Tag Archives: doctors Bedfordshire

Thousands ‘At Risk’ By Avoiding Flu Jab

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Go to see your doctors in Bedfordshire this winter to have your flu jab or you could be putting yourself at serious risk, a leading health group has said.

Figures from the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) indicate that GPs gave more than six per cent fewer flu injections now compared with the same time last year, with doctors now saying they have surplus amounts of unused vaccines because patients have not been making the expected number of appointments.

The worry is that because the weather has been so mild recently, people are delaying going to see their GP, despite the fact that cold weather is not always what causes flu outbreaks.

Dr Maureen Baker, RCGP chair and emergency planning expert, said: “These figures are extremely alarming. We are experiencing an incredibly mild November this year but we don’t need cold weather for a flu outbreak and influenza is a horrible illness that can also an trigger a host of other health problems.”

It can be unpleasant to catch flu but if you’re healthy otherwise you’ll find it will clear up quickly on its own. However, it can be a lot more severe in those over the age of 65, pregnant women, adults with other health conditions, children and anyone with a weakened immune system.

The vaccine against flu is free on the NHS to adults over 18 years old at risk of flu and children aged between six months and two years who are also at risk of coming down with the illness.

Do You Need A PSA Test?

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Some of the most dedicated doctors Bedfordshire has to offer are ready to discuss the pros and cons of having a PSA test with you. The test looks at the level of prostate-specific antigens (PSA) in the blood, which can indicate the presence of prostate cancer.

In many countries, all men over the age of 50 are recommended to have PSA test each year, but this is not the case in the UK. This is as the test is deemed to give too many false positives, i.e. instances where the test indicated cancer was present in the patient, when in fact it wasn’t.

Despite this, many people do choose to have regular PSA tests. They may opt to have them alongside a rectal exam, which can also indicate the presence of malignant tumours, or they may have the test on its own. Some people may choose to have a PSA test due to personal choice or because they have a higher than average risk.

Men at higher risk than the general population include:

  • Having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles your risk and men who have multiple family members affected have even higher risk. They may wish to start screening at 40.
  • People of African and Caribbean heritage have a 60 per cent higher rate of prostate cancer and may wish to start screening earlier.
  • Inactive people have a higher risk of prostate cancer.
  • A high fat diet can contribute to your overall risk.
  • Being overweight can also increase your chances of getting prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer UK has more information about the PSA test on its website to help you make your decision.

Patients Could Refer Themselves For Cancer Tests

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Patients of the best doctors Bedfordshire has will be given the option to refer themselves for cancer tests, as part of a drive to diagnose an extra ten per cent of cancer patients early.

NHS England has proposed the move to speed up diagnosis, and could allow patients the option to book appointments with a hospital instead of seeing a GP.

Currently, around 25 per cent of cancer diagnoses are made too late in the UK, and the plans are part of a drive to improve cancer survival rates in England. England has some of the lowest cancer survival rates in Europe, especially for people over 75.

NHS England says diagnosing 60 per cent, rather than 50 per cent, of people with cancer early would mean 8,000 more patients would be alive five years after diagnosis.

Community pharmacists would also be expected to take a role in fast-tracking patients when recurring cancer symptoms are suspected.

The changes that are planned would also result in a fall in the number of cancer diagnoses which have to be made in A&E, NHS England claimed.

The plans have come under attack by bodies that represent doctors, who claim that the moves could be counterproductive.

General Practitioners Committee chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul told GP Magazine that the plans should be revisited before being put in place. 

Dr Nagpaul said: ‘There is a huge risk of this being counterproductive if patients clog up testing facilities unnecessarily and make it more difficult for more appropriate patients to receive investigations.

There are 60 pilot sites that would be testing the proposals by NHS England and initiatives could be rolled out from 2016 or 2017.


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At-Risk Groups: Have The Flu Vaccine

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Every year, hundreds of thousands of Britons go to see the best doctors Bedfordshire and elsewhere and tens of thousands go to hospital because of influenza, so if you’re in an at-risk group then you need to make sure that you have the appropriate vaccinations before the winter really takes hold.

Public Health England statistics show that 904 people were admitted to intensive care last winter because of the illness, with 11 per cent of these actually dying – so you can see how important it is to protect yourself during the colder months.

You are 11 times more likely to die if you catch the flu and already have an underlying health condition. Pregnant women need to make sure they have the free vaccination, as pregnancy weakens your immune system and can seriously increase the risks of you falling dangerously ill if you catch flu.

Those under the age of three are also vulnerable to the illness and there’s a new nasal spray that can help protect them, which is also available to four-year-olds for the first time this year.

“Flu is a really unpleasant illness, particularly for our most vulnerable patients and it is essential that people take steps to protect themselves during the winter months,” chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies remarked.

Men should also think about having the vaccination, as scientists from Harvard University have just this month revealed that a lack of female sex hormones can leave them with weaker immune systems – suggesting that the fabled ‘man flu’ is more fact than fiction after all.

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October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month is coming up in October, so if you’re worried about yourself or a family member now would be a very good time to go to the best doctors Bedfordshire has available to get yourselves checked out.

According to new figures from LV=, two-thirds of cancer claims from women relate to the disease, with cancer as a whole emerging as the most common reason for making a critical illness claim. Last year, breast cancer claims accounted for almost 20 per cent of all critical illness claims that the insurer paid out, with the average amount reaching £81,438.

Managing director of protection with the insurer Myles Rix noted that one in eight women will be diagnosed with the disease during their lifetime, which is why such high numbers of claims are unsurprising in relation to this particular illness.
“Although milestones such as starting a family and purchasing a property tend to be points at which people consider protection, the best time to take out protection products such as critical illness cover is while you are healthy,” he remarked.

To support the many thousands of women living with breast cancer each day and to raise awareness of the disease, consider having a Pink Friday this October and dress down at work, have a pink night at home, donating whatever you would have spent on a night out on the town to Breast Cancer Care.

In 2013, more than £2.4 million was raised by people challenging themselves to do adventurous tasks like climbing mountains, jumping out of planes and lots more, so why not do something a bit different to help raise some cash?

Thornhill Clinic

Thornhill Clinic Ltd
1-3 Thornhill Road
Email info@thornhillclinic.co.uk

Private GP appointments also available at
Watling Medical Centre
108 Watling Avenue
Burnt Oak
01582 561999

For DNA, Drug or Alcohol tests
Freephone 0800 032 5945
or 01582 561999

For Circumcision Appointments
01582 561999 option 1
or Freephone 0800 080 7037 option 1

Email info@circumcisioncentre.co.uk