KINGSTON WI: The business part of our October meeting included a request for small items, such as pens and crayons, toiletries etc. for the Link to Hope charity for Syrian refugees; please leave items with Brenda Neller by October 25. Members were asked to visit two ladies who have been unwell to cheer them. We were shown Twiddle Muffs used by Alzheimer sufferers, and members were encouraged to knit them at home or at the craft group that meets every Friday, 2pm to 4pm at the pavilion. We were asked to donate odds and ends of knitting yarns to make these muffs. Also there is still a need for premature baby’s knitted blankets and cardigans to be donated to Brighton’s premature baby unit. The singing group is now meeting again on Fridays, at 4pm.

Our speaker, Alan Keys, became involved in the High Weald, Lewes Havens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) by applying to the above CCG where he is a lay member for patient and public engagement. GP’s lead the CCG which buys and plans a wide range of services on the community’s behalf and works closely with neighbouring CCGs, East Sussex Council and the voluntary sector. There are three community hospitals, Crowborough, Uckfield and Lewes and 21 member GP practices in this CCG. In 2014/2015 the CCG was left with a surplus which has passed to the 2015/16 budget. The aim is to provide services at local level, increase patient choice and meet people’s needs with support for older people and helping before problems reach crisis point. Launched in 2015 was a new community-based service for local people suffering from joint, muscle and bone conditions. GPs can refer patients to the new local service and the patient will be looked after until discharged, creating one point of contact giving patients more say in their treatment. Early diagnosis of Dementia is vital and Buxted Medical Centre is working to stimulate interest to become ‘dementia friendly’ where patients and their family carers are able to access primary care-based meetings, specialist clinics, a range of new services and a carers café to establish a support network. The service will be piloted in October at Buxted, with a full roll-out next autumn.

In 2015/16 there will be four priority areas: Mental Health with more patient-centred services closer to home. Primary Care, where services are aligned with community services and social care. Community Services, implementing the new model of service throughout the CCG area. Urgent care -reducing reliance on A and E Departments, treating patients elsewhere wherever possible. This area CCG is ahead of other CCG groups in how we involve patients and use their experiences. Therefore patients need to go to meetings, and the next is Wednesday December 2 at Lewes Town Hall, First Floor Council Chamber. Registration from 6.10pm Event timings 6.30pm to 8.30pm. To book: (Helen Dudley).

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