Health and Social Care


1. Where can I get information about my condition?

Your Consultant, GP, therapist or specialist nurse should be able to provide you with comprehensive information about your condition. In addition most neurological conditions have a national organisation that represents the interests of people living with that condition.

At the back of this booklet are contact details for each of these groups.
If you have difficulty accessing the information or service you require you can contact Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) for information at:

2nd Floor, Mallard Court
Express Park, Bristol Road

You can also telephone 01278 432022 at any time and leave a message. Alternatively, send an email to


2. I want to learn more about my condition so I can manage it myself as much as possible. How could I do this?

If you are under the care of a consultant, specialist nursing or therapy team, please ask them for information in the first instance. The aim of therapy is to enable you to manage your condition as best you can yourself. This is done through education, advice and teaching you appropriate exercises and techniques to maximise your movement and functional
abilities and minimise the development of secondary problems.
If you aren’t under the care of a therapy team at present and would like an assessment or review of your condition from a therapy perspective then please contact Somerset Direct who will make a referral for you to your local therapy team.
Within Somerset there are several different providers for Rehabilitation Services. The three main providers are:
Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
– This is a large community NHS Trust providing rehabilitation services in 13 community hospitals across Somerset (See
Appendix B). Three of the hospitals have designated Stroke Units (South Petherton, Williton and Shepton Mallett) providing inpatient neuro-specialist therapy. A Stroke ESD (Early Supported Discharge) service is also run out of these sites covering the Somerset area ensuring stroke patients are supported and treated within their own homes as necessary on discharge from hospital. Patients are generally referred to ESD by the therapists at the acute Trust if discharged home from
there, or by the stroke unit therapists in the community hospitals. All other occupational therapy and physiotherapy rehabilitation needs are assessed for and provided by a new integrated service called Independent Living Teams.

Independent Rehabilitation Teams
Adult rehabilitation has been redesigned to provide an integrated rehabilitation service.
Known as Integrated Rehabilitation Teams (IRTs), the service is available to all adults who are having problems carrying out everyday activities and want to work towards enhancing their quality of life by improving their ability to do the things that matter to them. The team members come and see you in your home environment.

This is a new way of working in partnership, investing time and resources at the beginning of the patient’s journey in order to fully understand the issues and diffi culties and ‘get it right first time’. This avoids duplication, passing the person between services and avoids clients having to re-access the service, saving resource in the long term. They also aim to support people to fi nd their own solutions to enable them to lead their “good life” encouraging a self-managing ethos when they leave the service.
The teams consist of Care Workers, Health Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, and Rehabilitation Support Workers. The staff within
the teams are supported by Clinical Specialist Therapists in differing conditions. This includes Clinical Specialist Physiotherapists both in
Neurological Conditions and Stroke and Brain Injury, and Clinical Specialist OTs in Stroke and Brain Injury.
The team aims to:
• enable people to remain living independently at home for as long as possible
• prevent hospital admission for problems that could be managed in the community
• enable people to reach their optimal functioning irrespective of their circumstances, environment or diagnosis
• reduce the need for readmission to hospital after discharge
• encourage clients to take an active role in managing their condition

People they see
The teams see adults over 18 years of age, registered with a Somerset GP who require to be seen in their own environment. The service
will focus on preventing unplanned admissions to hospital, facilitating discharge from these environments and maximising recovery from
illness or injury:
• with a new diagnosis of a long term condition / neurological condition, for example, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, motor neurone disease
• recently discharged from hospital (for example, Musgrove Park Hospital, Yeovil District Hospital) who are continuing
to improve or with ongoing diffi culty with everyday activities
• with worsening mobility and those at risk of falling
• who are falling and have fall-related worries
• requiring a domiciliary visit because they are unable to leave their home
Referral to the service
Referrals are made by telephone enabling a conversation between professional and referrer to begin the understanding, clinical reasoning
process and establish the urgency of response required.
• Open access / self-referral
• Patients can refer themselves for rehabilitation either independently or following a prompt from their GP or another health or social care professional
• Health and social care professionals can also refer directly

East 0300 323 0028.

This includes, Yeovil, South Petherton, Langport, Chard,Crewkerne, Ilminster, Wincanton, Frome, Shepton Mallett, Wells and Glastonbury.

