Category Archives: Ticker Tape

May 2022 Newsletter

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.
-Facial weakness
-Arm weakness
-Speech problems
-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
people.
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.
https://www.ndcs.org.uk/information-and-support/being-deaf-friendly/how-to-be-deaffriendly/
https://rnid.org.uk/information-and-support/deaf-awareness/
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
and sunstroke.
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
Seek shade
Slide on some sunglasses
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/seasonal-health/sunscreen-and-sun-safety/
https://www.cancer.org.au/cancer-in…ampaigns-and-events/slip-slop-slap-seek-slide
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.
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/unlock-loneliness/15-tips
https://www.ageuk.org.uk/our-impact/policy-research/loneliness-research-andresources/
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.
https://www.nct.org.uk/pregnancy/who-will-care-for-you-during-pregnancy/whatmidwife
https://www.bankpartners.co.uk/news/2017/05/history-s-greatest-nurses/
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.
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-cfs/
https://www.actionforme.org.uk/get-information/what-is-me/what-does-me-feel-like/
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.
https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/walk-to-school
https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/products-and-services/projects/wow
https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/get-involved/campaign-with-us/national-walkingmonth
https://www.eatthis.com/news-walking-20-minutes-body/
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
place. https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets/get-advicememory-
problems
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
smiles.
If you have a young child, you can help them learn about healthy teeth with this video
about teeth with Peppa Pig.
https://www.dentalhealth.org/about-national-smile-month
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475

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.

World MS Day 30 May 2021


https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/Diagnosing-MS
Health Reviews
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.

https://www.asthma.org.uk/support-us/world-asthma-day/
https://www.diabetes.co.uk/nhs/diabetes-annual-care-review.html
Healthy Living
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!
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/
https://www.bda.uk.com/resource/food-facts-eat-well-spend-less.html
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/exercise-guidelines/
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
it. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coron…oronavirus-vaccine/how-to-get-a-boosterdose/
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.
https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep-advice/baby-check-app/
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.

April 2022 Newsletter

Western Avenue Surgery April Newsletter
Gynae red flags
If you have any symptoms that can be associated with gynaecological cancers, such as:
• Abnormal vaginal bleeding
• Feeling bloated, feeling full, or having difficulty eating
• Abdominal or back pain
• Constipation or an urgent need to urinate
• Itching, burning, tenderness or an unusual look or feel to your vulva
you should make an appointment with your doctor. These symptoms can be caused by
other conditions, but your GP will be able to assess them and refer you for further tests if
necessary.
We understand that you might feel embarrassed, but for us, it’s part of our job, and we
want you to feel comfortable talking to us about the most sensitive issues, because we
want to help. https://www.redonline.co.uk/health-self/self/a33466580/gynaecologistsymptoms-
cervical-cancer/
Healthy diet
We hear a lot about eating healthily, but do you know what that really means? In the UK
around one in four adults, and one in five children aged 5 to 11 in the UK are obese. This
increases the likelihood of health problems in the future. You can find out more about
eating healthily on the NHS website.
It is easy to underestimate the number of calories we are consuming each day if we are
not aware of our portion sizes. Larger portions can significantly increase our daily calorie
intake without our realising it. You can see here what the recommended portion sizes are
for some of the most commonly eaten foods. How do your portion sizes compare?
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/eight-tips-for-healthy-eating/
https://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/nutrition-diet/portion-size
Cholesterol
High cholesterol can run in families, but it can also be caused by lifestyle factors.
Cholesterol is a type of fat found in blood, it is made in the liver and is found in some
foods too. Humans need some cholesterol for their bodies to remain healthy, as it is
used in cells to make bile and some hormones. But too much cholesterol can cause
clogged arteries and lead to health problems in the future.
https://www.heartuk.org.uk/cholesterol/what-is-cholesterol
Online Safety
Both children and adults can find themselves the victim of a bully. Bullying can have a
profound effect on mental health. The National Bullying Helpline supports people who
are being bullied and gives practical advice about how you can deal with bullying.
Children and young people can find themselves under pressure to send inappropriate
messages, pictures, or explicit images to others. Sexting can be a major cause of stress
and embarrassment to them, not to mention the potential legal issues that surround it.
Internet Matters has brilliant advice about how to talk about sexting, and deal with the
consequences if it’s already happened.
https://www.nationalbullyinghelpline.co.uk

