At some point in our lives there is a chance we could be affected, directly or indirectly, by problems relating to our mental health. As a practice, we take mental health very seriously and aim to provide a comprehensive service that ranges from advice and support, to long term care for those patients dealing with severe and enduring mental health needs. Any of our GP's will be happy to discuss any emotional concerns, patients are also encouraged to self-refer to Newcastle Talking Therapies by completing their self-referral form here or by calling 0191 282 6600
There are a range of local services available, should you need more urgent help:
The Newcastle Crisis Team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0191 814 8899 or freephone 0800652 2863
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
MIND – leading mental health charity in England and Wales.
Tyneside and Northumberland Mind
GIVE US A SHOUT
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.
Telephone: 0191 477 4545
The flu season generally runs from September to March and if you are eligible, it is highly recommended that you book an appointment to receive your vaccine.
The flu vaccine is free on the NHS to 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
If unsure, please call the practice to enquire.
• 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.
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.
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
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.
Everyone struggles to cope with their feelings sometimes. It’s important to look after your emotional health as well as your physical health.
- 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.
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 :
• burning when you pee,
• bleeding between periods,
• 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 www.streetwisenorth.org.uk
- MESMAC: community support service for gay and bisexual men. Website includes local support services for LGBT people living in the North East www.mesmacnortheast.com
- Chlamydia Screening Programme: sexual health information for young people in the North East www.checkyourbits.org
- Young Minds: the voice for young people’s mental health and wellbeing www.youngminds.org.uk
- 111 Service: if you have health worries the 111 service have the knowledge and experience to help and reassure www.nhs.uk
- talktofrank: got a question about drugs? the answer is here www.talktofrank.com
- change4life: eat well, move more, live longer www.nhs.uk/change4life
- Childline: helpline for young people in distress or danger www.childline.org.uk
- Stop Smoking Service: help and advice about stopping smoking www.smokefree.nhs.uk
- Contraception Toolkit: help choose the best contraception for you www.fpa.org.uk/mycontraceptiontool
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
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 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 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
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.
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young people with testes, between the ages of 15-35, however with 2000 new cases diagnosed each year it is still quite rare. It accounts for around 70 deaths per year within the UK.
The most common symptom of testicular cancer is swelling or a pea-sized lump in one of the testes. 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.
For more information, click here
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.
It is important to look after your sexual health, taking time to understand issues surrounding sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and contraception.
You could be carrying some STIs without having any symptoms, such as chlamydia which can affect fertility. It is important to have regular STI screening when sexually active, with new sexual partners. The NHS provides free sexual health services and it is vital to make use of this. You can contact the practice for more information, or to arrange an appointment. You can also contact Newcastle's New Croft Centre on 0191 229 2999 or Gateshead's Trinity Square Health Centre on 0191 283 1577 both of which offer a wide range of services from STI screening to IUD implantation.
Cervical screening is an extremely important method of helping to prevent cervical cancer for any individual between the age of 25-64 who has a cervix. Cervical screening tests the cells of the cervix, to detect abnormal cells or changes and to check the health of your cervix. As a practice, we are keen to raise awareness and ensure our patients receive their regular screening. If you have any questions, please contact us to discuss.
HPV primary screening is a way of testing the sample of cells taken at your cervical screening. It tests for a virus called high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) that can cause cervical cell changes to develop into cervical cancer.
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 is the most common cancer in the UK. There are around 46,000 cases of breast cancer in the UK every year. 8 out of 10 of these cases are in those over 50, but younger people can also get breast cancer.
The NHS Breast Screening Programme invites over 2 million people for screening every year, and detects over 14,000 cancers.
Find out more about breast cancer screening
For more information on breast cancer please contact the practice.
There are around 36,000 cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in the UK every year, it mainly affects those over 50.
The symptoms in the prostate gland include:
- Difficulty in starting to pass urine
- A weak, sometimes intermittent flow of urine
- Dribbling or 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 are not always caused by prostate cancer, but if you display these symptoms it is important to arrange an appointment with your GP.
For more information, click here