Health news for June 2020

Asthma
Over the coming months, we’ll be contacting patients to arrange follow-up annual appointments for those who suffer with Asthma. These appointments might take a slightly different format. Please don’t delay making an appointment if you’re currently struggling with your Asthma; we do have appointments available. https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/triggers/coronavirus-covid-19/
If you regularly take medication for Asthma, please check you have enough medication and consider signing up for online prescription requests
COPD
We’re still reviewing patients with chronic conditions to ensure you are well looked after. If you have COPD, we’ll still be doing annual checks, though they may run slightly differently. In the meantime, if you’re feeling unwell, please do contact us as we do have appointments available. https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/copd
If you regularly take medication for COPD, please check you have enough medication and consider signing up for online prescription requests.
Childhood imms
We’re still offering routine childhood vaccinations. It’s really important to ensure your children are kept up to date with their immunisations to help prevent them from becoming unwell with serious illnesses. Appointments and waiting procedures may be different from normal. If you’re coming to the surgery, please ensure that only you and your child attend the appointment.
Cervical screening
We’re able to offer routine cervical screening appointments. Things may look a little different when you come in, but we’re keen to make sure we keep women up to date with their smear tests. If you’re having any unexplained bleeding or other concerning symptoms, please don’t wait to be invited for a routine smear. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-screening/
Blood pressure
If you have high blood pressure and need a check, we’ll be in touch in the coming months to ensure your checks and any medication are up to date. https://www.heart.org/en/health-top…re/why-high-blood-pressure-is-a-silent-killer
If you regularly take medication for high blood pressure, please check you have enough medication and consider signing up for online prescription requests.
Stroke and TIA
A&E departments have seen a reduction in people seeking help for a suspected Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack. If you have symptoms, including problems with smiling or a drooping face, difficulty raising and keeping one or both arms lifted, or difficulties with speech or understanding what someone else is saying to you, please call 999. https://www.stroke.org.uk/
If you’ve had symptoms of a drooping face, difficulty lifting one or both arms, or difficulties with speech or understanding speech which lasted less than 24 hours and you did not attend hospital at the time, please make an urgent appointment to see the GP. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/transient-ischaemic-attack-tia
For patients who have had a stroke or TIA, we’ll be running annual checks, although they may work slightly differently from normal. If you have new symptoms of stroke or TIA, please dial 999. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stroke/
Diabetes
If you normally have a diabetic review, this will still go ahead, although it may be different from the way you are used to. If you have any current symptoms which you’re concerned about, please contact the surgery – we do have appointments available. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/
If you regularly take medication for Diabetes, please check you have enough medication and consider signing up for online prescription requests.
Dementia
If we normally see you yearly about dementia, we’ll still be contacting you to discuss how you’re feeling. We might ring you or arrange a video call instead of your normal face-to-face appointment. This is nothing to worry about. If you’re finding things a struggle in the meantime, please do make an appointment to discuss your concerns.
Depression
Coronavirus and the ‘Stay at Home’ order might have been very hard on your mental well-being. If you’re struggling, you can make an appointment to speak to a GP; we do have appointments available.https://www.gov.uk/government/publi…for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing
If you’re finding it more difficult than usual to stay positive, the Mental Health Foundation has advice on ways to look after your mental health: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus
If you’re feeling down and struggling to enjoy life, you might be suffering from depression. Have a look at the advice here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/clinical-depression/symptoms/
Mental health
If you have a diagnosed mental health condition, for which we normally review you annually, we’ll still want to have a chat with you to find out how you’re managing. You don’t need to wait for your annual review if you’re finding things difficult though. https://www.mind.org.uk/
Cancer
If you’re concerned about symptoms you’re experiencing and want to speak to the GP about these, please don’t delay your appointment because you’re worried about coronavirus. We’re doing everything we can to keep our patients safe, using remote consultations where we can. We don’t want you to delay talking to us if you’re worried
If you think you may have symptoms of cancer, please don’t delay making a GP appointment; we’re here to support you. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer, we want to support you and will be contacting you over the coming weeks and months to see how you’re doing. If you have any concerns in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact us
Rheumatoid Arthritis
We know that patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis may be finding life challenging. We’re making sure we contact patients who need a review, even though the review might be done remotely. If you need to speak to us before your review is due, please don’t worry about calling us. https://www.nras.org.uk
If you regularly take medication for your Rheumatoid Arthritis, please check you have enough medication and consider signing up for online prescription requests.
Smoking
Please don’t be offended if one of our team asks if you’re a smoker. Even though coronavirus has changed the way we work, we’re still trying to ensure the best health outcomes for our patients
With life in lockdown, you might think that now is an ideal time to quit smoking. With fewer social cues for smoking habits, you might find quitting easier. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stop-smoking-treatments/
Coronavirus related
The government have now updated their guidance to wear face coverings in public where social distancing isn’t possible. We’ve found this handy page with templates and instructions to show you how to make a mask quite easily: https://www.gathered.how/sewing-and-quilting/sewing/how-to-make-a-face-mask-2-ways-to-sew-your-own
Now that we’re able to get out and about more, we want to remind you that hand-washing is more important than wearing gloves for preventing the spread of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) https://fullfact.org/online/Coronavirus-Glove
When you’re washing your hands, are you sure you’re doing it right? https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands
If you have young children, this video might help them to remember how to wash their hands properly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9VjeIWLnEg
Coronavirus has changed our daily lives more than we could ever have imagined. It’s really important to look after our mental health when things are challenging. https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-covid-19-staying-at-home-tips
If you’re an older person who needs support or companionship, Age UK offers advice and support. https://www.ageuk.org.uk/
Mental health and anxiety
We’ve had more patients asking to speak to us because they’re feeling anxious. If you’re finding it hard to manage your anxiety and are worried about the effects of releasing the restrictions, you might find this information from Anxiety UK helpful: https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/blog/post-lockdown-anxiety/
The NHS has developed ‘Your Mind Plan’ to help you develop a plan to improve your mental health and well-being. You answer questions to identify key issues and then you’ll be provided with a plan to help you move forward; you can even tailor parts of the plan to fit your own goals. https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/your-mind-plan-quiz/
Social distancing
While governments across the UK may be easing restrictions, it’s still important to maintain social distancing. Staying 2 metres apart and regular, effective handwashing are proven to reduce the spread of the virus: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/staying-at-home-to-avoid-getting-coronavirus/staying-at-home-and-away-from-other-people
UK governments have reduced the restrictions on people, but while restrictions are gradually lifting, it’s important to remember that at the moment the advice across the UK remains to stay outdoors if meeting others from outside your own household. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-52416541
Effects of isolation
‘Insider’ has an interesting article on the effects of isolation. With those who are shielding and those who live alone feeling the effects of this more than ever, the new ability to go outdoors may mean an improvement in mental health for some. https://www.insider.com/how-social-isolation-affects-mental-health
Hot weather management
As lockdown continues, and socialising is limited to being outdoors, many people will be spending more time outdoors than normal. The NHS has useful advice on managing in hot weather which is particularly helpful at the moment: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather/
While the prospect of a flight abroad might seem like a distant dream, the UK is experiencing unusually hot weather for the time of year, so please stay safe and use sun cream. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/sunscreen-and-sun-safety/
Make sure you’re well hydrated in hot weather. If you’re feeling thirsty, you’ve already lost some of the fluid your body needs. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/water-drinks-nutrition/

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