Tag Archives: nhs

Healthcare Christmas Opening Times throughout Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland

christmas_opening_hours_top_banner_uk

At the time of year when the entire health system comes under increased pressure, people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are being reminded to choose the right health service if they or a member of their family begin to feel unwell this winter.

All GP practices across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland will be open until Friday 23rd December. Practices will re-open on the 28th December with normal service as well as 29th and 30th December, between Christmas and New Year. Practices will re- open again on Tuesday January 2, 2017. Where some practices in the city would normally close at lunch time on the Thursday before Christmas, in this case 22nd December, practices will be remaining open for the full duration of the day to provide more appointments to patients before Christmas.

In addition the following practices in the city will be opening on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve for their own patients only:

GP Practice Date Times
Parker Drive

Manor Medical Centre

Saturday 24 December

Saturday 31 December

8.00am – 1.00pm

8.00am – 1.00pm

Merridale Medical Centre Saturday 24 December

Saturday 31 December

8.30am – 12.30pm
The Practice, Beaumont Leys Saturday 24 December

Saturday 31 December

8.00am – 10.00am

Healthcare Hubs Over Christmas

Patients can get an appointment with a GP or an advanced nurse practitioner at one of the hubs everyday over the holiday period, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Patients that are registered with any Leicester City GP practice can use the Westcotes hub from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, or the Belgrave and Saffron hubs, which open weekdays 6.30pm to 10pm and on weekends and bank holidays 12 noon to 8pm.

Healthcare Hub Address
Westcotes Medical Practice Westcotes Health Centre,
Fosse Road South, Leicester, LE3 0LP.
Brandon Street Surgery Belgrave Health Centre,
52 Brandon Street, Leicester, LE4 6AW.
Saffron Surgery 612 Saffron Lane, Leicester, LE2 6TD.

Appointments can be made by calling 0116 366 0560 or NHS 111 from 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week. It is the same number for all the hubs, which are located in three areas of the city. More information on the hub opening times can be found here: https://www.leicestercityccg.nhs.uk/find-a-service/healthcare-hubs/.

The three CCGs across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland want to ensure that people who need healthcare over the Christmas and New Year holidays are able to find the right service for their needs.

Anyone who needs immediate medical attention should call NHS 111, unless it is a life threatening emergency. Trained call handlers will assess any symptoms and direct patients to the most appropriate source of care.

Patients can also visit walk-in and urgent care centres across the city and county which offer quick, professional healthcare and can treat minor burns, cuts and wounds, infections and rashes, as well as stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Merlyn Vaz Walk in Centre
Spinney Hill Road
Leicester
LE5 3GH
Tel: 0116 242 9450
Open: Daily 8am – 8pm

Leicester Urgent Care Centre
Balmoral Building
Infirmary Close
Leicester
LE1 5WW
Tel: via the NHS 111 service
Open: 24 hours a day, every day

Urgent Care Centre Loughborough
Loughborough Hospital
Urgent Care Centre
Hospital Way
Loughborough
LE11 5JY
Tel: 01509 568800
Open: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Market Harborough District Hospital
58 Coventry Road
Market Harborough
LE16 9DD
Open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 9pm
Saturday and Sunday 9am to 7pm
Bank holidays 9am to 7pm

Melton Mowbray Hospital
Thorpe Road
Melton Mowbray, LE13 1SJ
Open Monday to Friday 5pm to 9pm
Saturday and Sunday 9am to 7pm
Bank holidays 9am to 7pm

Oadby Urgent Care Centre
18 The Parade
Oadby, LE2 5BJ
Open 8am to 9pm
Saturday and Sunday 8am to 8pm
Bank holidays 8am to 8pm 

Rutland Memorial Hospital
Cold Overton Road
Oakham
Rutland, LE15 6NT
Open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 9pm
Saturday and Sunday 9am to 7pm
Open bank holidays 9am to 7pm

Professor Azhar Farooqi, a GP and Chair of Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group speaking on behalf of the three CCGs, said:  “There are many health services available across the city and county. If you feel unwell but not sure which health service to use, call NHS111 whose trained call handlers can give you the right advice.

“Don’t forget your local pharmacy if you have a minor illness over the holidays. They can provide health advice and over the counter medicines conveniently in everyone’s local community.

“It is also important to remember that if you are very poorly, particularly if you are older or have a long term health condition, not to delay seeking treatment or advice. Often at this time of year people don’t want to bother busy services, but we would rather you did seek help to avoid your condition becoming very serious and you need to be admitted to hospital.”

