Wanted: Passionate patient representative

We are looking for a local person to join our Outpatients Programme Board to support the development of outpatient services.

As part of our Healthier Together partnership we have established a programme to transform the way outpatient services are delivered in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. As part of this work we are looking for willing volunteers to work alongside clinicians, GPs, commissioners and programme managers to provide a patient perspective.

You can find out more by reviewing the patient representation role here.

If you are interested in getting involved in this exciting opportunity you need to register your interest by completing this short survey http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/P6WC5/ by 25 January 2019.

Alternatively, please tell us in no more than 400 words how you meet the criteria by emailing: bnssg.healthier.together@nhs.net   with the heading ‘Outpatient Programme Involvement’ or write to:

James Dunn

Programme Manager

Healthier Together Office

Level 4C Whitefriars

Lewins Mead


BS1 2NT 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch using the email detailed above or by calling James on 0117 342 9282 .

Health and care leaders kick off plans for improved urgent and emergency care services

Urgent care event photoMore than 100 healthcare professionals and specialists from across the region have come together to help develop an improved way of delivering urgent and emergency care services in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

The intensive two-day event, which took place at Ashton Court Stadium, Bristol, allowed experts from across the local health and care system to work together on re-designing how services such as A&E, NHS 111 and GP out-of-hours can work together more cohesively and consistently to manage the ever increasing demand.

The new plans will begin to help address significant workforce, performance and capacity challenges and support health services to best meet the needs of local people who need immediate care.

Kiaran Flanagan, Consultant in Acute Medicine and Divisional Clinical Director for Medicine at North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “In recent years we have seen demand for urgent and emergency care services rapidly increase in our area. Surprisingly we are particularly seeing a surge in people aged between 20 and 40 accessing urgent care. I know from my role at NBT that this puts enormous pressure on our Emergency Department and acute specialties, we need to do things differently across urgent care services in hospital and in the community to maintain safe, high quality services for our patients.

She added: “Coming together to work in an accelerated way has provided us with the opportunity to focus intensively upon creating a more joined up urgent and emergency care system that we all can collectively own and run.”

Peter Brindle, GP and Medical Director at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This intensive two day event has allowed us to harness the skills and experience of around 100 local nurses, doctors, pharmacists, paramedics, finance specialists and operational leads.  We have been able to make significant progress in designing a new way of working that we own collectively over all organisations that deliver health and care services.  It would have otherwise taken us many months to design and agree this and so we are now able to deliver change for winter 2019.”

Kathy Ryan, GP and Medical Director, BrisDoc said: “We absolutely want people who need urgent and emergency care to get the best service that is relevant to their needs. It’s been really heartening to see the courage and commitment of so many colleagues to work with us to recognise the current challenges and be willing to come together to work differently and build a new model for urgent and emergency care services.”

Plans developed during the event will now be implemented over the coming year to improve urgent care responses in winter 2019.

You can find out more about urgent and emergency care services available in the area by visiting the CCG Health Services website page.

Clinical leaders call for radical redesign of local urgent care services

Clinical leaders from across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire have come together to call for a ‘radical redesign’ of local urgent care services.

They say that the services – which look after patients needing immediate care – face significant workforce, performance and capacity challenges and must be redesigned if they are to meet local need.

The members of the area’s strategic Clinical Cabinet (part of the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership – ‘Healthier Together’) say in a joint letter issued this week to local health and care staff: “While we have much to celebrate, particularly the dedication and commitment of our staff, we also face unprecedented workforce, performance and capacity challenges with the potential to significantly affect our ability to deliver effective urgent care services as a system.”

They commit their organisations, which include local NHS trusts, GPs, community healthcare services and local authority social services, to working more closely together to deliver vital changes set out in the area’s urgent care strategy, which aims to simplify services, promote greater consistency in urgent care provision and target support on those most at need.

Commenting on the letter, Chair of the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Cabinet, Dr Martin Jones, said: “This is a rallying call to our colleagues across the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire urgent care system.

“We all know that local urgent care services are experiencing exceptional demand and dealing with major workforce, capacity and performance challenges. We can’t address these challenges effectively as individual organisations but by working together to implement the aims of our local urgent care strategy, we can make a difference.”

The Clinical Cabinet will work initially on short-term changes in four areas including urgent care services for frail older adults; mental health services for people in crisis; children’s urgent care and Emergency Department demand management. As part of this commitment, the Clinical Cabinet will be working with more than 100 healthcare staff at a collaboration event in the coming weeks to develop a jointly owned urgent and emergency care plan for 2019/20. Outcomes from the event will be published soon. 

Further programmes of work will be agreed over the coming months.

Come along to our ‘Health and Care: Your Story’ event

Two people having a conversation

We are inviting local people to join us on 22 November to share experiences of local health and care services.

The Health and Care: Your Story event will take place at The Bristol Pavilion (Gloucestershire County Cricket Club) and will provide a chance to:

-Understand experiences of health and care services from different people’s perspectives

-Talk through our vision for the future of health and care in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire

-Help us to shape some of our priority topics

The event is open to anyone living and working in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (local people, organisations, staff, patients, carers, volunteers). To find out more or to book your free place, visit our Eventbrite ticket page.


