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  1. Healthwatch Oldham 100
  2. Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust News - 
    The Royal Oldham counts the cost of missed patient appointments

  3. Northern Care Alliance NHS Group - 
    Oldham couple raise vital funds for Royal Oldham Hospital maternity units

  4. Northern Care Alliance NHS Group - 
    Pharmacy Team at The Royal Oldham Hospital helps speed up discharge from hospital for Oldham patients
  5. Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership - 
    New campaign launched to help tens of thousands more Greater Manchester smokers to quit

  6. NHS England - 
    Urgent same day care to spend half a million more patients unecessary hospital stays as part of the NHS Long Term Plan

  7. BBC News - 
    Check NHS Cancer, A&E, Ops and Mental Health Targets in your area...

  8. North West Ambulance Service - 
    External Communications and Reputation Survey

  9. North West Ambulance Service - 
    NWAS increase mental health support for staff

  10. Northern Care Alliance NHS Group - 
    GDE Fast Follower funding agreement announcement - £10m digital health programme for local NHS gets go ahead

  11. Oldham Athletic FC Community Trust - 
    Prostate Cancer Appeal PSA Testing Event

  12. App of the Week - 
    Baby Buddy

  13. Follow us on Twitter

Healthwatch Oldham 100

Planned changes to Health and Social Care Services will affect local people across Oldham. So it is important that the views of local people shape these changes and that’s why we need YOU the people who use services now, or in the future, to get involved.  

The Healthwatch Oldham 100 Project is simple and straightforward. We would like at least 100 residents of Oldham to sign up to receive a regular short survey on health and social care services. The information we collect will be anonymous, so you can be completely open and honest, and you can opt out at any time.  

Registering is quick so if you are interested please contact and thank you! 

You find out more and follow us through the following:

Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust News -

The Royal Oldham counts the cost of missed patient appointments

The Royal Oldham Hospital is asking patients who are unable to attend their hospital appointment to do the right thing; cancel or rearrange it and free up the slot for other patients, after recent data highlighted the financial cost of patients not attending.
Recent research has shown that missed appointments cost the hospital at least £2.7million a year, based on figures which show that 13% of patients failed to attend their appointment at The Royal Oldham. Figures show that 22,158 patients missed their appointment from a total of 120,133 available clinic slots.
These figures highlight a waste of resources and clinic appointments, which could be used to reduce waiting times for other patients. That’s why the hospital is urging patients to cancel or rearrange their appointment if they are unable to attend.
Nicola Firth, Director of Nursing and Interim Chief Officer at The Royal Oldham Hospital (pictured), said:
“There are many reasons why patients might not be able to attend their appointment and we’ll do our very best to help them reschedule their appointment for a more suitable time. It’s incredibly important that we don’t waste the appointment slots that we have available given the pressures our hospitals experience financially and in terms of waiting times for appointments. We’re urging patients to let us know as soon as possible if they are unable to attend their appointment, so that we can offer the slot to another patient. Many slots are often wasted simply because we don’t have enough notice to offer the slot up to other patients.”
An average appointment costs at least £120 and every time an appointment is missed, the costs of DNAs or ‘Did Not Attends’ adds up. Figures at The Royal Oldham show that 12% of patients fail to show up for their first appointment and almost 13% for follow up appointments. Unfortunately, this figure reflects a similar trend in hospitals across England. Figures from the NHS Confederation suggest that 5.8million appointments were missed in the year to September 2018, which cost the NHS around £700million.
The Royal Oldham Hospital is undertaking more research to understand the reasons why patients don’t attend their appointment and is looking at ways it can better support patients to cancel or reschedule their appointment.
In the meantime, the Trust is urging patients to help the NHS to make the best use of available resources by cancelling or rearranging any appointments they can’t attend. They can do this by calling the Trust’s Booking and Scheduling team on:
0161 778 2233.
For any media enquiries, please contact Josie Neil, Communications and Engagement Lead on:
0161 627 8703 or by e-mail:

