Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Heath Matters OCT 2018; Hospitals, NHS111, Flu Jabs and Slippers


Five Issues in tonight’s DriveTime

  • New Hospital for St Albans
  • Flu Jabs
  • When to use 111
  • Swap your Slippers
  • NHS at 70

1. New Hospital for St Albans?
Well, not quite; but here’s an update on the hospital situation. First a re-cap; after years of deliberation the proposal that went through was to
  • Upgrade Watford as an acute hospital;
  • Use St Albans for planned and elective care
  • Re-invent Hemel as a Health & Wellbeing Hub.
The clamour was for a centrally located new hospital! The case was made in a locally produced “Strategic Outline Case”. It’s taken a year for NHS England to respond and (presumably reacting to political pressure) they’ve come back saying the plan hasn’t taken account of population increase, and suggesting it relooks at a new hospital for planned and urgent care near Junction 8 of the M1 (the Hemel junction). There’s to be public consultation and the plan is to re-submit early in 2019.

2. Flu Jabs
We’re almost half way through the season and clinics are filling fast. You can get your jab at your Surgery or a Pharmacy near you.  
   
You are eligible for a flu vaccination by injection if you are in one of the following categories:
  • Adults over 65 (i.e. born on or before  MAR 31 1954
  • Other adults with an underlying health condition particularly long term heart or respiratory disease, diabetes, or weakened immune systems
  • Children (6 months to 2 years)
  • Pregnant women
  • Carers
  • Patients living in a care home
  • Patients with a learning disability

In addition, you are eligible for a flu vaccination by nasal spray if you are in one of the following categories
  • All children aged 2, 3, or 4
  • Children in Reception or Years 1 - 5
  • Children aged 4-18 years with an underlying health condition
Further information – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/

3. The 111 number in Hertfordshire
If it’s a life-threatening emergency, call 999; otherwise, if you need help, call 111. But how would you know if it’s life-threatening or not? What do you do if you’re not sure which it is? The answer is simple – call 111. They can assess the urgency and arrange for an ambulance if that’s what’s needed. But 999 can’t put you through to 111!

We’re really lucky in Hertfordshire; we have one of the best 111 services in the country. And there are two factors behind that
  • The fully trained Call Handlers (generally referred to as Health Advisers; and
  • The in-house team of healthcare professionals that they can refer to.
Today’s Health Advisers  have had extensive training and they’re not just reading off their Computer Screens. And to prove it, one of them (Beverley Squirrel) will be in the studio on next month’s Health Matters explaining what they do. Now I have to admit I had a real misconception about what they do until I met them recently – I thought they were diagnosing the condition. But they’re not; rather they are ‘assessing risk’, which means determining who is best placed to deal with it. And that could be a doctor, a dentist, a nurse or a Clinical Call Handler within the call centre who could be a paramedic or nurse–they’re all specialists in a dedicated team available to the 111 Call Handlers.

Finally, here’s a challenge; how many calls do you think will be made to the NHS 111 service in Hertfordshire next month? Answers on the blog please. To give you an idea, there were 25,990 last month and, as a result of those calls almost 2,000 unnecessary visits to A&E were prevented by being able to point them to the appropriate healthcare professional.



4. Swap Your Slippers
Swap your old worn out slippers for a brand new anti slip pair of slippers for free! Bad slippers have been identified as a major cause of slips, trips, and falls and there’s an event at Radlett Library on FRI NOV 30 between 10:00 and 12:00

5. NHS at 70You know the extra money that Theresa May has given to the Health Service – well I was at an event yesterday discussing the ways that the NHS would use the money – and I met Matt Hancock – the new Health & Social Services Minister; it was an experience!

And finally - how many calls will the Hertfordshire 111 service take in OCTOBER?

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