Well, this one really is a packed issue! There are a wealth of consultations and surveys happening right now that seek to get to the heart of patient and public experience. Teenage mental health, radiotherapy, gluten-free prescribing, fertility, and street crime to name just a few.
The Pharmacy Needs Survey is one consultation I’d like to draw your attention to. Particularly during the pandemic, our local pharmacies have been a lifeline for many and we rely on them more
than we realise. They really do tick so many boxes: remedies for migraines, chicken pox, flu, skin complaints, teething, fever, upset stomach, insomnia, indigestion, vaccinations, weight management, contraception… the list is literally endless.
But is your local pharmacy accessible? What could it improve on? What does it do particularly well? That’s what the Pharmacy Needs Assessment survey is designed to understand. It only takes a few minutes to complete, so please share widely amongst your networks and colleagues.
Finally, it’s your last call for our Health & Wellbeing Community event this Friday! We’re so excited to be joined by some wonderful local organisations who are gearing up to offer practical support and advice to patients and the public in MK. The Terence Higgins Trust, Diabetes UK, Parent and Carers’ Alliance, Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK and many more will all be with us between 10 – 4pm this Friday at the Trinity Centre, Fishermead. Drop in and say hi!
CEO Healthwatch Milton Keynes
Your go-to guide to winter vaccinations
COVID boosters for anyone over 18
This week has been all about the Omicron variant of COVID and in response, the COVID booster programme is being extended. The NHS are working on implementing these changes:
Anyone aged 18 – 39 is now eligible for a booster when the NHS calls them forward.
People over 16 with severely weakened immune systems are also eligible.
A booster dose will be offered from 3 months after the second (it’s currently from 6 months).
A second dose will also be given to all children aged 12 -15 who aren’t already eligible.
You can’t book your dose yet under these plans, but we will keep you updated. But if you’re eligible for a booster dose under the existing eligibility criteria, here’s where you can go to get your booster dose:
Saxon Court, 502 Avebury Boulevard, MK9 3HS Rainbow Pharmacy, Michael Young Building, The Open University MK7 6BB
If you’re not eligible for a free flu jab, but would still like protection from flu this winter, you can pay to have the jab at a pharmacy. The cost is usually around £15-20. Check with your local pharmacy for information and to book.
Kooth launch male mental health workshops
If you work with young people then you’ll know first hand that supporting young men to look after their mental health and wellbeing is a priority. Kooth has developed a new young men’s mental health workshop for all education settings, youth and professional services.
The interactive workshop will:
Address the barriers and stigma that can prevent young men from speaking about their mental health.
Look at men in the public eye who have spoken out about their mental health to help normalise male discussions around mental health.
Feature group discussions around how we can make it easier for young men to talk about their mental health
The free, safe, and anonymous mental health support Kooth provides.
This workshop, along with all of Kooth’s other workshops are free and can be booked at your convenience to be delivered either face-to-face and virtually. If your school or organisation is interested, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image credit: Juja Han, Unsplash
There’s a new episode of the BLMK podcast!
In this second episode, Felicity Cox, CEO Designate of the BLMK Integrated Care System, is joined by two special guests to discuss the pressures that our local health service comes under during winter and how we’re preparing.
Joining the podcast to discuss these issues are Dr Tayo Kufeji, local GP and Director of Clinical Transformation (MK), BLMK CCG as well as Kate Walker, Director of Adults’ Services at Bedford Borough Council.
This podcast is for anyone interested in the changes that are happening in health and social care, and how services are joining up to help people live long and healthy lives across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes.
Single Family Homes is an established supported housing initiative from the Salvation Army. The scheme supports clients between 16 and 25 years of age with a variety of medium to high support needs. They will potentially have some housing units available soon. If you have a family who you feel would benefit from support, please get in touch with Antje Schroeder, Specialist Support Worker at email@example.com for a referral form and more information.
Help to get information cards onto every disability red cord in MK
Support the #redcordchallenge
Throughout December, can you help to support the Red Cord Challenge in Milton Keynes? Access in MK are running the campaign, with the aim of getting a red cord ‘information card’ onto each disability red cord in public toilets. The information cards are available from firstname.lastname@example.org and are stocked in various community centres. Place an information card on any red cords that you see and raise awareness of accessibility issues for people living with a disability.
Access in MK are a new organisation that aims to not only improve local accessibility for all disabled people, but also to educate business and organisations on accessibility. Often these red cords are tucked away or high up out of reach – which prevents anyone with a disability actually being able to reach them. Red cords are crucial in disabled toilets for anyone who may have fallen or collapsed. You can find out more on their Facebook page.
Waterhall and Kents Hill Care Homes: read our latest Enter and View reports
Our Enter and View programme of visits to residential care and nursing homes across Milton Keynes continues. We’ve just published reports on Waterhall and Kents Hill Care Home. We’re grateful to all the staff, residents and families who engage with us during these visits, who make our time there so valuable.
Our focus during these visits was to engage with residents, their relatives or carers, to explore their overall experience of living in Waterhall and Kents Hill Care Homes. We built a picture of their general experience, and their COVID-specific experiences and how the related restrictions impacted on their lives and on their care.
No need to book – just drop by and say hi! Your safety, and that of our team, is of paramount importance so we’ll be ensuring social distancing and hand sanitizing, plus strongly recommending the use of face masks. We’ll also have some available at the venue.
