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



With the summer Olympics over and the long days drawing in, it seemed a great time to hold our Work Out At Work Week (19-23 September 2016) - a week aimed at encouraging colleagues to be more physically active and promoted by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Work Out At Work Weet

As Health Care professionals we spend large amounts of our clinical time supporting our patients to recover from injury or illness and encouraging them to become more independent including through exercise and activity. 

We tend to be selfless by the nature of our professions. But this week encourages us to think about self. The principles of physical activity and the spectrum of benefits apply to Trust colleagues every bit as much as to our patients. Trust physiotherapists joined forces with the colleague group “Health & Hustle” and together we focused the week on promoting achievable, fun physical activity both within & outside work. 

Colleagues held a huge array of events and activities across the organisation, linking in with the Trust Active Health and Hustle community during lunchtimes and after work.  Organised activities included mid-day walks to High Intensity Exercise sessions and from linking in with the Green Gym to military boot camps. People gave their time walking miles and benefitted from social conversations that just get squeezed out of our busy working lives.  We posted daily videos & blogs, raising the awareness of the importance of activity.  It has been fantastic to see the enthusiasm that spread across our workforce and we have been able to link this in with the Health and Well Being Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN), aimed at our greatest asset – our colleagues.

So for a week it was great to see “self” have a higher priority and to be able to give people the opportunity to take part in such a great programme of events, wherever you are and whatever your role.

Thank you to everyone who gave their time, either organising events or taking part in them or just by being a bit more active than you normally would. Look after yourself – there’s only one you!

Sarah Morton - Professional Head of Adult Physiotherapy and Caroline Hooper - Clinical Lead, Musculoskeletal Assessment and Treatment Service (MSKCAT). 



Interested in a new nursing role in one of our community hospitals in the Forest of Dean? 

Then pop along to our recruitment day at Lydney & District Hospital to find out more! You will have the chance to chat with some of our nurses, find out more about current roles available and discover what working in a community hospital is like.

Our recruitment day is taking place on Monday 17 October, Stonebury House, Lydney & District Hospital, 9.30am - 2.30pm.

There are opportunities in both Lydney & District Hospital and the Dilke Memorial Hospital. For further information, please contact:0300 421 8651 or email



We are pleased to announce that Katie Norton will be Gloucestershire Care Services (GCS) NHS Trust's new chief executive. Katie has a wealth of experience in NHS leadership roles, including chief executive positions at Neath Port Talbot Health Board and North Somerset Primary Care Trust.

In her current role at Deloitte, Katie is responsible for leading a health and social care transformation team, working on a number of major engagements across the UK to support significant strategic and operational challenges.

Making the appointment, Ingrid Barker, Trust Chair, said: "Following the announcement by our current chief executive Paul Jennings of his retirement at the end of the year, the Trust has been working hard to find a successor to take the Trust forward from 2017.

"I have been committed to finding the best candidate for this role, and we're delighted to appoint Katie as chief executive. Her experience across all aspects of the NHS will be a real strength for delivering a compelling vision and strategy for the Trust, as well as achieving an improved and more sustainable health and social care system with our partners across Gloucestershire”.

Katie said: “I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to have been selected as the new chief executive at Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust. While it is clear that the NHS is having to navigate unprecedented challenges driven by increasing demand and a tough economic environment, it has been really inspiring to see the Trust’s continued focus on delivering high quality services to Gloucestershire’s population.

"It’s also very encouraging to see the strength of collaboration and partnership with the whole health and social care system across the county. I will be determined to build on this as I firmly believe that community services must be at the heart of a sustainable health and social care system.”

Paul Jennings joined GCS as an interim chief executive in July 2013 before taking on the role full-time in December that year. After nearly 40 years in the NHS and two decades in senior and chief officer roles, Paul will be retiring at the end of December 2016. Ingrid said: “Paul will be a hard to act to follow but part of his legacy will be the quality of the team, the strength of relationships and the depth of organisational ambition that Katie will inherit.”

Katie will join the Trust in early January 2017.

paul jennings new photo



The next Board Meeting of Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust will be held on Tuesday 20 September 2016 at the Stroud Subscription Rooms, George Street, Stroud.

The meeting will run from 1.45pm, with details of the agenda available seven days in advance on this page of our website.

If you have a question relating to this Board Meeting, please submit it by email to the Trust Secretary (  no later than noon on Monday 19 September.


A personal reflection from Sarah Morton, Professional Head of Adult Physiotherapy, Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, on a recent visit from the Chief Allied Health Professionals (AHP) Advisor for Wales:

Last week we had a visit from the Chief Therapies Advisor for Wales to discuss some of our extended practice roles in Rapid Response. A service specifically designed to support acutely unwell patients where clinically appropriate, in their own homes preventing unnecessary and disruptive hospital admissions. Her visit was to find out more about the well-established Rapid Response service in our organisation and to take any learning back to contribute to potential development of models in Wales. It was a welcome visit and came about as a result of discussions with our Professional Body.

The Rapid Response service is comprised of Paramedics, Nurses and Physiotherapists all with their own unique skill set and professional backgrounds. With the solid foundation of medical model training the Physiotherapists in this service have developed new competencies along agreed pathways using competency frameworks to support their learning needs. This has included M level post graduate training at University to underpin areas not addressed through core undergraduate training. One of the Physiotherapists incorporates a Clinical leadership role of a Multi-Disciplinary Team as well as expanded scope functions.Earlier in the year, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Chief Executive, Karen Middleton had spent a day with us in Gloucestershire Care Services meeting clinicians and discussing professional issues. During one of those conversations, some of our Physiotherapists in Rapid Response were able to talk about their roles as Practitioners within that service, their extended functions and how they had developed new competencies traditionally within the scope of other professions. Karen’s belief endorsed and supported our commitment to continuing to encourage our clinicians to take opportunities to develop and expand our roles within services across all areas of our profession.

