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Infrequent interventions with long-lasting positive effects

Summary :: Our programmes and services :: Infrequent interventions with long-lasting positive effects

There are numerous services which focus on early intervention within Medway. The government funded 'Healthy Start' programme issues vouchers to women who are pregnant and/or with young children on benefits (or pregnant women under the age of eighteen) to be spent on milk, vitamins, fruit and vegetables. Another example is how the Medway Youth Offending team works with young people and their families to curtail anti-social behaviour and prevent crime. It is also possible to improve the accessibility of certain services. Examples include the C-card scheme in which young people can register for the service and obtain free condoms from a number of accredited locations around Medway or the 'Early Bird' maternity clinics to encourage women to book their first appointment with a midwife as soon as possible.

There is a comprehensive vaccination programme to immunise the population against certain communicable diseases. The service is mainly provided by general practices and school nursing although the neonatal BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin) programme against tuberculosis is delivered via the chest clinic at Medway NHS Foundation Trust.

Screening is an important tool to protect the health of the population. There are a total of six antenatal and new-born screening programmes which check for sickle cell and thalassaemia, fetal anomaly (e.g. Downs syndrome), infectious diseases (Hepatitis B, HIV, Syphilis and Rubella), new-born blood spot (test for various diseases see more), new-born and infant physical examination and new-born hearing test. Screening for cancer of the breast, cervix and bowel is conducted according to a nationally agreed timetable by using the NHS call and recall system. Newly diagnosed diabetic patients are offered an initial assessment with a Podiatrist and every year all eligible diabetic patients are offered an eye screen with the Paula Carr Trust. The NHS Health Checks programme is concerned with screening undiagnosed patients for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease every five years. Screens usually take place at the patient's own general practice.

Examples of other services which generally work with people for a short period of time are the CASH (Contraception and Sexual Health) clinics, GUM (Genito-urinary Medicine) clinics, respite care offered to carers and the occupational therapy service which provides information and advice, adaptations to the home and can arrange loan of specialised equipment to support people remain as independent as possible.