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September 2020


As always there is a great deal happening across Surrey Heartlands but as a system we have three main priorities over the next few months.

The first is recovery and restoring services back to pre-Covid levels. Thanks to everyone’s hard work, we are making really good progress in this area, with most services back up and running and waiting lists coming down. Outpatient appointments are pretty much back at the usual levels already and by November we should be seeing planned operations back up to around 90% of the activity levels we would normally see, which shows just how far we have come. We still have further work to do around diagnostics and we are still seeing longer waiting times than we would want in some areas, but all in all, we’re definitely heading in the right direction.

As a GP, the message is very much that the local NHS is “open for business” so if you, or a family member, have been invited in for a screening test, vaccinations or invited to attend an appointment in person, we would really encourage you to attend. Local services have taken all the necessary steps around infection control so services are safe and it’s important people are continuing to access them and get the care they need.

At the last Surrey Health and Wellbeing Board we heard some really interesting findings from a recent Community Impact Assessment, led by the council, which is a piece of research that explores how communities in Surrey have been disproportionately affected by Covid.  It looks at a range of factors including geographical, health and economic impact, and we’ll be looking at how the findings can be incorporated into the Health and Wellbeing Strategy and our wider work on reducing health inequalities. We will also need to link the findings back to our recovery work. It’s a really good piece of work so well worth a look.

Our second priority is preparing for winter and being ready to respond to any further waves of Covid-19. Across our health and care system we are already doing a lot of work to prepare for winter and as Covid-19 cases start to rise, with risks of a second wave, we expect this year to be particularly challenging. 

Crucially this year we will see the biggest ever flu vaccination programme and I would ask you all to encourage friends, family, colleagues and neighbours to have the vaccination if they are eligible. Our targets are ambitious, aiming for at least 75% uptake of the flu vaccination across the key eligible groups (including pregnant women, children in the eligible age brackets, those aged 16-64 with long-term health conditions and people over 65 years).  This is a huge ask of our teams and this year we also have the added challenge of vaccinating as many people as possible whilst also adhering to social distancing, infection control and other measures.  Our primary care colleagues at Greystone House Surgery in east Surrey are a great example of what can be achieved by working differently, through their drive through clinics – and you can read more on this below.

Vaccinating staff will also be key and this year, although not mandated, NHS England/Improvement has set a target of 100% uptake for staff so this will be another important focus for us.

Thirdly, following publication of the national NHS People Plan, we have developed our own local People Plan that will focus on how we can best support our workforce, looking at everything from recruitment and retention to culture and wellbeing and the work we need to do to ensure staff feel supported and engaged as we continue our ICS journey.

The levels of dedication and commitment shown by our staff and the wider Surrey Heartlands workforce throughout the Covid pandemic has been truly remarkable so this work is particularly timely and will help ensure our workforce are at the centre as we look ahead to delivery of our five year plan and the transformation we want to see for people living in Surrey Heartlands.

Best wishes,


Dr Claire Fuller, Senior Responsible Officer, Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System and Interim Accountable Officer, Surrey Heartlands CCG

Getting creative to protect you from flu!

With the biggest ever flu campaign this year, which will see a record 30 million people eligible for a free vaccine, flu clinics are now underway in GP practices across Surrey Heartlands. 

With the need for social distancing and tighter infection control measures, Greystone House Surgery in Redhill has launched new 'drive thru' and 'walk thru' clinics, making it even easier for people to get their jab.

Following a small scale run through to test the concept, the surgery has now doubled capacity to offer the service to even more patients.

GP Principle, Dr Leung, explains:
"The meticulous organisation of our Flu Team (lead by our Practice Manger, Jacquie Clayson), and the wonderful support of our volunteer patient champions ensured it was a huge success. Online booking and safe social distancing has allowed our team of clinicians to tackle healthcare inequalities by delivering vaccines safely and swiftly to our most vulnerable." 

You can find out more about the national flu campaign, and who’s eligible for a free flu vaccine, here

Be one in a million this Stoptober! 

Over one million people have quit smoking since coronavirus hit the UK. One You Surrey are encouraging you to be one in a million this Stoptober and quit for good.

The team offer free specialist behavioural support in combination with stop smoking medication. Backed by the latest behaviour change research, it means you are three times more likely to quit with their help.

One You Surrey has flexible remote appointment times, Monday-Thursday 8am-8pm, Friday 8am-6pm and Saturday 9am-12pm. 
It’s never too late to quit smoking and the health benefits will happen sooner than you think.

See the video below or click here to take the first step. 

