Health Alerts & Wellbeing

Heat warning – take care

15 July 2022

The Met Office has extended an amber extreme heat warning as temperatures continue to stay extremely high this week and next week

Temperatures could reach in excess of 35°C in the south east. Please look out for each other during the hot weather – the heat can affect anyone, but for some it can have serious effects on their health; older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk. Advice to combat the heat is to:

  • Stay cool indoors by closing curtains on rooms that face the sun – and remember that it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals.
  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, when the UV rays are strongest
  • Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • Use high factor 30-50 SPF with a high star UVA rating, apply sun cream 20 mins before going out and every 2 hours in the sun and make sure your sun cream is in date, if it has been open for more than 12 months it may not be as effective
  • Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
  • Make sure you take water to drink with you
  • Look out for people who may need support in your community and check on older people or sick neighbours, family or friends every day during hot weather

What to do if emergency treatment is needed
If you suspect someone has heatstroke, you can call 111 – or 999 if it is a life-threatening situation. Steps you can take include:

  • Taking the person’s temperature.
  • If possible, move them somewhere cooler.
  • Cool them down as quickly as possible by giving them a cool shower, sprinkling them with water or wrapping them in a damp sheet, and using a fan to create an air current.
  • Encouraging them to drink fluids if they are conscious.

Are you at risk of Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer found in men in the UK – around 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetime.

Who is at risk of prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer can affect men of any age. However, there are certain groups that are at an increased risk of developing prostate cancer:

  • Men aged 50 or older
  • Men of African-Caribbean or African descent
  • Men who have a family history of prostate cancer
  • Men who are obese

There is also an increased risk for men who have a direct family history of breast cancer through their mother or sister.

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer usually develops slowly, and often do not appear until the prostate is large enough to affect the urethra. The most common symptoms of prostate include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Needing to pee more frequently, especially during the night
  • Needing to rush to toilet
  • Difficulty in starting or stopping urination
  • Straining or taking a long time while peeing
  • Weak flow
  • Feeling your bladder has not emptied fully
  • Blood in urine or blood in semen.

Some of the above symptoms, such as needing to pee more frequently, may be thought to be a normal aspect of growing older. It is vital that people do not ignore these symptoms.

What should you do if you’re concerned that you or someone you know has prostate cancer?

If anyone you speak to is describing these symptoms, or knows someone who is experiencing them, they should contact their GP as soon as possible.

You can also call Prostate Cancer UK Specialist Nurses – 0800 074 83830 -for free and confidential information and support.

Most people experiencing the symptoms listed above won’t have prostate cancer. However, by contacting their GP or Prostate Cancer UK Specialist Nurses, they can be provided with either peace of mind, or faster diagnosis which means quicker treatment and better outcomes for them.

Download an easy read booklet on Prostate Cancer

 

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Taking the fear out of breast screening

Do the test for it – go for it is the message behind a new short video, which aims to take the fear out of breast screening for women with learning disabilities.

Made by, and for, women with learning disabilities the film encourages women not to be scared of screening and to have the test if they want to.

It features a variety of women with learning disability including someone who had never had a mammogram, someone who has to come back for a recall and someone who has had breast cancer diagnosed by screening.

The project to make the film was led by Ingrid Fuchs, a lead clinical nurse specialist at Avon Breast Screening together with biggerhouse film on behalf of Public Health England (PHE).

PHE has also developed easy read guidance accompanied by images explaining what happens when a woman comes for a mammogram.

Do the test – go for it! A film by women with learning disabilities for women with learning disabilities.

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Helpful tool for assessing the eyesight of people with a learning disability

Many people with learning disabilities may not be able to tell others if they have concerns about their vision.

Seeability has developed a useful resource to help carers and anyone who supports someone with a learning disability observe how effectively they’re able to see.

The Functional Vision Assessment (FVA) is easy to use and is suitable for use by carers, supporters and learning disability professionals.

The FVA helps you gather useful information about how much the person is able to see and how they use their sight – which can then be shared at eye tests and hospital eye clinic appointments.

Download a pdf of the Functional Vision Assessment.

 

It’s time to talk about poo

It’s estimated that half of people with a learning disability experience long-term constipation.

Causes include poor diet, dehydration, stress, lack of exercise, some medications, lack of monitoring bowel health and some physical conditions.

Many of these are commonly experienced by people with learning disabilities and, if left uncured, can cause discomfort, pain and sometimes death.

Constipation can be dangerous if not managed effectively but everyone is comfortable talking about their bowel movements.

Watch Poo & You – an animated guide to constipation by Dimensions.

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Smear tests aren’t easy for everybody, but there are ways to make them better. They prevent 75% of cervical cancers, so while they may not be pleasant, they are important.

Download an easy-read guide from the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, which explains what happens during a smear test.

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Be clear on cancer – Easy Read Leaflet

If you notice blood in your pee, even if it’s ‘just the once’, tell your doctor.  It might not be  anything serious, but there is a chance that it could be a sign of bladder or kidney cancer.

Finding cancer early makes it more treatable.

You can download an easy read leaflet, which tells you about bladder or kidney cancer.

You can also find further information at www.nhs.uk/bloodinpee

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