Improving Health in Bromley
Stay Well this Winter
Cardiac Patient Support Group
Orpington Health and Wellbeing Centre update
Our Healthier South East London update
Happy new year to all our partners, patients and public in Bromley.
Despite the temperatures being unseasonably warm (though occasionally very cold or windy!) for much of this winter, this hasn’t noticeably reduced the pressure we continue to see on local health and care services. To help us manage the annual surge in demand, we have introduced a wide range of measures to provide more capacity. These include extended access to urgent bookable GP appointments, support to GP practices to manage their most vulnerable patients, additional community support through the Medical Response Team and more A&E consultants and paediatric beds.
We are fortunate in Bromley to have a health and social care system that is committed to working closely together to make sure patients get the right service at the right time. One of our key priorities is to ensure that patients who need emergency care in hospital are seen and treated as quickly as possible, and if admitted, discharged home with the appropriate levels of support. This will enable them to recover in the right place. We are working with all our health and care partners to improve the discharge process within the hospital and into the community, enabling a safe and timely transfer of care across health and social care, whilst improving patient flow and capacity within hospital.
You can also read in this issue about the work we have been doing to encourage people to stay well this winter and take care of their own health. Please do help us to share these important messages across Bromley.
Over the last few months we have been undertaking an unprecedented level of engagement with Bromley people about a range of issues to help us develop our plans and local services. Their input has been incredibly valuable and is critical to ensure we have services that meet the needs of local people. This has included testing our refreshed priorities for the next three to five years, blood taking and mental health services. You can read more in this bulletin. Dr Angela Bhan, Chief Officer, Bromley CCG
Improving health in Bromley
During the autumn we asked local people and other stakeholders to give us their views on our plans and priorities for the next three to five years. These plans were developed based on local health needs, national and local health improvement requirements and what patients have told us they need from their local services.
Our priority areas are:
Urgent and emergency care
End of life care
Children and Young People
We tested our plans to check we understood what people had already told us and to ask if there was anything else we should consider. Much of the feedback we received reinforced what we already had in our plans.
We also received further ideas and suggestions which were all considered by our clinicians and senior leaders who are responsible for the different priority areas. Many of these suggestions have been incorporated into our priority areas and others will be considered further alongside any future engagement we do as our plans develop and are delivered. Some of the main themes raised were; improving access, in particular to specialist services; ensuring our improvement plans follow best practice and better use of technology.
Our next step is to use these plans to inform the contracts we will put in place with current providers, who deliver care in Bromley and our local transformation of services, delivered through integrated care networks so that people are supported to live a healthier life and more care is provided close to home and out of hospital.
We would like to thank those of you that took the time to get involved and give us your views.
We agree with your priority areas and have some suggestions for you to consider in the plans.
All the suggestions we received were considered by our clinical and managerial programme leads. Many of these were already in our plans and others (such as improving access to more specialist services) were added. Other feedback we received will be tested further as more detailed plans develop.
Adult Hearing Service
In Bromley, there are over 31,000 adults over the age of 18 years with moderate or severe hearing impairment (predicted to rise to 35,000 by 2020) and a further 698 with profound hearing impairment (predicted to rise to 813 by 2020).
The majority of people with hearing loss are in the older age groups and as the numbers of older people in Bromley increase, there is a need to minimise and address the consequences of hearing impairment, such a social isolation, depression and dementia.
We are reviewing our current service to ensure that we are providing a comprehensive patient-centred direct access adult hearing service for age related hearing loss in line with national guidance and local requirements.
The vision for people with age related hearing problems is for them to receive, high quality, efficient services delivered closer to home, with short waiting times and high responsiveness to the needs of local communities, free at the point of access.
In order to achieve our vision, we need to listen to and understand patient experience and feedback on the current service and recommendations for improvement. We held a patient engagement session where we gathered valuable feedback and comments for improvement, which have been listened to and used to shape a revised service specification. We have now invited service providers to bid for this contract.
We need a service for hearing loss that provides patients with confidence, clear communication and high quality service.
We have listened and incorporated valuable comments, suggestions and improvement ideas into our revised service specification. Service providers that do not meet these requirements will not be considered.
Stay well this winter
Hopefully you will have seen this year’s national ‘stay well this winter’ campaign. Winter can be seriously bad for our health, especially for children, those aged 65 or older and people with long term conditions. The campaign advises people to get a flu jab, stay warm, take medicines as prescribed and seek early help from their pharmacist when they start to feel unwell.
We understand just how important pharmacists are in helping people stay well and manage their health. Therefore, in addition to supporting the national campaign, we are running our own pharmacy campaign encouraging people to seek help from their pharmacist when they start to feel unwell. If more people act fast and get the right advice, there is less chance it will develop into something more serious.
Raj Matharu, local pharmacist and Chief Officer of the Local Pharmaceutical Committee said, "Pharmacists are fully qualified to advise on health matters. They are your health expert on the high street. If you act fast, they can offer the best course of action to help you recover quickly and get back to normal. Your pharmacist can advise if you need to see a GP. If you can’t get to a pharmacist yourself, ask someone to go for you or call your local pharmacy".
In addition we have also made the Health Help Now app available in Bromley. This is a healthcare app for digital and mobile use. You can put in your symptoms and find out the best place to get treatment. You can find out more on our website.
Feedback from last year's winter campaign said that better information was needed that was clearer and easily accessible about what’s available locally.
