BSW Together - Issue 3 February 2021
Roving Vaccine For Boaters
An initiative to increase the uptake of flu vaccinations for the boating community across BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire has seen an innovative pilot be tested with a roving vaccine programme being offered to the boating community. There has been a real focus in these meetings to both tackle health inequalities in the local area and provide innovative thinking around the delivery of services. Unfortunately, delivery of those services has had to be different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Flu is noted as being one of the direct effects of winter weather. Public Health England have noted that the following groups are at a greater risk of harm during times of cold weather, many of whom will also be at greater risk of severe illness from Covid-19:
- Those living in cold homes or experiencing fuel poverty
- People with cognitive impairment, mental health conditions or learning difficulties
- People in deprived circumstances
- People experiencing homeless or rough sleeping
- People with coexisting health problems particularly asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease(COPD) (list not exhaustive)
Currently, homeless men and women are offered flu vaccinations through Homeless Healthcare delivered by Heart of Bath Medical Partnership but little is known about the need or uptake of flu vaccinations in the boater and traveller communities.
A working group consisting of Julian House, Virgin Care and Public Health B&NES was set up in order to scope the issue and work together to find a solution. As this group evolved, Heart of Bath Medical Partnership, BSW CCG and Public Health teams across BSW became involved.
The working group have identified that making a wider offer across all of the relevant communities is required. Alongside this, the group identified that working within the communities, alongside trusted professionals could also have a positive impact. Another point raised by the group was that future discussions would require a different thought process in order to overcome any potential barriers that currently exist.
In December, outreach and engagement was undertaken at Dundas Basin during which first aid packs were distributed. In total 16 packs were given out during the engagement work. There was a very positive response to the concept of flu clinics at Dundas Basin. The vast majority of people we spoke to were positive about Covid-19 vaccination with many saying they would have it when offered (this is not necessarily a representative sample).
Feedback and recommendations from clinicians and recipients alike included:
Dr Fraser Head (GP) who said: "The biggest issue that came up was accessing healthcare... I agree that there is clearly a large unmet need regarding healthcare...."
Dr Sarah Wattley (Public Health) commented: “This pilot gave us an opportunity to think differently. Sometimes this is hard and we certainly faced challenges, but it is by doing things differently that we can uncover new opportunities to deliver services, improve care and reduce inequalities.”
Following the success of these clinics, a number of recommendations have been made:
- Advocating for access within the existing systems including working with GP practices to ensure seldom heard from groups health rights are maintained
- Thinking innovatively for seldom-heard from groups and acknowledging that this is more than just an access issue
- Continue to engage and build trusted relationships
- Specific commissioning of services for the population to reduce health inequalities
- General services- for example outreach clinics on the canal
- Specific services- particularly vaccination and screening services, Covid-19 testing, Covid-19 vaccines
Young People and Mental Health During Lockdown
A group of young people have volunteered their time during the Covid-19 pandemic to help Healthwatch Wiltshire review online mental health services.
The idea for the project came about after young people told Healthwatch Wiltshire that being able to access information and make informed choices was important to them. The Healthwatch Wiltshire team worked with the group to design a mystery shopping exercise, focusing on what online mental support is available locally to children and young people.
The group met online regularly to come up with a checklist of criteria, before carrying out detailed reviews of selected websites in their own time.
They considered how easy it was to navigate these websites and what information was available on them about a variety of topics, keeping records about what they found was good and what they thought could be improved.
Two of the young people involved in the mystery shop attended Wiltshire’s Health and Wellbeing Board to talk about the project and were pleased that their efforts were recognised by the health and social care leaders in Wiltshire.
The group are now meeting again to collate the results and put together a report of their findings. These will be shared with providers of services with the aim of supporting them to develop their services in line with young peoples’ points of view.
Healthwatch Wiltshire Board Member Joanna Wittels who supported the project said:
“I have really enjoyed working with our young volunteers on the mental health mystery shop project. Their hard work, thoughtfulness, dedication and empathy has been inspiring and it has been a pleasure to see their skills and confidence develop through their involvement with Healthwatch.”
If you’re aged 14-25 and have something to say about the health and social care services you use, join Healthwatch Wiltshire’s team of young volunteers and help make a difference in your community. Find out more about how you can get involved at healthwatchwiltshire.co.uk/young-healthwatch-wiltshire.
