View this email in your browser
In this month's newsletter:

Annual General Meeting Feedback

Trust is 'good' overall

Join the war on antibiotic resistance

Help to reduce A&E Gridlock

Waste Medicines

Back Pain

Seven Sun Facts

Managing asthma symptoms in summer

Health awareness days
World Breastfeeding Week
National Eye Health Week
National Older Persons Day


Welcome to the July 2016
Cannock Chase CCG Newsletter

Working together to make our area the healthiest place to live and work

Dr Mo Huda / Dr John James / Dr Paddy Hannigan / Andrew DonaldWe have worked closely together with South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula CCG and Stafford and Surrounds CCG over the last year. We now have one management team led by one Accountable Officer. The doctors (GPs) from our practices have also started to work more closely together. They have helped us in our work to improve the quality of care and save money by being more efficient. They have helped us make decisions about the services we buy (or ‘commission’). We have kept our promise to improve our financial situation, which is still a priority for us. Now that our finances are more stable, we can focus more on making sure our patients have a good experience of our services.

We are spending public money so it is important to make good decisions. We talk to local people to find out what matters to them. This helps make sure we spend money on what is really needed. By working together as much as possible, the three CCGs can make a bigger difference. We also work with local councils, local NHS organisations, primary care providers (including district nurses, opticians, dentists, pharmacists and therapists), the public, and voluntary and community groups. Together we want to help local people be healthier and happier. We also want them to be free to look after their own health. Our three CCGs have a lot to be proud of. We have made a difference to more people by working together.  

Follow this link to read more

Our Annual Report is also online now

Annual General Meeting Feedback

Cannock's CCG's AGM took place on 7 July where we celebrated some key achievements with patients and the public at.  We shared our vision, values and goals, which were developed across the three CCGs in partnership with staff, clinicians and the public. There was also a presentation on the Together We’re Better pan Staffordshire transformation programme and an update on the Cannock Practices Network Surgery. Many partners from community and voluntary sectors had stalls in the AGM marketplace, showcasing local work to improve health and wellbeing, and presentations showcased local projects and success stories.

The presentations are now online at

Trust is 'Good' Overall

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has recently published its report detailing the findings of the Comprehensive Inspection of the services provided by South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (SSSFT) which took place at the end of March.
The Trust has been rated at ‘good’ overall and ‘good’ for all five questions that are asked.  
The report is made up of 12 specific service reports and an overall summary. The table below details the ratings that the CQC has given each service, and for each question asked, including an ‘outstanding’ rating for community based mental health services for older people.

Find out more

Cannock urged to join the war on antibiotic resistance

Patients in the Cannock area are being urged to use antibiotics responsibly to keep them in good health and prevent disease-resistant infection from spreading.

antibioticsAntibiotics are a vital tool for treating infections such as pneumonia, meningitis and tuberculosis and for preventing infections during surgical procedures and cancer treatment. However, the more antibiotics are used the less effective they become because overuse gives resistant bacteria a greater chance to survive and spread.

Dr Mo Huda, Chair of Cannock Chase CCG, said: “It is a common misconception that antibiotics are a cure-all – but the reality is they just won’t work in the case of a cold or the flu.

“Patients should be assured that when antibiotics are necessary they will be prescribed – but for other conditions alternative advice on symptom management will be provided rather than prescribing an antibiotic if it will not be effective.

“There are many different types of antibiotics but they only work against bacterial infections, not viral infections such as colds, coughs and flu. Doctors and patients should also consider that antibiotics can have side effects.”

Antibiotic resistance is one of the most significant threats to patients’ safety worldwide. Infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria increase levels of disease and death, as well as the length of time people stay in hospitals. Doctors warn that as bacterial resistance grows it will become more difficult to treat infection.
Read more


Hospital staff ask public
for help in reducing A&E Gridlock


University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust is appealing for support from the local community to reduce the pressures on hospital services through responsible use of A&E, and by helping their relatives to return home or to their next place of care in a timely manner once they no longer need a hospital bed. 

