Category Archive News

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Don’t Let Embarrassment Stop You from Getting Your Smear Test!

This week is Cervical Cancer Prevention week, a week dedicated to reminding ladies to book their smear tests and not to be embarrassed about the process.

Cervical screening prevents 75% of cervical cancers from developing, yet one in four women in the UK don’t attend.

Cervical Screening is the method of detecting abnormal cells on the cervix. Being screened regularly means any abnormal changes in the cells can be identified and if necessary, treated to stop cancer developing.

All women in the UK aged 25 to 49 are invited for a screening test every three years and those aged 50 to 64 are invited every five years.

What happens when you go for your cervical screening?

The screening test usually takes around 5 minutes to carry out.

You’ll be asked to undress from the waist down and lie on a couch, although you can remain fully dressed if you are wearing a loose skirt/dress.

The nurse or doctor will gently put an instrument called a speculum into your vagina, this holds the walls of the vagina open so the cervix can be seen.

The nurse or doctor will then use a small soft brush to gently collect some cells from the surface of your cervix. Although the procedure can be a little uncomfortable, it shouldn’t be painful. However, if you do find it painful let the doctor or nurse know as they may be able to reduce your discomfort.

Once the sample is taken, the doctor or nurse will close the curtain allowing you to dress whilst they prepare the sample to be sent off to the laboratory.

The cell sample is then sent off to a laboratory for analysis and you should receive the result within 2 weeks.

Many women are nervous and embarrassed about the process of cervical screening, but there is no need to be, nurses and doctors carry out these tests every day.
You can minimise your worries when you book your appointment by requesting a female nurse or doctor to carry out the test. You are also welcome to bring a chaperone to your appointment too.

More information about cervical screening can be found at:
NHS Choices website 
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

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Stay Warm and Well During the Cold Snap

With the cold weather setting in this week, it’s important to take extra care to make sure you stay fit and healthy. Those with long-term respiratory problems need to take extra care as the damp, cold conditions can make you more vulnerable to catching those pesky winter bugs.

If you start to feel unwell, even if it’s a cough or a cold, don’t wait until it gets more serious. Seek advice from your Pharmacist.

Follow these simple tips below to help you and your loved ones to stay fit and well over this cold snap.

  • Try and keep your home heated to at least 18C.
  • Draw your curtains at dusk and keep doors closed to block out draughts
  • Wear several layers of clothes rather than 1 chunky layer. Clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres help to maintain body heat.
  • Have at least one hot meal a day. Eating regularly helps keep you warm.
  • Have hot drinks regularly throughout the day.
  • Stay active – even moderate exercise can help keep you warm.
  • Wrap a scarf loosely around your mouth, wear a hat and shoes with good grip when outdoors.
  • If you have a heart or respiratory problem, stay indoors during very cold weather.
  • Check in on elderly relatives and neighbours. If you are concerned about a relative or an elderly neighbour, contact your local council or ring the Age UK helpline on 0800 00 99 66.

If you need help with heating costs, you may be able to claim financial and practical help with heating your home. Grants available include the Winter Fuel Payment and the Cold Weather Payment.

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Get Your Flu Jab Following Rise in Cases

There has been a rise in the number of flu cases in the local area, therefore we are urging patients living in South Cheshire and Vale Royal that it is not too late to get their flu vaccination.

Latest reports from Public Health England show that flu is now circulating in the local area and a small but growing number of cases have been confirmed by Leighton Hospital in Crewe.

A flu vaccine is available free of charge for anyone over the age of 65, pregnant women, those with a serious long-term health condition, those living in a long-stay residential care home, and those who receive a carer’s allowance/are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person.

If you are eligible for the flu vaccine on the NHS, contact your GP Practice now to book.

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NHS 111 Now Available Online

NHS 111 is now available online, providing people with fast and convenient access to urgent health advice digitally.

