Sax Quacks               Drs Havard, Evans, Hamblyn, Oates & Richards
Your Health
Dispensary Review of use of Medicines (DRUM) This   is   a   review   with   patients   of   their   compliance   with   their   use   of   medicines.   We   will   be   asking   patients   to   take   part   in   a short   questionnaire   over   the   next   few   months.   This   will   involve   a   face   to   face   review   with   patients   regarding   their   use and   storage   of   prescription   and   over   the   counter   medicines.   This   will   be   recorded   in   the   patient’s   medical   record.   The   aim is   to   improve   the   clinical   and   cost   effectiveness   of   prescribed   medicines,   recommend   improvements   in   repeat   dispensing and   help   to   reduce   medicines   wastage.   This   should   take   no   longer   than   ten   minutes.   We   would   appreciate   your   co- operation. ------------------------------------------------ Care.Data programme We    have    received    information    about    the    Care.Data    programme,    a    major    new    national    initiative    that    will    extract confidential   information   from   your   medical   records   so   that   it   can   be   used   by   the   NHS   to   improve   the   services   offered.     The   information,   along   with   your   postcode   and   NHS   number   but   not   your   name   is   sent   to   a   secure   system   where   it   can be   linked   with   other   health   information.      The   aim   is   to   help   the   NHS   plan   services   or   carry   out   medical   research   and   to use the information from different parts of the NHS in a way that doesn’t identify you. You   have   a   choice.      If   you   are   happy   you   do   not   need   to   do   anything.      If   you   have   concerns   or   wish   to   prevent   this   from happening,   please   speak   to   Mrs   Sharon   Meers,   Business   Manager   or   ask   reception   for   a   copy   of   the   leaflet   ‘How information about you helps us to provide better care’  More information is also available by clicking here Click here to download the information leaflet ------------------------------------------------ Summary Care Record The NHS in England is changing the way your health records are stored and managed. Today,   records   are   kept   in   all   the   places   where   you   receive   care.   These   places   can   usually   only   share information   from   your   records   by   letter,   email,   fax   or   phone.   At   times,   this   can   slow   down   treatment   and sometimes information can be hard to access. By   making   more   health   records   electronic,   there   will   be   quicker   ways   to   get   important   information   to   NHS   healthcare staff treating you, including in an emergency. The   Summary   Care   Record   is   an   electronic   record   which   will   give   healthcare   staff   faster,   easier   access   to   essential information   about   you,   to   help   provide   you   with   safe   treatment   when   you   need   care   in   an   emergency   or   when   your   GP practice is closed. All   practices   in   Suffolk   have   now   gone   live   with   the   Summary   Care   Record   project.      Summary   Care   Record   will   be   used   to support   your   emergency   care   as   it   will   give   healthcare   staff   faster,   easier   access   to   essential   information   about   you   when the surgery is closed or in an emergency i.e. if you go to A&E. If   you   would   like   further   information   about   SCR   and   your   choice   either   phone   Health   and   Social   Care   on   0845   3006016   or visit ------------------------------------------------ Preventing strokes in the community Preventative   medicine   is   a   large   part   of   the   GP's   role   and   explaining   the   importance   of   this   to   patients   is   a   daily   event.   In stroke,   we   know   that   blood   pressure   control   is   crucial   and   diabetes,   smoking   and   obesity   are   other   important   factors which   can   load   the   dice   and   affect   the   risk   of   stroke   in   an individual.   Of   course   age   and   family   history   are   fixed   risks that    can    mean    the    variable    ones    become    even    more important. Less   newsworthy   is   the   fact   that   about   30,000   of   the   110,000 strokes   that   occurred   last   year   happened   in   patients   who   had a   heart   condition   called   Atrial   Fibrillation   (AF).   This   is   quite common   (1.4%   of   the   population   but   10%   of   the   over   80s) and   it   causes   an   irregular   pulse   that   makes   the   formation   of tiny   clots   in   the   heart   more   likely.   In   fact   patients   with   AF   are four   times   more   likely   that   those   with   normal   rhythms   to   have a   stroke.   