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