Patients with a diagnosis of asthma will be invited to attend the clinic annually. The appointment allows patients to discuss any problems or concerns. The nurse will check your peak flow, check your medication is being taken correctly and make adjustments to medication if necessary.
The main purpose of the this clinic is to ensure that patients are symptom free, on the correct amount of medication and that asthma is not interfering with activities of daily life.
The surgery follows the National Screening Guidelines from the Department of Health. Women are sent their first invitation for routine cervical screening at the age for 25. They are invited every three years until the age of 49. From the age of 50 to 64 they are invited for screening every 5 years. At the age of 65, women are no longer invited to have a cervical screening test unless they have had abnormalities on previous tests.
All eligible women will be sent a letter by the Primary Care Trust asking them to make an appointment for a cervical smear test to be carried out. The Porch Surgery holds clinics on different days to offer you a choice of appointments; these clinics are run by the practice nurses. We cannot do a smear test unless you have received this letter. If you think you may have been missed out for recall, please contact the surgery, and we will investigate. After your smear you will receive a letter from Wiltshire Shared Services informing you of the result; this letter can take six to ten weeks to arrive.
Cervical Screening Tests can also be done at a Family Planning Clinic.
You cannot be tested during your period so make sure you get an appointment before or after your period is due. It is best to have the test in the middle of your menstrual cycle, midway between the periods. www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/cervical
There’s a petition currently circulating regarding the change of cervical screening from every 3 years to every 5 years. The reasons for this change haven’t been adequately explained to the general public and it has understandably caused a great deal of concern. But don’t panic – the change is evidence based and not a cost-saving exercise, and changing smears from every 3 years to every 5 years will NOT lead to an increase in cervical cancer rates/deaths, and this is why:
– A couple of years ago, the way smear tests are done changed slightly (but not everyone is aware of this as the actual procedure and way the sample is taken stayed pretty much the same)
– With the “old” smear test, a sample of cells was taken from the cervix, which was then looked at under a microscope to see if there are any changes to the cells (which could later become cancerous).
– With the “new” smear test, a sample of cells is still taken, however instead of the cells being looked at first, the sample is first checked for a virus called HPV. If HPV is present, the cells will then be checked for abnormalities. If HPV is not present, the cells will not be checked.
– The reason for this is that almost all cases of cervical cancer are linked to the presence of HPV. So if you don’t have HPV on the sample then you are extremely unlikely to have abnormal cell changes
– If you get HPV, it can take usually between 5-10 years for that HPV to cause changes to the cervical cells
– So with the “new” smear tests, if you test negative for HPV on the sample, even if you then get HPV the day after your test, it will take (at least) 5 years for any cell changes to happen. So doing a smear test 3 years after a smear test that was negative for HPV is fairly useless really.
Smears save lives,
PLEASE Book FOR YOUR SMEARS!!!
COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Respiratory Disease and is an increasingly common lung disease often caused by smoking and usually affecting people over the age of forty. The term includes the conditions chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
There is a weekly clinic to diagnose and manage the care of people with COPD, run by one of the nurses who hold asthma and COPD management diplomas. Patients already diagnosed are routinely invited for an annual check but can also self refer if they have queries about their treatment or feel they are deteriorating.
Patients who think they may be at risk of the disease or are experiencing a chronic cough or shortness of breath can ask for a breathing test called ‘spirometry’ which helps in diagnosis of the disease. If you would like a spirometry test, please leave your details at reception and you will be contacted.
Coronary Heart Disease
The Coronary Heart Disease clinic is nurse led and is held on a weekly basis. This clinic covers a vast array of conditions from patients who have a raised cholesterol to those who have undergone major heart surgery.
The clinic also cares for patients who have had blockages in arteries in other parts of the body as well as the heart. Therefore if you have had a stroke you will come under the umbrella of the ‘heart clinic’.
Patients are invited by letter to attend the clinic; this usually occurs near their birthday month. The letter will state whether you need a blood test or not. As soon as you receive the letter, contact the surgery and make the appointment(s) as required.
For diabetic patients with heart problems we hold a combined clinic; this saves you having to attend two separate clinics.
All our diabetic patients are invited to attend the nurse led clinic at least once a year. You will be sent an appointment with a blood test request form enclosed. The letter asks you to make an appointment for the blood test as soon as possible. This ensures your results are back in time for your clinic appointment.
Some of the things to expect at you annual review:
- Review of your blood tests
- Blood pressure
- Examination of your feet
- Discussion of lifestyle issues
It is important to remember that your annual review is to enable you to lead a normal and healthy life, therefore preventing complications in the future.
Appointments for blood tests are available every weekday morning with a specially trained member of staff. The majority of blood samples need to reach the laboratory by early afternoon and for this reason, we can only offer morning appointments.
As demand for phlebotomy appointments are high, it is recommended that you give as much notice as possible when making your appointment. Unless your doctor/hospital consultant has stated that your blood test needs to be done urgently, a routine appointment will usually suffice. A ‘routine’ appointment can be anything up to three weeks in advance.
You may be asked to starve/fast (ie have nothing to eat or drink) prior to your phlebotomy appointment and to accommodate these appointments we set aside some early morning appointments.
How do I get the results?
Results can be obtained by using ‘online access’ or by contacting the surgery by phone.
All patients taking warfarin (a medication to thin their blood) should have regular checks to monitor their INR levels so that they can be prescribed the correct dose of warfarin.
Clinics are held regularly during the week run by specially trained staff (who work alongside a doctor). They will check your INR and advise on the amount of warfarin you should be taking.
If you attend the INR Clinic please remember to bring your ‘yellow book’ with you when you come to the clinic.
Women’s Health Clinic
The Women’s Health Clinic is primarily for contraceptive issues and check-ups if you are on HRT. It is led by one of our nurses who has trained in family planning. All aspects of contraception and sexual health can be discussed. You can self refer for these clinics.
When you speak to the Duty Doctor on the telephone they may decide that you need to see one of our Nurses in the Minor Illness Clinic. Some of the common ailments they manage include; cystitis, earache, chest infections, rashes and conjunctivitis.
The Minor Illness nurses are qualified to prescribe medication if necessary.