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Category Archives: Patient news

WE ARE MORE THAN OUR DISEASE

Several months ago I wrote a blog promoting a book written by one of our patients ‘Prescription for Disaster’ by Candace Lafleur It is a very personal report of what a disease can do to someone, but the way Candace deals with it, is amazing. She shows us that even in the worst conditions like hers, life is worth living and how you can keep on laughing. Reading it makes one laugh from the belly and cry from the heart as it has that underlining sadness that we as doctors are aware of when treating patients with chronic illnesses but her attitude inspires us as doctors to be hopeful and inspired.

She also made this video to emphasise the importance of attitude when dealing with a chronic illness and admits to all the normal emotions besides laughter. She would like to think by showing others how she has hung on to her personal hopes and aspirations and achieved success in her life with the disease she has not allowed it to dominate and prevent achievement.

 

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FREE NHS HEALTH CHECKS

Ealing Borough has one of the highest uptakes of free NHS Health Checks in the country. That means residents are reducing their risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.

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If you are aged between 40 – 74years old , have not had a health check in the last five years and have not already been diagnosed with certain conditions you will  be invited for a Free NHS  Health Check. The checks only take 20 minutes and hopefully will give  you peace of mind and good advice on staying well.

Even if you feel perfectly well and lead a healthy life style it is worth having it. Some conditions do not have early symptoms. It is estimated that 850,000 people are unaware that they have type 2 diabetes. I remember when I first joined the practise on simple urine screening I picked up 19 asymptomatic diabetics in 6 months including a 19 year old young man.

We as GP’s are increasingly aware that people need to be educated as to what is a healthy weight, the safe levels of alcohol aswell as the importance or regular exercise. If after discussing your results you are found to be at risk of getting one of these diseases your healthcare professional can offer support to help lower the risks.

For more information visit   www.nhs.uk/nhshealthcheck

 

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Prescription for disaster

When I was handed this book by Candace Lafleur I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. We are so used to hearing the negative aspects of the NHS that as doctors we dread to hear let alone read comments from patients. But as I read this book I laughed and I cried but was moved by her gratitude to the NHS. As an NHS doctor I recognised so many of the scenarios and it is patients like Candace that inspire us, humble us and help us to cope with the sadness and despair it can sometimes bring.
Thank you, Candace for this ‘good read’

This is not a book about a disease itself, nor does it have any ‘woe is me’ or forced epiphanies on the meaning of life and health. It’s a book about sobbing student nurses wielding sharp needles, falling hospital elevators, having to be surgically removed from your own sweater for an X-ray and support group brawls. About getting my whole family pulled off into a cement bunker at British customs for being more radioactive than a truck full of Russian nails. It’s about sneaking nachos into the hospital at seven in the morning and making sweet, sweet love to the back of a parked taxi while having a stroke. This is a book about laughing and joyfully embracing the bizarre and the truly funny side of being ridiculously, incurably diseased. So sit back, take a hit of your oxygen tank and get ready to laugh at the funny side of falling apart. At the very least you’ll never look at a bed pan or an IV pole the same way again.

She writes as a patient suffering from a rare disease called Sarcoidosis (pronounced SAR-COY-DOE-SIS) is an inflammatory disease that can affect almost any organ in the body. This causes an increase in immunity. It causes a persons immune system to overreact when fighting an infection, (or imaginary infection). This then creates inflammation which then results in it damaging the persons own body tissue.

The classic feature of Sarcoidosis is the formation of Granulomas. These are microscopic clumps of inflammatory cells that group together. When too many of them form in a body organ they can interfere with how that organ functions on a day to day basis..
Little is known about who is susceptible to this disease and what causes it.
To read more about this condition refer to
http://www.sa-uk.org/What%20is%20Sarcoidosis.htm
or
http://www.stopsarcoidosis.org

Candace is part of an international forum which she highly recommends and finds it supportive, informative and can even share her humour with other people with Sarcoidosis. To join click on the following link
https://www.inspire.com/groups/stop-sarcoidosis/

 

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BE INSPIRED TO EXERCISE

When I noticed that I knew two of the young runners had done so well in completing the Mini-Marathon and raised money for such a good cause I asked if they were let me publish their photo and comments and was delighted to receive the following:-

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Words from the boys 

I decided to run the Ealing mini mile because running is one of my favourite sports. I trained in Pitshanger Park with my mum. I came 3rd out of 177 runners so I was pleased. Together with my brother Roko I raised £185 for the Winnicott Foundation which provides money for neo-natal intensive care units for premature babies. We chose the charity because our baby brother Arlo was born prematurely and was looked after in intensive care.

Milo Choudhry, age 10.

I wanted to run in the Ealing mini mile because last year I watched my mum running in the Ealing Half Marathon and thought it would be good fun to join in. I’ve never run in a race before so I was a bit nervous but it was really good fun on the day running with all the other children. Before the event there was a competition in my school to design a t shirt to be given to all the children along with their medal. I was really excited because I won and I saw everyone wearing my t shirt design at the end of the race.
Roko Choudhry, age 7.

