Monthly Archives: April 2018

Allergy Awareness Week – Can you buy the medication you need?

This week is Allergy Awareness Week.  The week raises awareness of all allergic conditions including food, respiratory, skin and children’s allergies, food intolerance and the plight of allergy sufferers.

I can personally admit to really feeling the effect of the high pollen count over the past few days with itchy eyes, sneezing and a runny nose and suspect that many of you are also experiencing these symptoms of hay fever too. NHS South Tees CCG and all the other CCGs across Cumbria and the North East are encouraging everybody with hay fever symptoms to sort themselves out with their own medication bought over the counter.

Your community pharmacist in your local chemist shop can give you advice on what you need to ease and control your symptoms with a range of products from antihistamines to eye drop or nasal spray.

Prescribing readily available medicines like antihistamines costs the NHS millions every year adding unnecessary strain to local GPs and the NHS. Processing these prescriptions can cost 20 times the price of buying identical medication at your local pharmacy or supermarket. I’ve bought mine- do you need to get yours?

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month – Don’t Die Of Embarrassment!

April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, did you know that Bowel Cancer is the UK’s second biggest killer cancer. This shouldn’t be the case since it is treatable and curable, especially when diagnosed at an early stage. Early diagnosis for Bowel Cancer and any other types of cancer saves lives. This is the reason why April has been set aside to educate the public and raise awareness of Bowel Cancer symptoms.  Did you know that Middlesbrough Public Health and South Tees CCG developed a catchy song and video to encourage testing.  Why not visit v=FatpjUDcqD0 to watch and hear the Poo Song… its one you won’t forget in a hurry!

On a more serious note if you notice any of the common symptoms of bowel cancer below, contact your doctor for an appointment:

  • Bleeding from the bottom and blood in poo
  • Persistent and unexplained change in how often you open your bowels
  • Sudden and unexplained weight loss
  • Being easily fatigued with no obvious reason or cause
  • Pain or a lump in the tummy

Finding cancer as soon as possible means it is easier to treat. Going to the doctor early when you have symptoms is great but bowel cancer is one of the cancers that we can find by doing a screening test before you’ve even got symptoms. If you are invited for a bowel screening test –DO IT- it could save your life!

For more information visit our campaign website or to request a bowel screening kit or ask any questions phone 0800 707 60 60

Don’t die of embarrassment, screening saves lives!!

Parkinson’s Rightly in the Spotlight

World Parkinson’s Day took place this week on April 11th.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system. The symptoms generally come on slowly over time. Early in the disease, the most obvious are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking and these progress over time. It affects one in 500 people – that’s just short of 130,000 people in the UK, and up to 14 million people worldwide.

Many of us, including myself, have had family members affected and know that there are now many different treatments that can be used to try  to manage the symptoms and to help those with PD to manage  to remain as fully functioning and as independent as possible. Locally we have the Regional Parkinson’s Advanced Symptom Unit or PASU that runs out of Redcar Hospital that recognises that when things are not going as well it can take a team of professionals including doctors, specialist Parkinson’s nurses, therapists and pharmacists to work together to help to manage the symptoms. Patients and families and carers continue to rate this new service very highly because it improves the lives of those most affected by PD. A local service to be proud of.

We Want Your Views On Mental Health Services

South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and four other CCGs in Durham and Tees are working together to deliver an enhanced Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) service that it is consistent across the region with a single point of access.

This will mean changing the way that the service is delivered. We would like to gain views on the proposed model from past and current services users.

You can complete a survey by following this link –

There are also a number of focus groups you can attend across April:

Date Time Location Event Details
Wednesday 18 April 2018 2.00pm – 3.30pm Trinity Centre
The Market Place
North Ormesby
Thursday 19 April 2018 10.00am – 11.30am Tuned In
Majuba Road
TS10 5BJ
Friday 20 April 2018 10.00am – 11.30am Hartlepool College
Stockton Street
TS24 7NT
Monday 23 April 2018 10.00am – 11.30am The Dolphin Centre
Horse Market
Monday 23 April 2018 4.00pm – 5.30pm Billingham Library Kingsway
TS23 2LN

If you would like further information, please contact the Communications and Engagement Team on 0191 374 2795 or by email at