Gloucestershire NHS apprentices best in the South West

Three Gloucestershire NHS apprentices were awarded for their commitment and service to the NHS at a special regional awards ceremony. Jess Carmen, Meg Cooke and Amanda Spencer, from Gloucestershire Care Services...

Read more

Announcement of new Joint Chief Executive

    Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust and 2gether NHS Foundation Trust are delighted to announce the appointment of a Joint Chief Executive for both organisations. Paul Roberts has been selected in the...

Read more

Glos apprentices smallThree Gloucestershire NHS apprentices were awarded for their commitment and service to the NHS at a special regional awards ceremony.

Jess Carmen, Meg Cooke and Amanda Spencer, from Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, won accolades at Health Education England’s Star Awards, which recognise the best in education and training in the South West’s health and social care sector. The trio attended the awards ceremony on Tuesday 6 March at Somerset County Cricket Ground. 

Jess Carman, an apprentice endoscopy nurse at Stroud General Hospital, was named Advanced Apprentice of the Year. She first visited the hospital as a work experience student and spent a day with the endoscopy team, which really appealed to her. Jess’s workplace manager said: “Jess has been amazing since the first day she started in endoscopy. She works incredibly hard and also helps others in the team without being asked. Jess is extremely caring and compassionate with the patients. Just that kind smile goes a long way! Nothing is too much trouble for her.”

Meg Cooke, who works in podiatry in Stroud, was named Intermediate Apprentice of the Year. She joined the Trust in July 2017, with the ultimate aim of becoming a podiatrist. During the snow at the start of March, Meg was so committed to her job that she walked five miles to work and back. Tina Craig, head of podiatry at the Trust, said: “Megan really has exceeded all expectations in delivering first class patient care. She is courteous and interested in patients and good at forming a rapport. A recent patient comment card stated: ‘Thank you so much for persevering with me. Even though I am in a lot of pain, I would not have been able do to it without you.’ This is a real testament to how all of our patients feel about her.”

Amanda Spencer, former e-rostering trainer at Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust (now with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust), scooped the Higher Apprentice of the Year award. Amanda recently completed a Business Administration apprenticeship, and was responsible for implementing and training colleagues in a new electronic system. She helped reduce administration time for clinicians, allowing them to spend more time on patient care. Sally Pitt, Bank Staff Coordinator, said; “She is helpful and organised and always had time to listen and manage our queries regarding rostering management. Mandy got involved in issues and had the ability to give us an answer, and if not, always got back to us to provide us with support.“

Jonathan Hall, Apprenticeship Facilitator from Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, said: “Apprenticeships are a great way to learn new skills whilst gaining a nationally recognised qualification. There are so many opportunities available within the NHS in Gloucestershire, including at local community hospitals that might be located near to your home. The support that is given to our apprentices is outstanding and this has shown through with Jess, Meg and Amanda being recognised for their hard work at the Star Awards.”

Pictured: Jess Carmen, Amanda Spencer and Meg Cooke

16 March 2018

Paul Roberts small



Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust and 2gether NHS Foundation Trust are delighted to announce the appointment of a Joint Chief Executive for both organisations.
Paul Roberts has been selected in the role of Joint Chief Executive following a thorough national selection process, which included discussions with service users and representatives from both Trusts, in addition to a formal interview.
He will take up his position on Monday 16 April and lead the work to formally unite the two Trusts, in line with plans announced last September.
Paul said: “I am delighted to have been appointed to this exciting new role. Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust and 2gether NHS Foundation Trust are both already very strong, high quality organisations.
“I look forward to building on these strengths over the coming months and years as the two organisations work even more closely together.
“I have no doubt that this closer integration will benefit service users, carers and the local community more generally and I am looking forward to playing my part in leading this development.”
Paul has been a Chief Executive for over twenty years and spent more than five years in Wales leading a large Health Board responsible for community, mental health and learning disability services as well as for four acute hospitals. He spent fourteen years in Plymouth as Chief Executive of community and mental health services and then the acute teaching hospital NHS Trust.
An Oxford University graduate, he has also held a variety of national roles across the NHS, including being a trustee of the NHS Confederation, vice-chair of the Association of UK University Hospitals and a member of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel.
Ingrid Barker, who took up her position as chair of both Trusts on January 1, said: “Everyone understands that this is a very important appointment, and there was complete agreement that Paul stood out from an extremely strong field of candidates.
“His leadership, experience, compassion and dedication to our Trusts’ strategic vision will be invaluable as we lay down a blueprint for mental health, learning disability and physical health services which offer better co-ordinated, and more effective, care.”




