Health & Wellbeing

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HIV Training Awareness

Terrence Higgins Trust will be running two HIV Training Awareness sessions on 25 July: 10:30 am – 1 pm and 31 July: 10 am – 1 pm. The sessions will be at THT’s Pure Offices, 61 Broadwell Road, Oldbury B69 4BY.

The training is designed to increase professionals’ knowledge on HIV. The instruction was used to raise awareness at Oakham’s Doctor’s surgery earlier in the year and received positive reviews. The training session includes information relating to drug use and the risk of HIV within Sandwell, Equality Act 2010, HIV transmission routes, and the services provided by Terrence Higgins Trust.

Certificates will be given on the day to everyone who attends one of the sessions.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Please register your attendance on Eventbrite.  If you have any questions contact Natalie Quinn on 0121 314 2510

If travelling by car, there are public spaces around Pure Offices but no visitor parking. There are public transport services: Pure Offices are located next door to Sandwell and Dudley train station and there are regular bus services from West Bromwich, Dudley, Blackheath, Rowley Regis and Walsall (4, 121, 289, 4H, 4M).


People in Sandwell and West Birmingham Urged to Stay ‘Sun Safe’ This Summer

With the temperature set to rise over the next few days, Dr Nick Harding from NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging people in the area to take care when enjoying the sunshine.

Keeping active in the fresh air is good news for our health but exposure of unprotected skin to the sun’s harmful rays can cause serious problems including sunburn, heatstroke and even cancer.

Now, Dr Harding has issued some top tips to help you stay safe in the sun:
• Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration in hot weather
• Apply sunscreen with a factor of at least 15 and preferably higher
• Use sunscreen to protect babies and children, and ensure they have plenty of fluids when outside in the open air
• Make sure children do not become overheated or dehydrated when indoors
• Avoid sunbathing between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its hottest
• If travelling by car, take drinking water for the journey and ensure children do not become overheated
• Never leave children or pets in cars parked in the sun
• Wear a hat and light, loose-fitting clothes, preferably cotton
• Use sun glasses that offer your eyes 100 UV protection.

Statistics show that poor sunbathing habits are causing higher levels of malignant melanoma, which is one of the least common but most serious types of skin cancer. In the UK more than 8 in 10 cases of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, could be prevented through enjoying the sun safely and avoiding sunburn.

Dr Nick Harding from NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“Because of the temperate British climate it can be very tempting to bask in the sun when the high temperatures arrive. While this is perfectly understandable, it also carries a risk. So, I’m urging people to alter their sunbathing habits and cover up vulnerable skin in the midday sun so we can all enjoy the sun more safely. Far from trying to stop people from enjoying the sunshine, we just want people to take a few simple precautions to ensure that they can make the most of the weather safely.”
For more information on skin cancer, visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer-of-the-skin.


Terrence Higgins Trust

The Terrence Higgins Trust is a free and confidential sexual health service with over 10 years’ experience as a national charity, helping escorts and sex workers across the UK. The charity offers free condoms and lube by either post or drop off. It can give support and advice around sexual health and assist with legal issues around working etc.

Terrence Higgins Trust reassures many agencies around reports of risky clients and nuisance callers. It advises workers who are being harassed or blackmailed. You can make a personal visit or have a chat over the phone. Please contact SWISH Project Workers Sharon or Jo on 0121 314 2510. Alternatively, email Sharon.Legae@tht.org.uk or Joanne.Morgan@tht.org.uk.  Check out THT facebook page.

Have you heard of National Ugly Mugs? THT highly recommends this confidential national service, which provides free text alerts to your phone, of risky or unsafe clients reported in your area.  Visit the Ugly Mugs website to register, then go to the ALERTS section to see how this can help you.

The Trust will have a drop-in HIV testing clinic on Saturday 24 June, 10 am – 1 pm at Great Bridge Library. The library is on Sheepwash Lane, Tipton, DY4 7JF. The test requires a small amount of blood, via finger prick, and results are available on site within 2 – 5 minutes. Free condoms and dental dams will also be available.

For enquires please contact 0121 314 2510 or via email info.sandwell@tht.org.uk.


Healthwatch Sandwell Health and Social Care Group

Healthwatch Sandwell is holding a public meeting on Friday, 16 June 2017, 10.30 am to 1.00pm, at the Salvation Army, Merton Close, Oldbury, B68 8NG to find out about developing new ways of working.

In line with the NHS Five Year Forward View, a publication that sets out a vision for a better NHS, Sandwell & West Birmingham CCG is exploring new ways of working that will improve the health and care for local people. As demand for services increases and with people living longer, quite often with lots of different conditions, Healthwatch are keen to explore other ways of doing things to provide quality care for everyone, which wraps services around people.

Speakers at the meeting will be Angela Poulton, Programme Director (New Care Models) Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG and Dr George Solomon, Independent Clinical Lead for New Care Models.

To book a place call 0121 569 7210 or email info@healthwatchsandwell.co.uk


Kingfisher Buddies

Kingfisher Buddies is a new service from local social enterprises Agewell and Dementia Pathfinders, which supports older people across Sandwell who are in the early stages of dementia.

