Monthly Archives: November 2019

Have your say surrounding women and young children!

Have your say about policies for women, babies and young children

If you are pregnant or have babies and young children, and would like to comment on antenatal, postnatal or child health services and advice, a national health commission would like to hear your views.

Liverpool Health Commission (LHC) is interested in speaking with mothers, fathers and all those connected with young families to hear their views on how access to services could be improved, with the overall aim of shaping future UK healthcare policy.

LHC is currently investigating the first 1,000 days of life – encompassing conception to 24-months-old – recognised as the key period in human development when the foundations for optimum health, growth and neurodevelopment are established. While free antenatal care in the UK has seen some of the lowest mortality and morbidity rates in the world, we know several issues are affecting access to vital services.

To share your thoughts and help influence healthcare policy in this important area, please come along to:

26-27th November 10am-4pm

Acklam Green Centre,
Stainsby Road,

Drop-in sessions are taking place during the above times and appointments can be made outside of these hours if required.

To arrange an appointment or for further information, please contact: Gerry Diver by email: or tel: 07812 217 169




Winter viral Illnesses are circulating!

Winter viral illnesses circulating in North East Schools

Public Health England North East’s health protection team is working with local authorities across the region after receiving reports from schools of flu and other winter viral illnesses amongst pupils.

Dr Gayle Dolan, Consultant in Health Protection for PHE NE, said: “Around 60 schools across the region are reporting absences due to symptoms of likely viral illness including influenza (flu) and norovirus.

“We expect viral illnesses of this kind to circulate in schools and the community at this time of year and we have been providing advice to parents and schools to help reduce the spread of infection.

“The flu vaccination is the best form of protection we have. If they haven’t already had the flu nasal spray, it is important children who are in the clinical risk groups of flu visit their GP as soon as possible to be vaccinated. Primary school children should take up the opportunity to be vaccinated when their school vaccination programme begins, and toddlers aged two and three should visit their GP surgery as normal to receive this.”

Flu and flu-like viruses spread easily between people from coughs and sneezes.  They can live on hands and surface for up to 24 hours.  Symptoms of flu may develop quickly and can include:

  • Sudden fever
  • Dry, chesty cough
  • Sore throat
  • Aching body
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Diarrhoea or tummy pain
  • Nausea

For most healthy people flu is an unpleasant but self-limiting illness. However, some people can be more at risk of developing severe illness or complications including the following groups:

  • those aged 65 years or over
  • pregnant women
  • those with a long-term medical condition – for example, diabetes or a heart, lung, kidney or neurological disease
  • those with a weakened immune system – for example, because of chemotherapy or HIV
  • those resident in long term care facilities

The flu vaccine is the best form of protection we have, it reduces the risk of catching flu and spreading it to others and is available every flu season for at-risk groups and primary school children.


For more information please visit

Help Us Help You this Winter!

In winter, pressures on A&E departments increase substantially, particularly admissions for winter respiratory illnesses, putting an additional, but in some cases avoidable, burden on the NHS.

This winter, the ‘Help Us, Help You – Before It Gets Worse’ campaign is encouraging some of the most vulnerable people in society – frail, older people and those with underlying health conditions – to take better care of their health as the colder months approach, by promoting self-care and driving an uptake of pre-emptive health measures.

The public will be reminded about the need to visit their pharmacist at the first signs of illness, the importance of picking up prescriptions, staying warm over the winter months and checking in on elderly neighbours and relatives.

The ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign supports the public in navigating the right NHS service for their medical need, and understanding the actions they can take, to better enable the NHS to help them.

Help Us, Help You – Before It Gets Worse.

To find out more, please visit:

Recognition for care sector staff who get their free flu jab

Recognition for care sector staff who get their free flu jab – we need your support to promote this scheme

Following on from the success of last year, NHS England and NHS Improvement and Public Health England have re-launched an awards scheme to recognise the efforts made by the care sector, care homes, hospices and domiciliary care providers who have achieved a high level of flu vaccine uptake for their staff.

The purpose of this briefing is to ask for your help to promote this awards scheme and encourage care sector employers to continue their efforts to protect their staff and those they care for by reminding care sector staff to go along to their GP practice or participating pharmacy to be immunised against flu.

As you will be well aware, all care sector staff who have direct contact with residents/clients/patients should have the flu vaccine to help protect vulnerable patients and clients.

Flu and its complications are one of the main reasons that people get admitted to hospital from the care sector, particularly during winter. The flu immunisation programme is a highly successful public health intervention that saves many lives each year. Flu kills an average of 8,000 people every year. If more of us get the jab, we are giving ourselves and those we care for, the best protection against an unpredictable virus.

Individual organisations are encouraged to self-report their staff flu uptake, then based on the percentage of staff who have received the flu vaccine by 31 March 2020, certificates will be awarded based upon the following uptake:

  • 70% of staff or above – gold accreditation
  • 60-69% of staff – silver accreditation
  • 50-59% of staff – bronze accreditation

For more information please contact:

Resources to help you promote the flu vaccination are available to download and order on the Public Health England website.

Listening exercise on breast services launched

The NHS is launching a 12 week listening exercise to talk to people across Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland about their experience of Breast Services at North Tees Hospital since the service moved their temporarily from James Cook Hospital in October 2015 due to an inability to recruit breast radiologists.

The engagement will last for 12 weeks starting Friday 1 November 2019 until Friday  7 February 2020.

Middlesbrough Health Scrutiny Panel  were concerned that their constituents were disadvantaged by the breast symptomatic service being located in Stockton-on-Tees and in 2017 requested that NHS South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) engage with patients to obtain patients views of the service.

The  CCG carried out some patient engagement in 2017 and now wants to talk to patients who have accessed the service since 1 January 2018 to determine any impact there has been for patients in the Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland areas.

Women or men with suspected breast cancer following an appointment with their GP are referred into the specialist breast service and offered a triple diagnostic assessment in one single hospital. The triple assessment involves a clinical examination, mammography and taking a sample of breast tissue.

The NHS is keen to build on previous patient engagement undertaken and understand how patients from the South Tees area are accessing breast symptomatic services, any barriers to service, what ‘good’ looks like to them in order that they can build a more detailed picture of the service and feed this into work ongoing across the region that is looking closely at the way breast services are organised.

The CCG is providing a range of opportunities to help people get involved to ensure we gather feedback concerning the impact of the change in 2015. These include, a patient survey going out to all patients who have accessed the service at North Tees Hospital since 1st January 2018, targeted focus groups, an online survey and wider public events.

The survey is available on the CCG website: and paper copies are also available by e-mailing

For further information visit the breast services patient engagement page.