September e-bulletin

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Consultation on Hertfordshire learning disabilities strategy

Joint Commissioning Strategy for learning disabilities:

REMINDER:

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 www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/ldconsultation

Support to complete the consultation is available; if this is required please email ACSCommissioning.Support@hertfordshire.gov.uk 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 helen.mirams@hertfordshire.gov.uk or 01438 844210.

15 Steps Challenge

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We are looking for volunteers to support us with the 15 step challenge across our community bed bases. The 15 step challenge was sparked by a quote from a parent who said” I know what kind of care my daughter is going to get within 15 steps of walking onto a ward”  The  challenge focuses on seeing care through the eyes of patients and exploring first impressions. As a result staff can understand what is working and where services can be improved. It is nationally recognised as good practice to use the 15 Step regularly to review services.

The 15 step challenge team will be visiting Potters Bar Hospital on Wednesday 30th August from 10 to 2. The day starts with a half hour training session to introduce the 15 step challenge  and answer any questions. The challenge involves a walk around the ward with a chance to talk to patients about their experience on the ward. There will be regular refreshment breaks and lunch provided. The visit concluded with feedback to the ward manager about the teams observations.

One of our 15 step challenge volunteer gave the following advice, “ Be prepared to listen to what staff and patients have to say and be observant with all your senses.”

To take part volunteers need to join Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust as a volunteer. A member of staff from the 15 Step Challenge team will meet with you as part of the application process.

The role description for the 15 Step Challenge can be viewed by clicking here as well as information about it from NHS England.

Further dates to take part will be available in September.

If you are interested please contact hct.engagement@nhs.net by 14th August to allow time to process your application.

Should you have any questions or would like more information please contact:

Ruth.bradford1@nhs.net

Service Update-Joint Herts Aid/THT

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Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) has been awarded the Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) HIV support services contract in Hertfordshire following a successful bid supported by current provider Herts Aid.

As a result it has been decided that Herts Aid will merge with THT, with a transfer of assets and liabilities.  An HIV support service will be delivered by THT on behalf of HCC from 1 August 2018. HCC will no longer be commissioning HIV community testing services.

For over 25 years, Herts Aid has supported thousands of people living with or impacted by HIV in the county, and this legacy of excellence will be continued through this new service.

Herts Aid and Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) will work closely together to ensure a smooth transfer of service so that people living with or impacted by HIV can access support without any interruption.

As it currently stands there will be no provision for testing services in the new contact and therefore would like to inform you that we will not be able to carry out any testing at the YMCA going forward.

www.hertsaid.co.uk

Celebrating Good Care in Hertfordshire

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Good Care

In July we will be celebrating the people working in Hertfordshire's care industry, while promoting opportunities to people interested in joining them.

Activity Award

We challenged schools to get adults involved in their Daily Mile activities as part of our 'Never Too Late' campaign. Three schools chosen at random won some great prizes for their efforts.

Armed Forces Week

This week is Armed Forces Week, and a chance to show your support for the armed forces community. See what we're doing to celebrate and how you can get involved.

A Royal Visit

The Earl of Wessex made a visit to Hertfordshire this week. He was introduced to our Chairman and Director of Children's Services before meeting a range of exceptional young people.


A full list of this week's articles can be found on our news blog.

Vote Now! Excellence in Hertfordshire Public Health Awards

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Excellence in Hertfordshire Public Health Awards

The nominations are in and the judges have selected 6 winners. Our winners will be invited to the Annual Health and Wellbeing Board Conference and will be presented with their Excellence in Hertfordshire Public Health Award. We would like to take this early opportunity to congratulate this year’s worthy winners.

We would now like to invite the public to vote for one of the winners to go on to receive the Dr Joan Crawley Award. The winner of this Award will be announced on the 21st June at the Conference. Voting closes at midnight on the 20th June.

For further information on the Dr Joan Crawley Award, our 6 winners and access to the public vote, please follow this link: https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/publichealthawards

RNIB Make a Noise in Libraries Week 4 – 17 June #MANIL2018

Hertfordshire Libraries will be taking part in RNIB’s “Make a Noise in Libraries Fortnight” which takes place from Monday 4 to Sunday 17 June.  

