Flu vaccine Scotland: parents and carers urged to get jab for preschool kids



Parents are being urged to have their pre-school aged children vaccinated against flu before the onset of winter.  

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is has sent out appointment letters to parents and carers of children aged two to five telling them where and when the vaccine will be given. 

The free flu vaccine is given as a painless nasal spray, though in some cases where this is not suitable, can be delivered via injection. 

Parents and carers can reschedule their child’s appointment by contacting the phone number on their letter. 

Dr Emilia Crighton, Director for Public Health at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said “Flu can be serious, even for healthy children and young people. That’s why all children aged two up to secondary school pupils in S6 are being offered the flu vaccine. 

“I’d urge all parents and carers of children aged two to five to look out for their child’s appointment letter and get their child vaccinated ahead of winter.  

“The flu vaccine helps prevent your child getting sick with flu and needing time off nursery or childcare and helps reduce the risk of your child spreading flu to family and friends who are more vulnerable.” 
  
Dr Crighton added: “The flu virus is always changing so they need to get the vaccine every year to help them stay protected.”





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Glasgow council staff who suffer miscarriage will get paid leave


Glasgow City Council employees who suffer a miscarriage will now get paid leave under new support agreed today.

Paid support previously only covered employees who had lost their baby to stillborn – legally defined after 24 weeks of pregnancy and who, under current UK legislation, were entitled to two weeks Statutory Parental Bereavement Leave.

Changes to current parental bereavement arrangements agreed at the City Administration Committee mean employees who have miscarried will be entitled to the same paid leave as those who suffer stillbirth.

Read more: Highland deerstalker’s amazing discovery of lost village ruins

The paid leave extends to the partners of those who have miscarried.

Councillor Allan Casey, City Convener for Workforce, said the updated bereavement arrangements will now allow staff the time to grief without the need to rely on annual leave, sick pay or unpaid leave if they feel unable to return to work after their loss.

HeraldScotland: Glasgow councillors approved the move todayGlasgow councillors approved the move today

Miscarriage is recognised as the most common type of pregnancy loss – affecting around one in four known pregnancies.

The council said employees should be able to deal with their grief without the additional worry of their finances and employment and the recommendations agreed at the City Administration committee recognises the wrap around support, care and compassion needed to meet the individual needs of council staff.

Cllr Casey said: “I hope the decision today shows our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our employees and respects and acknowledges an extremely personal life event that often people still find hard to talk about.

“Any pregnancy loss can cause unimaginable grief and sadness and affects as many as one in four women. But having additional time and support to grief without any potential financial burden or worry about your job will hopefully be some comfort during a very difficult time.

“Glasgow is now joining two other local authorities and 120 organisations across the UK who have signed up to The Miscarriage Association’s workplace pregnancy loss pledge and demonstrating their commitment to support employees following a miscarriage.”

The Miscarriage Association welcomed the new policy and commended the council for enhancing the current provision ahead of any change to legislation.

Vicki Robinson, Deputy Director of the Miscarriage Association, said: “We very much welcome Glasgow City Council’s commitment to supporting its employees at what can be a very difficult, distressing, and lonely time.

“By extending Parental Bereavement Leave to staff experiencing a loss before 24 weeks, it not only gives women and their partners a period of paid leave, it’s also a clear acknowledgement that pregnancy loss can be felt as a bereavement, just like any other.

“Signing our Pregnancy Loss Pledge goes a step further still, and commits to not only offering leave, but providing thoughtful and considerate support to staff, both while they are on leave and on their return to work. We know this approach can make a real difference to people who may be experiencing one of the worst times of their lives.”

 





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Agenda: Looking at the ‘blood-brain bouncer’ in dementia research



TODAY marks the start of World Alzheimer’s Month, a programme raising awareness of this devastating disease – one that not only takes your life, but also your memories; what makes you who you are.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases, despite being the leading cause of death in the UK, but we are finding out more about these diseases all the time. My own research centres upon the group of cells within our brain that form a barrier between the blood and the nerve cells. The main cell type present in this “blood-brain barrier” acts like a bouncer on the door of a nightclub deciding what gets into the brain and what gets ejected. However, in dementia-related diseases it stops working properly. Toxic substances enter the brain while waste products, such as amyloid, are not removed. Blood-brain barrier failure can occur early in Alzheimer’s disease and may contribute to disease progression.

In more than 80 per cent of patients, amyloid is found embedded into the brain blood vessels. This frequency highlights why we need to research the blood-brain barrier and how it is affected in Alzheimer’s disease.

We also need to better understand the factors that drive the development of Alzheimer’s, such as metabolic syndrome – a cluster of conditions including obesity, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure that occur simultaneously – which can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. My research looks at whether metabolic syndrome acts as a catalyst for problems in the blood-brain barrier. It is vitally important to understand the sequence of events leading up to and following blood-brain barrier problems and to better understand how metabolic syndrome can worsen outcomes.

