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Posted: Mon, 27 Jul 2015 11:27am
John Lewis boost for therapeutic work on Bradgate wards

City centre shoppers in Leicester have provided a £1,600 boost for therapeutic work at the Bradgate Mental Health Unit – and it's all the result of a polite request for shampoo!

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust occupational therapist Karen Thompson, who works with patients across eight wards at the unit on the Glenfield Hospital site, wrote to shopping giant John Lewis last year, asking for donations of toiletries.

She said: "I was hoping they would be able to provide us with some samples of shampoo and other personal care items for patients who are often admitted at very short notice and don't always have time to pack home comforts." More »

But managers at the Highcross store were so impressed with Karen's letter that they plucked her from scores of requests to feature in their community fund initiative.

Restaurant customers are given plastic coins to 'donate' to one of three chosen causes over the course of three months – and the scheme to support patients in the acute mental health wards emerged a clear favourite.

The result was a donation of £1,641 for the wards, out of a total of £3,000 donated by John Lewis to their three community causes.

Sarah Fisher, community liaison co-ordinator for John Lewis's Highcross branch, visited the unit to present Karen and Gill Norris, senior occupational therapist at the unit, with a cheque.

She said: "The panel who select our customer fund recipients were all really impressed with Karen's letter and a lot of panel members could relate to it because they know or are close to people who have mental health needs.

"We were even more impressed when Karen took the time out to come and see us to say thanks – and we were delighted with the result. The Bradgate Unit was a clear favourite with our customers – not bad considering she only asked for shampoo"

Karen and Gill have already begun discussions with patients at the Bradgate Unit to decide on how best to use the donation.

Said Karen: "We work closely with therapeutic liaison workers at the unit to provide healthy lifestyle therapeutic activities and the patients have told us they would like to use some of the money to buy self-care items, particularly aromatic products and rich skin creams, for example, that help with sensory awareness. As well as helping to boost their self esteem and help with therapeutic relaxation, it can help to bring a touch of home into the ward.

"We're also considering cricket and tennis sets for outdoor activities. It's wonderful to know so much will be possible thanks to support from people in the community."

Gill Norris said: "This is a wonderful boost for our patients and we are thrilled at Karen's hard work for the patients here. She's done so much, including organising mental health awareness raising events at Glenfield."

Pictured (left to right) are Sarah Fisher, Karen Thompson and Gill Norris » Less

Posted: Mon, 27 Jul 2015 11:27am
Views sought on widening talking therapies support in city

A specialist talking therapies service for adults in Leicester city who are stressed, depressed or have anxiety, is asking people to comment on how it can extend its range of therapies.

The service is a partnership between Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service and third sector providers Adhar and Fit for Work.

The team offers confidential, recovery-focused talking therapies for people aged 16 and over (including the over 65s) who are registered with a city GP. More »

The service is keen to receive views on how the use of online technology and extended clinic hours might further improve the quality of the service and are asking people to complete a short online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OpenmindIAPT . Printed copies are also available on request from feedback@leicspart.nhs.uk

The survey closes at 5pm on Friday 28 August.

The Open Mind team is also inviting previous and current Open Mind service users to join its service development group.

This group will provide an opportunity to meet and share experiences of the service and work together with staff and partners to shape future improvements.

The next meeting is on Monday 10 August from 6pm to 7.15pm at the Open Mind base, Gwendolen House, on the Leicester General Hospital site – postcode LE5 4QF. Interpreters will be available if requested in advance.

Anyone interested in taking part is asked to book their place in advance by calling Shamim on 0116 295 2151 » Less

Posted: Wed, 22 Jul 2015 10:11pm
The new-look Adult Learning autumn course brochure is now available!

Would you like to acquire new skills, gain more qualifications, find a different job, develop a new interest or simply take your life in a new direction? The new-look adult learning autumn course programme offers 100s of daytime, evening and weekend learning opportunities that could help you change your life for the better!

View online or browse the course search - visit www.leics.gov.uk/GoLearn. Alternatively brochures will be available in County libraries from early August.