Northern Care Alliance NHS Group -

Oldham couple raise vital funds for Royal Oldham Hospital maternity units

Losing a baby can be one of the toughest things that a parent ever has to face, but one brave couple from Oldham have used the loss of their son Dexter to support other parents on the maternity units at The Royal Oldham Hospital by fundraising with family and friends.
Parents Jessica and Michael Greaves sadly lost their son Dexter when Jessica was 15 weeks pregnant.
Jessica explains:
“We sadly lost our baby Dexter when I was 15 weeks pregnant and we couldn’t really understand why he had passed away. The nurses at the hospital were very supportive. It was only when we were discussing our loss and we were trying to come to terms with losing Dexter that one of the nurses recommended that we visit Dexter’s Garden in the hospital grounds.
“We thought that the idea of a baby memorial garden on the hospital grounds was a lovely idea and the fact that it was called Dexter’s Garden really touched us. It’s a really special space, where you can go and have a quiet moment to reflect and remember your child. After hearing about Dexter’s Garden, that spurred Michael and I to show our support for other parents on the maternity units by doing some fundraising.”

Dexter’s Garden is a special baby memorial garden set up for all bereaved families as a quiet space for families to pause, reflect and remember the children they have sadly lost. It was launched at The Royal Oldham Hospital in October 2018 and was set up by Katie Bowker, a Midwife in the Maternity Department. The project is a personal one, which is very close to Katie’s heart, and a tribute to her son Dexter, who passed away shortly after birth in November 2016.
Katie said:
“The idea behind Dexter’s Garden is to provide a special place for families who have lost a baby at any stage of pregnancy and after birth. My aim was to provide a safe, quiet place for families where they can reflect, mourn and pay tribute to their angel babies – a place that is calm, serene and beautiful.”
The £330 donation raised by Jessica and Michael for the hospital’s maternity units will be used to support families and purchase equipment. It will be split between Ward F1, F2 and Dexter’s Garden.
Support for families affected by the loss of a baby or child is available from SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity) at: or by calling: 0808 164 3332. Alternatively, parents can seek confidential bereavement support by contacting The Lullaby Trust at: or by calling: 0808 802 6868.

Northern Care Alliance NHS Group -

Pharmacy Team at The Royal Oldham Hospital helps speed up discharge from hospital for Oldham patients

The Pharmacy Team at The Royal Oldham Hospital are working with ward nurses and doctors to help speed up the time it takes for patients to be discharged from hospital.
The Pharmacy Team have launched a dedicated new surgical pharmacy discharge team, who are working closely with the ward staff across five busy surgical wards to ensure that patients who are ready for discharge receive their discharge prescriptions and return home more quickly.
The team have changed the way that they work and now host daily morning huddles to review and understand the day’s workload before working with staff on surgical wards to find out who is going home, to ensure that discharge prescriptions are written correctly, received promptly and dispensed as quickly as possible.
Hafsa Sattar, Senior Surgical Pharmacist from the Pharmacy Team explains:
“There are many factors involved in the discharge process from when a patient is told that they can go home.  Since Pharmacy are at the end of that process and there can be many valid reasons for any possible delays in the patient’s discharge prescription being prepared, our Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians are working directly with ward doctors and nurses to help speed up this process and ensure that patients don’t have to wait too long for their discharge prescription and can return home more quickly.
“The main change that we’ve introduced is working on the ward from a mobile pharmacy trolley, which contains the most common medicines that are required for patients following surgery. Since we introduced these changes in September, over 70% of the discharge prescriptions we dispense are done at ward level and this speeds up the time it takes to get a patient’s prescription agreed, checked and dispensed, thereby reducing the time patients have to wait before going home.
“We’ve found the other benefit is the fact we are reducing the cost of dispensing medications that patients may already have at home. Being on the ward means we are able to communicate directly with patients to reconcile the medication they already have with the medication we need to dispense as part of their discharge prescription.”

