September e-bulletin

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Consultation on Hertfordshire learning disabilities strategy

Joint Commissioning Strategy for learning disabilities:


The current Joint Commissioning Strategy for learning disabilities ends March 2019. The next strategy sets out our ambitions and priorities for 2019-2024, and is broken down into three key areas; being healthy, living locally and involvement in local communities.

The public consultation is now open, closing 9th November 2018, and seeks to find out the views of people with learning disabilities, those who support people with learning disabilities and other interested parties on our draft Learning Disabilities Strategy. The Joint Commissioning Strategy has been created in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council, East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group.

You can complete the consultation survey and look at the easy read draft strategy by visiting

Support to complete the consultation is available; if this is required please email or phone 0300 123 4040.

Health Service Journal Awards Shortlisting:

Ted Maddex our commissioning lead for unpaid Carers has worked with NHS organisations and voluntary sector partners on a submission to the Health Service Journal Awards.

Our bid describes the achievements and plans across the Hertfordshire and West Essex Sustainable Transformational Partnership (STP) to improve the health and wellbeing of carers. We are very pleased to announce that the bid has been shortlisted for the System Led Support for Carers Award. The final winner will be announced in November but achieving this shortlisting in the face of stiff national competitions is a great recognition of the work of a wide range of Hertfordshire & West Essex organisations.

Voluntary and Community Sector Conference “Connecting Lives and Combating Loneliness”

The conference will take place at the Fielder Centre, Hatfield Avenue, Hatfield , AL10 9TP on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM.

This year’s conference will feature guest speaker Andy Nazer who is the Campaign Manager to End Loneliness in England.

There will be many opportunities for “Networking” and many provider stands to visit and peruse

Conference agenda is available via this link

If you are a member of the voluntary sector and are interested in attending this conference please follow this link to book a ticket. Places are limited and are going fast

Help to improve our services for carers by completing our survey

Over the next month we will be asking a selection of carers to complete a survey to get their views on the services they and the person they care for receive and their quality of life.

The more carers who take part, the more useful the results will be to help us assess and improve our local services. Nationally this survey is very important in helping us understand the views and experiences of carers.

We would be very grateful if you could promote the survey and encourage carers who receive it to return it to us by the 28th November 2018. If you have any queries or concerns about the survey, please do not hesitate to contact Helen at or 01438 844210.

Hertfordshire Community Commissioning May 2018

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Suicide Bereavement Survey 2017
In 2015, 6,188 people died by suicide in the UK.  Research suggests 60 people are impacted by every suicide, that’s 370,000 people affected a year.   
The Support After Suicide Partnership and the University of Manchester are working together to find out what the real impact of suicide is on the UK.  This study is the first of its kind. 
They are asking as many people as possible who have been affected by suicide to complete a 20 minute survey to tell them about how they were impacted. 
The survey is available at and will be open until August 2018.  The survey collects anonymous answers. 

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 15th June 2018
The HSAB would like to encourage all partners to raise awareness on this important topic: 
‘Elder abuse is a global social issue which affects the health and human rights of millions of older persons around the world, and an issue which deserves the attention of the international community.  
In March 2012, The United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution 66/127, designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. It represents the one day in the year when the whole world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted on some of our older generations’ 
Please find attached a flyer detailing some ideas to promote the day.  There will be communications via Hertfordshire County Council but feel free to use your own communication team to raise awareness. 

Loneliness Survey
A survey of loneliness for both lonely residents and carers of lonely residents to complete.. the purpose of the survey is to explore how we can use technology to help tackle social isolation and loneliness.  This could be as simple as promoting all of the support services available for loneliness, from our research so far it is also likely that our target audience is the carers of lonely residents.  
The loneliness survey can be found at  However if a resident does not  have access to the internet we’ve also produced some paper versions of the survey, please return to: 
Loneliness Survey CHO310, Web Team,  Room 319, County Hall  Hertford

Library Connected2Work Event
If you need help with work or volunteering come to a Library Connected2Work event  
Finding the right volunteering opportunities or paid work is not always easy and it can be even harder if you have autism, or a physical disability or learning disability. In May and June we are offering a series of employment/volunteering information events in libraries across Hertfordshire.  These are especially for young adults who need extra support due to autism, or a physical or learning disability, but of course everyone is welcome. 
At Connected2Work library events visitors will learn more about:

  • How to find and apply for jobs and volunteer roles 
  • Where you can get extra help if you have a disability or autism 
  • Money and benefits advice 

There will be advisors from Job centres, Volunteer Bureau, HAFLS Skills for Work, Work Solutions, and demonstrations of the new Connected2Work webpage, and much more.  
Some events include FREE Getting a job – skills workshops delivered by Work Solutions on:

