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  • New confidential text system for families in Bedfordshire

    by Phillipa Davies | May 17, 2019

    Families in Bedfordshire are being encouraged to talk to their school nurse or health visitor by text.

    With more and more people using mobile phones, two secure text only numbers have been launched by Bedfordshire Community Health Services to provide another easy way to talk about health.

    ChatHealth is for young people (aged 11-19) to confidentially ask for help about aChathealth Screensaver - May 2019 range of issues, or make an appointment with a school nurse. They can also find out how to access other local services including emotional support or sexual health services. Simply text 07507 331450.

    Glenda Hall, 0-19 service manager, said: “With young people increasingly using technology to access services we felt ChatHealth was ideal to encourage them to engage with us. It’s really important that young people feel they have someone to contact to ask about their health and wellbeing, without fear of judgement or embarrassment. Our school nurses can support them on a wide range of issues.

    Parentline Screensaver - May 2019Parentline is for parents and carers of those aged 0-19 and offers advice and support on a range of issues such as weaning, sleep and emotional health. They can also find out how to access other local services. Simply text 07507 331456.

    Jacky Syme, service development manager children’s services, said: “We are really pleased to be able to offer Parentline in the county, to compliment the support we provide to families. It will make accessing health services easier and less daunting.”

    ChatHealth and Parentline are available Monday-Friday from 9am - 4.30pm. Messages can be sent anonymously to the dedicated text numbers and are delivered to a secure website, and responded to by our team. Out of hours, anyone who texts the service receives a bounce back message explaining where to get help if their question is urgent, and when they can expect a response. Texts are usually replied to within one working day.

  • Local Infant School raises money for ‘dreamdrops’ children’s charity

    by Kirstie Flack | Apr 30, 2019

    Dreamdrops donation from Crosshall Infant SchoolCrosshall Infant School Academy Trust in St Neots has raised £800 for Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s charity, ‘dreamdrops.’

    This year dreamdrops is one of the charities chosen by the families, at Crosshall Infant School Academy Trust, who have benefitted greatly from their support.

    Mrs Skinner, mother to Charlie said: ”dreamdrops provided us with a much needed family ‘time-out’ fun activity afternoon.”

    The school held an open day on the 3 April inviting all the parents and grandparents along to the school where they collected their children from their classroom, who then took them on a tour of the school finishing in the main hall.

    There were refreshments together with a number of stalls, raffles and games for everyone to participate in.

    The school said: “This was a lovely, exciting event that not only raised valuable funds for community charities but also enabled our children to share their school with their families. We are really grateful for everyone’s support of the event.”

    Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of dreamdrops said: “We cannot thank the children, their families and the school enough for this wonderful donation. The money raised will be put towards helping sick children who are being cared for at home or in the community, making life a little easier, when it can be at its most stressful.”

    For further information on how you can help raise funds for the charity please visit or email

    Photo L to R: Josh, Charlie, Martha and Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of dreamdrops.
  • Hot off the press - the latest edition of 'Keeping in Touch'!

    by Sarah Turner | Apr 25, 2019
    The latest edition of our stakeholder newsletter 'Keeping in Touch' has just been published.

    Click here to read highlights of some of the innovation and service redesign programmes taking place across our Trust. 
  • 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




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