Read our Newsletter - The Baldock Surgery

The Baldock Surgery
Dr Thomas and Partners
Winter 2015
Surgery News
Did you know?
Staff Notices:
You can book appointments,
and request repeat
prescriptions online at
Shortly you will also be able
to view certain health records.
We are pleased to announce
We are sad to report that
Dr Elizabeth Castell passed
away on the 22 January
2015. She retired as the
senior partner of this
practice in 1990. She will
To activate your online account
be remembered by many of
please present a form of
our patients. The service is
identification at reception.
that Michele has been
promoted to Deputy Team
Leader in Reception.
Our receptionist Matthew has
left the surgery and we wish
him well for the future.
at Harwood Park on Friday
13th February at 4.15pm
Did you know?
That on selected Tuesdays,
Wednesdays and Thursdays we
Car Park
have extended hours surgeries.
(this is currently under review)
These appointments are only
available to book in advance.
As you are aware the car park does not belong to the
surgery and therefore please
DO NOT PARK beyond the new sign
Have you made sure that we
have your up to date mobile
number and email address?
That way we can keep you up
to date with all your
appointments and any
surgery news. Just check with
Telephones and Text
However, if you hang up before
The Surgery’s new telephone
Please bear with us as we answer
system queues all of our incoming
all telephone calls as quickly as
telephone calls.
we have answered the call you will
lose your place in the queue.
Our reception staff work hard to give you an
appointment when you would like it but it is the
doctors who design the appointment system
Seasonal Advice
We are hoping that in each
newsletter some of the practice
Doctors will provide some
seasonal advice:
complications e.g. pneumonia or
bronchitis, ensure you have a flu
vaccination each year.
People at risk of complications
following flu are:1.
Colds and Flu
All people aged 65 years and
Autumn and winter sees a rise in the
All pregnant women
number of patients suffering with
All children aged 2-4 years (a
colds and flu-like illnesses.
Both are caused by viruses though
nasal flu vaccine is offered)
there are many more viruses that cause
All people with one or more
of the following:-
Serious heart or chest
Symptoms can be similar but flu is
problems, including those
usually much more severe. You are
requiring inhaled steroids for
likely to be bed bound for some days.
Sneezing, coughing, headache and
sore throat are common to both but flu
Serious kidney or liver
will usually come on much more
quickly and is associated with a
Lowered immunity due to
persistent high fever (38-40C˚), muscle
aches and pains, sweating, dry cough
and exhaustion.
illness or treatment
Stroke or transient ischaemic
attack (TIA)
A cold will be less severe and start
Children aged 6 months – 17 years
with a runny nose with clear mucus to
who fall into one or more of the risk
start, becoming thicker and green as
groups are offered a nasal vaccine.(If
the cold progresses. Earache, tiredness
they have an allergy to the nasal
and mild fever are commonly seen.
vaccine the injectable vaccine is offered
If you are generally fit and healthy you
as an alternative).
can usually manage the symptoms
Rest and drink plenty of non-alcoholic
fluids to prevent dehydration.
Decongestants can help with a runny
nose but must be stopped after a week
of use. Paracetamol or ibuprofen can
help with the aches and pains.
When you cough or sneeze remember
to use a tissue and throw it away as
soon as possible. Wash your hands
If you have a medical condition that
puts you at a higher risk of developing
Babies under 6 months of age cannot
receive the flu vaccine –it is
recommended that their mother
protects them by having the vaccine
whilst pregnant.
Please speak to reception if
you need a flu vaccination.
Shingles Vaccine
What is shingles?
It is a common disease that can
cause long-lasting, severe pain,
has been known to cause
permanent disability, occurs
more frequently in those over
70 who are also more likely to
have worse symptoms.
The Vaccine
The vaccine is expected to
reduce significantly the
number of cases, will reduce
symptoms in vaccinated
people if they still develop the
disease, and has been used
extensively in the USA and
Who will get the vaccine?
New criteria from September
If you were born on or
between the dates below you
will be eligible for this vaccine
2 Sept 1943 to 1 Sept 1944
2 Sept 1935 to 1 Sept 1936
2 Sept 1934 to 1 Sept 1935
Further information
Speak to your GP or practice
nurse, for further information
before or after you’ve had the
vaccination. You can also visit
the NHS choices website at
Please speak to reception to
book your shingles
Nurse Bernadette and
the practice nurse team.
Norovirus, sometimes known as the
winter vomiting bug, is the most
common stomach bug in the UK. The
virus is highly contagious. It can affect
people of all ages and causes vomiting
and diarrhoea.
There is no specific cure for norovirus,
so you have to let it run is course.
Although having norovirus can be
unpleasant, it is not usually dangerous
and most people make a full recovery
within a couple of days without
having to see their GP.
