Workshops will help inform future of rural NHS Urgent Care Centre

A new round of workshops starts tonight that will help inform proposals for how the NHS Future Fit programme reshapes NHS services in Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin.

The workshops are looking specifically at the development of rural Urgent Care Centres – a key component of NHS Future Fit.

Tonight’s workshop will be held in Bishops Castle. Others will take place over the next month in Whitchurch, Ludlow, Bridgnorth and Oswestry. It follows a previous round of workshops held in the same locations earlier in the summer.

Dr Bill Gowans, Vice Chair for Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Making sure that communities in rural areas are catered for is crucially important for NHS Future Fit. The workshops will be attended by members of the public and local medical professionals including GPs, and they will build on the work we have already done.

“We are currently exploring the most appropriate rural urgent care solutions with local communities and considering current facilities and services. All existing Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) and Bishops Castle Community hospital will be considered as potential sites for Urgent Care Centres.”

David Evans, Chief Officer of Telford and Wrekin CCG and Dr Caron Morton, Accountable Officer for Shropshire CCG said: “The original round of workshops provided valuable information on how people currently use, and would like to be able to access urgent care in rural communities, and this latest round will build upon that.”

Urgent Care Centres would be open for longer than MIU’s, with extra facilities and overnight beds for people who need help urgently but whose condition isn’t life threatening. They will be networked to the Emergency Centre which forms another key component of the NHS Future Fit clinical model.

It is already proposed that there will be an urgent care centre in both Telford and Shrewsbury.

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The workshops are not public events. Attendance includes patient representatives and local clinicians. Anyone wanting to share their views should contact their local Healthwatch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and for further information can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

NHS Future Fit aim is to put programme on stronger footing

May 2015

NHS Future Fit aim is to put programme on stronger footing

The NHS Future Fit programme is preparing to explore the best way to take advantages of expected announcements on NHS priorities.

New priorities and possible funding plans are expected to be outlined in the coming weeks by the new government. The programme to transform emergency, planned and urgent care for patients from Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Mid Wales will explore the best way to respond to these.

Dr Caron Morton of Shropshire CCG and Mr David Evans of Telford & Wrekin CCG said: “We have to make sure we make the best decisions before we choose a preferred option that we will consult the public about as this will be a crucial stage for NHS Future Fit.

“This is a unique opportunity to deliver healthcare for local communities from which we will all benefit for decades to come. It needs to deliver the best for patients and provide a workplace where staff at all levels will aspire to work.

“Local clinicians who deliver services day-in-day-out have made it clear this includes a single emergency centre to safeguard life-saving services, and that this needs to be in place as soon as possible.”

Work is currently continuing on technical studies and staff engagement. There will also be a number of engagement workshops on urgent care conducted over the next month, with an emphasis on rural areas of Shropshire, which will also be accessible for patients in Mid Wales.

Selecting a preferred option from the shortlist of scenarios identified in February will take place as soon as possible once any new announcements are factored into the programme.

Dr Morton and Mr Evans said: “The fundamental focus of NHS Future Fit has not changed, and that is to provide a modern, flexible and efficient NHS that will serve the needs of our populations for decades to come, with excellent and cost-effective emergency, urgent and community based care.”

Further information, including an adjusted timetable, will be provided as soon as it is available.

Appeal to local patients to have their say on the future of local NHS services

May 2015

PATIENTS and members of the public across Telford and Wrekin are being urged to get involved with their local NHS and make sure their voice is heard when the future of healthcare services in the area is discussed.

Patient Participation Group (PPG) Awareness Week – which takes place between 1-8 June - aims to promote the role and benefits of PPGs to patients, the public and health professionals, to create more understanding of the value of true patient participation and also to promote the support available from National Association of Patient Participation (NAPP).

Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group, the organisation responsible for buying healthcare services for the area, is appealing to people to join their local PPG by contacting their GP practices.

