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Consultation on pharmacy needs in Kent

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2018 Pharmaceutical needs assessment consultation

Kent County Council

Opens: 25 November 2017
Closes: 22 January 2018

How often do you use your local pharmacy? Does your town need more? These are some of the questions being put to Kent residents in a new consultation.

Pharmaceutical Needs Assessments (PNAs) are used by commissioners such as Kent County Council and local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups to identify local health needs that could be addressed by these services, and by NHS England to decide whether to approve applications for new pharmacies in an area.

Residents and health professionals are being urged for their views in a brief questionnaire. KCC Deputy Director of Public Health, Allison Duggal said: “We have a statutory responsibility to look at the need for pharmaceutical services in Kent and the essential services they currently provide, including dispensing, providing support and advice on health and medicines, collection of medicine waste and supporting public health campaigns. We’d like to encourage as many people as possible to take part in this consultation so we can shape the future of pharmaceutical services in the county.”

The important role that pharmacists can play is highlighted in the NHS England ‘Stay Well This Winter’ campaign which KCC supports, urging people feeling under the weather this winter to avoid A&E, and to instead consider visiting their local pharmacy for quick, early advice. This is especially important over the winter months – when people are more likely to become ill or feel poorly.

Going to the pharmacy early will give you access to medication and advice on common ailments, but they can also:

  • provide expert advice to manage long term conditions and let you know if you need to see your GP or make a hospital appointment;
  • Give you advice on how to care for an elderly relative or friend who has a bad cough, trouble breathing, cold or sore throat.

(more…)

Choosing the right health service can save money

Embracing self care for lifeDuring Self Care Week we want remind you to choose well when accessing local health services.
Some health conditions such as sprains, colds and coughs can be treated without a trip to the GP. Treating self treatable conditions at home, and using the right health services for your needs will help take pressure off the NHS.

The NHS constitution, which is the NHS handbook, says ‘please recognise you can make a significant contribution to your own and your family’s good health and wellbeing and take responsibility for it.’ It is important to take some time to understand how you may be able to help yourself before accessing health services.’

There are 3.7m visits a year to A&E for self-treatable conditions such as colds, flu and colic, which puts the NHS under unnecessary strain. This means less time for people with life threatening conditions such as severe bleeding or heart attacks who vitally need A&E services.

Before visiting A&E, consider whether there is a service better suited to your needs. Think about using information on NHS choices, calling NHS 111 or visiting your local pharmacist for advice. Don’t spend four hours waiting for an A&E appointment for something you may be able to treat at home.

Feel confident in looking after your health, help our NHS and embrace Self Care for Life.

Community Pharmacy

Embracing self care for lifeEmbracing Self Care for Life – Pharmacists can provide you with expert advice from the High Street

To mark Self Care Week 2017 (13 – 19 November) we want to highlight your health expert on the High Street – the community pharmacist.

Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals who can give advice and recommend treatments for self treatable conditions such as coughs, colds, sprains and strains.

Many people still visit the GP or A&E for conditions that could be treated at home or with pharmacists’ advice. Using the wrong health service increases the strain on our NHS, so it is important to think about what is the best service for your health needs.

People go to the doctor with common ailments because they are unsure how long symptoms last and need reassurance that it isn’t anything more serious. Instead of waiting for an appointment at your surgery, consider going to your local pharmacist first. Pharmacists will help you choose the right treatment for your ailment and can explain the normal duration of symptoms. They can also offer you help to stop smoking, manage your weight, as well as providing flu jabs and blood pressure checks. Many pharmacies even have private consulting rooms. If you have a cold or flu it is worth remembering that antibiotics won’t help. In fact, taking them can reduce their effectiveness when taken for ailments they can help with.’

In the UK most people are only 20 minutes away from an expert on the High Street. If you have a long term condition and are worried how common ailments may be affecting you, or just want some advice on managing your medicines, visit your pharmacist first.  Save yourself the time and hassle of booking a GP appointment or visiting A&E. Choose to feel confident about managing your health and take a trip to your local pharmacist.

Embrace self care for life.

New provider for 111 and GP-led out of hours service

Ashford Clinical Commissioning GroupA new provider has been appointed to run the NHS 111 and GP-led out of hours services in east Kent.

Integrated Care 24 (IC24), a local not for profit, gold-mark accredited socialenterprise with extensive experience of providing out of hours GP services and NHS 111, will take over the contract from the current provider, Primecare, from the beginning of December.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. Patients who use the service will be put through to a team of highly trained advisers, supported by healthcare professionals, to have their symptoms assessed.

