We’re here for you for longer.
Should you have the flu vaccine? Please contact reception today to arrange your FLU APPOINTMENT.
Flu is an unpredictable virus that can cause mild illness in most people.
It can cause severe illness and even death among vulnerable groups including older people, pregnant women and people with an underlying health condition.
Certain people are more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. These people are advised to have a flu vaccine each year.
For otherwise healthy people flu can be very unpleasant, however most people will recover from flu within a week or two.
People who should have a flu vaccine
The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk. This is to help protect them against catching flu and developing serious complications.
You should have the flu vaccine if you:
- are 65 years of age or over
- are pregnant
- have certain medical conditions
- are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
- receive a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
Frontline health and social care workers are also eligible to receive the flu vaccine. It is your employer's responsibility to arrange and pay for this vaccine.
Flu vaccine for children
The flu vaccine is free on the NHS for:
- children over the age of 6 months with a long-term health condition
- children aged 2 and 3 on August 31 2018 – that is, born between September 1 2014 and August 31 2016
- children in reception class and school years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
Children aged between 6 months and 2 years of age who are eligible for the flu vaccine will receive an injected flu vaccine.
Children eligible for the flu vaccine aged between 2 and 17 will usually have the flu vaccine nasal spray.
65s and over and the flu vaccine
You are eligible for the flu vaccine this year (2018/19) if you are aged 65 and over on March 31 2019 – that is, you were born on or before March 31 1954. So, if you are currently 64 but will be 65 on March 31 2019, you do qualify.
Pregnant women and the flu vaccine
If you're pregnant, you're advised to have the injectable flu vaccine, regardless of the stage of pregnancy you've reached.
That's because there's strong evidence to suggest pregnant women have an increased risk of developing complications if they get flu.
If you're pregnant, you will benefit from the flu vaccine because:
- it reduces your chance of getting serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy
- it reduces your risk of having a miscarriage, or your baby being born prematurely or with a low birthweight because of flu
- it will help protect your baby as they will continue to have some immunity to flu for the first few months of their life
It's safe to have the flu vaccine at any stage of pregnancy from conception onwards. Talk to your GP, midwife or pharmacist if you want more information.
Read more about the flu vaccine in pregnancy.
Flu vaccine for people with medical conditions
The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to anyone with a serious long-term health condition, including:
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma (which requires an inhaled or tablet steroid treatment, or has led to hospital admission in the past), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease or multiple sclerosis (MS)
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medication such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (BMI of 40 or above)
This list of conditions isn't definitive. It's always an issue of clinical judgement.
Your GP can assess you to take into account the risk of flu making any underlying illness you may have worse, as well as your risk of serious illness from flu itself.
The vaccine should always be offered in such cases, even if you are not technically in one of the risk groups above.
If you live with someone who has a weakened immune system, you may also be advised to have a flu vaccine. Speak to your GP or pharmacist about this.
Flu vaccine for carers
If you are the main carer for someone who is elderly or disabled, speak to your GP or pharmacist about having a flu vaccine along with the person you care for.
Read more about the flu vaccine for carers on the Carers UK website.
Types of flu vaccine available
This year (2018) there are 3 different types of flu vaccine:
- a live quadrivalent vaccine (which protects against 4 strains of flu), given as a nasal spray. This is for children and young people aged 2 to 17 years eligible for the flu vaccine
- a quadrivalent injected vaccine. This is for adults aged 18 and over but below the age of 65 who are at increased risk from flu because of a long-term health condition and for children 6 months and above in an eligible group who cannot receive the live vaccine
- an adjuvanted trivalent injected vaccine. This is for people aged 65 and over as it has been shown to be more effective in this age group
If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years old and is in a high-risk group for flu, they will be offered an injected flu vaccine as the nasal spray is not licensed for children under 2.
Talk to your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist for more information about these vaccines.
**DRAGON COTTAGE CLOSURE**
3 September 2018
Thames Valley Police is one of three forces that have been chosen to conduct spot checks on driver's vision, with the possibility of drivers losing their licence immediately at the roadside if their vision is not safe.
