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September 2018

Healthcare achievements across East Staffs celebrated

Virgin Care has described its achievements made over 2017/18 across the East Staffordshire Improving Lives Programme, following publication of the services’ Quality Account.

The Quality Account details the quality of services provided by Virgin Care and informs patients, staff and the public about the standard of care they can expect from the service, how it measures the quality of services and plans for further improving the quality of care provided.

Across East Staffordshire, some of the achievements include:

  • People in East Staffordshire who have been referred to Virgin Care’s Nutrition Support Service due to malnutrition, are now being offered the opportunity to have a food preparation demonstration in the comfort of their own home. The aim of this new initiative is to help people take back some control of their own wellbeing and enjoy the experience of eating once more.
  • Virgin Care has striven to improve the safety of prescribing and administration of medication. A dedicated pharmacist within the service has facilitated access to training for colleagues. The pharmacist has led on making improvements to non-medical prescribing through providing enhanced support to prescribers.
  • The East Staffordshire Learning Disability Primary Care Service has maintained a resource of advice to colleagues around raising awareness of the Mental Capacity Act, ensuring those people with a Learning Disability and those with issues around capacity have the same rights and are as valued as other people.
  • Colleagues in the Virgin Care Adult Ability Service provided training to other teams within East Staffordshire on assessment of seated posture. This led to the creation of a new assessment form and a plan to extend the training further around posture when lying down.
  • The Virgin Care Improving Lives programme granted an award to enable St Giles Hospice to extend the Holly Road Supportive Care centre’s offer to the community, increasing awareness of the centre’s aims and vision within the community and exploring new ways to ensure the sustainability of the centre.

Michelle Lee, Managing Director of East Staffordshire Improving Lives Programme for Virgin Care, said: “We’ve delivered so much over the last 12 months and staff have described a great deal of pride in what has been achieved.

“Much of this, which is reported on in the Quality Account, is a result of our dedicated colleagues and how we’ve worked together with different providers to deliver improved services which work well together.”

The full Quality Account for 2017/18 can be found on Virgin Care’s website and includes more achievements in further detail, including progress against local quality priorities, Friends and Family Test scores and priorities going forward in 2018/19:


July 2018

Elderly people reminded to stay hydrated in hot weather, says Virgin Care nurse

As people across East Staffordshire continue to bask in high temperatures, the importance of staying hydrated – particularly for older people – cannot be underestimated.

Dehydration can cause people to be more sleepy, unsteady on their feet and more likely to suffer from falls and urine infections. Some people may even end up requiring medical treatment or a hospital admission from not drinking enough fluid throughout the day – but the symptoms of dehydration are often hard to recognise.

Virgin Care’s Continence Service – one of a number of services it runs and oversees as part of East Staffordshire’s Improving Lives Programme – is currently working with all 76 care homes, nursing homes and learning disability homes across East Staffordshire to help ensure that some of the people most susceptible to the effects of dehydration are kept well.

It is part of the ‘8 to hydrate’ campaign which aims to raise awareness of the early symptoms and signs of dehydration, providing people with simple information on how to prevent it.

This includes materials designed to encourage people to stay hydrated, including a drinks tracker people could take away and use to know they’re hydrated enough.

Cheryl Smith, Lead Nurse for Community Nursing for Virgin Care in East Staffordshire, said: “We all need to ensure that we stay hydrated in the current weather, but it’s particularly important for our older population.

“Older people may lose their sense of thirst, so might need encouragement to drink more often. The 8 to Hydrate campaign aims to do just that by reminding people that they should drink at least 8 drinks a day unless otherwise advised by a doctor.”

East Staffordshire’s Improving Lives Programme focuses on helping people to be healthier for longer and helps those people with long-term health conditions to take more control over their own care. For more information about East Staffordshire Improving Lives, visit:

June 2018

Local people help achieve improvements to health services

Local people are helping to improve community health services for adults across East Staffordshire so that they’re are able to receive care in their own home and the necessary support to stop them from being admitted to hospital.

More than 100 people are actively involved in Virgin Care’s Citizens’ Panel, a virtual group of local people who are informed, asked and involved in delivering the organisation’s East Staffordshire Improving Lives Programme, and have helped shape positive changes to community health services.

The Improving Lives Programme was able to launch a new Care Co-ordination Centre (CCC) that helps around 250 patients every day from its base in Burton, after input from panel members. The CCC offers a simpler approach to accessing community services in East Staffordshire with patients, GPs and other professionals calling a single telephone number, 24/7 to access all community services.

Local people are also contributing their views on a joint project with Queen’s Hospital in Burton which aims to reduce the number of frail people admitted to hospital.

Panel members most recently met Virgin Care colleagues to discuss improvements to neurology services, exploring new ways to improve the service with their feedback and input vital to the redesign of the service going forward.

Sign-ups remain open to local people who want to know more and get involved in the plans.

All next week, Virgin Care is celebrating the Citizens’ Panels achievements across the organisation. In East Staffordshire people can visit Tutbury Village Hall on Monk Street on Wednesday 13 June between 2-4pm to find out more about the work the panel has been involved in and also have the opportunity to sign up.

Michelle Lee, Managing Director for Virgin Care East Staffordshire, said: “We’re very proud of what the Citizens’ Panel members have been able to help us achieve in East Staffordshire, working with us to develop new ways of providing services which work for local people and deliver improved outcomes.

“Current members are making some really positive contributions to our services, and we welcome more people to join the Citizens’ Panel to help us make a difference to people’s lives.”

Virgin Care provides East Staffordshire Improving Lives Programme, which focuses on helping people to be healthier for longer and helps those people with long-term health conditions to take more control over their own care. For more information visit:

Notes to editors:

  • People can also sign up to the Citizens’ Panel online by simply visiting:
  • The Citizens’ Panel is a group of local people who shape health and care services by offering their views and insight into what matters for them, helping Virgin Care to set priorities and develop solutions. Members choose their level of involvement from being ‘informed’, ‘asked’ or ‘involved’ and select services they’re interested in. They then receive regular updates with the latest news and opportunities to get involved based on those preferences.

Virgin Care operates five Citizens’ Panels across the country in Bath and North East Somerset, Essex, North Kent, West Lancs including East Staffs to encourage engagement.


February 2018

Virgin Care partnership helps avoid hospital admissions

Community Matrons from Virgin Care are playing a key role in a dedicated Frailty Team working at Queen’s Hospital in Burton, supporting elderly patients arriving at A&E avoid admissions into hospital.

Read more…


Patients in East Staffs supported with cooking at home to tackle malnutrition

People in East Staffordshire who have been referred to Virgin Care’s Nutrition Support Service because they are at risk of malnutrition, are being offered the opportunity to have a food preparation demonstration in the comfort of their own home.

Read more…


December 2017

Virgin Care’s NHS services ready for the weather in East Staffs

People in East Staffordshire are being reassured that community health services provided by Virgin Care are ready and prepared for more difficult weather if it arrives, after nurses battled through the snow and ice to ensure that all housebound patients were supported during the recent snow.

Read more…


November 2017

Virgin Care plan helps reduce A&E visits in East Staffordshire

A simple key ring could help adults in East Staffordshire to avoid unnecessary visits to the accident and emergency department.

Virgin Care is working with the West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) as part of its Improving Lives Programme to reduce hospital admissions and keep people healthy, happy and at home, to supply the keyrings which will go onto the keys of every ambulance in the area.

Read more…