Know Your Numbers Week, 6th – 12th September
‘Know Your Numbers Week’ reaches out to those who have high blood pressure and don’t know it yet, so they can get the treatment and support they need to bring it under control. Hundreds of organisations take part, setting up pressure stations in public places across the UK, from hospitals and health centres to offices, car parks and supermarkets. In the UK, 6 million people have high blood pressure and don’t know it. If untreated, high blood pressure increases your risk of serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes.
High blood pressure can often be prevented or reduced by eating healthily, maintaining a healthy weight, taking regular exercise, drinking alcohol in moderation and not smoking.
Migraine Awareness Week, 6th – 11th September
Migraine is a severe and painful long-term health condition that 1 in 7 people live with.
It impacts around 1 in every 5 women, and around 1 in every 15 men. It usually begins in early adulthood.
Symptoms of a migraine attack can include head pain, problems with your sight, such as seeing flashing lights, being very sensitive to light, sounds and smells, fatigue and nausea.
There’s no cure for migraines, but some treatments are available to help reduce the symptoms. You should see a GP if you have frequent or severe migraine symptoms.
National Dementia Carers’ Day, 12th September
There are 700,000 people with dementia in the UK. Many people living with dementia rely on the love, support and care of family members, friends and unpaid carers. National Dementia Carers’ Day was established to share, recognise and support this crucial role.
Caring for someone with dementia can be challenging and stressful. But with the right support, it can be rewarding and often satisfying. If you’re a carer, you can:
– Register as a carer with your GP
– Apply for a carer’s assessment
– Check if you’re eligible for benefits
– Find out about training courses that could help you
– Find out about local support groups
Alzheimer’s UK has a great selection of support groups across the UK.
World Sepsis Day, 13th September
World Sepsis Day is held on 13th September every year and it’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against sepsis. Sepsis is a life-threatening reaction to an infection and is sometimes called septicaemia or blood poisoning. Sepsis occurs when your immune system overreacts to an infection and starts to damage your body’s tissues and organs. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, a blue tinge to the skin and a rash that does not fade when you roll a glass over it. Call 999 if someone is experiencing these symptoms or go to A&E.
World Patient Safety Day, 17th September
Patient safety is fundamental to the provision of healthcare in all settings. The global action plan was adopted with a vision of “a world in which no one is harmed in healthcare, and every patient receives safe and respectful care, every time, everywhere”. The purpose of the action plan is to provide strategic direction for all stakeholders when it comes to eliminating avoidable harm in healthcare and improving patient safety. You can download the Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030 on the World Health Organisation’s website. https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240032705
Organ Donation Week, 20th – 26th September
The theme for this Organ Donation Week is ‘Leave them Certain’. This campaign aims to encourage people to talk to their loved ones about organ donation by highlighting that families are always involved before organ donation goes ahead.
Black, Asian and minority ethnic patients often have to wait significantly longer for a successful match than white patients due to a shortage of suitably matched donors. If you’re black, Asian or belong to a minority ethnic group, your decision to become an organ donor could increase the likelihood of someone from the same ethnic background finding a suitable match. You could even save someone’s life.
It can be hard to start a conversation about organ donation, but you could cook up a conversation like the Kabs family and ensure your family and loved ones are certain about your organ donation decision.
Losing bone is a normal part of ageing, but some people lose bone much faster, leading to an increased risk of broken bones and osteoporosis.
If you’re at risk of developing osteoporosis, you can take steps to help keep your bones healthy. Regular exercise, healthy eating and making lifestyle changes – such as giving up smoking and reducing alcohol consumption can help to keep your bones healthy.
Women are more susceptible to osteoporosis due to hormone changes after the menopause which affect their bone health.
Impotence becomes more common with increasing age. 50–55% of men between the ages of 40 and 70 experience erectile dysfunction. Many factors can cause erectile dysfunction, which can have a gradual or sudden onset.
Leading a healthy lifestyle can dramatically improve erectile dysfunction – for example, eating a healthy diet, reducing alcohol intake, losing weight and increasing your levels of exercise. Erectile dysfunction can be a sign of other illnesses such as heart disease or diabetes, so seeking medical advice is essential. It might feel uncomfortable discussing this with your doctor, but our GPs are always happy to listen.
Children’s eye health and safety
Although serious vision problems during childhood are rare, routine eye checks are advised for newborn babies and young children to identify issues early on. The sooner any eye problem is found, the sooner you and your child will be able to get any treatment and support necessary.
Many different eye problems can be discovered during eye tests, including childhood cataracts, lazy eyes and astigmatism.