If you enrol before 14 August you get a massive 20% off your course tuition fees! More »

You may also be able to pay by instalments to help you spread the costs. If you are in receipt of certain benefits or have a low household income (a single household income of £18,572 or a joint household income of £23,716), you may already be able to access a 70% discount on tuition fees, or courses may be completely free.

Our Learner Support Fund is also available to help meet costs relating to your course, such as your tuition and exam fees, childcare, transport, books and materials, so please ask at enrolment.

Remember - the 20% Early Bird discount also applies to all courses starting next spring and summer!

Follow us on facebook for all the latest news and course information - Facebook.com/Leicsgolearn

Enrol online at www.leics.gov.uk/golearn or ring our enrolment line 0116 305 0820 or freephone 0800 988 0308. Our team of advisors can offer advice about courses and enrolment fees. If lines are busy then please leave your phone number or email address and we will get back to you as soon as possible. » Less

Art Demonstration/ Tim Rose
Posted: Mon, 13 Jul 2015 10:12am

Art Demonstration CHARNWOOD DRAWING & PAINTING CLUB

Tim Rose paints in oils and watercolour subjects ranging from architectural studies to portraits. He has exhibited widely and has had paintings displayed with the Royal Watercolour Society - Royal Institute of Watercolourists - and the Sunday Times watercolour competition Tonight Tim will be producing a painting in watercolour featuring architecture 7pm - 9.15pm £2 for members £5 for visitors ample free parking wheelchair access visitors are very welcome to join us for this demonstration View more details - Art Demonstration CHARNWOOD DRAWING & PAINTING CLUBWoodbrook Vale High School Grasmere Road Loughborough Leicestershire LE11 2STTue 28 Jul

Posted: Fri, 10 Jul 2015 8:23pm

The 'Together We Won the War' exhibition, has been developed and co-ordinated by The Race Equality Centre and tells the stories of racial minority communities from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean who played a significant part in supporting the war effort both in terms of offering manpower and resources to Britain. The exhibition showcases how people from across the world were recruited into the British armed and auxiliary forces and celebrates their contributions.

The exhibition will be showing at the Leicester Adult Education College, 54 Belvoir Street, Leicester, LE1 6QL from Monday 29th June - 24th August 2015. Opening hours 9-8pm. More »

The Exhibition has currently been shortlisted for a National Lottery Heritage award. Please vote for our project to win best heritage project 2015. www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards/heritage » Less

Posted: Wed, 01 Jul 2015 8:31am
Vista's Jazz in the Garden Summer Soireé

Come along and enjoy an afternoon of jazz, Hosted by Her Grace, Frances, The Dowager Duchess of Rutland.

Taking place on Saturday 18 July, 12 – 3.30pm this prestigious event will help to raise vital funds for local sight loss charity Vista.

You can expect great performances from jazz band 'Something For The Weekend' and there will also be a variety of craft stalls, a raffle, deli stand, Pimm's bar and refreshments.

Garden Party Poster 2015 (JPEG, 892 Kb, 2480x3508)
Posted: Tue, 23 Jun 2015 10:55am

A partnership between the NHS, prison service and Leicester artists is harnessing art to boost the mental wellbeing of young men at Glen Parva Young Offenders Institute.

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) Glen Parva and Soft Touch Arts from Leicester, have joined forces to launch an innovative year-long programme of creative arts workshops.

LPT provides a wide range of physical and primary mental health care services at Glen Parva aimed at maintaining the prisoners' mental wellbeing, and the project will also inform research into the value of arts projects in the rehabilitation of offenders. More »

The work features in a short film published by LPT on its YouTube channel.

A total of 40 workshops have been organised for prisoners to help improve their sense of wellbeing and brighten their surroundings. To date, around 80 young men have participated in the workshops, which continue until October 2015.

Keiran Walsh from award-winning Leicester charity Soft Touch Arts and his colleagues are working with staff and prisoners at Glen Parva, particularly young men who have a diagnosis of mental health needs combined with alcohol and substance misuse.

