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Showing posts from 2015

8 things your GP might keep in the cupboard over Christmas

I just don't want to go dashing out looking for a pharmacy or supermarket once I have left work and declared myself to be on holiday over Christmas.  Here are a few things that I will be keeping handy, and I am sharing them in case it might be helpful for anyone else.

Paracetamol - we've seen the first of the nasty flu like illnesses this week so make sure you are prepared.  And children's versions can save a big hunt for an open pharmacy over the Christmas break - so worth stocking up

Zantac - this is great for the effects of overeating and also works well for hangovers.  Available over the counter and if you find that you are susceptible to a bit of indigestion after a large meal this is worth having in your cupboard

Some 6cm x 7cm 'Opsite Flexigrid' dressings.  This stuff is amazing.  It is like a second skin and looks like cling film that has been stuck on.  Peel off the backing and slap it on to superficial burns (instant pain relief) and also grazed knees.  It c…

Autumnwatch - health issues discussed...

The clocks will be going back soon and days are getting shorter; its time to protect ourselves from the winter blues and to keep as well as we can.  Here are a few things to look out for.
Cough and colds If you suffer from asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) you need to take extra care of yourself at this time of year.  Make sure that you have had your seasonal flu vaccination (readily available at OPMP from 0830-1800 on weekdays). Get regular exercise, eat a balanced healthy diet and make sure you do what you can to have a good sleep pattern.  At the first sign of fever and productive cough seek professional advice.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) SAD is thought to affect up to one in 50 people in the UK with as many as one in eight suffering from the milder form "winter blues". Symptoms of depression most commonly occur between September and November.  It's thought SAD is caused by the lack of sunlight which affects mood-related chemicals in the brain…

Thinking about quitting smoking?

Stopping smoking is challenging but worthwhile.  It is the best way to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and many types of cancer.  We want to work with out to help you as you consider how you might go about quitting.  
The best thing to do is to book an appointment with the practice nurse.  She has lots of experience of talking to people who are thinking about stopping smoking.  She will be able to give you advice on the best way of doing it.
Just so you are aware, there are several types of drug therapy that are available to help you when you decide to stop.   Nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum, lozenges, inhalators, mouth and nasal sprays)Champix (Vareniciline) tabletsZyban (bupropion) tablets
Nicotine replacement therapy is widely available on prescription or over the counter via your pharmacist
Zyban and Champix are prescription-only.  In studies Champix has been shown to work better than Zyban though if one doesn't suit you it is always worth considering using t…

The chickenpox vaccine to avoid the calamine lotion

The smell of calamine brings memories of fever, itch and a few days in bed with chickenpox.
The itching, fever and calamine could, however, be a thing of the past. If your child has not had chickenpox we advise that you consider the merits of this safe and effective vaccine.
Children with chickenpox develop flu like symptoms with fever, runny nose, headache and loss of appetite. They will also have the typical itchy chickenpox rash with perhaps 200 to 500 blisters. The rash lasts a week or more and some parents report permanent scarring.
Further complications are rare in children, but do include secondary bacterial infection of the blisters, pneumonia and encephalitis.
In the United States, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issued a recommendation in 2006 for two doses of varicella vaccine to be given universally to children. Several European countries including Germany vaccinate all children against chickenpox. In the UK, the vaccine is currently only offered to som…

Am I at risk of type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin to maintain a normal blood glucose level, or the body is unable to use the insulin that is produced-known as insulin resistance.
Here are a list of some risk factors for type 2 diabetes
Age Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases with age It is important to maintain a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly However, despite increasing age being a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, over recent years younger people from all ethnic groups have been developing the condition
Genetics This is a main risk factor for type 2 diabetes A child who has a parent with type 2 diabetes has about a one in three chance of also developing it
Being Overweight Putting fat around your tummy (abdomen) increases your risk. This is because it may directly put pressure on the pancreas and it is thought chemicals released upset the body's ability to process glucose (sugar) Women with waist measurement great…

Top tips for women concerned about hair loss

Alopecia a medical term used to describe the loss of visible hair and there are many different causes.   Most people loose 50-100 hairs a day throughout their lives.  When the hair loss exceeds normal levels or is worse in a particular area this is known as 'pathological hair loss'.

Male and female pattern baldness (when the hair starts to recede over both temples and on the top of the head) is common.  In men it is known to be hereditary, but in women the cause is less well known.

Other causes of hair loss are usually excluded by a visit to your GP.  So if you are one of those patients who has been told that there seems to be no medical cause for your hair loss, here is what I recommend.

Look at what has changed recently to see if there is an obvious cause for the hair loss
Excessive shedding of the hair (known as telogen effluvium) causes thinning of the hair rather than bald patches and can be a reaction to hormonal changes (such as changes in the post natal period when man…

The HPV vaccine for boys - an anti-cancer vaccine?

