It’s just the flu…

4 October 2020, NHS North Central London CCG

You will have heard friends and family say it is “Just” the flu! Each year the flu kills on average 11,000 people and hospitalises thousands more. There’s no “just” about it! 

What causes flu? Flu is caused by influenza viruses that infect the windpipe and lungs. And because it’s caused by viruses and not bacteria, antibiotics won’t treat it. However, if there are complications from getting flu, antibiotics may be needed.

How do we protect against flu? Flu is unpredictable. The vaccine provides the best protection available against a virus that can cause severe illness. The most likely viruses that will cause flu are identified in advance of the flu season and vaccines are then made to match them as closely as   possible. The vaccines are given in the autumn ideally before flu starts circulating. During the last ten years the vaccine has generally been a good match for the circulating strains. It is more important than ever this year to have your vaccination to protect yourself, your loved ones and the NHS, and for those on the eligible list the vaccine is provided free. 

You should have the flu vaccine if you: 

· are 65 years old or over   

· are pregnant 

· are an adult or child with certain conditions

· live with someone on the shielded patient list

· are living in a care home or other long-stay facility

· receive a carer’s allowance, or you’re the main carer for an elderly or disabled person 

· are aged two – three

· are in primary school, or the first year of secondary school (Year 7) 

· are a frontline health and social care worker

The NHS will contact you directly if you are eligible, and will give you information about where to go to get the vaccine. 

Will the flu vaccine protect me against COVID-19? The flu vaccine won’t protect you against COVID-19, but it will help protect you against the strains of flu virus that will be circulating this year. Helping to protect against flu is particularly important with COVID-19 in circulation because people vulnerable to COVID-19 are also at risk of complications from flu.

Is the flu vaccination safe?

The flu vaccination is safe and effective and must be given annually. It cannot give you the flu. Adults usually receive the flu vaccination in injection form, and children usually receive a nasal spray. 

When can I get the flu vaccination?

We expect that the flu vaccination will be available from autumn 2020 onwards for those on the eligible list. You will be invited to book a vaccination appointment at around this time, but please contact your GP practice if not. It’s important that you have your vaccination as soon as possible. 

Where can I get the flu vaccination?

Many people will receive their flu vaccination at a GP surgery as usual. This year some GPs are also looking at running clinics in other additional locations to ensure they can offer the vaccine safely to as many people at risk as possible. Your practice will give clear guidance on where you need to go when you book your appointment. Other people may choose to go to a pharmacy or another location in their community. School-aged children will receive their vaccination from a trained health professional at school. Health professionals will visit care homes to vaccinate residents and staff on-site and will also visit those who are house-bound. 

Is it safe to attend appointments at health clinics?

The NHS is doing everything it can to make sure that vaccinations are given in safe environments and staff giving you your vaccination will be using the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). You will need to wear a mask unless you are exempt. All possible precautions will be to taken to make sure you, and staff, are protected and safe. 

There has never been a more important time to make sure you, and those you care for, are protected against serious illnesses such as the flu. Where vaccines are available, it’s vital that we use them to help keep everyone safe. Look out for updates from your local GP or NHS team and book your vaccination as soon as you are invited to do so. Get the flu vaccination, stay well and protect yourself, your loved ones and the NHS. 

More information can be found at 

Silver Sunday October 2019

Silver Sunday October 2019

Last Autumn we co-hosted Silver Sunday with Barnet Council

What an amazing event and turn out with over 300 people. With a very special guest The Worshipful The Mayor Cllr Caroline Stock.
We had live music from That Blue Patch, dancing from Love to Dance performance by Saracens Sport Foundation, Bollywood dance from BAWA & Community Focus, exercise to music by Age UK Barnet, dance performance by GLL Better Leisure and the afternoon tea was fabulous.
And special thanks to all those involved and who also sponsored the event.#ageukbarnet #thatbluepatch #barnetcouncil #saracenssportfoundation #communityfocus #homeinstead #thegoodcaregroup

Latest edition of the BSA Insider Newsletter

Our latest edition of the Insider is now available
BSA Spring Insider Newsletter 2020
The Insider contains news for senior citizens in Barnet. It gives practical information about local services, support, events, places to go and things to do that could interest and help local people to live their lives to the full.

