Tag Archives: NHS

New Integrated Care Board assumes responsibility for NHS in BNSSG

Today marks an exciting step in the provision of healthcare in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG), as a new organisation takes responsibility for the day to day running of the NHS in the area.

Following the dissolution of BNSSG Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the BNSSG Integrated Care Board (ICB) will now arrange the provision of NHS services, manage the NHS budget, and look after the health needs of the area’s population.

ICBs were legally established across England on 1 July 2022, while clinical commissioning groups were abolished.

In BNSSG, the ICB forms part of the area’s Integrated Care Partnership (ICP). The ICP is formed between the ICB and BNSSG’s three local authorities.

It brings together a broad range of partners – including the local voluntary sector and community groups – and sets strategy to meet the population’s health, care and wellbeing needs.

The Integrated Care Partnership and Integrated Care Board are key elements in the Integrated Care System (ICS) for BNSSG.

The ICS comprises 10 partner organisations, including the three local authorities, NHS trusts, the new ICB, and community and general practice healthcare providers. It is also known as the Healthier Together Partnership.

Although Healthier Together has been active as a partnership for some time, it now has legal status after the Health and Care Act 2022 formalised new arrangements to ensure ICSs become statutory entities from 1 July 2022.

The ICS partners are:

Senior representatives from these organisations have seats on the ICB board. General practice’s voting member will be Dr Jonathan Hayes, Chair of the GP Collaborative Board. Ruth Taylor, Chief Executive of One Care, will also attend in a non-voting capacity.

Within the ICS sit six locality partnerships. These operate on a smaller scale within the ICS, responding to the unique needs of their local populations.

The locality partnerships in BNSSG are South Gloucestershire, North and West Bristol, Inner City and East Bristol, South Bristol, Woodspring, and Weston, Worle and Villages. Locality partnerships include general practice, social care, community services, hospitals, voluntary sector, and mental health services – working alongside local people and communities to improve health and wellbeing.

One Care Chief Executive Ruth Taylor said: “This is a really exciting development. One Care and the GP Collaborative Board are looking forward to working more closely with our partners in the new ICS. We are excited to attend the first meeting of the Integrated Care Board today, ensuring effective general practice representation in leadership discussions.”

One Care assist in NHS soup-and-shake diet

Over 2,000 people with Type 2 diabetes have now improved their health through the NHS Soups and Shakes diet programme – with participants losing an average of 13kg (over two stone) in three months.

From this month, the diet programme will be accessible in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) as NHS Soups and Shakes is rolled out across 11 more regions following the early and life-changing success.

In conjunction with the programme’s second wave rollout, 500 spaces are initially being made available for referrals in BNSSG over the next two years.

One Care have helped the mobilisation of this low-calorie diet pilot in BNSSG by supporting the planning of the project, communications, practice engagement and creating EMIS resources. This improves the process for practices identifying and contacting eligible patients to see if they would be interested in engaging with the programme.

One Care’s Project Manager Bex Tilling said: “This pilot has seen excellent results in other parts of the country so it’s really exciting to help practices offer this life changing programme to patients in BNSSG.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the programme grow and to be involved in such an exciting and worthwhile project has been really enjoyable.”

Helping people diagnosed with diabetes to lose weight, and make better decisions about their health through the NHS low calorie diet programme, enables them to better control their blood sugar levels. This reduces the need for diabetes-related medication and potentially achieving remission of their Type 2 diabetes when their levels return to a healthy range.

Early data from the NHS programme shows participants losing on average 7.2kg (over one stone) after one month, and 13.4kg (over two stone) after three months.

New data shows people on the programme who are eating and drinking the low calorie alternatives not only lose weight but keep it off over time. These real-world findings are a significant step forward and come after trials showed that around half of people who had similar weight loss were able to achieve remission of their Type 2 diabetes after one year.

Diabetes is estimated to cost the NHS £10 billion a year, with treatment making up one in 20 prescriptions written by GPs. Projections also show that with the number of people being treated for diabetes continuing to grow – nearly 39,000 more people could suffer a heart attack in 2035, and over 50,000 could experience a stroke.

The year-long programme, which is fully supported and monitored by expert clinicians and coaches throughout, kickstarts weight loss through low calorie, diet replacement products such as shakes and soups for the first three months. After this, a carefully managed plan reintroduces healthy, nutritious food and participants can track their progress through virtual one-to-ones, group sessions and digital support – to help them maintain a healthier weight.

The NHS low calorie diet programme may be suitable for some adults aged 18-65 years, diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in the last six years and living with overweight or obesity who also meet other eligibility criteria.

If your PCN or practice would like more information on the programme or be able to refer patients to the low-calorie diet, please contact bnssg.lowcaloriedietpilot@nhs.net.

Accept your invitation to the flu vaccine

Our local NHS is encouraging the population to take up the flu vaccine this winter.

Following the interventions put in place for Covid-19, such as mask wearing, social distancing and restricted international travel, the cases of flu were extremely low globally in 2020 to 2021. As a result, fewer people are expected to be immune to flu between 2021 and 2022.

Projections indicate the 2021 to 2022 flu season could be 50 per cent larger than typically seen and it is also possible for people to suffer from flu earlier than usual.

Adding to the pressures already faced by the NHS, the coming winter will be the first in the UK when the flu virus (and other respiratory viruses) will exist alongside Covid-19, with there also being the possibility for both viruses to coincide.

Flu vaccinations are therefore an important priority to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with the virus, and to reduce hospitalisations during a time when the NHS and social care may also be managing winter outbreaks of Covid-19.

Video credit to ITV West Country

The following groups are eligible to receive their flu vaccinations this year:

  • Carers – young or adult
  • Health and social care workers
  • Residential Care home staff
  • Household contact of those in the NHS shieled list and immunocompromised individuals
  • At risk school aged children
  • All 2-3 year olds
  • Any individuals in at-risk groups
  • Over-50s

If you are eligible for the free flu vaccine, you may get it either from your own GP practice, once you are invited, or any pharmacy offering NHS flu vaccinations.

For more information on the flu vaccination, click here.