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© Copyright David Anstiss and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence.

© Copyright David Anstiss and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence.

NHS 111 – the service being introduced to provide a single point of access for people needing urgent NHS healthcare, when it is not an emergency – will be fully up and running in Medway from next Tuesday (17 September).

Since March, callers who have wanted to contact their GP out-of-hours have been able to call NHS 111 or MedOCC (the out-of-hours GP service in Medway) directly. From Tuesday 17 September callers wanting to reach a GP when their surgery is closed should dial 111. All callers to GP practices out of usual practice hours, and anyone calling MedOCC direct will be asked to redial 111. Read More

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Kate Browning volunteer Wisdom HospiceTo mark National Volunteers’ Week (1 to 7 June 2013) health teams at Medway Community Healthcare are celebrating the vital support local volunteers give every day.

In Medway and Swale, 280 community volunteers support 47 teams by giving more than 4,000 hours of their own time each month. Their roles are varied and include offering complementary therapy at the Wisdom Hospice; supporting new mothers with breastfeeding; helping at exercise rehabilitation groups and assisting with administrative tasks.

Kate Browning is one of the longest-serving volunteers at Medway Community Healthcare, having been at the Wisdom Hospice, Rochester in a variety of roles spanning twenty years. Kate, who is 74, began volunteering at the hospice in 1993, inspired by the ‘wonderful care’ the team gave to her mother-in-law.

Kate explained: “I started out as a volunteer driver, helping people living in Medway and Swale to get to the Day Hospice once a week. The conversations you have during each journey are very important, people feel comfortable with you and safe. It’s about giving them the most pleasant journey you can.”

Having been a driver for many years, Kate decided to volunteer within the Day Hospice.

Kate continued: “I saw how much the day of relaxation and support helped people and I wanted to be part of it. I made tea, helped people at lunchtime and was on hand for anything that people needed allowing staff time to concentrate on nursing and running the activities.

“I now work on the hospice ward as a spiritual care volunteer, talking to and comforting very ill patients and their families. The days are varied, I even recently helped a husband to bring his pet spaniel to visit his wife; I enjoy bringing a smile to people’s faces.

“I admire the wonderful care the hospice team provide, they are exceptional at what they do. To be connected with them even by putting in a small bit is a huge privilege.”

Natalie Taylor, voluntary services manager, explained: “Our volunteers, aged from 17 to 83, volunteer with us for a number of reasons. Some wish to remain active after retirement, others are healthcare students looking to gain experience and we also have some of our former patients volunteering as their way of giving something back.

“Medway Community Healthcare would like to say a huge thank you to our many inspiring volunteers for the support you give to staff, patients and their families during National Volunteers’ Week and beyond.”

If you would like to become a volunteer with Medway Community Healthcare please call 01634 830456 and ask to speak to a voluntary services manager or visit http://www.medwaycommunityhealthcare.co.uk/volunteer

Fiona Stephens, Medway Community Healthcare

Fiona Stephens, Medway Community Healthcare

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has praised the care given to local people by the teams at Medway On Call Care (MedOCC), run by Medway Community Healthcare.

MedOCC provides urgent care for people in Medway 24/7 when their GP surgery is closed. Appointments are offered at Quayside, Chatham Maritime, as well as at Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham. Doctors and specialist nurses also visit people at home if they are too unwell to travel to an appointment. More

Temperatures are forecast to fall in the next couple of weeks and the NHS is urging people to take steps to stay well and help stop the spread of infection this winter.

Washing your hands both regularly and well is the single most important thing you can do to prevent illnesses, such as tummy bugs and flu. More

Monday 27 August is the last bank holiday of this summer and NHS Kent and Medway is advising people on how to get healthcare if they need it.
No one wants to spend their precious free time waiting in Accident and Emergency – yet bank holidays every year see a surge of people attending A&E departments with minor illnesses and injuries. More

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