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‘There’s no place like home’ for a quicker recovery and to ease the pressure on local hospital services

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Senior clinicians across Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent are appealing for families to help reduce the pressure on struggling services by supporting patients to return home from hospital as soon as they are ready.

Patients staying longer than necessary in hospital have added to the strain on A&E departments, which are already experiencing increased demand. This has caused even longer delays for patients who arrive requiring a bed.

South Staffordshire service helping older people to stay healthy and independent

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A pioneering health and information service launched across South Staffordshire is making great strides in supporting older people to stay healthy, safe and independent in their own home.

The Care Navigation Service is delivered by Age UK South Staffordshire and South Staffordshire Community and Voluntary Action (CVA).
It is a free service helping community health teams to increase the levels of access to information and support that people who are undergoing challenges in their lives can get in the local community.

The partnership programme is commissioned by Cannock Chase, Stafford and Surrounds and South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula Clinical Commissioning Groups.

CCG Senior Primary Care Commissioning Manager Mark Jenkinson said: “Care navigation supports a range of health professionals to work with the voluntary and community sector to ensure vulnerable people get the right care in the right place at the right time.

“The programme works alongside local health, social care and voluntary sector teams to point local frail, older people -some of whom have long-term health conditions – in the right direction for support and allow them to live more independent and healthier lives.”

Patient referrals are made directly to the Care Navigator programme by community matrons, district nurses and social workers.

Case study

A woman in her late fifties living alone in Codsall with multiple complex health conditions was referred to the care navigator programme in May 2016.

She had moved to the area a few years ago to be closer to her daughter and family as her health was deteriorating, but although her supportive daughter lived close by she worked full time and was unable to visit during the day. The patient was struggling, feeling depressed and anxious about her future, and was lonely with no friends living locally.

The care navigators matched her with one of their volunteer buddies to offer friendship and reassurance and helped the patient to access Citizens Advice help with benefit payments and community information.

A local church representative invited her to the local weekly luncheon club, arranging minibus transport for her. The patient also joined the local craft club in Codsall Library and started to attend the ‘Forget Me Not’ club.

The buddy reported that the patient’s confidence and happiness had improved, that she had made friends and that she enjoyed attending the groups every week.

While the buddy has now been assigned to help someone else, she lives close by and is on hand should the patient need any help in an emergency and still meets the patient at one of the local groups.

Patients covered by the scheme:

Patients in the Seisdon Peninsula CCG registered with Wombourne Gravel Hill medical practice, Wombourne Dale medical practice, Kinver Moss Grove medical practice and Calverley medical practice (including Pattingham branch surgery)
Patients in the Stafford and Surrounds CCG registered with Penkridge medical practice, Brewood medical practice (including Wheaton Aston and Coven branch surgeries)
Patients in the Seisdon Peninsula CCG registered with Bilbrook medical practice, Perton Lakeside medical practice, and Tamar Medical practice (Perton), Featherstone medical practice and Russell house medical practice (Codsall)
Patients in the Cannock Chase CCG registered with Huntington, Essington, Great Wyrley and Cheslyn Hay medical centres

South Staffordshire health centre champions health of community

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A South Staffordshire GP practice has been making great strides to look after the health of local people with a series of initiatives and fundraisers to help patients in the community.

Staff and supporters at Bilbrook Medical Centre, based in Brookfield Road, Wolverhampton, have been walking, baking and raising money to support diabetes and Alzheimer’s patients and provide their community with life-saving defibrillators - as well as spreading the word about good health and illness prevention.

Twelve members of staff took part in a memory walk event on Sunday, November 27, to raise £122 for the Alzheimer's Society, and practice staff competed in a fundraising bake-off on Monday, November 7, cooking up £304 for Breast Cancer Now's Wear It Pink campaign.

The practice also ran a very successful diabetes awareness event in Codsall, aimed at giving patients diagnosed with the illness in the last two years and people with more complex medical needs advice on how to manage their conditions.

More than sixty people attended the event at the Codsall council offices on Wednesday, November 30, which featured stalls manned by dieticians, Diabetes Nurse Specialists, support groups and local authorities.

Diabetes experts, including opticians and podiatrists, offered advice on foot and eye care and information about diet and exercise. The event even featured a diabetic buffet - showing patients that they could still enjoy cakes and biscuits if they were cooked in a different way - and gave them the opportunity to sign up for a leisure centre fitness programme.

The event, which also allowed stallholders and staff to network and share ideas, was regarded as such a success it was suggested that it be replicated across the locality.

The practice has also donated £1,200 on top of £300 raised by its patients' participation group to help fund one of two defibrillators being sited in Bilbrook village by the local authority.

Bilbrook Medical Centre Practice Manager Di Palfrey said: "We are proud to part of a team, and have a patient group whose drive and sociability helps to make a difference to our local community and raise money for good causes.“

The practice has been running in the community for more than 50 years and currently has around 7,700 patients. Bilbrook Medical Centre was rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission earlier this year following an inspection in March (2016).

If your child is ill over Christmas will you know where to go?

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Health leaders in south Staffordshire are urging those looking after children over Christmas to make sure they know about basic common illnesses so they know what to do if a child is unwell.

Winter illnesses are circulating and many GP surgeries will be closed over the festive period, so parents and carers should be ready deal with common childhood illnesses, such as coughs and colds.

Make sure that your medicine cupboard is well stocked with essentials such as pain relief, cough medicine and oral rehydration sachets, and make sure everything is in date.

Order your repeat prescriptions but think before you tick the box

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Health chiefs in Staffordshire are urging patients with repeat prescriptions to think about which medications they will need over the Christmas period and which treatments they no longer use. 

With GPs and pharmacies offering limited opening hours over Christmas and New Year, it’s important that people whose health relies on it don’t run out of medication.  But it can be easy to just order everything on a prescription at once - even if patients don’t really need to.

Contact us

South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula Clinical Commissioning Group
Second Floor, Marmion House 
Lichfield Street, Tamworth
Staffordshire B79 7BZ

Working with Cannock Chase CCG and Stafford and Surrounds CCG