January 2015

January 2015 news archive

Exeter GP practice rated ‘outstanding’

30 January 2015

A GP practice in Exeter has been rated ‘outstanding’ following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.
 
St Thomas Health Centre was one of just three practices given the rating in reports which looked at 75 GP practices from across the country.
 
Inspectors visited the practice, which serves 34,500 people across three sites, and looked at how it performed in five different areas. These were whether the practice was run safely and effectively, and whether members of staff were caring, responsive and well-led.
 
Practice Manager Gill Heppell says the inspectors were most impressed by the staff’s responsiveness to patients’ needs. “I think what they really liked was how we do things above and beyond to make things easier for patients. This includes training our nurses in specialist skills such as complex leg ulcer dressings and flushing lines for our chemotherapy patients. We also have a successful carers’ support network.”
 
Gill says inspectors were also impressed with the practice’s same-day illness clinic. “Winter is a busy time for the NHS. Having a same-day facility is a lifeline for patients who need to be seen urgently and also helps us, because we can deal with many of the illnesses winter brings quickly and effectively to keep people out of A&E.”
 
Inspectors also looked at the quality of care the practice provided for several different groups before coming to a decision. These were older people, people with long-term conditions, families, children and young people, working age people, people whose circumstances make them vulnerable and people experiencing poor mental health.
 
All 7600 registered general practices in the UK will be looked at under the CQC’s new programme of inspections. So far, the CQC has published reports on 143 practices.

‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign highlights link between heartburn and cancer

27 January 2015    
 

Doctors in Devon are supporting a new campaign which urges people to visit their doctor if they have heartburn most days for three weeks or more, as it could be a sign of cancer.
 
More than 10,000 people die from stomach and oesophageal (food pipe) cancers each year in England, which equates to about 28 people every day.
 
The campaign by Public Health England says six in ten people don’t know heartburn could be a sign of cancer. It also says only just over half would visit their doctor if they had heartburn most days for three weeks or more.
 
Dr Tom Debenham, a GP from Devon and a clinical lead for Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG, says people need to be aware of the link between heartburn and cancer. 
 
“If you’re experiencing persistent heartburn, go and see your doctor, even if you’re taking medicine and it seems to be helping. It’s probably nothing serious, but if it is cancer, finding it early makes it more treatable.”
 
People are also being advised to see their doctor if food feels like it’s sticking in the throat when swallowing.
 
“You’re not wasting anyone’s time by getting your symptoms checked out,” Dr Debenham continued. “If it isn’t serious, your mind will be put at rest. If it is, seeing your doctor quickly could save your life.”
 
Symptoms of oesophageal (food pipe) or stomach cancer include:
 
  • Food feeling as though it sticks in the throat when swallowing
  • Indigestion on and off for three weeks or more
  • Losing weight for no obvious reason
  • Trapped wind and frequent burping
  • Feeling full very quickly when eating
  • Feeling bloated after eating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain or discomfort in your upper tummy area
 
If you have any of these symptoms, tell your doctor. If you know anybody who’s experiencing any of these symptoms, insist they go and see their doctor.

Update on measures taken by NEW Devon CCG to protect core NHS services

22 January 2015

Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) has this week given an update on proposed measures as part of its financial recovery programme.
 
In October last year doctors announced a series of potential measures to make sure that core services guaranteed to patients in the NHS Constitution were protected.
 
Following feedback from the public, stakeholders, clinicians and a range of organisations the CCG decided that many of the services under review would serve better as guidance to clinicians rather than by enforcing policies.
 
For example people with a high BMI and those who smoke will continue to be invited by their GP to quit smoking or lose weight before undergoing surgery, but will not be required to do so.
 
