The year seems to have flown by and it's that time of year again where we provide a quick reminder of the range of options to help you choose the right one to meet your needs over the winter period.
Some of the key messages we have been communicating jointly with Doctors at the hospitals are to be prepared to treat minor ailments at home and to avoid A&E unless absolutely necessary.
Whilst self care is generally the best option for minor ailments, it is important that local people know where to go or who to contact if they are unwell, so that they can receive the best possible treatment in the quickest time for their condition.
Read more here about choosing the right service to meet your needs this winter, whether that's online help at NHS Choices; support on the phone from NHS 111 (available 24/7); your local community pharmacy who can help you with lots of everyday ailments (pharmacy opening times for the bank holidays); your own GP Practice - ensure you have enough prescription medication to see you through the festive period before the holidays starts - and walk-in services.
As a quick reminder, evening and weekend GP Practice appointments are available for all Bury patients through a scheme delivered by Bury GP Federation to improve access to GP services in Bury. Call your practice in the usual way to access this service.
You can read in this issue of Health Matters about our local campaign Be Self Care Aware, which provides lots of advice and information about managing minor ailments at home. You can also read about how to Stay Well This Winter.
OTHER CCG NEWS
Over the past few weeks we have been engaging with local people and health care professionals about the appropriateness of gluten free foods on an NHS prescription. We have had a lot of feedback from our survey, focus groups, and from letters and emails we have received. We will be analysing this so that this can be considered by the CCG Board at a meeting in the New Year.
We held our second Annual General Meeting in September, and at this meeting, we jointly announced with Bury Council that from next April, the two organisations will operate as if there was one single body commissioning health and social care for the people of Bury. Read more about these plans, here.
We have also recently started conversations with our Patient Cabinet and health care professionals about end of life care to ensure this meets people's needs in the future. There will be more on this in the new year and opportunities to input into shaping how future services should be. A workshop will be taking place on 14th January 2016, you can find out more about this opportunity here.
With the festive period just around the corner, our staff have been making contributions for the local food bank (Porch Boxes). As I write this, our team's contribution is due to be collected. We filled 10 carrier bags in all, as you can see in the photo here, so that's a great effort and will benefit local families who need a helping hand.
That's all from me for this issue of Health Matters, if you have any feedback, questions about Health Matters, or about the CCG in general, then please do let us know, we'd be pleased to hear from you. On behalf of colleagues working at NHS Bury CCG, may we wish you a healthy and happy festive period. With best wishes.
Dr. Kiran Patel, Chair and Clinical Lead