Happy New Year and welcome to the first blog of 2019.
Working with local people to improve health services in the Rochdale borough is an important part of our work and this year I’d encourage anyone who wants to get involved in local healthcare to do so – starting with attending our Rochdale Transformation Programme event later this month. Health and social care services in our borough are transforming and by 2021 we want more people to be in control of their own health and wellbeing, managing their long term conditions well and being supported to achieve good health and wellbeing across their life. We’re inviting members of the public and stakeholders to attend our free event at Middleton Masonic Hall on Thursday 17 January 2019, 5.45-8pm to hear about the impact that the Transformation Programme is having and tell us what’s important to them. To find out more and register for your place click here.
On Friday 18 January we’re holding our Governing Body Meeting at Number One Riverside, 10.30am-12.30pm. This is an opportunity for local people to see for themselves how we plan and purchase health services in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale and everyone’s welcome. Public questions are an important part of our meetings and I’d urge anyone with a question to submit it and we can respond. 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. Find out more about our Governing Body and its meetings here.
Finally what better time to think about what we want to achieve over the next 12 months. It might be pledging to lead healthier lives, giving up a habit or trying something new, and the good news is there’s plenty of support available to help us stick to our good intentions, however big or small the changes are.
Stopping smoking is one of the most important things people can do for their health. In Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale, Living Well provides stop smoking support for local people. For details call 01706 751 190 or visit http://www.livingwellrochdale.com/. The Smokefree campaign can also help smokers to kick the habit. Search ‘Smokefree’ online.
The One You campaign gets people to consider their health and the simple steps they can take to improve it. It’s never too late – making small lifestyle changes such as eating well, drinking less alcohol or being more active can double your chances of being healthy at 70 and beyond. Find out more at www.nhs.uk/oneyou/
Eating too much sugar is bad for everyone’s health and you’d be surprised at the amount of sweet stuff in everyday food and drinks like breakfast cereals, yoghurts, cakes, biscuits, fizzy drinks and ice cream. That’s why Change4Life has launched a new campaign to encourage families to ‘make a swap when you next shop’ to help them cut back on sugar. Search ‘Change4Life’ for tasty recipes and fun ideas to help your kids stay healthy.
To help local people kick-start their 2019 in a positive way Rochdale and District Mind has partnered with RED January, a movement that encourages people to get active every day in January to support their mental health. You can walk, run, swim, cycle (whatever you fancy!) – the aim is to get moving daily, whilst raising awareness and support for mental health. It’s a good focus during a characteristically tough month and supports ‘REDers’ through its online community. Find out how to get involved here.
Good luck and thanks for reading
Dr Chris Duffy