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Have your say on proposed NHS policies

People living across the Fylde coast have been invited to have their say on proposed policies regarding diabetes and spinal injections.

The three draft policies are for the supply and funding of insulin pumps for people with diabetes, providing continuous monitoring devices for people with diabetes and for spinal injections to manage back pain.

It comes as part of work by the NHS across Lancashire to standardise policies to ensure a consistent and fair approach; update current policies in accordance with National Guidelines and best clinical practice; and to make sure it is using its limited resources to maximum effect.

Along with the other six Lancashire and South Cumbria clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), NHS Blackpool and NHS Fylde and Wyre CCGs are now asking the public to let them know what they think of the proposals.

Full details of the changes can be found within the policies. People are invited to read the revised draft policies and to complete a survey.

A public meeting to discuss the glucose monitoring devices policy will also take place at the NHS Wesham Offices in Derby Road (PR4 3FG), from 6pm to 8pm, to discuss the glucose monitoring policy. The meeting will be open to all residents of Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.

Dr Tony Naughton, a Thornton GP who is also clinical chief officer for NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG, said: “We need to ensure this is done in an open, fair and transparent way while also taking into account the limited resources we have.

“A key role for the CCGs is to develop clinical policies that help us make decisions about the use of those limited resources.

“I would encourage any resident with an interest in these policies to visit the CCG websites and have their say. I also encourage residents to attend the public events when they are finalised.”

People living in Fylde and Wyre can complete the survey by visiting http://www.fyldeandwyreccg.nhs.uk/your-health/say-clinical-policy-reviews/ while those in Blackpool should visit http://www.blackpoolccg.nhs.uk/harmonisation

If you wish to attend the event on 5 June, please email fwccg.[email protected]


 

Don’t be a victim of PJ paralysis

Health staff at Blackpool Victoria Hospital are urging patients to get up, get dressed and get moving to end ‘PJ paralysis’.

And they are appealing to relatives, friends and carers of patients to support them by bringing in a daily supply of fresh clothing to help people get out of bed.

Patients in hospital normally stay in their pyjamas or hospital gown until they are discharged. The goal of the #endPJparalysis initiative is to get patients up, dressed and moving which will help to reduce harm, enhance dignity and promote a speedier recovery.

Ten days in a hospital bed can age the musculoskeletal system of a frail patient by about 10 years. Bedrest can decrease muscle strength by two to five percent a day causing muscle shortening, changes in joint structure and marked loss of leg strength which will seriously limit mobility.

While patients of all ages can benefit from being more active, it’s particularly important for older people.

Staff at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals want to see more patients getting up and in their day clothes which is why they are appealing for the help of relatives, friends and carers to bring in day wear so patients can get out of bed.

Karen Smith, Clinical Improvement Lead Nurse, said: “There’s sometimes an assumption that when you’re in hospital you should be in your pyjamas or nightwear all the time, but that’s just not the case.

“Many of our patients do not want to spend any longer in hospital than is absolutely necessary so it is vital that our staff do everything they can to encourage and help patients get out of bed and get dressed.”

Caroline Costello, Enhanced recovery nurse added: “Obviously there are certain patients who are unable to get dressed during the day, patients undergoing a procedure, those with surgical wounds or those for whom getting dressed would be uncomfortable etc. however all patients who can get out of bed will be encouraged and helped to do so.

“Getting up, dressed and active helps promote independence, but we need the support of friends, relatives and carers to help us to help them,” Caroline added.

To find out more about the initiative, talk to members of the clinical improvement team who will be on the Mezzanine Floor in the Main Entrance of Blackpool Victoria Hospital on July 13th and 14th.


 

Free wifi at all Fylde coast GP surgeries and hospitals

People living across the Fylde coast can now access free wifi while waiting to see their doctor or visiting the hospital.

Wifi has been installed to give patients the opportunity to browse the web while they wait for appointments, via their smartphone, tablet or laptop.

While waiting for an appointment, patients can now access and download health apps, browse webpages and look up health and care information for free.

The Fylde Coast Directory of Services (FYi Directory) is displayed as the first website once connected. The website has been developed for people to find out more information about the health and social care services in their area.

Speaking on behalf of the Fylde coast NHS, Dr Tony Naughton, clinical chief officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG, said: “When talking to patients about how to improve their experiences in GP waiting rooms, many people have suggested free internet.

“Free access to the internet and to the FYi Directory will help patients see what other services are available, as well as how, when and where they can access them.