Symptoms of norovirus
The first sign of norovirus is usually
suddenly feeling sick followed by
forceful vomiting and watery
Some people may also have:
A raised temperature
(over 28 C/ 100.4 F)
Painful stomach cramps
Aching limbs
Drink plenty of water to avoid
dehydration, other suitable drinks
include squash and fruit juice. If you
find it difficult to keep fluids down,
try taking small frequent sips to keep
yourself hydrated. If you are worried
you are becoming dehydrated, you can
buy sachets of rehydration powders
from your pharmacy which you add to
water. Babies and young children can
still drink milk.
Take paracetamol for any fever or
aches and pains
If you feel like eating, eat foods that
are easy to digest
Stay at home – do not go to see your
GP because norovirus is contagious
and there is nothing your GP can do
Contact your GP to seek advice if your
symptoms last longer than a few days
or you already have a serious illness.
Preventing norovirus spreading
Norovirus is easily spread. If an
infected person does not wash their
hands before handling food, they can
pass the virus on to others. You can
dehydration from your body losing
also catch it by touching contaminated
water and salts from vomiting and
surfaces or objects
Follow the measures below to help
Thirst is the first sign of dehydration.
prevent the virus spreading.
Dizziness or light-headedness
Dry mouth, lips and eyes
Dark concentrated urine
Only passing small amounts
of urine (less than three or
four times a day)
Mild dehydration is common and can
Wash your hands frequently
Do not share towels and
Disinfect surfaces that an
infected person has touched
If you have norovirus, you may
continue to be infected for a short
period after your symptoms stop. You
and direct contact with others for at
have plenty to drink.
least 48 hours after your symptoms
The young and elderly are more at risk
have disappeared.
of becoming dehydrated. It is therefore
Avoid visiting hospitals if you have
important that you speak to a doctor if
had typical symptoms of norovirus in
you think your child or an elderly
the past 72 hours. Norovirus is more
relative is becoming dehydrated.
serious and more easily spread among
Treating Norovirus
people that are already ill.
below to help your symptoms
The surgery can offer the
following travel vaccinations
Tetanus, Diptheria, Polio,
Hepatitis A and Typhoid
If you think you will need
vaccinations before travel
please find out which vaccines
you will need before booking
an appointment with the nurse.
You can find out which
vaccines are suggested for
each country by visiting either:
should therefore avoid preparing food
easily be reversed by making sure you
If you have norovirus, follow the steps
Once you have
registered for our
online services you
are now able to
request repeat
prescriptions online.
It takes us a
minimum of 2
working days (Mon to
Fri) to process your
while you have it
The main risk from norovirus is
Other signs include:
Dr. Somani and Partners
Travel vaccinations should be
given at least 4 weeks before
NHS Health Check
National No Smoking Day
11th March 2015
Over 10 million people in the UK still smoke, and around 100,000 die
every year from smoking-related causes. That’s 100,000 deaths too
for people aged 75 years or
This health check is being offered
to assess your risk of developing
conditions that effect older
people, such as stroke and
memory problems. If there are
The campaign is run by the British Heart Foundation, and helps
smokers who want to quit by creative a supportive environment, and by
highlighting the many sources of help and advice available.
any warning signs together we
can do something about it.
The check lasts approx. 20
minutes and is based on straight
forward questions and
measurements such as age,
height, weight and blood
pressure. Following your check
Medication Reviews
The ‘Review Date’: you will see at the
Late Arrivals
acts as a reminder to both you and the
doctor that you may need to meet
again in a consultation to review the
medication and the problem it is
treating. This may, in some cases, be a
reminder to us both that a blood test is
due, or perhaps a blood pressure check
with the nurse. Its purpose will vary
with each individual patient. Its main
aim is to act as a trigger for both the
doctor and patient to consider the
need for any such action.
advice about what you can do to
stay healthy.
bottom of a repeat request slip that
there is a ‘Review Date’ given. This
you will receive personalized
Please be aware that if you
arrive late or call to advise
you will be late, then you
may be asked to rebook, if it
is imperative that you are
seen that day then you may
be added at the end of
surgery or you could be put
on the Duty Doctor’s call
back list for a triage
appointment - however
this at the Doctors
If you would like a health check
please come to reception to book
an appointment.
Did you know?
We need a minimum of 2 working
days to process prescriptions. We
need time to print them, check
them and get them signed before
we can file them ready for you to
collect. Any non-routine requests
or amendments, or if your review
date has passed may take longer.
If you submit a repeat request after the
We accept requests in person,
‘Review Date’ has passed, the doctor
online, by post or fax.
will be alerted to the request, rather
than it being processed automatically.
