Brannam Medical CentreKiln LaneBarnstaple, EX32 8GPTel: 01271 329004
DATE FOR YOUR DIARY - SATURDAY 23RD SEPTEMBER - FLU CLINIC
We are now taking bookings for our flu clinic which is being held on Saturday 23rd September.
We are also holding a shingles/flu clinic for those of you who are eligible for both vaccines on 23rd September.
Please contact reception on 01271 329004 to check whether you are eligible and to make an appointment.
NATIONAL PATIENT SURVEY - RESULTS
Thank you to our patients who completed the national patient survey for Brannam Medical Centre. We have now received the results and would like to share these with you. Please click here to view the results.
We use a messaging system called MJOG which allows us to contact our patients by text and voice message. We have been using this to invite our patients in for their seasonal flu vaccinations, chronic disease recalls and also for appointment reminders.
We would like to make our patients aware that if you receive a voice message starting 'This is a message from Brannam Medical Centre' it is a genuine message from us and please listen to the message all the way through and you will be able to respond.
If you do not wish to receive messages in this way, please contact the reception team.
National Diabetes Audit (NDA): Helping to improve diabetes care
Brannam Medical Centre is taking part in an important national project about diabetes care and treatment in the NHS. Please click here for more information.
BLOOD PRESSURE APPOINTMENTS
Please remember to arrive at least 5 minutes before your appointment to give your heart rate a chance to steady. Please wear loose clothing and refrain from Caffeine and Nicotine for at least 30 minutes prior to your Blood Pressure appointment.
When it comes to your child's health, it's always better to be safe than sorry. If you are ever in doubt about your child's health, talk to a health professional. Serious childhood illnesses are extremely rare, but, if you think your child might be affected, always trust your instincts and get medical help straight away.
There is some helpful information on coping with children's illness on the NHS choices website, with advice on how to diagnose, how to treat and if further advice should be gained:
NHS Child Health links: Birth to five years
We run a child immunisation clinic on a Thursday afternoon (14:00 - 17:00) by appointment only. The practice follows the national guidelines for all vaccinations. When a child is registered at the practice they will automatically be invited for vaccinations when they are due.
If you have recently moved to the area please let us know your child's previous immunisation history so we can add these to their medical records.
Please bring your child's red immunisation book when you come in for the vaccinations.
Here's a checklist of the vaccines that are routinely offered to children in the UK for free on the NHS, and the age at which you should ideally have them.
Between 12 and 13 months:
3 years and 4 months, or soon after:
There is some helpful information on coping with children's illness on the NHS Choices website, with advice on how to diagnose, how to treat and if further advice should be gained:
NHS Child Health links: Six to fifteen years
Around 12-13 years:
Around 13-18 years:
So many changes, so little time to adjust and cope. Find out everything you need to know about teenage health in these links to the NHS Choices website:
NHS Health links: Teen Boys
NHS Health links: Teen Girls
According to NHS Choices:
"British men are paying the price for neglecting their health: more than 100,000 men a year die prematurely.
On average, men go to their GP half as often as women. It's important to be aware of changes to your health, and to see your GP immediately if you notice something that's not right." Find more helpful information on men's health issues on the NHS choices website, by clicking the links below:
NHS Health links: Men's Health 18-39
NHS Health links: Men's Health 40-60
Testicular cancer, though the most common cancer in young men, it is still quite rare. With 2000 new cases being diagnosed each year, this makes it the biggest cause of cancer related death in 15-35 year old males. It accounts for around 70 deaths a year within the UK alone.
The most common symptom of testicular cancer is swelling or a pea-sized lump in one of the testes. There is no current screening test therefore it is important that you look out for the following signs and symptoms.
NHS Choices: Information on Testicular Cancer
Each year about 36,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer, making it the most common cancer in men. It mainly affects men aged over 50.
These symptoms aren't always caused by prostate cancer but if you have them, see your GP.
Find out more about the symptoms, causes and diagnosis of prostate cancer by using the resources below.
NHS Choices - Prostate Cancer
It’s estimated that one man in 10 has a problem related to having sex, such as premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction.