Sexting advice hub


Changes that happen with age
As you get older your body changes and some of the changes you experience may not
be what you’d expect. For example, did you know that by age 60, most people have lost
around half of their tastebuds?
There are some health conditions that become more common as you age. There are
physiological reasons for these changes, but there are also some steps you can take to
minimise their effects. Taking some easy preventative measures can help you to stay
healthy as you grow older.
https://health.ucsd.edu/news/features/pages/2015-08-31-listicle-aging.aspx
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/in-depth/aging/art-
20046070
Bowel Cancer
43,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK each year, that’s around one
every 15 minutes.
There are known signs of bowel cancer, and you should see your doctor if you’re
experiencing any of these symptoms. They may not be related to cancer, but it’s better
to get it checked:
• Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
• A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
• Unexplained weight loss
• Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
• A pain or lump in your tummy
https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/support-us/bowel-cancer-awareness-month/
https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/about-bowel-cancer/symptoms/
Covid vaccination 4th dose/ booster
People over 75, and those aged 12 and over who have a weakened immune system, will
have been offered a spring booster for the COVID-19 vaccination. If you have received
an invitation, please make sure you book your appointment.
If you’re over 75, or over 12 with a weakened immune system, and haven’t received an
invitation to book your spring booster, you should contact your hospital speciali st or us
at the practice. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coron…oronavirus-vaccine/how-to-get-abooster-
dose/
Stress awareness
Small amounts of stress can be useful to us as humans, but there is a point where stress
has a negative impact on our mental health. Stress manifests itself physically in a variety
of ways, from well-known symptoms like difficulty sleeping, to things like skin picking
and under- or over-eating. If you think it’s possible you may be stressed, take a look at
the range of issues that it can cause and see whether you need to take action to reduce
your stress. Would you know if stress was affecting you?
https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/mental-health-issues/stress/
https://www.mind.org.uk/information…problems/stress/signs-and-symptoms-of-stress/
Diabetes awareness
If you experience higher than normal blood sugars, but your condition is not yet
diabetes, we will talk to you about your risk of becoming diabetic. If you have an
increased risk of diabetes, you should take steps to change your lifestyle that could
reduce your risk of becoming diabetic.
There are some things you can do to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. You
can help to prevent it by exercising and eating a lower carbohydrate diet.
https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-prevention/index.html
https://www.diabetes.org.uk/preventing-type-2-diabetes/prediabetes
IBS awareness
April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) awareness month. Living wi th IBS can be
challenging, with symptoms which can cause embarrassment and anxiety. IBS is usually a
lifelong condition, with symptoms varying over time.
If you’re experiencing symptoms you think might be related to Irritable Bowel Syndrome
(IBS), such as bloating, pain, constipation or diarrhoea, please see your GP. It’s always
best to double check, in case the symptoms are related to something else.
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs/
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs/symptoms/
Autism awareness
Autism is widely misunderstood. We talk about the autistic spectrum, and this means
that people tend to think of autism in linear terms. In reality, autism varies widely
between individuals. The Art of Autism has a brilliant comic-strip cartoon that illustrates
the differences between neurodivergent individuals.
Autism is lifelong. Children can be diagnosed with autism from a very young age, while
some adults may find a diagnosis of autism ends a long period of questions for them.
There are big differences in the way that autism affects people and their lives.

Understanding the spectrum – a comic strip explanation


https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/autism/
Parkinsons Awareness (11th April)
Around 145,000 people in the UK are living with Parkinson’s. It is a neurological
condition that gets progressively worse over time. Three of the main symptoms are
tremor, stiffness and slowness of movement, although there are around forty recognised
symptoms that sufferers may experience.
1 in 37 people alive today will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s in their lifetime. This year,
the awareness activities we’re asking people to consider taking part in are Light Up Blue
and Poems for Parkinson’s. If you’d like to get involved you can find out more here:
https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/get-involved/world-parkinsons-day
https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/information-and-support/what-parkinsons
On Your Feet Britain (28th April)
With many of us sitting at desks for most of the day, our fitness as a nation is suffering.
On Your Feet Britain encourages office workers to get moving – can you take part?
https://onyourfeetday.com

Western Avenue Surgery April Newsletter
Gynae red flags
If you have any symptoms that can be associated with gynaecological cancers, such as:
• Abnormal vaginal bleeding
• Feeling bloated, feeling full, or having difficulty eating
• Abdominal or back pain
• Constipation or an urgent need to urinate
• Itching, burning, tenderness or an unusual look or feel to your vulva
you should make an appointment with your doctor. These symptoms can be caused by
other conditions, but your GP will be able to assess them and refer you for further tests if
necessary.
We understand that you might feel embarrassed, but for us, it’s part of our job, and we
want you to feel comfortable talking to us about the most sensitive issues, because we
want to help. https://www.redonline.co.uk/health-self/self/a33466580/gynaecologistsymptoms-
cervical-cancer/

Healthy diet
We hear a lot about eating healthily, but do you know what that really means? In the UK
around one in four adults, and one in five children aged 5 to 11 in the UK are obese. This
increases the likelihood of health problems in the future. You can find out more about
eating healthily on the NHS website.
It is easy to underestimate the number of calories we are consuming each day if we are
not aware of our portion sizes. Larger portions can significantly increase our daily calorie
intake without our realising it. You can see here what the recommended portion sizes are
for some of the most commonly eaten foods. How do your portion sizes compare?
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/eight-tips-for-healthy-eating/
https://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/nutrition-diet/portion-size
Cholesterol
High cholesterol can run in families, but it can also be caused by lifestyle factors.
Cholesterol is a type of fat found in blood, it is made in the liver and is found in some
foods too. Humans need some cholesterol for their bodies to remain healthy, as it is
used in cells to make bile and some hormones. But too much cholesterol can cause
clogged arteries and lead to health problems in the future.
https://www.heartuk.org.uk/cholesterol/what-is-cholesterol

