A NEW organisation has taken over providing community health services in South Gloucestershire.

As of Tuesday (April 1) not-for profit organisation Sirona Care and Health took charge of community and home-based services including district nursing, community physiotherapy, podiatry, Yate Minor Injuries Unit and Thornbury Hospital’s Henderson Ward.

Chief executive Janet Rowse said: “We are really pleased to be given this opportunity to expand our work in South Gloucestershire where we have already seen many examples of excellent quality services and care being delivered.

“Within Sirona we want to build on this and listen to local people about what things they want to see changed or improved so we can make things better together.”

Sirona, which already provides services for children with life-limiting illnesses and was recently awarded the contract to run South Gloucestershire’s learning disability health services, has been commissioned by South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to reduce the number of people going to hospital.

Chairman Dr Jonathan Hayes 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.”

Staff who currently work in community services are being transferred to Sirona, so patients should see no change in the people they see.

There will also be a new active ageing service looking with health visitors providing regular check ups for the elderly. Sirona currently employs 1,700 staff. A further 450 NHS staff will transfer to Sirona as part of the five-year contract with South Gloucestershire Council.