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Around 40,000 people across Medway are diagnosed with high blood pressure, and the NHS believes many more may not know they suffer.

NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) predicts there may be as many as 65,000 people in total with high blood pressure across the Medway towns and is urging people to get tested and ‘know their numbers’. Read More

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NHS Kent and Medway is reminding people to make sure they have enough medication to last them over Christmas and New Year, and pick up repeat prescriptions in plenty of time if they need them. It is also a good idea to check on medicine cabinet essentials now, such as over-the-counter cough, cold, flu and indigestion remedies, plasters and a thermometer, to avoid running out over the festive season.

While there is pharmacy cover on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day (full details below), it is much easier to be prepared. More

Pharmacies in Kent already offer a wide range of services to help people stay healthy. Now some of our pharmacies are among the first in the country to become official Healthy Living Pharmacies with a mission to provide even more support to people who want to improve their health. More

NHS Kent and Medway is proposing to move the GP practice and walk-in centre at Canterbury Street, Gillingham, to Balmoral Gardens Community Healthy Living Centre, Gillingham. The Healthy Living Centre, which opened in 2011, is an award-winning, purpose-built centre which is a much more comfortable setting for care than the portable building where the practice is based at the moment. More

Gills Players sign up

Gillingham FC players have shown their support for a Medway health campaign, by making health pledges for 2013. The A Better Medway team were at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Thursday (22 Nov) to promote the Healthy New Year winter campaign and encouraged the squad to make a pledge, as more than 160 people in Gillingham and Chatham did last week.

The footballers’ pledges covered a range of healthy goals for 2013 including staying positive, reducing caffeine intake, cycling to work and eating smaller portions.
Defender Andy Frampton tweeted his support for the campaign after he made his pledge; “All in a good cause and hope the message gets out #livewell”.

Medway residents are encouraged to make a health pledge during November, December and January. Those who do will be entered into a free prize draw to win a range of prizes including an i Pad 3, Gillingham FC signed football and family trip to Diggerland.
Pledges can be made in person, or by post using the official pledge entry form, available at GP surgeries, pharmacies, libraries, community hubs, or dentists. Pledges can also be made online at www.abettermedway.co.uk/healthynewyear

The pledge entry form also contains 20 tips to stay safe and healthy this winter.
Make a pledge at one of the following events:

Gillingham Market – Monday; 3 December; Saturday, 22 December or Monday, 7 January 2013.
Chatham High Street – Thursday, 13 December or Thursday, 24 January 2013.
Strood Market – Tuesday, 27 November; Saturday, 15 December or Tuesday, 15 January 2013.
Rainham Town Centre – Thursday, 29 November or Thursday, 20 December.
Rochester High Street – Thursday, 10 January 2013.

For more information visit http://www.abettermedway.co.uk/healthynewyear phone 0800 234 6805 or 01634 334800, or email enquiry@abettermedway.co.uk

Did you know that community pharmacies offer many more services than most people realise? Health checks for blood pressure and cholesterol, treatment for minor ailments from coughs and colds to tummy bugs, help with allergies, weight management and stopping smoking, personalised medicines advice and much much more.

As part of Ask Your Pharmacist Week (5-12 November), Medway Clinical Commissioning Group is encouraging people to make use of the wide range of services and advice available at their community pharmacy – it really is more than just a place to pick up pills!

Across Kent and Medway, there are 314 pharmacies in towns and villages. Many pharmacies are open late – some until 11pm at night – and at weekends, and you don’t need an appointment. By visiting your pharmacist instead of going to your GP surgery or Accident and Emergency (A & E), you will be seen quickly. It’s a much more convenient alternative and keeps other NHS services such as A & E, available for people with serious and life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

Community pharmacists are knowledgeable healthcare professionals who are accessible to everyone. They offer expert, confidential advice and treatment and can also support people to self-care, helping you to manage a long-term health condition, such as asthma or arthritis. If you regularly take prescription medicine, you can ask for a medicines use review to identify any problems and check your medication is working for you.

A number of pharmacies across Kent and Medway will, within the next month, provide specialist in-store services and expert advice, branded as a ‘Healthy Living Pharmacy.’ Kent and Medway has become one of 20 successful national pathfinder sites to offer people an extended healthy living service for issues such as alcohol consumption, sexual health and dietary advice.

Medway Clinical Commissioning Group is also reaching out to men this November, to take a more active interest in their medicines and well-being and to talk to their local pharmacist about some of the healthcare services they may need. More

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