Taking your health seriously

Simon Truelove, Acting Accountable Officer

Not salisbury (4)

Luckily, many of us don’t have to worry about our general health on a day to day basis.  But  making sure we stay healthy and live as well as we can is our own responsibility.

We’ve all heard it before.  But eating a healthy diet, not smoking and being more active really is vital when we want to avoid potentially life threatening illnesses, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease or stroke. Together with the Public Health team at Wiltshire Council, Wiltshire’s GPs are encouraging and recommending Wiltshire people to make small changes to our lifestyles to help us all feel healthier and live well for longer.

Dr Lindsay Kinlin GP at The Avenue Surgery in Warminster comments: “An unhealthy lifestyle has a huge impact on your health. Some pretty serious diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers can all be directly linked to a poor diet, lack of exercise and smoking.

Issues with joints, especially the knees and back, can be made much worse if you’re overweight.  Even carrying out your daily routine, such as putting your socks on, can be a challenge for some people.”

Give yourself a chance of enjoying a longer, healthier life by just making small changes.  The smallest changes to your habits can have a surprising effect – in your diet, perhaps by eating freshly prepared food and eating more fresh fruit and vegetables each day, or doing some form of exercise, no matter what it is, every day for just half an hour – can all help make a huge difference to our physical and mental health.

Walking is a great way to stay active, so instead of taking the car for short journeys, why not walk instead?

We all have busy lives. Health services are there to help you if you become unwell, but it’s important to remember that you also need to do what you can to ensure that you stay as healthy as possible, and only you can change your attitude towards your health.  Don’t wait until your health starts deteriorating;  take action now!

Simon Truelove, Interim Chief Officer for Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group says: “NHS budgets are continuously being stretched and we need to find ways to provide quality health services within a limited budget and to reduce the financial impact avoidable illness has on the health system in our county.

Making the right choices and taking personal responsibility for your health, means you become healthier and less reliant on our doctors, which in turn frees up valuable GP time to focus on those people who are most in need.

It also reduces the financial pressure on local NHS services and allows us to reduce the amount we spend treating those illnesses that are almost entirely avoidable”.

Keeping active, eating well and good weight management are the key to a healthy lifestyle. There’s lots of helpful advice and information on smoking, drinking, eating, moving, sleeping and stress on the NHS One You website.

The website also includes a quiz – have a check to see how healthy you are right now. It also provides tips on how you can start to live a healthier lifestyle.

Visit www.nhs.uk/oneyou and start your journey on living a healthier lifestyle.

Taking your health seriously

Making sure we stay healthy and live well is our own responsibility. Eating a healthy diet, not smoking and taking plenty of exercise is vital in helping us to maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid potentially life threatening illness such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is therefore asking people to make small changes to their lifestyles to help them to live well for longer and to reduce the financial impact avoidable illness has on the health system in our county.

Dr Lindsay Kinlin GP at The Avenue Surgery in Warminster comments:
“An unhealthy lifestyle has a huge impact on your health. Some pretty serious diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers can all be linked to a poor diet, lack of exercise and smoking. Issues with joints, especially the knees and back can be exacerbated if you’re overweight and even carrying out your daily routine can be a challenge for some people.

“Small changes in diet, such as making sure you eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, or doing some form of exercise, no matter what it is, every day for just half an hour can all help. Walking is a great way to stay active, so instead of taking the car for short journeys, why not walk instead!

“We all have busy lives but taking the time to look at where you can make positive changes will make a difference. Although we are here to help you should you become unwell, it’s important to remember that you also need to do what you can to ensure that you stay healthy, only you can change your attitude towards your health.”

Simon Truelove, Interim Chief Officer for Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group says:
“NHS budgets are continuously being stretched and we need to find ways to provide quality health services within a limited budget.

“Making the right choices and taking personal responsibility for your health, frees up valuable healthcare practitioner time to focus on those most in need. It also reduces the financial pressure on local NHS services and allows us to reduce spend on treating those illnesses that are almost entirely avoidable.”

There is lots of helpful advice and information on smoking, drinking, eating, moving, sleeping and stress on the NHS One You website. The website also includes a quiz which looks at how healthy you are now and provides tips on how you can start your journey to become healthier. For further information please visit www.nhs.uk/oneyou.

