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May, 2019

May Bank Holidays

Eastgate Surgery will be closed on:

  • Monday 6th May
  • Monday 27th May

March, 2019

Easter 2019 Opening Hours

Please allow yourself enough days for prescriptions, and ensure sufficient supply of medication for the holiday period.

If you require a doctor outside of surgery hours please telephone 111.
In a genuine medical emergency you should call 999.

Thu Apr 18
8.30am to 6.30pm
Fri Apr 19 CLOSED
Sat Apr 20
Sun Apr 21 CLOSED
Apr 23 8.30am to 6.30pm
Wed Apr 24
8.30am to 12.00pm
3.30pm to 5.30pm
Thu Apr 25
8.30am to 6.30pm
Fri Apr 26
8.30am to 6.30pm


SUMMARY CARE RECORDS - Helping to care for you in an emergency

You can choose if you want a summary care record or not.
For more information click on the links below:
or call: 0300 123 3020


Be Prepared for Winter

Things you can do to increase your chances of staying well.

Keeping well

To keep fit and well in winter you should try to carry on doing the things that keep you fit and well during the rest of the year. So, get ready for winter by looking at what you
normally do every day.


If you smoke, try to stop now. The evidence shows that giving up smoking can improve your health, no matter how old you are. For confidential advice and support with giving up smoking, call the NHS Smoking Helpline: Freephone 0800 169 0 169.

Have a flu jab

Flu is a particular winter problem. It can be a serious health hazard for anyone in an “at risk“ group. Flu immunisation is strongly recommended for these groups, and is free. Talk to your GP or local surgery.
You are “at risk“ if you:
are aged 65 years or over / have chronic heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, including asthma, chronic renal disease, diabetes mellitus / have lowered immunity due to a disease or treatment.

Keep warm, dress well

There’s an increased risk of becoming ill if you get cold, outdoors as well as at home. These simple steps will help to protect you.
At home
- Wear several thin layers of clothes rather than one thick layer – the warmth from your body will get trapped between the layers.
- Choose clothes made with wool, cotton, or fleecy synthetic fibres that are designed to be light and warm.
- In the coldest weather, a good way to keep warm in bed is to wear bed socks and a night cap or scarf round your head, as well as thermal underwear and a warm nightdress or pyjamas.
- Several thinner layers of clothing under your coat will keep you warmer than one thick layer.
- Wear something on your head, otherwise you’ll get cold very quickly.
- Wear warm, dry, flat, non-slip shoes or boots, especially in frosty weather.

Keep warm, eat well

Try to eat a mixed diet and take plenty of hot drinks on cold days. Exercise. Stay as active as you can during winter, as well as during the rest of the year.
Food is fuel, it helps keep you warm. Follow these suggestions for eating well this winter.
Aim to have at least one hot meal a day and have hot drinks regularly throughout the day.
Have a hot drink before bedtime.
Prepare a thermos flask of a hot drink to have by your bed in case you wake up in the night feeling cold.
Include something from each of the five main food groups in what you eat each day.
Try to keep a stock of food from all these groups in case you can’t get out to the shops in very cold weather. If you are on a special diet, talk to your doctor before you make any change in what you eat or drink.
Group 1: bread, cereals, potatoes, pasta, chapatis
Group 2: fresh fruit and vegetables (try to have at least five portions during the course of each day)
Group 3: milk and dairy foods
Group 4: meat, fish, eggs, peas and pulses such as beans (including baked beans)
Group 5: foods containing fat and sugar

Keep warm, keep moving

Moving around generates extra body heat, so any kind of activity will help to keep you warm.
Don’t stay sitting still for long periods.
Spread chores out through the day so you can alternate between rest and activity.
Moderate exercise, such as walking, has real health benefits if you do it regularly all year round.
Try to keep your exercise up in winter, without taking risks in wet or icy weather

Courtesy: information leaflet



• Influenza is a highly infectious viral infection which occurs mainly in Winter. It is usually of sudden onset with fever, chills, painful muscles, headache, backache and cough.

• Influenza for most people is an unpleasant but self-limiting illness, the main symptoms lasting up to about a week. Treatment is symptomatic and those affected are advised to stay at home, rest and drink plenty of fluids.

• For people in certain 'high risk' groups, such as those with underlying respiratory, heart or renal disease, diabetes mellitus, those with impaired immune systems and elderly people, 'flu is a significant cause of more serious illness and deaths.

• Complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia are more common in these 'high risk groups' especially if they are also elderly, and mortality is almost entirely in these groups.

• Even during a winter where the incidence of flu is low, 3-4000 deaths may be attributed to 'flu; this can rise much higher in epidemic years, for example there were an estimated 13,000 deaths in 1993 which were attributable to 'flu and 29,000 in 1989/90.

• Up to 10 to 15% of the population may develop influenza in any one year, varying from year to year. The number of people who consult their GP with 'flu-like illness during influenza epidemics also varies considerably from year to year.

• Influenza-like illness may be due to viruses other than influenza. Even during an influenza epidemic a proportion of so-called 'influenza' is due to other viruses.


• The annual 'flu immunisation is the best protection against 'flu for people with underlying health problems that put them at risk of complications from 'flu, and for all those aged 65 and over or in long stay residential care.

• Government policy is to recommend immunisation for people aged 65 years and over.

• Immunisation is one of the most effective healthcare interventions available and 'flu vaccines are highly effective in preventing illness and hospital admissions among these groups of people.

