The flu virus typically peaks during the winter months, the best way to help protect yourself and others from catching and spreading flu is to have the flu jab every year.
Flu strains can change from year to year, which means last year’s jab may not protect you from this year’s strains. The vaccine usually provides protection for the duration of that year's flu season.
Getting vaccinated is important each year but this year more than ever people are urged to have the vaccine in order to protect themselves, and the NHS, this winter.
Children aged 2 and 3 years old, plus all primary school aged children and school year 7 in secondary school, will be offered the nasal spray vaccination. The adult flu vaccine is offered free to those in groups at particular risk of infection and complications from flu (for more details see the list at the end of this page).
The groups being offered the adult flu vaccine are:-
- Pregnant women
- Those aged 65 or over
- Those aged under 65 with long-term conditions (see list below)
- Shielded patients and those in the same household aged 18 or over
- Pending supply, 50 - 64 years olds will be invited no earlier than November
Due to the pandemic, flu vaccination clinics may be held in a slightly different way this year. Clinic logistics are still being finalised and updated information will posted on our webpages when confirmed.
Flu vaccines will be released in batches, according to both availability and also the need to prioritise those most at risk. This means flu clinics will be staggered in the months ahead.
For those who are eligible, GP surgeries across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are gearing up to provide special clinics to offer patients their annual flu jab.
GPs are asking their patients to book a place in forthcoming flu clinics as soon as they are advertised. Alternatively, you can visit your nearest participating pharmacy. If you are housebound, please speak to your GP practice.
Those who do not fall within the eligible categories for a free NHS vaccination will be able to buy a flu vaccine from their local participating pharmacy.
This year eligibility for the flu vaccination has been extended to those aged 50 to 64 years. Please note that people in the 50 to 64 year old age group will not be vaccinated until November and December, providing there is sufficient vaccine, and no appointments will be offered for this age group until then. This is to ensure that those who are most at risk are vaccinated first. If you are 50 to 64 and you are in one of the other groups which is eligible for the flu vaccination, for example you have a health condition which puts you at risk from flu, you will be invited earlier.
The flu vaccination offers an important health protection. Flu can lead to existing health conditions getting worse or the development of an illness such as bronchitis or pneumonia, or it could even be fatal. A vaccination helps protect the health of a pregnant mother and her child.
You can see the full list of those eligible for a flu vaccination below.
Most GP practices and pharmacies will begin inviting those patients most at risk for a flu vaccination from September onwards, and it is anticipated those newly eligible, aged 50 – 64 years, will be invited for vaccination during November or December.
The Old School Surgery flu clinics will be held on the following dates:-
Saturday 12th September, 8.30am - 2.30pm - fully booked
Saturday 26th September, 8.30am - 4.30pm
Wednesday 30th September, 2pm - 5pm - fully booked
Saturday 3rd October, 8.30am - 4.30pm - fully booked
Saturday 10th October, 8.30am - 4.30pm
Thursday 29th October, 2pm - 5pm
To help us to make sure we are reaching all groups in our local communities, we are asking patients to check that their GP practice has recorded their ethnicity status in their records.
Common symptoms of flu include a high temperature, fatigue, headache, general aches and pains and a dry, chesty cough. If you are generally fit and healthy you can usually manage the symptoms at home yourself without seeing a doctor. The best remedy is to rest at home, keep warm and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Paracetamol or ibuprofen may help lower a high temperature and relieve aches. A pharmacist will be able to provide advice on medication.
People suffering with a cold or flu should avoid going into hospital, GP practice or other health setting to reduce the chance of vulnerable people catching the virus. The flu virus can be very dangerous for the elderly and the infirm particularly if they are already sick. This is a message that applies to people coming into hospital seeking treatment and to people coming to visit relatives.
Help to stop spreading colds and flu.
Colds and flu are caused by viruses and easily spread to other people. Germs from coughs and sneezes survive on hands and surfaces for up to 24 hours. You are infectious until all symptoms are gone which usually takes a week or two.
You can help prevent colds and flu spreading by using tissues to ‘catch it, kill it, bin it’. Washing your hands regularly with soap and water destroys bugs that you may have picked up from touching surfaces used by other people, such as light switches and door handles. It is also important to keep household items clean, including cleaning such items as cups, glasses and towels, especially if someone in your house is ill.
People with worsening symptoms or respiratory problems are advised not to visit a GP surgery or a hospital but to call their GP first or call NHS111 for further advice.
Who is eligible for a free NHS flu vaccine?