The Pharmacy Team have also recruited a dedicated Medicine Management Assistant (MMA), who is responsible for managing and discharging the discharge prescriptions. It is hoped that this new role on the team will further help to speed up the time it takes to dispense discharge prescriptions for patients. The new MMA will work directly with patients to advise them about the medication they have received, to ensure that medication is taken correctly following discharge.
Feedback on the changes from ward staff and patients has been overwhelmingly positive, with many patients saying they are pleased about the fact they have to wait less time for their discharge prescriptions to be dispensed before they return home.
For any media enquiries, please contact Josie Neil, Communications and Engagement Lead on: 0161 627 8703 or by e-mail:

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership -

New campaign launched to help tens of thousands more Greater Manchester smokers to quit

A major new campaign to encourage smokers in Greater Manchester to quit is to be launched on National No Smoking Day (13 March).  

The new ‘exsmoker’ campaign centres on the real life experiences of former smokers from across Greater Manchester, providing a positive message that you can stop smoking.
While reminding smokers of the serious health impacts of tobacco, the focus is more on the personal benefits of quitting, as experienced by these local residents.
They include Jacub Sabo-Dutten, of Stockport, who started smoking at the age of twelve. He says:
“I would have paid for cigarettes over food at one point of my life. It might take time, and a lot of effort, to quit – but you can definitely do it.”
Many of the campaign participants described feeling trapped by smoking and talk about the freedom they feel after stopping.
Charlotte Makin and her partner Harry Ingham, both from Bury, quit when Charlotte became pregnant. She says:
“You think it’s going to be hard. But once you quit you’ve got all your time back, you’ve got more money, you can breathe better and you’re not smelling of smoke.”
The campaign launches as new analysis reveals that between 2012 and 2017 (the most recent figures available) more than 400 people a week successfully stopped smoking in Greater Manchester.
It has been commissioned by the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership as part of its Making Smoking History ambition to reduce smoking rates in Greater Manchester by a third by the end of 2021. This is faster than any other major global city and would mean 115,000 fewer smokers.
Sarah Price, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership’s Director of Population Health, said:
“Over the past five years over 106,000 people in our region have stopped smoking for good. While this is great news, we want to empower and support even more people to join them. The sad fact is that smoking still kills 13 Greater Manchester residents a day. That’s why we’re determined to make smoking history in our region.

“Stopping can be hard but there are many ways you can successfully quit, even if you’ve tried before. We’ve put local exsmokers from across Greater Manchester at the heart of our new campaign to inspire thousands more people to quit and show that, no matter your situation, you can stop smoking.”

The mass media campaign will feature advertising on ITV Granada, Sky Adsmart and video on demand services; commercial local radio, social media, online, local news media, and on outdoor display locations across Greater Manchester.
The right advice, support and motivation can help you to quit and stay quit. For information, visit or call the GM Stop Smoking Helpline, 0300 123 1044. Advice and support is also available from:
  • Your local pharmacy
  • GP advice and prescription
  • Local stop smoking services (further information and service contacts are available at

NHS England -

Urgent same day care to spend half a million more patients unnecessary hospital stays as part of the NHS Long Term Plan

Every major hospital will provide urgent same day services to improve care for patients and cut unnecessary admissions by next winter, NHS National Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis said today.

Many hospitals are already providing comprehensive care without admitting patients who come to A&E with conditions such as pneumonia or other breathing difficulties through same day emergency care (SDEC) services, which are also known as ambulatory care.

SDEC services can prevent patients deteriorating from unnecessary or long stays in hospital, free up beds in hospital wards, and improve the flow of patients through A&E – allowing doctors and nurses to focus on those who need the most urgent care.

But clinical leaders believe that around half a million more patients a year across England could be assessed, diagnosed, treated and allowed to return home without the need for an overnight stay.

