If you have asthma we need to see you at least once a year (or every six months if you are under 16 years) for a review of your asthma symptoms and current inhaler medication. If your asthma is kept well controlled you should be able to undertake your normal daily activities, sleep and exercise with no or very few asthma symptoms and have little need of your inhaler. If you have been admitted to hospital or attended out of hours it is important that you contact the surgery for an appointment as soon as possible.
At an asthma review the nurse will:
- Ask about your asthma symptoms during the day, night and during any activity/exercise
- Check your peak flow rate
- Check your inhaler technique and discuss any alternative devices if you are experiencing any problems
To book an appointment for an asthma review, contact the surgery and ask for an asthma review appointment with our asthma nurses, and bring along your current inhalers, spacer and peak flow meter when you attend.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a common disease which affects about five million people in the UK and often starts in childhood, but it can happen for the first time at any age – even in people in their 70s or 80s.
Asthma affects the airways – the tubes carrying air in and out of the lungs. People with asthma have sensitive airways which become irritated in some situations. The airways become narrow and sometimes produce more mucus than usual, making it difficult to breathe.
Asthma may get better or disappear completely during teenage years, but about one third of children with asthma will go on to have problems as an adult. Asthma can run in families, but many people with asthma do not have relatives with the condition.
Asthma can’t be cured, but it can be controlled so that attacks can be prevented. Most people with asthma who receive proper treatment (and take it correctly) can lead normal lives.
It’s perfectly normal for your blood pressure to fluctuate, depending on what you’re doing, for instance it’s lower when you’re asleep and higher when you exercise. Some people have low blood pressure, which can cause dizziness, but many millions of Britons suffer from high blood pressure – hypertension – which, if not treated, can lead to a higher risk of heart attack, stroke or kidney damage. Hypertension is treated with medication.
We recommend all patients over the age of 45 to have their blood pressure checked at least every 18 months. If you are diagnosed with hypertension, we will ask you to attend for more regular blood pressure monitoring every six months. To do this, book an appointment with a healthcare assistant.
We strongly recommend that children are immunised in accordance with current government guidelines, which change from time to time. You will be sent an appointment when your child is due to have their vaccinations.
More information regarding childhood vaccinations can be found on the NHS website.
If you have diabetes we need to see you at least once a year for a review of your symptoms and medication. If your diabetes is kept well controlled you should be able to lead a normal and healthy life. A week or two before your review you will be asked to have a blood test with a phlebotomist to check your thyroid, liver and blood count. The results from this blood test will be discussed with you during your review with the nurse. At a diabetes review the nurse will:
- Check your blood glucose control
- Check your kidney function
- Check your cholesterol
- Review the results of your blood tests
- Measure your weight
- Examine your legs and feet
- Check your blood pressure
- Conduct a questionnaire to monitor symptoms of depression
- Discuss and possibly adjust your medication
In addition, your eyes will be checked annually at the hospital or at a mobile screening unit (retinopathy testing). You should also ensure that you have the annual flu vaccination and the one-off pneumococcal vaccination. To book an appointment for a diabetes review, contact the surgery and ask for a diabetes review appointment with a nurse.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is an increasingly common disease and one which many people suffer from without knowing. It is predicted that over the next ten years the number of people with diabetes will double. Diabetes occurs because the body can’t use glucose properly, either owing to a lack of the hormone insulin, or because the insulin available doesn’t work effectively.
There are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2.
Type 1 usually starts in childhood or young adulthood.
Type 2 is the more common disease and tends to affect people over 40. Both are serious conditions which require regular monitoring and treatment in order to prevent further health complications.
For further information please visit the Diabetes UK Website.
Our Nurse Practitioner, Sally Green is fully trained to diagnose and treat minor illnesses and ailments. She is able to issue prescriptions for these illnesses, if appropriate. We offer these appointments throughout the week and they can be booked in advance or on the day. Sally also does telephone triage calls with the doctor. She is experienced and will always consult a doctor if she is uncertain about anything relating to your healthcare.
