Health news for December

Do you know how much exercise you’re getting, and whether you’re getting enough? If you’re short on time through family commitments, or you don’t want to spend money joining a gym, Park Run is fun, free and available all year round. Find a park run near you http://www.parkrun.org.uk/

Park Run isn’t just a great way to get fitter, it’s also a great way to meet people. If you can’t run, could you volunteer? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-36023503

Do you find that you are checking your Social Media several times a day? Time spent on social media can negatively affect your mental health, here there are some ideas to help you manage its’ impact. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/blog/how-can-we-stop-social-media-undermining-our-mental-health

If you have children, it’s important to talk to them about social media, and how they allow it to affect them https://www.internetmatters.org/hub…MI5qHr-7v13gIVTLTtCh2XswI4EAAYASAAEgLGefD_BwE

We’re talking about resilience this week. Do you know what we mean when we talk about resilience and mental health? https://www.mind.org.uk/about-us/local-minds/resilience

There are some simple ways to help strengthen your resilience and three of these can be found here https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/…-simple-ways-enhance-mental-health-resilience

Do you take vitamin supplements? If not, should you? Find out what the NHS has to say https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/food-and-diet/do-i-need-vitamin-supplements/

Could you benefit from Vitamin D supplements? If you’re a pregnant or breastfeeding woman, under 5, or don’t get much sun you should take a supplement of Vitamin D each day. Most people over the age of 5 will get enough Vitamin D from sunlight in the summer months but should consider a supplement during the winter. https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/food-and-diet/do-i-need-vitamin-supplements/

Did you know that you should give your under 5 extra vitamins? Many parents don’t, Abraham the Pharmacist can explain why it’s a good idea.

When we talk about self-care what do we mean? There are several conditions that can be treated at home, or using over the counter medication with no medical intervention. It is important that we try to manage minor illness ourselves as the NHS is under pressure at the moment. You can find out more about the types of illness you should manage at home here https://www.england.nhs.uk/blog/what-does-self-care-mean-and-how-can-it-help/

So, if we’re talking about self-care, what should you keep in your medicine cabinet at home to help you manage? https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/your-medicine-cabinet/

If you are suffering from a minor illness that you are finding tricky to manage at home, please contact your local pharmacist. They are trained to manage many minor conditions, don’t need an appointment and could save you an unnecessary trip to the GP. https://www.facebook.com/NHSEngland/photos/a.1966044953679637/2281022645515198/?type=3&theater

Did you know that the NHS spends around £300 million on wasted medicines each year? That could pay for over 7500 nurses each year. http://www.medicinewaste.com/

Have you ever been prescribed Paracetamol by your GP? Do you know that the NHS spends up to £80 million each year prescribing Paracetamol, which can be bought over the counter for as little as 19p http://www.2020health.org/2020health/Press/Press-2014/November/telegraph-27-11-14.html

Antibiotics won’t work if your illness is viral. Your GP will tell you if they feel antibiotics aren’t necessary. If we overuse antibiotics we run the risk that they will stop working, and many infections would then prove much more serious, or possibly even fatal. https://www.facebook.com/PublicHealthEngland/videos/2184474711794452/?__xts__[0]=33.%7B%22logging_data%22%3A%7B%22page_id%22%3A366592640044758%2C%22event_type%22%3A%22clicked_all_page_posts%22%2C%22impression_info%22%3A%22eyJmIjp7InBhZ2VfaWQiOiIzNjY1OTI2NDAwNDQ3NTgiLCJpdGVtX2NvdW50IjoiMCJ9fQ%22%2C%22surface%22%3A%22www_pages_home%22%2C%22interacted_story_type%22%3A%22565413710334575%22%2C%22session_id%22%3A%22e43579987c707ac98d76e10f3de4e2c4%22%7D%7D

Has your GP prescribed you antibiotics, the NHS has provided some helpful information about possible side-effects and what to do if you miss a dose, or accidentally take too much. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/antibiotics/

Are you Coeliac? If so, from this week we are unable to prescribe most Gluten-free foods. The Government has decided that as Gluten-free foods are more widely available than they were when Gluten-free prescribing started, that most people should be able to obtain Gluten-free foods easily, the exception to this is bread. As bread is considered to be a staple part of the British diet, Gluten-free bread, and bread mixes (not including flour) will remain available for those who need it.

NHS England are no longer allowing GPs to prescribe items that they feel are ‘low-priority’. This includes creams and emollients for eczema and dermatitis and some medications which are now not believed to be very clinically effective for the conditions that they are prescribed for. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-46361639

The NHS is reducing costs by no longer prescribing a list of ‘low-value’ items that can be bought by patients for less than it costs the NHS to provide them. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-43576044

If you have items on repeat prescription, please get your requests in as soon as possible so that we can ensure you have enough medication to cover the festive season when the Surgery will be closed. (Insert your own surgery website here)

Work Christmas party this week? Here are some tips to help make sure you don’t overindulge. https://www.summertomato.com/8-tips-for-drinking-less-without-your-friends-knowing

Do you know when you last had a smear test? If not, you may be among the three million women in England who haven’t had a smear test in the last three and a half years. Smear tests are incredibly important for womens’ health and if you haven’t had a smear test recently and you are eligible, we’d be happy to book you in for one.https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-45593583

If you’ve never been for a Smear test, you might wonder what it involves. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust have a fab article which will give you an idea. https://www.jostrust.org.uk/about-c…eening/what-happens-during-cervical-screening

Do you, or someone you know have a learning disability and need to know what happens when you have a Smear test, or have you been asked to come for a Smear test and you aren’t sure what it is. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust explain with a short video. https://www.jostrust.org.uk/about-c…eening/cervical-screening-learning-disability

If, along with millions of us, you are cooking Turkey for Christmas Day, do you know how to make sure it is cooked through? https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/cooking-turkey-safely/

It’s not all fun at Christmas, have you thought about festive Elf and Safety? http://home.bt.com/lifestyle/christmas/elf-and-safety-11-christmas-accidents-you-should-try-to-avoid-11364029910043

Could you make a difference to someone’s Christmas? Young or old, loneliness doesn’t discriminate. If you know someone who is likely to be alone over the festive season, make some time to stop by and say hello, you might just make their Christmas. http://www.greatgettogether.org/mincepiemoments/

In 2017, one ambulance service noted an increase in calls of 49% over the same period in 2016. Many of these calls were not necessary, and those unnecessary calls prevent ambulances dealing with life threatening situations. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-42500885

If you are finding the ‘Festive Season’ difficult, The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and offer non-judgmental listening. https://www.samaritans.org/support-us/if-christmas-starts-hurt-well-be-here

In General Practice, we are generally lucky enough to be able to spend time with family or friends over Christmas. Lots of our colleagues across the NHS are still working to make sure that the nation stays healthy, and sometimes truly wonderful things happen. https://www.theguardian.com/healthc…s-miracles-shared-by-healthcare-professionals

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