Newcastle Medical Centre Tel: 0191 232 2973

At some point in our lives there is a chance we could be affected in some way, either directly or indirectly, by problems relating to mental health. This Practice takes mental health very seriously in the surgery and would aim to provide a comprehensive service that would range from advice and support up to long term care for those patients with severe and enduring mental health needs.

All of the doctors would be happy to discuss any emotional concerns.

There are a number of resources and sources of support available both locally.  Below are some of the services that are available:

MIND – leading mental health charity in England and Wales.
Tyneside and Northumberland Mind
Wellbeing Centre
Dunsmuir Grove
NE8 4QL.
Telephone: 0191 477 4545

SAMARITANS – provide confidential non-judgemental emotional support, 24hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide.
Telephone: 116 123

This is the first 24/7 test message service,this is free on all major networks but for more information speak to your provider or check the give us a shout website.  This is a place you can contact if you are struggling and need immediate help.

For more information please see the attached leaflet which is called Mental Health and Wellbeing During Covid-19, this leaflet has lots of tips and contact details for support and guidance.

Remember that it is ok to talk.

For the flu season 2020/2021 (flu season is usually September - March) it is highly recommended that if you are eligible for the vaccine then you should get vaccinated.  You may have already received an awareness letter advising you to arrange an appointment.

The flu vaccine is free on the NHS for the following children:
•children over the age of 6 months with a long-term health condition

•children aged 2 and 3 years on 31 August 2020 (that is, born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2018)

•children in primary school

•children in year 7 (secondary school)

The flu vaccine is free on the NHS for the following adults:
•are 65 years old or over (if you're aged 65 and over on 31 March 2021that is, you were born on or before 31 March 1956)

•are pregnant

•have certain medical conditions

•are living in a long-stay residential care home or another long-stay care facility

•receive a carer's allowance, or you're the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill

•live with someone who's at high risk of coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list) or you expect to be with them on most days over winter.

This guidance is likely to be changed or updated in the coming months and we will  ensure that you receive the most up to date information.  The NHS website is updated regularly and can be viewed by clicking the below link

You will be invited by the practice by letter or text message to make your appointment but you can contact us if you feel you are eligible and want to arrange this appointment before we contact you.  We will be running flu clinics however if they are not suitable we can arrange an alternative appointment.

How do I make an appointment?
There are several ways to make an appointment with this practice.  The preferred method is via the NHS App which can be downloaded from your app store on your mobile telephone.  We do however offer other options to make an appointment:

• NHS App
• Over the phone
• At the Reception desk (please call first at the moment as we have the doors closed during the covid pandemic)


eConsult enables NHS based GP practices to offer online consultations to their patients. This allows patients to submit their symptoms or requests to their own GP electronically and offers around the clock NHS self-help information, signposting to services, and a symptom checker.

The eConsult form can be found on our home page (link is below).  Follow the instructions and submit this to the practice and this will be actioned accordingly.

University Students
If you are a student at Newcastle or Northumbria university, your personal tutor is your first point of contact for practical advice or direction on academic and non-academic matters. Alongside this, Newcastle and Northumbria University Student Wellbeing Services provide information, advice and guidance on a wide range of student support issues, allowing you to maximise your potential whilst at university. The services are without charge and are available to all current students.If you are a University Student.

Newcastle University

Northumbria University

Meningitis ACWY
If you're starting college or university you should make sure you've already had:

•the MenACWY vaccine – which protects against serious infections like meningitis. You can ask a GP for this vaccine until your 25th birthday, if you missed having it at school or before coming to the UK to study

•2 doses of the MMR vaccine – as there are outbreaks of mumps and measles at universities. If you have not previously had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine, you can ask a GP for the vaccine

Student and Young Person's

What happens in an appointment?

Doctors and nurses can give you help and advice about any of the worries you have about your body and your health. It’s important that you feel comfortable talking to doctors and nurses.  It can be awkward and embarrassing talking to adults about your worries but just remember we’re here to help you stay healthy.

All of our doctors and nurses have up-to-date information on health issues young people might face. Remember you can take someone with you if you want to.

We provide a confidential service to all our patients, including under 16s. This means that you can be sure that anything you discuss with any member of the practice – doctor, nurse or receptionist – will remain private.

Nothing will be said to anyone including parents, other family members, care workers or teachers/tutors without your permission. The only reason why we might have to consider passing on confidential information without your permission, would be to protect you or someone else from very serious harm. We would always try to discuss this with you first.

