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."



 


DON'T FORGET TO ORDER YOUR CHRISTMAS PRESCRIPTIONS

With the festive season fast approaching, it’s a fair bet that many of us will be racing the clock to finish our Christmas shopping.

At such a busy and exciting time of year, other tasks can seem dull and boring but one thing we should all do is spend a few minutes thinking about our health care by ordering and collecting any repeat prescriptions at least a week in advance of Christmas Day. This is very important as most pharmacies close early on Christmas Eve. 

Make sure you renew any regular prescriptions and collect medication before the holidays start as the majority of pharmacies and GP practices will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Running out of daily medication over the festive period could have serious consequences for patients who rely on them to control heart and breathing problems. 

For many, Christmas is a special time when people enjoy being with friends and family so the last thing we want for our patients is having that time spoilt by not being able to take regular medication. For those with long-term health problems, taking daily medication is an important part of their treatment, and many are at risk of suffering serious attacks or hospital stays if medical supplies run out. 

At this busy time of year people may run short of medicines without realising that their GP surgery or pharmacy will not be open over the festive period so I’m appealing to people to check now that they have enough daily medication to see them through the break. If they don’t, they should call into their pharmacist or local GP surgery in good time. 

If you become unwell over the Christmas break or need medical advice when your GP surgery is closed, GP out-of-hours services can be accessed by calling our free, 24-hour NHS 111 health line.  The winter period is one of the busiest times of year for the NHS so picking up a repeat prescription in advance could help keep staff free to deal with life-threatening emergencies.  


15/12/14


NEW CHAIR FOR SOUTH LINCOLNSHIRE CLINICAL COMMISSIONING GROUP

Dr Kevin Hill (47) has been appointed to the role of Chair of South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group following the resignation of Dr Miles Langdon. He will take up this position on 1 January 2015.  Kevin has been a member of the Governing Body since the CCG came into existence on 1 April 2013.

Kevin is a locum GP who is working from the Long Sutton Surgery.  He qualified from the Middlesex Hospital Medical School University of London after joining the RAF as a medical student in 1990.  He held a number of roles while serving in the RAF including a number of overseas detachments.  

He started working in the NHS in 2006 after serving for 16 years in the RAF becoming a partner in the Sutterton Surgery in 2007, a surgery he left in 2014.

Dr Hill has been a locum GP in a number of surgeries in Lincolnshire including Bourne, Lincoln, Grantham, Corby Glenn and Long Sutton.  Not only is he an active member of the CCG Governing Body he is also the representative on the Health and Well-Being Board Lincolnshire and is involved in Patient and Public Involvement.

He is married and lives near Sleaford.  

Dr Kevin Hill said: “I am really looking forward to becoming the Chair of the CCG and relish the challenges that lie ahead of the NHS as we move further forward to integrate health and social care.  It is an exciting time to be part of the ever evolving NHS and I am sure that we will grasp every opportunity to shape local health services in the future.  I would also like to take this opportunity to thanks Miles for his great leadership and support over the last year and wish him well in his new role.”

Gary Thompson added:  “Kevin has a great wealth of experience not only in the NHS but also in the armed forces.  He is already an active member of the Governing Body and I am sure that his leadership and drive will help to move the CCG forward as we approach ever more challenging times.”


15/12/14


PHOENIX SCOOPS TEAM OF THE YEAR AWARD
 

The specialist team behind a service which supports hospital patients to give up smoking have scooped a national award.

The Phoenix NHS Stop Smoking Service has been named as The Advisor magazine's Team of the Year for its work in Boston Pilgrim and Lincoln County hospitals with the Stop Before Your Op initiative.

The service, which is part of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS), has staff visiting the Outpatients department and hospital wards, including Maternity, to provide individual advice and support to those who may be recovering from illness or surgery, or who may be visiting the hospital for pre-operation assessments.

Patients who stop smoking prior to surgery are more likely to have a shorter stay in hospital, are likely to require less anaesthesia and reduce the risk of developing post-surgery complications, such as a stroke or heart attack. This service is especially helpful to cardiac patients to prevent them from relapsing to smoking again once they are discharged home.