Seeking and receiving a diagnosis of dementia can be a frightening time for an individual and their family. By contacting Kingfisher Buddies you will not be left on your own to worry and wonder what to do next. Kingfisher Buddies are there to provide you with support, information and guidance, both pre and post diagnosis.
The new service aims are to:

• Support you in seeking a diagnosis
• Be there to provide the advice and support you need to take it all in
• Guide you and your family through what can be done now to better prepare for the future.
• Encourage you, and your carers to take part in enjoyable activities in the community.
• Help you to make the most of your life post diagnosis.

So, don’t try to cope on your own, make an appointment with one of the Community Pathfinders who will visit you at home.  Contact Agewell on 0121 796 9333 or email info@agewelluk.org.uk.


Mental Health Liaison Service at Sandwell General Hospital

The mental health liaison team is a nurse-led service and receives referrals from the Emergency Departments at Sandwell General Hospital.

The team consists of psychiatric nurses based at the hospital who see patients following a referral from the medical team. The team provides a person-centred, non-judgmental and supportive assessment of a patient’s mental health. There is a strong link between the impact of physical health problems on mental health and vice versa. Often, patients present with other social factors that are having an impact on their mental health.

Following assessment, the Mental Health Liaison Team will work with the patient to identify an appropriate discharge plan. This might incorporate referral or signposting into community services.

The team is keen to establish links with voluntary services in Sandwell, in order to broaden the options they can offer their patients. If you feel that your service would be able to provide support to some of their patients, then they would really like to hear from you.

The team leader, Abbie Gogarty, would like to invite organisations to contact her, either by email at abbie.gogarty@bcpft.nhs.uk, or phone 07970733821, to discuss the services your organisation provides and how patients can access them. If a representative from an organisation would like to visit the unit, you can also discuss this with Abbie.


Support Group for Hoarders

The Kaleidoscope Group is offering help for hoarders. A Support Group offers non-judgmental advice and encouragement to develop the skills and confidence needed to regain control over the possessions that have overwhelmed you.

The Group also offers ongoing support to maintain control.  The Group meets:

On the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month, 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm, at The Mezz, Hawthorns House, Halfords Lane, West Bromwich B66 1BB

From 20 June the Group will also meet on the 3rd Tuesday of every month, 6.30 pm to 8.00 pm, at Haden Cross Fire Station, Halesowen Road, Cradley Heath B64 7JU.

Please contact Mary Hannibal at The Kaleidoscope Group on 0121 565 5606 for further information.


The State of Shared Lives in England 2017

There are an estimated 11880 people supported in Shared Lives in England and around 13,450 across the UK. They are primarily adults with learning disabilities, mental ill health, autism and dementia, but also come from every type of adult social care client group.

In Shared Lives, a Shared Lives carer shares their home and family life with an adult who needs care or support to help them live well. Local Shared Lives schemes, which are regulated by the Care Quality
Commission, individually match trained and approved Shared Lives carers with people who need their support. In Shared Lives, the goal is an ordinary family life, where everyone gets to contribute, have
meaningful relationships and are able to be active, valued citizens.

People using Shared Lives are supported by their Shared Lives carer to develop or maintain independent living skills, friendships and live as part of their local community; giving them a sense of wellbeing in a safe and supportive environment. They also enjoy other activities and support during the day to help them live their own independent and fulfilling life. Many people moving into Shared Lives arrangements from more institutional services are able to do things for the first time in their lives – to learn to cook, volunteer, work, make new friends and go on their first holiday.

See the latest annual report on The State of Shared Lives in England 2017


The Sapphire Service

A new project is set to improve the experience of older people and their carers while they are in hospital. Funded through Your Trust Charity, The Sapphire Service is jointly run by Agewell and the West Bromwich African Caribbean Resource Centre. The funding will enable the service to work with the wards from the moment patients are admitted up to when they are discharged and back at home.

Some of the support to be provided by The Sapphire Service includes befriending patients and helping with eating and hydration. While Agewell, will be providing a wider service, the role of the West Bromwich African Caribbean Resource Centre will be to target African Caribbean and dual heritage older adults and carers.

Patients will receive a visit within seven days of their discharge after which The Sapphire Service will provide community intervention from the two organisations for up to six weeks.

The service is also working with volunteers who want to pursue a career in nursing, social care or as a healthcare assistant.

See here for more details about The Sapphire Service.


An ACE too many – Working to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences

Sandwell’s Health and Wellbeing Board will be hosting an event called, An ACE too Many – Working to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences in Sandwell.  This will be from 9 am – 1.30 pm on Monday, 3 July 2017, at Sandwell Council Chambers, Freeth Street, Oldbury B69 3DE.

The fixture will focus on the prevention of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), as part of the on-going work on Prevention of Violence and Exploitation (PoVE).

The Board aims to raise awareness around engaging local schools and front line practitioners to identify:

• The Board’s existing approach to ACE
• The Board’s effectiveness at identifying ACE
• What support pathways are already in place
• What can be done to improve the Board’s approach

The event will be particularly relevant to:

Children’s services practitioners
Adult social care practitioners
GPs/Pharmacists
Library services
Faith groups
Local police/fire/ambulance services
Youth support/services and anyone else who works with children and young people

You can book your free ticket by visiting the Eventbrite page.    

For more information contact Rachel Allchurch on 0121 569 5163.


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