Author Archive howbeck

Byhowbeck

Make May Purple for Stoke Awareness Month

Stroke Awareness Month, run by the National Stroke Association, is all about wearing purple to raise awareness of strokes and the impact they have.

A stroke is an attack on the brain which happens when blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, causing death of that part of the brain. The effects of a stroke vary depending on which part of the brain is affected and how severe the stroke is.

If you suspect you or someone else is having a stroke, phone 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.

Recognising the signs of a stroke

The signs and symptoms of a stroke vary from person to person but usually begin suddenly.

The main stroke symptoms can be remembered with the word FAST:

Face – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have drooped.

Arms – the person may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakened or numbness in one arm.

Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake; they may also have problems understanding what you’re saying to them.

Time – its time to dial 999 immediately if you notice any of these signs or symptoms.

It’s important for everyone to be aware of these signs and symptoms, particularly if you live with or care for a person who is in a high-risk group, such as someone who is elderly or has diabetes or high blood pressure.

More information can be found at

nhs.uk

Stroke Association

Byhowbeck

Practice Closures for May Bank Holidays

Please be aware that GP Practices will be closed for the May Bank Holiday on Monday 3rd May and the Spring Bank Holiday on Monday 31st May.

If you need medical advice during this period you can:

Visit your pharmacy – Your local pharmacy can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints. Visit nhs.uk to find a pharmacy open near you.

Use NHS 111 – If you need urgent medical advice but your condition is not life threatening. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and you can access either online or by calling 111 from your landline or mobile (all calls are free).

Dial 999 – for a genuine medical emergency including; loss of consciousness, acute confused state and fits that are not stopping, persistent and/or severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding that cannot be stopped dial 999.

Byhowbeck

Oxford AstraZeneca Vaccine

New guidance has been issued for the use of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

This follows further reviews by the independent regulator, the MHRA, and the Commission for Human Medicines, of a very small number of people in the UK who have developed a rare blood-clotting condition since having the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

The MHRA and Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations have emphasised that the risk of this condition is extremely small and that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks for the vast majority of people. They have recommended that:

· Everyone who has had the AstraZeneca vaccine should still have a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, irrespective of age, unless they have had a blood clot or have an existing risk of thrombosis (blood clotting)

· People aged 30 and over or who have a health condition that puts them at higher risk of severe Covid-19 disease should still be offered the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. The benefits in protecting them against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition.

· People aged 18-29 who do not have a health condition that puts them at higher risk of severe Covid-19 disease will be offered an alternative Covid-19 vaccine where available. (This has been recommended as a precaution as people under 30 are at less risk from Covid-19 and not because they are considered to be at particular risk of developing the rare blood clot.)

· People under 30 can still choose to have the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine if this will mean they can be protected more quickly and they have been made aware of the guidance.

Please see the leaflet below that has been produced by Public Health England and the NHS to answer any questions you may have.

COVID-19 Vaccination and Blood Clotting Information Leaflet

 

Byhowbeck

Bowel Cancer: Do you know the signs and Symptoms to look out for?

April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. Bowel Cancer is the second biggest UK’s killer cancer but that doesn’t need to be the case as it is treatable and curable, especially when diagnosed at an early stage.

Symptoms can include:

  • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo

There are several possible causes of bleeding from your bottom or blood in your bowel movements (poo). Bright red blood may come from swollen blood vessels (haemorrhoids or piles) in your back passage. It may also be caused by bowel cancer. Dark red or black blood may come from your bowel or stomach. Tell your doctor about any bleeding so they can find out what is causing it.

  • A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit

Tell your GP if you have noticed any persistent and unexplained changes in your bowel habit, especially if you also have bleeding from your back passage. You may have looser poo and you may need to poo more often than normal. Or you may feel as though you’re not going to the toilet often enough or you might not feel as though you’re not fully emptying your bowels.

  • Unexplained weight loss

This is less common than some of the other symptoms. Speak to your GP if you have lost weight and you don’t know why. You may not feel like eating if you feel sick, bloated or if you just don’t feel hungry.