And from Spring, local pilots will test how new NHS standards for 
urgent and emergency care could support the ambition to ensure patients across the country benefit from this service, with hospitals to be measured on their success in reducing overnight admissions.

Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director for the NHS in England, said: 
“For seriously ill people a hospital stay is often unavoidable, but we know that too many people – particularly the frail and elderly – are ending up trapped on wards for days on end.

“With modern technology we can now offer many more ill patients access to new rapid tests and optimal treatments from senior doctors all in the same day and avoid admission. That’s more convenient for our patients, and more efficient for the NHS.

“That’s why the 
NHS Long Term Plan will make sure that more people every year get the right care fast, meaning they could be safely back at home on the same day, and at the same time more hospital beds can be freed up for those who need them most.”

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, all hospitals which have a full Emergency Department will be required to step up efforts to ensure that they provide this service, with the aim of a third of patients who require an emergency admission being able to return home the same day, up from a fifth currently.

An early pioneer, South Tees Hospital NHS Foundation Trust increased the proportion of same day discharge from 6% to 40% over the three years to 2012, and to 50% by 2015, with the Trust believing these increases are largely down to the introduction of same day emergency care.

SDEC teams can bring together a range of different professionals and specialists depending on the needs of local people, including acute physicians, specialist DVT nurses, physios and geriatricians.

Dr Nick Scriven, President of the Society of Acute Medicine, said: 
“Same Day Emergency Care is an essential part of emergency and urgent care for individuals in that it avoids admission overnight into a hospital bed with all the risks and hazards that entails for conditions that can be treated equally as effectively with the patient benefiting from returning to their own bed overnight.

“Acute Medicine specialists provide a large proportion of this type of service and in our recent benchmarking survey (SAMBA) on average just over 20% of patients presenting for urgent medical care were seen in this setting, with over 80% being discharged on the same day.”

The full adoption of SDEC services is part of a raft of measures set out in the NHS Long Term Plan which will help ensure that people with urgent care needs get the right help in the right place, and reduce pressure on A&Es.

Ambulance services, out-of-hours GPs and Urgent Treatment Centres will also work more closely together as part of a 24/7 Integrated Urgent Care Service, which patients will be able to access through the NHS111 phone line or online service.

At the heart of the new service will be teams made up by a range of different professionals, covering both physical and mental health, who will be able to provide specialist advice, assessments and referrals to the most appropriate service.

These teams will have access to a patient’s digital medical records, and be able to provide advice to other professionals such as ambulance crews, social care workers and community nurses, to ensure that the best decisions are made about the care an individual needs.

At the request of the Prime Minister, the NHS is also undertaking a clinically-led review of how current measures – including the four hour A&E standard, introduced 15 years ago – could be improved to ensure they measure what matters most to patients, reflect significant advances in how services are delivered, including same day emergency care, and support NHS staff to deliver the best quality care possible, particularly for those patients with the most critical health needs.

The review, being conducted by top doctors, nurses and hospital bosses, is expected to present full recommendations for trials in Spring, which if successful will be adopted fully in time for next winter, but these will include a measurement for how well hospitals are able to avoid overnight emergency admissions.

BBC News -

Check NHS Cancer, A&E, Ops and Mental Health Targets in your area...

BBC News have posted a tracker online to allow you to measure how well your local area is doing in comparison to the targets set.

BBC News stated:

"The NHS is under severe pressure. Rising numbers of patients need hospital care - whether in an accident and emergency department, for cancer treatment or for planned operations and care, such as knee and hip replacements.

Growing numbers of people are also reporting they are struggling with their mental health.
For each there are strict targets local services are expected to meet across the UK.

But what are the chances of being seen in time where you live? Use our interactive tracker to find out."

