Share your views on health and care services

What would you do? January 2019 saw the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan. Developed by NHS England, with input from thousands of organisations and members of the public, it sets out a national ambition for how we can all make the NHS fit for the future.

As part of Healthier Together, health and care organisations across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire will take account of the NHS Long Term Plan as they work in partnership with the public and staff to develop a local five year plan. This will help us to make sure we create an ambitious but realistic local plan that considers both national priorities and our local communities.

You can have your say now, through some surveys that local Healthwatch teams are running. There are two types of surveys you can take part in – a general survey and a long term condition survey:

Find out more and take part in Bristol or South Gloucestershire surveys

Find out more and take part in North Somerset surveys

These surveys will close on 30 April, but this is just the start of our work to involve local people and organisations in our plans for the future.

We will continue to seek views and input from local people over the coming months through other surveys and meetings – details will be published on our website as they become available. This will help us make sure we consider people’s feedback every step of the way as we develop our Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire five year health and care plan.


Lay representatives invited to join Healthier Together Panel Steering Group

Colleagues at our February 2019 Steering Group meeting

We are looking for local people from South Gloucestershire and North Somerset to join our Healthier Together Panel Steering Group.

The Healthier Together Panel Steering Group oversees our ‘Citizens’ Panel’.  The Panel is made up of around 1,000 people from across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire that have been invited to voice their views on health and care matters.

The Steering Group plays an important role in shaping the strategic direction of the Healthier Together Panel, including inputting to survey questions and ensuring we make best use of the results.

We already have a lay representative from Bristol and are now looking for two more volunteers to join us. You can find out more by about the role here.

If you are interested in getting involved, please register your interest by completing this short survey before the 25 March 2019.

If you’d like any further information please get in touch with Louise Fowler (07917 456874).

Blaze a trail with an apprenticeship!

Health and social care organisations are hosting a number of events across the area in celebration of National Apprenticeship Week (4-8 March 2019).

Further details are now live on our recently published Healthier Together apprenticeships page. Take a look to find out more about drop in events happening across the area and to read case studies from local people that are working in health and care apprenticeship roles.

There are also links to our partner websites detailing apprenticeship opportunities with 14 different organisations within the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire area.

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 by 25 January 2019.

Alternatively, please tell us in no more than 400 words how you meet the criteria by emailing:   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 .

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.

Be part of the Healthier Together story

Health and Care: Your Story poster

Do you have a health and care story to tell? Can your experience help us to reimagine the future of our health and care services?

We often hear people say health and care services are under pressure and can’t continue as they are. What does this actually mean for the future of our local health and care services? How can we evolve our services so they are fit for the future? Is there more we can do as individuals and communities to keep healthy and well?

Please join us for an afternoon of discussions on Thursday 22 November, 2-5pm at The Bristol Pavilion (Gloucestershire County Cricket Club) to:

  • Talk through our vision for the future of health and care in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire
  • Understand your experiences and what matters to you
  • Help us to shape some of our priority topics

For further information and to book your place, visit our Eventbrite ticket page.

Or give our Healthier Together Office a call: 0117 342 9282.

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


£6.5m boost for technology improvements

SmartphoneHealthier Together will receive £6.5million to support digital projects that will help improve the way health and care services are provided in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG).

The funding follows Health and Care Secretary, Matt Hancock’s, commitment to investing half a billion pounds to transform the use of technology across the NHS.

Commenting on the news, Deborah El-Sayed Director of Transformation for BNSSG Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Technology is now an embedded part of our lives and it has revolutionised the way we live. It’s critical that we harness the power of digital and technology to make our health and care services better too. Whether it is focused on supporting clinical staff or digital access for our patients and citizens, technology is a core component of our improvement efforts.

“We are already leading the way with our Connecting Care Programme – a nationally recognised award winning initiative that allows organisations to safely share health and care records. This investment will mean that we can push forward with our ambitions to maximise the benefits of digital solutions across Healthier Together.”

