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 both its traditional role, provision of mental health services, and the provision of community services such as clinics and home nursing services. Its Board Meetings will be shown on our CNWL page, but occasionally community items wil also be noted here.
Other community items originate in Board Meetings of Hillingdon Clinical Commissioning Group, Hillingdon Health and Wellbeing Board and The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, where they may be reported more fully. All NHS bodies integrate their services where possible.
Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust provides community health services in Hillingdon, but few people know just how much is done by that Trust for Hillingdon people. A detailed list of services can be seen by clicking here.
One of the services that CNWL provides is the Northwood & Pinner Unit, which was transferred to Mount Vernon Hospital from the Northwood & Pinner Community Hospital when that hospital closed in 2005. That Unit is now on the move again. It will move from Mount Vernon on 28th October 2013 to its new home in The Woodlands Centre, on the Hillingdon Hospital site, where it will lose its historic name and be called "The Hawthorne Intermediate Care Unit".
The Community Voice, of which Ruislip Residents' Association is a member, is concerned that failure to endorse the bid will, if it is successful, deny local people the benefits of participation - up to five years of Government support and access to world-wide expertise. It has writtent to the Leader of Hillingdon Council, Ray Puddifoot, who also chairs Hillingdon Health and Wellbeing Board, to ask him to reconsider this issue. See that letter by clicking here.
Councillor Puddifoot responded very swiftly defending Hillingdon Council's decision. See his response by clicking here.
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