Online Safety
Both children and adults can find themselves the victim of a bully. Bullying can have a
profound effect on mental health. The National Bullying Helpline supports people who
are being bullied and gives practical advice about how you can deal with bullying.
Children and young people can find themselves under pressure to send inappropriate
messages, pictures, or explicit images to others. Sexting can be a major cause of stress
and embarrassment to them, not to mention the potential legal issues that surround it.
Internet Matters has brilliant advice about how to talk about sexting, and deal with the
consequences if it’s already happened.
https://www.nationalbullyinghelpline.co.uk

Sexting advice hub


Changes that happen with age
As you get older your body changes and some of the changes you experience may not
be what you’d expect. For example, did you know that by age 60, most people have lost
around half of their tastebuds?
There are some health conditions that become more common as you age. There are
physiological reasons for these changes, but there are also some steps you can take to
minimise their effects. Taking some easy preventative measures can help you to stay
healthy as you grow older.
https://health.ucsd.edu/news/features/pages/2015-08-31-listicle-aging.aspx
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/in-depth/aging/art-
20046070

Bowel Cancer
43,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK each year, that’s around one
every 15 minutes.
There are known signs of bowel cancer, and you should see your doctor if you’re
experiencing any of these symptoms. They may not be related to cancer, but it’s better
to get it checked:
• Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
• A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
• Unexplained weight loss
• Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
• A pain or lump in your tummy
https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/support-us/bowel-cancer-awareness-month/
https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/about-bowel-cancer/symptoms/
Covid vaccination 4th dose/ booster
People over 75, and those aged 12 and over who have a weakened immune system, will
have been offered a spring booster for the COVID-19 vaccination. If you have received
an invitation, please make sure you book your appointment.
If you’re over 75, or over 12 with a weakened immune system, and haven’t received an
invitation to book your spring booster, you should contact your hospital speciali st or us
at the practice. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coron…oronavirus-vaccine/how-to-get-abooster-
dose/

Stress awareness
Small amounts of stress can be useful to us as humans, but there is a point where stress
has a negative impact on our mental health. Stress manifests itself physically in a variety
of ways, from well-known symptoms like difficulty sleeping, to things like skin picking
and under- or over-eating. If you think it’s possible you may be stressed, take a look at
the range of issues that it can cause and see whether you need to take action to reduce
your stress. Would you know if stress was affecting you?
https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/mental-health-issues/stress/
https://www.mind.org.uk/information…problems/stress/signs-and-symptoms-of-stress/

Diabetes awareness
If you experience higher than normal blood sugars, but your condition is not yet
diabetes, we will talk to you about your risk of becoming diabetic. If you have an
increased risk of diabetes, you should take steps to change your lifestyle that could
reduce your risk of becoming diabetic.
There are some things you can do to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. You
can help to prevent it by exercising and eating a lower carbohydrate diet.
https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-prevention/index.html
https://www.diabetes.org.uk/preventing-type-2-diabetes/prediabetes

IBS awareness
April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) awareness month. Living wi th IBS can be
challenging, with symptoms which can cause embarrassment and anxiety. IBS is usually a
lifelong condition, with symptoms varying over time.
If you’re experiencing symptoms you think might be related to Irritable Bowel Syndrome
(IBS), such as bloating, pain, constipation or diarrhoea, please see your GP. It’s always
best to double check, in case the symptoms are related to something else.
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs/
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs/symptoms/

Autism awareness
Autism is widely misunderstood. We talk about the autistic spectrum, and this means
that people tend to think of autism in linear terms. In reality, autism varies widely
between individuals. The Art of Autism has a brilliant comic-strip cartoon that illustrates
the differences between neurodivergent individuals.
Autism is lifelong. Children can be diagnosed with autism from a very young age, while
some adults may find a diagnosis of autism ends a long period of questions for them.
There are big differences in the way that autism affects people and their lives.

Understanding the spectrum – a comic strip explanation


https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/autism/

Parkinsons Awareness (11th April)
Around 145,000 people in the UK are living with Parkinson’s. It is a neurological
condition that gets progressively worse over time. Three of the main symptoms are
tremor, stiffness and slowness of movement, although there are around forty recognised
symptoms that sufferers may experience.
1 in 37 people alive today will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s in their lifetime. This year,
the awareness activities we’re asking people to consider taking part in are Light Up Blue
and Poems for Parkinson’s. If you’d like to get involved you can find out more here:
https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/get-involved/world-parkinsons-day
https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/information-and-support/what-parkinsons

On Your Feet Britain (28th April)
With many of us sitting at desks for most of the day, our fitness as a nation is suffering.
On Your Feet Britain encourages office workers to get moving – can you take part?
https://onyourfeetday.com

March Newsletter 2022

WESTERN AVENUE SURGERY

Newsletter for March 2022

Cancer

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 symtoms, you should make an appointment to see 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

important to talk to your GP about it.

