OTHER INFORMATION & ACTIVITES
Patient Newsletter February 2022
Welcome to the practice newsletter. In it you will find some useful information, especially if you are not able to use a computer. However, there are references to important websites and it might be useful if you have a friend or relative who could gain access to the relevant information for you.
There are 12 main symptoms of breast cancer. When we talk about the changes you might see in your breast that we would be concerned about, they can be quite difficult to visualise. Know Your Lemons Foundation has a fantastic guide using lemons to clearly demonstrate changes you should see your GP about.
Men can get breast cancer too, although it is much less common than in women. Breast cancer in men appears in the small amount of breast tissue behind the nipple. If you are concerned about a lump, discharge or other symptom, or have a family history of breast cancer, you should speak to your GP.
March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Age, location and ethnic origin should not be reasons for different outcomes from an ovarian cancer diagnosis. 24% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are in their 70s and, for some, this will mean they are not offered surgery, despite this delivering the best long-term prognosis.
There are many symptoms of ovarian cancer, some of the most common are:
A swollen tummy or feeling bloated
Pain or tenderness in the tummy or area between the hips (pelvis)
No appetite or feeling full very quickly after eating
An urgent need to pee or having to pee more often
If you’re experiencing symptoms, you should make an appointment to see your GP.
A family history of cancer can mean that you should receive genetic testing for certain genetic mutations that result in an increased risk of cancer. This could be important for you or for your children or siblings. Mutations like BRCA-1, BRCA-2 and Lynch syndrome can increase your likelihood of ovarian and other cancers. Ovarian Cancer Action has a risk tool that can help you to understand your risk.
Around one in eight men in the UK will get prostate cancer in their lifetime. Think about how many men you care about as friends and family might be affected. March the month is about hitting 11,000 steps a day, each day, in March to represent the 11,000 men who die of the condition each year in the UK.
Your risk of prostate cancer increases if you are over 50, black or have a family history of prostate cancer. If you are a trans-woman or non-binary, your risk may differ. You can check what your risk is using this tool from Prostate Cancer UK.
78% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer will survive for at least ten years after diagnosis. Early diagnosis greatly improves outcomes. If you are at increased risk, it’s important to talk to your GP about it.
Keeping Patients and NHS Staff Safe – Just Think NHS 111 First
The NHS has introduced a new system for people needing urgent medical care when it is not a “life or limb threatening” 999 emergency.
If you have an urgent medical problem or you’re not sure what to do, just call NHS 111 first and they’ll make sure you get to the best place for you to be seen safely and quickly.
In mid and south Essex our NHS 111 team has access to clinical experts and if you need to visit the emergency department (A&E) they can book you a time slot when you should attend.
They’ll also let the hospital know when you’re coming. This means you could avoid a lengthy wait in the waiting room and be seen more quickly.
Calling NHS 111 first could mean some people do not need to visit A&E at all.
Their needs could be met by visiting a pharmacy or arranging an appointment at their GP practice. The NHS 111 team will advise on the right thing to do.
And if you’ve arrived at the emergency department without contacting NHS 111 first, you will still be seen, but you may have to wait longer unless you need immediate treatment.
Urgent and emergency mental health services
New 24/7 crisis mental health phone line
A new 24-hour phone service for people experiencing mental health crisis is now live across Essex.
If you are in mental health crisis you should call 111 and select the option for mental health crisis.
South West Essex - Connect Health (Integrated Muskuloskeletal Service)
Self-Referral to Local Services - Physiotherapy, Rheumatology, PhysioLine, Pain Service, 1:1 Rehab, Hand Therapy, Group Classes, CATS
We are an independent voice for the people of Essex. We gather and represent your views about health and care services in the county to help shape them. We are an independent charity set up under the Health & Social Care Act 2012 and proud hosts to the Essex Neurology Network.
We can also help you find out about and access health and social care services through our Information & Signposting Service. Call 0300 500 1895, text 07712395398 or between 10am and 2pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, use our live chat facility. Outside of those times, you can use it to leave us a message.
SNAP - Special Needs and Parents
You might like to see our latest edition of our SNAP Matters magazine for families, professionals and supporters. It’s a great read about everything SNAP, from how we have been supporting families during lockdown, to upcoming events and fantastic fundraising. It’s packed full of all your SNAP news.
Inside this issue:
* Our mix of online and SNAP Centre activities.
