• Fantastic achievements raise £1,500 for local children’s ward

    by Kirstie Flack | Aug 28, 2018

    Coastal walk collage

    In Spring 2017 Jonathan Smith, from St Neots, started a 100 mile coastal trek from Hunstanton to Lowestoft, the most easterly point in Great Britain. Jonathan’s epic walk was to raise money for the dreamdrops charity and Holly children’s ward run by Cambridgeshire Community Service NHS Trust.

    Jonthan’s son was taken very ill after two weeks of having an everyday cold, followed by sinusitis.  Jonathan said: “My son was diagnosed with orbital cellulitis putting him at high risk of blood poisoning, losing his eye or hearing or, even worse, meningitis. 

    "After two weeks of intensive drug treatment, he thankfully recovered. Having spent every day and night by his side and feeling totally helpless, I decided to raise money to buy more toys, computers and iPads having seen how those already on Holly ward provided a welcome distraction, enabling the kids to just be children again, irrespective of their illness or condition.”

    Jonathan planned to walk nearly 100 miles continuously, day and night but after 56 km his walk was cut short at Sheringham due to a reoccurrence of a back injury.  After extensive physiotherapy to cope with his chronic back condition Jonathan embarked on the remaining 80km of his route on 21 June.  After staying in Sheringham overnight Jonathan started the final leg at 3am, aiming to finish by 9pm that night. 

    Jonathan said: “The night before the walk was terrible with very high winds rocking the caravan from side to side. I left after 3am and had to take it steady as the wind was really strong walking along the open cliff top.

    “But after a full day of trekking through different terrains and beautiful scenery I completed the walk at 10pm. This was a huge challenge for me and one that has had its ups and downs but I am pleased to have been able to raise money for this worthy charity.”

    Anne-Marie Hamilton, chairman of dreamdrops said; “Jonathan showed real grit and determination as part of his walk was over soft sand dunes, which must have been hard to walk on, when you are already feeling exhausted. 

    “It has taken real courage to go back to where you had to leave off, in order to complete the challenge that he set himself as this was over some desolate and isolated areas.  He has raised a fantastic £1,500 through his walks and his night trek up Snowdon.  We cannot thank him enough for his continued efforts in raising money for dreamdrops.”

    Jonathan added: “I really cannot thank the doctors and nurses enough for all they did for our family. Whilst the challenges I have faced have been daunting, raising funds is incredibly rewarding and I’d encourage others to do so; it doesn’t have to involve physical challenges, just donating whatever you can afford makes a difference.  It’s great to see that the money raised is being used to benefit the children on the ward.”

     If you would like to donate to Jonathan’s fund-raising coastal walk visit: or for more information about our charity dreamdrops please visit: or email


  • 'Trailblazing role’ in improving patient experience

    by Phillipa Davies | Aug 16, 2018

    Visitors, patients and staff can use our new accessibility tracker to find out aboutDisabledGo access to the service they are visiting, thanks to a partnership with

    This resource will be a great help to disabled people, their carers, friends and family. It will equally be of help to people who would just like to know more about areas and facilities at these sites, such as parking, walking distances, main entrances and toilets.

    Matthew Winn, Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to be working with to ensure there is now a huge amount of readily available information about the accessibility of our health premises. The Trust delivers care across four counties to some of the most vulnerable in our communities and they will now be able to see information that will allow them to plan their visit in advance. The detail they find will hopefully make them feel more confident, especially if visiting for the first time; improving their experience of our services.”

    Most importantly, all the details have been checked in person, so you can be sure you’ll get all the facts.

    Commenting on the new service, Anna Nelson, Executive Director at said: “It was clear from today’s launch that the Trust is committed to inclusion, improving patient experience and delivering quality care. I believe the DisabledGo initiative has a really important part to play and will only strengthen the wider programme of work already underway.

    “The service is for anyone who needs to know more about accessibility, but is equally helpful for people who may be feeling anxious about visiting an unfamiliar place.

    “The Trust is one of the first community health providers to work with DisabledGo and I hope that this trailblazing role will be recognised and emulated in the future.”

    To find our available access guides simply visit the our site page or go to:

  • Beads of Courage 3rd Year Anniversary Tea Party

    by Kirstie Flack | Aug 06, 2018


    Beads of Courage Tea Party collage

    The Bridge Church, St Ives, was the place to be for local families celebrating the Beads of Courage third anniversary.

    Children living with long term life-limiting conditions and their families celebrated with a tea party along with members of staff from Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust.

    Mags Hirst, play specialist, children's community nursing team said: “We have been incredibly blessed to have an amazing support network of fundraisers who have thrown themselves into a huge array of events to enable us to not only expand the number of children who have beads of courage but also to future proof the programme for many, many years to come – we cannot thank you enough.

