Thanks for joining me – we’ve got lots going on across the borough and in our GP practices for local people to get involved in this month.
On Friday 2 November I was privileged to attend the opening of a pioneering new dementia hub here in Rochdale which will provide care and support for people living with dementia and their families, and patients with learning difficulties who also suffer with dementia. The condition is a growing problem in the UK, with 1 in 3 people born this year developing dementia in their lifetime and there are estimated to be around 2000 people living with dementia in the borough of Rochdale. Located at Springhill Resource Centre, The Willows Dementia Hub has been jointly commissioned by us and Rochdale Borough Council to further strengthen the services available for people across the borough living with dementia. Read more about The Willows here.
On Wednesday 14 November we’re holding a Healthy Lungs roadshow, 10am-3pm at Number One Riverside to help local people living with breathing difficulties known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). COPD is a group of lung conditions which make breathing difficult and the roadshow is an opportunity for Rochdale borough residents to find out more about them and the treatment and support available locally. There are more than 5,500 people across Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale who are diagnosed with COPD, and many more who have not received a diagnosis so I’d encourage you to attend for free lung function tests, inhaler demonstrations, advice on managing breathlessness and more. Just drop in to the ground floor of our Riverside building to join us.
This month we’re also reminding people in the Rochdale borough that a quick and easy pulse check at their GP practice could cut their risk of stroke and save their life. Atrial Fibrillation is a heart condition which causes an irregular heartbeat and is a major cause of stroke. To help diagnose patients with the condition and ensure they are getting the most appropriate care, all GP practices across Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale are now equipped with devices to assess patients’ heart rhythm and GPs can arrange for the testing for anyone at risk.
It’s that time of year again when flu starts to do the rounds. Many people underestimate the seriousness of the flu and don’t take advantage of the free flu jab. If you are in an at risk group it is vital you have your vaccine. You can make an appointment with your GP practice or at your local pharmacy so book yourself in now to protect yourself and loved ones. Visit www.nhs.uk/fluvaccine for more information.
Finally, there are two opportunities for Rochdale borough residents to get involved with or observe decision making at CCG meetings this month. Our Primary Care Commissioning Committee Meeting is on Friday 9 November 2018 and on Friday 16 November it’s our Governing Body meeting. Members of the public are invited to attend both meetings and public questions are welcome too. These can either be submitted through the website on the Governing Body page here or the Primary Care Commissioning Committee Meeting page here, or asked during the open questions slot at beginning of each meeting. I hope some of you can join us and get involved in local healthcare.
Thanks for reading
Dr Chris Duffy