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Vale of York residents urged to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes

People in the Vale of York are being urged to eat healthily and be more active to help reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes as part of a nationwide health initiative.

Diabetes Prevention Week (16-22 April) aims to raise awareness about Type 2 diabetes and increase knowledge about how to prevent the condition - which can cause strokes, heart disease, limb amputation and early death.

It is estimated that around 32,000 people in the Vale of York are currently at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

During Diabetes Prevention Week, GPs and other healthcare professionals in the Vale of York are encouraging residents to discover if they are at risk and take action to improve their future health.

In December several patients at Priory Medical Group, a GP member practice of NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), were among the first in England to be offered innovative digital technology to help prevent Type 2 diabetes and obesity.

NHS England launched the nationwide pilot scheme in which 5,000 overweight people at risk of Type 2 diabetes were offered apps, gadgets and other digital products and support to help them exercise more and eat more healthily.

The Vale of York participants received activity-tracking wristbands and smart weighing scales from digital technology provider OurPath, which helped them monitor their weight and activity levels. They were also given access to one-on-one sessions with online health coaches, online support groups and a dedicated app to set and monitor exercise and diet goals.

And for many of these patients, the digital technology has really helped them to lose weight and adopt healthier lifestyles.

Self-confessed gadget fan Stephen Kitching, 54, from Copmanthorpe, has found these digital tools extremely useful in helping him lose almost 13kg (28.5lbs) since beginning the programme in January.

He said: “The thing that made it attractive to me was that I was told I’d get a fitness tracker which you can use to track your steps and your weight. That sort of technology ticks my box so I decided I’d give it a go.

“In the beginning they asked you to weigh yourself every day which was useful to monitor your progress and I’ve carried on doing that as it helps me (keep on track) because I like to see how much I weigh every morning.

“You can also message the online health coaches for advice, who also give you lots of encouragement. I’ve found it really helpful because you can ask questions - for example, is this yoghurt okay to eat? – and they come online and give you an answer pretty rapidly.”

Colin Brooks, 60, from Woodthorpe, is another who has enjoyed considerable success by taking part in the project, losing around one and a half stone (9.5kg) in six weeks.

He said: “My experience has been very positive and, after my long-term failed attempts at weight loss, it has allowed me to focus on, and achieve, weekly weight-loss goals.

“It’s been great to compare my efforts with other participants, as well as chat to and support them; while the digital technology has enabled me to follow day-to-day steps and set and achieve weekly targets. The online mentor is always really supportive and I’ve found this continual support to be really helpful.”

For Teresa Winter, 48, from Hull Road in York, the programme has given her a new lease of life after several unsuccessful attempts to lose weight in the past. She has lost two stone (12.7kg) in eight weeks.

She said: “For the first time in years, I actually believe I have control over my health and lifestyle. In the past I have struggled so much with yo-yo dieting, having joined umpteen slimming groups, only to quit within a few weeks and gain more weight.

“I used to be so tired after a hard day at work but now I just want to go out for a long walk, while I no longer have shakes when my sugar intake is low. I really feel I have a new lease of life – the programme is really a reset pathway, resetting my mind for life and is not just a quick fix.”

Dr Emma Broughton, a GP at Priory Medical Group’s Heworth Green Surgery, said: “It’s very warming to hear about some of our patients who have used these digital tools to help them lose a significant amount of weight – because diabetes and obesity are today’s major public health challenges.

“As well as face-to-face pre-screening services, I believe it’s also important to use widely available digital technology to offer preventative health services in an online setting.”

Meanwhile, from July, a separate NHS diabetes prevention programme will be available to every person in the Vale of York who is at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The programme is designed to stop or delay the onset of the disease through a range of personalised lifestyle interventions, including education on lifestyle choices, advice on how to reduce weight through healthier eating and bespoke physical activity programmes.

Nationally, diabetes and its complications cost over £6 billion every year to treat and one in six patients in hospital has diabetes.