https://knowyourlemons.org

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/breast-cancer-in-men/

https://ovarian.org.uk/march-ovarian-cancer-awareness-month/

https://ovarian.org.uk/risktool/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ovarian-cancer/symptoms/

https://prostatecanceruk.org/get-involved/find-a-fundraising-event/march-the-month-

2022

https://prostatecanceruk.org/risk-checker.html

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/prostate-cancer/

Healthy diet

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

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-eatwell-guide/

Healthy diet

It is important to eat a healthy, balanced diet for your overall health. You do need to 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 eat well guide helps to visualise what a well-balanced diet should look like. If you can’t balance meal, then try to balance intake across the day or week.

https:nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/

https:nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the eatwell-guide/

Coronavirus staying safe in surgery

While we appreciate that restrictions to protect against Coronavirus are now being

them as we have done since the start of the pandemic. Therefore, please:

Continue to wear a face mask while in the surgery

nd 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 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 T

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

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hearing-loss/

Deaf awareness

Childhood immunisations

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, preschoolers

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/

Review appointments

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

iew

in some time, you might want to make your review appointment, so we can talk about

how we can improve things for you.

Medication reviews are carried out so that we can

https://www.nhshighland.scot.nhs.uk…y Patient Information Leaflet – A4 format.pdf

Eating Disorders Awareness Week (28th February 6th March)

Eating disorders are mental health conditions where you use control of food to cope

with feelings and other situations. Conditions are as varied as anorexia, bulimia, binge

eating disorder and avoidant restrictive food intake disorder(ARFID). Treatments vary by

individual. If you’re concerned that someone you know may have disordered eating , you might find the guidance here helpful.

Do you binge eat, purge, avoid eating, or have a large number of foods you choose to

avoid? Does food create feelings of stress in your life? If so, you might want to think

about your relationship with food.

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/feelings-symptoms-behaviours/behaviours/eatingdisorders/

overview/

https://www.beateatingdisorders.org…ating-disorders/do-i-have-an-eating-disorder/

No Smoking Day (9th March)

The first No Smooking Day was held on “Ash Wednesday “.Now , No smooking Day is held on the second wednesday in March each year. If your’re still smooking, there is no better

time to quit than now. Children of smokers have three times the risk of getting lung

cancer in later life compared to children of non-smokers.

When you quit smoking, the improvements in your health start in as little as 20 minutes,

and continue for years after you quit. After eight hours, the amount of carbon monoxide

in your blood will have halved. Ten years after you quit smoking, your risk of lung cancer is half that of a smooker’s.

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/quit-smoking/

https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking/

Nutrition and Hydration Week (14th 20th March)

Within healthcare environments, nutrition and hydration must be carefully managed to

preferences, as well as religious and cultural needs, are taken into account.

Adequate hydration is critical to ensure your long term wellbeing. Dehydration can cause

serious side effects such as:

Headache

Dizziness or lightheadedness

Sleepiness

Decrease in urination

Dark yellow- or amber-coloured urine

Decreased skin elasticity

Dry mouth and mucous membranes (lips, gums, nostrils)

Low blood pressure

https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthy-sustainable-diets/hydration/

Healthy diets should include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, proteins and

complex carbohydrates. Eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables contributes many

necessary vitamins and minerals to our diet and is vital for healthy gut flora.

https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthy-sustainable-diets/

Swallowing Awareness Day (16th March)

Most people will never have given any thought to whether they are able to swallow

Difficulty swallowing is called Dysphagia. It can cause difficulty with saliva, drinks and

food, and occurs in all age groups, from infants to older adults.

Difficulty swallowing is managed differently depending on the nature of your problem

and the causes. The effects of problems with swallowing can include malnutrition,

dehydration, aspiration pneumonia and choking.

Dysphagia overview

https://www.asha.org/practice-portal/clinical-topics/adult-dysphagia/

World Oral Health Day (20th March

Be proud of your mouth. World Oral Health Day encourages all of us to take care of our

mouths. Oral health is closely linked with overall health. If your’re looking for dentist, you can find a list of NHS dentist here.

You may find that you need to join a waiting list to be seen, as NHS dentists are very busy dealing with backlogs caused by Coronavirus.

https://www.worldoralhealthday.org/campaign-theme-2021-2023

https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-dentist

 

Febraury 2022 Newsletter

WESTERN AVENUE SURGERY

Newsletter for February 2022

World Cancer Day (4th February 2022) 4th February 2022 marks 20 years since Cancer Research UK was founded. 4th February is also World Cancer Day, when we aim to raise awareness of cancer throughout the world. Close The Care Gap is the theme for World Cancer Day this year. Across the globe there are differences in the way that cancer is diagnosed and treated. More importantly there are differences in outcomes for people depending on where they live. Close The Care Gap aims to promote equity across the globe. https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/get-involved/donate/world-cancer-day-2022. https://www.worldcancerday.org

