With one man in 10 across the country having diabetes, this week (11-17 June 2018) NHS commissioners are urging men to check for signs of the disease.
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high, and the number of men being diagnosed with the disease is expected to increase sharply over the next 20 years.
NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is backing this campaign as 6,500 people, both men and women across Sefton ‘at risk’ of developing type 2 diabetes, with a further estimated 26,000 yet to be identified.
Men are being encouraged not to ignore these seven symptoms:
feeling very thirsty
urinating more frequently than usual, particularly at night
feeling very tired
weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
itching around the penis, or frequent episodes of thrush
cuts or wounds that heal slowly
Dr Doug Callow, GP and diabetes lead at NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said:
“It's really important that diabetes is diagnosed as early as possible because it will get progressively worse if left untreated.
“If you are diagnosed with diabetes, whether a man or a woman, there is lots of support for you, including our Diabetes Education Programme.”
Free education programmes are on offer to help local people with diabetes to manage their condition. Provided by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, ‘Diabetes and You’ is a programme for people who have been newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. ‘Diabetes and More’ is for people who have been living with the condition for more than a year.
Dr Callow added:
“I know that talking about diabetes isn’t always easy but being able to manage your condition properly can have a big impact on your life.
“These sessions are free, informal and are a great way of meeting other people who are also keen to learn more about managing their condition. They are held in various venues across Southport and Formby and at various timings throughout the day, including evenings and weekends. They’re designed to make living with diabetes as manageable for you as possible.”
To find out more about these programmes or to book directly onto a course, contact the Diabetes Education Team on 01704 387271 or email email@example.com
Many Formby residents are unwittingly putting family members at risk of extreme financial hardship by failing to plan for ill health, according to a leading solicitor
John-Paul Dennis, a partner at Kirwans law firm which has an office on Hoghton Street in the town, said the Private Client team has seen an increasing number of enquiries from people whose loved ones have failed to put a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place before losing mental capacity through conditions such as dementia.
According to John-Paul, those especially vulnerable include partners and spouses who can be left temporarily unable to access even joint bank accounts if their partner has not given the legal authority to look after their financial affairs.
Family members, who may by this point be their loved one’s carer, can then face their own financial problems as they begin the costly and expensive exercise of navigating the legal system in order to access vital funds.
John-Paul’s warning comes during National Carers Week, which runs until June 17, and aims to highlight caring and the challenges carers face.
“Despite the warnings, people are still putting future financial planning on the backburner, putting their loved ones and potential future carers in an extremely vulnerable position.
“The problem is now exacerbated by the newly permitted drawdown of pensions, as the responsibility of managing income in retirement now lies entirely in the hands of those who have chosen the drawdown option.
“While drawdowns can work well for those who have a full mental capacity, they can create huge issues if ill health strikes.
“Despite that, more than 345,000 of those using income drawn-down in retirement have failed to create an LPA to safeguard against the loss of mental capacity. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that can be put in place after you lose mental capacity; it has to be created well before that point.”
John-Paul is now calling on people as young as 40 to invest in an LPA to protect their loved ones as much as themselves.
“There are two types of LPAs; one covering health and welfare, and the other covering property and financial affairs, and you can make an LPA for one or both depending on your needs.
“In advance of National Carers Week, we’re urging people to take the time to consider the possibility that they may eventually need to have an LPA in place, and create one now before it’s too late.”
A year on from a life-saving operation at Southport hospital a pensioner has described his care as “brilliant” and said his care has continued in the community.
In May 2017, John Bailey had stomach pains for two-weeks which wouldn’t go away and went to West Lancashire NHS walk-in centre at Ormskirk hospital.
An x-ray showed he had a tumour in his gut and he was sent to Southport hospital for surgery. The cancerous growth was removed from his bowel the next day. He has since made a good recovery and recently returned from a family holiday in France.
John, from Aughton, near Ormskirk, who turns 80 in June, said:
“The care I received was brilliant and everything was explained in such simple language by Mr Harish Babu and Mr Krishnan Gokul. They were so comforting. I couldn’t have wished for a better health service.”
Hospital staff and Macmillan Cancer Support are continuing to monitor and give advice and guidance to John through telephone conversations as well as informal monthly meetings of a colorectal support group.
“I really benefit from the monthly meetings. It gives you an opportunity to sit down and talk to friendly and helpful people who have suffered exactly the same as you. We also sometimes meet up and go out for a meal. It’s a really good network of friends who all provide support to one another.”
Stacey Boden, a Macmillan cancer nurse specialist at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, added:
“The group is very informal, friendly and relaxed and we have, on average, between 10 and 15 patients and family members at each session.
“We offer professional support and advice over a cup of tea. It’s a great opportunity to meet people in a similar situation and to talk about ways of overcoming difficulties. We are even planning a day out over the summer to the Lake District.”
The Colorectal Cancer Support group meets on the second Friday of each month between 1 pm and 3 pm at The Grove Community Centre, Station Approach, Burscough, L40 0RZ (next to Burscough Bridge train station). For further information please telephone 01704 704250. The next monthly Friday sessions will be on:
A recruitment day for nurses interested in working at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals is being held next Tuesday.
The event runs from 3.30pm to 7 pm on Tuesday 29th May in the Clinical Education Centre at Southport hospital. Light refreshments will be available for all those attending.
Dozens of nurses have joined Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust after attending previous events.
They are a great opportunity to chat informally with senior nurses about what the Trust can offer. For those who are interested, interviews and potential offers of employment will be available on the day.
Online applications are encouraged but there is no need to register to attend.