Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS

Heat-health Watch Alert: Level 3 – Heatwave Action

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Issued at 8:27am on Wednesday, 25 July 2018.

There is a 90% probability of heatwave conditions between 9:00am on Monday and 9:00am on Saturday in parts of England.

NHS Choices have published a guide to how to cope in hot weather.

Hot weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients.

More details about the weather alert is available on the MET Office website.

Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it’s too hot for too long there are health risks. If a heatwave hits this summer, make sure the hot weather doesn’t harm you or anyone you know.

Why is a heatwave a problem?

The main risks posed by a heatwave are:

  • dehydration (not having enough water)
  • overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing
  • heat exhaustion and heatstroke

Who is most at risk?

A heatwave can affect anyone, but the most vulnerable people are:

  • older people, especially those over 75
  • babies and young children
  • people with a serious chronic condition, especially heart or breathing problems
  • people with mobility problems – for example, people with Parkinson’s disease or who have had a stroke
  • people with serious mental health problems
  • people on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control
  • people who misuse alcohol or drugs
  • people who are physically active – for example, labourers or those doing sports

Level 1 alert: be prepared

The Meteorological Office has a warning system that issues alerts if a heatwave is likely. Level 1 is the minimum alert and is in place from June 1 until September 15 (which is the period that heatwave alerts are likely to be raised).

Although you don’t have to do anything during a level 1 alert, it is advisable to be aware of what to do if the alert level is raised. Knowing how to keep cool during long periods of hot weather can help save lives.

Public Health England (PHE) has advice on how to stay safe during a heatwave (PDF).

Level 2 alert: heatwave is forecast

The Met Office raises an alert if there is a high chance that an average temperature of 30C by day and 15C overnight will occur over the next 2 to 3 days. These temperatures can have a significant effect on people’s health if they last for at least 2 days and the night in between.

Although you don’t need to take any immediate action, follow these steps in preparation:

  • Stay tuned to the weather forecast on the radio, TV or social media, or the Met Office.
  • If you’re planning to travel, check the forecast at your destination.
  • Learn how to keep cool at home with the beat the heat checklist (PDF).

Level 3 alert: when a heatwave is happening

This alert is triggered when the Met Office confirms there will be heatwave temperatures in one or more regions.

Follow the instructions for a level 2 alert. The following tips apply to everybody when it comes to keeping cool and comfortable, and reducing health risks.

Tips for coping in hot weather

  • Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. You can open the windows for ventilation when it is cooler.
  • Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat.
  • Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn’t possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).
  • Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
  • Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and diluted fruit juice. Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) or drinks high in sugar.
  • Listen to alerts on the radio, TV and social media about keeping cool.
  • Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need.
  • Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
  • Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors.
  • Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.

If you have concerns about an uncomfortably hot house that is affecting your health or someone else’s, get medical advice.

You can also get help from the environmental health office at your local authority. They can inspect a home for hazards to health, including excess heat. Visit GOV.UK to find your local authority.

Level 4 alert: severe heatwave

This is the highest heatwave alert in Britain. It is raised when a heatwave is severe and/or prolonged, and is an emergency situation.

At level 4, the health risks from a heatwave can affect fit and healthy people, and not just those in high-risk groups. These groups include the elderly, the very young and people with chronic medical conditions.

Follow the information given above for a level 3 alert. Check that anyone around you who is in a high-risk group is coping with the heat.

How do I know if someone needs help?

Seek help from a GP or contact NHS 111 if someone is feeling unwell and shows symptoms of:

  • breathlessness
  • chest pain
  • confusion
  • intense thirst
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • cramps which get worse or don’t go away

Get the person somewhere cool to rest. Give them plenty of fluids to drink.

Active 10 – Walk 10 Brisk Minutes a Day for Better Health

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Public Health England are promoting brisk walking for just 10 minutes a day.

A brisk 10 minute walk every day can make a difference to your health. Each 10 minute burst of exercise is known as an “Active 10”.

A Press Release from PHE reports that 4 out of 10 (41%) adults aged 40 to 60 in England walk less than 10 minutes continuously each month at a brisk pace.

Brisk walking is simply walking faster than usual, at a pace that gets your heart pumping. Start with a 10 minute brisk walk a day and then see if you can gradually build up to more.