• Increasing the uptake of 'flu vaccine among these high risk groups should also contribute to easing winter pressure on primary care services and hospital admissions.

• 'Flu is not usually life threatening for healthy people.


Smoking and Blindness

Smokers are three times more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration than non-smokers.

Stopping smoking is the best way to prevent the disease, which is the most common cause of blindness in adults in the UK.

Stopping smoking can slow down the progression of the disease and make treatment more effective.

Media report:

In early March, the media reported that smokers not only have a higher risk of heart disease and lung cancer, but that they are also more likely to go blind. The papers claimed that smokers are four times more likely to lose their sight through age-related macular degeneration (AMD) than non-smokers.

The research:

The media reports were based on an editorial in the BMJ (2004; 328: 537-8) which estimated that there are 53,900 people in the UK with AMD attributable to smoking, of whom 17,800 are blind.
This calculation was based on the results of a meta-analysis of three studies including 12,468 people which found that the risk of AMD in smokers is three to four times higher than in people who had never smoked.
The conclusion was that, despite strong evidence of the link between smoking and AMD, there was not enough public awareness of the risk to sight.
Dr Edwards said that by giving up smoking, patients could reduce their risk of AMD. He explained that giving up smoking would also benefit patients who had already developed the condition in one eye and could thus reduce the risk that they will develop it in their other eye.

Improved smoking cessation:

Dr Lightstone said that if doctors can raise the awareness of people that their sight can be affected by smoking, it could have quite a dramatic effect on smoking cessation rates. She said: ‘If you ask people about which sense they fear losing the most, nine out of ten people will say they fear losing their sight most.
‘People need to be made aware that smokers develop AMD around 10 years earlier than non-smokers. That is a significant cost to the person concerned, in terms of their own lifestyle, and also a cost to the community at large. And smoking is not only related to AMD. Smoking is a risk factor for other eye diseases, including cataract, and thyroid eye disease.’
Dr Edwards agreed that increased public awareness of the link between smoking and blindness could increase smoking cessation rates.

From GP magazine, July 2004


Salt and Cancer

Studies have consistently shown a link between high salt intake and gastric cancer. However, many of us continue to consume almost three times the daily recommended intake.

Recent Study

In January this year, the findings of a study involving 40,000 middle-aged Japanese men and women were published in the British Journal of Cancer [3]. The results suggested that people who eat a high-salt diet may have double the risk of developing stomach cancer. The study was carried out in Japan over a period of 11 years.

Significant Findings

The links between the cases of gastric cancer and a high intake of salt and salted food, such as dried or salted fish, pickled vegetables and miso soup were investigated. The researchers concluded that the association between salt and cancer was strong enough to warrant advising the restriction of salty foods.

Hidden Salt

The recommended of salt for an adult is 6g per day. Children should eat much less and babies should have no salt at all added to their food. However, all of us consume a great deal more salt that we think. In fact, the International Conference on Salt and Health in 2002 stated that salt consumption in the UK runs around 9-15g per day, about 80 per cent of which comes from processed foods.

What we can do

Eating fewer processed foods and more fresh and homemade foods will help to keep a check on salt intake. If possible check labels, although often salt is not included. In many cases, only sodium is listed and this does not mean anything to most people. To convert sodium to salt, multiply the amount by 2.5. For example, 1g sodium/100g = 2.5g salt/100g.
Weaning yourself on It can be quite difficult to reduce salt intake as without it we can perceive food as tasteless. However, if you reduce your salt intake, the salt receptors in your mouth gradually become more sensitive, so that less salt is needed to stimulate them.

This article was taken from the ‘World Cancer Research Fund’ and from ‘Informed’ (14), Spring 2004.

Hormone Replacement Therapy and increase of Breast Cancer Risk

Many women suffer from menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats. They find relief by taking estrogens or an estrogen-progestin combination. These treatments are known as hormone replacement therapy (HRT). HRT is also taken to build bone strength and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Doctors had also prescribed HRT to lower the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer's disease in post-menopausal women.
Recent studies however, of women without a history of breast cancer, seem to indicate that HRT containing both estrogens and progestin may actually:

• Increase the risk of heart attacks, blood clots, stroke and Alzheimer's disease
• Increase the risk of developing breast cancer

The study also suggests that even HRT patches and creams or low-dose formulations increase breast cancer risk. On a more encouraging note, the study did find that for women who stop HRT, the risk of breast cancer drops back down to that of women who never took the hormones.
Some experts think that short-term use of HRT (5 years or less), the use of low-dose HRT or patch formulations, or the use of only estrogens (without progestin) does not pose substantial health risks. But other experts caution that it's too soon to feel comfortable with these other preparations or approaches, because we still don't know enough about them.

V. Beral et al. The Lancet

MMR news

The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine has been blamed by a vast majority of people, for the dramatic increase in autism prevalence. These hypotheses have now been tested in numerous epidemiologic studies. None has found any evidence of the existence of autism in children who received the MMR vaccine or of a clustering of onset symptoms in children who are autistic after receiving the MMR vaccine. There is no proof that the overall risk of autism is higher in children who were vaccinated with MMR or of an increase in autism prevalence associated with the use of the MMR vaccine. Moreover, there is more compelling epidemiologic evidence against such an association.
A new study has also now confirmed that the introduction of measles vaccine in this country played no part in causing Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative colitis.




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