Well done, boys. I am sure this will encourage other children and adults to make the effort. Start training now!!

 

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PATIENT PARTICIPATION GROUP

If you read the main website on the following link http://www.102theavenue.co.uk/patient_group/ you will be able to view the practise profile and what actions have been taken following previous PPG meetings.
Last year was directed at health education and a major reason for starting this blog.
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THE PURPOSE OF PATIENT PARTICIPATION GROUPS

• To give Practice staff and patients the opportunity to discuss topics of mutual interest in the Practice.
• To provide the means for patients to make positive suggestions about the Practice and their own healthcare.
• To encourage health education activities within the Practice.
• To develop self-help projects to meet the needs of fellow patients.
• To act as a representative group that can be called upon to influence the local provision of health and social care.
• To involve further patients from the wider population.

imageAs I am sure you are all aware the NHS has become NHS ENGLAND and has reinvented itself with the prime aim to improve the health outcomes for people in England.
http://www.england.nhs.uk/

STATED AIMS OF NHS ENGLAND

We believe the new approach we are taking will really make a difference and deliver the improved health outcomes we all want to see.

Central to our ambition is to place the patients and the public at the heart of everything we do. We are what we want the NHS to be – open, evidence-based and inclusive, to be transparent about the decisions we make, the way we operate and the impact wehave.

We encourage patient and public participation in the NHS, treat them respectfully and put their interests first. This allows us to develop the insight to help us improve outcomes and guarantee no community is left behind or disadvantaged.

We empower and support clinical leaders at every level of the NHS through clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), networks and senates, in NHS England itself and in providers, helping them to make genuinely informed decisions, spend the taxpayers’ money wisely and provide high quality services.

Engaging with our staff is equally important to us too. Our staff are what makes NHS England an excellent organisation: an exemplar in customer focus, professionalism, rigour and creativity.

Grounded by the values and principles of the NHS Constitution, we are an organisation who shares ideas and knowledge, successes and failures, and listens to each other carefully and thoughtfully.

At NHS England, we practice what we preach. By working collaboratively and building coalitions with partners everywhere means we can achieve greater things together and deliver the best patient service not only in England but in the world.

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It is with this in mind that we are continuing to develop our PPG and your views as patients will be important when we have our CQC inspection.
We need your support during the changes that are anticipated and feedback from you to establish what is going well and we need your positive suggestions as to how we can make improvements to the practise and your healthcare.

Small practises such as ours are under threat and we are finding ways as to how we can work more closely with other local practises and have started to share resources such as anticoagulant management,lung function measurement,children’s phlebotomy and nursing home patient care as well as training our staff. We recently held our cardio-pulmonary support training session with staff from other practises and patients were also invited.

We have joined a network with other local practises to meet to discuss care pathways for patients with complex medico-social problems as well as finding learning needs and addressing them.
Doctors and/or practise manager always attend CCG meetings so that we keep up to date with local and national changes and a chance to meet doctors from other networks to formulate ways of improving health care by commissioning.
The 2013/14 prosectus and links can be found on the following website http://www.ealingccg.nhs.uk/media/3881/ealing_prospectus_-_final_310513.pdf

Following the CQC inspection there will inevitably be suggestions of actions that need to be actioned. You may have noticed certain changes such as all staff wear name badges including me when I remember! Also there are EXIT signs and all staff are being trained in more advanced health and safety including fire safety. All staff are trained regularly in first aid and life support and awareness of patients with particular needs.
We have all been alerted to the special needs of patients with learning disability and sensory impairment and are attempting to find ways of accommodating them sensitively as advised by healthcare professionals who are expert in this field.

What are our priorities and vision for the future?
Ealing CCG has seven overarching priority areas of work, as follows:
*A better start in life – increasing breastfeeding initiation, reducing avoidable childhood injuries, and increasing childhood immunisations.
*Increasing life expectancy – reducing cardiovascular disease deaths, reducing cancer deaths; and reducing alcohol-related hospital admissions.
*Shifting unplanned care towards planned care – increasing the amount of services delivered in a community setting, improving unplanned care services in Ealing, and reducing the delays in hospital discharges.
*Reducing variations in primary care – better early diagnosis and treatment, and reducing variations in hospital referral patterns by GPs.
*Improving recovery – increasing the range and access to rehabilitation services.
* Enhanced mental health services – increasing the provision of community services.
* Improving care at the end of life – increasing the proportion of deaths in preferred places.

These are the areas of work which we are discussing in our CCG meetings and implementing in our networks and in the practise.

The main areas a PPG can help are:-
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*Improving services provided by the surgery
Carrying out surveys into a whole variety of subjects eg health needs/expectations and major cause of ill-health in a particular area.
• To explore the changing needs of patients.
• Measure patient satisfaction.
• Gather ideas for improvements or modifications needed for the delivery of services.
• Discussions at meetings.

*Offering support to other patients
e.g Befriending service, Carers Group

*Improving facilities at the surgery
• Fundraising for new furniture, toys or decorating.
• Keeping the plants or gardens of the surgery maintained.
• General environmental improvements.
A BIG THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED IN THIS WAY

*Providing health promotion and education
e.g diabetes awareness day,contributions to the blog and notices added to our notice board.

