Welcome to this month’s blog.
I’ll begin by thanking everyone who made nominations for the People’s STAR award in this year’s Special Thanks And Recognition (STAR) Awards. Twenty three GPs and members of GP practice staff were nominated for going the extra mile to provide high quality patient care. You can read the list of nominees here and the winner will be announced at the STAR Awards 2018 ceremony on 21 September. Good luck to all our nominees!
September marks the start of a new term and lots of change to deal with for school age children and young people across the borough. While thinking about this, the recent news stories about the state of children’s mental health across the UK struck a chord. The emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people is just as important as their physical health and here in Rochdale borough I’m proud to say there is a lot of work going on to make a difference to the lives of those living and growing up here.
The Rochdale Borough Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Transformation Plan sets out how we are enhancing and improving the mental health and emotional wellbeing support available for children and young people locally. The #Thrive service that we commission is there for anyone up to the age of 19 years who is feeling worried, angry or upset; stressed about school or exams; experiencing bullying or relationship worries; or just feeling a bit low and not enjoying things. The team, which is based at a hub called Around the Corner, on Drake St, Rochdale, offers emotional health and wellbeing support in a variety of ways – read more and find contact details and opening hours here. Timely, high quality and accessible emotional and mental health support is vital to helping our children and young people to reach their true potential and you can read more about the support services available locally on our website here.
This month we have entered a new stage of the project called Share For You which is enabling people living in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale to benefit from new technology that will allow their health and social care records to be shared securely with professionals involved in their care. At the moment, your GP records can be viewed by authorised health or social care professionals securely as part of a treatment plan. These records are currently shared by phone, fax and through paper records, which are not efficient. A new digital care record solution called Graphnet CareCentric will allow this to go a stage further. Using CareCentric, local care providers will be able to view each other’s up-to-date records, providing the fullest picture of your health and social care needs possible. This means that better and faster clinical decisions can be made about your care. This results in you being treated quicker, without being asked the same questions over and over again. Sharing information makes care safer as clinicians and care professionals will have all of the information (e.g. details of allergies or current medication) which will reduce the chance of errors being made. You can read more about Share For You here.
It’s been great to see that local health-related projects we are funding through our Social Investment Fund (SIF) are going from strength to strength. In July Kashmir Youth Project (KYP) held successful cancer awareness workshops for South Asian women focussing on breast and cervical cancer, and men focussing on bowel, prostate and lung cancer. You may have seen in the news Sarah Park from Milnrow’s story about being diagnosed with dementia at 39 years of age. Sarah is a member of the Littleborough Lions’ Early Onset Dementia Peer Support Group, which this year we are funding. And last month, five care homes in Rochdale borough each took delivery of five chicks as part of Crossroads Together’s Social Hen Homes Project designed to improve wellbeing in older people in care home settings. Read how the project is helping to tackle loneliness and depression in older people locally here.
Finally this month I’m delighted to welcome Peter Riley to the CCG’s Governing Body as Lay Member for Integrated Risk. In this role as Peter will be leading on integrated risk management and supporting the delegated arrangements for primary care. He will be on the board at the next Governing Body meeting which is being held on Friday 21 September – read the agenda and papers here. The meeting is held in public and local residents are invited to attend and see for themselves how we plan and buy local health services. If you can’t make it, follow us on Twitter @NHSHMR for live tweets giving an overview of items being discussed and decisions made.
Thanks for reading
Dr Chris Duffy