NHS Lincolnshire is responsible for improving health and
health services for the people of Lincolnshire.
"NHS Lincolnshire is at the heart of your local NHS. We are responsible for commissioning (planning and buying) healthcare for approximately 740,000 people
across Lincolnshire."


School nurses are offering some top tips to keep young people safe as part of Safer Internet Day which will be celebrated globally on Tuesday, February 9; with the slogan 'Play your part for a better internet'. 

In championing a better internet, the theme aims to encourage people to play their part in making the most of the positive opportunities offered online, while giving them the resilience, skills, knowledge and support they need to navigate any onle risks they may come across.

Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) will be helping to support these key messages by signposting people to the recently launched Lincolnshire Healthy Teens website which offers advice and information on a variety of issues that concern teens,including online safety.

Dianne Dietzel, Operational Lead and School Nurse at LCHS said: "We understand that many young people have social media accounts and use the internet regularly which can sometimes lead to negative situations such as cyberbullying or talking to people they may not know.

"The website has lots of great information for young people around staying safe online including looking out for danger signs. It is important that young people are aware of the risks and what they should do if they are concerned."

Tips on how to stay safe on social media
When choosing a profile picture for any social networking website avoid photos that could give strangers clues about where you live
Check your privacy settings regularly
Think about what you should and shouldn’t share
Don’t upload or share anything you wouldn’t want your parents, teachers or friends seeing
Use strong passwords, those that have a mixture of letters and numbers and always keep passwords to yourself and change them regularly
If somebody you don’t know adds you as a friend, ignore them and delete their request
Don’t share personal information such as your address or phone number with anyone you don’t know
Always cover or unplug your webcam when not in use
Don’t arrange to meet up with people you’ve met online
If you read anything online that worries you, tell someone about it

Young people can visit their school nurse, whether they attend school, are home educated or attend an alternative educational placement. School nurses can be seen in school, in a clinic or community setting.

For more information on how your school nurse can help, visit: www.lincolnshirehealthyteens.nhs.uk 
Join the conversation on February 9 on social media using #SID2016 

A community NHS Trust in Lincolnshire has been rated as one of the most inclusive places to work in the UK.

Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) has jumped 123 places in the latest Stonewall guide of the most inclusive employers in the UK.

LCHS is now ranked 196 out of 415 on the definitive list showcasing the best employers for lesbian, gay, bi and transgender staff.

Speaking about improvements the Trust has made Rachel Higgins, Quality Governance Manager for Patient Experience and Equality & Diversity at LCHS said: "We've promoted and built upon our LGBT network in collaboration with Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, who are currently ranked 124 in the index. We attended Lincoln Pride and have our LGBT conference coming up which is being led by the network and will allow for an ever growing voice within the Trust.

"I'm ecstatic that we have risen 123 places in such a short space of time and hope the rise continues next year. We have further plans in place including a new transgender policy. It would be fantastic to crack the top 100 overall and become a top five NHS Trust in the country."

Stonewall's Diversity Champions programme aims to create a working environment where lesbian, gay, bi and transgender staff feel comfortable and represented.

Zoe Rowë, Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust's Associate Director of Nursing and Quality and LGBT senior visible leader said: "We are extremely pleased to be working with Lincolnshire partners in this work to raise awareness, skills and understanding in best meeting the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients and staff. Our arrangements include a multi-agency LGBT event on February 11, during LGBT History Month which is open to all public and voluntary sector staff."

LCHS registered to The Workplace Equality Index and demonstrated their performance against a set of best practice criteria and are delighted with the significant improvement seen over the last 12 months.



The next Trust Board meeting for Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) will take place on Tuesday, February 9.
The monthly meeting will start at 1pm in The Boardroom at the new headquarters at Beech House, Lincoln, LN5 7JH.

Items due to be discussed this month include:
*Patient and Public Involvement Summary Report
*A report from the Quality and Risk Committee
*An update on Major Incident Preparedness.

LCHS Chair Elaine Baylis said:
"Our monthly Board meetings provide the public with an opportunity to find out more about the organisation, the services we provide and how well we are performing. Members of the public are very welcome to attend and listen to discussions."

LCHS run services across the whole of Lincolnshire with district nurses, specialist nurses and teams of therapists working to keep people out of hospital or get them home sooner.
Four community hospitals provide services in the heart of Spalding, Skegness, Louth and Gainsborough.
Health visitors and school nursing teams work in the community to keep children healthy.
Out of hour’s services, Lincoln's Walk in Centre, minor Injury units and urgent care centre provide primary healthcare to patients.
LCHS also provides a sexual health service to provide advice, information and treatment to improve people's health.

It's the time of year when colds and flu are doing the rounds in schools and nurseries across Lincolnshire.
But as a parent how do you tell the difference? Symptoms of a cold include a runny or blocked nose, sore throat, sneezing and cough. Flu includes sudden fever, muscle aches, sweating, feeling exhausted and a dry or chesty cough. Although both illnesses share some of the same symptoms they are caused by different viruses.
Many people think flu is just a bad cold - it's not. Flu can cause serious complications. Every year some children with flu become extremely ill and many of these would have been protected if only they had received their flu vaccination.

Sarah Packwood, Immunisation Programme Lead at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) said:
"If your child is showing symptoms of a cold or flu, the best thing you can do is make sure they have lots of rest and fluids. Talk to the pharmacist about over the counter remedies. Antibiotics will not help.
"Keep your child home and away from friends or family members that are over 65, are pregnant or have a long-term health condition so they do not pass it on. And if you need advice when the pharmacists are closed call 111 to talk to the NHS and you'll be advised of the best course of action."

The school nursing childhood vaccination program which is run by LCHS has ended for this winter but children aged two, three and four may still be able to receive the vaccination at a GP surgery. Older children with specific medical conditions, for example asthma or diabetes, should also be vaccinated. For most children the vaccine is a nasal spray not an injection. 
Vaccinating the majority of children can help stop flu circulating among the wider population, protecting not just your own child, but those the child comes into contact with such as grandparents who may be more vulnerable.


Outstanding community patient care is on the agenda for two new directors for the county's community health NHS trust. 

Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) has welcomed Lisa Green, who was formerly the Deputy Chief Nurse at LCHS into her new position as Director of Nursing and Operations within the Trust and Danielle Cecchini, who is new to the Trust, who has been appointed as Director of Finance.

Lisa has worked in Lincolnshire as Deputy Chief Nurse for almost three years. Her nursing background includes emergency care in London, before moving to work in community services and commissioning in the East Midlands ten years ago. 

Speaking about her new role, Lisa said:
"I am really pleased to have the opportunity to work as the Director of Nursing and Operations for LCHS. I believe that community services have a lot to offer in delivering great care close to home and understand some of the health needs of the local population and the challenges and opportunities that come with the role.
"I am really pleased to lead the skilled professionals working in LCHS services and aim to build on our current CQC rating of good, to one of outstanding in the future."

Danielle joins LCHS from the NHS National Trust Development Authority where she was a senior business consultant, working with Trusts in the West Midlands. Danielle has also worked for Derbyshire Mental Health Services, Rugby Primary Care Trust and in acute hospital Trusts across Leicester and Hertfordshire.
"I am really excited to be working at LCHS and look forward to supporting our clinical colleagues in the delivery of outstanding community health services for the people of Lincolnshire," said Danielle.

Andrew Morgan, Chief Executive of LCHS said:
"Many congratulations go to both Lisa and Danielle on their successful appointments and I look forward to working with them both."