* External Evaluation gives big thumbs up to SNAP.
* Feature on support during key transition times.
* SNAP looking for family trustees to help shape the future.
* Upcoming Specialist Talks.
* Individual session helping with isolation.
* Family fundraisers march-ing to make a difference.
* Communitea... Golf Day... SNAP Ball are all on the fundraising calendar.
Children & Young People Mental Health & Wellbeing Guide to Services
Street Tag - Online Exercise
Basildon Council have partnered with Street Tag to keep the local community moving. Street Tag is a family friendly app rewarding friends, families and individuals for being active. Gain points every time you go for a walk, run, bike ride and move up your local leader board!
Therapy In Musical Therapy
As many of us are locked down and looking for activities to engage in, we wanted to let you know about some resources we have created, that are a source of fun, creative and rewarding activities, you may wish to undertake.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to play the guitar? Well.. One of our instructors has created a complete beginners guide - with no experience necessary. It is open to all ages and is suitable for both acoustic and electric guitar. The entire course can currently be purchased for £13.99. With nearly 3 hours of classes included, this is a great deal - and works out even cheaper than an actual guitar lesson! It can be found here:
Would you like to create your own music? Our instructors guide to using the software programme - ‘Garageband’ - is the perfect route in to this! Garageband is highly accessible, easy to use and comes free with Mac. Check out the class here:
TIME also have an active YouTube channel, which hosts a wide variety of material. There are feel good music and movement tracks for a younger audience, that you can follow along with, such as ‘Happy and You Know It’ and 'Head Shoulders Knees & Toes’ - plus live performances of well known tracks for people of all ages that span a variety of styles and decades, including ‘Hound Dog’, ‘You Got A Friend In Me’, ‘Can’t Wait To Be King’, ‘Dance With Me Tonight’ and many more!
For those of you who are feeling the need for relaxation - we have composed and created an ambient playlist called 'Time To Reflect’. You can find it here:
Lastly - we are hosting a weekly stream via Zoom and our Facebook page every Monday from 6-7pm. This was initially to replace our physical disability club night that operated at The Edge Bar in Basildon. However, the online stream has blossomed in to a beautiful community that has seen many new faces join us. We host live performances, promote arts and crafts ideas, share information on mental health services and generally provide a safe space for essential social inclusion. Please see the flyer attached to this email for further information.
We hope each and every one of you are safe and well! And we look forward to hopefully seeing you very soon.
All the best,
Marc, Mike & Rob
Vita Health - Virtual Reality Needle Phobia Treatment
It’s the jab, not the Covid vaccine that you fear.
Do you live in Basildon and Brentwood?
Do you have a needle phobia?
Are you wanting the COVID vaccine, but fear the jab?
Free NHS service
In the last few years, Virtual Reality (VR) has have shown great clinical efficiency in the treatment of specific phobias. VR provides the ideal context to play the situations feared, in a controlled safe way. In the case needle phobia, for instance, these technologies allow for an injection to be carried out using virtual reality to allow the patient to work through their fear in a controlled and safe environment with their therapist. With Every Adult in the UK being offered the Covid vaccine, we understand there is a need, now more than ever for people with needle phobia to have the support to get the vaccine.
- Initial assessment will be offered to discuss your needle phobia and treatment options.
- Following assessment 3 x 90 minute sessions will be offered at home.
- Booster session can be arranged prior to vaccine date.
During your initial session information about needle phobia is provided and an assessment of the origin, maintenance and anxiety response explored. Treatment techniques will be discussed and agreed with you, this may be using virtual reality and or applied tension techniques.
VR goggles will be sent to you and your sessions will be delivered remotely so you can attend from the comfort of your own home.
Up to 10% of people in the UK have a needle phobia.
Get in touch - If you feel you would benefit, you can self-refer by calling us on call 01268 977171.
Children's Health and Wellbeing
Lockdown has proved challenging for many parents, and making sure your children are eating a well-balanced diet seems like it should be one of the easier things to manage. But it isn’t quite as simple as you might first think. Children have different nutritional needs at different ages and what worked well for your toddler might not work too well for your older child. https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/lifestages/children.html
Parents and carers can find some conversations with children difficult. The NSPCC have brilliant advice about how to talk to your children about some of the more difficult subjects in life. https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/support-for-parents/talking-about-difficult-topics/
With children spending more time than ever online, have you talked to your child about how to stay safe online? In much the same way that children can work the DVD remote more easily than we can, they learn quickly online too, and we need to make sure they understand the potential dangers. https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/
Teens often find it difficult to talk about their worries, especially if they think it’s embarrassing. Health for Teens has a brilliant site full of useful information about health concerns and other worries that teens face on a day-to-day basis. https://www.healthforteens.co.u
SWAN Transform and Achieve
Looking for work?