Tinnitus Awareness Week (7th to 13th February 2022) If you’ve ever wondered what tinnitus is, sufferers hear a variety of noises that are not caused by external sounds. It is estimated that over 30% of people will experience tinnitus during their lifetime, and around 13% (1 in 8 people) live with tinnitus on a persistent basis. The British Tinnitus Association supports sufferers of tinnitus. Help is available Monday to Friday (9am till 5pm, excluding public holidays). You can access support via phone, email, text or web chat, but if you need medical advice, you’ll need to contact your GP instead. https://www.tinnitus.org.uk/all-about-tinnitus https://www.tinnitus.org.uk/helpline

National HIV Testing Week (7th to 13th February 2022) It’s National HIV Testing Week. If you could potentially have been exposed to HIV, it’s important to get tested. In the UK, in 2020, over 40% of people with HIV were diagnosed late. In 2019, those diagnosed late had a seven times greater risk of death within 12 months of diagnosis than those who were diagnosed earlier. Regular testing is the best way to ensure early diagnosis if your lifestyle may put you at greater risk. https://www.tht.org.uk/hiv-and-sexual-health/testing-hiv

Heart Month February is Heart Month. So, what does that mean? It’s all about raising awareness of heart issues and making sure that they are at the forefront of our minds. The British Heart Foundation is 60 years old, and has funded vital research and supported many thousands of families. In the 1960s over 7 in 10 heart attacks were fatal. Now, thanks to improvements in treatment and research, over 7 in 10 people who have a heart attack survive. An increase in the number of people who know how to perform CPR helps to improve the survival chances of anyone suffering a heart attack. Would you know what you need to do? If you’ve not been trained in CPR, or it’s been a while, The British Heart Foundation has a brilliant guide to point you in the right direction should you ever need it. https://www.bhf.org.uk https://www.bhf.org.uk/how-you-can-help/how-to-save-a-life

International Prenatal Infection Month February is International Prenatal Infection Prevention month. Pregnant women and their unborn babies are more at risk from many infections. While you can’t avoid all risks during pregnancy, and most infections are not likely to cause serious consequences, it is a good idea to reduce risk where you can. Tommy’s has some good advice to offer. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/infections-that-may-affect-your-baby/ https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/pregnancy-complications/infections/infections-pregnancy

Keeping active when you don’t feel like it Sometimes, when it’s cold and grey, or when you’re not on top form, you might prefer to skip the exercise. Keeping active in our daily lives is the best way to stay fit and healthy long-term. It’s important that keeping active works for you in your daily life. Starting an exercise plan is brilliant, but it’s important to make sure it’s sustainable. The NHS offers advice on how to get fitter in ways to suit your needs and lifestyle. Keeping fit can help to reduce your risk of developing a number of serious conditions including heart disease, diabetes and stroke. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeand…or-ever-25-tips-keep-exercising-expert-advice https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/get-active-your-way/

Depression We tend to think of depression as a problem that some adults have. Children and young people can suffer from depression too, and recognising the signs early could have a positive impact on their lives. Changes in their temperament, sleeping patterns and eating habits may be signs that this is something your child is struggling with. Diagnosing depression is something only a professional can do, but if you have felt down or you’re struggling to enjoy life, it’s possible that you are depressed. The NHS has a tool that can help you to establish whether you might be suffering from depression. If you are depressed, it’s vital that you seek support. If you’re already receiving appropriate treatment from your GP or psychiatrist, you may find that joining a support group of people who understand can also help. https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/ch…/advice-for-parents/children-depressed-signs/ https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/clinical-depression/support-groups/ https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/clinical-depression/overview/

Childhood obesity Almost a third of children aged 2 to 15 are overweight or obese. If you’re not sure whether your child is a healthy weight, the calculator provided by the NHS can help you to check. Unlike adults, children are measured against centiles rather than BMI, and the calculator uses an easy to understand graph to show you where your child sits on the chart. If your child is overweight, there are a number of steps you can take to help them as they grow. The NHS advocates appropriate healthy eating and exercise to ensure you stay healthy for life. If you have a child who is underweight, what can you do to help them attain a suitable weight for their age and height? The advice varies depending on the age of the child. Whether your child is underweight, or overweight, helping to set healthy eating habits in childhood can help them with their long term health. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/bmi-calculator/ https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/health…/very-overweight-children-advice-for-parents/ https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/childrens-weight/

Children and their safety and wellbeing As technology advances and becomes more prevalent in our everyday lives, how can we make sure our children are supported to stay safe online? Internet Matters was founded in 2014 by some of the UK’s biggest internet service providers to help us keep our children safe online. Many young people report that the internet and social media are a major source of pressure in their lives. Try as we might to keep things light and easy for our children, stress is becoming more prevalent in younger people. The Children’s Society has brilliant advice for supporting your children in all aspects of their lives. https://www.internetmatters.org https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/information/young-people/well-being/resources/stress

