• Party Time for Beads of Courage Children

    by Kirstie Flack | Aug 13, 2019

    Children and families enjoyed a fun filled afternoon at the Bridge Church, St Ives earlier this month to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the Beads of Courage in Cambridgeshire.

    Children living with long term life-limiting conditions and their families celebrated alongside characters including Iron Man, Paw Patrol, Calamity Clown whilst enjoying popcorn, drumming and glitter tattoos.

    The day was a celebration of the courage of the children throughout the year during their treatment, looking back at the beads they’ve received and what they’ve overcome. The Beads of Courage help alleviate treatment induced stress and anxiety which can occur in children living with long term life-limiting conditions.

    The children and their families were joined by members of staff from Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust.

    Mags Hirst, Play Specialist for the Children's Community Nursing Team said: “We are thrilled to see so many of our young patients here today.

    “We are so grateful for the amazing support from many local companies and individuals who have given their time and expertise freely to enable us to hold the fun filled party for our very brave and courageous youngsters.”

    Siana Hay, Kayla’s mum said: “The team are everything; they are so supportive of the children and families. This party just shows how much they care.

    “The beads are something beautiful and positive in such a turbulent time. They are so important to the children and provide a great distraction, even for parents.”

    Maria Nowshadi, Team Lead for the Children’s Community Nursing Team said:  “The Bead party is a fabulous celebration of our brave children and their families.

    The day was made even more amazing by the kindness of local companies who donated time, money and their specialist skills to make sure the children had a good time.”

    Anita Pisani, Deputy Chief Executive for the Trust who attended the event alongside the families and staff thanked everyone for coming: “I want to thank the children and their families for coming along to such a wonderful event.

    “The Community Nursing Team spends all year supporting people across the county and today is a day to celebrate that with the children and their families. Therefore, I’d like to say a huge thank you to the team who do such a fabulous job throughout the year.”

    If anyone would like to donate to this worthy cause the charitable fund for donations is TSC13 /1108920/Cambs mental health and primary care trust charitable fund.

    Beads of Courage 2019 collage

  • Engaging communities to develop a plan for health and care transformation

    by Debbie Manning | Jul 29, 2019

    BLMK logo

    A campaign to understand what is important to local communities about the future of health and care services across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) has started with local health and care organisation’s capturing the views of local people at events across the region.

    The campaign, which will run until mid-September under the title #BLMKfutureNHS, will provide BLMK residents and communities with an opportunity to share their views about existing services and what is important to them for the future.

    #BLMKfutureNHS will build upon the work that local organisations have done to involve and engage local people to shape the services that they use.  Most recently Healthwatch in BLMK undertook a two month engagement programme to understand people’s general views, as well as specific experiences of cancer and mental health care, and what they would like to see available in the future. Over the next two months, teams will be talking to people and staff working in health and care services at public and staff events across BLMK. As part of this campaign, a dedicated stand will be in shopping centres or large supermarkets in Bedford, Luton, Milton Keynes and Central Bedfordshire (Dunstable, Biggleswade and Leighton Buzzard) during July, August and September. People will be able to take part in a short questionnaire and talk to members of the team about health and care services.

    The main dates and locations are as follows:

    • Tesco Dunstable, Saturday 27 July
    • The Mall, Luton, 1-3 August (Thursday to Saturday)
    • Harpur Centre, Bedford, 8-10 August (Thursday to Saturday)
    • Centre MK, Milton Keynes, 12-14 September (Thursday to Saturday)

    In addition, the engagement team will be out and about at local community events encouraging people and communities to share their views. A full calendar of events and meetings that the team will be attending is available on the BLMK ICS website –

    The campaign will support the development of a five year plan for health and wellbeing for our area, based on feedback from local people and communities and developed by the 15 partners of the BLMK ICS*. This is partly in response to the NHS Long-term Plan which was published earlier this year and sets out the priorities and ambitions for the NHS to meet the changing needs of the country’s growing population.



    In 2016, NHS organisations and local councils came together to form 44 sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) covering the whole of England, and set out their proposals to improve health and care for patients.