Details of local pharmacy opening times over the Christmas and New Year holidays are available at

https://www.leicestercityccg.nhs.uk/find-a-service/which-service-is-best/your-local-pharmacy/.

LASS SEASONAL OPENING TIMES

We are closed throughout Christmas and New Year.  Our office closes this Friday, (23rd December).  We re-open on Tuesday, 3rd January 2017

EMERGENCIES

There are a number of places that you can turn to for HIV/AIDS related help and advice.  The following web page lists services and support available for HIV, AIDS and sexual health in Leicester and Leicestershire  http://www.leicestersexualhealth.nhs.uk/getting-tested-and-clinics/clinics/

PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis)

PEP is a course of HIV medication which you can take if you have been at risk of HIV infection. The course of HIV medication lasts 28 days and, if you start taking it within 72 hours of putting yourself at risk, it may be able to prevent you from becoming infected with HIV.  Further information on PEP can be found from the following link: http://www.aidsmap.com/Post-exposure-prophylaxis-PEP/page/1044883/

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Call to fund #PrEP on NHS

prepworks

Calls are being made to get a drug that prevents HIV infection in people at high risk of the virus available on the NHS in Scotland.  It follows legal battles in England over whether the NHS or local authorities should pay for it.

Story via BBC Scotland

The drug, described as a “game-changer” by experts, is used for a process known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or Prep.  The Scottish government wants its makers to apply for it to be assessed for use in Scotland.

In England, the NHS had previously said that local authorities should provide Prep because they are responsible for preventative health but the Court of Appeal insisted this fell within the remit of the NHS.

An estimated 14,000 people would be eligible for the drug – which is called Truvada.

Unlike in England, the Scottish Medicines Consortium assesses all drugs used in the NHS in Scotland so campaigners hope its transition for use in Scotland will be smoother.

BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme has learned that the Scottish government has written to Gilead, the manufacturers of the drug, to urge them to make an application.

The SMC said it was anticipating a submission from Gilead so it could make a formal judgement on whether to approve its usage.  The SMC will also make a decision on the cost-effectiveness of the drug, which costs about £450 a month to buy privately.

What does Prep do?

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or Prep for short) is a small, blue pill.

The pill works by protecting cells in the body and disabling the virus to stop it multiplying – should it enter the body.

Taking it once a day has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection by 86%.

It is currently used in the US, Canada, Australia and France to help protect gay men at the highest risk of contracting HIV.

George Valiotis, the chief executive of the charity HIV Scotland, said: “People who take Prep – they don’t get HIV.”

HIV diagnoses in Scotland have continued at an average rate of 359 per year for the past five years, according to Health Protection Scotland.

Across the UK as a whole 100,000 people are believed to be living with virus.

“We have seen no change in our HIV transmission rates over the last 10 years. They haven’t really gone down at all,” he said.

“It’s been an average in Scotland of one person a day for the last 10 years, so we know we need to do something else, and Prep is that something else.”

A spokesman for Gilead said it had been in discussions with the Scottish Medicines Consortium.

He said: “We will make our submission in the coming weeks, in accordance with the required SMC timelines and expect the review to follow normal timelines as well.”

A spokesman for the SMC said it was aware of a report which has been compiled by the charity HIV Scotland, which sought to highlight the benefits of the drug and had support from health professionals.

He said: “The SMC is awaiting a submission from the company for Truvada for use as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PreP) in HIV infection.

“We are aware of the report by the HIV PreP Short Life Working Group. While this report itself does not form part of the submission and therefore cannot be considered by the committee, we expect and encourage patient groups to submit evidence as part of the review for this medicine.

“This will be considered by our committee alongside the information submitted by the company.”

A spokesman for the Scottish government said: “The Scottish government has written to its manufacturer of Truvada to request they make a submission to the Scottish Medicines Consortium, at a fair price, so its routine use in Scotland can be considered as quickly as possible.

“Prevention of HIV infection remains a priority for the Scottish government and there is absolutely no room for complacency on such communicable diseases.”

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Norway provides #PrEP for free! Well done Norway!

ms-files

Yes, you did read that headline correct! – While our NHS is arguing why it shouldn’t be providing, cost effective, life saving and game changing anti-HIV medicine, Norway has become the first country in the world to offer at-risk citizens the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drug at no cost, as part of its National Health Service.