Feeling unwell?  Choose the right healthcare

Simon Truelove, Acting Accountable Officer

Not salisbury (3)

In Wiltshire, there are numerous ways to get the right health care advice and treatment you need.  But when you’re feeling unwell it’s not always easy to understand which service is the best for you to use.

Because it’s so confusing, people very often go straight to hospital or to a GP.  But more times than not, that’s not the sort of treatment you need, and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is asking people to consider the range of options available before attending A&E or booking a GP appointment if you think you need treatment.

We have a range of services to choose from so that you don’t need to have to go to hospital or see a GP.

Self-Care

Many illnesses or symptoms – such as coughs, sore throats, upset stomachs and aches and pains can be treated yourself at home if you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet and if you get plenty of rest.

NHS 111

NHS 111 is a free-to-call telephone service you can ring when you need medical or dental help and advice quickly, but when it’s not an emergency. 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Pharmacy/Chemist

Your local pharmacist is a highly trained healthcare professional, who is able to give you advice on common illnesses and the medicines you need to treat them.  Most pharmacies have a quiet area or consultation room where you can have private conversations, and many are open during the evening and weekends.

Doctor

If you have an illness or injury that won’t go away, make an appointment with your GP.  They provide a range of services by appointment, including medical advice, examinations and prescriptions.

A&E or 999

Accident and Emergency departments and the 999 ambulance service are to be used in serious or life-threatening situations.  A&E provides immediate emergency care for people who show the symptoms of serious illness or who are badly injured.

Dr Chet Sheth, GP at St Anne’s Street Practice in Salisbury, said: “We often see people in the surgery with colds and sore throats and, unless the patient is particularly young or old, they can often be treated by a local pharmacist with over-the-counter medicines. Pharmacists have a wealth of knowledge about a range of health issues and they’re experts in medicines – they can also help you to decide whether it’s necessary for you to see a doctor – or not – if you’re unsure.”

For sprains, dislocations, minor cuts and burns or minor eye injuries then one of Wiltshire’s two minor injury units, or the walk-in centre in Salisbury, will be able to help you. If you’re not sure about whether you need to go, then call the 111 service.  They’ll talk through your symptoms with you and advise you on the most appropriate place to go for treatment. If you need urgent medical assistance for a serious or life threatening condition, then always telephone 999 straight away.”

When we’re able to make the right decision on the type of treatment we need, we not only help keep ourselves healthy, but we help to free up time to allow doctors and health care professionals to focus on those people who need their services the most.

That way we all ensure we make the best use of the money we receive for health care and treatment in Wiltshire. Treating people in, or as close to people’s homes as possible, is fundamental to providing NHS services which truly meet Wiltshire people’s needs.

Our community teams

We have community teams working right across our county.  The nurses and healthcare professionals working in each team provide personal, seamless care for people living in our towns and villages, visiting patients in their own homes or at clinics in local buildings.  Your GP will refer you to a community team if you need the sort of treatment they provide, without you having to go into hospital. Every team cares for a number of people across an area of Wiltshire, linking into groups of GP practices.  Community team members have close relationships with other services, such as social care, mental health, domiciliary and voluntary services, to make sure that you get the right sort of care you need.

Our aim is for Wiltshire people to receive efficient, personal and joined up care which allows everyone to continue to live in their local community as long and as well as possible.  With the increasing costs of medicines and treatments, and a national shortage of GPs and other health professionals working in the health sector, the NHS is facing one of its biggest ever challenges.  But in Wiltshire, we’re carving the right path for patients, continuing to give people really good health care services and allowing you to have the right healthcare, for you, with you, near you.

The right healthcare, for you, near you, with you

In Wiltshire, there are numerous ways to access health care advice and treatment but people may not always be clear on which service is best for them. Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is asking people to consider the range of options available before attending A&E or booking a GP appointment.

Dr Peter Jenkins, Chair of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group comments:
“Knowing which services to access for health advice and treatment can seem a little confusing. People often default to ringing the GP or turning up at A&E but with so many other options available this isn’t always the best option.

“We have been looking closely at the way people want to access healthcare, together with how to best utilise the funding we are given. Treating people in or as close to home as possible is fundamental to providing a healthcare service that truly meets the needs of our population.   

“To deliver this, we have a number of community teams who provide local, personal and seamless care in a predominantly community setting. The teams each care for the health needs of approximately 20,000 people across a number of GP practices and have close relationships with other services, such as social care, mental health, domiciliary and voluntary services. Our aim is for people to receive efficient, personal and joined up care which allows them to continue to live in their local community as long and as well as possible.”