They will be given the healthcare advice they need or directed to the local service that can help them best. Patients who are assessed by 111 as urgently needing to see a GP when their practice is closed will be referred to the out of hours GP service. (more…)

Embracing Self Care for Life

Embracing self care for lifeTo mark Self Care Week 2017 (13 – 19 November) we want to share ways for how you can embrace Self Care for Life.

Embracing Self Care for Life is about living well and being healthy.  Being active, eating healthily and learning when to self treat common ailments are all ways to embrace self care.

Many long term conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) are avoidable. However, numbers are still increasing. It is important to embrace self care, making healthy life choices now in order to look after ourselves in the future.

‘There are some really simple changes you can make to help avoid getting a long term condition.

  • Move more! If going to the gym isn’t for you, try walking part of the way to work, taking the stairs or having a dance to your favourite songs!
  • Stop smoking!  One of the best things you can do for your health is to stop smoking.  Ask your local pharmacist about stop smoking services.
  • Sleep. A good night’s sleep is essential to good physical and mental health so don’t burn the candle at both ends, make sure you get at least 7 hours sleep a night!
  • Eat well. It is vitally important that we get the nutrients we need and avoid excessive amounts of salt, fat and sugar. Try swapping chocolate and crisps to nuts and fruit for healthy snack options. Ask your pharmacist for advice on managing your weight.
  • Relax. We have such busy lives that we sometimes forget to take time out to relax, but it is essential for our physical and mental wellbeing.  Find time in the day to be still and quieten your mind. Consider mindfulness or yoga as these can be helpful.’

During Self Care Week, and always, make time to think about the positive steps you can take to embrace Self Care for Life. Let’s make Self Care a life long habit.

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Police appeal after Halstow Way robbery

Police are appealing for information into a reported robbery in Ashford where a bike was stolen from a teenage boy.

At around 9pm on Thursday 9 November 2017 the victim was cycling along Halstow Way when a car, described as being dark black or blue, pulled up alongside him.

It is alleged a man exited the vehicle holding a large knife. He is said to have demanded the bike and then rode off on it.

The car drove away towards Brookfield Road.

Descriptions of bike and suspect

The bicycle is a grey and green Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike. The word Specialized is in white letters.

The suspect has been described as being black, aged in his 20s and tall. He had a cut to his lip.

Call with information

Officers have carried out a number of enquires including house to house and reviewing CCTV in the area.

Anyone who can assist the investigation is asked to call Kent Police on 01843 222289, quoting ZY/055271/17.

Alternatively, contact Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Kent Police 12 November 2017
https://www.kent.police.uk/news/appeals-(witnesses-and-missing-people)/1117/robbery-in-ashford/

Ashford Oak’s pupils’ Smoke free school gates sign displayed

A design by Mary-Jane Hornes’ and Casey Cripps of Ashford Oaks Primary School, to encourage people not to smoke around school gates, has been made into signs and are currently displayed on the gates of Ashford Oaks, Beaver Green Primary and Willesborough Junior schools.

Smoking has been identified as a priority for both KCC Public Health and the Ashford Health and Wellbeing Boards. The council is committed to helping tackle this issue and these signs are part of wider educational initiatives designed to help both protect children’s wellbeing and to make Ashford a healthier borough.

Jane Marshall the pastoral team leader at Ashford Oaks said: “The girls are thrilled to see their designs on the school gates, it’s wonderful for them to see the culmination of all their hard work every time they come into the school.

“The process of designing the signs has really helped raise awareness amongst all the children about the dangers and risks associated with smoking. We have received a very positive reaction to the sign and believe that it will have an effect in reducing the amount of people smoking outside the school gates.”

Cllr Bradford, Portfolio Holder for Health, Parking and Community Safety, said: “We are delighted to see the signs on the school gates, and it’s even better to hear the positive impact the designing of the signs has had on the children. It’s fantastic news that the school is confident the signs will have an effect in reducing smoking outside the school gates as that’s what this initiative is all about, protecting children’s wellbeing and making Ashford a healthier place.”

If any other primary schools are interested in having a sign for their school gates they should contact envhealth@ashford.gov.uk

Ashford Borough Council 09 November 2017
https://www.ashford.gov.uk/whats-on/news/no-smoking-signs-make-first-appearance-9th-nov/

Extension lead sparks fire

We add advice from Electrical Safety First to an urgent safety warning issued by firefighters after an extension lead overheated, starting a house fire in Hamstreet, near Ashford last night (Tuesday, 7 November).