Since the launch of the service in March 2013, referrals from hospitals increased over the year by 400 per cent from 765 to 3,068, with the number of those managing to quit within four weeks also significantly increasing from 251 to 706 (281 per cent).

Marie Farrell, Phoenix Stop Smoking Advisor at LCHS, said: "We are very proud of the Stop Before Your Op service and work closely with our colleagues at both Boston Pilgrim and Lincoln County hospitals to support patients through their quit journey. This service plays a vital role in helping the public to understand the risks associated with smoking and how breaking the habit can contribute to a quicker recovery from illness. We are delighted to be able to share our success nationally and to be recognised by the judges and staff at The Advisor."

Award judge Dr Alex Bobak said: "Every NHS hospital should be doing this, and I can't understand why they aren't as the benefits are huge: faster recovery rates, better and faster wound healing time, fewer cancellations of operations and faster discharge. It's a cheap and cheerful but hugely effective intervention."


15/12/14


TRUST RECEIVES 'GOOD' RATING FROM THE CARE QUALITY COMMISSION
 

Community health services across Lincolnshire have been rated as 'good' following a comprehensive inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The inspection, which took place in September 2014, looked at services provided by Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS), including those for inpatients, urgent care, community health, children and families, and end of life care.

The inspections assessed services on five key areas: safe, caring, effective, responsive and well-led.

Andrew Morgan, Chief Executive of LCHS, said: "The Trust Board and I were delighted to hear the Care Quality Commission has rated us as 'good' overall. Inspectors spent almost a week with our staff and patients, and we were pleased they were able to reflect and agree with our own evaluations about where our strengths and challenges lie. We were particularly proud to hear inspectors talk about the feedback from our patients when looking at the caring nature of our services, which they described as overwhelmingly positive. We would now like to focus on making improvements to transform LCHS from a good organisation into an outstanding one."

LCHS Chief Nurse and Director of Operations, Sue Cousland, added: "This inspection clearly demonstrates the effective and responsive nature of services we provide in Lincolnshire. In particular, the CQC have commented on the high standard of caring based on their observations of staff carrying out their daily duties and by the number of accolades received from patients and their families. We are immensely proud of our staff and remain absolutely committed to supporting them to continue to deliver high quality care in the community.

"We fully acknowledge and accept the findings and have already initiated work with our staff in the areas identified for improvement. For example, there is currently no recognised national safer staffing model for community services so, working with our senior clinicians, we have devised our own model to ensure we can deliver safe care at the right place at the right time. This was acknowledged by the CQC and has been recognised nationally as an important piece of work. As such we are taking action to implement it across the county as soon as possible.

"Many staff also spoke of the frustration they experience with the current information technology systems. In response, we have already replaced 647 old laptops belonging to frontline clinical staff with new, lighter and more responsive machines to ensure everyone is able to work more effectively. We are also working very closely with staff to streamline our record keeping requirements so that they are all able to spend more time delivering direct care to patients and their families."

The CQC highlighted specific areas for improvement. These include:


ensuring all staff have access to regular protected time for in-depth reflection on their clinical practice;
ensuring systems are in place across the trust to share learning across the organisation following incidents;
demonstrating all premises and equipment are fit for purpose and maintained appropriately.

Inspectors also highlighted a number of good practice areas. These include:


the care and treatment of patients and their families in palliative care services and throughout the Macmillan and community nursing services. Across end of life services staff demonstrated compassion and commitment;
more than 98 per cent of patients were discharged, admitted or transferred within four hours of arrival at minor injury units over the last year;
a safeguarding pilot within the school nursing service to manage the needs of vulnerable children and young people.


09/12/14


NHS TRUST BOARD MEETING - DECEMBER 16
 

The last Board meeting of 2014 for Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) will take place on Tuesday, December 16.
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 the outcome of the trust's Care Quality Commission inspection, a patient story about breastfeeding support and performance and finance updates.

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.


