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This year, people across the country are continuing to face new challenges as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support.

There are 6.5 million people in the UK who are carers, looking after a family member or friend who has a disability, mental or physical illness or who needs extra help as they grow older.

Caring’s impact on all aspects of life from relationships and health to finances and work should not be underestimated, and carers are facing even more difficult circumstances this year. Whilst many feel that caring is one of the most important things they do, its challenges should not be underestimated. Caring without the right information and support can be tough.

You can find information on carer’s assessments, local council support, respite care and help for young carers at nhs.uk.

Covid Indian variant outbreak in Northwich and Winsford – ALL residents told to get tested

A Covid outbreak linked to the Delta variant from India has been confirmed in Northwich and Winsford.

Public Health confirmed that there has been a large increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the two towns over the past seven days. It has been confirmed this is likely to be a result of the Delta variant B.1.671.2 first identified in India.

To reduce the spread of the virus, and understand the extent of spread , Cheshire West and Chester Council Public Health Team are now advising all residents in Northwich and Winsford to book a PCR test whether they have symptoms or not.

To book a test you should visit https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test and select ‘my local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test even though I do not have symptoms‘ or call 119.

It is extremely important that everyone in this local community gets tested, so that prompt public health actions can be implemented to prevent outbreaks and the impact on the local population and economy.

It is also important for schools to continue twice weekly testing with LFT to prevent spread in schools and avoid school disruption.

We would also encourage anyone who is eligible for their first vaccine to book their appointment via https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ and anyone due for their second dose to take up the offer as soon as possible.

Join the fight against Covid-19 – Sign up for a Phase 3 trial

This research is taking place at Halton Hospital. You can find out more about the study and sign up by visiting the vaccine study website.

The NHS App is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet. Account verification is done centrally and you don’t need a password from your GP surgery.

You can now use the app to show your Covid vaccination status.

You can use the NHS App to:

  • get advice about coronavirus – get information about coronavirus and find out what to do if you think you have it.
  • order repeat prescriptions – see your available medicines, request a new repeat prescription and choose a pharmacy for your prescriptions to be sent to.
  • book appointments – search for, book and cancel appointments at your GP surgery. See details of your upcoming and past appointments.
  • get health advice – search trusted NHS information and advice on hundreds of conditions and treatments. You can also answer questions to get instant advice and medical help near you.
  • view your health record – securely access your GP health record to see information like your allergies and your current and past medicines. If your GP surgery has given you access to your detailed medical record, you can also see information like test results and details of your consultations.
  • register to be an organ donor – choose to donate some or all your organs and check your registered decision.
  • find out how the NHS uses your data – choose if data from your health records is shared for research and planning.

Download the app now from the App Store or Google Play, or find out more information at NHS App – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Lets get back to nature to support our mental health!

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and this year the Mental Health Foundation has chosen the theme of ‘nature’.

Evidence shows that access to nature is crucial for our mental health and millions of people a have re-discovered that during lockdowns over the past year. This week is about taking the opportunity to open our eyes to the power of nature and how it can help our mental health.

You can find more information about Mental Health and the support available to you at the following sites:

nhs.uk

Mental Health Foundation

Mind

Dementia Action Week

Dementia Action Week is a national event that sees the UK public taking action to improve the lives of people affected by Dementia.

The word ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem solving or language.

Different types of dementia can affect people differently, and everyone will experience symptoms in their own way.

However, there are some common early symptoms that may appear some time before a diagnosis of dementia. These include:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks such as getting confused over the correct change when shopping
  • Struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word
  • Being confused about time and place
  • Mood changes

These symptoms are often mild and may get worse only very gradually.

Dementia is not a natural part of ageing. This is why it’s important to talk to a GP sooner rather than later if you’re worried about memory problems or other symptoms.

You can find more information at:

nhs.uk

Alzheimer’s Society

Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status when travelling abroad

Please visit the gov.uk website for information on how to demonstrate your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination status to show that you’ve had the full course of the COVID-19 vaccine and access this status when travelling abroad. This also includes details of how to obtain a letter to show your vaccination status.

In response to the demand from patients for easy access to their COVID-19 vaccination status, Patient Access has also enabled a feature which makes it easier for patients to view their COVID-19 vaccination record from the home screen of their Patient Access account.

This new feature will automatically be visible for patients who already have access to their detailed care record and immunisations. If you don’t already have a Patient Access account please contact us for details of how to apply.

Please DO NOT contact your GP surgery about your COVID-19 vaccination status. GPs cannot provide letters showing your COVID-19 vaccination status.

Proof of your vaccination status will be available on the NHSapp, (which is also valuable for accessing your health records and ordering repeat prescriptions) .

The NHSapp can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play

Alternatively you can call the NHS helpline on 119 (from 17 May) and ask for a letter to be posted to you. This must be at least 5 days after you’ve completed your course of the vaccine, the letter may to take up to 5 days to reach you.

 

 

Make May Purple for Stroke Awareness Month

Stroke Awareness Month, run by the National Stroke Association, is all about wearing purple to raise awareness of strokes and the impact they have.

A stroke is an attack on the brain which happens when blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, causing death of that part of the brain. The effects of a stroke vary depending on which part of the brain is affected and how severe the stroke is.

If you suspect you or someone else is having a stroke, phone 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.

Recognising the signs of a stroke

The signs and symptoms of a stroke vary from person to person but usually begin suddenly.

The main stroke symptoms can be remembered with the word FAST:

Face – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have drooped.

Arms – the person may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakened or numbness in one arm.

Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake; they may also have problems understanding what you’re saying to them.

Time – its time to dial 999 immediately if you notice any of these signs or symptoms.

It’s important for everyone to be aware of these signs and symptoms, particularly if you live with or care for a person who is in a high-risk group, such as someone who is elderly or has diabetes or high blood pressure.

More information can be found at

nhs.uk

Stroke Association

Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine: Reports of very rare blood clots

The MHRA is carrying out a detailed review of reports of a very rare blood clotting problem affecting a small number of people who have had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

The problem can also happen in people who have not been vaccinated and it’s not yet clear why it affects some people.

The COVID-19 vaccine can help stop you getting seriously ill or dying from coronavirus. For people aged 30 or over and those with other health conditions, the benefits of being vaccinated outweigh any risk of clotting problems.

For people under 30 without other health conditions, it’s currently advised that it’s preferable to have another COVID-19 vaccine instead of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Call 111 immediately if you get any of these symptoms starting from around 4 days to 4 weeks after being vaccinated:

  • a severe headache that is not relieved with painkillers or is getting worse
  • a headache that feels worse when you lie down or bend over
  • a headache that’s unusual for you and occurs with blurred vision, feeling or being sick, problems speaking, weakness, drowsiness or seizures (fits)
  • a rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin
  • shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal (tummy) pain

Find out more about COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting on GOV.UK

Think NHS 111 First

If you need medical help but it’s not a life-threatening emergency, call 111. Depending on your needs your advisor will either book you a time slot at your Emergency Department or at the best local service for you. This will help keep you safe and maintain social distancing.

NHS 111 First Poster