The blaze was discovered by a neighbour just before 8pm who heard the smoke alarms sounding and went into the house. The occupant was not home at the time so the neighbour attempted to put the fire out, taking in smoke in the process.

Three fire engines were sent to the end-of-terrace property and arrived to find smoke billowing from the rear of the house. They gave the neighbour oxygen therapy before handing him into the care of an-off duty paramedic for precautionary checks.

Ashford Watch Manager, Kevin Surridge said: “A breathing apparatus team found a coiled up extension reel that was run to a tumble drier in a first-floor rear bedroom, had sparked the blaze.”

Firefighters made sure the fire was completely out and cleared smoke and fumes from the property using a special fan.

Kevin added: “As the weather cools down, we start to use more electrical appliances around our homes, but my advice would be to only use them when you are there, never leave them running while you’re asleep or away from your home.”

With Christmas next month, homeowners will soon be thinking about decorating their homes with lights and are asked to please keep safety in mind – don’t overload sockets, use circuit breakers and make sure extension leads are fully unwound to prevent overheating.

Kevin ended: “Just because there might be space to plug in four appliances on an extension lead, it doesn’t mean it’s always safe to do so. Make sure your home and family are safe from the devastating effects of fire this winter by having working smoke alarms and testing them regularly.”

The fire damage was limited to the room of origin, but caused extensive heat and smoke damage to the first floor.

If you have any concerns about keeping yourself or a friend or relative safe, get in touch with Kent Fire and Rescue Service by email or phone.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service 8 November 2017
www.kent.fire-uk.org/news/news-releases/november-2017/extension-lead-sparks-fire-in-hamstreet-home/

Electrical Safety First Advice regarding extension leads and heaters

Extensions and cables

The more wall sockets you have in your home the less you will need an extension cable or adapter. However, many portable electrical items like lamps and radios are supplied with relatively short cables. So sometimes it is unavoidable not to have to use one, but beware of the following dangers.

  • Damaged cable, due to leads being walked over, continually bent at the same point or stored badly.
  • You can trip or fall over taut, over-stretched cable.
  • Leads on power tools frequently become tangled, leading to one of the conductors eventually failing – this could cause danger.
  • Overuse of multi-way adapters or adapter blocks, which increases the risk of fire

An extension lead should only be used when it is not possible to reach a wall socket with the equipment cable. When the use of an extension cable is unavoidable – follow these simple suggestions:

  • Only use an extension lead which was bought ready-assembled.
  • We recommend that no extension lead be more than 15 metres long.
  • Only use extension leads fitted with suitably insulated connectors and plugs. (Never join two lengths of flexible cable by twisting the bare ends of wires together.)
  • Position an extension lead carefully to prevent any risk of damage.
  • If the cable has to cross a pathway, cover it with a rubber protector strip.
  • Always check that leads, plugs and sockets are undamaged.
  • Always check the extension lead plug contains the correctly rated fuse for the equipment being used.
  • If using a cable drum extension lead, it should be completely unwound to avoid overheating.
  • For general use, 2-core extension leads should not be used.

www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and-advice/around-the-home/extensions-and-leads/

Electric heaters

  • Never leave portable heaters unattended
  • Never leave them on whilst sleeping
  • Ensure that they are positioned well away from anything which could knock them over
  • Ensure they are at least a metre away from any combustible materials, such as paper or curtains
  • Never buy second hand halogen heaters
  • Never power a halogen heater from an extension lead – these can easily be overloaded and cause fires
  • Regularly inspect your heater for damage. If it’s damaged, don’t use it

www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2014/11/playing-with-fire-consumers-are-risking-lives-by-using-portable-heaters-incorrectly/

Romney Marsh Road Closure – 31st October

A2042 Romney Marsh Road, Ashford Temporary prohibition of drivingKent County Council

A2042 Romney Marsh Road, Ashford

Temporary prohibition of driving

Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 — Section 14 (2) as amended by
The Road Traffic (Temporary Restrictions) Act 1991

Kent County Council gives notice that A2042 Romney Marsh Road, Ashford will be closed to through traffic, on 31“ October 2017 for one night.

The road will be closed between Kimberley Way Roundabout and Newtown Road Roundabout.

The alternative route is via Norman Road, Beaver Road, Beaver Lane, Brookfield Road, Leacon Road and Victoria Road.

It is planned that the road will be closed between 19:00 hours and 05:00 hours.
It is estimated the works will be compiete by midnight.

The closure is necessary to enable urgent carriageway repairs to be carried out by Kent County Council.