A roundup of the current status of proposed measures is below:
Area under consideration Summary of proposed measure How this clinical area will now be progressed
Weight loss in obese patients prior to routine surgery Where surgery is not immediately clinically necessary and where weight loss would be beneficial for clinical outcomes and/or peri-operative risk, a requirement for patients to achieve 5% weight loss if they have a Body Mass Index greater than 35. To be developed as Referral Guidance to clinicians with supporting services for patients.  Patients will be encouraged, but not required, to lose weight.
8 weeks smoking cessation prior to routine surgery Where surgery is not immediately clinically necessary, a requirement for patients to cease smoking for 8 weeks prior to their operation. To be developed as Referral Guidance to clinicians with supporting services for patients.  Patients will be encouraged, but not required, to stop smoking.
Funding of 2nd hearing aid Unless other sensory or disabling factors exists, 2nd hearing aids would not be routinely funded. No actions to restrict hearing aids.
Ear microsuction for the removal of wax Unless for the treatment of infection or due to other factors which make ear syringing in primary care clinically inappropriate, no routine funding of wax removal by microsuction. To be developed as Referral Guidance to clinicians, with non-hospital alternatives developed for patients.
Criteria for cataract surgery Enhancement of policy to bring in to line with more restrictive policies from elsewhere in the UK.  Driving level vision to be funded (for drivers and non-drivers).  Tighter restrictions than currently for the 2nd eye. To be considered by the usual Clinical Policy Committee route to arrive at a policy for the treatment of cataracts.
Shoulder surgery Prior approval by a CCG clinical panel required for shoulder surgery in recognition of poor evidence associated with shoulder surgery. No interim position being adopted.  Further work ongoing with the British Orthopaedic Association, Chartered Society of Physiotherpists and local clinicians to define best practice pathways to be commissioned.
Use of Avastin in the treatment of Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (Wet AMD) A switch to the treatment recommended by the World Health Organisation for this condition.  Requires a CCG position as the drug is unlicensed for that purpose in the UK, the manufacturers not having applied for a license. Work ongoing with local trusts and with other CCGs to develop the implementation.
Shockwave therapy in the treatment of tendinopathies Interim suspension of this service, in recognition of equivocal evidence and it not being universally available. No interim position being taken.  Referral guidance for clinicians being developed.  As these are researched any policy recommendations will be referred to the Clinical Policy Committee for consideration.

Doctors: “Joined up services is what patients want”

21 January 2015

Doctors in Devon have reaffirmed their decision to integrate community services in East Devon saying it will lead to better patient care and is what patients want.
 
In November 2014 Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) announced the RD&EFT as its preferred provider of community services, which includes community hospitals, physiotherapy and community nursing.
 
Today Monitor announced it would be investigating this decision following a complaint from Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT), who have been providing community services on an interim basis in East Devon.
 
Monitor will review the decision-making process to ensure it was run in the best interests of patients, in accordance with the rules on procurement, choice and competition.
 
Dr David Jenner, a GP from Cullompton and chair of the Eastern Locality of Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG), said joined up services in his area was the right decision and in the best interests of patients.
 
“We have put patients at the centre of our decision making and we have an exciting opportunity to give patients in our area the healthcare that they want. Patients and public groups have told us that they want joined up care.
 
“We have a rising number of people with complex health needs and by developing services in the way we have proposed we can continue to ensure patients get the right care in the right setting and  improve quality, efficiency and effectiveness for local people.
 
“We welcome Monitor’s investigation into the contract award and remain confident that our decision is the right one and in the best interests of our patients.”

‘Keep warm and keep well’ says local NHS as cold snap is upon us

15th January

With snow falling in parts of Devon and temperatures dropping below freezing this week the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) is urging people to take care of themselves, elderly relatives and neighbours.
 
The NHS has been under strain over the last few weeks and people are being asked to use health services wisely, using self-care where possible, and only visiting A&E in an emergency.
 
Simple things like checking on a neighbour, keeping warm and making sure cabinets are stocked with over the counter medicines are just some ways people can avoid having to use stretched NHS services.
 
Although temperatures haven’t dropped to any significant levels yet there is a greater risk of hypothermia in temperatures below 10 degrees so it is vital to be aware of the temperature and to keep warm at all times.
 
In significantly cold conditions the NHS has advised that if it is not possible to keep the whole house warm, people should try to keep one main room and the bedroom warm and stay there unless they have to go outside. The best way to stay warm is to wear several small layers of clothing rather than a few thick heavy clothing items.
 
People who live on their own and are over 65, are advised to arrange for someone to call to their house or telephone at least once a day.
 
During winter, when demand on the NHS is highest, people are also asked to choose the right service for their health needs rather than visiting A&E, which should only happen in an emergency.
 
