Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

Health

Hywel Dda encourages vaccination as flu expected to be a major public health issue this winter

Published

on

HYWEL DDA University Health Board is urging anyone who is eligible for a free flu vaccine to take up the offer.

It comes as Public Health experts have warned that they are expecting a significant flu season this winter for the first time since the pandemic.

There are concerns that it may start earlier this year and affect more people.

In addition, the Covid-19 autumn booster programme is now live and many people including everyone over 50 years old, and those at risk of severe disease are among those being offered a Covid-19 booster to reduce their chances of getting seriously ill with Covid-19.

If you are eligible for an autumn COVID-19 booster, please wait to be invited by either your GP or the health board. Everyone eligible will be offered an appointment by November.

GP practices are also preparing to invite eligible patients for their seasonal flu vaccine and aim to offer an appointment to everyone eligible by December. Again, please do not contact your GP practice at this time, you will be invited when it is your turn.

Cases of flu (also known as influenza) are already being detected in Wales. Public health scientists say that the flu season could be as severe as the 2017/18 flu outbreak, where 16.5 thousand people in Wales were diagnosed with flu by their GP, and 2,500 people were hospitalised. There was also a high level of seasonal excess deaths that year – the worst for around 20 years.

Since March 2020, the Covid-19 lockdowns and international travel restrictions have disrupted the amount of respiratory viruses in circulation, but as our lives are going back to normal, viruses are returning in higher numbers. This year, Australia experienced a flu season which was earlier than usual and saw the highest case levels in five years. It is possible that the UK – and Wales – will experience similar flu activity.

With Covid-19 also in circulation, and added winter pressures on the NHS, it is more important than ever that those who are eligible for a free flu or Covid-19 vaccine get vaccinated to help prevent them becoming seriously unwell and protect the NHS this winter.

Dr Joanne McCarthy, Deputy Director of Public Health at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Flu is caused by the influenza virus. It can be a very unpleasant illness and also lead to serious problems, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

“The pandemic has made us much more aware that vaccination saves lives and reduces hospitalisations. Vaccination may not stop you from catching flu or COVID-19, but it makes it far less likely that you will be severely ill or need hospitalisation.”

Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and Social Services, said: “We are encouraging everyone to get both their jabs this winter, when flu and COVID will be at their peak, to protect themselves, those around them and the NHS during what will be a busy time for healthcare in Wales.”

To promote the vaccinations, Public Health Wales has launched a campaign encouraging those eligible to ‘power up’ their protection against serious illness this winter by getting the flu and Covid-19 vaccines. The campaign launches on 27 September with digital and social content as well as stakeholder outreach and radio adverts.

Vaccination is particularly important for those who are older, pregnant, or have a health condition and are more vulnerable to complications as a result of the infections. It is also very important that frontline healthcare workers and those who work in care homes or providing care in peoples own homes get their vaccines to help reduce spread.

To help stop flu and other viruses spreading, remember to ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.’

For more information about how to get the vaccines, please visit https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/immunisation-and-vaccines/flu-vaccine-and-covid-19-autumn-booster/.

Education

Care is Apprenticeship Ambassador Elen’s true vocation

Published

on

ELEN LEWIS is developing a career in health and social care thanks to a bilingual Foundation Apprenticeship opportunity provided by Blaenmarlais Care Home in Narberth.

Elen, 19, who lives in Narberth, believes care is her true vocation and may consider training to become a hospital nurse in the future.

Due to her passion for the Welsh language and apprenticeships, she has been appointed an Apprenticeship Ambassador by Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (CCC) and the National Training Federation of Wales (NTfW).

Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol leads the development of Welsh medium and bilingual education and training in the post-compulsory sector in Wales and the NTfW represents work-based learning providers across Wales.

She began working at Blaenmarlais Care Home 18 months ago, having previously taken a Health and Social Care Level 3 course at Pembrokeshire College. She is now completing her Foundation Apprenticeship in Health and Social Care through City & Guilds, delivered by the same college and hopes to progress to a Level 3 Apprenticeship.

Happy speaking in both Welsh and English to improve her language skills, Elen said: “I love my job because it’s so rewarding to care for our residents and develop a relationship with them. A couple of them enjoy having a conversation in Welsh.

