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Newsletter Autumn 2015

FLU – Every year? Why?

Preventing Infectious Diseases

We thought we would write to tell all our patients about current vaccination programmes.

Shingles for patients aged 70-72 or 78-79

Flu for patients over 65 or in an at risk group

Flu for children aged 2-5 years old

Flu for pregnant women

Meningitis for young adults starting university

Meningitis for babies

We believe vaccinations have an important part to play preventing illness, but some patients choose, especially for their children, not to take up the offer. It may be tempting to say "no" to vaccination and "leave it to nature".

However, deciding not to vaccinate could put you or your child at risk of catching a range of potentially serious, even fatal, diseases

For more information or to find out if you are eligible speak to one of the practice nurses.

Asthma

Winter is approaching and we would encourage all our patients with asthma to have their annual flu vaccination and review their Asthma Action

Plans they have created with Sharon, our Asthma

Specialist Nurse. Please check you have ordered your medications including inhalers and your spacer and peak flow metres are ready for use. http://www.asthma.org.uk/resources#AdultDownloads

The Flu virus is clever and can change itself so In

February each year, the World Health

Organization (WHO) assesses the strains of flu virus that are most likely to be circulating in the northern hemisphere over the following winter.

Based on this assessment, WHO recommends which three flu strains the vaccines should contain for the forthcoming winter. Vaccine manufacturers then produce flu vaccines based on WHO's recommendations. These flu jabs are used in all the countries in the northern hemisphere, not just the UK and as they change they do need to be given every year.

For most flu vaccines, the three strains of the viruses are grown in hens' eggs. The viruses are killed (deactivated) and purified before being made into the vaccine.

Because the injected flu vaccine is a killed vaccine, it cannot cause flu.

For most people, flu is limited to being an unpleasant illness.

However, for the very young,

pregnant women, the elderly and those suffering from long-term health

conditions, flu can be serious. Our own Royal

College of GPs tells us ‘all pregnant women

should be strongly encouraged to have flu

immunisation’. There is good evidence that pregnant women have a higher chance of developing complications if they get flu, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy.

The Children's flu vaccine, a nasal spray rather than an injection is being extended to include 2, 3 and 4-year-olds, and children in school years one and two.

Help protect your family against Flu, ask

Reception for details of the Flu Clinics

.

Meningitis

On average 3,400 people are infected with

Meningitis every year in the UK. One in 10 will die. In a third of cases it results in a permeant disability; loss of limbs, deafness or brain damage.

Meningitis is caused by a bacterial or viral infection, resulting in inflammation on the

Meninges - the membrane which covers and protects the brain.

Nurse Lucy Anning who is a patient at Grosvenor place surgery suffered from Meningitis at the start of the year. She is now trying to raise awareness of the disease.

‘On 28th February I was working a night shift when I experienced a terrible headache and earache, having suffered with flu like symptoms all week I asked to go home.

Once at home I managed to fall asleep waking a few hours later with the worse pain in my head I have every experienced, I could barely move. My mother immediately called 111. A short time later a paramedic arrived, my last memory is of him asking me questions and not being able to answer. I then passed out and began seizing.

I was rushed to the RUH in Bath where the

Consultant in A and E told my Mother he suspected I had Meningitis and began treating me with antibiotics straight away. I believe his quick response helped to save my life.

I am still living with the after effects of this disease but know that I am one of the lucky survivors.

Meningitis is a terrible disease that can affect anyone although it is most common in babies and children under five. I would urge all who are eligible to receive the vaccine.’ It is important that people realise vaccines don't prevent all forms of the disease so awareness is just as important as it has ever been. Trust your instincts and get medical help as soon as possible if you or a loved one displays any signs of meningitis.

Signs and symptoms

Headaches Neck stiffness

Ear ache Limb/ joint pain

Shivering Cold hands and feet

Temperature (may be absent in babies)

Vomiting (sometimes diarrhoea)

Rash (this is a later sign and not always present)

Lethargy / Drowsy or Vacant

Confusion (or irritability in babies)

Dislike of bright lights

For more information you can contact the

Meningitis Research Foundation on 0800

88003344 or find out more through their website www.meningitis.org

Online Services and Medical Records

If you register for online services, you are able to interact with the practice in a different way, you can book appointments and order prescriptions at a time that suits you or view a summary of your patient medical record online.

Later this year, we will be extending the information you are able to see. It is hoped that by making more of the medical record available to patients before the consultation, the discussion between doctor and patient can be more productive for both parties and encourage patients to take greater responsibility for their own care

.

This is something we at Grosvenor feel is very important especially when the NHS will have to meet the needs of an increasing elderly population in the future.

T’ai Chi

Can improve physical performance of patients with certain chronic conditions without exacerbating their pain or making them breathless, concludes a systematic review published in the British Journal of Sports

Medicine. The Chinese martial art t’ai chi consists of slow, gentle, and flowing movements that involve strengthening, balance, postural alignment, mind concentration, relaxation, and breath control. Local classes are available through

Age UK 18 Kingsmead Square, t 01225 466 135

Grosvenor Place Surgery www.grosvenorplacesurgery.co.uk

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