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  • Children have designs on Redgrave Gardens

    by Debbie Manning | Mar 27, 2019

    Fantastic artwork created by local children now lines the clinic corridors of Redgrave Gardens Children’s Centre following the official unveiling by the Mayor of Luton Naseem Ayub recently.

    Over the summer of 2018 local schools and children were invited to submit artwork to a competition, and more than 130 entries were received.  Five winners were invited to attend the unveiling event to receive their certificates and prizes from the Mayor. 

    Charmaine Perry, Office Manager/Team Leader for the Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust (CCS) Community Paediatrics team based at Redgrave Gardens Children’s Centre has been the driving force behind this art project.  She came up with the idea of running a competition with local children from Luton schools, and  worked with local company ‘TheBigArtProject’ and also tied it in with the NHS 70th anniversary.  The plan is to add interest and colour to the corridor leading to the clinic rooms, which is plain and grey and not very appealing to children.  IMG_2550c

    Mayor of Luton Naseem Ayub said: “Well done to everyone who was involved in creating this fantastic display and making the environment more welcoming for all to enjoy.  The centre’s staff carry out an important and supportive role and everyone involved does a fantastic job to make it work.”

    Dr Catherine Kearney, Consultant Paediatrician for CCS at the centre was due to attend the unveiling, but unfortunately was not able to make it on the day, however, following the event, Catherine said:  “I was so disappointed that I couldn't meet all the young people and their families that came to the unveiling to thank them personally for their beautiful works of art which have transformed our clinic space for all our current and future families. The Community Paediatric team looks forward to working with children and families in the future to make our centre more family friendly. Thank you all.”

    Currently there are around 40 artworks on display, and over the coming months there are plans to develop this even further with the remainder of the competition artwork that was submitted.


    Check on the link for more photo's from the unveiling event: click here. 

  • Newborn Hearing Screening team attend relaunch of Bedford Maternity Unit

    by Debbie Manning | Mar 19, 2019

    The Newborn Hearing Screening Programme team attended the relaunch of the midwifery- led Bedford Maternity Unit at Bedford Hospital recently along with 100 parents and other organisations.

    Deborah Cheshire, National Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP) Manager for Luton Children’s Services, Jasmine Box, Luton Screener and Janet Coleman, Bedford Screener were invited to the event.

    NHSP created a display celebrating the achievements of a recent Public Health England Quality Assurance Success in achieving their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and data about the children found to have a confirmed congenital hearing loss. Visual aids such as a large model of the ear and a baby doll were used to demonstrate the screening process and engage families in all aspects of hearing as part of early development in child health. Fathers were particularly interested in the equipment and emissions of sound waves and were encouraged to be screened so they could hear exactly what the baby will hear.

    It is hoped this Bedford event will take place twice a year clearly putting NHSP ‘on the map’ , promoting Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust (who run Luton Children’s Services) as a Trust, and giving the NHSP screeners the opportunity to take pride in the work they do each do to a recognised high standard.

    It is important to state all the screeners work exceptionally hard especially when we face challenges of children not brought to clinic or logistic constraints and it would be remiss of me not to thank them all for their service across the board.

    Collage of all photos

  • Nursing team bring home a double win at healthcare awards

    by Debbie Manning | Mar 12, 2019

    Luton Nurses who provide a fast and effective pathway for patients through hospital and back into the community have won two prestigious national awards.

    The Luton Integrated Discharge and GP Liaison Team won one of the categories and were highly commended in another in the digital Leading Healthcare Awards recently.  

    They work with patients, mainly with highly complex needs, and the service is believed to be the only nurse-led one of its kind in the country.

    The team was announced as the winner of the Staff and Patient Experience Category, and received a highly commended in the Improving Outcomes category.

    Sally Shaw, Service Manager for the Team, said:  “We are very excited and surprised to win, but I feel it’s a true reflection of the positivity of the team in focussing at all times on the patient healthcare journey.

