October 2019

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Welcome to our Autumn Stakeholder Bulletin.   In this issue we have lots of news to share including the outcomes of our second patient conference , what Bromley women told us about their maternity care, improvements being made to health checks for people with learning disabilities and what our patient representatives thought of a new exercise on referral service that they helped us commission.   As always at this time of year we are encouraging Bromley residents to get their flu jab.  It's free for the over 65s, those with a long term health condition and pregnant women.  For the first time this year, the Government is also offering the jab to all primary school children.   Three children in Bromley tragically died from the flu last year - it really can be a killer.  Visit our website to find out lots more information about flu and how to get your jab.



Bromley residents with heart conditions can get help from the cardiac rehabilitation and exercise on referral programme.  This NHS funded programme is available for those who meet certain clinical criteria.   Speak to your GP to see if you are eligible. 

Patients have influenced the CCG's new contract for the programme.  Members of the Bromley Heart Support Group shared their views and some of our patient advisory group members were part of the decision making panel on who to award the contract to.  The contract commenced in September 2019, so we organised a tour of the facilities at Beckenham Spa so that residents who gave up their time to help us decide on the new service could see it in operation. You can read more about the tour here.

The new contract is provided by My Time Active, and based on patient feedback, they will:

  • Communicate with patients using the service in a range of ways from face to face, to letters and email.
  • Signpost patients to further exercise opportunities once their NHS sessions are completed.
  • Provide classes in the morning, afternoon and evening 
  • Gather feedback throughout the year to see how patients are benefiting from the service.

 ‘I would like to be advised and directed to other exercise opportunities once my programme finished.’

 ‘This was made an explicit requirement in the new providers' contract.’

 ‘Please provide exercise sessions at different times of the day”.

 ‘The service provides the sessions at different times of the day to suit a range of people’. 



The new Orpington Health and Wellbeing Centre opened on 16 September 2019.   The new centre currently houses the Knoll Medical Practice and there are plans to also have a range of other community clinics including a new MRI scanner.  The centre will enable more patients to avoid going to hospital for routine treatment.


Dr Andrew Parson, Clinical Chair of NHS Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group said, “We are delighted the centre is now open.  We have worked long and hard with our partners, patients and staff to make sure that we can offer Orpington residents high quality services from a modern and fit for purpose building. Patients have told us they want more care delivered from local community facilities and avoid having to go into hospital unless they really need to. The new centre will certainly help us achieve this”.

Patients and other partners have been instrumental in developing the Orpington centre. David Hughes, a member of our patient advisory group said:  “From the very early days of planning the new centre, the CCG talked to local people to make sure they had a voice in what was provided. I was able to see the drawings and plans for the building and give my views. I’m delighted that it is now open and will provide the residents of Orpington with a range of health and wellbeing services on their doorstep.

A leaflet about the centre is available by clicking here  



The CCG has funded another blood testing clinic in Bromley.  The new clinic is at the Eden Park Surgery in Beckenham.  It is open five days a week and offers bookable appointments.  A bookable appointment means no waiting around and a better experience for patients.  In the last 12 months, patients using bookable appointments at clinics provided across Bromley were asked for their views.  90% of those surveyed waited less than 10 minutes and over 90% were satisfied/very satisfied with the service.   Speak to your GP about using bookable appointments when you are referred for a blood test.  You can also find more details on the Bromley GP Alliance website.

 ‘The waiting times at the Beacon phlebotomy service are too long and there is no local bookable service available’.

  An additional bookable phlebotomy clinic has been set up at Eden Park surgery in Beckenham, providing bookable appointments five days a week’.  



Over 80 women and their families have shared their views on maternity services to help inform what priorities the Bromley Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) will focus on over the coming year.   The Bromley MVP is an independent group made up of people who have used maternity services and those who support women and families through this most important part of their lives such as midwives, health visitors, doctors and other health care professionals.   The MVP acts as an advisory friend to help maternity services improve care for women.   

