News

HPV Vaccine Success

Amazing news!  The HPV vaccine has been shown to dramatically reduce cervical cancer rates by almost 90% in women in their 20s who were offered it at age 12 to 13 as published in a report by The Lancet.

 For more information on the HPV vaccine - HPV vaccine overview - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Flu vaccination campaign 2021/22

We are pleased to be able to start our flu vaccination campaign this September. Clinics will start on Saturday 18th September and there will be clinics throughout October and into November. Available appointments are bookable via the NHS app or patient access app. Sign up for the app if you do not have it already. If you do not have access to the app please contact the practice on 0117 9027145.

We will be sending texts to those who are eligible for the vaccination – please wait until you have been invited before you book your appointment.

Flu can be serious and each year thousands of people go to hospital and hundreds die. We are also still facing additional pressures on the NHS due to COVID-19. The extended flu vaccination campaign from last year continues this year to include all 50 year olds, and also this year school years 7 to 11 will be included. School aged children without underlying health conditions will be offered the vaccination at school.

It is more important than ever to have your flu vaccination this year. 

Who is eligible for a free annual NHS Flu Vaccination?

  • all children aged 2 to 15 (but not 16 years or older) on 31 August 2021
  • those aged 6 months to under 50 years in clinical risk groups
  • pregnant women
  • those aged 50 years and over
  • those in long-stay residential care homes
  • carers
  • close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
  • frontline health and social care staff employed by:
    • a registered residential care or nursing home
    • registered domiciliary care provider
    • a voluntary managed hospice provider
    • Direct Payment (personal budgets) and/or Personal Health Budgets, such as Personal Assistants.

All frontline health and social care workers are expected to have influenza vaccination to protect those they care for.

For more information: https://www.nhs.uk/search/results?q=flu%20vaccinations

28/8/2021 Important changes to routine and non-urgent blood test appointments

Important changes to routine and non-urgent blood test appointments

All GP practices are affected by the current national shortage of blood tubes and are taking urgent steps alongside our hospitals to prioritise their use for people with the greatest clinical need. This includes testing for serious conditions such as cancer.  

We are following national guidance which has been issued in response to the shortage. As a result, we need to cancel and delay a number of patient appointments for blood tests deemed routine or non-urgent. If you have a routine blood test appointment the reception team at the surgery will be in touch directly if they need to cancel your appointment, this will be by phone or by text message.

Please be assured that appointments will be rescheduled once the situation has improved, and in line with national guidance. There are a few things you can do if you are affected by this change: 

  • Keep checking our website for regular updates – we will be sharing the latest patient information here as soon as we receive it. 
  • Check your phone for messages from us – we will also be using our patient text service to keep people informed. 
  • Please don’t call or contact us with questions about routine blood tests – we are experiencing exceptional levels of demand at the moment, and your cooperation will help us to reach those without smartphone or internet access with this critical information.  
  • Do get in touch online if your condition worsens or changes so that we can prioritise your blood test if necessary following clinical review

The changes are likely to be in place for at least four weeks. We will keep all our patients regularly updated as the national situation changes. We fully understand the frustration this is likely to cause, and apologise for the inconvenience.  

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind you of the wider resources available locally to support you, including the emotional support line for those experiencing anxiety or distress. You can find more here: https://bnssghealthiertogether.org.uk/localresources/

 

SEDATIVE PRESCRIBING FOR FEAR OF FLYING

The surgery will no longer be prescribing Diazepam or similar drugs for flight anxiety.

The reasons for this can be found below:

  1. Diazepam in the UK is a Class C/Schedule IV controlled drug. According to the prescribing guidelines doctors follow (British National Formulary (BNF) and NICE guidance), diazepam is contraindicated (not allowed) in treating phobic states. The BNF alsostates that “the use of benzodiazepines to treat short-term ‘mild’ anxiety is inappropriate.” They are only licensed for the short-term management of a crisis in generalised anxiety. If you feel that you are having an anxiety crisis, then you should be getting proper care and support for your mental health and not going on a flight.
  2. Diazepam is a sedative, which means it makes you sleepy and more relaxed. If there is an emergency during the flight it may impair your ability to concentrate, follow instructions and react to the situation. This could have serious safety consequences for you and those around you.
  3. Sedative drugs can make you fall asleep, however when you do sleep it is an unnatural non-REM sleep. This means you won’t move around as much as during natural sleep. This can cause you to be at increased risk of developing a blood clot (DVT) in the leg or even the lung. Blood clots are very dangerous and can even prove fatal. This risk is even greater if your flight is greater than four hours.
  4. Whilst most people find benzodiazepines like diazepam sedating, a small number may have the opposite effect and can experience agitation and aggression. They can also reduce your inhibitions and lead you to behave in a way that you would not normally. This could impact on your safety as well as that of other passengers and could also get you into trouble with the law.
  5. Diazepam and similar drugs are illegal in a number of countries. They may be confiscated, or you may find yourself in trouble with the police.
  6. Diazepam stays in your system for quite a while. If your job requires you to submit to random drug testing, you may fail this having taken diazepam.
  7. Flight anxiety does not come under the remit of General Medical Services as defined in the GP contract and so we are not obliged to prescribe for this. Patients who still wish to take benzodiazepines for flight anxiety are advised to consult with a private GP or travel clinic.

We appreciate that fear of flying is very real and very frightening. A much better approach is to tackle this properly with a Fear of Flying course run by the airlines and we have listed a number of these below.

 

Easy Jet www.fearlessflyer.easyjet.com Tel 0203 8131644

British Airways www.flyingwithconfidence.com  Tel 01252 793250

Virgin www.flyingwithoutfear.co.uk  Tel 01423 714900

 

 

Managing your care during Covid-19 and beyond

Dear Patient

During the pandemic, the Practice has remained open and everyone has been very busy, trying to see all those patients who have requested medical advice and treatment. In addition to this, our GPs and staff have worked to provide a local Covid vaccination service.

Practices throughout our area have also worked with the hospitals to try to ease pressures on the hospital Emergency Departments.

Now that the national lockdown is easing, we wish to reassure you that: -

  Our Practice remains open to and for our patients between normal opening hours (08.00- 18.30 hours);

  Those patients who are suffering from a long-term medical condition and require an annual review have not been forgotten. Our Practice has an up- to-date register of all such patients and our team will be contacting them in due course;

  If you require an appointment, then the most appropriate appointment will be offered and discussed with you.  The appointment may be face-face, by telephone, e-mail or other.  Please remember that our Practice has to make every effort possible to ensure infection control and to  protect your safety and that of the staff.  That is the reason for triaging all appointments;

Our GPs and our staff are working hard to keep you safe by being involved with running your local vaccination programme.  Please make sure you book an appointment when asked.
 
Yours sincerely

The Team at Charlotte Keel Medical Practice