Eye Health and Ophthalmology


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Model Publication Scheme Class: Class 9: Services Commissioned

NHS 111, Walk in and Out-of-Hours

When you need help quickly but it’s not a life threatening emergency there are a range of services that can help. The services outlined below can give advice and treatment if your GP practice is closed or if you are injured or ill and you are not sure what to do. People in Surrey who need urgent NHS care are being asked to call NHS 111 before they decide to walk into the local Emergency Department (ED), or as many people know it, A&E.

NHS 111

NHS 111 can help if you have an urgent medical problem and need advice.


Get help online or on the phone

To get help from NHS 111, you can:

  • go to (for people aged five and over)
  • call 111


NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobiles.

If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, you can:

  • call 18001 111 on a textphone
  • use the NHS 111 British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter service if you’re deaf and want to use the phone service


How NHS 111 works

You answer questions about your symptoms on the website, or by speaking to a fully trained adviser on the phone. You can also ask for a translator if you need one.

Depending on the situation you will:

  • find out what local service can help
  • be connected to a nurse, emergency dentist, pharmacist or GP
  • get a face-to-face appointment if you need one
  • be told how to get any medicine you need
  • get self-care advice.


Easy read information on the NHS 111 service can be downloaded from the NHS 111 assets website.

NHS 111 does not replace 999 or A&E for medical emergencies - when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. NHS 111 does not replace 999 or A&E for medical emergencies - when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. However, people who need urgent NHS care are being asked to call NHS 111 before they decide to walk into their local A&E. This is to ensure that patients can access the clinical service they need, first time. It will help the NHS to maintain social distancing, reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 and keep patients and staff as safe as possible.

You will be spoken to by a trained professional and a clinician if needed. If it is decided you need to go to the emergency department then you will be given a suitable time to attend and staff at the hospital will be expecting you. That means less waiting around and faster treatment.

Patients and a wide range of healthcare professionals helped to redesign the NHS 111 service for Surrey. Launched in 2019, the redesigned service aims to meet most healthcare needs on the first call – including a consultation with a doctor, nurse, dentist, pharmacist or mental health specialist if needed and appointments booked with many local services.

Care UK deliver NHS 111 and GP out-of-hours services in Surrey Heartlands. Find out more here


GP out-of-hours services

If you feel that you need to see a doctor outside of GP practice opening hours (known as ‘out-of-hours’) and it is not an emergency please call 111. The Surrey Heartlands GP out-of-hours service does not offer walk-in appointments, and can only be accessed by calling NHS 111.

The out-of-hours service is for urgent cases only. If your problem isn’t urgent, please contact your GP surgery when it is next open.

The GP out-of-hours service is open Monday to Friday from 6.30pm to 8.00am, and for 24 hours at weekends and during bank holidays.

NHS 111 will tell you if you need a face-to-face appointment and this could be either at a local healthcare centre or a home visit.

Find out more by visiting the Surrey NHS 111 service website.


Walk-in Centres

Nurse-led NHS walk-in centres can help if you have an urgent but non-life threatening injury or illness. No appointment is needed. They can provide a quicker and more appropriate route to treatment than hospital A&E departments.

Ashford Walk-in Centre  Ashford Health Centre, London Road, Ashford TW15 3FE

Open Monday – Sunday (365 days a year), 8am – 8pm.
Tel: 01784 884 000. For adults or children aged 2 years and over. Find out more.

Woking Walk-in Centre Woking Community Hospital Heathside Road Woking GU22 7HS

Open Monday – Sunday (365 days a year), 8am – 8pm.
Tel: 01483 846 209. For adults or children aged 2 years and over. Find out more.


Minor Injury Units

Nurse-led minor injury units can also provide a quicker and more appropriate treatment than going to A&E. Treatment is available for minor injuries such as:

  • Bites / stings
  • Cuts / grazes
  • Minor burns / scalds
  • Minor eye / ear injuries, including removal of foreign bodies from the ears or nose
  • Minor head injuries
  • Removal of splinters
  • Sprains / strains / limb injuries
  • Suspected fractures / broken bones
  • Neck pain


No appointment is needed.

Here are the details for our minor injuries units:

Haslemere Minor Injury Unit Haslemere Hospital, Church Lane, Haslemere, Surrey, GU27 2BJ

Open Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm. Tel: 01483 782 334. For adults or children aged 2 years and over. Find out more.

Caterham Dene Minor Injury Unit Caterham Dene Community Hospital, Church Road, Caterham, CR3 5RA 

Open Monday – Sunday (365 days a year), 8am – 8pm. Tel: 01883 837512. For adults aged 18 years and over. Find out more.