The bad news is that metabolic syndrome is increasing in the UK, and this may be a key factor in the rise of Alzheimer’s cases. However, the good news is that if we modify our lifestyles, up to 40 per cent of dementia cases could be delayed or even prevented. It is important for people to understand that living healthier lifestyles can protect their brain, as only one-third of people currently think it is possible to reduce the risk of dementia. A public health campaign, Think Brain Health, has been launched to help raise awareness and give tips about how to look after your brain.

Dementia is now a worldwide epidemic, and we need to use innovative science and creative thinking to drive forward progress at a faster pace than we have seen before. Charities contribute tremendously to research, but we also need the UK Government to deliver the “moonshot” funding commitment that has been promised for years.

The blood-brain barrier is the first line of defence. If we can keep this working, then we can protect the rest of our brain cells. There are currently no medicines for Alzheimer’s disease which target the blood-brain barrier, meaning there is a whole area of untapped potential that could lead to a new generation of treatments. My research is a first step towards creating those new medicines.

Dr Fiona McLean is an Alzheimer’s Research UK Fellow, University of Dundee





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SNP told to take action as 173,000 Scots thought to have long Covid



THE SNP Government has been told to offer more support for more than 170,000 people in Scotland estimated to have long Covid – amid accusations they are being “neglected”.

New figures published by the Office for National Statistics estimates that 173,000 in Scotland have self-reported long Covid.

The upper estimate suggests the number could be as high as 199,000 – an 18% rise on the 169,000 patients in Scotland believed to be suffering from the condition three months earlier.

The Scottish LibDems has warned that the Government’s long Covid support fund is worth just £10m over three years and have compared this to half the £20m set aside by SNP ministers to hold a second referendum on independence next year.

The LibDems want specialist long Covid clinics to be set up in every health board and the training of specialist long Covid community nurses to offer in-home support.

The party has also asked for country-wide access to long Covid physiotherapy and multi-disciplinary rehab and a policy of no financial detriment for workers who are absent for long periods of time due to long Covid.

Scottish LibDem leader, Alex Cole-Hamilton, said: “173,000 Scots are suffering from long Covid but when it comes to care and support their government is nowhere to be found.

“The SNP and Greens have ignored their pleas for help and consistently neglected all those whose lives have thrown into disarray by the condition.

“Rates of long Covid are higher in Scotland than they are in England, Wales and Northern Ireland so the government cannot use the excuse that the demand for services is not there.

“The First Minister is devoting twice as much money to her efforts to break up the UK as she is to helping those people suffering long Covid.

“We need to see dedicated clinics across Scotland and a commitment to country-wide access to long Covid physiotherapy and multi-disciplinary rehab.”

The Scottish Conservatives have called on Health Secretary Humza Yousaf to “stop dithering” and provide more support.

Scottish Conservative health spokesperson, Dr Sandesh Gulhane, said: “These alarming figures must act as a wake-up call to Humza Yousaf to stop dithering and act now.

“The ONS are clear that Long Covid cases are rising in Scotland, on the SNP’s watch, while they are falling south of the border, where specialist clinics are up and running.

“The SNP Health Secretary has ignored repeated calls from sufferers and opposition politicians, like myself, to deliver the required funding for specialised Long Covid clinics, which are already in operation in England. He can no longer ignore these calls in light of these figures.”

He added: “Almost 200,000 Scots are now battling Long Covid , and yet GPs are struggling to point patients towards the specialist care they need.

“The SNP must belatedly act now. As Parliament returns next week, the suffering of Long Covid patients must be a top priority for Humza Yousaf.

“He should get behind the proposals I set out more than a year ago for a network of clinics across Scotland.”

The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment.





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Discover Dunfermline’s rich history and cultural highlights

For centuries, Dunfermline has played an important role in Scottish life. As the ancient capital, the seat of kings and the resting place of monarchs including (most of) Robert the Bruce, it was only right that this year, as part of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, it became Scotland’s eighth city.

Aside from its heritage credentials, Dunfermline also has an enviable choice of culture, with two excellent theatres, the original Carnegie Library, extended in recent years with a complementary arts facility, and museums such as the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum, which tells the story of a man who was born here and use his fortune for good.

As a day trip or a break, there’s much to discover in Dunfermline, which has taken its rightful place on the Scottish tourism map.

 

THE PEOPLE

If one name is associated with the city more than any other it’s not a king or a saint – it’s a man who began his life in a small cottage in the town and became the greatest philanthropist of his time, giving away around 90% of a fortune that in today’s values would run into the billions.

HeraldScotland:

Andrew Carnegie, above, was born here in 1835 and any visitor here should start the Carnegie trail at the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum,  (see box right) and move on to many of the public spaces he donated to his fellow Fifers.

The Pittencrieff Estate was donated (now Pittencrieff Park) as well a free library and swimming baths, now the Carnegie Leisure. It’s even possible to catch a show at Dunfermline’s Carnegie Hall, named in his honour.

The city has a history of notable public figures, particularly across music and literature. In music Dunfermline is the hometown of singer and actor Barbara Dickson, of the frontman of Jethro Tull, Ian Anderson, and of Nazareth’s Pete Agnew. Stuart Adamson, of Big Country and The Skids moved to Dunfermline as a teenager.

