Clinics and Services
Clinics and Services Services Available To Patients
Not all services we offer are provided free by the NHS. Where these chargeable services are provided we have to recover the associated costs from the patients receiving the services. Chargeable services are varied but include: completion of insurance claim forms, adoption forms, specifically requested medicals to demonstrate fitness or otherwise for third parties, private sick notes, travel vaccination, provision of copies of personal information and some minor surgical operations etc. A full list of chargeable services is held at reception and, in order to avoid embarrassment, it is strongly recommended that you check with reception before requesting a particular service.
The practice provides a full range of immunisations ranging from tetanus and polio for those at risk, to specific immunisation for travellers (see below). We would draw your attention to the risk of tetanus, a disease that kills. The disease is spread by an organism that lives in garden soil, and injuries incurred while you are gardening (even pricks from rose thorns) are often a source of infection. If you have never had a tetanus injection, it is important to have a primary course to establish immunity. Thereafter a booster dose every 10 years is recommended. However, current DoH advice is that if you have had five consecutive doses, life immunity is probably assured. The DoH goes on to advise that a booster dose should be given, “following a tetanus-prone wound, where the individual has not received a full five-dose course and is due to a further dose, OR, the immunisation status is unknown”. Additionally, a booster dose should be given to “travellers to areas where medical attention may not be accessible, should a tetanus-prone wound occur and the last dose was more than 10 years previously”. Please check with one of our doctors or a nurse because individual advice to suit your particular circumstances needs to be given.
Flu And Pneumonia
We recommend that the following groups of “at risk” patients be immunised annually against influenza and a once in a lifetime pneumonia: those over 65 years of age and those who suffer from asthma, diabetes, chronic respiratory illness, chronic kidney disease, or have had a splenectomy. The practice holds immunisation sessions throughout the year, if you are in any doubt about whether you need immunisation, please ask your doctor or one of our nurses.
We maintain a highly professional and comprehensive travel service for our patients. Our clinic nurses are fully trained in all aspects of travel medicine and keep themselves updated with new developments. Appointments of 20 minutes’ duration are offered so that time can be spent discussing travel itinerary, specific country risks and providing immunisation. However, if you are consulting with your partner or family, you may be offered the opportunity of a joint consultation in order to avoid duplication of travel advice. It is recommended that you attend the travel clinic at least six weeks prior to your departure. For more exotic trips attend eight weeks before departure. If you are unable to keep a pre-booked appointment for any reason, please cancel it in good time. Some immunisation, such as polio, tetanus, hepatitis-A and typhoid, may be free to our registered patients but other specific travel immunisation such as rabies and yellow fever will have to be given at an alternative clinic. Please ask a receptionist or nurse prior to your visit so that you know what to expect.
Our doctors and nurses provide contraception advice as appropriate within their normal appointments. If an IUD is to be fitted, please tell the receptionist so that she can allocate a long appointment with an appropriately trained doctor.
A healthy pregnancy starts before you actually become pregnant. This is especially so if you need to take any regular medication for conditions such as diabetes or epilepsy. Please see your doctor or one of our practice nurses if you need any advice. A blood test can be arranged to check your rubella (German measles) status before you start a family. Please book an appointment at your local maternity services as soon as you know you are pregnant so that antenatal care can be started for you. Don’t forget – after you have had your baby you will also need a postnatal check between six and eight weeks.
Child Development & Immunisation
All doctors in the practice provide child health surveillance facilities and developmental checks. These are usually done during normal surgery appointments. Some checks will be done by the health visitors. It is very important that all children and babies are fully immunised. There are very few contra-indications. Even if your baby is snuffly or has a slight cold it is safe. We have a baby immunisation clinic every Wednesday afternoon which is run on an appointment system. If you have any queries regarding the immunisation of your baby, please do not hesitate to ask our treatment room nurse, your doctor or a health visitor.
The current recommended immunisation schedule is as follows:
- 2 Months – 1st dose Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (Whooping Cough), Polio, Hib & Pneumococcal
- 3 Months – 2nd dose Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Hib & Meningitis C
- 4 Months – 3rd dose Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Hib, Meningitis C & Pneumococcal
- 12 Months – Hib & Meningitis C Booster
- 13 Months – MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) & Pneumococcal
- 3-5 Years – Pre-school booster of Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio. Pertussis plus MMR
- 13 Years – Booster Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (Usually done at school)
Health promotion is run by our practice nurses. We encourage all our patients to share the responsibility for their health both in preventing disease and in treating existing disease. Prevention really is better than cure. Many of the most serious diseases can be prevented by a healthy lifestyle and without the need for drugs. Please feel free to discuss any general health and lifestyle matters with any of the doctors or practice nurses. Appointments may be made through reception.
Minor Surgery Unit
We have a custom-built and superbly equipped minor surgery suite on the premises. Our standards are such that we are an approved provider of secondary care minor surgery for local Primary Health Care Trusts and currently carry out a range of minor operations. Dr Omid Entekhabi-Fard leads a team of GPs who have special skills in more complex minor surgical procedures. This service saves you a couple of trips to the hospital. If you have a minor skin lesion that concerns you, please see your GP who may refer you to the unit.
The unit is also able to provide a male sterilisation service (vasectomy under local anaesthetic). This service is accessed through your GP on the NHS or privately.
The surgery no longer has a midwife based at the surgery. The practice does not have access to the midwives appointment system and is unable to answer any queries relating to an appointment.
Ear Syringing Referrals
Please note that the Royal Berkshire hospital has a long waiting list for referrals for relief of ear wax. Patients who do not wish to wait may wish to contact a private hospital or optician that provides this service.