Urgent Treatment Centres

Urgent Treatment Centres (UTC) treat minor illnesses and injuries that are urgent but not life-threatening. They treat adults and children of any age and can deal with the most common ailments people attend A&E for. They are GP-led but are not an alternative to your GP practice, which should usually be contacted first. You can walk-in to the service or an appointment can be booked through NHS 111. 

St Peter’s Hospital, Urgent Treatment Centre St Peter’s Hospital, Guildford Road, Chertsey, Surrey, KT16 0PZ Open Monday – Sunday (365 days a year), 8am – midnight. Find out more. 



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Independence and Wellbeing Information for Guildford and Waverley residents

Independence and Wellbeing Information for Guildford and Waverley residents


This information has been compiled taking every care to ensure its accuracy. If you find that any of this information is incorrect or out of date, please contact the Guildford and Waverley Integrated Care Partnership, Independence and Prevention Team within Surrey Heartlands CCG (details below) or visit our Contact Us page.

  • phone: 0300 561 1555
  • email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • SMS text: 07799 750 889


On this page:


Staying fit and well during COVID-19


Let's Get Steady videos


Falls prevention pack


Handy person scheme


Careline Community Alarm


Safe and Well Home Visits


Keeping well


Local Car Schemes


Local Borough Council Transport


Staying fit and well during COVID-19

We are now finding ourselves in a time where we are having to make a conscious effort to ensure that we are social distancing when seeing friends and family or going to the supermarket. Such changes to our day-to-day life can be unsettling. It is normal to feel anxious and more than ever, we need to take good care of ourselves, physically and mentally.

It is important to talk about how you are feeling. Befriending groups are available if you need someone to talk to. Please see a list of organisations below that could offer you support:


Tips to help you stay well

  • Eat as healthy as possible. The Eatwell Guide, shows how much of what we eat overall, should come from each food group to achieve a healthy, balanced diet.

  • Stay hydrated. Drink at least six to eight cups of fluid a day.

  • Stay active. There are various exercise classes available that you can follow on line to help you build and maintain strength and balance. Active Surrey have some very useful links on their website with various exercises that you can follow at home. Please visit for more details.

  • Maintain your health and wellbeing. Supported by the Health and Wellbeing Board, helps you find self-care information, as well as signposting to local services available to you as a Surrey resident.




Let's Get Steady Falls Prevention Advice and Information

Are you worried about falling? Or have you had a fall that has knocked your confidence, which is now preventing you from doing the things you enjoy?

Let’s Get Steady offers practical advice and guidance to help reduce the risks of falls for individuals who have had a fall, are at risk of falling due to a long-term condition or are worried about falling.

Due to Covid-19, we are currently unable to run face to face sessions, so we have produced a series of Let’s Get Steady film clips which aim to raise awareness of falls prevention, support with wellbeing and empower people to make positive changes to their lifestyle, to enable them to live independent lives.


Let's Get Steady - An overview



An overview of the Let's Get Steady videos.

  An introduction to Let's Get Steady from
Jane Todd, Community Partnerships Officer at Waverley Borough Council.

The film clips below will provide you with useful advice on:


What to do if you have a fall


Careline Community Alarm

You will find a demonstration on how to get up from a fall, which will enable you to practice and be prepared, should you have a fall.


This film will provide you with more information on the benefits of a 24 hour emergency call system, that helps people to live independently in their own home.


‘I wasn’t aware there were so many services available from the council’

‘Thank you – as a result of Let’s Get Steady, the safety bars in our shower are due to be fitted today and we are having a survey for handrails up the stairs’


Home Environment


Safe and Well Visits

Often, we do not notice risks within our own environment. This film will point out some potential falls risks around the home that you may not have thought about before.


Here, you will find out more information about the free home safety checks offered by the fire service that help to reduce the risk of fire in the home.




The Balance Triangle

This film will provide you with some key facts around the importance of hydration and how being dehydrated could contribute to a fall.


This film highlights how our sense work together to keep us safe.


‘I am managing very well since the session and I am no longer worried about going to the shops and walking around the neighbourhood’

‘I am generally more aware of trip hazards’


Medication, Healthy Bones and Nutrition



Find out how these all play a role in helping to prevent falls in this film.


If you are lonely, isolated or you are feeling anxious, you may find your usual enjoyment of life takes a knock. Here you will find out more about a service that supports with your well-being, recognising that many things affect the way we feel.