Nine in 10 people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes which is closely linked to obesity and yet is largely preventable by making simple lifestyle changes around diet, activity levels and weight management.

Vale of York residents can check if they’re at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes at www.diabetes.org.uk/risk

The City of York Council’s YorWellbeing health checker can also calculate your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years www.yorwellbeing.org.uk

Know your local pharmacy’s Easter opening times

Vale of York residents are being urged to check the location of their nearest open pharmacy during the Easter holidays in case they need access to medicine or healthcare advice.

While GP surgeries will be closed over Easter, some pharmacies will be open and can offer treatments and free advice on common illnesses and ailments, including colds, flu, minor rashes and pain relief.

People who use regular prescribed medication should also make sure they order and collect any prescriptions in good time before the holidays begin to ensure they don’t run out of medicine.

Below is a comprehensive timetable showing which Vale of York pharmacies (in York, Selby and Pickering) are open during Easter (Good Friday to Easter Monday, 30 March - 2 April).

The timetable can also be viewed on the NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) website: www.valeofyorkccg.nhs.uk/data/uploads/think-pharmacy-first-easter-2018.pdf

Dr Shaun O’Connell, a local GP and the CCG’s Joint Medical Director, said: “Every pharmacist is trained in managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice, so they can provide many of the same services that GPs do.

“They don’t require you to book an appointment and are often open at times of the day when your GP surgery might be closed – such as during the Easter break.”

You can self-treat many minor illnesses and injuries at home by keeping your medicine cabinet and first aid kit well stocked with medicines such as paracetamol and ibuprofen.

Further information about how to self-treat common conditions, using over-the-counter remedies, is available at: www.valeofyorkccg.nhs.uk/advice-from-local-gps-about-staying-well/

Using a pharmacy or consulting self-care resources for minor health concerns helps to free up GP appointments for those who really need them, as well as to take the pressure off A&E departments, freeing up staff there for real emergencies.

You should call free NHS non-emergency number 111 if you have an illness or injury that needs treatment quickly but is not life-threatening.

When you call NHS 111 - which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year - you will be directed to the most appropriate medical care by a highly trained adviser who is supported by healthcare professionals.

If you have a medical emergency, such as breathing difficulties, chest pains or if you’ve been in a serious accident, call 999 for an ambulance or go to the nearest emergency department, which in the Vale of York is located at York Hospital.

Priory Medical Group nurse manager Cheryl meets Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace event to honour nurses

A York nurse manager has met the Prince of Wales at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the work of nurses from across the country.

Cheryl Lythgoe, Advanced Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Manager at Priory Medical Group, was invited to the reception hosted by Prince Charles to honour frontline nurses on Wednesday 14 March.

She said: “It was a fabulous event - very positive throughout. I was very lucky and managed a hand shake (with Prince Charles) and a few words alongside a group of colleagues I was stood with.

“The invitation to Buckingham Palace was an honour that was totally unexpected but very, very gratefully received. But it’s an honour for all of nursing – to be recognised in this way.”

Cheryl, who has worked for four years at Priory Medical Group - a member practice of NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), admitted that she initially thought that the invitation was a practical joke.

“I received the invitation at work and at first when I opened the envelope I thought it was some kind of joke, I looked to see who was chortling in the background,” she said.

“Then when I looked again at the envelope – which had the royal crest on it – it was one of those heart-stopping moments where you realise, actually, this is real.”

Cheryl, who was nominated for her efforts in frontline nursing and workforce transformation, divides her time between two roles at Priory Medical Group.

In one capacity she has undergone extensive extra training to be an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, where she diagnoses and treats patients much like a GP would; while in her second position she works as the manager of the practice’s nursing team where she develops and promotes its nursing services and trains others.

Cheryl was also recognised for her achievements in healthcare last year when she was nominated for the ‘Nursing in Practice’ Nurse of the Year Award at the General Practice Awards.

CGG invites Vale of York residents to April Governing Body meeting

Members of the public are invited to observe NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group’s next Governing Body meeting and hear about work to improve services, quality and the experience of patients in the local area.

