Neasham Road Surgery
186 Neasham Road Darlington County Durham DL1 4YL
Tel: 01325 461128
Fax: 01325 469123
Out of Hours: 111

The Surgery Spring
March  2019            

Hay fever is usually worse between late March and September, especially when it's warm, humid and windy. This is when the pollen count is at its highest.
Symptoms of hay fever include:

  • sneezing and coughing
  • a runny or blocked nose
  • itchy, red or watery eyes
  • itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  • loss of smell
  • pain around your temples and forehead
  • headache
  • earache
  • feeling tired

If you have asthma, you might also:

  • have a tight feeling in your chest
  • be short of breath
  • wheeze and cough

Hay fever will last for weeks or months, unlike a cold, which usually goes away after 1 to 2 weeks.
Speak to your pharmacist if you have hay fever. They can give advice and suggest the best treatments, like antihistamine drops, tablets or nasal sprays to help with.
Planning your Holidays
Start preparing for your trip, especially long trips, four to six weeks before you go.
Read the latest health and safety advice for the country you're travelling using:

Find out if you need travel vaccines and make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date.
Fill in the travel vaccination form on our website and hand it in or email it to us. A nurse will then looks at it and decide what you need and if you need any vaccines. We will then contact you to book an appointment.
If diseases such as malaria are a risk, you may need to start treatment before travelling.
Prepare a kit of travel health essentials, including sunscreen, painkillers and antiseptic. 
Consider taking condoms with you to avoid the risk of buying fake, and potentially unsafe, brands when you get there.
Sun protection
When choosing sunscreen, the bottle's label should have:

  • the letters "UVA" in a circle logo and at least four-star UVA protection
  • at least SPF15 sunscreen to protect against UVB

254 regular appointments were not attended in the past month. This means over 42 hours of GP and nurse time was wasted. Please always cancel if you cannot make it to your appointment.

The NHS provides a variety of screening services. They help detect early signs of illness.
Cervical screening
Cervical screening is offered to women aged 25 to 64 to check the health of cells in the cervix. It is offered every three years for those aged 26 to 49, and every five years from the ages of 50 to 64.
Breast screening
Breast screening is offered to women aged 50 to 70 to detect early signs of breast cancer. Women over 70 can self-refer.
Bowel cancer screening
There are two types of screening for bowel cancer.
A home testing kit is offered to men and women aged 60 to 74.
Bowel scope screening uses a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end to look at the large bowel. It is offered to men and women at the age of 55 in some parts of England.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening
AAA screening is offered to men in their 65th year to detect abdominal aortic aneurysms (a dangerous swelling in the aorta). Men over 65 can self-refer.
As you know, we have removed our prescription telephone line for ordering repeat medications from January 2019.  Our reasons for this were due to patient safety and audit trail of requests.  New ways of ordering your medication are:  email your request to , register for online services (using an app on your phone) or through a pharmacy.  You can also still drop off your repeat prescription slip.
Pregabalin and Gabapentin
For those patients who are currently prescribed either of these medications, please note that as of 1st April 2019 they are classed as controlled drugs.  This will affect the way in which you can receive your prescription and the amounts. The government has recommended that no more than 30 days at any one time are given and cannot be obtained via the repeat dispensing method (this is not the repeat prescription).  We are unsure at this moment if they can be sent electronically to your pharmacy and may need to be collected from the surgery.
The surgery can now offer help and advice via an e-consultation.  This can be accessed via our website.  Complete the online form, this is then sent to us and a GP will review this and we will respond to you by the end of the next working day.  These are ideal for situations such as requesting sick notes, a general query over medication and side effects, a query regarding referrals and other non-urgent matters.

Text messages
We have recently started a new text message system which will confirm and remind you of your appointment but now gives you the option to cancel this appointment should you no longer require it. We are unfortunately still experiencing a lot of wasted appointments with patients not cancelling them for us to offer them to other patients.  We hope this new system will help with this problem.
The NHS recommends that we increase the use of emails to make contact with our patients.  If you would like to receive emails from us, please make sure we have your email address.  We can then make contact with you by this method.

Staffing changes
We have this month said goodbye to our nurse Clare Rose, and also Jo from Reception.  We are recruiting at the moment and hope to be able to introduce our new staff very soon.

It is your choice whether to have a cervical screening test or not. We hope this helps you decide.
Why does the NHS offer cervical screening?
NHS cervical screening helps prevent cervical cancer. It saves as many as 5,000 lives from cervical cancer each year in the UK.
Why have I been invited for cervical screening?
The NHS offers cervical screening to all women aged 25 to 49 every 3 years and to all women aged 50 to 64 every 5 years. This is because most cervical cancers develop in women aged 25 to 64.
What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer happens when cells in the cervix grow in an uncontrolled way and build up to form a lump (also called a tumour). As the tumour grows, cells can eventually spread to other parts of the body and become life-threatening. Your cervix is the lowest part of your uterus (or womb), and it is found at the top of your vagina.
What causes cervical cancer?
Nearly all cervical cancers are caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (or HPV for short).HPV is a very common virus – most people will be infected with it at some point in their life. It can be passed on through any type of sexual activity with a man or woman. There are many different types of HPV, but only some of them can lead to cancer.
The types of HPV which cause cervical cancer can infect your cervix without causing any symptoms at all. In most cases, your immune system can get rid of the virus without you ever knowing you had it. But sometimes, HPV infections can cause cells in your cervix to become abnormal. Usually, your body can get rid of the abnormal cells and your cervix returns to normal. But sometimes this doesn’t happen, and the abnormal cells can go on to develop into cancer
What will happen if I choose to have screening?
Before your appointment:
Cervical screening is usually carried out by a female nurse or doctor. If you want to make sure a woman carries out your test, you can ask for this when you make your appointment.
Your appointment should be on a day when you are not having a period. If you don’t have periods, you can be screened at any time.
Wearing a loose-fitting skirt (rather than trousers or a tight skirt) might make it easier to get ready for the test. Please don’t use any vaginal medications, lubricant or creams in the 2 days before you have your test because they can affect the sample your nurse or doctor takes. Please talk to your nurse or doctor if you are pregnant, if you have had a hysterectomy, or if there is any reason why you think it would be difficult for you to have a cervical screening test. They will be able to answer any questions or concerns you may have, and will make the right arrangements for you.
At your appointment:
The nurse or doctor will ask you to undress from your waist down and lie on a bed with your knees bent and apart. A device called a speculum will be put into your vagina and then used to open it gently. This allows the nurse or doctor to see your cervix.
They then use a small brush to take a sample from the surface of your cervix. The actual test takes only a minute or two. The whole appointment usually takes about 10 minutes.
What does having cervical screening feel like?
You might feel some discomfort, but this should go away quickly. If it feels painful, tell the nurse or doctor and they will try to make it more comfortable for you.








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