical staff.  

“We’ll be rolling the service out in phases from October 2018.”

The new service, which will cover the York Central area, including Pocklington, will be based at four hub sites:

  • Cornlands Road Medical Centre, Acomb
  • Stonebow Surgery, Central York
  • Huntington Surgery, 1 North Lane, York
  • Pocklington Surgery, Pocklington, East Yorkshire

Dr Saxby explained: “It’s really important we get this right for patients, so we plan to roll it out gradually and keep services under review.

“There is a lot of work to be done now to make sure all our systems are linked, staff are trained and rotas established to be able to offer the service. This is a huge piece of work and we want to make sure it happens as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.”

People will get the chance to give feedback using a number of survey mechanisms to be introduced as the service begins. More information will be sent out via local surgeries in the coming weeks.

Vale of York residents asked to give feedback on last year of life care services

Vale of York residents who are approaching the end of their life are being asked to complete a survey to give feedback on their experiences of using local last year of life care and support services.

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working with partners to create a last year of life care strategy that strengthens its commitment to improve and develop last year of life care and support services. 

The CCG is asking those people who are approaching the end of their life to complete a survey on their experience of these local services. Feedback is also sought from those people who care for someone who is approaching the end of their life; or work with people who approaching the end of their life.

The responses will be used to help shape the last year of life care strategy, and create a ‘citizens’ charter’ which reflects the needs of people across the Vale of York.

People are asked to complete one (or more) of three surveys based on their circumstances. The CCG would like to capture the experiences of anyone:

The deadline for completing these surveys is 5pm on Friday 7 September.

Dr Nigel Wells, Vale of York CCG’s Clinical Chair, said: “The CCG is committed to further developing and improving last year of life care and support services in the Vale of York area, and the views of those people approaching the end of their life who are using these services are pivotal to helping us to achieve this objective.

“We’d be really grateful if you could complete the appropriate survey if you are approaching the end of your life or using last year of life care services. Your feedback will be used to shape the last year of life care strategy and improve and develop services in the Vale of York area."

Local health commissioner appoints new chief finance officer

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has appointed a new Chief Finance Officer.

Simon Bell joined the CCG this week from NHS Kernow CCG in Cornwall, where he served as Chief Finance Officer for three years. Previously he was Chief Finance Officer at South Devon and Torbay CCG.

Simon, a qualified accountant and graduate of the NHS Finance Management Training Scheme, has worked for the NHS for more than 20 years across a number of provider and commissioning organisations.

Speaking about his appointment, Simon said: “I’m delighted to have joined NHS Vale of York CCG and I can’t wait to start working with my new colleagues and partners.

“It’s great to see the substantial progress that has been achieved in stabilising the local financial position, and that people across the system have worked together in getting there. I’m looking forward to helping support the system deliver improving services and value for our Vale of York communities.”

CGG helps York become early adopter of strengthened child protection guidance

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will play a major role in helping York become one of the first adopters of new child safeguarding guidance in the country.

On 4 July the government set new legal requirements designed to better protect at-risk children through improved safeguarding partnerships with CCGs, councils and police forces.

Under the new safeguarding arrangement, Vale of York CCG, North Yorkshire Police and City of York Council will work together to develop local plans to better protect children at risk of abuse or neglect, and to promote children’s welfare.

The new advice is aimed at all professionals who come in to contact with children and families, and includes guidance on current threats to child protection, including sexual and criminal exploitation, gangs and radicalisation.

York is one of 17 areas in England to be early adopters and the three safeguarding partners will work with the National Children’s Bureau to implement the new guidance locally before it is established across the rest of the country.

Early adopter areas, such as York, will develop new and innovative approaches to set up multi-agency safeguarding processes and produce clear learning, which will then be shared with other areas.

The new arrangements include:

• Equal duties placed on clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), police forces and local authorities to work together on safeguarding decisions and to promote children’s welfare.

