A series of key health messages from your local NHS for the voluntary sector, community champions and patient representatives to share among their networks and communities.

Every month we aim to provide the top health messages for you to share among your networks. It will include text suitable for a newsletter, webpage and a social media message (Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp) as well as an extra link to a resource about the health topic.

We’re also keen to hear your ideas on how we reach more people with these important health messages. If you can help make these messages more accessible through a different format or language, please let us know and we can look at financial support to help make this happen.

May's top messages:

Pharmacy Social Asset - Minor illnesses.jpgIf you or your family become unwell, you may not always need to see a doctor or get a prescription. Local pharmacies offer many of the same services local GPs do.

Community pharmacists are qualified health professionals who can offer expert advice on lots of minor ailments and conditions. They can help you with common problems such as coughs, colds, aches and pains, as well as perform health checks and screenings and treat minor injuries and ailments.

Other reasons why you should visit your pharmacy:

  • You don’t need to make an appointment to see your pharmacist
  • Your local pharmacy will have a consultation room allowing for privacy
  • By visiting a pharmacist first, it helps to make more GP and emergency appointments available for people with more complex healthcare needs.
  • Many illnesses can be treated with over-the-counter medicines and advice from your pharmacy
  • A pharmacist will signpost you quickly to the right medical care if you have anything more serious
  • A pharmacist can advise on how long you can expect to experience symptoms for

Some pharmacies might have different opening hours for the bank holidays in May and June - find out the opening times for your local pharmacy here.

Suggested social media message

Your local pharmacy should always be your first choice for help with minor ailments & conditions. Pharmacist, Sundip Gill, explains when and why you and your family should visit your local pharmacy in this short video: https://youtu.be/zBEnA4HxMQA

Useful resource

Find a full list of common conditions and ailments your local pharmacy can help you with on our webpage: https://www.blackcountryandwestbirmccg.nhs.uk/your-health-services/find-right-service-you/your-local-pharmacy

The NHSSocial_Media_NHS_App_Asset_v2_1x1_Asset_001.jpg app is a simple and secure way of accessing a range of NHS services on a smartphone or tablet.

The app can be used for ordering repeat prescriptions, accessing your records, checking symptoms and getting advice from NHS 111 – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It also provides access to the NHS COVID Pass, allowing you to check and share your COVID-19 vaccine record, including how many doses you have had and which jab you’ve received.

The app is free to download and is available on the App Store or Google Play. You will be asked to create an NHS login if you do not have one already and must be registered with a GP to use it.

Suggested social media message

See social media messages and download materials to promote the NHS app in this handy toolkit.

Useful resource

The NHS app is for everyone – even those who aren’t tech-savvy! An easy-to-use guide has been created so that everyone can make the most of all the great features the app has to offer: https://digital.nhs.uk/services/nhs-app/nhs-app-guidance-for-gp-practices/tell-your-patients-about-the-nhs-app/view-and-share-your-nhs-covid-pass

5-11s eligible 1x1.pngThe COVID-19 vaccine is now available to everyone over the age of 5, with children aged 5 to 11 now being offered two smaller 10mcg doses of the Pfizer vaccine 12 weeks apart.

Parents and carers are being urged to come forward and get the whole family vaccinated, whether they are due a first, second, or for those eligible, a booster dose.

Care home residents, people who are 75 and over and those aged 12 and over who have a weakened immune system are also eligible for a spring booster.

Vaccine appointments can be booked online via the National Booking System or by calling 119.

For more information on the vaccine, click here.

Suggested social media message

The COVID-19 vaccine offer is evergreen, so whether it’s a first, second or booster dose, people who have not yet come forward for their vaccine can do so at a time to suit them. Find out more: https://www.blackcountryandwestbirmccg.nhs.uk/your-health-services/health-advice/covid-19-vaccination

Useful resource

The Black Country and West Birmingham CCG have developed a one stop shop of information and resources about who is eligible for each vaccine. There are resources to share in different languages and formats as well as frequently asked questions for different cohorts who are eligible for the vaccine.

Explore the webpage here: https://www.blackcountryandwestbirmccg.nhs.uk/your-health-services/health-advice/covid-19-vaccination

Social media graphic (doctor).png

Have you ever been referred to a health or care provider and found yourself answering lots of questions about your medical history – things like what medicines you take and whether you have any allergies?

You may wonder why they don’t already have this information from your GP or other services you’ve been in contact with. The reason is that different health and care providers use different computer systems to record your details. Because these systems don’t talk to each other, organisations can’t always see the same information your GP can.

But that is all changing with the introduction of One Health and Care, a confidential NHS shared care record for the Black Country and West Birmingham and neighbouring areas.

One Health and Care will enable professionals who are directly involved with your care to see relevant information about the care and treatment you’ve had across all local services.

This means you only need to tell your story once, and those caring for you have instant access to all the information they need to treat you in the fastest, safest and most effective way.

For more information about One Health and Care, including how the NHS and its partners keep your data safe, please visit one-health-care.net

Suggested social media message

Did you know? Your health and social care records will be available on the new NHS shared care record ‘One Health and Care’ from this year. It’s a safe and more efficient way for health & social care staff to access your records when needed. Find out more: one-health-care.net

Click here to download an image or other social media posts about One Health and Care.

Useful resource

We’ve compiled an online toolkit with various materials to download including videos in different languages. Visit the online toolkit here.

Tell us what people are saying

We’d be grateful for your feedback on what people are saying. If people are asking for information on a particular health condition or subject, or have any comments about a health service they’ve recently experienced, please get in touch with our Time 2 Talk team.

You can contact them direct Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (excluding Bank Holidays):

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For the latest local NHS news and health advice, visit our website: www.blackcountryandwestbirmccg.nhs.uk

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