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  • Rethink over Battle Site in Reading

    NHS Berkshire and local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) leaders are still committed to improving health services in Reading even though a plan to develop a health and wellbeing centre on the site of the former Battle hospital won’t be taken forward.

    Factors that have led to this decision include financial constraints and changes around health needs. The primary care trust is talking to its partners on how to make best use of section 106 developer contributions to help improve GP practices in the area.

    Charles Waddicor, the Chief Executive at NHS Berkshire said:

    ‘A lot has changed since the ideas for a health and wellbeing centre were first put forward eight years ago. Health needs are different and other local services such as the Reading Walk-In Centre have opened. We are also facing the biggest financial pressure the NHS has ever faced. The combination of all these factors means we have to consider very carefully how we make the best use of the funding available to us.’

    Chares added: ‘It does mean that we can’t take forward our original plans for the Battle site. We have had to consider the multi-million pound investment that would need to be found to complete the centre and also consider the fact that frontline services would be affected by us having to fund the centre’s running costs. The viability of the centre was also affected by Reading Borough Council’s decision that it would no longer require part of the building to house social services staff.’

    Dr Rod Smith, GP Lead for North and West Reading Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

    ‘Having looked at alternative solutions for the Battle site, we recognise that going forward with a health centre is no longer a viable proposal. We are committed to working closely with NHS Berkshire to find ways of how we might improve local health services in the area.

    ‘We are very aware that GP practices within the locality need help to improve their premises and enable them to provide more services to patients. We are talking to our colleagues at Reading Borough Council on how to make the best use of the section 106 developer contributions for Health Services in the local area.’

  • Day of Industrial Action, 30th November

    Patients should still be able to access the full range of primary care services from their local GP surgery. Each GP practice will have made arrangements to ensure that surgeries remain open.

    If you have any queries or concerns, please contact your GP surgery or NHS Berkshire’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0118 982 2829 or 01753 635615 Email: pals.berkswest@berkshire.nhs.uk or pals.berkseast@berkshire.nhs.uk.

  • What Can Your Pharmacist Do For You?

    With autumn now setting in and coughs and colds circulating, NHS Berkshire West is reminding local people what services are available from pharmacists.

    Did you know that your local pharmacist can sometimes give you the fastest and most appropriate advice and treatment on health matters?

    Carol Trower, Chief Executive Officer for the Berkshire Local Pharmaceutical Committee said: ‘Pharmacists can dispense your prescriptions - including repeat prescriptions. And now they’ve set up a new medicines review service to help patients with long term conditions.

    ‘We’ll also be encouraging people in the at risk groups to visit their GP toget their seasonal flu vaccination, and get them to make the best choice when selecting health services through the winter months.’

    Carol added: ‘Many pharmacists are open at weekends and evenings - this may be particularly important to help people when their only option is to call the local GP out of hours service or visit A&E. A pharmacist can help advise if this is necessary or an easier solution is available.

    ‘There is no need to make an appointment to see a pharmacist, and you can talk to them in confidence, even about symptoms that are very personal. Many pharmacies now have a consultation room or area to provide privacy.

    ‘They may also provide a range of additional services including:

    Health and life style advice, prescription collection and delivery, providing treatments for many minor ailments, as well as help with stopping smoking, reviews of medicines use and tests for blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose. ‘

    Isn’t it time you found out what’s available at your local pharmacy?

    For further information please visit: www.berkshirewest.nhs.uk/pharmacist

Reading Magazine

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