Consumer

Consultation on pharmacy needs in Kent

pharmacy logo

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.

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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/

Modelling Advanced Fee Fraud Alert

Action FraudThe National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud have recently noticed that Fraudsters have been setting up fake adverts on social media (including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) and job browsing websites to dupe people into believing they are recruiting for prospective models.
Once victims show interest in the job, the fraudsters contact potential victims on the false promise of a modelling career and subsequently advise the victims to come in for a test shoot.

The fraud can then potentially be carried out in two ways;

Firstly, the fraudsters can pressurise the victims in sending an upfront fee to book a slot for the test shoot. Once they have received the upfront fee, the victim will never hear from the fraudsters again.

The second possible method is that the fraudsters will take the advance fee that the victim sends for a photo shoot and arrange a photo shoot with the victim. After the photo shoot, the fraudsters will contact the victim after a few days and convince them that their shoot was successful and offer them a job as a model. The victim will then be asked to sign a contract and pay another upfront fee, usually to secure the modelling contract.

Fraudsters are also creating fake adverts for supposed modelling opportunities for children which do not exist. Fraudsters will inform parents or guardians that a potential career in modelling awaits their child. This tactic convinces the parent or guardian to sign up their child and send an advance fee.

The suspects will also convince the victim that in order to become a model, they will need to have a portfolio. The fraudsters will recommend a number of packages and stress that if a package is not paid for in advance, the process of becoming a model cannot continue.

Over a two year period (September 2015 – August 2017), an average of 28 reports of advance fee modelling frauds have been received per month by the NFIB. In August 2017, 49 Action Fraud reports of this fraud type were received and may continue to rise. The total loss in August 2017 alone was over £71,000.

Tips for staying safe:
Carry out your own research prior to paying any type of advance or upfront fee.

Be wary if you are asked to pay for a portfolio, as many legitimate agencies will cover that cost.

Don’t give your bank account details or sensitive information to anyone without carrying out your own research on the relevant agency.

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Gas: Top tips to stay safe

Gas Safety Week has ended but remember these six simple steps to help keep you safe and warm in your home:

  1. Only use a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit, fix and service your appliances.
    You can find and check an engineer at GasSafeRegister.co.uk (check out our graphic below) or call 0800 408 5500.
  2. Check both sides of your engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card. Make sure they are qualified for the work you need doing. You can find this information on the back of the card.
  3. Have all your gas appliances regularly serviced and safety checked every year.
    If you rent your home ask for a copy of the landlord’s current Gas Safety Record.
  4. Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm. This will alert you if there is carbon monoxide in your home.
  5. Know the six signs of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness. Unsafe gas appliances can put you at risk of CO poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions.
  6. Check gas appliances for warning signs that they are not working properly e.g. lazy yellow flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks or stains on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.

How to find a Gas Safe registered engineer

  1. Go to gassaferegister.co.uk
  2. Select Find an Engineer from the menu at the top
    Enter your postcode
  3. Check the business has an engineer qualified to work on your appliance
  4. Call 3 or 4 businesses to get the best price and check availability

To find this information in future go to Local Information > Safety and Security > Gas Safety

Gas safety is applicable all year round

It’s the last day of Gas Safety Week 2017 – but of course gas safety is applicable all year round, so remember:

  1. Always use a Gas Safe registered engineer for any gas work
  2. Check their ID card and qualifications when they come to the door
  3. Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm to protect against the dangers of CO
  4. Any gas safety issues – visit GasSafeRegister.co.uk.