    In Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, the partnership evolved to form an integrated care system (ICS), a new type of even closer collaboration. In an integrated care system, NHS organisations, in partnership with local councils and others, take collective responsibility for managing resources, delivering NHS standards, and improving the health of the population they serve. BLMK was one of the first ten ICSs.  The NHS Long Term Plan calls for everywhere to have an ICS by 2021.

    Media contacts:

    Nicola Dowlen                         Email:
                                                    Mobile: 07976 427210

    Sam Holden                            Email:

    To keep up to date with latest news, follow us at: 
    Twitter:   @BLMK_STP

  • CCS NHS Trust Wins National NHS Award

    by Sarah Turner | Jul 19, 2019

    Cambridgeshire Community Services (CCS) NHS Trust is honoured to have won the ‘Inspiring Place to Work and Train’ category in the annual Healthcare Education and Training (HEAT) Awards, run by Health Education England (HEE).

    Winners were announced at a prestigious awards ceremony at the Royal College of Physicians in London last night (18th July), to mark the culmination of NHS Values Week.

    Sallyann Woodthorpe, Training and Development Manager, collected the award with Vivien John, Skills Development Lead. She said: “I feel privileged and proud to have collected the award on behalf of the Training and Education Team, they're an amazing team.

    “All the finalists were winners and we were touched by some really emotional and inspirational stories of going above and beyond!"

    Vivien John said: “I’m immensely proud and thankful to work for an organisation that encourages the freedom to create, innovate and energise!"

    CCS NHS Trust provides services across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Luton, Norfolk, Peterborough and Suffolk, and was rated the best community Trust in the country, compared to our peers, when it comes to staff recommending their organisation as a place to work or receive treatment (2018 NHS staff survey results).

    Our mission is to provide high-quality care through our excellent people, and training and development enables that aspiration, underpinned by the NHS constitution and values. 

    “Our staff are our most important asset and we’re committed to supporting each and every one of them in their roles and giving them the tools to progress by providing training, education and continuing professional development,” said Matthew Winn, Chief Executive.

    Sir David Behan, Chair, Health Education England, said: “The HEAT Awards celebrate the very best in education, training and workforce development within the NHS.

    “Our winners, and all nominees, are examples to all of us and remind us that the strength of the NHS lies in its people.”

    Prof Ian Cumming OBE, Chief Executive, Health Education England, said: “Our 790 entries this year were of an extremely high calibre, and choosing the winners was no simple process.

    “My congratulations go to all our winners and finalists, each of whom go the extra mile to serve the public. They are all a huge credit to themselves, their organisations and to the NHS as a whole.”

    HEAT awards were presented in 13 categories, ranging from Inspirational Trainee and Inspirational Leader to Champion of Diversity, Champion of the NHS Constitution and Inspiring Return To Practice.

    Winners were announced at the end of HEE’s 2019 Conference ‘People Where It Matters – Taking Forward The NHS People Plan.’

    Information about career opportunities at CCS NHS Trust can be found here

  • Free NHS Wi-Fi Now Available for Patients

    by Sarah Turner | Jul 19, 2019

    Patients can now download health apps, browse the internet and access healthcare information while waiting for medical appointments as free Wi-Fi is rolled out across a number of Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust sites.

    Patients can use their own smartphone or tablet to get a reliable and secure connection to the internet while waiting for outpatient appointments at the following sites:

    • Abbey View iCaSH Clinic in Bury St Edmunds
    • Breydon iCaSH Clinic in Great Yarmouth
    • Brookfields Hospital in Cambridge
    • Doddington Hospital in March
    • North Cambs Hospital in Wisbech
    • Oak Tree Centre in Huntingdon
    • Peterborough Dental Access Centre
    • Princess of Wales Hospital in Ely
    • Vancouver House in King’s Lynn

    As well as enabling patients to access the increasing range of digital health-based information, Wi-Fi enables clinicians to direct patients to online support, making care more efficient and helping people take control of their own wellbeing.

    In addition, having access to free Wi-Fi enables patients to stay connected to friends and family using messaging services and can help keep children entertained and provide a welcome distraction from anxiety.

    “I’m delighted with the roll-out of free NHS Wi-Fi across our sites as part of the NHS Digital Wi-Fi Programme,” says James Gingell, Assistant Director of ICT.

    “Patients can join the network called NHS Wi-Fi from their chosen mobile device and upon accepting the terms and conditions, they’ll be able to browse the internet.”

