Section Navigation

Print all articles view

September 2015 – Issue 16

A Message from Our Chief Executive

David Smith, Chief Executive at OCCG

David Smith, Chief Executive at OCCG

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Dr Bruno Holthof the incoming Chief Executive of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust. From October, Bruno will take charge of running the city’s four major hospitals including the John Radcliffe. We discussed ways of strengthening our ties to deliver even better patient care in Oxfordshire. I look forward to working closely with Bruno and his team in the near future.

I would also like to extend my thanks and appreciation to Sir Jonathan Michael the current Chief Executive of the Trust who is retiring from his post at the end of September after five years in charge. Sir Jonathan has been an effective and dedicated leader and I have enjoyed working with him.

You are welcome to join us at OCCG’s Annual Public Meeting on Thursday 24 September (6pm-7.30pm) at Jubilee House, Oxford. The meeting will provide us with an opportunity to look back at our achievements over the past 12 months, and describe our forward plans for the coming year.

Finally, with winter approaching I would encourage people, especially patients in the ‘at risk’ groups, to book an appointment at their GP practice for a flu vaccination. This is an opportunity for you to take a positive step to keep yourself and your family well and healthy this winter.

Best Wishes,

David Smith

Do You Want to Help Shape GP Services?
Join a patient group at your GP practice and help improve health services.

GP Practices in Oxfordshire want to broaden patient representation on their patient participation groups (PPGs).  These groups are made up of patients who are interested in supporting practices with the services they provide to patients.

PPG members act as a ‘critical friend’, providing an opportunity to work in a very informal way with practice staff to help them improve their services. Patients who currently undertake this role in the county describe how their voice can make a real difference to practical things such as helping to improve car parking at surgeries and make services generally more effective for all patients.

PPGs also allow patients to learn more about health issues and how the wider NHS works, providing them more knowledge and better insight to make informed views on how to improve services.

PPGs share some of their views and comments with commissioners at OCCG to help develop health services for the whole population across Oxfordshire.

Some PPGs meet face to face at regular meetings, whilst others act as a virtual reference group, providing comments on plans via email. No experience of this type of work is necessary, and joining a PPG doesn’t need to take up too much time.

All PPGs welcome people from different backgrounds and communities to ensure their views and needs are being represented.

Dr Louise Wallace, Lay Member (Public and Patient and Involvement) at OCCG, said: ‘Patients must be at the heart of decision making about their care and their views are important in shaping services for themselves and others. If you’re interested in having a say in the way your local health services are delivered, getting involved with your practice’s PPG is a great place to start. This is important because surgeries are keen to ensure PPGs are representative of their practice population.’

A case study – the development of Goring and Woodcote PPG

Jeremy Hutchins is the Chairman of Goring and Woodcote Surgery’s PPG in South Oxfordshire and has been actively involved in his patient group since it launched in 2007. The PPG now has  about 200 members.

Jeremy Hutchins

Jeremy said:  ‘I have seen the PPG grow in size and effectiveness during this time. We now have nearly 200 members and a core committee of 12 providing support and advice to practice GPs and staff. We are greatly valued by the practice. Over the past two years our activities have included:

  • A series of public meetings dealing with important subjects including  dementia, end of life care, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and the future of general practice
  • Annual surveys that have helped improve services provided by the  practice
  • Helped the practice to introduce the effective use of the Friends and Family test
  • Worked closely with the practice to develop and encourage patient self-care where appropriate

Jeremy added: ‘I would encourage anyone who wants to further improve health services to join a PPG – it has given me a great deal of satisfaction knowing we are making a difference to patient care.’

If you wish to join your PPG or know more please contact your GP practice or look on their website for details on how to join.  You can also tell us what you think is the most effective way to promote PPGs via a poll OCCG is currently running on Talking Health click here to take part

Meet the Governing Body

Introducing Dr Andrew Burnett, South East Locality Clinical Director and Urgent Care Lead at OCCG

Andrew Burnett 2x

In this edition of the newsletter we focus on Dr Andrew Burnett who has been a member of the Governing Body since the launch of OCCG in 2013.

