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...

Read more

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...

Read more

Cirencester Hospital can now offer patients quicker diagnosis and treatment after the donation of a portable x-ray machine from the League of Friends. Cirencester Hospital X Ray Machine web

The £56,000 state-of-the-art equipment will be used to x-ray extremities, such as hands and feet, during surgical operations. The kit has an extendable, rotatable arm that will help to accurately diagnose and treat patients, particularly those who have experienced trauma. 

The purchase of this specialist equipment, known as a C arm, means that suitable patients can now be offered their operation closer to home, as surgeons from Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal hospitals can carry out procedures in Cirencester. 

Helen Rossiter, Cirencester Treatment Centre Manager, said: “Staff at the centre are delighted, as we can now see more patients and provide a real high quality service.”

Once scanned, x-rays are downloaded as images onto a central system, so clinical teams around the county can access the images instantaneously.

Linda Edwards, Matron at Cirencester Hospital, said: “This technology is innovative and forward thinking, and will really benefit local people in Cirencester. We are very grateful to the League of Friends for this new equipment, and for their continued support.”

The machine will help consultants make decisions during operations, which in many cases means reducing the number of times a patient has to be seen for the same injury. 

Jeremy Field, Consultant Orthopaedic and Hand Surgeon, said. “By having such an adaptable machine, it saves us time because we can get the detail of the x-ray exactly right, and we can see patients closer to home. We are incredibly thankful to the League of Friends for this donation.” 

Shelia Rees, Chair of Cirencester League of Friends, said: “We are so grateful to be able to provide equipment that will make a difference, and are excited about the potential this has for local people in Cirencester.”

24 February 2017 


Clare Lait filmingClare Lait, a Community Specialist Physiotherapist with Macmillan Next Steps Cancer Rehabilitation project at Gloucestershire Care Services (GCS) NHS Trust, has a leading role in the latest national advertising campaign for Macmillan Cancer Support. The Not Alone campaign, which includes TV advertising, outdoor posters and radio ads, highlights the range of medical, emotional, practical and financial support Macmillan can provide to people living with cancer and their friends and family.

The advertising features real life health professionals from across the UK. The campaign focuses on the breadth of services Macmillan provide, from giving information when cancer is first diagnosed, to providing physiotherapy after treatment to help people get their lives back. 

Clare was recently filmed at North Cotswolds Hospital, for the next phase of the national campaign. Clare said, “It is a great privilege to be representing the physiotherapy profession in this national campaign. Cancer and its various treatments are associated with a wide range of physical symptoms. Physiotherapy-led exercise can improve quality of life for cancer patients, regardless of the type and stage of their disease. My mission as a physiotherapist is to help people not just survive, but thrive.”

Lee Hodgson, Macmillan Head of Service for the South West said, “We’re so grateful that Clare is being featured in our Not Alone campaign. It’s important that people affected by cancer know that Macmillan is there to help everyone, and being able to highlight the great work of local health professionals and the Macmillan Next Steps Cancer Rehabilitation project, is so important.”

At GCS NHS Trust, Clare is part of the Macmillan Next Steps Cancer Rehabilitation project, which is currently in a pilot phase. The pilot is a joint partnership between GCS NHS Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support and Prostate Cancer UK. The team currently run a variety of programmes to help address the consequences of cancer treatment in Gloucester City and the North Cotswolds. They also offer a ‘Take Control’ health and wellbeing group workshop, discussing a range of topics including fatigue, anxiety, diet and activity. Following this workshop participants will also be given information on a range of rehabilitation services available in their area.

If you live in Gloucestershire and have been diagnosed with breast, colorectal or prostate cancer and want to find out more, please take the next step and visit, call the Macmillan Next Steps Cancer Rehabilitation team on 0300 421 6586 or email 


15 February 2017 

Two pupils fixing casts at Cirencester Hospital taster day Students at a local school had the chance to find out what life is like in a community hospital at a new NHS taster day. 

Pupils from Cirencester Kingshill School undertook exercises with physiotherapists, practiced putting on plaster casts in the Minor Injuries and Illness Unit and learnt basic life support skills with staff at Cirencester Hospital. 

The students, from Years 10 and 11, spent the day with clinicians looking at a range of healthcare career opportunities. The pupils learnt about day-to-day working life in a hospital, tried out practical skills and came away with valuable insight into the NHS. 

Linda Edwards, Matron at Cirencester Hospital, said: “The taster day was a great success. Staff at the hospital talked to the pupils about the wide range of careers and volunteering opportunities in healthcare, and the students were really engaged. They showed a huge amount of interest, and were very enthusiastic.”

The students had already expressed an interest in working for the NHS, and were keen to learn more from clinical staff.

Penny Hicks, Careers Coordinator at Cirencester Kingshill School, said: “We were made to feel very welcome by the staff at the hospital. The students found the day very interesting, and the 13 students have all decided that working within the NHS is the right route for them.” 

“They were also keen to make sure other people learnt CPR. I would love to repeat this type of taster day with other students at the school”. 

Cirencester Hospital is one of seven community hospitals in the county run by Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, and it is hoped that this will be the first of many taster days. 

Richard Hobbs, Volunteer Coordinator at Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, said: It was an excellent way of extending the hospital's links with the local community and hopefully encouraging the next generation of healthcare professionals. I look forward to working with the school again in the future and we hope to offer Taster Days for schools near our other community hospitals.”

