Practice News

21st May

Infected Blood Inquiry

Following recent media coverage about the Infected Blood Inquiry, we understand that some people may be concerned about their own health.

Please see the dedicated NHS webpage for key information about this and signposting on where to find support: https://nhs.uk/infected-blood-support

Since 1991, all blood donated in the UK is screened and distributed by NHS Blood and Transplant following rigorous safety standards and testing to protect both donors and patients.

Since testing has been introduced, the risk of getting an infection from a blood transfusion or blood products is very low.

All blood donors are screened at every donation and every donation is tested before it is sent to hospitals. Blood services and blood safety has been transformed, not only in terms of technological advances in testing but also in the way donors are recruited and checked they are safe to donate.

Given the time that has elapsed since the last use of infected blood products, most of those who were directly affected have been identified and started appropriate treatment. However, there may be a small number of patients where this is not the case, and particularly where they are living with asymptomatic hepatitis C. If you are worried about risk of hepatitis C, you can order a confidential test online through the NHS website: http://hepctest.nhs.uk.

Patients who want more details about the safety of blood from donations in England can find more information here: https://www.blood.co.uk/the-donation-process/further-information/your-safety/ 

Breast screening saves lives, so say yes to breast screening. The risk of breast cancer increases as we get older.
15th May

Breast Screening in Crawley

Breast screening saves lives. If you're a registered female patient aged 50-71, you'll receive appointments automatically. If you're over 71, you can still choose to have a mammogram, but you'll need to call or email to book an appointment.

The breast screening van is still at K2 in Crawley, but they'll be moving on at the end of June.

Contact: 01903 239757 or uhsussex.westsussexbreastscreening@nhs.net

Say yes to breast screening!

New! Extra COPD appointments
13th May

Extra COPD appointments

News! We're partnering with Interface Clinical Services to provide extra care to our patients with COPD. If you have COPD, you may receive a letter or text inviting you to book a face to face appointment with a clinical pharmacist who specialises in COPD. They'll review your inhalers with you, check how you're doing, and answer any questions that you may have about your COPD. If you get an invite, please book an appointment and remember to bring all your inhalers along to your appointment.

This project is funded by GlaxoSmithKline, but we want to assure all of our patients that GSK do *not* have any access to any patient medical records or personal information. The pharmacists are employed by Interface Clinical Services, who work with NHS organisations across the country.

You can read an example of an invitation letter here.

Parveen Khand Tim Wilkins standing in front of Crawley Mosque
9th Apr

Drop in and chat about dementia

Coming up this week! Tim from the Alzheimer's Society and Parveen from Carers Support West Sussex will be visiting Clerklands on Tuesday 9th April and Woodlands on Friday 12th April between 12:30pm and 2pm. They'll be in the waiting room and happy to talk to anyone about either memory concerns, or support for carers. Please feel free to pop in for a chat.

Drop-in session 10am-12pm Saturday 13th January Woodlands Surgery - Living Well With Dementia
5th Jan

Living Well With Dementia - Event Saturday 13th January

Are you from the South Asian community and worried about your memory, or do you have a family member who may be worrying about theirs? We've invited Parveen Khan from Carers Support West Sussex and Tim Wilkins from the Alzheimer's Society to Woodlands Surgery on Saturday 13th January, to chat with anyone who wants to find out more. One of our Healthcare Assistants will also be there for anyone who wants to do a quick memory test.

Who? Any of our patients from the South Asian community who are worried about their memory, or a family member's memory, or just want to find out more about dementia.

Where? Woodlands Surgery, Tilgate

When? Saturday 13th January, 10am-12pm

Do I need an appointment? No, come along any time between 10am and 12pm for a chat and a cup of tea.

How can I find out more? Click here for more information.

LAST FLU CLINICS 9th Dec at Clerklands, 16th Dec at Woodlands
7th Dec 2023

Last flu clinics!

Hurry! Our last flu vaccination clinics are this Saturday and next. If you're eligible and haven't got your jab yet, call us to book as soon as possible!
 
If you can't make our clinics, check the NHS Booking Service for other times and places - but hurry, you only have until 15th December!
Handle Antimicrobials With Care
18th Nov 2023

World AMR Awareness Week - Keep Antibiotics Working

It's World AMR Awareness Week. AMR stands for Antimicrobial Resistance. Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. The World Health Organisation have classed it as one of the top 10 global public health threats.

Why is AMR such a big threat?

Drug-resistant illnesses are becoming more and more common, including drug-resistant pneumonia, urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted infections. "Superbugs" which aren't treatable with existing medications are spreading rapidly across the world. In addition, countries all across the world are experiencing shortages of antibiotics.

If our current antibiotics continue to become less effective, and more superbugs emerge, more people will suffer and die from infections. In particular, medical procedures such as surgery will become much more risky. This would include common surgeries like hip replacements or caesarean sections.

What can you do to help prevent AMR?