Hertfordshire Libraries have signed up to The Six Steps Promise, which is a charter which over 200 Library services have adopted to ensure that facilities for people with visual impairments are consistent and meet their needs.   
 
During the fortnight regular Baby Rhyme Time and Toddler Tales will include a tactile book which may include Braille-style numbering, play elements, high contrast images and rhythmic rhyming text making them particularly suitable for young children with visual impairments. They may also include a Giant Print, Braille picture book. 

Hemel Hempstead Library is hosting a coffee morning on Monday 4th June, starting at 10am. This is a drop in event and is free. It will give library staff the chance to speak to customers and local organisations about what the library provides and how it can be utilised. 

Your local Library offers a range of services that our users with visual impairments can enjoy: 
 
All Hertfordshire libraries have a wide range of books in Large Print and a good supply of Talking Books on CD.  Larger libraries have small collections of MP3 CDs which enable the complete book to be on one disc.  You are able to reserve these if your local library does not stock them.  Books are circulated around our libraries so you should always find new titles in stock in your local library. The collection includes books in all genre including Romance, Family Saga, Crime and Adventure, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Westerns, Biographies and Non-fiction titles.  Library users with a visual impairment are able to borrow talking books free of charge and also to request titles in from another library free of charge.  Staff are always available to help select titles and to suggest new authors you may enjoy. 
 
For children and teenagers with a visual impairment libraries offer a selection of books in large print.  There are also picture books for young children featuring Giant Print and Braille available in Larger Libraries.  The braille as well as being helpful to a child learning braille also enables an adult braille reader to share and enjoy a book with a young child.  We have tactile board books which contain a range of tactile features such as braille style numbering, play elements, high contrast images and rhythmic rhyming text. 
 
Hertfordshire Libraries are delighted to be able to offer a wonderful range of eBooks and eAudiobooks via BorrowBox. There are titles for adults, children and teenagers.  We currently have almost 11000 eBooks and over 4000 eAudioBooks.    BorrowBox is an exciting collection of eBooks and eAudioBooks available around the clock.  It’s simpler than ever before to access your favourite titles wherever you go with the BorrowBox library app.  On your phone, on your iPad, on your home computer, BorrowBox means the doors to your local library never close.
  
Elegant, intuitive and simple to operate and enjoy, the BorrowBox app incorporates a dedicated eBook reader and eAudiobook player and is available from the App Store and Google Play.  Install it on all your mobile devices for free – get the app now and get ready to borrow and download. Font size can be increased on eBooks to suit your reading needs.
If you are an Apple user there is a Dyslexic font available.  We are hoping that this will be available for other devices shortly.  You can also choose your background colour from paper, white, sepia and night.  If you find the speech on the eAudiobooks a little slow you can speed up the sound to suit you.  BorrowBox works well with Apple VoiceOver, not only reading the screen but also reading eBooks for you.

Find out more by visiting https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/Libraries   
 

Library members can also access on line magazines and newspapers, the print size in these can be enlarged.    
 
Computers are available in our libraries which can be used with sound, using headphones.  We also have large print keypads available.  Wi-Fi is available free of charge in all libraries enabling you to bring your own device.  Printing is available for a charge. 
  
To find out more about your local library and the services Hertfordshire Libraries offer visit your local library, telephone 0300 123 4049 or visit our website https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/libraries-and-archives/libraries-and-archives.aspx 

View the flyer here

Nominations for Excellence in Hertfordshire Public Health Awards

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Nominations for this year’s Excellence in Hertfordshire Public Health Awards close this Thursday 17 May 2018 at midnight.

If you know an individual/organisation that lives, works, volunteers or cares in any sector in Hertfordshire that has made an outstanding contribution to improving the health of the County’s population, please nominate them for an award.

The Awards will be presented on 21 June 2018 at the Hertfordshire Health and Wellbeing Board Annual Conference.

For more information, nomination criteria and a nomination form please visit: https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/publichealthawards

 If you have any questions about the Awards or how to nominate, please contact Grace Kent grace.kent@hertfordshire.gov.uk

It’s Never too Late to be Active - FREE Activity Pass and PRIZES

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Why is physical activity important?

 Physical activity keeps our body strong, mind sharp and gives us more energy to keep doing the things we love. But many of us don’t meet the recommended 150 minutes a week.