The Importance of Exercise



Keeping and staying active is important for many reasons, both physically and mentally. Here, you can watch two local firefighters demonstrating strength and balance exercises from the Get Up and Go booklet, which is produced by Saga and The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.


We hoped you enjoyed Let's Get Steady and now feel empowered to maintain your independence and wellbeing.


Before doing any of the exercises demonstrated in this film, please take note of the following safety points:

  • Seek medical advice for guidance regarding appropriate exercise levels and precautions after surgery such as hip replacements, or if you suffer from ongoing medical conditions.
  • REMEMBER - Exercise is not without its risks.
  • Do not exercise on an empty stomach or after a big meal
  • Ensure your environment is safe to partake in exercise i.e. free of trip hazards
  • Wear suitable, comfortable clothes
  • Wear comfortable flat, non-slip shoes with supportive backs
  • Make sure you have water near by
  • Exercise within your limitations; stop if you experience pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea or chest pain


If you have any concerns, contact your GP.

Some of the films refer to documents contained in the Guildford and Waverley Falls Prevention Pack.

The full length Let’s Get Steady film is also available on DVD for those who do not have access to the internet. To request a DVD or if you have any questions regarding the information contained in the films, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Guildford and Waverley Falls Prevention Pack

The Guildford and Waverley Falls Prevention Pack, provides lots of useful advice on how to prevent a fall, along with information about local services available to support you and keep you living independently in the community.

A hard copy of the pack is available from the Independence and Prevention Team.

  • phone: 0300 561 1555
  • email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • SMS text: 07799 750 889


Download and print your copy below:


Handy Person Scheme

The Handy Person Scheme may be able to assist you with small works to your property such as installing key safes, half steps, external galvanised rails, bannister rails and grab rails. A free home safety check is also offered to identify any potential falls risks. Some of the smaller installations listed above are free and the team can support individuals to apply for disabled facility grants when more significant adaptations to their property are required.

Check out the Guildford Borough Council's Handy Person Scheme video.


Careline Community Alarm

A pendant alarm is ideal if you fall frequently or live on your own. It will prevent you from lying on the floor for long periods of time after a fall.

Careline is a 24 hour emergency call system, where you can simply press a button in an emergency and an alarm call will be sent to the alarm centre, which is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. An initial trail period is offered free of charge to Guildford residents.

Additional equipment is available such as smoke alarms, pill dispensers, bed sensors and falls detectors.

  • Guildford residents phone: 01483 502 334
  • Guildford residents email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.     
  • Waverley residents phone: 01483 523 535

*Careline installations and urgent Careline repairs are being carried out as usual, in accordance with Government guidelines.


Safe and Well Home Visits

Free Safe and Well home visits are carried out by Surrey Fire and Rescue Service. They combine home safety checks to help reduce the risk of a fire in your home, and where appropriate, you will also be offered information to help improve your wellbeing, enabling you to live safer and more independently. 

For more information:


Keeping well

Social interaction is good for our brain health and can help if you are feeling lonely or isolated. There are many different ways of meeting people in your community. Please see a list of services and activities below.

  • Reconnections by Independent Age is a volunteer-led service that supports over-65s in rediscovering their love of life in the communities where they live. If you, or someone you know, is over 65 years of age and would like some companionship, encouragement and ideas to help you rediscover old interests and make new friends.

    • phone: 01483 654 422
    • email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



  • Social Prescribing helps you with your well-being. It takes a holistic view and recognises that many things affect the way we feel. If you are lonely or isolated, or you are worrying about money or feeling anxious, you may find your usual enjoyment of life takes a knock.

    Life events, like bereavement, an illness or a fall can all trigger a downward spiral in our personal well-being. Social prescribing can help to address these things by finding out what is important to you and then putting you in touch with the people and activities that might help you to feel better.

    After an initial chat on the phone, your link worker might come to see you at home or meet you for a coffee in a café or community centre, wherever you feel most comfortable.

    Following this conversation, your link worker might refer you to another organisation that can support you in your situation or link you with local groups and activities to relieve loneliness and increase opportunities for social interaction.

    To access this service, ask your GP or health or social care professional, (such as a community matron, an occupational therapist, or a social care assistant) to make a referral.


Local Voluntary Car Schemes


Local Borough Council Transport

  • Guildford Community Transport provides a variety of services to residents such as dial a ride, door to store, social trips and transport to social centres for older people. For more information:

    • email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  • Hoppa Community Transport provides a number of door-to-door transport services within Cranleigh, Godalming and Haslemere and many surrounding villages. There are some scheduled bus stop routes, all of which are wheelchair accessible and available to residents of Waverley. All drivers are fully trained; DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checked and paid employees of Hoppa.

