26 June 2022Public engagement period for the change and improvements of hospital services at Weston General Hospital
Healthy Weston Phase 2 is a programme of continuous improvement supporting Weston General Hospital to thrive at the heart of the community and deliver the care local people need most often.
An eight-week public engagement period about the proposal for change and improvements of hospital services at Weston General Hospital will begin on Monday, 20 June, and run until Sunday 14 August and the hospital wants to hear from you to help shape our plans.
The proposal has been developed by senior doctors, nurses, health and care staff with input from a public and patient reference group. It has been designed to secure a sustainable future for the hospital, and to ensure it can attract and retain the staff it needs in the long-term.
Under the proposals Weston General Hospital will:
- become a centre of surgical excellence. This means thousands more adults of all ages will be able to have planned operations at Weston General Hospital
- become a centre of excellence for older people’s care. This means the Hospital will provide more specialised care for people older, as well as all the usual services for people of all ages
- help more people get home within 24 hours of going to hospital in an emergency. The Hospital will have a dedicated unit for assessing and treating people quickly
Weston General Hospital will continue to provide A&E services from 8am to 10pm, exactly the same as for the last 5 years.
All other services at Weston General Hospital will continue as now, such as outpatient appointments, maternity care, children’s services, cancer care, diagnostic tests like x-rays, intensive care, emergency surgery and stroke rehabilitation. Services will continue for people of all ages. People of any age who need emergency surgery, will continue to have their surgery at Weston General Hospital and will stay for as long as the need to recover, exactly like now.
Under the proposed new model, Weston General Hospital will focus on helping people get home quicker after accidents, emergencies or other unplanned care. It will have special units for assessing and treating people quickly. This means fewer people will need to be admitted and some people, who are not frail and need care longer than 24 hours, may need to transfer for their specialist care to other surrounding hospital leaving Weston to focus on developing same day care and centres of excellence.
We are also holding a couple of public events; you can sign up to attend by following the links below.
Thursday, 30 June, 1pm – 3pm (face-to-face)
The Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, BS23 1AL
Monday, 18 July, 6pm - 8pm (online)
Please get in touch if you have any questions or further feedback. You can contact us via email email@example.com or call: 0117 900 2633
01 May 2022Changes to Somerset Dental Helpline
From Friday 29 April people living in Somerset, who are not registered with a dental practice, should call NHS 111 if they need urgent treatment or advice.
Following an initial call with a call handler, the person may be put through to a dental nurse who will advise on next steps. This could range from general self-care advice to an urgent appointment being booked within 48 hours.
People should call 111 if they are suffering with severe dental pain that cannot be controlled with over the counter medication or have a dental or soft tissue infection.
Welcoming the news, Dr Peter Wilson, Commissioning Medical Director at NHS England and NHS Improvement South West, said:
“The new service will benefit the people of Somerset and supports the process of accessing urgent dental treatment.
“With the introduction of a dental nurse people can feel confident they are receiving advice from a healthcare professional in that field.”
The new helpline will be operated by Smile Dental Triage Ltd, a clinically led specialist in dental triage, who have provided a high-quality service for more than 15 years.
The new service will operate from 8am until 10pm, 365 days a year.
The old helpline number will no longer be in use from 8pm Thursday 28 April. A voice message will ask anyone who calls to redial NHS 111.
01 May 2022Young and old to live together, as new Homeshare scheme launched in Somerset
A Home share scheme matching homeowners in need of support with people looking for affordable accommodation has been launched in Somerset.
The scheme is managed by Supportmatch Homeshare, and sees an older or disabled homeowner provide a room in their house in exchange for 10-15 hours support per week.
Home sharers could provide help around the house such as cooking, cleaning, basic DIY, and help with using technology, as well as companionship, support, and overnight security and presence.
The scheme helps older and disabled people to continue living independently in their own home, and helps young professionals and students find affordable accommodation in a safe and secure home. Both parties enjoy significant savings, with the homeowner saving money on support, and the homesharer finding accommodation which is considerably cheaper than equivalent rental properties.
