Saturday, August 19, 2017
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A heart-warming scheme is bringing comfort to relatives and carers of Bradford hospital patients.

Bradford Hospitals Charity has recently spent £5,000 on 500 comfort bags which are handed out during difficult times to relatives and carers of patients at Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s Hospital.

Comfort bags - Paul Fernandez and Hayley CollisBoth hospitals are part of Bradford Teaching Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust and the charity is the Trust’s official NHS charity which works tirelessly to improve patient experience.

The comfort bags are filled with everyday items to help unexpected stays in the hospital a little more pleasant and include a toiletry kit, wet wipes, tissues, ear plugs, toothpaste, a toothbrush, blanket and socks.

Last Days of Life Educator, Paul Fernandez, said the bags had been a big success.

He said: “We hand out about 500 bags a year and they really make a difference, providing relatives or carers with some comfort during what can be one of the most difficult times in their lives.

“Relatives often stay on the ward but don’t have time or the inclination to go home and get everyday items like toiletries. Their priority is not to go shopping but to look after their loved one. So it’s one less worry for them.”

Paul has received several messages from grateful recipients since the bags were introduced across the Trust.

One grateful male relative wrote: “What a thoughtful and wonderful idea that brought us a little comfort and a familiar bit of delight (if that’s appropriate at this time).”

And a second, a woman who accompanied her husband to BRI, said: “What a useful bag. It’s well thought out and very much appreciated. Well done and thank you to the Palliative Care Team. I received it on ward 30 while staying with my poorly husband. God bless you.”

Bradford Teaching Hospitals Charity Fundraiser, Hayley Collis, said: “As a charity, we want to help those who are in need and facing a difficult time. That means, of course, patients on the wards, but also their relatives and carers, who need our support too.

“There’s no night or day-time on the wards. Relatives and carers just have to snatch sleep when they can. So the bags provide them with some necessities which they probably haven’t thought about so they can concentrate on looking after their loved ones. A small bag of comfort goes a long way during tough times.

“Staff think the comfort bags are a great idea too, and are something that goes above and beyond what the NHS can normally offer.”


by Janette Ward
by Janette Ward
This month I would like to share with you about sleep and the difficulties we can experience and some ideas to help achieve good quality sleep.

These times have been when I have experienced depression or experienced burn out at work, when I did shift work and more recently earlier this year when my mum died.

We all have times in our lives when we can have problems sleeping, when we find it hard to fall asleep, find ourselves waking up in the night or have dreams that disturb our sleep. This is perfectly normal as these problems often resolve themselves after a short period of time.

However, if you have sleep problems that last weeks, months or years, this can have a huge impact on your day-to-day life. If you continue to sleep badly, this can affect your energy levels, moods and how much you are able to concentrate. It can also have an impact on your relationships, your work and social life. It may also affect your ability to carry out usual day-to-day tasks, such as studying, going to work and carrying out daily chores.

There are many reasons for sleep problems such as a poor sleep routine; a poor sleep environment; changes in sleep patterns; physical illness; medication; alcohol, street drugs and stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine; stress, worry and anxiety; trauma and mental health problems.

Mental health problems can affect our sleep and sleep can affect our mental health, for example, causing us to struggle with everyday life, feeling fatigue, exhaustion, negative thinking, anxiety, stress and depression.

There are lots of things we can do to help restore a nourishing sleep pattern. I would suggest trying some of these below before visiting your GP and possibly considering prescribed medication.

20160830071225-sleepEstablish a routine. You could try to establish a regular sleeping pattern by going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time every day. This will mean that your body starts to associate times of the day with sleeping. You may need to do this for several weeks in order to establish a regular pattern. If you are in a different time zone after a flight, do what you can to adjust to the new time. However tired you feel, go to bed close to the local bedtime, then get up reasonably early the next morning. Your body will hopefully then adjust to the new pattern quickly.

Your sleep environment. Before you go to bed, make sure that where you sleep is comfortable, your bed, bedding, your bedroom. That it is the right temperature, light and noise levels. We are all different but on the whole, dark, quiet and cool environments can make it easier to sleep.