    The roll-out is part of NHS Digital’s Wi-Fi Programme which aims to ensure the entire NHS estate has access to free internet.

    In 2015, health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced that free Wi-Fi would be available across all NHS buildings in England as part of the government’s commitment to a paperless health service by 2020.

    He said: “Everyone using the NHS expects it to be a world leader in digital healthcare and free Wi-Fi is an essential part of making that a reality.”

  • New CCS campaign urges support for mums who breastfeed in public

    by Emily Loud | Jul 03, 2019

    A new awareness campaign is aiming to help mums become more confident when breastfeeding in public. The Luton and Bedfordshire #FreeToFeed campaign is being launched by NHS community services and local authorities.  Businesses, members of the public and other mums are being encouraged to raise awareness of the importance of breastfeeding and to help new mums feel comfortable feeding their children when out and about. 

    "To be able to breastfeed, I feel quite accomplished, I feel I have an amazing bond with my son, and I've given him the best start in life that I could - it's the best decision I made. It's one of the most amazing gifts you can give to your child, and it's a shame that it's become a rare sighting as opposed to the norm," said Rebecca, a mum from Bedfordshire.

    "It was harder at the beginning. I haven’t been confident breastfeeding because I was conscious of the looks that I’d get. Now I’m used to breastfeeding, I don’t care - my children come first, and I know the benefits of breastfeeding. When my baby needs it, I’ll give it to him" said Sarah, a mum from Luton.


    The campaign is building on a strong base. After surveying more than 350 local mothers, they found that 55% said they felt extremely or very confident breastfeeding out and about, while 32% were somewhat confident and 13% were not confident or not at all confident.

    But rates of breastfeeding, which protects children from illness and reduces mothers’ risk of certain cancers, are declining across England. According to Public Health England, 59% of mothers in Luton, 55% in Bedford Borough, and 49% in Central Bedfordshire are breastfeeding 6-8 weeks after their child’s birth. At the same time, UNICEF estimates that 80% of UK mums stop breastfeeding before they want to, often due to lack of support.

    “We recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life, but the longer you breastfeed, the greater the benefits. That’s why it’s so important in the long term for mums to build their confidence breastfeeding in public, and for businesses to support them – we’re even providing stickers for businesses to display and show their support for the campaign said Sarah Pickford, Practice Development Lead for Bedfordshire Community Health Services; part of Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust.

    “Breastfeeding is a wonderful, healthy thing to do for your child, but it can be very challenging at the beginning. Mothers can feel anxious or unwelcome when trying to breastfeed out and about, so it’s important that businesses, members of the public and other mums support them in overcoming these challenges and persisting with breastfeeding for as long as they choose,” said Rachel Hopkins, Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Luton.

    Councilor Louise Jackson, Portfolio Holder Health and Wellbeing for Bedford Borough Council said: “It’s great to be part of this joint campaign to raise awareness and ensure that breastfeeding mums and their children feel welcome and free to feed in public spaces in Bedford Borough.”

    Spread the word, access campaign materials (including a guide and window stickers for businesses) and find out more by visiting our campaign page here. 

    You can also find more information about breastfeeding support in Luton and Bedfordshire by using the following links:

  • Mill Road, Cambridge, Bridge Closure Dates (affecting access to iCaSH, Dental, DynamicHealth, Evelyn Community Head Injury Service and the Peacock Centre, Children’s Services on Brookfield’s Campus)

    by Kirstie Flack | Jun 27, 2019

    Mill Road, Cambridge, Bridge Closure Dates (affecting access to iCaSH, Dental, DynamicHealth, Evelyn Community Head Injury Service and the Peacock Centre, Children’s Services on Brookfield’s Campus)

    Please be aware that Mill Road Bridge, Cambridge will be closed to all motor vehicles from Monday 1st July 2019, with work estimated to be completed by Monday 26th August 2019 (8 weeks).  The closure is due the replacement of a gas main which runs the full length of Mill Road; with this in mind, please check your route before you visit Brookfield’s Campus and leave extra time for your journey.

    For most of this work there will be a crossing for pedestrians and cyclists, who will be required to dismount, but there may be a handful of days during this period that this will not be possible.