    “Communication is fundamental to the success of the team, written and verbal, and the team can certainly talk; GP's, consultants, specialist nurses, receptionists, radiographers, A&E, families and patients etc.  Continuity of communication is vital when caring for complex patients, and being able to share the information in a timely manner is essential for smooth, safe and appropriate discharge planning.”

    The team, which is based at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital, is part of Luton Adult Services run by Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust.  This service streamlines the way GPs refer patients for same day hospital assessment in Luton, and provide a fast, effective patient pathway through the hospital and back into the community.   Before the service was launched GP referrals for same day acute medicine and general surgical assessments would go through the main hospital switchboard and were discussed and accepted by the hospital ward staff.

    Matthew Winn, Chief Executive, said:  “I am incredibly proud of the Luton GP Liaison Service who have been rightly recognised for their great work and won these awards.  The nurse led team deserves full recognition for this ground breaking service and should be really proud of all they have achieved.”

    The Digital Healthcare Awards took place on Wednesday 6 March 2019.  More information can be found here:

    Integrated Discharge & GP Liaison Team
  • Launch of new innovative app for children with Glue Ear ​

    by Kirstie Flack | Mar 11, 2019

    Hear Glue Ear App collage

    As part of World Hearing Day (Sunday 3rd March) Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, has showcased a new ‘Hear Glue Ear’ app designed for children aged 2-6 who are experiencing hearing loss due to glue ear.

    The app was recently launched at the Trust’s children’s services hub at the Peacock Centre, Mill Road, Cambridge.

    Funded and designed in partnership with the Cambridge Hearing Trust and Cambridge Digital Health, the app aims to reduce learning and development delays that can occur when children have hearing loss. Glue ear is caused by a build-up of fluid and mucous behind the ear drum which prevents sounds being transferred to the inner part of the hearing system.

    Dr Tamsin Brown, Community Paediatrician, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust said: “We have worked closely with the Cambridge Hearing Trust Charity and Cambridge Digital Health to develop the app, which is available now free of charge to all families with glue ear from the Apple and Android App Stores.

    “The app will help children diagnosed with glue ear to develop speech, language, auditory processing and listening skills at a critical time in their development through specially designed songs, games and audio books.  As well as helping to ensure children do not fall behind with their language skills and work at school, the app also provides valuable information, resources and progress tracking for parents and carers.”

    Commenting on the app, Oriane Chausiaux, Managing Director, Cambridge Digital Health said: “We've really enjoyed having the opportunity to create something fun and useful for children and their families who are facing challenges due to Glue Ear.

    “We're looking forward to working with Tamsin on additional features for the app to provide even more helpful tools and resources.”

    Ian Neville from Cambridge Hearing Trust said: “We were delighted to fund the Hear Glue Ear app and work with Dr Brown and Cambridge Digital Health to turn this into a reality.  We are confident that the app will vastly improve outcomes for children with glue ear.”

    Dr Brown has also developed, in her own time, a bone conducting headset to support children with glue ear. She explains: “The headset takes sound and changes this into a vibration; routing it down the bone where the inner hearing system is and bypassing the problem area.  These bone vibration headphones (similar to those worn by cyclists) can be synchronised to either the app or to a small microphone which a teacher or parent can attach to their lapel to improve the child’s ability to hear.  We hope the headsets will be available on the NHS next year.”

    Further information can be found at:

  • Bedfordshire’s brilliant Baby Friendly team goes mobile

    by User Not Found | Mar 11, 2019

    Bedfordshire’s Baby Friendly team, which supports new mothers with breastfeeding across the region, is taking an innovative step forward to increase the impact of their work. The team has worked with local entrepreneur Rosamund McFadden to rollout the Breastfeeding Hub mobile application for parents in Bedfordshire.

    The app has two elements: an information hub, and an interactive map of breastfeeding friendly venues, which allows parents to rate and recommend particular venues for breastfeeding.

    The information included is in line with the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative standards and includes photos, video clips and signposting to external articles and local and national breastfeeding support.

    Practice Development Lead Sarah Pickford said: “This is a really exciting time for our Baby Friendly team. Whether on Facebook, our website or this fantastic new app, we’re making sure that accurate information and details of how to get support are easy to find and available wherever mums might need it. It’s an important part of doing our best to support parents to help their babies thrive.”

