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  • Luton MP visits community nursing teams after nominating them for national award

    by User Not Found | Oct 13, 2020

    Luton MP visits community nursing teams after nominating them for national award

    MP Rachel Hopkins Visits luton treatment centreLuton South MP, Rachel Hopkins visited the town’s community nursing teams on Friday (October 2) to find out more about their work and how they have adapted during the Covid 19 pandemic.
    Rachel met specialist nurses from Luton Children’s and Adults Community Health Services working as part of the adults’ TB team and children’s rapid response team. Her visit came after she nominated both teams for the annual Parliamentary Health Awards.
    Rachel said: “It was a pleasure to visit both teams and hear more about their vital work. I was impressed to see how well they are working in partnership with other organisations such as NHS 111 and the town’s homeless shelter to keep the people of Luton safe. I wish them every success in the Parliamentary Health Awards.”

    Rapid response nurses welcomed Rachel at their clinic at the Luton Treatment Centre where children are referred with potentially urgent conditions such as fever or head injury. The team was believed to be the first in the country to introduce direct referrals from NHS 111 for children under five in a bid to reduce hospital emergency attendance. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the service has been extended to cover children and young people up to the age of 16. The clinic now runs seven days a week and covers Luton, South Bedfordshire and villages in central Bedfordshire.

    During 2019, a total of 1,511 referrals were accepted by the team, 835 of which came from NHS 111. The service has successfully enabled 1297 children (86% of those referred) to avoid a trip to A&E, a hospital admission or a visit to their GP; improving accessibility for local families across the county.  

    Lynn Fanning, team lead said: “Our aim is to provide care for acutely unwell children in the community and keep them out of hospital. We are proud to share with Rachel all we have achieved in leading the way in children and young people’s services across Luton and parts of Bedfordshire. Visits like this are a great way to raise awareness of our service and how we work in collaboration with our children’s community teams, NHS 111, GPs, hospital colleagues in A&E and the paediatric assessment unit and the ambulance service.” 

    Rachel also met the adult nurses at the centre who work to control Tuberculosis and reduce the spread of infection in Luton. Their work has led to the number of cases of this life-threatening disease being halved in just six years. The nurses work in partnership with the local hospital, other authorities and the town’s homeless shelter. 

    Mike McMahon, clinical lead said: “It was lovely to meet Rachel today and to explain how we’re supporting people in Luton. TB is treatable but there is still so much stigma surrounding it, in fact it’s the biggest cause of death for women. It’s time to talk about it. 

    “In 2016 we became one of the first community-led services to pilot the national Latent Tuberculosis Infection Screening Programme tracing those people who were at risk of developing the disease in the future. We focus on prevention as much as treatment here at the centre”.

    Luton Children’s and Adult Community Health Services are part of Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust and Matthew Winn, Chief Executive said: “We were delighted to welcome Rachel and thank her for nominating our teams for the Parliamentary Health Awards.

    “Both these teams have led on ground-breaking work in their fields and we are very proud of their achievements to date.”

  • Virtual Board Meeting and AGM - 16th September 2020

    by Sarah Turner | Sep 11, 2020

    Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, the Trust board meeting on Wednesday 16th September, which was due to take place in public, is being held virtually.

    A set of papers for the board meeting has been published on our website here.

    There will be an option for members of the public to submit any questions to the board for consideration by emailing Please keep questions brief and to the point, and use ‘Trust Board Meeting Question’ in the subject heading of your email.

    Responses will either be posted on the Trust’s board meeting webpage following the meeting or can be found in the minutes published in due course.

    Our Annual General Meeting is also being held on Wednesday 16th September at 3.30pm and will be held virtually too.

    A set of papers for the AGM is available here and our Annual Report can be found on our website here.

    If you'd like to join the AGM virtually, please email

  • Nurses win prestigious awards for championing mental health

    by User Not Found | Sep 03, 2020

    Bedfordshire children’s nurses, Emily Martin and Georgia McNamara have won prestigious national awards for championing mental health through the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Emily, Specialist Community Nursery Nurse and Georgia, Children’s Complex Health Nurse have received Cavell Star Awards after launching a weekly virtual drop-in service to help colleagues struggling with their mental health during the pandemic.