    To use the Hoppa service (with the exception of the scheduled services) you must first register as a member. Registering is free and can be done via:



Review Date: 2020-10-20
Review Due: 2021-04-18
Model Publication Scheme Class: Class 9: Services Commissioned



Whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, you can access helpful checks, tests and services which are available face to face and online.


Patient education also supports those with diabetes to keep healthy and helps reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. If you’re worried you, your child or someone you know has diabetes, visit the Diabetes UK website to find out what the signs and symptoms of diabetes are.

Check out what Diabetes UK are doing in our region, across the South East, which includes weekly online peer support groups for those with Type 1 diabetes.

On this page you will find information on the following:


Annual health check

When you have diabetes, you’re entitled to certain checks, tests and services every year to help you get the care you need. You’ll know this as your annual review. When you're first diagnosed it's especially helpful to find out what these checks, tests and services are. There are 15 you should be getting, so we call this package of care your 15 Healthcare Essentials.

For further information please see Healthcare Essentials on the Diabetes UK website.


Annual eye screening

Diabetes can lead to eye damage called retinopathy. Everyone living with diabetes over the age of 12 will get an invite to a regular eye screening, if you have not received an invitation please contact your GP Practice who will refer you.

At first the screening will be every year. But depending on your results that could change. Eye screening is important for you regardless of the type of diabetes you have as having diabetes means you’re more at risk of eye problems such as retinopathy which can lead to sight loss. Retinopathy doesn’t show any symptoms in the early stage but can be spotted and treated early by having your regular eye screening. You can find more information by visiting Diabetic eye screening on the Diabetes UK website.




Education for people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes

A record number of people in the UK are living with Type 2 diabetes and three in five cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed. Sadly many people will experience potentially preventable complications because of diabetes, simply because they don’t know enough about their condition and how to manage it.

The good news is if you're at risk of Type 2 diabetes there are lots of small changes you can make to prevent diabetes from developing in the first place. Diabetes UK are working together with NHS England and Public Health England to provide Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP), the first national programme to help those who are at high risk of Type 2 diabetes.

The programme gives participants personalised support to help them achieve a healthy weight, improve their diet and become more physically active, all together which have been shown to reduce the risk of developing the condition. You’ll find more information about the NDPP on the Diabetes UK prevention page.

Education for people with Type 1 diabetes

The aim of patient education is for people with diabetes to improve their knowledge, skills and confidence, enabling them to take increasing control of their own condition and integrate effective self-management into their daily lives. High-quality structured education can have a profound effect on biomedical outcomes, and can significantly improve quality of life and satisfaction.

Diabetes education: learning to look after your diabetes provides more information on Diabetes Education, why it is important and some of the courses available.

It is important that people with diabetes lead a healthy and active lifestyle and you can find information about healthy eating and exercise from Diabetes UK and from Active Surrey.


Diabetes education programmes available near you:


  • East Surrey

    For people with Type 1 diabetes, Surrey and Sussex Hospital Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH), provide a Carb Counting course for people with Type One diabetes, speak to your diabetes professional at the hospital. Find more information via the Surrey and Sussex Hospital Healthcare website.

    People with Type 2 diabetes registered with a GP practice in East Surrey can ask their GP or Practice Nurse to refer them to the DESMOND education programme provided by First Community Health and Care across East Surrey. The DESMOND course is offered to groups either as a whole day or two half day sessions.


  • Guildford and Waverley

    For people with Type 1 diabetes, Royal Surrey County Hospital offer a one day, group education course for people with Type 1 diabetes called CEDRIC. Speak to your diabetes professional at the hospital who can refer you. Find more information here.

    People with Type 2 diabetes registered with a GP practice in Guildford and Waverley can ask their GP or Practice Nurse to refer them to the DESMOND education programme provided at various locations by the Royal Surrey County Hospital dietetic team. The DESMOND course is offered to groups either as a whole day or two half day sessions, for more information on the DESMOND programme please visit here.


  • North West Surrey

    People with Type 1 diabetes are offered a face to face group education course from Ashford and St Peters Hospital called STEPH. The programme consists of weekly two and a half hour sessions for three weeks OR a one day session. The course is held at The Stephanie Marks Diabetes Centre, speak to your Consultant at the hospital who can refer you. Find more information via the Ashford and St. Peters Hospitals website.

