Work being carried out at Southgate House

Wiltshire CCG would like to announce that NSH Property Services will be working in Southgate House, Pans Lane after normal working hours for one week beginning on Monday 22 January 2018.

Contractors are likely to be on site until 2.30am daily and whilst this work is being carried out noise will be kept to a minimum.

Update from NHS National Emergency Pressure Panel

NHS England has issued guidance in line with the new Winter Pressures Protocol.  The guidance, which is issued to hospitals, extends the deferral of all non-urgent inpatient elective care to free up capacity for the sickest patients to January 31. The panel reiterated that cancer operations and time-critical procedures should go ahead as planned.  Over and above this, day-case procedures and routine outpatient appointments should also be deferred where this will release clinical time for non-elective care.

Read the official letter from Pauline Philip, National Director, Urgent and Emergency Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement to systems, and the press  statement from the National Emergency Pressure Panel which was issued to media.

 

Accessing healthcare in Wiltshire over the Christmas bank holiday

With some health services closing for a few days over the bank holiday, it’s vital that people who need help from NHS services get the advice they need from the right person, in the right place, at the right time.

Ask your pharmacist
Pharmacists are experts in many areas of healthcare and can offer advice on a wide range of long term conditions and common illnesses such as coughs, colds and stomach upsets. You don’t need an appointment to see a pharmacist and many have private consultation areas, so they are a good first port of call if you’re feeling unwell. Your pharmacist will tell you if you need further medical attention.
Call 111
If your GP surgery is closed and you’re not sure where to go then you should make a free phone call to NHS 111, which is available 24/7. An adviser will ask you questions to assess your symptoms and then give you the advice you need, or direct you to the best service for you in your area.
A&E and 999 are for life threatening emergencies
A&E departments and the ambulance service are for life threatening emergencies such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attacks, breathing difficulties or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped. A&E is likely to be extremely busy over the holidays with long waiting times, so please call NHS 111 for advice first if you are not sure where to go.

Your local services

Opening times for your local GP and pharmacy services are available below. Please note that these times are subject to change.

Pharmacies

Bradford on Avon/Devizes/Melksham/Trowbridge/Warminster/Westbury
Salisbury/Tidworth/Wilton/Mere/Tisbury
Corsham/Calne/Chippenham/Malmesbury/Cricklade/Marlborough/Pewsey/Purton/Royal Wootton Bassett

GP Surgeries

GP Surgeries opening times

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.

This 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.

Dr Chet Sheth, spokesperson for Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group and GP at Three Chequers Medical Practice comments:
“We understand how worrying it is for parents to have a sick child, even more so when local GP surgeries are closed. Often the default for parents is to take their poorly child to A&E. This isn’t always the best place for them and quite often it’s local community health advice and treatment that is needed. “This new out of hours service is designed to reduce some of the pressure seen at A&E over the winter months and to provide parents with accessible, local, health advice and treatment for their child.”

Parents should ring 111 to access the service. If necessary, the call handler will then advise parents to contact the Salisbury Walk In Health Centre to make a same day appointment.

The Salisbury Walk in Centre can be found at Avon Approach, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 3SL. 

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 traditionally pressured winter period.

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is 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 CCG is also concerned about the increasing number of patients who are referred for cancer investigations who are declining, or choosing to postpone their appointments and assessments.

Dr Christine Blanshard, Medical Director for Salisbury Hospital  explains:
“We are asking patients to help us by helping themselves and ensuring they are fit, willing and able this winter, so that we can continue to deliver a high quality service. “When patients are not at their optimum health, do not attend their appointments, or decline the dates that we offer it wastes the time of our ever-stretched doctors and nurses. It’s important that our patients who are referred understand the requirements of them.   “During 2016/17, 23,493 outpatient appointments were missed across Salisbury Foundation Trust, Royal United Hospital in Bath and Great Western Hospital in Swindon. Between April – June 2017, 5,835 patients failed to turn up to, or declined appointments and planned surgery dates, suggesting a similar trend to the previous year.”
Dr Andy Hall from The Orchard Partnership in Fovant explains:
“With people living longer and with more complex conditions such as cancer, patient referrals for specialist health care are at an all-time high. “When referred patients do not to turn up to their appointments, or decide to postpone their outpatient appointment, or surgery it can have a detrimental effect on their current and future health – and that is our primary concern. “We recently clinically reviewed the number of patients who had been referred to hospital for potential cancer investigations who had chosen to delay their appointment. We were very worried by the high numbers and want to ensure patients understand the importance of attending.”