  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason

Bowel cancer may lead to a lack of iron in the body, which can cause anaemia (lack of red blood cells). If you have anaemia, you are likely to feel very tired and your skin may look pale.

  • A pain or lump in your tummy

You may have pain or a lump in your stomach area (abdomen) or back passage. See your GP if these symptoms don’t go away or if they’re affecting how you sleep or eat.

Most people with these symptoms don’t have bowel cancer, there are many other health problems that can cause similar symptoms such as piles, constipation, anal fissures or IBS.

If you have any symptoms, don’t be embarrassed and don’t ignore them – book an appointment with your GP.

For more information and advice visit Bowel Cancer UK

Byhowbeck

April is Stress Awareness Month

A bit of stress is normal and can help push you to do something new or challenging, but too much stress can take its toll.

Lots of things in life can cause stress such as work, relationships, money and sometimes these kinds of stresses can affect how you feel, think and behave. It can have an effect on your sleep, your mood and even your general health.

This weeks aim is to encourage us all to take stock of how we feel and make changes to our lifestyle to help reduce stress levels. For many, self-help will vastly reduce our stresses, but others may need professional help.

Below are several self-help tips you can try to combat stress:

Get Active – Being physically active releases feelgood hormones called endorphins which can help you sleep and feel better.

Talk – Spend some time with friends and family and relax. You might even want to tell them how you’re feeling, and they may offer some practical advice.

Take Control – Try and find a solution to the problem.

Challenge Yourself – Set yourself a new challenge or goal such as walking 10,000 steps a day or learning something new.

Take some time for yourself – Put some time aside to do the things that make you feel good, whether its going for a walk or simply having a relaxing bath.

Write it down – Try writing down your worries. This process can help clear your mind and ease your tension.

You can find more information on coping with stress on the One You website or for information and advice about mental health concerns you can visit Mind.

If self-help isn’t working for you and you find that stress is interfering with your daily life, then talk to your GP.

Byhowbeck

Practice Closure for Easter Bank Holiday

Please be aware that GP Practices close for the Easter Bank Holidays which are on Friday 2nd April (Good Friday) and Monday 5th April (Bank Holiday Monday).

If you need medical advice during this period you can:

Visit your pharmacy – Your local pharmacy can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints. Visit nhs.uk to find a pharmacy open near you.

Use NHS 111 – If you need urgent medical advice but your condition is not life threatening. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and you can access either online or by calling 111 from your landline or mobile (all calls are free).

Dial 999 – for a genuine medical emergency including; loss of consciousness, acute confused state and fits that are not stopping, persistent and/or severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding that cannot be stopped dial 999.

Byhowbeck

National Covid Vaccination Programme

Alrewas surgery is participating in the national Covid Vaccination programme. 

Covid vaccination appointments are by invitation ONLY and patients will get their invitation either via NHS letter sent directly to you or via contact from the surgery (text message with link or a call from a member of the surgery team). 

You can use either method.  If you get a letter or a text, please do not wait and act on it as soon as possible. This is because vaccines deliveries are allocated nationally and timescales for deliveries vary. All vaccinations have to be given to patients following the strict guidance from the government. The priority order can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-care-home-and-healthcare-settings-posters/covid-19-vaccination-first-phase-priority-groups

The surgery link is for bookings at Pirelli Stadium or Uttoxeter Racecourse.  We are not able to book appointments at Whitemoor Lakes or any of the other centres.

If you are listed as housebound on our records, the surgery will contact you to book your vaccination at your home. If we have given you your first vaccination, we will invite you to your second within 12 weeks.  If you have had your first vaccination elsewhere, you should have your second at the same location unless there are extenuating circumstances (e.g. you have moved a significant distance or have become housebound during the 12 weeks)

Patients can also book online via the NHS Covid vaccination site if they are eligible. Book here.

Please do not call to ask surgery staff to book you for a Covid appointment nor ask when you are likely to be invited.  We will contact you when it is your turn. Many Thanks.

Byhowbeck

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/.