Category Archive News


‘3 Before GP’ Campaign

The Royal College of GPs’ are running a new ‘3 before GP’ campaign.

This campaign is about getting patients to ask themselves three questions before booking an appointment with their GP. The three questions are:

Can I?

  1. self-care
  2. use NHS Choices or similar reputable websites/resources
  3. seek advice/treatment via a pharmacist

The College hopes that this simple slogan will encourage patients to think hard about whether they need to see a GP during another busy winter period for general practice – or if they can deal with the problem in a different way.

To find out more about the campaign visit the RCGP website.


You don’t need to see your GP for a common cold

The common cold, although frustrating, is a mild viral infection that usually clears up on its own within a week or two. In most cases there is no need to see your GP, however, your local Pharmacist may be able to advise on over-the-counter medications to help with your symptoms.

The main symptoms of a common cold include:

  • A blocked or runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Cough

There is no cure for the common cold, but there are things you can do to self-care at home;

  • Get some rest
  • Drink plenty of fluids and eat fruit and vegetables
  • Take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to reduce any fever
  • Use decongestant sprays, steam or tablets to relieve a blocked nose
  • Try remedies such as gargling salt water and sucking on menthol sweets

In general, a person is contagious a few days prior to any symptoms occurring until all their symptoms have gone.  There are a number of ways you can help stop the cold virus spreading:

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Always sneeze and cough into tissues
  • Clean surfaces regularly
  • Use your own cup, plates and cutlery
  • Don’t share towels or toys

You can find more information about coughs and colds and information on your nearest pharmacy at NHS Choices.


Plan ahead and stock up on all essential medicines ahead of the Christmas period

Christmas can one of the busiest times of the year for everyone which is why NHS South Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Vale Royal CCG are telling us that having essential medicines at home, will keep us enjoying the festive season.

During the festive period, your first point of call for advice and support should be your local pharmacist.  They can give you expert help on common illnesses including coughs, colds, aches and pains and they can answer questions about prescribed and over the counter medicines.

Your local pharmacist is trained and qualified to give professional, free advice and will have a wide range of remedies available.  You don’t need an appointment and they all have private consultation rooms to talk in confidence.

You can stock your medicine cabinet with Christmas essentials for around £10 to tackle minor conditions at home:

  • Painkillers like ibuprofen and paracetamol – 25p each (Junior paracetamol £1.90)
  • Aspirin – 30p
  • Antihistamines for allergies – £2.50 for a month’s supply
  • Diarrhoea relief – £1
  • Constipation relief – £1.60
  • Throat lozenges – 99p
  • Antacid – 99p

Always ensure remedies which are already in your medicines cabinet are still okay to use. If any medicines are past their use-by-date, don’t take them and return them to your local pharmacy for disposal.

Dr Andrew Wilson, GP and Chair of NHS South Cheshire CCG, said: “It is important to plan ahead, stock up on your medicine cabinets with plenty of time to spare.

“By doing this you’ll be able to treat minor injuries and illnesses at home, avoiding unnecessary trips to the doctor, waiting for an appointment you probably don’t need.”

During the busy winter period across the NHS, if you have a minor ailment seeing your local community pharmacist will mean you’ll be tackling your symptoms sooner, whilst also relieving pressure in the rest of the healthcare system.

Dr Jonathan Griffiths, GP and Chair of NHS Vale Royal CCG, said: “As Christmas approaches it is important to know all pharmacy opening times, just in case you do feel ill over winter.

“Community pharmacists offer confidential advice and treatment for all minor health problems including coughs, colds, minor injuries and general aches and pains.  You don’t need an appointment and they all have private consultation rooms.”

To find out when your local pharmacy is open on Christmas, Boxing and New Years Day, go to your local CCG website,

If you need medical advice, but you’re not sure where to turn, The NHS 111 telephone service is a free call number, provided by North West Ambulance Service and gives confidential health guidance and advice, 24 hours a day 365 days a year.  They will also direct you to other local services where appropriate.

For more information on all essential medicine must-haves visit the NHS Choices website –


Self-Refer to Local Health Classes

Patients at Ashfields Primary Care Centre, Sandbach can self-refer to the ‘One You Cheshire East’ service.

One You Cheshire East is part of a national health initiative supported by Cheshire East Council and Peaks and Plains Housing Trust. The service offers a number of local classes and support services to ensure local people live better, healthier and longer lives.

