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Working from home becoming a pain in the back for you?

It’s Back Care Awareness Week and as a lot more of us are working from home we may have become susceptible to lower back pain. Poor posture can be an unfortunate issue when working at home, but staying active can help ease lower back pain. For more tips exercises for back pain visit Back pain – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Breast cancer – do you know the signs and symptoms

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when we talk about the causes of breast cancer, what symptoms to look out for and what support is available.

The first symptom of breast cancer that women notice is a lump or area of thickened tissue in their breast. Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but it’s always best to have them checked by a doctor.

You should see a GP if you notice any of the following:

  • A new lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast
  • A change in size or shape of one or both breasts
  • A discharge from either nipple
  • A lump or swelling in your armpit
  • A change in the look or feel of your skin, such a puckering or dimpling, a rash or redness
  • A rash or itchy skin or redness around or on your nipple
  • A change in the appearance of your nipple

Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer.

The first symptoms of breast cancer in men can include:

  • A lump in the breast
  • The nipple turning inwards
  • Fluid oozing from the nipple
  • A sore or rash around the nipple
  • The nipple or surrounding skin becoming hard, red or swollen
  • Small bumps in the armpit

You can find more information at:

Breast Cancer Now – https://breastcancernow.org/information-support/have-i-got-breast-cancer/signs-symptoms-breast-cancer

Cancer Research UK- https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/breast-cancer/symptoms

Macmillan Cancer Support – https://www.macmillan.org.uk/cancer-information-and-support/breast-cancer/signs-and-symptoms-of-breast-cancer

Check for Cancer – https://www.check4cancer.com

nhs.ukhttps://www.nhs.uk/conditions/breast-cancer/symptoms/

Go Sober for October

Why not go Sober for October with Macmillan Cancer Support. Some of the main benefits of going sober or cutting down are:

  • A clearer head
  • More energy
  • Better sleep
  • Weight loss
  • Save money

The NHS Better Health Campaign have a free ‘Drink Free Days’ app, allowing you to track your alcohol intake, view tips on cutting down and receive reminders when you need them most. The app is available on the app store or Google Play.

Stoptober – there’s never been a better time to quit

Stoptober begins on 1st October and theres never been a better time to quit!

Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for your own health and the health of the people around you. It’s never too late to quit.

You’ll start seeing the benefits immediately, nit just for your health but also your finances.

Find out more about quitting smoking and the benefits it can have at https://www.blf.org.uk/take-action/campaign-with-us/stoptober or https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking/

Happy Hearts – Together we can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke during Covid-19

Health services, local authorities, charities and other partners across Cheshire and Merseyside are working together to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

The Cheshire and Merseyside Happy Hearts website is aimed at helping you to reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack by giving you lots of information and tips on keeping your heart happy. The website shares local, practical information on:

  • how to live healthily and stay well
  • conditions that increase the chances of having a heart attack or stroke, such as
    • atrial fibrillation
    • high blood pressure
    • high cholesterol
  • how and where you can get your numbers checked
  • how you can help to manage and control these conditions to lower your CVD risk

Visit the Cheshire and Merseyside Happy Hearts website to find out more.

Northwich Primary Care Network: Provision of our services outside the normal practice hours.

As you may be aware the NHS England (who commission our practices services) have set out a requirement that practices work together to ensure that patients are able to access services outside our normal hours of work (8.00am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday).

Northwich PCN (Primary Care Network) covers the following practices:

Danebridge Medical Centre

Firdale Medical Centre

Middlewich Road Surgery

Oakwood Medical Centre

Weaverham Medical Centre

Witton Street Surgery

Watling Street Medical Practice

Northwich PCN has produced a plan based on services being provided from the individual practices and from a local practice-based Hub on Friday and Saturday.

This way of working is not new to us, we have been providing so called Extended Access services for the last five years, including the ability for our patients to access services locally on Saturdays.

The times we provide extended access services from our practice bases have been determined by analysing the preferences of our patients over the last five years, in particular we have been keen to offer services to enable patients who work a distance away from the practice to access services.

Each practice is currently publicising when services are available and we are proposing to add further services to our existing provision, from October 2022.

In addition to the services provided from each practice we are working with our neighbouring practices to offer appointments across the week and on Saturdays. As always, the availability of appointments will be dependent on our capacity, however, please ask the practice receptionist if you would ideally like an appointment outside the normal core hours. It is important to stress that the number of appointments offered outside the normal hours will only be a small proportion of our total appointments, as it is important that we do not undermine our normal level of service particularly given the current high levels of demand and our workforce challenges.

As we have stated we are sure that the time our practices provide services (outside of core hours) reflects the preferences of our patients, but we would be pleased to hear your views so that we can continue to evaluate the best times to offer services.

Serious Shortage Protocol for HRT gels

The NHSBSA have released new Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) for HRT products.

The SSPs apply to Oestrogel pump gel, Sandrena 0.5mg and 1mg gel sachets and Lenzetto spray.

Pharmacies are now allowed to switch patients to patches if they are unable to obtain a supply of the gels.

Pharmacies are also allowed to restrict the quantities to 3 months’ supply without contacting the prescriber.

Local pharmacies have been contacted to ensure they are aware of the SSPs.

Please note that you do not need to contact your GP, your Pharmacist will be able to look into this for you.

Patient Research Experience Survey – The Results

A few months ago The National Institute for Health Research asked for feedback on the patient of clinical research taking place in the NHS.

Thank you to all those that took part, your responses will help improve the way clinical research is delivered in the NHS. You can view the final report below.

Patient Research Experience Survey – Final Report