Winter 2018 issue of CCG Insight, out now!

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small CCG Insight fron cover winter 2018


We’ve released the latest edition of CCG Insight, a magazine packed full of information on healthcare in Thurrock plus details of the CCG's and our partners' work in the community.

The winter issue features the launch of a consultation into NHS services across mid and south Essex. The Your Care in the Best Place consultation shares plans for the future of NHS services with a particular focus on hospital services at Southend, Basildon and Broomfield Hospitals. The consultation also proposes to transfer of services from Orsett Hospital into new centres that will be located across Thurrock, and for Basildon and Brentwood residents some services will be offered in that area too. Under these plans, Orsett Hospital would only close after all four centres open.

There’s also exciting news from the Thurrock Health Hubs, which are now open seven days a week (7pm – 9pm weekdays and 9am and 12pm weekends), and updates on innovative changes in general practice, including specialist therapists who will be working with diabetes patients who are struggling to cope with their condition.

You can find out more about all of these stories and more by clicking on the link below. We hope you enjoy reading it! Please feel free to share with friends, family members and colleagues.

pdf CCG Insight - Winter 2018 (issue 10) (1.87 MB)

Extra GP and nurse appointments in Thurrock’s Health Hubs

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The Thurrock Health Hubs will be providing a continuous, seven-day a week GP and primary care nurse service for the people of Thurrock.

Everyone who is registered with a GP practice in Thurrock will be able to book an appointment at one of the hubs at the weekend (9.00am-12.00 noon) and now also in the evening on weekdays. Appointments will be available for both GPs and practice nurses from 7pm to 9pm Monday to Friday.

The expansion of the hub service means that out-of-hours GP services will be more accessible to people across the whole of Thurrock. The extra appointments will launch on Monday 8th January at the hubs in South Ockendon, Purfleet, Grays, Tilbury and Corringham. See the tables below for more times and locations:

Having trouble getting your medication lately? Here’s why…

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There are an unusually high number of common medicines that are currently in short supply at the moment.

Shortages can be caused for many reasons, but are usually short term with the product returning to stock within four weeks. There are a smaller number of medicines where there is a long standing problem. These shortages can last for months and, in some cases even a year or more, although this is very rare.

Stock shortages cause problems for pharmacists, GPs, patients and the NHS as a whole:

Community pharmacies – Shortages inevitably lead to increased time spent in finding available stock, helping prescribers to find similar products and explaining to patients. Shortages can also have an effect on relationships as sometimes patients believe the problem is with the pharmacy ordering system rather than a national problem.

GPs – Patients will often go back to the GP to get an alternative product if they have been told it is out of stock. This increases GP workload as they may need to contact their local pharmacist to see what is available and then issue another prescription. Again, it can affect relationships as patients think that GPs should know what is not available but as the situation often changes, this is not always possible.

Patients – stock shortages can lead to delays in patient care and can result in increased visits to pharmacies to collect medicines if the pharmacy has had to ‘owe’ medication. It can also cause worry if a patient relies on their medicine.

NHS – shortages can be very costly to the NHS as there is often increased costs in finding alternatives. If a patient cannot get their medicines it may result in their condition getting worse.

What can you do to help?

Breathe Easy this winter - join the #Scarfie campaign

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East Tilbury Village Self care week

Health professionals across mid and south Essex are encouraging people with respiratory conditions to stay well this winter by joining in with a new campaign #Scarfie launching this winter.

#Scarfie hopes to encourage people with Asthma, COPD and other respiratory illnesses to wear a scarf this winter to ease their breathing and keep well.

Dr Vickram Bhat, local GP and Planned and Unplanned Care lead for Thurrock CCG said: “By wearing a scarf, people warm up their breath before it goes into their lungs and can help to ease any respiratory conditions from getting worse in the colder weather.

“843 people attended A&E due to respiratory problems and of these 220 people were ambulanced to hospital last winter. This simple tip could help many people stay well this winter.”

9,155 people living in Thurrock have a recorded diagnosis of Asthma and 3,270 with a recorded diagnosis of COPD.

Outcome of Consultation on Items Which Should Not Be Routinely Prescribed

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NHS England has today (30/11/17) agreed plans to save hundreds of millions of pounds each year by recommending low value treatments, including fish oil, herbal remedies and homeopathy no longer be provided on the NHS, and launching a consultation on curbs to prescriptions for some ‘over the counter’ products such as paracetamol.

GPs issued 1.1 billion prescription items at a cost of £9.2 billion in 2015/16. The vast majority were appropriate but many were for medicines, products or treatments that do not require a prescription and can be purchased over the counter from pharmacies, supermarkets, petrol stations, corner shops or other retailers in some cases at a much lower cost than the price paid by the NHS.

The NHS could save around £190 million a year by cutting such prescriptions for minor, short-term conditions, many of which will cure themselves or cause no long term effect on health.

Over the counter products currently prescribed include cough mixture and cold treatments, eye drops, laxatives and sun cream lotions. A detailed follow-up consultation on an initial list of conditions will be launched in the New Year.

This will also free up millions of GP appointments that are currently taken up with prescribing these medicines.

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