08/12/14


DON'T FORGET YOUR LIMIT THIS FESTIVE SEASON

Many people enjoy a sensible social drink at Christmas without harming their health in any way. But it’s easy to get carried away during the festive period and end up having a few more drinks than we’re used to.

Drinking more than the recommended limit is a habit that we can all fall into easily. Yet drinking just a little too much alcohol puts people at greater risk of developing serious illnesses including heart disease, stroke and cancer.

People who regularly drink two large glasses of wine or two pints of strong beer double their chance of high blood pressure and treble their risk of developing mouth cancer. But the risks of damage to health are low if drinkers stay within the recommended daily limits.

The NHS says that men should not regularly drink more than three or four units of alcohol a day while women should not regularly exceed two or three units. People should avoid alcohol altogether for 48 hours after a heavy drinking session.

Calculating units of alcohol is not easy as it depends on the size and strength of the drink. For example, one pint (568ml) of a five per cent beer or cider equals 2.8 units while a standard (175ml) glass of 12 per cent wine or champagne is 4.9 units. Basically, it is far easier than you think to exceed the recommended limits.

To use an online unit calculator, visit http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Alcohol-unit-calculator.aspx.

Alcohol causes significant harm in the UK and is responsible for more than 1.2 million hospital admissions a year. Alcohol-related liver disease is also a growing concern, with more and more people developing liver damage because of their drinking.

Most people think it’s just binge drinkers or the young who drink more than they should but the fact is that many people – usually at home – regularly exceed their recommended daily limits. That’s why South Lincolnshire CCG are urging everyone to take a sober look at their drinking, not only during the festive period but for always.

For lots of sound advice on sensible drinking, visit http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/alcohol
 

08/12/14

NHS TRUST SEEKS NEW CHAIRPERSON
 
The NHS Trust in Lincolnshire which cares for patients at home and helps to keep them out of hospital is seeking a new Chairperson.
Dr Don White, Chairman of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) will be stepping down in March 2015.  Dr White has held the post since LCHS first became a NHS Trust in 2011 and for two years prior to that as the organisation progressed from being part the former NHS Lincolnshire (Primary Care Trust) to becoming an independent NHS Trust.
Dr White has overseen the organisation on its continuing journey towards Foundation Trust status, through its registration with the Care Quality Commission, and scrutinising the delivery of safe, high quality health care, whilst ensuring the trust meets all of its financial responsibilities from its budget of £110 million.
Dr White said: “I feel very proud of everything LCHS has achieved since becoming an independent trust in 2011. It has been a challenging time but I leave LCHS as a mature organisation with a strong leadership team where patients are the focus both for the Board and the staff who truly live their “Patients First” values.  I shall be sorry to go but I know I leave the trust in a sound position to progress its aspiration to become a Foundation Trust.”
The trust’s 2,300 staff care for thousands of patients every day from 67 premises across the county, as well as in patients’ homes.
LCHS will be working with the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA) to seek a new Chairperson.  The new Chairperson will continue to ensure that the Board is focused on the provision of safe and sustainable community healthcare services across the county and beyond.  The Chair will oversee the work of the trust as a key partner with the Lincolnshire Health and Care programme in tackling the financial and quality challenges faced in the county through integrating health and social care and developing innovative ways of delivering services.
LCHS Chief Executive, Andrew Morgan, said: “LCHS is looking to recruit a Chairperson who will bring strong strategic leadership skills to the Board and the organisation.  They will embody our values through their leadership to ensure every part of the organisation continues to focus on patient safety, compassionate care and high performance.  This very important role will help the communities we serve to recognise the part that LCHS plays in caring for people for people where they live and avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions.”
Anyone interested in this challenging role can find out more through any of the following channels:


Within the Trust – For an informal and confidential discussion with LCHS Chief Executive Andrew Morgan regarding the role, please contact Rachel Lane on 01427 816558
Gatenby Sanderson is helping us to identify potential candidates. If you would like a confidential discussion about the role, contact Robin Staveley, Partner, on 0113 205 6076 or email Robin.Staveley@gatenbysanderson.com.  Alternatively, contact Helene Usherwood on 0121 6445717 or email Helene.usherwood@gatenbysanderson.com
With the NHS TDA – to request an information pack or for general enquiries, contact Miriam Walker on 0113 254 6890 or by emailing Miriam.walker@nhs.net

The closing date is January 8, 2015, and the process will include preliminary interviews and an opportunity for shortlisted candidates to meet with key health and social care leaders in the county prior to the interview panel in February.


