Shorter days and chilly temperatures mean autumn is well and truly here and I urge local people at risk of suffering from or spreading flu to ensure they get their free NHS vaccination this year.
Flu is a serious illness and can even be deadly for the most vulnerable in our community. The flu vaccination is the single best defence against the virus and it’s free for many groups of people – over 65s, small children, pregnant women, people with long-term health conditions and people with a BMI of 40+. If you’re eligible, book yours at your GP surgery or a pharmacy. Remember, to be protected you need to have the vaccine every year as flu is unpredictable and previous years’ vaccinations may not protect you against the types of flu going around this year.
This month we’re supporting National HIV Testing Week 16- 22 November and encouraging people to get tested and know their HIV status. People can live with HIV for a long time without any symptoms, and HIV testing is the only way to know your HIV status. Testing for is easy, all it takes is a finger-prick test and there are more ways than ever to test – in sexual health services, your GP, through community, organisations and via online testing. On Monday 18 November the PaSH Partnership team will be offering testing at two locations:
- 11am-1pm Number One Riverside, Smith St, Rochdale OL16 1HE
- 2-4pm Action Together, 104 – 106 Drake St, Rochdale OL16 1PQ.
For more information about National HIV Testing Week, where to test near you or order a free postal test visit the It Starts With Me website.
This month the borough is gearing up for its first Pride celebration and we’re proud to be taking part with our local partners. Rochdale in Rainbows, the borough’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender+ (LGBT+) steering group, has organised the fortnight of events 16-30 Nov taking place across the borough and everyone’s welcome to come and celebrate. For full details of performances, social events and the borough’s first LGBT+ conference for people working in health and social care visit rochdale.gov.uk/rainbows.
Rochdale Borough Council’s Safeguarding Adults Week takes place 18-24 November and will focus on raising awareness of the role we all have to protect adults at risk of abuse or neglect. The week has a varied and full programme of sessions aimed at adult care staff, health professionals, carers, volunteers and members of the public and will include an open Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Adults Board (RBSAB) meeting, the presentation of Rochdale Borough Council’s first ever Safeguarding Awards plus lots of training opportunities. See the full programme of events here and find out more about how you can get involved.
Also happening this month are Self Care Week 18-24 November and World COPD Day on 20 November. To mark these dates, the Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Self Care Hub is hosting a special event for members of the public to attend at the Damson Centre, Rochdale Infirmary, 9.30am-3.30pm. The day is designed to raise awareness of what local people can do to take care of their own health in their daily lives and the benefits they can reap. Stressbusting techniques, armchair exercise, mindfulness and tips for better breathing are just some of the taster sessions taking place throughout the day and health professionals will also be manning stalls offering information about local support services. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients will also have the opportunity to learn more about the myCOPD app which is available free to help them self manage their condition. More details about the event are available on this poster.
If you’d like to get involved in local healthcare, join us for our Governing Body meeting on Friday 15 November 10.30am-12.30pm at Number One Riverside. This meeting is a good opportunity to find out more about how we plan and buy health services in the Rochdale borough and local people are invited to attend. The agenda and meeting papers are available on our website here.
On to next month the team at Rochdale Infirmary is hosting an informal drop in event for the homeless on Wednesday 4 December. Organisers are appealing for donations of outdoor and winter clothes, footwear, warm socks, hats, scarves and gloves, and toiletries and personal items to distribute among the homeless this winter. If you’d like to donate, drop off items at Rochdale Infirmary main entrance reception desk or at the Wolstenholme Unit. For more information, view this poster.
Thanks for reading
Vice Chair of the CCG Governing Body and Primary Care