There are a great range of other NHS services in Devon that could help treat people quicker and avoid them having to wait up to four hours to be seen at an A&E. If it’s not an emergency people should visit or phone their GP practice, pharmacy, minor injuries unit or NHS 111.
 
January is usually a busy month, but this year additional pressures of seasonal flu and respiratory problems have meant that many more people than usual are being admitted.

Dr David Jenner, a GP from Devon and Board member of NEW Devon CCG, said: “There has been a huge rise in demand but we have put in place our winter plans to boost the support we have available. But the situation continues to be challenging and we have to make some difficult choices to prioritise those patients most in need.
 
“We have put on extra GP appointments at the weekend and out-of-hours, opened more beds at the acute and community hospitals and brought in more specialists to help speed up safe discharge from hospital for patients.
 
“We’d like to say a very big thank you to everyone for continuing to use 999 and emergency departments only in life threatening situations. This is really helping us to make sure that those who need care get it.”
 
The following handy tips have been reissued by NEW Devon CCG:
 
  • Try your family or self-care - for minor illnesses, combine medicines for coughs, colds or flu with plenty of rest.
  • Pharmacist/chemist - pharmacists are trained to help people with minor illnesses and can advise on medicine that can be bought over the counter. Your nearest pharmacy can be found here: www.nhs.uk. Some pharmacies are open extended hours.
  • NHS 111 – for non-emergency health needs, which operates all day, every day, as well as help to find services. Go to www.nhs.uk or call 111.
  • NHS minor injuries unit (MIU) - for treatment of minor illnesses or injuries, without an appointment. For details of your nearest MIU, go to www.nhs.uk. The Plymouth MIU is based at the Cumberland Centre in Devonport, near Plymouth Albion rugby club – set your sat nav to PL1 4JZ.
  • Family doctor – Your local general GP surgery provides a wide range of family health services, including: advice on health problems, vaccinations, examinations and treatment, prescriptions for medicines, referrals to other health services and social services. Your surgery will make sure you get to speak to a healthcare professional on the same day if you have an urgent condition.
  • Hospital emergency departments or 999 – please only attend hospital emergency departments if you have an immediate and serious problem that cannot be dealt with by the other services. 999 only for critical or life-threatening situations.

What a Waste

13th January 

As much as £5.5 million is wasted each year in Devon on unused medicines.

We spend £70000 a day in North Devon on prescriptions written by local GPs.

Most of this cost is for regular ‘repeat’ medicines. About 3% of these medicines are returned unused to local pharmacies, costing the NHS in North Devon more than £2000 every day.

We are asking people to check their supplies and only order the medication they need.

We are encouraging people to tell their GP, nurse or pharmacist if they are taking their medicines differently or have stopped taking them. We would also like to remind people to open their bag of medicines before leaving the pharmacy and return any that are not needed.

We have found a lot of patients don’t realise that once medication has left the pharmacy, it cannot be taken back into stock again, even if it’s returned unopened.

If people have any unwanted or unused medicines that are not needed, we are asking them to return them to their local pharmacies, where they will be disposed of safely.

Feeling under the weather this winter? Visit your local pharmacy

9th January 2015

Doctors from Devon are urging people who are feeling under the weather this winter to visit their pharmacy for quick, early advice.
 
With hospitals in Devon and across England seeing a high number of patients through their doors, doctors say people should avoid visiting emergency departments, such as at Derriford Hospital, unless in an emergency.
 
People who have minor illnesses, such as coughs or colds, should consider visiting their local pharmacy to get advice and over the counter medicines.
 
This is particularly important over the winter months – when people are more likely to become ill or feel poorly.
 
Local pharmacists are a highly trained and trusted source of health advice and can provide help to people who have a bad cough, trouble breathing, a cold or sore throat.
 
They can also help people to manage their long term conditions and enable them to get the best from their medicines. Many pharmacies have longer opening hours than GP practices.
 
The post-Christmas period is usually busy, but this year additional pressures of seasonal flu and respiratory problems have meant that many more people than usual are being admitted.
 
Emergency departments are also extremely busy with longer waits being reported in some.
 
Dr Dafydd Jones, a local GP and clinical lead at the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group said:
 
“There’s no such thing as wasting your pharmacist’s time.