Dilke snow 1 resizeDue to the impact of snow on the number of patients arriving at Dilke Minor Injuries and Illness Unit, it has now closed and will remain closed throughout Saturday March 3.

All other Minor Injuries and Illness Units across the county will be closing at 8pm on Friday 2 March and again at 8pm on Saturday 3 March. Normal opening hours - including reopening of Dilke MIIIU - are expected on Sunday 4 March.



Flu immunisation rates amongst young children in Gloucestershire soared this winter thanks to provision of a school-based vaccination programme.

For the first time in Gloucestershire, children in Reception and school years one to four were offered immunisations at their school. Previously, parents were required to take their children to their GP.

The impact was an increase in immunisation rates from 36 per cent last year to 62 per cent this year, meaning that more than 21,300 children in the county were protected against flu this winter.

Candace Plouffe, chief operating officer at Gloucestershire Care Services which runs the school immunisation service, said: “We’re extremely proud to have exceeded our target of 60 per cent vaccinations amongst this group of children, which represents a fantastic effort by our immunisations team.

“They have set up and run this programme successfully in 300 schools across the county, which has taken an incredible amount of work and organisation behind the scenes.

“For a team of 13 nurses to vaccinate more than 21,000 children in a matter of weeks is a very impressive achievement, and one I know the team is looking to build on this year.”

Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust was awarded a new contract last summer to provide immunisation in schools, where children are offered vaccinations against meningitis, tetanus, diphtheria and polio and girls can receive the HPV immunisation.

However, the contract also included the new school-aged flu immunisation programme, which meant developing relationships with every primary school across the county and planning sessions at each. They also provided catch-up sessions in the community, as well as creating a system for online consent so that parents could go online to give the required permission.

Caroline Halford, who leads the Trust’s Immunisation Team, said: “The partnership work and the way we’ve been received by schools has been brilliant.

“There’s still more to do – we can improve the online consent process and are planning more work with schools to raise the profile of flu and get the pupils involved to explain why we vaccinate them.

“With the possibility of further year groups being added in the future there will be plenty to keep the team busy! But this winter has been a great start, thanks to the hard work of my colleagues and support of a great admin team.”

The vaccination is administered to children as a nasal spray instead of injection. Young children are immunised because they can act as ‘super spreaders’ of infection by coming into contact with large numbers of their peers through school or nursery, as well as parents and family over the Christmas holidays.

Flu is a highly contagious virus which causes a fever, aches and pains, nausea and a harsh cough. It can lead to serious complications, including pneumonia and bronchitis, with those aged 65 and over, babies and people with long-term health conditions at greatest risk.


27 February 2018


Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust Board has approved the preferred option for a new community hospital in the Forest of Dean to replace the Dilke Memorial Hospital and Lydney and District Hospital. The Board also approved the criteria that will be used to consider a preferred location for the hospital, and agreed to commission an independent body to establish a panel which will include local people and professionals to make a recommendation on the location. 

This decision follows a three month consultation undertaken jointly by the Trust and NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.  

In making their decision the Board were mindful of the issues and concerns that had been raised through the consultation process. The Board concluded, however, that no new or material information had been presented that would suggest that the case for change should be reviewed. In coming to their decision, the Trust Board also approved a number of recommendations to address the issues that had been identified through the consultation, with a particular focus on ensuring that any new hospital would have the right number of beds to meet the needs of the local population and ensuring travel and access issues were fully considered. 

Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, Katie Norton said:

“The Board carefully considered all of the feedback received and issues raised from the consultation and are grateful for the time that local people have given to share their views.  We know that there is more work to be done to provide assurance in a number of areas, and we hope that the recommendations we have agreed today demonstrate our commitment to getting this right.  We are determined that this new, significant investment, which will be funded by the Trust, will bring real benefit for the Forest of Dean and remain fully committed to working with the local community to take this forward. 

“The Board, and NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, have been clear that no final decision has been made on the number of beds that will be provided in the new hospital. We have committed to undertake further analysis and to share this as we know this was a significant concern through the consultation. 

“Our Board appreciates and acknowledges the debt of gratitude we owe to local residents, who have helped develop healthcare facilities and services in the Forest of Dean over many generations. The Board also appreciates the great affection held for two hospitals in the Forest which have and will continue to serve their communities until a new hospital is open. We do understand that many people may feel unhappy with this decision, however as a Board we concluded that we have to act now, recognising that it is becoming increasingly difficult to deliver the high quality services that our teams want to provide”.  


