Latest News

Vale of York residents invited to make self-care pledges for health exhibition

Vale of York residents are being invited to contribute self-care pledges to an evolving health exhibition in York during Self Care Week 2018 (12-18 November).

NHS Vale of Clinical Commissioning Group is hosting the exhibition, and wants members of the public to sign pledge cards detailing ways in which they can improve their health and wellbeing. These pledges will be added to the display as they are made.

The display - which will be hosted in the foyer at West Offices, Station Rise, throughout Self Care Week - will also feature information about how people can take steps to improve their own health and wellbeing, with leaflets, postcards and other educational material available.

Self Care Week is an annual campaign organised by the Self Care Forum to raise awareness about the benefits of self care and what people can do to take care of their own health. The theme of this year’s Self Care Week is: choose self care for life.

Dr Kevin Smith, NHS Vale of York CCG’s Executive Director of Primary Care and Population Health, said: “During Self Care Week we are inviting the residents of the Vale of York to make health-related pledges which will be displayed on our evolving self-care exhibition at West Offices throughout the week.

“Ways to embrace self care include being active, eating healthily and learning when you should self-treat common illnesses and injuries – many of which can be treated at home by resting and using over-the-counter medicines from your local pharmacy.

“Making little changes for the better now can have significant and long-lasting benefits to your health and wellbeing in years to come.”

For more information, visit www.valeofyorkccg.nhs.uk/your-health/self-care-week-2018/

Help keep antibiotics working – don’t use them when you don’t need them

Vale of York residents are being urged to follow advice from their doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional and only use antibiotics when they need to – otherwise they could be putting themselves and their family at risk.

Antibiotics are needed to treat serious bacterial infections but they are often used by people to treat conditions such as coughs, ear ache and sore throats, which will normally get better on their own.

Taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria that live inside our bodies to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them.

As antibiotic resistance increases, common procedures such as hip replacements and caesarean sections could become life-threatening without antibiotics to protect against infections.

Cancer patients are also much more vulnerable if antibiotics don’t work; both cancer and chemotherapy treatment reduce the ability of the immune system to fight infections and antibiotics are critical to prevent and treat infections in these patients.

The ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’ campaign began on Tuesday (23 October) to remind people that using antibiotics when they don’t need to could put them and their family at risk.

When it comes to appropriate use of antibiotics, it’s important to always take your doctor, nurse of healthcare professional’s advice.

Dr Nigel Wells, a Vale of York GP and NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group Clinical Chair, said: “As a GP in the Vale of York I would like to remind people that antibiotics are not always needed so always listen your doctor’s advice on when and when not to take them.

“Antibiotic resistance is something we must tackle right now. It’s only natural to want something to help you feel better when you’re unwell but taking antibiotics when you don’t need to puts you and your family at risk of more severe or longer illness.”

For more information about antibiotics resistance, visit www.nhs.uk/antibiotics

Come along to NHS Vale of York CCG’s Governing Body November meeting

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group will hold its next Governing Body meeting in public on Thursday 1November in York.

The meeting will begin at 9.30am and takes place at West Offices, Station Rise, York Y01 6GA.

Members of the public are invited along to observe and hear about the work the CCG is doing to improve services, quality and the experience of patients in the local area.

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

Governing Body meetings are one of the ways that patients and members of the public can get involved and have their say.

If you wish to ask a question or raise a matter at the 1 November meeting you must submit your enquiry by no later than 5pm on Monday 29 October.

Please send your enquiry by email to valeofyork.contactus@nhs.net

Alternatively, you can send your enquiry by post to NHS Vale of York CCG, West Offices, Station Rise, York, Y01 6GA.

Please note that you will not be able to ask a question at the meeting if you do not submit your question before the deadline.

Mythbusting: Separating flu fact from flu fiction

“It will give me flu”

“I’m pregnant so I can’t have it”

“I had it last year so I don’t need it again”

“It’s too late in the year to have it”

These are just a small number of misconceptions around the flu vaccine which convince some people who are eligible for a free vaccine not to have it.

These flu myths often spread faster than the virus itself so, with that in mind, we’ve put together this myth-busting article to separate flu fact from flu fiction so you can make an informed decision about whether to have the vaccine.