See details here: BBC News
Can YOU read a number plate at 20 meters (approximately 60 feet)? If not then do not drive until you are safe and book your eye test with your optician today.
WE HAVE BEEN SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL GP AWARDS AGAIN - FOR THE SECOND TIME IN JUST THREE YEARS!
1 July 2018
People who missed out owing to late 90s scare stories warned of the increased risk in crowded places
Festivalgoers who missed the MMR vaccination 20 years ago have been urged to get the jab before the European festival season after infection rates in England tripled in a year.
It has been 20 years since the controversy surrounding the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, which falsely linked the jab to autism and resulted in a significant drop in its uptake. The health concerns of MMR were widely discredited and Andrew Wakefield, the doctor behind the research paper which made the claim, was struck off the medical register.
The Royal College of Nursing has warned of an increased number of outbreaks of measles in parts of southern Europe. Young adults who may have missed the injection owing to scare stories in the late 90s are particularly at risk. This is because they are highly likely to be going on city breaks or visiting large European festivals such as Benicassim in Spain, which starts this weekend.
While travellers to Europe do not often consider the need for vaccinations, since the beginning of 2018 there have been more than 757 cases of measles reported across England. This compares with 274 confirmed cases last year.
The outbreaks are often associated with travel to European countries including Greece, Romania, Italy and France, according to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
Measles, a highly infectious viral illness, is spread easily through airborne or droplet transmission, particularly in crowded places. Symptoms can last up to 10 days, and in few cases, can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis. The MMR vaccine is available for free. Just ask at Reception and we can organise the vaccines for you.
click here to read the full article in the Guardian
by Dr Lynnette Hykin
30 June 2018
Our practice has joined forces with Parkrun UK
to become a Parkrun-Practice!
We are the first practice locally get involved, however, we hope that others will soon follow in our footsteps.
This important national initiative is raising awareness of the positive and enormous impact on health and wellbeing that comes from participating in these events, either as a runner (or walker) or as a volunteer.
So what is "Parkrun"?
Its safe, organised, free, weekly, 5k events for all ages from 4+, every Saturday morning (0900), in areas of beautiful open space.
2k junior Parkruns are for 4-14-year-olds and their families on Sunday mornings.
There are now over 750 Parkrun locations in the UK.
The events are organised by local volunteer teams.
These are NOT races: you can walk, run, jog, volunteer or spectate.
Parkrun is open to all, including those who are inactive or have health conditions or disabilities.
YOU can improve YOUR health and well-being through physical activity, including volunteering.
Socialise, make friends and be part of a welcoming, supportive community.
I have been participating in Parkrun for over three years now, and I have done over 100 runs. I was never a very active person, quite often skipping ‘games’ at school, and I didn’t take up any sport at all after leaving school. Recently though I was persuaded by my daughter to ‘get fitter’. I started with the NHS couch to 5K, and having found that feasible, I then moved on to Parkrun, though I could have started with Parkrun from the beginning. My daughter has left home and can’t usually make it to our local Parkrun, so I persuaded my sister to start!
I find it easier to do regular exercise when I have someone else to encourage me, but there are plenty of ‘soloists’ at Parkrun too. It is such a friendly and supportive environment. We all cheer each other on, and there are volunteer Marshalls all around the course (you could be one of these) who also cheer and clap and generally encourage everyone. No matter how slowly you go around the course, you are always lapping the person who stayed home!
Now that we have become a Parkrun Practice, I have decided to change my loyalty from my usual Oxford Parkrun and come to Wycombe Rye Parkrun, alternating with Banbury Parkrun where my sister’s GP practice is based.
I hope to see some familiar faces there!
One final thing... there is cake!
Council Tax Discounts:
14 May 2018
Did you know that patients with certain disabilities such as Dementia may be eligible for a discount (of approximately 25%) in their Council Tax which could be back dated to the date of diagnosis?