You can access the tool on the link below:

North West Ambulance Service -

External Communications and Reputation Survey

North West Ambulance Service are seeking feedback on the way it communicates with the public, healthcare professionals and stakeholders.
They are asking people to complete a short survey – it will take no longer than five minutes to complete – to influence their future communications plans and help improve their service. Your feedback is vital and much appreciated by the service.
You can access the survey on the link below:

You can find out more information on their website at

North West Ambulance Service -

NWAS increase mental health support for staff

The North West Ambulance Service has further extended its commitment to supporting the mental wellbeing of its staff by resigning the ‘Blue Light - Time to Change’ pledge. 
The trust initially supported the national ‘Blue Light Programme’ led by the mental health charity MIND, and a pledge committing to supporting staff was signed in January 2016.  However, a lot has happened since then and to reflect the progress made, and the future aspirations to continue to improve mental health support for staff, a revised action plan has been completed entitled ‘Blue Light - Time to Change’ in order to allow the trust to re-pledge its commitment three years on.
A major achievement is the increased number of Blue Light Champions in post. Champions are existing members of staff who offer one to one support for any mental health concerns staff may have, whether that be due to attending a particularly traumatic incident, or an issue which may be happening at home.  In 2016 there were just four champions, today there are almost 100 across the organisation.
The trust is also very proactive in raising awareness on mental health and reducing the stigma of talking about it.  Local managers are being equipped to take responsibility and accountability for their staff’s mental health and overall wellbeing by having conversations, encouraging take up of health and wellbeing initiatives, providing information about mental health support and signposting to other support available.  The trust also has an in-house Invest in Yourself microsite, which has been created for staff to share their own stories, get tips and ideas to help them be happy, healthy and fit, plus much more.
Chairman, Peter White, who signed the pledge on behalf the trust board said:
“I am delighted that we’re playing a part in not only trying to reduce the stigma associated with mental health, but ensuring there is vital support available to all our staff.  The board have a responsibility to ensure this support continues and I would like to thank all the staff involved for their hard work and dedication.”

Northern Care Alliance NHS Group -

GDE Fast Follower funding agreement announcement - £10m digital health programme for local NHS gets go ahead

Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has been given the go ahead to deliver an exciting new programme of digital health technology and electronic patient pathways by NHS England.
The Trust, which is part of the Northern Care Alliance, is partnering with Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust to become Manchester’s first
Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) Fast Follower organisation. The NHS Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) programme is a national initiative which aims to improve digital maturity across the NHS.
A £5million funding boost will be matched by the Trust to invest a total of £10million in digital technology and improved patient care systems across hospitals in Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and North Manchester.
Dr Georges Ng Man Kwong, Consultant Chest Physician and Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO), said:
“This is great news for patients and will mean our patient care systems and processes will become more advanced, using new digital technology.
“Being a GDE Fast Follower provides us with a great opportunity to try, implement and, if necessary, modify and improve new technologies to support patient care following ‘blue-print’ principles and processes which have already been tested at Salford.  
“Importantly the GDE Fast Follower programme runs alongside our infrastructure improvement and future Electronic Patient Record (EPR) programmes which, as a whole, will enable us to achieve a digital future for healthcare.”

Pennine Acute NHS Trust is committed to change through investment in technology and digital initiatives and over the next few months staff will be reviewing the new technology and standard methodologies.
As part of the GDE Fast Follower approach, Pennine aims to replicate a number of projects deployed at Salford Royal.
For example, in the first phase of the programme they will be exploring how staff can use:
  • Digital task management App on wards –  to improve patient task workflow and ultimately improve bed management with prompt discharge of patients.
  • Virtual consultation including state-of-the-art mobile robotics to help discharge patients
  • New digital clinical decision support forms to support delirium and dementia, dietetics, VTE, stroke and FNOF pathways
  • Online appointment management system for patients – introducing booking and scheduling reminders for patients in the first phase.
The Trust is also setting up two new Digital Experience Centres, based at Royal Oldham and Fairfield Hospitals, to showcase some of the new technology for staff and patients.