Are you Unemployed?
Have you been looking for work for a while or been affected by Covid-19 over the last year?
Swan Housing are working in partnership with the Beechwood Village Community Trust and Transform and Achieve Team. See the link below:
If you’re aged 14 or over and are on our Learning Disability Register, we’d like to see you at least once a year for a check-up, and to see how you’re getting on. If you think you should be on our register but aren’t sure if you are, just give us a call and we will have a look for you. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/learning-disabilities/annual-health-checks/
If you’ve received an invitation for a health check because you or someone you care for has a learning disability, please make sure you attend so we can check your general health and make sure you’re feeling well. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/learning-disabilities/annual-health-checks/
Group B Strep in pregnancy and babies
Could your baby be at risk from a Group B Strep infection? For more information about the prevention, symptoms and treatment of GBS in pregnancy and newborn babies, take a look at this helpful page:
Most early-onset Group B Strep infections can be prevented. Carrying GBS has no symptoms, so testing is the only way to find out if you’re carrying the bacteria. Some patients will be offered an ECM (Enriched Culture Medium) test for free with the NHS, or you can order a DIY test kit privately. Follow this link for more information about why and when to test for GBS:
1 in 7 men suffer domestic abuse in their lifetime. Domestic abuse doesn’t always mean physical violence; it also covers coercive and controlling behaviour, including psychological and emotional control. The @ManKindInitiative has more information on types of abuse, signs to look out for and someone to talk to if you or someone you know is suffering. https://www.mankind.org.uk/help-for-victims/types-of-domestic-abuse/
Could you be at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes? Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Fortunately, preventing Type 2 is easy; use the NHS website Type 2 Diabetes risk checker tool to see if you could be at risk today.
If you’re aged 16/17 years old and are looking to expand your boundaries, the National Citizenship Service (NCS) programme could be the perfect experience for you. Meet new people, learn new skills and find your passion. Follow this link to the NCS website to discover more:
2 x 100 calorie snacks
Keeping to two snacks a day at 100 calories can be hard for parents when feeding their growing children. Try these quick and easy snack ideas from Change4Life to keep your children happy and healthy.
KOOTH mental health support
1 in 5 children and young people suffer from mental health problems in any given year. Kooth is a site that aims to provide children and young people with a safe space to explore their concerns and seek professional support anonymously.
Almost 3 million people in the UK are estimated to have osteoporosis, but worryingly few people know they have it until they break a bone. To learn more about the symptoms and treatment of osteoporosis, you can read this helpful page from Age UK: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/conditions-illnesses/osteoporosis/
More than 300,000 fractures occur every year due to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease characterised by weak bones with low or decreasing bone mass. Symptoms can include:
- Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
- Loss of height over time
- A stooped posture
- A bone that breaks easier than expected
If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, please contact your GP. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/osteoporosis/
400/600/600 calorie rule
Public Health England suggests aiming for 400 calories for breakfast and 600 for lunch and dinner to assist you in leading a healthier lifestyle. For more tips on how to eat better, read this helpful page from their ‘One You’ campaign: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/eat-better/#txIWELci7u3AOvOS.97
How Are You? Public Health England has designed a personalised health assessment tool to help point you toward a healthier lifestyle. You can try it today by using this link: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/how-are-you-quiz/
Struggling to cope with everyday life looks and feels different for everyone. If you’re worried about yourself or someone else, this helpful information from the Samaritans can help you decide how to take action: https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/if-youre-worried-about-someone-else/
Shingles is an infection that causes a painful rash. Symptoms can include: a tingling or painful feeling in an area of skin and a headache or feeling generally unwell. Get advice from 111 as soon as possible if you think you have it. You can find out more on this page from the NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/shingles/
Meningitis is an infection of the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It can affect anyone but is most common in babies, young children, teenagers and young adults. Many vaccinations are available that offer some protection against meningitis. Read this page from the NHS website for more information about the available vaccinations against meningitis: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/meningitis/vaccination/
Losing bone is a normal part of ageing, but some people lose bone much faster, leading to an increased risk of broken bones and osteoporosis.
