NHS Wiltshire asks patients to plan ahead and order their repeat prescriptions before Christmas

Many GP practices and pharmacies will have limited opening hours between Christmas and New Year, so Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is reminding patients to plan ahead to ensure they have enough medication to last over the festive break.

Alex Goddard, Deputy Head of Medicines Management at Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said,
“As you get ready for Christmas, the last thing on your mind might be to check that you have enough medicine.  However being prepared is important to ensure that you have enough of the medication you need. “Because of the bank holidays and the amount of winter illnesses circulating at this time of year, your GP practice and pharmacy may be busier than normal. Ordering your prescription early means you can save yourself some time and help to ease the pressure on the NHS.”

Ordering and collecting new prescriptions can take several days, which is why patients are being urged to plan ahead. Prescriptions can be ordered by patients visiting, or phoning their pharmacy or GP practice, with some practices offering a quick and easy online ordering system.

Seven Wiltshire practices also use the Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) service, which allows patients to order their repeat prescriptions over the phone then collect them from a pharmacy.

These are:

  • Lovemead Group Practice
  • Giffords Surgery
  • Castle Practice
  • White Horse Health Centre
  • Avenue Surgery
  • Tinkers Lane Surgery
  • New Court Surgery
Alex continued,
“The last thing we want for our patients is having their bank holiday spoilt by not being able to take regular medication. Check now that you have enough daily medication to see you through the break.  If you don’t, call into your pharmacist, local GP or ring the POD so that you get your repeat prescription in good time.”

Visit the Prescription Ordering Direct page for more information.

Joy as Wiltshire charity named UK’s Best dementia Care team

A Wiltshire charity is celebrating after being told it has the best dementia care team in the UK.

The Support at Home team at Alzheimer’s Support won the Best Team category at the prestigious Dementia Care Awards 2017.

The team, which provides highly personalised, one-to-one companionship and support to people living with dementia across Wiltshire, comprises 65 support workers and eight care coordinators. They visit people in their own homes and take them on outings, building up a strong rapport with clients and helping them stay active in their communities for as long as possible.

Registered Services Manager Sally Haddrell-Jenks, who accepted the award on behalf of the team, said:
“I am absolutely thrilled to be receiving this on behalf of our wonderful colleagues who do so much to support people living with dementia in Wiltshire. The important work we do is very much ‘behind the scenes’ so it is wonderful for the team to get this recognition.”
CEO Babs Harris said:
“I am bursting with pride. Our small Wiltshire outfit stood out amongst all the large, national, and well-funded organisations and what came through was the dedication, understanding and love that our colleagues show every day in their work.”
Joanne Armstrong, from Devizes, who cares for her husband Robin said: 
 “This is so well deserved. The service from Alzheimer’s Support has been wonderful. I cannot speak highly enough of the support worker who comes to us at home. He understands our needs.”

The award was handed over by former Emmerdale actor John Middleton at a ceremony in Doncaster as part of the National Dementia Congress.

The judges’ citation said:
“Support at Home was chosen because the team is making a tangible difference every day to people in their own homes. Even though the support workers work with clients individually, there is an immense feeling of belonging and team identity. There’s been huge investment in team development and support which has been acknowledged and spread across Wiltshire.”
Ted Wilson, Community and Joint Commissioning Director said:
‘We are really proud of Alzheimer’s Support.  They have considerable engagement and commitment and allow people with dementia to take an active part in the community and participate in meaningful activities.  We highly commend the level of support they give to people, and are absolutely dedicated to ensuring that the people they support lead full and happy lives.”

 

December 2017

Contents

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Welcome

Hello,

As winter takes hold, we’ve focused this edition of ‘in touch’ on articles offering you advice on how you can help you and your loved ones to stay well during the colder weather.

Winter can be challenging, with the cold and damp weather making us more vulnerable to illness, particularly flu, so it’s really important to take care of your health. If you’re eligible for a free flu jab and haven’t had it yet, pop along to your local pharmacist, or make an appointment with your GP to have it. 

