York backing World Pancreatic Cancer Day tomorrow (Friday 13th November)

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Many people in York is supporting World Pancreatic Cancer Day on Friday 13th November which aims to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer – considered to be the little known disease – with the public.

It is estimated that 926 people around the world are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer every day, with 905 people will die from the disease every day across the world.

The number of diagnoses has continued to rise but there is still very low awareness of pancreatic cancer with over 60% of people surveyed recently knowing almost nothing about the disease.

World Pancreatic Cancer Day’s hopes to bring much-needed focus and attention to the disease, especially the need for increased symptom awareness and greater investment into research.  World Pancreatic Cancer Day encourages everyone to “see purple” on 13 November by wearing purple, lighting landmarks purple, using purple on social media channels etc.

City of York Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health Councillor Carol Runciman said: “Raising awareness is the first step to action.  The more people who know about pancreatic cancer, the greater the opportunity and need will be for more research and for the development of better resources for those facing the disease.”

Pancreatic cancer is considered to be one of the deadliest cancers, with just two to 10% of those diagnosed surviving five years.  In the UK 71% of people cannot name a simple symptom of pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is sometimes referred to as a “silent cancer” because the early symptoms are often quite vague.

  • Classic pancreatic cancer symptoms can include:
  • Painless jaundice (yellow skin/eyes, dark urine).
  • Weight loss which is significant and unexplained
  • Abdominal pain which is new and significant.

Other possible symptoms of pancreatic cancer:
• Pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to the back which is new, significant and persistent that is relieved by leaning forward
• Back pain
• Diabetes which is new-onset and not associated with weight gain
• Vague indigestion or abdominal discomfort
• Loss of appetite
• Nausea and vomiting
• Pain when eating

Not everyone will have all of these symptoms.  For example, those who have a tumour in the body or tail of the pancreas are unlikely to have painless jaundice.  All of these symptoms can have other causes, and there is not yet a reliable and easy test for pancreatic cancer.

If you have any of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer visit your GP.

For more information about World Pancreatic Cancer Day, visit www.worldpancreaticcancerday.org

York launches Breathe 2025 campaign to inspire a smokefree generation

City of York Council is urging people and organisations across York to sign up and support Breathe 2025, a new campaign to inspire children to grow up smoke-free and protected from health harms caused by tobacco.
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While the region has the highest adult smoking prevalence in England (20.1% compared to an England average of 18%), only one in eight 15-year-olds smoke and the proportion of young smokers is dropping.

Within the next decade there could be a generation of children that don’t smoke.    .

City of York Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health Councillor Carol Runciman said: “We want children who have started school this year to be the pioneers of a smokefree generation: today’s five year olds can be smokefree at 15 when they are preparing for their GCSEs and so can all the year groups following them.

“They can be smokefree when they leave school or college and as adults. Breathe 2025 is about how all of us can inspire and help them to make that happen.”
The campaign is being run by a collaboration of partners across Yorkshire and the Humber, including City of York Council and Public Health England.

People and organisations are being asked to show their support by going to the campaign website or Facebook page and signing up to one or more simple, practical actions. This could be pledging to watch and share the Breathe 2025 video, or promising to display a Breathe 2025 poster.  There are a range of simple actions to choose from, as individuals or on behalf of an organisation such as a school, GP or local business.

Councillor Runciman continues: “Giving children and young people the best start in life is a priority for City of York Council, parents, family members and many other organisations and communities in York – and not smoking is a great start so please go to the Breathe 2025 website and show your support.”

City of York Council’s Interim Director of Public Health, Sharon Stoltz said: “Evidence suggests that if young people don’t start using tobacco by the age of 26 they will almost certainly never start, so we have a great opportunity here to transform the health of our region and we can do it within the next 10 years.

“It is estimated that smoking in York costs society around £50.1m annually and smoking breaks cost businesses in York £24.2m each year.  Around one in two smokers die from a smoking-related illness.  If we can prevent young people from smoking that’s not just an investment in their health as individuals, it’s an investment in a healthier future for everyone.”

The Breathe 2025 website is at www.Breathe2025.org.uk

York Alzheimer’s Month

World alzheimersSeptember 2015 marks the fourth global World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign to raise awareness and challenge stigma.

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common cause of dementia. It’s estimated that there are 665,000 people in England living with dementia and around 21 million who have a close friend or family member with dementia.. In York it is thought there are 2,700 people currently living with dementia; a figure which is expected to rise to 3,200 by 2020.

The theme for World Alzheimer’s Month 2015 is Remember Me. People all around the world are being encouraged to learn to spot the signs of dementia, but also not to forget about loved ones who are living with dementia, or those who may have passed away.

