Category Archives: Ticker Tape

September 2022 Newsletter

WESTERN AVENUE SURGERY

Newsletter for September 2022.

 

Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is often diagnosed late. Symptoms include bloating, pain, or tenderness, and a frequent need to pee. The symptoms are varied, and if you’re experiencing symptoms twelve times or more in a month, please get in touch with us.

There are different types of ovarian cancer, and treatment and prognosis varies depending on the type, stage and grade. It is important to detect any cancer as early as possible.

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

https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/ovarian-cancer

Prostate health

Prostate cancer can be symptomless. If you’re over 50, black, or have a close family member (father or brother) who has had prostate cancer, your risk is increased.

You can quickly and easily check your risk of prostate cancer. Being aware of your risk level can help you to ensure that you are watchful for concerning symptoms, and that you get the appropriate checks for your individual situation.

https://prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information/about-prostate-cancer/prostate-cancer-symptoms

https://prostatecanceruk.org/risk-checker

NSPCC – Let’s talk PANTS

The NSPCC has a brilliant campaign to help educate children about bodily autonomy and when secrets shouldn’t be secrets. The “PANTS” rule helps children easily understand that some parts of the body are private. Talking to your child about what is okay is an important part of raising a child. https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/support-for-parents/pants-underwear-rule/

Influenza

It’s coming up to flu season. We’ll shortly be offering the influenza vaccination to our patients who are at higher risk of complications from catching influenza. We will contact you when it’s time to book your appointment.

If you have a child aged 2 or 3 on 31st August 2022, we’re offering vaccination against influenza. Vaccination helps to protect your child from serious illness and also helps to protect others.

If you have a child aged 4 to 17 years of age who is at-risk of complications from flu because of a health condition, you can have them vaccinated at your GP practice. This year, in-school vaccinations will be prioritised by age group.

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

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/

Sexual health and menopause

Symptoms of sexually transmitted infections are varied, including unusual discharge, sores, itching and rashes around your vagina, penis or anus. If you’re experiencing symptoms, you should get tested. Many STIs are symptomless, including HIV. If you’re having unprotected sex, you’re putting yourself at additional risk. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sexually-transmitted-infections-stis/

Menopause is when your periods have stopped for twelve months or more. Leading up to menopause, you might experience symptoms of peri-menopause. These include irregular bleeding, hot flushes and other physical symptoms, along with symptoms that can affect your mental health. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/symptoms/

Cardiovascular health

High cholesterol levels can increase your chances of a heart attack or stroke. High cholesterol can run in families, but can also be caused by eating fatty foods, not getting enough exercise and being overweight or drinking alcohol.

There are four main types of cardiovascular disease. These affect the blood vessels and heart and are a serious cause of illness, death and disability in the UK. You can decrease your risk by ensuring you exercise regularly and eat a well-balanced, healthy diet.

Maintaining healthy blood pressure is important for your overall health. Low blood pressure can make you feel unwell. High blood pressure won’t generally make you feel unwell, but longer term, it can increase your risk of conditions such as heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-cholesterol/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cardiovascular-disease/

https://www.bloodpressureuk.org/know-your-numbers/

Exercise and diabetes

As we move into winter, we become more sedentary. On average, British people sit for 8.9 hours per day. Sitting for more than 4 hours per day has been shown to make changes in the operation of our bodies. Get Britain Standing aims to get the British population up and moving.

Being physically active is beneficial if you are diabetic. Incremental changes can make a big difference to the amount of exercise you do on a daily basis.

http://www.getbritainstanding.org

https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/managing-your-diabetes/exercise

Migraine Awareness Week (5th to 12th September 2022)

You can join the Migraine Trust on their International Symposium Patient Day this year. With a range of expert speakers to choose from, you can join the symposium in person or virtually on 11th September 2022. https://migrainetrust.org/events/migraine-trust-international-symposium-patient-day/

Suicide Prevention Day (10th September 2022)

Samaritans offer 24/7 support if you’re finding things difficult. With 201 branches and volunteer listeners across the UK, Samaritans are experienced in listening without judgement.

