Health

New ambulance standards will save more lives

A new set of ambulance response standards, aimed at delivering the quickest response possible for the most critically-ill or injured patients, will be introduced in South East Coast Ambulance Service from tomorrow (22 November).

The new nationally-determined standards have been introduced across the country in recent months.

Changing the performance standards, which were introduced in 1974, will improve efficiencies and free up ambulance crews to respond to emergencies. Vehicles are often dispatched to respond to patients in less than eight minutes but most patients do not need this level of response. The new standards will enable the Trust to send the most appropriate response to each patient, first time, while continuing prioritise those in the greatest need.

For example, stroke patients will receive an ambulance response at the first allocation, to ensure they can be conveyed to hospital as quickly as possible to receive the clinical intervention they require.

The availability of a transporting resource will also be improved, reducing the length of time single responders wait for back up. (more…)

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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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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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/

South Ashford charities bid for Community Fund grants

Two charities based in South Ashford are bidding for grants from the Aviva Community Fund. Both Homestart Ashford and Beaver Community Trust have submitted bids.

You increase the likelihood of these projects winning funding by registering and giving up to 10 votes for the projects you would like to receive funding – either share the votes between the two local charities or give all ten votes to either one of them.

The description of the bids and links to vote are given below: (more…)

KCC Infant Feeding Support Consultation relaunched

Kent County CouncilCommunity Infant Feeding Support

Kent County Council

Opens: 23 Oct 2017
Closes: 3 Dec 2017

The consultation, originally launched on 18th July, has been reviewed and is relaunched here as outlined in Paul Carter’s statement posted on the Kent County Council consultation page on 4 August.

We would like to hear your views on proposed changes to how Community Infant Feeding Support is provided in Kent. Currently generic support is provided by the Health Visiting Service and specialist support is provided by PS Breastfeeding CIC.

The proposed model is that from 1st April 2018 the Health Visiting Service (provided by Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT)) will deliver all infant feeding support.   In designing the proposed model, Kent County Council has looked to ensure that families are still able to access the support they need, at the same time as making best use of the existing professional skills and resources within the Health Visiting service.

KCC is confident that Health Visitors can now deliver generic and specialist breastfeeding services in addition to the mandatory universal contacts and support it provides, and therefore does not wish to commission provision which duplicates the health visiting offer. (more…)

Protect yourself and others from abuse

Stop Adult AbuseWith each kind of abuse, neglect, undue pressure or assault, there is often someone who knows it is happening or suspects that something is wrong. Please use the contact numbersbelow to report abuse or seek advice if you feel you are being abused, or think somebody is at risk of harm or abuse. You can ask someone you trust to help you.

If possible, let the person who is being abused know help is available and include them in the decision to seek help. You could share this leaflet with them, unless doing so may place them at further risk.

What happens after abuse is reported?

If you report abuse:

  • Every report of abuse is taken seriously.
  • You will be listened to and asked to provide information about the situation.
  • You will be encouraged to give your name to enable your concerns to be followed up.
  • Professionals will make enquires about the concerns.

They will contact the adult at risk to involve them in the safeguarding process wherever possible, unless to do so may place them at further risk initially.

If you think you or another person is at risk of harm or abuse

please contact 03000 41 61 61 NGT Service 18001 03000 41 61 61

Outside of normal office hours: 03000 41 91 91 NGT Service 18001 03000 41 91 91

If someone is in immediate risk contact the emergency services on 999

For further information go to:  www.kent.gov.uk/adultprotection

#StopAbuseKent