Despite regular appeals, seven in ten of those attending A&E do not need to be admitted and many of these could be treated elsewhere. The hospital also regularly has patients who are waiting for relatives to come and collect them, which prevents beds being used for those most in need causing a gridlock. This has a knock-on effect on the cancellation of routine operations. 

During the summer 150 patients on average are admitted to hospital every day at Royal Stoke University Hospital and County Hospital. However, delays in being able to discharge elderly patients home or to community services means that many patients who need to be admitted have to stay in A&E for long periods waiting for a bed on a ward to become available.  A patient who is ready to leave an acute hospital to go home, to a care home or to a community hospital is known as ‘medically fit for discharge’. These patients are sometimes delayed leaving the hospital whilst they wait for their family to collect them, for families to agree where on-going care can be provided, for a home care package to be agreed or for a community bed to become available.

University Hospitals of North Midlands does plan for nearly 70 patients who are medically fit for discharge being delayed at any one time. However, this summer the average number of patients who are medically fit for discharge has exceeded 150, and recently reached 200, which is 15% of all beds available at the hospitals.

Read more

Waste Medicines

There is no such thing as a free prescription

Did you know ....

Unused prescription medicines cost the NHS in the UK an estimated £300million every year. This could pay for ...

11,778 MORE community nurses or

80,906 MORE hip replacements or

19,799 MORE drug treatment courses for breast cancer or

300,000 MORE drug treatment courses for Alzheimer's or

312,175 MORE cataract operations

Back Pain

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. It's not generally caused by a serious condition.In most cases back pain will improve in a few weeks or months, although some people experience long-term pain or pain that keeps coming back.  Find out more about the causes of back pain.

Types of back pain
Backache is most common in the lower back (lumbago), although it can be felt anywhere along your spine, from your neck down to your hips.

man / woman with back acheRead information on neck pain and shoulder pain, which are covered separately.  

Sometimes back pain can be caused by an injury or disease, such as:

  • slipped disc – when one of the discs in the spine is damaged and presses on the nerves
  • sciatica – irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve, which causes pain, numbness and tingling that travels down one leg
  • whiplash – neck injury caused by a sudden impact
  • frozen shoulder – inflammation around the shoulder that causes pain and stiffness
  • ankylosing spondylitis – a long-term condition that causes pain and stiffness where the spine meets the pelvis
What to do 
Most cases of back pain get better on their own and you may not need to see a doctor.  If you've only had back pain for a few days or weeks, the following advice may help relieve your symptoms and speed up your recovery:
  • remain as active as possible and try to continue with your daily activities
  • take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen if you feel you need to
  • use hot or cold compression packs – you can buy these from your local pharmacy, or a bag of frozen vegetables and a hot water bottle will work just as well

Although it can be difficult to be cheerful or optimistic if you are in pain, it's important to stay positive as this can help you recover faster.

Read more ...

Seven Sun Facts



Lots of us love lounging around in the sun. But too much sun can give you wrinkles, sunburn, and put you at risk of skin cancer.  Dr Julie Sharp of Cancer Research UK answers seven important questions about the effect of sun on your skin and the importance of sunscreen.
sunburnHow long can sunburn last?
Days. You can get sunburnt in just 10 minutes, even in the UK. If you overdo it at a festival or on holiday, skin can be red, painful and peeling for a week or more.  Sunburn also damages your skin for life and doubles your risk of skin cancer.
What suncream should I use?
Use factor 15 plus with UVA and UVB protection, and apply regularly (every two to three hours). Use more after swimming. The paler your skin is, the more care you need to take. If you're blonde, a redhead, have fair skin or lots of moles or freckles, you have a higher risk of skin cancer and need to take extra care.
I'm black. Is sun exposure still dangerous?
Yes. Black skin can burn too – it just takes more heat to do it. Although very dark black skin has a natural SPF, we still advise using an SPF of 15. Although skin cancer is less common in black people, it tends to be more aggressive. Take particular care of the soles of your feet and palms of your hands, as they're more prone to skin cancer. 
Sun makes me feel good. What's so bad about it anyway?
sunshineRight now the worst thing about it might seem like sunburn and strap marks, but give it a few years and you could have wrinkles, moles, freckles, brown patches and, sometimes, skin cancer. Every year, more than 2,000 people die from malignant melanoma, and more than two people aged 15 to 34 are diagnosed with malignant melanoma every day in the UK.
Is sunbathing really worse when you're a teenager?