    The nurses, who work for Bedfordshire Children’s Community Health Services – part of Cambridgeshire Community Health Services NHS Trust - had completed a mental health first-aid course. They wanted to support their colleagues in the team by using the techniques they had learnt and sharing information and resources they had been given.

    They were nominated for the awards – run by the nursing charity, Cavell Nurses’ Trust – by Sian Hooban, Service Manager for the Community Children's Nursing Services. Sian said: “I am so proud of Emily and Georgia. They have taken the training received and immediately found a way they can use it virtually to help all our nurses who might be struggling during this pandemic.

    “It’s been a tough time for everyone and these drop-in clinics have offered our fabulous staff the chance to talk through any issues they might have and find ways to cope and continue supporting the families we serve.”

    The Cavell Star Awards are given to nurses, midwifes, nursing associates and healthcare assistants who show exceptional care to their colleagues, patients or their patients’ families.

    Emily said: “In light of the recent pandemic, it is so important to support each other the best we can and this is why we decided to run these weekly sessions for people to be able to talk to us about any concerns or worries they may be having.“

    Georgia added: “Mental health applies to everybody and it is as important to look after your mental health as it is your physical health.”

    John Orchard, Chief Executive at Cavell Nurses’ Trust said: “Emily and Georgia have shown exceptional care in difficult circumstances to help their colleagues; this is exactly what the Cavell Star Awards are all about.”

    Georgia (left) and Emily proudly show off their Cavell Star Awards.

    Shining Star #2 - Georgia                   Shining Star #1 Emily

  • Virtual Trust Board Meetings

    by Sarah Turner | Jul 10, 2020

    Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, the Trust board meeting on Wednesday 15th July 2020, which was due to take place in public, is being held virtually.

    A set of papers has been published on our website here.

    There will be an option for members of the public to submit any questions to the board for consideration by emailing Please keep questions brief and to the point, and use ‘Trust Board Meeting Question’ in the subject heading of your email.

    Responses will either be posted on the Trust’s board meeting webpage following the meeting or can be found in the minutes published in due course.

  • NHS Trust rated best in the country for two years running in National Guardian’s report

    by Sarah Turner | Jul 09, 2020

    Dr Henrietta Hughes OBE, National Guardian for the NHS has published her second national Freedom to Speak Up Index report today (Thursday 9 July 2020).

    For the second year running, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, which delivers community health services across the East of England, is the highest ranked NHS Trust in the country.

    Welcoming this national recognition, Mary Elford, Chair of Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, said: “I am so proud that our commitment to building a culture where people feel safe to express their concerns, as well as their ideas for improvement, and have confidence that these will be acted upon has been recognised for the second year running. There is always more we can do, and we will continue to build on this success, including through our network of Freedom to Speak Up Champions.”

    Matthew Winn, Trust Chief Executive, added: “It is great news that the views of our staff have led to our Trust being rated the best NHS Trust in the country for encouraging staff to raise their concerns.  As the Index report identifies, a positive speaking up culture is usually seen in Trusts, such as ours, rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, and is therefore directly linked to how our staff provide high quality and safe care for residents across the East of England. I am always inspired by all the great work our staff do and the compassionate way they do it.”

    Dr Henrietta Hughes OBE, National Guardian for the NHS, commended the Trust saying: “Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust deserves enormous credit for being the highest ranked trust overall on the Freedom to Speak Up Index for the second year running. Looking at the figures in more detail reveals that the trust also attained the highest percentage in relation to staff agreeing that they would feel secure raising concerns about clinical practice, with 82.1 per cent, compared to the national average of 71.7 per cent. I very much hope other trusts are able to look to what they are doing in order to achieve similar results and that Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust continues to strive to make speaking up business as usual.”

    We are outstanding

    Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust staff celebrating being awarded an Outstanding rating by the Care Quality Commission. Photograph taken prior to social distancing requirements.

  • Luton parents and carers get a helping hand from Parentline

    by User Not Found | Jun 29, 2020

    From today (29 June 2020) Luton parents and carers are being offered a helping hand with a range of issues affecting their young children and teenagers from a brand new confidential text service,

    Parentline - Website Banner 07507 331886 - June 2020

    The secure messaging service allows parents and carers to speak to a health visitor or school nurse for any health and wellbeing advice regarding their child for the standard cost of a text. By starting a conversation by text to 07507 331886 they will receive a text message response immediately or within 24 hrs.