West 0300 323 0029.
This includes, Taunton, Bridgwater, North Sedgemoor and
West Somerset.
Musgrove Park Hospital – This is a large acute NHS Hospital Trust based in Taunton.
It has neuro-specialist in-patient OTs and Physiotherapists who will assess your needs and provide appropriate rehabilitation whilst
you are an in-patient at the hospital. It also has a neuro-specialist out-patient OT and Physiotherapy service in addition. This service
is available for people with a neurological condition who are able to come in to the hospital to see the therapist. Referrals to the
service may be made by your therapist from the ward, your Consultant or GP. If you have a query please contact the Therapy Department
on 01823 344965 and leave a message requesting to speak to a neuro-specialist therapist.
Musgrove Park Hospital produce a comprehensive set of patient information leaflets which may be downloaded from:

Yeovil District Hospital – This is a large acute NHS Hospital Trust based in Yeovil.
It has neuro-specialist in-patient OTs and Physiotherapists who will assess your needs and provide appropriate rehabilitation whilst
you are an in-patient at the hospital. It also has a neuro-specialist out-patient OT and Physiotherapy service. This service is available
for people with a neurological condition who are able to come in to the hospital to see the therapist. Referrals to the service may be
made by your therapist from the ward, your Consultant or GP. If you have a query please contact the Therapy Department on 01935
and leave a message requesting to speak to a neuro-specialist therapist.

In Somerset a comprehensive Stroke service is provided and includes hyperacute stroke care, specialist inpatient stroke rehabilitation,
early supported discharge, providing stroke rehabilitation in people’s homes and long term follow-up.
The Stroke Association provides an information, advice and emotional support service across Somerset. The service aims to support stroke
survivors, their families and carers to regain as much independence and quality of life as possible. For more information or referrals
telephone 01984 634276 (see Appendix A for The Stroke Association contact details).
People with a long term condition may also like to consider taking part in the NHS Expert
Patient Programme (EPP). The EPP is a selfmanagement programme for people who are living with a chronic (long-term) condition.
The aim is to support people by:
• increasing their confidence
• improving their quality of life
• helping them manage their condition more effectively

It consists of six consecutive weekly sessions teaching a range of topics including:
• dealing with pain and extreme tiredness
• coping with feelings of depression
• relaxation techniques and exercises
• healthy eating
• communicating with family, friends and healthcare professionals
• planning for the future
The EPP is free of charge and open to anyone with a long-term condition. Your GP or another healthcare professional can give you more
information on EPP and your nearest course. ProActive Physical Activity – The Integrated Lifestyle Service manages the ProActive
Physical Activity on Referral Scheme within Somerset. The scheme provides subsidised physical activity opportunities for clients with
specific medical conditions.
The ProActive scheme receives referrals from healthcare providers (such as GPs Physiotherapists, Nurses) throughout Somerset.
On receiving these referrals the Integrated Lifestyle Service HUB will contact the client to explain the service and then offer the option(s)
of a recognised ProActive scheme leisure provider.
How you can you access these services
To access the ProActive scheme the client will need to be referred by their health care professional e.g. Physiotherapist, GP, Nurse, or Health Trainer. The health care professional will fill in a ProActive referral form and send it into Integrated Lifestyle Service HUB. Once this is received you will be offered a choice of physical activity opportunities including Phase 4 Cardiac Rehabilitation.
Waiting time
They aim to contact all clients within 48 hours
of receiving their referral.
Where you can access these services
The ProActive scheme can be accessed at 32 different leisure providers across the county.
To contact the service please call
0800 412 5502
Referral forms should be sent to:
Integrated Lifestyle Service inc. the Stop
Smoking Service, Chard Hospital
Crewkerne Road
TA20 1NF
Additional information
The Integrated Lifestyle Service encompasses the following services: Somerset Stop Smoking Service, Fresh Steps Health Trainer Service,
ProActive Physical Activity on Referral Service, Somerset Health Promotion Resource Service and supports selected community health promotion projects.
Zing Somerset
Zing Somerset is a simple way to keep track of all your physical activity throughout each month. Simply sign in, pick your activity and log how many minutes you’ve done. You can find where your local facilities and classes are, find out about taster sessions and local opportunities to do physical activity, challenges are set if you need more encouragement and you can join a zing team if you want to do
activity with friends of colleagues.

You can now log your activity minutes on the move by downloading the new Zing phone App.
Go to and search for sports activities and facilities from the Zing
database. You just need to type in your postcode.

