Stress Awareness Month

April marks the start of #StressAwarenessMonth, a crucial time to shine a light on stress, the causes, symptoms, and the best practices for managing it.

In a busy world with ever increasing demands and distractions, it’s important to acknowledge the impact stress has on our mental, emotional, and physical health.

Stress comes in many forms, and it can affect us all. From the pressures of work to the complexity of relationships and personal challenges, stress can manifest, and it can often become overwhelming. However, there are ways in which we can foster resilience, promote self-care, and ultimately manage stress.

Throughout April, we will be sharing resources and tips designed to equip you with the necessary tools to identify and manage stress. Once you have learnt the best practices, why not help others around you. If you know the signs to look out for and the best ways to manage stress, your support can be impactful on the life of another.

Join with us to conquer stress!

Where can I get support?

NHS Talking Therapies
If you live in England and are aged 18 or over, you can access NHS talking therapies services.
A GP can refer you, or you can refer yourself.

NHS talking therapies services offer:

  • talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), counselling, other therapies, and guided self-help.
  • help for common mental health problems, like anxiety and depression.

For more information about stress, visit https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/feelings-symptoms-behaviours/feelings-and-symptoms/stress/

Resources

Healthier Lifestyle Choices: Pilot Programme

Nexus PCN in collaboration with Exeter City Community Trust recently hosted a pilot programme to help people in Exeter get fit and healthy.

The pilot aimed at patients who have a BMI between 25 to 29 were invited to join a six-week programme to help them manage and sustain healthier lifestyle choices and improve their overall physical health and mental wellbeing.

15 patients registered at Nexus PCN member practices (Mount Pleasant Health Centre, The South Lawn Medical Practice, The Heavitree Practice, Hill Barton Surgery & ISCA Medical Practice) met weekly at St James Park, the home of Exeter City Football Club. The group supported by GPs, Dietitians, Health & Wellbeing Coaches, and an exercise trainer were offered advice on diet, healthy eating, physical activity, methods for dealing with anxiety, and ways to overcome barriers which impact their lifestyle choices.

At the end of the programme, the individuals who took part gave positive feedback and we believe this could be a way forward to fighting conditions such as diabetes and obesity.

Click the link to see the ITV News coverage of the project: www.itv.com/news/westcountry/2024-03-02/its-amazing-the-pilot-project-helping-people-get-fit-and-healthy

International Men's Day

Today we are celebrating International Men’s Day, a time which allows us to recognise and celebrate the contributions, achievements, and positive influences of men across the globe. As we acknowledge the challenges faced by men and promote gender equality, today serves as a reminder to appreciate the diversity of roles men play in our families, communities and in society.

The theme for this year’s campaign is “Zero Male Suicide” which aims to encourage us all to do more to prevent the number of male suicides across the globe. So, what can we do to prevent male suicide?

Encourage Open Conversations

Together we can create a culture of openness and destigmatise mental health by encouraging conversations about emotions and well-being. Let the male figures in your life know that it’s okay to feel vulnerable and there is no shame in talking about their feelings.

Active Listening

All of us can actively listen when someone is expressing their thoughts and feelings. Validate their experiences without judgment and let them know that you are there for support.

Check-In Regularly

Regularly check in with friends, family members, and colleagues, especially if you notice changes in their mood or behaviour. Offering your support and being present can make a significant difference. Talking can be a powerful tool to let them know that they aren’t alone.

Promote Self-Care

Reinforce the importance of seeking professional help when needed. Encourage friends, loved ones or colleagues to talk to a mental health professional if they are struggling. There are lots of services available, from our own Health & Wellbeing team to counselling services and even charities such as The Samaritans.

Encouraging friends, loved ones and colleagues to take part in regular physical activity, start a new hobby or follow mindfulness techniques can all contribute to improved mental wellbeing.

Challenge Gender Stereotypes

Challenge traditional gender stereotypes that may discourage men from seeking help or expressing vulnerability. Encourage and celebrate diverse expressions of masculinity.

