Earlier this month saw the launch of the annual Stoptober campaign. Did you know that after 28 days smoke free you’re five times more likely to quit for good? The GM Health Hub offers further support advice for residents in Greater Manchester, including 6 months free access to the Smoke Free app https://www.gmhealthhub.org/smoking
Our flu planning is well underway and so far we have made a good start in vaccinating people in the over 65s category and those with long term conditions. If you or a member of your family is eligible for a free jab, be sure to look out for your opportunity to get protected. Pregnant women are urged to get protected with the flu vaccine as soon as possible and also a reminder to parents of school aged children to please return the flu consent form. I will be talking more about flu and the flu vaccine on Crescent Radio on Friday 30th October at 9.30 am so tune in if you can to get more information and advice.
Since my last blog there have been further developments and the government announced a new system of coronavirus measures to be applied across England. The three-level system places every part of the country into either medium, high or very high level areas with different rules and restrictions applying to each.
Our cases remain very high, over 400 per 100,000 people and we remain one of the worst-affected areas in the region and country.
We, along with the rest of Greater Manchester have been placed into the very high level category. This replaces the Greater Manchester restrictions from midnight on the 23 October.
The main points to be aware of are –
- You are not allowed to meet socially with anybody who is not part of your household, or support bubble, indoors.
- You cannot meet in private or pub gardens, but can meet in parks, beaches, countryside or forests, as long as you are not in a group of more than six.
- Pubs and bars must close unless they are serving substantial meals. Alcohol can only be served as part of a meal.
- People are being advised not to travel into or out of Tier 3 areas, other than for work, education, youth services or because of caring responsibilities.
- Casinos, bingo halls and betting shops, adult gaming centres and soft play areas must close in all Tier 3 areas.
To keep up to date with the latest measures in place visit the Rochdale council website here.
As a reminder, everyone should continue to wear face coverings in shops and all public places, as much as possible, keep two metres apart at all times, avoid physical contact with anyone outside your own household, including shaking hands or hugging, do not meet people from different households either indoors or in private gardens, do not share a vehicle with anyone outside your household, only visit venues such as bars, pubs, restaurants and places of worship with your own household or support bubble, do not visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances.
Thank you to everyone who has already downloaded the NHS Covid 19 app. The app is the fastest way of knowing when you are at risk of coronavirus, the faster you know, the quicker you can alert and protect your loved ones. If you haven’t downloaded it yet you can find out more at covid19.nhs.uk
If you do have Coronavirus symptoms you should get a test. The local test centres are open to all adults and children, more details of the testing centres can be found here. To arrange a test you must book through the NHS website and choose from the following options:
- Test site at a local test centre
- Test site at a drive through centre not in the borough
- Home test
You can book a test here: rochdale.gov.uk/coronavirus
Our virtual meetings continue and you are welcome to join our meetings ‘held in public’
The CCG’s next governing body meeting which will be live streamed again will take place from 9.30 on the 20th November and available to watch live here: https://www.youtube.com/NHSHMRCCG
Governing body meetings take place every two months and they are where official business is discussed and formal decisions are made about everything from policies to which health services will be commissioned. If you would like to submit a question that will be answered at the beginning of the meeting you can do so by emailing us at email@example.com or by filling in the form at; https://www.hmr.nhs.uk/get-in-touch/contact-us/governing-body-meeting-enquiry. Please note questions are to be sent before 12 noon on Thursday 19 November. The papers for the Governing Body meeting will be available to view seven days before the meeting and can be found on the Governing Body page of our website
Thank you for reading
Dr Chris Duffy