Don’t go straight for the antibiotics if you are feeling ill - is the warning from GPs across South Lincolnshire.
Many patients ask for antibiotics when visiting their GP as they assume a course of antibiotics is a cure-all solution.
However the overuse of antibiotics can result in infections becoming resistant to the drug so they do not work.

Dr Kevin Hill, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG, said:
“Fighting infections is a growing problem due to antibiotic resistance.  It is driven by overusing antibiotics, prescribing them inappropriately and patient’s not finishing the course.
“To slow down the development of antibiotic resistance, it is important to use antibiotics in the right way – to use the right drug, at the right dose, at the right time, for the right duration.
“Antibiotics should be taken as prescribed and never saved for later or shared with others.”

What patients should do:
            •           take only the antibiotics as prescribed
            •           not skip doses of antibiotics
            •           ensure antibiotics are taken at regular intervals
            •           never save some for later
            •           don’t stop taking them even if you feel better
            •           not share antibiotics with others.

Speak to your GP if you are given antibiotics and are concerned or visit the NHS Choices website for more information. 
For more information on staying well this winter visit www.nhs.uk/staywell


A matron from Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust has participated in a pioneering scheme that aims to improve care for older people.

Matron, Kim Barr was joined by 20 other nurse leaders from across the country in completing the pioneering scheme that saw them become the first cadre of Older Person's Nurse Fellows.

Speaking about the scheme Kim said: "It has allowed for a platform to highlight the importance of identifying frailty and improving quality of care for older persons, something that is becoming increasingly important with our aging population."

The Older Person's Nurse Fellowship, sponsored by Health Education England (HEE) was launched in November 2014 and aims to develop a group of nurse leaders with recognised expertise in care of older people, with the hope they will drive change and influence national strategy and policy.

The group were congratulated for their work by senior nursing officials at a special event held at the House of Lords.

Kim and the other fellows were hosted at the event by Baroness Sally Greengross in recognition of the importance of driving quality of care for older people through investing in nurse education.

Speaking about the day Kim said: "It was a wonderful experience, to be selected to speak in such an historic venue on a topic that I am increadibly passionate about."


The mayor of Boston has pledged his support for the Butterfly Hospice.

The Butterfly Hospice inpatient unit is run in partnership with Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) and the Butterfly Hospice Trust. The Hospice relies on generous donations and pledges of support to remain able to provide this much-needed service. 
Mayor of Boston, Richard Austin said: "The Butterfly Hospice was an obvious choice for me and the Deputy Mayor, Colin Brotherton, along with the Boston Woods project. 
We particularly wanted to support Boston Borough based projects that serve a wide section of the population. Also we wanted to support Charities that are in urgent need of funds.

"The Butterfly Hospice has not been open long.  I already know however, of two families who are extremely grateful for the excellent service it provides. End of life difficulties can be very challenging both for the individual and their family. We all should be very thankful that the Butterfly Hospice is now in operation. "
I have now visited the Hospice twice and been very impressed by the caring service provided."

The six-bed unit has been providing free, high quality palliative, end of life and respite care in an informal and homely environment for adults with life-limiting illnesses since August 2014.

Laura Slayven, Butterfly Hospice Fundraising Manager, said: "We are so grateful that the Mayor of Boston is pledging his support for the Hospice. We work very hard to explore all options to raise funds to keep providing this high level of caring service for our patients.
"Although we received some funding from the NHS, the majority of our funds come from the generous support of the people in our community. Without their continued support and fundraising we are not able to provide our care free of cost to patients and their families."


A mocktail party showcasing fun alternatives to alcoholic drinks was held to kick-start the Dry January campaign for community NHS staff in Lincolnshire.

More than 2 million people went booze-free in January 2015 and staff at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) are pledging their support for the campaign.

Staff at the LCHS headquarters in Lincoln enjoyed sampling several mocktails - alcohol free drinks - and pledged their support for the challenge.

Many staff are now taking on the Dry January challenge and hope to banish the booze for 31 days and reap the health benefits.

Ben Stockdale, staff nurse at John Coupland Hospital said: "I decided in August at the age of 42 to stop smoking and drinking. I just woke up and decided to stop. Alcohol and cigarettes can go hand in hand and when you have one you can have the other. 

"It's about changing your mindset and finding another reward or pleasure. I've become a big fan of ginger beer. It has been my sober go to drink over Christmas, a season that is notorious for its association with alcohol.

"But the reward comes from NOT drinking. From not giving in to it; not feeling tired all the time because alcohol can affect your sleep, not waking up with a hangover and back peddling all day. Giving up alcohol makes you feel more healthy and positive. It makes you want to look after yourself, take up running or join the gym.

"Drinking alcohol and its effects and after effects feels heavy when I look back but by not drinking I feel lighter. The health benefits are obvious and as a 42 year old I’ve reached a point where drinking alcohol was taking its toll.

To join in the Dry January challenge visit dryjanuary.org.uk for more information.

Patients urged to eat healthily this January

South Lincolnshire CCG is reminding patients of the importance of eating healthily and keeping fit, particularly during the winter months when colder weather and festive treats make it easier to fall into bad habits.   

An estimated one in four adults and one in five children aged 10 to 11 in the UK are considered obese, putting themselves at risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression and stroke. National Obesity Week takes place on 11-17th January and local communities will be encouraged to eat healthily, take part in physical activity and seek support if needed.   

Dr. Kevin Hill, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG, said: 
"This time of year is ideal for setting goals and taking part in new challenges. Make your New Year's Resolution count and pledge to improve your health, be more active and show support for others who are doing the same! 

It is important that people understand the dangers and health complications of obesity, but also that there is an abundance of help and support available too. Get help and advice from your GP or speak to The National Obesity Forum (NOF)" 

National Obesity Week runs from 11th-17th January 2016. 
Visit www.jan-u-ary.co.uk for more information.

Health bosses support National STI Awareness day

Health bosses in South Lincolnshire were supporting National STI Awareness Day on 14th January, to help raise awareness of the health dangers involved and support options that are available for patients suffering from a sexually transmitted infection. 

According to Public Health data, in 2014, there were approximately 440,000 diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) made in England. The most commonly diagnosed STI was Chlamydia, with 206,774 cases. During the year, over 1.6 million Chlamydia tests were carried out and almost 138,000 diagnoses identified amongst young people aged 15 to 24 years old. 

This year's STI Awareness Day aims to encourage people to think and ask questions about sexual health, improve their understanding about STIs and symptoms and be aware of the various support options available. Sexual health charity- The FPA, provides specialist support and information services to all age groups in the UK. Find out more about their support here: http://www.fpa.org.uk  

Dr. Kevin Hill, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG, said: 
"Following the festive season it is common to see an increase in the number of STI diagnoses. Infections such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and Genital herpes are common culprits that STI Awareness Day aims to diminish. 
“If you have had unprotected sex and think you may be at risk of an STI, I would advise you seek help straight away. Contact your local infection testing (GUM) clinic to arrange an appointment the FPA or NHS Choices websites."

People in South Lincolnshire urged to take part in a healthier New Year 
Health leaders at NHS South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are urging people in the area to take up something new that will improve their physical and mental health during January.
Research shows that the chances of success are greater when people channel their energy into changing just one aspect of their behaviour. 

Professor Richard Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire, tracked 5,000 people as they attempted to achieve their New Year's resolutions. His team found that those who failed tended not to have a plan, which made their resolution soon feel like a mountain to climb. 