Currently groups exist in 10 out of 22 practices across the region (Ironbridge, Stirchley, Wellington, Newport, Sutton Hill and Shawbirch), but every practice in the area is committed to developing the role of the PPG in some way.

Stirchley Chair, and Chair of the CCG, Dr Michael Innes, said: “The first PPGs were established around 1972 by GPs in England and Wales.

“Since then there has been a significant growth in the number of PPGs within local communities," he said. " More importantly, experience shows that successful practices and effective PPGs go hand in hand.

“For people who have limited free time, there are virtual PPGs where you can input online and still ensure your voice is being heard.”

“I would urge anyone with an interest in healthcare to call their GP and find out what sort of PPG is available locally and how you can get involved. And if there isn’t any thing available, maybe you can be the impetus needed to set something up.”

Patient participation is a unique partnership between patients, GPs and their practice which is essential to and results in high quality and responsive care.

Telford and Wrekin teenagers hold heart of local health services in the palm of their hand

YOUNG people from Telford and Wrekin will be wearing their hearts on their sleeves after designing a new logo to show their commitment and passion to local health services.

Telford and Wrekin’s Young Health Champions - who have met three times since forming in January, most recently, last Sunday -  designed the new logo – which features a hand with a heart in its palm – to demonstrate their new found unity and purpose, as a group of young people determined to have their say on the future of healthcare where they live.

Telford YHC tshirtlogo

The design is set to be printed onto a batch of T-Shirts to be worn exclusively by the Young Health Champions, with each shirt personalised with the owners’ name and the CCG’s logo.

One of the Young Health Champions, Anna Simpkins, 15, a pupil from Charlton School in Wellington, said: “It’s amazing how I can have this opportunity to explain my own ideas on how the NHS could improve for today’s youth. 

“Each meeting is a new experience and I’m so glad I signed up,” she said. “It was especially fun to design the t-shirts as it was something I’d never done before.
“The final design looks fantastic and I can’t wait to finally get them.”

Billy Davies, 16, another member of the group, and also a pupil at Charlton School, said: “I find being a health champion really useful and informative. The design we chose makes us identifiable and I think it’s quite effective.”

The group of eight, who met in January for the first time, are supported by Sharon Smith, patient engagement lead at Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group, (CCG), the group responsible for purchasing local healthcare services.

Ms Smith said: “We were thrilled when the group first formed. The enthusiasm, energy and heart they have shown in working with the CCG to make sure the voice of young people is heard  and that they contribute to how we choose and design health services is inspiring.”

Stirchley-based GP Dr Michael Innes, chair of the CCG, said: “The logo is a really nice idea which clearly identifies the Young Health Champion as a group of outstanding young people who are working for the health of all of the population in Telford and Wrekin.

“It also clearly demonstrates our commitment to work with the young people who are our future," he said.
 
"What they think and how they feel about healthcare services is so important, so it was perfect that they should be given the opportunity to come up with their own design.”

Parliamentary committee report acknowledges Future Fit commitment to Welsh patients

March 2015

A parliamentary report into cross-border health services has acknowledged Welsh involvement in the NHS Future Fit programme.

NHS Future Fit aims to transform hospital and other NHS services in Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin. These services are also used by patients living in mid Wales.

Last week the House of Commons Welsh Affairs Committee published a report on cross-border health arrangements between England and Wales.

It noted that NHS Future Fit had conducted a number of engagement exercises with the population in Powys, including public meetings, a telephone survey, and a number of workshops.

It also acknowledged that Powys Health Board is a voting member of the NHS Future Fit Programme Board to ensure that Welsh patient interests have a voice.

David Evans, Chief Officer of Telford & Wrekin CCG and Dr Caron Morton Chief Accountable Officer for Shropshire CCG said: “It is important to us that Welsh patients accessing services feel that they have a voice in NHS Future Fit.

“When people need medical treatment they should be able to access the services they need regardless of which side of the border they live on.”