• Placing greater accountability on senior leaders for each agency: the CCG’s accountable officer, the council’s chief executive and the police force’s chief officer.

• Strengthening expectations on schools and other educational organisations to ensure that they must co-operate with the multi-agency safeguarding arrangements.

• Extending safeguarding responsibilities to sport clubs and religious organisations in recognition of their important role in working with and protecting children and young people.

• New duties on CCGs and councils to carry out reviews of child deaths, instead of children’s services; in line with evidence that only a small number of these incidents relate to safeguarding concerns.

• Better reviews of complex or nationally important cases, and improving identification of the lessons learnt from these, led by the new Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, chaired by Edward Timpson, and replacing Serious Case Reviews.

Michelle Carrington, Vale of York CCG’s Executive Director of Quality and Nursing and Safeguarding Lead, said: “The safety and welfare of all children is of the utmost importance and the CCG will carry out this new duty as a local safeguarding lead with vigour and determination.

“The CCG is proud to have the opportunity, along with City of York Council and North Yorkshire Police, to shape how to better protect at-risk children from abuse and neglect, and promote child welfare at a local level.”

Detective Superintendent Allan Harder, Head of Safeguarding at North Yorkshire Police, said: “The police play a key role in protecting children from harm but we cannot do it alone. Sharing information and working together with all of our partner agencies is vital and this latest partnership can only enhance our joint working and more importantly, increase protection for children at risk.”

NHS 111 online service now available to Vale of York residents

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

Residents can now receive medical help or advice from NHS 111 online using their smartphone, tablet, laptop or other digital device.

As an alternative to calling 111, you can now visit to determine which service or treatment is most suitable for you. Like the phone service, it’s available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and is free to use.

Like you do when calling 111, you’ll answer a series of questions relating to your symptoms. Based on your answers, you will be directed to the most appropriate healthcare service in your area. You can also use NHS 111 online to get advice on self care.

The service helps to direct patients to the right care, at the first attempt. The NHS 111 online service can be used to:

  • Answer questions about symptoms
  • Discover where to get the most suitable care in your area
  • Get self-care advice
  • Recommend that you speak to a nurse, emergency dentist or GP
  • If necessary, advise you to call an ambulance directly

Dr Kevin Smith, NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Executive Director of Primary Care and Population Health, said: “The NHS 111 service plays a crucial role in helping people get the most appropriate care available in their area at the first time of asking, so it’s helpful that they can now access this information online as well as over the phone.

“You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice when it is not a life-threatening situation. The 999 number should be used if you have a medical emergency, such as breathing difficulties, chest pains or if you’ve been in a serious accident.”

Improved official rating for Vale of York health commissioners

Local health commissioners in the Vale of York have announced an upgrade in its official performance rating and welcomed the positive feedback from its national regulator NHS England.

Previously rated as ‘Inadequate’ in 2016-17, NHS Vale of York CCG assurance rating for 2017-18 has now been classified as ‘Requires Improvement’.

The evidence-based annual assessment is conducted by local NHS England teams and moderated regionally and nationally. The assessment focuses on six main components: Cancer, Mental Health, Dementia, Clinical measures, Finance (sustainability) and the Quality of Leadership.

The rating is based on improved performance delivery and demonstrates significant improvement in clinical performance indicators. NHS England has also highlighted the stabilisation of the local system’s financial position in 2017-18 and the role of the strong, clinically-led Executive team that is now in place and delivering this improvement.

Dr Nigel Wells, the CCG’s Clinical Chair, said: “Our review and reform of the CCG and the local health care system is putting an even brighter spotlight on clinical issues and good quality outcomes for local patients.

“It’s knowing what is important to the community that is helping us to transform acute services, strengthen primary care and improve mental health services. This, along with the step change to develop and deliver joined-up, integrated health and care and preventative health measures, will help us to reduce demand on more expensive interventions.