Signs of a possible eye problem can include:
– Reading difficulty
– Eyes not looking in the same direction
If your child has any of these symptoms, contact your GP or an optician for advice and assessment.
Eye injuries caused by something getting into the eye can vary in severity. Some foreign objects may cut or penetrate the eye and require medical help quickly; others may be rinsed out.
If your child gets something in their eye:
– Advise them not to rub their eye
– Sit them down facing a light, stand behind them and gently open their eyelids with your thumbs
– Ask them to look right, left, up and down as you look closely at the eye
If you can see something, tip their head backwards and wash it out by pouring clean water from the inner corner from a clean glass or jug.
If the object isn’t easy to remove or the eye is very painful, seek medical advice.
There are an estimated 13,000 deaths per year as a result of past exposure to harmful working conditions. Accidents are a leading preventable cause of death, serious injury and long-term disability. RoSPA plays a unique role in UK health and safety, providing services and support to help organisations on their journey to becoming safer and healthier places in which to work.
Eating well means enjoying your food and having plenty of variety in your diet, so you get all the nutrients you need and maintain a healthy weight. Eating well doesn’t have to mean giving up the less healthy things you enjoy – it just means eating them in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. The Eatwell Guide shows you a way to ensure a balance of healthier and more sustainable food in your diet. Are you eating a balanced diet? The Eatwell Guide shows how much of what you eat overall should come from each food group.
If you’re finding it difficult to eat enough, you might find yourself feeling tired, depressed and low on energy. This is because you lack essential vitamins and minerals. Eating six small meals and snacks every day can be more beneficial than eating the traditional three meals a day for people who prefer eating smaller meals.
Food labels can help you see which foods are high in fat, salt and added sugars, as well as how many calories are in a product.
– Red means high levels: You should try to eat these less often and in small amounts.
– Amber means medium (neither high nor low amounts): You can eat these foods most of the time.
– Green means low: This is the healthier choice.
Diets high in fat, sugar and salt can put you at risk of developing common health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, obesity and tooth decay. https://assets.publishing.service.g…/file/742750/Eatwell_Guide_booklet_2018v4.pdf
Back to work blues
You may have heard of phrases like the ‘back to work blues’; phrases like this have sprung up to describe a low, tired or stressed feeling, almost like an emotional jet lag that often develops at the thought of going back to the office after a period away. To prevent or reduce low mood, it could be helpful to try talking about your feelings.
Mental health problems at work are common, with at least one in six workers experiencing mental health issues including anxiety and depression. Time management and regular exercise can help you take back control of your time and effectively reduce stress. There’s strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to and valued by other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world. If you need help managing low mood, talk to your GP and they will ensure you get the correct support.
Ovarian cancer, or cancer of the ovaries, is one of the most common types of cancer in women. Common symptoms of ovarian cancer include:
– Feeling constantly bloated
– A swollen tummy
– Discomfort in your tummy or pelvic area
– Feeling full quickly when eating
– Needing to pee more often than usual
These symptoms are similar to those of some more common conditions, but if you’ve experienced persistent symptoms contact your GP.
Ovarian cancer comes about when abnormal cells in the ovary begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way and eventually form a growth or tumour. The risk of developing ovarian cancer depends on many things including age, genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors.
The risk of ovarian cancer increases steeply from around 45 years and is greatest in those aged between 75 and 79 years. If you or someone you know has been affected by ovarian cancer, the Ovacome Support Service offers one-to-one support and advice.
Most men with early prostate cancer don’t have any signs or symptoms. But some things may mean you’re more likely to get prostate cancer, such as:
– If you’re aged 50 or over
– If your father or brother has had prostate cancer
– If you’re black
One in eight men in the UK will get prostate cancer. There is currently no national screening programme for prostate cancer. Contact your GP if you think you may have, or be at risk of developing, prostate cancer and they’ll help you to make an informed decision.
NSPCC – Let’s talk pants
Talking about PANTS helps children to understand that their body belongs to them and that they should tell someone they trust if anything makes them feel upset or worried. PANTS stands for:
– Privates are private
– Always remember your body belongs to you
– No means no
– Talk about secrets that upset you
– Speak up, someone can help
We all want to keep our children safe. You’ve probably already talked to them about things like crossing the road safely, but have you spoken to them about how to stay safe from sexual abuse? Talking PANTS with the NSPCC Pantosaurus can make an uncomfortable topic a little bit easier to understand. You can watch the video here:
Flu can be an extremely unpleasant illness in children, with those under the age of 5 being more likely to be hospitalised due to flu than any other age group. Vaccinating children helps to protect them in the first instance, so that they can stay in school and parents don’t have to take time off work to look after them. A free flu vaccine is offered to all primary school-aged children and this year this has been extended to include some secondary-aged children.