In this issue you will find information on nutrition with an opportunity to get involved with:
Nutrition and Hydration Week 16-22 March 2020

Our AGM is taking place very soon so be sure to get involved.
BSA AGM on 31st March at Manor Drive Methodist Church

Have you ever considered getting an allotment or spending more time in the garden? Read the health benefits of spending time closer to nature.

Men’s Shed. There will soon be one in Barnet, follow us to find out more.
Find out more about the Eleanor Palmer Trust and the work they do in and around Barnet. Helping people in need.

Get Out & About
The latest listing has been updated so make sure you check out the latest activities.

Barnet Seniors’ Insider Issue 24

The Insider contains news for senior citizens in Barnet. It gives practical information about local services, support, events, places to go and things to do that could interest and help local people to live their lives to the full. Click here for this latest issue.

In this issue you will find everything you need to know about Silver Sunday Week in Barnet. Make sure you put dates in your diary and attend as many events and activities happening throughout the borough.

Silver Sunday Week  from Tuesday 1st to Sunday 6th October 2019.

1. A day at the Spires Shopping Centre Wednesday 2nd October

2. Health & Well Being Seminar at Copthall Leisure Centre Thursday 3rd October

3. Silver Sunday Afternoon Tea Party Sunday 6th October from 12.30pm to 3.30pm

Here is a link to the full listing available throughout the week.


Events Coordinator, Secretary and Circulation manager, please get in touch if you are interested in joining BSA.

Men’s Health Matters

What are the symptoms of Prostate Cancer. Did you know that prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50. Get the facts and be aware

Choosing the right home care

The process of looking for care can feel overwhelming, especially if it is the first time you have had to think about it. Find out more from the links in this edition of the Insider

Get Out and About

As well as all the activities for Silver Sunday Week, we have a revised listing across the borough

Winter Flu Jab

Its that time of the year again. Find out where and when you can get your flu jab.

London Fire Brigade

Its not just you who needs a health check, get your home checked too. Visit the LFB website to book your home visit.

Older people who lift weights ‘live for longer’

Researchers urge doctors to start advising pensioners to take-up power training

  • Scientists tracked the muscle power of 4,000 people aged between 40 and 85
  • Each participant was assessed for how many times they could lift weights 
  • The study, by Brazillian experts, was presented at a cardiology conference  

Read the full article from the Daily Mail, click here

Barnet Seniors’ Insider, Issue 23

Summer 2019

BSA newsletter – Issue 23 (3mb)

The Insider contains news for senior citizens in Barnet. It gives practical information about local services, support, events, places to go and things to do that could interest and help local people to live their lives to the full.

In this issue you will find a topic on Social Prescribing. If you want to know more, please come to the Spring Assembly

  • Spring Assembly 29th May 2019.

Come along  to hear Dr Charlotte Benjamin, Chair of CCG talk about Social Prescribing. Enjoy lunch, meet our charity partners, make friends.

  • Recruiting

Events Coordinator and Circulation manager, please get in touch if you are interested in joining BSA.

  • Men’s Health Matters

Men’s health week is coming soon! 10th – 16th June 2019. It’s time to take care of your Heart with some simple tips.

  • Your Health and Well-Being

Why hydration and activity is so important as we enter our senior years. Did you know that as we get older we suffer from reduced sensation of thirst?

  • Events and Days Out

Day of fun with JOY, Garden Fete, eating out, music and theatre.

  • Dementia cafés and clubs

There are now lots of dementia cafés and clubs in Barnet. Please note the changes to latest listing.

  • Get Out and About in Barnet

Activities and exercise, coffee mornings and fun, meet new people and make friends.