The £10,000 project is supported by the Big Lottery Fund, charitable donations and contributions from LPT and Glen Parva.

Said Keiran: 'The workshops are now well under way. We're working with young prisoners to create artwork that will be displayed on the wall of the visitors' centre which is a very large area with bare walls where friends and family come to visit.

'There are no fixed ideas about what the work should look like but we have all agreed it should have positive themes and that everyone in each group will have input into the final design. '

'The prisoners came up with the idea of producing life-sized silhouettes of themselves which they decorate with images and phrases that tie in with the theme. They have all spoken really positively about what they have done".

Natasha Garraway-Charles, LPT's head of healthcare at Glen Parva, said: "The art project provides a unique opportunity for healthcare staff to engage with the young men and offer education and support in a non-traditional setting. The project offers an opportunity to improve the mental wellbeing, self-esteem and sense of achievement of the participants through positive engagement."

Alison Clarke, Governor of Glen Parva said: "The partnership between LPT, Glen Parva and Leicester artists is an excellent initiative that is helping to increase the health and wellbeing of some of the vulnerable young men in our care.

"Art is an excellent way of reaching out to offenders with mental health or substance misuse issues and it is great that we will have their artwork on display around the prison."

Following completion of the project in October, a launch event is planned for World Mental Health Day. The work will also feature in LPT and Bright Sparks' annual open art exhibition at Leicester's West End Gallery from Tuesday 29 September to Thursday 8 October.

To find out more about LPT's prison healthcare services visit www.leicspart.nhs.uk (A-Z of services).

-ends-

___

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) provides a range of health and wellbeing services mainly for people living Leicester, Leicestershire and. Trust serves a population of one million, has a budget in excess of £267 million and employs approximately 5,400 staff. More details at www.leicspart.nhs.uk

2. Glen Parva is a busy young offender prison catering for more than 800 young males aged from 18 to 21, from all over the country.

LPT provides a wide range of physical and mental health care to all prisoners, based on their individual needs.

3.Soft Touch Arts creates brighter futures for disadvantaged young people. Established in 1986, the Leicester-based charity uses the arts, media and music activities to inspire and engage young people, helping them to develop creative, social and employability skills.

4. The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. It is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery for good causes and invests over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.

For further information contact: Sheila Ashton, communications manager, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, Tel: 0116 295 0042, E: sheila.ashton@leicspart.nhs.uk » Less

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Longer fasting hours during Ramadan 2015
Posted: Thu, 18 Jun 2015 9:01am

Fasting starts this week for thousands across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland

With Ramadan starting this week, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across Leicester City, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) are urging practicing Muslims to make sure they keep healthy while fasting.

Because Ramadan falls in the UK's mid-summer this year, when daylight hours are at their longest, their fast will be greater than for Muslims in more equatorial countries.

Many practicing Muslims will be observing this 30-day fast from dawn till dusk. Ramadan, as well as well as encompassing fasting, is a month of prayer and self-reflection and an opportunity to address physical, psychological and moral health. More »

West Leicestershire CCG, Leicester City CCG and East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG are encouraging local people to use this fasting opportunity to have a healthy start during the holy month without running the risk of compromising their health.

Professor Azhar Farooqi, GP and chair of Leicester CCG, speaking on behalf of the three CCGs said: "Fasting is a physical and spiritual experience requiring a great deal of preparation, particularly considering the length of daylight in these summer months.

"Patients with any chronic illness or health complication should consult their GP or nurse prior to fasting to see if they can do so safely during Ramadan, before the fasting commences. Please discuss your medical conditions and explore possible changes to your medication or any other alternatives that doctors may suggest to suit your needs. Some groups are exempt from fasting, such as pregnant women, mothers who are breastfeeding, diabetics, the chronically ill and the elderly."