The annual flu vaccine is the best protection we have against flu so if you are eligible for a free flu vaccine you should book an appointment now.

Myth one: The flu vaccine will give me flu

This is probably the most common reason given for not having the flu vaccine but it is simply not true. The adult flu vaccine contains inactivated flu viruses, which means the vaccine can’t give you flu.

You might have a sore arm after having the flu jab, while some people experience a slight temperature and aching muscles for a few days afterwards. Other reactions can occur, but only in rare cases.

WATCH What you need to know: The 2018-19 flu vaccine explained video: https://youtu.be/v8cwlNwxbpw

Myth two: I had my flu vaccine last year so I’m already protected

You need to have a flu jab every year, as the viruses that cause flu can change every year. This is why new vaccines are created every year to protect against these new strains.

The vaccine you’re given usually provides protection for most strain of flu for that winter season only.

WATCH Flu vaccine guidance for people aged 65 and over video: https://youtu.be/XPfEICSkqYk

Myth three: I can’t have the flu vaccine because I’m pregnant

On the contrary, it is important to have the flu jab if you’re pregnant because it will protect you and your baby. The vaccine is safe to have at any stage of pregnancy.

Pregnant women have a higher chance of developing complications, such as bronchitis or pneumonia, if they get flu.

It could also cause your baby to be born prematurely or underweight, and may even lead to stillbirth or death.

WATCH Having the flu jab during pregnancy video https://youtu.be/y2yduWwJvGY

Myth four: I’ve had flu recently so I don’t need to be vaccinated

You need to have a flu jab even if you’ve already had flu this winter.

Flu is caused by several viruses and the immunity your body has naturally developed after having flu will only protect against one of these strains.

Also, what you were laid low by might not necessarily have been flu.

Myth five: Flu is just like having a heavy cold

While colds and flu share some similar symptoms (eg: blocked nose, sore throat, high temperature), make no mistake: a bad bout of flu is much worse than a cold.

Colds cause more nasal problems than flu, while fever, fatigue and muscle aches are more likely and more severe with flu. If you get complications caused by flu, you could become seriously ill and have to go to hospital.

Whereas cold symptoms normally develop over one or two days, flu symptoms come on suddenly and sometimes severely. 

Cold sufferers usually begin to feel better after a couple of days while it takes around a week to recover from flu, although sufferers might feel tired for much longer.

Myth six: Flu can be treated with antibiotics

Antibiotics are prescribed to treat bacterial infections, but aren't effective in combatting viral infections like the flu. That said, a bacterial infection may occur as a result of having the flu, in which case you may be given antibiotics.

You can take paracetamol or anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen to lower your temperature and relieve aches.

Myth seven: Vitamin C can protect against flu

While vitamin C helps to keep cells healthy and maintain healthy skin and bones, it doesn’t protect against flu.

Myth eight: It’s too late to have the flu jab this year

It’s best to have the flu vaccination as soon as it’s available (normally October or November) but you can have it later in the winter. The adage ‘better late than never’ rings true here, but it’s better to be vaccinated as early as possible.

Also, it’s worth remembering that it may take 10 to 14 days for your immunity to build up fully after you have had the flu vaccine.

Myth nine: Children can’t have the flu vaccination

Flu can be very unpleasant for children but the good news is that they can have the flu vaccine – despite what you might have heard on the grapevine.

The nasal spray vaccine is free for children aged two or three, as well as children in reception class and years one to five. Children aged up to 17 with long-term health conditions are also eligible.

Myth 10: The flu vaccine won’t protect me against swine flu

This year’s flu vaccine protects against H1N1 swine flu virus, as well as two other flu viruses. It has been designed to protect against swine flu because public health experts expect it to be circulating this year.

A doctor’s view: Dr Kevin Smith, Executive Director of Primary Care and Population Health at the NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Real flu is a horrible illness, even for the fittest people but it can be a really serious illness for some of us, particularly older people, pregnant women, young children and those with chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Flu is easy to catch but even easier to prevent. The annual flu vaccine is the best protection we have against flu so if you are eligible for a free flu vaccine you should book an appointment now.