  • How to boost your confidence
  • Where to look for work  
  • Writing a good CV, applying and interviewing 

Getting a job – Skills Workshop dates and times

  • Welwyn Garden City Library – 23 May (11.30am–12.30pm and 12.30–1.30pm)
  • Hemel Hempstead Library – 31 May (11.30am–12.30pm and 12.30–1.30pm) 

Library event dates and times:

  • Welwyn Garden City Library – 23 May, 11am–3pm
  • Hemel Hempstead Library – 31 May, 11am–3pm
  • Watford Library – 4 June, 1–3pm
  • Bishop's Stortford Library – 7 June, 1–3pm
  • Oakmere Library – 12 June, 1–3pm
  • Stevenage Library – 13 June, 1–3pm

Please pass this onto any of your contacts who may be interested. More information at or contact Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4049

View the full newsletter and attachments here

New Gender Identity Blog from NHS England

Next steps in shaping the future of specialised gender identity services

Much work continues in NHS England to shape the future of specialised gender identity services. We have convened a Programme Board for Gender Identity Services that I chair.

The Board is responsible for making recommendations to the Specialised Commissioning Oversight Group, and its scope and membership can be found on the gender identity services clinical reference group page. The Board’s independent members were appointed through an open recruitment process.

I’m pleased to announce the publication of the report of the independent analysis of responses to our consultation on proposed service specifications. We had significant interest in the consultation – over 800 respondents, and I want to thank everyone who took part either in writing or by attending one of our events.

Read the full blog via this link New Gender Identity Blog from NHS England

Nascot Lawn Stakeholder Briefing Outcome


Briefing for Stakeholders - Nascot Lawn - Outcome of Judicial Review

21 February 2018

The Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) finance and performance committee unanimously concluded at its meeting on 16 November that the CCG would not continue to fully fund the respite service at Nascot Lawn.  This difficult decision was made in the context of a very challenging financial environment, and having to assess priorities in order to meet the financial requirements placed on us by statute.

Our decision was reached after a period of extensive engagement. We had these discussions with, for example: Hertfordshire County Council, Carers in Herts; Herts Parents Carers Involvement; Healthwatch; and of course the families of children using the service. We also conducted detailed assessments of children’s needs, and a wider consideration of the CCG’s challenging financial position was also important in our decision-making.

To read the full review please click here

West Herts Urgent Care Consultation


Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)  is looking at how people access urgent care services in west Hertfordshire and specifically walk-in services at Hemel Hempstead Hospital including the Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) and West Herts Medical Centre (WHMC). To help us make decisions about these services we will be seeking your views.

All of the information for the consultation is available here:

Details of the consultation public meetings are below – to help with arrangements it would be useful if you could confirm attendance by emailing

Monday 12 February

7 – 9pm

Berkhamsted Civic Centre, 161 High Street, Berkhamsted, HP4 3HB


Wednesday 21 February

7 – 9pm

South Hill Centre, Cemetery Hill, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 1JF


Tuesday 20 March

7 – 9pm

Hertsmere Borough Council, Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood, WD16 1 WA


Wednesday 21 March

7 – 9pm

St Albans Patient Group public meeting,

St Albans District Council Offices, St Peters Street, St Albans, AL13JE

More information:


Thursday 22 March

7 – 9pm

West Herts College, Watford Campus, Hempstead Road, Watford WD17 3EZ



NHS Service Changes in Hertfordshire

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A joint committee made up of representatives from both Herts Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have announced a number of decisions about NHS services in the county.

These decisions follow a 10 week extensive public consultation;  Let’s Talk, on a series of proposals designed to make the best use of the money and resources available to the local NHS and encourage people to live healthier lives, avoiding preventable illnesses. All proposals were debated in full and members of the public had the opportunity to make representations in front of the committee.

The changes are:

  • Morbidly obese patients with a BMI over 40 will be required to reduce their weight by at least 15% before accessing nonurgent surgery and for those with a BMI of over 30, we are looking for a reduction of 10%. These criteria will apply unless waiting for surgery would be more harmful.
  • Smokers will be required to quit smoking before being referred for nonurgent surgery, unless waiting for surgery would be more harmful for them.
  • Gluten- free food will no longer be available on prescription, with the exception of those patients with learning disabilities or where there are welfare concerns.
  • In future, people wanting a prescription for medicines, products and food items that are available to buy from pharmacies, supermarkets or shops for short-term conditions will need to purchase them directly, except in exceptional circumstances.
  • Female sterilisation will only be funded in exceptional circumstances, which would be assessed on a casebycase basis if alternative forms of longacting contraception are unsuitable.
  • IVF and other specialist fertility treatments will no longer be funded, except in exceptional circumstances.  This decision will be reviewed after one year, in the light of the financial position Herts Valleys finds itself in at that time.