Sexual abuse and consent The NSPCC want to make sure all children are kept safe throughout their lives. One of the ways that you can help your children to stay safe is to talk to them about the pants rule. The pants rule makes it clear to children that they can say no to someone who asks to see or touch the parts of the body that their pants cover. Using language that is easy for children to understand, this helps to start a difficult conversation. If you have older children and young adults, talking about consent is really important for both boys and girls. Young people need to know that consent is vital in any relationship or sexual encounter. Consent is everything has a brilliant video about tea, which explains the concept of consent really simply using tea as an analogy. https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/support-for-parents/pants-underwear-rule/ http://www.consentiseverything.com

COVID-19 vaccination If you are registered with a GP practice in England, you can use this service to book your coronavirus vaccination. It can be used to book first, second and booster doses if you are eligible. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coron…rus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/

 

 

If you are registered with a GP surgery in Wales, you can check how to get your coronavirus vaccination here. Arrangements will depend on your local health board. https://gov.wales/get-your-covid-19-vaccination If you live in Scotland, and you haven’t yet had your first coronavirus vaccination, you can book your first dose here. https://www.nhsinform.scot/covid-19…ntments/registering-for-a-coronavirus-vaccine If you live in Northern Ireland, you can use this service to book your COVID-19 or annual flu vaccination. https://covid-19.hscni.net/get-vaccinated/

Stay well in winter As we become older, changes to our bodies mean that it is more difficult to stay warm and healthy. People who are more vulnerable need to take extra care to stay well in winter. This includes those who are older, under five, or who have some long term health conditions. Age UK and the NHS have a range of advice to help. https://www.ageuk.org.uk/informatio…keep-well-this-winter/stay-healthy-in-winter/ https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/keep-warm-keep-well/

Cold weather If you live in England, you can check what the cold weather alert level is for the next 24 hours. Being alert to the level of cold expected can help you to ensure that you, your family and neighbours are well prepared for the conditions. https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/cold-weather-alert/?tab=coldWeatherAlert&season=normal The Scottish Government provides advice and information about all types of forecast disruptions including weather, traffic and air quality. https://ready.scot/prepare/stay-informed You can check for weather alerts in Wales via this Met Office link. Keeping a check on the type of weather you might expect over the next few days can help you to keep yourself, your family and neighbours safe and well. https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/warnings-and-advice/uk-warnings You can check for weather alerts in Northern Ireland via this Met Office link. Keeping a check on the type of weather you might expect over the next few days can help you to keep yourself, your family and neighbours safe and well. https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/warnings-and-advice/uk-warnings

Self care There are many minor illnesses you can treat at home, without needing to wait for a nurse or GP appointment. If you think you may need to see a GP to access treatment for a minor ailment, it’s worth checking here to see whether you can buy medicine over the counter. If you feel poorly, a well-stocked medicine box can be a real source of relief. Having medicines to hand means you can treat symptoms faster and don’t have to go out when you’re feeling ill. What should you keep in your medicine box? We want to make sure all our patients get the care they need, when they need it. The North West Ambulance Service have spent some time thinking about who can best help you and how, and have put together this handy information, so you know who to call. Do you know when you SHOULD call an ambulance? With lots of discussion in the press about how stretched the ambulance service is, would you know when to do it? You should call an ambulance when someone is in need of time-critical, life-saving help. https://www.westleicestershireccg.n…nd-your-medicine/self-care-for-minor-ailments https://www.westleicestershireccg.n…at-should-you-have-in-your-medicines-box/file https://www.nwas.nhs.uk/get-involved/campaigns/make-the-right-call/ https://www.yas.nhs.uk/our-services/emergency-ambulance-service-999/when-should-i-call-999/

January newsletter

January 2022 Newsletter              

  WESTERN AVENUE SURGERY NEWSLETTER FOR JANUARY 2022

 

New year new you If you have started a New Year’s Resolution only to have broken it shortly after, you’re not alone. With many people deciding the new year is a good time to try to change their habits, one of the big reasons for not continuing is that the change is too great. On average, a change becomes a habit after 66 days, so try to make your changes achievable over the long term. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/realistic-new-years-resolutions

Thyroid awareness If you have an under-active thyroid, you may experience tiredness, weight gain or depression. This condition is more common in women, but can occur in both men and women at any age. An over-active thyroid can cause symptoms such as mood swings, tiredness and weight loss. If you are experiencing these, or other symptoms of over-active thyroid, you should seek an appointment with your GP. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/underactive-thyroid-hypothyroidism/ https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/overactive-thyroid-hyperthyroidism/

Blood donation Blood donors are urgently needed. If you haven’t donated before, or not for a while, please consider doing so if you can. Blood donation saves lives. You could make a real difference. NHS Blood Donation needs almost 400 new donors every day to meet demand. If you haven’t given blood before, could you? https://www.blood.co.uk https://www.blood.co.uk/who-can-give-blood/

Men’s wellbeing January can be a difficult month for many. Men in particular may find it difficult to talk about their problems. In 2019 Time to Change found that only a quarter of men would openly tell their male friends if they were struggling with their mental health. It’s time to change that narrative. If you’re worried about someone, let them know they can talk and you will listen without judgement. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/m/men-and-mental-health https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/mental-health-stigma/ask-twice/supporting-men