Fresh Steps Health Trainers – It can be hard to make change without some support. Health Trainers are fully trained in encouraging people
to make healthier lifestyle changes. You can have up to 6 face to face sessions for FREE.
Call 0800 412 5502 for further information.
Compass Disability Services is a user-led organisation with a Board of Trustees, who are elected by their users, is comprised of at
least 80% disabled people. They work through consultation, representation and service provision in partnership with local government,
the Health Service, Social Services, other voluntary sector and charitable organisations and anyone else who can benefit from their
knowledge and expertise. They have a range of opportunities to become involved with the organisation and produce a useful quarterly
They can be contacted at:
Compass Disability Services,
Unit 11-12 Belvedere Trading Estate,
Tel: 01823 282823
(See also Section 63 – Compass Carers)

3. Are there any specialist nurses/ clinical specialists for my condition in Somerset?

The neurological specialist services in Musgrove Park Hospital can be contacted at the Neurological Department in the Neuroscience
Centre of Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton.
This is located on the 1st floor of the Duchess Building.
Call 01823 342137 for further general
information and advice or for the specific conditions below, contact:

Multiple Sclerosis:
Sheila Morrison (MS Specialist Nurse)
01823 344617

Parkinson’s Disease Specialist Nurses:
Ann Treloggen & David Green
(PD Specialist nurses) or 01823 344435
Katie Perry (Secretary)
01823 344900
Ruth Goodland – Yeovil Hospital.
01935 384875
The Parkinson’s nurses also see some patients with PSP and CBD.
Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has Specialist Nurses and Clinical Specialist therapists.
Specialist Community Parkinson’s Nurses.
Sharon Robbins – West Mendip Hospital.
01458 836487

Motor Neurone Disease:
Julia Spence (community neurological
rehabilitation nurse specialist)
01460 243362
>Neurological Conditions:
Heather Pearce
(Clinical Specialist Neurological Physiotherapist)
Ralph Hammond
(Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist)
Stroke & Traumatic Brain Injury:
Lucy Spring (Clinical Specialist OT)
Lynne Merrett
(Clinical Specialist OT)
Rob Kinder
(Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist)
Stroke coordinators are health care professionals with a background in stroke care.
They facilitate a smooth transfer from hospital to home, offer longer term support through advising on stroke prevention, medication,
access to other agencies both voluntary and statutory and by being a source of information and education about stroke and the recovery
process. The service can be accessed by phoning:
West Somerset 07825 420 484
Mendip 07795 304 696
South Somerset 07795 061 864
For more information go to the website:
Headway Somerset
Blackbrook Gate
Blackbrook Park Avenue
Headway Somerset specialises in dealing with
adults with an acquired brain injury. They
have a team of experienced rehabilitation
professionals offering support to victims of
brain injury and their families. The service can
be accessed by phoning: Hilary Dicks
01823 444829 or 07920852228
The South West Neuromuscular Operational Delivery Network covers Muscular Dystrophy
and related neuromuscular conditions. The first point of contact is their website:
The website provides information including a map of the Southwest and details of where clinics are held, conditions covered by the network and office contact details.
0117 4141184/5.
Potential patients/clients can ring the Network Office to find out about the service, see if their condition fits the service criteria and if needed
the appropriate Neuromuscular Advisor would then be asked to contact the person directly.


4. How can I access a dietitian?

The quickest way to access dietician services in Somerset is to ask your GP/Consultant or Specialist Nurse for a referral to the service.
Community matrons, community nurses and district nurses can also make referrals. For further information contact the community dietetic service on 01278 447407


5. How can I access a speech and language therapist?

Ask your GP or specialist nurse for a referral to a speech and language therapist. The Somerset Partnership NHS Trust has developed a specialist service for Speech and Language and there are many centres across the county that can provide therapy, your GP will refer you to the one nearest to you.


6. How can I access a psychologist or counsellor?Where can I get information about my condition?

A range of support is available to people who have a neurological condition. As part of this, people may find it helpful to see a Psychologist or other mental health worker such as a counsellor who specialise in helping people and their families cope with the stresses and strains of such illnesses.
Having a serious illness can be diffi cult to cope with for anyone. Some of these difficulties can be dealt with by the person themselves, with the help of their families/friends, or possibly with the support of their health care team (nurses, doctors etc.).
You can be referred by anyone in your health and social care team for mental health services. There are numerous community mental health teams across Somerset (see Appendix D at the back of this booklet for locations and contact details).
You can also self-refer through Somerset Partnership Talking Therapies by completing a form available at GP surgeries. Once your referral has been received an initial appointment to assess your needs should be expected within 2-4 weeks with a treatment plan commencing after 6 weeks.
For stroke patients counselling may be available through the Stroke Association.