Professor Farooqi, who is also Leicester City CCG's clinical lead for diabetes, added: "Those who are injecting insulin, or on medication which can cause very low blood sugar, are advised not to fast, as the potential risk to health may be too great. People who have diabetes and are unsure should discuss with their GP if they are able to fast, and how they can reduce any risk of difficulties or complications."

For more information on health advice, please see the NHS website:-

http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/healthyramadan/pages/healthyramadanhome.aspx » Less

Charnwood Orchestra Concert
Posted: Tue, 16 Jun 2015 5:50pm

Charnwood Orchestra will be giving its summer concert at the Church of St James the Greater, London Road, Leicester on Saturday July 4th 2015.

It's a wonderful programme consisting of

Mozart: Magic Flute Overture

Beethoven: Violin Concerto with soloist Thomas Bowes

Brahms: Symphony No 4

Tickets will cost £10.00 (£9.00 concessions) and £3.00 for accompanied children under 16. They are available by phoning the box office on 07718 153117 or emailing judithrodgers155@gmail.com, from Visit Leicester, 51 Gallowtree Gate, Leicester LE1 5AD on 0116 299 4444, members of the orchestra or on the door. The concert starts at 7.30 and there will be a wine, juice and Castle Rock real ale bar. More »

Charnwood Orchestra is a regular visitor to St James. We appreciate its elegant interior and as one of the best amateur orchestras of the region, we feel we do justice to its fine acoustic. » Less

LOROS Lottery Collectors
Posted: Tue, 16 Jun 2015 5:49pm
LOROS Lottery Collectors

LOROS LOTTERY

URGENT – CAN YOU HELP?

Want to meet people, get some exercise and help a local charity raise much needed funds? We urgently require a lottery collector to call four-weekly on small, established rounds in the areas of New Parks (Keightley Road) & Braunstone Frith (Cuffling Drive/Tatlow Road) and Braustone Town (Radford Drive) areas.

Would you or someone you know be interested in collecting LOROS Lottery subscriptions for us? Maybe you have just moved house and don't know anyone in your area? We are desperately looking for anyone with a couple of hours to spare. There is no cold calling involved and everyone on the round has indicated that they would like a collector to call. Most importantly, it is a very worthwhile way of supporting LOROS. More »

Give the Lottery Office a call on (0116) 231 8430 if you would like to have an informal chat and find out more about becoming a LOROS Lottery Collector. » Less

Huntington's service opens doors for recruitment on 24 June
Posted: Sat, 13 Jun 2015 8:57am
Huntington's service opens doors for recruitment on 24 June

An acclaimed specialist mental health inpatient service is opening its doors to the public on Wednesday 24 June to showcase job opportunities with the team.

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust's Huntington's disease inpatient service is hosting its first recruitment event at Mill Lodge, on Mill Lane in Kegworth between 10am and noon.

The community inpatient team provides specialist care in a homely environment and cares for adults with Huntington's disease (HD) – some as young as early 20s. More »

The team has vacancies for registered nurses (RMN, RGN, RNLD) along with therapeutic support workers and healthcare support workers.

Many of the patients the team provide care for have complex physical, psychiatric, behavioural and/or psychological needs. They receive support and care from a comprehensive multi-disciplinary team made up of medical, nursing, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, neuro-psychology and dietetic staff.

Patients are cared for in comfortable, homely 18-bedded accommodation and therapy rooms, with daily activities to stimulate both body and mind. Because of the variety and complexity of symptoms, staff are trained to support patients with a range of challenging behaviours.

Ward matron Jayne Hill said: "We provide specialist care for people dealing with an illness which affects them physically, mentally and cognitively. Our team of nurses is supported and trained in meeting the individual needs of our patients."

Team manager Alana Barby added: "We are looking for committed people who believe strongly in helping to improve the quality of life for our patients and supporting the people who love them. In return we can offer a fulfilling career and a meaningful challenge to care for those suffering from Huntington's disease while also supporting their families and carers.

"Anyone considering returning to practice or just contemplating a career in healthcare is welcome to drop in and talk to us about current and possible future opportunities or just to find out more about the service."

