Prevention and treatment of flu
Treatment at home
People with suspected flu who are not in the at-risk groups should:
- stay at home
- drink plenty of fluids while they are recovering, and
- consider taking paracetamol/ibuprofen-based painkillers or cold remedies to lower their temperature and relieve their symptoms.
The purpose of the seasonal flu vaccination programme is to offer protection to those who are most at risk of serious illness or death should they develop influenza. Vaccines are produced each year, by a number of manufacturers, that provide protection against the three strains of influenza that the World Health Organisation considers may be the most prevalent in the following winter.
These vaccines give around 60-80% protection against infection with influenza virus strains with the higher protection when the strains are well matched with those in the vaccine, and according to the age and clinical conditions of the individuals. The protection afforded by the vaccine lasts for at least one flu season but the protection over the longer term is uncertain. In the elderly, protection against infection may be less, but immunisation has been shown to reduce the incidence of bronchopneumonia, hospital admissions and deaths.
Antiviral medicines prevent the influenza virus from replicating inside the body. They can lessen the symptoms by a couple of days and reduce their severity, and help to reduce the likelihood of complications.
Antiviral medicines are available on the NHS for certain groups of patients, including those in at-risk categories. The regulations have been changed to give GP’s more flexibility to prescribe antiviral medicines. This applies to patients who are not in one of the clinical risk groups, but who GP’s consider may be at risk of developing serious complications from flu.
Seasonal Flu Vaccinations Eligibility
If you have a long-term health condition, even one which is well managed, catching flu could make you seriously ill and make complications such as pneumonia more likely. You are at increased risk from flu if you have:
- a chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease at stage 3, 4, or 5
- chronic liver disease
- chronic neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease, or motor neurone disease (MND)
- a weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS), or treatment (such as cancer treatment)
- Those aged 65 years and over
- all pregnant women
- all those aged two, three, and four
- people living in care homes
- those in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill
All children of school years 1 and 2 age – these will be vaccinated in schools by the school nurses.
If you are unsure of your eligibility then contact the surgery after 11 am. If you are not eligible then unfortunately the vaccine will not be given.
The clinical systems at the surgeries are working as normal. There are still issues with some of the local hospital systems which are affecting our ability to request tests and scans. This has meant that we have had to cancel non urgent blood tests today and may have to tomorrow. We are also experiencing some delays in getting results back from the hospital so please bear with us and the local hospital until everything is back to normal. We will do all we can to minimise the impact of these issues on all of you but inevitably there will be some disruption to our normal services.
People in Hertfordshire will soon benefit from better care, thanks to a new programme which will give health and care professionals the ability to view their patients’ up-to-date medical records.
Health and care professionals need accurate information in order to make the best decisions with their patients about their treatment. The My Care Record programme will enable patients’ records to be viewed quickly and accurately, over a secure healthcare information network. Before any records are viewed, patients will be asked for their permission by the health or social care professional caring for them.
Dr Nicky Williams, a Hertfordshire GP and deputy clinical Chair of East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group said:
“We know that patients want us to make informed decisions about their treatment, based on the most accurate information about their health. By securely accessing up-to-date information about our patients during consultations, medical professionals can make well-informed decisions and avoid the need for unnecessary, expensive and invasive tests and paperwork.”
My Care Record does not create a new record for patients, but instead allows a patient’s existing records to be viewed through a secure healthcare information network, as long as they have given their permission for this to take place. An example could include allowing a hospital doctor to see a person’s previous medical treatment or conditions in order to treat them appropriately.
Third parties, private companies and health and care staff who are not directly involved in a patient’s care will not be able to access their records. Existing arrangements for sharing information – by phone, fax, email or post – will be maintained to ensure that patients have a choice about how their information is viewed and to provide for those who choose to ‘opt out’ of the programme.
A dedicated website has been created for people who want to find out more about My Care Record and how it will work.
Go to www.mycarerecord.org.uk to read more and view detailed questions and answers about the programme, which have begun to be implemented at the end of January 2017.
The NHS is facing a huge financial challenge and growing demand for services. In east and north Hertfordshire, the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is responsible for making sure that taxpayers’ money is spent wisely, so that our 597,000 residents can have access to high-quality health services in order to stay as healthy as possible.
The CCG would like to hear your views on how difficult decisions about NHS funds should be spent and hear your suggestions about ways in which we can make savings.
Complete the survey now!
The survey is open until 20 March 2017. Find out more information on the ENHCCG website.
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Tony Burkitt 07818672093 email@example.com
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Vaccine Update – July 2015
Introduction of the Meningicoccal B (MenB) vaccination - added to the routine childhood immunisation schedule from 1/09/15.
Men B vaccine will be administered together with the primary immunisations at 2 months, 4 months and 12 months.
There will be catch up programme for infants born between 1/05/2015 and 30/06/2015. An invitation will be sent to the parents of these infants. For further information visit gov.uk.
Introduction of Meningicoccal ACWY (MenACWY) vaccination to the routine immunisation schedule from September 2015 replacing the routine MenC vaccine. This will be offered at school to those in academic years 9 or 10 ( 13 – 15 years old).
A catch up programme starting August 2015 will be offered by the GP surgery for adolescents born between 1/09/1996 and 31/08/1997. A letter will be sent to those adolescents advising them to make an appointment.
First time university entrants, up to the age 25 years are also eligible for the vaccination, please make an appointment with the surgery.
Shingle vaccine – This is still available for those aged 70,78 and 79 years old on 1/09/2014. If you have not already had please contact the surgery as this programme only runs until the 31/08/2015 when a new cohort will then be eligible.
Pneumonia vaccine – is available to anyone who has a chronic or long term illness such as Asthma, COPD, Diabetes and other long term conditions. In most cases only one vaccination is required. If you are unsure whether you have had the vaccine then please call the surgery for advice or use our contact form.
Influenza (Flu) vaccine – This year’s flu vaccine campaign intends to start end of September, early October. Information to follow!
To all patients,
the person who does our early morning phlebotomy on Tuesdays at Marymead and Wednesdays at Knebworth will not be available at the moment due to sickness. I appreciate that this will be a disruption to our patients, but it is unavoidable. I am trying to get some interim cover but cannot guarantee that this can be arranged.
Ken Spooner, Practice Manager.