7. How can I access an occupational therapist and help with orthotics?

If you feel you require rehabilitation from an OT then this can be accessed through the Intergrated Rehabilitation Teams. These teams see patients with all diagnoses but do have neuro rehabilitation skills and
support from Clinical Specialist Therapists who specialise in neuro-rehabilitation.
Somerset County Council operate Somerset Direct which provides information about all forms of care and support that you might require. They also have an Occupational Therapy Team who will offer advice and information as well as assessing what support you need and are entitled to. More information can be found at

They can be contacted by;
Telephone: 0300 123 2224
Fax: 01823 321380
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm,
Saturdays 9am to 4pm, closed Sunday.

The Orthotics Service is responsible for the assessment and supply of equipment and appliances such as insoles, adapted shoes, leg splints and wrist supports. It can also be something more complicated such as a brace or calliper, depending on your individual needs.
A referral to the service can be made by a physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist or your GP.


8. How can I access specialist palliative care services?

Palliative care aims to help patients with life-threatening illnesses, and their families to achieve the best possible quality of life. This might include:
• Helping you to live as actively as possible
• Taking account of your emotional, social and spiritual needs, alongside your physical
• Supporting you and your family in coping with your illness and the choices you wish to make
• Providing good relief from pain and other distressing symptoms
Your GP or Consultant can refer you to the specialist palliative care services. It is often
useful to make this referral early in your disease so that you can meet members of the
team and fi nd out what they can offer.
The Specialist Palliative Care Team for the Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust is based in Musgrove Park Hospital. There is also a Palliative care team based at Yeovil District Hospital.
Referrals can be made by any medical staff such as GPs or nurses and you or a carer can also request they refer you.
Telephone numbers for the teams can be found below:
Hospital Palliative Care Teams
Musgrove Park Hospital,Taunton: 01823 342646
Yeovil District Hospital: 01935 384557
St Margaret’s Somerset Hospice also provide a full range of specialist palliative care services and can be contacted on 0845 070 8910.


9. How can I access a physiotherapist?

If you feel you require rehabilitation from a physiotherapist then this can be accessed through the Intergrated Rehabilitation
Teams . These teams see patients with all diagnoses but do have neuro
rehabilitation skills and support from Clinical Specialist Therapists who specialise in neurorehabilitation.
You can also search for private physiotherapists using the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists website:


10. How can I get help with care for my feet?

Across Somerset there is a Podiatry Service which provides specialist clinicians for foot care and biomechanics and orthotics
assessment. Access to the service is via a GP or other healthcare professional referral.
Once referred you will be seen within 6 weeks or 7 days if urgent.


11. Is there anyone who can help with returning home after a stay in hospital?

Somerset County Council fund the British Red Cross to offer a Home from Hospital Service.
The service volunteers van can give short-term practical and emotional support to help you get
your confidence back and live independently after a stay in hospital, such as:
• Taking you home and helping you to settle in.
• Shopping for you.
• Collecting prescriptions and pensions.
• Sitting with you if your carer has to go out.
You can access this service by contacting the Home from Hospital Co-ordinator on 01823 273 707 or 0845 3315000.
They can also be contacted at:
Home from Hospital
British Red Cross
Red Cross House
Livingstone Way
Taunton TA2 6BD
There is no charge for this service.


12. Is there anyone who can co-ordinate my social care needs?

Co-ordination of your social care (i.e. the support you need around the home to
undertake daily activities) can be provided by Somerset Direct. To discuss your care needs, contact Adult Social Care via Somerset Direct at the County Council by calling 0300 123 2224.
If you are in regular contact with a specialist nurse or therapist, they should have the overall picture about the care that you are receiving, and will be able to liaise with other health professionals as required.


13. How can I access specialist continence services?

Somerset Partnership NHS Trust offers a specialist continence service across Somerset.
They can offer advice and:
• carry out a detailed assessment and offer treatment/management options based on your individual needs
• offer you an individual care plan and promote self-care wherever possible
• give you a choice of a range of patient literature – for example pelvic floor exercises, bladder training
• provide education/ training to individuals, carers, external agencies
The service accepts self-referrals by calling 01935 848247. Your GP, health care
professional or carer can also refer you if necessary.
Whether or not you will receive free incontinence products such as pads and mattress protectors via the NHS will depend on the assessment of your needs, the specialist continence team can give you further information on this. You can
also ask your GP or other healthcare provider to assess you. If eligible the products will be delivered direct to you.
Should you not be eligible you can buy VAT reduced incontinence products from chemists,
supermarkets or online. For further information visit the bladder and bowel foundation website or call their helpline on 0845 345 0165. You can also visit the continence
product advisor website http://www.
which offers impartial, up to date advice on the best
products and where to obtain them.
The Radar National Key Scheme key offers disabled people independent access to the 9,000 accessible locked toilets around the country. Radar keys are available from Compass Disability. Orders can be placed by calling 01823 282823.