    Kaye Lewis-Flinch, Clinical Lead for Luton Parentline said: “Anyone who has cared for a child or young person knows that there are issues and problems that come up at every stage of the journey. It might be about a struggle with a toddler to put in place a regular bedtime routine, issues with feeding or needing advice and signposting to local mental health services for a young person.”

    “That’s where Parentline comes in, offering a helping hand, the chance to find an answer by consulting the professionals. It’s also a great way to find out how to access other local services. It’s an easy to use service for anyone looking after a child or young person.”

    The Parentline team will answer queries from 9am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays except in exceptional circumstances.

  • Coronavirus Rotary Grant helping to support autistic children in the local community

    by Kirstie Flack | Jun 24, 2020

    Dreamdrops packsCoronavirus Rotary Grant helping to support autistic children in the local community

    Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s charity dreamdrops has received a kind donation of £300 from the Rotary Club of Huntingdon. The club had successfully approached the Rotary District 1070’s Coronavirus Grant Scheme for £300 to advance the work of dreamdrops.

    This has enabled the charity to buy age-appropriate activity packs for local children and their families being supported by dreamdrops.

    The packs include colouring books, colour felt tips pens for the older children, dot to dot books for younger children, sticker packs, arts and crafts, doddle magic books, story books with puzzles, bubble wands and fun pads. The parents have also benefitted by receiving adult colouring packs for de-stressing, calming and relaxation, hand repair cream and face moisturiser and relaxing aromatherapy candles.

    Part of the grant will go towards providing one of the family's with a SensaHut - a perfect sensory haven indoor tent, where a child can explore ‘glow in the dark’ resources, and retreat from the stresses of daily life for a while.

    Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of dreamdrops said: “A huge thank you to everyone at Rotary District 1070, I cannot thank you enough for your kindness and generosity in enabling us to provide these care packages for our families who are struggling to cope with all the additional stresses during the current lock down. The gifts that you have enabled us to purchase will make a huge difference to not only the children, but will also be a tremendous help to their families during this time.

    “My sincere thanks to David Cozens, President of the Rotary Club of Huntingdon, Assistant Governor, Gloria Haywood from Rotary District 1070 and Mike Andrews, Vice Chairman of dreamdrops for their involvement in making this all possible.”

    Assistant Governor, Gloria Haywood from Rotary District 1070 said: “The Rotary Clubs in Huntingdonshire have always had a supportive, close and very caring interest in dreamdrops and the fine work that is achieved.

    “It is wonderful that the gifts recently provided can be enjoyed by families impacted by the Corona virus.”

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

  • Walking 5 miles a day for a month for our charity dreamdrops!

    by Kirstie Flack | Jun 10, 2020

    Dreamdrops fundraising - Lily, Daisy and Rose (day 15)Walking 5 miles a day for a month for our charity dreamdrops!

    Sisters Lily and Daisy Bell are walking 5 miles every day for a month and their little sister Rose, who is only 2, is walking 3-4 miles. They are raising money the Trust’s charity dreamdrops; what a fantastic effort from the whole family!

    Mum Sianade said: “The girls are now 15 days into their walk and they have really enjoyed being out in the sunshine and the rain! On Rose’s best day she did 5.5 miles and the girls did 11! But most days Lily and Daisy do 5 miles and Rose does between 3 and 4. So far they have raised £459 and would love to reach £500, I am so proud of them.

    “Dreamdrops has helped us so much; they have taken the girls and their brother Shay (who has special needs) on day trips, to Christmas parties and provided us with treats to keep us entertained during the Coronavirus lock down, as well as their ongoing support.

    “Daisy had lots of time on Holly Ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, from being a new born and now has community support through dreamdrops, so we wanted to help the charity to help more families like us.”

    Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of dreamdrops said: “A huge thank you to Lily, Daisy and little Rose, we cannot thank them enough for the amazing effort they have put in to raising money for dreamdrops.  

    “The money will be put towards helping sick children who are being cared for at home or in the community, making their lives a little easier during stressful times and what better time to be helping local families.”

    If you would like to donate to this worthy cause visit Lily, Daisy and Rose’s Just Giving page at:

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

    Photo: Lily, Daisy and Rose on their daily walks.