05/12/14


SPECIALIST NURSING TEAMS WELCOME JAPANESE VISITORS
 

Community nursing and therapy teams in Grantham have been giving two Japanese visitors an insight into how services are run.

The teams from Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) welcomed Fumiaki Yasukawa, a professor from Yokohama City University, and Akiko Hamada, a registered nurse and President of Nurse Career Support in Yokohama, as part of a research trip into how community services in the UK are delivered.

The pair flew in from Japan to spend a day in Grantham, followed by time in London and Buckinghamshire. The insight they gain will help to shape the future of community nursing services in Japan.

While in Grantham, they spent time with Heart Failure Nurse Specialist Katharine Theabould, Occupational Therapist Gina Tuck and Community Nurse Bernadette Raddon. It included visits to patients' homes and a local care home.

Professor Yasukawa said: "We have been looking at a model for introducing home care. This research is being funded by the Government and my university who are working together. We would like to understand what happens in the UK as we would like to learn from you."

Jenny Hinchliffe, Head of Clinical Services at LCHS, added: "The NHS is not only well-loved in the UK, but is a well-respected brand internationally. We were pleased to be able to support both Fumiaki and Akiko with their research and show them the quality of services we are able to offer in our patients' homes in Lincolnshire. We were able to offer the chance to take part in visits with one of our specialist heart failure nurses, see how we help rehabilitation through our therapists in our Independent Living Team and accompany one of our community nurses. It was fascinating to hear the differences between practice here and in Japan."

04/12/14


MAKE YOUR CHILD FLU SAFE WITH PAIN FREE VACCINE
Children aged two, three and four years old across Lincolnshire will be offered the single dose nasal spray flu vaccine, Fluenz Tetra.

The needle-free vaccine is an alternative to the traditional injectable flu vaccine, which will continue to be offered to those aged 65 and over, pregnant women, carers and adults and babies (aged six months to two years) with a long-term medical condition.

The Fluenz immunisation is a simple, painless nasal spray that protects children against many strains of the flu virus. Introduced last year for healthy two and three year olds, the vaccine has been used safely and effectively in the USA for over 10 years. 

The NHS continues to roll out the nasal spray with four year olds receiving the vaccine this year and some secondary school children have been offered the vaccine as part of a pilot scheme in selected schools nationwide.

Dr Miles Langdon, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG, explained: 

“Flu is a serious illness in children. Some children develop a very high fever or complications such as bronchitis, pneumonia and painful middle ear infection. They may need hospital treatment, and in serious cases, a child may die from flu.

The vaccine is the best possible protection against the flu virus. It’s quick and painless and will mean your child is less likely to become ill if they come into contact with the flu virus.

Parents or carers of children aged two, three and four will be contacted by their GP about getting their child vaccinated before the winter. If you don’t hear anything, or you want more information about when and how your child will be vaccinated against flu, talk to your GP or practice nurse."


02/12/15


Managing anger effectively during Anger Awareness Week

Anger is a destructive emotion that can cause mental hurt and a string of physical health problems. That’s why the NHS urged us all to think about managing anger effectively during Anger Awareness Week at the start of December.

Embarrassment, unhappiness and feelings of defensiveness are among the causes of anger while depression is also a factor.

But it’s possible to control anger by following these top 10 tips:
            •           Take a timeout – count to 10 before reacting.
            •           Get some space – take a break from the person you’re angry with.
            •           Express your anger once you’re calm – stewing can make the situation worse.
            •           Get some exercise – go for a run or brisk walk.
            •           Think carefully before you speak – or you may say something you’ll regret.
            •           Identify solutions – instead of focusing on what made you mad, work with the person who angered you.
            •           Avoid criticising or placing blame – this could make the other person angry or resentful.
            •           Don’t hold a grudge – if you forgive the other person it will help you both.
            •           Use your sense of humour – lightening up can diffuse tension.
            •           Practise relaxation skills – try deep breathing, yoga or listening to music.