“There’s a misconception that you can catch flu from the vaccine but this is simply not true. Some people may have a sore arm, mild fever or aching muscles for a couple of days after they get the jab, but these are nothing compared to the misery and inconvenience of real flu.

“It only takes a few minutes to get protected with your annual flu vaccine. I’d encourage anyone with questions about the annual flu vaccine to ask their GP, local community pharmacist or midwife.”

Visit www.nhs.uk/flu for more information

Help us help you this winter by getting your flu vaccination – it’s free because you need it

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group and City of York Council are encouraging eligible people in the local area to take up the offer of a free flu vaccine to help them stay well during winter.

You are eligible for a free flu vaccination, which is available every year via NHS services, if you are one of the following:

  • Pregnant
  • Aged 65 and over
  • Have a long-term health condition (COPD; bronchitis, emphysema; diabetes; heart and kidney disease, or those who have suffered a stroke)
  • A child aged two to nine (pre-school, and reception class to year five)

Eligible adults can have their flu vaccination at their GP practice or a participating community pharmacy, while children aged two or three can have the flu vaccination nasal spray administered by their GP. School children (reception class and years one to five) can receive the nasal spray at school if parental consent is given.

Eligible people will be contacted by their GP practice when the vaccines are available, but alternatively they could have their vaccine at a participating community pharmacy without an appointment. Pregnant women can contact their midwife to arrange a flu vaccination, and can also have their vaccine at participating community pharmacies.

October and November is the best time to have a flu vaccination to ensure you’re protected in plenty of time before the flu season starts, but the vaccine is available throughout winter.

This year people aged 65 and over are being offered different type of vaccine - an adjuvanted vaccine, which is designed to boost the immune system of the 65 and over age group and provide better protection than in the past.

The 65 and over vaccine will be available in stages throughout October and November, meaning they will be vaccinated in plenty of time before the flu season begins.

A video summarising this winter’s flu vaccination programme can be viewed here, while a video explaining how the flu vaccine will be delivered for people aged 65 and over this winter is available here.

Flu symptoms can develop quite suddenly and severely, and usually include fever, chills, headaches and aching muscles. You might also suffer from a dry, chesty cough, sore throat and feel tired and weak. 

In healthy people, the symptoms usually clear up within a week but flu can be much more serious in people in these at-risk groups, which is why they are being encouraged to have their free flu vaccinations – it’s free because they need it.

If you’re not eligible for a free flu vaccine you may be able to have it at a pharmacy or supermarket. The cost of these vaccines start from around £7. Click here to watch a video explaining more.

The free flu vaccination initiative forms part of NHS England and Public Health England’s Help Us Help You campaign, which is designed to help the public protect themselves against common winter illnesses.

Dr Kevin Smith, NHS Vale of York CCG Executive Director of Primary Care and Population Health, said: “Real flu is a horrible illness, even for the fittest people but it can be a really serious illness for some of us, particularly older people, pregnant women, young children and those with chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Flu is easy to catch but even easier to prevent. The annual flu vaccine is the best protection we have against flu so if you are eligible for a free flu vaccine you should book an appointment now.

“There’s a misconception that you can catch flu from the vaccine but this is simply not true. Some people may have a sore arm, mild fever or aching muscles for a couple of days after they get the jab, but these are nothing compared to the misery and inconvenience of real flu.

“It only takes a few minutes to get protected with your annual flu vaccine. I’d encourage anyone with questions about the annual flu vaccine to ask their GP, local community pharmacist or midwife.”

Councillor Carol Runciman, City of York Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health and Chair of the city’s Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “Getting a flu vaccine is one of the quickest, and most effective, things you can do to stay well this winter.

“The impact of flu on frail and vulnerable patients in communities and in care homes can be fatal and is why it is so important everyone is vaccinated.

“We would like to encourage people in York, especially those who fall into the key groups, to contact either their GP or visit their local community pharmacist to arrange to receive the flu vaccine.”

For more information visit www.valeofyorkccg.nhs.uk/winter/
or www.york.gov.uk/winter

Work starts on improvements to specialist community mental health services for new and expectant mums

Mental health services for new and expectant mums in the Humber region and parts of Yorkshire are expanding this autumn using an NHS cash injection worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. 