In 2020/21, flu vaccinations will be offered under the NHS flu vaccination programme to the following groups:
- 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 three, four or five
- chronic liver disease
- chronic neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease,
- learning disability
- splenic dysfunction or asplenia
- a weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment)
- morbidly obese (defined as BMI of 40 and above)
- all children aged two to eleven (but not twelve years or older) on 31 August 2020
- people aged 65 years or over (including those becoming age 65 years by 31 March 2021)
- those aged from six months to less than 65 years of age, in a clinical risk group such as those with:
- all pregnant women (including those women who become pregnant during the flu season)
- household contacts of those on the NHS Shielded Patient List, or of immunocompromised individuals, specifically individuals who expect to share living accommodation with a shielded patient on most days over the winter and therefore for whom continuing close contact is unavoidable
- people living in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facilities where rapid spread is likely to follow introduction of infection and cause high morbidity and mortality. This does not include, for instance, prisons, young offender institutions, university halls of residence, or boarding schools (except where children are of primary school age or secondary school Year 7).
- those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or who are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill
- health and social care staff, employed by a registered residential care/nursing home or registered domiciliary care provider, who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza.
- health and care staff, employed by a voluntary managed hospice provider, who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza.
- health and social care workers employed through Direct Payments (personal budgets) and/or Personal Health Budgets, such as Personal Assistants, to deliver domiciliary care to patients and service users. 2. Additionally, in 2020/21, flu vaccinations might be offered under the NHS flu vaccination programme to the following groups:
- individuals between 50-64 years, following prioritisation of other eligible groups and subject to vaccine supply
Important information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The NHS across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland will be better prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases, if the public follows Public Health England advice.
The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of patients and staff which may mean your patient experience is subject to change.
The Chief Medical Officer announced on Friday 13th March that the country is moving into the `Delay' stage of the response to coronavirus (Covid-19).
The new advice issued by the Chief Medical Officer is to stay at home for 7 days if you have either:-
- a high temperature
- a new continuous cough
- a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or a hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:-
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:-
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
Information remains subject to regular change and updates. More information can be found on the NHS website:
What’s your 2020 target, January 2020 health campaign
Join people across Leicestershire making a change in 2020. Leicestershire County Council’s Quit Smoking and Weight Management teams offer free support to help you achieve your health targets. Find out more www.leicestershire.gov.uk/healthier-you #NewYearResolutions #HealthierYou #Healthier2020
Are you looking for support to help you reach your 2020 health targets? Our team of experts can offer free advice and support to Leicestershire residents. Whether you want to quit smoking or reach a healthy weight, Leicestershire County Council’s Public Health team can help. Visit www.leicestershire.gov.uk/healthier-you #HealthierYou #Healthier2020
Well done to everyone making a change across Leicestershire this January – it’s not too late to join and start 2020 with a healthier you! Find out how to get FREE support to stop smoking and lose weight www.leicestershire.gov.uk/healthier-you #HealthierYou #Healthier2020
Keep your antibiotics working this winter
It's World Antibiotics Awareness week from 18th - 24th November 2019, so we're urging everyone to help us to make sure their prescribed antibiotics are working their best this winter.
Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics do not work on viral infections such as colds and flu, most coughs, sore throats, earache and cases of sinusitis. Viral infections can be treated with a combination of self-care and over the counter medicines. Ask your community pharmacist for the best way to treat symptoms of a viral infection.
Taking antibiotics when you don't need them might make you feel worse as you may experience side effects such as an upset tummy. It also puts you and your family at risk, and encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant. This means that antibiotics may not work when you need them next time. Always take the advice of your doctor, nurse or healthcare professional on antibiotics.
How you can help
- If you are prescribed antibiotics, it is very important to take them correctly, especially the right dose at the right time. You should always complete the prescribed course.
- Antibiotics should never be saved for future use or for someone else to take.
- As you are more likely to get ill during winter months, it is essential that you make sure your medicine cabinet is stocked with your prescribed medications as well as all of the standard items needed for treating common winter ailments.
- If you have any questions about any of your antibiotic prescriptions, visit your local pharmacist. Pharmacists are highly trained healthcare professionals who can answer your questions and give you expert advice.
Supporting you to manage and treat common illnesses this Self-Care Week
Winter’s the time when illnesses such as sore throats, colds, coughs and stomach bugs become more common. If you’re generally quite healthy, you can usually treat these illnesses at home with rest and over the counter medications.
During Self-Care Week (18 – 24 November), the NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are sharing a series of animations that give basic advice for treating common ailments, together with more detailed advice online.
Self-care is not the same as no-care, and the local resources and website offer simple practical steps to help you feel better and recover as soon as possible. You can also get advice on how long you can expect to feel ill for and when you should seek medical attention.
You can also view and download a locally produced booklet - the Good Health Guide - with comprehensive self-care advice plus information on the NHS services that help prevent ill health, such as immunisations, and services that can detect early signs of illness. These include NHS Health Checks and screening programmes for certain types of cancer, which can help to find them at an early stage, when they are easier to treat.
