Welcome to the newsletter, aimed at keeping you up-to-date with everything going on in the surgery. We hope you find it useful and interesting. This issue contains information on staff changes, ‘Flu - including our clinic dates - dealing with coughs and colds, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and prescribing and medication. 2013 has been a year when a few members of staff reached 60 and retirement has beckoned. Hilary has hung up her apron and is enjoying time with her family and planning holidays in the sun. We thank Hilary for looking after us so well for over 20 years, and we welcome Lorraine as our new housekeeper. Lorraine lives in the village and we are delighted to welcome her to the team. We welcome Maz Roberts to our reception team. Maz lives locally and has worked in general practice for many years. You will meet Maz on the desk and also get to know her The Nurse Team is returned to full strength. Michelle is back with us after her maternity leave – it is hard to believe that baby Florence is already one - and we are delighted to retain Jeremy's services during the busy winter period and hopefully beyond. Influenza (‘Flu) is a viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes. It causes a sudden high temperature, headache and general aches and pains, tiredness and sore throat. If you are otherwise fit and healthy, there is usually no need to see a doctor. The best remedy is to rest at home, keep warm and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. You can take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower a high temperature and You should see a doctor if you have flu-like symptoms and you: • Have a long-term medical condition such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, National medical policy recommends flu vaccination to everyone age 65 and over, all pregnant women, carers and patients, including children, with certain medical • Chronic bronchitis or other chest problems • Some progressive nervous system diseases • Stroke and transient ischaemic attacks (TIA) • Asthma requiring the use of regular preventative (steroid) inhalers We invite you to attend for your annual ‘flu vaccination at our walk-in clinics on: Friday 4th October between 4.30pm and 7.00pm Saturday 12th October between 9.00am and 12 noon There is no need to book an appointment, just come along on one of the dates above. National policy also recommends vaccination against pneumoccal and shingles for patients in certain age groups. You will be offered these vaccinations in accordance with If you are unsure about your need for vaccination please ring and speak to Vanessa or Michelle, our Practice Nurses. If you require vaccination but are housebound please contact our receptionist to arrange a visit from the District Nurse. A cold is a mild viral infection of the nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways. It can cause a blocked nose followed by a runny nose, sneezing, a sore throat and a cough. On average, adults have two to four colds a year and children have three to eight and colds are more frequent during the winter months. This may be because people are more likely to stay indoors and be in close contact with each other. In adults and older children, the cold will usually last for about a week as the body fights off the infection. Colds in younger children can last up to two weeks. There is no cure for a cold, although you can usually relieve the symptoms of a cold at home by taking over-the-counter medication from the pharmacist. When to make an appointment with the doctor • your symptoms persist for more than three weeks • you have a high temperature (fever) of 39°C (102.2°F) or above • you cough up blood-stained phlegm (thick mucus) • you feel chest pain • you have breathing difficulties • you experience severe swelling of your lymph nodes (glands) in your neck and/or See your GP if you're concerned about your baby, an elderly person, or if you have a long- term illness, such as a chest condition. • Wash your hands regularly and properly • Always sneeze and cough into tissues • Throw away used tissues immediately and wash your hands • Clean surfaces regularly • Use your own cup, plates, cutlery and kitchen utensils • Use disposable paper towels to dry your hands and face, rather than shared According to SAD), Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of winter depression that affects an estimated 2 million people in the UK every winter between September and April, in particular during December, January and • Depression • Sleep problems • Lethargy • Overeating • Irritability • Feeling down and unsociable For further information on SAD, and activities you can undertake to reduce your As part of a larger organisation (Calderdale Commissioning Group) one of our responsibilities is to ensure that we prescribe in a responsible and cost-effective manner. Our prescribing budget is approximately £1.5m annually. Any savings we make on this are used by the CCG for patient care and do not come to the practice nor us as GP’s. In making decisions about prescribing there are many factors to take into account including recent medical evidence, safety, convenience, side effects, and cost. Our main concern is what is best for you as a patient. Choosing less expensive medication is not necessarily worse for you as a patient; in fact, medicines which have been in use for some time (and therefore we are happier about their efficacy and safety) are often cheaper. As there is a limited budget available we have to look closely to see where savings can be made and this may involve switching to different brand names. As a general rule we prescribe using the generic (non branded) name for medicines but there are instances (for example, treatments for epilepsy) where it is more appropriate to use the brand When a brand comes ‘off patent’ the price to the NHS tends to drop as other brands become available. Quality control is still important in this situation and there is a rigorous system in place for the testing of medicines in the UK. One example is the medication Viagra which has recently come off patent and patients may notice that it is now prescribed by the generic name ‘sildenafil’ to ensure that patients receive the cheaper generic preparation (this only applies to those receiving a Another example is that the progesterone only contraceptive pill, Cerazette is now being prescribed as Cerelle, which is a different brand but the same medicine (desogestrel). For those using this, there will be note on the prescription explaining the change. Other changes will also take place; and you should be notified with message printed on If you ever have any concerns about medicines prescribed or changes made we would encourage you to discuss the situation with your usual doctor.


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