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TWB Public conversation - mental health

Mental health is a key area of discussion in public conversation on health and care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

With one in four of us likely to experience a mental health problem at some point in our lives, it’s important we all make our views heard about how these and other health and care services are provided across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

The Together We’re Better partnership of NHS and local government organisations, working alongside Healthwatch and voluntary and community sector groups, is currently holding a 12-week listening exercise on what works well, what should be improved and what is important to local people when it comes to health and care.

Together We’re Better want to hear our views on all aspects of health and care, with one of the main areas of focus being mental health services, and the associated challenges, including:

  • increasing the level of public understanding and reducing stigma around mental health conditions;
  • meeting the growing demand and rising pressures on existing services;
  • the harmful effects of loneliness and isolation to health and wellbeing;
  • encouraging children and young people to feel comfortable asking for professional support;
  • reducing the lengthy delays, in some areas, for assessments for patients presenting with common mental health conditions.

Dr Waheed Abbasi, Clinical Lead for Together We’re Better’s Mental Health programme, commented: “There has been a huge focus on mental health over the last few years and we’ve seen a significant additional investment. As a result, we have been able to improve in many areas, including our crisis service, our services for children and young people and also services for patients with learning disabilities and dementia.

“We have done a lot of work already, but we still face many challenges around access, crisis support, care and recovery, as well as the big challenge around stigma - which we are still fighting.

“To face these challenges, we need to be innovative, we need to think differently and work collaboratively with our health and care partners. It’s also important we involve local people, patients, carers and clinicians to shape the future of local health and care services. I hope people will get involved, tell us about the services they want for the future, the services they really need in their community, and those services that are most important to them.”

In addition to mental health, the 12-week public conversation, which runs until midnight on Sunday 25 August, is also focussing on:

  • Simplifying the local urgent and emergency care system
  • How the local health and care system can embrace and fully utilise new technology and ensure the buildings we deliver services from are fit for purpose
  • Reviewing the use and function of the community hospitals in South Staffordshire
  • Exploring what ‘integration of health and care services’ really means for local people
  • Identifying additional priorities that will deliver clinical and financial stability.

Your views will not only help in developing any future service proposals, but also inform the local Five Year Strategic Plan that will be published in Autumn 2019 and outline the local response to the priorities set down in the national NHS Long Term Plan.

How to get involved

More information about the 12-week public conversation can be found on Together We’re Better’s website at www.twbstaffsandstoke.org.uk/get-involved/health-and-care. There you will be able to:

  • Read our Health and Care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent document, and Summary document, that goes into more detail about what this is about, why change is needed, the challenges and opportunities locally and the areas we need to talk about
  • Complete an online survey that seeks your views. Hard copies of the survey, including an Easy Read version can also be provided by getting in touch through our Contact Us page
  • Book a place for one of our listening events, taking place across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
  • Drop in to one of our roadshows being held across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent in busy public areas such as shopping centres, supermarkets, leisure centres and libraries.

You can follow Together We’re Better on Twitter @TWBstaffsstoke and on Facebook @TWBStaffsandStoke.

e-cigarette survey: closing date 10 July

The UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies (UKCTAS) is conducting a study into priorities for research on electronic cigarettes. The goal of the study is to identify the Top 10 research priorities for electronic cigarettes to ensure that future research reflects the priorities of users, patients and clinicians.

You can complete the survey using this link: https://n1h101b0.optimalworkshop.com/optimalsort/km847f4f


Could you be a 'Change that Lasts' Ambassador?

Staffordshire Women’s Aid are offering 12 hours free training for any member of the community interested in becoming an 'Ask Me' Community ambassador.  The training aims to raise awareness of domestic abuse, challenging myths and stereotypes and offers responses and signposting options to anyone who shares their own personal experiences of domestic abuse.

They have 5 sets of  this training that they are hoping to run at a variety of community venues in Stafford to make it as accessible as possible.  They have split the 12 hour programme into a number of different formats again to try and meet the needs of the community, some of these are for two 6 hour days, others are split over consecutive weeks in 3 or 4 hours sessions and we have one set of sessions that they hope to run in an evening. 

For more information please see attached or contact Janine Plant at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 07947 872400.


Have your say in the Improving Access to Primary Care Services Survey 2019

In September 2018, the NHS improving access to primary care initiative was launched across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.As a minimum, the new service introduced additional appointments to all registered patients for same day and pre-bookable appointments between 6.30pm and 8.00pm Monday to Friday and on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Practices have been working together to deliver the extended hours with appointments being rotated between practices within each locality. Some practices have also made additional appointments available either earlier in the morning or within the usual practice opening hours Monday to Friday, depending on local need. 

