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December 2016

23Dec 2016

Avoid the feeling blue over the festive period by planning ahead

Doctors in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin are encouraging people in the county to plan their healthcare ahead of the festive period.

With advice on common illnesses and the best medicines to treat them, visiting the pharmacist or phoning either NHS 111or Shropdoc on 0333 222 66 55 can save you time in the waiting room and help you feel better fast

Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) can also deal with many minor conditions. There are MIUs at Ludlow, Whitchurch, Oswestry and Bridgnorth. They can deal with conditions like:

  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Fractures that require a plaster
  • Minor burns and scalds
  • Minor head injuries where the patient has remained conscious

Dr Julian Povey, a local GP and Chair of NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “If you’re not feeling well over the festive period, please take some time to consider where you should go to find help.

“That could mean getting advice from your local pharmacy, or dialling NHS 111or Shropdoc on 0333 222 6655 for more urgent, but not life-threatening, matters. Pharmacists offer expert, confidential advice and treatment for many minor health problems.

“MIUs also offer a great service.  Each unit is staffed by experienced nurses and offer a walk-in service which means there is no need to make an appointment.”

Dr Jo Leahy, Chair of NHS Telford & Wrekin CCG, said:

“We want people to enjoy the Christmas break, and a little bit of forward planning will really help with that.

“For those with long-term health problems, taking daily medication is an important part of their treatment. It’s worth checking your medicine cabinet to make sure you have enough supplies for the festive period.

“Pharmacies are also the ideal place over the bank holiday weekend to get over the counter remedies and advice for minor problems such as coughs and colds or ailments like bumps and grazes.”

Some pharmacies in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin will remain open on Christmas Day. For more information, please visit www.shropshireccg.nhs.uk or www.telfordccg.nhs.uk

For information about minor injuries units, please visit www.shropscommunityhealth.nhs.uk

23Dec 2016

If your child is ill over Christmas will you know where to go?

News from Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group

Health leaders in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin are urging those looking after children over Christmas to make sure they know about basic common illnesses so they know what to do if a child is unwell.

Winter illnesses are circulating and many GP surgeries will be closed over the festive period, so parents and carers should know be ready deal with common childhood illnesses, such as coughs and colds.

Make sure that your medicine cupboard is well stocked with essentials such as pain relief, cough medicine and oral rehydration sachets, and make sure everything is in date.

The most common illness for a child at this time of year is a cold. Symptoms include sneezing, a stuffy or runny nose, coughing, sore throat and red, watery eyes. Sometimes there are other symptoms such as chills, aches, a mild fever and swollen lymph glands. Your local pharmacy can advise on which over-the-counter remedies will help ease symptoms.

Flu is another illness which is around at this time of year. Many people think that flu is like a bad cold, but symptoms include a sudden fever, chills and shakes, extreme fatigue, aching muscles, a cough, nausea and vomiting. If your GP practice is closed, call NHS 111 for advice.

Most children between the ages of two and four will have already have had a flu vaccination.  If you child is outside this age group but has a long-term medical condition they may be eligible for a free flu jab.  Check with your GP or pharmacist.

Many illnesses can be avoided by good hygiene – make sure you child washes their hands regularly – particularly after going to the toilet and before eating – to help reduce the spread of germs. Washing also lowers the risk of vomiting and diarrhoea known as norovirus.

Dr Julian Povey, Chair of Shropshire CCG said:  “Christmas is an exciting time for children, and the last thing anybody wants is for their child to be poorly. Lower their risk of becoming ill by ensuring good hand hygiene and getting them the flu jab where eligible.

“If they do become ill over the festive period, there is plenty of advice available from pharmacists, GPs and NHS111, and many over the counter medicines can help with minor illnesses.

Dr Jo Leahy, Chair of Telford & Wrekin CCG added: “We are advising anyone who will be looking after children this Christmas to have a well-stocked medicine cabinet with things like pain relief, cough medicine and a thermometer handy. Always read the label on your medicines.

“If your child is needs more urgent medical attention please call NHS 111, or the out of hours GP service Shropdoc on 0333 222 66 55. For critical or life-threatening situations, please go to accident and emergency or dial 999.”