    “A huge thank you to everyone who helped plan this year’s party by providing ideas and feedback, also a huge thank you to all the children who lent us their beads to show the fundraisers.  They have inspired our many fundraisers to throw their all into raising loads of money, as your beads have shown them just how brave and courageous you all are.

    “Today there are some very special youngsters here who are the unsung heroes who help out at home, making sure their brother or sister are ok and often spending hours hanging out in hospital.

    Today we salute; Mollie, Alfie, Jack, Charlie, Dan and Abbie.  Thank you all for coming along today to help us celebrate our 3rd birthday!”

    Claire Reece, Hugo’s mum said: “It’s great to have a chart of Hugo’s journey over the years, showing the medical treatments he has had.

    “Hugo is nine now, and so far we have beads up to his 4th birthday.  I have also written dairies since he was born so we can go back and find out what beads he needs.

    “Mags is wonderful and we were really pleased when children in the community could collect the beads as well. Martha my daughter puts all the beads together for Hugo and she really enjoys being part of his journey as well, it’s fantastic and all the children enjoy it.”

    The Octagon Cycling Club in Ely cycled 200 miles and raised £5,000 for Beads of Courage!  Andy Thomas and Geoff Wilkinson presented the cheque to Sarah Hardman, children’s community nurse.  Andy said: “The team go out and ride two or three times a week and through the connection of one of the riders, Neil Bowman, whose sister Sarah Hardman works at the Trust, we decided that the Beads of Courage would be one of our chosen charities this year.

    “We wanted to support a local charity where you can see the money being used.  We were delighted to raise the money for such a worthy cause.”

    Matthew Winn, Chief Executive for the Trust thanked everyone for coming: “All of you here today work hard as parents and families throughout the year but our team, especially Mags, in terms of her role and the rest of the community nursing role, spend 365 days a year supporting people across the county so can I just say a huge thank you to the team who do such a fabulous job!!

    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.

  • Luton health visitors international Baby Friendly Award

    by Debbie Manning | Jul 31, 2018

    Our Luton health visitors are proud to hold the prestigious UNICEF Baby Friendly Award – international recognition for their work promoting and supporting breastfeeding.

    The Baby Friendly Initiative, set up by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation, is a global programme which provides a practical and effective way for health services to improve the care provided for all mothers and babies.rganis

    In the UK, the charity works with public services to protect, promote and support breastfeeding and to strengthen mother-baby and family relationships. The award is given to show that recognised best practice standards are in place.

    Linda Masterson (centre) with Sue Ashmore, UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative Programme Director
  • Taverham High School Celebrated as ChatHealth Ambassadors

    by Alex Keep | Jul 18, 2018

    A collection of bright young students from Taverham High School have been honoured as ChatHealth Ambassadors by the NHS Norfolk Children & Young People’s Services. Fourteen students from year ten received an award for their outstanding participation in promoting a text messaging for young people aged 13 -19 called ChatHealth.

    Group Photo

    Each of the students in the ELF team (everyone’s listening friend) from Taverham High School volunteered to be a ChatHealth Ambassador over the last academic year to raise awareness of the service. Also to highlight some of the most common topics discussed including: emotional health, relationship advice, healthy eating, smoking cessation, bullying and exam stress.

    The ChatHealth Ambassadors at Taverham High School spoke about ChatHealth and their experience as ambassadors over the past year:

    2 CH ambassadors

    “We took ChatHealth round the year 9 and year 10 forms in the school. We gave a little presentation to show them the animation and talked about when and how they could contact ChatHealth. We also handed out lots of ChatHealth cards and put up pull tab posters in each of the form rooms. We’ve already had feedback from teachers telling us that lots of students have taken the pull tabs with the ChatHe

    alth number on.”

    “ChatHealth has brought getting help at school into the modern day. Being able to just text a number is really normal now, because everyone has a phone. It makes it so easy, and allows you to talk to someone in the comfort of your home without having to go anywhere”

    “Before ChatHealth we wouldn’t have known how to get help without going and speaking to someone at school. Which puts people off, because you then have to tell someone at school about a problem face to face.  Whereas with ChatHealth it’s just there on a screen, so it’s much easier to be open.”

    The ChatHealth Ambassador scheme was created in partnership by Taverham High School and Norfolk Children and Young People’s Services to get young people engaged their own health and wellbeing.

