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Download the NHS app to access healthcare

People in the Black Country who have a smartphone or tablet are being reminded to join the millions nationwide who have downloaded the NHS app.

At home or on the move, the NHS app provides a simple and secure way for people to access a range of NHS services on their smartphone or tablet.
 
Currently, 41 percent of people in the Black Country have downloaded the app, compared to the national average of 51 percent.
 
The app can be used for ordering repeat prescriptions, accessing your records, checking symptoms, and getting health advice – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
 
It also allows users to check their COVID-19 vaccine record, including how many doses they have had, and which jab they received.
 
People will be asked to create an NHS login if they do not have one already and must be registered with a GP to use it.
 
Dr Ananta Dave, Chief Medical Officer for NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board, said: “The NHS app is a great way to get valuable information about your health at the click of a button.
 
“It is a valuable tool for people to manage their health at home, whether that’s by ordering repeat prescriptions, securely checking GP medical records or using the handy symptom checker and finding out what to do if you need urgent help.
 
“So, if you haven’t already, I would absolutely encourage anyone with a smartphone or tablet to download the app today.
 
“If you don’t have a smartphone or tablet, you can use the NHS login to access the same services through a web browser on a computer or laptop.
 
“We also understand that not everyone will be able to use the NHS app, so I’d like to remind“We also understand that not everyone will be able to use the NHS app, so I’d like to remindpeople that they can still access healthcare by contacting their GP as normal or by calling 111for urgent help.”
 
The app is free to download and is available on the App Store or Google Play. The app willnever ask for money or financial details to access it. People must be registered with a GPpractice in England and aged 13 or over to use the NHS app.
 
For further information please visit the NHS website here.

Heart Health Hub Offers Free Blood Pressure Readings and Support to Local Community

On Monday 27th February 2023, a new Heart Health Hub will open its doors at the DY1 Centre in Dudley, offering free blood pressure readings and expert support to help improve the heart health of residents.

On the day, the Heart Health Hub, which is open to anyone in the local community, aims to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining a healthy heart and reducing the risk of heart disease. The hub will be prepared with blood pressure monitoring equipment and staffed by qualified healthcare professionals who can provide advice and support on heart-healthy living.

Dr Lloyd Baron, Clinical Advisor for Health Inequalities at Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust said:

"Our goal is to help as many people as possible in our community improve their heart health.

"By providing free blood pressure readings and expert support, we hope to empower people to take control of their heart health and make positive lifestyle changes that can improve their overall wellbeing."

In addition to free blood pressure readings, the Heart Health Hub will also offer a range of resources and information on heart-healthy living, including tips on diet, exercise, stress management, and smoking cessation.

The Hub will also provide free hot drinks to all visitors.

Joe Taylor, Strategic Commissioning and Transformation Lead at Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust said:

"We want to create a welcoming and friendly environment where people feel comfortable and supported in their efforts to improve their heart health,"

Visiting hours are between 5 pm – 6 pm and the Hub will be located at the DY1 Centre on Stafford Street in Dudley. No appointment is necessary, and the service is completely free of charge.

For more information, please email

Address: DY1 Centre, Stafford Street, Dudley, DY1 1RT

Date: Monday 27th February 2023

Time: 5 pm – 6 pm


First Contact Mental Health Practitioners lead the way

Board members from Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust have heard more about its innovative First Contact Mental Health Practitioner model.

During February’s Board Meeting, staff members who work in this field provided a detailed overview of their service and explained the benefits that the team brings.

In an effort to alleviate pressure on General Practitioners (GPs) and provide specialist care, the Practitioners have developed a new approach to mental health care by working directly with patients and integrating with surgeries in Primary Care Networks across Dudley.

The First Contact Mental Health Practitioners, who must be experienced Registered Mental Health Nurses, see patients directly without them having to see a GP, they bring a wealth of experience and specialism to general practice.

Currently, the initiative sees five members of staff integrated with local practices to alleviate pressure on GPs by offering a specialised service to individuals aged 16 years and over.

The model provides an additional 245 mental health appointments per week and hopes to expand, so more appointments can be made available.

One patient, suffering from depression, was recently able to reduce and then stop a high dosage of antidepressants, as well as engage in mindfulness and exercise. This individual is now looking forward to taking part in an upcoming sports event and enjoying improved mental well-being, a huge achievement.

