Suffolk and North East Essex
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Stay well for surgery or treatment – north east Essex

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Tips and resources for keeping fit and well while waiting for your treatment or procedure in the north east Essex area

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) has produced a leaflet about how to keep fit and well while waiting for your treatment or procedure. To view or download it, click the following link:

Tips for keeping fit and well while waiting for your treatment or procedure leaflet (PDF)

The Royal College of Anaesthetists also has a number of useful resources on its website to help people prepare for surgery:

Website: https://www.rcoa.ac.uk/patient-information/preparing-surgery-fitter-better-sooner

The content below is also available as a booklet from the PALS team at Colchester Hospital.
An Easy Read version can be requested from the Learning Disability Specialist Nurses at the hospital.

Physical activity resources

It’s important to keep active while you are waiting for surgery. Your heart and lungs have to work harder after an operation to help your body heal. This will be a lot easier if you are already active. Many organisations can help people with poor mobility to increase their activity levels.

Essex Wellbeing Service

Essex Wellbeing Service supports individuals to find ways of becoming more active which fit in with both their physical ability and their lifestyle:

Website: (Physical Activity) https://www.essexwellbeingservice.co.uk/lifestyle/physical-activity

Website: (Strength and Balance) https://www.essexwellbeingservice.co.uk/lifestyle/emotional-support

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 0300 303 9988*

Active Essex

Active Essex works to support local people to increase their levels of activity, whatever their physical barriers to exercise might be and can help people take up any sport that might help their own particular needs:

Website: https://www.activeessex.org/

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 0333 013 1620*

Social Prescribing Link Workers

Community360

Community360 can link people in Colchester to physical activities which suit their ability, experience and needs:

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 01206 505250

Community Voluntary Services Tendring (CVST)

CVST can link people in Tendring to physical activities which suit their ability, experience and needs, including allotment groups and its own community garden at Kennedy Way Medical Centre in Clacton:

Website: https://www.cvstendring.org.uk/

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 01255 425692

Sport for Confidence

Sport for Confidence supports individuals whose health needs can prevent them from participating in sport and physical activity to become more active. This includes people living with a learning disability and or autism, mental health problems, physical disabilities and long term health conditions. The team of Occupational Therapists and coaches works across multiple leisure centre sites in Essex including Colchester, Clacton and Witham. providing inclusive opportunities through both a virtual programme and within the local community:

Website: https://sportforconfidence.com

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 01245 950502

We Are Undefeatable

We Are Undefeatable is a campaign led by 15 UK charities that supports people with health conditions to be active:

Website: https://weareundefeatable.co.uk/

Mental health support and befriending services

Waiting for surgery can be a testing time for someone’s mental wellbeing and it’s important to seek information and support at an early stage if you feel your mental health is becoming a problem. A number of local organisations can help.

Therapy For You

Therapy For You delivers professional mental health support for people with common mental health problems via individual or group therapy and courses. Services are available online, over the telephone, and via video call:

Website: https://www.therapyforyou.co.uk/

Telephone: 01206 334001

Essex Wellbeing Service

Essex Wellbeing Service supports individuals to maintain positive mental health by connecting them with others, helping them develop coping skills and assisting them to get professional help if required:

Website: (Mental health) https://www.essexwellbeingservice.co.uk/lifestyle/mental-health

Website: (Social isolation) https://www.essexwellbeingservice.co.uk/lifestyle/social-isolation

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 0300 303 9988*

Social Prescribing Link Workers

Social Prescribing Link Workers can help people with low level mental health support and connect them with activities in the community to help meet their needs.

Community360 – Colchester

Community 360 supports people across Colchester to improve and maintain good mental health by addressing the social issues that can affect their wellbeing and connecting them to voluntary and community services, supporting them with health conditions and encouraging self-care.