She is proud to be an Apprenticeship Ambassador because, she says, it gives her a chance to promote the Welsh language: “I like apprenticeships because they allow people to earn while they learn, which is one of the main reasons I was not interested in going to university.

“Welsh medium and bilingual apprenticeships provide an opportunity to learn in the language of your choice and encourages the use of the Welsh language, which is important.

“We have spoken Welsh in my family for generations and it’s a unique language to our country and should be preserved. It’s a real bonus when you go into a job and you have an opportunity to speak both Welsh and English.”

Helen Hill is deputy manager of Blaenmarlais Care Home, which has 22 residents and 30 staff, including four apprentices. Despite only two residents speaking Welsh, she thinks it’s important that they are able to converse in the language of their choice.

“We support the opportunity for our staff to do bilingual apprentices if they wish,” she said. “I am one of five members of staff who speak Welsh and am proud of the language and my heritage.”

Janice Morgan, Pembrokeshire College’s Welsh language development officer, has taken on an extra role as bilingual support tutor, funded by Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol.

“Elen is an excellent Apprenticeship Ambassador and fully realises the importance of using her Welsh language skills in her work setting when speaking to residents and staff in their first language,” she said.

Lisa Mytton, the NTfW’s strategic director, said: “Many workplaces are becoming more bilingual, so completing an apprenticeship bilingually or in Welsh can increase an individual’s confidence to work in both languages and their employability.

“Our Apprenticeship Ambassadors are excellent role models for apprenticeships, highlighting the benefits of learning and working bilingually in the workplace.”

Elin Williams, from the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, said: “This is the third year running that we have appointed ambassadors for the apprenticeship sector, and we think this is a vital tool in showing people that it is possible to continue with your bilingual learning through the apprenticeship route.

“With the Welsh Government’s target to reach one million Welsh speakers by 2050, it has never been more important to develop your bilingual skills and increase your employability prospects.”

The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

To find out more about apprenticeship opportunities go to Careers Wales https://careerswales.gov.wales/apprenticeships or telephone 0800 028 4844.

Continue Reading

Health

How to keep your children smiling with regular dental visits

Published

on

WE KNOW that seeing a child’s happy, healthy smile can brighten up a parent’s day. We also know that juggling work, school commitments, kids’ activities and behaviour can make it difficult to help your children to establish an oral health routine – especially if they’re reluctant to brush (which they often are!).
Regular dental visits help children get into a good oral health routine, as well as ensuring that any problems or signs of tooth decay are detected at an early stage. As dental professionals, we at Elegant Dental Care are aware of the worrying state of the oral health of young people in the UK, and are ready and able to help reinforce the importance of good diet and oral hygiene habits.
Almost a third of children in the UK have had between one and five fillings, and one in ten children have missed a full day of school due to tooth decay. Extractions remain high in children who have had tooth decay. Almost 1 in 4 children have cavities and of these nearly half nearly end up with an extraction, the majority of which have to be done in hospital.*
Did you know damage to children’s baby teeth can cause problems for adult teeth in the future? Here are some top tips to help establish a good oral health routine and equip your child with healthy habits for life when it comes to their mouth, teeth and gums.
As part of an oral health routine, we recommend that children brush for two minutes, twice a day with fluoride toothpaste suitable for their age group.
Children often hurry when brushing their teeth. Tiredness, general reluctance and lack of time are among the most common problems parents experience when helping their children to establish an effective oral health routine. Many parents find brushing their child’s teeth for them is the most effective way to help them learn how to brush.
A toothbrush timer is a great investment as younger children don’t always have a concept of what two minutes feels like. There are lots of timers available from cheap sand timers to fun electric ones. There are also some great brushing apps available that you can download for free.
For begrudging brushers try a brushing reward chart so they can plot their progress and see the results of their good work.
And if you’ve not already done so, here’s your reminder to book your child’s next dental appointment. At Elegant Dental Care we offer dental plans for children, from £5.80 a month. Our plans include check-ups, restorative treatment, advice and preventive care. Call 01646 681114 email chris.elegantdentalcare@gmail.com today.