* Supporting voluntary organisations in the area
e.g Age UK, MIND, Heart Foundation, Cancer UK, Dementia Concern
We have several patients who make contributions to these and other organisations

This year the CCG want to particularly want to focus on Carers
CARERS
Many people who are caring for someone do not necessarily see themselves as a ‘carer’. Rather they are mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, partners, husbands, wives or neighbours. However, being identified as a carer by the council can help you get the right support you need to look after the person you care for.
To understand what support can be given to Carers the following website is helpful
imagehttp://www.ealing.gov.uk/info/200379/carers/851/useful_links_carers

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FEEDBACK FROM PATIENT – CPR TRAINING

Recently we held a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation training afternoon at the surgery. This is compulsory for all surgery staff to attend on a regular basis. On this occasion we also advertised it in the surgery as an open invitation to any patients to attend. We felt that it was good to members of the public (patients) to be given the opportunity to attend as these will be the people we may be working with if an event should happen.
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However, the interest was less than we expected but one patient wrote the following:-

I wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity to attend your first aid training course, it was a privilege to be able to attend. Although I had attended a first aid course a few years ago, I found that the quality and content of this one, was superior. The course covered a range of topics including CPR, care of the unconscious patient, choking, anaphylaxis and heart attacks, with plenty of opportunities to practice and get involved. I found the use of a dummy to practice CPR particularly useful as was the discussion of the realistic scenarios one might face and the best course of action to take. This is something, that was certainly lacking in the course I attended previously. The interaction with the other members of the audience was also very useful. Since a number of staff members, doctors and nurses from the avenue and other surgeries attended, I had the opportunity to hear of their opinions and methods when it comes to first aid. Overall I found the course very insightful, helpful and satisfying. I would strongly recommend it to everyone be it healthcare professionals or patients. The skills you learn can literally make the difference between life and death.
I think that it’s wonderful that the surgery is allowing patients to attend these courses. I think this is a wonderful opportunity for everyone and the price is extremely competitive to the say least. I will most certainly be looking out for any other courses like this that might be available.

Thank you to this patient for sending me their comments. When I have attended this course before expectant parents seem to be the most interested especially as these training sessions cover accidents and acute problems in children.
If you would be interested in attending a CPR training session please contact
Sangeeta Kathuria ( practise manager) http://www.sangeeta.kathuria@nhs.net
It would be helpful if you could suggest what time and day would be most convenient- the sessions usually last 3 hours.

 

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Ealing man’s Holocaust film screened at Commons

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We would like to bring to all our patients attention the wonderful work that one of the members of our patient participation group is doing for patients with Learning disabilities.
As the article in the newspaper states “A PRO-ACTIVE man with a learning disability has made a documentary about the treatment of disabled people during the Holocaust.”

We are very proud of our member of our PPG and would like to share his visions and work with all.

http://www.ealinggazette.co.uk/ealing-news/local-ealing-news/2013/06/19/ealing-man-s-holocaust-film-screened-at-commons-64767-33497745/

 

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Myasthenia Gravis and the Great Wall of China update

imageimageAn excited message from Philip following his achievement of a Gold Medal  in climbing the Great Wall of China for this amazing cause and drawing our attention to this dreadful condition. Well done!!!!
Yes ! Yes ! Yes Well done!!!! ! I did it ! I walked THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA It half killed me but I DID IT.

imageMost people think that the Wall is flat and a long but easy stroll ! ! ! !  Believe me when I say that it is NOT. It is up and down the sides of mountains. Sometimes hundreds and hundreds of steps up and down or even slopes of over 45 degrees, where you have to drag yourself up and down by railings.

May I take this opportunity to THANK you all for your very, very kind help, support and encouragement throughout this trip. I could not have done it without you !
If you have not already done so, please, please, please check out the website for the MYASTHENIA GRAVIS ASSOCIATION. http://www.mga-charity.org You do not have to make a donation, just lean more about this terrible illness. My aim has always been, above all else, to bring more public awareness to this little known illness.

This is a quote from a Myasthenia Gravis sufferer : ” Yesterday, I could . . Walk . . Talk . . . Run . . . Play . . . Chew . . . Swallow . . . Focus my eyes . . . Breath. Today, I cannot move . . . A finger . . . A toe . . . Or breath without the aid of a respirator.

” TOGETHER WE CAN FIND A CURE !
Thank you once again.
Philip.

 

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Race for life update

016276From the gallant Warriers

THANK YOU SO MUCH to the those who sponsored us so generously for the Race for Life! We completed the 10k run on Saturday morning in just over an hour running through the finish line all holding hands! It was such a great feeling to take part in such a wonderful event, for such an amazing cause!
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Anna who last year had cancer and made a fantastic recovery teamed with friends to run a half marathon in Richmond Park. They raised £1500 for this worthy cause and put Cancer Research on the map. They finished the race holding hands with smiles from ear to ear. Well done!

Anyone else out there got some good healthy news!!

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2013 in Patient news

 

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