Another talent lost too soon, the author Iain Banks was from Dunfermline, as is poet and novelist John Burnside.

The most recent success story is the new Dr Who. Ncuti Gatwa was a pupil at Dunfermline High School after arriving in Fife from Rwanda as a refugee.

HeraldScotland:

 

THE KNOWLEDGE

Apart from Edinburgh, Dunfermline can claim to be the most important historic location in Scotland.

This history centres around Dunfermline Abbey and Palace. Dunfermline Abbey became a mausoleum for the royals from the eleventh century, when Queen Margaret was buried there until the early fourteenth-century when it became the resting place of Robert the Bruce, the last of seven Scottish kings to be buried there (even though the Bruce’s heart was transported to Melrose).

HeraldScotland: Some of Scotland’s greatest monarchs were laid to rest at Dunfermline AbbeySome of Scotland’s greatest monarchs were laid to rest at Dunfermline Abbey

Dunfermline was also the birthplace of royals too – the son of Robert the Bruce, David II of Scotland, James I and even Charles I, the last monarch to be born in Scotland, but who met a grisly end when executed in 1649.

Apart from all that, it’s a beautiful place to visit. It’s peaceful with elaborate stained glass and a painted vault.

Also in Dunfermline is the landmark ‘Pink Hoose’ as it’s known by locals. This is the oldest house in Dunfermline and is actually called the Abbot House. Dating from the sixteenth century and on Maygate in the area known as the city’s heritage quarter, the main part of the building is closed for renovation at the moment. However the new gift shop is open and is stocked with a raft of innovative Scottish designers.

HeraldScotland: Abbot House.

 

THE CULTURE

Carnegie Hall

The Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline is about bringing music to satisfy all tastes to the Art Deco interior. With Carnegie’s education ethos in mind, it also specialises in music education.

HeraldScotland:

There are three stages, offering everything from classical to country to contemporary pop.

Alhambra Theatre

Celebrating its centenary year, the Alhambra Theatre makes good use of its huge stage – one of the biggest in Scotland – by bringing spectacular musicals and major touring music and comedy to Dunfermline.

HeraldScotland:

If you’re thinking of visiting in winter, catch the panto, which is one of Scotland’s biggest.

Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries

The Carnegie Library was the first library financed by Andrew Carnegie to the tune of £8000 – in 1883! There are now more than 2500 Carnegie libraries but this is the original and in recent years the building has expanded to encompass a free museum, a gallery, reading rooms and a café.

P J Molloy & Sons

Known as one of Scotland’s best live music venues, P J Molloy & Sons is definitely the place in Fife where you’ll not only see the best of new bands, open mic nights and quieter, intimate acoustic sessions, you’ll see bigger acts choosing this popular venue for a stop on a national tour. Live music six nights a week.

DON’T MISS…

The Fire Station Creative is a stylish independent arts venue. Apart from the gallery and studio space for artist, designers, jewellers, photographers and more, there’s a café and cocktail bar.

Look out for special events, which includes classes, special exhibitions and live music too.

THE OUTDOORS

Pittencrieff Park

Locally it’s known as The Glen, which is a rather humble name for what was voted Scotland’s best park in 2019. Among lawns and walks are an art deco pavilion with cafe, an open-air stage, glasshouses, a peacock aviary and playgrounds.

HeraldScotland:

The Scottish Vintage
Bus Museum

They’re beautiful these vintage buses, and they can be seen on a 49-acre site just north of the city. There is also something for train and tram lovers.

Knockhill Racing
Circuit

HeraldScotland:

Scotland’s famous motor racing circuit is here at Dunfermline and whether you want to spectate or release your inner Max Verstappen, it’s a great family day out.

 

KINGSGATE SHOPPING CENTRE

Dunfermline is brimming with quality independent shops, and Kingsgate Shopping Centre has long been an important hub for shoppers. The central shopping centre is ideal for those looking for one destination to tick-off the shopping list. Inside the extensive indoor centre, you will find retailers including River Island, The Entertainer, Boots, Waterstones, Starbucks, M&S, Dunfermline Art Centre, and more.

HeraldScotland:

At Kingsgate you can also indulge and refuel with restaurants and cafés such as Wonder of Foods for some pizza, wraps, burger, or a German style Kebab. Inside you will also find Bubble Treats, BB’s Café and the award-winning The Wee Tea Company.

The centre hosts monthly events and markets, often to help promote small local businesses.

 

ANDREW CARNEGIE BIRTHPLACE MUSEUM
Moodie St, Dunfermline KY12 7PL

HeraldScotland:

Born in Dunfermline in 1835, Andrew Carnegie became the richest man in the world after emigrating to America with his parents. This museum, located in the cottage where he was born, traces the story of his fascinating life and rapid rise to fortune after being born the son of a modest weaver. Visitors can find out about how Carnegie made his money – and how he later gave most of it away to charity – as well as his lasting legacy through landmarks like Carnegie Hall in New York.