Engagement Bulletin – 21 August 2019


Wednesday 21 August 2019



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Hundreds enjoy Taunton ambulance station open day



On Sunday 18 August Taunton Ambulance Station opened their gates to the public. South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust showcased their vehicles, equipment and skills during the day.

On display were ambulances, rapid response cars, motorcycle response units as well the hazard area response team. The public were able to view how the service deals with emergency care across the county.

As joint commissioners of the service, Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group had a stand to talk to the public about our role. Emily Taylor, Engagement Lead Officer and Julie Hill, Digital Programme Officer were on hand to answer any public questions and to promote the digital work going on in Somerset such as SiDeR and the NHS app.



Pride in Priorswood



Organisations including Lyngford Park surgery, Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group have come together to run a health tent at this year’s Pride in Priorswood summer events.

The health tent offers local people an opportunity to learn about and experience services including talking therapies, physiotherapy, nutrition and dietetics, SWISH as well as access mini health checks from the surgery.
After visiting the event Michael Bainbridge, Associated Director of Primary, Somerset CCG, said: “it is wonderful to see our partners reaching out to the local community in Priorswood and showcasing local services on offer, in particular to the surgery Patient Participation Group volunteers who have been vital in making the health tent a success. One of the most important features was the leadership and ownership by the community itself. This is an initiative that we would be keen to support in other areas across Somerset.”



Creating our shared communications and engagement objectives


Last month we shared our draft communications and engagement objectives with you. We also shared them with lots of our stakeholders including our staff, PPG Chairs, SEAG, GPs and primary care teams, our providers and partners and with the public.

We asked everyone to give us their feedback via a short survey and we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to have their say.

We’ve reviewed all the feedback we received and have made our objectives simpler and clearer. We’re now working on the draft action plan that will help us deliver our objectives. The plan is that this will go to our Governing Body meeting next month along with the finalised strategy. We’ll keep you updated as we move forward.



We want your help – tell us what you think!


As you know, we want to make sure that your voice is always considered during the commissioning of services.

One of the ways we aim to do that is by involving people who use services, and/or represent the views of a community, in the planning and designing of services. These volunteers are actively involved in the commissioning of services.

Historically, we have called these volunteers ‘lay users’ but we don’t think this describes what they do or encourages people to get involved. We also want to reach out to a wider and more diverse range of people and communities and support them to get involved in our work.

We’ve been thinking about what name would best reflect the role and we have come up with a shortlist of eight options (one of which is the current ‘lay user’ name). We would like your feedback on the options and what name you think best reflects the role.

We’ve also given you the opportunity to suggest a name of your own, if you don’t like any of our options.

The survey will be open until 31 August 2019.


Click here to have your say




You can now book your place at our Annual General Meeting here



Teledermatology reducing waiting times and travel



As many of you will know, Somerset has experienced problems in recruiting to dermatology services. Services are delivered in partnership with University Hospitals Bristol who also provide remote assistance for patients with skin problems – saving them hours of travel time and meaning they don’t need to attend hospital for a routine appointment.

You may have seen this fantastic service feature on BBC Points West last Tuesday but in case you missed it . . .

Teledermatology allows patients to book a consultation about their skin condition with their GP at their local medical practice.

Their GP carries out a normal consultation, taking notes and high quality photographs of their condition. These are all uploaded to a special secure computer system and sent to the dermatology department at the Bristol Royal Infirmary.

A dermatologist then reviews and responds to the GP, on average within a day-and-a-half, providing guidance on how to care for the patient and whether further investigation or hospital care is needed.

More than 70% of patients using this system are now seen and managed in their own GP practice without a hospital visit.

GP Tony Wright, who is based at Polden Medical Practice in Somerset, said: “The teledermatology service is an essential part of dermatology at Polden Medical Practice.

“For patients, there are a number of benefits including that they can get an opinion without having to travel a long journey to hospital. The service at UH Bristol is excellent and provides a quick response, meaning patients can have an appointment close to home with their GP.

“From a doctor’s perspective it’s also a really valuable service, which is really reassuring and helps GPs to gain education about dermatology from the specialists in Bristol.”

Patients have welcomed the service.

Joe Bass, who lives in Edington, said: “It’s been an absolutely wonderful service. I was given the results on the day of my appointment and talked it through with the dermatologist and we decided on the best course of treatment. It’s been fantastic.”

Peter Wall, who lives near Bridgwater, said: “This is such a good idea. It saves me a lot of time as it would take me a good hour or so to get into Bristol, park and get to the appointment and then I’d need to travel around an hour to get home again.”




Supporting Diversity

From 28 June – 3 July 3 1969, members of the LGBT community demonstrated in the streets against police raids on the Stonewall Inn, in New York. These protests are now known as the Stonewall Riots, a major turning point in the rights of LGBT people. The first gay pride march took place on 28 June 1970.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Yeovil will be hosting its inaugural pride march on Saturday 31 August 2019.

The NHS is an organisation which prides itself on its supportive and non-judgmental service to all members of our community and in reflection of this, Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group will be joining with Yeovil District Hospital, Musgrove Park, Somerset Partnership in marching on 31 August.

If you would like to take part in the pride march, please contact lee.reed2@nhs.net for more details.




Headmatters provides organisations with a comprehensive strategy for Mental Health and Wellbeing.  This begins by understanding your organisational requirements and then designing a training programme to support this.   Services vary from raising awareness, to training Mental Health First Aiders.

Following a successful two-day Mental Health First Aid Course in Cheddar.  Headmatters are running the Adult two-day Mental Health First Aid Course in Taunton.

Course: Two Day – Adult Mental Health First Aiders
Date: 19th and 20th September 2019
Timings: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Venue: Norton Fitzwarren Church School, Blackdown View, Norton Fitzwarren, Taunton, TA2 6TB
The cost of this course is £265 per delegate, this includes course materials (usual cost of course £300) – Max 16 delegates.

To sign up click here.
Please contact Jon Wood on 07497 119 643 or jon@headmatters.co.uk for further details.




What3words: The app that can save your life

Avon and Somerset Police are urging us all to download the What3words app to our mobile phones.

What3words divides the globe into 3m x 3m squares and given each one a unique 3 word address. It works offline and is ideal for use in areas with unreliable data connection. The 3 word address format is consistent everywhere in the world and available in over 35 languages.

Sam Sheppard, from Avon and Somerset Police said: “Having this type of technology integrated within our Command and Control system has changed the way we are able to deal with incidents where the location isn’t known. We are moving away from the old style of questioning: ‘where have you come from?’, ‘where are you going?’, ‘what can you see?’ etc. These questions take time and aren’t always that accurate. Asking for a 3 word address or sending an SMS so they can easily provide their 3 word address, has meant we have saved valuable time locating incidents. The Control Room staff that have used what3words for an emergency call, have said how easy it is, and they were able to find the location a lot quicker than they previously would have.”



Are you living with type 2 diabetes, caring for or working with  someone with type 2 diabetes? If so, NHS England want to hear from you


NHS England and Improvement, Public Health England and Diabetes UK are launching a new online self-management website for adults living with type 2 diabetes.

The website will:

  • provide education and information about type 2 diabetes and its treatments
  • offer content on managing your mood and stress
  • help with adopting and maintaining healthy behaviours (e.g. diet, exercise).

They’ve put together a short survey to gather the views of the people who matter – those living with type 2 diabetes, their carers and the healthcare professionals who help them.

The survey will take less than five minutes to complete and your answers will help to shape the new website.

Your responses will be completely anonymous and there are no right or wrong answers.

The survey will be open until Monday 2 September 2019.

Click here to start the survey. They’d love to hear from you.



New Chief Medical Officer for Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust


Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (TSFT) and Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (Sompar) have announced that they look forward to welcoming Dr Daniel Meron as Chief Medical Officer across the alliance.

Dr Meron is currently Chief Medical Officer of Solent NHS Trust, which provides mental health, community and primary care services to people living in Southampton, Portsmouth and some parts of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

He is also Deputy Medical Director at University Hospital Southampton Foundation Trust, a large teaching hospital providing secondary and tertiary acute services in Wessex. He will move to Somerset in December.


Click here to find out more about this story



SINePost newsletter now available


The latest edition of SINePost is now available on the Somerset Intelligence website.

The SINePost e-newsletter is produced each month by the Somerset Intelligence team at Somerset County Council as part of its role in collating, analysing and disseminating data and research. It draws attention to the latest facts, figures, reports and analysis on Somerset. Links are provided to source material should you wish to find out more.

Included this month:-

  • Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA): The latest annual JSNA report has been published by Somerset’s Health and Wellbeing Board, focussing on unifying data between services.
  • Births statistics: Numbers of births in Somerset continue to fall, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics, mirroring a national decline.
  • Volunteering statistics: An estimated 25% of adults in the South West take part in formal volunteering at least once a month, according to estimates from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Applying this proportion to Somerset’s population demographic would equate to about 115,000 regular volunteers in the county.
  • Understanding Towns analysis: The Office for National Statistics has published the first in a series of articles providing data and analysis on towns (urban areas with a population of 5,000+), in response to increasing national policy interest.


Click here to read the SINePost newsletter



Triangle of care: carers’ report 2019


Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is a member of the Triangle of Care; a set of standards to recognise, listen and involve carers and families when they look after, support and discharge patients.

Their annual carers’ report 2019 has just been published.

Some of their key findings this year are:

  1. Many carers report positive experiences with services
  2. The Carers’ Support Service is highly valued by carers
  3. A carers’ primary concern is the care of the person they are looking after: carers need informed responsibility, particularly around discharge and crisis.


Click here to read their annual carers’ report for 2019




The Zero Suicide Alliance is a collaborative of NHS trusts, businesses and individuals who are all committed to suicide prevention in the UK and beyond.

The alliance is ultimately concerned with improving support for people contemplating suicide by raising awareness of and promoting FREE suicide prevention training which is accessible to all.

The aims of this training are to: enable people to identify when someone is presenting with suicidal thoughts/behaviour, to be able to speak out in a supportive manner, and to empower them to signpost the individual to the correct services or support.


Click here to take the FREE suicide prevention training – it only takes 20 minutes and could save a life



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