Dr. Kevin Hill, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG, said: 
 “January can be a fresh start but the key to success is motivation. Many of us look at New Year’s Resolutions as a way of ‘stopping’ or ‘giving up’ something, but it’s much easier to make changes if we choose something positive. 
“Taking up a sport or joining a gym offer great opportunities, but you could choose to start a new hobby, take up voluntary work or take the whole family on regular cycle rides or walks in the countryside. There are many activities that make physical exercise more enjoyable too such as rambling clubs, Nordic walking, tai chi, walking football, dancing, and Pilates. 
“Studies suggest you can give your brain – and memory – a boost by learning a new skill. If you like to travel abroad, try learning a new language, or take up a musical instrument you have always wanted to play. You could even learn some new practical skills that would help on a daily basis, such as car maintenance or learning to cook. You can use basic cooking techniques to prepare food in healthy ways. Home prepared meals are not only much tastier than pre–prepared food but are often healthier too.
“If you need help or encouragement, the NHS Choices website has lots of expert advice on what you can do to improve your health and how to start or stick to your January resolutions.”

People urged to stay away from hospitals and consider alternative sources of healthcare information

On the cusp of New Year’s Eve, as local hospitals continue to face severe disruption due to norovirus and high attendances, Lincolnshire’s four Clinical Commissioning Groups are urging people to stay away from hospital wherever possible.

Working in conjunction with United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT), which manages Lincoln, Boston and Grantham hospitals, the CCGs are keen to get the message across to people that they should not visit hospital, even to see family and friends, unless is it absolutely necessary.
“In addition to the pressure A&E is under, our local hospitals are also dealing with high attendances and an outbreak of norovirus, the latter of which is particularly affecting Lincoln County Hospital,” explains Tracy Pilcher, Chief Nurse, Lincolnshire East Clinical Commissioning Group.
“ULHT needs all of us to help it manage the situation and the best way the public can help is by staying away from hospital and using other sources of information, such as NHS 111, local pharmacies, walk-in centres and minor injuries units, for healthcare advice.”

In an effort to contain the norovirus outbreak, ULHT has also restricted visiting at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston and Grantham and District Hospital for anyone tempted to visit.
Potentially serious for people who are already ill or those with long-term conditions, symptoms of norovirus include diarrhoea and vomiting.  Good hand hygiene can help limit the spread of infection and whilst people usually recover without treatment in 24 – 72 hours, it is important to stay away from work, school, college or social gatherings until symptom free for at least 48 hours.

Most cases of diarrhoea clear up after a few days without treatment, however, it can lead to dehydration, so you should drink plenty of fluids (small, frequent sips of water) until it passes.  It is very important that babies and small children do not become dehydrated.  You should eat solid food as soon as you feel able to.  If you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding your baby and they have diarrhoea, you should try to feed them as normal.

In terms of alternative sources of healthcare and information, local pharmacies are able to provide a wealth of confidential and expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints.  In addition, NHS 111 can support when medical help is needed fast but not in an emergency and is available 24/7 365 days of the year.
The walk-in centre in Lincoln on Monks Road is open 8am – 8pm seven days a week and offers a range of services, including nurse-led minor illness and sexual health services, including emergency contraception, and patients do not need to be registered.  There are also Minor Injury Units and Urgent Care Centres located at sites across the county.
 Some simple steps that can help stop norovirus spreading:
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water, particularly after using the toilet and before preparing food
  • If you're in an NHS facility pay attention to hand hygiene notices, such as using hand gel when entering and exiting a ward
  • Disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated with Norovirus. It is best to use a bleach-based household cleaner and follow the instructions on the product
  • Flush away any infected faeces or vomit in the toilet. You should also keep the surrounding toilet area clean and hygienic
  • Wash any clothing or linens which could have become contaminated with Norovirus washing with hot, soapy water.Alternative sources of healthcare and information:
Pharmacy – able to provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints, without having to visit a GP or other healthcare provider

NHS 111 – available 24/7, NHS 111 makes it easier to access NHS services 365 days a year.  Free to call, you should dial 111 when you need medical help fast but not in an emergency

GP Out of Hours – if you need a doctor out of hours, dial NHS 111 to contact the GP Out of Hours service

Walk-In Centres – the Walk-In centre at 63 Monks Road, Lincoln LN2 5HP, offers a range of services including nurse-led minor illness and sexual health services including emergency contraception.  Patients do not need to be registered at the centre and can walk in.  The centre is open from 8am – 8pm seven days a week.

Minor Injury Units – are located at:
Johnson Community Hospital, Spalding Road, Pinchbeck PE11 3DT (for satnav please use PE11 3PB)
Tel: 01775 652000
Open: 8am-6pm, seven days a week

The City Care Centre, Thorpe Road, Peterborough PE3 6DB.
Tel: 01733 293800
Open: 8am-8pm, seven days a week (including Bank Holidays)

Stamford Hospital, Ryhall Road, Stamford, Lincolnshire,PE9 1UA
Tel: 01780 764151
Open: 9am-5pm, Monday – Friday

Sleaford Medical Group, 47 Boston Road, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, NG34 7HD
Tel: 01529 419100
Open 8.00am to 8.00pm, weekdays, 8.00am to 6.00pm at weekends and bank holidays

Urgent Care Centres
Skegness Hospital, Dorothy Avenue, Skegness, Lincolnshire PE25 2BS
Tel: 01754 613504
Open: 24 hours, seven days a week (including Christmas Day and Bank Holidays)

County Hospital, High Holme Road, Louth, Lincolnshire LN11 0EU
Tel: 01507 600100 ext 1223
Open: 24 hours, seven days a week (including Christmas Day and Bank Holidays)

Adults across Lincolnshire are being encouraged to banish the booze for 31 days in support of Dry January.
More than 2 million people went booze-free in January 2015 and plenty of support is available for those thinking of taking on the challenge in 2016 which encourages people to talk about alcohol and supports them to think about the way they drink.

Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS), United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT), Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) and the Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Groups are all promoting the Dry January campaign across the county.

Steve Knight, Communications Officer at LCHS is taking on the challenge. He said:
"January is the ideal time for me to give up the booze for my general health and bank balance. I've done the challenge twice now and it wasn't as hard as I thought.
"I saved money and felt better in myself. Like most people do I over-indulged over the festive period so giving your liver a break is a great idea."
Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s (LPFT) dedicated Drug and Alcohol Recovery Team (DART) provides support and treatment for adults experiencing drug or alcohol problems across the county.
Service Manager Cathy Hobbs said: "With so much alcohol around at this time of year it is also a good time to think about cutting down, or seeking help if you think that your drinking may be getting out of control.
"You can refer yourself to DART directly by dropping in to one of the county’s resource centres, by phone or email, or by visiting your GP. If you want to make a change in 2016 please do get in touch."

Dr Sreedharan, Consultant Gastroenterologist at ULHT has some top tips to keep your liver in shape after the festive season. He said: "You can look after your liver by following these simple steps:
• Enjoy alcohol in moderation and make sure you have 2-3 alcohol free days in a week allowing time for your liver to repair itself
• Ensure you include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to help your liver balance the effects of sugary treats
• Remember to get vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B before your holiday abroad to protect your liver from these infections.
Love your liver. Enjoy your life.”

