• Luton trainers recognised for helping to protect neglected children

    by Debbie Manning | Jan 31, 2018

    A specialist Luton training team has been recognised by the NSPCC for pioneering a programme to help protect children from neglect across the borough.

    The professionals are among the first to receive the charity’s prestigious Elephant award in recognition of their work to train staff to use a unique assessment tool.

    The Graded Care Profile 2 (GCP2) helps professionals to measure the quality of care being given to a child by helping them identify anything that puts a child at risk of harm. This tool helps practitioners to identify parents’ strengths, weaknesses and what needs to be changed so that they can get them the right support to improve the life of their children.Alison Braniff
    (Pictured are (from left) Salma, Alison and Debbie)

    The training team made up of individuals from different services have delivered the specialist Graded Care Profile 2 training to professionals across the town working in health, children’s services, youth offending, police, housing and the voluntary sector, to improve how professionals identify and assess children who are at risk of being neglected.

    The NSPCC Elephant Award which aims to acknowledge practitioners who have demonstrated focus and commitment to ensuring successful implementation of GCP2 was presented to Debbie Brown ( Early Help service), Salma Fazil (Luton Flying Start) and Alison Braniff (Luton Children's Community Health Services).

    Since the implementation of the GCP 2 tool over 200 cases of neglect have been identified (from April to December 2017).

    Fran Pearson, Independent Chair, Luton Safeguarding Children Board, said: “Congratulations to the training team, this recognition is truly well deserved. The high quality specialist training  they have delivered to workforces across Luton means that practitioners working with families now have the tools, knowledge and increased confidence to identify when a child is at risk of harm. They are also assisting the LSCB in its aim to improve the quality of support for families and children who are neglected.”

    Alison Braniff Trainer and Health Visitor with Luton Children's Community Health Services said: “Neglect can mean something to one person and a different thing to another. The Graded Care Profile is a common language across the UK to define what is neglect. We can work with the family to identify what they are doing well and where they need help. It’s about empowering families to be involved."

  • Amazing donation making a real difference to local children

    by Kirstie Flack | Jan 22, 2018


    Donation to dreamdrops for Magic CarpetCambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s charity ‘dreamdrops’ has received an amazing donation of over £5,000 for their children’s unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

    The money raised by Davey Grover Limited has been put towards purchasing a "Magic Carpet" for the Children’s Outpatients department.

    Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of the ‘dreamdrops’ fundraising committee said: "We are overwhelmed by the generous donation we received for the Children’s ward.

    "The money raised has enabled us to purchase a "Magic Carpet" for the Children’s Outpatients department. We had expected it to take us a long time to raise enough money to buy such a significant piece of equipment, and it is wonderful to have been able to put this donation together with one previously received from the Huntingdon District Council, who also chose dreamdrops as one of their nominated charities.

    "I cannot thank Davey Grover Limited and Cllr Peter Bucknell, Huntingdon District Council enough as this will be of benefit for children of all ages and abilities."

    The magic carpet is a sensory tool that projects images onto the floor. This enables patients of all ages and abilities to participate in play. The advantage of the carpet is that it is also portable so can be moved around all areas of the children’s unit to help individual and groups of patients.

    Sandie White, Ward Manager said: "We specifically use the carpet in our outpatients department to create an inclusive environment for everyone. It is an amazing distraction tool for children whilst they undergo investigations in clinic such as blood and skin prick testing. We are extremely grateful to dreamdrops and those that have fundraised for the Magic Carpet as we can already see what a huge difference it is making to the children."

    Davey Grover Limited based in St Neots raised the money at their Annual Charity Golf Day.

    Jeff Windsor, Managing Director said: "For the last seven years, Davey Grover has put on a charity golf day with the objective of raising as much money as possible for small local charities. In that time, with the regular support from many of our clients, we have managed to raise just over £41,000 to date and in 2017, the golf day managed to raise just under £5,800 which all went to help dreamdrops achieve their goal of purchasing the "Magic Carpet" for the Children’s Outpatient Department.