Examples of the type and range of problems she can help with are given below, although this list is not exhaustive. If you are in doubt as to whether the Nurse Practitioner is the correct person to see please ask.
- Coughs, colds, sore throats, tonsillitis
- Chest infection
- Emergency contraception
- Women’s health: thrush, vaginal discharge/irritation
- Eyes: infections, conjunctivitis, allergies
- Ears: earache, infections, deafness, discharge
- Sprains and muscular skeletal injuries
- Urine infections, cystitis
- Sexual Health
- Nasal problems
- Hay fever
- Insect bites and stings
- Animal and human bites
- Fungal infections
- Skin problems: acne, rashes, nappy rash
- Sore mouth
- Diarrhoea and vomiting
- Head lice
- Chicken pox, shingles
- Abdominal pain
- Respiratory exacerbation: asthma, COPD
- Back ache (new episodes)
- Head injury
The health visiting team run a drop-in baby clinic at Market Rasens Childrens Centre at Kilnwell Road on Tuesdays (09:00-10:20 hrs) and (10:00-11:30 hrs)for Mums who are breast feeding. These clinics are open to all babies and young children aged 0 to 5 years.
Six week and eight month checks for babies are done by appointment only at the end of the Tuesday drop-in clinic.
During the clinics the health visiting team will be on hand to offer advice and information and weigh your baby.
The team can offer you information and support on the following:
- Preconceptual care
- Antenatal care
- Feeding and baby care
- Children’s growth and development
- Diet and nutrition
- Behaviour management
- Child minders, day care and pre-school groups
- Children with special needs
- Healthy lifestyles and exercise
- Postnatal depression
- Housing and benefits
To contact the health visitor and nursery nurse, call 01673233600.
If you have any concerns about your child’s health, development or behaviour, please contact the team – do not wait until your child is next due to be seen.
Caring for someone is an important and valuable role which can be isolating and demanding. Carers are often ’hidden’ looking after a family member, friend or neighbour with day to day tasks, and may not think of themselves as carers.
They may care for people with a variety of conditions, including:
- frailty in old age
- mental health problems, including dementia
- physical disability
- learning disability
- chronic childhood disease
- dependency on drugs and/or alcohol.
We know this can be a difficult job and would like to try to ensure you and the person you care for get all the support needed, such as information on benefits, respite care and a listening ear when things get too much.
If you do care for somebody, be it a friend or family member, please fill out a carer’s referral form which can be obtained from the reception desk or downloaded from here and return it to reception.
There is a network of different professionals and organisations providing a wide variety of services and support, which can help carers. These include:
- Community nursing services
- Occupational therapy, equipment, and other services available via social services
- Home care services provided by the Red Cross, Crossroads, the Women’s Royal Volunteer Service and other voluntary organisations
- Advocacy and counselling services
- Local carers’ groups, which range from small self-help groups to larger local organisations offering a range of support such as information, advice, training for carers such as stress management, advocacy and social activities.
Antenatal clinic – Mondays 09:30-13:00 hours.
Following NICE guidelines, the community midwife will provide antenatal checks and care, discuss birth options, screening, scans, breastfeeding, diet and parent craft.
Referral to the community midwife is via your GP.
If you have COPD we need to see you at least once a year for a review of your symptoms and medication.To book an appointment for a COPD review, contact the surgery and ask for an COPD review appointment with our Practice Nurse and bring along your current inhalers.
A spirometry test to assess your lung function will normally be carried out at your review. You will also be invited for a flu vaccination every year. If you have been admitted to hospital or attended out of hours it is important that you contact the surgery for an appointment as soon as possible.
What is COPD?
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) an umbrella term for people with chronic bronchitis, emphysema or both, when the airflow to the lungs is restricted (obstructed). COPD is usually caused by smoking. Symptoms include cough and breathlessness. The most important treatment is to stop smoking. Inhalers are commonly used to ease symptoms. Other treatments such as steroids, antibiotics, oxygen, and mucolytic medicines are sometimes prescribed in severe cases, or during a flare-up (exacerbation) of symptoms.
