Welcome to February’s edition of ‘in touch’.
In this issue we’re excited to tell you about a new Children and Adolescent Mental Health service that starts on 1 April. Over 200 people across Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset and Swindon helped to shape the service which will support young people aged 0-18 years.
NHS England is working with NHS Clinical Commissioners on a public consultation to reduce prescribing of over the counter medicines for minor, short-term health concerns. Drugs like paracetamol can cost the NHS up to three times more on prescription than if patients bought them directly from a supermarket. The results from the consultation will inform national guidance on how such drugs are available in the future. What are your thoughts on buying some medication over the counter? Share your views by completing the survey.
Over the coming months we’ll be focusing on cancer types and the common signs to look out for.
It’s very easy to ignore symptoms and put off going to see your doctor, but if you are worried you should book an appointment with your doctor straight away.
It may not be anything serious, but if it is cancer it’s important to find it early. See below for the campaigns we’re highlighting in this edition.
While Winter hasn’t quite left us yet the days are gradually getting longer and the sun is starting to brighten up our skies – Spring is nearly here!
Back to top
In the news!
New service to support children and young people with their emotional wellbeing
The views of over 200 individuals from across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire have helped shape a modern service for children and young people with emotional wellbeing and mental health problems.
The new Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) service starts on 1 April 2018 and will be delivered by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. The service be providing targeted and specialist mental health and wellbeing support to children and young people aged 0-18 years, which includes having timely access to an integrated system of co-ordinated and effective promotion, prevention, early intervention and community support and treatment.
Ted Wilson, Director of Community Services and Joint Commissioning for Wiltshire CCG said: “With valuable input from young people across Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset and Swindon we have commissioned a mental health service that will better suit their needs, be easier for them to access and will provide improved advice and support.”
National Survey shows improvements in women’s experiences of maternity care
Most women are having a positive experience of maternity care and treatment with the NHS, according to a survey of more than 18,000 people in England.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) survey results reveal responses from women who had given birth in February 2017 in services run by 130 NHS trusts across the country.
Women were asked questions about all aspects of their maternity care from the first time they saw a clinician or midwife, during labour and birth, through to the care provided at home in the weeks following the arrival of their baby. The results highlighted improvements in areas such as choice on where to give birth, quality of information and access to help and support after giving birth.
The full results for England as well as individual results for each trust are available on the CQC’s website.
Back to top..
Focus on cancer!
More than one in three people in England will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime.
Cancer can start almost anywhere in the human body, which is made up of trillions of cells. Normally cells grow and divide to form new cells when the body needs them. When cancer develops, old or damaged cells survive when they should die, and new cells form when they are not needed. These extra cells can divide without stopping and may form growths called tumours. These cancerous cells can invade and destroy surrounding healthy tissue, including organs.
There are more than 200 different types of cancer, and each one is diagnosed and treated in a particular way. The four most common types of cancer diagnosed in England are:
Spotting the signs
It is important to be aware of any unexplained changes to your body. If you notice any changes to your body’s normal processes or unusual, unexplained symptoms – such as the sudden appearance of a lump, blood in your urine, or a change to your usual bowel habits, it’s important to see your doctor so they can investigate. The chances are it is nothing serious, but it might be something that needs attention and if diagnosed earlier, treatment can be a lot more successful.
Click here for more information on cancer and spotting the signs and symptoms.
We’re helping to raise awareness of cancer, so keep an eye out for information on the following campaigns in the next few issues of ‘in touch’:
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
In the UK, about one in eight men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives.
Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
Ovarian cancer is the biggest gynaecological killer of UK women, as most women are diagnosed once the cancer has spread which makes treatment more challenging.
Be clear on cancer – breast cancer in women over 70
In England, one in three women who get breast cancer are aged 70 or over.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in England with around 44,300 women diagnosed each year, of which around 13,500 (a third) are aged 70 and over. The older you are – the more likely you are to get it.
This campaign aims to get more women with breast cancer diagnosed at an early stage by raising awareness of the symptoms so it’s important to get to know how your breasts look and feel normally, so that you will find it easier to spot something unusual.
A lump isn’t the only sign of breast cancer. If you do notice any changes to your breast you should make an appointment to see your doctor straight away. It might not be anything serious, but if it is, getting a diagnosis early can make a real difference.
Back to top…
Have your say!
Conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care
NHS England has launched a public consultation on reducing prescribing of over-the-counter medicines for 33 minor, short-term health concerns.
From June 2016 until June 2017 the NHS spent approximately £569 million on prescriptions for medicines which could have been purchased over the counter from a pharmacy, or other outlets such as a supermarket.
These prescriptions include items for a condition:
- That is considered to be self-limiting and so does not need treatment as it will heal of its own accord;
- Which lends itself to self-care, i.e. that the person suffering does not normally need to seek medical care but may decide to seek help with symptom relief from a local pharmacy and use an over the counter medicine
NHS England has partnered with NHS Clinical Commissioners to carry out the consultation, which is intended to help produce a national framework for CCGs to use.
The consultation is seeking your views on the proposals and is open until 14 March 2018.
Back to top..
Know the signs of a stroke and act F.A.S.T.
We are encouraging you to learn the F.A.S.T. test to help you identify the early signs of a stroke and save more lives.
The F.A.S.T. test identifies the three most common symptoms of a stroke and the right action to take:
Face: Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
Arms: Can the person raise both arms?
Speech: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you are saying?
Time: call 999
If you recognise any single one of these symptoms of stroke, in yourself or others – CALL 999 straightaway. The sooner somebody who is having a stroke gets urgent medical attention, the better their chances of a good recovery.
Your pharmacy can help!
Your pharmacy team can help you with minor health concerns. Visit our website to find out where your nearest pharmacy is: http://www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk/local-services/pharmacies
Community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are qualified healthcare professionals who can offer clinical advice and over the counter medicines to effectively and safely manage a range of minor health concerns.
- Sore throats
- Tummy troubles
Every pharmacist is trained in managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice, so they are the right person to see for minor health concerns.
With over 12,000 pharmacies open every day of the week in England, and many offering extended opening hours in the evenings and weekends, it is easy to find a pharmacy close to you.
Pharmacists are healthcare experts who can give you clinical advice, right there and then, and if your symptoms are more serious, they can ensure you get the help you need...
You can find Wiltshire CCG on social media – follow us and keep up to date with our latest news.
Back to top