New team members can expect to be based at Mill Lodge until 2016 when the service is due to relocate to new purpose-built facilities on the site of Stewart Lodge in Narborough, Leicester.

Photograph shows: Alana Barby, LPT's HD team manager (front, right) with some of the team

-ends-___

NOTES TO EDITORS

1.Huntington's Disease is an hereditary disorder of the nervous system that affects men and women equally. It leads to a gradual loss of function which affects people's physical and cognitive abilities and leads to changes in behaviour.

There is currently no cure for Huntington's Disease but the team at Mill Lodge provide treatments and strategies to minimise the symptoms, improve quality of life and help people to maintain their, health and wellbeing.

2. Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) provides a range of health and wellbeing services mainly for people living Leicester, Leicestershire and. Trust serves a population of one million, has a budget in excess of £267million and employs approximately 5,400 staff. More details at www.leicspart.nhs.uk

For further information contact: Sheila Ashton, communications manager, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, Tel: 0116 295 0042, E: sheila.ashton@leicspart.nhs.uk » Less

Posted: Wed, 27 May 2015 12:48pm
Vista's Mobile Support Service

Mobile support service heads to The Wheatsheaf Inn and Sibson Road Cark Park, Leicester.

Local sight loss charity Vista has launched a brand new Mobile Support Service for older people at risk of developing sight loss in Leicestershire.

The service, in partnership with Leicestershire County Council, will tour the county in a specially designed mobile unit, providing information, support and advice.

Throughout June it will visit a variety of locations across the Charnwood region.

The Mobile Support Service will visit The Wheatsheaf Inn, Leicester Road, on Tuesday 16th June, 10:00am - 12:00pm and Sibson Road Car Park, 1:30pm -4:00pm,Leicester. More »

1.8 million people are living with significant sight loss in the UK, and evidence suggests that over 50 per cent of sight loss is due to preventable or treatable causes. Vista will raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of sight loss, the importance of early diagnosis and the links between lifestyle and sight loss.

Manned by friendly staff, the vehicle features an open plan welcome area, leaflet display and a seating area for individual consultation and support. During their time on board, visitors can:

  • Learn how a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of sight loss, the importance of regular sight tests and spotting conditions early
  • Find out more about the support and services available through Vista
  • Discover equipment and technologies that can support people with sight loss.

The programme will also support older people already experiencing sight loss, enabling them to access dedicated information, advice and support in their local communities.

A full list of dates, locations and times is available on our website at www.vistablind.org.uk/mobilesupport » Less

LCFC Foxes Foundation Charities Run
Posted: Sun, 03 May 2015 5:27pm

I am about to embark on my 5th 90 minute run around the LCFC pitch to raise money for the LCFC Foxes Foundation chosen Charities. My first run took place at the very last match played at Filbert Street before the match against Spurs and I raised £800. In my last 3 runs I have challenged myself to run full laps of the King Power Stadium pitch. I managed to raise £2,711 in 2012 running 51 laps before the West Ham match and raised £1,242 in 2013 running 52 laps before the Watford match . Last season was a great occasion as the team won the Championship and gained promotion to the Premier League. I managed to raise £1,051 running 50 laps before the Doncaster Rovers match.

I have just turned 54 and am not getting any younger... but once again I will be challenging myself to run as many full laps around the pitch before the QPR match that takes place on Sunday 24th May. Those of you who know me will know that I will give maximum effort running around the four corner flags where I am hoping to hit the 50 laps mark once more.

This season's LCFC Foxes Foundation beneficiaries:

Leicester Hospitals Charity

Leicestershire Autistic Society

Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research (Leicester & Rutland Branch)

Rainbows Hospice

Lord Mayors Appeal (Prostate Cancer UK – Silver Star Diabetes – Leicester Sea Cadets)

LCFC Foxes Foundation Charity Number 1144791 More »

I would really appreciate it if you would make a donation to my just giving page.

www.justgiving.com/RichGunn1961

Donations can also be made by texting GUNN61 With the amount i.e. £5 to 70070

I also have the good old fashioned paper sponsorship if preferred.

