GP Blog

Immunisations - Protect your child now and in the future

The 24th-30th April this year is European Immunisation Week, and an opportunity for me and my colleagues to emphasise the importance of the vaccinations that we offer all children registered at our surgeries. It’s an unusual day when my practice nurses aren’t seeing a baby or two for their immunisations, and out of all the many services I offer at my surgery, I don’t believe there is anything safer and more beneficial to my patients. The GP of two or three generations ago would commonly deal with some truly awful infections in babies and young children: illnesses like diphtheria, polio, and whooping cough that caused untold misery and indeed cases of lasting disability and death. Thanks to the immunisation programmes of the last decades, these illnesses are now either very rare, or extinct: the whole of Europe was declared polio-free in 2002. More recently, we have seen newer vaccines become available for children – we now vaccinate children against viruses that cause diarrhoea and sickness, and against some of the bacteria that can cause meningitis.

Blood Cancer Awareness Month

This month we are supporting Blood Cancer Awareness Month. According to Bloodwise a UK based charity, 96% of people don't know that blood cancer is one of the biggest cancer killers, and 91% don't know it's one of the most common cancers.

In this blog post MECCG Clinical Lead and Macmillian GP for mid Essex, Dr Liz Towers explains what blood cancers are, common symptoms and what treatments are available.

Protect your child in the sun

Dr James Booth explains how best to protect your little ones from the sun.

Children love playing outdoors especially in the sunshine but if you don’t protect their skin you could be risking their health.

A moderate amount of sunshine is good for all of us. It provides essential vitamin D, which we need for good health, it improves our mood and helps promote better sleep – just what you need if you have small children to entertain!

However, too much sun can be damaging. So protecting your child from the sun not only prevents painful sunburn but also reduces their risk of developing skin cancer later in life.

Men - get yourself checked!

On average men go to their GP half as often as women. This may in part be the reason why 100,000 men a year die prematurely.

Men may feel embarrassed in seeking help, or hope their symptoms will “just get better”.

In this blog, Dr Liz Towers talks about two specific men’s health issues; testicular cancer and prostate cancer and why it is important to get yourself checked. 

Talking about dying won't make it happen

Everyone knows the saying: “There are two certainties in life - death and taxes”.

While I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t have an opinion on taxes, death is still a subject that, for most of us, remains taboo.

While other countries, such as Mexico, hold celebrations for the dead, here in the UK we still avoid having a frank and open conversation about something that comes to us all.

It isn’t an easy subject to talk about, but it is one that needs discussing, which is why I’m writing this blog to coincide with Dying Matters Week.