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Claim your FREE activity pass

We want to help you become more active so we’re offering older residents a FREE local activity pass, plus the opportunity to win an iPad or Fitbit.


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Advice, support and information

We know it can be daunting to start something new, so our friendly HertsHelp advisers are on hand to help you find the right activity. Just call 0300 123 4044 or email info@hertshelp.net to get personalised advice.


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It's easier than you think to fit it into your day

Any activity that lasts for 10 minutes or more counts towards your total.A short walk here, a spot of gardening there, a class or activity you enjoy, taking the stairs rather than the lift - it all adds up.


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Planning is key

Having a regular routine can help activity become part of your day-to-day life. Our free planner can help you build up your activity in a manageable way.


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There's something for everyone!

There are activities to suit everyone, no matter what your budget, level of fitness or interests. Find out what's available for you.


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Long term benefits

Regular activity could reduce your risk of dementia by 30%, heart disease by 35% and Type 2 diabetes by 40%. It can also help prevent and manage cancer and depression.


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Win prizes!

What’s more, by signing up, you could win an iPad, a Fitbit or £100 voucher and help your local school win £1000 cash! 


"It helps me keep up with the grandchildren." Anthony

"I feel happier and more positive about myself." Barbara

"It helps me stay in shape and keeps my mind sharp." James

"I'm looking after myself and making new friends too." Jas

"Just a 10 minute walk makes all the difference." Marilyn

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"Being active is helping me stay stronger for longer" Mario

"Trying new things is easier than I thought." Pauline

"I have never had so much confidence." Preeti

"Being part of a group helps me stay motivated." Simon

"I have so much more energy now." Stephanie

"My group is so warm and welcoming." Sue

"Getting started has really helped my health." Tom

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Herts Help Hospital and Community Navigation Service – April Briefing

If you have a problem and no one else can help…..

Luckily Hertfordshire’s equivalent to the ‘A Team’- the Herts Help Hospital and Community Navigators, are a bit easier to find !

People often tell us that it is difficult to navigate their way through so many different services, having to tell their story on several occasions and trying to work out where to go and who to see to find the help they need. The difficulties people experience can sometimes lead to deterioration in their health and a breakdown in their care. It can also cause frustration and delays too. Often people only find out about services that are available just around the corner years after they might have benefitted from them.

In Hertfordshire we’ve agreed to pool one of the largest amounts of money in the country to deliver joined up health and social care to residents. Initiatives like the Herts Help Hospital and Community Navigation service give us an even greater opportunity to work together. As well as making things easier for our patients, joining up services reduces duplication, helps professionals understand each other’s’ services better and makes much more efficient use of human and financial resources.

We are very pleased to announce the expansion of our existing Hospital Discharge and Community Navigator service across Hertfordshire. This new, countywide service has been formed from the integration of the West Herts Community Navigator Scheme, Age UK Home and Hospital support service, British Red Cross Hospital Discharge Service, Herts Help @ Home and Herts Help IDT services.

The countywide service forms two parts; both of which will help to improve people’s wellbeing, reduce social isolation, reduce home care use, ensure faster hospital discharge, whilst ensuring more appropriate use of primary care, through connecting people up with services and organisations available in their community.

There is at least one Navigator in each district , all are skilled at finding solutions to a broad range of issues, e.g. loneliness and social isolation, wellbeing, behavioural risk factors, financial issues, carers support etc.

Suzi Devanney, is a Community Navigator in Dacorum

I became a Community Navigator because I’m interested in helping people find services to help their health and wellbeing. I was also looking for a new and challenging role that gives me the opportunity to work with people directly”.

“I had a lady who was referred to me as she had the gas supply to her property condemned. She had no hot water, heating or cooking facilities at home. She did not meeting the criteria for any help with getting a new boiler through the Energy Company obligation and was struggling to cope. With support from the Citizens Advice Bureau, Herts Help and funding through the Elizabeth Finn Trust she received the help and support which she needed, and is having a new boiler installed this month. This will mean that she can be warm, able to cook and manage at home again”.

“I get immense satisfaction from helping someone to live more independently. This is done in partnership with Herts Help and great community and voluntary sector resources in Dacorum. There are some fantastic projects doing great work for the health and benefit of the community.”