“If you have a bad cough, trouble breathing, a cold or sore throat pop down to your local pharmacy for quick health advice or visit www.nhs.uk/asap. Early advice is the best advice.
 
“Pharmacists have longer opening hours than GP practices, you don’t need an appointment to see one, and most have a consultation area where you can speak privately. They’ll also tell you if they think you should see your GP.”
 
This winter NEW Devon CCG reissued its handy tips to help people choose the right NHS service for them.
 
  • Try your family or self-care - for minor illnesses, combine medicines for coughs, colds or flu with plenty of rest.
  • Pharmacist/chemist - pharmacists are trained to help people with minor illnesses and can advise on medicine that can be bought over the counter. Your nearest pharmacy can be found here: www.nhs.uk. Some pharmacies are open extended hours.
  • NHS 111 – for non-emergency health needs, which operates all day, every day, as well as help to find services. Go to www.nhs.uk or call 111.
  • NHS minor injuries unit (MIU) - for treatment of minor illnesses or injuries, without an appointment. For details of your nearest MIU, go to www.nhs.uk. The Plymouth MIU is based at the Cumberland Centre in Devonport, near Plymouth Albion rugby club – set your sat nav to PL1 4JZ.
  • Family doctor – Your local general GP surgery provides a wide range of family health services, including: advice on health problems, vaccinations, examinations and treatment, prescriptions for medicines, referrals to other health services and social services. Your surgery will make sure you get to speak to a healthcare professional on the same day if you have an urgent condition.

Hospital emergency departments or 999 – please only attend hospital emergency departments if you have an immediate and serious problem that cannot be dealt with by the other services. 999 only for critical or life-threatening situations.

Additional shifts for doctors, nurses and therapists as staff pull out the stops to meet increased demand

6 January 2015

The NHS in Devon is putting in place additional resources to cope with unprecedented demand.
 
The Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) says that although the situation is challenging it is not declaring a major incident.
 
And doctors continue to encourage people to use the NHS wisely.
 
There are a great range of other NHS services in Devon that could help treat people quicker and avoid them having to wait up to four hours to be seen at an A&E. If it’s not an emergency people should visit or phone their GP practice, pharmacy, minor injuries unit or NHS 111.
 
The post-Christmas period is usually busy, but this year additional pressures of seasonal flu and respiratory problems have meant that many more people than usual are being admitted.
 
Emergency departments are also extremely busy with longer waits being reported in some.
 
In response to the pressures all NHS-commissioned services are working together.
 
Additional nurses and doctors have been drafted in to help out and day case wards have temporarily changed to take overnight patients.
 
Community nursing teams have been boosted and more GPs have been made available to see patients, both in-hours and during evenings and weekends.
 
Patients will be contacted if arrangements for booked appointments change.
 
Dr David Jenner, a GP from Devon and Board member of NEW Devon CCG, said:

“There has been a huge rise in demand but we have put in place our winter plans to boost the support we have available. But the situation continues to be challenging and we are having to make some difficult choices to prioritise those patients most in need.

“We have put on extra GP appointments at the weekend and out-of-hours, opened more beds at the acute and community hospitals and brought in more specialists to help speed up safe discharge from hospital for patients.
 
“We’d like to say a very big thank you to everyone for continuing to use 999 and emergency departments only in life threatening situations. This is really helping us to make sure that those who need care get it.”
 
  • In Exeter, East and Mid Devon extra health and social care staff have been brought in to work at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital to help make sure patients get the care and treatment they need, and that they are safely discharged or transferred from hospital at this busy time.
 
The hospital has also opened extra beds and additional GPs are working at the hospital, as well as at the Devon Doctors out-of-hours service. About 80 extra GP appointments are available in Exeter this coming weekend as part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund.
 
  • In Plymouth we have invested more in the out-of-hours GP service to make sure GP home visits are made earlier in the day, meaning demand for the visits is staggered. This is expected to reduce demand by about 12 patients a day.
 
Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust has drafted in extra staff at Derriford Hospital to ensure patients are well cared for and every possible bed and area has been opened.
 
There are 96 additional GP appointments available in Plymouth every weekend, and extra community nursing and social care staff are currently at the acute trust site.
 
  • In North Devon additional therapists have been brought into North Devon District Hospital, along with more staff to help to discharge patients from hospital.
 
