Welcome to the October issue of The Triangle

Welcome to the October edition of The Triangle, our newsletter about the work of Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) Together, our Integrated Care System (ICS).

Although it seems that the summer has only just finished, colleagues across BSW have been planning for the coming winter for some time. Indeed, it may be fair to say that this year it feels like winter started in terms of pressure on services and staff, many weeks ago.

We expect the coming winter to be a difficult period for our local health and care system as we see sustained high demand on services and pressures on our hard working staff.

However, we would like to offer reassurance that the partners that make up BSW Together have co-produced plans that will increase the available health and care capacity and help us all to meet the challenges that we expect winter to present.

It’s important to remember, though, that we can all play our part in helping to ease unnecessary pressure on our valuable health and care services and encourage friends and family to do the same.

We can make sure we are using our health and care services appropriately at the right time and help our emergency services be there for the people who really need them. If your injury or illness is not life-threatening, please use a more appropriate healthcare service, such as a minor injury unit for injuries or a walk-in centre for minor illnesses or injuries.

You should only go to A&E in the case of genuine emergency, such as loss of consciousness, fits that are not stopping, persistent, severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding that cannot be stopped, severe allergic reactions and severe burns or scalds.

We can also help reduce pressure on services by seeking help from NHS 111 and pharmacies for minor ailments and advice on other services to use and by helping to free up available beds by collecting loved ones from hospital as soon as they are ready to leave.

You can read more about how we plan to tackle pressures on services this winter in this issue of The Triangle, including a story about the great work going on in Swindon Integrated Care Alliance Coordination Centre to better coordinate care for patients.

Elsewhere in this issue we catch up with Susie Kemp, Chief Executive of Swindon Borough Council to hear her thoughts about what being part of BSW Together means to her and her organisation, find out how local Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) groups are helping to support local people through the current cost of living crisis and learn more about plans for our Integrated Care Partnership. We also offer an update about how you can get involved in our work by attending our next board meeting in public next month in Swindon.

Thank you for reading. Please let us know what you think about The Triangle and about anything you’d like to see us cover in future issues by emailing bswicb.partnership@nhs.net

Sue Harriman,

Chief Executive Officer, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board

Stephanie Elsy, 

Chair, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board