“The NHS IT team have worked hard to make sure that patients have access to high quality wifi across the area and we believe it will improve people’s experience of healthcare.”

Implementation of the wireless internet network is part of an initiative to improve the use of online technology in the NHS. The wifi is now live across all GP surgeries and at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals for patients to use.

Pete Kelly, head of IT for the Fylde coast NHS, said: “The free wifi is one of many projects the NHS IT team have for digital healthcare. We want people to be able to interact with health and social care services at home and while waiting for an appointment.

“There is a positive environmental impact with internet use. It enables less paper to be used for printing and people will be able to save webpages and relevant information on their personal devices.”

The introduction of free wifi across the Fylde coast is just one of a number of advancements in technology across GP practices. All practices have recently had a TV screen installed to display health information messages and also electronic check-in stations have been set up across all practices.


 

Opening times for Easter

People living in Fylde and Wyre are urged to be ready for Easter by planning ahead and being aware of where to go over the Easter bank holidays and using NHS services appropriately.

The Easter holiday period can be a very busy time for NHS services. GP surgeries will be closed during the Easter weekend, including Good Friday (Friday 30 March) and Easter Monday (Monday 2 April). By re-stocking their medicine cabinets if needed, knowing when their GP surgery is open and planning ahead for any necessary repeat prescriptions, people can ensure they make the most of the Easter holiday.

It is also worth checking your general medicine cabinet prior to the Bank holiday to make sure it is well stocked with essentials such as paracetamol, cough and cold remedies, antihistamines and plasters and bandages. These can all be bought cheaply from supermarkets or pharmacies and your local pharmacist can also provide free, confidential, expert advice and treatment for a variety of common complaints

Pharmacists are highly trained professionals with a wealth of knowledge of how to deal with common ailments that are prevalent at this time of year. Illnesses such as coughs, colds, stomach bugs, indigestion or hangovers can all be dealt with simple remedies bought over the counter with advice from the pharmacist.

Speaking on behalf of NHS Blackpool and NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Groups, Dr John Calvert, a Blackpool GP and clinical advisor at NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group said: “People who attend the accident and emergency department with minor ailments could face a lengthy wait to be seen whilst staff prioritise the serious and life-threatening emergencies. Many people could be better off visiting a pharmacist or looking after themselves at home.

“The other services such as the Walk-In and Same-Day Health Centres should be kept free for those who are in need of treatment for an urgent complaint.

“Anyone who is feeling unwell and isn’t sure what they should do can always ring 111 for help and advice on where to go and who to see.”

The Walk-In Centre on Whitegate Drive in Blackpool will be open from 8am to 8pm every day through-out the Easter period, including bank holidays with some extra provision. The Same Day Health Centre in Fleetwood will be open from 8am to 8pm everyday through-out the Easter break, including bank holidays. Please call 0300 123 1144 to book an appointment at the Same Day Health Centre before visiting.

Additionally in Blackpool the North West Ambulance Service and Blackpool’s Community Nursing Team will be offering Blackpool’s Night Safe Haven Easter Weekend on Good Friday and Easter Saturday. The service offers refuge and support for late night revellers enjoying a night out in the town. They will be in the town centre in the Safe Haven bus between 9.30pm and 3.30am.

 

GPs will be open as usual except on the Easter bank holidays (Good Friday and Easter Monday).

On Good Friday the following pharmacies will be open:

  • Fylde
    • Boots, 64-66 Clifton Street, Lytham St Annes, 9am – 5.30pm
    • Lloyds Pharmacy, St. Andrews Road North, St Annes, 9am – 7pm
  • Wyre
    • ASDA Pharmacy, Dock Street, Fleetwood, 9am – 6pm
    • Boots, 39 Victoria Road West, Cleveleys, 9am – 5.30pm
    • WM Morrisons Pharmacy, Amounderness Way, Thornton, 10am-6pm
  • Blackpool
    • Boots UK, 28-38 Bank Hey Street, 9am – 5.30pm
    • Lloyds Pharmacy, 110 Talbot Road, 11am – 4pm
    • Lloyds Pharmacy, Sainsbury’s Store, 9am – 7pm
    • Tesco Pharmacy, Tesco Extra, 9am – 6pm
    • Morrison’s Pharmacy, Morrison Supermarket, 10am – 4pm
    • Whitegate Pharmacy, Whitegate Health Centre, 8am – 9pm

On Easter Sunday, the following pharmacies will be open:

