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Health & Wellbeing

New flu vaccine to help over 65s and ease pressure on local NHS

Last year saw 19 over 65 year olds ending up in hospital in the Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex area due to flu.

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Residents aged 65 and over are being urged by the local NHS to have their new and improved flu vaccine this year, and help reduce the impact of the virus on the local health care system significantly.

Winter is set to be extremely difficult for the NHS across the country, especially on A&E departments and local GP surgeries as they cope with the annual rise in numbers of people seeking treatment.

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Last year saw 19 over 65 year olds ending up in hospital in the Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex area due to flu. Those requiring hospital care caused an avoidable extra strain on the NHS, with people aged 65 costing the NHS just over £96,500 due to the flu last year.

Local doctors believe this could have been avoided had those eligible taken up the opportunity to get their free jab. Just over two thirds over 65 year olds in the West Sussex had the free flu jab last year, which means thousands went unprotected and were at risk of complications if they caught the virus. This year they will get the new and improved aTIV flu jab, which improves the body’s immune response to the vaccine.

Allison Cannon, Chief Nurse and Director of Quality for East Surrey and Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: 

“The coming winter could really tough for the NHS and local staff are doing everything they can to prepare for the extra pressures we expect, now we are calling on the public to play their part and get the free flu jab if they are eligible.

“The new vaccine for over 65 year olds could reduce GP flu consultations and hospitalisations, freeing up busy NHS staff to provide care for those in most need, so we are calling on those eligible to claim their free flu jab so they don’t add unnecessary pressures to local health and care services.”

Local GPs are receiving their flu vaccine stock for over the coming months in phases, those aged over 65 years old should contact their GP practice to claim their free flu jab.

Find out more about the flu vaccine at www.nhs.uk

Health & Wellbeing

Free cancer course comes to Crawley

A leading cancer charity is hosting a free support course in Crawley for people with cancer and their close supporter.

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Penny Brohn UK’s two-day Living Well course takes place at the Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre, West Green Drive, on 6 and 13 July, from 10am to 5.30pm.

The course addresses cancer’s physical and psychological impact and shows how healthy eating, exercise and relaxation can improve health and wellbeing, before, during and after medical treatment.

Penny Brohn UK Living Well regional partnership manager Supriya More said:

“Cancer can be overwhelming, but many small things can add up to make a big difference to the way people cope as they prepare for, undergo or recover from treatment.

“Our Living Well helps people take back some control of their lives.”

A recent course attendee added:

“I highly recommend this to everyone with cancer and those supporting them.

“If anything, it was more valuable to my husband (I’m the one with cancer) – it gave him the opportunity to talk to others in the same situation.”

With nearly 40 years’ experience, Penny Brohn UK recognises that people with cancer need more than medicine.

Its Bristol Whole Life Approach provides integrated whole person cancer support that works alongside medical treatment to achieve the best health and wellbeing.

The approach explores areas such as diet, exercise, relationships and managing stress, through free residential and day courses, one-to-one therapies, groups and national helpline.

Living Well courses are free and empower people with cancer and their supporters to rediscover their joy of living.

Places are limited and first come, first served. To attend the course you must book in advance by calling 0303 3000 118 or emailing bookings@pennybrohn.org.uk. For more information visit www.pennybrohn.org.uk.

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