  1. Prevent the spread of infections which might need treatment
    • Wash your hands
    • Stay at home when you're ill
    • Wear a mask in crowded spaces, or if you may have a cough or respiratory infection
  2. Take medicines as advised by your doctor or healthcare professional
    • If you are prescribed an antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal or antiparasitic, medication make sure you take the full course of medication as advised. Stopping early, even if you feel better, could mean your illness comes back and requires more treatment.
    • If you have a condition which requires long-term antimicrobial treatment, like HIV or TB, or require long-term antibiotics to prevent infection, such as urinary tract infections or prosthetic joint infections, make sure you continue your treatment to reduce drug resistance.
    • Trust your doctor to know when to prescribe antibiotics. Many winter illnesses are caused by viruses, such as COVID-19, sore throats, and many other common respiratory illnesses. Antibiotics do not work for viral illnesses, and prescribing too many antibiotics can increase antibiotic resistance.
  3. Spread the word!

Where can you find out more?

The World Health Organisation has much more information about AMR on its website.

NHS
3rd Nov 2023

Important information for patients currently on hospital waiting lists

The NHS has been working hard to address the backlogs built up during the COVID pandemic.

To help, the NHS will be contacting patients who have been waiting a long time for hospital treatment. This is to remind people that they can ask to move to a different hospital where they may be seen quicker.

There is now a new website called the Patient Initiated Digital Mutual Aid System, or PIDMAS. If you have been waiting for 40 weeks or more, you can use this website to ask to change hospitals.

If you are eligible, your hospital will send you an SMS text message or a letter, explaining how to ask for a different hospital.

Please do not call the surgery about this, as your GP does not have any information about individual patients.

The hospital will contact you if you are eligible. Please do not contact them either.

You can find more information on hospital websites, like this one from the Royal Surrey County Hospital.

An outline of lungs on a blue background
11th Sep 2023

Lung Health Checks - invitations going out

If you're aged between 55-74 and have ever smoked, you will soon receive an invitation letter from InHealth, who are providing lung health checks in partnership with NHS Sussex.

Lung cancer is difficult to spot early, as many people don't get symptoms straight away. A lung check could save your life by finding lung cancer early, when it is more treatable and there is a higher chance of survival.

The first step of a lung health check is a telephone call with a health advisor. They may then arrange for you to have a CT scan in a local setting.

For more information, visit the Sussex Lung Health Check website.

Get your flu vaccine
11th Sep 2023

Get your flu vaccine!

We have now sent out all our flu vaccination invites! Please book in as soon as possible.
 
During your appointment, you'll be offered a flu vaccine and a COVID booster. If you wish, you can decline either of these, but please read the NHS advice about flu vaccinations and COVID vaccinations so you've got all the information before deciding to decline.
A graphic with a cartoon of a person having a vaccination into the top of their arm. The text below reads "Flu vaccines starting in October" but the word October is crossed out in red pen, and has been replaced by the word September.
1st Sep 2023

Correction: Flu vaccines now starting in September

Correction! We were previously told by NHS England to start our flu and COVID vaccinations in October, but they have now advised that vaccinations should start in September. We'll be sending out invites this weekend and early next week - keep an eye out for yours if you're eligible, and make sure you book in!
 
For more information, visit the Sussex ICS website, where you can find out about the people who are eligible for the flu and COVID vaccines.
A healthcare professional administering a flu vaccination into a patient's upper arm
16th Aug 2023

Flu vaccines starting October

The NHS in England has asked GP surgeries and pharmacies to start giving adult flu vaccines slightly later this year, to make sure that eligible patients receive the best protection through to January when the peak of flu and COVID season is expected to be. We will be inviting patients in this order, as set by NHS England:

  • September: 2-3 year old children (primary school children should receive their vaccines through school)
  • Starting October 2nd: Residents and staff in care homes
  • Starting October 7th: All other eligible adults

We will also be providing COVID-19 booster vaccinations at the same time as flu vaccinations for adults, to avoid you needing to come for multiple appointments and make sure you have the best protection for the winter.

You can find out more about the flu vaccination programme on the NHS website.

A snapshot of our facebook page
26th Jul 2023

Keep Up With Us On Facebook

If you haven't already had a look at our Facebook page, please do so! We share health advice and events from local groups, as well as keeping everyone up-to-date with quick news - for example, if for some reason our phone lines go down, we will use Facebook to let people know. It's the quickest way to make sure you know what's going on at the practice.

17th Apr 2023

COVID Spring Boosters

We are starting to contact patients for the COVID-19 Spring Booster campaign. We will be sending invitations to:

  • Any patient aged over 75
  • All patients aged over 5 who are immunosuppressed as per government guidance

We will also be contacting our housebound patients and care home resident patients directly to arrange their vaccinations. You do not need to contact the practice.

To find out more about the Spring Booster campaign, visit the government website for a guide.