Do you want to know more about the BLMK Integrated Care System (ICS)?
If you’re a professional working in health and social care services, you’ve probably heard about the merger of clinical commissioning teams across Bedford, Luton and Milton Keynes. It’s likely that you’ll have questions about how this significant change will impact services and patients. To provide answers, the BLMK ICS team are holding a series of drop-in events. Dates and times are:
Tue 7 Dec 1 – 2pm Growth: Working together to help build the economy and sustainable growth.
Wed 15 Dec 5 – 6pm Reducing Inequalities: Promoting equalities in the health and wellbeing of our population.
Be part of MK’s vision to become a Dementia-Friendly City
Dementia is set to rise in MK as our population ages. That’s why MK’s ambition to be the first dementia- friendly city is relevant now, more than ever. The vision is all about making Milton Keynes a good place to live for people with dementia and those who support them.
MK Council are hosting a Business and Community Group Workshop to help to shape the delivery action plan. The workshop will focus on how to make your organisation dementia friendly.
Where? Milton Keynes Professional Development Centre, Galley Hill, MK11 1PA
When? Tuesday 7 December 2.30 to 4.30pm (registration from 2.00pm.)
Do you know women who are unvaccinated and pregnant or breastfeeding? Join the webinar tonight, 2 December at 7pm
Tune into a COVID Q&A webinar session with midwives and learn more about why the COVID vaccine is so crucial to staying well. Find out more. Join the team of midwives at 7pm, 2 December on this link: https://bit.ly/BLMK_webinar7PM
Have your say
There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in shaping our health and social care in Milton Keynes. If you know of someone who has been affected by any of the healthcare issues featured here, then please share the links to these surveys. Every voice makes a difference.
Image credit: National Cancer Institute, Unsplash
Pharmacy Needs Assessment: take part in the survey
Milton Keynes Council is running a pharmacy services survey that looks at health needs in Milton Keynes, the level and accessibility of pharmacy services available, and how these services can be maintained and developed in the future. Are there barriers to accessing care and advice? What could be improved?
Take part in the survey, share amongst colleagues, friends and family and help to shape how your local pharmacy operates in the future.
The current crisis in young people’s mental health and wellbeing is never far from the headlines. Many of us have seen the reality of this first hand, either personally or professionally. So how can we change things for our young people? Young Minds are the UK’s leading youth mental health charity. They want to make sure that every young person gets the mental health support they need, when they need it. The biggest conversation around young people’s mental health needs to be led by the changes they want to see, and young people have the collective power to genuinely make a difference.
The survey asks:
What’s on your mind?
What’s been bothering you lately?
What are the big issues affecting your life and how you feel?
Share the survey with your family, friends, colleagues and all the young people in your life. The responses will help to make important changes for young people.
Radiotherapy in MK is changing: help to shape what comes next
Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer and radiotherapy is often a key treatment for many patients. The way that radiotherapy is delivered in our area is changing. Plans are in the very early stages, but our NHS commissioners and NHS England are asking for your views to help shape what comes next. The experiences, preferences and views of patients, carers, the public and professionals are crucial to ensure that new radiotherapy services meet the needs of our community. Please take a few minutes to complete a short survey and influence changes to radiotherapy services in MK.
Kooth focus on male mental health: take the survey
In addition to their online interactive workshops, Kooth have launched a male mental health survey. All the feedback will influence and shape the services available to young men. Please share with your networks, community, colleagues, family and friends. There are two surveys, tailored to suit different age groups:
Fed up repeating your story every time you need health or social care?
A new Shared Health and Care Record (SHCR) is being rolled out across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes. Completely confidential and secure, it’s designed to help registered health and social care professionals make better, safer decisions.
The information that they will be able to see includes:
• Your name, date of birth, gender, address, telephone number, NHS number
• The name of your GP Practice and GP
• Medications, allergies, ongoing and historic conditions, immunisations and diagnoses
• Test results, hospital referrals, admissions, discharges and clinics attended
• Social and mental health information and care plans
To help with the roll out. BLMK ICS are running a survey so people have the opportunity to express their concerns or expectations, and ask questions.
You can also register your interest in being involved in the future development of the SHCR.
Shake up of IVF and gluten-free prescribing: what do YOU think?
Earlier this year, our NHS clinical commissioning group (CCG) merged with those in Luton and Bedfordshire. Most of their healthcare policies about how services were delivered were the same. However, there are three key areas that need to become aligned, to ensure that all residents have access to the same care.
Fertility services – Make fertility services available to a broader group of residents, including those with specific protected characteristics who did not previously have access to the service. This will include a review of the number of cycles of IVF (In-Vitro Fertilisation) available.
Aligning the policy on Milton Keynes Pharmacy First Minor Ailment Scheme. This service is currently only available in Milton Keynes.
Gluten-Free food prescribing. Patients in Luton currently only have access to bread and flour prescriptions.
It’s important that as many people as possible in Milton Keynes help to shape these new policies. Whether you are directly affected by the issues or not, the chances are you’ll know someone who might be in the future. Read the background information to the proposed changes.
Your thoughts and experiences will help the local NHS commissioning team to understand the health needs of our community.
This consultations runs until midnight on Tuesday 21 December 2021
We want to hear your experiences of local health and social care services so that we can work to improve them. The more feedback we receive, the more powerful our message becomes. Getting in touch with us is easy. Visit our website to find out how.