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NGCCG - Stakeholder Bulletin
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Welcome to the first stakeholder update for the new NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG is the new body responsible for the planning and commissioning of healthcare services in Newcastle and Gateshead, following the merger of the former NHS Gateshead CCG, NHS Newcastle North and East CCG, and NHS Newcastle West CCG.

During the first two years of our existence, the three CCGs have faced many changes and challenges, and we have worked closely to help change the shape of healthcare in the region.

We have started to make a difference across our key clinical work programs:

Mental health and learning disabilities (Deciding Together)

Service users, carers, and members of the public are helping us to consider how the quality of mental health care and treatment can be significantly improved across the region, as part of the Deciding Together listening exercise. This is an extensive piece of work that is providing us with valuable insights into the needs of local people.

Children and families

We have been working well with local authority colleagues to further integrate how we manage services. Across Newcastle and Gateshead, we are working together to improve the emotional wellbeing of children and families, in what we call our Collaborative Commissioning Project.

We have also progressed work on the speech and language therapy service with Newcastle City Council.

Older people

We have had success in our work on care homes where Gateshead’s model of care has been recognised nationally in the Vanguard programme. The roll out of Newcastle’s care home programme continues as well, now involving more of the cities nursing homes.

Long term conditions

In West Newcastle, a new service called Ways to Wellness is about to go live.

Ways to Wellness is an innovate programme based on the concept of 'social prescribing' - the use of non-medical interventions to achieve sustained lifestyle change and improved self-care among people with long term health conditions.

This is the first example of a social impact bond (SIB) working with the NHS in the country. It has potential to improve the lives of 11,000 people living with long term conditions in the west of Newcastle over the next seven years.

Another success is our bid to integrate the care for people with multiple conditions in Gateshead with the British Heart Foundation House of Care project.

Also in Gateshead, diabetes care has been moved into the community to ensure that it is more accessible for patients.

Urgent care

We have been working closely with Gateshead Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to deliver an integrated acute hub that meets the primary care needs.

We have also supported Gateshead’s practices in a successful bid for the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund that will fund 800 extra appointments per week. We hope this will transform urgent primary care in and out of hours.

Planned care

We are progressing our work on improving musculoskeletal services.

We have moved care for people for prostate cancer and other men’s health problems into the community so care is much more accessible.


We held a large conference at Newcastle Civic Centre on 25 February to share and design how we can better work together.

New delivery of care

We have also been trying to improve the settings where care is delivered as ‘new models of care’ are explored. For example, we have seen the development of the new £3 million Trinity Square facility, delivering outpatient care and investigations in the centre of Gateshead.

We have also been selected to participate in a pioneering project to improve the health of care home residents, as well as commissioning the Skills for People project to evaluate the GP experience for people with learning disabilities.

Looking forward, we hope to build on our strengths and bring our commissioning intentions to reality. There will be more challenges to face, and I’m certain that we will see much more change. But we are keen to ensure that NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG is able to meet these challenges head on and continues to thrive.

New NHS Clinical Commissioning Group in place for Newcastle and Gateshead

A single body is now in place to coordinate the planning and buying of NHS health services in Newcastle and Gateshead, following the completion of a merger of three organisations.

The new NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), led by local doctors, nurses and health professionals, replaces the previous NHS Gateshead CCG, NHS Newcastle North and East CCG and NHS Newcastle West CCG.

Our focus is now on tackling the key issues that affect the whole area, like meeting the challenge of the NHS Five Year Forward View and moving towards co-commissioning of primary care. We are also working towards much closer integration of health services with social care through the Better Care Fund, and improving preventive health care in care homes.

The new CCG has 65 member practices, with its chair rotating annually between GPs based in Newcastle and Gateshead. For 2015/16, the chair will be Dr Guy Pilkington and the assistant clinical chair is Dr Mark Dornan.

Further information about the new Clinical Commissioning Group can be found at www.newcastlegatesheadccg.nhs.uk or follow us on Twitter @NHSngccg

Mental health: feedback published for Deciding Together

Since November 2014, we have been asking service users, carers and local people about their experiences of specialist mental health services.

The sorts of services include those that support people with complex mental health issues like severe depression, schizophrenia, psychosis, personality disorders.

The aim of the work is to develop a model of care that provides easily accessible and high quality care that is centred on the needs of the services user, and supports the role of carers.

Through the exercise, we have held a number of market stall events, focus groups, in-depth interviews and surveys. We have also held two ‘Mental Health £’ workshops, with the aim of gathering additional views and encouraging debate from the public over the difficult financial decisions.

Throughout April, we will be sharing this feedback with local people and stakeholders such as the overview and scrutiny committees of Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Council, health and wellbeing boards, Newcastle Healthwatch and Gateshead Healthwatch.

You can view the published documents on our website at: http://www.newcastlegatesheadccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/deciding-together-2/public-feedback-published/

Children and families: update on speech and language therapy

Parents and professionals alike will have a chance to have their say on the future of speech and language services in Newcastle and Gateshead as part of an ongoing review.

The speech and language therapy services, provided by the NHS in partnership with Newcastle City Council, offers expert guidance to help children improve their communications skills.

The Council and NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are reviewing the service to bring it in line with current legislation. However, this is also seen as a good opportunity to improve services for all children with communication difficulties.

Dr David Jones of NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG said: “Hundreds of local children rely on speech and language services every year, and this is a chance to look at the service we are providing and see if there are areas we can improve.



“Parents and families have valuable experience of using the service, and we’re keen to hear their comments and ideas for the future.”



The service, which supports children in their own home, school or nursery as well as in the RVI or specialist clinics, helps with areas like understanding or using spoken language, voice disorders and stammering.