Norway joins Canada, France, South Africa, and the United States in offering the HIV prevention drug, although Norway is currently the only country to distribute it for free.

Multiple studies have found PrEP to be highly effective in preventing the transmission of HIV. One study found people could reduce their infection risk by 92-99% depending on how many pills they take per week.

Norway’s government lobbied for the last two years to bring PrEP to those who face an increased risk of contracting HIV — gay and bisexual men and trans women.

“PrEP will contribute to reducing the rate of new infections in the gay community, as gay men are facing a risk of infection much higher than the general population,” Leif-Ove Hansen, the president of HIV Norway, said in a statement, New Now Next reports.

An estimated 2.1 million people around the world were newly infected with HIV in 2015, bringing the current total to approximately 36.7 million people.

While many of the HIV management drugs now allow people living with the condition to enjoy a similar quality of life to healthy populations, prevention is still the cheaper and safer option.

In other countries where PrEP is available, prices for users can range. In the US, many insurance companies cover most of the cost so that patients are only responsible for the co-pay.  In France, the drug is reimbursable once patients submit a receipt.

But Norway is the first to offer the drug to patients without any cost whatsoever.

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The NHS consultation for #PrEP ENDS TOMORROW! Make sure your voice is heard!

Prep Infographic

The NHS public consultation on a proposed clinical consultation commissioning policy on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV ends tomorrow (Friday, 23rd September)

This consultation is necessary in order to make PrEP available to people who are at risk of becoming HIV positive.  Multiple studies around the world have shown PrEP to be highly effective in reducing the risk of contracting HIV. The results of the PrOUD trial in England, released in 2015, prove that PrEP works and that concerns about it not working in a real world setting, were unfounded. Read more about the trial here: http://www.proud.mrc.ac.uk/

PrEP has been approved by the World Health Organisation and it’s already available for those deemed at risk of HIV in the United States, Canada, France and Israel.  PrEP can reduce people’s chances of contracting HIV the virus if taken daily.

If you would like more information on both PrEP trials (PROUD and IPERGAY) visit Poz.com for a more detailed look (https://prodlb.poz.com/article/PrEP-CROI-26978-7841)

There are arguments for and against providing PrEP for free on the NHS.  That it could encourage risky sexual behaviour but it’s not always about risky behaviour. You, and you alone are responsible for your own sexual health.  If your sexual partner(s) dislike using condoms, you can stay protected by taking PrEP.  This is about taking ownership of your sexual health.  PrEP is another tool to sexual health which will reduce HIV nationally and help save the NHS vital money it needs for other services.

The following gives a breakdown and suggests the NHS could actually save money on HIV treatments if they were to adopt PrEP.

  • PrEP cost per year: (Media figure) £10m -£20m. Assume higher figure of £20m per year.
  • New HIV diagnoses in the UK per year: Approx 4000 people.
  • Cost over average lifespan estimated at £365,000 for treatment. (Assume average lifespan of 36 years for ease of calculation as some people are diagnosed in their teens, some in the mid 60’s) making an assumed cost of treatment per person per year at approximately £10,000.
  • New HIV diagnoses: Extra cost, year on year of £40m
  • Assume PrEP rolled out on 1st January 2017 and 50% is effective (i.e. that it reduces new HIV diagnoses in the UK by half. Likely to be more effective than this but let’s play out a worst case scenario).
  • In 2017, 2000 new cases of HIV are prevented saving £20m. This is a year on year saving.  PrEP however in an unchanging cost.  In 2018, 2000 new cases of HIV are prevented, saving £20m and the cost of treating the prevented 2017 cases in 2018 is also saved making a total of £40m saved this year.
  • It’s easy to see how this goes, although likely to be an upper limit to savings year on year after a few years, it won’t keep going up indefinitely.
  • PrEP does not merely pay for itself after one year but actively makes savings to the NHS budget in expensive HIV treatments, allowing other drugs to be funded.
  • This calculation assumes worst case figures here, the actual savings are likely to be higher.
  • In 2018 Gilead’s patent on Truvada (the PrEP treatment) may run out. If and when it does, further savings can be made.

Above breakdown via @THTorguk

We have been responding to the challenges of HIV for 30 years.  HIV will not go away unless we invest in, and try out proven methods to reduce the risk of HIV infection.  PrEP has been proven to work and we urge you, as someone who wants to see the end of HIV to respond to the consultation and get your voice heard.  If we work together, we could eradicate HIV in our lifetimes.

