Health Support

Local and National Health News

Buckinghamshire and national news headlines

On occasions some headlines will be included in this section:

Take part in the ‘Primary Care Conversation’

You can take part in survey to tell the local NHS about your experiences of
using primary care services to inform and shape a primary care strategy being

The Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board
(BOB ICB) wants to transform the way primary care is delivered in local
communities and neighbourhoods, enabling integrated primary care provision
which improves access, people’s experiences and patient outcomes.

You can take part in a short survey to share your views about primary care
services to help here:

The survey closes on 31 January 2024. The link above also highlights other
ways you can get involved in this transformation of primary care.

From Buckinghamshire Council
Love Your Heart Bucks | Buckinghamshire Council
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease. When blood pressure is high over a long period of time, it puts a strain on the heart, blood vessels and other organs. Checking your blood pressure is easy. In Buckinghamshire, there are many places where you can check your blood pressure for free.

From the Integrated Care Board Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, and Berkshire West
NHS booking opens for life-saving Covid vaccinations | BOB ICB
Nearly 650,000 eligible people across our health region of Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB) can book their life-saving autumn Covid vaccine online as the NHS steps up its winter vaccination programmes early in response to the risk of the new Covid variant.

From the BBC
Covid booster: Who can get another jab this autumn? – BBC News
Covid vaccine rules are changing, but those most at risk can have another jab this autumn. All adults aged 65 years and over are being offered the vaccine automatically, following advice from UK immunisation experts.

From NHS choices
Book, cancel or change a COVID-19 vaccination appointment
Log in to:

Use this service to:

  • check if you need a vaccine
  • book a vaccine
  • check your existing appointment details
  • change your appointment
  • cancel your appointment

More Information on Covid – 19

Further information on Covid -19 including on vaccinations can be found under Infectious Disease Outbreak Centre.

The South Asia Biobank is an international research study designed to prevent the high risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer among South Asian people.
By collecting this information from thousands of people, South Asian Biobank Study aims to find out why diseases may affect some people more than others. This could help to transform the health of South Asians world-wide.

If patients participate, they can learn more about your own health and support, helping you and your GP to make better decisions about your health and care.

Patients can visit the website to book an appointment or call Wycombe Hospital on 01494 425901.

Local health and social care news across Buckinghamshire

There are many organisations which make important contributions to health across Buckinghamshire. This includes the NHS, the council, the voluntary and private sectors. The news covered here focusses on larger organisations. A good place to start is the news from the Integrated care board which covers changes and new services across a number of local organisations.

From the Integrated Care Board Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, and Berkshire West
News from across local organisations News | BOB ICB

From Buckinghamshire council

From Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust hospital
News News – Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

From Wexham park hospital – Frimley Health Foundation Trust
News News | NHS Frimley Health Foundation Trust

From Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
News News & events | The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

From Buckinghamshire Talking Therapies (mental health support in the community)
News News and updates – NHS Buckinghamshire Talking Therapies

From Fedbucks (Local GP federation)
News News – FedBucks

From Community Pharmacy Thames Valley – Buckinghamshire Latest News
Buckinghamshire – Community Pharmacy Thames Valley

From the South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
News News | South Central Ambulance Service

From Health Watch Bucks
“Our role is to ensure that health and social care services put the experiences of people at the heart of their work.”
News News Archives – Healthwatch Bucks

From Public Health – Buckinghamshire council
The latest data and reports on health in Buckinghamshire Local Profiles

Topical news including local public health campaigns

Local public health campaigns and strategies
There are often county wide public health campaigns, strategies and offerings to improve health and social wellbeing, often led by the council and public health.

Topical local news
There are can be new services created locally or changes to current services or support. We will include some of the news on such changes.

Topical national news
Evidenced based medicine applies the best available research to clinical care. However, it can take time for research to feed through to national guidance such as NICE, as such guidance is too large to be reviewed regularly. We will include some news on clinical trials which may feed through to future guidance.

Some public health campaigns and news items are included below:

From the Integrated Care Board Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, and Berkshire West
Raising awareness of infant crying and how to cope. | BOB ICB
“Babies cry, you can cope!” is the message from the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board (BOB ICB) which is supporting a national campaign to raise awareness about the risks of shaking a baby.

The ICON campaign is based on simple messages making up the ICON acronym:

I          Infant crying is normal and it will stop

C        Comforting methods can sometimes soothe the baby and the crying will stop

O        It’s OK to walk away for a few minutes if you have checked the baby is safe and the crying is getting to you

N        Never ever shake or hurt a baby.


From the BBC
Wall squats and planks best at lowering blood pressure – BBC News
“Strength-training exercises such as wall squats or holding the plank position are among the best ways to lower blood pressure, a study suggests.

Analysis, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, of trials involving 16,000 people found all exercise lowered high blood pressure.

But wall squats and planking led to larger falls than aerobic exercise.”

From the BBC
Fitness: Fewer than 5,000 steps a day enough to boost health – study – BBC News
“It has long been touted that 10,000 steps a day is the magic number you need to stay fit and healthy – but a new study shows fewer than 5,000 may be enough to see a benefit.

The analysis of more than 226,000 people around the world showed 4,000 was enough to start reducing the risk of dying prematurely of any cause.”