Everyone finds life challenging, but for some people, challenging becomes overwhelming. Having someone non-judgemental to talk to can make a huge difference. https://www.samaritans.org

Dementia Carers’ Day (12th September 2022)

Many people with dementia and Alzheimer’s rely on their family and friends to carry out caring responsibilities. Dementia Carers’ Day aims to recognise the vital contribution that carers make to the lives of the people they care for. https://www.nationaldementiacarersday.co.uk/about-national-dementia-carers-day/

World Patient Safety Day (17th September 2022)

Each year, WHO holds World Patient Safety Day. This year the theme is Medication Without Harm. This aims to promote safe prescribing and monitoring of medication across the globe. https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-patient-safety-day/2022

Eye Health Week (19th to 25th September 2022)

Over two million people in the UK suffer from some degree of sight loss. Did you know this could be avoidable? By being aware of the things that affect our eye health, we can help to ensure that our eyes stay in the best possible health. https://www.visionmatters.org.uk

Organ Donation Week (19th to 25th September 2022)

This year please wear pink to raise awareness for Organ Donation Week. Donating your organs in the event of your death could make a huge difference to another family and, indeed, could save someone else’s life.

Depending on where you live in the UK, the laws are different around organ donation and consent. If you’d like to donate your organs, consider registering that decision. You should also talk to your family about your wishes if at all possible, this means that in the event that you die, your family are clear about what your wishes are.

https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/get-involved/news/planning-underway-for-organ-donation-week/

https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/uk-laws/

August News Letter 2022

Western Avenue Surgery
Newsletter for August 2022
World Breastfeeding Week (1st to 7th August)
There are many benefits of breastfeeding, for both mother and baby, including reduced
risks of various illnesses and diseases. In some cases, these benefits continue throughout
life.
If you are breastfeeding and finding it challenging, there are plenty of options to find
support.
World Breastfeeding Week 2022 is focused on promoting the warm chain of support for
breastfeeding. Examining various roles, the warm chain demonstrates how each of us can
affect the outcomes for mothers and infants in the first 1000 days of life.
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/breastfeeding-and-bottlefeeding/
breastfeeding/benefits/
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/breastfeeding-and-bottlefeeding/
breastfeeding/help-and-support/

Warm Chain (WC)


Playday (3rd August)
The theme for this year’s Playday is based around ensuring that all children have
opportunities to play. It emphasises the importance of play for children’s well being and
mental health, and how it helps them to develop skills for later life.
It can be challenging to keep children entertained during the summer holidays,
especially if you’re on a budget. We’ve a host of ideas to keep your children occupied
and learning without breaking the bank.
https://www.playday.org.uk

300+ Best At Home Kids Activities on a Budget


Cycle to Work Day (4th August)
With huge benefits for the environment, and for your own individual health, it’s worth
considering whether you could commute by bike. Cycling should reduce the amount of
time you spend queueing in traffic, and with changes to the Highway Code introduced
this year, cycling safety is now very clearly a
priority. https://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/cycletoworkday
National Allotments Week (8th to 14th August)
It’s National Allotments Week, and the theme this year is focused on counting bugs.
Bugs, minibeasts or creepy crawlies are really important for a diverse environment.
Spending time spotting a variety of bugs can be a mindful and relaxing
activity. https://www.nsalg.org.uk/news-events-campaigns/national-allotments-week/
International Youth Day (12th August)
International Youth Day this year promotes the idea of intergenerational solidarity.
Ageism presents in many forms and across the generations we can support each other to
understand the difficulties faced by others of varying
ages. https://www.un.org/development/desa/youth/iyd2022.html
Children’s eye health and safety
From birth to 18 (while in full time education), the NHS provides free eye tests to ensure
that any issues are picked up quickly and treated appropriately.
You should take your child for an eye test if you have any concerns about their eyesight,
for example if you notice squinting, frequent headaches or screwing their eyes up while
watching TV.

