Call to combat obesity in Wolverhampton

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Thousands of adults and children who are overweight in Wolverhampton are being urged to shed the pounds this January to reduce their risk of developing serious health conditions.

NHS Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has issued the plea ahead of Obesity Awareness Week which runs from 13 January 2020 to 20 January 2020.

Latest statistics show that in Wolverhampton 66% of adults and 29% of children in Year 6 are classified as overweight or obese*. Being overweight or obese poses significant risk factors for serious health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, a range of cancers and poor mental health.

Plea for more men to donate in Wolverhampton

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NHS Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting the NHS New Year appeal for more men to start donating blood in Wolverhampton.

Over the last 12 months, 1,253 people started donating blood in Wolverhampton – their donations will save and improve lives.

However, there is a national shortage of new male donors. Only 43% of England’s blood donors are now male. It’s vital more men to get start giving blood to get the balance right.

Men are particularly important donors for two reasons. Men can donate more often because they have higher iron levels. Men’s blood can be used in more ways - some of them are extraordinary. For example, only men’s blood is used for complete blood transfusions in new-born babies.

Dr Salma Reehana, GP and Chair at NHS Wolverhampton CCG, said: “This is about the future. The NHS needs to strengthen its blood donor base, by getting more men to start donating blood, so they go on to become regular donors in the years to come. You can help in Wolverhampton by registering as new blood donor today.”

Plan ahead for Christmas and New Year

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With Christmas and New Year fast approaching GPs across the Black Country and West Birmingham are reminding people to plan ahead by stocking up their medicine cabinets and ordering repeat prescriptions if needed.

Flu Fighters campaign wins prestigious communications award

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Wolverhampton's unique Flu Fighters campaign – which is encouraging thousands more children to have their flu vaccine – has won a prestigious communications award.ff congrats

The popular campaign, developed by the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Communications and Public Health teams and the communications teams at Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group and the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, was named the winner of the hotly contested Best Creative Comms category at this year's comms2point0 UnAwards, with judges calling it "brilliant".

The Flu Fighters made their debut in 2018 and helped encourage record numbers of children in Wolverhampton to have their flu vaccine. The campaign saw a free children’s storybook, Flu Fighters Versus Chilly, Achy and Snotty, written, illustrated and produced in-house and distributed to thousands of primary aged pupils across the city.

In total, over 3,000 more children received their vaccination in 2018 compared to the year before, and the campaign proved so successful that it returned this year with a second out-of-this-world book, Flu Fighters in The Battle of Planet Bogey.

The sequel, again produced entirely in-house, saw our brave heroes blast off from Earth to take the fight to the aliens’ home planet. Early data suggests uptake of the vaccine in Wolverhampton has increased for a second consecutive year.

The campaign, which this year also saw the premiere of a Flu Fighters play in schools by Gazebo Theatre in Education, saw off tough competition from dozens of other entries from organisations nationwide at the UnAwards 2019, with judges saying: “This entry won the judges’ hearts with not only its creative approach to increasing uptake but also the impressive delivery of the messaging, with the results speaking for themselves.”

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: "The Flu Fighters campaign has been a tremendous success, driving uptake of the vaccine among children in Wolverhampton to record levels, and I would like to congratulate public health and communications colleagues at the council, CCG and NHS Trust on this richly deserved award.

"The impact of the Flu Fighters is clear; uptake of the vaccine among children in Wolverhampton, which for many years was the lowest in the Black Country, was by far the best in 2018 – and also above the national average for the first time.

“We were delighted to bring the Flu Fighters back with an all new story for 2019, and every indication is that uptake in Wolverhampton has increased further again this year.”

Mike Hastings, Director of Operations for Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are very pleased to be part of this award-winning partnership which brings together health and social care staff, not just those on the front line, but also our communications staff.

“This project has showcased how we can make a difference through innovative engagement ideas which have really helped us to engage with the children of our city.”

Matt Reid, Head of Nursing at Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, added: “Children are equally as vulnerable to flu as adults and will suffer the same symptoms as adults do, and will in some cases need to be admitted to hospital.

“This book was designed to help children, and their parents, understand why the flu vaccine is so important. The more people in the city that have the vaccine, the better it is.”

The comms2point0 UnAwards recognises genuine creativity, innovation and solid results. In total, 342 nominations were received across the 19 categories from organisations around the UK. The winners were announced at a ceremony at the Everyman Cinema in Birmingham on Friday 6 December.

Meanwhile vaccinations in the city's schools come to an end this week. Nurses from Vaccination UK were at St Bartholomew’s Church of England Primary School and Manor Primary School (year 4 catch ups only) today (Monday), St Luke’s Church of England Primary School (year 6 only) and Uplands Junior School tomorrow (Tuesday) and D’Eyncourt Primary School on Thursday.

All children from Reception to Year 6 at infant, junior and primary schools in Wolverhampton, and all children in special schools, have been offered the free flu vaccination in school school. The vaccine is also available to children aged two and three, and children aged 11 and over with some long-term health conditions, through local GPs. Any child or young person who may have missed their vaccination can get it by contacting their GP.

As well as the vaccination for children, people with long-term health conditions, the over 65s, carers and care staff, people in long-stay residential care homes and pregnant women are also eligible for a free vaccination through their GP or pharmacist, while everyone else can get the vaccine from many local pharmacies for a small charge. For more information, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/flufighters.