    The Citi 2 bus service and the shuttle services 2A and 2B will be diverted (see below).  More details on these changes including service timetables can be found at

    Cambridge Dial-A-Ride will provide a door to door service for residents who will find the revised service physically difficult to use. This service will run for the entire period of the closure.  Please apply for Dial-A-Ride membership on 01223 506335.

  • Don’t Suffer in Silence During World Continence Week – 17th-23rd June 2019

    by Sarah Turner | Jun 17, 2019

    Do you worry where the nearest toilet is?  Try to avoid exercising, coughing or sneezing due to fear of leakage? Feel you have no control over your bladder? Find your bladder’s controlling your life?

    If so, you’re not alone. Bladder weakness affects 1 in 3 people and is more common than hay fever. However, the good news is that pelvic health physiotherapy provided by our DynamicHealth team at Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust could help if you experience one of these conditions:

    • Stress incontinence - urinary leaking with certain activities.
    • Overactive bladder - having a sudden desire to go to the toilet immediately with possible leaking of urine before reaching the toilet. There may be a need to visit the toilet more frequently than normal.
    • Mixed urinary incontinence – a combination of stress incontinence and over active bladder.
    • Small to moderate prolapse of the front and/or back vaginal wall(s) – weakening of the support structures that support the vagina, resulting in bulging of the pelvic organs into the vagina.
    • Pain related pelvic floor dysfunction e.g. vaginismus.
    • Post-natal pelvic girdle pain, perineal trauma and diastasis rectus abdominis.
    • Faecal incontinence – leakage of faeces.
    • Obstructive defecation – difficult emptying the bowel, which may or may not be associated with constipation.
    • Urinary incontinence and/ or erectile dysfunction following prostate surgery.

    “Urinary incontinence is common but not normal,” explains Gail Stephens, Specialist Pelvic Health Physiotherapist.

    “One in three women and one in nine men experience leakage, however  there are many effective self-management strategies that can be used so it’s important not to suffer in silence or feel too embarrassed to seek help.

    “For overactive bladder symptoms it’s all about having a happy bladder with good pelvic floor muscle control. For stress urinary incontinence (leakage on exertion like coughing and exercise) it’s all about improving pelvic floor muscle function.” 

    World Continence Week (WCW) runs from 17th-23rd June 2019 and is an annual initiative managed and run by the International Continence Society (ICS) to raise awareness of incontinence related issues such as bladder and bowel weakness, pelvic pain and other debilitating conditions which impact greatly on people’s quality of life.

    You can download a ‘bladder health advice’ leaflet and pelvic floor exercises for men and women from our website here

    You can also refer yourself for physiotherapy by calling our dedicated Physio Advice Line on 0300 555 0210.

  • Champion for Equality and Inclusion brings wealth of expertise to NHS Community Trust

    by Sarah Turner | Jun 13, 2019

    Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, which delivers services across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Luton, Norfolk, Peterborough and Suffolk, has appointed a new Non-Executive Board Director.

    Nicola Scrivings, Chair, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust said: “I am delighted to welcome Fazilet Hadi as a Non Executive Director on the Trust Board.  Fazilet has extensive health-related experience, including as a recent former Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Royal National Institute of Blind People and as a champion for embedding equality and inclusion into public services.  She will be an invaluable asset to the Trust.”

    Commenting on her appointment, Fazilet said: “I am pleased and excited to have been appointed as a Non Executive Director with Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust.  I am looking forward to working with colleagues and service users to build on the Trust’s many successes and strong commitment to improving lives.” 

    Fazilet is a resident of Letchworth.  She stepped down as Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Royal National Institute of Blind People in 2018.  At the RNIB, Fazilet worked with colleagues and customers to make services more person-centred, to increase customer participation and voice, to influence policy change and to improve collaboration with other organisations.  Fazilet began to lose her sight when she was a child and was registered blind in her late teens. She started her career as a solicitor, supporting individuals to exercise their rights. She has also worked to embed equality in local authority services.

    FaziletFazilet was appointed as Non Executive Director from 1 June 2019 to 31 May 2022.  She will receive remuneration of £6,157 per annum.  Her appointment was made by NHS Improvement and is subject to the Governance Code for Public Appointments. Fazilet has not declared any political activity in the last five years.  NHS Improvement ensures that all appointments to NHS trust boards throughout England are made in a way that is open, transparent and fair to candidates.  NHS Improvement routinely publishes information about all the appointments it makes on its website.

