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Crawley residents encouraged to learn the symptoms of leukaemia this September

Members of the public in Crawley are being encouraged to learn the
symptoms of leukaemia during Blood Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) which takes place throughout September.

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Leukaemia Care, a national blood cancer charity, is attempting to raise awareness of the disease, as well as its signs and symptoms, as part of their Spot Leukaemia campaign.

In 2015, 9,900 people were diagnosed with Leukaemia. That is 27 people each day.

Leukaemia is a form of blood cancer. Blood cancer is the fifth most common cancer diagnosed in the UK today and is the third biggest cancer killer. 

Leukaemia can be hard to spot because the signs and symptoms are common to other unrelated illnesses.

The six most common symptoms experienced by all leukaemia patients prior to diagnosis are:

  • Fatigue
  • Bruising or bleeding
  • Bone/Joint pain
  • Fever or night sweats
  • Sleeping problems
  • Shortness of breath

The campaign seeks to raise awareness of what leukaemia is, the symptoms to spot and who can be affected by leukaemia. The charity wants to equip people to spot the signs and symptoms of leukaemia and urge them to visit their GP if they have any concerns. Early diagnosis saves lives and improves outcomes.

Leukaemia Care is giving away free magnets, pens and symptoms cards to raise awareness of the types of leukaemia and to empower people to visit their GP if they feel worried. They are also encouraging members of the public to take a new free leukaemia awareness course where members of the public can earn a certificate on their knowledge of leukaemia. 

Symptoms cards as well as more information about the campaign and awareness course can be found at www.spotleukaemia.co.uk

Community

Local volunteers drive GPs to essential home visits in Crawley

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Image: Dr Phoebe Danes and volunteer Chris Ball.

Local volunteers have stepped up to help drive clinicians to home visits during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The initiative was launched by local GP federation Alliance for Better Care, who have rented black cabs to provide essential transport for clinicians attending patients’ homes. 

The taxis, which have been adapted to make them easier to clean, are driven by volunteer drivers who have come forward via various community Facebook groups.

Thanks to the layout of the cab, drivers are completely separated from the clinician who is also afforded extra space in the cab to put on PPE and write up notes. 

Matt Cullis, practice manager at Leacroft Medical Practice said:

“Our surgery is still open to treat patients, however, home visits have become particularly important for those who are shielding and not wanting to leave their homes. This service saves us time and allows our doctors to travel to appointments in an environment that can be easily cleaned and has room to put on PPE.”

Alliance for Better Care is the GP federation for Crawley, Horsham, Mid-Sussex and East Surrey and so far the project has been rolled out at Leacroft Surgery in Crawley and throughout Burgess Hill, with plans to extend it to East Grinstead and Horley in the coming weeks.

Katherine Saunders, ABC chief executive said:

“We have been overwhelmed with the number of volunteers who have come forward and we’d like to thank them all for offering to support this service. We are, of course, committed to protecting both our volunteers and our clinicians. We insure drivers and carry out all necessary checks while also providing PPE. This is a valuable resource for our clinicians, and increases our capacity to reach more patients.”

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