If you’re at risk of developing osteoporosis, you can take steps to help keep your bones healthy. Regular exercise, healthy eating and making lifestyle changes – such as giving up smoking and reducing alcohol consumption can help to keep your bones healthy.
You can find more information from the @NHSwebsite https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/osteoporosis/
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones lose their strength and are more likely to break, usually following a minor bump or fall. Women are more susceptible to osteoporosis due to hormone changes after menopause which affect their bone health.
Find out if you could be at risk by reading this helpful page from the Royal College of Nursing: https://www.rcn.org.uk/clinical-topics/womens-health/osteoporosis
Impotence becomes more common with increasing age. 50–55% of men between the ages of 40 and 70 experience erectile dysfunction. Many factors can cause erectile dysfunction, which can have a gradual or sudden onset. It might feel uncomfortable discussing this with your doctor, but our GPs are always happy to listen.
Erectile dysfunction can be a sign of other illnesses such as heart disease or diabetes, so seeking medical advice is essential. This helpful page from the NHS has more information: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/erection-problems-erectile-dysfunction/
Leading a healthy lifestyle can dramatically improve erectile dysfunction – for example, eating a healthy diet, reducing alcohol intake, losing weight and increasing your levels of exercise. Find out more about erectile dysfunction prevention, causes and treatments on this helpful page from the British Association of Urological Surgeons: https://www.baus.org.uk/patients/conditions/3/erectile_dysfunction_impotence/
Children's Eye Health and Safety
Although serious vision problems during childhood are rare, routine eye checks are advised for newborn babies and young children to identify issues early on. The sooner any eye problem is found, the sooner you and your child will be able to get any treatment and support necessary. This page from the @NHSWebsite has more information: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/eye-tests-in-children/
Many different eye problems can be discovered during eye tests, including childhood cataracts, lazy eyes and astigmatism.
Signs of a possible eye problem can include:
- Reading difficulty
- Eyes not looking in the same direction
If your child has any of these symptoms, contact your GP or an optician for advice and assessment. https://www.aop.org.uk/advice-and-support/for-patients/childrens-eye-health/why-vision-matters
Eye injuries caused by something getting into the eye can vary in severity. Some foreign objects may cut or penetrate the eye and require medical help quickly; others may be rinsed out. This page from St John Ambulance has more information on first aid for eye injuries: https://www.sja.org.uk/get-advice/first-aid-advice/minor-illnesses-and-injuries/eye-injuries/
If your child gets something in their eye:
- Advise them not to rub their eye
- Sit them down facing a light, stand behind them and gently open their eyelids with your thumbs
- Ask them to look right, left, up and down as you look closely at the eye
If you can see something, tip their head backwards and wash it out by pouring clean water from the inner corner from a clean glass or jug.
If the object isn’t easy to remove or the eye is very painful, seek medical advice.
You can learn more from this video from St John Ambulance: https://youtu.be/PHrrxe3p8vw
There are an estimated 13,000 deaths per year as a result of past exposure to harmful working conditions. Accidents are a leading preventable cause of death, serious injury and long-term disability. Find out more about the accident prevention strategy from RoSPA with this short video: https://youtu.be/Jlu46klpSeQ
RoSPA plays a unique role in UK health and safety, providing services and support to help organisations on their journey to becoming safer and healthier places in which to work. Their National Accident Prevention Strategy aims to prevent serious accidental injuries in England. https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/defa...ciety for the Prevention of Accidents WEB.pdf
Eating well means enjoying your food and having plenty of variety in your diet, so you get all the nutrients you need and maintain a healthy weight. Eating well doesn’t have to mean giving up the less healthy things you enjoy – it just means eating them in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. The Eatwell Guide shows you a way to ensure a balance of healthier and more sustainable food in your diet: https://assets.publishing.service.g.../file/742750/Eatwell_Guide_booklet_2018v4.pdf
Are you eating a balanced diet? Use the Eatwell Guide to help you get a balance of healthier and more sustainable food. It shows how much of what you eat overall should come from each food group. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-eatwell-guide/
If you’re finding it difficult to eat enough, you might find yourself feeling tired, depressed and low on energy. This is because you lack essential vitamins and minerals. Eating six small meals and snacks every day can be more beneficial than eating the traditional three meals a day for people who prefer eating smaller meals. https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/healthy-eating/healthy-eating-guide/
Food labels can help you see which foods are high in fat, salt and added sugars, as well as how many calories are in a product.
