Category Archive News

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Don’t let hay fever ruin your summer

From now until September is when the pollen count is at its highest.

Some of the symptoms of hay fever can include:

  • Sneezing and coughing
  • A runny or blocked nose
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  • Loss of smell
  • Pain around your temples and forehead
  • Headache
  • Earache
  • Feeling tired

If you are having any of the above symptoms or are feeling the effects of hay fever, visit your local pharmacist as they can provide advise and treatments to suit your symptoms. You could also try:

  • not drying your washing outside when pollen levels are high
  • showering and changing your clothes after you’ve been outside to wash any pollen away
  • wearing wraparound sunglasses when you go outside to stop the pollen from irritating your eyes
  • putting Vaseline around your nose to trap pollen
  • keeping windows and doors shut as much as possible
  • vacuuming regularly and dust with a damp cloth
  • staying indoors when the pollen count is high

You can keep an eye on the pollen forecast on the Met Office Website.

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Mental Health Awareness Week: Combat Stress

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and this year focusses on stress and to cope with it.

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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Practice Closed for the May Bank Holiday

Please note that the practice is closed on Monday 7 May 2018 for the May Bank Holiday. We will re-open as normal on Tuesday 8 May 2018.

If you need medical advice or attention when the practice is closed you can:

Visit you pharmacy – Your local pharmacy can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaint. Visit NHS Choices to find a pharmacy open near you.

Call NHS 111 – If you need urgent medical advice but your condition is not life threatening. NHS 111 Is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobiles.

A&E or 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.

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GP Practice Closures Over Easter Bank Holiday

Please don’t forget that your GP Practice is closed on Friday 30 March (Good Friday) and Monday 2 April (Bank Holiday Monday).

If you need medical advice or attention 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.

Call NHS 111 – If you need urgent medical advice but your condition is not life threatening. NHS 111 is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobiles.

Use A&E or 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.

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Online Mental Health Tool Available to South Cheshire and Vale Royal Patients Praised by BBC

Bright Sparks, a website produced by BBC Global News Ltd, a commercial company owned by the BBC has praised Big White Wall, a free online mental health support tool, available to patients in South Cheshire and Vale Royal, in an article about good uses of social media.

The article stated, “One website that has been praised by leading psychologists is Big White Wall, which is available in Canada, New Zealand and the UK. Inspired by the early days of social networking, it’s a peer support community and now has partnerships with the NHS in keeping with best practice and the latest evidence.

They also personalise suggestions to you of how to help you feel better based on your interests. The Big White Wall gave me the testimony of one case study, who said: “I found it almost impossible to discuss with my parents and I was a bit frightened of disclosing it to my friends. Being able to talk online to other people about that was really, really useful. Otherwise, I would have kept it all bottled up.”

People, aged 16 +, living in South Cheshire and Vale Royal, who are going through a tough time or struggling with mental health issues and require some much needed support, can access a free online mental health support tool.

Big White Wall is a safe, anonymous online community of people who can help each other as well as having the benefit of trained professionals who ensure the safety and anonymity of all members. It also hosts a range of wellbeing tools to help with self-management.

70% of members reported feeling better as a result of joining Big White Wall, and 46% shared something for the first time with the community.

If you think Big White Wall can help you, just visit www.bigwhitewall.com and enter your postcode.

The full article can be found on Bright Sparks.

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Have your say on proposed changes to local mental health services

There are approximately 7,000 adults and older people from a population of 480,000 across Eastern Cheshire, South Cheshire and Vale Royal who receive care and support from specialist mental health services. Of these approximately 350 people per year require an inpatient stay at the Millbrook Unit in Macclesfield, meaning that 95 per cent of care is already provided in the community.

Local NHS partners are proposing a redesign of these services for a number of reasons. User and carer feedback, along with recent audit recommendations and inspections, told the partners that some things in these services work well but that other things need to change for the better.

Through the proposed redesign NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS South Cheshire CCG, NHS Vale Royal CCG and Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust want to:

  • provide new services so that there is better access for people to help keep them well and active in the community
  • provide much greater choice of services for those in, or at risk of, crisis;
  • support people with dementia and those who care for them to stay in their own surroundings

Service users and their carers have shared their thoughts; describing that they “deserve to thrive, not just survive”, that they want responsive community services available 24/7 and they do not want to be admitted to hospital unless it is absolutely necessary.

