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HEALTHY KNOWSLEY By Dr Sarah McNulty, Acting Director of Public Health

BE CANCER AWARE AND GET SCREENED

Many of you will have been affected by cancer at some point in your life - it could be yourself or someone you know who has been diagnosed with cancer.

Cancer screening aims to detect the disease before symptoms appear and can saves lives, so whilst we all lead busy lives, attending a screening appointment when invited, is a priority. Screening includes:-

Cervical screening - offered to women aged 25-49 years every three years and every five years for those aged 50-64 years to detect changes to the cells of the cervix for any abnormalities that, if left untreated, may develop into cervical cancer.

Breast screening - offered to women aged 50-70 years every three years to help find breast cancers early, when they are too small to see or feel.  Women over 70 years can still be screened and can make an appointment through their GP surgery.

Bowel screening - offered to men and women aged 60-74 years every two years to check for bowel cancer or abnormalities before they become cancer. A home-testing kit will be sent out to you. Bowel scope screening is being rolled out to all men and women in England aged 55 years. This is a one-off test done to look for and remove any small growths called polyps, which if not removed, could eventually turn into cancer.

Of course screening cannot detect all cancers so it's also vital that if you are worried, then ask. Finding it early makes it more treatable so don't ignore it, tell your doctor. Some of the symptoms include:-
• Unexplained weight loss
• Skin changes - a mole changing size or shape
• Unusual bleeding, including coughing up blood
• Unexplained lump
• A cough or hoarseness or sore throat for three weeks 
   or more
• Stomach pain that has lasted more than a few weeks
• Change in usual bowel habits or persistent bloating
• Getting out of breath more easily

For further information visit www.cancerresearchuk.org

Posted by on April 4th, 2019

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HEALTHY KNOWSLEY with Councillor Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care

The council is supporting the national drive to end period poverty, which research has shown is having a detrimental impact on pupil attendance.

This was recently debated at Council, where it was acknowledged that no Knowsley resident should experience period poverty and that we should do everything we can to ensure that access to sanitary products shouldn't be an issue.

My fellow Councillor colleagues were in full agreement that everyone can play their part and it was agreed that we will support the provision of free products in our schools, as well as council maintained buildings such as One Stop Shops and libraries, working with our partner agencies such as Red Box, to achieve this.  

In addition, we will be encouraging our local businesses to support employees who may be experiencing period poverty.  Finally, the council will be calling upon the Government to take action to address period poverty on a national level - similar to what has been achieved in Scotland   whereby access to sanitary products is a basic right, and products are provided free of charge to anyone in education.

The council has been successful in securing £372,000 from Public Health England's Innovation Fund, which will be used to support children of alcohol dependant parents, providing the right support at the right time and helping them reach their potential.

The funding will be used to train frontline staff to identify issues at an early stage, increase the capacity of the substance misuse service staff working with families, and invest in Knowsley Youth Mutual's 'Me Time' enabling more young people with alcohol dependent parents to take part in a range of fun activities, including dance, arts, music, volunteering and training opportunities, as well as ensuring they have access to support they may need too.

Posted by on March 4th, 2019

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HEALTHY KNOWSLEY with Councillor Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care

TIME FOR REFLECTION

The start of a new year is a great time for us to reflect on our health and wellbeing and identify one or two goals we want to achieve that can have a positive impact on us - for example getting active or drinking less alcohol.

In Knowsley, you’re not alone as our Healthy Knowsley Service can support you to make small changes to your lifestyle that can make a big difference to your health and wellbeing. 

It’s available to anyone over the age of 18 years who live in Knowsley or are registered with a Knowsley GP.  The team can support you to eat healthy, become more active, lose weight, stop smoking, drink less alcohol as well as preventing diabetes. You can self-refer to the Healthy Knowsley Service by calling 0800 0731 202 or visit www.healthyknowsley.co.uk

In addition, you can talk to your GP or health care professional who can make a referral on your behalf.

Once the referral is received, a wellbeing advisor will contact you to discuss the options available to help you to achieve your goals. They will listen to how you want to make the changes and give you information on the services that can best support your needs. 

You will choose the support that you need and the advisor will then refer you to a specialist service or for you to see a health trainer.

If eating healthier is your goal, then eating more veg can help! The council is supporting a national campaign called Veg Power which encourages us all to eat more veg. 