Young carers If you’re a young carer, you should not be carrying out the same level of caring responsibilities as an adult carer does. You can request an assessment to ensure you get the right support to continue with your education. If you’re a young carer, some of the challenges in your life will be things your friends don’t understand. If you need support, Young Minds have some suggestions that could help you. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/socia…s-for-carers/being-a-young-carer-your-rights/ https://www.youngminds.org.uk/young-person/coping-with-life/young-carers/

Drug abuse If you’ve been abusing drugs, it can have a significant effect on your life. The NHS can help you to recover from drug addiction. Narcotics Anonymous meetings are facilitated by recovering addicts who really understand the challenges you face. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/drug-addiction-getting-help/ https://ukna.org

Covid vaccination England With the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to book your booster or vaccination if you haven’t yet had one. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ Wales With the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to book your booster or vaccination if you haven’t yet had one.https://gov.wales/covid-19-vaccines Scotland With the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to book your booster or vaccination if you haven’t yet had one. https://www.nhsinform.scot/covid-19-vaccine Northern Ireland With the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to book your booster or vaccination if you haven’t yet had one. https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/get-covid-19-vaccination-and-booster-northern-ireland

Winter fuel and staying warm If you were born on or before 26 September 1955, you may be eligible for a winter fuel payment. If you are eligible you should receive your payment automatically, but in some circumstances, you may need to claim. If you receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, or you’re on a low income, you could get a discount to apply to your energy bills. In a year where fuel prices are rising, even if you haven’t received this before, it’s worth checking if you are eligible. This won’t affect other payments such as Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment. Warming soups and dressing in layers are easy ways to keep warm without breaking the bank. Excess winter deaths were almost three times as high in the coldest 25% of housing than in the warmest 25% of housing. https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment https://www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme https://www.thespruce.com/ways-to-keep-warm-without-turning-up-the-heat-1388206

Samaritans Brew Monday (17 January) As humans, it seems like listening should be easy. Being a good listener isn’t always as easy as it first appears. If someone you know needs to talk, being able to listen well might make the difference to what they say. Mental health issues can occur year-round, and the last two years have been more challenging than most for many people. Make this year the year you focus on your mental wellbeing. https://www.samaritans.org/support-us/campaign/brew-monday/ https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/blog/what-does-blue-monday-mean-our-mental-health

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (17-23 January 2021) One in four people who are eligible for cervical screening don’t attend. Cervical screening is vital in the fight against cervical cancer. Cervical smears are now checked for the HPV virus first. Almost all cervical cancers are caused by persistent HPV infection, so checking for HPV first makes sense and allows patients to be monitored more closely. If you have been invited to have a cervical screening, but haven’t yet booked, please make an appointment as soon as possible. Cervical screening can help to identify changes that can lead to cervical cancer. https://www.jostrust.org.uk/get-involved/campaign/cervical-cancer-prevention-week https://www.gov.uk/government/news/changes-to-cervical-cancer-screening https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-screening/

December 2021- Update

Children

It can be difficult to know when you should book an appointment if your child is unwell. Cardiff University has developed some information to help, covering common minor childhood illnesses, the leaflet shows how long children are likely to be unwell and symptoms to watch out for.
It’s also worth checking out the Lullaby Trust FREE app that supports you in assessing your baby’s condition. When you have a very young child, it can be difficult to know whether you need to seek medical attention for them. The app asks a series of simple questions and gives a score that tells you whether you need to seek advice or whether you can continue caring for your baby at home.

Children can spread flu to older people who are more at risk from complications of flu. If you’ve been offered a flu vaccine for your child, please make an appointment and help us to protect your child and others from the flu.
There is an amazing resource from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde for parents of young children. Broken down by ages and stages, you can check what your child is likely to be able to do, with fantastic suggestions about how to develop key skills. With sections on starting nursery and school, you can help to ensure your child gets a head start.

http://www.whenshouldiworry.com/view-booklet.php
https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep-advice/baby-check-app/
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/child-flu-vaccine/
https://www.nhsggc.org.uk/kids/child-development/

Older Adults

As we get older, our nutritional needs change, as does our appetite. It can be difficult to ensure you’re meeting your nutritional needs, particularly if cooking seems like a challenge. Age UK has information to help you maintain your healthy eating habits. It’s not just food though, staying warm is very important too.
People born before 26th September 1955 can get between £100 and £300 to help with the cost of heating their home over the winter. You should receive this by 14th January 2022. You don’t need to claim if you’ve had it before, but if you’ve deferred your State Pension, or in some other circumstances, you may need to confirm you’re eligible.