- Red means high levels: You should try to eat these less often and in small amounts.
- Amber means medium (neither high nor low amounts): You can eat these foods most of the time.
- Green means low: This is the healthier choice.
Diets high in fat, sugar and salt can put you at risk of developing common health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, obesity and tooth decay. Find out how to use food labels to keep a check on what you’re eating on the NHS Website.
Ovarian cancer, or cancer of the ovaries, is one of the most common types of cancer in women. Common symptoms of ovarian cancer include:
Feeling constantly bloated
A swollen tummy
Discomfort in your tummy or pelvic area
Feeling full quickly when eating
Needing to pee more often than usual
These symptoms are similar to those of some more common conditions, but if you’ve experienced persistent symptoms contact your GP. You can find more information on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ovarian-cancer/
Ovarian cancer comes about when abnormal cells in the ovary begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way and eventually form a growth or tumour. The risk of developing ovarian cancer depends on many things including age, genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors. You can find out more about the risks and potential protective factors on this helpful page from Cancer Research UK: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/ovarian-cancer/risks-causes
The risk of ovarian cancer increases steeply from around 45 years and is greatest in those aged between 75 and 79 years. If you or someone you know has been affected by ovarian cancer, the Ovacome Support Service offers one-to-one support and advice: https://www.ovacome.org.uk/support-line
Most men with early prostate cancer don’t have any signs or symptoms. But some things may mean you’re more likely to get prostate cancer, such as:
If you’re aged 50 or over
If your father or brother has had prostate cancer
If you’re black
Prostate Cancer UK has great information on tests and examinations that are available through your GP: https://prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information/prostate-tests/introduction-to-prostate-tests
One in eight men in the UK will get prostate cancer. There is currently no national screening programme for prostate cancer. Contact your GP if you think you may have, or be at risk of developing, prostate cancer and they’ll help you to make an informed decision. Cancer Research UK has more information on the symptoms of prostate cancer: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/prostate-cancer/symptoms
NSPCC - Let's Talk Pants
Talking about PANTS helps children to understand that their body belongs to them and that they should tell someone they trust if anything makes them feel upset or worried:
Privates are private
Always remember your body belongs to you
No means no
Talk about secrets that upset you
Speak up, someone can help
We all want to keep our children safe. You’ve probably already talked to them about things like crossing the road safely. But have you spoken to them about how to stay safe from sexual abuse? Talking PANTS with the NSPCC Pantosaurus can make an uncomfortable topic a little bit easier to understand. You can watch the video here: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/support-for-parents/pants-underwear-rule/
Young Person's Sexual Health
If you’re a young person looking for sexual health advice, Brook offers easily accessible free sexual health and wellbeing information. https://www.brook.org.uk
Growing up as a teenager is difficult, and no issue seems to cause more anxiety than the subject of sex. This helpful page from Childline provides information on consent, knowing if you’re ready and contraception:
Contraception is used to prevent pregnancy when having sex. There are loads of different contraceptive options so it’s really good to talk to someone at a family planning clinic or your GP to understand what will work best for you. For more information on what’s available, this page from the BBC offers some insight: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4QHmzwG8Q2yXVtSbmY6xTcl/contraception
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, affecting around six in every ten people with dementia in the UK. A common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is having problems remembering recent events or information. The @alzheimerssocietyuk provides lots of information on symptoms, prevention, treatment and support. https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/types-dementia/alzheimers-disease#content-start
Support is available for both carers and dementia patients. @alzheimerssocietyuk has choices of carers’ groups, memory cafes and day centres, enabling dementia patients to be part of a supportive community, and offering relief for carers who are caring for someone with dementia. https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/help-dementia-care
If someone you know is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and has problems with reasoning, thinking, language and perception, which cause changes in mood, anxiety, depression or frustration, @alzheimersreaearchuk provides lots of helpful information and support: https://www.alzheimersresearchuk.or...types-of-dementia/alzheimers-disease/support/
High cholesterol is when you have too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood. It’s mainly caused by an unhealthy diet, not exercising enough, smoking and drinking alcohol. Too much cholesterol can make you more likely to have heart problems or a stroke. This page from the NHS has some great information on how to control your cholesterol levels: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-cholesterol/
Having high cholesterol can increase your risk of heart and circulatory diseases such as heart attack, stroke and vascular dementia. You can lower your cholesterol levels by:
Eating a healthy, balanced diet
If you’re concerned about your cholesterol levels, your GP can measure your cholesterol levels and tell you how to control them.
