Monthly Archives: November 2014

‘Keep calm and look after yourself’ – antibiotics aren’t always the answer to common winter ailments

GPs in the North East are using their winter ‘Keep Calm’ campaign to highlight their concerns about the public’s perception that antibiotics are the stock solution to many common winter ailments.

And 9/10 GPs have revealed that patients visiting them in their surgery expect to be prescribed antibiotics for winter ailments, when in actual fact the drugs have little or no effect with coughs and colds.

As part of the regional winter NHS ‘Keep Calm’ campaign, the 12 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the area are keen to bust some myths about antibiotics:

Antibiotic mythbuster

  • Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness at an increasing rate – bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics, which means they no longer work
  • Many patients expect their GP to prescribe them antibiotics, even for cases that will get better naturally or respond better with other treatments
  • Antibiotics do not work for ALL colds, or for most coughs, sore throats or earache. Your body can usually fight these infections on its own
  • Antibiotics can also cause side effects such as rashes, stomach pains and reactions to sunlight
  • Producing green phlegm or snot is not always a sign of a bacterial infection that requires antibiotics to get better
  • Most infections that result in you producing lots of phlegm or snot are viral illnesses and will get better on their own, although you can expect to feel poorly for a few weeks.

Dr Ali Tahmassebi, from NHS South Tees CCG said: “What we really need is an honest conversation between Doctor and patient that asks ‘are these absolutely necessary?’ or can we save them until we really need them.

“It’s important that we use antibiotics in the right way, at the right dose to ensure they are most effective.

“Bacteria can adapt and find ways to survive the effects of antibiotic, becoming resistant so that the antibiotic no longer works. The more you use an antibiotic, the more bacteria become resistant to it.

“Antibiotics can also have side effects as they upset the natural balance of bacteria potentially resulting in diarrhoea and/or thrush. The use of inappropriate antibiotics may also allow other more harmful bacteria to increase.

“The best way to treat most colds, coughs or sore throats is plenty of fluids and rest. For more advice, talk to your pharmacist or doctor.”

Speaking earlier this year, Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer said: Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat.  If we don’t act now, any one of us could go into hospital in 20 years for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can’t be treated by antibiotics.”

The Keep Calm plea is one of three key messages being highlighted by NHS organisations across the region in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Durham, Darlington and Teesside. They have joined forces to back the ‘Keep Calm’ campaign which gives advice on how to treat a range of common winter conditions by keeping a well-stocked medicines cabinet at home or speaking to your local pharmacist.

The Keep Calm campaign launched on 17 November and includes a dedicated website www.keepcalmthiswinter.org.uk with information on common winter illnesses, what the symptoms are, how to treat them, how long they will last. It includes advice on what to keep in your winter medicines cabinet so you can be ready to treat illnesses as they start.

The campaign will be seen on regional TV adverts, buses, social media and printed materials in GP practices, pharmacies and other venues across the region. It is targeting normally healthy people who suffer a winter ailment.

The campaign message of ‘Keep Calm and look after yourself’ runs across three threads including:

  • Keep Calm and ask a pharmacist
  • Keep Calm and call 111
  • Keep Calm and antibiotics aren’t always the answer

 

Don’t forget to follow the campaign on Twitter:

@keepcalmne

And use the hashtag #keepcalmne when you Tweet.


‘Keep calm’ and ask your local pharmacist this winter

‘Keep calm and ask your pharmacist’ is the message from the NHS in the North East this winter.

People with common winter ailments and illnesses who don’t need to see a doctor or nurse are being urged to pop down to their local Pharmacy to seek advice from the expert on their doorstep.

And with many of the North East’s 619 Pharmacies offering a mixture of early morning and late night opening, the chances are you’ll find the advice and medicines you need there and then without having to make an appointment with your GP – freeing up appointments to those with more serious health issues.

The ‘Ask your Pharmacist’ key winter message is part of a regional campaign urging people to ‘Keep Calm’ and use the NHS responsibly as it approaches its busiest time of the year.