Some of the classes available to you are:

• Active Lives – Help to become more active
• Re-shape – Lose weight via exercise and nutrition
• Let’s Get Moving – Accessing activities as a family
• Taste for Life – Learning to cook and budget
• Fit for Birth – Becoming active during pregnancy
• Stop Smoking service
• Alcohol Screening and Support
• Be Steady Be Safe – Reducing falls risk

You don’t need to see your GP to be referred to these classes, you can simply call 0808 1643202 or register on-line at


Behind the Headlines: New drug shows promise for preventing migraines

“Millions of people are set to benefit from the first new migraine drug in 20 years,” reports the Mail Online.

New research found the injectable drug erenumab cut the number of days people had migraines from an average of 8 a month to between 4 and 5 a month.

Millions of people in the UK get migraines. Symptoms include severe headache, dizziness, nausea and aversion to light.

Migraine-specific drugs include a group of drugs called triptans, which are used to try to ease the symptoms of attack once it starts, and several drugs that are used to try to prevent attacks. But these drugs aren’t always effective and can have unwelcome side effects.

The new drug is thought to disable a protein known as calcitonin gene-related peptide. Previous research found this protein may play a part in migraine symptoms.
A second drug that works in a similar way, fremanezumab, is also being tested.

This new drug is not yet available as any new drugs have to be licensed by the European Medicines Agency and assessed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) before they can be made available on the NHS.

You can find more information on the treatments currently available for migraines, as well as advice on avoiding potential migraine triggers.


Measles Outbreak Confirmed in 3 areas of England

Public Health England have issued advice to the public as a result of a measles outbreaks in 3 areas of England.

As of 29 November 2017, there were 16 confirmed cases in Leeds, 11 confirmed cases in Liverpool and 9 confirmed cases in Birmingham. All of these cases have been reported in children and adults who have not received 2 doses of the MMR vaccine.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can be very unpleasant and can sometimes lead to serious complications.

Children and young people who have not received 2 doses of MMR vaccine are at risk. Unvaccinated people travelling to Romania and Italy, where there are currently large outbreaks of measles, are at particularly high risk.

Anyone planning to travel to Europe over the Christmas period should check NaTHNaC travel health advice.

The MMR vaccine is available to all adults and children who are not up to date with their 2 doses. Anyone who is not sure if they are fully vaccinated should check with their GP practice.


Do you Think Pharmacy?

Your local Pharmacy offers a minor ailments service providing advice and treatment for the following conditions:

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Cystitis
  • Impetigo
  • Scabies
  • Threadworm
  • Vaginal Thrush
  • Oral thrush in babies

You can pop into your local Pharmacy for a free and confidential consultation with a qualified Pharmacist without an appointment. Pharmacists can supply some medications that would normally require a prescription from a GP, without the need for you to see your GP.

The consultation with a Pharmacist is free and if the Pharmacist prescribes a medication it will be:

  • free for those who are applicable for free NHS prescriptions
  • no more than a normal prescription charge for those that pay for NHS prescriptions

Your local Pharmacy can also offer advice and over-the-counter medication for a number of ailments including coughs, colds, sore throats, back pain and headaches.

Opening times for your local Pharmacies can be found at


The Patient Research Experience Survey 2017/18

The National Institute for Health Research would like to understand more about patient experience of clinical research taking placing in the NHS.

Please help us by completing this anonymous questionnaire. Taking part will not affect any of your further treatment or any future participation in a research study. Your responses will help us improve the way clinical research is delivered in the NHS and will publish the findings.  

Complete the questionnaire


GP Opening Times – Christmas and New Year 2017/18

Below is a timetable of dates that your GP Practice is open over the Christmas and New Year holiday period for 2017/18.

Monday, 25 December 2017 CLOSED
Tuesday, 26 December 2017 CLOSED
Wednesday, 27 December 2017 OPEN
Thursday, 28 December 2017 OPEN
Friday, 29 December 2017 OPEN
Monday, 1 January 2018 CLOSED
Tuesday, 2 January 2018 OPEN

If you require urgent medical advice when your GP Practice is closed call NHS 111. They are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Just dial 111 free from any mobile or landline.


Bogus Email Alert

We have been informed that a number of patients have received bogus emails which look like they are from Ashfields Primary Care Centres reception team.

Please note, Ashfields never send out any emails asking payment for invoices under any circumstances.