We all need some cholesterol in our blood to stay healthy, but too much can lead to serious health problems in the future, including heart attacks and strokes. If you’re aged 40-74, you can ask for an NHS health check in England only, but similar schemes are available in other parts of the UK. For more information on high cholesterol and how to prevent it, take a look at this helpful page from the British Heart Foundation: https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/risk-factors/high-cholesterol
Stem Cell Donation
For some people, a stem cell transplant is the only hope of survival. There’s a continued need to recruit more donors, particularly people from African, African-Caribbean, Asian, Chinese, Jewish, Eastern European and Mediterranean communities. Find out more about joining the registry here: https://www.bbmr.co.uk/joining-the-register/
Vascular disease is caused by inflammation and weakness of the veins and arteries – and by the build-up of fatty deposits in the blood vessels. Over time, this can reduce blood flow to vital organs in the body, potentially causing a heart attack or stroke. The Circulation Foundation has more information on the symptoms and prevention of vascular disease. https://www.circulationfoundation.org.uk/help-advice
Bone Marrow Donation
A bone marrow transplant replaces damaged blood cells with healthy ones. It can be used to treat conditions affecting the blood cells, such as leukaemia and lymphoma. If you’re aged between 16 and 30 and in good health, you could be a lifesaving match for someone with blood cancer. This helpful page from the NHS explains more about how to become a donor and what happens when you are one: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stem-cell-transplant/
Leukaemia and Lymphoma
Blood cancers affect the production and function of blood cells. There are three main groups – leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. You can find out about the different types of blood cancer along with symptoms, diagnosis, treatments and how to cope here: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/blood-cancers
Get Britain Standing
On average, British people sit for 8.9 hours each day. A variety of major international research has produced compelling evidence to show that sitting for more than four hours each day can increase the risk of developing serious health problems. Calculate how much time you spend sitting and find out the health risks and solutions on the Get Britain Standing website: http://www.getbritainstanding.org
Type 2 Diabetes, Obesity and Activity Levels
Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition where the insulin your pancreas makes can’t work properly, or your pancreas can’t make enough insulin. You can find out more about Type 2 diabetes in this helpful video: https://youtu.be/4SZGM_E5cLI
When you have type 2 diabetes, your body can’t get enough glucose into your cells, so a common symptom is feeling very tired. Other symptoms to look out for include feeling thirsty, going to the toilet a lot and losing weight without trying to. Several factors can affect your risk of developing type 2 diabetes including being overweight, your age and ethnicity. There are several ways you can treat type 2 diabetes, such as making healthy lifestyle choices, using insulin or taking medication. This helpful page from Diabetes UK provides more information: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/type-2-diabetes
Pneumonia is a type of chest infection that causes swelling of the tissue in one or both lungs. More people get pneumonia in winter because respiratory viral infections, such as flu, are more common in the winter, and these increase your risk of developing pneumonia. If you have a long-term lung condition or care for someone who does, it’s a good idea to have a flu jab every year. You can get vaccinated at your GP surgery or a pharmacy offering a flu vaccine service.
If you have pneumonia, you’ll have symptoms that are similar to having the flu or a chest infection. Symptoms may develop gradually over a few days but can progress much faster; you may feel generally unwell, weak and tired with a cough. If you feel unwell with these symptoms, see your GP or call 111. This helpful page from the British Lung Foundation has more information about pneumonia: https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/pneumonia/what-is-pneumonia
Coronavirus (COVID-19) can make anyone seriously ill, but for some people the risk is higher. Getting vaccinated not only reduces your chance of being infected but also contributes to protecting people more at risk in your community by reducing the likelihood of virus transmission. You can book your COVID-19 vaccination through this page from the NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coron...rus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/
There’s a lot of information about the COVID-19 vaccine and some of it can be misleading. The COVID-19 vaccine greatly reduces your chance of contracting coronavirus and makes you less likely to get severely ill if you encounter the coronavirus. Because the vaccines do not contain a live virus and cannot cause disease, they are a much safer way to gain protection against the virus. You can find out more about the COVID-19 vaccines on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/
The symptoms of domestic abuse include: physical abuse, coercive control, verbal abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse.