Dr Wells added: “Our establishment of three distinct localities representing local communities and their primary care providers in the North, Central and South of the Vale of York is helping to transform services and improve quality whilst responding to the views of these communities and we have reflected this in our Commissioning Intentions.

“The local health and care system is still in financial deficit but I am delighted that our clinically-led approach and the CCG’s achievement of an Aligned Incentive Contract with York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will support the reduction in cost inefficiencies, duplication and unnecessary variation and help to ensure that the local system delivers its precious resources in ways so they drive improvement and help to achieve better value for money.”

In a spirit of partnership and collaboration, the new ways of working under this Aligned Incentive Contract will be monitored by a System Transformation Board, which will be co-chaired by the CCG and York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Wells said: “This is an exciting approach and I’m looking forward to working with our health system to deliver better health for our population.”

The rating has been published by NHS England at

Vale of York CCG staff make NHS70 exercise pledge

Staff from the NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have pledged to donate thousands of miles of exercise and physical activity to the help the NHS this year.

Staff members hope to improve their health by taking part in regular physical activity throughout 2018 as a collective birthday present to the NHS, which turns 70 tomorrow (Thursday 5 July).

They will be logging miles earned from regular activity – walking, running, cycling, swimming or other activity (everything counts) – and will also participate in a series of specially organised sport activities, including gym challenges, group walks and more.

Their individual miles will be logged on an online activity tracker, while their collective progress will be charted on a Europe-themed wall display at the CCG’s headquarters at West Offices, Station Rise, York. The aim is to see how many European cities they can ‘travel to’ throughout the year.

Members of the public are also welcome to donate 1,000 miles or more to the NHS throughout the course of the year. Obviously, the more active you are, the healthier you become - and that’s great news for the NHS.

There are many ways to get involved - with dedicated Facebook and Strava groups to sign up to, while you can post updates using the #NHS1000miles hashtag on Twitter or simply jot down your miles in a notebook.

For more information about taking part in the NHS 1000 miles challenge, visit

Dr Kevin Smith, the CCG’s Executive Director of Primary Care and Population Health, said: “The CCG offers flexible working hours to staff so they can take part in physical activity at convenient times, with lunchtime running and badminton sessions proving particularly popular.

“We’ll be logging this regular activity, as well as taking part in specially organised physical activity events, to ensure we donate as many miles to the NHS as we possibly can throughout the year.

“Being active is great for your physical health and also can improve mental wellbeing. So if you’re looking for some motivation to be more active, consider taking part in the NHS70 1,000-mile challenge.”

The CCG has recently held several engagement events to promote 70 years of the NHS; and also to raise awareness of a number of key healthcare issues, including prevention and self-care, tackling loneliness and isolation, and creating a sustainable NHS.

At these events Vale of York residents have been encouraged to sign pledge cards to do something positive to improve their health and wellbeing to ensure that any positive health outcomes spurred by NHS70 are long lasting.

For more information, visit

Local health commissioners launch new Quality Assurance Strategy

In its work secure continuous improvement, safety and quality within the services it commissions, local health commissioners have launched its latest Quality Assurance Strategy.

Building on the recommendations of reports by Robert Francis Q.C., Sir Bruce Keogh, Professor Don Berwick and others, the strategy defines the CCG’s vision for quality and safety.

Michelle Carrington, Chief Nurse and the Executive Director of Quality of Nursing at NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group said: “In line with our organisational values and the NHS Constitution, the strategy outlines the CCG’s work to identify and measure the quality of the services it commissions. 

“Quality is everyone’s business and we will be working with our health and care system partners achieve the best possible outcomes for patients, their families and carers.”

NHS Vale of York CCG is a statutory organisation that leads on work to ensure local people are safe and cared for when they use health and care services.

Michelle Carrington added: “We are required to commission the best possible services and positive outcomes for patients, within the financial resources available locally.

Throughout our work to develop services and gain assurance we are committed to openness and transparency and we will continue to seek out the impact local services have on patients by collecting their opinions and experiences.