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January 2020
Ted Wilson
I hope you have had a positive start to the new year - there are lots of changes going on at the CCG as we head towards our merger with BaNES and Swindon CCGs in April. You may be coming across some new names and faces as you work with us, we've featured a few of them in this newsletter. 

I hope you will join me in congratulating Dr Andrew Girdher in his appointment as the new Clinical Chair for BSW CCG. We have worked with Andrew for a number of years and know he will bring enthusiasm and energy to the work of the CCG as we move into a new future.

We achieved a major milestone in January with the joint Governing Bodies approving a proposal to improve and modernise maternity services across our region. Thanks to everyone who has been a part of the process, including more than 4,000 people who shared their thoughts and ideas about how we could best deliver maternity services for our mums and families.

In other news, our partners at Wiltshire Health and Care have been focusing on improving their wheelchair services for people in the county with long-term mobility issues.  You can read more about that and their plans for the future below.

While we haven't had any snow yet, there is still plenty of winter to get through with all the pressure that puts on our people and services. This month we are promoting community pharmacists as the best health professional to see for help with a range of minor illnesses. 

Finally, the World Health Organisation has declared coronavirus as a public health emergency of international concern and we now have confirmed cases in England. I want to assure you that we are working with colleagues across the health system and Public Health England to be best prepared should there be any cases confirmed in Wiltshire and manage any increased demand on services.

Best wishes

Ted Wilson
Acting Chief Operating Officer for Wiltshire
Latest News
Dr Andrew Girdher
Dr Andrew Girdher appointed as Clinical Chair of BSW CCG
Following a process run by the Local Medical Committee, Dr Andrew Girdher has been voted in as the new Clinical Chair for BSW CCG.

Andrew is a GP Partner at Box Surgery, where he has worked since 2010. Prior to this he was a salaried GP in Bath and a Portfolio GP in London before that.

Currently, Andrew is Chair of the North and East Wiltshire locality as well as the CCG lead for diabetes in Wiltshire, the GP Federation in North Wiltshire and the sustainability and transformation lead for primary care. He is an established trainer and a GP appraiser and the Senior Medical Office at MOD Corsham.

Andrew will start his new role officially on 1 April 2020, when the three existing CCGs formally merge, but he is already working with his new Governing Body colleagues, and the members who voted him in, to shape his role and develop the priorities for him to focus on.
Transforming Maternity Services Together - proposal approved
Local Maternity Service logo
The joint Governing Bodies of Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (BSW CCGs) approved a proposal to improve and modernise maternity services across the region at a meeting in public on 16 January 2020.
The six-part proposal will:

1. Create an Alongside Midwifery Unit at Salisbury Hospital Foundation Trust.
2. Create an Alongside Midwifery Unit at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

3. Continue to support births in two, not four Freestanding Midwifery Units.
This would mean births ceasing in Trowbridge and Paulton with antenatal and postnatal care continuing.

4. Enhance current provision of antenatal and postnatal care.

5. Improve and better promote home birth services.

6. Replace the five community postnatal beds in Paulton and the four community postnatal beds in Chippenham with support closer to, or in women’s homes. This will be phased with four beds remaining in Chippenham for up to 12 months to support co-creation of new pathways.

The decision follows a three-year period of engagement and consultation with more than 4,000 mums, families, staff and partners in the community to develop a new vision for maternity services, proposals for change and final recommendations.

The proposal was developed to better meet the needs and choices of women and families across the whole of Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire. These changes will mean more equal access to choice for women about where to have their babies, a more effective use of resources, a better supported homebirth service and enhanced antenatal and postnatal care.

While services will be changing, it is important to note that approval of the proposal will not result in the closure of any buildings or reductions in budget and staffing for maternity services. Maternity services will remain available at all four FMUs antenatal and postnatal care will continue to be provided at these sites.

Trowbridge and Paulton Freestanding Midwifery Units will no longer support births from April 2020 and the postnatal beds at Paulton will no longer be available from April 2020.

If you have any queries, please email us at
You can find information on the proposals on the Transforming Maternity Services Together website.
Elizabeth Disney
New Chief Operating Officer for Wiltshire
Elizabeth Disney will join us as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Wiltshire on Monday 2 March 2020.

She previously worked with BaNES CCG and Council on supporting integrating commissioning. Prior to that she worked as an Executive Director for Planning and Funding for the Southern District Health Board in New Zealand. 

Ted Wilson is currently acting as the COO for Wiltshire.
Other appointments for BSW CCGs
NHS logo
Executive Director of Strategy and Transformation

Richard Smale has been appointed as the Director of Strategy and Transformation for BSW CCG, starting in April 2020. He was previously the Director of Transformation at South Central and West Commissioning Support Unit. Richard has worked across the NHS for a number of years, including nine years at the RUH.