They are low in fat and sugar and high in fibre and nutrients, so eating more veg is a great way to eat healthier and I’d encourage everyone to start eating more from today.  
Further information about the Veg Power campaign is available at www.vegpower.org.uk

Posted by on February 1st, 2019

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HEALTHY KNOWSLEY with Councillor Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care

LOOK AFTER YOURSELF THIS FESTIVE SEASON

With the festivities approaching, it can be a time of very mixed emotions for people. Some relish this time of year, whilst others dread it due to a number of factors including financial pressures or feeling lonely.

The main thing is that help and support is available.

If you are worried about paying for Christmas and would welcome financial and budgeting advice, then the Citizens Advice Bureau can provide advice via a web chat, face-to-face or over the phone. Find out more at www.knowsleycitizenadvice.org.uk or call 0300 330 9008. Don’t feel pressured to over-buy - others may be in the same situation as you so stick to an agreed limit.

We can all play our part by ensuring any vulnerable neighbours or relatives know they aren't on their own - just a cup of tea or asking if they need any shopping or prescriptions picking up can make a huge difference.  There’s also lots of community groups across Knowsley who can inspire you to get out and about and meet new friends - find out more at www.thelivewelldirectory.com

Also at this time of year, it’s so easy to over-indulge in food and drink. From mince pies to mulled wine, everyone has their favourite seasonal treat, which can be enjoyed in moderation. 

To help minimise your chances of indulgence turning into overindulgence and a January full of regrets, follow these simple steps:

•  Don’t starve yourself to save calories - this will result in you feeling hungry and consuming even more!

•  Practise portion control - some people find it helps to use a smaller plate.

•  Limit your alcohol intake by alternating alcoholic drinks with low-calorie soft drinks or water.  If you want a break from the booze in the New Year, you can sign-up to Dry January at www.dryjanuary.org.uk

•  Keep in touch with friends and family (such as going for a walk) - it’s a good distraction too from food and drink! Remember that it’s not all or nothing - healthy living is all about balance and moderation.

I hope you enjoy the festivities and best wishes for the New Year

Posted by on December 4th, 2018

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HEALTHY KNOWSLEY with Councillor Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care

With the darker nights drawing in and the colder weather looming, lots of people can start to pick up bugs, sniffles and coughs. But there’s lots we can do to ensure we feel ‘tip top’ and keep any illnesses at bay!

For example, if you’re aged between 40-74 years, you’re entitled to a free NHS Health Check. Your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and some forms of dementia can be reduced by making small changes to your lifestyle.

Even if you’re feeling great at the moment, it’s worthwhile having your NHS health check as it helps to identify any potential risks early and importantly, what you can do to lower your chances of developing these health problems in the future. Contact your GP to book your appointment.

If you’re outside of this age range and are concerned about your health, make an appointment to speak to your GP.

Further information about the NHS Health Checks is available at: www.nhs.uk/nhshealthcheck

Also at this time of year, it’s important you protect yourself (and your family) from the flu virus, which as you know can be incredibly nasty for a number of vulnerable groups. The vaccine is free to many people including pregnant women, people with long-term health conditions, over 65s and children aged 2 and 3.

Vaccination remains the best way to protect us all from flu this winter - speak to your GP to make your appointment today!

If you’re with a Knowsley GP, you can get appointments in the evening and weekends too! Ring your usual GP surgery and request an extended access appointment.  You’ll be offered an evening / weekend appointment at the most convenient time and location to you

Posted by on November 5th, 2018

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KNOW YOUR NUMBERS

This month our Know your Numbers roadshow is touring the borough offering you free blood pressure checks from 10 to 16 September.  

You can drop in to any of the events below to get your blood pressure checked for free and if there are any issues, such as a low or high reading, advice and support will also be available on how to address this:-

10 September - 8am-11am and 5.30pm-8pm - Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park
10 September - 8am-11am and 5.30pm-8pm - Northwood Community Centre
11 September - 8am-11am and 5.30pm-8pm - Kirkby Leisure Centre
12 September - 8am-11am and 5.30pm-8pm - Halewood Leisure Centre
13 September - 8am-11am and 5.30pm-7pm - Stockbridge Village Neighbourhood Centre
14 September - 8am-11am and 5.30pm-7pm - Prescot Soccer Centre

Blood pressure is the term used to describe the strength with which your blood pushes on the sides of your blood vessels as it’s pumped around your body.  High blood pressure (hypertension) can put a strain on your heart and blood vessels and over time this extra strain can damage your body’s organs, which can increase your risk of developing serious problems such as a stroke or heart attack.  Low blood pressure (hypotension) can cause dizziness and fainting.

A blood pressure check is the only way to find out if your blood pressure is too high or too low, because most people won't have any obvious symptoms.