Be Mindful of Language

Be mindful of the language used, avoiding stigmatising terms or jokes related to mental health. Creating a language of empathy and understanding contributes to a more supportive atmosphere.

Offer Practical Support

Offer practical support to those going through challenging times, such as helping with daily tasks or accompanying them to appointments. Practical assistance can alleviate stress and show that you care.

Learn The Emergency Procedures

Familiarise yourself with emergency procedures. If you believe someone is at immediate risk of suicide, knowing who to contact in an emergency can make all the difference.

Statistics

  • The suicide rate is 3 times higher in men than women.
  • Men are twice as likely to suffer from lung cancer.
  • Men are nearly twice as likely to suffer from heart disease than women.
  • The mortality rate is 4 to 5 years lower in men than women.
  • 1 in 3 men have been the victims of domestic violence.

Anti-Bullying Week

This week, we are observing Anti-Bullying Week, a time to spread awareness and foster a culture of kindness. Bullying leaves lasting scars, affecting mental health, self-esteem, and overall well-being. This week prompts us to reflect on the real, tangible consequences of bullying, urging us to be catalysts for change. Anti-Bullying Week serves as a poignant reminder that every individual deserves to live in an environment free from fear, judgment, and harassment.

This year’s theme ‘Make A Noise About Bullying’ aims to empower us all to do something positive to counter the harm and hurt that bullying causes. By showing our support, we can bring an end to bullying.

What can I do to prevent bullying?

  • Promote Anti-Bullying Week: Support and participate in anti-bullying week by raising awareness of bullying and its impacts. Your support will contribute to a collective effort to prevent bullying.
  • Educate yourself: Learn about different forms of bullying and their impact. Understanding the issue is the first step to preventing it.
  • Speak up and report it: If you witness bullying, don’t stay silent. Speak up against inappropriate behaviour, support the person being targeted and ensure it is reported to the relevant authorities. Your voice can make a significant impact.
  • Be inclusive: Make an effort to include others and treat everyone with kindness and empathy. Simple acts of kindness can create a positive and inclusive atmosphere.
  • Celebrate diversity: Create an inclusive environment where everyone feels accepted regardless of their background, appearance, or beliefs.
  • Teach respect: Instil the values of respect and empathy in your interactions. Treat others as you would like to be treated and set a positive example for those around you.

As we observe Anti-Bullying Week, let’s remember that creating a bully-free world is a collective responsibility. Through empowerment, education, and a commitment to end bullying, we can build a society where everyone is free to be themselves without fear. Join us in taking a stand – because together, we can make a difference.

World Menopause Day

Celebrating World Menopause Day and Empowering Women

Today we are celebrating World Menopause Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about menopause and the impact it has on women’s lives. It’s a time to celebrate the strength, resilience, and wisdom of women all over the world as they navigate this significant phase of life.

What is Menopause?

Menopause is a natural, biological process that every woman goes through, typically occurring in their late 40s to early 50s. Menopause can bring about symptoms such as anxiety, mood swings, hot flushes, irregular periods, and brain fog, which can start years before periods stop and continue afterward.

Breaking the Silence:

One of the primary goals of World Menopause Day is to break the silence surrounding this topic. Many women can feel uncomfortable discussing their experiences with menopause, leading to feelings of isolation. Encouraging open conversations about menopause is crucial, as sharing experiences and knowledge can help women feel supported and understood during this phase.

Who Can You Talk To If You Have Symptoms of Menopause?

  • Speak to a receptionist at one of our member practices and they can refer you to our Health & Wellbeing team who can provide advice and connect you to talking therapy and support/community groups.
  • Speak to a GP, Nurse, or Pharmacist about menopause; they can provide advice.
  • Consult an NHS or private Menopause specialist who have experience in supporting anyone going through menopause. Find your nearest specialist here.

Empowerment & Self-Care:

Empowering women with knowledge about menopause and increasing understanding of the physical and emotional changes, as well as the available treatment options, enables women to make informed decisions about their health and well-being.

Some top tips for managing symptoms of menopause include:

  • Getting plenty of rest and sticking to a sleep routine.
  • Eating a healthy diet.
  • Engaging in regular exercise, such as walking, running, or dancing.
  • Talking to others going through the same journey; chat with friends, family, and colleagues.

By raising awareness of menopause, breaking the silence, and providing support, we can empower women to embrace this phase of life with confidence. Let us stand together to continue supporting women throughout their journey and show them that they are not alone in this process.

Stoptober

‘WHEN YOU STOP SMOKING, GOOD THINGS START TO HAPPEN’

Stoptober is back, calling on smokers in England to join the 2.5 million others who have made a quit attempt with the campaign since it first launched. Over 5 million adults in England still smoke, and it remains the biggest behavioural cause of preventable illness and death, with 64,000 deaths a year.

This year’s Stoptober mass quit attempt is as important as ever, with quitting remaining one of the best things a smoker can do for their health. That’s why this year’s Stoptober campaign is encouraging smokers to join the thousands of others who are committing to quitting for the month of October – quit smoking for 28 days and you’re five times more likely to quit for good. When you stop smoking good things start to happen – quitting will allow you to start moving better, breathe more easily and give you more money to spend.

Stoptober offers a range of free quitting tools including: the NHS Quit Smoking app, Facebook messenger bot, Stoptober Facebook online communities, daily emails and SMS, and an online Personal Quit Plan tool. It provides information and advice on proven quitting methods: the range of stop smoking aids, including further information on how vaping can help you quit, and expert support from local Stop Smoking Services. Just search ‘Stoptober’ for more information or visit the Better Health Quit Smoking Website.

Click here for more  information about quitting smoking.

Organ Donation Week

Unlocking Hope: Organ Donation Week 2023

The 18th of September marks the beginning of a week that has the power to change lives forever. This week we are celebrating Organ Donation Week, a time where people can come together to celebrate the profound effect of organ donation and inspire others to join-in the life-saving movement.

The Gift of Life

Every day, countless individuals across the world face the frightening prospect of organ failure. Whether it’s a failing heart, kidneys or lungs, the consequences of these life-threatening conditions are immense. For these patients and their loved ones, their hope relies on transplants.

Organ transplants are a medical miracle that can transform lives. A transplant will offer the promise of a second chance, renewed health, and an opportunity to hug their loved ones once more. However, at the centre of this remarkable achievement, lie the unsung heroes who make the selfless choice to become organ donors.

The Power of One Decision

Imagine the profound impact a single decision can have. By signing up as an organ donor you may have the chance to potentially save up to nine lives, provide hope in others, and offer healing to those who desperately need it. It’s a legacy of compassion and generosity that transcends time, making a lasting imprint on the world.

Organ Donation Week is the perfect opportunity to reflect on this life-changing decision. It serves as a reminder that within each of us, we all have the power to be a lifesaver. It only takes a few moments of your time to register, and it can lead to a lifetime of hope for someone else.

The Facts

Understanding organ donation is the first step in making an informed decision. Here are some facts to consider:

  • Someone is Already Waiting: There are around 7,000 people in the UK waiting for a transplant.
  • Lost Hope: On average, one person dies every day waiting for a transplant because there aren’t enough donors.
  • Make a Significant Difference: One donor can save up to nine lives from organ donation, and even more by donating tissue.
  • No Restrictions: Age, illness or long-term conditions are not a barrier to organ donation.
  • Protected Privacy: Your personal information as a donor is confidential. Only medical professionals involved in transplants have access to this information.
  • Zero Cost: Organ donation is a gift of life and there are no costs involved for donors or their families.

Taking Action During Organ Donation Week

This week you too can become an organ donor. It’s a quick and simple process which can be done online. If you would like to give hope to others, then register your decision at: www.organdonation.nhs.uk/register-your-decision/

What Can You Do To Help?

Start Conversations: Why not share your decision to be an organ donor with your family and friends. Encourage them to do the same.

Share Your Story: If you or someone you know has had their life changed due to an organ donation, why not share your story on social media and spread awareness.

Honour Donors: Take a moment to remember and honour those who have given the gift of life through organ donation.

Organ Donation Week is not only about celebrating donors and their incredible generosity, but it is also about inspiring others to make the decision to sign-up and become a donor too. It’s also about raising awareness, so that more and more people can unlock hope.

This week, take a moment to reflect on the impact you could make by becoming and organ donor. Your decision could be the key moment to unlocking hope and saving lives.

Join in with us, become a hero and register as an organ donor today.

Downloads

Organ Donation

Becoming an organ and tissue donor easy read guide

World Sepsis Day

Raising Awareness on World Sepsis Day

Today we mark World Sepsis Day, a global event to raise awareness about this life-threatening condition. Sepsis is a medical emergency that effects millions of people a year, yet it often goes unnoticed until it is too late. However, the good news is, sepsis is preventable and treatable if it is caught early.

What is Sepsis?

Sepsis is a severe response to an infection that can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and possibly death. Sepsis can affect all of us, from infants to the elderly and it can arise in common infections such as urinary tract infections, pneumonia, or even small cuts and scrapes.

It is crucial to detect symptoms as they occur as it will be crucial in treating sepsis effectively.

Look out for the following signs:

  • Fever or hypothermia (low body temperature)
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • Confusion or altered mental state
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Swelling or pain at the site of infection

If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. Sepsis progresses rapidly and each moment will count.

What can be done to prevent Sepsis?

Although sepsis is life-threatening, it can be prevented through good hygiene, proper wound care, and receiving appropriate vaccinations. If you have a weakened immune system, then you will need to take extra care to avoid infections.

How Can You Help?

Sepsis can affect any one of us, so it’s important to raise awareness. Familiarise yourself with the symptoms of sepsis and share this post to educate friends, family, and your community. It is important that sepsis is detected early. Join us to help save lives.

For more information, please visit www.worldsepsisday.org/

Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week: Empowering Working Mums!

We are thrilled to join hands with the global movement and show our unwavering support for World Breastfeeding Week! This year’s theme is focussing on breastfeeding and work/employment, which highlights the challenges faced by working mums and the importance of supporting them in their breastfeeding journey while pursuing their careers.

Balancing Motherhood and Work: We understand the heroic feat that working mums take on daily. The decision to breastfeed while juggling job responsibilities is a testament to their dedication and love for their little ones.

Challenges in the Workplace: Many working mums face obstacles like limited break time, lack of private spaces for nursing, or the fear of being judged for breastfeeding at work. Let’s break down these barriers together!

Here’s how we can all play a part in empowering our working mums:

Flexibility Matters: Embrace flexibility in work hours and breaks to accommodate the needs of breastfeeding mums. Small adjustments can make a huge difference!

Supportive Culture: Embrace open dialogue and genuine support among colleagues. Let’s cheer each other on to boost confidence and morale. Together, we can create an inclusive workplace where we uplift and empower each other to overcome challenges and celebrate successes.

Education and Awareness: Knowledge is power! Let’s raise awareness among all employees about the benefits of breastfeeding and the challenges faced by working mums. Understanding leads to empathy.

Celebrate Breastfeeding Mums: Our working mums are real-life superheroes! Celebrate their achievements, both in their professional roles and as dedicated mums.

Listen and Learn: Actively listen to the needs and concerns of breastfeeding mums in the workplace. By understanding their experiences, we can implement positive changes.

Resources and Facilities: Ensure that breastfeeding mums have access to comfortable and private spaces for nursing or expressing milk. Providing essential resources shows our commitment to their well-being.

Let’s stand together and make a difference in the lives of our working mums. Together, we can create an inclusive and supportive environment where they can thrive both as professionals and as loving mothers.

Join us as we celebrate World Breastfeeding Week and pledge our support for breastfeeding mums in the workplace!

Downloads

Better Health

A guide to help you start breastfeeding

Start 4 Life

A guide to help you start breastfeeding

Samaritans Awareness Day

Today we are supporting the Samaritan’s Awareness Day – an event dedicated to raising awareness about mental health support and the vital work carried out by the Samaritans charity.

