Monthly Archives: November 2016

Know your pulse during AF Aware Week


NHS Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) are reminding people that a simple pulse check can save your life – it is the easiest way to detect an irregular heart beat (called atrial fibrillation, or AF) which can increase the risk of having a stroke.

This week (21 – 27 November) is AF Aware Week, and the CCGs are encouraging everyone to make it a priority to ‘know your pulse’.

One in four people will develop AF; it affects an estimated 1.5 million people across the UK. If undetected it can increase your risk of stroke fivefold.

Yet the condition can be detected easily with simple manual pulse checks that you can carry out yourself, and can be managed with blood thinning drugs (anticoagulants).

It is a good idea to check your pulse at different points throughout the day, before and after various activities. It will change depending upon what you are doing, which is normal. A typical resting pulse should be somewhere between 60 and 100 beats per minute – although there may be normal reasons why your pulse may be slightly higher or slower at certain times (such as exercise, drinking caffeine).

However, if your pulse seems to be either racing or slow some or most of the time and you are feeling unwell, you should seek further advice from your GP. If your pulse is irregular (‘jumping around’) you should also seek advice as this may suggest atrial fibrillation.

Dr Raj Thakkar, Clinical Commissioning Director for Planned Care, and GP at Pound House Surgery in Wooburn Green, said: “An irregular heart beat can have very serious consequences if it goes undetected – it increases the chance of stroke by 500%. But a simple manual check you can carry out yourself can make a huge difference to your health. A normal pulse beats regularly whereas AF feels erratic.  If your pulse feels irregular, seems to be racing or is slow, you should visit your GP for advice.

“Early detection and appropriate medical management can help patients avoid long term ill health, helping them enjoy a happier, healthier life for longer. Not only that, but early intervention eases the burden on NHS resources. So please, help yourself and help your health services do their best for you by knowing your pulse.”

For more information on AF and on how to check your pulse, go to

Find out about NHS plans for your area of Bucks


Buckinghamshire residents are being invited to come along to public information events to find out from local GPs what is happening with health services in their local area.

Each of the seven sessions will be held in a different area and will outline and discuss developments in the health ‘locality’ in which it is being held.  The events are being organised by NHS Aylesbury Vale and NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Groups, the GP-led bodies who design and pay for the county’s healthcare. If successful, these locality focussed meetings will become part of the regular communications opportunities with the CCGs and the public.

The sessions will include presentations from healthcare professionals about what’s going on in the local area to meet people’s health needs, and how this fits into wider plans across Buckinghamshire. People at the events will be able to ask questions and contribute their views as part of the continuing dialogue between the public and health and care services across the county.

Lou Patten, Accountable Officer for Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern CCGs, said: “These may be challenging times for our health and care services, but they are also exciting ones. By working together we have the opportunity to improve the experience of our patients and the health outcomes for the county as a whole.  Please do come to our events to hear about our plans, ask questions and tell us your views.”

If you would like to ask questions at these events, you can tweet them to @bucksccgs using #askbucksccgs

You can also ask questions via email at

Please include askbucksccgs in the subject line of your email.

We will then seek to answer the questions during the meetings and to publish answers to the questions on social media (where appropriate) and online in due course.

Sessions are expected to last 1.5 – 2 hours and will take place as follows (click on the events for more details and to save a place – booking not essential though).

Chesham Town Hall – Weds, 16 November, 2016 at 10am

Princes Risborough Community Centre – Thurs, 17 November, 2016 at 1pm

The Fitzwilliams Centre, Windsor End, Beaconsfield – Fri, 18 November, 2016 at 2pm

The Hub, Easton Street, High Wycombe – Tues, 22 November, 2016 at 7pm

The Healthy Living Centre, Walton Court Shopping Centre, Aylesbury – Thurs, 24 November, 2016 at 3.30pm

Chalfont St Peter Community Centre – Weds, 30 November, 2016 at 1.30pm,

Buckingham Community Centre – Weds, 7 December, 2016 at 6.30pm