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Care Navigation – to help patients get the right support, quickly

Across County Durham, all GP practices want to make sure their patients are seen quickly by the right healthcare professional for their problem.  We know that when you are not feeling well you just want to feel better quickly and sometimes may feel that the only person to help would be a GP.

Throughout June and July, our practice staff received specialist training developed by clinicians, to help them provide you with information about choices you have to see an appropriate person for your healthcare needs.  Sometimes a GP isn't the best person to see.  Within your GP practice for example a Practice Nurse (for matters including dressings, immunisations or ear syringes) may be better.  You could also be directed to a healthcare professional in the community such as a community pharmacist, optician or sexual health nurse.

When you contact your GP practice, the receptionists may ask you a few questions to help navigate you to the best person to help you quickly.  They won’t try to diagnose your problem, but you may need to tell them a little about why you are calling.  Of course you do not have to, the choice is yours and you can always still request to see your GP, but you may be able to be seen faster by someone who is able to provide the right care for you using 'Care navigation' to help, without waiting to see a GP.

For further details please see the link below

Whopping Cough Vaccine for Pregnant Women

You may have seen in recent media coverage that there has been a considerable increase in whooping cough diagnosis in the UK starting in mid-2011. The current national outbreak is the largest seen in the UK for over a decade. The greatest numbers of cases are in adolescents and young adults but the highest rates are in infants less than three months of age.


With this in mind, a programme has been implemented to ensure pregnant women have the opportunity to receive the vaccine.  The purpose of the programme is to boost antibodies in the vaccinated women in late pregnancy, so that pertussis (whooping cough) specific antibodies are passed from the mother to her baby. This aims to protect the infant before routine immunisation can be started at eight weeks of age.  It has been recommended that all pregnant women should be offered the vaccination at between 28 to 38 weeks of pregnancy inclusive.  In addition, it is recommended the vaccination be given to anyone over 38 weeks of pregnancy up until labour begins.


New mothers who have never had the pertussis vaccine should also be vaccinated, up until their baby receives their first course of vaccinations at 8 weeks.


It is also recommended that all pregnant women receive a seasonal flu vaccination, which can be given at the same time as the pertussis.


If you fall in any of the categories above, please contact the surgery to arrange an appointment with the practice nurse for both the pertussis and seasonal flu vaccine as soon as possible.

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