More information can be found here: Local Council Tax Discounts and here: Dementia UK help page
Military staff and their families may also be entitled to similar discounts. Information can be found by clicking the Local Council Tax Discounts link.
Amazing support from our Community:
11 April 2018
We wish to extend a huge thank you to the pupils of the 6th form at the Royal Grammar School who are fundraising to provide additional medical equipment for our patients.
Thank you also to our local Residents Association who have now joined them and are supporting their efforts!
It really is a wonderful example of how our tremendous community pulls together around us and for each other!
If you wish to add your support or help or just read about their efforts you can find out more about whats going on here:
Royal Grammar School Fundraising Page https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/hughendenvalley
Details for the local Residents Association can be found here: https://hughendenresidents.org/
Thank you again for what you are doing from all of us at Hughenden Valley and Prestwood Surgeries!
Protecting your confidentiality:
7 April 2018
The new national GDPR regulations come into force in May 2018 and we have take steps to ensure your data continues to be used appropriately.
We have published an updated Privacy Notice to be found in the 'further information' section of this website which gives more details.
GP Research Active
31 March 2018
Breast Cancer Family History?
2 October 2017
Breast cancer will affect around 1/8 women in their lifetime. However, some women are at higher risk of developing breast cancer and may benefit from more regular mammograms and, in some instances, prophylactic medication. There is a really helpful tool on the BreastCancerNow website which we would encourage our patients to use. It stratifies your possible risk, and you can print out the results and show it to your GP if it suggests that referral onwards may be indicated. Unfortunately, because of the very large number of women who have got relatives with breast cancer, it is not feasible for us to complete the questionnaire for you in a consultation. This is the link to the questionnaire;
Quadrivalent flu vaccine - Confirmation
1 September 2017
Following items recently in the news we can confirm that the practice has been using the quadrivalent vaccine throughout this season's flu campaign.
Dr Hykin has been fundraising for Helen and Douglas House, a Hospice for children based in Oxford. On 24th June straight after completing her 100th Parkrun (5K) she went on to do the 3K rainbow run in aid of Helen and Douglas House
This is the link to the JustGiving fundraising page;
Justgiving fundraising page
What is the P.O.I.N.T.?
Updated 2 January 2018
Do you think you might need a GP appointment but are not sure or just can't get an appointment?
Since 2008 the number of appointments in General Practice has approximately doubled.
At Hughenden Valley and Chequers Surgeries, we presently have enough appointments so that, if divided evenly, every single man woman and child can have an appointment approximately once, every single month.
You may be surprised to learn that even though there is a widely publicised and desperate shortage of GP appointments nationally, many people still book appointments when they do not need to; for example, if they have a minor ailment.
In just one day, for example, 14 'urgent case' appointments were used by people who had been stung by a wasp. The wasp itself remains at large.
In the event of an emergency, a wasp sting needs to be managed by the emergency services. If it is not an emergency then a wasp sting should be managed by your pharmacist.
In the extremely rare event of a wasp sting needing ongoing treatment, then your pharmacist will arrange for your GP to see you.
At Hughenden Valley and Chequers Surgeries we pioneered a brand new service called POINT.
The Pharmacist Opinion: In Need of Treatment service has been developed in collaboration with local pharmacy services and is designed to help those people that need to see a GP, see a GP!
Simply present yourself to your Pharmacist with your health concern, and they will help you. It's that simple.
If you are not sure whether or not your problem is appropriate to take to a Pharmacist, you can find some information here: NHS Pharmacy Help, but if it's not an emergency and it's not already being looked after by a doctor, then it should probably go to a Pharmacist before you try and book a GP appointment.
When you see your Pharmacist, if you need to see someone else about your health problem then you will be 'pointed' in the right direction by your Pharmacist.
If, for example, you need to be seen at your GP surgery then you will be given a form (like the one shown here) to take to the GP receptionist who will arrange a fast-tracked appointment for you.
The fastest way to get a GP appointment when you need one, is to see your Pharmacist.
Pharmacies wishing to use this form may do so without charge.