AF   usually   causes   absolutely   no   symptoms   at   all   and so   part   of   the   challenge   is   to   find   these   patients   and   then   try to reduce their risk of stroke. Finding new patients with AF GPs   and   Nurses   can   do   their   own   screening   on   everyone   who attends   the   Surgery.   But   taking   a   pulse   and   finding   if   it   is irregular   is   something   that   anyone   can   do.   If   there   is   any doubt   then   the   pulse   can   be   checked   by   a   Nurse   or   a   Doctor and   if   necessary   a   confirmatory   ECG   can   be   done.   We   know from   work   elsewhere   that   there   are   about   60%   more   patients with   AF   than   we   are   aware   of   and   we   want   to   identify   and help them. Treatment The   best   treatment   in   most   cases   is   to   use   warfarin   (the   clot- stopper)   and   sometimes   to   control   the   heart   rate.   Warfarin   is very   effective   but   it   does   have   drawbacks.   Firstly   it   makes bruising    and    bleeding    more    likely    because    it    slows    down natural   clotting.   In   some   patients   there   is   a   balance   of   risk that   suggests   avoiding   warfarin   is   the   right   thing   to   do   -   but these   cases   are   relatively   rare.   There   is   no   doubt   that   these   are   'rock   and   hard   place'   decisions   because   in   1000   patients we know that six will have bleeds (with occasional fatalities) and yet 30 will have strokes. As GPs, our dilemma is that our warfarin   treatment   could   rarely   cause   death   and   yet   not   treating   is   generally   much   more   likely   to   cause   death   or   disability -   and   yet   this   might   be   seen   by   the   public   as   'natural'.   A   frequent   compromise   is   the   prescription   of   Aspirin   which   may save 12 strokes but the contention is that we should warfarinise more patients. Why not warfarinise more patients with AF? The   decision   here   weighs   up   a   lot   of   factors.      The   risk   of   falls   and   subsequent   bleeds,   difficulty   in   getting   the   warfarin dose   blood   tests   and   uncertainty   about   whether   patients   will   take   the   warfarin   reliably   are   reasons   quoted   frequently   by GPs.   Occasionally   the   risks   of   treatment   are   given   more   emphasis   than   the   risks   of   not   treating   although   sometimes   it   is clearly right not to treat. Plan Patients   and   their   relatives   need   to   be   aware   of   this   balance   so   that   mature   decisions   can   be   made.   We   now   have   a computer   programme   that   can   predict   the   annual   risk   of   stroke   while   the   patient   is   sitting   in   the   Consulting   Room.   We know   patients   are   more   concerned   about   stroke   than   heart   attack   so   this   will   be   powerful   personal   information   that   will influence   the   decision   that   the   patient   and   GP   take   together.   Furthermore   the   patient   information   is   also   checked   by   a local   Cardiologist   who   gives   an   emailed   response   within   a   day   based   on   the   information   supplied.   This   is   a   new   move which   will   support   both   GPs   and   patients   in   difficult   decisions.   In   Primary   Care   we   need   to   make   the   blood   testing   easier and   have   this   done   in   the   home   by   someone   who   specialises   in   just   warfarin.   He   or   she   can   then   help   patients   be   clear about dosages possibly even using a portable machine in the home. ------------------------------------------------
Chlamydia Screening Sexually   active   young   people   who   live   in Suffolk   and   are   under   the   age   of   25   years of   age   are   being   encouraged   to   find   out   if they   have   a   sexually   transmitted   infection (STI)   called   Chlamydia   and   to   take   a   test every    year    or    every    time    you    change sexual partners. Remember   -   chlamydia   may   not   have   any   signs   or   symptoms   but it   is   estimated   that   1   in   12   sexually   active   young   people   have   the infection.    It    can    cause    long    term    health    problems    including infertility. Testing   is   simple   and   painless   -   no   unpleasant   examination   or swabs and it is easily treated with antibiotics
Healthy Ambitions Suffolk  is an exciting project to make Suffolk the healthiest county by 2028. The biggest contribution we can all make is to see that our hearts keep healthy Treat Yourself Better Pharmacy Voice has launched a fresh campaign which encourages people to self-treat winter ailments with pharmacy support first, rather than going to their GP or A&E.  A link to the Treat Yourself Better initiative with further details of the campaign is here.