'Mystery shoppers' share their experiences
Here, the young people talk about their involvement in the project:
“I had my exams cancelled by Covid-19, so I decided that I had the time to take part. Mental health and wellbeing is an important subject to me, and I wanted to help and perhaps make the support and information better in my area.”
“I decided to be involved in this project as it has been my ambition for years to
be able to help those suffering from mental health issues and this was a brilliant way to start.”
“This experience has changed my perspective on how I should approach new websites and services in the future and I really hope my findings can make some kind of a difference.”
“I have personally felt quite empowered as a young person taking part in this study. It often feels that information for children is more information for parents, or the information is not accessible for young people. So, by taking part in this study as a young person I feel that I can hopefully make a difference for young people in my area.”
Mental Health Forum members produce their own guide to support Services
Members of the Wiltshire Mental Health Open Forum worked together to compile the Wiltshire Mental Health and Wellbeing Support Services list, which details where adults, children and young people can get support, counselling, and advice on topics such as addiction, bereavement and homelessness.
Set up in July 2020, the forum is a joint collaboration between Healthwatch Wiltshire and mental health service provider Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP).
The free online chat, which runs once a month, provides a unique opportunity for people to speak directly to those who run mental health services in Wiltshire, talking about their experiences and sharing their ideas for ways services could be improved.
One member said: "I found, as a mental health service user, it was especially useful to learn more about the different organisations that are out there and to be able to contribute my opinions and ideas and for them to be listened to by professionals. Being part of the creation of the list was very exciting."
Visit Wiltshire Mental Health Open Forum to find out more and to download the Wiltshire Mental Health and Wellbeing Support Services list.
Our Health Our Future Citizens Panel - Latest Survey Results
The Our Health, Our Future (OHOF) Panel is a way for us to engage with those living in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire to get their views on health and care issues. With the help of Jungle Green, we have successfully run four surveys, the results of which can be found on our website. Click the link below for the latest survey results:
As well as the survey results, the Covid-19 vaccination programme is underway now in BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire, and there is a section of the BSW CCG’s website dedicated to answering any and all questions about the vaccination programme.
Wiltshire Co-Production Workshop
We are working with social care, the voluntary sector, Healthwatch Wiltshire, Wiltshire Centre for independent Living and representatives of communities within Wiltshire to establish a user involvement platform. This was the first workshop where we facilitated a co-production event to better understand the needs, preferences and perspectives of the Wilshire population. The meeting was co led by Elizabeth Disney the Chief Operating Officer for the Wiltshire locality and Emma Frost the Public Insight & Engagement Manager for the CCG.
GP Patient Satisfaction Survey
Some randomly-selected patients will soon be invited to take part in a national survey about their experiences of their GP practice.
The survey covers issues that concern patients, such as access to care and satisfaction with treatment.
If you receive a questionnaire, please help NHS England by filling it in as soon as possible.
It is really important that we hear your views, even if you have received a questionnaire like this before. Your response will help us to improve GP practices and other local NHS services so they better meet your needs.
Opening Doors: a conversation about the Covid-19 vaccine.
Siddharth Patel, Chairman of Hindu Samaj in Swindon and his mother Nirmalaben D Patel kindly shared her experience of receiving the Covid-19 vaccination and her initial fears about the jab. This was predominantly due to the fear of falling ill as she had after previously having the flu jab. It was her grandchildren who urged Nirmalaben to be vaccinated and after agreeing, she had her jab at The Steam Museum in Swindon.
Initially Nirmalabenfelt a bit achy and sleepy but soon recovered and has been advocating to her friends to have the jab, which they all have now had. She is glad she has had it and will be having her second jab when called. Below is a transcript of our interview with Nirmalaben.
We would like to thank Nirmalaben for sharing her story and encouraging others from her community to have the jab.
We are also hosting a virtual vaccine event on 4 March, which you are invited to come along to. Opening Doors: a conversation about Covid-19 vaccination will be a dedicated session for BAME communities across BSW to ask their questions about the vaccines and for these to be answered by a panel of expert speakers.
Interview with Nirmalaben D Patel (Quotes in English with Gujarati translations.)
When I take a flu vaccination, I always fall sick and I was afraid that this also might make me sick.