Many thanks in anticipation of your help.

Richard Gunn. » Less

NHS 'Listening Booth' aims to hear views of 400 patients
Posted: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 5:17pm

A fantastic listening and engagement tool capturing patients' views and opinions is kicking off its second tour with an aim to reach 400 patients, after successfully capturing comments and ideas from over 300 patients since its launch in February 2014.

People across East Leicestershire and Rutland are being invited to share their views on their local NHS by the organisation which plans and pays for much of their healthcare.

East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group (ELR CCG) is taking its Listening Booth out and about in the area over the coming months to get people's view on local healthcare services. More »

It will be particularly interested to hear from people who have used the new urgent care service that launched 1 April 2015.

The Listening Booth will be at Melton Farmers' market on Tuesday 5 May and the Oadby Library's healthcare event on Wednesday 20 May. Further dates and venues are being confirmed.

Graham Martin, chair of ELR CCG, said: "We are delighted by the success of our Listening Booth, which was launched only 14 months ago. Since then 300 patients have had the chance to tell us exactly what they think about the services we provide. And rather than them having to come to us, we've gone to them to find out what they think.

"Our new Urgent Care Service has got off to a flying start, with around 3,000* people using it since its launch on 1 April. That's a great start, but we want them to get better and better. Hearing what local people think about them will help us hone the service so it meets their needs as best as we can. Even before we launched the new service, we'd responded to initial suggestions by extending the opening hours at Oadby and Wigston Urgent Care Centres. The Listening Booth will help us capture even more ideas and comments.

"We know there is an increasing demand for our services, partly due to the fact that people are living longer and in many cases with long-term illnesses. Patients' experiences of what's right and what's wrong with the way we look after them and help them look after themselves are vital to helping us adapt and refine those services, so they match developing local need.

"Simply talking with local people in the area about their experiences of local healthcare has already proved valuable in the past two years, alongside formal public consultations on major changes. As well as visiting venues such as leisure centres and markets, our staff have also attended local interest groups, such as those who deal with mental health issues, hospice supporters and multi-faith groups, to ensure that views are gathered from different communities.

"We don't just listen to local people's views. We act on what we hear. For example, at an event in Rutland comment was received about the location of the recently opened surgery in Uppingham. It was felt it was difficult for older patients to reach as public transport links were poor. Following this a community partnership bus service is to be trialled to match the surgery's opening times."

Another patient's experiences of self-harm services in another county highlighted to commissioners a lack of continuity in care in relation to crisis and home treatment. We took this information on board to ensure the Mental Health Pathway redesign included plans to change the staffing levels of the crisis service to see patients who need crisis treatment outside of their GP.

People can also go online and give their views on their local NHS on this website by going to the Contact Us page to use the online feedback form.

*Figures for the evening, weekend and bank holiday service. » Less

wildlife art demonstration
Posted: Sun, 19 Apr 2015 6:46pm

Charnwood drawing & Painting Club Loughborough Tuesday 28th April Demonstration by the wildlife artist Ian Riseley 7pm to 9.15pm at Woodbrook Vale High School Grasmere Road LoughboroughLE11 2STVisitors are very welcome to join us Ample free parking on site Wheelchair access

£2 for members £5 for visitors

Website: charnwooddrawingpaintingclub.com

Posted: Tue, 07 Apr 2015 11:03pm
LoveLBG Womens Networking Launch in Leicester this June!

As well as our launch into both Leicester and Sutton Coldfield this spring, we also have collected over 70 Easter Eggs throughout our March events in aid of The Pathway Project.

The Pathway Project works to support adults, young people and children, who are experiencing or affected by domestic abuse. Pathway aim to provide a range of high quality services, meeting the needs of abused adults and children, in a caring environment. www.pathway-project.co.uk

We are also supporters of the Maria Hanson Foundation and at every event we host we collect donations who hold raffles and in the past have donated unwanted bra to the Tilinanu Orphanage in Malawi. More »

The ladies business group hosts monthly events in Ashby, Loughborough, Burton upon Trent and soon Leicester and Sutton Coldfield with between 30 and 40 business women at each event. I am still shocked how successful the events have become and due to demand the expansion, from an idea I had because of the lack of support for business women.