GP at St Anne’s Street Practice in Salisbury, Dr Chet Sheth, said:
“We often see people in the surgery with colds and flu which unless the patient is particularly young or elderly, can often be treated at a local pharmacy with over the counter medicines. Pharmacists have a wealth of knowledge on a range of health issues and are experts in medicines – they can also help you to decide whether it’s necessary for you to see a doctor or not if you’re unsure.

“For sprains, dislocations, minor cuts and burns or minor eye injuries then one of the two minor injury units in the county or the walk-in centre in Salisbury would be able to help you. If you’re not sure, then call the 111 service, they will be able to advise you on the most appropriate place to go for advice or treatment. If you need urgent medical assistance for a serious or life threatening condition then always telephone 999 straight away.”

Dr Peter Jenkins, concludes:
“Our priority is always to ensure that people get the help they need, when they need it. By making the right choices and taking personal responsibility, people can not only help keep themselves well, but help to free up time to allow health care practitioners to focus on those most in need.”

For location and opening times of Minor Injury Units in Wiltshire visit www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk. Minor Injuries Units are for patients with less serious injuries, such as sprains, cuts and grazes. No appointments are required and they are led by qualified nurse practitioners.

The Salisbury walk-in centre is open from 0800 – 2000 everyday, including bank holidays. The centre is run by a team of experienced doctors and nurses and is based on a first come first served basis, unless someone is acutely unwell and needs immediate attention. For details on how to find the Salisbury walk-in centre visit http://www.salisburywalkincentre.co.uk.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from landlines and mobiles. It is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. Healthcare advice can be given over the telephone or you may be directed to a local service that can help you best.

NHS Choices, the UK’s biggest health website also has a wealth of advice and information on a range of medical conditions as well as a useful symptom checker. NHS choices can be accessed by visiting www.nhs.uk.

If a medical situation is life threatening, you should always phone 999. Serious injuries, loss of consciousness, chest pain or suspected stroke are medical emergencies and you should not hesitate to call 999.

Salisbury Walk-in Centre

From 1st August the Walk in Centre will be open from Monday to Friday 6.30pm until 10pm and on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays, from 8am until 8pm.

The Walk in Centre will be providing an enhanced service for patients for advice and treatment when their own GP surgery is closed. We have extended the hours this service is available, from 6.30pm until 10 pm every weekday evening, and 8am until 8pm every weekend and bank holiday.  There will be increased GP presence during these evening opening times so that more people can be seen more quickly.

The GP service at the Walk in Centre is provided by Wilcodoc. Dr Hugh Bond says:
“By opening until 10pm every weekday evening and from 8am to 8pm at weekends and bank holidays, we will be supporting the Emergency Department (ED) at Salisbury Hospital – patients will have access to our services at the time when the hospital’s emergency department is at its busiest and other GP surgeries are closed.  And because there will be more than one GP available, we also expect our waiting times to reduce, so that patients will be able to see a health care professional more quickly”.

People use the Walk in Centre most for treatment or advice for minor illnesses such as sore throats, and to ask for advice about medication they are taking.  During working hours, treatment for these conditions can be provided by talking to your local pharmacist, by dialling NHS 111 or by making an appointment with your own GP practice.  If a patient’s condition is serious enough to warrant an on-the-day appointment, then your own GP practice will be able to help you when you ring them.

If you do have an illness which can’t be easily treated by yourself after advice you’re your pharmacist, or if you have a minor injury, then please use the Walk in Centre rather than going to the Emergency Department at the hospital.  Hospital Accident and Emergency departments are for emergencies only.

The times during which our Walk in Centre is open is based on considerable consideration and evidence from clinicians, doctors and the GP-led Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group. The NHS in Wiltshire has a limited amount of money and we have to make use of our resources and our precious GP time in the best possible way.  This is why we have extended the opening hours of the Out of Hours Walk in Centre further into the evening during the week, at times when patients’ own GP surgeries are closed and when the hospital’s Emergency Department is at its busiest.

If people need to access services during the day time, Monday to Friday, they should ring their GP in the normal way. If an urgent appointment or advice is required, all practices will be able to accommodate this. Alternatively, ring 111 and you will be directed to the service which is most appropriate for your needs.