The success of this patient is just one example of the positive impact this new model is having on the mental health of individuals in the area.

Samantha Hemming, Lead First Contact Mental Health Practitioner at Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust said:

“We are dedicated to improving access to specialist care and working towards true parity of esteem for mental health and I look forward to continuing to serve the community.

“This model has been a goal of mine for a long time, and I am pleased to see it working so well for our patients and removing some of the strain upon our GPs, who are extremely busy.

“The service we offer means that patients can receive specialist care from dedicated professionals in this field.”

Dr Rebecca Lewis, GP Mental Health Lead at Dudley integrated Health and Care NHS Trust said:

“Whether it is reducing medications, taking more time for self-care, or achieving personal ambitions in life, First Contact Mental Health Practitioners are there to holistically support patients on their journey.

“With up to 40% of GP appointments relating to a mental health presentation, this model is having a great impact and there have been fantastic results by working closely with our patients.”


Healthcare Professionals Collaborate to Help People on Valentine’s Day

Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust have partnered with the University of Birmingham and Brook Sexual Health to host a community health awareness event this Valentine’s Day (Tuesday 14th February 2023).

Pharmacists, pharmacy students, and sexual health professionals will be on hand to provide access to important health information and resources.

As part of the event, free blood pressure checks will be offered, along with expert advice. There will also be sexual health guidance, which includes, free contraception, sexual health test kits*, educational materials, and the opportunity to speak with healthcare experts one-on-one.

Sarah Baig, Pharmacy Professional Development and Governance Lead at Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust said:

“I think it’s wonderful to see different sectors of pharmacy working together with one vision of improving patient care, empowering patients with knowledge, and supporting them to live healthier lives through this initiative at Merry Hill. 

“I am also proud of my University of Birmingham students who are supporting the campaign as they will be our future pharmacists”

Salome Kudyarawanza, a Year 4 Mpharm Student at the University of Birmingham said:

“This campaign is for all of us. Family, friends, colleagues, and partners.

“I hope this encourages more patients to consider going to their pharmacist for their ailments.”

Dr Lloyd Baron, Clinical Advisor for Health Inequalities at Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust said:

“Life is busy, and we can all neglect aspects of our health from time to time.

“This pop-up event is perfect for an easy and quick health check whilst people are going about their daily lives.

“The collaboration of pharmacy and sexual health teams across Dudley, with the University of Birmingham, demonstrates how patients and communities can benefit from novel ways to improve our health.

“Follow your own heart and speak to one of the team this Valentine’s Day!”

Adebisi Odole, a Year 4 Mpharm Student at the University of Birmingham said:

“I’m happy to be part of the team in Dudley with fellow course-mates, promoting a healthy lifestyle.

“As we are moving to an ever-aging population it’s important we spread the importance of having a healthier lifestyle”

The community health awareness event is open to the public and free to attend. Visitors can stop by anytime between 11 am and 7 pm to participate.

For more information about the community health awareness event, please contact .

Where: Merry Hill Centre (opposite Deichmann and The Fragrance Shop), Pedmore Rd, Brierley Hill DY5 1QX

When: Tuesday 14th February 2023 from 11 am – 7 pm

*Free Sexual Health Kits and Contraception for people who live, work, or study in Dudley and are aged 25 and under

 


Take your gloves off

Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust is encouraging staff to ‘take their gloves off’ when undertaking physical (or non-physical) observations on patients, such as blood pressure, oxygen saturations, and taking temperatures.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a notable change in the use of gloves when undertaking routine activities. The ‘Take Your Gloves Off’ campaign aims to improve awareness of when it is appropriate to wear gloves.

For most physical observations gloves are not required and hand hygiene with alcohol-based hand rub or hand washing with soap and water is the most effective means of preventing the spread of infection and keeping our patients and ourselves safe.

The overuse of gloves:

  • Reduces the opportunity to clean our hands
  • Increases environmental contamination
  • Increases our environmental impact through the production and the disposal of gloves
  • Increases the risk of skin conditions, such as occupational dermatitis

Be a “#TakeYourGlovesOff” champion today and remember gloves are not required when taking physical or non-physical observations.