To refer yourself to their services, call 01206 505250 or email [email protected]

Community Voluntary Services Tendring (CVST)

CVST supports physical and mental wellbeing through access to clubs, groups and activities, including social and gentle fitness groups, volunteering, and its own community garden. Call or email to refer yourself to their services:

Website: https://www.cvstendring.org.uk/

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 01255 425692

Mid and North East Essex Mind

Mid and North East Essex Mind is a local mental health charity connected to the national charity Mind, providing support through Crisis Cafés and private counselling services:

Website: https://mnessexmind.org/

Email: [email protected] 

Telephone: 01206 764600

SUMMIT

SUMMIT Tendring Mental Health Support offers a range of bespoke services for adults with a learning disability, autism or poor mental health, including advocacy, outreach work, support through medical assessments and correspondence support:

Website: https://www.summitservices.org.uk/

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 01255 429778

St Helena Hospice

St Helena Hospice provides bereavement support services for adults struggling emotionally with the death of a loved one, regardless of how or where they died:

Website: https://www.sthelena.org.uk/how-we-can-help-you/bereavement-support-and-referrals 

Telephone: 01206 984274

Emergency Support

Adults in crisis and needing urgent help can seek assistance by calling one of the options below:

Telephone: 111 (Option 2)

Samaritans

Telephone: 116 123

Support to manage long term conditions

If you have a long-term condition that is not well managed your elective surgery might have to be delayed until the condition is back under control again. This is for your safety. Keep taking any prescribed medicines as directed. 

Social Prescribing Link Workers

Social Prescribing Link Workers can also connect people to support groups for long term conditions such as diabetes. To self-refer to your local Link Worker:

Colchester residents call 01206 505250 or email [email protected]

Tendring residents call 01255 425692 or email [email protected]

NHS.uk – Health conditions A-Z

For more information on managing individual long-term conditions and details of support groups, visit the NHS website:

Website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/

We Are Undefeatable

We Are Undefeatable is a campaign led by 15 UK charities that supports people with health conditions to be active.

Website: https://weareundefeatable.co.uk/

Transport services

Help with transport difficulties is available from the organisations below:

Social Prescribing Link Workers

Social Prescribing Link Workers can connect people to mobility and transport services if they cannot get around independently.
To self-refer to your local Link Worker:

Colchester residents call 01206 505250 or email [email protected]

Tendring residents call 01255 425692 or email [email protected]

Financial and housing support

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice can help with benefits, your rights at work, debt and money, housing, navigating the legal system, family law and immigration:

Website: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

GP Care Advisers

GP Care Advisers can provide advice, support, information and assistance in obtaining services from other agencies and, where appropriate, will make initial contact on the patient’s behalf. They can help with completing welfare benefit claims forms and can also provide an assessment of essential equipment that may be required in the home such as handrails and raised toilet seats. GP Care Advisers can also help people who are looking after friends or loved ones with dementia.

Contact your GP practice to request a referral to the GP Care Adviser service.

Essex County Council – Equipment and adaptations to the home

Occupational Therapists can assess you and your home and provide minor equipment to enable you to live more independently. They can also assess long-term needs for adaptations, such as stair lifts or ramps, and pass any recommendations to the Local Authority for a relevant grant.

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 0345 603 7630*

Essex County Council – Green Homes Grant

The county council is encouraging Essex residents to apply for up to £10,000 of free energy efficient home improvements through the government’s Green Homes Grant. Grants are available for insulation and renewable energy heating for households with a maximum income of £30,000:

Website: https://surveys.est.org.uk/s/GreenHomesGrantSchemeLAD/

Telephone: 0808 196 8255**

General health and lifestyle support

It’s important to think about your general health before surgery to give yourself the best chance of recovery. The links below could also help you make changes to benefit your long-term health.