    This is just one strand of the Baby Friendly Team’s ongoing efforts to improve their service and support breastfeeding across Bedfordshire. In December, the team received substantial positive feedback when it was revalidated by UNICEF’s Baby Friendly initiative. Anne Woods, UNICEF assessor, said: “staff are commended for their work to maintain the standards established. It was clear to the assessment team that pregnant women and new mothers receive a very high standard of care.”

    Mothers’ feedback has painted a similar picture, with an impressive 96% of mothers reporting they were very happy with the care provided. One happy mother even rated the service off the scale, saying: “I would give the service 11/10 and I am really hard to please!”

    If you’d like to start using the breastfeeding hub app, it’s available for download for Android here, or for iPhone here.  

    You can find out more about the Baby Friendly team’s work here.

    App poster

  • Fabulous artwork used to promote service helping children moving up to secondary school

    by Kirstie Flack | Mar 07, 2019
    Orchards Church of England Academy (final)

    Artwork from children at the Orchards Church of England Academy in Wisbech is being used to promote services throughout Cambridgeshire that is provided to students moving up from primary to secondary school.

    The School Nursing team from Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust visited the school and discussed ideas with parents and teachers about how they could create a leaflet which would help the children in their transition to their new schools.

    Tracey Bingham, Co-Production Lead for the Trust said: “Our school nursing team work closely with the Orchards Church of England Academy and after we visited the school, the teachers organised a chance for the children to express their thoughts about what they would like to be included in the leaflet by producing some artwork.

    “16 children drew pictures and wrote about what they thought is needed in the leaflet which included topics such as bullying, stress, healthy eating, sleep and general concerns about moving to a new school. Their enthusiasm was inspirational.”

    From the ideas the children provided the Trust changed the entire format of their leaflet and made this into a simple flyer detailing all the information the children would need including the new 0-19 phone number where the team can be contacted directly.  The Cambridgeshire 5-19 school nursing team offers advice on emotional wellbeing such as managing emotions, stress, eating concerns; healthy lifestyles including healthy eating, sleep, smoking; and help with puberty and growing up, focussing on healthy relationships, self-image and identity.

    Families can call the duty desk number on 0300 029 50 50 where one of the team is able to provide help and advice or children aged 11-19 can text Chathealth confidentially on 07480 635 443.

    Photo:  Children from the Orchards Church of England Academy, Wisbech and Lisa Foulkes, Transition Co-ordinator and Pastoral Support Counsellor, being presented with their certificates and gifts for their artwork used to create the new transitions leaflet.

  • 2018 Staff Survey Results

    by Sarah Turner | Feb 26, 2019

    Today, the 2018 staff survey results are published – and yet again, thanks to the fabulous culture we have created at Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, the results are fantastic. However, these results don’t happen by accident, they are the result of the passion and commitment of our wonderful staff and, as all the research shows, an engaged and valued workforce will deliver outstanding care. 

    Results summary

    A whopping 60% (1444 individuals) responded to the survey, which is above the 53% average response rate compared to our 16 peer community trusts.

    The chart below summarises our amazing results across the 10 overall themes (our results are the dark blue columns), compared to the 16 peer community trusts across the country.  In eight themes we were the best performing community trust.  We were ‘above average’ in the remaining two areas and had improved our scores in six of the 10 themes – outstanding results!

    2018 NHS staff survey results

    The following chart summarises whether staff would recommend our Trust as a place to work or receive treatment. Again, our results are the best in the country compared to our peer community trusts, and we think you’ll agree there’s no better commendation than whether our staff would be happy to entrust the care of their loved ones to our workforce!