Dr Kevin Hill, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG, added: "Taking a month off drinking not only has a positive effect on people's health, but also on the wallet and waistline.
“Alcohol-related illnesses are putting a huge strain on the NHS, not just from visits to A&E, but from a significant number of other conditions requiring treatment in which alcohol plays a major, but often unremarked part. With almost ten million alcohol-related hospital admissions nationally we can see just how serious an impact unsafe levels of alcohol consumption is having on our health system.”


A special thank you event is being hosted by the Bourne Cardiac Rehabiliation Team.

Invited patients and supporters of the service can enjoy mince pies, tea and a catch up with the team at the special event. 

The Bourne Cardiac Rehabilitation Team runs a programme which supports patients who have suffered a recent heart problem. Patients embark on an exercise programme with heart healthy educational talks incorporating the benefits of exercise, healthy eating, stress management, emergency life support, the causes of heart disease and heart support group information. 

Charlotte Martin, Cardiac Rehabiliation Nurse Specialist and Team Lead at LCHS, said: "We just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated either their time, money or equipment to support the team and the service we provide.

"A special mention must go to the Bourne Lions who very kindly purchased us two treadmills and an exercise bike.

"And another massive thank you goes to Jo Cole who arranged a very successful sponsored event 'Jump start your heart' with the money raised being used to improve our educational resources. The 24hour sponsored bouncy castle jump saw a team of seven, including myself, take it in turns to jump on a bouncy castle over a 24hour period. Jo was inspired to organise the event after her mother suffered a heart attack and had benefited from local cardiac rehab services.

"The event is open to our patients and those who have been invited especially so we can say thank you for their generosity and kindness."

The thank you event will be held on Wednesday, December 16 at 11.30am at the Centre at Elsea Park, Bourne.


South Lincolnshire CCG is advising patients that one of the best gifts they can buy for their family this Christmas and New Year is their own ‘self-care kit’. 

It’s not a new product. It is a properly stocked medicine cabinet and first aid kit, that you put together yourself.  

Dr Kevin Hill, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG, said: 

“Your own self-care kit could be the best thing you and your family could share this Festive Season, and could really bring some health and happiness to you all. 

“Even minor illnesses and ailments such as colds, headaches and diarrhoea can disrupt your life, especially if it happens when your pharmacy or GP are closed. Be prepared for most common ailments by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home. 

“To help you put together your self-care kit we have listed the winter essentials. The list doesn't cover everything, but it will help you deal with most minor ailments. 

“Always keep medicines out of the sight and reach of children. A high, lockable cupboard in a cool, dry place is ideal. 

“Regularly check the expiry dates on medicines. But if a medicine is past its use-by date, don't use it or throw it away in your bin at home. Keep it to take to your pharmacy, where it can be disposed of safely.” 

Painkillers such as aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen. Aspirin must not be given to children under 16. They also help with some minor ailments, such as the common cold, by reducing aches and high temperatures, as well as reducing the inflammation in sprains. 

Anti-diarrhoeal remedies can quickly control the unpleasant symptoms of diarrhoea, although they don't deal with the underlying cause. The most common anti-diarrhoeal is loperamide. It works by slowing down the action of your gut.  Don't give anti-diarrhoeals to children under 12 because they may have undesirable side effects. 

Oral rehydration salts are useful after diarrhoea and vomiting, which make us lose water and essential minerals, and can lead to dehydration. But they don't fight the underlying cause of your illness, such as a virus or bacteria. 

Antacids come as chewable tablets, tablets that dissolve in water, or in liquid form. 
If you have stomach ache, heartburn or trapped wind, a simple antacid will reduce stomach acidity and bring relief. 

Your first aid kit is as important as medicines. It can help treat minor cuts, sprains and bruises, and reduce the risk of cuts becoming infected. It should contain the following items: 
. bandages  
. plasters 
. thermometer  
. antiseptic  
. eyewash solution  
. sterile dressings (for larger wounds) 
. medical tape (to fix dressing in place) 
. tweezers  

Don't forget your local pharmacist can help with many ailments, such as coughs, colds, asthma, eczema, hay fever and period pain. They can give advice or, where appropriate, medicines that can help clear up the problem. 

If you are unsure how to treat an urgent condition – but not a life threatening emergency -  that occurs when you cannot get help from your GP or pharmacist, dial 111, the free 24-hour NHS helpline for assessment and advice. They can also direct you to the most appropriate local service that is open. 

* Pharmacists are fully qualified to advise you on the best course of action if you start to feel unwell * A pharmacist has to be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council and have worked for at least a year under the supervision of an experienced and qualified pharmacist, either in a hospital or community pharmacy such as a supermarket or high street pharmacy * Even if it is just a cough or cold, don’t wait until it gets worse, seek immediate advice and help from your pharmacist. The sooner you get advice the better * Around 85% of pharmacies have a private consultation area where patients can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard. Medication * Common ailments, such as colds, sore throats, coughs and earaches can’t be treated by antibiotics. The best thing to do is to speak to your pharmacist who can advise the best medication, drink lots of fluids, rest and make sure you are having at least one hot meal a day.


Those with diabetes, both Type 1 and 2, have a hard time fighting flu if it's caught. The virus can put added stress on the body affecting blood sugar levels. Even those that manage their diabetes well can be at risk of serious complications from flu resulting in hospitalisation, and in some cases it can be fatal. 

In 2014, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK grew to more than 3.2 million1.This is the biggest increase in a single year since 2008. It's likely we all know someone with diabetes who we want to be safe and well over winter.

Diabetes Complex Case Manager, Rosemary Coffey at LCHS said: "Catching the flu can make diabetes worse because the immune system is less able to fight infections. This can make it harder to control your blood sugars, causing them to rise or fall and increases the chance of serious health problems, such as pneumonia.

"To be fully protected, you need to be vaccinated every year because the virus can change, and the previous year's vaccine may not offer the right protection against the virus in circulation this year. The flu jab cannot give you flu as there are no live viruses in the vaccine.

"Despite there being speculation that flu wasn't prevalent last year, there is an average of around 8,000 cases per year so I would urge those with diabetes to get their flu jab now as it takes up to two weeks to take effect."
Speak to your GP or practice nurse now to book an appointment for your free flu jab before the flu season starts.   
For more information visit www.nhs.uk/staywell

Alcohol Awareness in South Lincolnshire

Health commissioners are backing a national campaign to make people think about their alcohol consumption as the pre Christmas party season is set to begin.   
In 2013/14, there were an estimated 1,059,210 hospital admissions related to alcohol consumption in the UK. This year’s Alcohol Awareness week will took place between 16- 22 November in an effort to raise awareness of alcohol issues and the impact it can have on the health of the population.  

NHS South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group will be supporting local pharmacies and treatment service providers during this time, offering information and advice whilst raising awareness of the campaign. 

Alcohol now costs the NHS £3.5bn per year; equal to £120 for every tax payer, and according to Alcohol Concern, 1 in 8 NHS beds are used for alcohol related illnesses.    

Dr Kevin Hill, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG said:
 “The pre Christmas party season can easily lead to binge drinking. You don't have to be an alcoholic to risk damaging your health with alcohol. Regularly drinking just above recommended levels can still be harmful in the long term.   
“NHS recommendations for lower risk drinking state that men should not exceed 3-4 units a day on a regular basis and women should not exceed 2-3 units a day on a regular basis. Visit NHS Choices to download a drinks tracker that will calculate the units in your drinks and offer daily tips and feedback. We don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun but it is important to think about alcohol consumption and its potential long term impact on health.    
“If you are concerned about your drinking you can discuss it with your GP.”    

