Better support for people in city care homes

Portsmouth’s Enhanced Care Home Team is providing better support for people living in Portsmouth care homes.

The multi-agency scheme pilot is expanding to cover more homes and improve the health outcomes for scores of vulnerable, older people – easing pressure on the local NHS.

Whereas previously if a care home resident fell poorly, a GP or nurse could be called out to see them, there is now far more emphasis put on pro-active care, involving a fully integrated approach which includes a core team of a GP, pharmacist, community nurses and care home staff, with a supporting team on standby when needed such as mental health nurses and a occupational therapist.

The service benefits include:

  • improved continuity of care,
  • improved patient safety through better clinical outcomes,
  • increased satisfaction of residents and their carers with the service,
  • reduction in urgent care usage,
  • a reduction in wasted/overprescribed medicines,
  • better trained care home staff.

The initiative, funded by the Portsmouth MCP (Multispeciality Care Provider) and BCF (Better Care Fund) to help health and social care organisations to provide new models of care, is a joint project involving NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Solent NHS Trust, the Portsmouth Primary Care Alliance and Portsmouth City Council.

Pictured left to right, top row, are – Pam Macpherson (pharmacist technician), Quadri Olaniyan (pharmacist care home), Maria Rodrigues (deputy manager, Oak Grange), Morwenna Fenner (pharmacist technician); mid row – Carmen Palimaru (nurse, Solent NHS Trust); front row left to right – Charisma Williams (Home Manager, Oak Grange), Camilla Evans (GP) and Samantha Reilly (pharmacist).

“Positive Minds” – a new type of support for mental and emotional wellbeing in Portsmouth

A new way of supporting people’s mental and emotional wellbeing will soon be up and running in Portsmouth.

Positive Minds logo

During Mental Health Awareness Week 2019, the city’s NHS has confirmed that the new service will be called ‘Positive Minds’ – that was the preferred choice of almost 300 people who responded to a survey asking for their views on the name of the new service, how it might work, and the range of services it would offer.

Positive Minds is a partnership between Portsmouth CCG, Solent NHS Trust and Solent Mind, the local mental health charity. The service is set to open in a central location in the city in the autumn. The facility will offer a mix of booked and drop-in slots, combining both mental health professionals and ‘peer supporters’ – people with personal experience of living through periods of mental and emotional difficulties.

It is intended to look and feel very different to traditional NHS services whilst providing a welcoming and supportive atmosphere. This will give people somewhere they feel able to turn to when they face periods of distress in their lives which might feel overwhelming.

The service is part of the wider “Health and Care Portsmouth” programme. This involves key NHS and social care services and organisations working much more closely together, to give city residents better, more joined up support than has been the case in the past.

Dr Nick Moore, a Portsmouth GP and the mental health clinical lead for NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group said: “When we face distress in our lives, we need a place to turn. There are huge amounts of people who live through difficult times, and who might pay a price for that in terms of their mental and emotional health. Positive Minds is a new type of health care service that can offer people a safe environment which will provide support before they reach a crisis point.

“We know that a one-size-fits-all model doesn’t work. Positive Minds can offer professional help and support, where you are safe, heard, and able to take the first steps towards a more hopeful future. It’s also a place where you can meet others who have similar experiences and understand how you feel.

“The local NHS, the city council, and the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector are all signed up to working together to give people that flexible, open service. There is work underway to improve other mental health services as well, but Positive Minds will be a fantastic new option for people, when it opens later this year.”

Solent NHS Trust has announced the winner of its inaugural Nurse of the Year Award.

Vanessa Bull, a Learning Disability Nurse, was presented with the award at Solent NHS Trust’s Celebrating Nursing conference today, Friday 10 May 2019.

Vanessa Bull and Sue Harriman

The award gave patients and Solent colleagues the opportunity to recognise those who really make a difference and is part of Solent NHS Trust’s celebration of International Nurses Day 2019 on Sunday 12 May.