    Please note: During COVID all face to face courses have been paused, currently people with Type 1 diabetes are encouraged to complete the Bertie course which is free and available online.

    People with Type 2 diabetes registered with a GP in North West Surrey are encouraged to attend the X-Pert Diabetes Programme provided by Self-Management UK. The courses run as six group sessions lasting two and a half hours over a period of six weeks and are available face to face or via webinars, you can find more information on X-Pert. You don't need to ask your GP to refer you to the course, you can sign up immediately here.


  • Surrey Downs

    People with Type 1 are offered an education course called BERTIE from Epsom and St. Helier Hospital. The BERTIE course involves attending a six-hour group session once a week for four consecutive weeks. 

    Please note: During COVID all face to face courses have been paused, currently people with Type 1 diabetes are encouraged to complete the Bertie course which is free and available online.

    People with Type 2 diabetes registered with a GP in Surrey Downs are encouraged to attend the EMPOWER Diabetes Programme provided by Spirit Healthcare. The four hour course is available to groups of people either face to face or via webinars. You don't need to ask your GP to refer you to the course, you can find out more about the course and sign up immediately on Empower.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar (glucose) that develops during pregnancy and usually disappears after giving birth. It can happen at any stage of pregnancy, but is more common in the second or third trimester.

Gestational Diabetes happens when your body cannot produce enough insulin to meet your extra needs in pregnancy, and can cause problems for you and your baby during pregnancy and after birth. However, the risks can be reduced if the condition is detected early and well managed. You can find out more, by visiting the NHS web page Gestational Diabetes


Mental Wellbeing Services

Living with Diabetes can be demanding and overwhelming. It can place an additional burden on our already busy lives due to, managing medication, testing, diet and the longer term complications around having Diabetes. Research tells us that one in three people with Diabetes can experience symptoms of depression and anxiety that can make managing Diabetes more difficult. Talking Therapies can provide you with proven ways to reduce Stress, Depression and Anxiety symptoms which may be affecting your ability to manage your Diabetes. 

Visit the Healthy Surrey website to find details about what Local Mental Health Services have to offer and who you can contact for support.


Podiatry (foot) services


Why are people with diabetes more at risk for foot problems?

Visit the Diabetes UK website to hear from a diabetic patient about foot problems and to read more on why people with diabetes are more likely to develop foot problems.

How to take care of my feet to prevent foot problems?

We strongly recommend to check your feet on a daily basis. Whether you’re about to put your socks on, or you’re taking them off before bed, have a good look. Any changes, and you should see a healthcare professional straight away. This is how we can prevent major foot problems and amputations. Have a look at the Diabetes UK website on how to check your feet.

Know the signs of serious foot problems when you have diabetes

Diabetes UK have lots of information about how to recognise serious foot problems.  You can also order their free leaflet 10 steps to prevent foot problems.

Attend your annual foot check

A trained professional should check your bare feet once a year. It’s a good chance to check anything you might have spotted with them yourself. But don’t wait a whole year to ask them. If you notice a problem – get it seen as soon as you can.

Read more here on what to expect during an annual foot check.

15 healthcare essentials for diabetes for good diabetes care and prevention of diabetes complications. Foot care is one of the 15 healthcare essentials for people living with diabetes find out about the others here.

Smoking negatively impacts your feet

Healthy Surrey have lots of information, tips and advice if you need help to stop smoking.

You can find more information on how to take care of your feet on the following websites:


What to do when you have a foot problem?

Know who to call when you have problems with your feet. Note down the phone numbers of your local services such as your GP out of hours service Surrey Heartlands wide.

Please don’t wait around with foot problems, contact your health care professional straight away.


Useful links to podiatry services near where you live



Technology and Diabetes

There are lots of different types of diabetes technology, like insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors (CGM for short). When you hear your healthcare professional talking about diabetes technology, they’ll usually be referring to tech that helps you take insulin or tech to check your blood sugar levels. You can find more information on the types of diabetes technology on the Diabetes UK website.


Children and Diabetes

Most children are affected by Type 1 diabetes and will be cared for by the local hospital specialist team. Type 2 diabetes occurs more commonly in adults, but Type 2 diabetes in children is on the rise, fuelled by the obesity epidemic.

You can find help and advice on helping your child to understand diabetes and how to cope with caring for a child with Type One Diabetes on the Diabetes UK website.