Extra beds have opened at the acute hospital in Barnstaple, as well as at North Devon’s community hospitals. More community nurses have also been put on the rota and some GP surgeries opened on Saturday.

  • Torbay Hospital has also been seeing sustained and very high demand with many more people at A&E – some of who could have been seen elsewhere.
 
South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has arranged for extra staffing and made sure that all of the beds throughout the hospital and community hospitals are made known to the whole health and social care system as soon as they are available.
 
Dr Jenner continued: “We’d also like to thank patients for their understanding during this difficult period, particularly where we have had to delay appointments.
 
“A big thank you should also go to our NHS staff for their outstanding efforts in making sure patient care continues to be delivered when people need it.”

New Change4Life campaign encourages families in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset to make Sugar Swaps

6 January 2015

New data reveals 32% (6,161 children) in their last year of primary school in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset are already overweight or obese.

A new Change4Life campaign launched today by Public Health England encourages parents to cut down the amount of sugar their children consume by making one or more simple swaps.

Eating and drinking too much sugar means extra calories, which causes fat to build up inside the body. This can lead to heart disease, some cancers or type 2 diabetes later in life.

Sugar can also have a devastating impact upon dental health, an integral part of overall health. Tooth decay was the most common reason for hospital admissions for children aged five to nine in 2012-13. 28% of 5 year olds in England have tooth decay and of these, 24% have five or more teeth affected1. When children are not healthy this affects their ability to learn, thrive and develop2.

Across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset a high percentage of children start school either overweight or obese, which only increases by the time they are in their last year of primary school:
  • In Cornwall, 25.3% (1,319) children, start school either overweight or obese, which then becomes 30.9% (1,413) for those in their last year of school
  • In Devon, 23.4% (1,624) children start school either overweight or obese, which then becomes 30.3% (1,982) for those in their last year of school
  • In Plymouth, 25% (705) children start school either overweight or obese, which then becomes 33.2% (745) for those in their last year of school
  • In Somerset, 23.51% (1,231) children start school either overweight or obese, which then becomes 30.9% (1,463) for those in their last year of school
  • In Torbay, 25.2% (327) children start school either overweight or obese, which then becomes 35.5% (413) for those in their last year of school

Children who are overweight or obese when they are young are far more likely to become overweight or obese adults and these figures demonstrate the increasing need to address children’s diet and limit future health problems.

While guidelines state that no more that 10% of a person’s daily energy or calorie intake should be made up of sugar, at present, children aged 4-10 years are consuming up to 50% more than this.

Children aged 4-10 get 17% of their daily sugar from soft drinks; 17% from biscuits, buns, cakes, pastries and fruit pies, 14% from confectionery, 13% from fruit juice, and 8% from breakfast cereals.

Change4Life Sugar Swaps launches following a new survey amongst Netmums users who were polled on their views on sugar. The results highlight that nearly half (47%) of mums surveyed think their family has too much sugar in their diets and two thirds of mums (67%) are worried about the amount of sugar their children consume.

Change4Life recommends four simple Sugar Swaps for mums to choose from, tackling different ‘sugar occasions’ in the day:

- The Breakfast Swap: sugary cereal for plain cereal e.g. wholewheat biscuit cereal
- The Drink Swap: e.g. from sugary drinks to sugar-free or no-added-sugar drinks
- The After School Swap: for example from muffins to fruited teacake
- The Pudding Swap: for example from ice cream to low-fat lower-sugar yoghurt

To understand the sugar issue from mums’ perspective, Public Health England partnered up with Netmums and the University of Reading to deliver a ‘Family Sugar Challenge’.

A unique activity that involved 50 families, 24 of which were selected based on their geographical location for the initial analysis. The diets of the families were analysed in terms of sugar content, before and during the Change4Life’s Sugar Swaps. This early analysis yielded surprising results:

  • On average the families were consuming 483g of sugar a day at the beginning of the challenge
  • Their sugar intake was reduced to 287g per day when making Sugar Swaps
  • This meant an average daily saving of 196g of sugar per family each day, or 49 sugar cubes

Russ Moody, Health & Wellbeing Programme Lead for the Devon, Cornwall and Somerset PHE Centre said:

“Reducing sugar intake is important for the health of our children both now and in the future. We are all eating too much sugar and the impact this has on our health is evident.