There can be serious health issues linked to unresolved anger. These include high blood pressure, heart attacks, depression, anxiety, colds, flu and problems with digestion. That’s why it’s important to learn to recognise our anger signs and how to deal with them.

For lots of great advice, visit http://www.nhs.uk and search for “anger management.”


01/12/15


TRIO OF AWARDS FOR GAINSBOROUGH COMMUNITY NURSING TEAM
 
Three senior nurses in the Gainsborough Community Nursing Team have received awards from the Queen's Nursing Institute (QNI).
Clinical Team Leader Ruth Dymock and District Nurse Case Manager Nicola Amos have both been awarded the Queen's Nurse title, while District Nurse Case Manager Kay Hargreaves has received the QNI Long Service Award. Gainsborough's Community Nursing Team, which is part of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS), delivers care to patients every day in their own homes. The Queen's Nurse title marks Ruth and Nicola's continued commitment to the delivery of high standards of patient care, learning and leadership. The Long Service Award is available to community nurses who have completed 21 years or more of service. Kay has been a nurse for 31 years, with 25 of those working in the community. On behalf of the team, Ruth said: "We are delighted, particularly as this achievement reflects the commitment and experience of the whole team. As we move forward, it is important not to forget our core practice of community nursing, putting the patient firmly at the centre of development of quality professional care." LCHS Chief Nurse and Director of Operations Sue Cousland added: "I am really pleased that Ruth, Nicola and Kay have been recognised in this way for their respective achievements. This is excellent news both for them as individuals and for the organisation. We remain committed to supporting the development of our staff to ensure they are well equipped with the knowledge and skills required to care for patients in Lincolnshire."


30/11/14


ALCOHOL AWARENESS

The need for safer drinking has been put firmly back into the spotlight recently with the national news reporting that Britain is the addiction capital of Europe.

In 1987, when alcohol guidance was published, it was set out as a maximum advised number of units per week, which was 21 for men and 14 for women.

However, studies published in the early 1990s suggested a small amount of alcohol might be good for the heart. This led to a reframing of the guidance as a daily intake: no more than three to four units a day for men and two to three for women. Those who drink the maximum every day are therefore well above the earlier limits.

Alcohol’s hidden harms usually only emerge after a number of years. And by then, serious health problems can have developed.

Liver problems, reduced fertility, high blood pressure, increased risk of various cancers and heart attack are some of the numerous harmful effects of regularly drinking above recommended levels. 

The effects of alcohol on your health will depend on how much you drink. The more you drink, the greater the health risks. 

Lower-risk drinking means that you have a low risk of causing yourself future harm. However, drinking consistently within these limits is called 'lower-risk', rather than 'safe', because drinking alcohol is never completely safe.

NHS recommendations for lower risk drinking state that:

          •        men should not exceed 3-4 units a day on a regular basis 
          •        women should not exceed 2-3 units a day on a regular basis 

Miles Langdon, Chair of South Lincolnshire CCG says;

"Pregnant women or women trying to conceive should not drink alcohol. When you drink, alcohol reaches your baby through the placenta. Too much exposure to alcohol can seriously affect your baby's development. If you choose to drink, do not drink more than 1-2 units of alcohol once or twice a week, and do not get drunk. This will minimise the risk to the baby.

Safer drinking is something we all need to put into practice. Most people who have alcohol-related health problems aren’t alcoholics. They're simply people who have regularly drunk more than the recommended levels for some years.

There's no guaranteed safe level of drinking, but if you drink below recommended daily limits, the risks of harming your health are low. Don’t save up your weekly unit “allowance” for the weekend as drinking larger amounts in a small space of time is more damaging to your health than drinking moderately during the week."

If you are concerned about your drinking you can discuss it with your GP. For further information visit http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/alcohol


28/11/14