A generic version of the form (Microsoft Word Document) may be downloaded here: DOWNLOAD HERE on a PC / Mac.
We were finalists in the "GP Practice Team of the Year"!
The award went to 'Sandwell & West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group' who oversee 103 GP Practices in Birmingham. They are not a 'GP Team' in the strictest sense, but clearly they deserve an award.
Naturally, its hard to compete with that kind of infrastructure and budget, but we could not be more proud of our team.
Despite attracting one of the very lowest rates of funding in the UK we are still able to strive for and achieve excellence every day and that's entirely due to the dedication of the team that serves our patients.
In the context of the NHS in 2016 this is a massive achievement. While other practices are cutting services we are still increasing them and while across the country average waiting times are up by 30% this year, we are finding new and innovative ways to buck that trend. It is commonplace now, for GP surgeries to have stopped booking any advanced appointments at all (source www.pulsetoday.co.uk June 2016). We will continue to book appointments in advance for those who need them until further notice (please remember to cancel your appointment if you no longer need it).
Nationally and locally surgeries are preventing access to any appointments at all without first undergoing a telephone assessment. We have decided that at this time we will not follow that trend and we have not removed our established systems, but rest assured we are under as much pressure as any other surgery.
Believe it or not, it really is still the case that people book up doctor's appointments for sore throats and suspected urine infections, often with symptoms for less than 24 hours.
Remember, if your child is under 5 years of age, speak to your health visitor first and if you have a minor ailment yourself then you should call 111 if you do not know what to do.
We are one part of a very large NHS jigsaw. It is important that we all consider which part of the NHS we actually need before booking a GP appointment, otherwise the appointments wont be available for those people that need them.
Your local NHS has set up a Minor Illness Unit in High Wycombe for people with minor illnesses. You do not need an appointment you just go there (its at Wycombe Hospital) and you do not need to book a GP appointment before going.
For those who do not need to go to the Minor Illness Unit, the entire pharmacy network is ready and waiting to help you. You do not need to see your GP before going there either.
We are very pleased to announce that we have installed a Free Wifi service for patients
We are aware that it can be frustrating if the patients in front of you need a little longer than average with the doctor.
Whether you need to check your emails or just want to see what the weather is like outside without having to look out of the window, hopefully this will make your wait a little easier.
Exam worries? Stressed? Check this out...
Are you a young person worried about exams, or perhaps you just got your results and don't know what to do now? Feeling stressed or just need someone to talk to?
"Time to Talk Bucks" is a service for local young people. They are getting positive feedback from many of our patients.
You can find their website here: Time To Talk
They have a "live chat" link at the top of this page, or you can email email@example.com or call 0845 408 5022 or 07764 210398 to speak with a member of the Time to Talk Bucks team.
Wycombe Minor Illness and Injury Unit (MIIU) - field trip
Last year Dr Hykin and Nurse Lynne did a field trip to look at the Wycombe MIIU. This is what they said;
'We wanted to know what it would be like for our patients to come here. The MIIU was easy to find, being well sign-posted from the 'magic roundabout' in Wycombe.
The unit was well lit and clean with helpful notices. People check in with a receptionist who takes down some basic details of what is wrong, and what GP surgery the patient comes from. The receptionist gives the patient some idea of the wait time and then the patient sits in a waiting area. There is a drinks machine, and also a water dispenser.
We looked at several consulting rooms which we noticed were well equipped. There was a plaster room and there was an area where x-rays and scans can be taken.
On the day we visited, patients could be seen by either a GP or a nurse practitioner of which there were several. The unit was established to provide on-the-day NHS care for those with minor illnesses and injuries. They told us that they could see and treat patients with sore throats, ear infections, hay-fever, asthma flare -ups, eczema and skin infections to name but a few of the conditions they see daily, as well as injuries such as lacerations and limb fractures. Some of the patients had been recommended to come by their own surgery, some came because they had seen information about the MIIU on posters or on the internet, and some because they had been before. Some patients came because they worked in Wycombe but lived elsewhere.