The CCG’s next Governing Body meeting takes place in public at 9.30am on Thursday 5 April at West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA.

The CCG’s Governing Body consists of local GPs and other healthcare professionals. It is responsible for monitoring the performance and quality improvement of healthcare providers in the Vale of York.

Questions to be raised at the meeting must be submitted in advance. If you wish to ask a question or raise a matter at the 5 April meeting you need to submit your enquiry in writing by 5pm on Monday 2 April.

If you have a question or a query email valeofyork.contactus@nhs.net or write to NHS Vale of York CCG, West Offices, Station Rise, York, Y01 6GA.

The agenda and papers for the Governing Body meeting are available here

Haxby Group victorious at Yorkshire Humber General Practice Nursing Awards

Haxby Group was victorious at the Yorkshire and Humber General Practice Nursing Awards on Wednesday night (21 March) in York – winning two awards and being shortlisted for three others.

Haxby Group – a member practice of the NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – won the Practice Nurse Leadership Award, while Sarah Butler scooped the Judges’ Choice Award.

Loraine Rankin, Helen Raine and Debra Smith were also shortlisted for awards. Loraine was shortlisted for the Healthcare Practitioner of the Year Award, Helen was vying for the Practice Nurse Innovator of the Year Award and Debra was a finalist in the Judges’ Choice Award category.

The accolades come two weeks after Haxby were the big winners at the Humber, Coast and Vale Sustainability Transformation Partnership (STP) edition of the awards – when they claimed five of the eight awards on offer.

Michelle Carrington, the CCG’s Executive Director of Quality and Nursing, said: “Congratulations to Haxby Group for winning the Practice Nurse Leadership award at the Yorkshire and Humber General Practice Nursing Awards which to me recognises the whole nursing team as being at the forefront of care. Loraine Rankin and Helen Raine were worthy finalists. Sarah Butler went on to win the Judges’ Choice Award for inspirational practice where Debra Smith was also in the final three.

“I attended the event and was moved and inspired by the work which goes on every day to provide the very best care to patients, families and carers. I could see that these awards mattered so much to the practice nurses and the effort which went in to the many nominations we received proved that this great care is happening beyond the award winners.

“I am really proud of all those nominations, finalists and winners and look forward to continuing to work with such great practice nurses going forward."

York Nurse Manager to meet Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace

A nurse manager from York is to meet the Prince of Wales at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace tomorrow (Wednesday 14 March).

Cheryl Lythgoe, Advanced Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Manager at Priory Medical Group, has been invited to a reception hosted by Prince Charles to honour frontline nurses.

Cheryl, who has worked for four years at Priory Medical Group - a member practice of NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), admitted that she initially thought that the invitation was a practical joke.

“I received the invitation at work and at first when I opened the envelope I thought it was some kind of joke, I looked to see who was chortling in the background,” she said.

“Then when I looked again at the envelope – which had the royal crest on it – it was one of those heart-stopping moments where you realise, actually, this is real.

“My first thoughts then were that this is an honour that was totally unexpected but very, very gratefully received. But it’s an honour for all of nursing – to be recognised in this way.

“From a work point of view, it will also be a fabulous opportunity to network with other like-minded nurses that have been recognised as well.”

Cheryl, who was nominated for her efforts in frontline nursing and workforce transformation, divides her time between two roles at Priory Medical Group.

In one capacity she has undergone extensive extra training to be an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, where she diagnoses and treats patients much like a GP would; while in her second position she works as the manager of the practice’s nursing team where she develops and promotes its nursing services and trains others.

Cheryl added: “The team at Priory have been absolutely great about it. Everybody here is pleased for me as much as I am pleased that nursing is being recognised like this.

“Priory is a really supportive environment to work in. We’re very proactive about supporting people because if members of our team feel supported then it empowers them to be more innovative in how they work.”