The service has now been in operation for six months and we are keen to capture your feedback if you have accessed the extended hours at your local GP.

Click HERE to complete the survey.

Carers Strategy Engagement

Every day, thousands of people across the county provide unpaid care for someone who matters to them.

Staffordshire County Council and the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups in Staffordshire have put together a draft strategy for carers, which sets out our priorities. We would like to hear from carers and professionals what they think of the proposed strategy, and if there is anything else we need to consider.

The responses that people give us through this survey will remain anonymous. They will help to decide priorities for carers’ services in Staffordshire. This is a great opportunity for people to make their views known, help all agencies involved with carers to identify what works well, and what potentially could be done better.

We have developed two questionnaires; one for carers here and one for professionals and other stakeholders here. The questions are straightforward, and the survey only takes a few minutes to complete. The survey will be open until July 22, to give people the best opportunity to respond.

We have also organised a number of local drop-in sessions in May for carers and professionals to attend so they can give us their views. There is no need to book. Details can be found here: www.staffordshire.gov.uk/carers

We want to reach as many carers, young carers and professionals as possible, so I would be grateful if you could share the links to these surveys with your networks and encourage them to respond. Please could the email also be cascaded to Patient Participation Groups, CCG Executive, GPs, walk-in centres and Pharmacies.  We want to be sure we are getting the fullest picture we can of the caring experience in Staffordshire, which will help us and other organisations to work better together.

The NHS App

There’s a new, simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet. You can use the NHS App to:

• check your symptoms
• find out what to do when you need help urgently
• book and manage appointments at your GP surgery
• order repeat prescriptions
• securely view your GP medical record
• register to be an organ donor
• choose how the NHS uses your data

We expect all surgeries to be connected by 01 July 2019. So, don’t worry if your surgery isn’t connected yet because you can still download the app and use it to check your symptoms and find out what to do when you need help urgently.

When your surgery is connected, and you register in the app, NHS Digital will carry out a series of checks to confirm your identity. The app will then securely connect to information from your GP surgery and to keep your access secure, you’ll be sent a security code to your phone each time you use the app.

If you have any issues using or downloading the app, check out the Help Page.

NHS England Consultation on a review and update of CCG guidance on Items which should not be routinely prescribed in primary care

NHS England continues to partner with NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) to support clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in ensuring that they can use their prescribing resources effectively and deliver best patient outcomes from the medicines that their local population uses. A national public consultation has been launched on proposals to update and review commissioning guidance on eight more products. In most cases there are other more effective, safer and/or cheaper alternatives available to the items that NHS England is recommending should not be routinely prescribed in primary care.

The consultation runs from 28 November 2018 until 28 February 2019. Details of public consultation events can be found here.

Patient Experience Reporting Template

Download the Patient experience reporting form to use for :

  • Feedback from patients about a local health service (that is NOT an incident that could have caused potential harm or risk to a patient - which should be reported directly to the practice)
  • A patient reporting poor service who does not want to make a complaint.
  • General anonymised comments, compliments or suggestions regarding the quality of a provider service.

Medicines Matter! – Let’s Pledge to Reduce the Waste

From 3 September 2018 we are planning to focus again on the Medicines Matter! campaign, with social media messages, press releases, and other activities. Local pharmacies and GP practices have been asked to display the campaign posters and staff have been encouraged to commit to the pharmacy and GP pledges.  The pledges for members of the public are:

  • I will check what medicines I have before ordering more.
  • I will check my bag of medicines as soon as it’s given to me and hand back any I don’t need.
  • I will let my GP practice or pharmacy know if I don’t need any of my medicines.

Please could PPGs help to promote the campaign by ensuring that the Medicines Matter poster is on display in waiting areas (where this is possible). If your PPG is on social media you can also retweet or like/share our social media posts on Twitter and Facebook.

 The LINK group 

Impact Accelerator Unit, Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences, Keele University

We are looking for patients, carers and members of the public who are passionate about improving healthcare and have an interest in proactively implementing the most up to date evidence based treatment. We are particularly interested in talking to anyone with experience of NHS groups such as PPGs, CCGs or AHSNs, or links to charities, community organisations and wider networks.

The LINK group meet bi-monthly for three hours and implementation task and finish groups meet according to project demand and deadlines. Meetings are held at the Research Institute for Primary Care Sciences, David Weatherall Building, Keele University, ST5 5BG. If you would like to join the LINK group, please contact LINK coordinator Laura Campbell for an informal chat – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 01782 734727

Michael Fabricant (Lichfield)       This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Andrew Griffiths (Burton)       This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Christopher Pincher (Tamworth)     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gavin Williamson (South Staffordshire)     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Amanda Milling (Cannock Chase)        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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