જ્યારે હું ફ્લૂની રસી લેઉં છું, ત્યારે હું હંમેશાં બીમાર પડું છું અને મને ડર હતો કે આ પણ મને બીમાર કરશે.
Jyārē huṁ phlūnī rasī lē'uṁ chuṁ, tyārē huṁ hammēśāṁ bīmāra paḍuṁ chuṁ anē manē ḍara hatō kē ā paṇa manē bīmāra karaśē.
I was worried about the vaccine containing eggs.
હું ઇંડાવાળા રસી વિશે ચિંતિત હતો.
Huṁ iṇḍāvāḷā rasī viśē cintita hatō.
My grandchildren told me it would be good to take the vaccine.
મારા પૌત્રોએ મને કહ્યું કે રસી લેવી સારી રહેશે.
Mārā pautrō'ē manē kahyuṁ kē rasī lēvī sārī rahēśē.
I had a headache and felt sleepy after my first injection, but I was fine the next day.
મારો માથાનો દુખાવો હતો અને મારો પ્રથમ ઈન્જેક્શન પછી yંઘની લાગણી હતી, પરંતુ બીજા દિવસે હું ઠીક હતો.
Mārō māthānō dukhāvō hatō anē mārō prathama īnjēkśana pachī yṅghanī lāgaṇī hatī, parantu bījā divasē huṁ ṭhīka hatō.
Yes, everybody should have this injection.
હા, દરેકને આ ઇન્જેક્શન હોવું જોઈએ.
Hā, darēkanē ā injēkśana hōvuṁ jō'ī'ē.
Spoken to my friends about the injection, they have all had the first injection and are all OK.
મારા મિત્રો સાથે ઈન્જેક્શન વિશે વાત કરી, તેઓએ સૌ પ્રથમ ઇન્જેક્શન લીધું હતું અને બધુ ઠીક છે.
Mārā mitrō sāthē īnjēkśana viśē vāta karī, tē'ō'ē sau prathama injēkśana līdhuṁ hatuṁ anē badhu ṭhīka chē.
Covid 19 Pandemic - One Year On
At Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living we are facilitating a project called “Tales from the Town; Celebrating Strength in the Community”. The aim of this co-produced project is to help encourage a continuation of the kindness in the community that has been shown in Devizes during the first lockdown and beyond, by raising awareness of how other people have coped - or not. We particularly hope to hear from people who’ve faced some form of isolation not just during but before the pandemic too, in order to address it as we move forward. We would also like to generate more understanding of how the last year has been especially difficult in many ways for people with disabilities or health issues. All stories are welcome, as they all have something to contribute whether it’s through positive or negative learning.
If anyone would like to use this chance to have their voice heard, then we’d love to help them get their story out there to encourage the understanding and compassion needed to help build a kinder, more inclusive community together. Although the project is based in the Devizes area, we have recently opened it up to anyone one across Wiltshire with lived experience of isolation who would really like to make people aware of the experiences that they’ve had and their hopes for a more inclusive community in the future. The stories will be shared online and through an interactive display in town, and finally the stories will be handed to Wiltshire Museum to be put in to the archives as a history of the people.
Stories can be typed, written, orally or video recorded online, or any other form of story a person may wish to contribute, we are always open to new ideas! If anyone wishes to do an oral recording or video recording in person then we will be facilitating those once we are able to in line with government guidance, so please get in touch with the Centre. There is some guidance if you would like to record your own story, where you can also see our flyer, plus an example of a “meme” we’ve made, and a template of suggested prompts if someone isn’t sure where to start with their story telling. If anyone has any questions about how they can tell their story then we are happy to be contacted directly either by email or phone.
LGBTQ+ History Month
LGBTQ+ is a month-long annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and non-binary history, including the history of LGBT+ rights and related civil rights movements. In the United Kingdom it is celebrated in February each year, to coincide with the 2003 abolition of Section 28 which you can find out more about in this article.
This year marks the eleventh year of celebrating LGBTQ+ history month across the UK and the theme is Body, Mind, Spirit.
In support and recognition of this, we will share an LGBTQ+ fact each week with our CCG staff throughout February.
If you don’t already, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter where we’ll also be celebrating LGBTQ+ history month. You can find us @NHSBSWCCG
Latest Covid-19 Update
For the latest news and updates on the Covid-19 pandemic visit our live Covid-19 pages.