The good news is that many women had experienced good maternity care in Bromley.  The following areas were highlighted as important and will be used by the MVP to inform the ongoing workplan:

  • Seeing the same midwife and doctor.
  • Timely and accessible appointments.
  • Caring and compassionate staff
  • Good emergency care
  • Having access to good quality consistent information
  • Joined up information sharing between staff providing care.
  • Understanding and quick response to the emotional and mental health needs of mothers

As well as this survey, the MVP is working with Your Voice in Health and Social Care, an organisation that provides the Bromley Healthwatch service, to gather views on service provision on an ongoing basis.  These views are captured through face to face interviews in a range of venues such as family centres, hospital, coffee mornings and mindful mum sessions.  New leaflets and posters are being used to promote the MVP as well as social media including twitter and instragram.  If you have had a baby in the last five years, we would love to hear from you.  You can get involved as much or as little as you can manage.  Please contact the chair of the MVP.  



People with learning disabilities should have a health check every year with their GP.  It helps to keep them well and find problems early on so that the right care can be provided.

Not everyone who is entitled to this annual check is having one and we wanted to know why.  Is it because they don't know about it or have had a bad experience?  We asked 55 people with learning disabilities for their views through an easy read survey.  Bromley Mencap also helped us gather their views.

Based on what we heard, new accessible information materials have been produced, improvements have been made to the IT system identifying patients on the learning disabilities register and the health check invitation letter has been improved.

 ‘We don’t know about the health check’

 ‘Ensured that practices regularly invite patients in a way that is clear and understandable’

 ‘Understanding the benefits of the health check would encourage me to have one’ 

 ‘We made the letter and leaflets more accessible so that patients can understand the importance of attending the health check.’



The CCG is working together with Bromley Council and Bromley Parent Voice to improve the support provided for children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and their families.

This involves working closely across education, health and social care services and listening to children, young people and families so their individual needs can be met and they are able to influence the support available to all those with SEND in Bromley. 

In the last year, together we have:

  • Introduced a new engagement framework called 'Better together, Inform, Involve, Influence'.
  • Published quarterly 'you said, we did' reports to show how feedback is making a difference.
  • Worked together with Bromley Parent Voice which supports families and children with SEND.
  • Produced a monthly newsletter called 'SEND Matters' which provides updates and news for Bromley families and other stakeholders.

 'There is concern about the waiting times in Bromley to get educational psychology, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and children and adolescent mental health support'

'The high number of educational health care needs assessments requests is resulting in pressures on services and waiting times.  We are reviewing the models of delivery and resourcing for key services.  For example, a short term plan has been put in place to address the pressures on speech and language therapy and there will be a review to develop a new and better approach to supporting children and young people with speech, language and communication needs in schools and education settings.'  

 'We want to be involved in reviewing education, health and social care provision and participate in decisions about the support available.' 

 'We are working with Bromley Parent Voice to ensure that families and those with SEND are able to influence provision of services in Bromley.   In May 2019, the second Parent Journey workshop was held to gather views about what is working well and what needs to improve and a Primary School Summit event was held for primary school children in June. At this event children with special educational needs came from seven primary schools and helped us develop videos about what good inclusion looks like.  Also in June two workshops were held with young people to hear about their experiences of using services, how they get their information and what stops them from being heard.  All this feedback is being used to inform our ongoing work and provision of services



We are working with Bromley Council to seek ways in which to improve outcomes for young people with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).  To help identify the top priorities to work on, a local enquiry on the strengths and weaknesses of local services was undertaken followed by surveys to young people and their families and carers.  Two focus groups were held as well as meetings with children's groups to capture views.    Four main themes emerged from this work.  The need for:

  • Equity
  • Personalisation
  • Diagnosis
  • Training and Workforce Development

Together with Bromley Council, we are funding a co-produced 100 day challenge which aims to identify and implement improvements that can be made within 100 days.  A final report on this work will be available in December so watch this space!   



Bromley women who need to have a transvaginal scan (TVS) will soon be able to have one at the weekend and evenings from a new community based service.   As part of our redesign of the service, we asked Bromley women to share their views.  100% of respondents welcomed weekend and evening appointments and half of them would prefer to see a female sonographer.     

Two key performance indicators have been included in the new contract to take account of this feedback.  These are: 

  • 98% of patients to be offered a choice of day, time and location of appointment
  • At least 90% of patients scanned within 2 weeks of referral acceptance. No more than 10% seen between 2 and 4 weeks, and 0% waiting more than 4 weeks for the scan.