    "As soon as we found out about the work that dreamdops do, it made the decision of picking them as our charity for the year a very easy one and we are so pleased that the monies have been put to such good use. We would also like to place on record our sincere thanks to all of our clients and sponsors that support our day each year, as without their support, this would not be possible."

    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

    (Photo: Theresa Kopplin (Play Leader), Sarah Hughes (Matron for Acute Children’s Services), Sandie White (Ward Manager), Cllr Peter Bucknell, Anne-Marie Hamilton (Chairman of dreamdrops) and Natalie Matthews (Play Leader)


  • Phone Lines are now back up and running

    by Debbie Manning | Jan 16, 2018

    Please note that the phone and IT issues to some of our services has now been resolved and all phone lines are now working.  We apologise for any inconvenience during this outage.  (16 Jan, 11.10am)

    We are currently experiencing some phone and IT issues across some of our services in Peterborough, Norfolk and Suffolk, and we may be unable to take calls. Please bear with us whilst our suppliers investigate the problem.   (16 Jan, 9.30am)

  • Christmas donation will help children with autism

    by Kirstie Flack | Jan 08, 2018


    In lieu of sending out Christmas cards to customers and suppliers this Christmas, VIP Polymers made a donation to the local children’s charity Dreamdrops.

    Dreamdrops fund raises for Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s Holly Ward and the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at Hinchingbrooke Hospital as well as supporting the Trust’s community children’s services in and around the Huntingdon area. The money that Dreamdrops raise goes towards the things that the NHS simply cannot afford, but would love to have.

    VIP is committed to supporting and developing the local community and Dreamdrops is a local charity that makes a real difference to children’s lives at a time when they need it most.

    One of Dreamdrops current fundraising efforts is for specialist toys and equipment for the Autism Corner that they are developing in the Children’s Outpatients Department at Hinchingbrooke Hospital and the money donated will go towards this.

    Dreamdrops Chairman, Anne-Marie Hamilton said “The play leaders will be thrilled to be able to provide some more for items for the Autism Corner, with VIP’s donation.  I know that having a quiet area where they can feel safe, and enjoy toys that are specifically designed for them, will make a huge difference to these children when they have to come to Outpatients.”

    To find out more about the charity or to make a donation, visit their site

  • Team effort to help young hear

    by Debbie Manning | Dec 13, 2017

    A ‘cool’ new device being developed by two NHS trusts and their supporters could bring relief to children suffering from the frustration of glue ear.

    Experts from Cambridgeshire Community Services (CCS) and Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) NHS Trusts pooled their expertise to adapt an existing brand of sports headphone so it helps young sufferers to hear.

    Instead of fitting over blocked ears, the headphones sit on the cheek bones and contain a tiny mechanism that vibrates when it picks up a signal from a remote microphone.

    The vibrations travel along the cheekbone and skip the middle ear before arriving in the inner ear where they are interpreted as sound. It’s known as “bone conduction”.

    The development follows collaboration between CCS’s community paediatrician, Dr Tamsin Brown, medical engineer, Cara Cooper, from the CUH’s Clinical Engineering Department, and other academic and health colleagues locally.

    The development work was funded through Cambridge University Health Partners and a pilot study is being carried out with support from Cambridge Hearing Trust, Health Enterprise East, the British Society of Audiology, BAPA and Health Education East of England. The pilot study, involving about 20 youngsters will report in Spring 2018 and support submission for classification as a Medical Device. The headset will hopefully be launched late in 2018.

    By the age of ten, 80 per cent of children suffer at least one episode of glue ear, a condition where the middle ear becomes filled with fluid, preventing the ossicles amplifying sound for the inner ear.

    However, due to spontaneous resolution in 95 per cent of cases, treatments are only offered after “watchful waiting” periods of up to 18 months, but this can lead to speech and language problems.

