COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy

All women of childbearing age must read this guide before they go for vaccination.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines available in the UK have been shown to be effective and to have a good safety profile. These vaccines do not contain live coronavirus and cannot infect a pregnant woman or her unborn baby in the womb.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that pregnant women should be offered COVID-19 vaccines at the same time as people of the same age or risk group. In the USA, around 90,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated mainly with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and no safety concerns have been identified.

Evidence on COVID-19 vaccines is being continuously reviewed by the World Health Organization and the regulatory bodies in the UK, USA, Canada and Europe.

Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the preferred vaccines for pregnant women of any age who are coming for their first dose.

Anyone who has already started vaccination and is offered a second dose whilst pregnant, should have a second dose with the same vaccine unless they had a serious side effect after the first dose.

Getting pregnant

There is no need to avoid pregnancy after […]

10 May, 2021|

Healthwatch Portsmouth is celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week in Portsmouth

This year the theme is Nature and how connecting with the natural world can support good mental health.

Today marks the launch of Mental Health Awareness Week, the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health. The week, which is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, is in its 21st year and runs from 10-16 May.

This year, the theme for the week is ‘Nature’. Across the country, people will be celebrating the mental health benefits of being around nature in their local community in a range of digital and creative ways.

Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said: “Mental Health Awareness Week has grown to be one of the biggest awareness weeks in the UK. This year the theme is on nature and its central role for our mental health. Since the beginning of the pandemic, millions of us turned to nature to help us get through lockdowns and our research shows that good mental health depends on us being able to connect with nature in some way and its power in both prevention of and recovery from poor mental health.

“During the week, we want to hear millions of people’s stories about how the natural world has […]

10 May, 2021|

Local mental health support service back open for booked appointments

PositiveMinds, the mental health support service based in central Portsmouth, has been delivering fantastic online support over the past year. Due to the easing of restrictions, the service can now once again offer face to face appointments with mental health professionals and ‘peer supporters’ – people with personal experience of living through periods of mental and emotional difficulties.

PositiveMinds recognise that coming out of lockdown will be really difficult for some people, so are still also offering support over the telephone and on Zoom.

To ensure the safety of users, face to face appointments will need to be booked in advance, but often one will be available on the same day – to book call 023 9282 4795.

Find out more here.

5 May, 2021|

Community testing- where to go

Pharmacies boost testing capacity across the city

This week it got even easier for you take up the habit of twice-weekly asymptomatic testing as many local pharmacies began to offer appointments for supervised tests, drop-in services for collecting home test kits or both!

Testing when you don’t have symptoms is freely available to all adults and finds the one in three who get coronavirus but don’t show symptoms and so risk spreading it.

The council’s asymptomatic test site, now at Somerstown Central, also offers appointments by booking online and a drop-in service for home test kit collection.

From Saturday 1 May, the Eldon Road and Northarbour Road sites revert to only offering testing for those with symptoms. This is via a PCR test and you need to book an appointment. Both sites are open 7 days a week, 8am-8pm.

Find out more here.

5 May, 2021|

Access to Urgent Dental Care in Portsmouth

Information about Emergency Dental Hubs Healthwatch Portsmouth

We have received briefings from NHS England which provide information about accessing urgent dental care in Emergency Dental Hubs that have been set up around the country.

Whilst dental services are still functioning, the priority remains for dentists to focus on:

  • patients who require access to urgent care
  • patients at higher risk of oral disease
  • patients with outstanding treatment needs that cannot be delayed.

All practices have been instructed that they should deal with any patient who calls them within their NHS capacity, whether or not they have seen that patient in the past. This means that if a patient enquires whether the practice is ‘taking on’ NHS patients, the practice should assess whether the patient has an urgent need, is at high risk of oral disease, or has outstanding treatment that cannot be delayed.

This does not necessarily mean that patients with an urgent need will automatically be offered a face-to-face appointment but if it is identified that a patient needs to be seen, the practice can arrange for this happen.

5 May, 2021|

We are supporting Deaf Awareness week 2021

Deaf Awareness Week is an annual event which aims to raise awareness of Deafness and hearing loss, which is faced by 1 in 6 people in the UK.

This year the national theme is ‘Coming Through it Together’. Throughout the week, we will be using our online campaign to engage with our community and encourage them to celebrate Deafness, raise awareness of best practice and use the week for demonstrating change and positivity.

It is estimated that there are approximately 11 million people, both adults and children, in UK with a hearing loss which makes it the second most common disability. However, as an invisible disability, it so often goes unnoticed, making it easier for those living with hearing loss to be ignored or forgotten.

“It has been challenging to communicate during the covid-19 pandemic, as I am used to lip reading and the face masks makes this impossible”.

Hearing loss in older people

Hearing loss increases sharply with age – nearly 42% of those aged over 50 years have hearing loss, increasing to about 71% of people aged 70+.

About 400,000 older people live in care homes and are disproportionately […]

4 May, 2021|