Significant learning has been acquired along this journey, much of which could help other areas to develop their own Multi-Disciplinary models where the roles undertaken by clinicians are about the competencies rather than the perceived demarcations of the professions. The professional background is the starting point for what should be lifelong learning allowing for growth, development and expansion of professional roles.

 The recently published Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Advanced Practice Guidance 2016 has been a very welcome document. This helps define the framework which underpins the requirements for existing and emerging roles such as the Rapid Response Practitioner. As commissioning units and provider organisations move forwards with innovative models it is essential to share learning from these evolving services. A degree of consistency in the requirements and evaluation of work based competencies will be essential for robust, sustainable models.  

 With the short supply of highly skilled clinicians across all professional groups, maximising the contribution of clinical contacts and reducing unnecessary clinical duplication is good for patients and for effective streamlined services. However this all has to be underpinned with strong governance frameworks. Our learning during the development of Rapid Response has been that where this has not been in place it has resulted in clinicians feeling unsupported and the model needing to be more clearly defined. The service is now three years into its evolution and will be more fully described by one of the leading Physiotherapists who has been involved since its inception. 

Rapid Response is a key and essential component of our urgent care community services and offers an example of what our profession can contribute when you start thinking outside the role boundary box. It’s good to challenge the delineation.

Patients across Gloucestershire are today being urged to get the right healthcare advice this season, do the right thing and leave the county’s two Emergency Departments to care for people with serious injuries and life threatening conditions. 

The call comes as Summer and the holiday period gets in to full swing across the county. 

Dr Tom Llewellyn, Clinical Director for Emergency Care at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:  “Our emergency departments continue to face significant pressures and this is likely to continue as the Summer season really gets going. Therefore, we would 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 likely to receive the care you need in a more timely fashion if you access other health services available. We need to focus our time on those patients who are seriously unwell.”

If people are ill or injured and are unsure where to turn, they are advised to follow the ASAP message – download the ASAP App (ASAP Glos NHS), Search the website (, Ask NHS 111 or Pop in to their local pharmacy. 

In particular, summer-related ailments such as minor reactions to things like stings and bites and the heat as well as sun burn, hay fever, bumps, bruises, sprains and strains can be treated with self-care or with support from the local pharmacy or a community hospital minor illness and injury unit.  

Dr Andy Seymour, Clinical Chair of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said:  “The choice of healthcare options is often greater than people realise, particularly for the treatment of minor ailments.

"The local pharmacy is a great first port of call. Pharmacists are qualified to give advice on a range of conditions, are experts on medicines and can advise people on whether they need to call or visit another NHS service.  

"We have also invested in additional GP appointments for people who have illnesses that won’t go away, such as infections and long term health conditions.” 

Candace Plouffe, Chief Operating Officer at Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, which runs the county's community hospitals and its community nursing service said: "We have minor injury units at all seven of our community hospital sites where we can treat a wide range of conditions including minor illnesses, sprains, simple fractures, minor burns, stitches and skin problems and would encourage people to use these where possible as an alternative to A&E.

"You are likely to be seen quickly, there is free parking available and you don’t need to make an appointment.”

Gloucestershire County Council and Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) would like your help to understand the transport needs of Stroud District residents in getting to healthcare appointments and how well these are being met by existing services; most importantly they need to know whether they need to make changes to the transport services available.

They would like residents of Stroud District to complete an online survey.  Your answers will help them develop our local services and your input is important to them even if all people in your household drive or don’t use public transport services.  All information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence.

To begin the survey please click here. The survey will remain open until Friday 8 July.

Information about NHS funded patient transport in Gloucestershire can be found on the CCG website

Stroud Hospital now boasts the latest in x-ray facilities for its patients, thanks to the generosity of the League of Friends.

The new ‘Intuition’ equipment provides clear digital images in seconds which means a very quick experience for patients and uploads the images to a central computer so that they can be shared with a range of healthcare specialists as required.

The equipment has been housed in a newly refurbished x-ray room at the hospital, with the £140,000 cost of the equipment picked up by the Stroud Hospital’s League of Friends.

David Miller, chair of the League of Friends, said: “We have been supporting the fine x-ray department at Stroud General Hospital for many years and know it is extremely busy, covering inpatients, outpatient clinics, the minor injury and illness unit and patients referred by GPs.”

Dr Roy Lamb, president of the League of Friends, added: “While it is the Friends who  have contributed, it’s the people of Stroud who have made this possible and we have acted on their behalf.”

Sue Ward, lead radiographer for community hospitals, said the new equipment would offer patients shorter examination times and allow the department  to run more efficiently.

She added: “Images take seconds rather than minutes to process so by the time you’ve let the patient know you’ve taken the x-ray the image is available to view.

“The images are really sharp and with this machine the radiation dose is really low as well. This is very up to date equipment which means we can provide a very up to date service.”

Welcoming the donation at a presentation on Wednesday 27 January, Gloucestershire Care Services chair Ingrid Barker said: “We value the League of Friends because they are genuine friends, offering great support as well as much needed links and networks with the local community. This is hugely appreciated.” 

In another local connection, the equipment was provided by Stonehouse-based company Xograph.