Relax before bed. It’s important to relax and switch off from daily worries before you try to go to sleep. Stop any stimulating activities, such as working or doing exercise and avoid looking at screens, like your phone, a computer, the TV or a tablet, an hour before you go to bed. It may also help to do something calming before you go to bed, such as listening to relaxing music, meditating, praying, have a bath, reading, whatever helps you to relax.

Some foods that help. Protein foods that are rich in an amino acid called tryptophan – that helps boost the sleep inducing hormone melatonin. Chicken and turkey, milk and dairy, nuts i.e. walnuts and seeds are all good choices. Combine these with rice, pasta and potatoes to help the body get the most benefits from tryptophan. Green leafy vegetables help the brain use the tryptophan to manufacture melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland, which is a small gland in the brain, it has many benefits and helps to control our sleep and wake cycles. Lettuce contains lactucarium which has sedative properties and effects the brain like opium. Bananas have high levels of magnesium and tryptophan that can really help us to sleep for longer and get to sleep faster.

Some drinks that help. Chamomile tea is associated with an increase of glycine which is a chemical that relaxes nerves and muscles and acts like a mild sedative. Cherry juice is helpful because it is rich in melatonin and a warm milky drink with honey and a pinch of nutmeg contains tryptophan.

Try to resolve stresses and worries. What works for me is journaling, so most nights I write how I am feeling and what has happened in my day, particularly if there is anything worrying me. Doing this helps get it out of my head and onto the paper, which enables me to sleep better. Writing a list of things you need to do the following day can help. Keeping a sleep diary, it can help you to identify the factors that are affecting your sleep, there are many sleep diary templates available online, for example on the NHS Choices Live Well website

Natural remedies. I am a huge advocate for Bach Flower Remedies and they do a night time remedy Rescue Night liquid melts, they dissolve on your tongue for a natural sleep and these can be purchased at health food stores, or chemists. Valerian is a herb and its root is used as a sedative and sleep aid which helps regulate the action of nerve cells and has a calming effect. Aromatherapy can be really helpful, I personally use lavender. You could put 3 or 4 drops in your bath, use it in an oil burner or a couple of drops on your pillow. There are lots of other natural remedies available in health food shops and chemists, I suggest that before using any you check that they are safe to take with any prescribed mediation you are taking.

Create a bedtime ritual. Following a regular routine for sleep can become a ritual, a habit that tells your mind and body that it’s ‘time for bed’, preparing for a restful night’s sleep. Some of the things your bedtime ritual might include could be – starting to prepare an hour before getting into bed, by switching off all technology, have a bath and getting into some comfy pyjamas, have a favourite night time drink, read a bit, write a bit in your journal, mediate or pray and then drift off to sleep.

I wish you a future of nourishing night’s sleep and if you are interested in attending a sleep workshop or one to one coaching to obtain a good sleep routine please contact Janette at or

by Sarah Taylor
by Sarah Taylor

If you’ve ever experienced a breakout or developed a rash right before an important event, or found your complexion looking listless when you’re run down then you already know first-hand how stress can affect your appearance.

But just how exactly does stress affect the skin? Well, firstly, stress can affect levels of cortisol (known as the stress hormone) along with other hormones; this in turn can cause an over production of sebum in the skin, contributing to oily skin and breakouts. Secondly, stress can also affect the immune system so can therefore be a factor in flare ups of skin conditions such as cold sores or psoriasis. In addition to this stress, and our coping mechanisms, can also affect our lifestyle, including our sleeping patterns and eating habits – which all have a knock-on effect on the condition of our skin

It’s an unfortunate reality that we are all affected by stress to some degree throughout our lives, and although there are many stressors in life which are beyond our control (and can have serious health consequences if the stress is severe, or prolonged) when it comes to the day-to-day kind (looming deadlines, a demanding boss, busy commutes and such like) there are things that we can do to buffer ourselves from it’s effects, help protect our skin and help make ourselves feel better in the process.

At this time of year, with school and work in full swing, summer having faded away into a distant memory and party season just around the corner the demands on our time seems to increase month by month. With hibernation not being an option I’ve put together my top stress-busting beauty tips, to help keep you and your skin feeling calm.