“I enjoy the variation of the role; one minute I am meeting a new person who is grateful for the contact and any help that I can provide. The next minute I am helping them find transport solutions to make sure they can get to a hospital appointment or finding a social group which they can go along to meet new people and to get them out of the house”.

“Some people have been overwhelmed with all the different organisations and it’s hard for them to know who to contact and what to do. When I am able to find a solution for a given problem and the individual is happy with the resolution then I’m chuffed to bits.”

Community Navigators compliment Herts Help, Hertfordshire County Council’s telephone advice service, by taking referrals of people who would benefit from the services that Herts Help can provide, but who are unable or unlikely to access it directly.

Herts Help is a countywide single point of access to information, advice and support available through the many voluntary organisations in Hertfordshire.  The service triages clients so that they can find out about services they would never have thought to ask about. 

The service also allows busy professionals to signpost refer without having to know the detail of what may be available.

The Community Navigator Scheme is designed to help with ensuring that the community and voluntary sector are fully integrated into the developing local blueprint for services.

If someone is in need of additional support to stay healthy and independent, or needs help accessing support, they can call Herts Help on 0300 123 4044 or email hertshelp@nhs.net

HOW TO REFER INTO THE HERTS HELP HOSPITAL AND COMMUNITY NAVIGATION SERVICE

People can be referred via the following methods: 

Referrals to the service can be made now. Community referrals will be triaged by Herts Help, while Hospital based referrals will be picked up directly by the teams in each of the acute hospitals, namely Watford, Lister and the Princess Alexandra.

For Community based referrals: Call Herts Help on 0300 123 4044 or email hertshelp@nhs.net

 For Hospital Based Referrals in East & North Hertfordshire: Call - 01438 285300 or 01992 585955 or email HHSS@ageukherts.org.uk

 For Hospital Based Referrals in Herts Valleys: Call 01923 436649 or 01992 585972 or Email HertfordHDS@redcross.org.uk

March Walking in Hertfordshire e-Bulletin

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Welcome to the March Walking in Hertfordshire e-Bulletin

Get out and enjoy whatever the weather has in store from snow to spring sunshine ...

Healthy Body and MIND

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Hertfordshire Health Walks have teamed up with the mental health charity MIND to provide weekly walks in Welwyn Garden City, Hertford and Royston. These walks are open to all and are particularly welcoming to those with mental health problems – offering them a chance to get active with friendly and supportive staff and volunteers.

We all know that being physically active is good for our bodies but it can be very beneficial for our mental health and wellbeing too. It can reduce feelings of stress, promote clearer thinking, reduce anxiety and lift your mood.  Find a walk to suit you at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/healthwalks

New Plan for Cole Green Way

Hertfordshire County Council is seeking comments on a new Greenspace Action Plan for the Cole Green Way, which will direct major improvements to the route over the next five years. The Cole Green Way was once the railway line between Welwyn Garden City and Hertford and is now a valued route for cyclists, walkers and horse riders. The new plan aims to upgrade the Cole Green Way into an attractive and functional route, recognising its importance to the community and its potential for active travel. View the plan and find out how to comment here: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/colegreenway

Hertfordshire Year of Physical Activity

YOPA the Stag is becoming something of a celebrity lately, putting in appearances at numerous Parkruns, Bikeability workshops and even a Couch to 5K course! As we move into March and Young People Month, you’ll be able to spot him at the Herts School Games County Finals being held at Wodson Park and the Inter FE Colleges Games at the Hertfordshire Sports Village.

With spring on the horizon, YOPA is looking for lots of opportunities to be outside in the fresh air, so if you want him to visit your group or event, please contact Jane Parker at hertsyopa18@herts.ac.uk

Squash, but not as we know it!

As part of our Year of Physical Activity 2018 a group of Hertfordshire residents – with links to the Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership – have started what is believed to be one of the UK’s first walking squash leagues at the Hertfordshire Sports Village. Further details please contact: Josie Mclean j.mclean@herts.ac.uk  T: 01707 281186  

Put a spring in your step in Sawbridgeworth

'Put a Spring in Your Step’ day is back again this year on the first day of spring, Tuesday 20th March, but with a difference – it will have a Spring Torch Relay, travelling from school to school to spread the walking word.  Pupils, parents and carers, teachers, staff, governors, councillors and anyone in and around Sawbridgeworth, dust off your trainers and join in, helping to spread the message to ditch the car by walking, park & striding, scooting, cycling and running to school, to work, to the shops etc. Look out for posters locally and letters in school bags.

