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  • 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



  • New 3D pain distraction unit glasses donated to our dreamdrops charity

    by Kirstie Flack | Jan 30, 2019

    3d pain distraction unit

    A huge thank you to Pravin Jethwa from Amazing Interactives who visited staff at Hinchingbrooke Hospital to demonstrate our new 3D pain distraction glasses. 

    The glasses will be used by patients in the hospital and also out in the community. 

    The money was raised by Davey Grover Accountants through our #CCSdreamdrops charity.  For more information about #CCSdreamdrops or to find out how to raise money for this worthy cause please visit:


  • The future management of children’s services on the Hinchingbrooke Hospital site

    by Kirstie Flack | Jan 17, 2019

    Joint statement issued on behalf of John Peberdy, Children’s Services Director of Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust and Dr Kanchan Rege, Medical Director of North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust:

    Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust (CCS) and North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust (NWAngliaFT) are working on plans to transfer the management of the inpatient and outpatient Children’s Services based in Hinchingbrooke Hospital and the employment of these staff to NWAngliaFT.

    Children’s services at the Hinchingbrooke site are delivered by committed professionals that are highly valued by local families for their quality and accessibility. This will not change as a result of a transfer taking place. The existing range of services delivered will continue to be provided by the same clinicians at the Hinchingbrooke Hospital site.

    The additional investment agreed by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group at its board meeting on 7 January is welcome news and will enable additional staff to be employed to continue to provide a high quality service for local families.

    Both CCS NHS Trust and NWAngliaFT are committed to ensuring a smooth transfer and continuity of services.


    Alex Keep
    Communications Manager, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust
    Tel:  01480 308266 Email:

    Mandy Ward, Head of Communications, North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust
    Tel: 01733 678017 Email:

  • Christmas Craft Fair raises money for Holly Ward and Special Care Baby Unit

    by Kirstie Flack | Dec 17, 2018

    Donation to dreamdrops from Bridge Church St IvesThe Bridge Church in St Ives have raised £343.90 for Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s charity, ‘dreamdrops.’

    The money was raised by people paying an entry fee and a donation from this went to the charity. The stallholders also donated money from their takings. The stalls included crocheted items, cupcakes, Christmas crafts and much more.

    Becky Richards, who organised the craft fair said: “We wanted to support a local charity and a number of children who are part of our church family have benefitted from the great work that dreamdrops does with Holly Ward and the Special Care Baby Unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

    “We feel it’s a privilege to have children with additional needs in our church and believe they should be given as much support as possible.”

    Helen Carlson’s son William has been a regular on Holly Ward since he was born 8 years ago.  Helen said: “William has many complex medical needs and requires more hospital admissions and appointments than most people. We are so grateful to have a children's ward as wonderful as Holly Ward so close by. The staff are all so friendly and caring and help to make stays there as easy on our family as possible.”

    Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of the ‘dreamdrops’ fundraising committee said: “I would like to thank the members of The Bridge Church at St Ives for raising funds for 'dreamdrops' at their Christmas Fair.  As it is Christmas time, we would like to put the money towards some new toys for the patients on Holly Ward and for the siblings of babies who are being nursed on the Special Care Baby Unit.”

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


    Back row from left to right: Helen Carlson, Anne-Marie – Chairman of dreamdrops and Becky Richards.
    Front row from left to right: Millie Higginson, William Carlson and Phoebe Higginson.

  • Holding the Child in Mind - Norfolk Mental Health Conference

    by Rachel Johnson | Dec 13, 2018

    Norfolk Children and Young People’s Services hosted their first ever Children and Young People’s Mental Health Conference to mark the launch of their Emotional Health Pathway. The conference saw attendance from over 250 professionals from across the children’s workforce in Norfolk.

    conference photo

    The conference was headlined by key note speaker Robin Balbernie, a nationally respected child psychotherapist, who has influenced infant and children’s mental health across the UK for the past 25 years.

    Throughout the day a breakout marketplace hosted stands for partner organisations and other Healthy Child Programme pathways. This created a hub of activity for sharing best practice, celebrating success and encouraging collaborative working.

    The Emotional Health Pathway is based on providing a high quality early intervention service and their new call sign “Hold the child in mind” encapsulates the multi-agency whole system approach in Norfolk.  It has even started a new hashtag on social media - #NorfolkHCIM.

    The pathway’s holistic approach focuses on the broader emotional support that accompanies any care package or intervention, as the service continues to strengthen its focus on what is best for families, children and young people in Norfolk.

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

    “We are delighted that so many professionals were interested in the conference. I believe the Emotional Health Pathway has an ethos that is equally embedded throughout all the services we deliver, where our staff are focussed on making every contact. This is instilled as a way of practice in all of our teams, from our administrators handling calls through to our staff undertaking home visits or individual sessions with children and young people, where our approach is to actively seek to offer emotional support at a very early stage for families, children and young people in Norfolk.”

    To find out more about the Emotional Health Pathway watch this animation:


  • New Sexual Health Clinic Opens in Bedfordshire

    by Sarah Turner | Nov 19, 2018
    Ribbon cutting

    Obtaining sexual health advice and testing is now easier than ever for residents of south Bedfordshire due to a new integrated Contraception and Sexual Health (iCaSH) clinic.

    The latest Dunstable Priory clinic was officially opened on Friday 9th November 2018 and is the second bespoke hub in the county, bringing all aspects of sexual health under one roof.