Find out more on NHS Choices
Find helpful information on women's health issues on the NHS choices website, by clicking the links below:
NHS Health links: Women 18-39 yrs
NHS Health links: Women 40-60 yrs
The more you know about your pregnancy and your options, the more you are likely to feel in control. The information given here is based on The Pregnancy Book, which your midwife should give you at your first appointment.
Cervical screening is a method of preventing cervical cancer by detecting abnormal cells in the cervix (lower part of the womb). Cervical screening is not a test for cancer, but it is a test to check the health of the cervix.
Most women's test results show that everything is normal. But for one in 20 women, the test will show some changes in the cells of the cervix. Most of these changes will not lead to cervical cancer and the cells will go back to normal on their own. In some cases, the abnormal cells need to be treated to prevent them becoming a problem later.
NHS Health Links - Cervical Screening Information
Since September 2008 there has been a national programme to vaccinate girls aged 12-13 against human papilloma virus (HPV). There is also a three-year catch up campaign that will offer the HPV vaccine (also known as the cervical cancer jab) to 13-18 year old girls.
The programme is delivered largely through secondary schools, and consists of three injections that are given over a six-month period. In the UK, more than 1.4 million doses have been given since the vaccination programme started.
What is Human papilloma virus (HPV)?
Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the name of a family of viruses that affect the skin and the moist membranes that line your body, such as those in your cervix, anus, mouth and throat. These membranes are called the mucosa.
There are more than 100 different types of HPV viruses, with about 40 types affecting the genital area. These are classed as high risk and low risk.
How do you get HPV?
Types of HPV that affect the skin can be passed on by skin contact with an affected person. The types of HPV that affect the mouth and throat can be passed on through kissing. Genital HPV is usually spread through intimate, skin to skin, contact during sex. You can have the genital HPV virus for years and not have any sign of it.
How HPV can cause cervical cancer?
Most HPV infections are harmless or cause genital warts, however some types can cause cervical cancer. Most HPV infections clear up by themselves, but in some people the infection can last a long time. HPV infects the cells of the surface of the cervix where it can stay for many years without you knowing.
The HPV virus can damage these cells leading to changes in their appearance. Over time, these changes can develop into cervical cancer. The purpose of cervical screening (testing) is to detect these changes, which, if picked up early enough, can be treated to prevent cancer happening. If they are left untreated, cancer can develop and may lead to serious illness and death.
HPV Facts and information: Cancer Research UK
NHS Health Links:NHS Choices - HPV Vaccination
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. About 46,000 women get breast cancer in the UK each year. Most of them (8 out of 10) are over 50, but younger women, and in rare cases men, can also get breast cancer.
Symptoms of breast cancer
The first symptom of breast cancer that most women notice is a lump or an area of thickened tissue in their breast. Most lumps (90%) are not cancerous, but it is always best to have them checked by your doctor.
See your GP if you notice any of the following:
The menopause is sometimes known as the 'change of life' and is marked by the ending of menstruation (when a woman's periods stop). In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 52.
A woman is said to have reached the menopause once she has not had a period for one year. After this point, she can be described as post-menopausal.
You will find some helpful information on managing your health on the NHS Choices website:
NHS Health links: Men - 60+ years
NHS Health links: Women - 60+ years
Seasonal Flu Vaccination Inflenza (flu) is a highly infectious and potentially serious illness caused by influenza viruses. Each year the make-up of the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the influenza viruses that the World Health Organization decide are most likely to be circulating in the coming winter.
Regular immunisation (vaccination) is given free of charge to people aged 65 or over.http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Pneumococcal-immunisation/Pages/Introduction.aspx
Pneumococcal A pneumococcal infection can affect anyone. However, some groups of people have a higher risk of the infection developing into a serious health condition.
If you are 65 years of age or over you will need to have the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV). This one-off vaccination will protect you against serious forms of pneumococcal infection.
Shingles Vaccination - Shingles can be very painful and uncomfortable. Some people are left with pain lasting for years after the initial rash has healed.
If you are aged 70 or 78 you are eligible to have the vaccination. Unlike the flu vaccination, you can receive the shingles vaccination at any time through the year.