Healthier Together will work with NHS England to understand how the money may be used to support local projects. This could potentially include things such as:

  • Creating digital health records for children, including maternity records to work towards paperless 2020
  • Improvements in our mental health services and the support people receive
  • Consolidate existing infrastructure and create a single flexible solution, across our services, estates, geographical boundaries and organisations.

Don’t miss the party! Help us celebrate the NHS’s 70th birthday

Health and care organisations in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are encouraging people across the area to join in the celebrations as the NHS turns 70 on 5 July.

Julia Ross, Chief Executive of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and one of the Healthier Together leaders, said: “The NHS has come a long way since its launch in 1948. Medical advances and improvements to health have been phenomenal in that time, which is credit to our hard-working and passionate staff.

“The birthday celebrations are a perfect time to recognise how lucky we are as a nation to have a health service that provides high-quality support and treatment which is free at the point of access.

“Looking ahead, we need to consider how we all work together to ensure the future of our NHS and other public services for generations to come. That’s why the work of Healthier Together – our local Sustainability and Transformation Partnership is so vitally important.”

To mark this special occasion, a number of local activities are taking place, including:

- Southmead Hospital Charity will be hosting a “Big 7Tea” tea party on Thursday 5 July in the Brunel building. Staff, patients and visitors are invited to join for a cuppa and cake for a suggested donation between 10am and 2pm. With live piano music covering the seven decades, people will be encouraged to chat about their memories and take part in craft activities.

- Over the past month, North Bristol NHS Trust has been sharing daily patient and staff stories and facts of their experiences through the decades, such as the first ever IT worker who started in the 1980s, pioneering brain research using robots in the 1940s, and multiple generations of families working in different roles.

- Southmead Hospital will be hosting a memorabilia display in its Brunel building between 2 and 6 July showcasing historical photos, uniforms and kit from Southmead and Frenchay hospitals.

- Bristol University are going to light up the Wills Memorial Building on 5 July with blue light as part of the #LightUpBlue social media campaign.

NHS 70 #LightUpBlue

- Hospitals in Bristol are in the final week of a #WhyILoveTheNHS social media campaign. They are encouraging members of the public and staff to share the reasons why they love the NHS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

- Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group has created an NHS 70 video, which will be shown for the first time at their AGM on 3 July. Anyone can sign up for tickets to the AGM through Eventbrite.

- There is still time for children to enter the BNSSG-wide art competition, which closes on 5 July.

- Bristol Archives will be holding a small display (running until September) featuring documents and images exploring the development of medical care in the city, from early institutions funded by donations and philanthropy, to the transfer of services to the National Health Service in the 1940s.

NHS70 - a photo from the Bristol Archives collection
A nurse administers a polio vaccine at Bristol’s Central Health Clinic in the 1950s (Bristol Archives 40826/PUB/80)

- Sirona care & health holds an annual awards ceremony to recognise outstanding work and achievements of its staff. This year it will feature two categories to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS. The awards will be launched on 5 July and anyone can make a nomination:

- University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust is planning tea parties for staff and volunteers, a film showing and giving away free books to celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS. Staff, patients and visitors will have the opportunity to tell us why they love the NHS on comment boards which will be popping up around the Trust next week. You can keep up to date with UH Bristol’s NHS70 activities via the following link:

There are lots of ways to wish the NHS a happy birthday and show appreciation for one of the nation’s most loved institutions. From giving blood, to making an online pledge to use NHS services wisely – take a look at for other ideas and inspiration.

Healthier Together Conference materials now available

Presentations and posters are now available to download following our first Healthier Together Conference, which took place in Bristol on 21 June 2018.

All materials can be viewed online or downloaded from our Document Hub. Alternatively, follow the handy direct links below.


Making the vision happen – Robert Woolley, Dr Mark Pietroni, Julia Ross

Health and Care of the Future: A visualisation not a vision – Professor Sir Muir Gray




Urgent Care

Primary Care Transformation


Mental Health


Integrated Community Localities

Healthy Weston

Acute Care Collaboration

Please note, these materials capture a moment in time and our work will continue to evolve over the coming weeks and months.

You can find out more about the conference by reading our recent post: Defining moment for health and social care in our area.