- The flu vaccine gave me the flu: The vaccine is inactivated which means it has been killed off in the manufacturing process. It is physically impossible for the flu vaccine to cause the flu. It does, however, take up to two weeks to reach peak effectiveness, so it is possible some individuals may become naturally unwell during this time.
- I can get antibiotics for the flu: Flu is a virus. Antibiotics only work on bacteria. They have no effect whatsoever on a virus. A bacterial infection could occur as a result of having the flu (complications) and only then would antibiotics be required, or effective.
- I’ve never needed it before: Certain age groups are more susceptible to infections such as the flu virus. If you have recently turned 65, or will be 65 before the end of the flu season (March) then you will be invited for a flu vaccination. Or you may have recently been diagnosed with a condition, such as Diabetes, or COPD, which means you are more susceptible.
- I don’t get ill: not everyone catches flu, however this is not a guarantee each year. Circulating flu strains can change. This is why the vaccine needs to be given every year. Even if you think you’ve already had flu, you still need the vaccine annually. You may have recently been diagnosed with a chronic condition which can make people more vulnerable. Many people carry the flu virus without any symptoms, and can pass this on to vulnerable people such as family and friends. Some people cannot be vaccinated for a valid reason, so getting vaccinated yourself helps protect them (known as herd immunity).
- I’m pregnant so it might not be safe for me or my baby: being pregnant significantly increases your risks of contracting flu and suffering complications, you may become very ill which could also be bad for your baby. Research has shown that it is very safe to have the flu vaccine whilst pregnant. Mums who have the vaccine may also pass some immunity to their baby which lasts through the first few months of life.
- It’s just like a heavy cold: A bad bout of flu is much worse than a heavy cold. Symptoms come on suddenly and sometimes severely. They include fever, chills, headaches and aching muscles, as well as a cough and sore throat. You are likely to spend 2 or 3 days in bed. If you get complications, you could become seriously ill and have to go to hospital.
- The flu vaccine is ineffective: the vaccine can only protect against illness caused by the virus strains in the vaccine. Other viral and bacterial infections cause similar symptoms and are often mistaken for flu. The vaccines must also be matched to predicted circulating strains every year. Sometimes a new strain develops that was not predicted and outbreaks can occur.
- I can get the flu vaccine at the chemist/pharmacist: this is true, however, it is worth remembering they will not be able to give you other vaccines that you might require such as pneumonia, shingles, or whooping cough. At the surgery we can give you all the vaccinations you are eligible for.
- If you have any questions or worries about having the flu vaccine please ask a doctor or nurse at anytime and we will be happy to help.
We are running a survey and would appreciate your input. Please let us know what you think by clicking on the link below to complete our short practice survey.
Thanks for participating!
If you would like to join our PPG we are looking for members. Please select the PPG tab & ‘Join the PPG’ to find out more information.
Some of our practice staff are doing the Barrow Park Run this Saturday morning. We are trying to encourage staff & patients to become more active. If any patients would like to join us we will be there Saturday mornings. Meet at the bandstand 8.45am, ready to start at 9am. You can sign up at http://www.parkrun.org.uk/barrow/. Hope to see you all there!
Have you heard about the My GP App?
• Really quick and easy to sign up
• Book and cancel appointments for you and your family (it’s easy to add a dependent i.e. your children)
• Receive medication reminders of when to put your prescription in
• Monitor and track your health i.e. Weight, blood pressure to monitor progress and set goals
To find out more please visit: https://www.ilovemygp.com/
You can now book an appointment to see a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional in the evening or at the weekend.
Speak to your practice receptionist or a member of the practice team to find out more.
Introducing NHS 111 online in Lancashire and Cumbria
From 27 June 2018, patients in Lancashire and Cumbria will be able to access the same urgent medical advice from the 111 phone line online at 111.nhs.uk.
111 online is a new, national service which provides a fast and convenient digital alternative to the phone line and helps to manage increasing demand on 111 telephone services. It has been developed in response to user feedback and insights from patients who have accessed other emergency care services.
111 online helps people get urgent healthcare using their smartphone, laptop or other digital device. It uses the same clinical assessment and triaging tools that support the national NHS 111 telephone service. People answer questions about their symptoms and receive tailored advice on what to do next and where to go.
If appropriate, the service will also arrange for them to receive a call back from a nurse, doctor or other trained medical professional.
Initially, it will be a soft launch and 111 online will not be directly marketed to the public until the service has bedded in. From the end of July, the service will be live across the North West and people will then be signposted to the service via a recorded message when they call 111.
How does 111 online work?