    Mrs Cooper spoke of the collaboration at the latest Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) conference in Surrey and picked up the President’s Prize for best oral presentation.

    She said: “As clinical engineers we are delighted to collaborate on this worthwhile project, which is a good example of horizontal innovation – the process of adapting an existing product for a new application.

    “Of course the children like the headphones not only because they can enjoy things like story time with mum and dad, but because they look sporty and come in cool colours like blue, green and bright pink!”

    Dr Brown added: “Watchful waiting is a very sensible approach, but it can be a long and frustrating time for children and impact on language development. We wanted to find a solution to that.

    “Collaborating with the Clinical Engineering Department was a great success and, with the help of other organisations too, we have innovated with what we believe is a really practical and cost-effective solution.”

    Malcolm Lowe-Lauri, Executive Director at Cambridge University Health Partners, said: “Cambridge is a city of ideas and innovation where people work together to find solutions to problems and help change lives for the better. This project is great example of this tradition and how collaboration can take an idea from the drawing board to the patient – turning possibilities into better healthcare. We look forward to seeing positive results coming out of the study ahead of the project launching later next year.”

    The team has set up a website about their work at

    Cara CooperDr Tamsin BrownYoungsters wearing the headphones at story time.

    Images show from left : Cara Cooper, Dr Tamsin Brown and a youngster wearing the headphones at story time


  • Young People in Norfolk Featured in Health Podcasts for Teens

    by Alex Keep | Dec 12, 2017

    Young people in Norfolk and NHS Professionals from the Children and Young People’s Health Services have been featured in a new series of podcasts hosted by BBC Radio One presenter and actor Cel Spellman.

    The series aims to get more young people in-tune with their health and wellbeing by sharing a variety of candid discussion programs. 

    Sexually transmitted infections, self-harming, depression, drugs and more are on the agenda, as Cel lifts the lid on teenage health issues. Young people from Norfolk speak

    Health Uncovered Group shot

    honestly about their experiences of different health problems which they say can be embarrassing, uncomfortable and sometimes misunderstood.

    There are ten shows and each focus on a different topic, the two particular episodes featuring NHS staff and young people from Norfolk are episode 3 “mental health - me and my emotions” and episode 4 “sexual health - are you ready?”

    The team behind the 20 minute episodes hope that young people going through difficulties may find it easier to open up and talk if they can hear peers discussing the same troubles.

    Presenter Cel Spellman, who hosts the Sunday afternoon slot on BBC Radio One and stars in ITV drama Cold Feet stated:

    “I feel pretty privileged to have heard such honest and touching personal stories, Young people today have to deal with all the classic teenage worries and troubles, but it doesn’t end there. With social media, current affairs and online, this digital generation have much more to deal with. Sometimes these sort of problems can be misunderstood by our peers who say we’ve never had it so easy, so get on with it.”

    IMG_8024The podcasts are designed for people who like to listen through headphones whilst on the move, users can search “Health Uncovered” in any popular podcasting app, like iTunes, to download or stream the podcasts to mobile devices. Alternatively, users can also stream the podcasts directly from the Children and Young People’s Health Services website using this link:

    Sian Larrington, Head of Service, Norfolk Children and Young People's Services has expressed her delight with the outcome,

    “I would like to thank the young people that were featured in the Norfolk episodes, their openness and first hand insight is what will make these podcasts successful.”

    “We are very proud to be part of this project and thrilled with the final product. Creating resources like this really highlights that our service is a service for young people.”

    “To communicate effectively with our young people in the Norfolk community, we have to speak their language and communicate using formats they find easy and accessible, this selection of podcasts does just that.”

    Public Health, the commissioners of the service are also happy with the project. Dr Louise Smith, Director of Public Health in Norfolk, said:

    “It’s important that we get people talking about issues such as STIs, depression and drugs at an early age to help de-stigmatise them. These podcasts will allow young people to hear from their peers, rather than being talked at, which will hopefully reassure them that they’re not alone in facing these issues.”

