Walk 2 Jog course returns

Back after its success in 2017, City of York Council is running two Walk 2 Jog courses, starting on Monday 26 February.

Walk 2 Jog is a ten week course that aims to build fitness from a short walk to a steady jog. Jogging is a great aerobic activity which can help weight loss and develop a healthy heart.

In February the council is running two courses.

The first course will see residents work their way up from walking to jogging 5k in ten weeks.

Those who have previously completed Walk 2 Jog can take part in our second course, with the new intermediate challenge of going from 3-7km and they can work towards the 5-10k challenge later in the year.

Councillor Ann Reid, interim executive member for leisure, culture and tourism said: “It is great to see the Walk 2 Jog courses returning. The courses have been well received and are a great way for people to get fitter.

“Jogging is popular, low cost and convenient and is an excellent way to achieve the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Most of us have our new year’s resolutions to keep to and these courses offer a fun, informative and supportive approach for non-joggers who want to up their speed and stamina as part of a group.”

Both courses start on Monday 26 February at 6.30pm at Rowntree Park. Each session lasts 60 minutes.

The cost is just £10 for a 10 week course. Those who complete the course will receive a free t-shirt.

For further information visit www.york.gov.uk/justjog.

Places are limited, to book your place contact the YorWellbeing team on 01904 553377 or email yorwellbeing@york.gov.uk .

York delays in treating ambulance patients revealed

On New Years Eve 47 patients had to wait for over an hour in ambulances as they waiting for treatment at York Hospital.

The full figures can be viewed by clicking here 

The statistics mirror problems at other hospitals across the region and country generally

As December went on delays gradually increased.

York had suffered earlier in the month with an outbreak of norovirus. At its peak 47 beds were closed.

By the end of the year 834 beds (90%) were occupied at the hospital.

The government has been criticised for failing to anticipate the heavy demands for care that arise over each festive period.




Have a healthier new year plea

With 2017 drawing to a close it is that time of year when, after the excesses of Christmas celebrations, attention shifts to the New Year resolutions.

What’s on your New Year checklist?  Whether it is no alcohol in ‘Dry January’; being more active; look after yourself better, especially your mental health by reducing the stress in your life; or stop smoking the council’s YorWellbeing service can offer advice and support to help you. Our YorWellbeing team also offer free health checks plus information, advice and support to help you have a happier and healthier 2018.

For information, advice and support get in touch with the YorWellbeing service by emailing yorwellbeing@york.gov.uk, calling 01904 553377 or visiting www.yorwellbeing.org.uk.

There are many things that affect how healthy and well a person is. The Yorwellbeing service will:

  • provide advice and support on lifestyle factors such as healthy eating, exercise, alcohol and smoking
  • encourage positive lifestyle and behaviour changes
  • work to reduce health inequalities across the city.

Councillor Carol Runciman, executive member for health and adult social care said: “The start of the New Year is a time for reflection. Our YorWellbeing service does a great job offering information, advice and support to help and can help you live a happier healthier lifestyle. Get in touch by phone or email or visit the website and our team will be happy to help.”

What’s on in York: New Year men’s health course

Men looking to start the New Year by getting fit are being invited to join York’s latest men’s health course starting on Wednesday 17 January.

The course follows the inaugural men’s health course in September which had fantastic results. Eleven men had measurements taken at the start and end of the ten week course with a combined weight loss of 20.7kg, with two men losing 3.8kg and 3.6kg. The combined total waist circumference loss was 40.5cm with two men losing 7cm and 6cm from their waistline.

The ten week course, which is led by the council’s YorWellbeing service in partnership with York City Knights, will take place at York St John University sports park and will again see attendees take part in a series of physical activity sessions combined with educational workshops on modifiable lifestyle factors.

Starting at 7.30pm on Wednesday 17 January, the programme offers 90 minutes sessions designed to help individuals to become more aware of ways in which they can live happier and healthier lives.

The idea for this programme came from York City Knights fans and each session will be made up of a 45 minute educational workshop and a 45 minute physical activity session with access to the strength and conditioning suite used by the York City Knights first team.

The programme will run every Wednesday evening from 7.30pm until 9pm, from Wednesday 17 January up until Wednesday 21 March, aiming to engage with those individuals wanting to become more physically active and improve their health. The cost of the programme is £30 for the full 10 week course but people are urged to book in advance as spaces are limited.