We're bombarded with scare stories about weight, from size zero to the obesity 'epidemic'. But a healthy body is determined by different factors for each of us.
NHS - Good Food Guide Information on a healthy diet and ways to make it work for you
BBC Healthy Living - Nutrition A good diet is central to overall good health, but which are the best foods to include in your meals, and which ones are best avoided? This section looks at the facts, to help you make realistic, informed choices
NHS - Why be active? Even a little bit of exercise will make you feel better about yourself, boost your confidence and cut your risk of developing a serious illness.
BBC Healthy Living - Improve your levels of activity Information and help for young and old about the benefits of increased physical activity & how to go about it!
We work with all patients with high blood pressure at any age, with the aim of preventing or limiting the occurrence of a stroke. We look closely at the patient’s history to help them understand their own risk of suffering a stroke, such as diet, smoking habits and family history.
We aim to identify problem areas and provide guidance to patients; encouraging them to take responsibility for their own wellbeing, emphasising factors within their control, such as smoking, alcohol, exercise, weight, diet, stress and relaxation. We run smoking cessation clinics and invite patients to meet with our health trainer to support their healthy lifestyle goals.
We will also advise on matters such as:
NHS Health Links: Stroke
Stroke Support: The Stroke Association
Memory loss does not necessarily mean you are suffering from dementia. It could be a symptom of another condition, so it is important to consult your GP at first, who may carry out assessments such as a simple conversation, memory tests, or blood tests (to rule out any other condition).
If your GP feels it is appropriate, you may be referred to the local memory clinic or the Community Psychiatric nurse (CPN) who will carry out a further assessment and if necessary, will refer you to a psychiatrist.
Other services include a local memory café, to which patients can self refer. Both patients diagnosed with dementia and their families/friends can visit, to support each other and share information and experiences. Health, Social Care and Carer Support professionals are also on hand to answer any questions and provide support as well as signpost to other services. Barnstaple Memory Cafe operates on a drop in basis and is open to all members of the general public. All you need to do is turn up and you will be welcomed by their staff and volunteers.
At Brannam Medical Centre we also support carers of people with dementia. We offer standard health checks, and guidance on support which can be gained via local voluntary services.
We have recently carried out an audit of dementia care in our local residential care homes, and as a follow-up, one of our GPs is now planning to review care on a six monthly basis.
NHS Health Links: Dementia
Dementia Support: Alzheimer's Society
Alzheimer's Society Leaflet: Worried about your memory?
Both men and women need to look after their sexual health and take time to understand the issues that surround contraception and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
For instance there are some STIs, like chlamydia, that you could be carrying without having any symptoms. This infection can affect fertility, so it's important to make use of the sexual health services available for free on the NHS.
Sex & Young People
A comprehensive guide to the questions you may have about sex
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Issues, symptoms and treatments
FPA - The Sexual Health Charity
Sexual health advice and information on contraception, sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy choices, abortion and planning a pregnancy.
There are so many different types of contraception available that you should be able to find the right method. You may have to try several different things before you choose the one you like most.
At Brannam Medical Centre we offer our female patients the following clinics to assist with contraceptive needs:
Monday 8:30 - 12.15 & Thursdays 8:30 - 10:30 with Sister Desri Dyer
Wednesday 13.30-15.00 with Dr Suzanne Smit
Information on Contraception from NHS Choices including why, when and how it should be used and with links to other useful resources.
Contraception - NHS Choices
Chlamydia is the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted infection among under-25s. Often there are no symptoms, but testing and treatment are simple.
Causes and risk factors Chlamydia is usually passed from one person to another during vaginal, oral or anal sex, or by sharing sex toys. It can live inside cells of the cervix, urethra, rectum and sometimes in the throat and eyes.
We offer free Chlamydia self screening for under 25s here at the surgery. It takes a couple of minutes and will put your mind at rest - just drop by the Treatment Room Reception between 08:30 & 13:00 or between 14:00 & 17:00.
Remember you need to get tested every time you change partners
Information & advice from NHS Choices: NHS Choices - focus on Chlamydia
These links all come from trusted resources but if you are unsure about these or any other medical matters please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
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