Children’s eye health


https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/eye-tests-in-children/
Hot weather advice
If you’re outside with children, do you know how to make sure they are well -protected
from the sun? Stay indoors during the middle of the day, ensure a good-quality high
factor sun cream is applied regularly throughout the day, and keep skin covered by loose
fitting clothing where possible.
For many of us, sun protection was only for holidays overseas when we were younger. As
research has improved, so too has our understanding of the impact that sun damage can
have on our long term health. This NHS page provides a wealth of information about
sunscreen and sun safety. Do you know how much suncream you need to apply to make
sure you have the level of protection stated on the bottle? Most people aren’t applying
enough sunscreen to have fully effective protection.
With 2022 having seen record temperatures for most areas of the UK, we need to think
carefully about how to manage in a heatwave. Temperatures as high as we saw in the UK
this year can result in serious problems, even among those who are normally fit and
healthy.
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/seasonal-health/sunscreen-and-sun-safety/
https://www.eyalliance.org.uk/how-be-sun-safe
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/seasonal-health/sunscreen-and-sun-safety/
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/seasonal-health/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather/
Stress in children
Children are reporting increased levels of stress and anxiety. The Children’s Society has
an informative page about managing stress with some useful links, including a booklet
on managing stress written by young people to help others feeling under pressure from
stress.
Young Minds offers help and support for young people who are struggling with their
mental health, and also offers support tailored to their families.
https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/information/young-people/wellbeing/
resources/stress
https://www.youngminds.org.uk
Accident prevention
In the UK over 6000 deaths per year occur within the home. More accidents occur in the
living/sitting room than anywhere else in the house, and falls are the most common
accidents.
We all like to feel safe at home, but feeling safe can lead to complacency about the
dangers we may be exposed to in our own home. Every once in a while, think about the
risks your home presents to you and others and spend a little time ensuring you’ve done
what you can to minimise the risks.
https://www.rospa.com/home-safety/advice/general/facts-and-figures
https://www.rospa.com/home-safety/advice/general/home-garden-safety-checklists
Healthy eating and getting active
As families we can do a lot to look after the health of ourselves and our loved ones.
Making simple food swaps and exercise choices can make a big difference over a
lifetime.
If you know you could do with losing a few pounds, but find it difficult to do so, there
are a few tips you can use to help you towards your goal. Firstly, moving more, simply
increasing your exercise level, means you’ll burn more calories.
If you’re looking for ways to become more active, you could look at Couch to 5k, or
Active 10: both easy ways to increase your activity levels.
Secondly, you might want to look at your portion sizes. It’s easy to overestimate how
much a portion is for some foods.
https://www.nhs.uk/healthier-families/
https://blog.fitbit.com/healthy-servings-a-visual-guide-to-portionsizes/
https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/get-active/
Travelling abroad
If you’re travelling abroad, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance should
the worst happen. Don’t wait until you travel, you should buy insurance at the same time
you book your trip to ensure you are covered.
If you’re travelling in Europe, you’d be wise to organise a GHIC card. The card allows for
lower cost access to some European healthcare. It won’t replace your travel insurance,
but your insurer may expect you to use it before you claim.
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/foreign-travel-insurance
https://www.gov.uk/global-health-insurance-card
Vitamin D supplements
As we learn more about the need to protect our skin from the sun, it becomes more
difficult to ensure we get enough vitamin D. Our bodies produce vitamin D when they
are exposed to sunlight. Protecting our skin from sun damage and reducing the risk of
skin cancer must be prioritised over getting enough sunlight exposure to produce
vitamin D. Therefore, it may be necessary to look for a suitable vitamin D
supplement.Most at risk of vitamin D deficiency are babies and children aged 4 and
under, those who are pregnant and anyone who does not spend much time
outdoors. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-d/
Back to work blues
Returning to the office after a summer break often comes with a feeling of “the blues”.
This might be because work is stressful, but also because we’re facing the longest time
until we’re likely to get another break. So, how might we deal with the “back to work
blues”? https://www.theguardian.com/money/2012/sep/03/beat-back-to-work-blues
If you’ve had a relaxing summer break, how can you keep that relaxed feeling going for a
bit longer to boost your overall wellbeing? https://www.mind.org.uk/information…-tipson-
returning-to-work-after-the-holiday/
Organ donation
Organ donation is a difficult subject, often involving loved ones having to make
decisions at a time when they are upset. While England and Wales now have an opt-out
system, please make the time to discuss your wishes with those you care about. You can
also register a preference. Understanding your wishes can make things easier for your
family. https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk
Asthma and COPD
Asthma often starts in childhood, but can also be diagnosed as an adult. There are
different symptoms and triggers, so if you’re concerned that you or a child may have
asthma, please ask at your doctor’s surgery.
If you suffer from asthma or COPD and are invited to have a review, you might want to
take a look at this information from Asthma + Lung UK about how to manage your
condition and get the most out of your appointment.
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/asthma/
https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/manage-your-asthma/adult-review/
https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/copd/managing-my-copd
Meningitis catch-up
If you have children heading off to university for the first time, have they had their full
quota of meningitis vaccinations? If you’re not sure, you can use the NHS app to check,
or you can contact your GP surgery. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/menacwy-
vaccine/