Vanessa works within the Jigsaw team based at Southampton Civic Offices, which supports disabled children and young people as well as their families.

She is described by her colleagues as someone who always goes the extra mile and is truly passionate about getting the best outcomes for the children that she works with.

The panel of patients, volunteers and staff, selected Vanessa for her high standards, superb care that she provides to patients and her humble and impressive attitude.

On receiving the award, Vanessa said: “It was very unexpected, but it was lovely to win the award. All the nominees were amazing and everyone does such a fantastic job so it makes the award extra special.”

Solent NHS Trust Chief Nurse Jackie Ardley said: “We are very fortunate to have some incredible people working within Solent. The panel read through many fantastic nominations and it was such a difficult decision to choose a winner.

“It is with great pleasure that I congratulate the winner – Vanessa Bull – for her phenomenal work, particularly over the last 12 months. Vanessa clearly demonstrated the Solent values and shows outstanding innovation, compassion, as well as excellence.

“The conference was such a wonderful event and it was a pleasure to be able to recognise everyone’s hard work and dedication across the day. All our nurses have been pivotal in helping us achieve an ‘outstanding’ rating at providing caring services in our recent Care Quality Commission report. Together we can continue to learn and keep even more people safe and well at, or close to, home.

“We had 11 nurses shortlisted for the award, and just to be shortlisted is such a great achievement. All the nominees should be incredibly proud of themselves.”

All nurses, both registered and non-registered and working in Solent services, were eligible for a nomination.

New senior appointment to help integration drive

Suzannah Rosenberg has been appointed to the role of Solent NHS Trust’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer in the Portsmouth and South East Care Group.

Suzannah will devote approximately four days a week to her new job, but will also continue to play a senior role at NHS Portsmouth CCG for the remaining day a week, where she is currently Director of Quality and Commissioning.

When the vacancy arose, both Solent and the CCG were very keen to make a joint appointment if possible, to reflect the way that city organisations are increasingly working closely together to deliver the Health and Care Portsmouth agenda.

Suzannah’s new title will be Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Director of Transition, and she will formally begin work in this role in July. She will also continue to lead on mental health commissioning for the city, and as senior responsible officer for the Integrated Care Partnership Mental Health Programme.

Suzannah said: “I have worked closely with Solent in my role at the CCG, and I believe that this new joint role offers a perfect opportunity for me to progress the work to improve and integrate services in the city. I hope that the joint nature of the role will enable me to play a part in delivering the result that we all want to see, which is integrated, person-centred services which provide the best possible support for those who rely on them.”

Sarah Austin, Solent Chief Operating Officer and Commercial Director, said: “This is an exciting and innovative approach that further removes borders between organisations and functions and will support the approach we would wish to see increasingly in the Integrated Care Partnership. I know everyone will welcome and support Suzannah in her new role.”

A new service for Portsmouth – what you told us

We are planning a new service for Portsmouth, which is intended to offer a different way of supporting people’s emotional and mental health.

The service will offer both booked and ‘drop-in’ slots, with both professionals and peer supporters. We wanted to check in with city residents whether we were on the right track, and what you thought of a couple of possible names.

Almost 300 people responded to our survey, and a quick summary of the headline findings can be seen here.

Local NHS team sets the national standard for improving foot care for patients with diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in the UK and its prevalence is increasing.

In 2013, there were almost 2.9 million people in the UK diagnosed with diabetes. By 2025, it is estimated that more than 5 million people in the UK will have diabetes.

In England, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes increased by approximately 53% between 2006 and 2013, from 1.9 million to 2.9 million. The life expectancy of people with diabetes is shortened by up to 15 years, and 75% die of complications i.e. stroke and heart disease.
The risk of foot problems in people with diabetes is increased, largely because of either diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage or degeneration) or peripheral arterial disease (poor blood supply due to diseased large and medium sized blood vessels in the legs), or both.