That message is backed by the Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPC), the bodies that represent community pharmacies in the region.

Sandie Hall, spokesperson for Tees LPC said: “Pharmacists are experts in the use of medicines and are ideally placed to offer advice on many of the common ailments that people suffer from during the winter.

“By working together, we can all play our part in helping to ensure that we use NHS resources wisely this winter and free up GP appointments and A&E consultations for those people who need them and have the most complex health needs.”

There are 619 Pharmacies across the North East. Details are available on www.nhs.uk or calling the NHS 111 service, which is free from landlines and mobile phones. Many Pharmacies have early morning or late night openings.

NHS organisations across the region in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham, Darlington and Teesside are joining together to back the ‘Keep Calm’ campaign which gives advice on how to treat a range of common winter conditions by keeping a well-stocked medicines cabinet at home or speaking to your local pharmacist.

Dr Ali Tahmassebi, local GP and spokesperson for South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Colds, sore throats, headaches, hangovers, upset stomachs, coughs, aches, pains, and winter vomiting should all be treated at home or with the advice of your local pharmacist, with pain killers, rest and plenty of fluids.

By doing this not only are you helping to reduce the spread of winter viruses to other vulnerable patients in NHS waiting rooms – you are also keeping appointments available for people who have serious health conditions that must see a doctor or nurse.”

The Keep Calm campaign launched on 17 November, to tie in with National Self Care Week and European Antibiotics Awareness Day, and includes a dedicated website – www.keepcalmthiswinter.org.uk with information on common winter illnesses, what the symptoms are, how to treat them, how long they will last. It includes advice on what to keep in your winter medicines cabinet so you can be ready to treat illnesses as they start.

The campaign will be seen on regional TV adverts, buses, social media and printed materials in GP practices, pharmacies and other venues across the region.

The campaign message of ‘Keep Calm and look after yourself’ runs across three threads including:

  • Keep Calm and ask a pharmacist
  • Keep Calm and call 111
  • Keep Calm and antibiotics aren’t always the answer

 

Don’t forget to follow the campaign on Twitter:

@keepcalmne

And use the hashtag #keepcalmne when you Tweet.


Commissioning Intentions event this Friday (21 November)

NHS South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) would like to invite you to find out how the public’s feedback has helped to shape the CCG’s commissioning intentions for local health services.

The CCG is responsible for commissioning healthcare for people living within the boundaries of Middlesbrough Council and Redcar and Cleveland Council – a population of 273,910.

The CCG commissions a specific set of healthcare services that include;

–              General non‐specialised planned inpatient and day-case hospital services

–              General non‐specialised urgent care services from hospitals and walk‐in centres, NHS 111 and local ‘out of hours’ services when GP practices are closed

–              General non‐specialised maternity and children’s services

–              Community services

–              Non‐specialised mental health services

–              Continuing health care and free nursing care services

–              Medicines prescribed by the GP Practices within the CCG boundary

–              Other non‐specialised diagnostic and treatment services such as x‐ray or hearing aid services

Around fifty members of the public attended an engagement event in August to give their views and find out more about the CCG’s commissioning intentions and priorities. Topics of discussion included CCG commissioning plans, carers, health and wellbeing, mental health and learning disabilities, urgent care and planned care.

Feedback given at the event has been used to help the CCG shape its commissioning intentions for the next year. An event will take place to share these outcomes on Friday 21st November, 9.30am to 11.30am at Tuned In, Majuba Road, Redcar TS10 5BJ. This event is also an opportunity for you to give the CCG your views on how it has progressed on delivering its equality objectives and to help identify new ones.

Places for the event are limited, if you would like to come along to the event please book your place now by calling 01642 745019 or email mynhstees@nhs.net . Please state any special requirements.