Cheryl was also recognised for her achievements in healthcare last year when she was nominated for the ‘Nursing in Practice’ Nurse of the Year Award at the General Practice Awards.

Michelle Carrington, NHS Vale of York CCG’S Executive Director of Quality and Nursing, said: “Cheryl’s invitation to Buckingham Palace is richly deserved - for the outstanding care she provides to patients while working as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, and for the work she does to train other nurses and develop nursing services while working as Priory Medical Group’s Nurse Manager.

“It’s great that Prince Charles will be acknowledging nurses in this way because they work so hard to provide the best possible care for their patients every day. I hope Cheryl and the others attending this ceremony enjoy their time at Buckingham Palace with Prince Charles – they’ve definitely earned it.”

Cycle to work to improve your health, urges local GP

A local GP is urging more people in the Vale of York to cycle to work and enjoy healthier lives in the process.

Undertaking regular cycling and other forms of cardiovascular exercise can help reduce the risk of developing many health conditions, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.

Dan Cottingham, a GP at Sherburn Practice and the NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) Cancer Lead, is therefore encouraging more people to leave their car at home and cycle to work instead.

Dan has signed up for this year’s Ride to Work Week (12-18 March) and is encouraging other Vale of York residents to do the same to reap the health benefits of doing so.

Ride to Work Week also encourages more people to adopt a cycling commute to reduce congestion and pollution in their communities.

He said: “I think Ride To Work Week is great thing for us in a cycling friendly city to get involved with. I have cycled to work since I started my job in York in 2016 and have to say I really enjoy it and I find that I can get to work faster by cycling than I can driving on most days.”

York is one of the most cycle-friendly cities in England, with an extensive network of cycling paths and lanes in and around the city. A significant proportion of the CCG’s employees cycle to work every day and some have joined Dan in signing up for Ride to Work Week.

Dan added: “A lot of staff at the CCG cycle to work as it’s the most convenient method of travelling to our offices in the city centre and also because of the obvious health benefits of engaging in cardiovascular exercise twice a day.

“Many of my colleagues at the CCG have jumped at the chance to sign up for this year’s Ride To Work initiative and I urge others working in York to do the same. Aside from the obvious health and environmental benefits, you can also win some amazing prizes.”

For more information about Ride To Work Week, visit: www.ridetoworkweek.co.uk

Vale of York nurses triumph at General Practice Nursing Awards

Vale of York nurses were the big winners at this week’s General Practice Nursing Awards – as they scooped three out of eight awards on offer.

The Vale of York nurses were vying with colleagues from the Humber, Coast and Vale Sustainability Transformation Partnership (STP) area at Monday night’s awards ceremony in Willerby, East Yorkshire.

Haxby Group led the way for our region by winning all three of the awards scooped by Vale of York nurses - with Loraine Rankin winning the Healthcare Practitioner of the Year award, Helen Raine triumphing in the Practice Nurse Innovator of the Year category and Haxby Group’s nursing team crowned Practice Nurse Leader of the Year.

Other Vale of York nurses shortlisted for awards included Haxby Group’s Philippa Norman and Polly Smith, Priory Medical Group duo Annette Fair and Julie Cole, Linda Hoop (Scott Road Medical Practice), Lynne Gray (Millfield Surgery) and Rebecca Rhodes (Escrick Surgery).

The winners from Monday night’s awards ceremony will compete with other victors from the wider Yorkshire and Humber region at a ceremony on Wednesday 21 March in York.

Michelle Carrington, NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Executive Director of Quality and Nursing, said: “Congratulations to Loraine Rankin, Helen Raine and to the Haxby Group nursing team for winning General Practice Nursing Awards – it’s a remarkable achievement that they should be very proud of.

“Everyone at the CCG is wishing them well when they compete against colleagues from further afield at the Yorkshire and Humber awards ceremony in York on 21 March.

“Congratulations should also be extended to other Vale of York nurses who were shortlisted for awards – this is a commendable achievement in itself and a testament to their commitment to high quality patient care.”