The Samaritans are a renowned organisation dedicated to providing emotional support to individuals experiencing distress or struggling with their mental well-being. Their volunteers are available 24/7, offering a compassionate ear and non-judgmental support to anyone in need. By supporting Samaritans Awareness Day, we aim to shed light on the importance of mental health and help break the stigma associated with seeking help.

On this day, we join hands with Samaritans and numerous individuals, businesses, and communities across the country to raise awareness and encourage open conversations about mental health. Our mission is to foster empathy, understanding, and provide resources to those who may be struggling, as well as to promote a supportive environment where everyone feels safe and heard.

As a Primary Care Network (PCN) we strongly believe that mental health matters, and we are committed to supporting our employees, patients, and the wider community.

We invite you to join us in this meaningful endeavour. Together, let’s raise awareness, support one another, and help create a world where no one has to face their struggles alone.

If you would like to learn more about the Samaritans and the incredible work they do, please explore the following links:

Celebrating the NHS’s 75th Anniversary: A Triumph of Survival and Resilience

As we come together to commemorate the momentous 75th anniversary of the National Health Service (NHS), we stand in awe of its remarkable survival amidst the immense challenges it has faced. Throughout the decades, the NHS has triumphed over adversity, displaying unwavering resilience in the face of mounting pressures, staffing shortages, and inadequate funding.

The survival of the NHS is a testament to the unwavering spirit of its dedicated healthcare professionals, volunteers, and supporters. Despite the strain and hardships, it has stood strong, committed to the noble cause of providing accessible healthcare to all. The tireless efforts and unwavering dedication of its staff have enabled the NHS to weather storms, navigate crises, and emerge stronger than ever before.

This anniversary serves as a poignant reminder of the battles fought and won, as well as the lives touched by the NHS. From the heroic efforts of doctors and nurses to the selflessness of support staff and volunteers, the NHS family has left an indelible mark on countless individuals and communities. It is a legacy of compassion, courage, and unwavering commitment to the wellbeing of the nation.

While acknowledging the challenges the NHS has faced, we also celebrate its extraordinary accomplishments. Through medical advancements, ground-breaking treatments, and cutting-edge technologies, the NHS has consistently pushed boundaries, improved patient outcomes and transformed lives. It has become a beacon of hope, a lifeline for those in need, and a symbol of national unity.

As we honour the NHS’s survival, let us recommit ourselves to its enduring mission. Together, let us advocate for sustainable funding, address staffing shortages, and support the incredible individuals who make the NHS possible. By safeguarding the NHS, we ensure that future generations will continue to benefit from its life-saving care and unwavering dedication.

On this milestone anniversary, let us not only reflect on the NHS’s remarkable journey but also celebrate its survival against all odds. We owe a debt of gratitude to the brave souls who have made the NHS what it is today. Their resilience, sacrifice, and unwavering commitment inspire us to stand together, united in our determination to protect and preserve the NHS for generations to come.

Pride Month

At Nexus PCN, we are dedicated to fostering a culture that celebrates diversity, promotes inclusivity, and stands in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. As we commemorate Pride Month, we want to highlight our unwavering support for equality and share how we actively demonstrate our commitment to creating a more inclusive world.

Why Pride Month Matters:
Pride month holds deep significance as a time to honour and recognise the achievements, struggles, and resilience of the LGBTQ+ community. It commemorates the Stonewall Riots, a historic event that sparked the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement. This month provides an opportunity for individuals and organisations to come together, celebrate progress, and advocate for further advancements in equality and acceptance.

Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion:
At the heart of our values lies a firm belief that diversity and inclusion are fundamental strengths of any organisation. We are committed to fostering an environment where all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression, feel valued, respected, and empowered to be their authentic selves.

How We Show Support:

Creating a Safe and Supportive Environment: We have implemented policies and procedures that safeguard the rights and dignity of every employee. Our inclusive workplace culture promotes acceptance, respect, and equal opportunities for professional growth.

eLearning: We prioritise ongoing education and training to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ issues, ensuring that everyone in our organisation is equipped to be effective allies.