We also know how worrying it can be when your child falls ill, even more so when your local surgery is closed. We’ve launched a new out of hours GP service for children under 10 years in South Wiltshire. It’s at Salisbury Walk in Centre and parents can book a same day appointment for their child by calling NHS 111.

We also support a free mobile app called HANDi app which provides expert advice to parents and carers on common childhood illnesses – download it free from the ITunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Since our last newsletter we have been out and about in Wiltshire talking to you about diabetes. Your feedback will help us to design and provide a diabetes toolkit for helping you to manage your diabetics at home.

Keep well this winter and enjoy the festive season!

Linda

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In the news!

Out of hours service for children in South Wiltshire

An out of hours GP service for children aged 0 – 10 years in Salisbury and South Wiltshire means parents can now book a same day appointment to see a GP at the Salisbury Walk in health centre.

The extended service will provide out of hours GP health advice and treatment for minor illnesses and injuries from Monday to Friday between 6.30pm – 10pm, and will provide parents with a local alternative to A&E when their child is ill.

Parents should ring 111 to access the service. 

Virgin Care’s Wiltshire Children’s Community Services complete moves to hubs

 

Wiltshire Children’s Community Services, run by Virgin Care, has completed its move to four new, purpose designed spaces dedicated for both colleagues and children and families in Wiltshire, which delivers a milestone on the organisations plans in implementing its five year roadmap to deliver improvements in patient care. 

These sites will be where patient-centred care is organised and coordinated, while service delivery will be either in universal settings such as schools, children’s centres, families own homes or Virgin Care’s dedicated clinical space.

Ted Wilson, Community and Joint Commissioning Director of Wiltshire CCG, said: “We are pleased the move to the four community hubs in Wiltshire will enable children’s community health staff to provide coordinated, person-centred care, designed around the individual needs of the children and to support them when they need help.”

 

Patients have a responsibility to be ‘fit, willing and able’

Wiltshire patients are being encouraged to be ‘fit, willing and able’ this winter to ensure planned outpatient clinics and operations run as smoothly as possible over the winter period. 

We are working with GPs and hospital clinicians across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire to help guide patients through their treatment pathways and in turn reduce the number of instances where patients do not turn up for their appointments, or decline required appointments, or dates for planned operations. 

The campaign focuses on ensuring patients are:

Fit – aware of their planned treatment and are in their best health to get the maximum benefit from it.  This can include maintaining a healthy weight and stopping smoking.

Willing – clear about what their treatment entails and are willing to sign up to it at the outset

Able – committed to attending future appointments and understand that this may require flexibility on their part.

Read more news articles here.

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Have your say!

Make a difference: join your Patient Participation Group

Would you like to get involved and make a difference to the care patients receive?

Your GP surgery has its own team of people who provide a voice for all patients on the practice’s list and work with the doctors and practice staff to improve the way things are run.  

That team is called a PPG – a Patient Participation Group.

Just ask at reception at your GP surgery to find out how you could join your PPG.

Have your say on the organ donor ‘opt out’ consultation

People who donate their organs and tissue after they die help save thousands of lives in England each year. However, 3 people die a day due to lack of suitable organs. Under current rules, a person who has died can only be an organ donor if they have agreed to it when they were alive.

If the law changes, people will be considered willing to be an organ donor unless they have opted out.  This would increase the number of organs donated and save more lives.

 

The Department of Health’s ‘opt out’ consultation is now live – take a few minutes to share your views on the proposed new rules.

 

Diabetes Feedback

Thanks to all who completed our online diabetes survey featured in last month’s newsletter, did you spot our team speaking to patients about diabetes in supermarkets in Chippenham, Trowbridge and Salisbury? The team are now working on the diabetes resource pack which will be available in Spring 2018. 

Knowledge is the key to successfully managing your diabetes, our free patient education programmes are available for Type 1 and Type 2  patients and  take place all over the county so there’s bound to be one near you, speak to your diabetes Doctor or Nurse for information on how to book.

