Float like a butterfly and sting like a… well, a few things actually!

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Many of us love to be outdoors during the summer months and this means being amongst the fantastic British wildlife. However, what it can also mean is insect bites or stings.

NHS Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has issued some top tips for dealing with those irritating moments.

In most instances being stung or bitten is a minor nuisance. The affected area may get a little red or swollen and it may be slightly painful or itchy but it usually clears up within several hours. But to a child, it may result in lots of tears and anxious parents.

The following tips can help you avoid insect bites and stings:

  • Remain calm and move away slowly if you encounter wasps, hornets or bees – don't wave your arms around or swat at them
  • Cover exposed skin – if you're outside at a time of day when insects are particularly active, such as sunrise or sunset, cover your skin by wearing long sleeves and trousers. Wear shoes when outdoors
  • Apply insect repellent to exposed skin – repellents that contain 50% DEET (diethyltoluamide) are most effective. However, make sure you read the label first as many are not appropriate for young children. Check with your pharmacy for the best advice
  • Avoid using products with strong perfumes, such as soaps, shampoos and deodorants – these can attract insects
  • Be careful around flowering plants, rubbish, compost, stagnant water, and in outdoor areas where food is served
  • Never disturb insect nests – if a nest is in your house or garden, arrange to have it removed (GOV.UK has details about pest control services and how your local council can help)
  • Avoid camping near water, such as ponds and swamps – mosquitoes and horseflies are commonly found near water
  • Keep food and drink covered when eating or drinking outside, particularly sweet things – wasps or bees can also get into the open drink bottles or cans you're drinking from
  • Keep doors and windows closed or put thin netting or door beads over them to prevent insects getting inside the house – also keep the windows of your car closed to stop insects getting inside

Dr Salma Reehana, Chair at NHS Wolverhampton CCG, said:

“Most insect bites and stings are fairly minor and can be treated at home. The best thing to do is wash the area with soap and water and place a clean flannel or cloth soaked in cold water over the affected area to reduce swelling. Try to avoid scratching the area as this could cause infection. If the bite or sting is painful or swollen, you can wrap an ice pack, such as a bag of frozen peas, in a towel and place it on the swelling.

“You can help to ease symptoms with painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can be taken but make sure you don’t give a child aspirin if they are aged under-16. Instead, use a spray or cream that contains local anaesthetic, antihistamine or mild hydrocortisone (1%) on the affected area to prevent itching and swelling. An antihistamine tablet can help to reduce swelling but make sure you follow advice from your local pharmacist.

“In rare cases, some stings can be painful and trigger a serious allergic reaction, so if you see lots of swelling and blistering or if there’s pus, which indicates an infection, you should visit your GP or call NHS 111 for expert advice over the phone.”

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is also online. The NHS 111 advisers will tell you where to go if you do need medical attention.

Getting Carers Connected in Wolverhampton

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NHS Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging carers, services and businesses in the community to come together during Carers Week to help ‘Getting Carers Connected’ and celebrate the vital contribution made by carers in Wolverhampton.

Local mum supports the launch of a new mental health service by sharing her experience of perinatal depression

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Suzanne Henson, a 26-year-old mum from Wolverhampton, is supporting the launch of a new Specialist Perinatal Community Mental Health Service in the Black Country, by sharing her experience of perinatal depression. The new mental health service set up in January this year provides care and treatment to new and expectant mums experiencing severe mental health difficulties.

A GP and Wolverhampton NHS leader has been awarded an MBE in the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours List

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Dr Helen Hibbs, Accountable Officer at NHS Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group (WCCG) received the prestigious MBE award for services to NHS leadership. This includes leading WCCG to be rated ‘Outstanding’ by NHS England three years in a row. She will collect the award in person from the Queen later on this year.

HHibbsDr Hibbs, who lives in Wolverhampton with her husband Mike and two children, said she was ‘delighted’ at being awarded an MBE.

She said, “I am honoured to receive this recognition on behalf of all the wonderful teams I have and do currently work with, both in Wolverhampton and across the Black Country. I have always been extremely proud to work for the NHS and would like to thank my colleagues, friends and family who have supported me.”

Charlotte Hibbs, daughter of Dr Hibbs said today, "I've always looked up to my mum and admired her dedication to her work. I'm really pleased that she is receiving this recognition of all her hard work over the years for the people of Wolverhampton."

Dr Salma Reehana, Wolverhampton GP and Chair of WCCG said today, “Helen has worked within the CCG for a long time now and has been an excellent team player. As the Accountable Officer for WCCG, she has been instrumental is achieving three consecutive ‘Outstanding’ ratings from NHS England. She has always championed patient care to be at the core of all the work done within CCG and has strived hard in maintaining good working relationships with all stakeholders for the organisation. I am very pleased that her excellent work is being recognised in this honour being bestowed upon her. Congratulations Helen.”

Celebrating the news, Sue Thornhill, Practice Manager at Parkfield Medical Practice said, “I have known Helen for 18 years, working alongside her both at Parkfield Medical Practice and Ettingshall Medical Practice. I have seen first-hand the difference she has made to patients, also in her personal support of colleagues in our team and their families. Over the years I have witnessed Helen develop as a leader and hold a variety of senior roles in Wolverhampton. Away from the practice, Helen maintained her determination to improve health inequalities, keeping up to date with current practice and patient issues on the ground. The Parkfield team are pleased to see Helen gain recognition and congratulate her on this well-deserved award.”

After training at Nottingham Medical School and subsequently working in Coventry and Rugby as a hospital doctor, Dr Hibbs moved to Wolverhampton to become a GP. She spent 29 years at Parkfield Medical Practice, eventually running two practices with a combined list size of 17000 patients.

More recently in 2013, Dr Hibbs became WCCG Accountable Officer to lead commissioning of health services for the population of Wolverhampton.

In May 2018, Dr Hibbs’s leadership role extended across the Black Country and West Birmingham when she became the Senior Responsible Officer of 18 local health and care organisations. As part of this role, she has been the driving force behind the integration of health and social care services locally.