COMMUNITY health services in South Gloucestershire will be getting a boost thanks to a new organisation.

South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has commissioned Sirona Care and Health to run these services from the start of April.

As part of developing the new service, members of the public and patients were asked for their views about the current services and what they’d like to see in the future.

Community health services include home and community-based care for adults like district nursing, community physiotherapy and podiatry services.

Yate Minor Injuries Unit and Thornbury Hospital’s Henderson Ward – a community hospital unit with 20 beds that specialises in rehabilitation – also fall into this category.

Staff are being transferred over so patients should see no change in their carers.

Planned improvements include much closer working with GP practices, where some staff will be based.

A new active ageing service is promised, which will look at how early interventions and health checks can prevent ill health.

Dr Jonathan Hayes, chairman of South Gloucestershire CCG, said: “As a CCG, we want local people to avoid having to go into hospital wherever possible, by supporting them at an early stage with their health issues.

“We also want people to avoid having to stay in hospital for long periods of time, when, with some support, they would be much happier and healthier at home.

“Our work with Sirona will help us with these aims, and will help us ensure that people can get the support they need at home or in their local community.”

Sirona’s chief executive Janet Rowse said they wanted to build on quality services by providing what local people need.

She added: “I ask all my staff to take personal responsibility for delivering care with compassion and to remember that every contact we have makes a difference and to make that difference a positive one.”

Sirona is a not-for-profit organisation publically funded by the NHS and, in some areas, local authorities. It already provides services to children with life limiting illnesses and specialist health services for people with a learning difficulty in South Gloucestershire.

They have won the health care contract for five years, which is worth £14 million per year.