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NHS St Helens CCG Community Newsletter
Edition 7 - July 2018

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Engagement Lead Blog - July 2018
On Thursday 5th July the NHS celebrated its 70th Birthday, to mark this occasion locally the NHS St Helens CCG held a number of events as part of our Talkfest along with holding our Annual General Meeting.
During the week the team attended a number of locations including St Helens Hospital and Asda Supermarket asking local community members what they think the NHS will look like in the future and to also make a pledge on how they will support the NHS going forward, for example: I will – look after myself, I will – use the right services at the right time, I will – be as independent as possible in managing my healthcare. During the events the CCG engaged with approximately 600 people face to face with 244 making pledges.  
Alongside this, NHS St Helens CCG also held a community talkfest workshop. Members of the community who attended were asked to tell us what’s happening within their communities and how they can support us going forward along with identifying challenges. 34 members of the community attended the event as well as representation from third sector and voluntary organisations.
Following on from the workshop attendees stayed and joined us for our Annual General Meeting along with local councillors, partners, MPs, third sector and voluntary representatives as well as nursing students and pupils from Cowley International High School choir who opened and closed the meeting. In total approximately 120 were in attendance for the AGM to hear updates from Geoffrey Appleton – Lay Chair, Sarah O’Brien – Strategic Director People's Services / Clinical Accountable Officer and Iain Stoddart – Chief Finance Officer. Delegates from Stuttgart were also  in attendance to mark the 70 year anniversary of the twinning of the two towns.
The week came to an end on Saturday 7 July when the CCG attended the Food and Drink festival, the festival was set up to celebrate the 150 anniversary of St Helens.
Talkfest Summer - what we learnt
As part of our summer 'Talkfest' engagement work, CCG staff went to a number of locations including St Helens Hospital and ASDA Superstore to talk to the local community about the future of health and care.  
At each of the locations, the local community were asked two things;
1. To make a pledge to help the NHS in its 70th years. The pledges to choose from were as follows;
  • Look after myself
  • Use the right service at the right time
  • Be as independent as possible in managing my healthcare .
The ideas were written onto cards which were displayed as part of the stands. The results of the pledges showed that out of 323 the most popular pledge was to ‘look after myself’, supporting the consistent self-care messages which have been promoted in the public domain for some time.

2. To share their ideas about what they think/would like to see in the future of health and care. The comments were then displayed on the board on the stand. The results of the Future of Health and Care were organised into themes as 144 were received from the AGM, Food and Drink festival, Asda and St Helens Hospital. 
The most popular themes of increase in funding and staff, improved access to appointments and the need to reduce waste demonstrates that, although the local community understand and believe that something has to change, there is still a big focus on finances, rather than new ways of working.
Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2018 

This year, NHS St Helens CCG celebrated NHS 70th Birthday with our AGM. We hosted a tea party for our partners, public and community members to help us to celebrate.

As part of our AGM, we also presented our summary annual report in the form of our interactive e-book, where videos can be found from members of our CCG team telling you about challenges and achievements in 2017/18.

Highlights of our AGM included the poetry readings from our NHS70 poetry competition in St Helens and singing from the Cowley High School Junior Choir. 

Check out the photos and video below to see how the day went here.

Campaigns and Information 
NHS England National Assurance ratings for local CCG improve from "Inadequate" to "Good" in just two years

NHS England has (12th July) published its 2017/18 annual assurance ratings, known as Improvement and Assessment Framework (IAF) ratings, for all Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in England.

These ratings provide a benchmark for CCG, so they can compare themselves to others and assess where they need to focus. It also gives national and local regulators and partners an indication of where more support is needed.

The overall rating for NHS St Helens CCG in 2017/18 is ‘Good’. This rating is a continued improvement on the last two years ratings which have gone from 'inadequate' in 2015/16, to ‘Required Improvement’ in 2016/17. 


Geoffrey Appleton, GB Chair for NHS St Helens CCG, said: “The improved assessment rating for the CCG is a clear indication that we’re delivering strong, high quality and innovative care for our local patients.”

He added: “This time two years ago we were given a clear remit to get a grip on our finances and balance our books, as well as improve our relationship with our providers and wider partners. This improvement in rating demonstrates our commitment over the past two years and shows that we have done just that in a short space of time."

Professor Sarah O'Brien, Clinical Accountable Officer for NHS St Helens CCG added: “As we move forward we acknowledge the work that has been done and continue to develop plans that bring further control and management of our financial situation and strengthen our relationships.

“These plans are absolutely being done by working closely with our local health and care partners and we look forward to continuing to improve and maintain our high standards of work in the future.

Be Clear on Cancer - Pee in Blood Campaign

Public Health England (PHE) is launching a national ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign which highlights blood in pee as a key symptom of bladder and kidney cancers. The campaign will encourage everyone to ‘look before they flush’ and visit their GP without delay if they notice blood in their pee, even if it’s just once.

A new survey reveals that only 16% of adults aged 50 and over in England (those most at risk of these cancers) say they check the colour of their pee every time they go to the toilet, with women being less likely to check every time (12% versus 20% of men).

Blood might not appear every time, so it is important that people seek medical help even if they notice it just once. Worryingly, around half (47%) of those surveyed said they would not seek medical advice if they saw blood in their pee just once, with 45% saying they would wait and see if it happened again, potentially putting off a vital diagnosis.

Dr Dawn Harper, TV Doctor and GP, said

"I’m urging people to be vigilant to changes in their body and to check their pee. I hear all too often about people who have delayed seeking medical advice if they have worrying symptoms – like blood in pee – because they are afraid of what the doctor might find or what the treatment might be.

If you do notice blood in your pee, it’s probably nothing serious, but it’s always worth checking with a health professional – you won’t be wasting their time. It’s vital that people don’t put off getting help; if it is cancer, early diagnosis saves lives."

The ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ ‘Blood in Pee’ campaign runs until 23 September and includes advertising on TV, radio and in public toilets and online. Find out further information about the signs and symptoms of bladder and kidney cancer here. 


CATCH is a free health app for parents and carers of children aged 0-5.

The app provides you with the information necessary to decide when your child needs medical treatment or when self-care is more appropriate.

Trusted advice for new parents

The aim of CATCH is to ease the sense of information overload, particularly regarding pregnancy and children’s health. With the number of resources available, it can be difficult to know who to trust. CATCH provides local NHS-approved information with your best interests at heart, so you won’t need to look elsewhere.

Find out more about how the catch app could help you

Tell us your story
We are always looking at ways of improving healthcare services. A big part of how we can do that is to hear your experiences of health care. All experiences and stories, both positive and negative are good for us to know about and you can share these with us in a number of ways including;
The next ENGAGE newsletter will be brought to you in August 2018

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