The NHS consultation is open until Friday, 23 September.  Many people have felt powerless in the fight to make PrEP available on the NHS, and now you have the power to make it so.

Visit the follow link for further detailed information and to participate in the survey.

https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/specialised-services

Thanks for reading, let us know what you think in the comments below, or you can find us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram!

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The NHS consultation for #PrEP is live now! Make sure your voice is heard.

Prep Infographic

The NHS have launched their 45 day public consultation on a proposed clinical consultation commissioning policy on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV.

This consultation is necessary in order to make PrEP available to people who are at risk of becoming HIV positive.  Multiple studies around the world have shown PrEP to be highly effective in reducing the risk of contracting HIV. The results of the PrOUD trial in England, released in 2015, prove that PrEP works and that concerns about it not working in a real world setting, were unfounded. Read more about the trial here: http://www.proud.mrc.ac.uk/

PrEP has been approved by the World Health Organisation and it’s already available for those deemed at risk of HIV in the United States, Canada, France and Israel.  PrEP can reduce people’s chances of contracting HIV the virus if taken daily.

If you would like more information on both PrEP trials (PROUD and IPERGAY) visit Poz.com for a more detailed look (https://prodlb.poz.com/article/PrEP-CROI-26978-7841)

There are arguments for and against providing PrEP for free on the NHS.  That it could encourage risky sexual behaviour but it’s not always about risky behaviour. You, and you alone are responsible for your own sexual health.  If your sexual partner(s) dislike using condoms, you can stay protected by taking PrEP.  This is about taking ownership of your sexual health.  PrEP is another tool to sexual health which will reduce HIV nationally and help save the NHS vital money it needs for other services.

The following gives a breakdown and suggests the NHS could actually save money on HIV treatments if they were to adopt PrEP.

  • PrEP cost per year: (Media figure) £10m -£20m. Assume higher figure of £20m per year.
  • New HIV diagnoses in the UK per year: Approx 4000 people.
  • Cost over average lifespan estimated at £365,000 for treatment. (Assume average lifespan of 36 years for ease of calculation as some people are diagnosed in their teens, some in the mid 60’s) making an assumed cost of treatment per person per year at approximately £10,000.
  • New HIV diagnoses: Extra cost, year on year of £40m
  • Assume PrEP rolled out on 1st January 2017 and 50% is effective (i.e. that it reduces new HIV diagnoses in the UK by half. Likely to be more effective than this but let’s play out a worst case scenario).
  • In 2017, 2000 new cases of HIV are prevented saving £20m. This is a year on year saving.  PrEP however in an unchanging cost.  In 2018, 2000 new cases of HIV are prevented, saving £20m and the cost of treating the prevented 2017 cases in 2018 is also saved making a total of £40m saved this year.
  • It’s easy to see how this goes, although likely to be an upper limit to savings year on year after a few years, it won’t keep going up indefinitely.
  • PrEP does not merely pay for itself after one year but actively makes savings to the NHS budget in expensive HIV treatments, allowing other drugs to be funded.
  • This calculation assumes worst case figures here, the actual savings are likely to be higher.
  • In 2018 Gilead’s patent on Truvada (the PrEP treatment) may run out. If and when it does, further savings can be made.

Above breakdown via @THTorguk

We have been responding to the challenges of HIV for 30 years.  HIV will not go away unless we invest in, and try out proven methods to reduce the risk of HIV infection.  PrEP has been proven to work and we urge you, as someone who wants to see the end of HIV to respond to the consultation and get your voice heard.  If we work together, we could eradicate HIV in our lifetimes.

The NHS consultation is open until Tuesday 23 September.  Many people have felt powerless in the fight to make PrEP available on the NHS, and now you have the power to make it so.

Visit the follow link for further detailed information and to participate in the survey.

https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/specialised-services

Thanks for reading, let us know what you think in the comments below, or you can find us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram!

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About the crisis, no not the referendum.. the sexual health crisis!

hangingout

Sexual health and HIV agencies have been left out to dry.

The UK is facing a rising demand for sexual health and contraceptive care. Unacceptable levels of sexual coercion and female genital mutilation (FGM) are being reported, sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnoses are increasing [pdf], and the UK still has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in western Europe.

Despite all of this, key services are facing monstrous budget cuts alongside so many other sectors of our increasingly weary NHS. This means clinic closures, the dissolution of preventative health programmes, further pressure on already overloaded GP practices, and horrifying long-term financial costs.