If you’re a carer, we know you’ll have at least one person who relies on you being fit and well. As a practice, we offer support to carers and the people they care for. If you’re a carer, or you have a carer, we’d like to know so that we can give you the best possible support. You can request a Carer’s Assessment to ensure that the right support is available to you when you need it.November 2021

https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment
https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/healthy-eating/
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/socia…rt-and-benefits-for-carers/carer-assessments/

Staying warm advice

Given the current cost of heating and electricity, you might be worried about staying warm over the winter. We’ve found a handy article with some hints about ways to stay warm while saving money.
If you’re in receipt of certain benefits or receive support for mortgage interest, you should be eligible for Cold Weather Payments to help with your heating bills if the weather is forecast or recorded to be below zero degrees in your area for seven consecutive days.
Additionally, people born before 26th September 1955 can get between £100 and £300 to help with the cost of heating their home over the winter. You should receive this by 14th January 2022. You don’t need to claim it if you’ve had it before, but if you’ve deferred your State Pension, or in some other circumstances, you may need to confirm you’re eligible.

https://housewifehowtos.com/save-money/30-frugal-ways-to-stay-warm-in-winter/
https://www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment
https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment

Crohn’s and colitis (1st to 7th December)

Crohn’s and colitis can cause embarrassment for sufferers. Symptoms can be as diverse as diarrhoea, cramping, tiredness and mouth ulcers. If you have digestive symptoms you’re concerned about, please make an appointment with us. There are a number of causes of abnormal digestive symptoms, so it’s a good idea to have them checked.

If you suffer from Crohn’s or colitis, could you share your story to help raise awareness?

https://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/about-crohns-and-colitis/what-are-the-symptoms
https://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/get-involved/awareness-week-2021

COVID-19

The festive season was less than jolly last year. With Christmas cancelled for many, the impact was felt by families across the nation. What have we learned that could help stop the same thing happening again?

Whether you’ve been vaccinated or not, there are some signs and symptoms of Covid that you should look out for, and not all appear on the official list. The ZOE Covid Study has been looking at data from thousands of people.

At the height of the pandemic, the message was clear that we needed to ensure we washed our hands. It’s a simple hygiene message that’s all too often forgotten. It’s not just prevention against Covid, but also a whole host of other bugs and germs.

https://theconversation.com/four-ways-to-stop-covid-ruining-christmas-again-in-2021-172200
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/
https://covid.joinzoe.com/post/do-i-have-covid-or-a-cold-how-to-tell-the-difference

Norovirus and hand hygiene

Norovirus is a very unpleasant vomiting bug, often prevalent in winter. If you’re suffering from vomiting or diarrhoea, it’s possible that norovirus is the cause.

At the height of the pandemic, the message was clear that we needed to ensure we washed our hands. It’s a simple hygiene message that’s all too often forgotten. It’s not just prevention against Covid, but also a whole host of other bugs and germs.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/norovirus/
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/

Grief awareness week (2nd – 8th December)

As a practice, we’d like to support you if you’re recently bereaved. Losing someone you care about can be very difficult, and we understand how overwhelming the feelings of grief can be. If we can be of help to you during this time, please let us know how we can support you.
The Good Grief Trust is run by the bereaved for the bereaved and offers support and a listening ear. With an extensive list of other sources of support for your individual circumstances, the Good Grief Trust can help you through some of the complex emotions associated with loss. https://www.thegoodgrieftrust.org

Money worries

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. If you’re worried about money, have you checked that you’ve claimed everything you’re entitled to? You can find help from the Citizens Advice Bureau if your personal circumstances are challenging. There are many ways to access help and support, so please don’t let financial concerns get on top of you.

https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk
https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/ad…nd-events/how-to-cope-with-financial-worries/

Food banks

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/

Domestic abuse (Christmas incidents)

Refuge has a National Domestic Abuse Helpline. They offer help, support and guidance for women and children suffering from domestic abuse. Abuse doesn’t have to be physical.

Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline (0808 2000 247) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for free, confidential specialist support. Or visit www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk to fill in a webform and request a safe time to be contacted or to access live chat (live chat is available 3pm-10pm, Monday to Friday). Refuge’s website has a quick exit button, or you can try using a private or incognito browser window if you’re worried your abuser may find out.

As technology advances, abusers are finding more sophisticated ways to keep their victims monitored. For real-time automated guidance on how to secure your personal devices, Refuge also has a Tech Safety Tool.

https://www.refuge.org.uk/get-help-now/
https://refugetechsafety.org

NHS111 for Out Of Hours and alternatives

Over the festive season, you may find that access to GP, dental and other healthcare services is affected. You can find out where to access services by using the NHS111 information page for help and advice.

Over some of the festive season, the practice may be operating reduced hours, and on some days may be closed entirely. If you need help while the practice is closed, you can call 111.

https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/urgent-and-emergency-care-services/nhs-out-of-hours-services/
https://111.nhs.uk

If you need to access Out Of Hours services while the practice is closed and you have difficulty communicating or hearing, you can use the Relay UK app to access help. Call 18001 111 using your smartphone, tablet or computer, or via a traditional textphone.
If you need access to medical services during practice closures and you use British Sign Language for communication, you can use the Sign Video app to access NHS111.

https://www.relayuk.bt.com/relay-uk-services/relay-uk-app.html
https://signvideo.co.uk/nhs111/