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ePanel Round-up: December 2019

Be winter ready 

As we wake up to more and more frosty mornings it is a sure sign that winter is here. It is important to make sure that you keep yourself fit and healthy as the cold weather can be bad for your health. The NHS have a dedicated website to help you stay well this winter with a number of useful sections including: Warm - keep your house warm  
Immunisations - get your flu jab
Neighbours - keep an eye on elderly or vulnerable family and neighbours
Timely - seek advice from a pharmacist at the first sign of illness
Enough - make sure you are stocked up with repeat medications for when your GP is closed
Restock - make sure you have enough food and over-the-counter remedies

Audio and sign language versions of the information are also available on the website along with easy-read and large print.

Changes to the CCG newsletter  

As we have reported in previous newsletters Coastal West Sussex CCG will be merging with the two other CCGs in the north of the county to form one West Sussex CCG. This will happen formerly from April 2020 but you will see some changes happening in the New Year.

For example the ePanel newsletter will mirror the new CCG area and will feature news and information from across the whole county. As well as the ePanel there are similar schemes in Crawley and Horsham & Mid Sussex (called the Health Network) which will all come together from January to form one West Sussex patient membership scheme.

To reflect the changes we will be asking the ePanel and Health Networks members to suggest a new name for the combined panel so get your thinking caps on as there will be more details in the January newsletter.

In the meantime if there is anything you would like to see included in future newsletters please get in touch. We hope you are happy to continue receiving news and information from the CCG but if you wish to you can unsubscribe by clicking the link at the bottom of this newsletter.

Plan ahead: Repeat prescriptions  

Don't forget to plan ahead by ordering your regular repeat prescriptions before the Christmas bank holiday. 

GP surgeries will be closed on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 December 2019. A GP-led out-of-hours service will be available during this busy period for those who need urgent medical care, but you can help relieve some of the pressure on this service by being prepared and only calling if your need is urgent.

Local NHS organisations are asking people to make sure their medication needs are covered during the Christmas period by ordering any repeat prescriptions by Tuesday 17 December.

Follow these three simple steps to make sure you don’t get caught out:
  1. Check your medicines cabinet – do you have enough prescription and over the counter medicine to cover you for the Christmas holiday;
  2. Order any repeat prescriptions from your GP surgery if you are running low or expect to run out completely;
  3. Talk to your pharmacist – they can advise on medications and repeat prescriptions if you are unsure or require any more information.
You can help your NHS provide the best care this Christmas by using services appropriately and only if you really need them.

Have your say: carers website  

Carers Support West Sussex would like your help in developing their new website to ensure it is designed with carers in mind. 

If you would like to help shape the future of the design, please take the time to complete a short online survey after which you will be entered into a prize draw to win a £25 Amazon voucher.

The closing date is 9.00am on Monday 9 December 2019.

It's beginning to sound like Christmas...

The Alzheimers Society are ho-ho-holding a number of Christmas concerts which are open to everyone. All of the events are being led by people affected by dementia. 
  • Monday 2 December | 2.30pm | Chichester Cathedral, Cathedral Cloisters, Chichester PO19 1PX | Booking is essential 01243 812497 
  • Friday 6 December | 4.00pm | Salvation Army Church, Crescent Road, Worthing, BN11 1RL | Further information 01403 213017
  • Friday 13 December | 3.30pm | Holy Trinity Church, Church Street, Cuckfield, RH17 5JZ | Further information 01403 213017
  • Thursday 19 December | 3.30pm | St Margarets Church, Ifield, Crawley, RH11 0NN | Further information 01403 213017

Each of the concerts will be followed by a 'Christmas Cafe' serving festive refreshments so jingle your way to one of the events.

Funding for rough sleepers  

A grant of £345,529 from the Department of Health and Social Care has been awarded to a partnership in West Sussex. This follows an application to Public Health England (PHE) by the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), County Council and District and Boroughs in the county.

The money is part of the £1.9 million which has been allocated by PHE to be used on projects that will improve access to health services for people with mental ill health and substance misuse problems who are currently, or at risk of returning to, sleeping rough. People who experience rough sleeping have much poorer health than the general population. 

In West Sussex there will be a particular focus to support people away from local hospital A&E departments and instead accessing more appropriate and suitable healthcare services. The initiative will be co-ordinated by Stonepillow, one of the county’s homelessness services, on behalf of a number of homelessness support organisations. The project will start next February and run for 12 months.

The funding will help to improve the links between hospitals and homeless services and reduce the number of hospital admissions of homeless people in West Sussex. A nurse and outreach worker, who will be located across various homelessness services, will help ensure that rough sleepers do not miss out on vital health services.

Learning from this project will help to inform national policy and local commissioning of health and support services.

Local GP practice recognised for care of young people

Loxwood Medical Practice near Billingshurst has been presented with the PACE Setter Award for its outstanding work in the care of children and young people.

To qualify for the award, practices must review and refresh their safeguarding policies and procedures then complete a patient and family survey. The information from the survey then helped to identify some key areas that needed improvement:
  • more information about mental health services for young people 
  • a demand for CPR training 
  • access to basic advice and weight clinics for parents of infants   
Dr Hannah Davies, Named GP for Safeguarding in West Sussex, said; I want to personally congratulate the team at Loxwood Medical Practice for all their hard work in achieving this award. The changes and improvements that the practice have made as part of this work will really benefit the children, young people and their families that they look after”.

Read the latest news from our partner organisations... 

Coastal bites

  • There is still time to be a flu-fighter by getting vaccinated to reduce the risk of catching flu, as well as spreading it to others.
  • Date for your diary: Southwick and Shoreham Primary Care Network are planning a public event on Tuesday 28 January from 7.30pm at the Shoreham Centre. More details in the January newsletter.
  • Are you a family or friend caring for someone of any age who was diagnosed with dementia before the age of 65?  Then you may be interested in joining Crossroads Care for a Dementia-Friendly Short Break. Contact Lisa French at Crossroads Care for more details.
  • Do you have experience of hospice at home services, perhaps as a carer or volunteer? If so you might be interested to feedback on findings from the OPEL Study (Optimum Hospice at Home Services for End of Life Care), a research project being led by the University of Kent. For further information please contact the Project Manager, Dr Melanie Rees Roberts        
We want to make sure these bulletins cover the information you want to hear about.
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For all other news stories please go to the news page on our website.

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