26 January 2018

Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust colleagues Liz Lewindon, Integrated Community Team Nurse, and Nancy Farr, Clinical Development Manager, have been given the prestigious title of Queen’s Nurse (QN) by community nursing charity The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI). 

Nancy said, “I am passionate about care in the community and love my work. 

I feel very privileged to receive this recognition by the QNI. The QN title means that I can access support and information to help improve patient-centred care in Gloucestershire.” Liz is keen for other community-based nurses to apply and said “It’s a huge honour to be recognised for my passion and commitment, and I felt very proud to attend the ceremony in London.”

The title is not an award for past service, but indicates a commitment to high standards of patient care, learning and leadership. Nurses who hold the title benefit from developmental workshops, bursaries, network opportunities, and a shared professional identity. 

Dawn Allen QN, Professional Head of Community Nursing at the Trust said “Congratulations are due to Liz and Nancy for their success. Community nurses are expert professionals who make a vital contribution to patient health and wellbeing every day. As a national charity the QNI can share innovation and best practice, supporting nurses to deliver excellent healthcare to patients in local communities.”

The Trust currently has 15 nurses with the QN title.

QNI Professor Jean White and Elizabeth LewindonQNI Professor Jean White and Nancy Farr










Pictured photo 1: Professor Jean White with Liz Lewindon 

Pictured photo 2: Professor Jean White with Nancy Farr


22 January 2018


Macmillan Cancer Support is encouraging anyone affected by cancer in Gloucestershire to talk more openly about the emotional effects of cancer and to seek the support they need. Victoria Newland and Felice Marchetti small

As part of Cancer Talk Week from 22 to 29 January 2018, Macmillan wants to encourage people living with any type of cancer to seek emotional support at any point they might need it; whether that might be at diagnosis, during treatment or once they have been discharged.

Cancer patient Victoria Newland from Churchdown in Gloucestershire was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2016 and after chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy, she self-referred to the Macmillan Next Steps Cancer Rehabilitation project in June last year. “It was just fantastic. I had finished my main treatment and it’s only then you have time to take stock and breathe. All your thought processes had been dealing with the here and now for so long. Then when it goes quiet at end of radiotherapy and you’re not running to appointments – you’re done.

“Then your mind starts to drift. I felt down and felt a heavy burden. Then a friend who’d had cancer told me about Next Steps as she had been helped by the project. The project staff took the time to listen to me and what I needed. For example, I went to the HOPE course where I met a group of people feeling the same and the relief of understanding what was happening to me and evolving strategies to get myself back on track was so powerful.

‘I’ve also benefited from the physical activity sessions and advice that will help me move forward and do my best to stop cancer recurring. Cancer, for me, does wear you down and Next Steps has provided the toolkit to put myself back together again. The programme is genuinely fantastic.”

The Next Steps project, which has so far helped more than 500 patients, is part of a wider programme of improving cancer care in the county involving Macmillan, Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Delivered by Gloucestershire Care Services, it comprises a team of dedicated health professionals who provide one to one support and a suite of group support and education programmes and workshops to give patients knowledge, skills and confidence to encourage self-management and adopt healthy lifestyles, positive health and physical activity. This is backed by a learning and development programme to increase health and social care professionals’ confidence, communication and awareness of the rehabilitation and support needs of people living with and beyond cancer. 

Macmillan encourages anyone affected by cancer who wants to support someone they know, whether they are a family member, friend, colleague or carer, to seek emotional support from a Macmillan support specialist.  

If you would like to find out more about the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support service in your area, please visit  

The Macmillan Support Line is open 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday and can be reached on 0808 808 0000. The dedicated support line staff can talk through any concerns and signpost to the nearest information and support centre. 

 You can also find out more about the Macmillan mobile information and support service on our big green buses that visit towns and cities across the UK at  


22 January 2018



Consultation booklet coverThe 12 week Community Hospitals in the Forest of Dean public and staff consultation ended on 10 December 2017. We would like to thank everyone who took part and shared their views or submitted questions whether in person at one of the events, on-line or by completing the survey.

The Outcome of Consultation Report has now been published and is available here

We acknowledge the comments made by the County’s Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the consultation process and would like to thank them for the feedback offered following consideration of the Outcome of Consultation Report.  

We will review and carefully consider all of the feedback received from members of the public, staff and community partners, before any decisions relating to the preferred option are made.

It is expected that a full report will be considered by the Board of Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust and the Governing Body of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group in public session at the end of January 2018.


9 January 2018