Emotional health
Everyone struggles to cope with their feelings sometimes. It’s important to look after your emotional health as well as your physical health.
Top tips

  • Accept yourself – no-one’s perfect and everyone has something to offer.
  • Get involved in new things and meet new people.
  • Exercise regularly – find something you enjoy!
  • Eat well – don’t forget your fruit and veg!
  • Find time to relax e.g. read, listen to music, watch a film.
  • Talk about how you feel with someone you trust.
  • Most importantly, ask for help when you need it – don’t struggle on your own. Come and see a doctor or nurse and we’ll listen to you and support you.

Sexual health
Embarrassing – isn’t it – but you will have questions you want answers to. Remember you don’t actually have to be having sex to ask for advice – and everything is kept confidential.

What sexual health services do we provide?

  • Testing for Chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections
  • Contraception (pill, implant, injection)
  • Emergency contraception (morning after pill)
  • Free condoms
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Abortion referrals

The legal age to consent to have sex is 16 whether you are straight, gay or bisexual.  The law is there to protect you from abuse and exploitation, and keep you safe.  Whatever your age, you shouldn’t have sex until you feel ready. You still have the right to confidential advice on sexual health even if you are under 16.

Remember contraception is free! There are many different forms of contraception – it’s important to get the right kind of contraception for you. Hormonal contraception (e.g. pill, injection, implant) can protect you from unwanted pregnancies but you will still need to use condoms to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections. You can get free condoms by getting yourself a C-card from somewhere like Streetwise. Sexually transmitted infections are passed on through any kind of unprotected sexual activity. There are lots of different types of STI. Symptoms can include :

• itching,
• burning when you pee,
• bleeding between periods,
• discharge,
• rashes etc.

Know your own bits and know what’s normal for you. If you notice any changes get checked out.

Are you worried about your own drug taking? Do you know someone who is abusing or misusing drugs? If you’re concerned about drugs, it’s good to know the facts about how they can affect you physically and mentally.  Drug users don’t start using drugs to become addicted on purpose. But with many drugs containing substances that are addictive, people who use them casually in their spare time can then become regular users. Reasons why people start using drugs can include:

• to escape problems they may be having in other parts of their life
• peer pressure and fitting in with another group of people
• being curious about the effects of drugs

Becoming dependent on drugs can affect your family and friends. It can also have a serious impact on your own physical and mental well-being. Don’t feel under pressure to try drugs if you don’t want to.

Services for me
Here are some services that help young people stay healthy…

  • Streetwise Young People’s Project: advice, sexual health, guidance and counselling for young people aged 13-25 years old living in the North East
  • MESMAC: community support service for gay and bisexual men. Website includes local support services for LGBT people living in the North East
  • Chlamydia Screening Programme: sexual health information for young people in the North East
  • Young Minds: the voice for young people’s mental health and wellbeing
  • 111 Service: if you have health worries the 111 service have the knowledge and experience to help and reassure
  • talktofrank: got a question about drugs? the answer is here
  • change4life: eat well, move more, live longer
  • Childline: helpline for young people in distress or danger
  • Stop Smoking Service: help and advice about stopping smoking
  • Contraception Toolkit: help choose the best contraception for you

What if I am under 16
You have the right to come to an appointment without a parent or carer. The doctor or nurse will decide if they think you are ready to make your own decisions about your health. If they don’t think you’re quite ready yet they’ll ask you to bring a parent or carer next time.

You have the right to confidentiality. This means you can tell others about your visit but we won’t. Confidentiality can be broken if we think you are in serious danger.  Although we will talk to you first.You have the right to confidential advice about sexual health. If you want to bring a friend with you that’s ok.

Information for my parents/carers

Dear Parents/Carer,

When your child reaches 16 years old they may choose to access health care independently. A lot of young people still want to come to medical appointments with their parents but some prefer to come on their own, especially as they get older.  As you know the teenage years can be a difficult transitional period.

By providing a young people friendly service at Newcastle Medical Centre we are aiming to help your child take responsibility for their health as they move into adulthood. We have written to your child with information about the surgery which we hope they will find useful.  If your child chooses to come to a medical appointment on their own.  We will:

• Encourage them to discuss their health concerns with their parent/guardian (s) if they are under 16 years old.
• If they are under 16 years old we will agree to see them on their own for at least one appointment to assess their ability to consent to medical treatment. If they are over 16 years old they are presumed to have the maturity and understanding to make decisions on their own.

