Getting back on track after cancer treatment

A project helping patients take back control of their lives and speed recovery after treatment for breast, prostate or colorectal cancer has proved so powerful it has secured further funding...

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Community Hospitals in the Forest of Dean - Public and Staff Consultation

The 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 has taken part and...

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North Cots Hosp Community Hospital Association Award smallA health and wellbeing fair held at North Cotswolds Hospital (NCH) in May last year has received national recognition by winning a Community Hospital Association (CHA) Award. 

The award was given for the initial idea, hard work and planning that then went into the day. CHA committee members were impressed by the vision of the event and the breadth of agencies that were connected to promote health and wellbeing.

The event included over 25 stalls providing information and advice around health and wellbeing initiatives, interactive workshops from health professionals, fun activities, healthy refreshments and the opportunity to contribute to running a marathon during the course of the afternoon via a running machine.  It was also used to promote NCH as a health and wellbeing hub, where people could meet and find out more about the healthy initiatives available where they live, help lonely or isolated people to socialise with their community and help connect community organisations.

Former matron of North Cotswolds Hospital, Linda Edwards (now matron of Cirencester Hospital), said: “We are all really pleased to be recognised by the CHA. A huge amount of planning went into the event and we had help from the League of Friends, colleagues across the Trust, including Administration Lead Kathryn Close who was instrumental in the project planning, as well as a number of local organisations all of whom gave their time and, in many cases, donations for free.” 

Linda along with Niamh Davis (Staff Nurse ), Ellie Peters (Health Care Assistant)  and Jane Fifield (Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist) attended the award ceremony, which took place on Saturday 3 June at the Annual CHA Conference in Manchester. Linda and Jane also presented an interactive session to attendees, further explaining the planning process.

Linda added” It was a great event (despite the British weather!) to promote Health and Wellbeing!". 

13 June 2017


North Cots Health and Wellbeing Fair 1 















North Cots Health and Wellbeing Fair 3











North Cots Health and Wellbeing Fair 2



beckyBecky Fortnam, a Speech and Language Therapist in the Children’s Complex Care Team, is running in the Cheltenham Challenge Half Marathon this Sunday, to raise funds to support Children’s Services at the Trust.

Becky, 25, has been part of the team for two years, working out of the Rikenel Health Centre in Gloucester, the Coleford Opportunity Centre and the Heart of the Forest Special School.  

Becky said: “I see about 25 children a week with some very complex needs and taking part in this challenge to raise valuable funds for items beyond our NHS budget, is just one more way I can help them.”

So far, Becky has raised about £200. You can support Becky and Gloucestershire’s children’s community health by visiting her Virgin money fundraising page below.

Thank you, Becky!


12 June 2017

The Gloucestershire Musculoskeletal Clinical Programme Group was 'Highly Commended' at the 2017 Health Service Journal Value in Healthcare Awards.

A total of 13 NHS services committed to working together to develop an ‘integrated MSK model’ which was showcased at the awards ceremony in London on Wednesday 24 May.

Chris Boden, Head of Countywide Services, said: “We were delighted to be a finalist at the HSJ Awards for what has been a rewarding and effective piece of partnership work.

“The design of consistent clinical pathways for MSK service users across organisations, as well as the adoption of collective standards, has created a better experience for patients and a more cost-effective service for commissioners.

“This has been the first phase of a programme to offer integrated, timely and high quality care in our MSK services (physiotherapy, podiatry & MSKCAT) and we are looking forward to continuing our progress this year.”

Trust colleagues involved in the MSK Clinical Programme Group are Sarah Morton (Adult Physiotherapy), Sarah Nicholson (Adult MSK Physiotherapy), Louise Bevan (MSKCAT), Caroline Hooper (MSKCAT), Tina Craig (Podiatry) and Chris Boden (Podiatry).


2 June 2017 


Sue Arthurs Volunteer North CotswoldsOn a Friday morning at North Cotswolds Hospital, Sue Arthurs is making her way round the ward with a trolley full of teas, coffees and refreshments. She has a chat with every patient she passes, and makes sure they have everything they need. If a patient is due to leave hospital that day, Sue will help them to complete their discharge paperwork.  She volunteers at the hospital once or twice a week, and finds that every day is different: “One minute I can be helping out with the rounds, and then the next I’m making up beds. I help out with all sorts of jobs, you just fit in with what the staff or patients need that day, and I find it all really interesting.”

Sue has always been involved in volunteering one way or another. She ran a local play group, has been on a Scout Group Committee and has fundraised for local and national charities. She started by volunteering once a week at a local primary school when she retired, and while waiting for a blood test at her GP surgery one day, she spotted a poster calling for volunteers at North Cotswolds Hospital. She has now been volunteering there for over four years.  

Sue has a personal connection with Moreton-in-Marsh – she has lived in the area all her life, and her children were all born at the old hospital. One of her daughters now works there as a community nursery nurse. “I can remember the old hospital vividly. Some of my relatives were cared for there, and it’s wonderful to be giving back to a place that has been so good to my family.” 

So what is it about volunteering there that really appeals to her? 

“It’s a fantastic way to meet new people – the staff and patients are very friendly and nice. You know you are making a difference as well, it’s so rewarding.”  

Angie Pinchin, Admin Assistant at the hospital says “We are very lucky to have such a friendly, caring group of volunteers; it makes my job so much more enjoyable working with such lovely people."


1 June 2017



Staff AwardsGloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust colleagues celebrated their achievements at the Trust’s annual Celebrating You awards last week.

There were three separate events during the day on Wednesday 17 May held in Coleford, Gloucester and Cirencester to enable as many colleagues as possible to join the celebration and recognise the excellence in work carried out in community services and community hospitals in the county.  