  • Fylde
    • Boots, 64-66 Clifton Street, Lytham St Annes, 11am – 2pm
    • Wesham Pharmacy, 22 Station Road, Wesham, 10am – 1pm
  • Wyre
    • O’Briens Pharmacy, Fleetwood Health & Wellbeing Centre, Dock Street, Fleetwood, 9am – 8pm
  • Blackpool
    • Whitegate Pharmacy, Whitegate Health Centre,8am – 9pm
    • Lloyds Pharmacy, 110 Talbot Road, 9am-5.30pm

On Easter Monday the following pharmacies will be open:

  • Fylde
    • Boots, 64-66 Clifton Street, Lytham St Annes, 10am – 4pm
    • Lloyds pharmacy, St. Andrews Road North, St Annes, 9am – 7pm
  • Wyre
    • ASDA Pharmacy, Dock Street, Fleetwood, 9am – 6pm
    • Boots, 39 Victoria Road West, Cleveleys, 10am – 4pm
    • WM Morrisons Pharmacy, Amounderness Way, Thornton, 10am – 4pm
  • Blackpool
    • Boots UK, 28-38 Bank Hey Street, 10am – 5pm
    • Lloyds Pharmacy, 110 Talbot Road, 11am – 4pm
    • Lloyds Pharamcy, J Sainsbury Store, 9am – 7pm
    • MJ Moore Pharmacy, 9am – 5.30pm
    • Tesco Pharmacy, Tesco Extra, 9am – 6pm
    • Morrison’s Pharmacy, Morrison Supermarket, 10am – 4pm
    • Whitegate Pharmacy, Whitegate Health Centre, 8am – 9pm

A full list of Easter opening times for pharmacies and other services across the Fylde Coast is available at www.whyaande.nhs.uk/easter


 

Missed GP appointments cost up to £250k in just one month!

Missed appointments with GPs, practice nurses and other healthcare professionals cost the Fylde coast NHS up to £250,000 last month.

There were 6,893 occasions where people didn’t turn up to their appointment across the region’s 36 practices in December 2017. A missed GP appointment costs on average £36, meaning missed appointments last month could have cost almost £250,000. At current costs, £250,000 could fund:

  • 12 nurses, or
  • 29 heart bypasses, or
  • 45 hip replacements.

The missed appointments also amounted to 1,149 hours of wasted time.

Following the release of this statistic, GPs across the Fylde coast have called on people across the area to cancel any appointments they do not wish to attend.

Dr John Calvert, a Blackpool GP and Clinical Advisor at NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We know that in this modern age people lead very busy lives and sometimes forget about appointments.

“But missed appointments in general practice cost a great deal of time and money at a time when we are desperately short of both.

“And for those patients who do have an appointment booked that they do not need, someone else could make use of that appointment rather than having to wait.

“All we ask is that if you have an appointment booked and for whatever reason you no longer need it or you can’t make it, please call and let us know so we can give that appointment to somebody else.”

Dr Tony Naughton, from The Thornton Practice, who is clinical chief officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG, said: “What is particularly worrying about these figures is that they are from a month when a lot of practices saw a reduction in DNAs (did not attends) and so actually show a better picture than normal.

“If we take this figure and multiply it to cover the year that is around £3million, which is money that could be much better used elsewhere within the health economy.

“We recognise that it may not always be possible for people to notify their practice they are unable to attend, however we would be grateful if you could make every effort to do so as this will allow another patient to be seen.

“With health services facing high levels of demand this winter, this is one way we can all help to protect the NHS. It only takes a minute to make that call.”

One way people across the Fylde coast can help remind themselves of their GP appointments is by using the MyGP app, which is available for patients at all Fylde coast practices to book and cancel appointments.


Notes:

Missed GP appointments cost between £12 (for an appointment with a nurse) and £36 each. To work out the cost for a month, the total number of missed appointments (6,893) has been multiplied by 36, which equals £248,148.

