Western Avenue Surgery May 2022 Newsletter
Stroke Awareness (1st to 31st May)
If you think you’re seeing these symptoms in someone act FAST and call 999.
-Time to call 999
Some signs of stroke are less well known. These include:
Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, including legs, hands or feet.
Difficulty finding words or speaking in clear sentences.
Sudden blurred vision or loss of sight in one or both eyes.
Sudden memory loss or confusion, and dizziness or a sudden fall.
A sudden, severe headache.
If you spot any of these signs, don’t wait, call 999 straight away.
If you or someone you know has been affected by a stroke, you’ll know just how
important research is in ensuring the best possible outcomes. Stroke research budgets
have been affected by the pandemic and the Stroke Association wants to raise
awareness of the importance of research. https://www.stroke.org.uk/research
Deaf Awareness Week (2nd to 8th May)
12 million people across the UK have some form of hearing loss or deafness, which
means you’re likely to meet someone with hearing loss each day. Ask how you can help
to make communication easier, as the answer will be different for each person.
Deaf people can find communication challenging, as not everyone is understanding and
helpful. There are a number of ways you can help to make communication easier for deaf
We can offer support for appointments if you have difficulty hearing and you would
prefer not to have a family member sit in on your appointment. Please ask us about the
ways that we can support you.
Sun Awareness Week (2nd to 8th May)
As the summer approaches, we need to think about staying safe in the sun. As we don’t
always have sunny weather in the UK, it can be tempting to soak up the rays when we
do. Staying safe in the sun will ensure you can have fun and reduce your risk of sunburn
Sun safety is easy when you know how and Sid the Seagull wants us to Slip, Slop, Slap,
Seek and Slide. Five easy ways to protect yourself from skin cancer:
Slip on a T-shirt
Slop on some suncream
Slap on a hat
Slide on some sunglasses
Mental Health Awareness Week (9th to 15th May)
The focus of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is Loneliness. Loneliness can
affect anyone, even if they are surrounded by people. The global pandemic has brought
loneliness into focus, as more people are now aware how difficult loneliness can be.
One of the groups who most often say they feel lonely are young people. Being
surrounded by people doesn’t necessarily reduce feelings of loneliness. There are some
things you can do to try and ease the feeling of being alone.
1.4 million older adults say they are often lonely. If this affects you, Age UK have some
insight into loneliness in older adults and advice about how we can change this.
Celebrating midwives and nurses (5th and 12th May
5th May is International Day of the Midwife. Midwives are a critical part of maternity care
in the UK. Midwives care for women throughout their pregnancy and support them and
their baby in the period immediately after birth. Maternity care would not be what it is
without the dedicated care that midwives offer.
May 12th is Florence Nightingale’s birthday and, in her honour, today is International
Nurses Day. We’d like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to our nursing staff. We couldn’t do
what we do without you!
Over the years, there have been nurses who have made a significant impact on the way
that our healthcare systems work. One of the most well-known is Florence Nightingale,
but there are other nurses who are equally responsible for some of the fantastic systems
we have in place today.
CIND and ME (12th May)
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is more common in women than men, and tends to
develop between your mid-20s and mid-40s. Sufferers experience fatigue among other
symptoms, and the severity of symptoms can vary wildly, even within a day.
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is believed to have a number of causes, and further
research is needed into an illness that can leave some sufferers bed-bound and
dependent on care. There are four levels of severity, which emphasises the great
difference in symptoms experienced from person to person.
Walk to School Week (16th to 20th May) and National Walking Month (May)
Get ready to #WalkThisMay. It’s National Walking Month and we’re being asked to walk
20 minutes each day to help improve our fitness.
Walking 20 minutes each day can have benefits well above and beyond the obvious ones
that you might expect.
It’s Walk to School Week 16th to 20th May, and small steps lead to big outcomes. If you
can walk to school this week, then you’re helping your child to meet their exercise needs
for the week. If you live too far from school to walk the whole journey, why not think
about walking some of the way? Maybe you could get off the bus a stop earlier, or leave
the car a few streets away and walk the rest.
If your children’s school hasn’t yet signed up for “WOW – the walk to school challenge”
why not suggest it? Children can log their journeys to school and collect badges to
encourage them if they travel sustainably once a week for a month.
Dementia Awareness (16th to 22nd May)
Memory problems are not just a sign of getting older, they are a sign of being unwell.
Do you find it difficult to remember people’s names, or find you’re putting things in
places that they don’t belong? If so, it’s possible you’re having memory issues. Have
other people noticed you’re struggling with your memory? The Alzheimer’s Society has
some useful information on things you might want to think about.
If you’re worried that someone you care about may be having problems with their
memory, this advice from the Alzheimer’s Society might be helpful to you. The advice
looks at how to raise the issue, including where and when might be a good time or
National Smile Month (16th May to 16th June)
Everyone deserves a healthy smile. That’s the theme of this year’s National Smile Month.
Health inequalities should not mean you do not have a healthy mouth and teeth.
Oral health is important to your overall health, and your overall health can affect your
oral health. It’s important to understand the links and ensure that we look afte r our
If you have a young child, you can help them learn about healthy teeth with this video
about teeth with Peppa Pig.
World MS day (30th May)
This year, and for the last two years, the theme of World MS Day has been “connections”.
The idea is that sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis can find themselves feeling lonely and
isolated, and World MS Day aims to change that. Connections might be to your
community, within yourself, or to your healthcare providers.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a condition of the central nervous system which can affect any
part of the body. There is no individual test that will diagnose MS, but a number of tests
may be used to arrive at a diagnosis against long established criteria for diagnosis.
For some chronic conditions we’ll invite you for a review each year.
This World Asthma Day (3rd May)
We’re encouraging you to ensure that you get the
very best from your asthma care. Making sure you attend your annual review and
checking your inhaler technique can make a difference to your condition.
If you have diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2, you will be invited to a review once a year. At your review you will have the opportunity to discuss different aspects of your condition and ensure that it is well managed. We want to do everything we can to support you.
Food is a basic necessity of life, but eating healthily is important to a long life, well lived.
While eating healthily cannot reduce the risk of disease to zero, our chances of a long
and healthy life are improved with a good, healthy and balanced diet.
The cost of living is the focus of many conversations at the moment. One of our big
concerns is the ability to maintain a healthy diet on a budget. A healthy diet has long
term benefits for our overall health. The Association of UK Dieticians has brilliant advice
about how to ensure your money stretches a little bit further.
No matter your age or physical fitness level, activity is important. From seated exercise to
high intensity training, there is an activity suitable for almost anyone. Even some
housework counts as exercise!
Coronavirus vaccination (boosters)
Booster vaccinations against COVID-19 are still being offered to some groups. If you
haven’t yet had a booster, or are aged 75 and over, or aged 12 and over with a
weakened immune system, you can book your spring booster if you haven’t already had
App of the Month
If you have a baby who is unwell, the Lullaby Trust Baby Check App might be helpful for
you. The app has been designed with experts to help you to decide what the best next
steps are for your baby.
Platinum Jubilee (start of June – cover arrangements)
The end of May bank holiday has been moved to June, and an additional bank holiday
created to form a four-day celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The Queen
celebrated 70 years on the throne on 6th February, but the official celebration will
happen at the start of June. As a result of the bank holidays, the surgery will be closed
for four days, and during this time, you can contact Out of Hours if necessary.