Lookout for the hashtag #SelfCareWeek on Twitter and Facebook this week. The Good Health Guide can be downloaded from your local NHS Self-Care website.
Ordering Repeat Prescriptions
What is Changing?
The way repeat prescriptions are ordered is changing. From the 30th June 2019 you will have to order your repeat prescriptions directly through The Old School Surgery and not your high street or internet pharmacy or appliance contractor.
What is Not Changing?
If you already order repeat prescriptions directly through your GP Practice this change will not affect you. When you order your repeat prescription directly through The Old School Surgery, your pharmacy will continue to collect or receive your prescription as before. Pharmacies may also continue to deliver your prescription if they offer this service.
How do I order my prescription through my GP practice?
You can order repeat prescriptions through The Old School Surgery online, by post or in person by using the tick slip, which is the right-hand side of your prescription which lists your current repeat medication.
Find out more on the West Leicestershire CCG website.
Please note this does not affect the surgery dispensing patients. Please order your prescription in the normal way.
Enhanced Summary Care Record
NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do.
If you live in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland you can sign up to an enhanced summary care record.
Staff in hospitals, ambulance crews, NHS 111, out of hours and social care services do not routinely have access to individuals GP medical records. By consenting to an Enhanced Summary Care Record we can all help health and care staff to treat us more quickly and effectively, enabling them to make better and safer decisions.
You will already have a core Summary Care Record, but by spending a couple of minutes to complete the consent form to enhance your records you could end up saving your life.
The record can include details of illnesses and health problems, past operations and vaccinations, treatment preferences, information about the kind of support needed, and who should be contacted if more information is required.
Please encourage your family and friends to sign up too. You can download the consent form https://www.westleicestershireccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/your-health-records-and-data and then return the completed form to the surgery (reception). Or next time you are talking to someone at your practice why not give your consent verbally?
This information will be managed securely in line with the NHS Care Records Guarantee. The Record will only be accessed by health and care staff if consent is provided by the patient, unless they are unconscious or unable to communicate and they believe that accessing the record is in the patient's best interest.
The Old School Surgery will be accommodating medical students, when you attend your consultation the medical student may be present.
Good Hand Hygiene
Catch it. Bin it. Kill it – good hand hygiene this winter
Cold weather can be seriously bad for your health. That’s why it is important to look after yourself, especially during the winter. 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.
Flu is very infectious and spread by germs from coughs and sneezes, which can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours. To reduce the risk of spreading flu:
- use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze
- bin used tissues as quickly as possible
- wash your hands often with warm water and soap
To find out more about how to wash your hands (tip: it should take you 20 seconds, enough time to sing Happy Birthday twice) then please visit the NHS Choices website for more.
Self Care Guidance for Minor Ailments
West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group
After talking to patients about over the counter medicines for minor conditions and understanding their experiences, the local Clinical Commissioning Group is asking GPs to no longer prescribe medicines on prescription for the short term treatment of minor ailments, low dose vitamin D supplements for prevention of deficiency and some specialised infant formulas. Patients will be asked to purchase them over the counter instead at the local pharmacy.
Community Pharmacists are best placed to help and advise people about suitable treatment for minor conditions. They are a great source of information, advice and guidance and you can buy your medicines cheaply and easily for minor conditions. The pharmacist will check the medicine is appropriate for you and your health problem. They will ask questions to ensure there is no reason why you should not use the medicine.
However if you are worried or your symptoms get worse or persist you can still make an appointment to see your GP.
By visiting your pharmacy you will help to free up valuable GP and nurse time, which can be used to deal with more complex or serious health needs.
Or visit: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Medicinesinfo/Pages/Introduction.aspx
People can access advice on self-care at:-
More information on the changes to prescribing is available at:-
or people can speak to their Community Pharmacist or GP practice
We regret to announce that from the 1st October 2017, due to inevitable cuts to GP funding, coupled with increasing demands for doctors/nurse time, it has been necessary to stop providing the following non-essential services:-
The following websites will be able to provide you with further information:-
Adults - referral by a doctor to the service
Children services call 0116 295 3919 or www.leicspart.nhs.uk
Routine Pregnancy Testing
Insulin Initiation or Conversion
Sexual Health Screening
The following websites will be able to provide you with further information:-
St Peters Health Centre = www.oneroof.org.uk
National Diabetes Audit: helping to improve diabetes care
The Old School Surgery is taking part in an important national project about diabetes care and treatment in the NHS. The project is called the National Diabetes Audit (NDA).
To take part, The Old School Surgery will share information about your diabetes care and treatment with the NDA. The type of information, and how it is shared, is controlled by law and enforced by strict rules of confidentiality and security.
For further information about how your information is used please see the NDA patient information leaflet.
Patient Information Leaflet
Taking part in the NDA shows that The Old School Surgery is committed to improving care for people with diabetes.