Watch now
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Introduced by the Surrey Heartlands Academy back in May 2019 the Surrey 500 is a large-scale leadership programme that focuses on systems leadership, with participants working together on how to become catalysts for change and action.

Thanks to the success of the programme, in November we will be starting our fifth cohort. As well as being open to leaders in health and social care, we also welcome applications from our voluntary sector colleagues. For further details, including how to apply for future courses, please email us.

Watch this video to find out more about the programme and the impact it’s had on colleagues who have taken part.

Watch now
Read more

New Covid recovery website

People recovering from Covid-19 may still be coming to terms with the impact the virus has had on both their body and mind.

Help is available through a new NHS website called ‘Your Covid Recovery’, which can help people understand what has happened and what to expect as part of their recovery.
System Board holds first meeting in public 

On Wednesday 21 October at 9am we are holding our first Surrey Heartlands virtual System Board in public. 

System Board is where we discuss the progress we are making as an Integrated Care System and our plans and priorities for the future. Everyone is welcome so please join us to hear more about the work we are doing to improve quality, care and health outcomes for our population. The agenda and joining details will be published here soon.


Remote monitoring service launched for people with dementia and their carers

People with dementia and their carers can now sign up for a new, free of charge NHS remote monitoring service offering increased support following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new TIHM monitoring service remotely monitors the health and wellbeing of people with dementia and their regular carer.

It’s based on the award-winning Technology Integrated Health Management for dementia system, developed by Surrey and Borders Partnership Foundation NHS Trust.

People receiving the service are provided with easy to use digital devices to track body temperature, pulse, oxygen saturation and general wellbeing. If any of the readings indicate there could be a health issue, an alert is flagged on a centralised system and followed up by a clinically led monitoring team that provides advice and support. If necessary, they will also arrange for coronavirus testing and liaise with 111, hospital services and GPs.

Carol and Russell Hudson from Bramley, have  started using the service. Carol, who cares for her husband, Russell, who has Alzheimer’s disease said:

“I think it’s amazing. I find it very simple to use, I usually take the readings early in the morning. It’s nice to have a safety net. If something did go wrong, somebody will call you and that’s a nice feeling to have. It’s also reassuring that the service is monitoring my health too.”

Anyone who has a diagnosis of dementia who lives at home in Surrey (or their carer) can apply for the TIHM Monitoring Service.


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Latest blog: A question of ethics 

In our latest blog Jonathan Perkins, Lay Chair of our Surrey Heartlands Clinical Ethics Committee, reflects on some of the ethical issues we have had to face as a system and the approach we have taken during Covid-19 and beyond to support our teams and ensure we are doing right by our citizens.

“How should patients presenting with Covid-19 be prioritised if there is a lack of ITU beds or ventilators? What is a doctor’s duty to treat when that individual may be in a high-risk category? When should a family member be allowed to visit a patient on a ward or a person in a residential care home?

“There were many such questions being posed in the media, by our citizens and by local clinicians, particularly in the early days of the pandemic.

Surrey Heartlands responded by looking at the ethical issues raised on a whole system basis..."
Read more
Bringing generations together through music 

A Surrey-based organisation – Intergenerational Music Making – is working with schools, care homes, colleges and universities across Surrey Heartlands to create exciting and meaningful music projects that improve well-being, mental health, tackle loneliness and help integrate local communities.

The focus is on connecting and bringing together generations in their local communities through intergenerational music projects that give children and older people the opportunity to work together to create music projects they can be proud of, leading to an increased sense of belonging and feelings of wellbeing. 

Through their new Musical Conversations movement IMM are putting music, culture and connection at the heart of our communities. The project is being ran in collaboration with the Chineke! Junior Orchestra and aims to start new kind of conversations, connecting generations through the sharing of cultural heritage, musical stories and creativity.

Before Covid-19, they were working in 20 care homes across Surrey Heartlands but now their resources are being accessed by 100 care homes across Surrey. Their online resources, which includes videos showcasing art, poetry and music have been watched by over 2,000 people.

The team are also working with schools across Surrey Heartlands to get even more young people involved. 
Watch the video below to find out more about their inspirational work, particularly following the Covid-19 outbreak.

Watch now
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The latest updates on the work of Surrey Heartlands can be found on our website. To find out more please click here.  
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Published by Surrey Heartlands, a partnership of health and care organisations across Surrey. © Surrey Heartlands, all rights reserved.

Surrey Heartlands and its partner organisations make every effort to ensure that the information in this newsletter is accurate and up-to-date. However, we cannot accept responsibility for any loss or inconvenience caused by reliance on inaccurate material contained here or on our website.  Links to other websites are provided for your convenience and do not imply endorsement by the partners within Surrey Heartlands. 

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