Staying well this winter

Date Posted: 1st December 2017

Dr Alan Ng, Minor Injuries Centre Manager, St Joseph’s Hospital

Over the past decade there has been an increase in demand for both General Practice and Accident & Emergency services. A number of factors have contributed, chiefly an ageing population and the continual squeeze on NHS and social care budgets. Great Britain spends 8.5 per cent GDP on its health service, whereas most similar European countries spend more than 10 per cent.

Every winter the problem becomes more serious as the incidence of medical illnesses increases. The vast majority of problems are infective illnesses, related to the cold weather. In many cases deterioration and hospital admissions can be prevented if patients are immunised.

Currently circulating levels of influenza in Wales are low. The most common age group presenting with flu like symptoms at the end of October was the 25-34 age group. If we look at previous trends, we should be bracing ourselves for a surge from the beginning of December until the end of January. Peak incidence is over the New Year. Having a vaccination against flu will provide 75-80 per cent protection. If you’ve not had your vaccine by the end of the year, it is not too late as we commonly see another peak in influenza mid-late March.

St Joseph’s Hospital can provide both adult and child flu vaccination at a cost of £15. There is no need to make an appointment, visit between 10am6pm Monday to Friday or Saturday 8am-1pm.

In September the Private GP and UrgentCare Centres at St Joseph’s Hospital merged, becoming the Private GP and Minor Injuries Centre. This allows the skills of Emergency Care doctors to work alongside GPs and Practice Nurses to provide comprehensive acute care for all the family. A 20 minute consultation costs £70.

The centre offers seamless access to state-ofthe-art diagnostic imaging technology, specialist consultations and allied services.

The walk in Minor Injuries Centre is open 10am-6pm, Monday to Friday.*

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