Interim Chief Operating Officer for Swindon

David Freeman has taken on the role of Interim Chief Operating Officer for the Swindon locality from Monday 20 January 2020. David is currently Chief Operating Officer at Somerset CCG and is joining BSW CCGs on a secondment basis.
Wiltshire Wheelchair Services
Improvements to Wiltshire’s wheelchair service
People in Wiltshire with long-term mobility issues are receiving a much better wheelchair service, following a number of quality improvements put in place by providers Wiltshire Health and Care. Waiting times for appointments have reduced, with the majority of people now receiving their mobility equipment within the targeted 18 weeks from referral.

The wheelchair service is diverse, taking referrals from GPs and accredited therapists for people of all ages registered with a Wiltshire GP and who need a wheelchair at least 4 times a week. The number of service users remains steady at around 5,000, but there are increasingly more people with complex needs requiring specialist electric wheelchairs.

Wiltshire Health and Care maintains and services all wheelchairs and mobility equipment issued, which ranges from basic children’s buggies through to posturally supportive standard wheelchairs with or without pressure cushions and other accessories such as foot-straps, headrests and arm supports.

Based at Melksham Community Hospital, the Wheelchair Service consists of a 19 strong team of clinicians, administrators and technicians, managed by a Clinical Lead.

Clinical Lead, Wendy Busby said: “Having the appropriate number of staff to manage the service, an onsite lead and effective communications between the different elements of the team has resulted in a much improved service. I’m really proud to lead such an enthusiastic, hardworking and caring team, who are prepared to go the extra mile for our patients.”

Looking to the future, Wiltshire Health and Care is improving stock control and flow of equipment and is in the process of developing a personal wheelchair budget option, so that people can choose to buy and own their equipment.

Additional information is being developed to signpost patients to additional wheelchair suppliers from the Wiltshire Health and Care website.
Get Involved
Our Health Our Future logo
Recruitment underway for our new engagement panel
We have started recruitment for panel members to join the Our Health Our Future panel – a new way of engaging with the public from B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire to get their views of health and care issues.

The Our Health Our Future Panel is an online panel made up of a representative sample of the population from across our region. Panel members will take part in regular surveys throughout the year as well as form focus groups from time to time. The option of hard copy surveys and telephone interviews will be offered to people who are not able to access the survey online. Full reports of every survey will be publicly available and insights gained from the panel will be used to inform our decision making, strategy, service design and service change.

To try and ensure we develop a group that represents our population, panel members will be recruited through face to face interviews around the BSW region in the next couple of months. We are aiming to sign up around 1000 people for the panel.

We are working with independent market research specialists Jungle Green to develop our panel and they will be out and about at events talking to people about the panel.

Recruitment activity started at the Devizes market on Thursday 23 January and since then we have been to Swindon and Marlborough as well. Other dates are set as follows:
6 February 2020   Trowbridge – Magistrates Retiring room, Trowbridge Town Hall 10am – 4pm
7 February 2020   Bath – Bath Football Club, High Street, Twerton 10am – 4pm
8 February 2020   Salisbury – Salisbury Library 10am – 4pm
Further recruitment activity will take place in the smaller towns and villages over February and March 2020.
If you would like to know more about the Our Health Our Future Panel, please get in touch with the communications team
social media icons
Get friendly with BSW CCGs on social media
As we head towards the merger with Bath and North East Somerset CCG and Swindon CCG in April 2020, we are consolidating our online presence.

Our Twitter accounts have already merged – you can follow us @NHSBSWCCG

Our Facebook account is now @NHSBSWCCG

We are on LinkedIn as NHS BSW Clinical Commissioning Group

Our Instagram account is NHS BSW CCG

And by 1 April 2020 we will have a new website in place – more information to follow.

Help Us Help You - get it seen to
Community pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals. They can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines to effectively and safely manage a range of minor illnesses such as coughs, colds, sore throats, earaches, itchy eyes, tummy troubles, aches and pains and many more.

At your local pharmacy you'll get a fast and convenient clinical service for minor illnesses, with no need for an appointment, and use of a confidential consultation room should it be required.

If symptoms suggest it’s something more serious, pharmacists have the right clinical training to ensure people get the help they need immediately and can refer patients to a GP or A&E where necessary.

Every pharmacist trains for five years in the use of medicines before they qualify, and they are also trained in managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice.

Help us to help you - get it seen to at a pharmacy.
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