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ePanel Round-up: November 2019

Every mind matters  

Public Health England recently launched its Every mind matters campaign which encourages people to be more aware of their mental health and offers useful tips and advice to achieving better mental health and wellbeing.

Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. There are simple things we can all do to look after our mental health and wellbeing:
  • Reduce caffeine and alcohol especially immediately before bedtime;
  • Eat a balanced diet and take regular exercise to help reduce stress and increase your energy levels;
  • Take time to do what makes you happy - maybe reading a book, cooking or going to the cinema;
  • Plan and prepare for busy times so you don't become overwhelmed;
  • Try a new hobby or learn a new skill.
You can also take a short quiz which will generate a Mind Plan to help you feel more in control, deal with stress and anxiety, boost your mood and improve your sleep.

Exciting opportunity to get involved  

We are seeking three Public Members to be part of the Community Ambassador Task and Finish Group, which will oversee the design and development of the Sussex wide Community Ambassador Project. Our Public Member roles are incredibly important as they champion the voice of our patients and communities and ensure that the organisation never loses sight of the people it serves.

The Public Member roles are:
  • Public Member (Volunteer Lead);
  • Public Member (Equality and Diversity Lead);
  • Public Member (Strategic Lead).
The Public Members will work together with members of the Task and Finish Group to monitor and review the progress of the project, develop role descriptions, design governance policies and encourage transparency in the work of the CCGs.

If you are interested and want to know more about this opportunity please read the full role description and application form. The closing date for applications is Wednesday 13 November

Flu vaccine: protect yourself and help ease NHS pressures  

Having the free flu jab could stop vulnerable people ending up in hospital, or even dying, this winter, the local NHS has warned.  

Last year, 169 people ended up in hospital across Coastal West Sussex due to flu and there were also a small number of deaths across Sussex as a result of the viral infection. The influx of people needing medical care due to flu caused extra strain on hospitals last year and cost the NHS more than a £360,000.

Local doctors believe this could have been avoided had those eligible taken up the opportunity to get their free jab.

Allison Cannon, Chief Nurse Officer for East Surrey and Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups, said:  

“Last year, around 1 in 4 of those eligible in Coastal West Sussex  did not claim their free flu jab. This year, residents should be vaccinated as they will be better protected from flu than ever before. We hope this improved vaccine will help ease pressures on local health services by leading to fewer avoidable GP appointments, fewer people needing hospital care and fewer deaths from flu.”

Those who can claim a free flu jab, include:
  • All children aged two to ten (not eleven years or older) on 31 August 2019, this covers nurseries, Reception through school years 1-6;         
  • Those aged six months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups; 
  • Pregnant women; 
  • Those aged 65 years and over; 
  • Those in long-stay residential care homes; 
  • Carers; 
  • Close contacts of immunocompromised individuals.

People identified at risk of complications can receive the flu vaccine through their GP or from their local high street pharmacist. The childhood vaccination programme uses a flu nasal spray, protecting children and anyone they come into contact with.

Speak to your GP surgery if you are unsure whether you are eligible for a free flu jab.

Sussex Health and Care Plan

We would like your feedback and comments on the developing Sussex Health and Care Plan.

The aim of the Sussex Health and Care Plan is to improve lives, extend lives and save lives by focusing on keeping people healthier for longer and giving our local populations the right care, in the right place at the right time.

The plan represents our response to the ever-changing local health and care needs of our populations and the national ambitions and expectations set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

The plan has been developed across our health and care partners over the last nine months and has been influenced by members of the public through the Our Health and Care Our Future events which I know some of you were able to attend.

If you would like to give your feedback, please do so by 8 November. The final document is expected to be published on 2 December. 

Extra support for young people

West Sussex has been successful in a bid to develop extra mental health support in schools across two pilot areas as part of NHS Englands ambition to provide specialist support for young people.

New specialist Mental Health Support Teams will work with children in over 20 schools in a joint partnership between West Sussex County Council, West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups and the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The one-year pilot will be rolled out in north-west Crawley and in Bognor Regis and Felpham. These sites were chosen as they have been identified as having the greatest need.

Working alongside schools, the teams will:
  • Provide one-to-one support to children with mild to moderate mental health issues, building on the support already available;
  • Work alongside school counsellors, nurses and designated mental health leads and introduce or develop their whole school or college approach; 
  • Liaise with external specialist services to help students with more severe needs to get the right support.
The teams will be developed over the coming months and should be in place by September 2020.    

SignLive sessions 

SignLive Video Relay service is now available for our Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users living in Sussex.

The free to use app connects the Deaf caller to a fully qualified BSL translator, before connecting to the NHS Sussex wide engagement team. Deaf BSL users can now feedback on services, take part in our BSL translated surveys and give views on public consultations. There will be a regular opportunity to speak with someone every Thursday from 2 - 4pm and a second slot which will change weekly to allow as many people to speak with us as possible. 

You can learn more by watching a BSL video clip or by clicking on the link below which explains how the service works. 

Mental health for carers  

Worthing Rethink Mental Health Carers Group is a peer support group of local people interested in Mental Health issues. The aim of the group is to provide information and support for families and friends of people affected by mental illness.

Anybody is welcome to the monthly meetings which usually include a speaker on mental health issues. Meetings are a good way to share experiences over a cup of tea and find support from people who have already been through many of the situations that you may be facing. 

The group are affiliated to Rethink, the national organisation for mental health carers, which offers support for carers and a national voice on carer issues.

Meetings are free but a small donation to cover the refreshments would be appreciated.

When: Third Monday of the month, 7pm – 9pm next meeting November 20 2019

Where: Meadowfield Hospital (Swandean), Arundel Road, Worthing, BN13 3EP (junction of Durrington Hill and A27)

For more information please contact the group coordinators on 07763 082094 or by email:

Grow your own...moustache

It is a sad reality that across the world, men die on average 6 years earlier than women, and for largely preventable reasons. Each year, the Movember campaign shines a light on the health risks men need to know about by increasing awareness to stop men dying too young.

Since 2003 Movember has funded more than 1,250 men’s health projects around the world, challenging the status quo, shaking up men’s health research and transforming the way health services reach and support men.

The main focus of this years campaign is tackling some of the biggest health issues facing men such as Prostate Cancer, Testicular Cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. 
  • Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the UK
  • Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men aged 25-49
  • On average, 13 men each day take their life by suicide in the UK
So whether you favour a Handlebar, Dali or a Fu Manchu - show your support!

Read the latest news from our partner organisations... 

Coastal bites

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