This strategy has been adopted by the Buckinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Board, the key partnership for promoting the health and wellbeing of residents.

Different organisations and services will be working together to achieve the aims of the strategy, which are to:

Any local topical news on Covid 19 can be found under infectious disease outbreak centre 

Local hospital waiting times for various specialties

Most patients chose to attend the hospital closest to their home for convenience. However, some patients will ask what the waiting time is for local hospitals. Waiting times can change over time but the latest information for local hospital is included in this section

You can use the My Planned Care website to check the waiting times at your local hospitals.
My Planned Care My Planned Care NHS which includes commonly used local hospitals

If you require more prolonged treatment (such as surgery) remember if you do choose a hospital further away than your local hospital that if you decide to switch back to your local hospital this is not a quick process and can disrupt your treatment.

Guidance is provided on this by NHS choices:
Guide to NHS waiting times in England – NHS

Your opportunity to give your view on health care across Buckinghamshire

From the local integrated care board who oversees health care in Buckinghamshire
“We are keen to develop a way of working that ensures that public and stakeholder engagement is embedded into everything we do. It is only by listening to each other, sharing knowledge and experience and working together that we can best understand the needs of the communities we serve, and develop our services to meet those needs.”
“Get involved” BOB ICB website. Retrieved 14 February 2023


Your Voice Bucks

Influence the local council and local NHS services: you can find and take part in consultations, surveys and other public involvement opportunities relating to local NHS or council services.

From Your Voice Bucks (from Buckinghamshire Council and the local NHS)
“You’re in the right place for public consultations, surveys and engagement activities happening in Buckinghamshire. We publish activities from Buckinghamshire Council and local NHS services.” Your Voice Bucks – Citizen Space includes

Get involved – Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and East Berkshire Integrated Care Board

The local integrated care board who oversees health care in Buckinghamshire suggest a number of strategies

Get Involved | BOB ICB

Data on local services

“We have to guard against making oversimplified statements, for example that the quality of care is either good or bad.”
Lucia Kossarova, Ian Blunt and Martin Bardsley. “Summary: International comparisons of healthcare quality” Nuffield Trust website. Retrieved 14 February 2023

The statement from the Nuffield Trust when comparing data across countries can equally apply to comparing organisations (e.g., hospitals) across a county.

It has to be remembered that different organisations can serve very different populations (including in relation to age and wealth) with an associated diverse range of health needs. In addition, the ease of recruiting health care staff can also vary, even across a county.

However, the data can suggest trends and also can give some absolute outcomes. Some comparative data is provided for:

Local hospital waiting times for various specialities

See section above

BBC NHS Tracker

The BBC makes some available information on hospitals and ambulance services more digestible with their NHS tracker and this allows direct comparisons. This tracker is periodically updated. Remember that data is always looking back in time.

BBC NHS Tracker NHS Tracker: How is the NHS in your area coping this winter? – BBC News

This original article was from March 2022, but the tracker has been updated since.

other Hospital data

The data from NHS England includes data on accident and emergency, cancer treatment, cancelled operations and more. However, it is not always easy to interpret, though this is likely to improve over time.

From NHS England
Statistical work areas Statistics » Statistical work areas


From the Care Quality Commission
“Use our information to check hospitals in England and the quality of their care” Find a hospital – Care Quality Commission 

General practice data dashboards

From NHS Digital
Provide a collection of interactive dashboards relating to general practice. You can search by practice General practice data dashboards – NHS Digital


From the Care Quality Commission
“If you’re looking for a family doctor or GP, you can check what services they offer and the quality of care you can expect” Find a family doctor or GP – Care Quality Commission

NHS Digital provide mental health data, including some UK wide trends and comparative data at a county wide / integrated care board level.

From NHS Digital
Mental Health Data Hub Mental Health Data Hub – NHS Digital


National health news


Warning over private over-the-counter blood tests
Doctors have raised concerns about the use of blood tests bought online or over the counter that promise to help people “take control of their health”. The British Medical Association (BMA) warned some of the tests were unregulated and put extra pressure on GPs left to reassure their patients.

Vaping – is it a risk-free option?
They are brightly coloured, easy-to-use and come in flavours from cotton candy to blue raspberry – disposable vapes are surging in popularity. They’re also a major part of the government’s plan in England to get the remaining six million smokers to quit by 2030. So how safe is vaping, particularly for young people who have never smoked?

Please check the BBC Health news section Health – BBC News for the latest version of these stories and other health news.

NHS England

NHS England » NHS expands lifesaving home testing kits for bowel cancer
Home-testing kits that can help detect early-stage bowel cancer will be rolled out to 58-year-olds in England for the first time, as part of a major expansion of the lifesaving screening programme. People aged 58 years will be automatically sent a Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) once eligible, which can detect early signs of bowel cancer by precisely recording the presence of any blood in just a tiny sample of poo.

Please check the NHS England news section NHS England » News for the latest version of this story and other health news.

gov uk

From The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)
UKHSA is responsible for protecting every member of every community from the impact of infectious diseases, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents and other health threats. Featured news UK Health Security Agency – GOV.UK

From The Department of Health & Social Care
Featured news Department of Health and Social Care – GOV.UK

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