Yes, younger skin is more easily damaged than older skin. And you can't undo the damage. Once you've been sunburnt your skin will age prematurely.
I'm still not persuaded. Anything else to put me off?
The most common kind of skin cancer is rarely fatal. But it can be seriously disfiguring. If skin cancer is found on the face, it has to be cut out and may even need plastic surgery. There is a risk of permanent scarring, or part of your nose may have to be cut away.
Are sunbeds safer?
No. Getting a tan on a sunbed will increase your risk of getting skin cancer and make you look old.  It's illegal for under-18s to use sunbeds. Find more information on the Cancer Research UK website.

sunny scenes

Managing asthma symptoms in summer


flowerMost people look forward to the summer but if you suffer from asthma, the warmer months often mean your symptoms get worse. This is usually caused by air pollution and hay fever, but don’t despair – there are ways to avoid them so you can get on with enjoying the sunshine!

Air pollution
A recent survey found that 86% of asthma suffers have to use their reliever inhaler more often due to air pollution. Air pollution is caused by small particles and ground level ozone that comes from car exhaust, smoke, road dust and factory emissions. Outdoor air pollution rises as the temperature does causing asthma symptoms to worsen.
How to prevent exposure to air pollution
While you can usually tell what the air quality is like from your symptoms it’s also possible to check the air quality in your area at If air pollution levels increase, you will usually find that you have to use your reliever inhaler to control your asthma symptoms more often. However, you should also consider reducing strenuous activities when air quality is low.
Summer allergies
According to the Asthma Society of Ireland, 60 to 80% of asthma sufferers have hay fever and this typically exacerbates asthma symptoms. Although allergies to tree pollen can begin in early spring, those to grasses and weeds usually start in late spring and can continue into the autumn. However, even if you suffer from hay fever you can take steps to reduce your exposure to pollen and manage your asthma symptoms as a result.
How to prevent summer allergies
There are a number of things you can do to reduce the effects of allergies on your asthma. Knowing when the pollen count is high is the first step so you can limit your exposure. Once the hay fever season is here, you should also try the following:
  1. Make sure you are using your controller inhaler regularly if you have one. Consider using hay fever treatments on a regular basis- antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays are both very effective
  2. Try to avoid parks and fields where the pollen will be highest. Showering when you get in, washing your hair and changing your clothes will also help to remove pollen
  3. Ask someone else to cut the grass and weed for you, as woman using an inhalerthese will usually make your hay fever worse
  4. When inside you should close doors and windows, especially at the peak pollen times of mid-morning and early evening.
Are you using the correct inhaler technique?

Health Awareness Days

World Breastfeeding Week
1-7 August 2016

mother and child

In September 2015, the world's leaders committed to 17 goals aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity. Together, ​they​ form the ​Sustainable Development​ Goals​. We all have a part to play in achieving these goals​ by 2030​. 

The World Breastfeeding Week 2016 theme is about how breastfeeding is a key element in getting us to think about how to value our wellbeing from the start of life, how to respect each other and care for the world we share. Find out more

National Eye Health Week
19-25 September 2016

An eyeThe seventh annual National Eye Health Week (NEHW) will take place 19-25 September 2016. Once again, eye care charities, organisations and health professionals from across the UK are joining together to promote the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests for all.  

Answer these quick questions for find out if you could be doing more to keep your eyes and vision healthy.

National Older Persons Day
1 October 2016

Older peopleYoung or old?   We're all part of the same mould!  As the population changes, the country will too.  We need to improve attitudes towards older people and appreciate the roles they play in society more.  They can be forgotten about and sometimes treated like lesser members of society.  That's definitely not how I want to be treated when I'm older, so let's take care of the elderly in the present and carry it on to the future!  Find out more

This email was sent to
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Cannock Chase Clinical Commissioning Group · Staffordshire Place 2 · Stafford, ST16 2LP · United Kingdom

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp