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Don’t let hay fever ruin your summer!

From now until September is when the pollen count is at its highest, especially when its warm, humid and windy.

Some of the symptoms of hay fever can include:

  • Sneezing and coughing
  • A runny or blocked nose
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  • Loss of smell
  • Pain around your temples and forehead
  • Headache
  • Earache
  • Feeling tired

If you are having any of the above symptoms or are feeling the effects of hay fever, visit your local pharmacist as they can provide advice and treatments to suit your symptoms. You could also try:

  • not drying your washing outside when pollen levels are high
  • showering and changing your clothes after you’ve been outside to wash any pollen away
  • wearing wraparound sunglasses when you go outside to stop the pollen from irritating your eyes
  • putting Vaseline around your nose to trap pollen
  • keeping windows and doors shut as much as possible
  • vacuuming regularly and dust with a damp cloth
  • staying indoors when the pollen count is high

You can keep an eye on the pollen forecast on the Met Office Website.

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Make your choice

Find information about opting out of sharing your data with the NHS and what you need to know:

Make your choice about sharing data from your health records – NHS (www.nhs.uk).

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Sustainability at Audley Health Centre

Over the past few weeks, we have started to make changes here at Audley Health Centre in order to make the practise more environmentally friendly. The NHS accounts for approximately 5.4% of the UKs carbon emissions annually – this is the same amount as all the flights that leave Heathrow airport each year. Primary care health centres play a major role in this statistic, with GP prescribing being one of the largest contributors to the NHS’ carbon emissions, second only to anaesthetic usage in hospitals. This means there is plenty of room for improvement! One area of GP services that has a substantially negative environmental impact is metered dose inhaler (MDI) prescribing, which are the most prescribed inhalers in the UK. MDI’s main ingredient is hydrofluorocarbon gas, which has over 1000 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, with one Ventolin inhaler having the same carbon footprint as driving from London to Sheffield, which is nearly 200 miles!!!

This is why we have decided to sign up to the Green Impact Scheme, accredited by the RCGP, as we hope to make changes within the practise that will reduce our environmental impact. By taking part in the green impact scheme, we aim to implement the interventions most suitable and upload evidence to the dedicated website which would add up to eventually provide a bronze, silver or gold award for sustainability, accredited by the RCGP. As we work towards these awards, we hope to include and encourage our patients to take part by offering medication reviews for asthma patients to trial different, less carbon-intense inhalers amongst other things. We will be posting updates as to how the scheme is going on our Facebook page.

Information about the Green Impact Scheme

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Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status when travelling abroad

Please visit the gov.uk website for information on how to demonstrate your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination status to show that you’ve had the full course of the COVID-19 vaccine and access this status when travelling abroad.

Please DO NOT contact your GP surgery about your COVID-19 vaccination status. GPs cannot provide letters showing your COVID-19 vaccination status. Thank you.

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Patients recovering from Covid-19 required for plasma donation to save lives!

NHS Blood and Transplant are leading an urgent programme to enable a UK trial that could produce vital treatment for Covid-19 and help save more lives.

This treatment requires plasma donations from patients who have had COVID-19 and are now recovering. NHS Blood and Transplant need to collect high titre plasma from willing donors to see if this might benefit when used early on in a patient’s illness, before hospitalisation and are in particular need of recovering male patients aged 18 – 65 years to take part.

To take part in this vital programme, you can call: 0300 123 2323 or visit https://www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/covid-19-research/plasma-donors/who-can-donate-plasma/.

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NHS leaders reassuring message to women about the safety of attending for routine breast screening

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and women in the Midlands are being encouraged to attend for their regular breast screening appointment if they are contacted by screening services.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) has had a major impact on the NHS, including on breast screening services and, as a result, women may have waited longer than they usually do to be invited for regular screening.  Now that services are getting up and running again, they can feel reassured by the safety measures that have been put in place.

Breast screening aims to find cancers early using an x-ray test called a mammogram. This can spot cancers when they are too small to see or feel. To protect everyone against the possible spread of Covid-19, screening providers will ensure that social distancing can be observed, and additional infection control procedures have been introduced. This includes the wearing of personal protective equipment by staff such as face masks and gloves.

Enhanced infection control measures mean that appointments may be held at a clinic different to the usual venue and these may take longer than usual. Women are also being asked to wear a face covering at their appointment, unless there is a reason that they cannot do so.

Dr Ash Banerjee, Screening and Immunisations Lead for NHS England and Improvement in the Midlands says:

“Measures are in place to ensure that essential, routine screening can be delivered safely. About one in eight women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime, so it’s important to attend for routine screening when this is offered.

 “As long as you or any member of your household are not displaying symptoms of coronavirus and are not self-isolating, breast screening should take place as normal. 

“Please attend for your screening appointment if you are contacted by a breast screening provider and informed that you are due for your routine screen.”

About routine breast screening:

After screening, about 1 in 25 women will be called back for further assessment. Being called back does not mean that someone has cancer. The first mammogram may have been unclear. About 1 in 4 women who are called back for further assessment are diagnosed with breast cancer.

As the likelihood of getting breast cancer increases with age, all women aged from 50 to their 71st birthday who are registered with a GP are automatically invited for breast screening every 3 years. Women may be eligible for breast screening before the age of 50 if they have a very high risk of developing breast cancer.

Anyone worried about breast cancer symptoms should speak to their GP as soon as possible.

In 2018/19:

  • 71.7% of women accepted their breast screening invitation (aged 50 to 70) and 2.23 million women were screened
  • 19,558 women had cancers detected by screening (a rate of 8.8 cases per 1,000 women screened)
  • detection rates were highest for small invasive cancers (3.5 per 1,000 women)
  • detection rates were lowest for non-invasive or micro-invasive cancers (1.8 per 1,000 women).
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GP phone consultations available to book online

Please note we have made a number of GP Telephone consultations available to book via online access, whilst these have time slots allocated to them (ie 8:00, 8:10, etc) this is not indicative of the time you will be called. Instead if you book a morning slot, you will be called anytime that morning, likewise if you book an afternoon slot, you will be called anytime that afternoon.