Flu is caused by a virus; it can be a very unpleasant illness for children and can lead to serious problems, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. The children’s flu vaccine is safe and effective. It’s offered every year as a nasal spray to children to help protect them against flu. If you have any questions about vaccinations, you can contact your GP or read this helpful page from the NHS.
Vaccines are the most effective way to protect you and your child from many serious and potentially deadly diseases; they prevent up to 3 million deaths worldwide every year. Vaccinating children against flu also protects others who are vulnerable to flu, such as babies and older people.
Young persons’ sexual health
Growing up as a teenager is difficult, and no issue seems to cause more anxiety than the subject of sex. If you’re a young person looking for sexual health advice, Brook offers easily accessible, free sexual health and wellbeing information.
Contraception is used to prevent pregnancy when having sex. There are loads of different contraceptive options so it’s really good to talk to someone at a family planning clinic or your GP to understand what will work best for you.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, affecting around six in every ten people with dementia in the UK. A common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is having problems remembering recent events or information.
Support is available for both carers and dementia patients. The Alzheimer’s Society UK has choices of carers’ groups, memory cafes and day centres, enabling dementia patients to be part of a supportive community, and offering relief for carers who are caring for someone with dementia.
If someone you know is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and has problems with reasoning, thinking, language and perception, which cause changes in mood, anxiety, depression or frustration, you can find help and support through Alzheimer’s charities.
The flu vaccine is offered free on the NHS to anyone with serious long-term health conditions and older adults. Having the flu vaccine will reduce your risk of contracting the flu and it will also stop you from spreading the flu to other people.
Flu can be serious and each year causes thousands of people to go to hospital and hundreds of deaths. If you have underlying health conditions, or if you’re older, you’re more at risk of becoming seriously ill from flu. You can book your flu vaccine with us, and we will shortly be beginning our flu clinics.
High cholesterol is when you have too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood. It’s mainly caused by an unhealthy diet, not exercising enough, smoking and drinking alcohol.
Having high cholesterol can increase your risk of heart and circulatory diseases such as heart attack, stroke and vascular dementia. You can lower your cholesterol levels by:
– Eating a healthy, balanced diet
– Getting active
– Quitting smoking
If you’re concerned about your cholesterol levels, your GP can measure your cholesterol levels and tell you how to control them.
We all need some cholesterol in our blood to stay healthy, but too much can lead to serious health problems in the future, including heart attacks and strokes. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-cholesterol/
Stem cell donation
For some people, a stem cell transplant is the only hope of survival. There’s a continuous need to recruit more donors, particularly people from African, African-Caribbean, Asian, Chinese, Jewish, Eastern European and Mediterranean communities. You can find out more about joining the registry here: https://www.bbmr.co.uk/joining-the-register/
Get Britain Standing
On average, British people sit for 8.9 hours each day. A variety of major international research has produced compelling evidence to show that sitting for more than four hours each day can increase the risk of developing serious health problems. The Get Britain Standing website has a handy calculator you can use. You might be surprised just how much time you spend sitting down.
Type 2 diabetes, obesity and activity levels
Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition where the insulin your pancreas makes can’t work properly, or your pancreas can’t make enough insulin. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body can’t get enough glucose into your cells, so a common symptom is feeling very tired. Other symptoms to look out for include feeling thirsty, going to the toilet a lot and losing weight without trying to. Several factors can affect your risk of developing type 2 diabetes including being overweight, your age and ethnicity. There are several ways you can treat type 2 diabetes, such as making healthy lifestyle choices, using insulin or taking medication.
Pneumonia is a type of chest infection that causes swelling of the tissue in one or both lungs. More people get pneumonia in winter because respiratory viral infections, such as flu, are more common in the winter, and these increase your risk of developing pneumonia. If you have a long-term lung condition or care for someone who does, it’s a good idea to have a flu jab every year.
If you have pneumonia, you’ll have symptoms that are similar to having the flu or a chest infection. Symptoms may develop gradually over a few days but can progress much faster; you may feel generally unwell, weak and tired with a cough. If you feel unwell with these symptoms, see your GP or call 111.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) can make anyone seriously ill, but for some people the risk is higher. Getting vaccinated not only reduces your chance of being infected but also contributes to protecting people more at risk in your community by reducing the likelihood of virus transmission.
The COVID-19 vaccine greatly reduces your chance of contracting coronavirus and makes you less likely to get severely ill if you encounter the coronavirus. Because the vaccines do not contain a live virus and cannot cause disease, they are a much safer way to gain protection against the virus. You can find out more about the COVID-19 vaccines on the NHS website.