  • Our CCNT is one of the only teams in the county delivering Factor 5

    by Debbie Manning | Jun 10, 2019

    A fantastic example of responsive and innovative care – our Children's Community Nursing Team are one of the only teams in the country delivering Factor 5 (human plasma) transfusions in the home setting to children.

    Ibrahim Mahmood (14) suffers from a rare Factor 5 deficiency in his blood.  The team deliver the transfusion to him 4 times a week after school ensuring that he leads a relatively normal life, with out the need to go to hospital.

    Factor 5 is a rare blood cloning deficiency and is missing protein in the blood meaning that injured blood vessels do not heal in the normal way.


  • Luton NHS and social care team up to deliver for elderly patients

    by Emily Loud | Jun 04, 2019

    An innovative project is helping Luton’s health and care professionals work even better together to look after elderly patients in their own homes. Since October 2018, local NHS, care organisations and GP practices have collaborated to bring proactive care (from medical home visits to Age Concern services) to more than 800 of Luton’s older residents. This approach has improved patient care, helped more of individuals to manage their conditions at or close to home, and supported 228 fewer unplanned admissions to hospital than the previous year.

    The project has succeeded by bringing together Luton’s community nurses, mental health professionals, social workers, paramedics, GPs and hospital doctors, and more, for regular “huddles” and multi-disciplinary meetings to discuss patients and organise care. These meetings have allowed healthcare professionals to access the most appropriate services for patients more quickly, to learn from each other, and to co-ordinate the variety of services supporting each patient.

    The most important measure of success has been positive patient experience. Chris, a patient who has recently benefitted from this joined-up approach to care, said “The community matron and his team are great, because they ask you what you want, and contact whoever would be appropriate and pulls it all together. When different agencies work together, it makes a lot of difference - things move forward.” It’s not just Chris who was pleased - 92% of patients and families surveyed said they would recommend this approach based on their experience.


    This proactive approach will now be expanded to become business as usual, building on the At Home First model, which Luton Community Services use to co-ordinate adults’ care for some time. This will help health and social care services to better serve a larger number of Luton’s frail elderly patients, and further support Luton Clinical Commissioning Group’s ambition to ensure person centred care.

    Commending the improvements made to date, Matthew Winn, Chief Executive, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust (which delivers community health services across Luton) said: “By collaborating with multiple organisations to support patients before they need urgent hospital admission, Luton’s health and care professionals are developing a preventative approach to care and building a sustainable model for the future.  They are also putting themselves at the forefront of approaches highlighted by the NHS Long Term Plan, which will be a crucial part of helping the health system meet the challenges of an ageing population.”

    Maud O’Leary, Head of Adult Social Care at Luton Council, added: “We’re very excited to be part of this programme. It’s about focussing everything around the individual, looking at what’s important for that person, for their family, and making sure we work in a way that’s integrated, and that we’re all working together for the same purpose.”

    “We’re aiming to work collaboratively … to provide much more integrated care for the patients”, said Dr Haydn Williams, GP and Chair of Hatters Health Primary Care Network. “It’s a more proactive model of care so that we identify patients that may have needs, and we go to the patient, looking at their home support, environment, perhaps what level of social support they have, and how that impacts on their medical problem at the time.”

    Helen Standen, Dementia Nurse Specialist, East London NHS Foundation Trust (which delivers mental health services in Luton), commented: “This project has been a really good opportunity for services to overlap and work together. A brilliant example is the work the falls team has been doing with this project, which has allowed us to get them out to see a gentleman, and that’s prevented hospital admission. We got a hospital bed, sliding sheets, the family has given really positive feedback, and that’s been very useful. People these days do lots of things via email to faceless people, whereas now these are real people, real professionals, working together to coordinate a huge service.” 

    “At the meetings we have every week, there are valuable contributions being made by all disciplines around the table. You really feel at the end of the meeting you know the patient, their social surroundings, their families, and that’s how we can come together and make a decision that we feel is in the best interest of the patient. It’s definitely a very good basis for a service in the future”, added Dr Peter Albert, Consultant Geriatrician at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital.

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