July 2022 Newsletter

Western Avenue Surgery
Newsletter for July 2022

Coercive control
In the UK, coercive control is a criminal offence. One of the less recognised forms of
domestic abuse, it can have a devastating impact on victims. Abusers may not recognise
control of money, restriction of autonomy, or jealousy as abusive behaviours.
If you’re a victim of coercive control, you might recognise some of the themes in the
article from Vogue. In the early stages of a relationship, it’s easy to mistake control for caring.
Women’s Aid has a wealth of information about how to help keep yourself safe online if
you’re concerned that a partner or family member is monitoring your online activity. If
possible, use internet away from the home. Make sure you understand private or
incognito browsers and how to clear your history.
Women’s Aid has information about domestic abuse including coercive control. The site
has a quick exit button, in case you’re concerned someone may see you.
If you are a man and concerned that your behaviour towards a partner or family member
may be abusive, you may find the advice from Men’s Health Forum useful. There is a five
step programme to help you get out of a cycle of abuse.
Men can find themselves being abused by partners or family members. It can be difficult
to accept that you’re being abused, and harder still to seek help.
https://www.healthline.com/health/coercive-control
https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/taking-back-control

Cover your tracks online


https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/what-is-domestic-abuse/coercivecontrol/
https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/domestic-violence-you-dishing-it-out
https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/domestic-violence-receiving-end

Preventing diabetes
Diabetes causes around 500 premature deaths in the UK each week. If you’ve never
thought about your risk of type 2 diabetes, the NHS has a risk calculator that can help
you to work out whether changes to your lifestyle may be needed.
More than half of all cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented or delayed, so making
simple lifestyle changes now could improve your long term health.
If lifestyle changes could help you to reduce your risk, some of the most effective
changes you can make to help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes are very
simple. https://riskscore.diabetes.org.uk/start
https://www.diabetes.org.uk/preventing-type-2-diabetes/can-diabetes-be-prevented

Hot weather advice
With temperatures rising over the summer months, it’s an ideal time to think about how
to stay safe in warmer weather. In the UK there are over 2000 deaths each year which are
heat related.
Signs of heat exhaustion include headache, dizziness and confusion, loss of appetite or
feeling sick, excessive sweating and a high temperature of 38C or above. If you’re
suffering from heat exhaustion, it’s important to try and cool yourself down within 30
minutes.
Heat stroke can be very serious and should be treated as an emergency. If you feel
unwell after 30 minutes resting in a cool place and drinking plenty of water, you have a
temperature of 40C or over, if you feel confused, or aren’t sweating even though you feel
very hot, these could be signs of heat stroke.
If you, or someone you care about is likely to be affected by extreme weather conditions,
you can sign up for email alerts from the Met Office that will tell you when extreme
weather is expected. Some groups of people are more likely to be adversely affected by
weather conditions, including older adults, babies and young children, and those living
with long term health conditions.
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/seasonal-health/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather/
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/heat-exhaustion-heatstroke/
https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/guide-to-emails