Those who exceed the national recommended limit for drinking may suffer symptoms such as fatigue or depression, weight gain or poor sleep and are statistically more likely to develop serious medical conditions such as liver problems, reduced fertility issues, high blood pressure, increased risk of various cancers and heart attacks.
The parents and carers of Lincolnshire now have access to a wealth of information thanks to the Lincolnshire Healthy Families website.

The website, launched by Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) now has a dedicated section for their Health Visiting services. This new addition includes information on common childhood illnesses, adjusting to parenthood, sleep behaviour, child safety and getting ready for school, as well as useful contact details for associated organisations.

Anita Wood, Locality Lead at LCHS, said: "This really is a fantastic resource. The website has a huge amount of information that Lincolnshire families will find valuable. Families are sometimes unsure as to what to expect from their Health Visitor, but this website explains everything you need to know about the service we provide.

"Another great feature is that the website is available on all platforms including PC, tablet and mobile phone, which means better access for our families."

Visit the website at www.lincolnshirehealthyfamilies.nhs.uk/healthvisiting


Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) is moving its headquarters from Sleaford to Lincoln.
The Trust has some 2,500 staff who care for thousands of patients every day in community hospitals, health clinics, schools, children's centres and also have the privilege of delivering care to patients within their own homes.
LCHS opened the Sleaford headquarters at Bridge House, Lions Way, in 2011 but in a bid to move more staff under one roof, is relocating to Lincoln.

Andrew Morgan, LCHS Chief Executive, said: "We want to say a very hearty thank you to all of the businesses and the general public of Sleaford for making us feel so welcome here.
"Unfortunately, the building here at Sleaford no longer meets our needs and we are moving staff over to a more suitable building in Lincoln."

The change will see some 270 staff from Bridge House Sleaford, Welton House Lincoln, Greetwell Place, Lincoln and administrative staff from John Coupland Hospital, Gainsborough, under one roof at Beech House, Lincoln.
Beech House situated on Waterside South has been renovated ahead of the move. The 25,000 sq ft space has three floors, 10 meeting rooms, 140 car parking spaces and is allowing the Trust to consolidate four bases into one.

Suzanne Bradley, Head of Estates and Facilities Management at LCHS, said: "Having more clinical and non-clinical staff in the same building will lead to more joined up working and better lines of communication.
"We can continue with more in-house training and avoid off-site costs.
"We have also invested in upgraded telephone systems which will enable us to reduce call costs and some of the car journeys across the county with the improved technology."
Investors in Lincoln, who own the building, have invested £1million on renovations with the work being carried out by Lindum Construction.
Banks Long & Co Director William Wall said: "We are pleased to have structured such a vital deal, enabling so many key NHS jobs to relocate back into Lincoln."

Current 01529 telephone numbers from the Sleaford headquarters will be automatically transferred to Lincoln numbers for a period of six months and new numbers will be advertised.
Investors in Lincoln Chief Executive David Rossington said: "When the Lincolnshire Training & Enterprise Council moved to Beech House in the early 1990s, it did so partly to try and revitalise an area which had traditionally been the economic hub of engineering in the city. In a way LCHS is giving this area the same vote of confidence as we did back then."

The move is expected to be completed by the end of November 2015.

Lindum Construction refurbished Beech House through a two-phase project. Phase 1 saw the ground floor handed over to LCHS in September and Phase 2 work to the first and second floors was completed on time and handed over this week.
Lindum Construction Managing Director Simon Gregory said:
"As a local construction company, owned by its employees and employing local contractors, it has been particularly rewarding to be able to use our skills and expertise to reinstate a prominent building in the city such as Beech House.
"Situated on Waterside South, its history starting out as part of the 'titanic' engineering works, this building has been brought back into use and now provides modern office facilities with as many of the existing features as possible being retained during the sympathetic renovation and refurbishment works."

Businesses and Patients Urged to Tackle Stress
Lincolnshire people and businesses are being urged by health leaders at South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to take action on Stress Awareness Day, which took place on Wednesday 4 November. 

Stress itself is not a medical diagnosis, but severe stress that continues for a long time may lead to a diagnosis of depression or anxiety, or more severe mental health problems. Many of life’s demands can cause stress, particularly work, relationships and money problems. 

Almost 11.3 million working days are lost each year in England and Wales because of stress. It is the single biggest cause of workplace absence, affects one in five people and accounts, on its own, for over a third of the 27 million sick days a year. 

The main causes of workplace stress include a lack of control over one's role, lack of support, excessive demands leading to long hours, boredom, workstation problems such as noise, temperature or fumes, an office culture that fails to discourage bullying and attacks weakness, repetitive tasks and low pay.

Employers who tackle stress issues can benefit threefold from their investment. It has been calculated that every £1 spent alleviating stress will return £3 in improved productivity.

Reducing stress increases workplace commitment, increases performance and productivity, reduces staff turnover, improves customer satisfaction and enhances corporate image and reputation.

Dr Kevin Hill, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG  
“Being aware that you suffer from stress related symptoms is the first step to dealing with it. Excessive or prolonged stress can lead to illness and physical and emotional exhaustion. There are many things you can do to manage stress more effectively, such as lifestyle changes; regular exercise, learning how to relax, adopting good time-management techniques and seeking professional help.

“For employers, recognising stress isn't easy, particularly in its early days, but the earlier you can identify it, identify the cause of it and alleviate the symptom, the less likely it is that you'll lose a member of staff for weeks at a time and the productivity that goes with sickness absence.

Chocolates, magazines or grapes? Whatever you bring into hospital, make sure it isn't norovirus.

Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) is asking anyone planning to visit its hospitals in Spalding, Skegness, Gainsborough and Louth to stay at home if they or their family members have had diarrhoea, vomiting or 'flu-like' symptoms in the last four days.

The request is to help keep 'winter vomiting' or norovirus away from vulnerable patients and staff who could pass it on. Symptoms of norovirus include diarrhoea and vomiting and can seriously affect vulnerable patients.

It can be exacerbated by colder weather and be particularly serious for people who are already ill or who have a long term condition.

If you are worried about prolonged symptoms you can contact NHS Direct on www.nhs.uk or 0845 4647 or ring NHS 111 or your GP. They will be able to provide advice for people who are at greater risk from dehydration from diarrhoea and vomiting, such as children under the age of five or the elderly.

Good hand hygiene can help to limit the spread of infection and there are some simple steps the public can take to help stop the virus spreading:
wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water, particularly after using the toilet and before preparing food.

if you're in an NHS facility pay attention to hand hygiene notices such as using hand gel upon entering sand exiting a ward
disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated with norovirus. It is best to use a bleach-based household cleaner and follow the instructions on the product

flush away any infected faeces or vomit in the toilet. You should also keep the surrounding toilet area clean and hygienic
wash any clothing or linens which could have become contaminated with norovirus washing with hot, soapy water.

Although people usually recover without treatment in 24-72 hours, it is important to stay away from work, school, college or social gatherings until you have been symptom free for at least 48 hours.

If you have norovirus the best thing to do is rest and take plenty of non-caffeinated drinks to avoid dehydration. Don't visit your GP surgery or local A&E. You should recover naturally without any specific treatment.

Cheryl Day, Lead Matron for Infection Prevention at LCHS, said: "Norovirus is highly infectious and easily spread through hand to hand contact, or by touching surfaces which have germs on them.