Walks and More

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The CMS promotes a calendar of FREE outdoor events called Walks & More. These events are the great opportunity to enjoy exploring Hertfordshire's beautiful countryside, learn local history, or have a fun family day out. Below is just one of the fascinating walks on offer during March.

Buntingford and Back - Tuesday 13th March, 10am-12.30pm

Join the Countryside Management Service and Buntingford Town Council for a circular stroll from Hertfordshire’s smallest town into the countryside and back.
Starting from the Community Centre at Luynes Rise, named after the French town of Luynes, Buntingford’s twin town. From here you’ll head out across the fields to the village of Aspenden ‘Valley of Aspens’, then back through the historic town.

Final thought

This e-Bulletin is produced by the Countryside Management Service, part of Hertfordshire County Council. If you know someone who might like to receive this e-Bulletin, please ask them to sign up via Update Me on the Hertfordshire County Council website.

We love to hear your comments and see your pictures of the walking events you take part in. Please email healthwalks.cms@hertfordshire.gov.uk

Walking in Hertfordshire - February

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Welcome to the FEBRUARY Walking in Hertfordshire
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Many more reasons and opportunities to MOVE MORE & FEEL GREAT in 2018

Sign up for the Workplace Challenge

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Motivate your colleagues by joining today for FREE! Just 10 minutes of activity a day can help you feel better, improve mood and concentration and help improve sleep. Organisations across Hertfordshire will be taking part in the challenge, which lasts for 8 weeks, and encourages staff to build activity into and around their working days. This is for ALL abilities and everyone is encouraged to do a little bit more activity than usual.
To sign up, visit www.workplacechallenge.org.uk/signup. Once registered, you will need to log your activity each week and everyone can gain activity points, with prizes to be won throughout the challenge. The challenge runs until March 4, 2018. Get set, GO!

Discover the Hertfordshire Way - a new guide

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Passing through peaceful fields, quiet footpaths and lovely villages, The Hertfordshire Way is a long-distance waymarked path that guides you all the way around the county. It’s now easier than ever to enjoy, thanks to a new full-colour edition of the official guidebook which divides the route into 16 manageable legs of between 9 and 15 miles. Each starts and ends as close to public transport as possible and is clearly described with a detailed map, delightful watercolour pictures and photos of highlights along the way. The whole route itself is clearly marked with distinctive green and white roundels and signposts.
Cost: £10 (+ £1.50 postage) and is available from the Friends of the Hertfordshire Way. Contact hertfordshireway@gmail.com or visit www.fhw.org.uk.

Hertfordshire Year of Physical Activity - February is Volunteering Month

Get active while giving something back to your community. The Countryside Management Service has plenty of opportunities across the county to help you get started, with several FREE training dates in the pipeline (see below).

Midweek Practical Conservation Volunteers Tasks run every week, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; email for more details.

Rights of Way Surveyor Next training date: Saturday February 10, 2018 in Hitchin.

Guided Walk Leader Next training date: Thursday March 8, 2018 in Hertford.

Hertfordshire Health Walk leaders Next training date: Wednesday February 21, 2018 in Watford.

Hertfordshire Health Walk Ambassador Next training date: Wednesday February 28, 2018 in Welwyn.

For more information call 01992 588433 or email northeast.cms@hertfordshire.gov.uk or healthwalks.cms@hertfordshire.gov.uk.

 

Walks & More

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The CMS promotes a calendar of FREE outdoor events called Walks & More. These events are the great opportunity to enjoy exploring Hertfordshire's beautiful countryside, learn local history, or have a fun family day out. Below are some of February's top picks

Maisie's Walks - North Herts

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Monday February 5, 2018 - 10.30am-12.30pm
An easy stroll around beautiful North Herts countryside, identifying wildlife, fauna and flora. Pocket sized books for each subject--birds, animals, insects butterflies, trees wildflowers fungi - are provided. Meet at the former Windmill pub in the middle of the tiny hamlet of Charlton, SG5 2AE. No need to book, just turn up.