Boost your skins defences from the inside out

Drink plenty of water
If you’re feeling stressed it’s crucial to keep your body well hydrated. This is because being dehydrated is itself stressful to the body, and therefore influences cortisol levels. Staying well hydrated can help you feel more alert, and boost energy levels, which can be extremely helpful when you are feeling run down or overwhelmed.

drinking-water2Eat your ABCs
Be sure to include avocados, berries and good qualify chocolate (look for one with a high cocoa content) in your diet to help nourish your skin throughout any periods of stress. Avocados are rich in Vitamin E which helps keep skin hydrated, and B vitamins which assist in detox and reduce skin redness and inflammation. Berries, particularly blueberries and raspberries are rich in antioxidants which help neutralise skin cell damaging free-radicals, so should definitely be included in your anti-stress shopping basket. Chocolate also has antioxidant properties, in addition to it’s free-radical fighting capabilities it also contains magnesium, which is calming for the nervous system and it boosts neurotransmitters (endorphins and serotonin), which help make us feel good – but I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that!

Make self-care a priority

If you are struggling with stress then self-care is more important than ever, and massage is one of the best forms of self-care available, due to it’s numerous stress-reducing benefits. Massage helps ease muscle tension, aids relaxation and promotes improved sleep quality. It also assists with lymphatic drainage, which is the bodies natural detoxification process, gives you some much needed ‘me time’, and enables you to benefit from the healing power of touch. If going for for regular massages is not an option you can still reap many of the benefits. If time is short I recommend giving yourself a facial massage when applying your night cream or beauty oil. It’s a short, simple ritual, which will help boost skin circulation and give skin a glow, and can help you relax and unwind at the end of a long day.

It may feel like the last thing you want to do, but if you’re stressed even a little exercise can work wonders. As well as boosting endorphins exercise can help improve sleep quality, and increase circulation – which in turn helps deliver nutrients to the skin, giving it a healthy looking glow.

 Harness product power

There are many products on the market specifically targeted at stressed skin. Look for products containing soothing and calming ingredients such as Aloe, Calendula and Colloidal Oatmeal. If you are struggling to fall asleep try a room spray or pillow mist containing lavender, which helps with relaxation.

Do you have a favourite stress-busting tip or product? Tweet me at @SarahUrbanEcho


Dietitians from Bradford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are playing a starring role in an innovative patient education project that brings information to life through video.

And it’s a project that has now prompted the launch of their very own YouTube channel.

It came about when the Trust’s Head of Service, Jackie Loach and Principal Dietitian, Johanne Bird were introduced by Cindy Fedell, Director of Informatics to the team at the Working Academy at Bradford University.

dietitians-youtube-initiative1-2Dietitians joined forces with Simon Couth, Head of the Working Academy and Rachel Bottomley, a Media student at the University to develop promotional videos about the services on offer from the Diabetes, Weight Management and Cardiovascular Disease teams within the Trust’s Dietetic Service.

As part of this work, the dietitians have launched their very own YouTube channel, which showcases brief videos giving details of the services on offer and what benefits they may bring to patients.

Nic Whitehead, the dietitian leading the project said: “It gives patients the opportunity to learn more about our services and staff and the help we can offer them in managing and living well with their health conditions. The clips also highlight how people can find out more and access the services”.

The videos will be promoted on the Nutrition and Dietetics Service twitter account (@BTHFTdietitians) and Facebook Page as well as the Trust website.

Dietitians will be directing patients to the videos to encourage patients to access the services which suit them best.

The team is hoping other trust staff and the wider health community will also use the video clips to help ensure the right patients are signposted to the right service for them.

They also plan to develop the videos to include other areas of their services in the future and continue to work with animation and computing students at the Working Academy on digitalising one of their most used patient educational resources which helps people with diabetes understand their condition.

You can visit and subscribe here or search ‘Bradford Dietitians’ on YouTube – once they have 100 subscribers they will be able to change the channel name to something more catchy and meaningful – so please subscribe!



A new service offered at a Bradford hospital means patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) can receive a life-changing medication closer to their homes.

Previously, Bradford patients had to travel to Leeds for part of their treatment but now this can be administered at St Luke’s Hospital, part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Tysabri, which is given intravenously (by drip), is a disease modifying drug (DMD) for very active relapsing remitting MS and is taken once every four weeks to reduce the number and severity of relapses.