Holiday advice
Whether you’re going overseas this year, or planning to stay closer to home, the
fit for travel website has brilliant information about how to choose a suncream, who is
most vulnerable and the other preventative measures you can take to make sure you
stay safe in the sun.
The fit for travel website also has a wealth of information about health issues that can
occur on holiday and ways that you can stay safe while travelling. If any kind of travel is
in your plans, it’s well worth checking out.
https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/general-travel-health-advice/sun-safety
https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice

Healthier food ideas
Given rising levels of obesity and a trend towards less active lifestyles, it’s important to
teach the young people in our lives how to eat healthily. A maximum of two 100 calorie
snacks per day helps towards that goal.
Small changes to your diet can make a big difference. Swapping food you eat regularly
for healthier alternatives can make improvements to your diet with almost no effort.
https://www.nhs.uk/healthier-families/food-facts/healthier-snacks/
https://www.nhs.uk/healthier-families/food-facts/healthier-food-swaps/#snacks
Mental health for young people
The NHS website has a fantastic page about how you can help and support children and
young people with their mental health, including ways you might be able to identify if
someone is struggling.
Additionally, Kooth is an online support service for young people. It’s available in areas
across the UK. If you think you might benefit, it’s worth taking a look.
Young Minds might be just the support you’re looking for, if you, or[1] someone you
care about is a young person who needs support with their mental health.
https://www.kooth.com
https://www.youngminds.org.uk
https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/supporting-others/childrens-mental-health/

Dehydration advice
Dehydration can be a big problem in warmer weather. If you’re dehydrated, you may feel
thirsty. In fact, feeling thirsty and dark coloured pee are two of the earliest signs of
dehydration that you should look out for.
Different colours of urine mean different things. If your urine is orange, would you know
whether to be concerned?
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dehydration/
https://www.healthline.com/health/urine-color-chart#color-chart

Sun cream application
SunSmart is an Australian programme to help reduce the number of deaths from skin
cancer. While we may not live in Australia, we can use lessons learned there to help and
support children to stay safe in the sun. By improving early learning around sun safety,
we can influence the ability of our own children to look after their skin long
term. https://www.sunsmart.com.au/advice-for/schools-early-childhood/educationresources
400/600/600 rule and TDE
An average adult needs between 2000 and 2400 calories per day, but it can be hard to
translate that to what a meal should look like. This handy page has a wealth of ideas that
fit the 400/600/600 model to ensure you only eat the necessary number of calories each
day.
If you’re overweight, losing just 5% of your body weight can have significant benefits.
We tend to underestimate the amount of calories that we’re consuming. Calculating the
number of calories you need to maintain, lose or gain weight can help you stay within a
healthy range.
https://thrivingworkplaces.org.uk/what-does-400-600-600-look-like/
https://tdeecalculator.net

Samaritans
If you’re struggling and need someone to talk to, but you don’t want to talk to a GP, the
Samaritans are available to speak to 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Whatever the issue
that you’re facing, you will be listened to by someone non -judgemental and supportive
who will give you space to speak.
If you don’t feel that you can talk to someone about the thing that is bothering you, the
Samaritans have more than one way you can access support.
https://www.samaritans.org
https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/

Parkrun
Parkrun is a free-to-enter activity held across the UK each week. With junior parkruns at
2km, and parkruns for all at 5km, there’s sure to be something suitable for you, no
matter what your age. You don’t have to run the whole course, so even if you’re wa lking,
you can get something out of it. https://www.parkrun.org.uk
[NOT FOR POSTING TO YOUR PUBLIC FACING PAGES] If you think that your practice
could join over 1600 parkrun practices and get your surgery population moving, you can
find out more here. https://volunteer.parkrun.com/principles/united-kingdom

Shingles
Shingles is a painful condition related to the chicken pox virus. While you cannot catch
shingles, people who have not previously had chicken pox can catch it from someone
who has shingles. Shingles often appears on one side of the body only.
If you are aged 70 to 79, you’re eligible for vaccination against shing les. Shingles can
cause pain and lasting complications. Vaccination helps to reduce your risk.
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/shingles/
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/who-can-have-the-shingles-vaccine/

