Thursday, May 23, 2013

What should I do if I am unwell over the bank holiday?

As the bank holiday approaches it is worth thinking about what you would do if you or a member of your family became unwell over the holiday period.  We recommend that you:-
  • stock up on over the counter medicines.  Your pharmacist can also give you advice on treatments and products available.
  • check you have enough prescription medicine to see you through the holidays and if you are going away pack enough for at least the duration of your holiday. 
If you need medical assistant when we are closed you can:
  • phone NHS Direct for medical advice.  Their telephone number is 0845 4647
  • pop in to your local pharmacy for advice and over the counter medication
  • phone us on 01404 814447 if your problem is urgent.  Your call will be automatically transferred to the out of hours service (Devon Doctors on Call).  To avoid putting undue pressure on this service, please only phone  if your problem cannot wait until we reopen
  • phone 999 immediately in the event of a life threatening, medical emergency
Please avoid using emergency/urgent services and hospital A&E departments for routine problems or for problems that can wait until we reopen

We are closed on Monday 27th May 2013 and reopen on Tuesday 28th May 2013.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Dementia Awareness Week

Dementia Awareness Week 19-25th May, find out more, talk to Alzheimer's Society and join the conversation.   #TalkDementia

Friday, May 10, 2013

Lay Member Required for Wakley Sub Locality

Lay Member

Your local health services need YOU

We are looking to recruit a patient representative, known as a lay member, to our local health services group.

From April 2013 most healthcare services for people are bought by clinical commissioning groups (CCG). Our local CCG is Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG.

We are responsible for commissioning £1.1bn of healthcare services on your behalf and for ensuring we can make the clinical commissioning group the best it can be.  We have involved patients, carers, clinicians and our staff to try to get it right.

Our local area falls under the eastern locality of the CCG, which is represented by four sub-localities. These are smaller populations within Eastern Devon where care is bought uniquely to ensure it meets the specific needs of that area.

Our sub locality is called ‘Wakley’ and is made up of a group of GPs and practice managers who meet monthly to discuss matters relating to healthcare in Axminster, Honiton, Ottery St Mary, Seaton and Sidmouth.

The Wakley sub locality has two co-chairs, Dr Simon Kerr, GP at Coleridge Medical Centre, Ottery St Mary and Dr Phil Taylor, GP at Axminster Surgery who represent the Wakley sub locality at the Eastern Locality meetings.

Lay member

The Wakley sub locality is now looking for a lay member who is passionate about health improvement and who will help us establish local priorities for healthcare from June 2013. The lay member will be someone who is able to take a broad view across the Wakley area.

If you would like to apply for this position or require further information please contact Nicola Webber on 01392 356129 or email:

Applicants will need to send a covering letter and CV, to, by Friday 31st May 2013.

Healthy People, Living Healthy Lives, in Healthy Communities

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Notifiable Diseases and Sharing Information with Public Health

Notification of a number of specified infectious diseases is required under the Public Health (Infectious Diseases) 1988 Act and the Public Health (Control of Diseases) 1984 Act. New (amended) regulations for clinical notifications came into force on 6 April 2010.  

The notifiable diseases are: Acute encephalitis; Brucellosis; Infectious bloody diarrhoea; Meningococcal septicaemia; Scarlet fever; Whooping cough; Acute infectious hepatitis; Cholera; Invasive group A streptococcal disease; Mumps; Smallpox; Yellow fever;  Acute meningitis; Diphtheria; Legionnaires’ Disease; Plague; Tetanus.  

These and other diseases that may present significant risk to human health may be reported under Other significant disease category.Acute poliomyelitis; Enteric fever (typhoid or paratyphoid fever); Leprosy;  Rabies; Tuberculosis; Food poisoning; Malaria; Rubella; Typhus; Botulism;  Haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS); Measles; SARS; Viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF)                                           

Registered medical practitioners in England and Wales have "a statutory duty to notify a 'proper officer' of the Local Authority of suspected cases of certain infectious diseases"; usually the consultant in communicable disease control (CCDC). The GP should fill out a notification certificate immediately on diagnosis without waiting for laboratory confirmation - and ensure it gets to the officer within 3 days (phone if urgent).

The proper officers are required every week to inform the Health Protection Agency (HPA) Centre for Infections (CfI) about details of each case of each disease that has been notified.  

As well as notifications of the infectious diseases specified below, the 2010 regulations also require GPs to notify cases of "other infections or of contamination which they believe present, or could present, a significant risk to human health", e.g emerging or new infections, or cases of contamination (such as with chemicals or radiation) - particularly if there is a risk of transmission to others.

Diagnostic laboratories themselves also have a requirement to notify the HPA of specified causative agents they identify in tests on human samples.

The 2010 regulations also provide local authorities with wider and more flexible powers to deal with incidents which present, or could present, a significant risk to human health.  A proper officer or representative will make direct contact with the patient.

Notification requires the completion of the appropriate form, but notify urgent cases by phone as well (ASAP - certainly within 24 hours of any suspicions)

Details required :
  • Patient's name, date of birth, sex, and home address with postcode.
  • Patient's NHS number.
  • Ethnicity (used to monitor health equalities).
  • Occupation, and/or place of work or educational establishment if relevant.
  • Current residence (if it is not the home address).
  • Contact telephone number.
  • Contact details of a parent (for children).

  • The disease or infection, or nature of poisoning/contamination being reported.
  • Date of onset of symptoms and date of diagnosis.
  • Any relevant overseas travel history.
  • If in hospital, also:
    • Hospital address.
    • Day admitted.
    • Whether the disease was contracted in hospital. 

Protecting your child against measles

Re: Protecting your child against measles
You may be aware that there has been an increase in the number of measles cases in England with some local outbreaks. 
Measles can cause very serious illness
Measles usually causes a runny nose, red eyes, cough, high temperature and rash. It can also cause complications including ear infections, diarrhoea, pneumonia and convulsions. It is more likely to be serious in pregnant women, people whose immunity is not working properly and babies under a year of age. Very serious complications, such as inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) are rare, but can be fatal
Measles spreads very easily
Measles is one of the most infectious diseases known. You can catch measles if you spend 15 minutes with someone who has the disease. The measles virus is spread through the air and in tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth of an infected person.
MMR vaccine provides safe and effective protection against measles, mumps and rubella
MMR vaccine has been shown across the world to be a safe and effective way of preventing measles. It can protect your child and others against measles infection and its serious consequences.
What you can do now
In light of the continuing measles activity across the country, we strongly recommend that you arrange for your child to commence or complete the MMR vaccination programme now. Two doses of MMR vaccine offer the best way to protect your child against measles, mumps and rubella.

Over the coming weeks we will be writing out to invite those who have not commenced or completed the MMR vaccination programme to do so now.   We do hope you will take this opportunity to ensure full protection.

There is more information on measles on the NHS Choices website.