I am happy to answer any questions you may have on 07505 847 807. » Less

Easter egg WEB (JPEG, 645 Kb, 900x514)
Posted: Wed, 25 Mar 2015 10:19pm

From 1 April 2015 people in East Leicestershire and Rutland will benefit from access to a new healthcare service. This service will provide patients with greater access to healthcare for injuries and illnesses that need treating that day but are not life threatening. The service is available seven days a week – accessible through local GP services and urgent care centres.

This new urgent care service was developed following extensive consultation with people in the area during 2014 and through on-going engagement with patients, GPs and other healthcare professionals, as well as key partners including Healthwatch Leicestershire and Healthwatch Rutland. More »

Dr Girish Purohit, Governing Body member for East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group (ELR CCG) and its clinical lead on urgent care, said: "We are really pleased to be able to provide this new service which I feel will be of great benefit to the local population. People told us they wanted to be treated locally and quickly for injuries and illnesses that need to be seen that day but are not emergencies and this service does just that.

"It replaces a disjointed service where some patients had access to urgent care services locally, but the opening times varied depending on where in the area you lived. From 1 April, opening times will be extended and consistent and access to services will be seven days a week."

During GP opening hours people can access treatment through their GP practice or at the Oadby Urgent Care Centre. During evenings, weekends and bank holidays they can visit Urgent Care Centres in Market Harborough, Oakham, Melton Mowbray and Oadby.

Use this link to see the web page with the places to access urgent care and their opening times.

Working in partnership with the public and other healthcare organisations has been key throughout the development of the service.

Sue Staples, Board Member of Healthwatch Leicestershire, said: "As the local patient 'voice' for the Leicestershire, Healthwatch Leicestershire in its role as Consumer Champion has played an active role within the urgent care project group scrutinising and supporting the project at all stages from pre-engagement, through the public consultation, to helping to ensure implementation on time.

"We feel assured that this exciting new service starting on April 1 will provide our patients with a long-awaited and much improved urgent care service with more choice, nearer to home, greater accessibility, longer opening hours, and thus helping to prevent unnecessary visits and relieve pressure on the Emergency Department at the Leicester Royal Infirmary."

Over the coming weeks ELR CCG will be working hard to inform people in East Leicestershire and Rutland about the new service and direct them to where they can best get treated.

Tim Sacks, Chief Operating Officer for ELR CCG, adds: "We have invested a lot of time and resource into making sure we can reach as many people as possible with information about the new service. As well as putting information into GP surgeries and pharmacies, we are also working with key stakeholders to get information into community venues including libraries and leisure centres.

"Extensive information about the service is available on our website and we are mailing all households in the area in May with information to make it easier to choose the right service for treatment.

"We are encouraging people to keep information about the opening times and locations of the urgent care services handy so that when they need them they know where to go. We would also ask that they share this information with friends and family living in East Leicestershire and Rutland."

The new service will be run by Northern Doctors Urgent Care, who was selected after a thorough procurement process in 2014, working in partnership with local GPs. » Less

Get prepared this Easter bank holiday weekend
Posted: Wed, 25 Mar 2015 10:19pm

People across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are being encouraged to get prepared for the Easter bank holiday and make sure they have sufficient stock of any prescription medicine they might need.

As many GP surgeries will not be open from Good Friday (3 April 2015) to bank holiday Monday (6 April), it is important that those who make use of repeat prescriptions check now to ensure that their supply will last until at least Tuesday 7 April.

Professor Mayur Lakhani, a Leicestershire GP speaking on behalf of the CCGs, said: "It is important that people check all their medications to make sure that they have a reasonable supply which will last over the bank holiday period. It is likely that Tuesday 7 April will be a busy day for GP surgeries following the holiday break, so I urge everyone to make sure that they have enough medication to last them until towards the end of the week." More »

It is also recommended that people keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet so they can deal with any minor injuries and illnesses that occur in the holiday period, or to visit their local pharmacist for advice about the right treatment.

