This week is Cervical Cancer Prevention week, a week dedicated to reminding ladies to book their smear tests and not to be embarrassed about the process.
Cervical screening prevents 75% of cervical cancers from developing, yet one in four women in the UK don’t attend.
Cervical Screening is the method of detecting abnormal cells on the cervix. Being screened regularly means any abnormal changes in the cells can be identified and if necessary, treated to stop cancer developing.
All women in the UK aged 25 to 49 are invited for a screening test every three years and those aged 50 to 64 are invited every five years.
What happens when you go for your cervical screening?
The screening test usually takes around 5 minutes to carry out.
You’ll be asked to undress from the waist down and lie on a couch, although you can remain fully dressed if you are wearing a loose skirt/dress.
The nurse or doctor will gently put an instrument called a speculum into your vagina, this holds the walls of the vagina open so the cervix can be seen.
The nurse or doctor will then use a small soft brush to gently collect some cells from the surface of your cervix. Although the procedure can be a little uncomfortable, it shouldn’t be painful. However, if you do find it painful let the doctor or nurse know as they may be able to reduce your discomfort.
Once the sample is taken, the doctor or nurse will close the curtain allowing you to dress whilst they prepare the sample to be sent off to the laboratory.
The cell sample is then sent off to a laboratory for analysis and you should receive the result within 2 weeks.
Many women are nervous and embarrassed about the process of cervical
screening, but there is no need to be, nurses and doctors carry out these tests
You can minimise your worries when you book your appointment by requesting a female nurse or doctor to carry out the test. You are also welcome to bring a chaperone to your appointment too.
With the cold weather setting in this week, it’s important to take extra care to make sure you stay fit and healthy. Those with long-term respiratory problems need to take extra care as the damp, cold conditions can make you more vulnerable to catching those pesky winter bugs.
If you start to feel unwell, even if it’s a cough or a cold, don’t wait until it gets more serious. Seek advice from your Pharmacist.
Follow these simple tips below to help you and your loved ones to stay fit and well over this cold snap.
There has been a rise in the number of flu cases in the local area, therefore we are urging patients living in South Cheshire and Vale Royal that it is not too late to get their flu vaccination.
Latest reports from Public Health England show that flu is now circulating in the local area and a small but growing number of cases have been confirmed by Leighton Hospital in Crewe.
A flu vaccine is available free of charge for anyone over the age of 65, pregnant women, those with a serious long-term health condition, those living in a long-stay residential care home, and those who receive a carer’s allowance/are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person.
If you are eligible for the flu vaccine on the NHS, contact your GP Practice now to book.
NHS 111 is now available online, providing people with fast and convenient access to urgent health advice digitally.
NHS 111 online offers people an alternative to the 111 phone service, as well as helping to manage increasing demand on the telephone service – but please note it does not replace the phone service.
How does it work
To access the service simply visit 111.nhs.uk, enter your age, sex, postcode and main symptom, and then you will be guided through a series of questions about your health problems.
At the end of the questions you will be given advice about the best course of action to take next, which could be:
Now is the perfect time to check your first aid kit is well stocked for Winter to help you and your family self care for minor illnesses and injuries. There are a number of things you can have in your first aid kit for any such eventualities:
Your local Pharmacy is a great place to stock up on all the above items and you can find your nearest one and view their opening hours at NHS Choices.
Please remember to make sure your first aid kit is kept in a cool, dry place out of the reach of children.
Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them can make you become resistant to the, which means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them.
If you or a family member feel unwell, have a cold or flu and you haven’t been prescribed antibiotics, there are some effective self-care ways to help you feel better:
How long should my symptoms last for?
Here are a few guidelines to help you judge how long some common illnesses and symptoms should last for: Common illnesses Most people are better by Earache (middle ear infection) 8 days Sore throat 7–8 days Sinusitis (adults only) 14–21 days Cold 14 days Cough or bronchitis 21 days.
|Common Illnesses||Most people are better by|
|Earache (Middle ear infection)||8 days|
|Sore throat||7 – 8 days|
|Sinusitis (adults only)||14 – 21 days|
|Cough or bronchitis||21 days|
If you’re not starting to feel better by these guide times, contact your GP or call NHS 111.
For more information, and what signs you need to look out for which may be symptoms of a more serious conditions, download Public Health Englands Antibiotics Leaflet
Winter conditions can be seriously bad for our health, especially for people aged 65 or older, and people with long-term conditions such as COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, diabetes or heart or kidney disease. Being cold can raise the risk of increased blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.
It’s important to keep warm in winter
Keeping warm over the winter months can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems.
Feeling unwell? Don’t wait – get advice from your nearest pharmacist
At the first sign of a winter illness, even if it’s just a cough or cold, get advice from your pharmacist, before it gets more serious. Act quickly. The sooner you get advice from a pharmacist the better. Pharmacists are fully qualified to advise you on the best course of action. This can be the best and quickest way to help you recover and get back to normal. If you can’t get to a pharmacist yourself, ask someone to go for you or call your local pharmacy.
Have you had the flu jab?
The flu virus strikes in winter and it can be far more serious than you think. Flu can lead to serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and it can be deadly. That’s why the flu jab is free if you’re aged 65 or over, or if you have a long-term health condition. If you have young children or grandchildren they may also be eligible for a free flu vaccination. And if you are the main carer of an older or disabled person you may also be eligible for the free flu jab. Just speak to your GP receptionist or pharmacist.
Do you know your risks of high blood pressure numbers?
High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. The only way to know you have it is to have a blood pressure check.
You can get your blood pressure checked at a number of places.
If you are worried about your blood pressure, book your appointment at your practice.
You can find out more information about ‘Know Your Number’ week at their website.