14. How do I get a Wheelchair? Will I have to pay for it?

If you need a wheelchair for long-term use (minimum four times a week for more than six months) and have a permanent disability, ask your GP to refer you to the wheelchair and seating service. This service provides wheelchairs, pressure cushions and specialist seating to all registered with a GP across Devon and Somerset. Clients must meet eligibility criteria based on clinical need. Assessments can be undertaken in your home if necessary.
All wheelchairs issued are provided on long-term loan and are maintained free of charge.
The Service operates a voucher scheme which contributes to the cost of a wheelchair of
higher specification, if required. The service is only for long term or permanent wheelchair
Short-term loans can be assessed by Occupational Therapists and are for three months or less.
If you would like to hire a wheelchair on a temporary basis please contact the Medical Equipment Loans Service run by British Red Cross on 0300 123 2224 or 01823 237700.
Or write to:
British Red Cross,
Red Cross House,
Livingstone Way,
If, having undergone your assessment, you find that you are not eligible for a wheelchair from
the above services, and have to buy one, please contact Somerset County Council PALS on: 01823 356274 or at: for advice on suppliers and help with funding if needed.


15. I am becoming increasingly disabled but wish to continue living independently within my own home.
Are there any services or providers of equipment that could assist? How do I arrange such help?

For all of your care needs and what would enable you to live most independently you can contact Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224.
Somerset County Council have also launched a service to help you look for advice and find equipment from local and national equipment providers to enable you to live more independently within your own home.
The website is called AskSARA and it is a free, guided, self-assessment tool which has been
designed with the Disabled Living Foundation.
You can access the website at
If you do not have access to the internet you can call Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224 who can provide the same advice.

AskSARA details information and gives impartial advice covering areas such as:
• your home environment
• your health
• your daily living activities
For example, if you are having difficulties opening jars, you would select ‘Preparing meals, eating and drinking’ then you would select ‘Opening Jars, tins, packages and bottles’ where you will complete a very brief ‘agree/disagree’ questionnaire which will then provide you with the most appropriate equipment required for your needs which you can then choose to purchase (there is no contribution towards any purchase costs).
There is also a Telecare service providing various sensors and alarms than can alert a 24 hour care line where trained carers can take
the necessary steps to help you (such as call a relative or alert emergency services). Contact your local Community Alarm Service provider for further details about the various equipment available to you and the costs – some equipment may be free of charge or subsidised.
Deane Helpline
Taunton Deane Borough Council, Control
Centre, Kilkenny Court,
Station Approach,
TA2 7QL.
Telephone: 01823 257185
South Somerset Careline
South Somerset District Council, Petters
House, Petters Way,
BA20 1AS.
01935 479815
Sedgemoor Lifeline
Sedgemoor District Council, Bridgwater
House, Kings Square,

TA6 3AR.
Telephone: 01278 435776
Mendip Helpline
Aster Living, Flourish House, 2 Cathedral
Avenue, Wells,

BA5 1FD.
Telephone: 0333 400 8222
Magna West Somerset
St Peter’s House, Bridge Street,
TA4 4NR.
0800 138 6107


19. Who would help me record an Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment (ADRT)?

If you wish to record an ADRT it is strongly advisable to talk through all relevant treatments with the health professional leading your care so that you are fully aware of your condition, the treatments and what they do.
To complete an ADRT you MUST be over 18 years of age and have the mental capacity to do so. They can be verbal or written down but if you wish to refuse treatment that will save your life then this MUST be written down, signed by yourself and witnessed. There are numerous organisations that can offer advice and help with ADRTs.
The NHS provide information on their website at

In addition, some of the neurological support organisations have information about ADRTs which can be sent to you or downloaded from the internet, e.g. the Motor Neurone Disease
Association produces a very good standard form on which you can record any Advance Decisions to refuse treatment. If you would like a copy you can download it at:
Or you can phone 08457 626262 or e-mail
There is also a website with comprehensive information.


20. I cannot access my dentist’s surgery anymore. Where can I get NHS dental care in an accessible setting?

Details of local dental services and particularly those with accessible facilities and those dentists willing to provide domiciliary dental services can be found by contacting the Somerset Dental Helpline on 0300 123 7691.
Alternatively you can contact the service via e-mail at