Welcome to this month’s blog. Last month we shared news that patients in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are to be chosen to access a new app, free of charge, to help them self-manage their condition. COPD, the name for a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties, is the fifth biggest killer in the UK and it costs the NHS more than £1 billion annually. In 2018-2019 there were approx. 6,000 registered patients with COPD in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale.
Under this exciting new project, COPD patients can access support 24/7 on their smartphones, tablet or computer to manage their health online. 750 selected patients in the borough with COPD will be offered the app which will give advice on appropriate exercise programmes, and include online education tutorials such as inhaler videos, weather and pollution forecasts, and symptom reporting. Apps like this are an innovative way for patients and healthcare professionals to manage chronic diseases in partnership and if you’ve had a diagnosis of COPD and would like to register your interest in using myCOPD, please call 0161 212 6270 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find out more about the project here.
Also in April, HMR CCG’s engagement lead, Phil Burton organised an NHS Week at Milnrow Parish Church of England Primary School to promote healthy lifestyle messages to pupils and encourage them to think about their own health. Over the week, pupils in Years 4, 5 and 6 put their decision-making skills to the test in a game developed by the CCG to show how health leaders plan NHS services for people in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale, and they explored health matters in the borough further during classroom sessions. Fun archery, yoga and other sports classes led by Link4Life coaches encouraged pupils to get active and try out new things, cheered on by Rochdale’s Healthy Heroes mascot, Rochelle. Equipping youngsters with skills which could help them to save a life in the future, the Living Well Rochdale team taught pupils about how they can keep their heart healthy, basic first aid skills including what defibrillators are, plus how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The NHS Week was all about getting pupils to think about their health from lots of perspectives and we got a good response from all the pupils who took part. We shared some important messages that pupils can take home to their friends and family – thank you to everyone who got involved.
Onto this month and I’d like to take this opportunity to wish Ramadan Mubarak to all Rochdale borough residents who are observing the holy month of Ramadan. This year the celebration is estimated to start on the evening of Sunday 5 May and end on the evening of Tuesday 4 June and during this period Muslims fast from sunrise until sunset every day. It’s important to look after your health if you are fasting and the British Nutrition Foundation has tips and advice on how to keep well during Ramadan and Diabetes UK also has useful information for people with the condition about fasting and managing diabetes at this time – read it here.
This May there are two opportunities for local people to get involved in local healthcare. HMR CCG’s Primary Care Commissioning Committee meeting is on Friday 10 May, 12-1.30pm at Number One Riverside. Held quarterly, these meetings are where official business is discussed and formal decisions are made about the commissioning of GP services in the Rochdale borough.
Our next Governing Body meeting is on Friday 17 May, 10.30am-12.30pm at Rochdale Town Hall, in a change from its usual venue, Number One Riverside. The bi-monthly Governing Body meetings are where official business is discussed and formal decisions are made about everything from policies to which health services will be commissioned.
The meeting is a great opportunity for residents to see for themselves how we plan and purchase health services in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale and we encourage local people to attend. Public questions are an important part of our meetings and I’d urge anyone with a question to submit it and we can respond. Read more details here.
And finally, a couple of diary dates for June. On Saturday 8 June we’ll be at the Rochdale Digital Festival showcasing our Share For You programme. More and more people in the Rochdale borough are benefiting from their doctors, nurses and care practitioners being able to see a fuller picture of their care history as more organisations go live in the share for you programme – come along to the festival to find out more or visit the Share For You website.
On Friday 21 June we’re holding our Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Number One Riverside. This purpose of this session is to share with local people information about the CCG’s work in the Rochdale borough over the last 12 months and update them on our plans. We’ll be sharing more details soon – look out for more.
On Tuesday 25 June the Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Community Cancer Service is hosting a free heath and wellbeing event at Heywood Sports Village, 11am-2pm. Join the team to find out find out how they can help you or someone you know living with and beyond cancer. Read more here.
Thanks for reading
Dr Chris Duffy