We will not:
• Break their confidentiality by discussing their problems with anyone unless we have their consent to do so. We may break this confidentiality if there are serious concerns about the young person’s safety.
• Offer young people treatment that is not in their best interest.

We want to work together with you to help your child to develop into a happy, healthy adult.

Here are some links to websites that may be of interest and use regarding health issues and local organisations that support young people:

The health of your child is very important and below we have some information that may be able to assist you if you have any worries or concerns.

Practice Health Visitor
We have a health visitor attached to the practice who can be contacted on
Telephone: 0191 282 3290

Child Immunisations Schedule
Childhood immunisations are an important part of a child's health.  There is a schedule that would be followed depening on the child's age.  The practice has a child immunisation admin lead who will invite your child into the Practice when the vaccinations are ready.

Your child may be required to have more than one injection at once, if this is the case, these should ideally be given in different limbs. Where this is not possible, injections in the same limb should be given 2.5cm apart.

Children under 5
The Newcastle and Gateshead CCG created a little orange book to support parents who were experiencing any worries about their child's health.

NHS Child Health App
There is a app available for you that was developed by specialists and it can help you with useful hints and tips on a range of topics.  This can be downloaded from your app store on your mobile telephone.  This app is called the NHS Child Health App.

Most symptoms of a fever in young children can be managed at home with infant paracetamol. If the fever is very high, they may have an infection that needs treating with antibiotics

Head Lice
Head lice are insects that live on the scalp and neck. They can make your head feel itchy. Although head lice may be embarrassing and sometimes uncomfortable, they don't usually cause illness. However, they won't clear up on their own and you need to treat them promptly

If you do have any concerns of worries about your child please do not hesitate to contact the Practice.

Seasonal Flu Vaccination
Influenza more commonly known as the flu is a highly infectious and potentially serious illness. Each year the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the influenza viruses that the World Healh Organization decide are most likely to be circulating in the coming winter.

Regular immunisation (vaccination) is given free of charge to the following at-risk people, to protect them from seasonal flu:
•people aged 65 or over,
•people with a serious medical condition
•if you are pregnant
•people living in a residential or nursing home
•the main carers for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer becomes ill
•healthcare or social care professionals directly involved in patient care

For more information on flu immunisation please contact the Practice or arrange an appointment with the Practice Nurse.

Shingles Vaccine
Shingles is a common and painful skin disease and a vaccine is available for certain people in their 70s.

For more information please book an appointment with the Practice Nurse

Pneumonia Vaccine
The Pneumonia vaccine is available for anyone over 65 years of age and people who are at risk due to a long term condition.  This vaccination is a one off vaccine.  This is not a seasonal vaccine and can be given throughout the year but can be given alongside your flu vaccination.  You can discuss your eligibility at your next appointment or contact us for more information.

Eating Well & Exercise - helping you maintain a healthy body
We have all heard scare stories about weight, from size zero to the obesity 'epidemic'. But a healthy body is determined by different factors for each of us.

Why be active? 
Even a little bit of exercise will make you feel better about yourself, boost your confidence and cut your risk of developing a serious illness.

There are many forms of long term conditions, below are some of the common types of conditions.  If you are learning to live to with any of these there is support available.  The practice team are there to support you.

Asthma is a common condition that causes coughing, wheezing, tightness of the chest and breathlessness. Many people with asthma who take the appropriate treatment can live normal lives, but left untreated, asthma can cause permanent damage to the airways

Symptoms of asthma
The usual symptoms of asthma are:
shortness of breath
tightness in the chest.
Not everyone will get all of these symptoms. Some people experience them from time to time; a few people may experience these symptoms all the time.

Treatment of asthma
There isn't a cure for asthma. However, treatments are available to help manage your symptoms. Your treatment plan will be individual to you, combining medicines and asthma management in a way that works best for you

Living with asthma
Medicines are only part of your treatment for asthma. You will also need to deal with the things that make it worse. Keep a diary to record anything that triggers your asthma - this can help you to discover a pattern. Using a peak flow meter to monitor your lung function can also help. If you have repeatedly low readings in a certain situation (for example, at the end of a working day, after exercise or after contact with an animal) this may indicate the trigger.

One in three people will be affected by cancer at some stage in their life. There are many different types of cancer and this page doesn't cover them all, but the general information will help you to access further information and support.  if you are worried about cancer please do not hesitiate to contact us.

