Time to check up on winter health advice
Get a flu jab and use online help service are top recommendations
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