NHS Lincolnshire is responsible for improving health and health services for the people of Lincolnshire.
"NHS Lincolnshire is at the heart of your local NHS.
We are responsible for commissioning (planning and buying) healthcare for approximately 740,000 people
across Lincolnshire."

Cervical Cancer Screening

It’s hard to believe it will be six years in March since the death from cervical cancer of reality TV star Jade Goody.

Jade was aged just 27 and may well have survived if she had undergone the regular screening tests that detect the disease in its early stages. That’s why GPs in South Lincolnshire have been working to prevent other needless deaths by supporting Cervical Cancer Awareness Week, which runs from 25 to 31 January to raise awareness of the disease.

Nearly 3,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year in the UK yet 20 per cent of women do not take up their invitation for cervical screening. This is very worrying as early-stage cervical cancers don’t usually have symptoms and are generally detected through screening.

Cervical cancer screening is a very powerful and effective screening tool that detects and treats precancerous areas. It detects changes in cervical cells which could lead to cervical cancer. In this way, it prevents full-blown cervical cancer and saves lives.

Women aged 25 to 65 are invited for screening. Women between the ages of 25 and 49 are screened every three years while those aged 50 to 64 are screened five yearly.

When symptoms do appear, they normally include abnormal or post-menopausal bleeding, unusual discharge, discomfort or pain during sex, or lower back pain. Women who have experienced any of the symptoms should talk to their GP. Chances are it won’t be cervical cancer but better to get it checked.

For younger women, there is now a vaccination against the persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection that causes changes to the cervical cells and is responsible for nearly all cervical cancers. The vaccine can help prevent 70 per cent of cervical cancers.

In older women, the most effective method of preventing cervical cancer is through the regular cervical screening which happens by invitation and which allows detection of any early changes of the cervix. Cervical cancer is largely preventable and, if caught early, survival rates are high.

The cancer forms in tissues of the cervix - the organ connecting the uterus and vagina. It is not thought to be hereditary.



A patient feedback scheme introduced in Lincolnshire before a national rollout is proving to be making a difference to patient care.

The Friends and Family Test became compulsory for all community and mental health trusts to provide to patients across England from January 1, 2015, but was it was introduced voluntarily as good practice in some of Lincolnshire's services as early as April 2012.

The test asks patients how likely they are to recommend the service to their family and friends based on the care they have received. Some patients may already be familiar with the test, with it also having been used in acute hospitals  for some time and more recently by GPs. Its roll out will continue to include ambulance trusts and dentists later this year.

Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) started by implementing the test in inpatient areas and urgent care services, followed by all community services by September 2014. The trust now receives more than 1,000 comments a month from the Friends and Family Test and other feedback surveys, which have helped drive a number of changes.

This includes:

new clinics run by health visitors to ensure parents have access to staff with the right skills and knowledge to answer their questions;
setting up an appointment system for health visitors in the Grantham area;
plans to refurbish and decorate areas of the Skegness Hospital site;
ensuring patients are part of the discharge planning process and have a planned discharge date to work towards from arrival into hospital;
purchasing mirrors for patient bathrooms at the Butterfly Hospice in Boston;
improved communication to patients taking part in the cardiac rehabilitation programme to give a clear timetable of activities;
further engagement with patients for their feedback on using the telephone service for the Diabetes team.

Sue Cousland, Chief Nurse and Director of Operations at LCHS, said: "To help us to deliver care in the right way, in the right place and at the right time, we take every possible opportunity to ask patients and service users about their experiences.
"The insight the Friends and Family Test gave us when it was implemented in our community hospitals in Gainsborough, Louth, Skegness and Spalding meant we could not only identify best practice but also see where patients felt improvements needed to be made.
"Such was the level of constructive feedback, we felt that a similar approach could also support the services we deliver into patients' homes and other community clinics to be more responsive. It was agreed that a pilot should be commenced in July 2014, with a rollout to incorporate participation by all services by September.
"Since then we have found that the comments made continue to make a very valuable contribution to help us further shape our community services to meet the needs of the registered population of Lincolnshire."

Further information can be found on the Friends and Family Test page on the LCHS website: www.lincolnshirecommunityhealthservices.nhs.uk/Public/content/friends-and-family-test


Not sure if it's an emergency? Call 111

With winter upon us and seasonal illnesses like flu and tummy bugs are circulating, pressure on the NHS increases. Help is at hand for people to understand the importance of accessing the right services first time.

If you’re generally fit and healthy, you may be unsure what to do or where to go with unexpected or urgent healthcare needs. In most instances people don’t need A&E or 999, and accessing more suitable healthcare could result in being seen quicker.