  • #hellomynameis Global Tour - Through adversity comes legacy

    by Debbie Manning | Dec 12, 2017

    The #hellomynameis campaign was founded by Dr Kate Granger and her husband Chris Pointon following Kate’s diagnosis at the age of just 29 with terminal cancer. 

    Since Kate’s untimely death last year at the age of 34, Chris has been keeping the campaign alive and is currently on a global tour which has so far included Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain.Kate Granger and Chris Pointon 2

    Chris explained: “As a doctor Kate was shocked during treatment to find that many staff looking after her did not introduce themselves before delivering care.  For Kate, this simple introduction wasn’t just about common courtesy but about making a human connection.  #hellomynameis was born from Kate’s passion to help health workers connect with their patients, instantly helping to build trust in difficult circumstances.  The NHS is amazing and I am so proud that my late wife’s legacy continues to change the shape of global healthcare.”

    Matthew Winn, Chief Executive, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust: “We’re proud to support the #hellomynameis campaign and to host Chris’ tour today, welcoming staff from our regional services and partner organisations.

    Few people have had such a profound impact on me as Kate had when I met her twoWhat will your legacy be years ago.   Whilst facing her own illness with such courage, she and Chris launched the #hellomynameis campaign which has now reached every continent across the globe. Kate truly was inspirational and her legacy continues with the slogan #hellomynameis now synonymous across the NHS and beyond for compassionate care.” 

    Julia Sirett, Chief Nurse added:  “It is extraordinary to think how many thousands of patients have benefitted from Chris and Kate’s campaign which has now had over 1.8 billion Twitter impressions.   The #hellomynameis campaign is now embedded within our quality improvement programme and, as Chris said today, if each of us makes just a small difference, together we can achieve something phenomenal.” 

    Proud to support 1

  • Amazing and Caring Paediatric Nurse wins award

    by Kirstie Flack | Nov 14, 2017
    Amy, William, Vicky Surrell and Matthew Winn (final)

    Vicky Surrell, paediatric diabetes nurse, based at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon has been awarded the Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s Shine a Light award.

    Vicky was nominated by the Neil Hook, the father of one of her patient’s, William who was diagnosed, at the age of three, with Type 1 Diabetes.

    He said: “Quite frankly Vicky is an amazing woman and a credit to the NHS as a whole. Vicky has been with us on the journey at every stage, from offering us comfort and solace on his diagnosis to holding multiple training sessions with his school so he could enjoy his first day on a level playing field with every other child, which is all anyone could ever wish for.

    “As a Type 1 Diabetic of over 30 years I feel uniquely qualified to back up those claims. I was diagnosed at an almost identical age to my son (four) and have lived across most regions of the UK, relying on the NHS throughout, and can genuinely say across my 30+ years of living with the condition I have never come close to having the level of attention and care my son has had from Vicky.

    “For that I will be forever grateful and proud that she is his specialist nurse and genuinely feel confident that my son will continue getting the highest standards of care and access to every opportunity to excel, because of that no Type 1 Diabetes parent can ever ask for more.”

    The “Shine a Light” scheme allows members of the public to nominate staff who have delivered a fantastic service and made a real difference to their lives. Trust staff are also encouraged to nominate their colleagues.

    On winning the award Vicky said: “I was surprised and delighted to be nominated as this month’s shine a light winner. 

    “As a diabetes team we realise how hard it must be for parents to hand over their very young children with quite complex health needs to school staff.  We try to do everything possible to make this as smooth as possible for the child and the family and also the school staff who have to take on a lot of extra responsibilities and are often anxious. It is lovely that my efforts have been noted and appreciated in this way by parents.”

