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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

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Congratulations to Ruth Hamlin for winning Best Newcomer at the Parkinson’s Disease Nurse Specialist Awards in 2017.

Ruth joined the Trust’s Parkinson’s team as a specialist nurse in April 2017, having previously worked as a hospital ward nurse in Bath looking after people with the disease.

Two months into her new role, Ruth found herself working on her own due to vacancies and sick leave within the team. She says “It was a huge challenge and I’ve had to learn quickly. I had only been in post eight weeks when I started working alone, and was very mindful of that when speaking with patients, relatives and carers. Luckily I have had a considerable amount of community nursing experience in my career and that has stood me in good stead.”

Despite the challenge, Ruth felt very supported by her team. “The advice from my colleagues has been invaluable and Marie Scheidel, team administrator, has kept me sane by taking charge of the administrative tasks.”

The awards are voted for by members of the Parkinson’s Disease Nurse Specialist Association (PDNSA), who recognised Ruth’s level of responsibility so early on in the role, and her commitment to providing excellent patient care.

“To be voted best newcomer by the Association is a huge honour and I was delighted to think that people voted for me.”

Ruth commutes to Gloucester from Bristol for work, and is often asked why she chooses to travel two hours a day. The answer, she says, is simple - “I just really wanted the job and I decided that it was worth the extra time it adds on to my working day.”

The Trust’s Parkinson’s team is made up of nurse specialists who provide clinical reviews, support and education for patients and their carers, and run a number of clinics across the county.


4 January 2018

Gloucestershire Wheelchair Assessment Service (GWAS) has launched a brand new website -

The new website provides an online source of information about how referrals can be made to the service via a GP or healthcare professional, as well as guidance on the wheelchair assessment process, personal wheelchair budget, and support plan. The site is also BrowseAloud enabled, which provides speech and reading support tools, whether you are using a smartphone, computer tablet, PC or Mac.

Dan McAleavy, a local wheelchair user who helped co-produce the new website, said: “For people with complex, long term conditions, being able to access the right wheelchair, with appropriate support is of paramount importance. The new website is easy to navigate and will help educate local people on what services are available, how you choose a suitable wheelchair, as well as giving useful links to local community organisations.”

Head of Speech and Language Therapy, Gloucestershire Wheelchair Services, Integrated Community Equipment Services and Telecare Services, Jane Stroud said: “There are currently around 10,000 wheelchair users in Gloucestershire. Two thirds of them are regular users. Wheelchairs provide a significant gateway to independence, well-being and quality of life for thousands of adults and children. They play a substantial role in facilitating social inclusion and improving life chances through work, education and activities that many people who do not need wheelchairs take for granted.”

GWAS is part of Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, and provides wheelchairs and wheelchair accessories to those with medium to high specialist needs and to those who will need the equipment for long term use of more than six months. If you have not visited the service before, an initial referral needs to be made via a healthcare professional. After the initial referral GWAS accepts self-referrals from individuals registered with the service.

The team based at the GWAS comprise of specialist clinicians (occupational therapists and physiotherapists) and technical instructors. They are supported by rehabilitation engineers and a rehabilitation technician. The whole team can provide specialist advice about posture and wheeled mobility.


19 December 2017 


  • Patients will be able to access pharmacy and urgent GP surgery services this year during the Christmas and New Year period
  • To find your nearest pharmacy and details of opening hours, see below:

 - Cheltenham

 - Cotswolds (inc. Cirencester)

 - Forest of Dean

 - Gloucester City

 - Stroud (inc. Dursley)

 - Tewkesbury

  • From 22 December to 7 January, urgent GP appointments are available from 8am – 8pm at either your GP surgery or another one. Contact your surgery during normal opening hours to book an appointment.
  • If it’s outside of normal GP surgery opening hours, call NHS 111 and they will make sure you receive the advice and care you need.
  • Gloucester Health Access Centre on Eastgate Street, Gloucester, is open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day between 8am and 8pm. Please call 01452 336 290 to make an appointment.
  • The ASAP website and ASAP Glos NHS App can also provide advice on your healthcare options and the right service if needed.
  • Remember to use Emergency Services wisely; call 999 only when it’s a serious injury or a life threatening situation such as unconsciousness, heavy loss of blood, severe chest pain or stroke.


19 December 2017 


Victoria Newland and Felice Marchetti smallA 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 from Macmillan Cancer Support. It brings Macmillan’s financial commitment to the project to just over £1m and means it will continue to March 2019, by which time it is planned to become an integral part of NHS cancer care within Gloucestershire. 

The Macmillan Next Steps Cancer Rehabilitation project, delivered by Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, comprises a team of dedicated health professionals. They provide one to one support, 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. 