The scheme has been run successfully in other parts of the UK, with service users reporting benefits ranging from companionship, saving money, and improved quality of life.
Zaira de Novellis, Managing Director of Supportmatch Homeshare said: “Due to the ongoing housing crisis in many locations across the UK, the majority of our Homesharers are now aged between 26-35 (67%), including young professionals, university students as well as public sector workers, all of who need affordable accommodation and a place to call home.
“There has also been an increased interest in individuals aged 50-60+ looking to become a Homesharer who have similarly been impacted by lack of affordable housing, or simply because they value companionship.
“As a Homeshare service provider, we have worked extremely hard to ensure older people are aware of Homeshare as an option for help and a friendly face around the house, which has led to a 41% increase in the number of Householders wanting to Homeshare at the end of December last year”.
Mel Lock, Somerset County Council’s Director for Adult Social Care said:
“Somerset residents and national research tell me that most older and disabled people want to remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible. Likewise, we know many younger people are struggling with rising rental costs and property prices. Supportmatch Homeshare solves both of these problems, enabling homeowners to get the support they need to remain in their own home, and helping homesharers find low-cost accommodation.”
Those interested in the scheme – whether homeowners or prospective homesharers – can find out more by visiting: https://supportmatch.co.uk/
To apply, visit:
Application form for householders: https://supportmatch.co.uk/householder-application/
Application form for homesharers: https://supportmatch.co.uk/homesharer-application/
Contact via email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact via telephone 0203 6336066
Kick start your career in social care - visit: www.proudtocaresomerset.org.uk/jobs
Care providers looking to recruit can upload their vacancies via: https://services.somerset.gov.uk/proud-to-care-new-role
25 April 2022Grants available for communities to help prevent crime
A brand new fund has been launched in partnership between the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) and Quartet Community Foundation (QCF).
The Commissioner’s Crime Prevention Fund will support community projects and activities that help to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour.
Community groups and charities can now apply for grants (money that does not need to be paid back) of between £1,000 to £5,000 from the Commissioner's Crime Prevention Fund to help create safer communities in our area.
Justin Sargent, Chief Executive at Somerset Community Foundation said: “We’re delighted to be working alongside our neighbours at Quartet Community Foundation, and our partners at the OPCC. The money from the Commissioner's Crime Prevention Fund will be targeted at supporting work that helps prevent, and reduces the impact of, crime in our communities.
“We want to fund a wide range of community-led projects including creating safer streets and green spaces, raising awareness among young people, and the promotion of restorative justice.”
Mark Shelford, Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner said of the fund: “I am delighted that my office, SCF and QCF have set up this important Crime Prevention fund to help create safer communities.
“Local residents know their neighbourhoods better than anyone and we want to help communities prevent crime in their area. We want to support a real range of projects that help prevent crime as outlined in my Police and Crime Plan. So, if you, your neighbours or your community have ideas, initiatives or projects that does just this, please apply for a grant so local people can benefit from reduced crime. I look forward to supporting and visiting these projects – start applying.”
A total of £200,000 is available from the fund and Somerset’s allocation is expected to be around £60,000. There will be three opportunities to apply across the year. Groups based in Somerset should apply for a grant by visiting Somerset Community Foundation’s website, here: www.somersetcf.org.uk/opcc or by calling 01749 344949 before the deadline of Friday 27 May, 2022.
Any groups based in BANES, Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire should apply to QCF: www.quartetcf.org.uk/grant-programmes/oppc
Somerset Community Foundation is a charity that helps passionate people in Somerset change the world on their doorstep by funding local charities and inspiring local giving and philanthropy. They aim to build stronger communities in Somerset where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. They provide rewarding and impactful ways for donors to give through them, to the causes and places they care about most. Together, they fund amazing organisations and the passionate people that change lives every day.
Since SCF were founded in 2002 they’ve awarded more than £17 million in funding, changing thousands of lives across Somerset.