MS new service patient Stephanie Murie
MS new service patient Stephanie Murie

The St Luke’s patients are now able to access it nearer to home by a visit to the hospital’s rheumatology day case unit.

Sister, Suzanne Mitchell said: “Consultant Neurologist, Dr Cord Spilker, and MS Nurse Specialist, Liz Watson approached me about a possible service for our MS patients, who were making the journey to a Leeds hospital in order to receive this medication. This was because specialist nursing was needed to meet the criteria required by the drug company.

“We agreed to look into providing a service to repatriate the Bradford patient to our day case unit, to enable patients to receive their life-changing treatment at a hospital near to their home, and I’m thrilled to say this new service is now available in Bradford for them.”

She added that in some cases, the journey to Leeds was taking up to a day with MS patients waiting for transport to convey them there and back again.

“Now our existing patients plus any new patients starting their Tysabri treatment are coming to the St Luke’s unit.

“The new service has really been welcomed by patients who gave it the seal of approval in a recent patient survey. We are pleased to have received some really excellent, positive comments,” she said.

Dr Spilker added: “The transfer of care is making a real difference to our patients because not only do they have the intravenous infusion here in Bradford but that means that they see their regular MS nurses and consultant at the same time too so it really cuts down on appointment and treatment times for them.

“Delivering high quality care as part of the West Yorkshire MS Treatment Programme is a priority for us and we are all really proud of the difference it is making to those patients with MS.”

One patient who is full of praise for the change in location for her Tysabri treatment is 40-year-old Stephanie Murie, of Bingley, who was diagnosed with MS in 2010.

Stephanie said: “Travelling to Leeds was quite exhausting because it did involve a lot of time and it really cut into my day. Being able to have the treatment here in Bradford, at St Luke’s has really made a difference.

“It’s not only a better journey for me but it also means I see my MS consultant and MS nurses at the same time and everyone is so friendly. There is a lovely, relaxed atmosphere and I also get to chat to fellow MS patients.”

Stephanie added that there was also another important bonus of having the intravenous treatment at St Luke’s: “It means I can have an extra hour and a half in bed!” she laughed.


by Sarah Taylor
by Sarah Taylor

Recently the ever-glamorous actress Joanna Lumley has attributed her decade-defying skin to a budget friendly beauty product that can be picked up on the high street for as little as £1.29 a pot. The skin savior in question is Astral Original All Over Face and Body cream. Instantly recognisable by its classic blue packaging, this marvelous multitasking moisturiser has been earning its place in bathroom cabinets across Britain since the early 1950s!

So, what is the secret of this longstanding, low-cost skincare stalwart’s success?

My guess would be that it’s down to the fact that one of its main ingredients is lanolin. A by-product of wool production lanolin (or wool wax or wool fat as it is also known) is the substance naturally produced by sheep, which helps to repel water, and protect their coats. The collection of lanolin is not harmful to the animal, when the sheep is shorn each year; the lanolin is extracted and refined. It is then cleaned and purified for use in cosmetics.

10000586However, Astral is not the only lanolin-containing product with legions of fans and celebrity endorsements. It is also a main ingredient in Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream, which is one of the all-time bestselling beauty products, and a Make-up Artist must-have. Newer to the scene is cult product Lanolips, which was developed by Australian beauty entrepreneur Kirsten Carriol who, after struggling to find the perfect lip balm, realised that she hadn’t encountered a single product that moisturised as well as the lanolin her parents used on her lips and skin as a child. Carriol also recalled her father (a pioneering and award winning Professor in the science of DNA) explaining to her that the molecular structure of lanolin was ‘the secret to moisturisation’ – the rest is international multi award winning history!

Now I’m a relatively recent convert to Lanolips, but I can categorically state that the The Original 101 Ointment is hands down the best lip balm I have ever used, mostly due to the fact that it offers long lasting moisturisation, so doesn’t leave you feeling like you need to reapply it every ten minutes, like many others do – and I also happen to adore it’s Old Hollywood glamour style retro packaging!

But don’t just take my word for it, here’s the lowdown on why skin loves lanolin:

Lanolin closely resembles human skins own lipid structure, making it highly compatible for use on the skin.