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a preventable disease that was responsible for the deaths of 88,000 people in the UK in 2008 (British Heart Foundation CHD Statistics 2010). In all, 191,00 died from heart and circulatory disease in the UK. Death rates are highest in Scotland and North of England and lowest in the South of England. CHD is the biggest killer in the country.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease. The main symptom of COPD is an inability to breathe in and out properly. This is also referred to as airflow obstruction.

Diabetes is a long-term (chronic) condition caused by too much glucose (sugar) in the blood. It is also known as diabetes mellitus. There are two types of diabetes - type 1 and type 2.

According to the charity Diabetes UK, more than two million people in the UK have the condition and up to 750,000 more are believed to have it without realising they do.

More than three-quarters of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes mellitus. This used to be known as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or maturity-onset diabetes mellitus. The number of people with type 2 diabetes is rapidly increasing as it commoner in the overweight and obese, which is itself a growing problem.

The remainder have type 1 diabetes mellitus, which used to be known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

What's the treatment for diabetes?
It's recognised that the sooner the blood sugar levels are brought under control, the better the long term prospects of preventing damage. Lifestyle advice about diet, weight management and regular activity is the first step.

Type 1 diabetes will require immediate insulin therapy
Type 2 diabetes will first be managed with a drug called Metformin, if lifestyle changes alone aren't effective.

There are now several other drugs used in type 2 diabetes, although eventually some type 2 diabetics will need insulin therapy as it's a progressive disease

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting 8.5 million people in the UK. It develops gradually over time, causing joints to become stiff and painful. It can affect any joint but commonly affects the hands, knees, hips, feet and spine.

Living with Pain

The NHS website contains lots of useful information, tips and advice on living with chronic pain.

Help from your GP and use of NHS services dedicated to pain management can help make sufferers more independant, reduce the severity of pain and assist in day to day with coping with what can be a debilitating condition.

A stroke is a serious medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.

Like all organs, the brain needs the oxygen and nutrients provided by blood to function properly. If the supply of blood is restricted or stopped, brain cells begin to die. This can lead to brain damage and possibly death.

Strokes are a medical emergency and prompt treatment is essential because the sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen.

The NHS Stroke Act FAST pages offer a great deal of information about stroke, including how to recognise the signs, some real stories of stroke sufferers and advice on how to live your life after a stroke.

Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA)
A transient ischaemic attack (TIA), or 'mini-stroke', is caused by a temporary fall in the blood supply to part of the brain, leading to a lack of oxygen to the brain. This can cause symptoms that are similar to a stroke, although they don’t last as long. A TIA lasts only a few minutes and is usually resolved within 24 hours

As TIAs are serious, it is important that they are always investigated so that appropriate treatment can be given quickly. With treatment, the risk of a further TIA or a full stroke can be greatly reduced.

Both men and women need to look after their sexual health.  Taking time to understand the issues surrounding contraception and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

For instance some STIs, you could be carrying without having any symptoms. This could be chlamydia.  This infection can affect fertility, so it's important to make use of the sexual health services available for free on the NHS.

You can contact the Practice for more information on sexual health or arrange an appointment with a clinical member of staff.

Useful Resources:

Sex & Young People
A comprehensive guide to the questions you may have about sex from the NHS

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexual Health FAQs
Expert answers from a qualified Doctor

Here you'll find tips for a fulfilling sex life plus advice on STDs, contraception and common sex problems.

FPA - The Sexual Health Charity
Sexual health advice and information on contraception, sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy choices, abortion and planning a pregnancy.

There are so many different types of contraception available that you should be able to find the right method. You may have to try several different things before you choose the one you like most.

Useful Resources:

A Family Planning specialist writes about the different types of contraception, the benefits and pitfalls and how effective they are

Contraception - NHS
Information on Contraception from NHS Choices including why, when and how it should be used and with links to other useful resources.

Chlamydia is the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted infection among under-25s. Often there are no symptoms.  Testing and treatment are simple.

Causes and risk factors Chlamydia is usually passed from one person to another during vaginal, oral or anal sex, or by sharing sex toys. It can live inside cells of the cervix, urethra, rectum and sometimes in the throat and eyes.

Useful Links

NHS - focus on Chlamydia Information, videos and advice from the NHS website

There is a local sexual health clinic in Newcastle
Newcroft Centre
Newcroft House
Market Street
Newcastle upon Tyne
Telephone: 0191 229 2999

Cervical Screening (Smear Tests)
Cervical screening is very important for woman aged between 25 - 64 years.  We as a Practice are keen to raise awareness of this important test.  If you have any questions about cervical screening please contact the Practice or arrange an appointment with the Practice Nurse.