Peripheral arterial disease affects 1 in 3 people with diabetes over the age of 50. Diabetes is the most common cause of non traumatic limb amputation, with diabetic foot ulcers preceding more than 80% of amputations in people with diabetes. After a first amputation, people with diabetes are twice as likely to have a subsequent amputation as people without diabetes.

Mortality rates after diabetic foot ulceration and amputation are high, with up to 70% of people dying within 5 years of amputation and around 50% dying within 5 years of developing a diabetic foot ulcer.
If the early signs of an ulcer developing are not picked up or acted upon swiftly, the possibility of more significant problems leading to amputation can occur.
Against this background, a team from the Wessex Cardio-Vascular Network which is based in the local Southampton office of NHS England and covers Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Dorset, reviewed all local services for good practice and to identify potential gaps in service. The aim of this was to reduce the overall incidence of patients’ suffering from ulceration and amputation.
The team’s work has now been recognised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the body which provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care. NICE has published this work as the standard foot care guidance that should be followed by clinicians nationally, when providing care to people with diabetes.
As part of the National Diabetes Treatment and Care Programme, NHS England invested £42 million in 2017/18 in proposals to improve the treatment and care of people with diabetes, and is one of four key priority areas targeted by NHS England for diabetes transformation funding.
Sally Rickard, Associate Director, Clinical Senate and Networks, NHS England South, said: ” The team here, working with a number of our clinical colleagues across the area, have done a fantastic job in standardising what is now acknowledged by NICE as the best, standard practice for providing foot care to diabetic patients. This work will make a tremendous difference to patients, and at the same time will save the NHS significant time and money, through improved efficiency and effectiveness. We are all very proud of their achievement.”

Around 20,000 patients use Portsmouth’s new 24/7 primary care service

Portsmouth’s new 24/7 Integrated Primary Care Service (IPCS) has already had more than 20,000 patient contacts.
The service, launched at the end of June 2018, offers patients registered with a city GP practice improved choice and access to out-of-hours care.

It has linked three services for patients needing urgent out-of-hospital care – the Acute Visiting Service (AVS); the extended access service and out-of-hours provision.

New figures show that the number of people accessing the service is around 3,000 a month on average.

More than 19,000 patients have used the Extended Access and Out of Hours scheme – around 40% of whom have required a face-to-face appointment, with the others “managed virtually” – by advice or prescription over the phone.

And nearly 2,600 patients have benefited from the Acute Visiting Service. Of the 332 home visits undertaken on behalf of GP practices in December 2018, 95% were managed by the visiting GP in their own home, many of whom will have avoided conveyance to hospital.

Of the 162 patients (7% response) who have so far responded to a new virtual patient feedback mechanism, 96% recommended the service.

Patients particularly praised the quick response time to speak to or see a clinician, the positive attitude, kindness and compassion of staff, the fact that they felt listened to, and that they received treatment when it was needed.

You can read the full story on the CCG website here.

Southampton and Portsmouth awarded funding to tackle mental health stigma

Portsmouth and Southampton have been selected as one of eight areas in England to tackle mental health stigma locally after winning a bid to become one of 2019’s Time to Change Hubs.

Time to Change Southampton & Portsmouth will work to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems. It is an exciting partnership between Portsmouth and Southampton City Councils, local mental health charity Solent Mind and local people who are Time to Change Champions.  The Hub will support communities, workplaces and schools to end negative attitudes and behaviours towards people experiencing mental health problems in their communities.

Anna Fiers, a local Time to Change Champion, says, “I am thrilled at the news. As a Time to Change Champion, having access to the Hub will make it easier for me to connect with other champions, organise events and work together on voicing our important message.”

Each funded Hub is provided with £15,000 start-up budget along with £10,000 for a Champions Fund where local champions can bid for funding to run stigma-busting events and activities within their area.

Kevin Gardner, Solent Mind CEO, says, “I am delighted that Solent Mind is working in partnership with Southampton and Portsmouth City Councils to bring a Time to Change Hub to our area. This is a wonderful opportunity to achieve genuine change around how we think and talk about mental health. We will be harnessing the power of people’s personal experiences to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination.”