For more advice on staying well this winter visit www.nhs.uk/staywell

22Dec 2016

Look after older people this winter

News from Shropshire Council

With the festive season upon us, Shropshire Council’s public health team is reminding people to take time to check on elderly neighbours or relatives who may be alone or vulnerable this Christmas, encouraging them to Stay Well This Winter.

Many older people may find themselves on their own for the first time this year due to the loss of a loved one, or they may have families who do not live nearby. It can be a lonely time of year for these people, and small actions such as a visit and a cup of tea can really help.

If you have a neighbour or relative who is in hospital and is ready to be discharged, see how you can help them home for Christmas. Research shows that patients are much happier in their own homes than in a hospital ward over the festive period and it helps aid their recovery.

How can you help?

Call in and say Hello – let your elderly neighbours know you are available to help them. Provide them with your telephone number to reach you if needed. 

Check on prescriptions – make sure they have adequate supplies of repeat prescriptions and medications to cover them during the holiday period. 

Food supplies – check that they are adequately stocked with food supplies for the festive period.  Fresh milk, bread and butter are staples that will save them leaving the house if the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Heating – talk to them about the importance of being warm. Check that their heating and other utility supplies are working properly. Ensure they have emergency contact details in the event of any problems.

Invite them round for Christmas dinner or another family meal – help them enjoy their Christmas too.

Karen Calder, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for health and well-being, and Chair of Shropshire’s Health and Well-being Board, said:

“The festive season is usually a time for celebration for many families, but for too many older people it can reinforce feelings of loneliness and loss. This can not only make you feel miserable but can also have an impact on your physical and mental health too.

“We can all play an important role in ensuring older people feel valued and included, and taking the time to call in and check on them when they possibly most need help can make all the difference. It can also potentially help to prevent serious health issues affecting them.”

For more information on how to stay well over winter www.nhs.uk/staywell. 

Shropshire Council’s ‘Stay safe and well this winter’ website also offers a range of advice and information, from helping vulnerable people to remain safe and well, to notifications of school closures and travel updates.

20Dec 2016

Heartless attack on ambulance and crew

Credit: East Midlands Ambulance Service

Reckless behaviour in Cleethorpes has put lives at risk as an ambulance crew are assaulted, and an ambulance is damaged in a heartless attack. A crew were treating a patient in the back of a vehicle at Cleethorpes Market Place on Saturday evening when a passer-by threw something through the side window. The impact shattered the glass in the patient treatment area causing a serious injury to of member of staff.

Blanche Lentz, Paramedic and General Manager for Lincolnshire said:

This is not acceptable behaviour; I am shocked that someone could be so disrespectful. Our crews come to work every day to help people, often in challenging circumstances and shouldn’t ever be subject to abuse.

This reckless act means an ambulance requires major repair works and can’t respond to emergencies. Whoever did this clearly didn’t think of the impact that their actions would have on their community.

We have a zero tolerance approach and will work with Humberside Police to take action and make sure that whoever did this receives the appropriate punishment.

The vehicle is likely to be off the road for several weeks as the necessary repair works are completed and the vehicle is cleaned.

If you were in the area on Saturday night and have any details please contact Humberside Police on 101 and quote reference number 2236473.

16Dec 2016

Sugary drinks tax ‘will benefit children most’

The health of children will benefit most from the sugar tax on the UK soft drinks industry, according to a study.

It predicted if sugar was cut in the sweetest drinks in response to the tax, levels of tooth decay, obesity and type 2 diabetes would fall, particularly among the high-consumption under-18s.

Researchers said the overall effect of the tax – due to start in April 2018 – would be modest but significant.

Soft drinks firms say there is no evidence a tax would cut obesity.

The tax will be applied depending on the sugar content of drinks, so there will be no tax on diet drinks, a lower tax on mid-sugar drinks and a higher tax on high-sugar drinks.

The Office for Budget Responsibility estimates the levy could add 18p to 24p to the price of a litre of fizzy drink if the full cost is passed on to the consumer.

This amounts to an extra 6p on a regular can of Fanta and Sprite, and an extra 8p on a regular can of Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Irn-Bru.

The study, published in the Lancet Public Health Journal, modelled different ways that the soft drinks industry could respond to the tax and then estimated what the likely impact would be on the health of the UK population.

Read full story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38330114