“This campaign is about taking small steps to address this. We know from past campaigns that making simple swaps works and makes a real difference. This year we wanted to be even more single minded in our approach, which is why we are focusing on sugar alone.

“The family challenge highlights that simple swaps could lead to big changes if sustained over time and we’d urge parents in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset to try one more simple swap in January and beyond.”

Cathy Court, founder of Netmums said:

“We know that mums want to provide a healthy diet for their children but balancing a number of competing priorities, including healthy eating, can be tricky. Although sugar consumption is a worry for parents, we understand that taking steps to reduce sugar can be really difficult. We hope that these simple Sugar Swaps from Change4Life will make it easier for parents to reduce their family’s sugar intake.”

Change4Life Sugar Swaps will launch on January 5th with television, radio, digital and out of home advertising, with an email support programme and a national road show visiting 10 locations.

Change4Life Sugar Swaps is supported by Asda, Tesco, Co-op, Aldi, Coca-Cola (Diet Coke and Coke Zero), Morrisons, mySupermarket, and the Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA).

Throughout the campaign, families will be able to register for their FREE Sugar Swaps pack which they will receive through the post. The packs are filled with hints, tips and recipe suggestions designed to help parents cut down the sugary foods and drinks consumed by their children, plus money-off vouchers, swap cards and stickers. To sign up, families just need to search Change4Life and register.

Make a healthy New Year’s Resolution this year

5 January 2015

Local doctors are encouraging people to make a small change this January to improve their health for years to come.
 
A very simple New Year’s Resolution such as quitting smoking, cutting down on alcohol intake, or exercising more can go a long way to improving a person’s health.
 
Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) this month announced its support for patients to be offered evidence-based guidance on the benefits of weight loss and stopping smoking as part of their healthcare.
 
This includes being invited by their GP to quit smoking or lose weight before undergoing surgery, although there will be no requirement for them to do so.
 
Dr David Jenner, a GP from Devon and Board member of NEW Devon CCG, called on people to make a change to their lifestyle in 2015 that could benefit them for the rest of their life.
 
“A New Year means a fresh start for many of us and if you can make one change such as giving up smoking, drinking less alcohol, eating healthier or exercising more it’s likely to benefit you for the rest of your life,” he said.
 
“As an organisation responsible for buying healthcare services for people in Devon our vision is healthy people, living healthy lives, in healthy communities and a positive New Year’s Resolution can help us all to achieve this.
 
“Regular exercise can dramatically improve your health and reduces the risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to half, and can lower the chance of early death by almost a third.
 
“Giving up smoking is the single best thing you can do to improve your health. You are four times more likely to give up smoking with NHS help so either speak to your GP or pharmacist, or for Devon patients phone 01884 836 024 or for Plymouth patients phone 01752 314 040.”

Plymouth City Council, which has responsibility for public health in the city, is also encouraging people to adopt healthier lifestyles, through a number of initiatives.
 
The ten year Thrive Plymouth programme is currently working with local employers to make it easier for people to make healthier choices.
 
The Council has also partnered with Alcohol Concern to encourage people to give up booze for 31 days for Dry January, while the new ‘Jump Into January’ health and wellbeing programme is a partnership between the Council’s Library Service and Plymouth Community Healthcare, offering free health and wellbeing taster sessions in libraries.
 
Councillor Sue McDonald, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Public Health at Plymouth City Council, said: “Small step changes can make a significant difference and recognising that you need to adopt a healthier lifestyle is the first step to improving your health.
 
“Our Thrive Plymouth programme recognises that four lifestyle behaviours – smoking, excessive drinking, inactivity and poor diet – lead to 54% of deaths in Plymouth, but you have the power to change this. New year is the perfect opportunity to make the change.”
 
For more information on Thrive Plymouth go to www.plymouth.gov.uk/thrive
 
For more information on Dry January and to sign up, visit www.dryjanuary.org
 
For details on Jump into January and to download our programme of events go to www.plymouth.gov.uk/jumpintojanuary
 
For lots of great advice on losing weight, quitting smoking, getting active, drinking less alcohol and eating more fruit and veg, visit the NHS Choices website: www.nhs.uk

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