BSW Together - Issue 4 April 2021
Healthwatch Young Volunteers interview
Erin and Robyn are two young volunteers from Healthwatch Wiltshire who have been doing some great work within their community. They recently sat down with us to discuss all things volunteering, as well as having a chat about lockdown and the Covid-19 vaccination.
Watch our Q&A session with them to hear what they have to say.
The Our Health, Our Future Panel is a way for us to engage with those living in BSW to get their views on health and care issues.
In line with our value of inclusive, the online panel is made up of a representative sample of the population from across our region. Panel members will take part in regular surveys throughout the year as well as form focus groups from time to time.
We have been working with independent market research specialists to develop our panel. Jungle Green is a Bristol-based market research agency that is working on behalf of the CCG to support the Our Health Our Future Panel.
If you would like to join the Our Health, Our Future Panel please go to the section of our website
Unpaid carers getting their vaccine – Swindon Family Carers
As the coronavirus vaccine continues to be rolled out across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire at a rapid pace, more and more local people are being encouraged to book the all-important vaccination appointment. Carers and specifically unpaid carers were a group of individuals that faced uncertainty in the prioritisation of being called for their Covid vaccination.
This was highlighted by Swindon Carers Centre and other carer organisations and stakeholders which included Swindon SEND Families Voice in trying to get the vaccine rollout to the broadest number of unpaid carers under the government definition as possible. The government policy on vaccinating carers and unpaid carers required some suplimentary local eligibility guidance to make sure carers (both paid and unpaid) were prioritised to receive the vaccine.
The CCG came together with these organisations to understand the barriers and work collectively to find a solution.
A small working group came together to mobilise equitable access to the vaccine for carers and unpaid carers and to agree consistent messaging to the unpaid carer cohort. The group worked together to look at accessibility, the booking process and the language being used to describe carers, both unpaid and younger carers.
All adult carers in receipt of a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Carers Allowance, or registered with their GP as a carer, can now book through the national booking service to receive the vaccine, instead of waiting to be contacted.
Carers under the age of 18 are not currently able to book a vaccine appointment using the national booking system, and are advised to wait to be contacted by their GP.
Vaccine appointments can be booked online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus-vaccine or over the phone by calling 119.
Carers using the national booking system will be able to choose to receive the vaccine from the large vaccination centres at Salisbury City Hall and Bath Racecourse, or from one of three local pharmacies currently offering a vaccination service.
Gill May, Director of Nursing and Quality, said: “Carers provide an invaluable service to so many of our most vulnerable residents, and it is vitally important that we do what we can to ensure these unsung heroes are protected as quickly as possible.
“I know that many carers have been anxious at having to wait to be contacted about having the vaccine, so I hope this announcement brings some comfort and relief to those who do so much for others.
“It’s fantastic that we are in a position to open up the vaccination programme to more and more people, and I would like to provide reassurance to people outside of the priority groups currently being vaccinated that we are in this for the long haul and will get to you as soon as we possibly can.”
Further information on the local rollout of the coronavirus vaccine can be found online at www.bswccg.nhs.uk.
Covid-19 Pandemic - One Year On
Opening Doors: a conversation about the Covid-19 vaccine follow up
The recent Opening Doors: a conversation about the Covid-19 vaccine webinar was a dedicated event for Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities across BSW to ask their questions about the Covid-19 vaccines and for these questions to be answered.
The event was a huge success, with a large number of attendees putting a diverse array of questions to our panel. The panellists were local clinicians, CCG representatives and members of the BAME community and they did their best to answer all of the questions posed to them, as well as offering their knowledge and insight to dispel some of the common myths surrounding the vaccine.
BSW Partnership update
Following the decision tobecome an Integrated Care System (ICS) at the end of last year, the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) partnership (when every part of the country became part of an ICS) have launched a new website, as well as having an updated Twitter presence and visual identity and the creation of a new quarterly news publication called "The Triangle".
The BSW Partnership is an ICS made up of a clinical commissioning group, three hospitals, three local authorities, a mental health trust, an ambulance trust, and community health providers and voluntary organisations working together, who take collective responsibility to improve health and care for local people.
The new website https://bswpartnership.nhs.uk offers a one-stop shop for information about the Partnership including news about collaborative work taking place across BSW, information on localities and Integrated Care Alliances (ICAs) and information about how the public can get involved.
The new website showcases a new visual identity for the BSW Partnership, based on a distinctive triangle design which highlights the importance of collaboration and connectivity across our triangle-shaped geography.
As part of BSW Partnership’s commitment to transparency and openness, meetings of the BSW Partnership Board will begin to take place in public this May.
The first meeting open to members of the public to attend is the BSW Partnership Board scheduled for Friday 28 May between 9am and 12pm. Further details about the meeting and how members of the public can take part will be posted on the BSW Partnership website over the coming weeks.
As part of its ongoing work to address health inequalities and improve the diversity of its workforce the BSW Partnership recently held a workshop for system leaders to discuss how to deliver a comprehensive and systematic approach to tackling the issues.
Attended by BSW Partnership leaders and representatives and lead by Independent Chair Stephanie Elsy, the workshop highlighted how issues around inequalities were “everybody’s business” which needed to be urgently addressed. More information about the meeting can be found on the Partnership website.
We are excited to let you know that from next month CCG engagement news will be available in two new forms. Some key highlights will be included as part of the BSW Partnership public-facing newsletter "The Triangle", which will cover a broad range of health and care updates, both from the CCG and our partner organisations across BSW.