I first started thinking about this having been asked to give male students from the US their HPV immunisations whilst they were visiting.  I had heard about an increase in head and neck cancers in the UK from one of my ENT colleagues.  And so I started to look into the reasons for giving HPV immunisation to boys - or for not giving the immunisation as is the case on the UK immunisation program at the moment.
HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is a common virus that affects both males and females and is transmitted through sexual contact.  It rarely causes symptoms and a high percentage of individuals in the UK will be infected with the virus at some stage in their lives.

There are about 40 different types of the virus that affect the genital area and can be spread through sexual contact.  But only 2 types are responsible for causing cancer; types 16 and 18 and these can cause cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina (women), penis (men), anus and some head and neck cancers.  Types 6 and 11 caus…

Help - my newborn baby is crying and I am not sure if this is colic!

Hello from Dr Mark Anthony at Oxford Private Medical Practice.  I am a consultant paediatrician with a particular interest in babies from birth to two years old.  
The rule of threes is useful when considering whether colic is present in a baby - crying for more than 3 hours, for 3 or more days of the week, for more than 3 weeks. The discomfort tends to be worse in the evenings. There is no test for colic and diagnosis is made by exclusion of other causes of discomfort.
Persistent crying in babies is not normal. Most babies are content except for short periods of crying when hungry, needing a nappy change, tired, etc. Inconsolable crying when a baby is fed and clean can be caused by colic but also by hunger, poor feeding technique, gastroesophageal reflux, cow's milk protein intolerance (CMPI), and rarely by constipation or lactose intolerance.
Distinguishing between these causes of excessive crying can be challenging. Babies with colic tend to be thriving and otherwise well; those…

Overseas visitors and GP appointments in the UK

UK healthcare is largely free at the point of delivery although being in Oxford – a top destination for tourist, business and overseas visitors – we see first-hand how confusing it is particularly for an overseas visitor to work out what treatment options are available.
If you are a visitor to Oxford and you are unwell, you can pay to get immediate access to a doctor at Oxford Private Medical Practice www.oxfordprivategp.com, but there are circumstances when you can be treated for free through the National Health Service.
The two key principles to bear in mind are; that anyone ordinarily resident in the UK is entitled to receive all NHS services; and everybody in need of emergency treatment are entitled to be seen by an NHS doctor for free.
In an emergency, you can be treated either at an accident & emergency (A&E) centre or at a local GP practice where you can receive treatment for 14 days (after 14 days you will need to register as a temporary or permanent patient).  But rememb…

Stop colds and flu!

Very encouraging to read that a study has shown that watching a simple internet program showing how to wash your hands and take simple measures to reduce transmission of viruses can significantly reduce your chance of picking up colds and flu from people who are living or working with you.

Better still the study has shown that in the group who have watched the program they need less GP consultations and need to take less antibiotics - so it looks like this is effective and worthwhile.

Other things that you can do to get ready for the winter increase in colds include making sure that you get your flu vaccine. Now readily available for everyone it is definitely a good idea. And if you don't want your children missing school with the high temperatures and misery caused by flu it is worth thinking about the nasal flu spray. Not available to all age groups via the NHS but available privately for children up to the age of 18 - a simple sniff to give protection from the strains that a…

MenW immunisation

A recent rise in the incidence of meningitis W has prompted the UK government to recommend immunisation of all children between the ages of 11-18. Meningitis and meningococcal disease is caused by infection with a bacterium Neisseria Meningitidis (commonly known as meningococcus).  Invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) is uncommon but infection can progress rapidly to serious disease or death in previously healthy people.  The highest incidence is in children under five years of age with a peak incidence in those under one year of age.  There is a secondary peak in incidence in young people aged 15-19.  The overall mortality risk for IMD is high (between 5-10%) and up to 35% of children and adolescents surviving infection will develop permanent complications (limb amputations, brain damage, deafness and neurological problems).

 There is some confusion about the different types of vaccines available so here is a brief outline.  There are 13 strains of meningococcus in total, but we onl…

Welcome to our blog

We are delighted that you have given us a chance to tell you about what we do and who we are. 
I started Oxford Private Medical Practice in 2007. I was looking for the opportunity to spend more time with my patients to allow me to get to know them better and set up a small practice at The Manor Hospital. The practice grew quickly and before long needed a bigger working space. I found a bright top floor office in Summertown and fitted it out to provide a home for the new practice. When the practice in Summertown opened in December 2010 I was working on my own with my PA Tillie. 
As the practice grew I invited other doctors and healthcare professionals to come and work alongside me at the practice. The growth was largely driven by patient demand and there are now 4 GPs, 3 practice nurses, a psychologist, child psychologist, family therapist, therapist and couples counsellor working with me. There is a visiting psychiatrist and neonatologist (who does new baby check ups). There are …