NEW Watton at Stone Health Walk

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Every Tuesday 10am-11.30am
Join Hertfordshire Health Walk leaders for a circular brisk walk. Meet at the Nigel Poulton Community Hall, SG14 3SF. No need to book, but please register as a Health Walker online beforehand.

Final thought

This e-Bulletin is produced by the Countryside Management Service, part of Hertfordshire County Council. If you know someone who might like to receive this e-Bulletin, please ask them to sign up via Update Me on the Hertfordshire County Council website.

Talk to us at our Learning Disability Service Watch Group

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The Learning Disability Service Watch Group is a chance to speak up about health and social care services

Anyone who is interested in health and social care services can attend

Our meetings run from 12pm to 3pm every other month

There is a free lunch included before the meeting from 12pm to 1pm

For more information call: 01707 275978
 
Or visit our website: www.healthwatchhertfordshire.co.uk

View the full flyer here 

Increase to Charges for Social Care ePetition

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Petition by Carers in Hertfordshire

Petition Overview:

Reject the proposals to increase charges for social care for severely disabled people who are being supported to live in their own homes, either alone or with family, as we believe that such increases will impact negatively upon:

  • the quality of their lives and consequently on their health and well-being,

  • the health and well-being of their family carers leading to potential carer breakdown,

  • the sustainability of their home  placement resulting in higher costs across the health and social care system.

We note the additional monies provided by Government and raised through the social care precept but we recognise the ongoing pressure on social care budgets and welcome the announcement that a Green Paper will be published this summer 2018.  However, we consider that these proposals if enacted would cause hardship and stress to the most severely disabled people in our community and their families.  We therefore call upon the County Council to reject them.

Click on the link for more information "Increase to charges for Social Care" ePetition

This petition closes on Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Set your wellbeing learning goals with us in 2018!

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Did you know people who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them? This January we offer Setting Your Learning Goals workshops throughout Hertfordshire. Head on over to www.newleafcollege.co.uk/Book-a-Course to book your free place;

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New Leaf College Team

Tel 01442 864966

www.newleafcollege.co.uk

Trefoil House | Red Lion Lane | Hemel Hempstead | HP3 9TE

Hertfordshire Warmer Homes Scheme

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A new scheme that provides free or discounted household improvements to help residents stay warm in their homes has been launched by Hertfordshire County Council in partnership with all 10 district and borough councils. 

In Hertfordshire, over 32,000 households are estimated to live in fuel poverty meaning they do not have enough money to adequately heat their home. Colder temperatures can lead to excess winter deaths. Between August 2013 and July 2016, there were 1795 excess winter deaths in Hertfordshire.

The Hertfordshire Warmer Homes scheme aims to make homes easier and cheaper to heat by offering free or discounted energy efficiency measures, such as insulation and heating repair, or fuel switching advice to low-income and vulnerable households.

The World Health Organisation recommends that homes should be heated to 21°C (70°F) during the day and 18°C (64°F) at night.  This is especially important for those with a young family, the over 75s or those with a long-term health condition, such as respiratory or cardiovascular disease.

The Hertfordshire Warmer Homes scheme will be managed by the National Energy Foundation, using funding from the national Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and some local authority contributions. It will run to 31 October 2018.

Please help us raise awareness of this scheme with the vulnerable residents you are in touch with by publicising it through your own channels.  Anyone can find out more information by contacting HertsHelp on: 0300 123 4044 (local rate) or info@hertshelp.net. Alternatively, please visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/hertswarmerhomes

Further information and a communications toolkit to help publicise the campaign is available on the Health in Herts professionals pages

Half Term in Hertfordshire

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Half term on a budget

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Searching for things to do with the kids this October half term? Don’t fret! There are plenty of free or budget things to do in Hertfordshire with the family next week. Check out our list of the top five.

 

 

Four million meals in 10 years

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Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS) has chalked up 10 years of helping Hertfordshire's residents to live independently. The county council has commended their efforts.

 

 

A602 improvements continue

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The multi-million pound improvement programme continues on the A602 with the creation of a temporary T-junction at Wadesmill Road. We answered the most common questions about the works.

 

 

Fire service welcomes new recruits

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The newest firefighters to join Hertfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service officially passed out from their basic training. Meet the recruits.

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.

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