"The infection usually starts suddenly and the symptoms pass quickly. It can more seriously affect those patients who are already unwell or those who have significant underlying medical conditions.

"If you think you may have the illness it is important to stay away from hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes for at least 48 hours after your symptoms have stopped to avoid spreading it to people who may have underlying health conditions and already be vulnerable.

"We know that sometimes visitors feel they must take every opportunity to visit sick friends or relatives. However, if they themselves have been unwell, they could be putting others at risk. If you're unsure whether to visit, please feel free to contact the ward nurse before you come into hospital."

Over 65? Get your free flu jab now!

Autumn is here and the nights are drawing in, so it’s really important we take the time to look after ourselves, and one of the best things we can do is get the flu jab.

NHS South Lincolnshire CCG is reminding patients over the age of 65 to protect themselves against flu this winter with a free vaccination.
It is the best possible protection against the flu virus during the autumn and winter months when you’re more likely to suffer complications if you contract flu. Even if you’ve had the vaccination before it’s important to get it again because the type of virus in circulation changes every year and so the vaccine changes too.

In winter 2013/14, over 9001 people nationwide were admitted to hospital with confirmed cases of flu and 10 per cent of all patients admitted died as a result of the flu virus.

Dr Kevin Hill GP Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG said:
“Flu is a really unpleasant illness, particularly for those over 65. You are more likely to become seriously ill and have complications like pneumonia or make an existing condition worse if you catch it. This may result in an unwanted hospital stay and can even be fatal. 
Flu tends to circulate between September and March. The flu vaccine is available from October, so I would urge anyone who is offered a free flu vaccination to visit their GP or pharmacy now. It’s quick, safe and free if you’re over 65.
Contrary to popular myth it can’t give you flu because it has no live vaccine.”

Look out for a letter from your GP telling you about the dates and times of their flu clinics. For the first time this year some pharmacies are offering the flu jab too. You will have to check with your local pharmacy but it’s another way of getting yourself protected.
If you care for someone over 65 it’s advisable to get vaccinated too, so that you can protect yourself and the person you care for. Make an appointment today - it’s free because you need it.

For more information visit www.nhs.uk/staywell
. Flu vaccinations are currently offered free of charge to the following ‘at-risk’ groups:
. those aged 65 years and over
. those aged six months to under 65 with a serious medical condition, such as:
. chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis
. chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
. chronic kidney disease at stage three, four or 5
. chronic liver disease
. chronic neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease
. diabetes
. splenic dysfunction
. a weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment)
. pregnant women
. all two, three and four-year-olds (on 31 August 2015)
. all children of school years 1 and 2 age:
. Year 1 school age: 5 year olds, rising to 6 year olds (i.e. date of birth between 1st September 2009 and on or before 31st August 2010)
. Year 2 school age: 6 year olds, rising to 7 years olds (i.e. date of birth between 1st September 2008 and on or before 31st August 2009)
. primary school-aged children in areas that previously participated in primary school pilots in 2014/15
. those in long-stay residential care homes
. carers
. 1Public Health England: http://stcvs.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Flu-Campaign-briefing-pack-for-spokespeople.pdf

Long serving NHS staff who work in communities across Lincolnshire have been praised for their dedication at a special awards afternoon tea.

The 69 staff from Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) have chalked up an impressive 1,690 years' service between them.
Each person has achieved either 20, 30 or 40 years' continuous service.

LCHS chair Elaine Baylis said: "I would like to thank each of these individuals for the dedication they have shown to their professions. It's always very heartwarming to hear about their experiences of working in the NHS, and particularly those who have spent their years with patients and families in Lincolnshire. It's a pleasure to be able to help them celebrate their loyal service."

Loyalty Awards Recipients

40 years:

. Christine Christopher, Diet Nurse Practitioner, Lincoln Walk in Centre
. Sandra Bridges, Deputy Sister, Skegness Hospital

30 years:
. Angela Atkinson, Health Visitor, Lincoln
. Alison Balderstone, Deputy named nurse - child protection, Boston
. Georgina Chandler, Community Nurse, County HospitalLouth
. Karen Coley, Medical Secretary, Skegness Hospital
. Jayne Dunnett, Physiotherapy, Horncastle
. Deborah Hobson, Independent Living Team, Welton House Lincoln
. Debra Hudson, District Nurse, John Coupland Hospita, Gainsborough
. Stephanie Lambley, Sister in Urgent Care, Skegness Hospital
. Georgina Large, Health Care Support Worker - Elderly, Skegness Hospital
. Julie Lewis, Clinical Team lead, Market Rasen Health Centre
. Marion Pilkington, District Nurse, Skegness Health Centre
. Georgina Riley, Staff Nurse, John Coupland Hospital, Gainsborough
. Jeanette Rimington, Clinical Nurse Specialist Continence, Ravendale Health Centre, Lincoln
. Helen Storey, Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Team Leader for North East Lincolnshire, Urgent Care Centre Louth
. Maria Storti, Matron - Integrated Care, Louth Locality Office
. Amanda Street, Infant Feeding Coordinator, Boston and Skegness
. Michelle Sutcliffe, Health Visitor, North Hykeham
. Dawn Titley, Contracts Manager, Sleaford
. Angela Davie, Retired
. Kay Henry, Registered Nurse, Skegness Health Centre
. Beverley Morris, Community RGN, Stamford
. Tracy Robinson, RGN, County Hospital Louth
20 years:
. Sarah Baldam, Respiratory Nurse Specialist, Boston
. Ian Bedford, Nurse Practioner, Lincoln
. Vivienne Benson, Ward Sister, County HospitalLouth
. Carolyne Bognar, Health Visitor, Gainsborough Health Centre
. Andrew Bohlman, Clinical Systems Trainer, Boston
. Sarah Capps, Staff Nurse, Sleaford
. Carol Cartwright, Registered Nurse, County Hospital Louth
. Lisa Cockett, INR Clerical Officer, Ravendale Health Centre, Lincoln
. Yvonne Cogan, Assistant Practitioner, Fen House, Lincoln
. Karen Curtis, Care Liaison Officer, Fen House, Lincoln
. Valerie Dent, Specialist Podiatrist, Birchwood Health Centre, Lincoln
. Ruth Drayton-Green, Community RGN, County Hospital Louth
. David Edwards, Associated Specialist Nurse - Diabetes, North Hykeham Health Centre
. Emma Fletcher, Operational Lead, Welton House, Lincoln
. Wendy Franks, Community Practitioner, Peterborough MIU
. June Giles, Senior Sexual Health Nurse, Grantham
. Jeanette Hicks, Community Nursery Nurse, Welton House, Lincoln
. Elizabeth Hill, Staff Nurse, Pilgrim Hospital, Boston
. Shelia Iceton, Receptionist/Administration, Walk in centr, Lincoln
. Carole Larking, Health Visitor Assistant, County Hospital Louth
. Sharon Laughton, Podiatrist, Riversdale Health Clinic, Lincoln
. Colette Longstaffe, Nurse Specialist Tissue Viability, Ravendale Health Centre, Lincoln
. Christine Lowe, Auxilliary Nurse
. Angela Lyons, Nursery Nurse, Welton House, Lincoln
. Marion Maclean,  Health Care Support Worker, Endeavour Park, Boston
. Charlotte Martin, Team Lead - South West Cardiac Rehab, Bourne Health Centre
. Tine McKinnon, Clinic Clerk, Grace Swan Health Clinic, Spilsby
. Tracy Means, Clinical Team Lead, Hawthorn Medical Practice, Skegness
. Lesley Mitchell, Health Visitor Assistant, Grantham Health Clinic
. Susan Mitchell, Health Visitor, Fen House, Lincoln
. Sharon Morris, District Nurse Intervention Team Leader, Endeavour Park, Boston
. Alison Nash, Case Manager, , Sleaford
. Amanda Newbury, Nurse Practioner, Peterborough MIU
. Lynne Roberts, Matron for Infection Prevention, Johnson Community Hospita, Spalding
. Amanda Savastic, Clerical Officer, John Coupland Hospital, Gainsborough
. Sharon Smith, Health Care Responder, Walk in Centre, Lincoln
. Sandra Stewart, Records Assistant, Sleaford
. Nicola Stimson, Health Visitor, Fen House Lincoln
. Kirsty Turner, Health Visitor, Fen House Lincoln
. Nicola Underwood, Community Nurse, Marisco Medical Practice, Mablethorpe
. Sylvia Wilkinson, Health Visitor, Welton House Lincoln
. Karen Doherty, Case Manager/CPE, Grantham
. Christine Kirk (Retired)
. Elizabeth Reader, Practice Nurse, Grantham
. Anne Slight, Staff Nurse, Pottergate Surgery, Gainsborough
. Patricia Wright, Case Manager, Tasburgh Lodge, Woodhall Spa

