General Practice Extended Access Update

The six Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent will seek to commission extended access services directly from general practice on the basis that the services are list-based primary medical care that cannot be delivered by any other providers.

Formal proposals for delivery the services will be invited from general practice and it is anticipated that these will come from groups of practices working together at scale as localities or Federations although there will be no mandatory requirement for any GP to deliver the services. Proposals will then be assessed by a non-conflicted panel ahead of making any contract award decisions. The extended access contract(s) will not impact on existing GMS, PMS or APMS contracts and their requirements, currently in place.

Dying Matters to us: what about you?

Talking openly about death and dying

In the run up to Dying Matters Awareness Week 2018, Staffordshire’s Health and Wellbeing Board, alongside Together We're Better, have launched a campaign to encourage people to speak openly and honestly about death and dying and ensure their final wishes are known.

‘Dying Matters, Staffordshire’ aims to help people drop the euphemisms about death, and instead talk openly about what they want to happen when they die.

The campaign will end with national Dying Matters Awareness Week in mid-May.

Don’t suffer stress in silence – why April is the perfect month to take back control

April is Stress Awareness month and a good time to resolve to reduce the stresses in your life and get the help you need. Health bosses in Cannock Chase are urging anyone who thinks they might be suffering from it to speak up and get some help.

We all need some pressure in our lives. It helps us to get out of bed in the morning and get things done, but stress is different. Whether it’s caused by work or by events in your personal life, if it goes on for too long it can contribute to raised blood pressure, heart disease and stroke and encourage you into unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking and over-eating.

Research into stress suggests that there are five steps that everyone can take to develop their emotional strength, de-stress and improve mental wellbeing. These are:

  • Connect – invest time in developing your relationships with your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours
  • Be active – take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life
  • Keep learning – developing new skills can give you a sense of achievement and build confidence. Why not sign up for a course or develop a new skill?
  • Give to others – volunteering for a good cause or helping a neighbour can improve your mood, boost emotional wellbeing and help you build new social networks
  • Be mindful – be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this ‘mindfulness’. It can change your feelings about life for the better and help you approach challenges positively.

There is more information about these five steps, as well as other useful information to help people combat stress, on the NHS Choices website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression

Dr Paddy Hannigan, a GP in Staffordshire says that Stress Awareness Month offers us all a welcome opportunity to think about our own mental wellbeing: “Stress can affect everyone but can be very different for each individual. If you feel that you might be under stress, try some of the five steps to improve your wellbeing, or you can self-refer to Starfish Health and Wellbeing on 01543 572161 if you need more support."

Book now – training sessions for type 2 diabetes patients in Staffordshire

Five clinical commissioning groups* (CCGs) in Staffordshire have come together with Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust (SSOTP) to organise a number of free education sessions for newly-diagnosed or existing patients in the area who have type 2 diabetes.

The ‘My Diabetes’ sessions will help patients to better manage their condition and understand the implications to their lifestyles. It will also include more information about a further educational course, called DESMOND, which offers support in managing their diet, foot care, eye care and much more.

Medicines Matter!

Around £6 million of medicine is returned unused to pharmacies every year across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent 

Vast amounts of medicines have to be destroyed because they can’t be used by anyone else.The NHS hasn’t got this money to spare. We need every penny to provide healthcare.

We are asking pharmacies, GP practices and everyone who takes or orders medicines to play their part in making sure that we don’t waste money in this way.

Medicines Matter is a pledge we can all make to reduce this waste.

Medicine waste campaign launches across Staffordshire

A new campaign aimed at saving the NHS millions of pounds across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent is being launched this week.

The ‘Medicines Matter’ campaign launched by healthcare commissioners from the six Staffordshire and Stoke-on Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), will tackle the issue of unused prescription medicine which is estimated to waste around £6million each year across the county.

Proposal to provide fair support to families with children allergic to cow's milk protein

Health leaders across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent want to hear views on proposals that will affect families with babies who are not breastfed but have cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA).

Currently the NHS across the county spends around £1million per year on prescriptions for infant formula milk that does not contain cow’s milk protein. This currently benefits around 1,000 infants with the allergy whose families cannot or choose not to breastfeed. It means that parents and carers of those infants pay nothing for these alternative products but are eligible to claim them via free prescriptions.

National Toothache Day – 9 February 2018

The number of patients seeking dental advice from GPs is increasing. The treatment of dental problems is not the responsibility of GPs and people should contact their pharmacist for simple mouth ulcers and teething, and a dentist for toothache, gum problems, wisdom teeth and bleeding from the gums.  If your dental practice is not open or you cannot get an appointment ring 111 to find your local urgent or emergency dental services.  In severe circumstances (severe swelling leading to problems with opening the mouth, swallowing or fever) go to the nearest accident and emergency department.  Here's how you and your children can have healthy teeth and keep trips to the dentist to a minimum ... 

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