  • Bedfordshire mums urged to access breastfeeding support amid coronavirus

    by User Not Found | Jun 05, 2020

    This Breastfeeding Celebration Week, health visitors from Bedfordshire Community Health Services are urging mums to continue accessing support for breastfeeding if they need it. Mums are invited to make the most of new services available in light of COVID-19 to support them on their breastfeeding journey. They can either call 0300 555 0606 or text Bedfordshire’s Parentline on 07507 331456 to get advice from the health visiting service, and the option of a video consultation with the Baby Friendly Team is also available if needed.

    Mums-to-be can also access a fully online version of Bump, Birth and Baby Stuff, the antenatal class run by health and care professionals from across Bedfordshire, which includes a full session on infant feeding.

    Support from a health visitor, whether in person or online, can be a vital step towards helping a mother make the decision to continue breastfeeding her baby. Tonia, a mum from Bedfordshire, said: “I contacted the Health Visiting team in Bedford when my son was a month old, after experiencing pain and over supply while breastfeeding. As it was during lockdown, I was unsure of the support I'd have access to, but after a few video calls with Karen from the Baby Friendly Team I am still breastfeeding and going strong at 13 weeks! If any mum is struggling or in need of emotional support, particularly in these difficult times, I whole heartedly recommend contacting your health visiting team!”

    Sarah Pickford, Baby Friendly Lead, said: “Breastfeeding is one of best ways mums can give their babies a healthy start in life, so it’s essential that we continue to help mums to breastfeed in the middle of a pandemic when it might feel even more difficult. That’s why our teams have been going above and beyond to adapt our usual package of infant feeding support in light of the coronavirus restrictions. We’re so proud of all they’ve achieved in a short time and under such challenging circumstances.”

    Councillor Louise Jackson, Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing in Bedford Borough, said, “Even during these unprecedented times, support is still available for mums. Breastfeeding can sometimes take time to get the hang of and is something mum and baby learn together. We’re lucky to have several breastfeeding support options that can help over the phone or online by video call. It’s important for mums to know that there is no evidence that coronavirus can be passed to your baby in breastmilk.”

    Councillor Sue Clark, Central Bedfordshire Council Executive Member for Families, Education and Children, said: “Coronavirus has changed the way we all operate, and it means our Children’s Centres have not been able to host their usual Bump, Birth and Baby Stuff antenatal classes. We have worked in partnership with community midwives and the NHS Baby Friendly Team with support of a local parent to develop a solution.

    “We have created a video version of Bump, Birth and Baby Stuff to help mums-to-be care for themselves and their babies. The centres are also working with the Baby Friendly Team to ensure all new parents are contacted, and offered support. In line with this Breastfeeding Celebration Week there is a video with advice for expectant mothers on feeding their babies in order to help give them a healthy start in life. 

    Our Children's Centres are also still offering support and running many sessions and activities online via their Facebook pages, the links to which can all be found on our Family Information Directory.

    From improving infant and maternal health to supporting a strong relationship between mother and baby, breastfeeding has been proven to have a huge range of benefits. There is currently no evidence to suggest that coronavirus can be carried or passed on in breast milk. The well-recognised benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of coronavirus through breastmilk.

    These new services are a continuation of high quality support offered by health visitors from Bedfordshire Community Health Services, who were the first in the East of England to receive a Unicef UK gold award for their work back in February. This was in recognition of their hard work and numerous initiatives, from Baby Brasseries, to the breastfeeding peer supporter scheme, to the #FreeToFeed campaign promoting breastfeeding when out and about. Find out more about the Bedfordshire infant feeding team and what they do here.

  • NHS Diabetes Advice helpline

    by User Not Found | May 27, 2020

    NHS England and NHS Improvement have launched a new helpline in response to disruption to normal diabetes services due to the COVID-19 pandemic and response.

    The service is for adults living with diabetes who use insulin to manage their condition and require immediate clinical advice.

    Whether you or a member of your household have caught the virus, or routine care has been disrupted, the helpline is available for immediate clinical advice to help you understand how to effectively manage their diabetes.

    You can access NHS Diabetes Advice via Diabetes UK’s support line on 0345 123 2399 Monday-Friday from 9am-6pm.

    NHS Diabetes Advice Helpline - Twitter2

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