You should call NHS 111 if:

            •           you need medical help fast, but it is not a 999 emergency;
            •           you think you need to go to A&E or another NHS urgent care service;
            •           you don’t know who to call for medical help or you don’t have a GP to call; or
            •           you require health information or reassurance about what to do next.

For less urgent health needs you should still contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way.

NHS111 makes it easy for you to access healthcare advice when you need medical help fast, but it’s not a life-threatening situation.

Dr Kevin Hill, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG, said: 

“NHS111 is a free number, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  The highly trained call handlers can provide health advice, put you in touch with the right service, arrange to have you seen by a doctor or call you an ambulance.  The service is manned by trained call handlers with nurses on site to offer support if needed. Callers’ symptoms are assessed and they are given the healthcare advice they need or are directed immediately to the right service, first time.”

Those with internet access can also visit: http://www.nhs.uk/111  



The next Board meeting for Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) will take place on Tuesday, January 27.
The monthly meeting will start at 1pm in the Royal Oak Boardroom at the trust's headquarters at Bridge House, The Point, Sleaford, NG34 8GG.

Items due to be discussed this month include early results from the national NHS Staff Survey, a patient story about leg ulcers, and updates on finance and performance.

Dr Don White, Chairman of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, said: "Our monthly Board meetings provide the public with an opportunity to find out more about the organisation, the services we provide and how well we are performing. The public are very welcome to attend and listen to the discussions."

LCHS runs services across the whole of Lincolnshire with district nurses, specialist nurses and teams of therapists working to keep people out of hospital or get them home sooner. Four community  hospitals also provide services in the heart of Spalding, Skegness, Gainsborough and Louth.
Infant feeding co-ordinators, health visitors and school nursing teams work in the community to keep children healthy.
Out of hours services, Lincoln's Walk In Centre, Peterborough Minor Illness and Injury Unit, and five community practices provide primary healthcare to patients.
LCHS also has the Phoenix Stop Smoking Service and sexual health services to provide advice, information and treatment to improve people's health.



Three of Lincolnshire's experienced health visitors have been accepted to join the prestigious Institute of Health Visiting's Fellowship programme.

Rebecca McConville, Elizabeth Bunney and Jenny Harper, all from Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS), were among 41 nationally to join the programme from January.

The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) Fellow scheme recognises the professional achievement of exceptional health visitors - creating a new national group of expert and confident health visitor leaders who make a real difference to the health outcomes of children and their families.

Rebecca has worked with children in Lincolnshire since 1995 when she became a nursery nurse. She has since held roles as a school nurse, health visitor, children's centre manager and health visitor team leader. Rebecca now supports the south west area of the county (Sleaford/Grantham/Stamford/Bourne) as locality lead for services for those aged 0-19.

Elizabeth qualified as a health visitor in 1988 and has worked in Lincolnshire since 1998. Elizabeth spent 11 years with the health visiting team in the Market Rasen area. She went on to spend four years managing health visiting and school nursing teams in north east of the county (Skegness/Louth) and more recently is now a specialist nurse for vulnerable children and young people countywide.

Jenny has worked extensively in adult and paediatric nursing, but completed her degree as a Specialist Community Public Health Practitioner (Heath Visiting) in 2006. in 2010, she became a specialist nurse for vulnerable children and young people, predominantly working with teenagers not in education, looked after children and young people who have been subjected to sexual exploitation and trafficking. Jenny was awarded the Queen's Nurse title in 2013 in recognition for this work. Jenny is now supervisor for the Family Nurse Partnership, which supports pregnant teenagers in the Boston, Skegness and coastal areas of Lincolnshire.

As new Fellows, Rebecca, Elizabeth and Jenny will undertake a four-day leadership development programme, and will be awarded their certificates at a celebration event in March.

Nikki Silver, General Manager for Family and Healthy Lifestyle Services at LCHS, said: "We are very proud of the support we are able to provide to children and families across Lincolnshire, and
Rebecca, Elizabeth and Jenny have demonstrated exceptional expertise and leadership to support our teams within LCHS. On behalf of all at the trust, I would like to congratulate them on their achievement and their continued journey to make a difference to those they support."

Dr Cheryll Adams, Director of the iHV, said: "We are delighted to appoint more Fellows to the Institute to strengthen leadership in the health visiting profession and to help develop the next generation of health visitors. There is immense talent in our profession and our Fellows lead the way in pushing the boundaries to ensure excellence in practice."



How healthy is your liver? There are three ways to a healthy liver and South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (SL CCG) is supporting a campaign by the British Liver Trust to raise local residents’ awareness of these steps throughout January.