Feedback from participants on the Type 1 Freedom For Life course said:

  • “Can vary meals more – some meals more carbohydrate: some meals less”
  • “Support and at last, some help”
  • “Not as anxious about eating a variety of foods.  More knowledge, more freedom”

This is what recent participants have said about our Type 2 X-pert course:

  • “A very informative programme which has already aided management of my diabetes by better information about diet.”
  • “A very interesting and informative course which was presented in a friendly and easy to understand manner. Many thanks to all presenters.”
  • “Excellent course. I have gained so much from your sessions. Thank you.”

 Support to prevent Type 2 Diabetes

The National Diabetes Prevention Programme has been launched in Wiltshire. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and is not linked to lifestyle, however, Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable through lifestyle changes. If you are identified at risk of becoming diabetic your GP can refer you to the programme where you will be supported to maintain a healthy weight and be more active, and significantly reduce the risk of developing the condition.

Diabetes Myth of the month: People with diabetes should eat 'diabetic' foods
‘Diabetic’ labelling tends to be used on sweets, biscuits and similar foods that are generally high in fat, especially saturated fat and calories. Diabetes UK does not recommend eating ‘diabetic’ foods, including diabetic chocolate, because they still affect your blood glucose levels, they are expensive and they can give you diarrhoea. So, if you are going to treat yourself – you should go for the real thing.

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Campaign – Stay well this winter

Winter can be seriously bad for our health, especially for people aged 65 or older and people with long term conditions.

The cold and damp weather, ice, snow and high winds can all aggravate any existing health problems and make us more vulnerable to illnesses that are more common in winter.

We have put together some handy information to help you stay well this winter.

Have you had your flu vaccination?
Flu strikes in winter and can be far more serious than you think – it can lead to serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia and in some instances it can be deadly.

That’s why it’s important that people who are at increased risk from flu, have their free flu vaccination.

If you are:

Pregnant
Aged 65 or over
Have a long term health condition
Living in a residential care home
A carer Living with someone who is immunocompromised
Are a frontline health or social care worker

This year more children are being vaccinated, and children over 6 months old with a long term health condition, and children aged two and three are offered the vaccination in general practice.

Children in reception class and school years 1, 2 3 & 4 will be offered the vaccine at school.

If you’re eligible for a free flu vaccination and not yet had it, speak to your surgery and make an appointment today!

 

Keeping warm as the temperature drops!

It’s important to keep warm in winter – both indoors and outdoors

Heat your home to at least 18C (65F) 
especially if you are not very mobile, are 65 or over, or have a health condition 
during the day you may prefer your living room to be slightly warmer

Keep your bedroom window closed at night 
breathing cold air can be bad for your health as it increases the risk of chest conditions

Keep active when you are indoors 
try not to sit still for more than an hour or so, get up and stretch your legs
even moderate exercise can help keep you warm

Wear several layers of light clothes 
light layers trap warm air better than one bulky layer and help to maintain body heat

Draw your curtains at dusk, and keep doors closed 
to block out draughts and keep the warm in

Have at least one hot meal a day 
eating regularly helps to keep you warm; and make sure you have lots of hot drinks

 

Make sure you are receiving all the help you are entitled to – Warm and Safe Wiltshire

 

Get advice from your pharmacist

Winter can make existing health problems worse, so if you feel you are coming down with something, even if it’s just a cough or cold, don’t wait until it gets worse – act quickly and get advice from a pharmacist.

Pharmacists are fully qualified to advise you on the best course of action when you start to feel unwell, and this can be the best and quickest way to help you recover and feel healthy.

Most pharmacies now have a private consultation area, so you can discuss your health issues in confidence and you don’t need to make an appointment.

 

Is your medicine cabinet fit for the winter?
Be prepared for common ailments by keeping a well stocked medicine cabinet at home.Always keep medicines out of the reach and sight of children

 

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Follow us

You can find Wiltshire CCG on social media – follow us and keep up to date with our latest news.

www.facebook.com/NHSWiltshireCCG www.twitter.com/NHSWiltshireCCG www.pinterest.com/NHSWiltshireCCG
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Small changes can help you and your loved ones stay well this winter

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is encouraging local people to follow eight simple steps to help them stay well over the winter months, as part of the national awareness week for Self Care.