Whilst we visited, we noticed about 6 people in the waiting room and observed the waiting time to be around 35 minutes.
In summary, we were really impressed with this service. With resources under so much pressure throughout the NHS, it is really good to know that there is such an efficient service locally to provide the appropriate care that people need for their minor illnesses and injuries without them even needing to phone ahead for an appointment.'
B - SHAW - Bucks Sexual Health And Well-being service launches
Buckinghamshire County Council has recently recommissioned the specialist sexual health services for both 'genitourinary medicine' and 'contraception'.
The new service is known as B-SHAW (Bucks Sexual Health and Well-being).
Service providers and clinic opening times have changed and there is now one single point of access via a central telephone number: 0300 303 2880.
Having trouble getting a nurse appointment?
Then please help us out.
The sharp-eyed among you will have noticed that over the past few years a considerable chunk of work which used to take place in hospital is now being done in the surgery.
While this is not the best place to discuss the politics as to why that has happened, the removal of most services from Wycombe Hospital has not helped us locally.
Our brilliant nursing team have born the brunt of much of this increased workload, which in turn makes it really important that the appointments that we have left over are used most effectively.
In the meantime we have undertaken a thorough review of the work that our nurses do and one area where we have found that we can free up resources is with the completion of health-questionnaires.
Historically, these have been completed either by a nurse during a consultation with a patient, or by a patient, again during a nurse consultation.
We have been trialling a new system whereby the questionnaires are completed at home, and then we make contact with patients who need to be contacted. It has gone well and we are already seeing shorter waiting times for nurse appointments.
Suitable areas which have been identified for "home questionnaires" include:
- Asthma Questionnaires
- Hypertension Monitoring Reviews (for patients who monitor their own blood pressure at home)
- Smoking Status reviews
If you usually "report in" to see a nurse annually, even when entirely well, you may be asked to fill in one of our new home assessments first, so that we can make sure that despite the ever increasing pressures on the service, our resources remain accessible to those who need them.
Of course we are able to offer this new service to many more patients than we could ever see during our nursing clinics, so do not be alarmed if you receive a health questionnaire from us when you are not expecting one!
Its all part of the service!!
Home assessments will typically be sent to you during the month of your birth, so that they coincide with your other health reviews.
Again, by reducing duplication we are finding we can help more patients with the resources that we are allocated.
This is an area of new development in General Practice and is likely to change with time.
For now we thank you for your help in getting it going, and welcome your feedback.
** You can find the links to the new questionnaires via the Online Services section of the site - Click Here: to go there directly**
Exclusive Wiltshire Farm Foods Discount!
Those friendly folks at Wiltshire Farm Foods have put together an amazing package for our patients.
They have created "A Hand-picked pack called the ‘Hughenden Valley Pack’ which features five meals and five desserts from "the luxurious end of our range" and would usually be charged at £32.40 individually but they will offer a trial pack price of £15.00 with free delivery.
Hands Only CPR - Its not as hard as it looks!
Watch the video and may be save a life..
Back by popular demand - please take out a couple of minutes to watch the British Heart Foundation's CPR video.
It might help you save a life.
Click Here to see the video: Vinnie Jones explains that CPR is not as hard as it looks.
We are on Twitter!@HughendenValley
FREE FIRE SAFETY CHECK
Did you know that you can arrange a FREE fire safety assessment for yourself, someone you care for or anyone locally via the brilliant team at the Buckingham and Milton Keynes Fire Authority?
You can download the necessary form by clicking this link:
Fire Assessment form
and then send it by post to:
Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service, Brigade HQ, Stocklake, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP20 1BD
or by email to:
and they will take it from there.
Member of Parliament Surgery Visit
We were very pleased to welcome our local Member of Parliament David Lidington MP to the surgery.
Mr Lidington (pictured on the right) enjoyed a tour of the grounds and facilities at Hughenden Valley Surgery before taking time to hear about some of the tremendous challenges that we are currently facing in General Practice.