    Glynis Killington. Key Stage 3 Pastoral Student Support, Taverham High School stated:

    “Working with other agencies is something that we embrace at Taverham High School. The ELF Team (Everyone’s Listening Friend) is our Peer Support Project. Part of the training to become an ELF has included students becoming a ChatHealth Ambassador. And over last year the ELF Team has done a fantastic job running ChatHealth promotional sessions every term. Their efforts have really helped to support the service within our school community.”

    Sian Larrington Head of Service, Norfolk Children and Young People’s Services said:

    “We are so thankful to our ChatHealth Ambassadors from Taverham High School. It’s so important to get our young people involved in promoting a service designed for them. Thanks to the example set by these brilliant and passionate students, we look to continue developing our promotional campaigns and enlisting more young people to be ChatHealth ambassadors. Ultimately we want to ensure all young people in Norfolk know who to text for help.”

    To access ChatHealth all users have to do is text 07480 635 060 and a conversation will begin. Norfolk Children and Young People’s Services are now looking for more schools to get involved in the ambassadors scheme and provide schools with lots of promotion materials to advertise the service to students. To get involved schools should contact them on 0300 300 0123.

  • Local Freemasons raise £300 for Special Care Baby Unit​

    by Kirstie Flack | Jul 16, 2018

    Cambridgeshire Community Services NDavid Redden handing cheque to Anne-Marie HamiltonHS Trust’s charity ‘dreamdrops’ has received a donation of £300 for the Special Care Baby Unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

    The money, which was raised by the Chicheley Lodge of Freemason & the Provincial Grand Charity of Northants & Hunts Freemasons, is being used to purchase a wardrobe for the newly refurbished parents’ room.

    Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of the ‘dreamdrops’ fundraising committee said: “We are extremely grateful to Chicheley Lodge for their continued support, and for this very generous donation.

    “The money will enable us to buy a new wardrobe for the parents’ room, which is currently being refurbished to make their stay on the ward more comfortable.”

    David Redden, Charity Steward at Chicheley Lodge said: “The money was raised through a Rock ‘n’ Roll night and a raffle.  We raised £150 and this was enhanced by The Pro Grand Charity enabling us to give £300.

    “We wanted to support a local charity and the ‘dreamdrops’ charity is such a worthwhile organisation.”

    Money raised through ‘dreamdrops’ is used to provide additional items for the Special Care Baby Unit and Children’s Ward, as well as children who are cared for at home. For further information on how you can help raise funds for the charity please visit or email

    Photo: David Redden, Charity Steward, Chicheley Lodge and Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of dreamdrops.

  • A fantastic £550 raised for our local children’s unit!

    by Kirstie Flack | Jul 11, 2018
    Claire Reece handing over cheque          Claire and family (2)

    Congratulations to Claire Reece, who took part in the Cambridge half marathon on Sunday 4th March in aid of the dreamdrops charity, run by Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust.

    Claire's son Hugo is a regular user of the children’s unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital and the dreamdrops charity is very close to their hearts.

    Claire said: "16 months ago I decided to take up running wanting to get fit. After a few months of training I found out I was pregnant but continued to train as long as I could.

    "After having my son Etienne 7 months ago I went back to training and 6 weeks later ran the Cambridge half marathon! It was a huge challenge but I wanted to give something back to the wonderful team on the Children’s Unit."

    Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chair of dreamdrops said: "What a wonderful achievement just 7 months after having her baby. The money raised will go towards buying those little extras for the unit; we cannot thank Claire enough for her support."

    For more information about our charity dreamdrops please visit: or email

    Photos: Claire Reece handing over cheque to Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chair of dreamdrops and Eric (4), Hugo (9), Hilary (2), Claire Reece, Etienne (7mnths) and Martha (7).


  • Sian Hooban awarded title of Queens Nurse

    by Debbie Manning | Jul 02, 2018

    Service Manager from the Community Children’s Nursing Service in Cambs, Sian Hooban, has been given the prestigious title of Queen’s Nurse (QN) by community nursing charity, The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI).

    Speaking after receiving the award on Monday 25 June at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington Sian said: “I am really happy and proud to have a voice for community nursing.”

    The title is not an award for past service, but indicates a commitment to high standards of patient care, learning and leadership.  Nurses who hold the title benefit from developmental workshops, bursaries, networking opportunities and a shared professional identity.

    Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, Chief Executive of the QNI said: “On behalf of the QNI I would like to congratulate Sian and welcome her as a Queen’s Nurse. Queen’s Nurses serve as leaders and role models in community nursing, delivering high quality health care across the country.  The application and assessment process to become a Queen’s Nurse is rigorous and requires clear commitment to improving care for patients, their families and carers. We look forward to working with Sian and all other new Queen’s Nurses who have received the title this year.”

