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Join Castle Point and Rochford CCG at its Governing Body meeting in public


NHS Castle Point and Rochford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will be holding its next Governing Body meeting in public on Thursday 31 January 2019.   Members of the public are invited to attend.  The meeting will be held at 2.00pm at Audley Mills Education Centre, 57 Eastwood Road, Rayleigh SS6 7JF   The meeting papers are available on the CCG’s website at:

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Health technology improves outcomes for care home residents


Care home residents in Southend are benefitting from new technology, supplied by the local NHS, that means care home staff can play a key role monitoring the health of residents to improve health outcomes and reduce avoidable and distressing trips to hospital.

The health technology has been commissioned by Southend Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as a pilot scheme, for a 12 month period. The scheme is currently running across eighteen residential care homes in Southend.

The health technology consists of a portable handheld device that connects to Bluebooth medical appliances, such as weighing scales, blood pressure monitors, oximeters and thermometers, it enables care home staff to record and monitor a resident’s key health indicators easily and more efficiently. If health data readings are outside of the usual parameters set for a particular resident, an alert will automatically be raised on the system. The findings will then be clinically triaged by an experienced team of nurses.

Care home staff are then advised on the best action to take. This enables healthcare professionals to intervene at a much earlier stage and it lowers the risk of them becoming so unwell, they require a hospital admission.

For example, if a reading shows an increase in a resident’s temperature it can indicate the start of an infection, but this health technology can provide a much earlier identification of potential health issues; this is particularly helpful for residents with dementia who may not be able to describe their symptoms clearly.

The health data collected for each resident can also be shared securely with other healthcare professionals involved in the residents’ care, such as the Out of Hours GP service or NHS 111. This is very useful should a resident fall ill during the night or over a weekend.

Mrs R Hart, Manager of Manor Rest Care Home, Westcliff-on-Sea, said:

“We are very pleased to have been involved in this pilot scheme which has proved a valuable asset for our care home. We have already seen some early benefits and positive outcomes, such as a resident who was monitored by the technology was able to have their hypertension medication stopped after the recorded readings had been assessed. It has also provided our care home staff with the ability to monitor and detect healthcare concerns about a resident at an earlier stage, so that quicker health interventions or treatment can be provided resulting in better health outcomes.

An additional benefit we have discovered is the added value it has given for families and carers of residents who are delighted we have taken part in this pilot, as it means their loved ones health is being regularly monitored and assessed. This provides families with confidence and reassurance about the quality and safety of the care being provided.”

Tricia D’Orsi, Chief Nurse at Southend CCG and Castle Point and Rochford CCG, said:

“This type of health technology represents a closer way of working between NHS healthcare and care homes. The scheme has already demonstrated positive benefits for residents, their families, care home staff and GPs.Doctors spend a high proportion of their time caring for groups of elderly/frail people and in some cases, a patient’s symptoms will settle within a few hours with the appropriate medication or with care from a GP.It also has the potential to significantly reduce the number of ambulance call outs and hospital admissions and at the same time will reduce pressures on primary, community and secondary care services; as it allows elderly residents to be assessed and treated where they live, instead of having to visit the GP or a hospital.  An additional benefit is that it provides families of care home residents with the reassurance and confidence that their loved ones health is being regularly assessed and monitored to ensure any potential health risks can be identified much earlier.”

Due to the success of the pilot scheme Southend Clinical Commissioning Group is now looking at a future pilot for Skype between care homes and GP practices. This will support remote consultations by allowing GPs to make informed clinical decisions remotely, which should reduce the number of GP visits required each year.

Public sector partners work together to support menopause in work place


Menopause is a natural condition that affects all women at some stage of their life, the symptoms of which are too often under recognised, undervalued and not taken seriously.  

To support staff working locally in the NHS and at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, a joint awareness session about menopause in the work place was held at the Civic Centre, Southend, on 27th November 2018.

Local GP and Governing Body member at NHS Southend CCG, Dr Kate Baruysa, said:

 “Thanks to closer partnership working between the NHS and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, a joint awareness session for NHS CCG and Southend Borough Council staff was arranged to facilitate discussions about menopause in the work place. It was wonderful to see so many interested staff in attendance.