the annual nasal spray flu vaccine is now available for children in Lincolnshire from the school nursing team at Lincolnshire Community Health . services NHS Trust (LCHS).
The nasal spray vaccine c. ntains flu viruses that have been weakened to stop them causing flu. It will help a child build up immunity to flu in a similar way as natural infection (but without the symptoms)

Because the main flu viruses change each year, a new nasal spray vaccine has to be given each year, in the same way as the injectable flu vaccines.

As the vaccine is absorbed very quickly, it will still work even if a child has a runny nose, sneezes or blows their nose straight after being vaccinated.

Sarah Packwood, Immunisation Programme Lead at LCHS said: "The nasal spray flu vaccine will not only help protect your child from getting flu, it also stops the disease spreading from them to their family, carers and the wider population.

"Children are good at spreading flu, because they tend to sneeze everywhere and don't use tissues properly or wash their hands. Vaccinating them may also protect others that are vulnerable to flu such as babies, older people, pregnant women and people with serious long-term illnesses.

"The childhood flu vaccination programme is a great opportunity to protect families during the winter months"
Flu can be a very unpleasant illness in children causing fever, stuffy nose, dry cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints, and extreme tiredness; this can often last several days. Some children may have more serious complications or pass the illness on to other family members.
Letters and consent forms will be circulated to parents through school. Vaccinations are scheduled to take place between mid-October and mid-December. Most children will receive a simple nasal spray with no needles involved.

Dates of when the school nurses are visiting schools across the county are published on the Lincolnshire Healthy Families website: www.lincolnshirehealthyfamilies.nhs.uk/schoolnursing

Children in school years one and two and all children and staff in special schools are being offered the vaccine as part of a national programme to extend flu vaccination to all children.

For children who do not attend school, the vaccination can be given at a local health centre

Health Leaders call for action on back pain

People in Lincolnshire are being urged by health leaders at NHS South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to protect their backs!
New research from the British Chiropractic Association*, has revealed that 40% of people surveyed admit they have never done anything to actively protect their backs. Just under a third (29%) confessed that they have been unable to work due to their back pain.

Sickness absence currently costs the UK economy £15bn, with musculoskeletal disorders one of the leading causes of sickness absence. The number of sick days taken due to back pain increased by 29% in the last year, from 7.7 million in 2013 to 9.9 million in 2014*.

Back pain is a common problem that affects most people at some point in their life.

It may be triggered by bad posture while sitting or standing, bending awkwardly, or lifting incorrectly. Back pain is not generally caused by a serious condition and, in most cases, it gets better within 12 weeks. It can usually be successfully treated by taking painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.

Dr, Kevin Hill, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
 “It’s important that everyone takes proactive measures to protect their back health. The most common causes of back pain are strained muscles or ligaments, wear and tear, bad posture and stress. Back pain can be caused by many work situations. So, in the workplace in particular everyone should be aware and mitigate the potential for back injuries.
“If you work in an office and use a computer, you can avoid injury by sitting in the right position and arranging your desk correctly. Try not to sit for more than 20-30 minutes at a time and stand up to stretch, change position and walk around a little.
“How you sit, stand, lie and lift can all affect the health of your back. Regular exercise, such as walking and swimming, is an excellent way of preventing back pain. Activities such as yoga or pilates can also improve your flexibility and strengthen your back muscles.”

 For further information about back care, download the NHS Back Pain Guide at http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Back-pain-guide.aspx

Support, help and advice available for those diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in Lincolnshire.

With more than 40,000 people diagnosed across the county, Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) provides specialist diabetes care to patients with complex, intermediate diabetic problems.

The service supports patients in shaping healthy lifestyles through referrals to weight reduction courses, exercise programmes and stop smoking programmes. The service offers health promotion, education and support to patients and their carers within a variety of community settings to promote self-management and reduce disease complications.

Rosemary Coffey, diabetes complex case manager, at LCHS said: "LCHS provides group education and support for people with newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes called “Spotlight on Diabetes” the sessions are designed to help people understand and manage their diabetes  to reduce the risks of complications. People can get referred to this service through their GP practice. "

The support on offer has been highlighted amid warnings that nationally up to 5 million adults are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
There are two main types of diabetes Type 1 and 2. Type 1 diabetes can develop quickly, over weeks or even days whereas many people live with Type 2 for several years without realising due to early symptoms being general.

Rosemary Coffey advises people to get checked out if they develop any symptoms linked with Type 2 diabetes: "I advise people to get checked out quickly if they feel they have developed any symptoms of diabetes as early detection of the condition is important as it will only worsen if left untreated. Symptoms of diabetes include; frequent urinating, unexplained weight loss, tiredness and feeling thirsty more regularly than usual."

For full details on diabetes and the services on offer from LCHS visit


Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can spread to other organs in the body.
South Lincolnshire CCG is highlighting the signs and symptoms of melanoma as we enter the summer months.

The most common sign of melanoma is the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole. This can happen anywhere on the body, but the back, legs, arms and face are most commonly affected.

In most cases, melanomas have an irregular shape and more than one colour. They may also be larger than normal moles and can sometimes be itchy or bleed.
An "ABCDE checklist" has been developed for people to tell the difference between a normal mole and a melanoma.

Melanoma happens when some cells in the skin begin to develop abnormally. It is thought that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from natural or artificial sources may be partly responsible.

Certain things can increase your chances of developing melanoma, such as having:
.  lots of moles or freckles 
.  pale skin that burns easily 
.  red or blonde hair 
.  a family member who has had melanoma 

Dr Kevin Hill, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG, said: 

“We would urge any patients to go to see their GP if they notice any changes to any moles that they have.  You can help protect yourself from sun damage by using sunscreen and dressing sensibly in the sun. Sunbeds and sunlamps should also be avoided.

Regularly checking your moles and freckles can help lead to an early diagnosis and increase your chances of successful treatment. In most cases, a suspicious mole will be surgically removed and studied to see if it is cancerous. This is known as a biopsy. You may also have a test to check if melanoma has spread elsewhere in your body. This is known as a sentinel node biopsy."