This system works as a good ‘safety
Some local pharmacies will
process your prescription for you
so all you need to do is collect
net’. If you are not sure what action is
your medication. Ask at your
necessary with a pending ‘Review
local pharmacy for details
Date’, please discuss this with your
doctor or nurse.
Some of the services
available at Baldock
We offer a wide variety of services
these include:
Nursing Clinics
The practice nurses can help you with:
Blood pressure checks
Warfarin clinic
Cervical smears
Family planning advice
Repeat contraceptive pill checks and
Minor injuries and ailments
Dietary advice
Ear syringing
Travel vaccinations
Childhood immunisations
Removal of stitches
Removal of clips
Respiratory Clinic: Asthma and COPD
A doctor and nurse with special
interest and training in asthma, COPD
(Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary
Disease) and certain other respiratory
conditions run this clinic jointly. It
aims to help diagnose, treat and
monitor patients with asthma and
respiratory problems with a heavy
emphasis on patient education and
self-management plans. The clinic has
special lung function testing
equipment (spirometry) available.
Patients are generally referred to this
clinic by their doctor, but if you have
asthma or COPD and have never been
to this clinic then please feel free to
make an appointment yourself. If you
have an appointment at the respiratory
clinic please bring any inhalers or peak
flow meters you have been given with
you to your appointment.
Diabetic Clinic
The aim of this clinic is to help
diagnose, treat and monitor patients
with non-insulin dependent diabetes,
with the aim of optimising control of
blood sugar levels and preventing or
minimising, as much as possible, the
damage done by the disease. As with
the respiratory clinic, there is a heavy
emphasis on patient education and
self-management plans.
A nurse with special interest and
training in this field runs this clinic.
All insulin-dependent diabetics
continue to be looked after by hospitalbased clinics.
Coronary Heart Disease Clinic
This clinic is dedicated to the
management of patients with
established coronary heart disease.
Also, patients with a high risk of
developing this condition, such as
those with cholesterol and blood
pressure problems, may benefit from
careful monitoring, advice and
treatment. A doctor and nurse who
both have special interest and
expertise in this area run this clinic.
Minor Surgery Clinic
We provide a service to our patients
whereby various minor surgical
procedures and operations can be
performed in the practice, saving
referrals to hospital. This should help
to reduce hospital waiting lists, and be
more convenient for our patients. The
service includes various procedures,
such as removing lumps and bumps
on the skin, cryotherapy (freezing),
some joint injections and removal of
ingrowing toe nails. Please ask your
doctor for details.
We have a visiting dietician at the
surgery. Please speak to your doctor or
practice nurse who can arrange an
appointment for you where necessary.
The practice nurses can also give
dietary advice.
We have a visiting phlebotomist who
takes blood samples for us. Please try
to see the phlebotomist for blood tests
rather than the nurse whenever
possible. This can then free up nursing
Other Services and Attached Staff
These services and the staff providing
them are not based in the surgery but
function very much as part of the same
team with surgery-based staff.
We have access to a limited
physiotherapy service. This is
currently based at the Community
Physiotherapy Department in
Letchworth. Access to this is by a
referral from your doctor.
Community Nurses
These nurses have great expertise in
providing nursing care and advice in
the home. If you are house or bed
bound and need nursing help then
your doctor can arrange for a
community nurse to see you at home.
For patients needing community
nursing care after discharge from
hospital, this should be arranged
directly by the hospital, prior to
discharge. Please contact the surgery,
however, if any problems arise in
planned community nursing input
after a hospital stay.
They can be contacted by telephone on
07818421164 during normal working
hours, or via your doctor or practice
Health Visitors
The Health Visitor is a qualified nurse
who has undergone additional
training, particularly with regard to
child health and the promotion of
good health within the family and
community. They are happy to give
any advice you need in these areas.
They are based at the Park Drive
Health Centre (next to Tesco) and can
be contacted there or by telephone on
01462 892274 during normal working
To access any of these services please
discuss with your doctor
From October 2014 to December 2014
The practice received 30768 telephone calls
We issued 13802 prescriptions
Out of 7339 available appointments
92.2% of patients attended their appointments.
Thank you
Dates for Your Diary
CLOSED - 3nd February 2015 – 1pm onwards
CLOSED – 10TH February 12.30 – 2pm
The surgery will be closed due to staff training.
If you require medical advice please dial 111
Surgery Information
Opening Times
Monday to Friday
8:15am to 6:30pm
Appointments: 01462 892463
(Lines are open 8:15am to 12:15pm and 2:00pm to 6:30pm)
Enquires, home visits and results: 01462 892458
(No appointments can be made on this line)
Fax: 01462 490821
Please note all incoming and outgoing calls at the surgery are recorded
Health visitors: 01462 892274 (available during office hours)
District Nurses: 07818421164 (available during office hours)