Cervical screening is a method of preventing cervical cancer by detecting abnormal cells in the cervix (lower part of the womb). Cervical screening is a test to check the health of your cervix and is not a test for cancer.

Most women's test results show that everything is normal. But for one in 20 women, the test will show some changes in the cervix cells. Most of these changes will not lead to cervical cancer and the cells will return to normal on their own. In some cases, the abnormal cells need to be treated to prevent them becoming a problem later.
The why, when & how guide to cervical screening
This website has lots of information on cervical screening and also the HPV Primary Screening.

HPV Primary Screening
HPV primary screening is a way of testing the sample of cells taken at your cervical screening (smear test) appointment. It tests for a virus called high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) that can cause cervical cell changes to develop into cervical cancer. (infromation provided by Jo's Trust)

What is Human papilloma virus (HPV)?
Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the name of a family of viruses that affect the skin and the moist membranes that line your body, such as those in your cervix, anus, mouth and throat. These membranes are called the mucosa.

There are more than 100 different types of HPV viruses, with about 40 types affecting the genital area. These are classed as high risk and low risk.

How you get HPV?
Types of HPV that affect the skin can be passed on by skin contact with an affected person. The types of HPV that affect the mouth and throat can be passed on through kissing. Genital HPV is usually spread through intimate, skin to skin, contact during sex. You can have the genital HPV virus for years and not have any sign of it.

How HPV can cause cervical cancer?
Most HPV infections are harmless or cause genital warts, however some types can cause cervical cancer. Most HPV infections clear up by themselves, but in some people the infection can last a long time. HPV infects the cells of the surface of the cervix where it can stay for many years without you knowing.

The HPV virus can damage these cells leading to changes in their appearance. Over time, these changes can develop into cervical cancer. The purpose of cervical screening (testing) is to detect these changes, which, if picked up early enough, can be treated to prevent cancer happening. If they are left untreated, cancer can develop and may lead to serious illness and death.

For more information relating to the HPV virus, testing or vaccines please contact the Practice or arrange an appointment with the Practice Nurse.

Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. About 46,000 women get breast cancer in the UK every year. 8 out of 10 of these women are over 50, but younger women can also get breast cancer.

The NHS Breast Screening Programme invites over 2 million women for screening every year, and detects over 14,000 cancers.

Find out more about breast cancer screening

For more infromation on breast cancer please contact the Practice or arrange an appointment with the Practice Nurse.

NHS Conditions and Treatments

See the NHS Conditions and Treatments browser for an in-depth description of many common health issues.

If you have any health concerns please do not hesitate to contact us

"British men are paying the price for neglecting their health: more than 100,000 men a year die prematurely.

On average, men go to their GP half as often as women. It's important to be aware of changes to your health, and to see your GP immediately if you notice something that's not right." Find out more

Prostate Cancer
Each year about 36,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer, making it the most common cancer in men. It mainly affects men aged over 50.

The prostate gland symptoms:
•difficulty in starting to pass urine
•a weak, sometimes intermittent flow of urine
•dribbling of urine before and after urinating
•a frequent or urgent need to pass urine
•rarely, blood in your urine or semen and pain when passing urine

These symptoms aren't always caused by prostate cancer but if you have them it is important to arrange an appointment to see your GP.

Find out more about the symptoms, causes and diagnosis of prostate cancer by using the resources below.

Testicular Cancer
Testicular cancer, though the most common cancer in young men, it is still quite rare. With 2000 new cases being diagnosed each year, this makes it the biggest cause of cancer related death in 15 - 35-year-old males. It accounts for around 70 deaths a year within the UK alone.

The most common symptom of testicular cancer is swelling or a pea-sized lump in one of the testes (balls). There is no current screening test therefore it is important that you look out for the following signs and symptoms.

•A dull ache, or sharp pain, in your testicles, or scrotum, which may come and go
•A feeling of heaviness in your scrotum
•A dull ache in your lower abdomen
•A sudden collection of fluid in your scrotum
•Fatigue, and generally feeling unwell.

If you have any of the above symptoms this does not mean that you are experiencing testicular cancer however it is very important that you arrange an appointment to see your GP.

Breast Cancer
Although this is rare in men it is still something that can occur.  See the below NHS link for more infromation

Sexual Problems
It is estimated that one man in every ten has a problem related to sex.  A common problem is premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction.  There is help and advice available.

NHS Conditions and Treatments