New urgent eye care service now available in Bedfordshire

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the availability of a number of routine health services. As part of the local NHS recovery plan Bedfordshire and Luton Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have launched the new service to ensure the public can access urgent eye care.

Patients who have a new minor eye complaint can call a dedicated Freephone number, without the need for a referral from a GP or other healthcare professional.

After an initial assessment, patients will then be called by a clinician who will provide a telephone or video consultation and recommend treatment.

Bedford Borough Council urges residents to look after their wellbeing

With the infection rate remaining high in the Borough and residents advised to continue to stay home where possible, Bedford Borough Council is reminding everyone of the support and advice available to look after your mind and body.

In April, the council created a new webpage, www.bedford.gov.uk/wellbeing. This offers advice to Borough residents on how to look after themselves whilst at home during the coronavirus outbreak and beyond.

If you are feeling unwell – contact your GP

A senior doctor is reassuring people in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) that GP services are available if they are feeling unwell.

What has changed is the way many GP services are now being delivered. Where possible consultations are now conducted remotely over the telephone or by video link.

If a face-to-face appointment is necessary, the patient will be told what to do.

All patients should first contact their GP practice either online, by an app or by phone to be assessed.

A pandemic threat has been top of Bedfordshire Police’s risk register for the past decade

The county’s force responded quickly to the challenges, Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel was told, despite the pressures piled on the NHS.

“We’ve obviously had this on the agenda for a period of years,” explained the county’s Chief Constable Garry Forsyth to a Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel meeting this week.

“Pandemic influenza has been the number one threat on the risk register for about the last ten years.” he added

Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Commissioning Collaborative celebrates those who care for others

This week is National Carers Week (8 – 14 June), and the contribution unpaid carers make to families and communities throughout the region has been praised by Dr Nicola Smith, clinical chair of Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) Commissioning Collaborative.

In recent months carers have had to face new challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This has seen many people taking on even more responsibility to support a relative or friend.

However, while caring for others can be a rewarding and life-affirming experience, it can often come with difficulties and pressures that can affect the health and well-being of the carer.

Dr Smith said:

“If you are a carer the best way you can support the person you’re caring for is to stay fit and healthy. All carers should inform their GP of their caring responsibilities.”

Study says broccoli and tea play “significant roles” in cancer prevention

Bedfordshire Hospitals Consultant, Professor Robert Thomas has co-led a national scientific study that says eating broccoli and drinking tea can prevent cancer.

Two separate studies were presented (virtually) at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Conference on 31 May 2020.

The studies analysed one of the largest data sets in the world with over 155,000 people followed for a period of 12 years.

The first study definitively confirmed regularly eating broccoli reduces cancer risk by approximately 5%. The second study showed regularly drinking tea reduced the risk of prostate cancer.

Carers Week 8 – 12 June 2020 in Bedford Borough

The theme for this year’s Carers Week is ‘Making Caring Visible’. Hidden, unpaid carers and hidden disabilities are at the heart of this year’s campaign.

Bedford Borough Council has said that there are resources and groups to help carers, with through ‘normal’ times and during the COVID-19 Lockdown. These cane found from the Council’s Website, by searching for ‘carers’.

Bedfordshire mums urged to access breastfeeding support amid coronavirus

This Breastfeeding Celebration Week, health visitors from Bedfordshire Community Health Services are urging mums to continue accessing support for breastfeeding if they need it.

Mums are invited to make the most of new services available in light of COVID-19 to support them on their breastfeeding journey.

They can call 0300 555 0606 or text Bedfordshire’s Parentline on 07507 331456 to get advice from the health visiting service. There is also the option of a video consultation with the Baby Friendly Team if needed.

University of Bedfordshire in partnership to research COVID-19 testing

Life Science Group Ltd (LSG) and the University of Bedfordshire have received £50,000 in funding from Innovate UK to complete a research project to improve COVID-19 testing.

This follows a national call from Innovate UK to develop innovative methodologies to help combat COVID-19.

LSG and the University are to develop a testing method for COVID-19 that inactivates the virus immediately after the swab sample is taken from patients.

Give your views on how Bedfordshire’s NHS services are performing during the pandemic

A public survey has been launched to allow people across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) to share their experiences of local healthcare services during the coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic has presented considerable challenges to healthcare. This has resulted in changes to the way many services are delivered.

To assess how well these changes are working, local health commissioners are seeking the views of the public.

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