Essex Wellbeing Service

Essex Wellbeing Service can support individuals with a number of common issues which contribute towards poor physical and mental health:

Website: (Stop smoking) https://www.essexwellbeingservice.co.uk/lifestyle/stop-smoking

Website: (Alcohol reduction) https://www.essexwellbeingservice.co.uk/lifestyle/alcohol-reduction

Website: (Weight management) https://www.essexwellbeingservice.co.uk/lifestyle/weight-management

Website: (Sleep) https://www.essexwellbeingservice.co.uk/lifestyle/sleep

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 0300 303 9988*

National Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP)

Type 2 diabetes is preventable. It is often linked to lifestyle choices and can lead to serious medical complications.

  • If you already have a diagnosis of pre-diabetes, you are eligible for a place on the free National Diabetes Prevention Programme and can contact your GP for a referral.
  • If you do not have a diagnosis of pre-diabetes, you can find out if you are eligible for a place on the free National Diabetes Prevention Programme by either completing an online assessment or speaking to your GP surgery to request a blood glucose test:

Website ‘know your risk’ online assessment: https://riskscore.diabetes.org.uk/start

COVID-19

Protect yourself against COVID-19 and Long Covid by having your first two vaccinations and your booster jab if you’re in an eligible group. To check your eligibility and to find current information on vaccination sites and opening times visit the SNEE Vaccine website.

Website: https://sneevaccine.org.uk/

Flu

Protect yourself against the flu. People in eligible groups can get a free vaccination at their GP surgery or community pharmacy. Flu leaflets are available to view or download in several languages and in large print on the SNEE Vaccine website.

Website: https://sneevaccine.org.uk/resources/multi-languages-flu-leaflets/

Support for people looking after someone awaiting surgery

If you regularly look after someone who needs support because they are elderly or have mental or physical health needs, you are a carer. Carers often support a family member or a close friend with practical tasks and companionship. You do not need to be paid to be classed as a carer.

Carer’s Assessment

If you are a carer, you can have a Carer’s Assessment to access support to help make your life easier. You can get an assessment by contacting adult social services at Essex County Council. This service may also help you if you need to take a break from caring because you need surgery or hospital treatment yourself:

Website: https://www.essex.gov.uk/request-carers-assessment/ 

Email: [email protected] 

Telephone: 0345 603 7630

Essex Carers Support

Essex Carers Support provides a variety of flexible support services to family carers, including self-care resources; financial and practical help to access respite care; and their ‘Time 4 You’ project which provides up to £100 (or £500 in some circumstances) to enable family carers to do something of their own choosing aligned to their individual interests, hobbies and aspirations:

Website: https://www.essexcarerssupport.org.uk/

Telephone: 01255 474410

Action for Family Carers

Action for Family Carers is a charity supporting carers across Essex, including Young Carers under the age of 18, with information, advice, befriending, counselling and a wellbeing programme, Young Carer club nights and support in schools plus activity groups for people with dementia and respite day care:

Website: https://affc.org.uk/

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 0300 770 8090*

Carers First

Carers First provides a range of services for adult, unpaid carers including information and guidance, emotional and wellbeing support, practical help and financial assistance – online, by phone and face-to-face in the local community:

Website: https://www.carersfirst.org.uk/

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 0300 303 1555*

Other support

Local parish, town and community support information

Information about support available to you locally, including transport, Good Neigbourhood schemes and support groups, can often be found in the parish and community magazines that drop through your door and on your local parish or town council’s website.

Essex Libraries

Many services are available to download from the Essex Libraries website including eBooks, eAudiobooks, music, films, newspapers, courses and information on upcoming local events and activities. Access to this information is also available at your local or mobile library:

Website: https://libraries.essex.gov.uk/

Telephone: 0345 603 7628 *

Waiting times for operations

A list of current waiting times for operations at Colchester hospital is available at:
http://www.esneft.nhs.uk/your-visit/departmental-and-surgical-wait-times/ 

*Calls to 03 numbers cost the same price to call as if you were calling an 01 or 02 landline. This includes calls from mobile phones.

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