A proposal to stop funding for vasectomies was rejected on the basis that this would not be cost-effective when the long-term cost of contraceptive services is taken into account.

During an extensive public engagement campaign - which included big public meetings, drop-in discussion events, press and social media – thousands of online and postal responses were received from members of the public, special interest groups, clinicians, local wellbeing groups and providers of services. The vast majority of the proposals received considerable public support.  

Dr Nicolas Small, Chair of Herts Valleys CCG said:

“None of these decisions have been taken lightly, but people understand that the NHS faces major challenges and must adapt to meet them.  There is wide public backing for most of the changes that have been agreed today – even from people who told us that they would be directly affected. 

“As we plan the implementation of today’s decisions over the months ahead, we will make sure that everyone who needs to make lifestyle changes, including those who need to lose weight or quit smoking, gets the information and support they need to succeed.

“Although we are asking people to take more responsibility for some aspects of their healthcare where possible, we won’t be withdrawing any support from people who are not able to do this.  GPs will still make decisions based on the individual needs of their patients, and will be able to refer individual cases to a specialist decision-making panel if their patient faces exceptional clinical circumstances.

“Proposals on IVF services in particular generated strong feelings and it was an especially difficult decision. We have listened to the views of local people and I am pleased that we decided to review today’s decision in 12 months’ time in the context of our future financial position.

The changes will be implemented over the coming weeks and months, along with a public information campaign about the changes.

Click here for more information

Engagement – Hertfordshire Community Trust (HCT)

The Clinical Commissioning Groups in Hertfordshire (CCGs) are the organisations responsible for planning and paying for local health care and making sure that residents receive good care.

The CCGs want to hear your views about some difficult decisions on how they spend the money available to the local NHS.

You can see the document and complete the survey here.

#NHSLetsTalk public consultation

Hertfordshire Community Commissioning - Provider Engagement Events

Dates for your diary… Provider Engagement Events

All four Adult Care Commissioning teams are jointly hosting a series of conversations with local, regional and national organisations. We will be exploring a number of themes from July onwards

We want:

·       To engage with local, regional and national providers who want to be involved in service delivery across Hertfordshire

·       To stimulate growth and cultivate a competitive commissioning market

·       To obtain feedback and innovate the current ways transformation, integration and services are being delivered across the county

·       To learn from best practise in other areas of the UK

·       To feed into and inform the review of our Market Position Statements – documents setting out our commissioning intentions for the coming years

Theme, date and venue

Working with the Community First Strategy

1-5pm, 14th July – Hertfordshire Development Centre, Stevenage

Changing Community Services Together

9-1pm, 12th September – Hampson Park Community Centre, Stevenage

Transforming Supported Living for all

9-1pm, 28th September – Gadebridge Community Centre, Hemel Hempstead

 Providing Support in People’s Homes (Spot Accreditation for All Client Groups)

9-1pm, 16th October – St. Nicholas Community Centre, Stevenage

Launching the Accommodation Strategy

1-5pm, 13th November – Welwyn Civic Centre, Welwyn

Supporting individuals with substance misuse issues

1-5pm, 8th December – St. Nicholas Centre, Stevenage

Please email with the date or dates you are interested in, titled Provider Engagement Events. Agendas will follow closer to the event.

Please click here to view the full flyer.

Invitation to public meeting to discuss West Herts NHS spending plans

NHS Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG),  the west Herts NHS organisation that plans and funds services locally, are holding some important public meetings this summer to seek the views of local people on future spending plans.

At the meetings we will be sharing proposals to reduce spending in response to growing financial pressures and the need to balance our budgets. We propose to focus funding on those areas which have the biggest impact on the health of our population and are considering changing access to some services.

The meetings are part of a big engagement process that’s taking place over the summer, starting on 26 June and running until the middle of August.

Join us at any of the meetings below to find out more and give your views either at the eventor by taking away information so that you can reply at a time that suits you.

Monday 26th June 7-9pm, Penn Chambers, Three Rivers House, Northway, Rickmansworth WD3 1RL

Monday 24th July 7-9pm, Stanborough Centre, St Albans Road, Watford, WD25 9JZ,

Monday 31st July 7-9pm, Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise, Harpenden, AL5 2JQ

You would be welcome to come to any of these meetings but it would be useful to know how many people to expect so to book your place or for more information please email or ring 01442 89888

If you represent a community group or have a meeting you would like us to attend to speak in more detail about our proposals please let us know.


CAMHS Transformation update

Transformation well under way

Work to transform mental health services for children and young people living in Hertfordshire is well under way, with improvements already seen.