Individuals and teams were nominated by colleagues in 11 categories, either for clearly demonstrating the values of the Trust – caring, open, responsible and effective or excellence in a particular area of work or area.

Amongst the winners were the Macmillan Next Steps team, a joint project between the Trust and charity Macmillan to support people who have lived with cancer in Gloucestershire, the Princess Anne Day Surgery Unit at Stroud, and Kevin Gannaway Pitts, who has set up Health and Hustle fitness groups to improve the health of co-workers. The awards also included recognition of the role of Trust volunteers and apprentices across the organisation.

Katie Norton, chief executive at Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, said; “We had over 230 nominations this year for individuals and teams and it was inspiring to see how valued colleagues are by their teams and the amazing work they are doing to live the Trust’s values. 

“It’s a testament to the work across the Trust that it was so very hard to select our final short-lists, let alone the winners.

“The events themselves were an absolute pleasure – supportive, celebratory and full of positive stories about the work we do. With more than 2,700 colleagues working for the Trust across the Gloucestershire these awards help everyone come together to recognise outstanding contributions and demonstrate the full extent of the Trust’s work” 


Values Award – Caring 
Princess Anne Day Surgery Unit, Stroud Hospital
Blessie Irving, Nurse at Cirencester Hospital

Values Award – Open 
Zena Trigg and the Hadwen Nursing Team 

Values Award – Responsible
Time to Care Team 
Helen Heath, Health Care Assistant, Gloucester

Values Award – Effective 
Complex Leg Wound Service   

Understanding You Award – Community Hospitals
Julie Lerigo, Stroud Hospital

Understanding You Award – Integrated Community Teams
Katherine Stratton, Tewkesbury

Understanding You Award – Countywide Services 
Macmillan Next Steps  

Understanding You Award – Children and Young People’s Services 
Rose De Greef, Community Nursery Nurse, Brockworth

Understanding You Award – Support Services 
Kevin Gannaway-Pitts, Clinical Systems Team

Achievement Award – Volunteer of the Year 
Amy Jeffries, Conversation Partners Scheme
Peter Harney, Conversation Partners Scheme

Achievement Award – Apprentice of the Year 
Chelsea Burnham


22 May 2017 

Jenny TurnerJPGJenny Turner, Staff Nurse at North Cotswolds Hospital, featured in the recent Sunday Time Alternative Rich List. Jenny, now 77, has been a nurse for 61 years and has not had a day off sick since 1957.

The Alternative Rich List celebrates people who have a wealth of life experience and achievement - congratulations Jenny!

Read the full List here.

11 May 2017


We know that death, dying and bereavement tend to be topics which many people are not comfortable talking about.

However, the NHS in Gloucestershire is encouraging people to talk about these important issues as part of a campaign to promote awareness of the benefits for people becoming more active in planning for a “good” death, whether this is their own death or that of a loved one. Importantly, people are also being encouraged to think about this in advance of ill health.

During this year’s national Dying Matters Awareness Week (8 – 14 May), the NHS Health Information Bus will be out and about around the county, encouraging people to think about what they can do to prepare themselves and others for the inevitable reality of death and dying and to support friends, family or neighbours when they are affected by these issues, such as following a bereavement.

Dr Emma Husbands, Consultant in Palliative Care at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“Talking about and planning for death and dying is never easy, whether this is about yourself or the people you care for.

However, we all need to have the chance to have these difficult conversations, to help us express our priorities for end of life care and enable the people we love to talk to us about their wishes. This knowledge can help us focus care for each individual.”

The NHS Information Bus will carry lots of information about death and dying, with experts on hand to discuss people’s concerns. The aim is to create a friendly space for people to ask questions about end of life care issues, such as making a will, planning a funeral or coping with bereavement.

Dr Hein Le Roux, clinical lead for end of life care at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:

“We took the Information Bus around the county last year, and it was so successful we wanted to do it again.

Lots of people had so many questions, or said they were glad to be able to talk about death. It can be an awkward subject but if we can’t talk about it we only make it more difficult to deal with. Please come along and have a chat with us.”

The theme for this year’s Dying Matters week is “What Can You Do” as it challenges people to do something practical. This might be something for themselves, like making a will, or something for someone else who is bereaved, or caring for a dying relative. This could be something as simple as cooking a meal or walking the dog, but can make a huge difference to someone coping with death or bereavement.

Susan Field, Director of Nursing at Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, said:

“Nurses are extensively involved in supporting people and their families when nearing the end of their life. This ranges from having sensitive conversations with individuals about their end of life choices, recognising any deterioration and providing compassionate care so that any death is dignified.

It’s also important to remember that our nurses continue to support different faiths and beliefs and that they provide care that respects spiritual and religious needs as I believe that if these supportive approaches are present, it helps family members in grieving for  someone they love.”

About 1% of the UK population dies each year, which means about 6,000 people will die in Gloucestershire this year, and each of those deaths will affect many more people in different ways.

8 May 2017


Becky Fortnam smallBecky Fortnam, a Gloucestershire Care Services Speech and Language Therapist, is the first NHS staff member to sign up to tackle the Cheltenham Challenge Half Marathon on Sunday, 18 June, 2017 to raise money for the Children’s and Young People’s NHS service in Gloucestershire. Becky, 25, has been part of the Children’s Speech and Language Team for two years, and primarily works with children with complex needs and Learning Disability. Becky works at a variety of places within the Gloucestershire community. Becky supports children and young people at Rikenel Health Centre in Gloucester, Coleford Opportunity Centre and the Heart of the Forest Special School.  Becky said: “I see a range of children each week with a variety of complex needs. Taking part in this challenge to raise valuable funds for items beyond our NHS budget, is just one more way I can help both the children and staff I work with.”  You can support Becky and Gloucestershire’s children’s community health teams here.

28 April 2017