  ‘I would attend weekend and evening appointments for TVS services’.

 ‘The new community TVS service will be available in the evening and at weekends’.

 ‘Please provide female sonographers but I don’t want to wait longer to see one’.

 ‘The new provider is required to make female sonographers available upon request (through the referral process) and we would expect patients to be seen within the same timeframe regardless of a request for a female sonographer.   



In January, the NHS set out its plans for the next 10 years across the whole of England.

The plan shows how money for the NHS will be spent to help people across the country. It is based on what the public and NHS staff think the NHS needs to do to make care better; more easily accessible and close to where people live, and to get better at helping people to stay well.

Over the past few months, CCGs across Bromley have been talking to members of our communities to understand how we can improve our services and make a healthier south east London. We looked at a set of six specific areas, from how we work with charities to improving access to care.

Twelve public engagements events took place across the six boroughs which focused on both borough-wide discussions and specific topics that are important to the future of the NHS in south east London.

You can read more about our discussions at each of the borough focused engagement events on the Our Healthier South East London website


Bromley GPs issue breast cancer screening plea


GPs in Bromley are supporting a national drive to raise breast cancer awareness and improve local screening rates. 

Women aged between 50 and 70 are invited for regular breast screening every three years under a national NHS programme. This can help detect the disease at an early stage when there is a better chance of successful treatment. 

Latest data shows that take up rates in Bromley sat at 77.9 per cent in 2018 - above the national average of 74.9 per cent.

Dr Ruchira Paranjape, NHS Bromley CCG Principle Clinical Director for Cancer and Local GP said “Breast Cancer Awareness month is a great opportunity to make sure that everyone recognises the importance of screening in case you have symptoms that are due to breast cancer. If you exhibit any of the symptoms of possible breast cancer, please seek an appointment with your GP. It may be nothing, but if it leads to an early diagnosis, it may be the difference between saving your life or not.”   Find out more on our website


Working together to help prevent suicide

A plan setting out local strategies to help reduce the average of 20 people or so each year across the Borough taking their own lives is being actioned. 

The Bromley Suicide Prevention Plan recognises that every suicide is a preventable, tragic event which can have a devastating impact on family and friends, with impacts also on wider society. 

Launched by Bromley Council and the CCG, the plan has been developed by health and social care professionals, including those who have been personally affected by suicide. It focuses on six main areas. These are: 

  1. Reduce the risk of suicide in key high risk groups
  2. Tailor approaches to improve mental health in specific groups such as children and young people
  3. Reduce the means of suicide by developing clear referral pathways
  4. Provide better information and support to those bereaved or affected by suicide
  5. Support the media in delivering sensitive approaches to suicide and suicidal behaviour
  6. Support research, data collection and monitoring. This will help give us a better understanding so we can target interventions based on evidence.

Find out more on our website.



Our second patient conference took place in September and over 50 people joined us to share their views on improving outpatient services and introducing signposting and social prescribing into GP practices.   We captured so much rich feedback that will be used by the Bromley health and care system to directly to inform these programmes of work.    A full report on the event is now available on our website.  Huge thanks to everyone who joined us.

"It may take some time to get used to social prescribing but this will be beneficial to meet a range of needs that are not strictly health related but which can impact on your health (isolation, housing etc)".

 "Training of signposters is very important".

 "Telephone consultations welcomed for follow up appointments"

"Provide quick access to test results rather than having to wait for the next outpatient appointment".



 The flu vaccine is free if you are:

  • 65 or over
  • Have a long term condition such as a heart, chest or spleen problem, kidney or liver disease, a neurological condition or diabetes
  • Pregnant
  • Have a weakened immune system
  • Carers of an older or disabled person
  • Household contacts of an immunocompromised person

Get your flu jab as soon as possible to protect yourself over the winter period. If you think you are eligible, contact your GP practice or alternatively ask your local pharmacist.

You should have the flu vaccination every year so you stay protected, as the flu virus can change from year to year. 

We have produced a handy guide to keeping well over winter. 


If you would like a copy, please email broccg.patientquery@nhs.net



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