13 February 2017


Clare Lait 3Claire Lait, Specialist Community Physiotherapist with Macmillan Next Steps Cancer Rehabilitation, features in Red Magazine's article on women on the front line of cancer. Clare says: "Patients let you into their lives – you see the good, the bad, the ugly - and it’s an honour to help people when things are really tough."  You can read more here - 

10 February 2017



Responders are being asked to check on the welfare of telecare users as a fault means their devices were not operating between 2pm on Monday 6 February and 1pm on Tuesday 7 February. The service is now fully operational.

Around 2,700 people in the county have a telecare device which can be used to alert a responder to an emergency at their home such as a fall or fire.

The equipment is normally linked to a 24 hour monitoring centre where a trained operator will manage an appropriate response. However during the time the service has not been operating telecare users who activated their device will not have received aid.

An urgent multi-agency effort is being made to contact affected families and responders.

Gloucestershire County Council is asking first responders for telecare users to make a welfare check to ensure that they are safe.

7 February 2017

Stroud LoF Ultrasound PresentationStroud General Hospital can now offer patients a more detailed diagnosis and quicker examination thanks to a new ultrasound scanner donated by the League of Friends. 

The £65,000 Toshiba Aplio 500 machine will provide clearer, detailed scans for pregnant women and patients with liver, gall bladder, kidney and gynecological conditions. 

The machine will replace an older model at the hospital, and can upload captured images to a central computer for storage. These can be shared with a range of healthcare specialists in the county.

Consultants at Stroud Hospital, run by Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, the maternity hospital, run by Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and local GPs, will all be able to refer their patients for a variety of ultrasound scans due to the range of attachments on the machine. They can be used to accurately scan each patient, depending on their condition. 

Cheryl Davies, Lead Sonographer at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (GHFT) said: “The images are easier to obtain, offering patients shorter examination times and allowing the department to run more efficiently. Thanks to this up-to-date equipment, we can continue to provide high quality ultrasound imaging for the people of Stroud.”

The technology means that patients can be cared for locally, and don’t need to travel to Cheltenham or Gloucester to be seen. 

Vivien Mortimore, Head of Midwifery Services and Divisional Director of Nursing and Midwifery at GHFT added: “This equipment will enable us to obtain the high quality images that are so essential in maternity services and for many other specialist diagnostic procedures. 

“The scans will greatly benefit our pregnant mums and many other patients. We really appreciate the generosity of The Stroud League of Friends, whose significant contribution enhances the care provided by the NHS in Gloucestershire.” 

Ultrasound technology has been used in Stroud since the 1970s, and the League of Friends has helped to update every machine.

Dr Roy Lamb, President of Stroud League of Friends, said: “This is a continuation of the excellent service we provide at Stroud, and is a great credit to the people in the community who have supported us.” 

Katie Norton, Chief Executive at Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, said: “I want to extend our gratitude to the League of Friends for their continuing commitment to working with us, on behalf of the community, to improve services. I am delighted to be celebrating this partnership with them.”

Care Certificate StroudCongratulations to 22 Healthcare Assistants (HCAs) from Stroud General and the Vale Community Hospitals, who have recently been awarded Care Certificates. 

The group have been part of a 12 week training and development programme, learning the skills and behaviours to provide compassionate, safe and quality care. The Certificate is awarded to those in healthcare roles who have demonstrated they meet each of the 15 Care Certificate standards, including caring with privacy and dignity, awareness of mental health (including dementia and learning difficulties), safeguarding and infection control. 

The group received their certificates and badges from Sue Field, Director of Nursing, in the post-grad room at Stroud General Hospital. Sue and Juliette, the hospitals’ matron, praised the HCAs for their hard work and determination. Sue said: “These are exciting times for HCAs, and this Care Certificate signifies the start of new opportunities for them”, while Juliette said: “I’m really proud of all our HCAs, and this is a wonderful way to recognise their achievement.” 

Pauline Cox, Training and Development Facilitator (Stroud) and Julie Lerigo, Training and Development Sister (the Vale) have provided support and advice along the way. Julie said: “the HCAs have really supported each other in their learning – I know some met up in small groups at each other’s houses to complete their workbooks promoting shared learning. I have really enjoyed the experience, challenges, the active discussions promoting improved care and positive feedback.” 

Some of the HCAs will now go on to do their nurse training or apply for the new Nursing Associate role, which is piloting in Gloucestershire.


27 January 2017

MSK Programme GroupThe Gloucestershire Musculoskeletal Clinical Programme Group has been shortlisted for two prestigious national awards.

The group, which won the 'Together we Achieve' category at last November's Gloucestershire Health and Social Care Awards, has now been shortlisted in two categories for the 2017 Health Service Journal Value in Healthcare Awards.

The aim of the musculoskeletal (MSK) programme has been to prevent the onset of MSK conditions where possible and to minimise pain, minimise progression and increase function in patients who have already developed MSK conditions.

A total of 13 NHS services committed to working together to develop an ‘integrated MSK model’. The outcome is a more consistent approach to care, which ensures patients are seen in the right place at the right time and receive the right diagnosis and treatment.

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

The group has been shortlisted in both the Clinical Support Services and Community Health Service Redesign categories. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in London on Wednesday 24 May.

27 January 2017