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Statement from Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System

30th October 2020

Supporting those who are most vulnerable

Health and care partners across Lancashire and South Cumbria recognise there is a need to act now to support those who are most vulnerable and most at risk in our communities during this winter period and as the pandemic remains a challenge to our daily lives.

Dr Andy Knox, GP and Director of Population Health in Morecambe Bay sets out six quick tips for about how to stay healthy and well this winter.

 

Video transcript

ANDY KNOX: 

Hello there! My name's Andy Knox, I'm a GP and a Director of Population Health in the NHS and I'm going to give you six quick tips about how to stay healthy and well this winter.

A - Ask for help. If you're struggling with your mental health, ask for help. If you're struggling with your physical health, especially if you've developed one of these new symptoms: you're losing weight without meaning to, you're bleeding from somewhere that you don't normally bleed from, you've developed a lump or bump somewhere in your body that you don't normally have one, you've got a mole that's gone darker and started bleeding, you've got headaches that are waking you from your sleep, you've got chest pain or new breathlessness, then ask for help. Ring us, as your GP we're always there for you, and we can think of the best way to help you out.

B - Blood pressure. We want everyone's blood pressure nice and low this winter to protect us from having heart attacks and strokes. The magic number 135 over 85, we want it less than that. Or if you've previously had a heart attack or a stroke or you've got diabetes, less than 130 over 80. So, if you're monitoring your blood pressure or you're concerned about it, give your practice pharmacist or practice nurse a ring. Let's get your blood pressure nice and low.

C - Covid, I know it's tough but we've got to keep our game switched on. Wear your face mask. Keep socially distance - more than two meters. Make sure you're washing your hands nice and regularly. Follow the rules in your particular tier in the country. And if you've got symptoms get yourself tested. And if you're positive please stay isolated for the full 14 days and protect the rest of your community.

D - Diet. We've got a bit of a sugar addiction in this nation. We need to curb it. Especially going into this winter to reduce our risks. So, we're going to recommend: low sugar, low carbohydrate, help us get into a more healthy weight, low salt, low alcohol. Instead try and eat a rainbow diet of vegetables every day and have more protein and vitamin B in your diet.

E - Exercise. We're not all going to look like Joe Wicks or Davina McCall but we can all make healthy choices around exercise. If you can get out for a 20-minute walk every day, or do some hiit training in front of the tv, or even just some chair-based exercises. Whatever you're able to do make a healthy choice around exercise every day.

F - Have a flu jab. If you're entitled to one on the NHS, please get it done. Let's keep COVID low and flu low and all stay healthy and well this winter.

Thank you. 

 

We will be working closely with our communities in our local areas over the coming weeks to support some of our most vulnerable groups such as people with learning disabilities, diabetes, respiratory conditions and obesity in how to protect themselves against the Covid-19 virus, flu and their health and wellbeing.

A way you can make a real difference is by sharing this advice with your families, loved ones and neighbours.

Pressures on NHS services

We continue to be concerned about the huge amount of pressure NHS services in Lancashire and South Cumbria are under, but we are demonstrating our ability to work together to manage demand and ensure that patient safety remains of the highest importance. 

We want to emphasise that we continue to provide services for our patients for treatments such as cancer and routine appointments. To manage pressures across services, a Gold Room for Lancashire and South Cumbria has been established to coordinate how organisations support each other to manage care for Covid and non-Covid patient and our critical care capacity.

At this stage no system-wide decisions across Lancashire and South Cumbria have been made to delay or cancel appointments or treatments, however our local trusts will continue to make local decisions where necessary to manage their services on a daily basis.

Anyone with concerns should continue to come forward for help and treatment. It is important that unless you are contacted, you should continue to attend your appointment as planned.

We want to emphasise that all hospitals within Lancashire and South Cumbria are working together and have plans in place to manage increased demand on our services. All hospitals are following strict social distancing and hygiene measures.

We continue to ask local people to take action now and follow the government guidance to keep everyone safe and reduce the rate of infection in our local communities.

Supporting health and care workers and volunteers

The Lancashire and South Cumbria Resilience Hub (opens in new window) is now in place to support with the psychological strain for those who have worked through the Covid-19 pandemic, including healthcare workers, blue light workers, council staff, volunteers, care home staff and all public sector workers and their families. If you are in one of these staff groups and are struggling, please call 01772 520228 or email lschub@lscft.nhs.uk.