The Love Your Liver campaign is focused around making the public aware of the risks from alcohol, obesity and viral hepatitis in order to help reduce the number of people affected by liver disease. 

As part of the campaign, which runs throughout the month of January, an app has been developed to help you reduce your alcohol intake, along with an online health test to assess your risk factors.

Between the years 2001 and 2012, figures show that the number of people who died with an underlying cause of liver disease in England increased by 40% from 7,841 to 10,948. Liver disease is the fifth biggest killer in the UK and the fastest-growing, but because the symptoms develop quietly it means it can be diagnosed at a late stage.

Dr Kevin Hill, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG, said: “Love Your Liver is a great campaign to support as it raises awareness and gives people a better understanding of the three main risk factors in liver disease. It’s particularly important at this time of year after the indulgence of the Christmas period. The main concern is that the symptoms of liver disease often develop silently, so it is important to reduce your alcohol intake and lead a healthy lifestyle. 

“Liver disease is preventable and by cutting out alcohol for two or three days in a row in a week, eating a healthy diet and taking more exercise you help maintain good liver health. If anyone is concerned that they may have contracted viral hepatitis, you should book an appointment with your GP and get tested.”

The Spruce app, which has been developed to support the campaign, can be downloaded to encourage people to take three days off alcohol a week and drink sensibly when they do. The free app can be downloaded here.

You can also take an online test to find out how healthy your liver is here. The Love Your Liver Health Screener asks you a number of questions relating to your health to assess your risk factors and advise if you might be at risk of liver damage. The campaign also includes a national roadshow across the country offering free liver health assessments to the public. 

For more information, please visit: http://loveyourliver.org.uk

Love Your Liver is a national awareness campaign from the British Liver Trust and is aimed at encouraging us all to look after our livers and stay healthy. After an over indulgent festive period, the three key areas where you can Love Your Liver and help it function at its best are:
• Reducing alcohol intake
• Limiting fatty foods and make deliberate healthy choices
• Avoiding blood borne viruses

Campaign details can be found at:
• http://loveyourliver.org.uk
• @livertrust The campaign will use #loveyourliver
• http://www.facebook.com/britishlivertrust



This January, we have an urgent appeal for donors to come forward and help us maintain healthy blood stocks. All blood types are needed, but particularly O Groups to maintain our life saving supplies. With heavy demand for blood and many people taking extended holidays over this Christmas and New Year period we have seen falling stock levels.Every day hospitals in England and North Wales we need around 6,100 blood donations to treat patients in urgent need.
Nadine Eaton, Head of National Campaigns, said “Blood stocks have fallen over the festive period and it’s vital that we increase our stocks now, so we can continue to meet the needs of patients. Please make an appointment today and help ensure that patients get the transfusions they need over the coming weeks." 
If you are able to give blood, please make an appointment to donate by calling 0300 123 23 23.
Alternatively visit http://www.blood.co.uk to find a session and to book an appointment near you.
By giving up one hour of your time to give blood this New Year, you could save up to three lives.
It is also easy to book through mobile apps for Windows, Android and Apple devices. To download the app, search 'NHSGiveBlood' in the app store.
For further information about NHS Blood and Transplant contact the press office on 01923 367600 or via pressoffice@nhsbt.nhs.uk
For out of hours enquiries please call: 0117 969 2444



Plans which ensure Lincolnshire's community NHS services can continue to respond in emergencies have been given positive feedback.

The Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response (EPRR) plans for Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) have been rated as providing 'assurance' by NHS England (Leicestershire and Lincolnshire).

The detailed plans are measured against a range of core standards and will support the LCHS's operational response in a broad range of situations.

Over the last year, the trust has supported the multi-agency responses to adverse weather and flooding in Boston, and played an active part in multi-agency exercises, which tested organisations' emergency preparedness.

The trust has also introduced Resilience Direct, which is a national system that allows organisations to share documents and information related to emergency planning and incidents.

More recently, the trust has helped to facilitate exercises relating to emergency planning for Ebola with other health organisations in the county.

Jill Anderson, Emergency Planning Lead for LCHS, said: "Our services provide a lifeline to families and individuals 365 days a year, seven days a week whether in our community hospitals, urgent care centres and minor injuries units, or specialist nursing and therapy services in our patients' homes.
"When emergency situations arise, we need to ensure we can continue to deliver our critical services to vulnerable patients and support our colleagues across the health and care community.
"We are pleased to be able to provide ongoing assurance about our plans and shape our future priorities. We will be working closely with a number of partner organisations, as well as being part of the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum, as we develop our responses further."