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GLOUCESTER & FOREST OF DEAN BRANCH

January 2014

The Branch Helpline Number is 01452 724838.

The Society’s National Helpline is 0808 800 8000

The Branch’s Welfare Support Volunteers Are:

Pat Hanman on 01594 824253, (mainly the F.O.D.)

Pauline Fitchard on 01452 529742.

Jean Clarke on 01452 728163

Nine more people have joined the list of people that get the newsletter by email- So please:-

Sign Up and Save and get the newsletter sent to your computer by Email. Just fill in the bits that are missing below and Email to Trefor.hughes.

MS Society Gloucester & FOD Newsletter. I

receive the newsletter sent to me by Email. And for my Email address to be stored electronically.

My Email address is

Dates for your Diary in 2014 Please note that due to the small numbers attending; lunches will now be once a month.

Lunch at the High Orchard, St Ann’s Way from 12 noon Thursday 16 January- Saturday 18 January- NO MONTHLY MEETING IN JANUARY Saturday 15 February- Monthly meeting at the Gloucester Deaf Centre, Colin Road, Barnwood, Gloucester GL4 3JL from 2-4pm Thursday 20 February. Lunch at the Haywain, Quedgeley from 12 noon.

-------------------------------------------------- Gloucester Exercise Class. This takes place every Friday at Elmscroft Community Hall, Barnwood from 2 – 4pm. They are gentle exercises done mostly sitting down and based on Pilates. We do one hour of exercise and then have light refreshments and a chat. Cost is £2 per person per class. No booking required, just turn up. For more information contact Jean Clarke (01452 728163)

-------------------------------------------------- Branch Annual Meeting. Saturday 15 March 2014 at 2pm at the Gloucester Deaf Centre.

Your chance to have a say in how the branch is run.

Nomination forms will be included with February newsletter.

-------------------------------------------------- December, Christmas Meal: After a few cancellations, 63 members and friends enjoyed the usual high quality food at the Belfry Hotel, Littledean. We had a free raffle with all the prizes donated by those attending. Thanks were given to Shane and his staff for their excellent service and to Pat Hanman who did the organising this year.

-------------------------------------------------- CAB Partnership Due to the costs involved and lack of use by our members, this service has been terminated.

The Multiple Sclerosis Society is a registered charity in England and Wales (1139257) and Scotland (SC041990), and a company limited by guarantee (07451571) 1 The CAB is still available for help with benefits, debt management, housing problems etc but the Gloucester branch will only deal with your problem if you reside within the City Council area.

Everyone else will have to contact the branch of the CAB within the council area that they reside.

The telephone numbers are: Gloucester 01452 527202, Forest of Dean 01594 823937, and Tewkesbury 01242 522491. Most of them have drop in sessions for initial contact and all should provide home visits if you are housebound

-------------------------------------------------Branch Website Our branch website which contains details of what the branch does, contact details, event details, the newsletters and a branch blog has been upgraded. The direct link to the website is www.mssociety.org.uk/near-me/branches/gloucester-and-forest-dean-branch Interested in Research? To receive all the latest news on Research into Multiple Sclerosis and the Society’s Research Team and get emails providing you with up to the minute information register at www.mssocietyalerts.org.uk Change of Address.

You know where you live, so do we; well at least we think we do. But if you move and don’t let us know, we just keep sending the Newsletter to the address we have on file. Until either the people at your old address tell us you no longer live there or until you ask ‘where’s my MS Newsletter’.

So please keep us up to date when you change your address, the same with your Email address.

-------------------------------------------------Forest Support Group.

The next meeting is on Thursday 9 January at Great Oak’s Hospice, Coleford from 7-9pm. This will be an informal get-together. Enquiries to Corinne Clarke on 01594 836315 (Pat is away)

-------------------------------------------------Not an Emergency, then don’t visit A & E. Choose WELL instead. Text WELL to 60777 or visit www.choosewellglos.nhs.uk for information about healthcare options.

We hope that you have all had a copy of “NOT an emergency” through the post, regarding Healthcare provision in Gloucestershire. It’s a handy little book, best kept near your telephone, in it explains the different ways that some illnesses should be regarded and treated, as it clearly shows on the front page “Then don’t visit A&E choose WELL instead” The Gloucester Health Access Centre (GHAC) in Eastgate Street, Gloucester is open 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. The GPs provide a wide range of general practice care, including problems like pain, stomach upsets, coughs and minor injuries. They also offer contraception and sexual health advice.

GHAC provides a walk in facility, but patients are seen on an appointment basis. They strongly encourage patients to ring in advance (Tel: 01452 336290), to ensure that they are seen at a time that is convenient to them and to avoid waiting longer than necessary.





Pharmacists Are experts on medicine and how they work. They are qualified to give advice on basic health issues such as coughs, colds, sore throats, aches and pains, sprains and stomach upsets. You can talk to your pharmacist in confidence - even about the most personal symptoms and you don't need to make an appointment. Your pharmacist can advise you on whether you need to visit or call other NHS services. To find your nearest pharmacist, visit www.choosewellglos.nhs.

What is an emergency: When it comes to your health or the health of someone in your family, it is often very obvious if the person is seriously ill and needs immediate emergency care. An emergency is a critical or life-threatening situation. To help you decide what a critical situation is; here are some examples: * Unconsciousness. * A suspected stroke. * Heavy blood loss. * Severe burns.

* Difficulty in breathing. * A suspected heart attack. * A Severe fall. * Knife or gun attack.

If emergency care is required, a trip to A&E or a 999 call for an ambulance is the right course of action to take. Please note that the Children's Centre and specialist staff, who provide emergency care for children, are based at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucester.

If your child needs emergency care, call 999.