It’s the easy way to improve your health and wellbeing. No gym memberships, no Lycra. Just 10 minutes and you!
The free Active 10 app for smartphones and tablet computers (including iPads) takes away the guesswork. It shows how much brisk walking you’re doing and how you can do more. It’s easy to use and helps you set your goals for the day.
A regular 10 minute brisk walk can make you feel better in so many ways. It can boost your energy, clear your head and lift your mood.It can help people with lower back pain and those at risk of high blood pressure.It’s also seriously good for your long-term health – it can reduce your risk of serious illnesses like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Taking at least 1 brisk 10 minute walk a day has been shown to reduce the risk of early death by 15%. A 10 minute walk can contribute to meeting the CMO’s physical activity guidance of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week. This can lead to health benefits including a lowered risk of type 2 diabetes (by 40%), cardiovascular disease (by 35%), dementia (by 30%) and some cancers (by 20%).

The severity of the current physical inactivity epidemic amongst adults contributes to 1 in 6 deaths in the UK and is costing the NHS over £0.9 billion per year.

Read more at https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/active10/home#qha3yo9cF9P6rGLX.99

Ordering Repeat Prescriptions – Changes from Thursday 1 February

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From Thursday 1 February 2018 pharmacies, online pharmacies and suppliers of medical appliances will no-longer be able to order repeat prescriptions on your behalf.

You will need to order your repeat prescription directly from your GP surgery every time.

Prescription medication can be ordered from your GP by:

  • your GP’s online ordering service (if available through your practice), either by computer or a smartphone application
  • by handing in the white, tear-off part of your repeat prescription to your surgery
  • by letter

For more information you can speak to your GP practice staff or pharmacist.

What you need to do

Each time you need more medicines;

  1. Order your repeat prescriptions from your GP practice when you have 7 to 10 days of medicines left
  2. Contact your pharmacy to let them know you have ordered a prescription if you want them to collect it for you

Remember your GP practice may need 2-3 working days to issue a prescription and the pharmacy may need up to 2 days to dispense your medicines, so don’t leave it until the last minute.

Why is this happening?
As part of our ‘It’s our NHS and we’re not going to waste it’ engagement, the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) asked people to think about the way repeat prescriptions are currently provided and whether they support the idea to encourage most people to order their own repeat prescriptions directly from their doctor’s surgery by using the online ordering system or dropping a repeat prescription request in at the doctor’s surgery.

77% of people agreed with this and they also said that we needed to look at how to reduce waste in medicines.

Following this engagement, NHS Calderdale CCG has taken the decision to recommend to our member practices that they no longer accept orders from third parties after 1 April 2018.

By doing this the CCG hopes to:

  • Reduce medicines wastage from orders that are not required by patients.
  • Reduce spend on prescribing of unwanted medicines.
  • Reduce the potential for stockpiling medicines and the associated risks.
  • Reduce GP practice and community pharmacy workload in the longer term.
  • Empower patients to be in control of their own medicines.
  • Promote effective repeat prescribing systems including use of online ordering, Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) and repeat dispensing systems including Electronic Repeat Dispensing (ERD).

The CCG will start to roll out the changes on 1 February 2018 enabling both practices and community pharmacies and appliance contractors’ time to notify patients and put in place new protocols ahead of 1 April.

 

Have Your Say on How Prescriptions May Change

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Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) want to know what you think about plans to change the way that some medicines and products are prescribed.

The CCG’s aim is to ensure you have a long, healthy life and be active and independent for as long as possible but they also have a limited budget. Because of this they need to make decisions on what to buy so the funding is in place for the right services.

The CCG spends more than £600,000 on lower value medicines and products. These are items that many people already buy for themselves. They include:

  • Baby milks and infantile colic products
  • Multivitamins and vitamin D
  • Emollients (moisturisers) for minor dry skin conditions
  • Cosmetic products, including eflornithine for facial hair
  • Antifungal nail paints
  • Sunscreen products

By not prescribing these items the money could be spent on more effective treatments which have a more positive impact on patients’ health.

CCG also spends about £80,000 every year on prescribing branded medications instead of prescribing non-branded (generic) medicines.

Most medicines have two names, for example Nurofen is a brand name and the generic name is ibuprofen. Generic products contain the same active ingredient as the branded product and are just as effective as branded medicines.

They also spend about £120,000 every year on gluten-free (GF) foods for patients with Coeliac Disease which you can now get easily from supermarkets and pharmacies.