It forms a semi-occlusive breathable barrier, meaning it doesn’t ‘smother’ the skin, thus allowing the skin to continue to carry out its essential biological functions.

Lanolin is a humectant, and once absorbed into the skin it is able to hold at least twice it’s own weight in water.

It not only moistuirises, but also acts as a barrier to help retain moisture in the skin, thus eliminating the need for endless reapplication of products.

It is particularly effective on very dry skin, or skin that has become thickened or developed callouses, and can be used to soften rough and cracked heels, which is something many of us may be mindful of at the moment as we approach sandal season!

Lanolin is not only used in cosmetic products. The healthcare industry use medical grade lanolin as a base for ointments, and its inclusion assists in the delivery of medicinal ingredients to the skin.

While there’s no doubt that lanolin is a fantastic moisturising ingredient, some people prefer not use animal products, so if you are looking for a plant-based alternative to lanolin I recommend choosing products that contain coconut or Agan oil, or shea butter.

Finally, a word of cautionAs lanolin is derived from sheep’s wool, people with wool allergies should not use products containing lanolin. It may also cause irritation for those with sensitive skin (as can any cosmetic ingredient) so prior to the use of any lanolin cream a small test patch should be done to check for any adverse reaction, such as redness or itching. If any reaction occurs the product should not be used.

by Sarah Taylor
by Sarah Taylor

Whether you’re a seasoned fitness fanatic, or are just a few weeks into your New Year exercise regime, you’ve probably discovered that whilst working out may work wonders for your health and wellbeing, it can also wreak havoc on your skin and hair. From breakouts to hair breakage, and make-up meltdowns to sweat rash these gym-based beauty woes ain’t pretty! Fortunately, fixing them, or avoiding them altogether is easy, and to help you tackle the most common exercise related beauty niggles I’ve put together some simple, tried and tested tips and advice – so you can go for your body goals without sacrificing your beauty game.

Melting Make-up
Ideally, it is advisable to not wear any make-up at all when exercising, as it mixes with sweat, and can lead to blocked pores and breakouts. However, it isn’t always possible to remove make-up prior to working out, and, in my opinion, it should be down to personal preference, as I don’t believe that wearing, or not wearing make-up should be a barrier to anyone seeking to improve their health through exercise. So, if you exercise your right to head to the gym not completely bare faced, then I recommend using the bare minimum number of products possible. Opt for a tinted moisturiser or BB cream instead of foundation, keep application light, and use waterproof products wherever possible to help keep your face in place through even the most grueling workout.

fitnessDry Skin or Redness
It’s not just our muscles that need replenishing post-workout, after an exercise session skin needs nourishment too. It’s crucial to restore the moisture lost though sweating with a light moisturiser or oil, and avoid applying any harsh or drying products – particularly those containing alcohol. If you suffer from redness, or rosacea, and find that exercise exacerbates the problem, try a soothing moisturiser with anti-inflammatory ingredients such as chamomile or aloe, or if you find that your skin is particularly dry following a workout or swim look for one containing hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin.

While it doesn’t seem fair that your well intentioned workout can lead to unwelcome skin breakouts, frustratingly, this can often be the case. If you find you are breaking out across your forehead then your hair may well be the culprit, as exercise causes the hair to produce more of it’s natural oils, which (along with sweat) can block pores and lead to bumpy skin, or spots forming along the hairline. Hair products can also contribute to the problem, so if possible gently pin your hair away from your face during workouts, and skip oily products like serum if this is a particular problem for you.

Avoid touching your face whilst working out, as this will help prevent the transfer of bacteria from gym equipment on to your skin. Try not to rest your face on your gym or yoga mat, and take a towel along with you to place over weights benches before use to protect your skin.

mascrun1Sweat Rash
This common, uncomfortable condition (the nemesis of many a gym bunny) appears when naturally occurring yeast and bacteria gets trapped between skin folds, or between skin and clothes. It normally strikes areas where sweat accumulates – think underarms, backs of knees, under the bust and in the groin area. To avoid it wear sweat wicking clothing, apply a topical skin product that reduces chafing, shower immediately after exercising and don’t linger in you workout clothes any longer than necessary, as this can also lead to infection of the hair follicles, known as folliculitis. To treat the rash ensure that you dry the skin thoroughly after showering, use anti-fungal cream, or for a natural solution try tea tree oil, which has anti-fungal properties. However, if you have any cause for concern with your skin health, or the problem is recurrent, painful or persistent you should always consult with a healthcare professional.

