Welcome to the April blog.
Greater Manchester is famous for many amazing feats. Now we want to make history by ending the harm from tobacco once and for all over the next decade – and your input is invaluable. There’s still time to have your say on ideas and approaches to ending the harm caused by tobacco in Greater Manchester by taking the History Makers Survey. The city region has its sights set on being the first in Europe to make smoking history and making sure that our children have a tobacco free future. It’s a sobering thought that 1 in every 2 adult smokers will die as a result of smoking. Stopping smoking is the single best thing a smoker can do for their health and most smokers in our area want to quit. A tobacco free Greater Manchester is something we all have a stake in so I’d urge you to take the History Makers survey – it’s open until 30th April 2018.
If you want to quit smoking, or help someone else to, visit Dontbethe1.tv for support or call your local stop smoking service on 01706 751190.
You may have seen the recent media coverage about One of our local residents Grace Atherton, 87, from Wardle who is full of praise for a new service monitoring people’s health symptoms at home. Grace, who has a long term heart failure condition, benefitted from the new service called ‘Closercare®,’ which is part of a wider project launched in Rochdale borough to test new technologies in healthcare. This is a pioneering project in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale aiming to help identify people at risk of long term conditions (LTCs) earlier and prevent unplanned hospital admissions. Read the full story here.
There has been recent advice from NHS England who, following a consultation, have offered guidance on what GPs should avoid prescribing on the NHS, namely items that can readily be purchased over the counter. The CCG will be closely examining this and reviewing it in relation to our existing policies. You can find out more here.
Next month there are two bank holidays which is great news for many of you, but don’t let ill health ruin your bank holiday weekends – there are many ways that you can access medical care and advice depending on your symptoms.
There will be changes to opening times for local healthcare services over the bank holiday weekends, including some closures on Monday 7 May and Monday 28 May. To make sure you’re prepared, my advice is to check local pharmacy opening hours, stock up on over the counter remedies and pick up repeat prescriptions.
Your local pharmacist is the first place to go to for fast and convenient clinical advice or over the counter medicines to treat minor health concerns such as sore throats, coughs, colds, tummy troubles, teething and aches and pains – no appointment needed. They can also refer patients to further professional help where necessary.
The full list of HMR pharmacies that will be open on Monday 7 May and Monday 28 May can be viewed here. Patients are advised to telephone their usual pharmacy before travelling.
GP and nurse appointments are also available at the ‘extended hours hubs’ across the borough. Patients can book in advance by ringing the central booking service on 0161 763 8292. For more information, click here.
May is also the time of our next CCG Governing Body meeting which are now every two months rather than monthly – Friday May 18th. You can access the agenda and papers a week before it, here.
Thanks for reading
Dr Chris Duffy