    Every month a member of staff or a team are selected from a list of nominations as the “Shine a Light” award winner. If you would like to nominate a member of staff or a team who has gone the extra mile for you, you can nominate online at

    Photo: Amy (mum) and William Hook, Vicky Surrell and Matthew Winn, Chief Executive
  • Support to achieve success

    by Phillipa Davies | Oct 25, 2017

    Health and sport joined together last week  to celebrate the support available forCommunity Development Manager James Ayrton and 1XV Player Albert Portsmouth, 1XV Player cut the ribbon patients with musculoskeletal conditions or brain injuries in Cambridgeshire.

    Representatives from Cambridge Rugby Club joined DynamicHealth and Evelyn Community Head Injury Service (ECHIS) staff for the official opening. The facilities at Brookfields Health Campus, provided by Cambridgeshire Community Services, include:
    • 19 treatment rooms and a state of the art rehabilitation gym for the musculoskeletal physiotherapy and specialist teams
    • Admin and group meeting spaces for the ECHIS team.  

    Before cutting the ribbon, Albert Portsmouth, Community Development Manager and 1XV Player, wished the team well with the innovative plans both teams have for the future. He said: “In Rugby a successful team is defined by its resilience, which includes the ability to prevent injury and to overcome physical or psychological challenges. This is similar in your daily work that helps so many people achieve the successes that they are striving for. Access to appropriate advice and treatment can help and empower people to manage or cope with their injury or condition to improve their quality of life.”

    DynamicHealth provides specialised services for people living with or experiencing problems from muscles, nerves and joints. These are known as musculoskeletal (MSK) problems and include symptoms such as pain, numbness, stiffness and weakness as a result of injury, strain, posture or following an operation

    Sarah Saul, service manager DynamicHealth said: “Co-locating all aspects of our musculoskeletal service on one site and in a modern facility with a state of the art gym has created more joined up working, improved the service we can provide for our patients and created a premises in which we can expand our physiotherapy service.”

    ECHIS offers assessments, individual and group sessions for both the person with the head injury and their families. Rehabilitation programmes are tailored to individual needs and goals.

    Andrew Bateman, clinical manager ECHIS said: “This is an excellent opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge teams who are passionate and committed to services that continue to evolve for the benefit of our local community.”


  • 10 year anniversary of Family Nurse Partnership celebrated with Teddy Bears Picnic!

    by Kirstie Flack | Oct 05, 2017
    Family Nurse Partnership CollageChildren and their families, working with the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) team, celebrated the 10 year anniversary of FNP in England with a Teddy Bear’s Picnic. 

    Bridget Wilkinson, Supervisor of the FNP Team said: “October is the 10 year anniversary of the Family Nurse Partnership programme in England.

    “The programme is for young women, under 20 (and their partners) who are having their first baby. The Family Nurse works with clients to help them have a healthy pregnancy and to enjoy being the best mum they can be.

    “The programme is well liked. It was wonderful to see so many families come along and help us celebrate our 10 Year Anniversary.”

    The specially trained Family Nurses help mothers to understand all about their pregnancy and how to care for themselves and their babies. They visit regularly during the pregnancy and then after the birth until the baby is two years old. 

    Research has shown that for many children whose mums have taken part do better in school. Mums are also more likely to achieve what they want for themselves and their children. Families still have their midwife and doctor and any other professionals who may be involved, and the Family Nurse will support the family to give their baby the best possible start in life.

    Emma, Talisha’s mum said: “I have been attending the group for just over a year, and they are really helpful and have helped me gain more confidence as a young parent. I enjoy meeting and working with my FNP Nurse, who has helped me a lot.”

    Also benefitting from the programme is Holly, Amir’s mum, she said: “My family nurse has helped me to feel much more confident, as at the start I was not confident at all.  If I have any questions or issues I can ring and feel better as she reassures me.”

    For further information on the Family Nurse Partnership programme please visit Trust website at and search for Family Nurse Partnership or visit the national website at

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