*Denplan Consumer Oral Health Survey 2021

Continue Reading

Health

Call for more funding for NHS pay in Wales

Published

on

THE UK GOVERNMENT has been urged to increase the amount of funding available for NHS pay.

Ahead of the Autumn statement, Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and Welsh Health Minister Eluned Morgan have written to UK Health Secretary Steve Barclay to ask for additional funding to help avert strike action this winter in the NHS.

The letter reads: “We wanted to write to you in advance of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on 17th November to once again make the case for additional funding for our hardworking NHS staff.

“In recent weeks the Deputy First Minister of Scotland and the Welsh Government Minister for Finance and Local Government have written to His Majesty’s Treasury to make clear the need for additional funding for public services.

“The Royal College of Nursing have announced a sweeping legal mandate for industrial action across the UK. In Scotland, they have joined several other unions representing NHS staff in gaining a legal mandate for industrial action with ballots expected to confirm a mandate in the rest of the UK.

“The risk to the NHS of industrial action this winter is profound, and we all need to do all we can to avert industrial action in any form. The NHS across the UK continues to feel the effects of the pandemic as it recovers and remobilises, and any action is likely to have catastrophic effects in all parts of the UK.

“We are experiencing a cost of living crisis and the anger of NHS staff is entirely understandable. Sky rocketing inflation combined with high interest rates, a direct result of the havoc caused by the UK Government’s mini-budget, means that we are simply unable to come close to matching the expectations of NHS staff across the country. While the support provided by the UK Government on areas such as support for energy bills is welcome, it has not gone nearly far enough.

“Media reports suggest that the Chancellor is considering reimposing austerity on the people of the UK again, for which there is no mandate, through extensive spending cuts. That would be a disaster for our public services, including the NHS, at a time when they need more investment, not less.

“We would therefore implore you to work with us to make the case to the Chancellor in advance of his Autumn Statement for increased funding for the NHS and the devolved governments as a whole, primarily to pay our hard working NHS staff a fair pay rise in the face of the cost of living crisis this winter, and avoid what could be catastrophic industrial action in the NHS.”

Continue Reading

News3 days ago

Police called following serious incident at Ysgol Harri Tudur

POLICE have been called following a serious incident of threatening behaviour at Ysgol Harri Tudur Today (December 6). The Pembrokeshire...

Charity3 days ago

First Christmas on call for new St Davids RNLI Coxswain following in proud family tradition

THE RNLI in Wales will see hundreds of its volunteer lifeboat crews sacrifice time with their loved ones to save...

News4 days ago

Fishguard RNLI launch to assist sailboat in difficulty

FISHGUARD RNLI was tasked to assist a yacht which was heading for Aberystwth and which had departed Fishguard harbour early...

News4 days ago

Father and son jailed for their part in family drug operation in Carmarthenshire

A FAMILY who set up a sophisticated cannabis factory in rural Carmarthenshire, which estimated to have brought in £4.3m during...

Business4 days ago

£3m funding scheme for marine, fisheries and aquaculture projects announced

A £3 MILLION funding scheme to support the fisheries, marine and aquaculture sectors is now open for expressions of interest,...

Business5 days ago

Pembrokeshire Mortgage Centre fined £2.3m for ‘woeful pensions advice’

THE FINANCIAL CONDUCT AUTHORITY (FCA) has fined Pembrokeshire Mortgage Centre Limited, which was based in Saundersfoot, £2,354,331 for unsuitable advice...

News5 days ago

Appeal after pedestrian suffers serious injuries in collision

OFFICERS from Dyfed-Powys Police are investigating a collision between a car and a pedestrian, who was using a walking frame,...

News6 days ago

Six jailed for trafficking cocaine and cannabis to Pembrokeshire

SIX people have been jailed for their parts in an organised crime gang (OCG) which trafficked large quantities of cocaine...

News1 week ago

Missing person appeal: Have you seen Eryl?

POLICE are looking for help with locating a missing woman from Pembroke. 68-year-old Eryl may be wearing jeans and a...

Business1 week ago

Pembs CBD UK’s first high street store partnered with medical cannabis clinic

THE PEMBROKESHIRE CBD CENTRE has become the first high street CBD company in the country to be in partnership with...

Popular This Week