“We’ve learned a lot about what really helps cancer patients to recover quicker and get back on track since we started in 2016,” says Nikki Hawkins, Macmillan consultant allied health professional for the project. “Their feedback about what, how and where the project is delivered is helping to refine and create a service that can be extended to other cancer patients across the whole county.”

“It’s proving to be hugely beneficial for patients, and fits in with the aim for all cancer patients to have access to elements of the national recovery package by 2020,” says Elizabeth Wright, Macmillan’s strategic partnership manager. “Extending the project enables us to cover the whole of the county for breast, prostate and colorectal cancer patients and then complete links with other elements of NHS cancer diagnosis, treatment and care.”

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 project in June this year. “It was just fantastic. I had finished my main treatment and it’s only then you have time to take stock and breath. 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 was 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 Macmillan team took the time to listen to me and what I needed. For example, I went to the HOPE course and met a group of people feeling the same as me, and the relief of understanding what was happening and evolving strategies to get myself back on track was so powerful.”

‘I’ve also benefitted 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 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. The growth in demand for cancer services will continue to create pressure within our health system. 

“With data showing the current need for these services doubling by 2030, we need to make sure we provide the services cancer patients need to get through their treatment and make the quickest and best recovery possible,” adds Elizabeth Wright. “Next Steps is going to play an important part in that future.”

To find out more about Macmillan Next Steps Cancer Rehabilitation, please click here.

1 December 2017

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 shared their views or submitted questions whether in person at one of the events, on-line or by completing the survey.

Work will now begin on compiling the Outcome of Consultation Report. This will be published and shared at the County’s Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee in January 2018, which is a meeting in public. The Report will also be made available at at this time.

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

It is expected that a full report will be considered by the Boards of Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust and NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group in public session towards the end of January 2018 – dates will be confirmed in the near future.




The NHS in Gloucestershire is launching its winter campaign and asking people to think twice before heading to A&E or calling 999 when it’s not an emergency.

The campaign visuals under the banner ‘Some people really need A&E, Do you?’ gives members of the public clear advice on what to do if they are ill or injured and not sure where to turn. You can watch a video here -

Mark Pietroni, Consultant in Emergency Care at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:

“Our emergency departments are very busy places, particularly during the winter months, and therefore we urge the public to do the right thing and only use A&E if they have life threatening conditions or serious injuries.

If it isn’t a genuine emergency, you are highly likely to receive the care you need in a more timely way if you access other health services available. We need to focus our time on those patients who are seriously unwell.

The campaign message is clear with four simple ways to get instant advice on the right care or service option for you if you are not sure where to turn.”

The campaign advises people to download the App (ASAP Glos NHS), Search the ASAP website (, Ask NHS 111 (give them a call) or pop in to their local Pharmacy.

The ASAP App and website allow users to ‘Search by Service’ or ‘Search by Condition’, with a step-by-step guide through symptoms, self-care advice and signposting to the appropriate NHS service/s if needed.

Dr Andy Seymour, Clinical Chair at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“The choice of healthcare options is often greater than people realise, particularly for non-emergencies. Your local pharmacy is a great first port of call if you are ill or injured and are unsure where to turn.

Also working together, many GP practices are now offering extra appointments in the day time and outside normal opening hours and community hospital minor injury and illness units offer a range of services to adults and children, 7 days a week.

This campaign, which will be running across a number of channels, is about helping people to access the right health advice when they need it most.”

Dr Caroline Bennet, Urgent Care Lead at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“We know that many people are following the campaign’s call to action, but we need everyone to use NHS services responsibly.

If your condition isn’t a genuine emergency and you turn up at A&E, you are likely to wait longer to be seen, could delay more poorly patients from receiving the care they need and also waste precious NHS resources.”

The high profile campaign includes a film featuring in Facebook adverts and in GP surgery waiting areas, radio, press and on-line adverts, distribution of eye catching promotional material and outdoor advertising.


20 November 2017



Di Gould President 1Di Gould, Clinical Director of the Trust’s Community Dental Services (CDS), has been elected by her peers to be president of the British Dental Association’s CDS Group. 

Di started her new role at the Group’s annual Presidential and Scientific Meeting, which took place at Cheltenham Racecourse on Thursday 5 – Friday 6 October. Di was tasked with putting the event programme together. In her opening address to delegates, Di spoke about the challenging but rewarding and varied work of community dentists and reflected on the invaluable support of dental nurses. 

As part of her role, Di will visit community dental services across the country. Dates have already been confirmed for the West Midlands and Derry in Northern Ireland.  

Di said “I am very honoured to be elected as President of the BDA Community Dental Services group and am looking forward to meeting colleagues across the UK throughout the coming year as part of this exciting role.”


1 November 2017