Hair Breakage
Ok, so tying hair up away from the face is necessary to help prevent breakouts, however tying it up too tight can cause hair breakage, and if done consistently can lead to traction alopecia, in which the hair becomes thin along the hairline, as a result of tension weakening the hair roots and causing permanent damage to the hair follicles. To prevent this use snag-free fabric hair bands, or plastic spiral type bobbles (such as the Invisibobble) which put uneven pressure on the hair when it is tied up, holding it securely, but not too tightly and without leaving an obvious mark in the hair when removed.

If swimming is your thing then you need to take steps to avoid or minimise the damage caused by regular exposure to chlorine, which includes drying the hair out, leading it to become brittle and porous. Wearing a swimming cap is the most effective way to prevent damage, but other tips that can help include using a protective product (such as Swimcap Cream by Philip Kingsley) prior to getting in the pool and rinsing your hair with clean water as soon as you can after swimming. Wash your hair with a gentle clarifying shampoo to prevent chlorine build up, and follow with a hydrating conditioner to replace lost moisture. I also recommend using a deep conditioning treatment (containing protein such as Keratin) once a week, to strengthen the hair… Now if only there was a way to make exercise easier!

Bradford – Hospital specialists in the city are reminding women not to be complacent about their health during this week’s national Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.

Every day in the UK, eight women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and three women will lose their lives to the disease.

Cervical cancer is largely preventable thanks to cervical screening and the HPV vaccination programme – yet uptake of cervical screening is now going down year on year. Recent research has shown that the percentage of women aged 25 to 64 within the Bradford City CCG accessing cervical screening programmes was 62.5 per cent, lower than the national average of 74.3 percent.

“Early detection is key to increasing survival rates and educating everyone on the disease, its symptoms and ways to prevent it,” said Suzanne Taylor, nurse colposcopist at Bradford Teaching Hospitals. “It’s vital that women attend their routine smear test invitations and don’t ignore their appointment as this test can help reduce your risk of cervical cancer.

“Cervical Cancer Prevention Week provides us with an opportunity to remind women that they need to take care and listen to their bodies.”

The focus of this year’s awareness week is to remind women of cervical cancer symptoms and causes of the disease, as well as ways to prevent it.

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women aged 35 or under.

In the majority of cases, the disease is caused by a persistent infection with a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV) which causes damage to the cervical cells. HPV is a common virus transmitted through skin to skin contact in the genital area.

Symptoms of cervical cancer are not always obvious at first and there are sometimes no symptoms with early stage cervical cancer. There are however recognised symptoms associated with the disease, such as unusual bleeding during or after sexual intercourse, inter-menstrual bleeding and persistent, unpleasant or unusual vaginal discharge.

Suzanne added: “Cervical screening, available to all women aged between 25 and 64, is a key method of preventing cervical cancer as it detects any early abnormalities on the cervix which if left untreated could lead to cancer.

“The highest incidence of cervical cancer occurring is in women aged between 30 and 39. Cervical screening is a simple and painless procedure and with early detection and treatment, it is estimated to prevent up to 75 per cent of cervical cancers.

“We urge women to book an appointment with their GP as soon as they receive their reminder or to contact their GP if they think their screening is due or if they are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above.

“If you are diagnosed early, the outlook will usually be very good and a complete cure is often possible. It is so important for women to listen to their bodies, report anything suspicious and attend their screening appointments every three years.”

Suzanne is currently undertaking joint work with the Shipley-based ARCH (Advice, Rehabilitation, Counselling and Health) charity.

This Friday (29 January) she will join the charity at a special event at Shipley Town Hall designed to raise awareness of the NHS’s national cervical screening programme which encourages women to improve their health outcomes by attending their three-yearly smear tests.

Suzanne added: “It’s great to be working in collaboration with other agencies to improve the health outcomes of the women of Bradford.”

Bradford Teaching Hospitals, Bradford Council, Public Health England and Bradford NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are currently working on joint projects to increase cervical screening uptake across the district.