People visit 111.nhs.uk, enter their age, sex, postcode and main symptom and are then taken through a series of questions about their symptoms. These questions are similar to the ones asked on the phone. Once they have answered the questions, they will then be told what to do and where to go, including whether they need to see a GP or seek urgent care.
People will also be able to arrange a call back from a nurse, doctor or other trained medical professional through the online service.
How will people find out about the service?
From the end of July 2018, people will be directed to the online service through a recorded message when they call 111.
What are the benefits?
111 online provides an option for people who would like to access the 111 service online and support the uptake of digital services for people to manage their own health and care. It is fast and convenient and has been introduced to help to manage increasing demand on the 111 phone line and allow patients to get the right care at the right time for them.
What if people don’t agree with the outcome?
If people would like further advice, they can still call 111, contact a pharmacist or their GP practice.
Will people still be able to use the NHS 111 telephone service?
Yes – the 111 phone service will still be available. 111 online simply provides an additional way of accessing the same service as the phone line.
Can anyone use the service?
111 online is not available for under 5s. People looking for urgent medical help for under 5s should use the 111 phone line.
Can people access the service from anywhere?
111 online will be available for people in Lancashire and Cumbria from 27 June, 2018. People will be able to access the service from wherever they are, by entering their postcode into the postcode finder at 111.nhs.uk.
The service is currently being rolled out across the country and the aim is for everyone in England to be able to access the full 111 online service by the end of the year.
How does 111 Online handle users that need urgent care outside their local area, like commuters or holidaymakers?
The product uses a filter to ensure directory of service results are returned for that location only.
Will 111 Online increase pressure on local services as more patients will be referred to them?
Areas with 111 Online already live have not seen demand spikes; instead it captures callers who would ring 111.
Does the online service store personal details or information?
In order to use the service and receive advice about their symptoms, people need to enter their postcode (to get help in the right location) and their age and sex (so the right medical questions are asked.) If they choose to book a call back from a local health service, they will need to enter contact details to arrange this.
How can people feedback about the service?
Further feedback and comments on the service can be directed to Celine Salisbury at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also a link to a feedback form at each stage of the online service, which will be sent directly to the national team.
Public Health England is advising the public to ensure they have had 2 doses of MMR vaccine after outbreaks of measles are confirmed across England.
Between 1 January 2018 and 9 May 2018 there have been 440 laboratory confirmed measles cases in England, with London (164), the South East (86), West Midlands (78), South West (42) and West Yorkshire (37) reporting the most cases.
The increase in measles circulation is mainly associated with travel to and from Europe where there are large ongoing measles outbreaks.
Young people and adults aged 15 and over who missed out on MMR vaccine when they were younger and some under-vaccinated communities have been particularly affected.
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can sometimes lead to serious complications and can be fatal in very rare cases.
Anyone who has not received 2 doses of MMR vaccine is at risk, but young people in environments with close mixing such as festivals are more at risk, as well as unvaccinated people travelling to Romania and Italy, where there are currently large outbreaks. Anyone planning to travel to Europe should check NaTHNaC travel health advice.
PHE local health protection teams are working closely with the NHS and local authorities to raise awareness with health professionals and local communities.
The MMR vaccine is available to all adults and children who are not up to date with their two doses.
Anyone who is not sure if they are fully vaccinated should check with their GP practice who can advise them.
Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE, said:
The measles outbreaks we are currently seeing in England are linked to ongoing large outbreaks in Europe. The majority of cases we are seeing are in teenagers and young adults who missed out on their MMR vaccine when they were children.
Anyone who missed out on their MMR vaccine in the past or are unsure if they had 2 doses should contact their GP practice to catch-up.
This serves as an important reminder for parents to take up the offer of MMR vaccination for their children at 1 year of age and as a pre-school booster at 3 years and 4 months of age.
We’d also encourage people to ensure they are up to date with their MMR vaccine before travelling to countries with ongoing measles outbreaks.
The UK recently achieved WHO measles elimination status and so the overall risk of measles to the UK population is low, however, we will continue to see cases in unimmunised individuals and limited onward spread can occur in communities with low MMR coverage and in age groups with very close mixing.
DID YOU KNOW WEEKEND GP APPOINTMENTS ARE NOW AVAILABLE
In partnership with your GP, Cumbria Health on Call are offering WEEKEND APPOINTMENTS at Furness General Hospital or Westmorland General Hospital.
You will be seen by a GP who has access to your medical records and who can provide the same service as your usual GP.
Healthcare Assistant appointments are also available.
Please ask at the Surgery if you would like to book a weekend appointment.