Category Archive News

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Make May Purple for Stoke Awareness Month

Stroke Awareness Month, run by the National Stroke Association, is all about wearing purple to raise awareness of strokes and the impact they have.

A stroke is an attack on the brain which happens when blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, causing death of that part of the brain. The effects of a stroke vary depending on which part of the brain is affected and how severe the stroke is.

If you suspect you or someone else is having a stroke, phone 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.

Recognising the signs of a stroke

The signs and symptoms of a stroke vary from person to person but usually begin suddenly.

The main stroke symptoms can be remembered with the word FAST:

Face – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have drooped.

Arms – the person may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakened or numbness in one arm.

Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake; they may also have problems understanding what you’re saying to them.

Time – its time to dial 999 immediately if you notice any of these signs or symptoms.

It’s important for everyone to be aware of these signs and symptoms, particularly if you live with or care for a person who is in a high-risk group, such as someone who is elderly or has diabetes or high blood pressure.

More information can be found at

nhs.uk

Stroke Association

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Over 45’s now eligible to book Covid-19 vaccination

If you are aged 45 or over you can now book your Covid-19 vaccine by visiting nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or calling 119.

Local GP-led vaccination services are currently focussing on delivering second-dose Covid vaccines and remaining first doses for people who are aged 50+ or who are clinically vulnerable.

Over the coming weeks people aged 18-49 will be able to access their Covid-19 vaccine in a number of ways, including:

  • At a local vaccination centre
  • At a “pop-up” vaccination service in your area
  • At a local pharmacy-led vaccination service
  • At a participating GP-led service.
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Practice Closures for May Bank Holidays

Please be aware that GP Practices will be closed for the May Bank Holiday on Monday 3rd May and the Spring Bank Holiday on Monday 31st May.

If you need medical advice during this period you can:

Visit your pharmacy – Your local pharmacy can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints. Visit nhs.uk to find a pharmacy open near you.

Use NHS 111 – If you need urgent medical advice but your condition is not life threatening. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and you can access either online or by calling 111 from your landline or mobile (all calls are free).

Dial 999 – for a genuine medical emergency including; loss of consciousness, acute confused state and fits that are not stopping, persistent and/or severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding that cannot be stopped dial 999.

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Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine: Reports of very rare blood clots

The MHRA is carrying out a detailed review of reports of a very rare blood clotting problem affecting a small number of people who have had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

The problem can also happen in people who have not been vaccinated and it’s not yet clear why it affects some people.

The COVID-19 vaccine can help stop you getting seriously ill or dying from coronavirus. For people aged 30 or over and those with other health conditions, the benefits of being vaccinated outweigh any risk of clotting problems.

For people under 30 without other health conditions, it’s currently advised that it’s preferable to have another COVID-19 vaccine instead of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Call 111 immediately if you get any of these symptoms starting from around 4 days to 4 weeks after being vaccinated:

  • a severe headache that is not relieved with painkillers or is getting worse
  • a headache that feels worse when you lie down or bend over
  • a headache that’s unusual for you and occurs with blurred vision, feeling or being sick, problems speaking, weakness, drowsiness or seizures (fits)
  • a rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin
  • shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal (tummy) pain

Find out more about COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting on GOV.UK

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Think NHS 111 First

If you need medical help but it’s not a life-threatening emergency, call 111. Depending on your needs your advisor will either book you a time slot at your Emergency Department or at the best local service for you. This will help keep you safe and maintain social distancing.

NHS 111 First Poster

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Bowel Cancer: Do you know the signs and Symptoms to look out for?

April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. Bowel Cancer is the second biggest UK’s killer cancer but that doesn’t need to be the case as it is treatable and curable, especially when diagnosed at an early stage.

Symptoms can include:

  • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo

There are several possible causes of bleeding from your bottom or blood in your bowel movements (poo). Bright red blood may come from swollen blood vessels (haemorrhoids or piles) in your back passage. It may also be caused by bowel cancer. Dark red or black blood may come from your bowel or stomach. Tell your doctor about any bleeding so they can find out what is causing it.

  • A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit

Tell your GP if you have noticed any persistent and unexplained changes in your bowel habit, especially if you also have bleeding from your back passage. You may have looser poo and you may need to poo more often than normal. Or you may feel as though you’re not going to the toilet often enough or you might not feel as though you’re not fully emptying your bowels.