For more information on cervical cancer, visit or Jo’s Trust at

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week takes place between 24-30 January 2016.

People across the district are being encouraged to have a quick and simple HIV test during National HIV Testing Week (21-28 November) which also aims to reduce the stigma around having the HIV virus.

A partnership of health and community organisations are coming together to raise awareness of the importance of testing including Bradford Council, British Red Cross, MESMAC, Locala, Equity Partnership, Step 2 Young People’s Health Project and the Red Ribbon Society from the University of Bradford.

The week will end with events being held in the city centre with on Saturday 28 November.

Dr Anne Connolly, clinical specialty lead for sexual health for the local NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs): Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven, Bradford City and Bradford Districts, said:

“It’s really important to remember that HIV hasn’t gone away. The awareness week is about making HIV testing a normal thing to do, and encouraging more people to be sure of their status by having a test.

“You can only be certain you have HIV if you have a blood test that looks specifically for the virus. Many people newly infected with HIV have no signs or symptoms at all, so the only way to find out if you have HIV is to have a blood test.

“The sooner you get tested, the sooner you can start to take care of yourself. If it’s a negative result, you can protect yourself against HIV in the future and if it’s positive, you can start life-saving treatment and avoid spreading the virus to someone else.

Nicola Hawkins, Health Promotion Specialist for Bradford Council, said:

“Access to HIV care in the UK is excellent and treatments are much more successful than they used to be, enabling people with HIV to lead as normal a life as possible.”

“Because treatments have improved so much, many people don’t realise HIV is still an issue no matter who you are. The best prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is to use a condom and get tested for STIs after every new partner.

“One in four people with HIV don’t actually know they have it but they account for 75% of new transmissions. Only when people know they have HIV can they get treatment and become less infectious.”

Volunteers and the Red Ribbon Society will be making a human Red Ribbon formation in Norfolk Gardens at 10.30am on Saturday 21 November at 10.30am. Anyone wanting to be involved needs to be wearing red.

Events on Saturday 28 November include:

Activities for children’s such as making a red ribbon, making bracelets and designing a poster that will be part of the World Aids Day tapestry in City Library.

Information and advice from the HALE bus parked on Ivegate behind Rimmington’s pharmacy

HIV and Chlamydia testing will be available at City Library and Rimmington’s pharmacy from 11am to 4pm on

Anyone who has a HIV, Chlamydia test and likes the Locala and Mesmac Facebook page will have a chance of winning a £15 iTunes voucher.

To find out where to get a your nearest HIV test visit or for more information visit



Enjoy six weeks gym and swim membership this festive season for just £20 thanks to a fantastic offer from Bradford Council.

This amazing offer – less than 50 pence a day – will entitle members to full, unlimited use of gyms, swimming pools and the majority of fitness classes at selected Bradford Council health and fitness sites.

Anyone who signs up for a Clubactive membership between November 13 and January 4 will receive six consecutive weeks of membership all for £20.

Clubactive memberships are valid for use at Richard Dunn Sports Centre, The Leisure Centre Keighley, Nab Wood and Manningham Sports Centres, and Bowling, Shipley, Eccleshill, Bingley, Ilkley and Queensbury Pools.

Cllr Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s executive member for environment and sport, said: “I hope people will take advantage of this offer which is great value for money. If people start to exercise now they will be trimmer, toned and more physically fit by Christmas.”

Memberships are not transferable and no refunds can be given for cancellations. Additional time cannot be added onto the six weeks to compensate for holidays and closures at any of Bradford Council’s Sport and Leisure sites.

The swimming pool at Keighley Leisure Centre will be closed from December 15 – January 4 for essential maintenance.

A gym induction must be undertaken by new members before their first gym session and some fitness classes also require inductions. Booking for these is essential.

To sign up for this amazing offer ask behind reception at any of Bradford Council’s Clubactive Health and Fitness sites, or call either: Richard Dunn Sports Centre on 01274 434700 or The Leisure Centre, Keighley on 01535 681763 Eccleshill Pool on 01274 612329. Bingley Pool 01274 560621 or   Thornton Recreation Centre 01274 436022 or Shipley Gym and Pool 01274 437162 – and ask to speak to a membership advisor.