Studies have shown that menopause symptoms can have a significant impact on work attendance and performance. It doesn’t help that women are often misdiagnosed with a mental health or other condition, as this also impacts on their work and this can sometimes be wrongly identified as a work performance issue when it is not.

I strongly believe that GPs should give their patients the time and the information they require to help them to make informed choices regarding their menopause and its management. There are now excellent guidelines available that will empower clinicians in the NHS with more knowledge and confidence enabling them to diagnose and manage menopause better.”

The employment rate for women in the UK has actually increased over the past few decades and so women now represent nearly half of the UK labour force. This means that many women will be affected by symptoms of their menopause in the daily course of their lives and often to the detriment of their work and their life in general.

It is likely that early diagnosis, more education and adjustments at work can act as a preventative measure for menopause related sickness. When it is managed

correctly, not only will it reduce absenteeism, it will also enable women to talk about their concerns with work colleagues or managers. Employers should be putting measures in place to provide support, in what is considered a significant physical change for women, in line with pregnancy, which has been supported in the work place for many years.

Issued by NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG, NHS Southend CCG,  October 2018

More GP appointments available at evenings and weekends

Local residents can now access more evening and weekend appointments with a GP, nurse or healthcare assistant. The new, improved service will see GP practices working together to offer patients appointments at more convenient times when they call their local practice.

Appointments are now available from 6:30pm - 8:00pm, Monday to Friday and from 9:00am - 3:00pm on the weekends and public holidays; however, opening hours will vary between the practices. 

To make an appointment, you can call your own GP practice during normal business hours.

These appointments are in addition to the usual GP surgery opening hours from 8am to 6.30pm.  It means that when patients contact their doctor they will be offered appointments at an accessible time and day at surgeries where appointments are available, which may not always be patient’s usual practice.

Dr Kashif Siddiqui, Clinical Chair of NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG, said: “We understand that people cannot always go to see their GP during standard working hours.   Appointments may not be at your usual practice, but if you talk to your GP practice receptionist, they can help you find the right service and at a time that works best for you where possible.”

Local residents will see a GP or healthcare professional who may or may not be from the practice they are registered with. The GP or other professional will have access to your medical record to ensure that you receive the best possible care and support.

People can also dial 111 if they need medical help but are not in a life-threatening situation. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is a great way to get the right medical advice at any time.

Patients with breathing difficulties to benefit from specialist app

(Aug 13 2018)

Patients living in Castle Point and Rochford and Southend will benefit from the roll out of a new health app called ‘myCOPD’ to support patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).   

This specialist app, developed by mymhealth, has been funded locally through the NHS England Technology Tariff with support from the Eastern Academic Health Network, and provides the most up to date advice on COPD and how to manage it well. It is currently the only app approved by the NHS on the new NHS App store, and allows patients to:

 Perfect their inhaler technique with inhaler videos  Get expert education on their condition  Complete online pulmonary rehabilitation in their own home

The app has been developed with clinicians and is offered to patients through respiratory nurse specialists in Southend Hospital or in the community; or as part of a pulmonary rehabilitation programme. One patient who has been using the app since June said: “I have found having access to this app very helpful, I can see it being a great tool for people who like me work full time.”

Tricia D’Orsi, Chief Nurse for NHS Southend Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG said: “We hope this will be a useful tool for some patients to support them in managing their COPD. There are thousands of patients with COPD across south east Essex, like all respiratory conditions, there are times when the condition gets worse or when it’s not so bad. This should help patients to spot the signs of a ‘flare up’ and be able to deal with it better.

Dr Sharon Hadley, lead GP for the project, said: “We know many patients struggle with inhaler technique and therefore the drugs never reach the right place to work effectively.  Helping people to self-manage a long term condition can have a big impact on their health & hopefully avoid distressing trips to hospital.”   

Lisa Ward, Lead Respiratory Nurse, Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “This app is an excellent tool which will help our COPD patients to understand their condition and transform the way they use healthcare services.  The app has sections on rehabilitation, inhalers and how to use them correctly, and allows patients to upload reports on their lung function and symptoms so that they can monitor their COPD over time.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the app please go to or email   

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