Over time, this page will contain information about the range of services provided by the NHS in the community, including ambulances and GP surgeries.
Many community services were provided by Hillingdon Community Health until it merged with Central & North West London Foundation Trust on 1st February 2011.
As a result of that merger CNWL is now responsible for the Northwood & Pinner Unit at Mount Vernon Hospital – news of that Unit will be on our Mount Vernon Hospital page. CNWL’s traditional role, provision of mental health services, and its Board Meetings will be shown on our CNWL page.
The key challenges relate to the number of unaccompanied asylum seeking children and the additional health challenges that this brings. They often enter care with a worse level of health than their peers in part due to poverty, abuse and neglect.
LAC are four times more likely than their peers to have a mental health, emotional of behavioural problem, engage in substance misuse and become a teenage parent.
On 14th February 2012, 375 children were looked after by Hillingdon Local Authority. They came from 23 different countries of origin, several of which have more than one language. Many come from areas of conflict where health needs are unlikely to be met. There is therefore a challenge in identifying health needs and providing adequate interpreting services.
84% of LAC had at least one health need and 15% had three or more health needs.
A high proportion of unaccompanied asylum seeking children had additional health needs, 10% with long term needs such as autism, fetal alcohol syndrome, diabetes or epilepsy but there were no pregnancies in this sample. There was one female genital mutilation. There was also a high number of older children with mental health problems which may be related to their experiences and their fear of the future as they do not automatically have leave to remain once they reach 18. There is also some concern that they have been told by their peers that they are more likely to succeed in their asylum claim if they appear to have mental health difficulties, but this is difficult to assess.
The LAC health team offer training to Hillingdon health staff and offer training to Social Workers and foster carers. 54% of children are placed within the Borough but 46% are placed elsewhere
Health Visiting in Hillingdon:
In 2011 the Prime Minister committed to recruiting an additional 4,200 health visitors by April 2015 to meet the national shortage. Hillingdon became a National Health Visiting Early Implementer Site
Delivery of this project is progressing well and is achieving the expected outcomes for the programme. The project has received recognition both nationally and locally with NHS London.
There are four key elements:
- Community – community level interactions, to improve health outcomes.
- Family Services – working with midwives, families during pregnancy, and after the birth.
- Additional services – such as care packages for maternal mental health / parenting support / toddler sleep problems – the aim is early intervention to prevent problems developing.
- Support of vulnerable families – such as child with a disability / teenage mothers / adult mental health problems / families at social disadvantage.
Hillingdon has achieved many improvements including 95% satisfaction with the health visitor service. The improvements include training 11 health visitors and recruiting 10 to stay in Hillingdon / improved parenting classes / introduction of Saturday health visitor clinics by appointment to improve engagement with fathers and working mothers / increasing uptake of the 2 ½ year review from 23% to 40% in only four months.
There were 2800 referrals in Hillingdon in 2011-12, an increase of 500. Since November 2011 there had been an unprecedented rise in the number of Hillingdon children subject to care protection plans - a total of 311 children currently had care plans, of which only 27 plans did not relate to emotional abuse or neglect. In comparison, there were currently 239 care plans in Camden, for which this Trust is also responsible, a reduction year-on-year in the total number.
This community health service in Hillingdon is provided by Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust. Current aims include, amongst many others:
- Reducing the risk of errors in administering medication
- Increasing the number of mothers who sustain breast feeding for 6-8 weeks or more
- Reducing the number of pressure ulcers
- Improving support of patients with diabetes
The Community Voice, of which Ruislip Residents' Association is a member, is represented at all Board meetings of this trust and it monitors all proposals for change in our local services.
On track financially: At its November Board Meeting, held in public, it was on track to deliver its planned annual savings. Its latest figures, for the end of September, showed it with a healthy surplus of £8.71million.
"Back to work" problems: The Board heard that the Government's "Back to work" policy was causing problems because assessors are not trained in mental health issues , which were affected. Since April 2011, all Incapacity Benefits claimants were being reassessed by the Paris-based IT company, Atos, which was being paid £100m to carry out medical tests on claimants. This was to help Job Centre Plus to decide whether claimants were eligible for the new benefit "Employment and Support Allowance" or - if capable of work - only the lower "Job Seeker's Allowance". The total number of people with "mental and behaviour disorders" claiming IB and SDA in Hillingdon in February 2011 was 2,560 of which 1,830 had been claiming for over 5 years; they all needed reassessment.
Health Visitors: Nationally there is a serious drop in Health Visitors and pre-election the Prime Minister promised to put an additional 4200 in post by April 2015. However, Hillingdon appears to be a "star" within this programme, which is encouraging..
As many as one in four people will experience a mental problem at some time in their lives - so that could be you, or a member of your family, or a friend or colleague. This centre is there to help all local people.
Free advice is available from a range of organisations. Just drop in to find out when services are available, or telephone 020 3214 5699. The centre has many partners including:
- Hillingdon Drug and Alcohol Services
- Employment Link
- Hillingdon Mind
- Housing Advice
- Welfare and Benefits
- Hillingdon Carers
- Age UK
- Hillingdon Parental Support Service
- And many others
This meeting of the Committee focused on a performance review of local NHS Trusts. Senior representatives were present from all local NHS bodies.
As much that was reported to this Scrutiny Committee is shown elsewhere on our website only the following additional items are noted here:
Hillingdon’s Health and Wellbeing Board: The Department of Health has made £15,000 available for each local authority to support its building of local Health and Wellbeing Boards, to ensure that they are able to take on their new responsibilities when they come into effect in April 2012.
Community Specialist Dentistry in Hillingdon: These services transferred to Hillingdon PCT from Hammersmith and Fulham PCT in 2007 - Uxbridge and Ickenham Health Centres reduced waiting times from 24 months to between 4 and 10 months. The three main categories of service are dentistry for children and adults with special needs, and advanced restorative care specialties. The ESC is particularly concerned that people in care homes, especially those with dementia, should be given full dental support.
Hillingdon’s NHS Wellbeing Centre: Located in the Boots store in the Chimes Shopping Centre in Uxbridge, this facility has for the last 16 months provided free advice on staying happy, healthy and well. This is the first time an NHS centre has offered a range of services specifically aimed at promoting mental wellbeing from one site. As well as NHS staff, representatives from local support groups such as Hillingdon Mind, Alcohol Concern, Employment, Link and Relate are available in the Wellbeing Centre. The Centre was set up by Central & North West London NHS FT in partnership with NHS Hilllingdon and Hillingdon Council
Currently ophthalmology services in Hillingdon are provided in a range of locations, in hospitals and in the community.
It is proposed that a consultant led community service catering for adults and children will be set up with a block tariff in the three localities in Hillingdon - south, central, and north. Cataracts, glaucoma, blepharitis, watery eye, flashers and floaters are all to be treated in community clinics.
Patients requiring surgery or further treatment will be referred from the community service to hospital. It is anticipated that 25% of secondary care will be diverted into the community from March 2012.