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."


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.

Health bosses issue Antibiotics alert

Health bosses are warning patients of the dangers of antibiotics resistance and the need for patients to use antibiotics wisely. Last year alone over 25,000 people died across Europe from infections resistant to antibiotics.  

The advice came from NHS South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group ahead of European Antibiotics Awareness Day on 18 November.  

Commissioners are warning that antibiotics are important medicines for treating infections caused by bacteria but that many people are unaware that most common illnesses, such as coughs, colds, sore throats and stomach upsets, can improve with over the counter medicines.  
Experts say that if patients decide to self-medicate and use antibiotics when they are not needed, the bacteria causing the illness can build up resistance. This means that those antibiotics will not work to treat illnesses in the future and there are very few new antibiotics in the development pipeline.  By not using them unnecessarily, they are more likely to work when we need them.  

Resistance is also caused when antibiotics are not taken for the fully prescribed course. Taking only a partial course of antibiotics means that bacteria will be exposed to the antibiotic but are not given a strong enough course to kill them, resulting in the bacteria surviving and replicating. Consequently, future strains may be more likely to mutate and develop resistance. A survey found that a quarter of people who are prescribed antibiotics don’t finish the prescribed course.

Dr Kevin Hill, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG said:
 “Using antibiotics to treat common, mild illnesses unnecessarily speeds up the problem of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics certainly have an important and often lifesaving role in healthcare, but by taking them unnecessarily contributes to the problem of bacteria developing resistance to the antibiotics that they would have once been susceptible to.   
"The annual EU wide cost of healthcare expenses and lost productivity due to antibiotic resistant bacteria is currently €1.5 billion. By seeking advice from your local pharmacist to treat common illnesses such as coughs and colds, this amount could be significantly reduced.”  

European Antibiotics Awareness Day is a European-wide event aiming to raise awareness about the threat to public health of antibiotic resistance and the importance of prudent antibiotic use.  
European Antibiotic Awareness Day (18 Nov) @EAAD_EU
A European Health Initiative by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control: http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/eaad/Pages/Home.aspx Become an #AntibioticGuardian with Public Health England: https://antibioticguardian.com/

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


Visitors to County Hospital, Louth are being invited to tuck into a 'Big Breakfast' on Friday, November 20, for a good cause.

From 9am until 11:30am, the Workhouse Diner within the hospital will be open to all and a percentage of the breakfast sales will be donated to the British Lung Foundation.

The event has been organised by the Louth Respiratory Team from Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS), to promote awareness of respiratory related illnesses and the work the British Lung Foundation does to support those with lung disease.

Julie Bevan, Complex Case Manager for LCHS said: "Across Lincolnshire we have a very high percentage of patients with respiratory diseases and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Although, there is no cure for COPD my team work hard to give patients hope and support to learn how to live with the disease. We just want to make a difference to these patients' lives and raise awareness of support available.

"The Big Breakfast is a great way for everyone to learn about respiratory disease and how the British Lung Foundation can provide support, while raising much-needed funds for their important work.

"We are hugely grateful to the Workhouse Diner for supporting us with the Big Breakfast event."

Staff will be on hand to answer questions form patients and the public on a range of topics, including support courses, nutrition and hydration. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

Katie Lyall, Events Manager at the British Lung Foundation, said: "We are delighted that the respiratory team at Louth will be hosting a big breakfast to support the British Lung foundation. Every contribution makes a difference and funds raised will go towards ensuring that we can continue to offer vital support for people with lung disease, as well as their partners, families and friends."


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 contains 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; or
         •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