Minor illness? Talk to your pharmacist

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It’s national Ask Your Pharmacist Week (11-18 November)

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Remember to ‘think pharmacy first’ if you need advice or treatment for common illnesses like coughs, colds, eye infections and earaches.

As highly trained health care professionals, there’s a lot more that community pharmacists can help you with too.

Sometimes people go to a doctor or even a hospital for things that could be sorted out more conveniently at the pharmacy. You can consult your pharmacist about a wide range of health care issues, not just about medicines.

So, for convenient access to medicines, NHS services, support for healthy living and prompt clinical advice, Ask Your Pharmacist!


Get the right advice from the right people in a place convenient for you!

Pharmacists work with other professionals, such as doctors and nurses, to give you the best possible care as part of the NHS team.

Every pharmacist trains initially for five years in the use of medicines, managing minor illnesses and providing health & wellbeing advice.  Pharmacists continue to develop their clinical and professional skills throughout their career.

All pharmacy staff have accredited medicines training.

Your community pharmacy is the right place to go for help with minor illnesses such as coughs, colds, eye infections and earache.  The pharmacist can give clinical advice on many other matters too.

Sometimes your local doctors’ surgery will suggest you see your local pharmacist for convenient, professional advice and treatment for minor illnesses.  Or your pharmacist may refer you to the GP, if it’s something that can’t be sorted out in the pharmacy or requires further investigation.

Working together so you get the right health care advice and support in the right place, from the right people.


Essex nurses and midwives celebrated

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A series of events took place this month at venues across Essex, to celebrate and thank Essex nurses and midwives for their hard work, compassion, and commitment caring for patients and their families. A number of familiar faces from the world of entertainment and sport from across Essex also supported the campaign. 

As the face of our health service our nurses and midwives make an essential difference to health outcomes and patient’s recovery. Nurses and midwives in the county also provide support by helping families and patients through some of their most stressful times.

The events, attended by well over 200 nurses and midwives, aimed to support them to be the very best they can by recognising the demands of the profession and celebrating their achievements and thanking and rewarding them for the incredible work they undertake every day.

Key themes of the days, which were organised through the Mid and South Essex Local Workforce Action Board, were building and developing personal resilience, developing an approach to mindfulness, and facing your fears.

Diane Sarkar, Chief Nursing Officer, Mid and South Essex University Hospitals Group, said:
“I am delighted to have had such an opportunity to celebrate the immense contribution our nurses and midwives make every day both in our hospitals and out and about in our communities supporting and caring for the people of mid and south Essex.

“The conferences were an opportunity for us as senior nurses and midwives to not only thank them, but also to support and inspire them to continue to develop their careers and share in the exciting opportunities working more closely together brings us.”

Feedback online from the events included:

“Had a great day learning about positive thinking, mindfulness and hearing shared experiences from other nurses today. Definitely cannot wait to put some of the things I learnt into action” and “brilliant day with the nurses from mid and south-Essex learning how to engage our minds empower for success and valuing individuals”

Those wishing to send messages of thanks and support to nurses in Essex can still get involved via social media using the hashtag #LoveEssexnurses and #thanksforcaring (@MSEssex_STP) or any other local NHS social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram.

Cold Weather Plan for England

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With winter fast approaching, it is important that we as individuals, organisations and communities make plans to prepare for the cold weather.

Public Health England produces an annual plan to help us prepare. The plan is designed to provide advice on how to look after ourselves and others during the cold weather.

The latest guidance for 2019 can be viewed on the Public Health England website:

Cold Weather Plan for England 2019 

Flu season is here!

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

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We’re half way through October, Halloween is just round the corner and the flu is lying in wait to strike you down. The flu doesn’t care if you have lots of work to do, it doesn’t care about your exiting plans with friends, it doesn’t care if you were looking forward to going trick or treating. It will get you just the same.

The best way to beat the flu is to not get it in the first place. The Flu vaccine is the single best way of preventing the flu. For certain people, the flu is not just inconvenient but can lead to more serious medical conditions. That’s why people that have a long term health condition, aged over 65, pregnant or children aged between 2 and 11 can get the flu vaccine for free.

New online weight management programme for Thurrock

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People living in Thurrock can access a free website to help support people with losing weight.

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The new weight management support programme from Thurrock Council and Solutions4Health is called ShapeUp4Life and it is designed to assist Thurrock residents in losing weight through changes to lifestyle and activity levels. The easy to use website offers:

  • Weekly video sessions with experts;
  • Diaries so that you can keep track of food, activity and goals;
  • Regular emails full of tips and home exercise sessions; plus
  • Unlimited access to ShapeUp4Life recipes and ideas to support a healthy, balanced diet.

The programme is available to residents living in Thurrock who are older than 14 years-old. It is also appropriate for people living with conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, controlled high blood pressure and depression.

If you are interested, you do not need to be referred by a GP or health professional to sign up; just visit the ShapeUp4Life website for more information: https://shapeup4-life.co.uk/