In addition to the production of posters, flyers, adverts both on line and in newspapers and on buses, to promote information about the services available, we also launched a new mobile and online service. This aims to help people in Bromley to understand where they should go for treatment, especially when they need health care in a hurry, late at night or at the weekend.
Cardiac Patient Support Group
A new cardiac support group has been facilitated by the CCG and supported by King’s and other cardiac providers of care. It was established in response to both a clinical need and feedback from our Patient Advisory Group (PAG), who told us that people with heart problems need an opportunity to share experiences and get information on their condition.
If you have been diagnosed with heart failure or arrhythmia, suffered a myocardial infarction (heart attack) or had heart surgery then you may be interested in coming along to the new Cardiac Patient Support Group where you can:
Meet new people
Get expert advice from clinicians
Enjoy complimentary light refreshments and beverages
There will be four sessions a year with speakers presenting on a range of topics such as exercise, diet, medication compliance and coping with monitoring your condition. The group is being led by cardiac nurse specialists from King’s College Hospital along with support from dieticians, physiotherapists, psychological therapists and doctors.
First session – Friday 29th January 2016, 12:00-14:00, Beckenham Beacon (Harry Lyne Room, 2nd Floor)
This will be a drop in session, so no need to book in advance! Just come along and access unrivalled support from cardiology specialists.
We need better local support for people with heart disease, somewhere where people can share their experiences and support each other.
We have set up a cardiac patient support group, jointly with King’s, giving patients the chance to meet and greet other cardiac patients in an informal setting, have an introduction to the nursing team and ask any questions during a question and answer session.
Blood taking services - thank you for your feedback!
Although the number of GP practices offering blood taking has more than doubled since 2011 and there are walk-in blood taking clinics available, patients have indicated that waiting times for blood taking in Bromley are too long. With this in mind, we have been seeking views from residents who are registered with a Bromley GP about their experiences of using blood taking services, following a request for a test by their GP.
Views were gathered through a survey. We also worked closely with Healthwatch Bromley and ran several focus group meetings and spoke to patients in clinic waiting rooms. We wanted to understand how our residents currently access blood taking services and if these are meeting their needs. We had an excellent response with over 300 people giving us their views.
We have also been talking to GP practices and our other blood taking clinics (provided by Bromley Healthcare and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) to get their views on the services.
We are currently looking at all the feedback received so that it can help shape any recommended changes. You can read more by visiting our website.
Improving mental health services
In the summer, we commissioned Healthwatch Bromley to seek views on some of the mental health services in Bromley. Effective and accessible mental health services are essential, especially as we know that one in six of us will suffer from some kind of mental ill health.
In Bromley, adults can get help with their mental health in various ways. This includes the ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies’ service, part of the Bromley Working for Wellbeing Service, which helps people suffering from depression and a range of anxiety disorders (including panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, excessive worry, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or phobias). For those who are struggling to find or stay in work due to mental health problems, the Mental Health Employment service is available.
We wanted to get views on these two services to make sure they were meeting local needs. Healthwatch Bromley spoke to current users to see what improvements were needed. Views were gathered through a survey, focus group and members of our Patient Advisory Group also participated.
Thanks to those who took part and shared their views. These will be used to shape the future services.
There is some confusion about what is currently available, especially for those new to the services and particularly around language and jargon. There is also a need for shorter waiting times to be seen and more flexibility for appointment times.
We are completely reviewing these services, and the feedback we have received will be used to improve them.
Orpington Health and Wellbeing Centre update
Although significant progress has been made with the planning and development of the new Health and Wellbeing Centre in Orpington, there has also been some slippage in the timetable. This is due to delays in concluding the relevant agreements relating to the leases for the building. This should all be completed this month and the full business case will be submitted for approval by NHS England by the end of January.
The detailed design of the building and layouts of the rooms in the new Health and Wellbeing Centre have been completed and agreed.
The plans have also been the subject of detailed review and scrutiny by external design quality assessors, and have been signed off as fully compliant with the relevant standards and legislation by the appointed Control of Infection and Fire Safety Professional advisers.
Berkeley Homes, who own the site, are now in the process of demolishing the old Police Station buildings and clearing the site for the new development.
Our healthier south east London - turning plans into action in 2016
The new year will see the Our healthier south east London (OHSEL) programme enter a new phase in plans to improve health and social care services in south east London. Many of our Patient Advisory Group members are closely involved in the development of the clinical priority areas on the programme and there is always lots of opportunities to get involved in the work and give your views.
The programme provides a regular monthly update on progress which is available on the OHSEL website.
Join our Patient Advisory Group
We hope that this issue has helped to illustrate just how influential and instrumental our patient advisory group (PAG) members are in our work. We value their contribution and views and they are always our first port of call when we are seeking a public or patient opinion. That's why we are keen to attract new members as patient involvement is crucial in our plans to develop and deliver patient centred services.
If you join our PAG - you can get involved as little or as much as you like and help to influence real change in Bromley services. We have some exciting opportunities coming up including being involved in our plans to deliver more care out of hospital and closer to home. If you are involved in any of our programmes of work and have to attend meetings, then we pay your travel expenses.
Your involvement could mean answering an online survey or perhaps attending a focus group. How much you contribute and how much time you give is entirely up to you. We are really keen to also hear from young people in Bromley. Getting involved in your local NHS not only means you are helping to improve services for people your own age, but the commitment to your local community could also help with job or university applications.