Barnet Seniors Insider, Issue 22 (Spring 2019)

Barnet Seniors Insider 22 PDF (Spring 2019) is now available to download here (PDF 1.2Mb, 8 sides of A4).

The Insider contains news for senior citizens in Barnet. It gives people practical information about local services, support, events, places to go and things to do that could interest and help them to live their lives to the full.

Contents of Insider 22

  • Chase Farm has now reopened as ‘A hospital fit for the future’
  • From the look and feel of the new hospital, to the furniture and fixtures contained within, patients have been at the heart of this redevelopment.
  • Save the Date
  • The next Spring Assembly will be hosted at Woodhouse College on Wednesday 29th May 2019
  • Volunteers Needed
  • We (Barnet Seniors’ Association) are looking for a Secretary, an Events Co-ordinator and a Circulation Manager (three roles).
  • WIN £10 LOVE2SHOP Vouchers
  • We’re giving you the chance to win a £10 LOVE2SHOP Gift Voucher, with a wide choice of stores to shop, there is something for everyone. Details on the prize draw page.
  • ‘Did you know?’ Useful info!
  • Medicine expiry dates, Painkiller best practice, Will Aid 2019
  • Falls Clinic at Finchley Memorial Hospital
  • Barnet Falls Prevention Service helps to reduce the risk of falling. It is available free to anyone who has a fear of falling, has a history of falls or near misses plus lacks confidence with their balance and walking. This also applies if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.
  • Looking to the Future — Choices of Health Care in Barnet
  • NHS 111 phone support, Walk-in centres, Lloyds Pharmacy healthcare services, GP at hand
  • Support Hub — New for 2019
  • The Support Hub at the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, for people with long term health conditions and their carers. There is more information about the Support Hub on this web site. Also see
  • Events and Days Out
  • Gardening, eating out, poetry, music and theatre.
  • Dementia cafés and clubs
  • There are now lots of dementia cafés and clubs in Barnet. A full list of places and times is included.
  • Get Out and About in Barnet
  • Things to do
  • Advertise from £120
  • Advertising in Barnet Seniors Insider is welcomed, with priority given to local organisations. Advertising space is limited and contributes towards costs.
  • and mentions for…
  • The Finchley Charities sheltered housing, and The Fremantle Trust care services.

To read the full text of these articles, download the Insider 22 PDF.

Support Hub at the Royal Free Hospital

reception area with chairs and sofasThis is the full version of the article which appears in Insider 22

The Support Hub at the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead opened in March 2018. It is the first of its kind in the UK based in a hospital. The Hub was co-produced by patients and carers as well as the Support Hub team and their volunteers. All decisions including the design of the centre, activities and services continues to be steered by this group. Its main purpose is to support patients with long term health conditions including their carers with welfare and benefit advice, exercise classes in the gym, informative talks, as well as a range of therapies and activities. The hub also runs a drop-in service, where patients can relax in the beautifully designed space, have a cup of tea and a chat with the charity’s trained volunteers, who can provide information on the services on offer. Anybody affected by a Long term condition such as arthritis, liver disease, heart disease and chronic pain can use the the Hub. It’s also common for poor mental health to be linked to patients with multiple long term health conditions especially once they reach over 60, and they can often be supported by the Hub by offering a listening ear and to meet other people with similar conditions.

People affected by Long term health conditions can also be affected financially, and the Support Hub can support people who need some advice. The Support Hub understands the impact of loneliness on long term health conditions so it is high on their agenda to offer support and care. They generally receive 100 visitors per week and up to 120 per week when exercise classes are planned. The Support Hub ethos is that if their users can leave feeling happier more in control of their situation and less lonely, they have succeeded.

A further new Support Hub is planned for Barnet to launch in Spring/Summer 2019. It will be located close to the High Street in High Barnet, making it more accessible by public transport, giving access to more patients and carers in the borough as well as offering more community links. If you are patient or a carer of of someone with a Long term condition having treatment at the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust, you can access the service. For further information contact the Support Hub on 02077940500 ext 39663

See also the Support Hub web page at