    2018 staff survey theme results

    There’s always room for improvement!  Results will now be analysed by division and we will then work together, with our staff side colleagues, to develop improvement plans for the Trust overall and for our different locality/service areas. From an initial analysis, our results indicate we need to respond to the following issues in our action plans:

    • Staff putting themselves under pressure to come to work when not feeling well enough to do so
    • Ensuring that we have a fully inclusive culture everywhere
    • Ensuring staff experiencing physical violence at work report this
    • Ensuring appraisals help individuals to improve how they do their job




  • Changes to texture modification terminology for food and drink

    by User Not Found | Feb 06, 2019

    The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) has developed a standard terminology with a colour and numerical index to describe texture modification for food and drink.

    Dysphagia is the medical term for swallowing difficulties and a sign or symptom of disease, which may be neurological, muscular, physiological or structural. Dysphagia affects people of all ages in all types of care setting. Food texture modification is widely accepted as a way to manage dysphagia.

    Terms for fluid thickening, such as ‘custard thickness’, have varied locally and numerical scales have been used by industry. National standard terminology for modified food texture, including terms such as ‘fork-mashable’, was agreed in 2011 and widely adopted by the hospital catering industry and many clinical settings. However, local variations have persisted for both food and fluid texture, confusing patients, carers and healthcare staff. The imprecise term ‘soft diet’ continues to be used to refer to the modified food texture required by patients with dysphagia, and others without dysphagia, for example, with lost dentures, jaw surgery, frailty or impulsive eating.

    A review of National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) incidents over a recent two-year period identified seven reports where patients appear to have come to significant harm because of confusion about the meaning of the term ‘soft diet’. These incidents included choking requiring an emergency team response, and aspiration pneumonia; two patients died. An example incident reads: “Patient with documented dysphagia given soft diet including mince and peas at lunch…unresponsive episode…. Difficulty ventilating patient overnight. Peas [suctioned out via] endotracheal tube.” Around 270 similar incidents reported no harm or low harm such as coughing or a brief choking episode.

    These incidents suggest the continuing widespread use of the term ‘soft diet’ can lead to patients needing a particular type of modified diet being harmed.

    The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) has developed a standard terminology with a colour and numerical index to describe texture modification for food and drink. Manufacturers will be changing their labelling and instructions accordingly, and aim to complete this by April 2019.

    Transition from the current range of food and drink texture descriptors to IDDSI framework for people with dysphagia needs careful local planning to ensure it happens as soon and as safely as possible.

    For practical reasons and to reduce the risk of errors, IDDSI food texture descriptors also need to be adopted for patients who do not have dysphagia but for other clinical reasons need a modified texture diet equivalent to IDDSI levels 6 to 4 (usually in the short-term). IDDSI point out that within a regular (level 7) diet there are many easier to chew options and these may be suitable for some of these patients. The needs of non-dysphagia patients should be noted in care plans, including steps to address the cause of the problem and return them to a normal texture diet as soon as possible. We would not expect these patients to need to be prescribed thickeners.

    Find out more about these changes and the importance of eliminating imprecise terminology including ‘soft diet’ via the following links:

    CCS IDDSI leaflet
    IDDSI alert
    IDDSI Training Slides
    Comparison with IDDSI
    Nestle conversion chart
  • Mission complete for dreamdrops fundraiser

    by Kirstie Flack | Feb 06, 2019

    Sally, Anne-Marie and Malcolm

    Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s charity ‘dreamdrops’ has received an amazing donation of £720 for the Holly Ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

    Sally Burgess, 38, from St Ives took part in 3 major challenges to raise money for our dreamdrops charity. Sally completed her 100 length swim in July; the mammoth challenge of climbing Snowdon, by herself, in less than 3 hours in May and completed the Great Eastern Run half marathon in October.

    Sally said: “I decided to take on the three challenges after my son, Malcolm, was taken seriously ill in December 2017 with suspected Meningococcal Septicaemia.  He received excellent care on Holly Ward and also received further care at home after leaving hospital.

    “I wanted to give something back. He was 2 years old at the time. He is now 3, in good health, and is really enjoying preschool. We cannot thank the team enough for their help and support.”

    Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of dreamdrops said: “Once again we are indebted to Sally for her amazing fundraising efforts for dreamdrops.