    Sian was nominated for the award by John Peberdy, Service Director for Children and Young People’s Services, for her work to promote community nursing both locally and nationally in providing and influencing the provision of care for children and young people with complex healthcare needs.  John said “Sian lives the Trust values and keeps children and young people at the heart of what the community nursing teams do.  Her behaviour inspires her peers and colleagues; she is very well respected.’ 

    She contributed to the writing and publication of a recent new RCN guidance – ‘Meeting Health Needs in Educational and other Community Settings; A guide for nurses caring for Children and Young People’, which seeks to ensure best practice to some of the most vulnerable children and young people.  Her teams also provide excellent and well evaluated student placements so that the next generation of nurses are trained to meet the demands of a modern NHS, which sees greater numbers of complex children.  John says “I am really pleased to hear that Sian has been awarded the prestigious title of Queen’s Nurse; she fully deserves it.”QNI_Awards_June_2018@Sian Hooban

  • It’s official – community services rated ‘Good’ in all areas

    by Phillipa Davies | Jun 20, 2018


    Our services have been rated ‘good’ in all five areas assessed by the Care Quality Commission, following an inspection in June 2018.

    The latest report shows an improvement on our inspection in 2014, with a clean sweep of green and many areas of outstanding being recognised, maintaining our overall 'good' rating.

    Matthew Winn, Chief Executive said: “I am delighted that the Trust and the services our staff deliver have been rated as ‘good’, with many examples of outstanding practice being recognised. These ratings reflect the dedication and professionalism of our staff and the phenomenal programme of service improvements, which have taken place across our regional services in the last few years. All of this contributes to us providing high quality health services that improve the outcomes for local residents.”

    Responding to the report’s findings, Julia Sirett, Chief Nurse added: “Quality is at the heart of everything we do; and to be rated ‘good’ for the safety, effectiveness, responsiveness, care and compassion of our services is a credit to our amazing staff.” 

    Matthew Winn concluded:  “The Trust’s overall leadership, management and governance arrangements were also rated ‘Good’; which is excellent news for local people given the strong link between these and the quality of services delivered.

    “The CQC team did identify a small number of areas where we can improve and these have either been addressed or are in the process of being addressed.  

    “I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every member of staff across our regional services for their hard work, without which we would not have received such fantastic ratings.” 

    Summary of outstanding areas identified

    • Our dental services were rated as ‘Outstanding’ for ‘Caring’ – including some staff learning Makaton and simple British sign language to improve communications
    • the Luton respiratory team interventions reducing the prevalence of TB locally by 10% per year in the last three to four years
    • introduction of The Think Pink campaign in Luton (including a pink wristband) which is ensuring patients already known to community services receive speedy resumption of services on discharge from hospital or avoid a hospital admission altogether
    • The Luton community discharge team working closely with the hospital and GPs to anticipate patients who may need additional support before discharge and to triage GP referrals to help avoid unnecessary admissions.
    • The Oliver Zangwill Centre was commended for its involvement in a number of innovative practices including the development of an external memory aid ‘NeuroPage’
    • Each of the Trust’s Board meetings include a patient story to set the tone of the meeting and staff were invited to have lunch with the Board following the meeting

    Are services safe

    • There was a good incident reporting culture. Incidents were investigated and lessons learned were shared as appropriate.
    • Compliance with mandatory training was good. This was an improvement since our last inspection when compliance with mandatory training was poor.
    • Staff protected patients from abuse and the service worked well with other agencies to do so. Staff were trained on how to recognise and report abuse, knew how to respond, and were well supported by the safeguarding team.
    • Staff had the right qualifications, skills, training and experience to keep people safe from avoidable harm and abuse and to provide the right care and treatment.
    • There were still staff vacancies in community health services for adult teams (Luton) but this had improved since our last inspection in May 2014. Staff were flexible in their approach to work and managers proactively ensured there were sufficient staff on duty.

    Are services effective?

    • Care was provided in line with national guidance. Managers checked to ensure staff followed guidance as part of regular supervision and audits.
    • There was effective monitoring and findings were used to improve. Findings were compared to other services to enable learning.
    • Staff were competent to undertake their roles and managers appraised staff’s work performance and held supervision meetings with them, to provide support and monitor the effectiveness of the service.
    • Staff understood their roles and responsibilities under the Mental Health Act 1983 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005. They knew how to support patients experiencing mental ill health and those who lacked the capacity to make decisions about their care.
    • Staff of different kinds worked together as a team to benefit patients. Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals supported each other to provide good care.

    Are services caring?