NHS 111 online offers people an alternative to the 111 phone service, as well as helping to manage increasing demand on the telephone service – but please note it does not replace the phone service.

How does it work

To access the service simply visit 111.nhs.uk, enter your age, sex, postcode and main symptom, and then you will be guided through a series of questions about your health problems.

At the end of the questions you will be given advice about the best course of action to take next, which could be:

  • information on how to get the right healthcare in your area, including whether you need to see a GP or seek urgent care
  • advice on self-care
  • In most areas, get a call back from a nurse, doctor or other trained health professional if you need it.
NHS 111 Online Advert
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Is Your First Aid Kit Ready for Winter?

Now is the perfect time to check your first aid kit is well stocked for Winter to help you and your family self care for minor illnesses and injuries. There are a number of things you can have in your first aid kit for any such eventualities:

  • Thermometer
  • Painkillers such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen (or infant paracetamol for children)
  • Cough medicine
  • Cold and flu relief drinks or capsules
  • Throat lozenges
  • Diarrhoea relief
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Antihistamine tablets
  • Plasters
  • Tweezers
  • Sterile gauze dressings
  • Bandages
  • Alcohol-free cleansing wipes

Your local Pharmacy is a great place to stock up on all the above items and you can find your nearest one and view their opening hours at NHS Choices.

Please remember to make sure your first aid kit is kept in a cool, dry place out of the reach of children.

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New Phone System

Earnswood Medical Centre have recently installed a new phone system for our patients.

When you now call the surgery, you will be given four options to choose from to direct you to the correct staff member. These are:

Press 1 for appointments
Press 2 for prescriptions
Press 3 for results
Press 4 for cancellations

You will notice that currently there is no option for ‘queries’. We are looking into adding this as an option shortly but in the meantime, if you have a query you would like to discuss please press option 1.

Many thanks
Earnswood Medical Centre

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Self Care for Life

This week is Self Care Week, an annual national awareness week that focuses on supporting self care across communities, families and generations. This year’s theme is ‘Choose Self Care for Life’.

Empowering individuals to self care has many benefits for their short term and long-term health and this is important since people are living longer. Helping people to look after their own health, and their family’s health also helps to manage demand on health services.

Self care is about looking after yourself in a healthy way, that can be anything from brushing your teeth, doing some exercise, managing common illnesses such as headaches and colds or living with a long-term condition such as asthma.

As a self care aware practice, we are here to help you feel able to look after your own health when its right got you. So, when you come in for a consultation, the doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants in this practice will talk to you about what you can do to help maintain and improve your health.

You can find out more information about self care on the Self Care Forum website.

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Antibiotics are not always the answer

Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them can make you become resistant to the, which means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them.

If you or a family member feel unwell, have a cold or flu and you haven’t been prescribed antibiotics, there are some effective self-care ways to help you feel better:

  • Ask your Pharmacist to recommend medicines to help with symptoms or pain
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Make sure you or your child drink enough to avoid feeling thirsty
  • Fever is a sign the body is fighting the infection and usually gets better by itself in most cases
  • You can use paracetamol if you or your child are uncomfortable as a result of a fever
  • Make sure you use a tissue for your nose and wash your hands frequently to avoid spreading your infection to family and friends

How long should my symptoms last for?
Here are a few guidelines to help you judge how long some common illnesses and symptoms should last for: Common illnesses Most people are better by Earache (middle ear infection) 8 days Sore throat 7–8 days Sinusitis (adults only) 14–21 days Cold 14 days Cough or bronchitis 21 days.

Common Illnesses Most people are better by
Earache (Middle ear infection) 8 days
Sore throat 7 – 8 days
Sinusitis (adults only) 14 – 21 days
Cold 14 days
Cough or bronchitis 21 days

If you’re not starting to feel better by these guide times, contact your GP or call NHS 111.

For more information, and what signs you need to look out for which may be symptoms of a more serious conditions, download Public Health Englands Antibiotics Leaflet