  • Unexplained weight loss

This is less common than some of the other symptoms. Speak to your GP if you have lost weight and you don’t know why. You may not feel like eating if you feel sick, bloated or if you just don’t feel hungry.

  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason

Bowel cancer may lead to a lack of iron in the body, which can cause anaemia (lack of red blood cells). If you have anaemia, you are likely to feel very tired and your skin may look pale.

  • A pain or lump in your tummy

You may have pain or a lump in your stomach area (abdomen) or back passage. See your GP if these symptoms don’t go away or if they’re affecting how you sleep or eat.

Most people with these symptoms don’t have bowel cancer, there are many other health problems that can cause similar symptoms such as piles, constipation, anal fissures or IBS.

If you have any symptoms, don’t be embarrassed and don’t ignore them – book an appointment with your GP.

For more information and advice visit Bowel Cancer UK

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Practice Closures for Easter Bank Holiday

Please be aware that GP Practices close for the Easter Bank Holidays which are on Friday 2nd April (Good Friday) and Monday 5th April (Bank Holiday Monday).

If you need medical advice during this period you can:

Visit your pharmacy – Your local pharmacy can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints. Visit nhs.uk to find a pharmacy open near you.

Use NHS 111 – If you need urgent medical advice but your condition is not life threatening. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and you can access either online or by calling 111 from your landline or mobile (all calls are free).

Dial 999 – for a genuine medical emergency including; loss of consciousness, acute confused state and fits that are not stopping, persistent and/or severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding that cannot be stopped dial 999.

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April is Stress Awareness Month

A bit of stress is normal and can help push you to do something new or challenging, but too much stress can take its toll.

Lots of things in life can cause stress such as work, relationships, money and sometimes these kinds of stresses can affect how you feel, think and behave. It can have an effect on your sleep, your mood and even your general health.

This weeks aim is to encourage us all to take stock of how we feel and make changes to our lifestyle to help reduce stress levels. For many, self-help will vastly reduce our stresses, but others may need professional help.

Below are several self-help tips you can try to combat stress:

Get Active – Being physically active releases feelgood hormones called endorphins which can help you sleep and feel better.

Talk – Spend some time with friends and family and relax. You might even want to tell them how you’re feeling, and they may offer some practical advice.

Take Control – Try and find a solution to the problem.

Challenge Yourself – Set yourself a new challenge or goal such as walking 10,000 steps a day or learning something new.

Take some time for yourself – Put some time aside to do the things that make you feel good, whether its going for a walk or simply having a relaxing bath.

Write it down – Try writing down your worries. This process can help clear your mind and ease your tension.

You can find more information on coping with stress on the One You website or for information and advice about mental health concerns you can visit Mind.

If self-help isn’t working for you and you find that stress is interfering with your daily life, then talk to your GP.

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Remaining patients over 50 being invited for 1st Covid-19 Vaccination

SMASH PCN (Sandbach, Middlewich, Alsager, Scholar Green and Haslington) are currently inviting any patients over the age of 50 who have NOT yet received an invite for their 1st Covid-19 Vaccination to contact their surgery to book in.

If you do receive an invite and have already had the vaccine elsewhere please let your GP surgery know, to enable us to take you off the list of people to contact. You can do this by using the ‘I have received the vaccine elsewhere/I don’t want it right now button in your text message’.

We will shortly be offering patients their 2nd vaccinations prior to moving on to the younger age groups.

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Invitation to take part in the Participant Research Experience Survey

We are inviting you to take part in the Participant Research Experience Survey (PRES). This survey provides an opportunity for those who have taken part in research to share their experience which helps us to inform future planning. The survey results also help us with informing key stakeholders about the benefits of taking part in research.

Taking part in PRES this year:

PRES 2020/21 is now a standardised survey across all CRN networks so for the first time we will be able to take part in national benchmarking.

The survey is now live via this link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/X7RD9ZG

PRES results from last year:

You will see from the last year’s results that primary care research teams in the North West Coast have made a significant and positive impact on those who have taken part in research. The results can be viewed by clicking here.

Thank you for supporting PRES