Andrew brings a wealth of experience to the post having worked as a GP partner at the Sonning Common Health Centre in South Oxfordshire for the past 30 years. In addition to his general practice commitments, Andrew has an interest in treating allergies and skin conditions.

He said: ‘My father, who was a GP, always said that I should become a dermatologist as it was a much easier life than being a doctor! Like so much of his advice, I didn’t follow it at the time and while I thoroughly enjoy general practice, I do find treating skin problems and allergies very stimulating.’

Carrying out minor surgery is also another area of focus for Andrew. He said: ‘I believe that more GPs should be able to do minor surgical procedures. Being able to perform this skill reduces the need for patients to travel to local hospitals so saving them time and money. Nevertheless, I worry there aren’t enough opportunities for young doctors to learn these skills as they train.’

Andrew’s hard work combined with the dedication of his colleagues and staff resulted in the surgery been rated ‘outstanding’ earlier this year by the Care Quality Commission – a national body that ensures health services across the country are safe and effective. The surgery was the first GP practice in the Thames Valley to receive this rating in 2015.

Andrew has been involved in commissioning health services for over 20 years and remains very committed to this work. He said: ‘I believe that experienced clinicians should get involved with commissioning if they want to change health services to improve care for patients. ‘

Outside of work, Andrew’s passion for cycling encouraged him to launch a patients’ cycling group at the surgery 20 years ago. This in turn led to the launch of the annual Sonning Common ‘village cycle day’ which now attracts 600 participants. He has also cycled across parts of Vietnam and showed a group of visiting German and Austrian journalists the beauty of the local Reading countryside by bike.

Book Your Flu Jab Appointment

Remember to book a flu vaccination at your GP practice to protect you against illness this winter.

Remember to book an appointment with your GP for a flu vaccination. While flu is unpleasant for anyone that catches it, for some people it can lead to complications.

Those most ‘at risk’ include people aged over 65, pregnant women, anyone with a long term condition like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, chronic kidney and liver disease, neurological disease or with a weakened immune system.

GP practices across Oxfordshire will be holding seasonal flu vaccination clinics from mid-September, and ‘at risk’ patients are advised to contact their practice and book an appointment for a jab. Immunisation by nasal spray is available for children aged two, three four years and school children in years 1 and 2 (five and six year olds).

Dr Andrew Burnett, Urgent Care Lead at OCCG said: ‘People should not underestimate the effects of seasonal flu. It is not the same as getting a cold. It can seriously affect your health and the risks of developing complications are greater if you have certain medical conditions.’

Andrew added: ‘If you are in any of the at-risk groups, my advice is to visit your GP and get the free vaccination as soon as possible. This is the best form of protection for you and others.’

More information about flu immunisation is available on the NHS Choices website here

Quit Smoking: Join the Stoptober Challenge

If you want to stop smoking then take part in the national Stoptober challenge next month.

Take up the Stoptober challenge with friends, family and colleagues


OCCG is encouraging people who want to quit smoking to join the national ‘Stoptober’ challenge from 1 October. To stand an even better chance of quitting, smokers are encouraged to sign up with friends, family and colleagues, as evidence reveals ‘social quitting’ can dramatically improve people’s chances of stopping for good.

In addition this year, Stoptober will be providing quitters with a personal touch from some of the nation’s leading comedians – Bill Bailey, Rhod Gilbert, Al Murray and Shappi Khorsandi. Messages of support and encouragement will be sent straight to quitters’ phones and emails throughout October.

Over a quarter of a million people across the country signed up to Stobtober last year, 36,000 people in the South East alone, with more than half making it to 28 days. By stopping smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to stop for good.

Remember, smoking is still the biggest cause of preventable illness and premature deaths in the country. According to Public Health England, one in every two long-term smokers will die prematurely from a smoking related disease unless they quit.

By signing up to Stoptober, you can choose from a range of free support tools including daily emails and text messages from the comedians during the month as well as a mobile phone app which includes lots more tips and advice.

To sign up to the nation’s biggest mass quit attempt, search Stoptober online or visit


Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund News

Keep up to date with the launch of pilot projects to improve access to  GPs.