The CCG  want to know what you think about changing the way they prescribe:

  • Branded medicines
  • Lower value medicines and products such as sunscreens, baby milks, creams for unwanted hair, multivitamins, moisturisers, antifungal nail paints and colic treatments
  • Gluten-free foods

To find out more about our proposals, you can download the consultation document, or pick up a hard copy at your local GP.

To have your say, complete the survey no later than 4 December 2017.

You can pick up a copy of the survey at your local GP practice, download and fill in a copy or complete online at http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/PrescribinCCCG/

The consultation document can be downloaded as Changing the way we prescribe consultation document and the survey to print out and complete as Changing the way we prescribe SURVEY.

Active 10 – Walk 10 Brisk Minutes a Day for Better Health

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Public Health England are promoting brisk walking for just 10 minutes a day.

A brisk 10 minute walk every day can make a difference to your health. Each 10 minute burst of exercise is known as an “Active 10”.

A Press Release from PHE reports that 4 out of 10 (41%) adults aged 40 to 60 in England walk less than 10 minutes continuously each month at a brisk pace.

Brisk walking is simply walking faster than usual, at a pace that gets your heart pumping. Start with a 10 minute brisk walk a day and then see if you can gradually build up to more.

It’s the easy way to improve your health and wellbeing. No gym memberships, no Lycra. Just 10 minutes and you!
The free Active 10 app for smartphones and tablet computers (including iPads) takes away the guesswork. It shows how much brisk walking you’re doing and how you can do more. It’s easy to use and helps you set your goals for the day.
A regular 10 minute brisk walk can make you feel better in so many ways. It can boost your energy, clear your head and lift your mood.It can help people with lower back pain and those at risk of high blood pressure.It’s also seriously good for your long-term health – it can reduce your risk of serious illnesses like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Taking at least 1 brisk 10 minute walk a day has been shown to reduce the risk of early death by 15%. A 10 minute walk can contribute to meeting the CMO’s physical activity guidance of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week. This can lead to health benefits including a lowered risk of type 2 diabetes (by 40%), cardiovascular disease (by 35%), dementia (by 30%) and some cancers (by 20%).

The severity of the current physical inactivity epidemic amongst adults contributes to 1 in 6 deaths in the UK and is costing the NHS over £0.9 billion per year.

Read more at https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/active10/home#qha3yo9cF9P6rGLX.99

Understanding How the Local NHS Works – VAC Training

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This session on Friday 23 June 10am – 12pm will describe the national landscape and local responsibilities for commissioning and providing NHS services.

 

Participants will gain an understanding of how the NHS fits together and who has responsibility for providing specific local services.  The purpose of this session is to provide an overarching understanding of a complicated system and provide a who’s who and who does what within the local NHS.

Who is this session aimed at?

The session, to be held at VAC, 8B Hall St, Halifax HX1 5AY, will be useful for Engagement Champions and voluntary community and social enterprise (VCSE) groups who want to provide local services in partnership with the NHS.  It would also be useful to those who just want to understand how the NHS fits together.

Costs range from £30 to £80 depending upon the structure of your organisation. The course is booked online at http://cvac.org.uk/training but for further information email the training administrator at training@cvac.org.uk  or call 01422 348777.

 

Talking Therapies from Insight Healthcare

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Calderdale Talking Therapies is part of Insight Healthcare and provide free talking therapy services on behalf of the NHS. They are able to help those registered with a GP in Calderdale that are aged 18 and over.

The service provides help to people experiencing common difficulties such as: low mood, depression, anxiety, stress, panic, anger, phobias, trauma, bereavement, loss, relationship difficulties and family problems.

They aim to complete an assessment with clients within 3 days and some types of therapy are available within 2 weeks.

For further information contact Insight Healthcare on 0300 555 0191 or you can email calderdale@insighthealthcare.org

You can also see their website at www.insighthealthcare.org

Have your say on hospital services from 15 March

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A major consultation will be launched on Tuesday 15 March 2016 on proposed changes to hospital services and further improvements to community services in Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield.

The Right Care, Right Time, Right Place consultation is being led by NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG and supported by Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.

The consultation will run until midnight on Tuesday 21 June and a series of information sessions and public meetings will be taking place over the fourteen-week consultation period, where people can find out more about the proposed changes, ask questions