The physical activity sessions will be tailored so they are appropriate to the requirements of the participants and the course is open to people of all ages and abilities.

Educational workshop topics will include:

  •     Incorporating physical activity into your daily lifestyle
  •     Meal planning and healthy diet choices
  •     Negative effects of smoking and alcohol on the body
  •     Promoting positive mental wellbeing.

Councillor Ann Reid, interim executive member for leisure, culture and tourism said: “It is fantastic to see the men’s health course return after the success of the first course.

“This is a great opportunity for men to take part in a range of physical activities at top class facilities used by York City Knights players and get useful lifestyle advice from our YorWellbeing team. Places are limited so I would advise booking in advance.”

Neil Gulliver, Foundation Manager at York City Knights, said: ‘The first men’s health pilot was a resounding success and it was great to see such a range of ages and experiences all come together to improve their health. Both the Knights and the Foundation have the community at the centre of everything we do and we are proud to help more men lead healthier, happier lives.’

To book a place email yorwellbeing@york.gov.uk or call 01904 553377.

A video from the first men’s health course is available to view at https://youtu.be/nk65dJmDl7Q

Quit smoking medication available in York

Alternative medication to be made available for those quitting smoking

Additional support is set to be made available to residents who are trying to drop the habit and quit smoking.

Cllr Carol Runciman, Liberal Democrat Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health, has given the go ahead for Varenicline (Champix) to be included as part of a new pharmacotherapy support package to users of our Yorwellbeing service.

Currently, Varenicline is only available through a private prescription from your GP or via an online pharmacy.

However, with the expansion of the current service offer, any individual who would like to stop smoking can be assessed for eligibility to the hardship fund and if they qualify for either Nicotine Replacement Therapy or Varenicline, they will be provided with an initial 2 weeks supply, followed by another 2 weeks if required.  Research suggests that if an individual can quit smoking for 4 weeks, their chances of dropping the habit for good are increased five fold.

City walls shine light on pancreatic cancer

York’s historic walls have turned purple to support a city resident’s campaign to raise awareness of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer.

City of York Council are lighting up Clifford’s Tower and the walls from the station to the Minster to mark Pancreatic Cancer UK’s Purple Lights for Pancreatic Cancer campaign, after being approached by a York resident with an inoperable form of the aggressive cancer.

Jean Clark, 59, of Foxwood, wants to make sure that York residents understand and recognise the early symptoms. 770 people in the Yorkshire and Humber region are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year, with early diagnosis key to the chances of successful treatment.

Mrs Clark was diagnosed in 2013 after at first being diagnosed with acid reflux, before nagging lower back pain prompted her doctor to send her for scans.

Jean said:

“With only 7% of people surviving five years after their diagnosis, picking up the symptoms early is vital. The symptoms are often treated as indigestion, so there’s no investigation. But if you have back ache, acid reflux and a feeling of being full you need to tell your doctor.”

Councillor Ian Gillies, executive member for transport and planning, said:

“We’re delighted to be able to use some of the city’s most iconic buildings to support Jean’s efforts. This vital, potentially life-saving message needs to be spread far and wide.”

Common symptoms of pancreatic cancer include:

  • Abdominal pain. This is an early sign of pancreatic cancer in around 70% of patients, which starts as general discomfort or abdomen pain which spreads to the back
  • Jaundice. This occurs in about 50% of pancreatic cancer patients
  • An inability to digest food or weight loss for no apparent reason is also a cause for concern

The walls and tower will be lit until 17 November. For more information visit: www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk

Events to tackle and discuss suicide prevention in York

City of York Council is arranging two events next month as it looks to further York’s work to become a suicide-safer community.

September is the month of World Suicide Prevention Day and the council will hold two events as it continues its work on suicide prevention.

Firstly on Saturday 9 September at 12noon, the day before World Suicide Prevention Day, St Helen’s Church will host a service of reflection for those who have been lost to suicide. The event is open to all who have been bereaved or affected by suicide, regardless of faith or non faith, and enable people to reflect on those lost to suicide with others who have had similar experiences.