    “It’s hard enough running at any time, but when you have the horrendous conditions at the Great Eastern Run; it must have given Sally a great sense of achievement to finish her final challenge, still smiling in spite of all the rain!

    “The money raised will be used to go towards some new comfortable armchairs for the parents to use on Holly Ward. This will make a huge difference to both the parents and children on the ward; we cannot thank Sally enough for her continued dedication.”

    If you would like to find out more and donate to Sally’s cause please visit her Just Giving page at: or if you would like to find out more about dreamdrops please visit the website at: 

    Photos: Sally and her son Malcolm with Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of dreamdrops

  • New Non Executive Directors bring wealth of expertise to NHS Community Trust

    by Sarah Turner | Feb 05, 2019

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

    Nicola Scrivings, Chair, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust said: “I am delighted to welcome Anna Gill OBE and Councillor Gary Tubb as Non Executive Directors on the Trust Board, both of whom have extensive business and health-related experience and will be an invaluable asset to the Trust.

    “I also warmly welcome Judith Glashen who has joined our Board as an Associate Non Executive Director for 12 months on the national NExT Director Scheme which supports people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities to become non-executive directors in the NHS.”

    Commenting on her appointment, Anna said: “It is an exciting time to join the Trust given the NHS Long Term Plan’s commitment to invest in community and primary care services.  As a former nurse and the mother of a severely disabled young adult, I know the difference that high quality community services – such as those provided by the Trust’s staff - can make to families.”  

    Gary added: “I am delighted to join a Trust that is so clearly committed to improving the quality of people’s lives on a daily basis.  As a Cabinet Member for Central Bedfordshire Council, I applaud the Trust’s commitment to working with partners to develop integrated health and social care services.  I look forward to contributing to this ambitious programme of work."

    “I am thrilled to be able to contribute my skills and knowledge as a Registered Nurse, policy developer, and analyst in organisational and leadership development,” said Judith. “Bringing the perspective of Black and Minority Ethnic people to the Board table will also help ensure decisions taken reflect the needs of the diverse communities the Trust serves.”

    Anna Gill OBE is a Norfolk resident. She combines her former background as a nurse with many years’ experience working as a parent carer representative at a national level including with the Department of Health and Social Care, and NHS England.  Anna is a freelance trainer and policy consultant in the field of Special Education Needs (SEN) and Disability and is an Associate for the Council for Disabled Children.  Anna was awarded an OBE in 2012 for services to disabled children and their families

    Gary Tubb is an experienced and successful CEO now pursuing an independent portfolio career spanning the private and public sectors, with a passionate interest in education and health.   He co-founded Virgin Home, became CEO for BT Home Communications and CEO for Belkin Northern Europe.  In addition to his successful executive coaching consultancy, Gary is a Cabinet Member for Central Bedfordshire Council and a Special Advisor for East London NHS Foundation Trust. He lives in Bedfordshire.

    Judith Glashen has experience of developing National Leadership and Development Events to gain feedback and address specific health and inclusive leadership challenges.  She has experience of initiating Local and Regional Development Networks within higher education and the NHS, working collaboratively with Board Members, Executive Managers and Thought Leaders to influence decision-making processes and culture change. Judith is a resident of Wellingborough.

    Anna Gill and Gary Tubb were appointed as Non Executive Directors from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2021.  Each will receive remuneration of £6,157 per annum.  Their appointments were made by NHS Improvement and are subject to the Governance Code for Public Appointments. Anna has not declared any political activity in the last five years. Gary is a member of the Conservative Party and an elected Councillor with Central Bedfordshire Council.  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.

    Judith Glashen joined the Trust in January 2019 as an Associate Non Executive Director for a period of 12 months as part of NHS Improvement’s NExT Director Scheme.  This scheme provides an opportunity for talented people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities to learn about the challenges and opportunities associated with being a non-executive director in the NHS today. Associate Non Executive Director posts are not remunerated.

    Anna Gill OBE

                  Gary Tubb          JG

         Anna Gill, OBE                             Gary Tubb                          Judith Glashen

    For further information contact Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s Communications Team on 01480 308266 or email



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