Wolverhampton parents urged to catch up on life-saving vaccinations

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Wolverhampton parents and their families are being reminded of the importance of vaccinations ahead of European Immunisation Week, which takes place from 24-30 April. NHS Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging patients overdue an immunisation to contact their GP practice to arrange a life-saving jab.

In 2017-18, coverage declined in nine of the 12 routine vaccinations measured at ages 12 months, 24 months or five years in England compared to the previous year*. In Wolverhampton uptake for the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR – 1st dose at 24 months) vaccine was 92.1%**. The World Health Organization’s target for MMR vaccination is 95%.

Every year, the World Health Organisation European Region marks European Immunisation Week (EIW) to promote immunisation as vital to preventing diseases and protecting life.

Dr Edward Jenner, the Gloucestershire doctor who invented the first immunisation, for smallpox, in 1796, is the only doctor in history who can claim that his work has completely eradicated a disease from mankind, and millions of people since owe their lives and wellbeing to the work that followed from him.

The GP of two or three generations ago would commonly deal with some truly awful infections in babies and young children: illnesses like diphtheria, polio, and whooping cough that caused untold misery and indeed cases of lasting disability and death. Thanks to the immunisation programmes of the last decades, these illnesses are now either very rare, or extinct: the whole of Europe was declared polio-free in 2002. More recently, newer vaccines have become available for children – children are now vaccinated against viruses that cause diarrhoea and sickness, and against some of the bacteria that can cause meningitis.

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

"Vaccination prevents disease, protects life and is a strong foundation for life-long health and well-being. So, we are supporting European Immunisation Week to emphasise the importance of the vaccinations that are offered to all children registered at our GP Practices.

"Childhood immunisations are free and are used to protect children from diseases which can be very serious causing long-term complications and even death. It’s important to have vaccinations at the right age to keep the risk of disease as low as possible. Some immunisations are given more than once to make sure the protection continues. This is known as a booster, so it’s vital that parents ensure that their child gets it when it is needed.

"Immunisation begins at two months, when a baby's natural immunity to illness begins to drop. The protection immunisations offered to children against serious diseases are worth the small amount of pain. Immunisations don’t just protect children during childhood, they protect them for life."

Visit https://bit.ly/2FQNkrw for information about immunisations. For more information about European Immunisation Week visit https://bit.ly/1outJgF.

Choose the right service this Easter

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The Easter holidays are almost upon us and whilst we hope to be enjoying time with family and friends, NHS clinical commissioning groups are reminding families of the health services available, should anyone become unwell.

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

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Every 15 minutes someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer and it’s the UK’s second biggest cancer killer but it shouldn’t be. It’s treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early.

Nearly everyone survives bowel cancer if diagnosed at the earliest stage however this drops significantly as the disease develops. Early diagnosis really does save lives. Being aware of the key symptoms and visiting your GP if things don’t feel right can help increase chances of an early diagnosis.

The symptoms of bowel cancer can include:

  • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
  • A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
  • A pain or lump in your tummy

Most people with these symptoms don’t have bowel cancer. Other health problems can cause similar symptoms. If you have one or more of these, or if things just don’t feel right, see your GP.

For more information visit bowelcanceruk.org.uk

City makes progress towards autism friendly ambition

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Good progress is being made towards Wolverhampton's pledge to become an Autism Friendly City, but there is still more to be done to ensure that people affected by autism are afforded the same opportunities as anyone else.

Autism affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they see, hear and feel the world around them. People with autism experience it in different ways, but typically face challenges in social communication and interaction.

Around 1 in 100 children and adults – approximately 2,500 people in Wolverhampton – are estimated to have an autism spectrum condition.

Last year, Wolverhampton announced its intention to become an Autism Friendly City by 2021 and, ahead of this year’s World Autism Awareness Week, which begins today (Monday 1 April) Wolverhampton's Joint Autism Strategy has been refreshed to focus on three key themes – increasing awareness and understanding of autism, improving services for people with autism, and helping people with autism to become more independent.

Ensuring the continuing supply of medicines and medical products

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Health and social care leaders in Wolverhampton are proud of their joint working to tackle local issues that arise from time to time. Currently our leaders are working closely with Wolverhampton Local Pharmaceutical Committee, the Government and NHS suppliers to make sure that medicines and medical products continue to be available in Wolverhampton during and beyond the uncertainty currently surrounding Brexit.

Wolverhampton Doctors and Pharmacists have not been instructed to delay or change any routine treatment or medicines as a result of Brexit planning.

Advice for all patients is not to stockpile and to keep ordering your repeat prescriptions and taking your medicines as normal. The NHS, through your local doctor's surgery and pharmacy, will keep you informed if there are any necessary changes.