The main treatment for melanoma is surgery, although your treatment will depend on your circumstances. If melanoma is diagnosed and treated at an early stage, surgery is usually successful.

If melanoma isn't diagnosed until an advanced stage, treatment is mainly used to slow the spread of the cancer and reduce symptoms. This usually involves medicines, such as chemotherapy.

Once you have had melanoma, there is a chance it may return. This risk is increased if your cancer was widespread and severe. If your cancer team feels there is a significant risk of your melanoma returning, you will probably need regular check-ups to monitor your health. You will also be taught how to examine your skin and lymph nodes to help detect melanoma if it returns.

Melanoma is the 5th most common cancer in the UK with around 13,000 new cases of melanoma diagnosed each year.

More than a quarter of cases are diagnosed in people under 50, which is unusual compared to most other types of cancer. It's also becoming more common in the UK over time, thought to be caused by increased exposure to UV light from the sun and sunbeds.

More than 2,000 people die every year in the UK from melanoma. Melanoma is not always preventable, but you can reduce your chances of developing it by limiting your exposure to UV light.

More information about melanoma can be found on www.nhs.uk.

Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust has demonstrated good practice across all areas of service for infection prevention and control.

According the 2014/15 Infection Prevention and Control report, the Trust's performance standards in relation to reducing the numbers of avoidable infections or "superbugs" including MRSA, MSSA, Clostridium difficile and Escherichia coli, continues to be achieved.

For the reporting period, LCHS achieved the set trajectory of zero avoidable MRSA infections, a significant 62.5% decrease in MSSA infections, an 83% reduction in Escherichia coli related infections and of the six reported cases of Clostridium difficile related infections, 100% were determined unavoidable.

The Trust attributes its success in reducing infections to several factors, including a bespoke web-based surveillance system (DartICS), patient-led assessments of the care environment (PLACE), a comprehensive hand hygiene programme and mandatory infection prevention training for all LCHS employed staff.

“Patient safety and quality care are at the forefront of everything we do, whether patients are receiving care in their own home, our urgent care centres, clinics or one of our community hospitals," says Cheryl Day, LCHS Lead Matron for Infection Prevention.

Protecting our patients from infection is vital to the quality of treatment we provide across LCHS, which is why we assure all of our staff have the resources, training and education needed to effectively prevent and control infections. We take great pride in the high standard of care we provide across all of our LCHS services and we will continue to assure infection prevention and control remains a top priority across the Trust."

The full report is available on the LCHS website:


A cardiac rehab group to support patients in the community who have suffered a heart attack has celebrated a six month milestone.

The Louth Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme which is run by Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS), moved from the Recreation Hall at Louth County Hospital to its new premises at the Wolds Gym at Cordaux Academy in February of this year.

The programme supports patients who have suffered a recent heart attack. Patients embark on an eight week exercise programme with heart healthy educational talks incorporating health eating, medication, stress and relaxation techniques and the benefits of exercise.

Former patient Ian Mills, a police officer from North Thoresby, had a heart attack in November.

He said: "I am physically fit and when I was referred to the group I thought I would find it a struggle and wouldn't get much from it - I couldn't have been more wrong.

"The facilities are fantastic and the support you get is a massive benefit. I've made friends through the sessions and have my confidence back to exercise again."

The Wolds Gym on the premises of Cordeaux Academy in Louth offers fantastic facilities. The gym offers state of the art exercise equipment which you would expect in a mainstream gym. The conference rooms are large and air conditioned with all the latest technological equipment for delivering the educational talks.

Mum of three Debbie Wilson, a Parent Practitioner, had a heart attack in January this year.

She said: "I was anxious before I came to the sessions but thought it was great after my first session. The programme is very tailored to you and your needs. The staff and the volunteers are brilliant. I was nervous about exercising but you are so closely monitored and it is very safe.
"You start to look forward to the sessions and make friends and you're able to have a laugh too. Having a pharmacist there to talk to you about your medication was also a big help."

Both Ian and Debbie are now exercising independently and are looking forward to organising a catch up with the rest of their group.
Alison Bunn, Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse Specialist and Team Lead for LCHS said: "The staff and our wonderful volunteers work incredibly hard to provide such a fantastic programme for our patients.

"Before we moved here we spent a considerable amount of time as a team to completely refresh the entire programme to fit this fabulous venue.
"We cannot thank Cordeaux Academy enough for sharing this amazing facility which has allowed us to provide the only gym based Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme in Lincolnshire. It's a really great partnership."

Patrick Daley, Principal at Cordeaux Academy said: "We are pleased to be able to work with the cardio rehab team in helping provide such a valuable community initiative. Partnership working of this nature is an important part of what we do at Cordeaux and we wish the group every success for the future."


A dedicated section to maternal mental health has been developed as part of the Lincolnshire Healthy Families website, ensuring facts and advice can be accessed whenever it is needed the most.

The website includes information about antenatal depression and anxiety, postnatal depression, fathers and depression, where to seek help and other helpful resources for maternal mental health.

To help provide support through shared experiences, the website features real life stories from mums who have had their own struggles with maternal mental health. One of those stories comes from Lincolnshire mum Emma, who shares her experience with postnatal depression in one of the website case studies.

Emma speaks about her struggle with postnatal depression and how her health visitor played an essential role in providing her with much needed support. Emma said: "I feel blessed I had the support that I got, when I got it. There is no way I would have felt that I could have come out the other side of it without the support that I had."

"My health visitor was worth her weight in gold. She never ever turned me away, was at the end of the phone whenever I needed her and I knew that I could come to her for anything - which was invaluable, without a doubt."

Anita Wood, Locality Lead at LCHS, said: "Welcoming a baby into your family is a time of great excitement, but for some it can also be very overwhelming. We want to help ensure mums understand the importance of taking care of their mental health and where they can seek help should they need it.

"The maternal mental health section of our Lincolnshire Healthy Families website has been developed using the knowledge and experiences of our health visitors, with the support of the specialist community perinatal mental health teams. We hope it encourages more women to have the confidence to speak up if they feel they need support."

For more information, visit www.lincolnshirehealthyfamilies.nhs.uk/maternalmentalhealth

Not sure if it's an emergency? Call 111

With winter upon us and seasonal illnesses like flu and tummy bugs are circulating, pressure on the NHS increases. Help is at hand for people to understand the importance of accessing the right services first time.

If you’re generally fit and healthy, you may be unsure what to do or where to go with unexpected or urgent healthcare needs. In most instances people don’t need A&E or 999, and accessing more suitable healthcare could result in being seen quicker.

You should call NHS 111 if:

.  you need medical help fast, but it is not a 999 emergency
.  you think you need to go to A&E or another NHS urgent care service
.  you don’t know who to call for medical help or you don’t have a GP to call
.  you require health information or reassurance about what to do next

For less urgent health needs you should still contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way.

NHS111 makes it easy for you to access healthcare advice when you need medical help fast, but it’s not a life-threatening situation.

Dr Kevin Hill, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG, said: 
“NHS111 is a free number, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  The highly trained call handlers can provide health advice, put you in touch with the right service, arrange to have you seen by a doctor or call you an ambulance.  The service is manned by trained call handlers with nurses on site to offer support if needed. Callers’ symptoms are assessed and they are given the healthcare advice they need or are directed immediately to the right service, first time.”

Those with internet access can also visit: http://www.nhs.uk/111