Thanks for joining me for April’s blog.
We’re doing a lot of work locally to create a sustainable primary care workforce and last month I visited Year 6 pupils at St John Fisher School in Middleton along with members of the CCG’s communications and engagement team to talk about careers in the NHS and my role as a GP in the borough. Even though there are more than 350 different careers in the NHS, some children associate it with just doctors and nurses who, in reality, make up less than 40% of the total workforce. The session was a good chance to get pupils thinking about other important jobs that people do in the health service and hopefully inspire some pupils to become the borough’s primary care clinicians, healthcare professionals and support staff of the future. As part of the visit, pupils quizzed me on my role as a GP, including what do I do, what skills do I need, what do I like best about my job and what’s the hardest part of the role, among other things. The class of 10 and 11 years olds included a budding heart surgeon and a children’s nurse and it was great to hear them talk about their ambitions at this young age.
If you’re a headteacher or teacher who would like to invite professionals from HMR CCG or the HMR Primary Care Academy to come in to your school or college to talk to their pupils and students, please contact HMR CCG Engagement Lead Phil Burton via phil.burton@NHS.net or 01706 65 2151.
Easter isn’t far away and my advice to you is plan and order repeat prescriptions in good time, check local pharmacy opening hours and stock up on vital over-the-counter remedies to help make sure you have a happy, healthy Easter.
Order and collect any repeat prescriptions in advance and remember that many minor health conditions can be easily treated if you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home – NHS.UK has good advice on what you should include in here.
Pharmacists should be your first stop for common problems including mild eczema, coughs and colds, minor cuts and bruises, constipation and indigestion. They can give expert medical advice and help with lots of everyday ailments. The full list of pharmacies in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale that will be open over the Easter bank holiday weekend is available on our website.
If you do need to see a GP, some appointments will be available over the bank holiday weekend at extended hours hubs located across the borough. You can book in advance by contacting the Central Booking Service on 0161 763 8292. For more information, please follow this link.
If you urgently need medical help or advice, but don’t have a 999 emergency, you can call NHS 111 and speak to a highly trained adviser. Medical help or advice is also available from 111 online using your smartphone, laptop or other digital device. The service is free to use and helps to direct you to the right care, first time.
By choosing the right service, patients will get the best treatment in the shortest possible time – whilst keeping emergency health services available for emergencies and life threatening conditions.
With a round up of news about health and social care services in the Rochdale borough, the next edition of our quarterly magazine, livin’ it! will be out later this month. This time you can read about a new programme to tackle tooth decay in children in the Rochdale borough; latest developments in the Share for You Programme, which is benefitting people living in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale by allowing their health and social care records to be shared securely with professionals involved in their care; the local campaign to help prevent abusive head trauma in babies; and much more. Copies of livin’ it! are available to pick up from your local GP Practice, pharmacy, optician, dental practice, library, children’s centre and other outlets, or you can view it online on our website.
April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and together with Rochdale Borough Council we’re supporting the campaign to raise awareness of the condition. Every 15 minutes in the UK somebody is diagnosed with bowel cancer and it can affect anyone -young, old, female or male. Look out for messages on our Facebook and Twitter.
On to next month and on Friday 17 May we’re holding our next Governing Body meeting. In a change from its usual venue, this will be held at Rochdale Town Hall, 10.30am-12.30pm. On Friday 10 May our Primary Care Commissioning Committee will also be meeting, 11.30am-1.30pm at Number One Riverside. Members of the public are invited to attend both meetings and public questions are welcome too. If you can’t make it to the meeting, follow us on Twitter @NHSHMR for live tweets giving an overview of items being discussed and decisions made.
Thanks for reading.
Dr Chris Duffy