Category Archive News

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EU Exit

On this page, you will find information that will help to explain how the NHS is preparing for the UK exiting the EU. 

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is leading the response to EU Exit across the health and care sector and is working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement to ensure that the NHS is best prepared.

What does this mean for me?

Supply of medicines & prescriptions

We have put contingency plans in place to ensure the continued supply of medicines and other medical products.

Please keep ordering your repeat prescriptions and taking your medicines as normal. It’s very important you don’t order more medicines than normal. If you do, then it may mean that other people won’t be able to get their medicines.

If you’re concerned speak to your pharmacist, GP or specialist.

You can read more about getting your medicines if there’s a no-deal EU Exit here:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/medicines-information/getting-your-medicines-if-theres-no-deal-eu-exit/

Goods and consumables

Along with our NHS Partners we have been closely monitoring the supply of non-clinical consumables, goods and services and you should still be able to find/order the same goods as you do now following the EU Exit.

EU Colleagues and European Qualifications

Across Cheshire the NHS is fortunate to have a number of colleagues who are EU nationals and Recruitment teams have been supporting with EU Settlement Scheme applications. You can find out more here. https://www.gov.uk/eusettledstatus

European qualifications that are currently recognised automatically by UK regulators (such as doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists and pharmacists) will continue to be recognised after the UK leaves the EU.

Healthcare abroad

The NHS.uk website is being regularly updated with information on the healthcare arrangements with individual countries. Please click here for further information (and check the relevant country guide if you are traveling to the EU after 31 October)

https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/healthcare-when-travelling-abroad/travelling-in-the-european-economic-area-eea-and-switzerland/

 

To find out more

https://www.gov.uk/brexit

The EU Exit website contains detailed information on how individuals can prepare for the EU Exit, including if you have a business or are an EU national living in the UK.

This website now includes a simple ‘checker’ to find out what you may need to do to get ready for the EU Exit.

 

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Getting to know your boobs could be a lifesaver!

There are lots of important things we have to do each month but checking your breasts should be a priority.

By checking your breasts regularly, you will notice any unusual changes quickly and have the confidence to know what’s normal for you each month.

1 in 8 women in the UK will be affected by breast cancer in their lifetime with is being the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women under 40. Although mainly prominent in women, around 400 men are also diagnosed in the UK each year.

What to look out for

You should see your GP if you have:

  • A change in the size, shape or feel of a breast
  • A new lump of thickening in a breast or armpit
  • Skin changes such as puckering, dimpling, a rash or redness of the skin
  • Fluid leaking from a nipple and you aren’t pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Changes in the position of a nipple
  • Breast pain

Your symptoms are unlikely to be cancer, but it is important to get them checked by a doctor.

You can find out more information about breast cancer and how to check your breasts at the following websites:

Cancer Research
Coppafeel
NHS.uk

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Get support to stop smoking this Stoptober

Stopping smoking is easier when you have the right support and Stoptober is the perfect time to quit!

Every cigarette causes real harm and with quitting you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll see the benefits. You’ll breathe more easily, feel fitter, your skin will look better, and your sense of taste will come back. If you have kids, you’ll be protecting them from the risk of asthma attacks, ear infections and cancers. You could also be around £250 a month better off too – that’s £3000 a year – just think what you could spend that on!

To get the support you need to quit, visit the ‘One You’ website which offers free personal quitting plans, a downloadable app and inspirational success stories.

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EU Exit advice for patients

We have heard from many of our patients with questions around their health and care as a consequence of an EU Exit.

The best source of information can be found on www.nhs.uk. This website will be updated on a regular basis.

Information for patients regarding medicines

Please keep ordering your repeat prescriptions and taking your medicines as normal. It’s very important you don’t order more medicines than normal. If you do, then it may mean that other people won’t be able to get their medicines.

Further information is available on www.NHS.uk

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Dr Michael Tate Retiring

Dr Mike Tate is retiring from Ashfields at the end of September after 34 years as a GP. Mike has had a significant impact on Ashfields, being instrumental in the merging of the two practices in Sandbach to form Ashfields, and the development of Ashfields Primary Care Centre. He has also been a GP Trainer, developing the GPs of the future.

Mike will be missed, and everyone at Ashfields send their best wishes for a long and happy retirement.

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You can register for online services with our reception team by completing a form which can be collected from Ashfields reception. 

You can then use the online services to book certain appointments, order repeat prescriptions and also look at limited details from your medical record including blood test results.

Contact our reception team and get started today!

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Have you checked out our brand new Care Hub directory of services?

You may have noticed we have a new tab on our website titled ‘Care Hub’!

Care Hub is a brand new directory of local non-NHS services and providers that you as patients can access to find local services. You can find information on a range of topics to support you to live well including health support, financial aid, volunteering, arts, activities and social groups.

You can start using Care Hub straight away, simply click on the Care Hub tab and use the categories to narrow down what you are looking for!