Wiltshire CCG has worked with clinicians to develop the ‘fit, willing and able’ campaign to help patients understand the importance of attending their appointments, particularly for patients who are referred with symptoms that could indicate cancer.

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

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, Clinical Chair for Wiltshire CCG, explains:
“As we enter the winter period, which is notoriously challenging for the NHS nationwide, we want to help patients to have the best experience with their specialist care; at the same time as ensuring we are using our resources as efficiently as possible. “Our fit, willing and able campaign aims to ensure referred patients can and do attend their planned appointments. By helping patients to be fit for treatment, clarifying their willingness to have surgery early in the process and by being able to attend their appointments we can deliver a smooth service and help to minimise the impact of winter pressures.”

Increased emergency admittances to hospital over the winter have a knock-on effect to those patients who have been referred and have pre-planned appointments.

For more information, please visit www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk

Prescription Ordering Direct service

The Prescription Ordering Direct service is new and we completely understand that people are concerned when they can’t get through to the service. 

We also apologise for the deep frustration people feel.  We are taking extraordinarily high numbers of calls currently – up to 900 calls a day, and we ask people to please be patient while they are waiting to talk to a trained prescription coordinator.  Orders are currently taking longer than usual to process because people are ringing to order their medication to cover the Christmas period.

Your call WILL  be dealt with, so please do keep trying.  We are currently training more coordinators so that we are able to manage the high levels of calls and to help cut the time that people are waiting. 

The prescription ordering direct service was introduced in April this year, as a way to help patients order only the repeat medication that they need.

The service is currently being provided from 7 surgeries in Wiltshire:

  • Lovemead Group Practice, Trowbridge
  • Giffords Surgery, Melksham
  • Castle Practice, Tidworth
  • White Horse Health Centre, Westbury
  • Avenue Surgery, Warminster
  • Tinkers Lane Surgery, Royal Wootton Bassett
  • New Court Surgery, Royal Wootton Bassett

There is no need to register to use the service.   Patients just call the POD when they have 7 days of medication left.  For those patients who are unable to ring to use this service, they can order their repeat medication using the online service offered by their GP practice, or alternatively they can speak to a member of staff at their GP practice who will discuss with them other ways they can order their medication.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about the service.

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.”

 

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

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.

Keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home this winter 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 Andy Hall from The Orchard Partnership in Fovant 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

Sunburn can happen at any time of year, so keep some suncream of at least factor 15, with UVA protection. Exposure to the sun can cause sunburn and increase your risk of cancer

Dr Andy Hall 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.

Listen to your doctor and only take antibiotics when you need to, advises Wiltshire CCG

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting the national ‘Keep antibiotics working campaign’ to highlight the risk associated with taking antibiotics when you don’t need them and are encouraging patients to listen to the medical advice from their doctor.

Taking antibiotics encourages bacteria that live inside you to become resistant, meaning the antibiotics may not work when you really need them to and can put your family at risk of a more severe or longer illness.

Professor Michael Moore, GP and researcher at Three Chequers Surgery in Salisbury said:
“Antibiotics are essential to treat serious bacterial infections, such as pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis. But they are also frequently being used to treat illnesses, such as coughs, colds and sore throats that can get better by themselves or by using over the counter medication that you can get from your pharmacy.”

Research has shown that GPs are experiencing enormous pressure from patients to prescribe them a course of antibiotics to show they are taking their health condition seriously.  In Wiltshire 294,365 antibiotics tablets, capsules and bottles were prescribed during 2016 costing the NHS £1,314,230.

Professor Moore added:
Without urgent action, common infections, minor injuries and routine operations will become far riskier.  Conditions like kidney infections and pneumonia have already started to become untreatable.”