It’s important to recognise that domestic abuse can affect anyone regardless of their gender or sexuality.
Refuge has a domestic abuse helpline, including a British Sign Language service for those who are suffering from domestic abuse.
You might have heard of the term ‘coercive control’. It’s where one party in a relationship uses more subtle techniques to gain control. It’s now formally recognised as a form of domestic abuse.
With people spending more time together than normal, and with unusual circumstances prevailing, more incidents of domestic violence have been reported. If you have been affected by this, you will find help and resources here:
November is the month when lots of men grow a ’tache for charity. It’s not just about raising money, although money is helpful; it’s about giving men support for things like mental health and suicide prevention, prostate and testicular cancer.
Testicular cancer has a very fast onset. If undetected, tumours can double in size in just 10 to 30 days. If you have a lump in your testicles, or feel pain or discomfort in your testicles or scrotum, you should speak to your GP surgery to have this checked. These can be symptoms of benign diseases, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Sadly, all too many people are finding it difficult to feed themselves and their families. The Trussell Trust can help you to find a food bank near you. The website gives details of the food banks nearest to you and tells you how to access their support. https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/
If you’re worried about money, have you checked that you’ve claimed everything you’re entitled to? https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators
If your personal circumstances are challenging, you can find help from the Citizens Advice Bureau: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Many people cite financial worries as a cause of worsening mental health. If you’re struggling to cope with your financial worries, the NHS has a page dedicated to means of finding support: https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/ad...nd-events/how-to-cope-with-financial-worries/
It’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet for your overall health. You do need to consider calorie intake, but that’s not the only consideration. Fat, sugar and salt should only be eaten in moderation to ensure you stay fit and healthy for life.
The Eatwell guide helps to visualise what a well-balanced diet should look like. If you can’t balance each meal, then try to balance intake across the day or week.
Coronavirus - staying safe in surgery
While we appreciate that restrictions to protect against Coronavirus are now being removed, we have vulnerable patients in surgery and we’d like to continue protecting them as we have done since the start of the pandemic. Therefore, please:
Continue to wear a face mask while in the surgery
Don’t attend the surgery with Coronavirus symptoms unless you have discussed this with a clinician.
If you have tested positive for Covid, please do not attend the surgery unless asked to by a clinician.
Children aged 5-11 in the UK are to be be offered vaccination against Coronavirus, and the programme will be rolled out over the coming weeks. It is likely that vaccination in these age groups will not be carried out in general practice. We will keep you informed about progress on this campaign when we receive further information. https://www.gov.uk/government/publi...accination-of-children-aged-5-to-11-years-old
Hearing Problems and Loss
Do you find it difficult to hear when there is a lot of background noise? Do you find it difficult to keep up with the conversation? Do other people comment about how loud your TV or radio is? If so, you may be suffering from hearing loss. It’s not unusual for other people to notice you are struggling to hear before you do.
One in five adults, a total of twelve million people in the UK, have hearing loss or deafness. If you meet someone who suffers from hearing loss or deafness, you can ask them how to make communication easier for them. It might include sitting face to face so they can read your lips more easily, or sitting on their “good” side.
Routine childhood Immunisations are important for the health and well-being of your child. We offer vaccination for common childhood illnesses that can cause serious, and even life-threatening complications. Children are offered vaccination as babies, pre-schoolers and as teenagers. All are vital in ensuring that our own children stay well, but also in continuing to protect us all by making it harder for these diseases to spread. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/nhs-vaccinations-and-when-to-have-them/
Attending reviews for long-term conditions helps us to support you in the best possible way. Long-term conditions are often areas where a lot of research is being done, and new treatments become available over time. Improved recommendations can make big differences to our understanding of patients’ conditions. If you haven’t attended a review in some time, you might want to make your review appointment, so we can talk about how we can improve things for you.
If we’ve asked you to speak to us for a medication review, what do we mean by that? Medication reviews are carried out so that we can be sure that you’re taking your medicines correctly, and that you’re on the right doses. They can also help us to understand whether you’re suffering side effects of the medications you’re taking.