Mindfulness
You might describe mindfulness as being “in the moment”. The practice of mindfulness
has been shown to help with stress and anxiety.
Mindfulness can help with stress and anxiety. If you think that having an app might help
you practice mindfulness in your everyday life, you might find this article helpful.
https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/tips-and-support/mindfulness/
https://www.independent.co.uk/extra…cessories/best -mindfulness-apps-a8217931.html

June 2022 Newsletter

 

WESTERN AVENUE SURGERY

NEWSLETTER FOR JUNE 2022

 

Tourette’s Awareness (to 15th June)

Tourette Syndrome causes a variety of tics, which are involuntary noises or movements. Tics must be present for more than 12 months to meet the criteria for diagnosis. Many people who are diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome also have a co-occurring condition such as ADHD, OCD, or anxiety. It is estimated that more than one in every hundred school children are affected.  https://www.tourettes-action.org.uk/67-what-is-ts.htm

CHD

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is usually caused by a build-up of fatty deposits on the walls of arteries, and can lead to restriction of blood supply to the heart muscle.

Angina (chest pain) and breathlessness are two of the most commonly noticed symptoms of coronary heart disease(CHD), though some patients who are diagnosed with CHD will not have had any symptoms at all.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronary-heart-disease/causes/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronary-heart-disease/symptoms/

Covid vaccination

England

Many people had their first Coronavirus vaccination and then did not attend for their second, or had two, but not their booster. As the world begins to re-open, it’s more important than ever to ensure you’re fully vaccinated.

If you have been told that you are eligible for a Coronavirus vaccination, but haven’t yet had it, you can book your vaccination here. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coron…rus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/

Family planning options

If you need to consider your options for family planning, you can check the NHS website for factual information. Whether you’d like to prevent an unplanned pregnancy for the foreseeable future, or might think about starting a family in the next few years, there are lots of suitable options available via the NHS. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/

Older adults

If you’re aged 60 or over, you can have a free eye test at least every two years on the NHS. There are other ways you can keep on top of the condition of your eyes in the meantime, these include wearing sunglasses, eating healthily and quitting smoking.

As we age, our muscle strength and balance change. These changes can lead to slips, trips and falls. Exercise can help you to maintain your muscle strength.

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/conditions-illnesses/eye-health/

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/exercise/falls-prevention/

Teen pregnancy

If you’re a young person who has discovered that you are unexpectedly pregnant, the NHS offers support, advice and guidance to help you through what may be a challenging time.

Brook offer a variety of sexual health advice to young people. With branches across England, Brook are well placed to help and support young people with their sexual health.

https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/support/teenage-pregnancy/

https://www.brook.org.uk

National Patient Participation Week (31st May to 6th June)

It’s National Patient Participation Week, and we’d like to encourage you to consider becoming involved with the practice through patient participation. It’s really important to us to have a group that is representative of our practice as a whole. We know that some patients can’t easily attend meetings, so we’re open to patients participating in ways that suit them. If you’d like to be involved, please speak to a member of the team.

Patient Participation Groups (PPG’s) are vital in Primary Care. As GPs, we lead our teams helping to ensure the best outcomes for our patients. One vital aspect of leading the practice is ensuring that patients’ voices are heard, and while PPGs are not designed to air individual issues, they are a great way to get involved with the way that your surgery delivers services.

https://napp.org.uk

https://napp.org.uk/for-patients/

Volunteers’ Week (1st to 7th June)

Volunteers play a massive role across the UK, and we’d like to thank each and every volunteer who gives up their time to help and support others. The huge number of volunteers who stepped up to help with the Coronavirus vaccination programme demonstrated just how many people are willing to go above and beyond to help others, and we want to thank all volunteers for everything they do to help our communities.