Health and Care: Your Story poster
Health and Care: Your Story poster. Click to download


Healthy Weston programme update - August 2018

Work is continuing to look at developing new ways of organising health and care services in Weston-super-Mare and the surrounding area. Services need to better meet people’s needs in the future and respond to the changing health and care needs of our communities.

We are building on the good work to date but recognise we need to be bolder, and more creative if we are to deliver sustainable health and care services in and outside of hospital in the future.

The widespread conversations late last year and earlier this year with patients, carers, members of the public, staff, and other key audience groups about the future of health and care services have been valuable and have helped us produce three programmes of work:

  • Improvements to services that can be implemented immediately or imminently.   For example, a new unified approach to GPs providing services to local care homes; standardising telephony and shared back office IT systems for GPs to increase resilience; and training primary and community staff in more advanced and standardised frailty assessments .
  • Ideas and suggestions requiring further work and a supporting business case to ensure they are viable and have appropriate funding and support. For example, establishing a mental health crisis café, better integration of children’s services, and social prescribing (a means of enabling GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services for example, volunteering, gardening befriending, or a range of sports).
  • Delivering clinically and financially sustainable services that best meet the needs of the local population for the long term.    This incudes identifying the services that Weston General Hospital is best placed to provide so it becomes a stronger, more focused hospital, and which services may be more effectively provided to local people by one of the other hospitals.

Over the summer, clinicans and health and care professioals are meeting to learn from how other parts of the country and the world deliver services in different ways to meet common challenges.  For example, an ageing population living with more long-term conditions; smaller hospitals needing to remain sustainable; and the challenges of rural and coastal locations.

The clinicians will identify the opportunities for improving clinical outcomes, patient experience and more joined-up working between services and organisations across the whole of the Weston area.

They are looking at different areas of care, taking as headline themes those needing:

  • frailty and long-term conditions services
  • maternity and paediatric services
  • planned care services (for example, planned operations and treatments); and
  • urgent and emergency care.

They are looking at a number of things such as the ideal journey a patient should take from the start to the end of their care and treatment from a clinical perspective; discussing ‘what good looks like’ in terms of clinical quality e.g. how and when diagnostic tests and interventions should be started; and how innovations in technology could support and enhance the delivery of services in new ways.

This will enable clinicans to develop a bespoke ‘model of care’ for our area to deliver improved health and care services in a sustainable way.  Their emerging thinking will be tested with the public, patients, staff, carers and other audience groups in the autumn.

A series of potential options for the way services could be delivered in the future will be developed.  From this, a short-list of options will become part of a ‘pre-consultation business case’ (describing the detailed workforce, activity, workforce, capital requirements etc to deliver them) for formal public consultation in 2019.

No decisions have yet been made on the future of services, and won’t be until after a full public consultation next year.  We will continue to provide updates on our work over the coming months and if you would like to be involved in the next phase of design and discussion in the early autumn, please email bnssg.healthyweston@nhs.net.

Defining moment for health and social care in our area

Healthier Together has demonstrated its commitment to redesign health and care services collaboratively with a conference held in Bristol on Thursday 21 June.

Around 300 people, including staff from health and social care, local councillors, volunteers and patient representatives came together to hear local leaders outline the vision for the future of health and social care in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Delegates were provided with the opportunity to have their say and input to priority areas through marketplace stalls and seminar sessions. Professor Sir Muir Gray, Director of Better Value Healthcare, also spoke at the event and emphasised the importance of working as a network across organisational boundaries.

Julia Ross, Chief Executive of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and one of the Healthier Together leaders, said: “We were delighted to have such a great number of staff and colleagues from partner organisations come together at this milestone event in our work to improve local health and care. The NHS has stood the test of time so far, but if we want it to be here for our children and our children’s children we need it to adapt and be responsive to people’s needs now and in the future.

“Healthier Together is our local plan to ensure our services are futureproofed. To be successful we need commitment from all our partners and the public, and this event really demonstrated that.”

The Healthier Together partnership has identified a number of health and care areas to prioritise the improvement of services together over the next two years.  These are:

  • Mental health
  • Maternity
  • Urgent care
  • Healthy Weston
  • Integrated community localities
  • Acute care collaboration
  • Primary care transformation
  • Prevention
  • Workforce
  • Digital transformation.

Sir Ron Kerr, Chair of Healthier Together, added: “We are focused on making substantial improvements for local people and to ensure the sustainability of our health and care services. It is encouraging to see the breadth and depth of work that has taken place already in support of improving services. The Healthier Together conference has succeeded in bringing ny individuals together who can make this change happen and provide a shared sense of purpose.”

“As we start to move our plans into action, we will look to involve members of the public who use services to support design. We don’t have all the answers yet and want to work with the public to find the best solution to the changing and increasing needs of our communities.”

Further information and materials from the event will be published on our website soon.