Waiting times have reduced and new early support services have started, with thousands of children and young people given emotional and wellbeing support in the last 12 months.

Following last year’s publication of the Government report Future in Mind, highlighting the national need to address gaps in mental health and wellbeing provision for children and young people, there was a local review of Hertfordshire’s support services, which included asking children, young people, parents and carers about their experiences.

The resulting CAMHS Transformation plan secured national funding to improve services over the next five years, with Hertfordshire’s two NHS clinical commissioning groups taking the lead.

Maria Nastri, CAMHS Transformation manager, explained: “We are developing a new approach that places an emphasis on prevention and early intervention and the delivery of services and interventions that offer swift, evidence-based and flexible support that looks holistically at the needs of the child or young person rather than focusing on a diagnosis or thresholds.

“The aim of the plan is to empower the system, increase capacity across it and up-skill children, young people, their families and professionals to be resilient, to be informed about support available and the choices they have and to understand what they can do to help themselves.”

 Key priorities are to:

•           focus on prevention and early intervention

•           improve access to psychological therapies

•           bring together education and mental health services with joint training

•           develop community eating disorder services

•           improve mental health services for women during pregnancy and within the first year after having a baby, known as the perinatal period, as there is a strong link between parental mental health and children’s mental health.

 Improvements launched already include, offering online counselling support for 10 to 25 year olds living in Hertfordshire, closer working with schools and training professionals across the county in young mental health first aid and infant mental health.

 There’s more information about Hertfordshire’s Transformation Plan for Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing is available at

Fiona Winspear

CAMHS transformation communications manager

Working on behalf of East & North Hertfordshire CCG and Herts Valleys CCG

 Direct line:           07770 925981

Switchboard:      01707 361251



Get involved with Specialised Commissioning

Details of this opportunity to work with Specialised Commissioning have previously been circulated – so this is a last call as the deadline is November 16 (Monday).

NHS England Specialised Commissioning is seeking a number of Patient and Public Participation and Insight (PPPI) partners and lay members to sit on high-level decision-making groups. The focus of the roles is to ensure that the patient and carer perspective is at the heart of commissioning. If you are interested in working with NHS England as a PPPI partner, please see further information on the PPPI roles and application forms. The closing date for all applications is 12 noon on 16 November 2015.

Herts Valleys CCG - Reducing waste of prescribed medicine

Herts Valleys CCG - Reducing waste of prescribed medicine - tell us how this might affect you.

We would like your comments on a proposal for local West Herts GP practices to help their patients and carers take responsibility for ordering their own repeat medicines - we need to understand what affect this may have.

This survey should only take a couple of minutes and is anonymous.


So if you have experience, as a patient or carer of ordering repeat prescriptions and would like to help shape local plans please fill in this survey:


Healthwatch letter to Director of Specialised Commissioning.

Heathwatch have written to the Director of Specialised Commissioning in response to the information returned providing further details about the work NHS England is doing on Gender Identity (GI) services.

The Appendix to the letter follows...

Herts Valleys Voices Urgent Health Care Services Survey

Have you used urgent health care services in Hertfordshire?

Herts Valleys CCG with East and North Herts CCG are keen to hear from people who have used urgent health care services in the county.

Urgent health care services are places you can go for NHS care when your condition is not serious or life-threatening but you need to be seen quickly.


We have been out and about in town centres over the past few weeks speaking to people about the services they have used and how they could be improved.

You can complete our online survey here:

It should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

If you have family or friends who have used Hertfordshire's urgent health care services recently, please share this survey with them.

The closing date for the survey is Friday 11 September 2015. After this date, we will analyse all responses and use your feedback to help us plan how services can best meet patients' needs in the future.

Tel: 07770 584993

© Herts Valleys CCG 2015



We need Peer Reviewers. Can you help?

Viewpoint has been asked to support the Community Wellbeing Team in reviewing the existing portfolio of voluntary sector mental health contracts in Hertfordshire that they commission and we need service users to help lead peer review workshops.

To ensure that service users are able to feedback their experiences for commissioners to use within their contract reviews, we will be using a variety of methods to hear what people say.

We believe that it is essential that this done by engaging service users as Peer Reviewers and we want you to contact us if you are interested. We are running a Peer Reviews planning workshop on the afternoon of Friday 16th January 2015 from 1pm – 2:30pm please can you confirm your availability to attend the workshop at your earliest opportunity.

The workshop will look at beginning to put in place the structure of the Peer Reviews that we would like to run in late Jan, Feb, and early March 2015; the Community Wellbeing Team need to have a report ready by the last week in March.


If you are interested in being a Peer Reviewer the contact Leslie on 01707 328014 or via