Health Promotion - Looking after yourself
It is a good idea to review your health needs from time to time and you should have blood pressure checked regularly (probably every year once you reach 40 years). If there is a family history of certain conditions, you may be more at risk, so it is wise to have a cholesterol check if there were close relatives developing ischaemic heart disease under the age of 60, or a blood glucose in those with diabetes in close relatives.
More important than anything is stopping smoking and we run a Smoking Cessation Service.
Keeping alcohol intake to safe levels is also very important.
You should ensure you keep physically fit with regular aerobic type exercise, keep your weight at a reasonable level in relation to height (the nurse can calculate your Body Mass Index or use this calculator), eat a healthy diet and hopefully you will not need the health service too much in the future!
The NHS CHoices Website has plenty of useful information on healthy living topics for each age-group and Change 4 Life is a great way to get yourself sorted!
NHS Health Check
All those between 40 and 74 yrs are eligible for the free NHS Health Check every 5 years at which our nurses will see you and carry out a range of checks to assess your risks of developing certain conditions - Stroke, Ischaemic Heart Disease, Kidney Disease and Diabetes and can advice you on measures to look after yourself and improve your health, backed up by printed literature and references for further information. Please book an appointment with the nurse - we will be inviting groups of patients throughout each year.
Information leaflets in various languages are available here
Adult Routine Vaccinations
Assuming you were fully immunised as a child according to the above schedule you’ll have had the 5 doses of tetanus likely to give life-long protection. Many older people will have missed out on one or more injections and are best given a booster injection. For most minor wounds you will not then require any further tetanus injections. Some workers at risk may require 10 yearly boosters, also those travelling abroad. Booster injections should not usually be given closer together than 10 years. The injections are now combined with Diphtheria (Dip/Tet) and are provided free under the NHS. Please book an appointment with the nurse.
Influenza vaccine (Flu Jab)
This free injection is given each year in the autumn (usually from the begining of October) and is recommended for all those over 65 years and for anyone, including children, suffering from diabetes, chronic heart disease, chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic bronchitis (COPD), chronic renal (kidney) failure, liver diseases, pregnant women, immuno-suppression such as cancer under treatment and those on steroids or other drugs or those without a spleen. Also for those in residential homes or carers of the above categories.
People in these groups are at increased risk of serious effects from the epidemic forms of influenza that can sweep across the country in winter. There have been significant numbers of deaths in the past and this vaccine gives good protection but it does need repeating each year. It will not, of course, protect you from everyday colds.
We publicise and send out invitations for our Flu-jab clinics from October but please book at reception as soon as you can when the vaccines have arrived in early October – keep up to date on this web-site.
The pneumococcus bacterium can cause a serious form of pneumonia. This free vaccine, which gives up to 10 years’ protection, should be given to all those who are over 65yrs and also to those under 65yrs in the special high risk groups above for the Influenza vaccine (see above). It is also recommended for those with cochlear implants, sufferers from sickle cell disease and coeliac disease. Some groups such as those with reduced immunity should have the vaccine every 5 years. More about Pneumococcal Vaccination. Please check with us if you are unsure.
Meningitis C vaccine
Now given as part of the standard childhood immunisations, a single injection is recommended for all those up to the age of 24y who have not received it previously. It is also recommended for everyone with an absent or non-functioning spleen.
This is given once to the over 70yr age group to prevent or reduce the seriousness of a fairly common condition causing a painful rash. It is available on a rolling programme each year to those becoming 70 and one older age band to gradually cover all ages. Here are the details
Screening: Cervical Smears, Breast Screening, Colon (Bowel) Cancer Screening
Please see the Screening page