New pilot allows people to test their blood pressure while at their local GP surgery

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From this week, you’ll be able to find out your blood pressure at selected local GP surgeries in Tilbury, East Tilbury and Chadwell.

You’ll be able to test yourself with the support of healthcare professionals in the waiting area and receive results instantly. Download the pilot poster below for information on location and risk factors that can lead to high blood pressure:

pdf Test your own blood pressure poster - February 2018 (338 KB)

Portfolio Holder for Health, Cllr James Halden said: “You can’t manage a condition if you don’t know you have it.

“Estimates for Thurrock suggest thousands of local people remain undiagnosed for common conditions such as high blood pressure.

“These machines are an easy way to check your health. If your blood pressure shows an irregular reading, it isn’t anything to worry about and is something you can discuss with your GP. Your GP can help you find out more and as well as give useful advice for looking after your health.

Charity recognised nationally for its work with women and children experiencing domestic abuse

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A charity that helps domestic abuse victims in south east Essex and Thurrock has been recognised for the high standards it provides to women and children experiencing domestic abuse.

Changing Pathways has been awarded the Women’s Aid National Quality Mark, demonstrating that it provides a high quality of service to women and children experiencing domestic violence in South East Essex and Thurrock. The Women’s Aid Quality Standards are national standards which measure the quality of specialist domestic violence services taking into account a number of factors.

The assessment panel found Changing Pathways deliver a robust and holistic needs-focused approach to supporting women and children. In addition, the panel was impressed with the organisation’s innovations to ensure that survivors’ voices are listened to and represented within the organisation, which service users’ considered empowering.

Philippa Ladd, Chief Executive of Changing Pathways said:
“I am thrilled that the high quality of our service, supporting survivors of domestic abuse in the South East Essex and Thurrock area, has been recognised by these national standards. Changing Pathways works to always put our service users at the heart of our work and we are committed to providing high quality support and advocacy to enable local survivors of domestic abuse to live their lives free from fear and violence”.

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid Federation England said:
“We are very proud to award Changing Pathways the Women’s Aid National Quality Mark for their excellent work supporting women and children in South East Essex and Thurrock. Specialist, high-quality domestic violence services can make the difference between a full, independent life and living in fear of your life for women escaping abuse. The hard work and dedication of the team at Changing Pathways is making that difference, and I thank them for the very high quality of the service they provide.”

Winter 2018 issue of CCG Insight, out now!

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We’ve released the latest edition of CCG Insight, a magazine packed full of information on healthcare in Thurrock plus details of the CCG's and our partners' work in the community.

The winter issue features the launch of a consultation into NHS services across mid and south Essex. The Your Care in the Best Place consultation shares plans for the future of NHS services with a particular focus on hospital services at Southend, Basildon and Broomfield Hospitals. The consultation also proposes to transfer of services from Orsett Hospital into new centres that will be located across Thurrock, and for Basildon and Brentwood residents some services will be offered in that area too. Under these plans, Orsett Hospital would only close after all four centres open.

There’s also exciting news from the Thurrock Health Hubs, which are now open seven days a week (7pm – 9pm weekdays and 9am and 12pm weekends), and updates on innovative changes in general practice, including specialist therapists who will be working with diabetes patients who are struggling to cope with their condition.

You can find out more about all of these stories and more by clicking on the link below. We hope you enjoy reading it! Please feel free to share with friends, family members and colleagues.

pdf CCG Insight - Winter 2018 (issue 10) (1.87 MB)

Extra GP and nurse appointments in Thurrock’s Health Hubs

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The Thurrock Health Hubs will be providing a continuous, seven-day a week GP and primary care nurse service for the people of Thurrock.

Everyone who is registered with a GP practice in Thurrock will be able to book an appointment at one of the hubs at the weekend (9.00am-12.00 noon) and now also in the evening on weekdays. Appointments will be available for both GPs and practice nurses from 7pm to 9pm Monday to Friday.

The expansion of the hub service means that out-of-hours GP services will be more accessible to people across the whole of Thurrock. The extra appointments will launch on Monday 8th January at the hubs in South Ockendon, Purfleet, Grays, Tilbury and Corringham. See the tables below for more times and locations:

Having trouble getting your medication lately? Here’s why…

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There are an unusually high number of common medicines that are currently in short supply at the moment.

Shortages can be caused for many reasons, but are usually short term with the product returning to stock within four weeks. There are a smaller number of medicines where there is a long standing problem. These shortages can last for months and, in some cases even a year or more, although this is very rare.

Stock shortages cause problems for pharmacists, GPs, patients and the NHS as a whole:

Community pharmacies – Shortages inevitably lead to increased time spent in finding available stock, helping prescribers to find similar products and explaining to patients. Shortages can also have an effect on relationships as sometimes patients believe the problem is with the pharmacy ordering system rather than a national problem.

GPs – Patients will often go back to the GP to get an alternative product if they have been told it is out of stock. This increases GP workload as they may need to contact their local pharmacist to see what is available and then issue another prescription. Again, it can affect relationships as patients think that GPs should know what is not available but as the situation often changes, this is not always possible.

Patients – stock shortages can lead to delays in patient care and can result in increased visits to pharmacies to collect medicines if the pharmacy has had to ‘owe’ medication. It can also cause worry if a patient relies on their medicine.

NHS – shortages can be very costly to the NHS as there is often increased costs in finding alternatives. If a patient cannot get their medicines it may result in their condition getting worse.

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