Participating in Pride Events: We encourage our staff to participate in local Pride events, parades, and community celebrations. These events serve as opportunities to demonstrate our solidarity, show our support, and connect with the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. Together, let us stand united, fostering a world where every individual can thrive, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Diabetes Week

This Diabetes Week, we’re on a mission to bring clarity and understanding to the topic of diabetes. It’s time to debunk the myths and misconceptions that surround this condition. Join us in spreading awareness by sharing these diabetes truths. Help us paint an accurate picture of what it’s really like to live with diabetes every day. Together, we can create a more informed and supportive world. Let’s make a difference during Diabetes Week!

For more information please visit https://www.diabetes.org.uk/

International Nurses Day

Today we are celebrating International Nurses Day
No matter the setting, location, or patient, nursing staff share an unwavering dedication to improving people’s lives. They go above and beyond for not only their patients but also their patients’ families and loved ones.

Despite the incredibly challenging circumstances posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing professionals have continued to prioritise patient care. We want to express our deep gratitude to all the Nurses in Nexus Primary Care Network for their commitment and hard work.

In honour of Nurse’s Day, we sent a survey to a number of our patients asking for their feedback on the service they have received from our Nursing team. The following is some of the feedback we had received:

Nexus Away Day

We are thrilled to share that our first Primary Care Network (PCN) wide away day was a tremendous success! We were delighted to have a full house, and the feedback we have received from various team members has been fantastic. The day provided a unique opportunity for all staff at our member practices to come together, learn and discover the range of ARRS roles and services we offer as a PCN to our patients.

We extend our sincere appreciation to Exeter City Football Club for their incredible venue, which allowed us to welcome over 100 staff members. Our team thoroughly enjoyed the day and appreciated the rare opportunity to meet, interact and put faces to names.

The agenda was packed full to include speed dating sessions, where each ARRS team conducted a presentation on their services, the tasks they handle, and the type of patients that can be referred to them. The day also included breakout sessions where staff enjoyed problem-based small group learning and simulation training, which equipped them with the knowledge to handle specific scenarios.

We are grateful to ‘Talkworks’ (Devon), Devon Training Hub, Wellbeing Exeter, our Patient Participation Groups and our Friends charities for joining us on the day, and we hope that everyone who attended found the event to be as informative and enjoyable as we did. For those who could not attend, we will soon be sharing the resources used on the day.

International Women's Day

Today we are promoting International Women’s Day (IWD), celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This year the global campaign #EmbraceEquity is being used to challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion. If we all work together, we can drive momentous change to create a stronger, more inclusive world and truly embrace equity.

Zero Discrimination Day

Today we are celebrating Zero Discrimination Day, a campaign run by UNAIDS to highlight how people can become informed and promote inclusion, compassion, peace and a movement for change. Under the theme “Save lives: Decriminalise” UNAIDS want to highlight how the decriminalisation of key populations and people living with HIV saves lives and helps advance the end of the AIDS pandemic.

Despite some encouraging reforms, the world is still far from achieving its target and in fact today there are:

  • 134 countries explicitly criminalising or otherwise prosecuting HIV exposure, non-disclosure or transmission

  • 20 countries criminalise and/or prosecute transgender persons

  • 67 countries now criminalize consensual same-sex sexual activity, according to UNAIDS

  • 48 countries still place restrictions on entry into their territory for people living with HIV

  • 106 countries report requiring parental consent for adolescents to access HIV testing

Criminalisation encourages discrimination and structural inequalities. It robs individuals of the chance for a healthy and fulfilling life and ultimately holds back the end of AIDS. Save lives: decriminalize! #ZeroDiscrimination

#HelloYellow Day

We are pleased to announce that on Monday 10th October (World Mental Health Day) we raised £250.00 across the five practices within Nexus PCN for #HelloYellow a campaign supporting young people’s mental health run by the charity YoungMinds

Thank you to Mount Pleasant Health Centre, South Lawn Medical Practice, Hill Barton Surgery, The Heavitree Practice & ISCA Medical Practice for your support in raising money for the Young Minds charity.