News from our Village Agent – June 2019

Celebrating Carers!

June 10–16 is Carers Week – We will be hosting Cake for Carers across many of the Carers Groups we support during this week, and releasing some short films about Caring in Somerset – keep an eye on our facebook page www.facebook.com/somersetcarers or website www.somersetcarers.org

Community Connect Event 10 June 9am – 1pm  The Great Western Hotel – TA1 1QW Taunton.

Our popular event is back! Somerset’s BIGGEST Health & Social Care event of the year. Meet Community Groups, Charities, support agencies such as Adult Social Care, G.P’s, Financial Advisors, Parish Councillors – as well as our own Village, Community and Carers Agents – all under one roof for the day. Open to the Public & Professionals: https://www.facebook.com/events/313803842649301/

Taking the Pressure off Doctors Surgeries

We are all aware of the GP recruitment crisis affecting many of our surgeries which has a further impact on our Accident and Emergency Departments. It was reported by the County Gazette as long ago as August 2017, that surgeries in the county were facing an impending crisis as they struggled to recruit new doctors.  Dr Helena McKeown BMA South West Regional Council Chair wrote a letter to the Gazette stating “Without proper investment in primary care, the knock-on effects on the rest of the health service and society as a whole will cost the government dearly in the long run.” So what is the best process for accessing care?

No appointment needed:

Pharmacies are a good place to start and some are 24 hour, just ask at the counter for details.  As qualified healthcare professionals, they can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains.  www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/pharmacies.  They can also support you with advice on prescribed medicine.

You may not need a Doctor:

Our surgeries are also investing in the employment of a range of health professionals. When you book an appointment you may be able to be seen quicker by someone other than a doctor who has the correct qualifications to treat your symptoms.  Find out how your surgery prefer you to book appointments before you need one so you can access help quickly when you need it.

By phone:

If you are unsure who you should see, especially if you are concerned during surgery out of hours, dial 111 for instant telephone advice or go online https://111.nhs.uk. For other emergency services, you can use 101 to talk to Avon and Somerset Police or use the online reporting forms www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/contact-us/  as well as dialling 999 for emergencies.

Keeping in touch with the NHS, our hospitals, Somerset County Council and the police is both interesting and easy via their social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook.  You can also call Somerset Direct on 0300123 2224 for advice or South Somerset District council on 01935 462462.

D-I-Y Healthcare

Invest in self- care by reading about your own potential health conditions and ensuring that you have the correct diet and lifestyle to keep you healthy.  Stock up on simple medication and learn about the symptoms of potential illness such as stroke or heart attack.

Focus on: Sepsis

Sepsis can affect anyone and can kill quickly. It is the invasion of the blood stream by bacteria. With more resistance to anti-biotics, it is important to get help fast.  Dial 999 immediately. Children have different symptoms, please refer to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sepsis/ – Early symptoms of sepsis for adults may include:

  • a high temperature or a low body temperature
  • chills and shivering
  • a fast heartbeat
  • problems or changes to your breathing
  • feeling or acting differently from normal – you do not seem your usual self