Woodbrook Patient Participation Group

Campaigns

As the seasons change and the practice and the NHS promote various initiatives, we include here campaigns that we are supporting.

This page currently has articles on the Influenza Vaccination Campaign, Loughborough Urgent Care Centre and the NHS Choose Better campaign.

FLU VACCINATIONS

Free vaccinations against influenza are available to patients in what are considered as “at-risk groups”.  You are entitled to a free vaccination if:

You should also be offered the flu vaccination if you are a healthcare or social care worker directly involved in patient care.

Those of you not in any of “at-risk” categories, are reminded that flu vaccinations can be obtained privately from many pharmacies.  The cost is typically in the region of £13.

SCREENING FOR DIABETES - "HEALTHIER YOU"

"One in three adults in England are 'on the cusp' of diabetes," BBC News and others report.  The media reports are based on a study that estimated that some 35% of adults in the UK now have prediabetes (also known as borderline diabetes).  Prediabetes is where blood sugar levels are abnormally high, but lower than the threshold for diagnosing diabetes.  It is estimated that around 5 to 10% of people with prediabetes will go on to progress to "full-blown" type 2 diabetes in any given year.

Researchers analysed information from the Health Survey for England (HSE).  This is a survey that combines questionnaire-based answers with physical measurements and the analysis of blood samples from a representative sample of the English population.  This study found that there had been a significant increase between 2003 and 2011 in the proportion of people aged 16 or older with prediabetes, from 11.6% in 2003 to 35.3% in 2013.

There are currently 2.8 million people with Type 2 diabetes in England with around 200,000 new diagnoses every year.  While Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and is not linked to lifestyle, Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable through lifestyle changes.

Known risk factors, confirmed in this study, include age (40 and above), body mass index (25 and above), being of south Asian ethnicity and having high blood pressure.  If you think you may be at high risk of prediabetes, you should ask your GP for a blood test.  It is often possible to prevent the condition progressing into diabetes proper through lifestyle changes, such as improving your diet and exercising more.

The NHS has developed a Diabetes Prevention Programme called Healthier You.  In 2015, a small trial took place in seven centres.  The lessons learned from the trial were fed into an updated programme with a new trial currently taking place in 27 areas of the UK, covering some 26 million people.  The full programme will roll out across the whole country in 2020; it is expected that upwards of 100,000 people will be referred to the programme each year.  Those referred will receive tailored, personalised help to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes including education on healthy eating and lifestyle, help to lose weight and bespoke physical exercise programmes, all of which together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing the disease.  Over a nine-month period, patients will be offered at least 13 education and exercise sessions of one to two hours per session, at least 16 hours face-to-face or 1-to-1 in total.

Simon Stevens NHS England’s CEO said: “Around 500 people every day find out they’ve got Type 2 diabetes – a serious but often preventable health condition. By offering targeted support for at-risk individuals, the NHS is now playing our part in the wider campaign against obesity – which is already costing the country more than we spend on the police and fire services combined.  The benefits for patients will show up as hospitalisations prevented, strokes avoided and amputations averted.  This programme is a reminder that the ‘H’ in NHS stands for health.

The good news for Woodbrook patients is that the East Midlands is one of the 27 areas in the current trial.  Patients will be screened for risk factors in the normal course of their encounters with the Surgery and will be referred to the programme if their risk is considered high.

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CHOOSE BETTER

The NHS provides services to care for situations at a number of levels of urgency and it is important that we, as users of the NHS, make best use of those services. Saving money is an important aspect, but ensuring that we don’t deny access to services by people whose need is greater than ours is crucial. Part of this is ensuring that we choose the best level of service for the particular problem that we’re facing. If we take up a place in a queue for the Emergency Department when someone in much more danger is behind us, the consequences could be disastrous. The Emergency Department is for serious and life-threatening conditions such as heavy bleeding, broken bones, burns or scalds, chest pain and strokes.

Something like a sore throat could be treated at home from the medicine cabinet. A painful cough might mean a visit to the pharmacy for help. A severe stomach ache is best seen by the GP. If you’re unsure or confused about an illness, visit the NHS Choices Web site at www.nhs.uk or call NHS Direct on 0845 4647. Minor cuts can be treated at an Urgent Care Centre, Walk-In Centre or Minor Injuries Unit. Severe chest pain, which could be associated with a serious condition such as a heart attack, should be referred immediately to the Emergency Department.

Being prepared at home is the first step. Make sure that you have supplies on hand of the essentials: paracetamol and/or ibuprofen, anti-diarrhoeal medication, re-hydration mixtures, indigestion and heartburn remedies, a thermometer and plasters. As antibiotics are not effective for colds, coughs and flu, there is no need for a visit to the doctor – just keep products on hand that will relieve the symptoms. If symptoms persist for more than 3 weeks or if a sore throat lasts more than 3 days, then do contact the surgery.

Your local high street pharmacy can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints such as coughs, colds, sore throats, ear or toothaches and emergency contraception. You can also get advice on prescription medicines. To find your nearest local pharmacy, look in your local phone directory, or go to www.nhs.uk or text 'pharmacy' to 64746 to receive three free texts with details of your nearest pharmacies.

Loughborough’s Walk-In Centre is currently located in Pinfold Gate, telephone 01509 553998. It’s open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with X-ray services available Monday to Friday 9am - 12.30pm and 1.30 - 4.30pm.

Call 999 only if the situation is urgent following a serious accident, illness or injury - for example, in the event of traumatic blood loss, chest pain or loss of consciousness. The Emergency Department for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland is located at Leicester Royal Infirmary and provides emergency care for adults and children 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

choose better poster

Please play your part. Visit www.choosebetter.org.uk to find the right place for your treatment.

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