For these reasons, the local NHS partners as mentioned above have developed a set of proposals that puts early intervention and prevention at the heart of adult and older people’s specialist mental health services and, if introduced, will provide:

  • An improved community mental health service that helps people get better more quickly and prevents hospital admissions
  • A 24-hour crisis support service for people who are acutely unwell
  • A dementia outreach service that visits people in their own homes
  • An improved experience for people who need hospital care.

Have your say

You can #JoinTheConversation and have your say on the proposals put forward by local NHS partners in many ways:

  • By completing the online questionnaire available by clicking here
  • By attending one of the six public events where you can have your say
  • By telephoning freephone number 0808 169 1189 if you need help completing the survey or require a paper copy.

Alongside the main consultation document there are a number of supporting documents – held on the NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG website that people can read for further information about the case for change and proposals for the redesign for adult and older people’s specialist mental health services.

Please call 0808 169 1189 if you require this information in another language or an alternative format such as large print, braille or audio.

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Patients asked to use the most appropriate service as NHS continues to battle pressures on A&E

NHS services across Cheshire and Merseyside are experiencing a high demand on urgent care services.

Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Leighton Hospital) are reminding patients that A&E services are for potentially life-threatening and serious conditions only.

If you do not have this type of condition, you highly likely to experience long wait times when there are other services you can access that could get you better sooner.

There are a number of other services available to you.

NHS 111
You can call 111 for free 24/7 when you need medical help fast but it’s not an emergency. The NHS 111 service is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms, then give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you straightaway to the local service that can help you best.

Community Pharmacies
Pharmacists are highly trained clinicians. They can give expert advice on common illnesses including coughs, colds, aches and pains and they can answer questions about prescribed medicines. They can also advise on treatment of minor injuries. Find your nearest Pharmacy at NHS Choices.

Self Care 
You can be prepared to treat minor illness and injury at home using a well-stocked stocked medicine cabinet.  You can find more self-care advice on our NHS Choices.

Dental Care
Urgent dental care for patients in Cheshire and Merseyside is accessed via our Dental Helpline on 0161 476 9651 from 9am to 9.30pm every day, including weekends and Bank Holidays.

The service is provided according to strict clinical criteria, and when you call you’ll be assessed by a member of the clinical team.

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Patient Notice: Telephone System Upgrade

Please note that during March/April 2018 the practice telephone system is being migrated to a new system.

On the day of change over, there will be reduced capacity to answer calls for a short period of time.

We thank you in advance for your understanding and patience.

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Don’t let minor illnesses and injuries ruin your half term

Many children will be looking forward to getting outdoors this half term, but with the weather still cold and wet the break might not be illness free.

It can be worrying when your child is poorly but most minor illnesses can be treated at home with a well stocked medicine cabinet.

NHS Choices offers a wealth of information on children’s health, helping you to identify and decide on the best course of action for your child’s needs. The page is even divided into age categories to help you find the information you need quicker. Just visit the Children’s Health Section.

There is also a section on infectious illnesses in children such as Chicken Pox, giving details on what to look out for, how long it will last and the suggested incubation period. Just visit the Infectious Illnesses in Children section

NHS Choices also has some great visual guides on common childhood illnesses such as measles, slapped cheek syndrome, chicken pots and warts ‘Childhood Illness Visual Guide’ and offers a visual tool to help identify rashes in babies.

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Can you help with our latest research studies?

We are currently inviting people to help with the following research studies.

AF – GEN observational Study
If you have Atrial fibrillation and were diagnosed in the last 12 months then you are eligible for this study.

 

If you are eligible, your GP or Nurse may give you a patient information sheet when you attend for your next routine appointment. However, if you meet the above criteria and are interested in helping us, you can contact:

The Research Nurses; Janet Rhodes, Tracey Waller or Jane Davies on 01270 275053 or via email tracey.waller@nhs.net   janetrhodes@nhs.net   jane.davies33@nhs.net

The BARACK – D study
If you have been told that you have Chronic Kidney Disease (reduced kidney function) then we may contact you about this study. This study is looking at a potential new treatment for preventing heart disease and kidney damage in people with Chronic Kidney Disease. However, if you meet the above criteria and are interested in helping us, you can contact:

The Research Nurses; Janet Rhodes, Tracey Waller or Jane Davies on 01270 275053 or via email tracey.waller@nhs.net   janetrhodes@nhs.net   jane.davies33@nhs.net

STUDIES NOW CLOSED

Please note that recruitment has now closed for the following studies:

  • SUSTAIN 10 Study
  • FAST Study
  • PACE Study
  • SPRINT Study
  • INSTINCTS Study

As always a huge thank you to everyone who has given up their valuable time to contribute to the Research Activities.