You can keep up to date on the roll out of the GP Federations’ pilot projects in Oxfordshire by reading the latest edition of the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund News. The projects will help improve access to GP services and some are being launched this month and others later in the year. Read the newsletter here

On the Horizon

Join Us at the Next Governing Body and Annual Public Meetings

The next OCCG meeting will take place on Thursday, 24 September at Jubilee House, 5510 John Smith Drive, Oxford Business Park, OX4 2LH (2pm-5pm).

This meeting will be followed by the OCCG Annual Public Meeting on the same day, 24 September (6pm-7.30pm) at Jubilee House.

You can submit a question at least two days beforehand for either meeting (please indicate which meeting the question is for) to: or write to OCCG Business Manager, Jubilee House, 5510 John Smith Drive, Oxford Business Park, Oxford, OX4 2LH.

For more details about our Governing Body meetings please visit the OCCG Governing Body pages here


Locality – North East – September 2015

Health services in Bicester under discussion as partners continue to plan for town’s growth

The Locality continues to talk to a wide range of partners on the provision of future health services in Bicester to cope with an expected increase in the town’s population over the next 16 years.

About 10,000 new homes are planned to be built in Bicester which will result in thousands more people living in the town by 2031.

The Locality is working closely with planners and its partners including local government, GPs and the NHS to ensure that future health and social care needs of the growing population of Bicester will be met. More detailed plans will be prepared over the coming year.


For more information contact Julie-Anne Howe, Locality Co-ordinator email:


Information about the Locality

There are 10 GP practices in the Locality with a population of just over 78,000. The locality Clinical Director is Dr Stephen Attwood, who is supported by Dr Will O’Gorman.

Locality – North Oxfordshire – September 2015

Banbury Hub to help Improve Patient Care   

Neighbourhood Access Hubs are being introduced across Oxfordshire to improve patient access to GP services. The initiative follows a successful bid to the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund earlier this year by the Principal Medical Limited GP Federation in Oxfordshire.

The first Hub was launched on 11 September at the Banbury Health Centre. This is being followed by a roll out of the service in other parts of Oxfordshire this month and later in the year.

The Neighbourhood Access Hubs form part of a wider series of pilot projects being introduced by GP Federations in Oxfordshire to help patients access their doctor more effectively.

Each Hub will be staffed by at least two clinicians including a GP and an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, and local practices will be able to book urgent same day appointments at the Hub for their patients. This will help GP practices meet the increasing demand and free GPs up to spend more time on planned care appointments within their own surgeries.

The Banbury Hub is open every Thursday and Friday from 4pm to 8pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 6pm.  Appointments can only be made through a patient’s own GP surgery – there are no ‘walk-in’ appointments.

Clinicians at the Hubs have the same IT systems as GP practices and will be able to access patient records allowing treatment to be ongoing and in line with the care provided by their GP.

OCCG is supporting local GP Federations, as they run GP Access pilot projects throughout the year.

An independent evaluation of the projects has been commissioned by OCCG, to establish the level of success of each project and provide evidence to consider whether any of the pilot projects should be adopted and commissioned in the future.

Remember to watch out for information on the Hubs at your GP practice.

For more information contact Fergus Campbell, Locality Co-ordinator email:


Information about the Locality
There are 12 GP practices in the Locality with 105,963 registered patients. The locality Clinical Director is Dr Paul Park, who is supported by Dr Shelley Hayles.

Locality – Oxford City – September 2015

Improving Access to GP Services

The Locality’s Patient Forum was given an update in July on the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund pilot projects being developed for the City and Oxfordshire. Various schemes are being rolled out via GP Federations to help improve patient access to doctors’ services in the county. Forum members heard how Practice based Care Navigators will be launched in Oxford later this year. The scheme will help coordinate care for patients who are elderly, frail and just out of hospital, linking up practice teams with other health and care agencies.

You can view the latest Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund News which provides an update on all the latest pilot schemes in Oxfordshire see here  


For more information contact Julie-Anne Howe, Locality Co-ordinator email:


Information about the Locality

There are 26 GP practices in the Locality with a population of nearly 200,000. The Clinical Director is Dr David Chapman who is supported by three deputies, Dr Karen Kearley, Dr Merlin Dunlop and Dr Andy Valentine.