It is estimated that at least 5,000 deaths are caused every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for some infections and this figure is set to rise with experts predicting that in just over 30 years antibiotic resistance will kill more people than cancer and diabetes combined.

Rachel Hobson, Formulary Pharmacist for Wiltshire CCG said:
“We are working closely with our GPs to help reduce inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics so that patients who need antibiotics are getting the right dose, at the right time, for the right condition.  We are asking for you to play your part by trusting your doctor, nurse or pharmacist’s advice as to when you need to take antibiotics.”

If you are prescribed antibiotics, you should take them as instructed, finish the course, never save them for later use or share them with others. For more information on keeping antibiotics working, visit the campaign page on our website: www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk

Don’t put off getting your flu jab – it’s free because you need it

Health leaders across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) are urging people not to delay getting their flu jab if they are eligible for a free vaccination this winter.

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.

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, a Wiltshire GP and the Clinical Chair of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“If you or someone close to you falls into one of the ‘at risk’ categories, the flu vaccination is free because you, or they, really do need it.

“Flu is an unpredictable virus that can cause mild our unpleasant illness in most people, but it can cause severe illness and even death among vulnerable groups. We strongly encourage you to take up the offer of a free flu vaccination so you are protected against flu this winter.’ 

This year, there is a particular emphasis in the BSW Sustainability and Transformation Partnership on carers taking up the offer of a free flu vaccination. A carer is someone of any age who looks after an elderly person or someone with a disability.

Rosie, a carer and former trustee of the Bath and North East Somerset carer Carers’ Centre. said:

“Caring is an incredibly serious role and carers provide an invaluable service to the community,’

“They care for family members and friends who may be elderly, disabled or have a serious long-term condition and it is vital that they look after their own health as well as the health of the person they care for,’

“One winter I fell really ill, which made me very anxious that I might not be able to fulfil my caring role. So I urge anyone in a caring capacity to protect yourself this winter and have the free flu vaccination without delay.’

Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious complications if you have a long-term health condition like bronchitis or liver disease. It can also cause serious complications for both mother and baby if pregnant women catch it. The flu jab is the safest way to protect yourself from illness this winter – however healthy you might otherwise feel.

If you are eligible or want to check whether you or someone close to you is, contact your GP, midwife or usual healthcare provider. Some pharmacies are also able to provide the flu vaccination to certain eligible groups. Visit www.nhs.uk/staywell/ for more information.

Castle Practice staff have their flu jab to protect themselves and others this winter

Staff at Castle Practice surgery in Ludgershall are preparing for winter by having the flu jab and helping to protect themselves and their patients against from catching the winter illness.

Dr Toby Davies, GP at Castle Practice said:
“We have a duty to safeguard our patients, and the best way we can do that during winter is to have the flu vaccination. That way we are protecting ourselves from catching flu and at the same time helping to protect our patients, friends and families.”

Flu, short for influenza, is a common infectious viral illness that is spread by coughs and sneezes. Many people who catch it will begin to feel better within a week, but for some it can be more serious.

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, Chairman of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) added:
“Flu is not just a bad cold – it can be a really serious illness for some people and it doesn’t just affect older people.

The flu vaccine is the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus, especially for those most at risk, including pregnant women, young children and those with long term conditions, such as severe asthma, chest or heart complaints and diabetes. We urge those in high risk groups to have their flu vaccination now, it’s free and you can arrange to have it at your GP Surgery or see if your pharmacist is providing the flu vaccination service.”

Those in the high risk group are eligible for a free flu vaccination and include:

  • Children aged two and three
  • Pregnant women
  • Adults aged 65 years and older
  • Anyone with a long term condition
  • Those in long-stay residential care homes and carers

The flu vaccine changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu, so if you had a jab last winter you will need another one this year to stay flu safe.

Dr Sandford-Hill added:
“Winter flu is a highly infectious disease with symptoms that come on very quickly. Having the vaccination is a quick and simple procedure with minimal or no side effects and provides you with effective protection against the flu virus.

If everyone has the flu vaccination, we collectively help to protect each other from the virus and reduce the spread between our families, friends and colleagues.”