Counselling Service.

Our trained volunteer counsellor, Helen, is a member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists and adheres to their codes of ethics. She is familiar with the issues of our disability.

Sessions are held at the Dean Neurological Centre, Winfield Hospital, Tewkesbury Road, Gloucester GL2 9EE, time and date by arrangement. Alternate venues are negotiable. To make an appointment 2 please ring 07810 572527 leaving your name and telephone number and Helen will ring you back.

The service is free for up to 8 sessions for anyone affected by MS, including relatives and friends.

Fund Raising News:

The recent collection at the Tesco’s St Oswald’s store raised £403.48. Many thanks to Mark Panting, Dave Edwards, Roy Palmer, Theresa Dance, Pat Metcalfe and Steve Pearce. For helping on the day.

-------------------------------------------NHS 111 is now available 24/7 in Gloucestershire.

You can call 111 for advice if you need medical help fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency.

-------------------------------------------------It’s a new name, but will it be a different The Days of our Primary Care Trust (PCT) are over.

name for the same old group, now we have the Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group or (GCCG) This new group, we expect we will hear a lot more about in the near future.

-------------------------------------------------Equipment website:

You can sell second hand equipment for FREE at the following site www.disabledgear.com

-------------------------------------------------The cost of some telephone calls. More people disabled people who need to phone certain Government Departments, often regarding benefit questions, are paying up to 35 pence per minute to do so. It appears a lot of these departments use a 0845 telephone line, where it has been reported that £56 million are being made for the Government. It hasn’t helped that the cost of a stamp, now at 50p, has made writing in just as expensive, so the disabled are stuck between a rock and a hard place when they need to contact a government department.

Often calls to some departments can cost up to 35p a minute, and it’s often the least well off that have to make these calls. So be careful when you make calls, especially if you find yourself in a “queue” waiting for a person to actually speak to you, yes the music that you hear may sound relaxing, but remember it’s COSTING you a small fortune to be “entertained”. Even Motability use a 0845 number, how bad is that. If the telephone number starts 0800 then it is free.

Don’t even think of using your mobile phone, there the costs can be very, very expensive.

-------------------------------------------------Everyone likes going to the “flicks” It’s always better on the BIG screen than it is on the telly, although seeing some of the large TV sets that you can now get; they can fill many people’s lounge walls. One thing that also increased in size is the price of the cinema tickets. However there is a scheme, where at least the carer doesn’t have to pay for theirs - it’s called the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association Card and is accepted at around 90% of UK cinemas, details of which can be found at their web site, along with other information www.ceacard.co.uk. You pay £5.50 per year and you get a credit card size card with your picture on, of course you do have to send them your photo first. It’s similar to using the blue badge when you go across either of the Severn bridges, the card has the person’s photograph on it, and that person has to be present when you cross the bridge. So the same rule applied when the cinema tickets are bought the, person on the card has to be there.

-------------------------------------------------Only for a few weeks.

Often people have the odd accident or two, which can for a while, leave them less able to manage the normal daily things that they usually can manage. However, take for example a broken arm or a broken ankle, its place in plaster for a few weeks, and the norm is not the norm, and they have to do things a little bit differently, they find normal things are hard to achieve and being proud they carry on or try to carry on. Often just a little adaptation or a piece of equipment would make life so much easier. The British Red Cross are known across the World for the good work that they do, when a major disaster takes place equipment arrives from the massive stock piles of equipment that they have. This equipment is held in warehouses around the country, and we have one in Quedgeley.

Gloucestershire.

Some of this equipment is available for short term loan/hire. So before you race off and spend your good money on buying something you might only need for a few weeks, give the Red Cross a ring on 01452 726666, and they might have just the thing you need.

So Ring before you Spend, and who wants a home full of unused medical equipment anyway.

3 Disability Equipment Register: The organisation we have contact details for is the Disability Equipment Register, on 01454 318818, www.disabilityequipment.org.uk

-------------------------------------------------Branch Birthdays and Special Occasions February 8th Theresa Dance & Joy Titcombe;

Happy birthday to all the above and anyone else having a birthday in the near future.

-------------------------------------------------Transport: If you require transport to any weekend event please contact Theresa Dance on 01452 416434 at least a week before the event and she will do her best to get you there.

Sue’s Piece January 2014 Travelling Expenses for PIP Interview. The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions confirms: Personal independence payment (PIP) assessment providers are required to pay claimants' travelling expenses in line with guidance issued by the Department. The Department pays an output fee per assessment and the assessment providers were required to offer output fees which reflected all of their costs when they bid for the contracts at the tender stage. Where it is necessary for a claimant to travel to a face-to-face consultation, they are able to claim travel expenses for themselves and a companion or carer, or young children who would otherwise be left unattended.

Payments are made for public transport fares; travel by private motor vehicle and in some circumstances, where prior approval has been given by the assessment provider, taxi fares.

Payments to other costs related to the journey such as parking, tolls or congestion charges can also be met. The assessment providers are required to reimburse these expenses within 14 calendar days of the claim.

Money Advice for disabled people.

To celebrate and support International Day of Disabled People the Money Advice Service has launched a new online resource dedicated to supporting people who develop a health condition or become disabled. The new section can be found at www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/disability. The Money Advice Service is part of the Disability Action Alliance and has worked with other members to develop this brand new section on its website. To help people better understand their money matters, when faced with a life-changing event such as a long-term health condition or disability, the new section offers a range of practical tips and free impartial advice. Covering six areas: Managing money if you become ill or disabled. Disability and sickness benefits. Managing the extra costs of illness or disability. Managing and paying for your care. Need someone to help you manage your money?

Sorting out money if you're dying.



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