For further information you can visit the British Lung Foundation
If you suffer from chronic heart disease we need to regularly monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol. You may need medication as part of your treatment. We will need to see you at least once a year in our cardiovascular clinic to conduct a review and you should ensure you have a flu vaccination each autumn. A week or two before your review you will be asked to have a blood test with a phlebotomist.
At the cardio-vascular clinic your blood pressure, weight, height will be checked and a discussion of your symptoms, lifestyle, medication and blood test results will take place. As a practice, we encourage you to take a proactive attitude to all aspects of your health care and will encourage you to stop smoking and consider other lifestyle changes.
If you have high blood pressure we request that, as well as your annual review, you make an appointment for a blood pressure check at least every six months. A fasting blood test is usually requested at your annual review, as this gives us the opportunity to review your blood cholesterol and glucose (sugar) levels.
Other blood tests look at the function of your kidneys, liver, thyroid and a full blood count to ensure you are not anaemic. Other investigations may be organised following your annual review. Good control of your blood pressure, stopping smoking, lowering your cholesterol, lifestyle changes, medication compliance are all important factors in controlling your disease symptoms and preventing symptoms from worsening.
What is Heart Disease?
One of the commonest diseases to affect the heart is coronary heart disease (CHD). It’s usually caused by atherosclerosis, a build up of fatty materials within the walls of the arteries.
Almost 3000 local patients are eligible to receive the vaccination, which is provided free of charge to all patients registered with the practice who are aged 65 or over and to patients with certain chronic diseases including:
- Chronic heart disease
- Some asthmatic patients
- Liver disease
- Central nervous system diseases
- Chronic renal disease
Other eligible patients include:
- Those with lowered immunity
- Those living in long-stay nursing or residential homes
We run dedicated Saturday flu clinics in September & October along with mid-week bookable appointments. Patients will not be vaccinated if they turn up at the surgery without an appointment. Patients should not attend for their vaccination if they are feeling unwell or have a temperature that day. The flu vaccination may help protect against flu over the winter months and help prevent more serious illnesses as a result of flu.
People aged under 65 and in general good health do not need a flu vaccination.
The NHS runs a national screening programme for women aged 25–64 to check the health of the lower part of the womb. It is not a test to diagnose cervical cancer, but a test to show changes in cells which can be caused by many things, most of which will not lead to cervical cancer. Early detection and treatment can prevent around 75% of cancers developing but, like other screening tests, cervical screening is not perfect and may not always detect early cell changes that could lead to cancer.
How Often Should I Have a Smear Test?
After your first cervical screening test at 25, you will be automatically invited every three years until you are 49, when you will then be invited every five years between the ages of 50 and 64.
Where Do I Have the Test?
You can either have the test here at the surgery with a practice nurse, or you can go to a community clinic, such as a family planning clinic. NHS Direct can give you details of local clinics.
How is the Test Carried Out?
We use a method called liquid based cytology, where a practice nurse will take a sample of cells using a spatula which brushes cells from your cervix. The test cannot be carried out during menstruation, so you should ideally book your appointment for when you are mid-cycle.
- Your results will be posted to your home address. You should receive them within eight weeks of having the test.
- If your results are negative, you will be invited again in three or five years’ time.
- If the results are abnormal, you will be invited to have the test repeated and, if they remain abnormal, you may be referred for colposcopy.
For further information about Cervical Screening you can visit the NHS website.
We all have problems from time to time and mostly we solve them by talking to someone close to us such as a husband, wife or friend. But sometimes that’s not enough or possible and we suffer some emotion, stress or loss so great that professional help in the form of counselling is needed.
You can be referred to a counsellor by your GP and all appointments are made directly with the counsellor. As with many things the waiting list for NHS counselling is long so if you wish to see a qualified counsellor sooner the GPs also have access to local private counsellors. Information on private counsellors is available in the surgery.