October 2018

2019-01-09T10:50:58+00:001st October 2018|Latest blog|

Welcome to October’s blog.

We hosted our annual staff awards last month at Milnrow Cricket Club. This year over 70 inspiring individuals and teams were nominated across five STAR Awards categories and we also acknowledged long serving colleagues in the local NHS to commemorate 70 years of the NHS.

The People’s STAR/ Nancy Fallon Memorial Award is for local GPs, practice managers, practice nurses or GP receptionists considered by patients and the public to have provided high quality, compassionate and individual patient care and thank you to everyone who made nominations this year. In 2014, local family the Fallons presented the People’s STAR award to their GP Dr Mark Mudalige for the way he cared for the late Nancy Fallon during her battle with dementia. In memory of Nancy Fallon, the award was renamed to the People’s STAR/ Nancy Fallon Memorial Award and has been awarded as such since.

This time the accolade went to Dr Emily Paterson and Dr Chris Maratheftis from Castleton Health Centre for going the extra mile and supporting a patient through challenging times with a ‘nothing is too much trouble’ approach. Dr Muhammad Aamir Ehsan from Windermere Rd Surgery was the highly commended nominee in this category and was nominated for exceeding patient expectations and his help, support and professionalism.

This year we welcomed local boxer Muhammad Ali as our special guest for the evening. Ali made history in May this year when he became the first boxer with type one diabetes to be granted a professional license. It was incredible to hear about Ali’s three year battle to prove to the British Boxing Board of Control that his condition would not affect him in the ring and he now hopes to inspire others with type one diabetes to follow his lead. Read more about Ali’s story here.

Congratulations to all our STARs – well done! For more information on the awards and winners, please visit www.hmr.nhs.uk/hmrstarawards.

Looking ahead to autumn and winter, it’s important that we think about looking keeping ourselves and our families healthy. You may have started to see messages from the Help Us Help You campaign for members of the public. The key message is that by following expert advice – which may be from your local pharmacist or via the NHS 111 service, you can help the NHS help you to stay well. Look out for messages on TV, social media, billboards, cinemas, and in newspapers.

There are lots of things you can do to ‘help us, help you’ starting with getting your free flu vaccine if you are eligible to do so. Make sure you keep warm, eat well, and keep a well-stocked medicines cabinet. You can also check on elderly friends and neighbours, visit extended hours hubs in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale for out of hours appointments with GPs and nurses and remember advice is at hand if you call  NHS 111 or visit NHS 111 online.

A dose of flu can be serious so getting vaccinated against the virus is the best way to help protect yourself and friends and family. In Greater Manchester there are one million free flu vaccinations available to residents who could be ‘at risk’ of developing severe complications from it such as bronchitis, pneumonia, the worsening of an existing condition or even death.

People eligible for a free flu vaccination include:

Healthy children aged two and three years-old or in school years reception, one, two, three, four and five

People aged over 65

People aged 6 months to 65 years old with underlying medical conditions such as heart problems, asthma or disabilities

Pregnant women


People living in long-stay residential care homes or other long-term care facilities

People with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40+

Please also remember that if you’ve got a cough, cold or sore throat, don’t reach for antibiotics. Unpleasant as these illnesses are, most cases are caused by viral infections which can’t be cured by antibiotics. Instead the best things to do are take paracetamol, get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, and visit your local pharmacist for over the counter medicines to help ease your symptoms.  Also use a tissue and wash your hands well to help prevent spread of your infection to your family, friends and others you meet. If your condition – or your child’s – worsens or you are sicker than you would expect (even if your/their temperature falls), trust your instincts and seek medical advice urgently from NHS 111 or your GP.

For those of you who are keen to learn more about our work and the NHS there are some key dates coming up in the CCG’s diary. There are two opportunities to get involved in local healthcare next month by attending our Primary Care Commissioning Committee Meeting on Friday 9 November and our Governing Body Meeting on Friday 16 November. Both meetings are held in public at Number One Riverside and local people are very welcome to attend.

On Wednesday 14 November together with partners from Bury and Rochdale Care Organisation, Northern Care Alliance, Rochdale Health Alliance, Big Life and Link4Life we are holding a free information and advice day all about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) for members of the public to raise awareness of COPD, and help people learn about the treatment and support available locally. Look out for more details in our news section and on social media.

Thanks for reading.

Dr Chris Duffy