Professor Lakhani continued: "Encouraging self-care is extremely important, as it allows people to take control of their own health and wellbeing. This includes taking responsibility for their medications, as well as treating their own minor illnesses using over the counter medicines when appropriate. I urge people to stay away from A&E, unless it really is a life-threatening accident or emergency. By choosing self-care or using one of the other services available, people will be able to get the right treatment at the right time and allow medical staff in A&E to concentrate on treating patients who are seriously ill or injured."

Out of hours services will be available for those with an urgent need to see their GP as well as urgent care centres, which can treat minor burns, cuts and wounds, infections and rashes, as well as stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhoea, and health advice is also available by calling NHS 111, which is available 24 hours a day.

For further information on the services available in their local area we recommend visiting www.choosebetter.org.uk or www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/ » Less

Posted: Thu, 19 Mar 2015 10:03am
More Leicestershire homes and businesses gearing up to reach the high-speed broadband fast lane

More Leicestershire homes and businesses gearing up to reach the high-speed broadband fast lane

A £9.2 million contract to expand high-speed broadband to even more rural communities across Leicestershire was signed on Friday 13th March.

The partnership between Leicestershire County Council and BT will see more than 10,000 extra homes and businesses get access to fibre broadband technology as part of the Government's Superfast Extension Programme.

The latest multi-million pound Superfast Leicestershire contract, signed at Prestwold Hall, Loughborough, includes £3.45m from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), £2.3m from BT, £2m from the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) as part of its Local Growth Deal and £1.45m from the county council. More »

Pam Posnett, Leicestershire County Council's cabinet member for rural broadband, said: "This contract builds on the success of our current rollout and will enable us to drive broadband speeds up across rural Leicestershire.

"This is an exciting project that is continuing at pace, connecting more communities and businesses together thanks to the internet."

Steve Henderson, BT's regional director for next generation access, said, "The Superfast Leicestershire partnership has already made fibre broadband available to tens of thousands of homes and businesses across the county. This has transformed the way people use the internet, the services that local businesses are able to provide, and the way that everyone can learn online. We're delighted to have been selected by the council to work with them to extend that reach even further in the coming years."

Areas of the county expected to benefit from the contract extension and get access to fibre for the first time include Frisby on the Wreake, Eastwell, Seagrave, Shawell, Lockington, Congerstone, and Orton-on-the-Hill, as well as additional parts of South Wigston, Stoney, Stanton, Blaby, Ullesthorpe and Burton on the Wolds.

A revised interactive map is now available on the Superfast Leicestershire website that shows the full expected coverage across the county. The first properties to benefit from this latest phase are expected to go live towards the end of 2016, with the rollout expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

More than 25,000 premises already have access to superfast broadband thanks to the first Superfast Leicestershire contract signed between Leicestershire County Council and BT in 2013. As part of this work, 124 green roadside fibre cabinets have already been installed and more than 270kms of fibre cable laid.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: "Today's announcement marks the next step in the transformation of the digital landscape of Leicestershire. We want as many people as possible to enjoy the benefits of superfast broadband, and this new £9.2 million investment will help us reach another 10,000 local homes and businesses. By 2017, 95% of the UK will be able to access superfast speeds and I congratulate Superfast Leicestershire for the remarkable progress they have made already in helping us deliver this."

www.superfastleicestershire.org.uk » Less

Posted: Wed, 11 Mar 2015 12:18pm
Leicestershire Church Project Relaunches

The Leicestershire & Rutland Churches Project has had a complete update and after a hiatus of two years new entries are starting to be added. The first has been the fine church at Theddingworth.

We have access to engravings, old church plans and some old images which we will be adding. We are always looking for old images, stories or anecdotes on our local churches, so if you have any information please get in touch.

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