Newcastle City Council and NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG are planning to redesign the service between now and April 2016.



The event, which is for anyone with an interest in speech and language services, takes place at the Discovery Museum, from 9.45am on Tuesday 28 April.



To book a place, please contact kirsty.williams@newcastle.gov.uk, or call 0191 211 5389.

Long term conditions and cancer: The British Heart Foundation - House of Care Project in Gateshead

Gateshead are working on a British Heart Foundation (BHF) project to change how long term conditions, particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD), are managed. The project is called the BHF House of Care Project. The House of Care refers to the system changes that are needed to deliver this new way of working.

The focus of the project is to improve identification and prevention of CVD and implement a new approach to the management of long term conditions – the Year of Care Approach. The aim of this approach is to enable patients with CVD and their carers to be engaged, informed and empowered to better care for themselves, and enable health professionals and voluntary sector to support self-care.

Urgent care: Gateshead bid success set to transform access to GPs

A successful funding bid by local doctors is set to make it easier for Gateshead residents to see a GP.

The bid to the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund, which was led by Gateshead Community Based Care (CBC) Ltd with support from NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), will provide over 800 additional appointments every week, as well as more home visits for the borough’s most vulnerable patients

The Gateshead Extra Care project, which was among the winning bids highlighted in today’s Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund announcement, aims to improve GPs’ shared use of technology and increase flexibility around appointments.

Dr Bill Westwood, Director of Gateshead CBC, said: “We know that patients are keen to have more flexibility in the way they see GPs, but also value the continuity of care that they receive from their practice.

“This project will provide a far more flexible service that is suited to modern lifestyles, as well as meeting the increasing demand for home visits for more frail patients and people with complex conditions.”

The £2m scheme will develop three new ‘general practice hubs’ offering services for patients with minor illnesses seven days a week, as well as two ‘home visiting hubs’ providing 90 hours of clinical time each week to support patients in their own homes. The use of the same EMIS IT system as practices will ensure that GPs can access and record information on the patient’s medical file in real time.

Dr Mark Dornan, Assistant Clinical Chair of NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG, said: “This is fantastic news for patients in Gateshead, whether they are busy working people needing more flexible services or older people with a need for closer support at home.

“Patients will have a much wider choice of ways to see a GP, with longer opening hours, the option to see a GP near work and in the future explore the options for video consultations if they prefer.”

“In March, Gateshead was selected as a national ‘vanguard’ area in recognition of our success in reducing hospital admissions among people living in care homes, and this is another big step towards better care for our most vulnerable patients.”

Once recruitment has taken place, the new general practice hubs will plan to open 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 9-2pm at weekends, with a mixture of pre-bookable appointments and walk-in services as well as the hope to use video consultations or a telephone consultation if the patient prefers.

The home visiting service will be delivered from two centres operating 4-8pm Monday to Friday and 8am-8pm at weekends. The service will operate mainly through face-to-face visits, but will also explore using technology with care homes to ensure that patients can use video-style consultations.

The changes are hoped to reduce the growing pressure on A&E services and walk-in centres, and free up GP practices to spend more time on health promotion, prevention of illness and management of patients with long term conditions.

The Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund was announced in October 2013, offering £50 million to help improve access to general practice and stimulate innovative ways of providing primary care services. Twenty pilot schemes were selected in April 2014, with the second wave of projects announced today.

The Fund, which offers £100m in 2015-16, is supporting a wide variety of innovative ideas including extended opening hours, more ways for patients to access services and new services to better support patients with complex needs.

Carers: conference to develop good practice across Newcastle

The conference took place on 25 February and was well attended, with over 130 delegates from a wide range of roles and stakeholder organisations in attendance.

Speakers included Dr Raj Bethapudi, GP Carers Champion, Ewen Weir and Paul Brownlee from Newcastle City Council as well as a Barnardos film about young carers and a production from Open Clasp Theatre Company focusing on the life of a carer.

The workshop sessions in the afternoon focused on the issues and needs of young carers, adult carers, carers of older people, people with mental health concerns, carers and primary care services and general carers issues.

The report is currently being finalised to summarise the key discussions, findings and actions from the day and will be circulated once completed.

If you couldn’t attend on the day and would like to find out what went on, we’ve made a short film that can be viewed here: http://www.newcastlegatesheadccg.nhs.uk/caring-about-carers-conference-developing-good-practice-across-newcastle/

New ways of delivering care: national recognition for Gateshead’s care homes

A pioneering project to improve the health of care home residents in Gateshead has won national recognition as part of a national announcement by NHS England.

The Gateshead Care Home Initiative, which is backed by NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG and Gateshead Council, has been selected as one of 29 ‘vanguard’ areas within England.

The new status, which recognises the area’s success in reducing hospital admissions among the borough’s care home residents, puts the health service locally in the national spotlight as an example of good practice.

Dr Daniel Cowie, a local GP and clinical lead for the CCG, said: “This is an immense achievement and shows the tremendous work that GPs have done locally to help some of Gateshead’s most vulnerable residents.”

“Over the past two years, we have seen a 9% reduction in admissions to hospital from people living in care homes, and this new status will enable us to build on that and share what we have learned with other areas.”

Gateshead Care Home Initiative sees individual GP practices each allocated to a specific care home, making it possible to offer greater continuity of care and more effective prevention of illness through regular home visits, with the number of admissions dropping as a result.

Mark Adams, Chief Officer at NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG, said: “I am delighted to see Gateshead’s success receive national recognition as we have made real progress in improving care for patients over the past two years.

“Vanguard status will allow us to go further and faster in improving the health of people living in care homes, with specialist support at national level.

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