Category Archive News

GermDefence – Simple steps to reduce viruses in your home

A new online tool has been developed by The University of Southampton giving advice on simple steps we can take at home to protect us from the new Coronavirus (Covid-19).

This advice was developed by health experts and proved to reduce illness in a study of over 20,000 people. People who followed the advice in Germ Defence were less likely to catch pandemic flu or other viruses – and if they did become ill the illness was shorter and milder on average.

How does it work?

COVID-19 is caught in the same way as other viruses. Germ Defence provides advice on how you can protect yourself using the same methods that have worked for other viruses.

It only takes around 10 minutes to go through the information – but it could protect you from the coronavirus, along with a lifetime of fewer colds and flu. Click here to take part.

Need Emergency Dental Care during Covid-19?

Revive Dental Care offers NHS Emergency Dental Clinics across Cheshire and Merseyside, with emergency appointments for patients who need urgent treatment, advice and support on dental queries or referral to other services. 

If you need help with an urgent dental problem, call their Emergency Helpline, available from 9am to 9.30pm every day, including weekends and Bank Holidays.

0161 476 9651

Please note: this is an appointment only service – we do not operate a ‘drop-in’ service at any of our surgeries.

Inaccurate information regarding special ‘Rescue Packs’ for patients with pre-existing Respiratory conditions

We have been made aware of some inaccurate information circulating regarding special ‘rescue packs’ for patients with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  

This suggestion is incorrect and the decision to use rescue packs is only made after careful evaluation for people with severe COPD or severe asthma, usually under follow-up by a Specialist Respiratory Team.

Asthma UK does not recommend use of rescue packs as a blanket policy for people with asthma during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Please see the link below with advice from Asthma UK on asthma management for people concerned about Coronavirus.

https://www.asthma.org.uk/coronavirus

Please do not contact your GP Practice for a rescue pack unless this is something that has been previously agreed with your medical team and you have been given instructions on how and when to use them.  You should continue to manage your condition in the usual way and if you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19, go to https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 before doing anything else.

Coronavirus – Latest Advice

The NHS in Cheshire and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to protect patients, our community and NHS staff while ensuring as many services as possible are available to the public.

If you have symptoms associated with coronavirus including a new continuous cough, loss or change to your sense of smell or taste and a high temperature, you are advised to stay at home for 7 days.
Please do not book a GP appointment or attend your GP practice.

If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home. After 14 days, anyone you live with who does not have symptoms can return to their normal routine.
But, if anyone in your home gets symptoms, they should stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms start. Even if it means they’re at home for longer than 14 days. The most up-to-date public guidance is always online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do. 

Only call 111 direct if you are advised to do so by the online service or you cannot go online.

How to get an isolation note for your employer

This service, at nhs.uk, is for those who have been told to stay at home because of coronavirus and you need a note for your employer.

This service is only for people who:

  • have symptoms of coronavirus and have used the 111 online coronavirus service
  • have been told by a healthcare professional they have symptoms of coronavirus
  • live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus

If you are not sure if you need to stay at home, get the latest NHS advice on coronavirus.

If you have to stay at home but feel well enough to work, ask your employer if you can work from home. If you can work from home, you will not need an isolation note.

You can also use this service for someone else.

Get an isolation note.

Novel Coronavirus – Important Advice for Returning Travellers

Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people if you’ve travelled to the UK from the following places in the last 14 days, even if you do not have symptoms:

  • Iran
  • Hubei province in China
  • Special care zones in South Korea (Daegu, Cheongdo, Gyeongsan)

Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people if you’ve travelled to the UK from the following places, even if you do not have symptoms:

  • Italy (since 09 March)

Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people if you’ve travelled to the UK from the following places in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath, even if your symptoms are mild:

  • mainland China outside of Hubei province
  • South Korea outside of the special care zones
  • Cambodia
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Laos
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Signs and Symptoms to look out for as soap character is diagnosed with Bowel Cancer

Any Emmerdale fans will have seen that one of their beloved characters, Vanessa Woodfield, has recently, as part of her storyline, been diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Storylines like these are a great way to raise awareness and highlight such important conditions, how they are diagnosed and how they are treated. However, it can also worry/panic some people, so below are the signs and symptoms you should look out for.

Bowel cancer is very treatable but the earlier its diagnosed, the easier it is to treat.

Symptoms can include:

  • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo

There are several possible causes of bleeding from your bottom or blood in your bowel movements (poo). Bright red blood may come from swollen blood vessels (haemorrhoids or piles) in your back passage. It may also be caused by bowel cancer. Dark red or black blood may come from your bowel or stomach. Tell your doctor about any bleeding so they can find out what is causing it.

  • A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit

Tell your GP if you have noticed any persistent and unexplained changes in your bowel habit, especially if you also have bleeding from your back passage. You may have looser poo and you may need to poo more often than normal. Or you may feel as though you’re not going to the toilet often enough or you might not feel as though you’re not fully emptying your bowels.

