Time to check up on win­ter health ad­vice

Get a flu jab and use on­line help ser­vice are top rec­om­men­da­tions

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

As win­ter nears, Buck­ing­hamshire’s Health and Well­be­ing Board heard this month about the ways the county’s health and so­cial care ser­vices are work­ing to­gether to be fully pre­pared for the ex­tra de­mand dur­ing the win­ter months.

In­for­ma­tion on how peo­ple can stay healthy over­win­ter­washigh­lighted, along with de­tails of a new web ser­vice, Health Help Now, which guides peo­ple to the best health ser­vice op­tion for what­ever ill­ness or in­jury they may have.

Chief Clin­i­cal Of­fi­cer of Chiltern CCG Dr An­net Gamell, ad­dressed the meet­ing on be­half of the Strate­gic Re­silience Group, made up of the dif­fer­ent or­gan­i­sa­tions re­spon­si­ble for pro­vid­ing NHS ser­vices and adult so­cial care.

She said: “Plan­ning for win­ter now looks at how our dif­fer­ent health and so­cial care ser­vices fit to­gether. Mak­ing sure the wholesys­tem­keeps­flow­ing can be more im­por­tant than what’s hap­pen­ing in one area: A&E is of­ten the choke point that shows the sys­tem as a whole is be­com­ing jammed in the win­ter, whereas in fact the busiest pe­riod for A&E is the sum­mer.”

As well as out­lin­ing the chal­lenges for pro­fes­sional joint work­ing in an en­vi­ron­ment where de­mand is in­creas­ing and re­cruit­ment dif­fi­cult, Dr Gamell also pointed out things the pub­lic can do to help them­selves with win­ter health is­sues.

She added: “Firstly, get im­mu­nised against the flu – peo­ple of­ten un­der­es­ti­mate how un­well the flu can make you, and it greatly in­creases the de­mand on health and so­cial care ser­vices over the win­ter. Take up the free NHS jab if you qual­ify by be­ing over 65, preg­nant, a carer, or through hav­ing an ex­ist­ing long-term health con­di­tion. Any­one else can get the jab at their lo­cal phar­macy for a small fee.

“Se­condly, I’d like to rec­om­mend our new on­line re­source Health Help Now, which lets you find ser­vices and ad­vice for your own par­tic­u­lar health con­cerns lo­cal to where you live – go to bucks. health­help­now-nhs.net.”

TheHealthandWell­be­ing Board’s chair­man Martin Tett, Leader of Buck­ing­hamshire County Coun­cil, said: “Too of­ten in the past the NHS and lo­cal coun­cils’ ser­vices have just not worked to­gether well enough. For ex­am­ple, this has meant that pa­tients and res­i­dents could re­ceive sev­eral vis­its from dif­fer­ent teams and some­times pa­tients stayed in hospi­tal too long. We have not al­ways known what each other was do­ing.

“The Health and Well­be­ing Board is a ma­jor change to the way we all op­er­ate. All the key peo­ple from the health ser­vice and lo­cal coun­cils are around the same ta­ble plan­ning what we do and how we will do it.

“The res­i­dents of Buck­ing­hamshire have a right to ex­pect good qual­ity health and so­cial care there for them when they need it. The Health and Well­be­ing Board is a key step for­ward in mak­ing that hap­pen.” ONE of Buck­ing­hamshire’s lead­ing health ex­perts is set to re­tire next year af­ter 25 years as a key fig­ure in the industry.

Stew­art Ge­orge, the cur­rent chair of NHS Chiltern Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group, has an­nounced he is to re­tire next year.

He con­firmed at a meet­ing of the CCG’s Gov­ern­ing Body and Ex­ec­u­tive last week that he will not seek reap­point­ment or re-elec­tion in the post when his three year term comes to an end in March 2016.

Mr Ge­orge’s role within the CCG has been to en­sure that ro­bust process and gov­er­nance is fol­lowed in de­ci­sion mak­ing and make cer­tain the or­gan­i­sa­tion is ac­count­able to its lo­cal pa­tients, stake­hold­ers and NHS England.

He has been par­tic­u­larly in­volved in en­sur­ing that pub­lic and pa­tients’ views are heard, their needs are un­der­stood and, where prac­ti­ca­ble, are met.

Mr Ge­orge has been in­volved in health­care within the county for a quar­ter of a cen­tury as a Non-Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor and Chair. Be­fore join­ing the CCG, he served as Joint Chair for the NHS Buck­ing­hamshire and Ox­ford­shire Clus­ter, and prior to that, Buck­ing­hamshire PCT. His pro­fes­sional back­ground and qual­i­fi­ca­tions are within hu­man resources man­age­ment.

Whilst mem­bers of the Gov­ern­ing Body and Ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee ex­pressed their re­gret at his de­ci­sion, they also thanked him for his dili­gent ser­vice.

They now aim to se­lect a new Chair, to be voted in by mem­bers, be­fore the end of March 2016.

Chief Clin­i­cal Of­fi­cer for Chiltern CCG An­net Gamell said: “While we will all be very sorry to see Stew­art leave us, we are also tremen­dously grate­ful for the work he has done within NHS Chiltern CCG since its for­ma­tion in 2013.

“Stew­art has served as a con­sci­en­tious and com­pas­sion­ate Chair, with a firm fo­cus on im­prov­ing pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence and en­sur­ing our CCG con­tin­u­ally strives to de­liver the best out­comes pos­si­ble for our pop­u­la­tion.

“We wish him all the best for the fu­ture and hope he will en­joy a happy and healthy retirement.”

Stew­art Ge­orge is stand­ing down in March next year af­ter 25 years

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