25 April 2022Two vacancies on Brean Parish Council
As a result of a non contested election in Brean, there are now two vacancies for eligible residents to apply for. To be eligible for co-option to the parish council you must either have been registered as an elector in the parish; and resided in the parish or within 3 miles of it for the last 12 months OR occupied as an owner or tenant land or premises within the parish over the last 12 months OR have your principle place of work within the parish.
For an application form, please email the clerk at email@example.com. Closing date for receipt of applications is 31st May 2022.
12 April 2022Statement of Persons Nominated - Brean Parish Council
05 April 2022Sedgemoor’s resorts
The beach wardens on Sedgemoor’s beaches return on Monday 28 and Tuesday 29th March for two days refresher training – and will be ready to welcome visitors from Thursday 7th April in good time for the Easter holidays and ahead of the summer season.
The wardens are stationed at Burnham-on-Sea, Berrow and Brean beaches, supervising beach activities, providing basic first aid, collecting car parking fees, giving out beach safety and advice, and checking jetty permits. During the high season, they are joined by RNLI lifeguards.
The beach warden will be on duty between the hours of 10:00am and 6:00pm Monday - Friday, and 9.00am – 6.00pm weekends, bank holidays and half terms, taking into account tidal conditions.
The toilets at Burnham-on-Sea are being renovated and temporary toilets have been opened whilst the work is undertaken; the toilets at Brean will be open as soon as the wardens return.
SDC is pleased to announce that it is now possible to apply for a seasonal parking permit for use on both Berrow and Brean Beach online in advance of your visit.
05 April 2022Poll cards arriving
Polling cards for the forthcoming election for Sedgemoor’s town and parish councils and the new Somerset Council on Thursday, May 5th will be arriving on Sedgemoor doormats over the next few days. Sedgemoor residents are being advised to check their poll card to make sure that they know which polling station they need to use on Thursday, May 5th as some locations have changed. You can check where your polling station is on-line at wheredoivote.co.uk
If you don’t receive a poll card, you may not be registered to vote. This needs to be done by Thursday, April 14th to make sure that you can have your say at the ballot box. The easiest way to register is by visiting www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
There are a number of ways to have your say in the elections in May - you can vote in a polling station, by post, or by appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf, which is known as a proxy vote and it is never too early to apply for a postal or proxy vote. Many people are looking forward to taking a holiday or may be away from home on 5th May, so make sure that you can still have your say. If you’re thinking about voting by post, you can apply now, the deadline for postal applications is 1700 hrs on April 19th. The deadline for proxy votes is 1700 hrs on 26th April.
If you have any queries regarding your right to vote, please contact a member of the Elections Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0300 303 7800.
05 April 2022Beware of Council Tax scammers
With the news that government is giving £150 rebate to help with the cost of living, comes the inevitable scammers. Sedgemoor Digital have received several calls to say that they have been called and residents asked to give their bank details to receive the rebate. This is a scam.
The energy rebate scheme was announced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help people with rising energy bills. This includes those who already receive assistance in paying some or all of their council bill through local council tax support.
All eligible households in England in council tax bands A to D, should get the £150 payment from their District Council from April this year. If residents pay their council tax by direct debit, they will automatically get the rebate payment into their bank account without needing to take any action.
For the 16,000 or so households in Sedgemoor who do not currently pay their council tax through direct debit; getting the rebate money to them will take longer as they will need to go through a claims process.
To set up a council tax direct debit, please call SDC on 0300 303 7800, or go to www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/counciltaxaccount .
Council Tax bands are set by the Valuation Office Agency and can only be changed under certain conditions. Details can be found at www.gov.uk/council-tax-appeals. If you think your band is wrong, contact the Valuation Office Agency - you will not be charged for the service.
If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax bill and need help, speak with a member of the Council Tax Team on who will be able to offer help and advice on 0300 303 7801.
If you have given over personal details, we would advise you to call the Police straight away on 101 and report the matter as an identity theft scam. The Police will also direct you to the Action Fraud helpline on 0300 123 2040.