Agenda

Agenda- Commissioning Intentions 21 November

 


Winter campaign launches with clear message from the region’s NHS – ‘Keep calm and look after yourself’ to combat those common winter ailments

The NHS in the region is joining forces once again this year and urging North Easterners to ‘Keep calm and look after yourself’ to combat the usual winter coughs, colds, aches and ailments that are common in usually healthy people at this time of the year.

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across the North East launch their annual winter campaign on Monday 17 November and are reminding people that many of the common winter ailments and illnesses people come down with at this time of year are easily treated at home or with advice from a pharmacist – with no need to see a doctor or nurse and keeping valuable appointments open for those who really need them.

Backed by partner NHS organisations in the region, the campaign will run throughout the Christmas holiday period, traditionally the busiest time of the year for the NHS and targets people who are usually in good health and perhaps wake up one morning feeling under the weather and don’t know what to do.

Dr Mark Dornan, on behalf of the 12 CCGs in the North East said that during the winter months, the demand for NHS services increases significantly, so it’s crucial that services are available for those most in need and those who can, self care or visit their local Pharmacist.

Dr Dornan said: “Winter weather means more slips and trips – and generally more of us feeling unwell as we spend more time indoors and coughs, colds and other viruses are passed around our family, friends and colleagues at work.

“This all adds up to more of us having an accident or becoming unwell with a winter bug, meaning more people want to see their GP, attend accident and emergency or call 999.

Dr Dornan continued: “However, there is no need to panic as most normally healthy people with a winter illness do not need to see their GP, attend A&E and absolutely do not need to call 999 – so our message this winter is ‘keep calm’.

 “Colds, sore throats, head-aches, hangovers, upset stomachs, coughs, aches, pains, and winter vomiting should all be treated at home or with the advice of your local pharmacist, with pain killers, rest and plenty of fluids.

 “By doing this not only are you helping to reduce the spread of winter viruses to other vulnerable patients in NHS waiting rooms – you are also keeping appointments available for people who have serious health conditions that must see a doctor or nurse.”

 The Keep Calm campaign launched today to tie in with National Self Care Week and European Antibiotics Awareness Day, and includes a dedicated website with information on common winter illnesses, what the symptoms are, how to treat them, how long they will last. It includes advice on what to keep in your winter medicines cabinet so you can be ready to treat illnesses as they start.  Visit www.keepcalmthiswinter.org.uk for further information.  You can also follow the campaign on Twitter @keepcalmne.

The campaign will be seen on regional TV adverts, buses, social media and printed materials in GP practices, pharmacies and other venues across the region.

The campaign message of ‘Keep Calm and look after yourself’ runs across three threads including:

  • Keep Calm and ask a pharmacist
  • Keep Calm and call 111
  • Keep Calm and antibiotics aren’t always the answer.


Supporting Self Care Week 17 – 23 November

Save time this winter and get the right treatment you need!

The CCG is supporting Self Care Week (17 – 23 November) to highlight the ways we can all look after ourselves and our health better by making more informed daily choices.

The theme this year is ‘Self Care for life – be healthy this winter’ and aims to raise awareness of how many common winter ailments don’t require antibiotics, and that visiting a pharmacy for advice and treatment is often your best bet.

We are all aware that brushing your teeth twice a day, eating healthy food, exercising and stopping smoking are good ways to take care of ourselves but we can also take care of many minor ailments ourselves too.

 

Things like sore throats, flu, heartburn, hay fever and head lice are all things that we may be able to treat ourselves in the first instance and if the problem continues we can then go to see a local pharmacist or GP.

 

Self Care Week is about empowering people to have the confidence to know when they can look after themselves and when they need to see a GP and encourage the sort of behaviours that can prevent ill health in the long term.

 

The CCG would like to support patient’s self-care when it is appropriate and encourage greater use of local pharmacies as the first port of call for minor ailments The aim is to improve access to healthcare and importantly save the patient time.

 

Local pharmacies can advise patients on a wide range of minor ailments and either recommend treatment or refer you to another healthcare professional. So, if you want to save time and get the treatment you need quickly, remember, your local community pharmacy is a good source of help and advice.