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...

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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...

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NHS and social care partners in Gloucestershire have made a commitment to transform experiences of palliative and end of life care by signing up to a countywide End of Life Care Strategy.

The strategy outlines the county’s promise to offer the highest possible quality of care and support to people who are dying. It also sets out an ambition to respond better to the wishes and needs of patients and their families in relation to where they would like to be cared for and where they would like to die.

NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) was recently one of two CCGs to be appointed to the NHS England End of Life Care Programme Board to represent commissioning.

Dr Hein Le Roux, Clinical Lead for End of Life Care at the CCG, said:

“Our aim is that everyone should experience a ‘good end to their life’.

We want to ensure that people are given the opportunity to express their preferences about where and how they are cared for, supported and die, and to make it possible for health and social care services to work together to enable their wishes to be met.

It is important for all of us providing end of life care to encourage people to talk about their choices, and to ensure that every individual is able, to the best of our ability and circumstances, to have the best death possible, and that their wishes are respected.

We also want to support families and carers during the difficult times both before and after their loved one’s death.”

The CCG and its partners, including the county’s hospices, care homes, community services and hospitals, have developed 12 key aims to ensure that people receive care that meets their individual needs.

These include ensuring that the many services people need are well coordinated, so that patients receive seamless care that meets their individual priorities, needs and preferences and that end of life care is appropriate, timely and communicated sensitively.

Another important area of work that will be taken forward is around Advanced Care Planning. This is a voluntary process of discussion and review which enables someone who has capacity to indicate their preferences and wishes for the future, meaning that their wishes can be identified, respected and adhered to.

Emma Husbands, Consultant Palliative Medicine at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (GHNHSFT) and Chair of the End of Life Care Quality Group, said:

“GHNHSFT are committed to working collaboratively with our countywide colleagues to address such a crucial aspect of all of our lives.

We have now distilled the twelve principles into a strategy to ensure that we embed all aspects of delivery of end of life care.

Death is a part of life and as organisations, staff and patients, we are working together to ensure that we enable personalised care to be as good as it can be right up to and including the end of life.”

Cllr Dorcas Binns, cabinet member for older people at Gloucestershire County Council and Vice Chair of the End of Life Strategy board said:

“Death is a subject we don’t talk about much, but everyone has to face at some point.

I want to make sure all professionals who look after people in their last days have the specialist training and skills they need to give the best quality care.”

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

“GCS is committed to supporting people to live through life limiting conditions and illness and helping them and their families prepare for their death, helping people to die with dignity.

End of life care touches all parts of ours services, with our nurses being at the heart of care in the last days of life.  They work closely with the patient’s family, GP and specialist services to ensure that people are able to pass away with dignity, receiving compassionate bespoke care in the place of their choosing, surrounded by those who matter to them.  End of life care is multi-dimensional, providing holistic care including physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual support.

End of life care is provided in a range of settings which includes care in the community, such as community hospitals, within patient’s homes, care homes and hospices. Our Trust is committed to working collaboratively with countywide colleagues, to make sure that regardless of the care setting, the quality of care should be of the highest standard and compassionate care must be at the forefront, after all we only have one chance to get it right.”

End of Life Care is a priority within the Gloucestershire Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) and the publication of the strategy represents an important step in making improvements happen.

To read more about the STP and find out about how you can get involved, visit the STP website at: 


21 March 2017


Joseph BarnettJoseph Barnett is currently an IT Business Admin Apprentice at Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust. Joseph is also completing a Level 2 NVQ in IT User. 

"I had started a course in Health & Social Care at college, but heard about apprenticeships and decided that was the way I wanted to go. I started looking for opportunities online, and came across an IT apprenticeship at Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust. I’ve always liked IT, having studied it for one of my AS levels, and I wanted to get into the NHS. 

I started my apprenticeship in October 2016 and have been working with the Trust’s IT team based in Brockworth. I help with phone queries from colleagues across the county on the IT Service Desk. I've also helped out with a mobile phone roll out - this involved setting up the phones and visiting Trust sites to help colleagues use them. I have also helped one of my colleagues with some computer imaging for all of Trust compluters, which I then helped to deploy across the county. All this means that my days are quite varied. 

I’ve learnt a lot since I started, as there has been a lot of on the job training. I feel my interpersonal skills have really developed, as there is so much face-to-face communication. I’ve also learnt a lot about team work…it’s all been really invaluable. The apprenticeship is due to finish in August 2017, and afterwards I will look for other opportunities in the Trust or find a job outside of the organisation. I’m really enjoying my experiences so far, and am looking forward to the year ahead!" 

Find out more about Joseph in this video here. 




 8 March 2017 



MTC2 awards 2Daniel Reynolds, Community Link Officer, and the Community Equipment Service team have won the outstanding engagement category at the Meeting the Challenge 2 (MtC2) Good Practice event hosted by Gloucestershire County Council. The awards recognised the hard work and dedication of staff working on MtC2 projects.

The award was given to the team for their role in the #handitback project and for using innovative forms of public engagement to increase equipment return and reuse. The event was an opportunity to share good practice amongst colleagues and recognise their inspiring achievements.


2 March 2017


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