To help you to manage a healthy blood pressure, there’s a range of ideas to help you, and your family, stay fit and healthy on our Healthy Knowsley website - www.healthyknowsley.co.uk

From quitting smoking, weight loss programmes and getting active, you’ll find a wealth of information on Healthy Knowsley. Plus, there’s information around debt, learning and working - all of which can have an impact on our health.

If you need support to help you make positive lifestyle changes, then you can be referred to a Lifestyle Advisor.  

It’s free and confidential to people living or working in Knowsley. Simply contact the Healthy Knowsley Hub on 0800 0731 202 or email: health.trainers@nwbh.nhs.uk and they can advise you on specialist support services to meet your needs.

 

Posted by HEALTHY KNOWSLEY with Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health for Knowsley and Sefton on September 6th, 2018

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Keeping the little ones entertained

With the school holidays now in full swing, you may be looking for ideas to keep your little ones entertained.

It’s a perfect time to join Change4Life’s 10 minute shake up, with the theme over the summer being ‘Train like a Jedi’.  It will take children on a galactic adventure incorporating the excitement of Star Wars and inspire children to get more active.

You can take part online and this latest campaign encourages children to build their confidence and learn new fitness moves.

To find out more, visit www.nhs.uk/change4life/activities/train-like-a-jedi where Olympic gold medalist Jade Jones will guide you through 12 special moves which will help you master the ways of the Jedi.

Once you have finished the training, these Jedi skills will be invaluable in the next part of the journey - a series of secret challenges during the summer holidays.

There’s also a range of activities taking place in the borough’s libraries - find out more at www.knowsley.gov.uk/kidssummerlibrary

As well as the children keeping active, did you know that just ten minutes of exercise a day could really help to boost your own health and wellbeing?

If you don’t think you’ve got the time, you can add this on to everyday activities such as taking the stairs rather than the lift, doing a brisk walk during your lunch break or get off the bus a stop early and walk the extra distance.  At home, getting the hoover out or taking the dog for a walk all add up.

Consider wearing a tracker and aim to build your steps up over time or download one of the free pedometer apps on your phone.

It’s never too late to make small lifestyle changes such as being more active, eating healthier or drinking less - they will all help to improve your health and wellbeing.  To find out more visit www.healthyknowsley.co.uk

Whatever you’re doing over the summer, enjoy!

 

Posted by HEALTHY KNOWSLEY with Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health for Knowsley and Sefton on August 7th, 2018

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HEALTHY KNOWSLEY with Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health for Knowsley and Sefton

REMEMBER TO STAY SAFE IN THE SUN

With the warmer weather and the school holidays approaching, we are more likely to be out and about more over the coming weeks.

With that in mind, sun safety is a key message I’d like to share this month. The best way to enjoy the sun safely and protect your skin from sunburn and reduce your risk of developing skin cancer is to use a combination of shade, clothing and sunscreen. Plus remember to keep hydrated and drink plenty to water.

When the sun is strong, spend time in the shade (particularly between 11am and 3pm). Cover up with light, loose fitting clothes, a hat and sunglasses. Use a sunscreen with a protection level of at least SPF15 (sun protection factor or UVB - ultraviolet B radiation - protection) and 4 stars UVA - ultraviolet A radiation protection). With both, the higher the rating the better and remember to use it generously and reapply regularly.

Remember to check the expiry date on your sunscreen, noting how long they can be used once opened.

Remember babies, children and very fair skinned people should avoid direct sunlight as their skin is far more sensitive.

I hope you have a happy and fun-filled summer.

Save the date! If you haven't already, make sure you have the Knowsley Feelgood Festival and Flower Show in your diary.

The Feelgood Festival takes place on Saturday 4 August from 1pm until 4pm with a range of fun activities to boost your heart rate as well as activities to relax and de-stress you. 

Following this on Sunday 5 August from 11am until 4pm is the 20th Knowsley Flower Show, with a huge display of prize winning flowers, plants, vegetables and crafts.

Both events are family fun-filled days of entertainment, taking place at Court Hey Park in Huyton. Further information is available on www.knowsleynews.co.uk

Posted by Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health for Knowsley and Sefton on July 3rd, 2018

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HEALTHY KNOWSLEY By Dr Sarah McNulty, Acting Director of Public Health

BE CANCER AWARE AND GET SCREENED

Many of you will have been affected by cancer at some point in your life - it could be yourself or someone you know who has been diagnosed with cancer.

Cancer screening aims... Read more »


Posted by

on April 4th, 2019



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