Welcome to the August blog and I hope you’ve been enjoying the recent good weather. For tips and advice on how to make sure you and your family are coping with the hot weather read our summer health article in the summer edition of livin’ it!, our quarterly newsletter, which is out now. Copies are available to pick up from your local GP practice, dental practice, library, pharmacy, children’s centre and other outlets. You can also view livin’ it! online here.
Thanks to everyone who took part in the History Makers Survey earlier this year. More than 7,500 people contributed their views on smoking, which kills 4,500 people in Greater Manchester every year. The survey revealed that more than four out of five people in Greater Manchester would support compulsory smokefree places such as playgrounds, areas close to schools and nurseries, and hospital grounds and almost 80% of people said they wanted to make smoking history. Read more about the survey results here.
The survey was part of Greater Manchester’s plans to be the first city region in Europe to make smoking history and make sure that our children have a tobacco free future. Our organisation is 100% behind this and back in March this year the CCG, supported by Rochdale Borough Council, signed up to the NHS Smokefree Pledge to help smokers in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale to quit and provide smokefree environments which support them.
The harsh fact is 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. If you want to kick the habit, or help someone else to, visit Dontbethe1.tv for support or call your local stop smoking service on 01706 751190.
If you’re heading to the Feel Good Festival on Saturday 18 August in Rochdale Town Centre the Smokefree Summer team will be talking to local people about the Making Smoking History project and offering people the chance to win free passes to family attractions.
Members of the CCG team will also be at the Feel Good Festival talking to people about local health services and a new stage of the project called Share For You . The sharing of a person’s health and care records so they are viewable by other practitioners involved in their care makes it easier and quicker for people to receive the care they need safely and effectively. Come and see us in the Family Zone at the Feel Good Festival to find out more and take part in our Healthy Rochdale quiz.
Finally, there’s a bank holiday at the end of the month and it’s important to plan ahead and know where to go for appropriate medical advice and treatment over the bank holiday weekend. There will be changes to opening times for local healthcare services over the bank holiday, including some closures on Monday 27 August. For protection against illness, please take practical steps which include checking local pharmacy opening hours, stocking up on over the counter remedies and picking up repeat prescriptions.
The full list of HMR pharmacies that will be open on Monday 27 August can be viewed here. Patients are advised to telephone their usual pharmacy before travelling.
You can find more advice on how to stay safe and well over the bank holiday weekend here.
Thanks for reading
Dr Chris Duffy