Category: Health

Mumps outbreaks across England

Provisional data from Public Health England (PHE) show that there were 5,042 lab-confirmed cases of mumps in England in 2019, compared to 1,066 cases in 2018. This is the highest number of cases since 2009.

The rise in cases looks set to continue in 2020, with 546 confirmed cases in January 2020 compared to 191 during the same period in 2019.

The steep rise in cases in 2019 has been largely driven by outbreaks in universities and colleges. Many of the cases in 2019 were seen in the so-called ‘Wakefield cohorts’ – young adults born in the late nineties and early 2000s who missed out on the MMR vaccine when they were children. These cohorts are now old enough to attend college and university and are likely to continue fuelling outbreaks into 2020.

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NHS Trust announces new Chair

Mary Elford has been appointed as Chair for Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust. The Trust delivers services across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Luton, Norfolk, Peterborough and Suffolk.

Mary is currently Vice-Chair of East London NHS Foundation Trust. She is a member of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel for the NHS and the National Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards.

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Coronavirus public information campaign launched across the UK

The government-funded campaign will include public health advice on how people can protect themselves from infection.

Similar to the ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ campaign used for flu and norovirus, it will promote important hygiene practices, such as regularly washing hands and always sneezing into a tissue, to stem the spread of viruses.

HM Government and NHS-branded information will appear in radio and print media, as well as social media.

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University of Bedfordshire to explore impact of exercise in treating depression in teenagers

A collaborative research team led by the University of Hertfordshire along with the University of Bedfordshire, University of East Anglia, Norwich Clinical Trials Unit, local mental trusts and sports partnerships have won a £2.27m contract from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to investigate if exercise is a beneficial treatment for mild to moderate depression in young people aged 13-17.

The multi-disciplinary research trial will include health, psychology, and exercise researchers and practitioners from the School of Life and Medical Sciences and the School of Health and Social Work (University of Hertfordshire), the Research Centre for Health, Wellbeing and Behaviour Change (University of Bedfordshire), Norwich Clinical Trials Unit and the University of East Anglia.

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Bedfordshire and Luton Clinical Commissioning Groups highlight carers’ important work

Bedfordshire and Luton Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) are highlighting the important work done by carers and the help available to them.

40,000 carers across Bedfordshire provide unpaid support to family and friends, who could not manage without their help.

They make a huge contribution to improving the lives of older, disabled and chronically ill people, many of whom would otherwise need residential care.

Caring for a family member or close friend can be very rewarding. But this responsibility can, over a period of time, also become physically and emotionally challenging.

So all carers should take steps to maintain their own health and well-being and be aware of the support on offer.

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Cervical Cancer Week highlights importance of getting a smear test

This week is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (20 to 26 January 2020). As part of the week Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) and Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) are encouraging all eligible people to have a cervical screening (smear test).
Across the UK, cervical screening is changing to test for high-risk HPV first. HPV is a common virus that eight in 10 people will get. It usually goes away without causing any problems. But sometimes causes cells to change which, if not treated, could develop into cervical cancer.

Almost all cervical cancers are linked to high-risk HPV. By knowing who has high-risk HPV, the virus can be monitored. Any cell changes can be identified early, before they potentially develop into cervical cancer.

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Looking after your mental health is important whatever the time of year

Bedfordshire and Luton Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are highlighting the importance of looking after your mental health.

For some, January can exacerbate difficult thoughts and feelings. This is due to the ending of the festive period, an increase of debt and long dark winter days. However, it’s important to remember mental health affects people all through the year.

The CCGs said that in the UK approximately one in four people experienced a mental health problem. Ranging from depression and anxiety, considered more common, to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder which are more rare.

Sometimes individuals that are experiencing mental health problems can feel alone. Mental health problems are a common human experience and it can be helpful to talk about how you are feeling.

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NHS support sees people lose the weight of 43 ambulances

People finishing the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme have lost the equivalent weight of 43 ambulances.

Nationally, 89,604 people have now finished the programme, losing a combined weight of 185,051kg – which is equivalent to 43 ambulances.

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, the evidence-based lifestyle change programme will double in size over the next few years to support around 200,000 people per year. It is designed for people with non-diabetic hyperglycaemia (the term given to having blood test results showing a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes).

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Seven New Year’s Day babies at Bedford Hospital!

Bedford Hospital midwives were delighted to welcome the arrival of seven babies born on New Year’s Day 2020.

The first beautiful bundles of joy to arrive was Mila, a baby girl who was born at 00.04am on 1st January 2020, weighing 5lbs 4oz to parents Vicky and Peter.

Another precious bundle to arrive at 1.40pm was Ethan and baby boy weighing 8lbs 1oz to first time parents Charlotte and Phil.

All families are incredibly overjoyed with their new arrivals.

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Feeling unwell? Make your local pharmacy your first port of call

People in Bedfordshire and Luton are being urged to make their local pharmacy their first port of call if they are feeling unwell this winter.

The demand for health services increases dramatically during the winter months, putting NHS staff under even more pressure. To help relieve this pressure the public is being asked to consult with a pharmacist for all viral infections and other minor illnesses instead of making an appointment with a GP, out-of-hours service.

Pharmacists are highly experienced healthcare professionals who have completed five years training in the use of medicines. Not only does this qualify them to dispense your NHS prescription, it means they can offer advice on an extensive range of health problems.

They can recommend the most appropriate treatment for coughs and colds, back pain, travel sickness, sore throats, upset stomachs and skin rashes, to name just a few of the minor health conditions that they regularly deal with.

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Don’t forget to put your medicines on your Xmas check list

Luton and Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups are reminding people who regularly take prescription medicine to check they have enough medication to see them over the Christmas and New Year holiday.

Anyone with a long-term health condition should be aware that many local doctors’ surgeries and pharmacies will have different opening hours between Christmas and New Year. Therefore it’s important they order and collect their repeat prescriptions in plenty of time before the holidays.

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