Community update
Friday 19 January 2024

Welcome to our community update. This is NHS North West London's newsletter for local community and voluntary groups.

We would encourage you to help us by sharing the relevant content in your community newsletters and email updates aimed at your members and residents. You may also use this wording in social media posts. Images and some campaign materials in different languages are available on our resources page.

Mental health consultation extended to 16 February

NHS NW London has extended the consultation on acute mental health services in Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea until Friday 16 February 2024. Extending the consultation will help us to gain more insight and feedback to the proposals that have been made to mental health services for residents in Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea. It will also give residents, service users and carers additional time to respond to the proposals.

The consultation will help us to understand what your views are on the proposals to:
  • Expand the mental health crisis assessment (MHCAS) service (previously piloted at St Charles) and move it to the Gordon Hospital.
  • Keep 67 inpatient beds at St Charles (as now), supplemented by the MHCAS at the Gordon Hospital with room for 12 patients, including space for 4 patients to be admitted overnight alongside a full range of community-based services.
Find out more here

It’s not too late for your winter vaccinations

If you are eligible for flu and COVID-19 vaccinations it is because you are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill from these viruses. Getting vaccinated continues to be the most effective way to reduce this risk. Following the recent rise in cases, the NHS is urging anyone eligible to come forward for vaccination as soon as they can.
Until 31 January you can visit a walk-in site or pop-up clinic to have your COVID-19 vaccination. Find a location that’s most convenient for you on the NHS NW London website. After 31 January, COVID-19 vaccinations will close for the winter period*. Flu vaccinations will be available until 31 March. To book, contact your GP or find a pharmacy that offers the vaccination if you’re 18 or over.

*If you develop a new health condition or start treatment that severely weakens the immune system, a clinician may advise vaccination after this date.
Step on stress - Are things getting a bit
too much? Are you feeling frustrated, tired or worn out?

Men aged 18+ who are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety or depression can join an NHS six session group.

Find out more.

Harrow Citizens’ Health Forum: Monday 19 February

On Monday 19 February at 10am, the NHS will be hosting the Harrow Citizens’ Health Forum focusing on local maternity services. The forum will be held in collaboration with Blossom and Maternity Voices Partnership. The meeting will be hosted online via Microsoft Teams, and members of the public can join for free using this link.

The Harrow Citizens’ Health Forum is a public meeting open to all Harrow residents, offering the opportunity to engage with senior leaders from the local health and care executive. Each forum features a diverse panel made up of Harrow borough leaders from the NHS, GPs, the local authority (council), Public Health, and clinicians. The meeting takes place quarterly and is chaired by NHS NW London’s engagement and equalities team.

If you’re interested in finding out more, please do get in touch with NHS NW's engagement and equalities team for Harrow by emailing

Chair: Charlie David, Engagement & Equalities Manager, NHS NW London


Lisa Henschen, Managing Director, Harrow Borough-Based Partnership, NHS NW London

Isha Coombes, Borough Director – Harrow, NHS NW London

Dr Radhika Balu, GP, Medical Director Harrow, NHS NW London
Are you interested in improving the health and care of people in NW London? 

Do you want to develop new skills, gain valuable experience and develop a project to make a real impact on the health, care and wellbeing of local people? If so then the NIHR ARC Northwest London Improvement Leader Fellowship is for you.

The Fellowship is a year long development opportunity that involves online and in-person meetings, interactive workshops, personal mentorship, accessible materials, expert presentations and access to an inclusive support network of like minded 'improvers'.

As part of the Fellowship you will lead a real world improvement project of your choosing, you will be supported throughout by health and care sector leaders who will work with you.

Throughout the Fellowship we aim to develop your confidence, authority and ability to advance change, building the capacity, spread and sustainability of health and care improvements.

For more information and to access the application form click here.
An increase in measles cases

In the last few weeks there’s been an increase in the number of measles cases across NW London. Measles spreads easily and can cause serious illnesses, including pneumonia and meningitis. 

Measles usually starts with cold-like symptoms, followed by a rash a few days later. Some people may also get small spots in their mouth.  Initial symptoms may include a high temperature, a runny or blocked nose, sneezing, a cough, red, sore, watery eyes and then a rash usually appears a few days after the cold-like symptoms.  Please contact your GP if you suspect measles and further details regarding symptoms can be found here.

Children can be protected from this serious infection by receiving two doses of the MMR vaccine. The first dose is given at the age of 12 months and the second dose is given at around 3 years and 4 months, before starting school. Having both doses gives long lasting protection against measles, mumps and rubella. 

If you are unsure if your child is up to date with all their routine vaccinations, please check their Red Book (personal child health record). If you are still not sure, or if you need to bring your child up to date with their vaccines, contact your GP practice to check and book an appointment. You do not need to be registered with a GP to have these vaccinations. 

The following graphic shows the vaccinations your child should be having by age.

To find out more about childhood vaccinations, please visit the NHS website
Women's health in NW London

We are looking for insight from women who live in NW London about women’s health and well-being services and experiences. We want to better understand the unique challenges and experiences that women face in their healthcare journeys. Share your thoughts and experiences through our survey. 

Responses are confidential and the information provided will be used for NHS research purposes only. Sharing experiences will help us to understand the challenges women face in their healthcare journeys and how we can improve the quality of services for them. 

Click here to complete the survey.

Please share the survey link with those it may be relevant to.
Your views on mental health services in NW London

We are developing our overall plan for adult mental health services in NW London. We would very much welcome views of the public on our draft strategy.

This draft strategy is very much a work in progress that has been developed through a series of discussions and public events across our eight boroughs. The document outlines a summary of the needs of our local population, what we've heard from our residents and service users on their own experiences of using services, and an understanding of current mental health services for adults. The draft also sets out four emerging themes and includes suggestions for future focus.

If you would like to get involved and input to our plan, you can join our event at 12.30-14.00 on 23 January. Find out more here.