Welcome to our new blog! Like many other NHS organisations, we are embracing technology to help to communicate and engage with our communities. This is the first of many blogs from NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group, or CCG for short, not just from me but from other doctors and nurses here at NHS Bury CCG.
The summer seems to have flown by, we are now well into the autumn and feel ready for the challenges the coming winter months will pose. We are busy putting plans in place to cope with the demands on services that the colder weather tends to bring.
There’s lots you can do to keep yourself and those you care about well over winter. Being prepared for the colder weather, especially if you have a long term condition like asthma which a cold snap can trigger is really important. Eating well, having a well-stocked medicines cabinet and wrapping up warm during cold weather are just some of the things you can do. One of the key messages we are pushing at the moment is to protect yourself from flu.
If you are eligible for the free seasonal flu vaccine, you’ll probably already have had contact with your GP Practice to get protected. If you’ve not had the chance to make an appointment yet, don’t worry it’s not too late, just give your GP Practice a call and book in. If you have a long term health condition, even one that is well managed, you are eligible for the vaccine free of charge. People aged 65 or over, pregnant women and carers are also eligible, and for young people, there is now the option of a nasal flu vaccine, a needle-free alternative to the jab. Health care workers like me are also eligible to be vaccinated, I actively encourage my colleagues at the practice to have the vaccine, to protect the patients that they care for by protecting themselves. If you want to read more about flu and how to get protected visit www.nhs.uk/flu
You may have heard about the new Healthy Minds website which launched recently, if you are feeling low, worried or stressed, access to support and advice is only a click away through this online resource. If you are feeling down or unhappy, this is nothing to be ashamed about, but it’s important to get the right help and not to struggle through alone. Through Healthy Minds www.penninecare.nhs.uk/healthyminds you just fill in a simple form, you don’t even have to see your GP, a trained professional will be in touch to offer support. Depending on your needs this could be through online support, a group session or one-to-one therapy.
Local people have a key role to play in helping to shape local health services and if you want to learn more about the CCG, or get involved in our work, we’ve launched a new online tool that can help. The new online portal available through our website enables you to say how you would like to get involved in our work and which areas you are most interested in. Whether you are interested in attending events, receiving updates and newsletters, or taking part in surveys, I would really encourage you to spend a few minutes to complete the online form, which asks about your specific health interests and the ways you’d like to be contacted by us. Once signed up, we can then send you information about the health topics and events you are really interested in. You can find out more through our website at www.buryccg.nhs.uk/getinvolved
On the topic of getting involved, if you’ve not done so already, you might want to sign up to our quarterly E-Newsletter called ‘Health Matters’ – again you can do this through our website at www.buryccg.nhs.uk
We are always really pleased to see people attend our regular Board meetings. The meetings are held in public and the next one takes place on the 26th November, starting at 3pm at Townside Primary Care Centre in Bury town centre. Please feel free to come along, but if you can’t come, you can still follow discussions and decisions as they happen via our Twitter feed @NHSBuryCCG
We do like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch via Twitter @NHSBuryCCG, through our website www.buryccg.nhs.uk, by email firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0161 762 3106.
Thanks for reading.
Dr. Kiran Patel
Chair and Clinical Lead, NHS Bury CCG