If you’ve ever thought that you could spare some time to help others, the Government website has a dedicated page to search for volunteering opportunities. There are a wide range of ways that you can volunteer, and if you’ve thought about volunteering, why not take a look? Our communities could not thrive without the support of volunteers.

https://volunteersweek.org/about-volunteers-week/what-is-volunteers-week/

https://www.gov.uk/government/get-involved/take-part/volunteer

Still birth and Neonatal death (5th June)

If you, or someone you know, has experienced the loss of a child to stillbirth or neonatal death, you will know the devastation such a loss causes. SANDS has a free national helpline to support families who lose a child to stillbirth or neonatal death. https://www.sands.org.uk

World Allergy Week (5th-11th June)

This year the focus of World Allergy Week is asthma and allergic airway diseases. Allergic respiratory diseases affect millions across the world and raising awareness is critical to healthcare and future outcomes for patients. https://www.worldallergy.org/resources/world-allergy/2022

Carers Week (6th-12th June)

There are 6.5 million unpaid carers in the UK. Some carers provide support to elderly relatives, while others provide support to young people and those with chronic conditions or disabilities. Without the efforts of these unpaid carers, life would look very different for those they support. Carers Week gives us an opportunity to thank carers for everything that they do. https://www.carersweek.org

Men’s Health Week (13th-19th June) (Men’s Health Forum)

With other things to think about during the pandemic, many niggling health issues have gone unresolved. This year’s Men’s Health Week is hoping that men will stop and take a short amount of time to assess their mental and physical health. Fewer men have asked their GPs about concerns like prostate cancer, and diagnoses were down by almost 30%, though incidences of prostate cancer have not dropped.

If you’ve got five minutes to spare, this DIY MOT for men from the Men’s Health Forum should help you to work out whether everything seems as it should be in terms of your health. With fewer men consulting their GPs during the pandemic, it’s important to see how you’re doing.

https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/mhw

https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/diy-man-mot

BNF Healthy Eating Week (13th-17th June)

The theme for this year’s Healthy Eating Week is ‘Eat well for you and the planet!’ Each day of the week will have a different focus to help you consider your health and the impact of the food we eat on our planet. https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthy-eating-week/

Diabetes Week (13th-19th June)

Living with diabetes can be a challenge, with those who have been diagnosed with diabetes having to watch what and when they eat more carefully than most.

Diabetes has two forms. Type 1, where your body does not produce any insulin to regulate your blood sugar, and Type 2, where your body does not use the insulin you make effectively, or you don’t produce enough. Both types of diabetes lead to increased blood glucose levels which can damage your heart, kidneys, eyes and feet over time.

https://www.diabetes.org.uk/diabetes-week

https://www.diabetes.org.uk/diabetes-the-basics

Autistic Pride Day (18th June)

June 18th is Autistic Pride Day. Set up by Aspies for Freedom some years ago, the day aims to celebrate autistic people and share stories of positivity about those who are neuro-diverse.

An autism diagnosis can mean big changes to your life. For some people who are diagnosed, it can give a real sense of relief. The National Autistic Society offers support to autistic people and their families.

http://www.aspiesforfreedom.com/index.html

https://www.autism.org.uk

Cervical Screening Awareness (20th-26th June)

Some people find cervical screening a really difficult thought. Jo’s cervical cancer trust wants to help make the test easier, and this week will be talking about how we can make that happen.

Women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 49 should have a cervical screening every 3 years. Those aged 50 to 64 will be invited to be screened every five years. If you’re offered a test, it’s important for your health that you go. Early detection of the types of HPV that can cause cancer can improve health outcomes.

https://www.jostrust.org.uk/get-involved/campaign/cervical-screening-awareness-week

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-screening/

Children’s Hospice Week (20th- 26th June)

Children’s hospices are vital support networks for those who need to use them. They provide respite, long-term and end of life care, and many families’ lives would look very different if they could not access a hospice for their child. https://www.togetherforshortlives.o…itiatives-and-appeals/childrens-hospice-week/

Armed Forces Day (25th June)

Each year, Armed Forces Day gives us the opportunity to thank the armed forces who provide service to our country.

If you’re a veteran of the armed forces, your time in service can impact on your long term wellbeing. The NHS offers support to veterans of the armed forces.

https://www.armedforcesday.org.uk/about/

https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/armed-forces-community/

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/