Councillor David Shields, Cabinet Member for Health and Community Wellbeing, Southampton City Council, said, “This is great news for our city. Being a Time to Change Hub will enable us to build on the good work taking place at the council and in our communities, and particularly, in ensuring that those with lived experience can use their skills and talents to lead local action on tackling mental health stigma. Mental health issues affect one in four of us, and touches many of us throughout our lives. That’s why we need to engage with all sections of society — families,  businesses, education establishments, public services, community organisations, unions and faith groups – to address stigma and discrimination ‎in our city.

“Southampton City Council has demonstrated a strong commitment to tackling mental health stigma for a number of years, including our support of Time to Talk Day and signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge last year, to address mental health issues in the workplace.”

Councillor Matthew Winnington, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at Portsmouth City Council, said, “I’m thrilled that Portsmouth and Southampton have jointly been chosen to become a Time to Change Hub. There is still a lot of misunderstanding and stigma around mental health and it’s an issue that I’m passionate about. Through becoming a Time to Change Hub we’ve got a real opportunity to get people across the city talking about mental health, and in doing so positively change how people think and act around it.

“To further demonstrate our commitment to supporting people with their mental health I’m pleased to be taking on the role of Mental Health & Wellbeing Champion within the council and am looking forward to this being one of many projects we’re involved in to make it easier for people in the city to look after their mental health and wellbeing.”

Time to Change, the national campaign run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, launched its first regional Hubs in March 2017.

The announcement of eight further funded Hubs, including Portsmouth and Southampton, is part of the campaign’s three year plan to establish a network across England to provide a focus for local campaigning work.

Take part in helping to shape health and care schemes in Portsmouth.

Can you spare some time to help design better care for Portsmouth people?

The NHS and Portsmouth City Council are working on a series of projects that will help shape the way health and care is delivered in the city. But rather than just giving your feedback, we want to work differently so that you are involved from an earlier stage to really help design care around the patient.
Two sessions are currently being arranged to provide more information on how we will work together and further details on two projects we have in mind will also be discussed. Once the group is set up we would hope to work with you for up to 18 months on different projects.

The two sessions are due to take place in the week beginning Monday March 18, and are likely to take up to five hours on each of the days. Refreshments, including lunch, will be provided and you will be reimbursed for any travel expense.

Coming to both sessions is desirable so you are able to fully understand how this new way of working will be carried out.

The two projects we would initially like to talk to you about are:

  • a long term conditions hub focusing on people recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes or those who have a chronic respiratory disease such as asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  •  a mental health support service that aims to help people facing a wide range of challenges such as bereavement, work-related stress, isolation and loneliness or a relationship breakdown

Anyone living with or having had experience with these will undoubtedly have an immense amount of knowledge on which areas work well in health care, but also where changes can be made.
This is a great opportunity to get involved and help shape the way a health and care service works. Whether that’s input from a patient point of view, help to make language used easier to understand, or making sure we are sharing the right information – we want to hear from you.

To find out more please contact Jo Atkinson on

or call (023) 9289 9541


Health and care survey returns – have your say!

The 2019 Different Conversations survey is now open and we need your input!

The way we deliver health and social care is changing. Part of this change is about making sure that the people we support receive personalised care that works for them. This survey will help improve our understanding of how confident the people of Portsmouth are about making choices about their own care.

The survey is available for individuals and carers, with individuals rating their own care and carers completing it with the view of them being the carer for someone else and how their knowledge, skills and confidence supports the individual they care for. In 2018 140 individuals completed the survey, with 24 carers also taking part –  Portsmouth City Council and Portsmouth CCG are working together to carry out the 2019 Different Conversations survey, hoping to involve even more participants this year in order to get an even better idea of patient activation levels in Portsmouth.

To take the survey now, click here

For more information on this survey and why understanding levels of patient activation is important, please visit the NHS website here