Eating for a healthier you

NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is encouraging Wiltshire residents to eat healthier as part of Public Health England’s ONE YOU campaign.

What you eat, and how much, is very important for your health, and most of us are still not eating enough fruit and vegetables which should make up over a third of the food we eat each day. 

Dr Peter Jenkins, Chair of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group said,
“Give yourself a chance of enjoying a longer, healthier life by simply making some small changes to your eating habits. Introducing more fruit and vegetables into your meals and trying to eat more freshly prepared food will make a positive difference to your health.  It‘s never too late to change your eating habits and eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated, boring or expensive, it’s an important part of maintaining good health.”

The recommendation is that you should be aiming to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day and cut back on eating foods that are high in fat and sugar.

Making better choices on what you eat can have a huge influence on your health and help prevent diseases such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and can reduce your risk of suffering a stroke or living with dementia, disability and frailty in later life.

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill GP in Market Lavington added,
“Our lifestyles can be unhealthier than we think and without knowing it, many of us will have dramatically increased our chances of becoming ill later in life because of bad eating habits.  Eating the wrong things combined with drinking more than we should, or just not being active enough, can all add up to an unhealthy you.”

Find out more about the small changes you can make to help you eat more healthily and take the ‘how are you’ quiz on the NHS One You website: www.nhs.uk/oneyou.  

Keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home recommends NHS Wiltshire CCG

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is advising local residents to be prepared this winter with their own well-stocked medicine cabinet, so they can treat themselves at the first signs of coughs, colds, sore throats or stomach bugs.

Dr Martin Foley, GP at St James Surgery in Devizes, said
“Most people can take care of their own health at home when they have minor ailments, such as sore throats and coughs by having a well-stocked medicine cabinet, drinking plenty of fluids and getting lots of rest.”

Looking after yourself when you’re feeling under the weather with a minor illness is easy if you already have a well-stocked medicine cabinet.  Keeping the following items will mean you can stay at home and focus on getting back to full health.

What to keep in your medicine cabinet

  • Painkillers – Aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen are highly effective at relieving most minor aches, pains, coughs and cold
  • Oral rehydration salts – can help restore your body’s natural balance of minerals and fluid lost through diarrhoea, fever, vomiting – if you can’t continue your normal diet
  • Anti-diarrhoea tablets – it’s a good idea to keep anti-diarrhoea medicine at home as diarrhoea can happen without warning. Causes include food poisoning and a stomach virus
  • Antihistamines – Useful for dealing with allergies, insect bites and hay fever
  • Indigestion treatment – If you have stomach ache, heartburn or trapped wind, a simple antacid will reduce stomach acidity and bring relief
  • Suncream – Keep a suncream of at least factor 15, with UVA protection. Exposure to the sun can cause sunburn and increase your risk of cancer.
Dr Peter Jenkins, Chair of Wiltshire CCG, added,
“Many people are affected by minor illnesses and ailments at this time of year with coughs, colds and sickness and having a well-stocked medicine cabinet means you can treat these symptoms yourself at home and prevent the need for a doctor’s appointment.  Your local pharmacist can also help with advice and over the counter medicine for many minor ailments and you don’t need an appointment to see your pharmacist.”

If you do need medical help and advice on where to go to access the right healthcare (and it’s not an emergency), then call NHS 111 anytime.  It’s free and they operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. <

Act F.A.S.T. campaign returns to empower people to call 999 at any sign of a stroke

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Groups is supporting the annual ‘Act F.A.S.T.’ stroke campaign.

On 2 February 2017, Public Health England will relaunch the national “Act FAST” stroke campaign, working closely with the Stroke Association. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the symptoms of stroke and to encourage people who recognise any single one of the symptoms of stroke, in themselves or others, to call 999 immediately.
Running from until 31 March 2017 the campaign includes TV, radio, social media and outdoor advertising and is supported by PR.

The F.A.S.T. (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) acronym has featured in the advertising for a number of years and is a simple test to help people identify the most common signs of a stroke, and to emphasise the importance of acting quickly by calling 999. F.A.S.T. teaches people what to look out for in themselves and in others:

  • Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
  • Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there?
  • Speech – is their speech slurred?
  • Time to call 999

There are some of other symptoms that people should be aware of as these may occasionally be due to stroke. These include:

  • Sudden loss of vision or blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • Sudden memory loss or confusion
  • Sudden dizziness, unsteadiness or a sudden fall, especially with any of the other symptoms

Acting F.A.S.T. as soon as stroke symptoms present themselves can not only save lives but potentially limit long-term effects.

A stroke is a ‘brain attack’, caused by a disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. It’s a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. So recognising the signs of stroke and calling 999 for an ambulance is crucial.

Approximately 110,000 people have a stroke each year in England. It is the third largest cause of death, and the largest cause of complex disability; over half of all stroke survivors are left with a disability.

The sooner somebody who is having a stroke gets urgent medical attention, the better their chances of a good recovery.

One of the main objectives of the campaign is get people who witness somebody showing stroke symptoms to overcome any initial reluctance to call. They are being asked to ‘Make the Call’ and dial 999.

Act FAST. Make the Call. Dial 999.

Visit our campaign page for more information.