Locality – South East – September 2015

South East Locality Forum (SELF) – An update from the patient forum

SELF wrote to OCCG at the end of July restating its views on the proposals for the new Townlands Hospital. SELF would like to see an emergency multidisciplinary unit (EMU) at the new hospital. SELF believe that patients from Berkshire could also be treated at the new hospital to make its catchment area bigger so justifying the inclusion of an EMU.

SELF also fed back its views to OCCG on its commissioning intentions for 2015/16. Overall, SELF welcomed the initiatives but did not want a target set for the number of people diagnosed with dementia. SELF believe any increase in the target might only result in further including people with mild symptoms who might be affected unfairly as a result of their diagnosis.

SELF welcomed the extra investment in mental health services and the redesign of Children and Adults Mental Health Services (CAMHS) but regretted the slow roll out of the new service. SELF appreciated the progress made by OCCG to work more closely with the Locality Forum Chairs.

SELF agreed with plans to invest more in primary and community care and would like the South East Oxfordshire GP Federation (SEOX) to play more of a role in developing projects and involve patients further in its work. SELF has written to the GP Lead of SEOX.


For more information about the Locality contact Dasa Miklosovicova, Locality Co-ordinator,


Information about the Locality
There are 10 GP practices in the Locality with a population of 89,984. The locality Clinical Director is Dr Andrew Burnett who is supported by Dr Amar Latif.

Locality – South West – September 2015

How Can Your PPG Be Improved?

The public and the Locality’s Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) are being encouraged to take part in a quick poll to gather patient opinion and give OCCG an indication of public awareness levels of what PPGs are and how they could be better promoted.

The poll is relevant for everyone in Oxfordshire and particularly those people that get involved in their local health services. The findings will help indicate the sort of support PPGs might need such as attracting more young people, increasing membership, or assistance with promoting their PPG.

You can take part in the poll via OCCG’s Talking Health online site view here



For more information about the Locality contact Dasa Miklosovicova, Locality Co-ordinator,


Information about the Locality

There are 14 GP practices in the Locality with a population of around 140,000. The locality Clinical Director is Dr Julie Anderson supported by Dr Gavin Batholomew.

Locality – West – September 2015

What do you think about local NHS Services? Join Us in Carterton and share your views.

Drop in to share your views and experiences of local NHS services at a free community morning being held in Carterton this month.

The event will take place at Carterton Town Hall, Thursday 24 September, (9.30am to 12.30pm) and everyone is welcome to take part.

The Locality’s Patient and Public Forum has organised the morning and want to hear your thoughts, suggestions and stories about local health and social care services in the area.

In particular they want to hear about your experiences of using local hospitals in Oxford as a patient or visitor, and your thoughts and views on booking an appointment at any one of them.

Madeleine Radburn, event organiser and a patient representative on the Locality’s Steering Group, said: ‘This is a great opportunity to get your voice heard, and all your ideas and views about shaping the NHS in West Oxfordshire will be included anonymously in a report prepared for OCCG.’

Madeleine added: ‘If you leave your contact details at the event, we’ll make sure you receive a copy of the report. These days patients really do have a voice and this is your chance to influence OCCG’s decisions about commissioning health care in Oxfordshire.’


To find out more or to get involved then e-mail or ring 01993 772241.



Patients link to adult social care in the West

The West Oxfordshire Locality Patient Forum (WOLF) Steering Group met on 21 July.  There was a presentation from Gill Hawken, practice supervisor and social worker from the West Adult Social Care Team.  The team provides support for vulnerable adults and their carers; GPs, health professionals, individuals and families can refer into the service.

Members agreed that forging closer ties with adult social care would help Gill and her team to increase their awareness of the support groups available for vulnerable people in the area.

WOLF also received an update on the implementation of the Community Integrated Locality Team in West Oxfordshire.  Currently, this includes reablement and community therapy services working with adult social care workers.  This allows for more rounded assessments to be carried out and appropriate support put in place for local people.


For more information contact Fergus Campbell, Locality Co-ordinator email:



Information about the Locality

There are nine GP practices in the Locality with nearly 80,000 patients. Dr Miles Carter is the Locality Clinical Director who is supported by Dr Kiren Collison.

Copyright 2017 © Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group