In truth, sexual health services have suffered financially for some time. With the implementation of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, responsibility for sexual health funding was allocated to local authorities and these services put out to tender [pdf].

Private companies can bid for control over them, which the government claimed would improve standards “through competition and choice”. In reality, the winning bids are often ones that offer immediate cost-saving rather than long-term financial benefits and the best possible standards of care.

In 2015, the government announced its £200m public health budget cut, resulting in local councils spending millions of pounds less than planned on sexual health services nationwide. Add to this a potential 40% cut in central funding to local authorities [pdf] and you can see how pressure is mounting.

Elizabeth Carlin, president of the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (Bashh), is one of many specialists to express concern. “Sexual health services play a key role in protecting the health of the nation,” she says. “Coordinated care with sufficient funding is crucial.”

So, what do these services actually do – and what would be the repercussions of service dismantlement?

Let’s start with sexual violence. Approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men are raped in England and Wales alone every year [pdf]. That’s roughly 11 adult rapes per hour. Over 1,200 victims of FGM were recorded between January and March this year, and unknown numbers of girls and women remain unprotected. Gang violence and grooming are increasingly recognised and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community remains at risk from stigma and discrimination. Sexual health services identify and support these vulnerable groups every day so the ramifications of reducing access to this support and expertise will be far-reaching and significant.

Recent coverage of NHS England’s decision not to fund the provision to high-risk individuals of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) – a highly effective HIV-prevention drug – highlighted the extent of our HIV epidemic. About 17% of infected individuals in the UK are unaware of their positive status and an estimated one in 20 men who have sex with men (MSM) aged 15–44 are living with HIV. Sexual health services are responsible for huge proportions of HIV testing, education and specialist care for newly-diagnosed individuals.

STIs remain problematic, particularly in MSM, with a 46% increase in syphilis and 32% increase in gonorrhoea reported in this group by Public Health England [pdf] in 2014. The threat of gonococcal resistance also persists, with the frightening possibility that we could end up with no effective treatment for an infection that affects up to 30,000 people in the UK every year. Expert services are essential to ensure the public is tested, managed and educated to reduce STI transmission and prevent long-term health problems.

Teen conception rates are another important measure of the state of health and society for local councils, yet the UK continues to have the highest figures in western Europe. The Family Planning Association (FPA) 2015 report Unprotected Nation estimates that additional unintended pregnancies due to budget cuts could cost up to £8.3bn over the next five years. That’s coupled with the countless women who will deal with the mental and physical implications of an unwanted pregnancy or abortion. In essence, an unforgivable removal of choice from the UK public.

This list of problems is by no means exhaustive. While the health budget remains a challenge and all the unpleasant health problems associated with sex are easier to ignore, the government’s failure to openly address these issues, support sexual choice and put their long-vision specs on will only take us back to the times we’ve worked so hard to leave behind.

Let’s just hope they’re ready to confront the repercussions of their actions – warts and all.

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NHS watchdog to weigh cost of HIV prevention drug Prep

PrEPHead

The NHS watchdog NICE has been asked by government to look at the cost of providing an HIV prevention treatment known as PrEP.

Story via BBC
bbcbanner

 

It comes as campaigners have said they will seek a judicial review of NHS England’s decision not to commission the treatment.

Prep is a daily pill that cut the risk of HIV infection by more than 90%.

Head of NHS England Simon Stevens says more evidence is needed about the cost versus benefits.

Speaking to the Health Committee he said: “Prep has great potential and all of us would like to see it more widely available in this country.”

He said the legal issue about who should provide the treatment – NHS England or local authorities which are responsible for prevention-related services – would be resolved, but the other question was whether it was cost-effective to roll it out as a preventive treatment.

“This particular drug is not yet licensed for prophylactic treatment for HIV.

“Frankly, the prices that the manufacturer is seeking to charge probably also need to take a substantial haircut to represent value.”

It’s not publicly known how much the manufacturer of a Prep drug called Truvada is asking for, and drug companies often reach an agreement to offer the NHS a reduced price. The book cost for 30 tablets is £355.

As part of a trial, NHS England has promised £2m in funding to treat about 500 people with Prep over the next two years.

The number of people living with HIV in the UK continues to increase and the number living with undiagnosed HIV remains high.

In 2014, an estimated 103,700 people were living with HIV. An estimated 18,000 (17%) were unaware of their infection.

Condoms can prevent the spread of HIV but they are not 100% reliable and, of course, they must be used to work.

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