Councillor Carol Runciman, Executive member for Adult Social Care and Health, City of York Council, said: “Dementia touches so many people’s lives, whether they themselves live with the disease, or are close to someone who does. World Alzheimer’s Month provides an opportunity for us all to think about what we can do to make life easier for people living with dementia, whether that’s signing up to become a ‘dementia friend’ or just taking the time to help someone who may be confused whilst out shopping.”

The council is one of a number of organisations working together to make York a Dementia Friendly City; a place which is accessible and welcoming for people living with dementia and their friends and carers.

For more information on World Alzheimer’s Month visit www.alz.co.uk/world-alzheimers-month. For more details about how to become a Dementia Friend visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk/ or for more information on local support for people with dementia visit www.york.gov.uk

York children urge to “shake up” fitness regime

Following the success of last year, City of York Council is again supporting the 10 Minute Shake Up campaign launched by Change4Life and Disney, to help encourage the city’s children to get active.

10 minute shake up

The 10 Minute Shake Up campaign uses a bit of Disney magic to inspire children to reach the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day, with fun, manageable 10 minute bursts of exercise.

This year, 10 Minute Shake Up has lots of new and exciting 10 minute games and activities for children to play as part of four Disney teams: Big Hero 6, Frozen, Monsters and Toy Story. Children can help their chosen Disney team win by taking part in as many Shake Ups as they can each day throughout the summer. Every 10 minute burst of activity can make a real difference and helps towards children getting the 60 minutes they need each day.

Those who sign up for 10 Minute Shake Up will receive a free pack containing inspiration, ideas and tools to help children on their way to achieving their recommended 60 minutes of activity per day.  Packs include a fantastic team wristband* with timer, activity cards, a wild card for children to invent their own Shake Ups, a team poster and stickers.   

*while stocks last

Councillor Carol Runciman, City of York Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health said: “This is a fantastic initiative to encourage children and families to get active. Increased physical activity can lead to better academic achievement, with improved attention span, behaviour and self-confidence. I would encourage people across the city to sign up”.

City of York Council’s Acting Director of Health and Wellbeing, Julie Hotchkiss said: “In children physical activity is essential for mental and emotional health as well as physical health and a reduced risk of developing chronic conditions in the future.”
To sign up visit Change4Life and register for a free pack which is full of ideas for games and activities to keep your children active this summer.

Schools take water safety action in Drowning Prevention Week

Schools and youth groups across York will be working to keep pupils safe around water during Drowning Prevention Week (June 20-28).


Using the River Safety Resource pack launched this spring by City of York Council, schools have a wealth of information, ideas and contacts to hand to share the message that taking care near water can save lives.

Developed in consultation with the city’s multi-partner River Safety Group including Safer York Partnership, the Canal and River Trust and emergency services, the pack also supports the National Curriculum’s new requirements for building water safety and aquatic skills.

The council is working with Ebor Lifesaving Club to deliver water safety initiatives during and outside the Royal Lifesaving Society’s annual week of action. Primary schools and youth groups in York have approached the club or are using the packs themselves to raise awareness of the dangers that open water pose.

York NHS responds to independent criticisms

Local services labelled as “requires improvement”

Bootham park

The York Council will debate on Wednesday a report on the progress being made in addressing failings in NHS services in the City.

The report responds to a Care Quality Commission review  last year in which 70% of the areas rated were judged to be ‘Good’, 25% as ‘Requires Improvement’ and 5% as ‘Inadequate’.

5 areas for immediate improvement were identified as;

  • Safety and suitability of premises
  • Systems for identifying, handling and responding to complaints
  • Ensuring staff receive appropriate training, supervision and appraisals
  • Ensuring there are enough suitably qualified, skilled and experienced staff at all times to meet patients’ needs
  • Eliminating mixed sex accommodation

A report to the Councils Health Scrutiny Committee, details the changes that the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust was required to make and progress against targets.

The Trust claims to have achieved 96% of its improvement targets

NB. The same meeting will discuss a report on the direct payments made to individuals in York for care services. The Council has implemented a policy where those who opt for direct payments receive the payments to a personal account. There had been some concerns raised when payments had been made to third party organisations.

York Council plans for “heatwave”

The York Council has issued advice on dealing with a forecast “heatwave” This is what they say;

The council is encouraging residents to think about how it may impact on their health and that of their friends and family.

The council works to the nationally operated Heatwave Plan that includes a Heat-Health Watch alert system which operates from 1 June to 15 September and is based on Met Office forecasts and data.  This system triggers levels of response from the NHS, government and public health systems and communicate risks.    

The Heat-Health Watch system comprises five main levels (0-4) ranging from year round planning for warm weather to the declaration of a major incident due to a prolonged heatwave being experienced.  

The Heatwave Alert system is based on temperature thresholds where there is a 15-20% increased risk of a heatwave being declared.  For York the trigger criteria for declaring a heatwave are 29/15/29C (Day/Night/Day).