Breakdown of figures from December 2017:

Number of DNAs (did not attends) in Fylde and Wyre in December 2017: 2,537

  • Ansdell Medical Centre – 85
  • Ash Tree House Surgery, Kirkham – 123
  • Beechwood Surgery, Thornton – 19
  • Broadway Medical Centre, Fleetwood – 311
  • Clifton Medical Practice, St Annes – 111
  • Fernbank Surgery, Lytham – 108
  • Fleetwood Surgery – 244
  • Holland House Surgery, Lytham – 209
  • Kirkham Health Centre – 97
  • Park Medical Practice, St Annes – 46
  • Poplar House Surgery, St Annes – 170
  • Queensway Surgery, Poulton – 82
  • The Lockwood Surgery, Poulton – 79
  • The Mount View Practice, Fleetwood – 423
  • The Old Links Surgery, St Annes – 13
  • Over Wyre Medical Centre – 177
  • The Thornton Practice – 134
  • The Village Practice – 106

Number of DNAs (did not attends) in Blackpool in December 2017: 4,356

  • Abbey-Dale Medical Centre – 156
  • Adelaide Street Family Practice – 404
  • Arnold Medical Centre – 132
  • Bloomfield Medical Centre – 370
  • Cleveleys Group Practice – 224
  • Elizabeth Street Surgery – 236
  • Glenroyd Medical WGD – 249
  • Grange Park Health Centre – 42
  • Highfield Surgery – 353
  • Layton Medical Centre – 218
  • Marton Medical Practice – 233
  • Newton Drive Health Centre – 120
  • North Shore Surgery – 195
  • South King Street Medical Centre – 199
  • St Paul’s Medical Centre – 365
  • Stonyhill Medical Practice – 405
  • The Crescent Surgery – 174
  • Waterloo Medical Centre – 281

Fylde coast residents urged to Act F.A.S.T. over stroke

People living across the Fylde coast have been urged to ‘Act FAST’ if they suspect a friend or loved one is having a stroke.

It comes as health professionals in the area backed a national campaign to remind people of the main symptoms of stroke and importance of calling 999 immediately.

This week sees the national ‘Act FAST’ stroke campaign re-launched by Public Health England, working closely with the Stroke Association.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the symptoms of stroke and to encourage people who recognise any single one of the symptoms of stroke, in themselves or others, to call 999 immediately.

Stroke kills over 40,000 people a year and leaves around two-thirds of stroke survivors with a disability.

One of the main objectives of the campaign is get people who witness somebody showing stroke symptoms to overcome any initial reluctance to call. They are being asked to ‘Make the Call’ and dial 999.

Research shows that 24% of people would wait to call an ambulance because they wrongly believe that they need to see 2 or more symptoms of stroke to be sure. Other barriers to dialling 999 include feeling that they need permission to act on behalf of others.

Prof Mark O’Donnell, Medical Director at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. said: “NHS stroke care and survival are now at record levels, stroke is very treatable but every minute counts. Knowing when to call 999 when you see any single one of the signs will make a significant difference to someone’s recovery and rehabilitation.

“The F.A.S.T. (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) acronym has featured in the advertising for a number of years and is a simple test to help people identify the most common signs of a stroke, and to emphasise the importance of acting quickly by calling 999.

“Acting F.A.S.T. as soon as stroke symptoms present themselves can not only save lives but potentially limit long-term effects.

“The sooner somebody who is having a stroke gets urgent medical attention, the better their chances of a good recovery.”

F.A.S.T. teaches people what to look out for in themselves and in others:

  • Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
  • Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there?
  • Speech – is their speech slurred?
  • Time to call 999

There are some of other symptoms that people should be aware of as these may occasionally be due to stroke. These include:

  • Sudden loss of vision or blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • Sudden memory loss or confusion
  • Sudden dizziness, unsteadiness or a sudden fall, especially with any of the other symptoms

A stroke is a ‘brain attack’, caused by a disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. It’s a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. So recognising the signs of stroke and calling 999 for an ambulance is crucial

Approximately 110,000 people have a stroke each year in England. It is the third largest cause of death, and the largest cause of complex disability; over half of all stroke survivors are left with a disability.

One of the main objectives of the campaign is get people who witness somebody showing stroke symptoms to overcome any initial reluctance to call. They are being asked to ‘Make the Call’ and dial 999.

Act FAST. Make the Call. Dial 999.


 

Implementation of revised and updated clinical policies

A revised and updated clinical policy on complementary and alternative therapies and a new policy on rehabilitation after damage to the facial nerve have been approved by NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The policies have been agreed on a Lancashire-wide basis following a public engagement exercise which ensures all patients receive the same level of care wherever they live in the county.

These two clinical policies explain the criteria that must be met in order for these treatments and procedures to be given on the NHS in this area.

GPs and hospital doctors and consultants are required to follow these policies when considering your treatment.

The policies can be found at:

‘Reduce your risk’ of cervical cancer

Women across the Fylde coast have been urged by local health bosses to do their best to prevent cervical cancer.

National charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has today (Monday 22 January 2018) launched Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, with the theme of ‘reduce your risk’.

And doctors across the Fylde coast have joined the call for women in the area to:

  • Attend cervical screening when invited;
  • Know the symptoms of cervical cancer and seek medical advice if experiencing any;
  • Take up the HPV vaccination if aged 11 to 18;
  • Talk to friends and family to ensure they know how they can reduce their risk;
  • Know where to find support and further information.

Thornton GP Dr Felicity Guest, a clinical member of the NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Governing Body, said: “Cervical cancer can be prevented but still nine women are diagnosed with the disease every day in the UK.

“Cervical screening, or the smear test, is one of the best ways a woman can reduce her risk of cervical cancer. It’s free on the NHS, yet in the UK, one out of four women do not attend their screening when invited.

“Being screened regularly means any abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix can be identified at an early stage and, if necessary, treated to stop cancer developing.”

All women who are registered with a GP are invited for cervical screening every three years if they are aged between 25 and 49 and every five years for those between 50 and 64.

And for anyone who struggles to attend an appointment during the day due to work or childcare commitments can book an evening appointment with the extended access service, based in Freckleton, Fleetwood and Whitegate Drive, Blackpool, by calling their GP practice.

According to figures from Cancer Research UK, across Fylde and Wyre last year 76.3 per cent of women aged 25 to 64 attending their cervical screening when required. This means one in four women did not attend their screening.

In Blackpool, the figure stands at 69.8 per cent.

About 3,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK.

For more information on cervical screening, visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-screening/


 

Have your say on proposed changes to NHS assisted conception policy

People living across the Fylde coast have been invited to have their say on proposed changes to assisted conception services offered across the county.

The draft policy comes as part of work by the NHS across Lancashire to standardise policies to ensure a consistent and fair approach; update current policies in accordance with National Guidelines and best clinical practice; and to make sure it is using its limited resources to maximum effect.

Along with the other six Lancashire clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), NHS Blackpool and NHS Fylde and Wyre CCGs are now asking the public to let them know what they think of the proposals.

As part of the proposed changes, the revised policy proposes that CCGs in Lancashire would fund one cycle of IVF treatment for women under the age of 42. At present women under 40 across the Fylde coast could receive two cycles of treatment if they meet certain requirements. In Blackpool those aged between 40 and 42 can access one cycle while in Fylde and Wyre this age group has no access.

Full details of the changes can be found within the policy. People are invited to read the revised draft policy on assisted conception and to complete a survey. Public events will take place and details of these will be published as soon as possible.

Dr Tony Naughton, a Thornton GP who is also clinical chief officer for NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG, said: “We need to ensure this is done in an open, fair and transparent way while also taking into account the limited resources we have.

“A key role for the CCGs is to develop clinical policies that help us make decisions about the use of those limited resources.

“I would encourage any resident with an interest in these policies to visit the CCG websites and have their say. I also encourage residents to attend the public events when they are finalised.”

People living in Fylde and Wyre can complete the survey by visiting http://www.fyldeandwyreccg.nhs.uk/your-health/say-clinical-policy-reviews/


 

Urgent care services on offer across Fylde coast

People living across the Fylde coast are reminded that there are a host of services available to them should they require medical attention.

Following recent improvements to urgent care services in the area, walk-in appointments are now available at both Blackpool Walk-In Centre in Whitegate Drive and the Fleetwood Same Day Health Centre in Dock Street.

These services should be the first port of call for anyone suffering urgent but not life-threatening health problems, such as strains or sprains, suspected broken limbs, minor head injuries, cuts and grazes or bites and stings.

Appointments with healthcare professionals including GPs, nurses and healthcare assistants are also now available in the evenings up until 9.30pm. These can be booked via all GP practices on the Fylde coast.

Local pharmacists are also qualified to deal with many health complaints and can be seen without an appointment.

Anyone unsure of what to do should call the free NHS111 helpline for immediate advice.

Speaking on behalf of the Fylde coast NHS, Fylde coast GP and clinical chief officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Dr Tony Naughton said: “As is often the case at this time of year, our local hospital is experiencing high demand.

“The services in Fleetwood and Whitegate Drive are open every day and can treat people of all ages. They can deal with many of the most common problems people often go to A&E for.

“We would urge everyone to think carefully about where they need to go for health treatment. A&E is for serious problems. People have a wide variety of choices for healthcare and should choose wisely.”

Further details of the urgent care services available can be found at www.whyaande.nhs.uk/urgentcare