Then on Monday 18 September, York will host a suicide prevention conference. The event will offer the chance for people to hear about the work being done in York, the progress made over  the past year and to share views on how the city can become a suicide-safer community. This will be an opportunity for people to have their say on their experiences and where they feel the support available can be improved.

The event will be taking place between 11.30 am and 5pm at York Sports Club on Monday 18 September, and will:

  • Share stories about people’s experiences
  • Outline what support is available to people and how this can be improved
  • Discuss prevention and early intervention
  • Talk about support for people who are bereaved by suicide
  • Discuss community engagement and equality
  • Include a workshop to identify areas which can be improved to help York become a suicide-safer city

Speakers will include professionals and people who have been affected by suicide. To reserve a place please email wdu@york.gov.uk, phone 01904 553017 or via www.yorkworkforcedevelopment.org.uk/cycbooking.

Councils seek views on Pharmacies (Chemists)

Councils invite residents to “Have your say” on local pharmacy (chemist) services. .


“Tell us what you think about your local pharmacy (chemist).

North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council are working together to review local pharmacy services in your area.

To do this, we need to hear your views on the pharmacies you use most often. The information you give us is really useful; we want to hear from you even if you do not use your pharmacy very often or are happy with the service. The information you provide will help us to plan future services and make decisions on any changes to pharmacies.

The report will be published online in Spring 2018. You can also see the current report on our website.   

2016 report

To learn how we will use the information you give us you can read our privacy notice. None of the information you give us in this survey will be used to identify you personally.

For more information about this report, or to request a paper copy please contact:  jennifer.saunders@york.gov.uk 01904 565270   Closing date: 28/07/2017″

“On line” health checks launched in York

Health and well-being team

A new wellbeing service for York residents will launches today with the aim of helping people live happier, healthier and more active lives.

The YorWellbeing service is led by City of York Council’s public health team and seeks to bring all the healthy living services together giving residents access to advice and support on healthy living.

As the new service launches residents are being encouraged to have a free health check online at www.yorwellbeing.org.uk.  The health checks aim to tell people about their risk of preventable health conditions, help them learn about how lifestyle can influence risk and offer advice to live a healthier lifestyle.

People unable to go online are able to call the team on 01904 553377 for support and advice.

Those found to be at increased risk following the online assessment will be signposted to advice and, if eligible, will be offered a one to one appointment with the YorWellbeing team who can offer them personalised advice to help them live a healthier life.

There are many things that affect how healthy and well a person is and as well as the health check offer, working with communities the YorWellbeing service will:

  • provide advice and support on lifestyle factors such as healthy eating, exercise, alcohol and smoking
  • encourage positive lifestyle and behaviour changes
  • work to improve the health and wellbeing of York residents
  • work to reduce health inequalities across the city.


Healthwatch York under review by York Council

The Healthwatch organisation will be reporting to a York Council meeting on Wednesday about their role.

The report comes a few months after the local NHS Vale of York CCG asked the organisation to leave the health bodies governing board.

This led some to wonder whether the “voice of patients” was being properly heeded by the health commissioning body.

Other wondered whether Healthwatch had sufficient gravitas to be effective?

No doubt more will become clearer on Wednesday

The latest contract for Healthwatch was issued by the York Council as recently as April. The contracts value is £575,000 over 5 years. It was let via York CVS

The contract states, “Healthwatch York is for anyone who uses or who wishes to use adult and children’s health, social care and public health services in York – or anyone who cares for or represents individuals who have access to health, social care and public health services in York.

Healthwatch York has a duty to assist local health, social care and public health commissioners and providers, and other community stakeholders, by advising on and helping design engagement activity, and by providing feedback, research and information on local people’s views and experiences of health, social care and public health, in order to drive up standards of service provision.

Healthwatch York must also be able to signpost local people with any complaints they may wish to progress in relation to NHS service provision to the York Independent NHS Complaints Advocacy Service which has been procured by the Council under a separate contract with a provider (in a simultaneous procurement exercise) expressly for these purposes”.

Many eyes are on NHS performance these days.

Healthwatch contract

One area for improvement would involve Healthwatch pulling together each month some key performance stats. They are already available but are difficult for the average resident to find. Area to be covered might include:

  • A & E speed and quality
  • Ambulance speed and quality
  • Waiting times
  • Delayed discharges
  • GP patient volumes and appointment waiting times
  • NHS dentists waiting lists