Pharmacy opening times this Christmas

Local GPs are encouraging people to stay well this festive season by seeking help from their local pharmacy for expert advice and treatment for minor health problems.

Pharmacists are qualified to provide expert advice and prescribe treatment for many winter illnesses such as sore throats and runny noses. With many GP surgeries closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, local pharmacies can provide a valuable service to the public to avoid an unnecessary trip to their local hospital.

Improving access to primary care services

The six NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are looking at how to give you easier and more convenient access to services you have at your local family doctor and GP surgery available outside of the usual surgery hours, including over the weekends.

We are interested in hearing your views about how, when and where you might choose to use these services outside of the usual surgery hours. 

This survey will remain open until Friday 5th January 2018 and the information gathered will then be reviewed with current and potential providers of these services. Patient representatives will be involved in this work and in developing options for each area of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent launches its 'What's Your Emergency?' winter campaign

The NHS and social care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent have launched its 'What's Your Emergency?' winter campaign today, Friday 1 December 2017. For the next six weeks you'll hear from a variety of frontline staff from across the NHS. They'll be giving a combination of advice about different illness and conditions, how you can be prepared for winter, what you can do for others and the services that are on offer.

Health awareness: COPD

November is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) awareness month. COPD is the name for a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties.

It includes:

  • Emphysema – damage to the air sacs in the lungs
  • Chronic bronchitis – long-term inflammation of the airways

COPD is a common condition that mainly affects middle-aged or older adults who smoke. The condition can sometimes affect people who have never smoked. Many people don't realise they have it and conditions can gradually worsen over time. There may also be periods when they get suddenly worse, known as a flare-up or exacerbation.

Health awareness: Looking after you

Looking after you

We have provided information about self care week and digital apps.

Self care week 13-19 November

Self Care Week (13-19 November) is an annual national awareness week that focuses on establishing support for self care across communities, families and generations.

Health awareness: Get purple and save lives

9600 people and their loved ones will face a pancreatic cancer diagnosis this year. And the numbers are set to increase. Early diagnosis is vital to saving lives, so it’s time to take urgent action by raising awareness of the disease.

Every day during Pancreatic Awareness Month, 1 – 30 November, there will be a short video about the people behind the disease including patient, carer, survivor stories as well as perspectives from nurses, surgeons, dietitians, supporters and researchers.

Videos launched to help patients with diabetes look after their feet

Patients with diabetes are set to benefit from three videos aimed at helping them to look after their feet.

People who have diabetes are 15 times more likely to undergo amputations than those without the condition. This is because diabetes can reduce the blood supply to patients’ feet, meaning they may not feel any pain if their foot is sore or injured.

The videos have been developed by NHS England in the West Midlands, through its Cardiovascular (CVD) Clinical Network, to enable patients to take more control of their condition by showing them how to look after their feet, what happens at their annual foot check and what to do if they have a problem.

Had a referral to a hospital or community service?

When you visit your GP with a health concern they may refer you to a hospital or community service to see a specialist. For example, if you are experiencing a skin or stomach issue your GP may refer you to a hospital or community service who will then decide what your next appropriate step will be.

This is done electronically between your GP surgery and the hospital or community service, known as a virtual appointment or virtual clinic. This currently includes any service for dermatology (via HealthHarmonie) or gastroenterology services (Cannock Chase Hospital and New Cross Hospital – run by Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust).

When the next appropriate step is decided you will be contacted by the hospital or community service. This often includes an appointment with a specialist or to have further tests.

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