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Have trust in your GP surgery receptionist

GPs across South Cheshire and Vale Royal are urging us to talk to their receptionist, to make sure you get the right help, which may not necessarily be from your GP surgery.

Services are constantly changing and, in many circumstances, your GP may not be the best person you need to see. 

Reception teams across South Cheshire and Vale Royal have undertaken additional special training to make sure you can get to the right Healthcare Professional to treat your needs.

This is called ‘Care Navigation’, where your receptionist or care navigator will ask why you are contacting the practice, to make sure you get the right care sooner.

Dr Annabel London, GP and Clinical Lead for Primary Care at NHS South Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Vale Royal CCG, said: “My main message is to have trust in your receptionist, they’re bound by the same rules of confidentiality as I am, so they’re not asking questions to be nosey.

“Through the specialist training, they will be able to direct you to the best person or service who can treat your condition or help with the reason why you’re calling.

“An example would be back pain – if you ask for a GP appointment but don’t say why, you could wait to see your GP. When you see your GP they would direct you to self-refer to a physiotherapist as the best person to treat your condition.  With Care Navigation, if you tell the care navigator a few of your symptoms, they can advise you how to self refer straight to physiotherapy without waiting to see a GP to be aware of this.  

“You get the treatment you need sooner, allowing a GP appointment to be used by a patient who can only see a GP.”

The Care Navigator might suggest you see an alternative health care professional such as:

  • a Dentist
  • a Midwife from the local Maternity Services
  • a Pharmacist from your Community Pharmacy
  • a Physiotherapist
  • a Clinician from Sexual Health
  • other local support services

Care navigators will continue to receive ongoing training to support them in developing their role and skills.

Dr London added: “Please, help us to help you by answering the questions from the care navigator get you the right care in the right place and at the right time.”

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Don’t Let Embarrassment Stop You from Getting Your Smear Test!

This week is Cervical Cancer Prevention week, a week dedicated to reminding ladies to book their smear tests and not to be embarrassed about the process.

Cervical screening prevents 75% of cervical cancers from developing, yet one in four women in the UK don’t attend.

Cervical Screening is the method of detecting abnormal cells on the cervix. Being screened regularly means any abnormal changes in the cells can be identified and if necessary, treated to stop cancer developing.

All women in the UK aged 25 to 49 are invited for a screening test every three years and those aged 50 to 64 are invited every five years.

What happens when you go for your cervical screening?

The screening test usually takes around 5 minutes to carry out.

You’ll be asked to undress from the waist down and lie on a couch, although you can remain fully dressed if you are wearing a loose skirt/dress.

The nurse or doctor will gently put an instrument called a speculum into your vagina, this holds the walls of the vagina open so the cervix can be seen.

The nurse or doctor will then use a small soft brush to gently collect some cells from the surface of your cervix. Although the procedure can be a little uncomfortable, it shouldn’t be painful. However, if you do find it painful let the doctor or nurse know as they may be able to reduce your discomfort.

Once the sample is taken, the doctor or nurse will close the curtain allowing you to dress whilst they prepare the sample to be sent off to the laboratory.

The cell sample is then sent off to a laboratory for analysis and you should receive the result within 2 weeks.

Many women are nervous and embarrassed about the process of cervical screening, but there is no need to be, nurses and doctors carry out these tests every day.
You can minimise your worries when you book your appointment by requesting a female nurse or doctor to carry out the test. You are also welcome to bring a chaperone to your appointment too.

More information about cervical screening can be found at:
NHS Choices website 
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

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Stay Warm and Well During the Cold Snap

With the cold weather setting in this week, it’s important to take extra care to make sure you stay fit and healthy. Those with long-term respiratory problems need to take extra care as the damp, cold conditions can make you more vulnerable to catching those pesky winter bugs.

If you start to feel unwell, even if it’s a cough or a cold, don’t wait until it gets more serious. Seek advice from your Pharmacist.

Follow these simple tips below to help you and your loved ones to stay fit and well over this cold snap.

  • Try and keep your home heated to at least 18C.
  • Draw your curtains at dusk and keep doors closed to block out draughts
  • Wear several layers of clothes rather than 1 chunky layer. Clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres help to maintain body heat.
  • Have at least one hot meal a day. Eating regularly helps keep you warm.
  • Have hot drinks regularly throughout the day.
  • Stay active – even moderate exercise can help keep you warm.
  • Wrap a scarf loosely around your mouth, wear a hat and shoes with good grip when outdoors.
  • If you have a heart or respiratory problem, stay indoors during very cold weather.
  • Check in on elderly relatives and neighbours. If you are concerned about a relative or an elderly neighbour, contact your local council or ring the Age UK helpline on 0800 00 99 66.

If you need help with heating costs, you may be able to claim financial and practical help with heating your home. Grants available include the Winter Fuel Payment and the Cold Weather Payment.