Important Patient Information - if you do not want your information to be used, please inform the receptionist, your GP or nurse. This will not affect your care.
QuitReady Service is here to help
If you are ready to quit smoking, the Leicestershire County Council's new QuitReady service is up-and-running for people who want to add their name to the welcome statistic. QuitReady Leicestershire offers free and confidential text, phone and web chat advice, for more details visit www.quitready.co.uk or call 0345 646 6666.
Your NHS needs you!
Reduce Prescribing Waste!
DID YOU KNOW?
That unused drugs cost about £300 Million a year in the UK on unused or partially used medication?
Even if you never open them, once you leave a pharmacy your medicines cannot be recycled or used by anyone else.
THIS WOULD PAY FOR;
11,778 MORE community nurses or
80,906 MORE Hip Replacements or
19,779 MORE Drug Treatment Courses for Breast Cancer
300,000 MORE Drug Treatment Courses for Alzheimer's or
312,175 MORE Cataract Operations
THINK ABOUT IT!
Before heading to the pharmacy, take a look in your medicine cabinet to see what you actually need.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
There are a number of ways that you can help to reduce the issue of wasted medicines and save money for your local NHS.
ONLY ORDER THE MEDICATION THAT YOU NEED
- Please let your GP or Pharmacist know if you've stopped taking any of your medicines
- Check what medicines you still have at home before re-ordering
- Discuss your medication with your GP or Pharmacist on a regular basis.
- Think carefully before ticking all the boxes on your repeat prescription form and only tick those you really need.
- If you don't need the medicine please don't order it! If you need the medicine in the future you can still request it.
- If you need to go into hospital, please remember to take all your medicines with you in a clearly marked bag.
Please also remember that your medicines are prescribed only for you: it's not safe to share them with anyone else.
REMEMBER THAT UNUSED MEDICINES CANNOT BE RECYCLED
- Even if you never open them, once medicines have left the Pharmacy, they cannot be recycled or used by anyone else.
- Please take your unused medicines to the Pharmacy for safe disposal.
UNUSED MEDICINES ARE A SAFETY RISK
- Return out of date medicines to your pharmacy or dispensary for safe disposal.
- If your medicines change - return your old medicines to the pharmacy for safe disposal to avoid mixing them up with your new medicines.
- Don't stockpile medication - it is a safety risk for children and others who might take them.
- Store medicines in an appropriate place out of reach of children - away from heat and not above boiling kettle!
NEVER dispose of your unused or unwanted
medicines down the toilet.
Leicestershire Nutrition and Dietetic Service
- Is your weight affecting your health?
- Would you like help to lose weight and create a healthier lifestyle for you and your family?
If the answer is YES, there are a whole range of services on offer, FREE of charge for you to access, such as:
- 10 week NHS lead LEAP course – physical activity and healthy eating
- 12 week Weight Watchers Vouchers
- 8 week NHS lead Family Lifestyle Club (FLic) - physical activity and healthy eating for the whole family
If you would like to find out more about these courses or other activities run by the Leicestershire Nutrition and Diabetic Service call 0116 222 7192 (Quoting: C82027)
visit their website at http://www.lnds.nhs.uk/_PatientsandPublic-MoreAboutUs.aspx
The Electronic prescription service is available in our practice. It gives you the chance to change how your GP sends your prescription to the place you choose to get your medicines or appliances from.
If you collect your prescriptions from your GP you will not have to visit the practice to pick up paper prescriptions. Instead the GP will send them electronically to a pharmacist you choose saving time.
You will have more choice about where to get your medications from because they can be collected from a pharmacy near to where you live, work or shop.
If you would like to use this service you need to choose a pharmacy for the practice to send your prescription to. This is called a nomination, you can do this at your chosen pharmacy. You DO NOT need a computer to have this service.
If you would like more information ask your pharmacy or the practice.
WEST LEICESTERSHIRE CCG
West Leicestershire Public Membership
Becoming a member of West Leicestershire CCG is completely free.
As a member you can have your say about how the NHS services are provided in your area. Our members tell us that the best part about being a member is getting their voices heard and being involved in the process.
You can be involved as much or as little as you like and we will always make sure you are kept up-to-date by sending you regular e-mails and covering important topics in the membership magazine.
The membership scheme has two strands.
Be heard provides:
- opportunities to have a say on how NHS services are provided in your area
- getting involved with any public consultations we are doing
- information on NHS services you are interested in
- take part by completing surveys and attending events
- signposting to other parts of the NHS
Be healthy provides:
- offers and incentives to improve your health
- information on healthy living activities and facilities in your local area
- information on healthy living courses and activities you can join into
- advice and support on healthy living from our experts
- opportunity to become a member volunteer to get involved in your community
If you would like to join the membership please do so online at www.wlmembership.org or by calling 0300-5555345