    Since moving from Kirby Road surgery, clinic availability at Dunstable Priory has increased from once a week to three times a week and services have expanded to include:

    • Contraception,
    • Treatment and testing for sexually transmitted infections,
    • HIV care and treatment, and
    • Psychosexual counselling.

    Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Health at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “This is a fantastic clinic right on our doorsteps and I was glad to see it launched.
    “Sexual health check-ups should be different to visiting the dentist or doctor and, along with the online testing that iCash is providing for us, we hope it will really have an impact for our residents.”

    Greg Owen, Co-founder of IwantPrEPnow, a website which facilitates the safe purchase of genuine generic PrEP (the HIV prevention dug) cut the ribbon at the launch event. Mr Owen said, “Sex, intimacy and connection are such integral and intrinsic components of our nature and when those things are out of balance, under threat or in the worst cases exploited, it’s the whole person that’s impacted, not just their sex life.
    “Services like these have played a huge part in my life previously and to walk into a clinic space and feel comfortable and at ease to talk without fear or judgement or shaming is so important.”

    Cambridgeshire Community Services (CCS) NHS Trust has been delivering integrated Contraception and Sexual Health services (known as iCaSH Bedfordshire) in partnership with Brook and Terrence Higgins Trust since November 2016.

    Cllr Louise Jackson, Portfolio Holder for Public Health at Bedford Borough Council, said: “Sexual health is an important and integral part of our overall health and the services at this modern, welcoming clinic in Dunstable are playing a vital role in improving the sexual health of the south Bedfordshire community by providing men and women with contraception that suits them, offering testing and treatment for a range of sexually transmitted infections and a safe space to talk about sex and relationships.”

    In addition to the hub in Dunstable, which is open to all Bedfordshire residents, CCS NHS Trust has a hub in Bedford – Kings Brook – and continues to work with Brook and Terrence Higgins Trust, who provide community outreach services including free condoms, Chlamydia screening and sexual health advice and signposting.

    Additional clinics can also be found across the county in Biggleswade, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard.

    Please visit for more information.

  • Homeless people in Luton to receive flu vaccinations

    by Debbie Manning | Nov 07, 2018

    A project to help homeless people in Luton receive flu vaccinations commences this week, when a team of health care professionals join forces to hold flu prevention drop-in clinics at a welfare centre for the homeless.

    Following the success of last year’s flu prevention clinics, this year’s drop-in sessions are being held at the NOAH Welfare Shelter in Luton on Tuesday 6 and Tuesday 20 November from 9am to 4pm.

    Nurses from Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust (CCS) are administering the flu vaccinations and carrying out a mini health assessment to homeless people who attend the drop-in clinics. This winter service is being carried out alongside the weekly health clinic provided to Luton’s homeless by GPs from the Larkside Practice, which is commissioned by NHS Luton Clinical Commissioning Group(LCCG).  Luton Total Wellbeing Service will also be in attendance between 11.00am and 1.00pm to offer advice in relation to services available within the community.

    Together the four organisations aim to help prevent the most vulnerable people who live on the streets of the town, from contracting a serious illness over the winter period.

    Dr Chirag Bakhai, GP and Luton CCG’s Deputy Clinical Chair, said: “When the weather turns cold, the consequences can be potentially life threatening for Luton's homeless. By working closely together, we can offer our vulnerable homeless population flu vaccinations along with their weekly health assessments, which will help towards protecting their health this winter.”

    Linda Sharkey, Service Director of CCS, said: "Last year I had the flu and it was awful - but I was in a warm comfortable home with support. It would be unimaginable for the majority of us to consider being ill and being homeless. We are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the most vulnerable people in Luton and will be also running our annual 'warm coats' scheme to support homeless people.”

    Paul Prosser, Head of Welfare Services at NOAH Enterprise, said: “NOAH seeks to alleviate poverty for the most disadvantaged people in society. Facilitating access to primary healthcare such as flu vaccinations can reduce emergency admissions and is often the start of a journey of recovery which can help people move away from homelessness into sustainable living’.

    For more information visit:

  • Louis Rolfe MBE Opens Our New Children's Centre

    by Kirstie Flack | Oct 23, 2018

    Louis Jasper Jacob Alison 
    Louis Rolfe MBE, GB Paralympic Champion opens children and young people’s
    community health services centre

    Louis Rolfe MBE and Paralympic Champion was given a warm welcome by children, families and staff as he officially opened the Peacock Centre on the Brookfield's campus in Cambridge today.

    Dr Alison Sansome, Clinical Director for Children & Young People’s Services, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust explained: “We have completely refurbished the Peacock Centre, creating bespoke accommodation for a wide range of community health services, ensuring children and their families can be cared for in a holistic way with all their needs met under one roof.  I cannot think of anyone more fitting to open the Centre than Louis who, as a GB Paralympian, is an inspiration for every child who is living with a disability or health condition to reach for their dreams; exactly our ethos at the Centre.”Louis Rolfe

    Speaking at the opening, Louis said: “I know from first hand experience the difference that skilled and compassionate community health clinicians can make to a child and their ability to maximise their potential.  I have so many positive memories of how local services made a difference to me and my family and I cannot commend these wonderful staff enough. 

    "I am extremely proud to have been asked to officially open the Centre today and I wish you all – children, families and staff – the very best for the future.”

    Services provided from the Peacock Centre include: 

    • speech and language therapy,
    • occupational therapy,
    • physiotherapy,
    • community paediatrics,
    • audiology,
    • family nursing partnership,
    • health visitors,
    • school nurses,
    • community nursing,
    • early support services.
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