Self Care Week runs from 13-19 November 2017 and focuses on helping people to help look after themselves better when it comes to their health.

Dr Lindsay Kinlin, a GP from The Avenue Surgery in Warminster, said:
 “Self care is about taking responsibility for your health and we’re encouraging Wiltshire people to make small changes to help them and their families to stay well over the festive period.”

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s eight self care tips for Winter are:

S – see your pharmacist at the first sign of illness

Pharmacists are not only medicine experts, they can also offer advice and information on a range of minor illnesses and injuries. If you start to feel unwell this winter, even if it is just a cough or cold, get advice from your pharmacist before it gets more serious.

E – eat plenty of fruit and vegetables

A healthy diet is vital for your wellbeing, so try and eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

L – learn more about around the clock healthcare services in Wiltshire

In Wiltshire there are many options available for when you need medical advice and treatment. Consider all of the choices available to help you make the right decision about where to go.

F – find out if you’re eligible for a free flu vaccine

People who are eligible include those who are aged over 65 years, pregnant women, anyone who is the main carer for another person or who is in receipt of Carers’ Allowance, and those with a long-term condition such as diabetes or asthma. Children between the ages of two and eight years old are also eligible for the free nasal vaccination, which is quick, harmless and the best way to protect against catching flu this winter.

C – check in on your neighbours

Winter can be dangerous for elderly people, so checking they have enough supplies will mean they don’t need to go out in bad weather.

A – arrange to pick up your prescription

Many pharmacies and GP surgeries will be closed or have reduced working hours over the festive period. If you require a repeat prescription, make sure you order it in plenty of time.

R – restock your medicine cabinet

Looking after yourself when you’re feeling under the weather with a minor illness is easy if you already have a medicine cabinet stocked with painkillers, oral rehydration salts, anti-diarrhoea tables, antihistamines, indigestion treatments and a first aid kit.

E – ensure you stay warm

Cold weather can be very harmful and increase the risk of heart attacks, stroke and chest infections. Try and heat your home to at least 18°C and have a least one hot meal a day to stay warm.

Dr Kinlin continues,
”During winter our health services are put under a lot of pressure. By taking personal responsibility for our health and following our self care tips, we can help to free up valuable practitioner time, allowing us to focus on those people who need us the most.”

Find out more about small changes you can make to stay well this winter by visiting www.wiltshireccg,nhs.uk

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Protect your unborn baby this winter with a free flu jab

The immune system is naturally lower during pregnancy, so if you were to catch the flu it could become serious very quickly.  Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is encouraging all pregnant women to get the free flu vaccination this winter.

Flu can cause many complications during pregnancy, particularly in the later stages and in some cases it can lead to still birth or death in the first week of life.

Dr Lindsay Kinlin, GP at the Avenue Surgery in Warminster said,
“Flu can make otherwise healthy people feel very poorly and I would urge any lady who is pregnant to get the flu vaccination as soon as possible.  During pregnancy a women’s immune system is naturally lower to ensure that the pregnancy is successful.  As a result, pregnant women are less able to fight off infections and therefore more likely to be seriously ill if they contract the flu virus.”

The flu vaccination is the best protection against flu.  It is recommended during any stage in pregnancy, from the first few weeks through to the due date.  Keeping fit and healthy in pregnancy is important for your baby’s growth and development.

Women who have had the flu vaccine while pregnant also pass some protection on to their babies, which lasts for the first few months of their lives.

Dr Kinlin, added,
“Even if you have had the flu vaccination in previous years it is important to get it again because the type of virus in circulation changes every year, so the vaccine changes too.”

If you are pregnant, you are eligible for the flu vaccination free of charge.  It’s free because you need it.

Ask your midwife or GP about the flu vaccination now.  You can book an appointment at your GP practice or visit your local pharmacy.