Having secured part of a £23 million NHS England grant earlier this year, the Humber Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership - an alliance of more than 20 healthcare organisations, Local Authorities and Voluntary Sector organisations - will work together to deliver perinatal mental health services across Hull, East Riding, North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire, Scarborough and Ryedale, and York.

From 1 October, the services will extend to ensure women who experience complex mental health needs, as well as their families receive the support they need and have access to treatments at the earliest possible stage.

Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust is strengthening its specialist community perinatal mental health services in Hull and East Riding, whilst working collaboratively with NAViGO and Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust to implement a new service for the North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire areas.  

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust will provide new, much needed community perinatal mental health services across the Vale of York and Scarborough.

Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive and the Mental Health Partnership Lead, Michele Moran said: “We are delighted to have started work on improvements to a much needed service to the Yorkshire, Humber and North Lincolnshire regions.

“So many new and expectant mothers experience mental health problems and we’re proud to work with our partners to extend the perinatal service into underserved areas and hopefully help hundreds of women and their families.”

The funding granted is part of a £365 million plan to ensure 30,000 more women can access specialist perinatal services by 2021.

Michelle Thompson, Assistant Director for Women’s and Children’s services for North East Lincolnshire CCG and the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership Lead said: “Having a baby is a major life event for mums and dads, and it's natural to experience a whole range of emotions and reactions during and after pregnancy.

“But if these problems start to have a big impact on day to day life, it might be a sign of a mental health problem and this service will provide some much needed specialist support for local families who are experiencing difficulties during or after the birth of their child.”

New Minor Eye Conditions Service contract for Vale of York and Scarborough and Ryedale

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has announced today that a new service provider will deliver a Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS) across the Vale of York and Scarborough and Ryedale areas from December 2018. 

A formal procurement process was undertaken to secure a new service provider. The new MECS provider has been confirmed as Healthcare Business Solutions UK. Commissioners look forward to working with the new provider in order to mobilise the new service, which begins on Saturday 1 December.

The MECS will be delivered from community optician practices across both CCG areas, meaning many patients will be seen closer to home than if they were referred into the hospital eye service.

The service will assess and treat a wide range of conditions, including: ocular pain and irritation, blurred vision, or flashes and floaters. 

Patients will be seen by an optometrist with additional accreditation in minor eye conditions, within 24 or 48 hours depending of the urgency of the symptoms, so that many patients will be seen sooner than if they made an appointment to see their GP or were referred into the hospital eye service. 

Dr Shaun O’Connell, a GP working in South Milford, and GP Lead for Acute Service Transformation at Vale of York CCG said: “The new service will enable patients with minor eye conditions to be seen by the right healthcare professional to meet their needs, at a time and place that is most convenient to them. 

“Getting patients seen by the right person, first time also diverts unnecessary demand from GP practices and hospital services, freeing up much-needed resources for alternative use.”

Local community invited to CCG’s fifth Annual General Meeting

Members of the public are invited to NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group’s fifth Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday 20 September.

The local community is invited along to hear an overview of the local health and care system’s operational and financial performance during 2017-18.

The AGM will take place at 2-3pm on Thursday 20 September at the Priory Street Centre, Priory Street, York, YO1 6ET.

The CCG’s AGM is one of several ways that patients and members of the public can get involved and have their say.

If you wish to ask a question or raise a matter at the 20 September AGM, you must submit your enquiry by no later than 12pm on Monday 17 September.

Please send your enquiry by email to valeofyork.contactus@nhs.net

Alternatively, you can send your enquiry by post to NHS Vale of York CCG, West Offices, Station Rise, York, Y01 6GA.

Dr Nigel Wells, Clinical Chair of Vale of York CCG, said: “I’d like to invite members of the public to the CCG’s AGM on 20 September to hear an overview of the work carried out during the 2017-18 year.

“The meeting will reflect on the previous year’s performance of both our local health and care system and the CCG’s work as lead commissioner for the area.

“I hope members of the public are able to attend the AGM to hear about important work that has taken place and to ask questions.”