  • Unexplained weight loss

This is less common than some of the other symptoms. Speak to your GP if you have lost weight and you don’t know why. You may not feel like eating if you feel sick, bloated or if you just don’t feel hungry.

  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason

Bowel cancer may lead to a lack of iron in the body, which can cause anaemia (lack of red blood cells). If you have anaemia, you are likely to feel very tired and your skin may look pale.

  • A pain or lump in your tummy

You may have pain or a lump in your stomach area (abdomen) or back passage. See your GP if these symptoms don’t go away or if they’re affecting how you sleep or eat.

Most people with these symptoms don’t have bowel cancer, there are many other health problems that can cause similar symptoms such as piles, constipation, anal fissures or IBS.

If you have any symptoms, don’t be embarrassed and don’t ignore them – book an appointment with your GP.

For more information and advice visit Bowel Cancer UK.

EU Exit

On this page, you will find information that will help to explain how the NHS is preparing for the UK exiting the EU. 

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is leading the response to EU Exit across the health and care sector and is working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement to ensure that the NHS is best prepared.

What does this mean for me?

Supply of medicines & prescriptions

We have put contingency plans in place to ensure the continued supply of medicines and other medical products.

Please keep ordering your repeat prescriptions and taking your medicines as normal. It’s very important you don’t order more medicines than normal. If you do, then it may mean that other people won’t be able to get their medicines.

If you’re concerned speak to your pharmacist, GP or specialist.

You can read more about getting your medicines if there’s a no-deal EU Exit here:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/medicines-information/getting-your-medicines-if-theres-no-deal-eu-exit/

Goods and consumables

Along with our NHS Partners we have been closely monitoring the supply of non-clinical consumables, goods and services and you should still be able to find/order the same goods as you do now following the EU Exit.

EU Colleagues and European Qualifications

Across Cheshire the NHS is fortunate to have a number of colleagues who are EU nationals and Recruitment teams have been supporting with EU Settlement Scheme applications. You can find out more here. https://www.gov.uk/eusettledstatus

European qualifications that are currently recognised automatically by UK regulators (such as doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists and pharmacists) will continue to be recognised after the UK leaves the EU.

Healthcare abroad

The NHS.uk website is being regularly updated with information on the healthcare arrangements with individual countries. Please click here for further information (and check the relevant country guide if you are traveling to the EU after 31 October)

https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/healthcare-when-travelling-abroad/travelling-in-the-european-economic-area-eea-and-switzerland/

 

To find out more

https://www.gov.uk/brexit

The EU Exit website contains detailed information on how individuals can prepare for the EU Exit, including if you have a business or are an EU national living in the UK.

This website now includes a simple ‘checker’ to find out what you may need to do to get ready for the EU Exit.

 

EU Exit advice for patients

We have heard from many of our patients with questions around their health and care as a consequence of an EU Exit.

The best source of information can be found on www.nhs.uk. This website will be updated on a regular basis.

Information for patients regarding medicines

Please keep ordering your repeat prescriptions and taking your medicines as normal. It’s very important you don’t order more medicines than normal. If you do, then it may mean that other people won’t be able to get their medicines.

Further information is available on www.NHS.uk

Have trust in your GP surgery receptionist

GPs across South Cheshire and Vale Royal are urging us to talk to their receptionist, to make sure you get the right help, which may not necessarily be from your GP surgery.

Services are constantly changing and, in many circumstances, your GP may not be the best person you need to see. 

Reception teams across South Cheshire and Vale Royal have undertaken additional special training to make sure you can get to the right Healthcare Professional to treat your needs.

This is called ‘Care Navigation’, where your receptionist or care navigator will ask why you are contacting the practice, to make sure you get the right care sooner.

Dr Annabel London, GP and Clinical Lead for Primary Care at NHS South Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Vale Royal CCG, said: “My main message is to have trust in your receptionist, they’re bound by the same rules of confidentiality as I am, so they’re not asking questions to be nosey.

“Through the specialist training, they will be able to direct you to the best person or service who can treat your condition or help with the reason why you’re calling.

“An example would be back pain – if you ask for a GP appointment but don’t say why, you could wait to see your GP. When you see your GP they would direct you to self-refer to a physiotherapist as the best person to treat your condition.  With Care Navigation, if you tell the care navigator a few of your symptoms, they can advise you how to self refer straight to physiotherapy without waiting to see a GP to be aware of this.  

“You get the treatment you need sooner, allowing a GP appointment to be used by a patient who can only see a GP.”

The Care Navigator might suggest you see an alternative health care professional such as:

  • a Dentist
  • a Midwife from the local Maternity Services
  • a Pharmacist from your Community Pharmacy
  • a Physiotherapist
  • a Clinician from Sexual Health
  • other local support services

Care navigators will continue to receive ongoing training to support them in developing their role and skills.

Dr London added: “Please, help us to help you by answering the questions from the care navigator get you the right care in the right place and at the right time.”