Managing Your Diabetes

As well as attending your annual health checks and eye screening, adopting a healthy lifestyle can help you manage your diabetes. It may also improve your mental well-being, energy levels, weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol. Understanding Diabetes enables you to identify the important factors for a healthy lifestyle with diabetes which you can learn about through attending a Diabetes educational course.

  1. Follow a balanced diet – to manage your blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy weight. Both are important when you have diabetes and Diabetes UK provides more information on their Your lifestyle diabetes and food web page.

  2. Being physically active – as exercise is good for diabetes, see some suggestions for staying active by visiting Diabetes UK. For information on local activities across Surrey, visit Active Surrey.

  3. Quit smoking – as if you have diabetes, you already have an increased chance of developing cardiovascular disease, such as a heart attack, stroke or circulatory problems in the legs. Combined with smoking you make the chances of developing these diseases even higher.  If you would like support in quitting smoking please see your GP or you can register for support by calling OneYou on 01737 652168 or visiting and clicking ‘Get Started’.

  4. Manage stress – as if you’re feeling stressed, your body releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. This should give you an energy boost for a ‘fight or flight’ response. But the hormones actually make it harder for insulin to work properly (known as insulin resistance) and as energy can’t get into your cells, your blood sugar levels rise. Find out more about stress and diabetes on the Diabetes UK website and seek support from a local mental wellbeing service.

  5. Reducing your alcohol intake - Drinking too much alcohol is associated with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. Current guidelines recommend not regularly drinking more than 14 units per week, and that these units should be spread evenly over 3-4 days. If you are worried that you might be drinking too much, take the Alcohol Test. It’s free, quick and confidential. Work out how risky your drinking is, access personalised advice online and find out where you can get support in Surrey. It takes just two minutes.

    If your Alcohol Test score is between 16 and 19 and you need more support contact i-access who are piloting a free and confidential alcohol Extended Brief Interventions (EBI) available by telephone. If your Alcohol Test score is 20 or more, this indicates possible dependency, we would strongly recommend seeking advice from a health professional at i-access.


Local support groups

Diabetes UK has active support groups working locally all over the United Kingdom. Groups typically meet once a month, but they often also take part in many other activities such as fundraising, campaigning and raising awareness. Find your local support group or why not set up your own if there is no group in your area?

Guildford and Waverley and Surrey Downs already have support groups.



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Maintaining Independence and Wellbeing

Maintaining Independence and Wellbeing

As we age, it is common to have a growing number of health issues. This can happen gradually and we may notice it takes us longer to do household chores, walk to the shops and we may start feeling a bit unsteady on our feet. Over time, this can affect our ability to bounce back after an illness or other stressful events, as well as our ability to live independently or keep in touch with family and friends.

We cannot stop the ageing process, but the advice given in this Practical Guide to Healthy Ageing, will help to keep you fit and independent.

If you are a Guildford or Waverley resident, please visit our Independence and Wellbeing page to find local information and support.


On this page:


Loneliness in older people

Hundreds of thousands of elderly people are lonely and cut off from society in this country, especially those over the age of 75. This means that older people are especially vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation, which can have a serious effect on health. However, there are ways to overcome loneliness, even if you live alone and find it hard to get out.

People can become socially isolated for a variety of reasons, such as getting older or weaker, no longer being the hub of their family, leaving the workplace, the deaths of spouses and friends, or through disability or illness.

Whatever the cause, it's shockingly easy to be left feeling alone and vulnerable, which can lead to depression and a serious decline in physical health and wellbeing. Someone who is lonely probably also finds it hard to reach out. There is a stigma surrounding loneliness, and older people tend not to ask for help because they have too much pride.

It's important to remember loneliness can, and does, affect anyone, of any age. There are many ways for older people to connect with others, and feel useful and appreciated again.

Find out more about loneliness in older people on the website.


Preventing Falls

Anyone can have a fall, but older people are more vulnerable and likely to fall, especially if they have a long-term health condition.

A fall can cause the person to lose confidence, become withdrawn and feel as if they have lost their independence.

The natural ageing process means that older people have an increased risk of having a fall. In the UK, falls are the most common cause of injury related deaths in people over the age of 75.

For more detailed information on how to prevent a fall, go to the website.


Scams Awareness

Elderly and vulnerable people are particularly likely to receive scam mail and telephone calls encouraging them to part with their money or hand over bank details, which can lead to financial devastation.

For more information on how to protect yourself from scams, please click on the following links:


Useful links and Support



Review Date: 2020-10-20
Review Due: 2021-04-18
Model Publication Scheme Class: Class 9: Services Commissioned
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