Oldham Athletic FC Community Trust -

Prostate Cancer Appeal PSA Testing Event

Oldham Athletic Community Trust have teamed up with The Barry Kilby Prostate Cancer Appeal to host a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) testing event in April.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in males in the UK (Cancer Research UK). Unfortunately, 40% of prostate cancer cases are diagnosed at a late stage which can negatively impact survival rates. In the UK, every 45 minutes one man dies from prostate cancer due to a lack of effective screening and awareness. 

The Barry Kilby Prostate Cancer Appeal was launched in 2016 by Burnley FC Vice-Chairman Barry Kilby, who was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer himself with a PSA level of 80. Since then, the appeal has carried out over 3,000 PSA tests and continues to offer these tests at major sporting venues across the UK. Barry’s goal is to make as many men as possible aware of this dreadful disease and to encourage them to get tested so that they know their scores.

The testing event will take place on Saturday 6 April 2019 at Boundary Park, situated in the OACT Family Stand, between 10am and 1pm. No appointment is needed, it is simply just turn up on the day. All men over the age of 50 (or 45 with a history of prostate cancer in their family) are welcome with donations on the day appreciated to help keep the good work going.

This testing event will also be kindly supported by both East Lancs Prostate Cancer Support Group and Oldham Prostate Cancer Support Group.

App of the Week

Baby Buddy
Developers Description:

Baby Buddy, the award-winning app for parents and parents-to-be

Baby Buddy is your personal baby support expert who will guide you through your pregnancy and the first six months of your baby’s life. The app has been designed with parents and health professionals to help you give your baby the best start in life and support your health and well-being.

Baby Buddy is endorsed by the Department of Health, the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association, the Institute of Health Visitors, and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

Personalised Pregnancy and Baby Tools:

  • Ask me – type in any pregnancy question for your Buddy to answer with expert information
  • Today's Information – Baby Buddy provides you with personalised daily information about your pregnancy and baby.
  • Videos – a growing range of clips to help you get your head around different pregnancy and baby topics
  • Bump and Baby Around – a map of useful local health services such as hospitals, mothers and baby support groups, baby clinics, GP and midwife services.
  • Bump and Baby Book – a diary where you can record your thoughts, feelings and photos throughout your pregnancy and after your baby is born
  • Appointments – a handy reminder of the dates and times for your check-ups.
  • Remember to ask – a reminder list for questions to ask at your midwife or GP next appointment
  • What does that mean? - Find the meaning of pregnancy-related terms
  • You can do it! – a tracker for your personal goals and achievements
  • Tell us what you think – where you can give us your feedback so that we can make the app even better

Baby Buddy is designed to support all parents to look after their own and their baby's physical and mental health. Baby Buddy is featured in Better Births, supports the Maternity Transformation Programme and supports key public health priorities including maternal and infant mental health. We'd love you to help us make Baby Buddy even better. Your opinion counts. All you need to do is take a few minutes to complete three short in-app questionnaires that will appear after you have been using the app for a while. This will then also unlock a new outfit or accessory for you Baby Buddy!

Baby Buddy has been created by the child health and well-being charity Best Beginnings with our development partners Despark. The app has been made possible thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Fund, the Tedworth Charitable Trust and the Guys and St Thomas’ Charity.

Please make sure that you complete the three short in-app questionnaires that will appear after you have been using the app for a while. They only take a few minutes and once you’ve done them you’ll unlock a new outfit or accessory for your Buddy. This information will help us to make the app even better for you and future parents and their babies.

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Please note that Healthwatch Oldham does not endorse the articles mentioned in this eBulletin.
We simply provide information to allow you to make an informed decision whether it would be beneficial to know.
Kind regards

Martyn Nolan
Research / Project Support
Healthwatch Oldham

Tel:  0161 622 5700

Healthwatch Oldham
12 Manchester Chambers, West Street, Oldham, OL1 1LF.

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