    • Staff cared for patients with compassion. Feedback from patients confirmed that staff treated them well and with kindness. This was particularly evident in the community dental service where dental staff took time to get to know patients holistically and provided care that was person centred.
    • Staff involved patients and those close to them in decisions about their care and treatment.
    • Staff provided emotional support to patients to minimise their distress.
    • Feedback was consistently positive and Friends and Family Test results were good overall.

    Are services responsive?

    • Patients’ individual needs were considered when planning services.
    • People could access the service when they needed it. Waiting times from referral to assessment were in line with good practice.
    • Concerns and complaints were taken seriously, investigated and lessons learned from the results, the Trust had acted on negative patient feedback, made changes and shared findings with all staff.

    Are services well-led?

    • The board had the skills, knowledge, experience and integrity to lead the Trust. The Trust board members were a group of individuals with a wide range of experience, knowledge and skills who displayed transparent accountability at decision making levels.
    • The executive team were a stable cohesive team, focused on patient safety and quality of care. They were dedicated leaders with clear strategic vision and commitment to staff engagement.
    • The board and senior leadership team recognised the training needs of managers at all levels, including themselves, and worked to provide development opportunities for the future of the organisation.
    • The board and senior leadership team had set a clear vision and values that were at the heart of all the work within the organisation. They worked hard to make sure staff at all levels understood them in relation to their daily roles.
    • The board were aware of the continuing pressures on the health system and the challenges this presented to quality and sustainability. There was a strong focus on working collaboratively with local partners, acute and social services and external organisations to move forward sustainability and transformation plans.
    • Board members were visible across the trust and without exception, staff fed back that senior leaders were visible and approachable.
    • The board reviewed performance reports that included data about the services, which service leads could challenge.
    • Staff throughout the core services we inspected told us the Trust promoted a ‘no blame’ culture and they were encouraged to raise concerns and report incidents without fear of retribution.
    • The Trust's overall staff engagement score was the best for community trusts and ninth best nationally at 3.97 compared to the 3.78 as the national average for community trusts.
    • The Trust was committed to improving services by learning from when things go well and when they go wrong, promoting training, research and innovation.
    • Leadership development opportunities were available, including opportunities for staff below team manager level.
    • The Trust actively supported leadership development through further training and planned for career succession.
    • Leaders across the trust generally promoted a positive culture that supported and valued staff, creating a sense of common purpose based on shared values. Staff we spoke with throughout our core service and well led inspection told us they felt positive and proud about working in the Trust and their team. Staff told us they felt empowered to make decisions and to make changes.

    Areas for improvement


    • The Trust should improve the time taken to resolve complaints in line with its own policy.

    Adult community services – Luton

    • The Trust should ensure it revises its clinical waste disposal policy and that staff follow the correct procedure for the disposal of clinical waste in patient’s homes.
    • The Trust should ensure that community nursing staff have time scheduled for daily handover meetings.

    Community dental services – Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

    • The Trust should review the storage of patients’ dental care records to ensure they are held securely and confidentially at the Brookfields location.
    • The Trust should review the process around medicine management and daily medicine fridge temperature monitoring, to improve consistency across the whole service.
  • Power to the Pedal for NHS Staff

    by Debbie Manning | Jun 08, 2018

    Health Workers encouraged to use pedal power to visit patients in Cambridge

    Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust (CCS) have hired two electric bikes (e-bikes) at the Brookfields Hospital Campus on Mill Road.  The e-bikes (from Rutland Cycling) will be available for members of staff from CCS to use, and forms part of the Trusts travel plan, which was introduced following the recent redevelopment of the site.  

    Mark Robbins, Director of Finance for CCS said:  “This is the first time that we, as a Trust, have provided e-bikes for staff as part of our travel plan for Cambridge.  If this proves to be a success we may look to expand the scheme across other sites”.

    Staff can cycle to their visits during their working day rather than using cars, as they have been supplied with hi-vis vests, helmets and pannier bags so that staff can safely transport equipment.  The e-bikes also come with chargers and Rutland Cycling will service them, and replace the e-bikes every three months.
    3845: Alex Forbes from Rutland Cycling presents the e-bikes to Leah Moors, Arden Dierker Viik, Kim Purkiss, Kathryn Mann and Tabitha Slater.

    Dan Murtagh, Retail Area Manager from Rutland Cycling said:  “We are delighted to be working with Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust.  It is our aim to get as many people as we can using e-bikes as a form of transport and we know from experience it will have many benefits for the trust and their staff who use them on a daily basis"

    The delivery of the bikes also coincides with Bike Week 2018, which runs from 9 – 17 June 2018, and staff will be encouraged to not only use these e-bikes, but also to use their own bikes too and leave their cars at home.  

    DSC_3871 - cropped


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